Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. No, not listening to Simon and Garfunkel (who?), up early, and “Wide Awake In Dreamland” (sorry, Pat). Up early for the first morning here at the 22nd Creating Change Conference, in Dallas, ending Sunday. My partner Carl and I did not fly and took to driving the scenic route of I-44 and I-35 through Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. I had never been to Texas and my travels since transitioning have been limited due to work in my advocacy, so there was a bit of ‘hmmmm’ in the thoughts of my travel plans.
As it was, the roadtrip was of little or no issue, as I had mapped out where the most probable ‘friendly’ stops might be for me. No, not one to be shy, but being the person I am decided to be cautious as opposed to outright ‘in your face.’ The least friendly ‘comfort’ stop was at a convenience store sort of place, along I-35 south of Oklahoma City. There, the attendant gave me a dirty look but I simply marched into the ladies room, marched right out and back into the TransVan. Not so bad considering that the other option was a truck stop across the road with twenty or so tractor-trailer rigs in the lot, I felt that they might not be too interested in my brand of activism. Carl and I shared the driving duties, though I retained the authority on the radio. Lots of Lady Gaga and Madonna were played (and yes, many times), Gustavsen didn’t exactly disapprove but did give me a bit of a ‘look,’ now and then. On into Dallas in the GPS-guided Revlon Red TransVan, we pulled up to the front door, unloaded the van and parked it directly across the street in a garage, right in the first available space. Wow. Lucky.
The hotel itself is huge, but we found our room (with the help of the valet who pushed the huge valet cart of everything possible we had thought to bring ;). A quick run down to the auto for a second load of ‘stuff’ that I found necessary for my ‘Dallas Command Post,’ including three cases of the flavored carbonated water this cat likes to quench her thirst with and yes, a dozen Cinnabons (Did you think I would travel without them?).
To bed early and now (as said) wide awake in dreamland, this Conference of about two thousand LGBTIQA leaders and volunteers will start in several hours from now. Yeah, an early riser, but even earlier as I had received two phone calls from some lady wanting me to give her ‘wake up’ calls in the morning (wrong number no doubt), I was ready to really give her a ‘wake up’ call should she have called a third time.
As far as the Conference goes, I will of course be focusing on those workshops, seminars, caucuses that are directed to those advocacies for the Transgender Community. Of these, there are three that are directed to ‘Trans-inclusion in LGB(T) organizations,' in which I will bring back for use as needed for those organizations looking to strengthen their Transgender inclusivity. Carl, will be doing a lot of work in the Community Center-related arena, and some ‘running a business’ courseware for TransHaven.
Robyn Carolyn Montague