PTHC 2014 Diary-Busy First Day

Photo: Movement builders!The first day of the 2014 edition of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference dawned overcast and cool,  but it didn’t dampen my excitement over this being a first time attendee of the event.

I knew I was going to see a lot of people here, but even I was surprised at just how many people showed up and are showing out in the halls of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

I walked into the massive building and less than 30 seconds into my PTHC day ran in Jazz, who pointed me in the right direction toward the registration desk with all its helpful volunteers.   Neither did it take me long to start running into the long list of friends in the community and peeps I’ve known for years on Facebook but were finally seeing in the flesh.  

I started seeing people like Sharron Cooks, Simaya Fogle, Katrina Goodlett, Precious Davis, Geena Rocero, Christian Axavier Lovehall, Jevon Martin, Jabriel Williamson, Martina Downey, Nika Jewell, Kristen Parker, Sirena Rivera and Maria Roman.    Ran into Dr Bambi Lobdell, who I last saw when she was my gracious host at SUNY-Onenonta.     

 

Ran in Jos Truitt, who is looking good and sporting a new blonde haircolor since the last time I saw her in DC.  We took a few moments to talk about current events community wise before I started running into other people who wanted to say hi to me.  

I started running into my Philly based activist friends like Dionne Stallworth, Sade Ali and Charlene Arcila.  

The last time I’d seen Toni-Michelle Williams as at the 2011 OUT on the Hill event when she was a student at Norfolk State.   Now my collegiate homegirl is looking fabulous and in the PTHC house.

You know a conference is a good one when you have a multitude of seminars that you can attend but can only choose one or have to split time in order to support someone.

When the 10:20 AM block started I settled on attending the one featuring Jazz and Jeanette and transteen Jessica an her mother  It was a fast paced multimedia presentation in which Jessica and Jazz discussed their very different transition experiences, discussed medical opitions, their lives and future plans. 

Jazz continues to amaze me as someone who is wise beyond her 13 years and is an icon to many trans youth.  Her mother is also looked to as a leader in the trans parenting ranks.

We had a scheduled lunch break before we moved into the highly anticipated keynote speech of Janet Mock.  After what happened to me at CC14 in which I was standing for much of Laverne’s Creating Change keynote, I made sure to get my behind to the rooms where the speech was scheduled to take place because it was going to be standing room only.

I ran into Ruby Corado and her man enroute to 108A/B and I sat next to them and Lourdes Hunter for Janet’s Mock’s riveting speech.   One of the lines I loved from it among many of them was “We are our own saviors.”  Janet quoted Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston during the speech before closing with a reading from Redefining Realness and answering a few questions from the audience.

After that concluded, I gave her a quick hug before I left her to her task of signing autographs for the long line of people eagerly waiting for her to sign their copies of her book and me Ruby and her boyfreind grabbing lunch at Reading Market across the street.  .  .

As I exited the room ran into L’lerret Ailith and some of the trans sisters to take a few photos, converse with Geena and Bianca who I met at the hotel yesterday.  

After lunch ran into Elizabeth Clair, who arrived from Denver after enduring the cross country bus trip from Hades.  I was seeing for the first time since 2008 and she is part of an music event featuring herself, KOKUMO and Koko Jones.

I continued to run into Facebook friends, people and fans of the blog as the clocked ticked down to my panel discussion which I discovered after perusing the scheduling grid was Thursday evening and NOT today.

The Trans Pioneers of Color one at 5:40 PM led to me finally meeting my longtime friend BT, who was part of the panel with myself, Christine, Dionne, Janis, and Kim Watson moderated by Leo Watts.

The panel in room 104B was to an overflow crowd.  It also ran over due to all of us having a lot to say about what it was like back in the day for us trans elders on a range of subjects from lack of trans POC visibility to race and class differences in a transition.  We asnwered questions from the audience before ending it

That also closed out Day One of the Thursday seminars.

After going back to the hotel, chilled out with roomie Jennifer and Liz, grabbed some dinner and happily destroyed another Slurpee.  Cheesesteak is on the agenda for today.

I found myself on the patio having a long conversation until 2 AM with Lourdes and several transwomen of color in which we talked about a wide variety of issues.  Some of them fall under the Trans Revolution Will Not Be Televised territory, while others ranged from talking about our personal lives to discussing trans politics.   The t-word controversy came up and had us discussing the latest white transwoman gay males have trotted out to justify their continued use of a word we’ve told them and the world is offensive in Candis Cayne.

You know I’m going to comment on that later, but the bed is calling me right now.

Don’t need bags under my eyes for all the photos I’ll be taking in a few hours .

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