Hello, friends. I promise this is the last of the September 2022 archives. This particular photo perfectly captures the mood I feel now as I look forward to seeing friends and making new ones in Harrisburg, PA next month (written in February). I am of course referring to the Keystone Conference.
This year, apparently because of a greater number of attendees than in past events, the conference will take place at a new, larger venue. Two hotels have blocks of rooms for the event, including the main locus, Hilton, and the Crowne Plaza next door for overflow. Due to a variety of scheduling changes I ended up needing reservations at both hotels, Hilton for the first few days and the final day at the Crowne.
I hope many of you will be able to come. These venues are so important for many reasons, primary among them to build solidarity. Another reason is that they serve as safe “gateways” to the public world for those ready to explore opportunities to express themselves however they want. For transgender people, this means physically presenting in the gender that matches that which exists in their mind and soul. For crossdressers like me, it’s a calming refuge for temporary presentation in the opposite gender (typically M2F) for any of a number of reasons, from identity exploration to addressing a fetish-inspired impulse. For others, it is an opportunity for spouses and significant others to understand the complicated spectrum of gender expression through dialogue without negative bias and fear. Though emphasis is placed on M2F expression, F2M and queer dimensions are growing in prevalence, which is good.
Interestingly, I’m a rather typical American white male. My political ideology is classical liberalism (the brand of conservatism described by Hume, Locke, and Smith and described by recent thinkers like President Eisenhower and George Will, among others), not the vulgar version that has spawned in recent decades. Spiritually, I’ve been an atheist since youth. I loath domination, gut-thinking, cultishness, recklessness, fundamentalism, and the preference for raw power. Though I am far from being wealthy, I am doing well financially, made possible by leveraging an educational and military foundation I worked hard to earn. This was not without awareness my gender and race played an unconscious role as lubricants to society’s rusty machinery. Fortunately, my career and hobbies blend well together, leading to deep intellectual satisfaction. Emotionally, my life is stable and fulfilling, thanks in large part to my wife, goofy dog, and a wide circle of friends and family. Crossdressing is a minor form of artistic expression for me, a convoluted manifestation of my creative tendency blended with sexuality (as opposed to gender expression). I’ve reflected on this habit of mine for many years and concluded it really is nothing more than that – primal, not high order.
All of that to say this world of gender exploration attracts all types, not just those who are “woke”, emotionally fragile, snowflaky, or whatever the term-du-jour is used to describe our lot in monolithic terms.
My next posts will be from the trenches! Be well, my friends, and carry on!
- Dress: DKNY
- Bolero: Connected
- Shoes: Bandolino
- Hosiery: Wolford
We run one post a day, every day. You will see Keystone things here for a few weeks afterward beginning next week. You will see my adventures at the film festival after that. Alex, Cristy, Nora, Kris and yours truly will be up on Flickr with more immediate pictures and stories. Otherwise, just grab that cup of coffee every morning and join our community here as we all relive an amazing week for all of us!