The first San Jose Transgender Day of Visibility was a success! By pretty much any measure, save maybe timeliness (much to my own disappointment!). We had 60 or so people in theDeFrank's Grand Ballroom. Nori Herras was the DeFrank staffer on duty that night, not to mention one of my star guests; she does SO much work for the local transgender community. And she was patient and helpful for the event, an extra plus.
We had fun! We started off with the short film "Gender Busters" by Sam Berliner, a graduate student; it's a fun super-hero style piece. "Spiral Transitions," by Ewan Duarte, another grad student, was a personal story of transition, focusing on the mom's process (and her art!). From there we moved into a discussion panel, including Nori, the two film producers, and myself. The guys answered lots of questions about their films, and we finished up speculating about where we would like transgender people to be in ten years.
Next we watched *Trannymals Go to Court," by Dylan Vade, Esq., and Abe Bernard. And everyone found out why there were googly eyes on some of the cupcakes. Speaking of food - we had a lot of treats! Many people donated pretty tasty sweets. All tips received were donated to the DeFrank. It was great to see people chatting and munching between 'stage' activities. Community was one of the goals - we made it happen, at least for a moment.
The drag performances were on next! Tam LaFey performed a dramatic, spot-on Stevie Nicks classic, complete with spike heels and gracefully curving fringe shawls. Members of the Gender Queer Society Troup did rockin' "Dirty King" piece, taking turns strutting. It was great fun.
Adam Speckler, trans and out assistant to CA State Assemblymember Bill Monning, gave a brief legistlative overview of local interest, including AB 887 on Gender Equality, and AB 433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act. Both could have real impact on the daily life of CA trans people. As Adam urged, get involved in local politics and you can make a real difference!
Finally, inflectionpoint read a closing poem for us, How To Make Love to a Trans Person, by Gabe Moses (I know some of the people who attended will want that reference!). Go read it for a taste of the energy!
Many people contributed, from attendees who arrived early (due to a mistake on the DeFrank's calendar), and helped sort out balloons and flowers, to kingwyatt who agreed somewhat last minute to be my A/V man; he got us through some challenges. Some of my South Bay Trans Men contributed muscle power and food and coffee prep, and kproche and attrembl loaned me a sound system! Thank you everyone who helped.
Thanks also to all of the people who attended! Friends came even from - gasp! - the city! How cool is that? It was much easier having friends' faces in the audience.
A number of folks came up and introduced themselves to me; some on request - people I hadn't met yet but who wanted to help out and be there. I thought I'd have more time to chat, silly me for imaging I would. Folks seemed to understand I was flying from this to that. Or so I hope!
I would do this again.