Here we are friends with the weekend running away from me at the speed of light, can’t keep up with it all even in flats. Go, go, toujours go, now, now, and encore de now, Still mentally unpacking from SCC. The clothes and surface things are hung, slung and bunged into various chests, closets and tranny crannies Chez Bellejambes. And so with the surface things out of the way, time for a deeper dive within.
It is just so damned nice to hang out with great numbers of guys and dolls of a similar or sympathetic disposition for a few days. You can feel it just a couple of hours into the proceedings. Our non-normative narratives join a swelling chorus. Our deviations from the mean become the standard, our out-of-tolerance behaviors are not just tolerated, they are dominant. We statistical outliers move to the center of a societal bell curve.
Conference attendees constitute the majority population for a few short days. The hotel staff gets past our differences pretty quickly. The accidental tourists and stowaways from Drabistan camping out at the hotel kind of cling to the walls and shadows. Whatever they have in their wallet is not coin of the realm here this week, and we special people wear the crown.
And this feels good, dear friends, truly good.
I am not generally much of a "joiner", quite cautious and guarded about the company of Earthlings really. I get mellower with time, but still draw on pretty deep wells of what many regard as cynicism or snobbery. I am just a little awkward around “us”, not ever entirely certain about how we are supposed to behave, or fully proud of how we do, you know?
Against all logic, I still remain hopeful of a rescue mission from my distant home planet, The Council of Elders will of course shake their outsized, fragile, translucent heads in disbelief while reading my report. Said report will have much to do with just how replete with shit the proverbial fan gets when we Earthlings gather in great numbers around practically any theme.
One of your great thinkers, Kurt Vonnegut opined smartly on these matters, referring to groups of people affiliated through a shared identity or purpose as members of a Granfalloon.
Good old Kurt.
And for all that I enjoy practically every waking and dreaming moment of SCC, I feel within me cautions against uncritical Granfalloonery. I am a better loner than a team player, and always have been.
I stand (with slightly pinched toes) in complete and utter shoulder-back, jaw-slack awe at the countless tall and short, thick and thin, dark and pale, blonde and brunette, demure and daring, alto and baritone, big city hicks and county crossroads aesthetes, gun nuts and peaceniks, drop-outs and post-Docs and everyone else who each uniquely found a path to SCC this year.
To each of you who paused for a few minutes on your path, and shared it with me, I am terribly grateful that you did. I may have said something nice about your outfit or your beautiful smile. Perhaps we got to talking about our home towns or sporting heroes long forgotten. We may have spoken a bit about the whole ball of gender wax that we got rolled up in years ago, or just how the pleasant the shade and birdsong in the back courtyard of the Crowne Plaza is.
Whatever we spoke about, it all seems now, and seemed then, pretty much normal. Normal with the highs a little higher, and the lows about the same. I very much enjoyed your company and hope I left a little something of value with you too.
Some weeks later, looking back, taking a few years of SCC experience in at a safe remove, I think the value of coming to such a conference is now clear. We get to be a majority for a few precious days. Being a priestess in this church makes it a little easier to be a heretic everywhere else. This company of friends and perfect strangers with a sympathetic perspective on the world fortifies me the rest of my Voyages en Rose, out in the bigger wider world, uncertain of the reception, hopeful of a smile here and there.
So, come to SCC next year would you? Or Keystone. Or Esprit. Or Be-All. Or Fantasia Fair. Or wherever. Whether you are completely private and closeted or loud and proud, newly on your way or long decades past trying, you owe yourself a few days in the majority, a few days of glittering normality. Does a guy or a gal good.