PTHC 2014 Diary-Oh, The People You Will Meet

One of the wonderful things about events like the Philly Trans Health Conference is that for one of the few times in our lives, trans people and our allies are in relatively safe spaces in which we are the majority, and we meet others like ourselves.

And yes, as I mentioned in a previous post, there are people in this community I’m just as anxious and exited to meet as they are to meet me.

That fun started for me even before I walked into my Center City area hotel that will be my PTHC home base through Sunday.

When I arrived at the airport, I was mentally prepared to catch the SEPTA train as I usually do to downtown Philly.  While I was on the sky bridge to the train station Leo Watts called and let me know he was there to pick up some other peeps who had arrived.

Took me a few minutes to get scooped up because I ended back up on the departure side of the ring road, but that started a fun filled van ride to the hotel.

That ride from the airport got me to the hotel faster, but it also meant that I’d be burning time in the lobby area waiting for Jennifer to get here from DFW, and her flight, like everyone’s flying into PHL yesterday suffered ATC delays.

So I amused myself by checking my Facebook page, prepping some blog posts and trying to whittle down what fool or fools get tomorrow’s Shut Up Fool Award.

While I was doing that, thought my mind was playing tricks on me when I saw Jazz and her sister Ari walk by and head downstairs to the pool area.    Turned out it was not a mirage because I saw their mother Jeanettte five minutes later. 

As I’ve mentioned before, just as there are people who are majorly excited to meet legendary me, there are people in this community I fangirl over as well.   Jazz is one of those people,

So the mutual lovefest between me and Jeanette started.   She comes in the category of people I’ve gotten to know and have talked to for years on Facebook but hadn’t officially met until yesterday.   I got to meet her parents, and since Jeanette is also one of the leaders in the trans parent and trans youth community, I began to meet some of the mothers of trans kids as Jeanette talked up my blog.

I also began to meet trans fathers.   I got to meet Wayne and his daughter Nicole, and it wasn’t long before Wayne and I were having substantive conversations about much of the advocacy work he was doing and other issues.   I also began to learn that dads of trans kids are also beginning to get vocal and organized just like the trans moms have had to do for their trans younglings for years

And yes, the highlight of that day was beginning to meet the trans kid themselves and get those hugs from them.  Because the bottom line of my advocacy has always been to leave a better world for them. It’s nice to see firsthand the fruits of that longtime advocacy as you watch them network and bond with each other.

And as I said before I arrived, hugs are always appreciated.

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