Thursday, April 19, 2007

Philadelphia Freedom at IFGE Conference

On April 12, I arrived at the Philadelphia Airport Hilton Hotel as a guest to attend the annual IFGE (International Foundation for Gender Education) Transgender Conference. IFGE advocates for freedom of Gender Expression and promotes understanding and acceptance of ALL people. The Hotel was beautiful, spacious and I enjoyed the indoor swimming pool. I saw many familiar faces and met some new wonderful and interesting people. I was greeted by my dear friend, Christine James, a Grand Dame of the Transgender movement and one of the founders and organizers of the conference. It was a chance to network, meet new people, learn and have wonderful time. Attending the conference were Miss Veronica Vera, founder and Head Mistress of Miss Vera's Finishing School, a Cross-Dressing Academy. Cross-Dressers were honored with an eloquent speech given by Miqqu Gilbert, who won a Trinity Award. Ms. Gilbert told CDs to claim their rightful place in the Transgender Community. I was very glad to hear her wonderful words spoken, since I was always dismayed by Transsexual Women who were not accepting. Bigotry and hatred are never in fashion and always make a person hideously ugly. I got the chance to see Donna Rose (author of Wrapped in Blue) who also won a Trinity Award and Helen Boyd (author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married) along with Betty Crow herself. On Friday, Jade Esteban Estrada performed his fabulous one-person show Icons, where he played Sylvia Rivera, Gertrude Stein and others. Also on Friday evening, me and the some of the girls hit the clubs in town. When we arrived at a Philly night-spot called Tavern on Camac, I sang some songs with John Flynn accompanying on the piano. "Hey Big Spender" went over very well. Since Under the Pink Carpet, the TV show I'm on, is on WYBE, a PBS TV station in Philly, many people recognized me and came over to say Hi and told me how much they enjoy seeing me on TV. On Saturday night I was part of the entertainment line-up we called "Philadelphia Follies" during the conference closing night formal Ball on Saturday. I sang "When You're Good to Mama" and "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" to the fun and supportive crowd of over 900 people.

Photos: At Tavern on Camac in Philly, On stage at IFGE, With Helen Boyd (author My Husband Betty) and Betty Crow, Rochelle Nicole of CDI (Cross Dressers Internatinal), Lorenzo as "Elvis", Donna Rose (author Wrapped In Blue)