The fragrant dust of the 21st Southern Comfort Conference has been settling a few days now, and I feel a little more certain of being able to start to tell you all about it. I cannot promise a great post here, dear friends. I am as much out of practice at blogging as I have been, until quite recently, at spending long hours in tall pumps. Nothing for it but to start and try, yes? On we go therefore.
Roughly 850 registered attendees (including a surprising 450 first timers) gathered with countless supportive friends and family, and a vibrant number of peripheral participants at Atlanta’s Crowne Plaza’s Perimeter for what I believe to be the largest Transgender conference known to man, woman and everyone somewhere in between last week. I was able to extract myself from work long enough to enjoy a good part of Thursday, much of Friday and practically every loving moment of Saturdays glamorous finale en Femme.
A mad gusher of posts emerged from my first visit to SCC last year, which you may find here, here and ooooh, I can barely reach it .. just over here. The Sophomore visit, with so many elements and sensations so familiar, leaves fewer themes to exploit. Some things need mentioning though, and the important ones have to do with gratitude.
I have spent many years attending conferences of many types over long decades, and must tell you this: SCC runs a tight ship. Not an easy thing to make the trans run on time darlings, and dammit but they do. Hats off to Lexi, her Committee Chairs, and the 100 or so volunteers who just put their backs in to a big piece of work. A special call out is due to Blake Alford whose tribute in words and pictures to Transgendered soldiers, sailors and aviators past and present was without doubt for me the most stirring moments of a great event.
Close in the stirring moments parade came Friday evening at a commitment ceremony for four beautiful couples, amongst them dear friends Cindy and Joanne, both radiant in white. Such a privilege to witness such an open, loving embrace of all the differences an individual can bring to and enlarge a home with. I missed the tossed bouquet by mere inches.
These moments were however eclipsed in the few hours that Mrs. Bellejambes was able to spend with my sisters, brothers and I. Again, I am thankful for much. I hope a fraction of that feeling shows in this picture.
More ponderings to follow as time allows. Let me leave you with a finishing thought:
If, in your journey, you have not enjoyed the luxury of time spent with people with whom you share a difference, you should. Put your spare change in a big jar. Mark your calendars. Visit Atlanta next year for Southern Comfort. You might catch the bouquet yourself.
See you here.
See you here.