High Fashion and High Rollers
I think that I share many people’s sentiment that the past few weeks, since the inauguration, have been a bit difficult. I’ve been challenging myself most days to try and stay off of social media and avoid the news headlines, but ultimately failing to do so on most days and falling into the rabbit hole that is the depressing situation we face today. Since I’m an immigrant to this country, a scientist, and a gender fluid individual, it’s hard to let these things pass by without being affected by them. So, with all that heaviness it was with great pleasure and relief to have the opportunity to go to this year’s Mystic Krewe of Pegasus of Memphis Mardi Gras Ball, and blow off some steam, all while helping raise money for charity.
The theme for this year’s formal ball and fundraiser was Las Vegas, which meant plenty of glitz, glamour, and high rollers. This also gave my wife a chance to dress up for a formal event, which we hardly ever have a chance to participate in, and something she’s been wanting to do since most days she’s in drab nursing scrubs. For this year’s event, we decided to rent some fancy designer dresses from Rent the Runway, which allowed us to rent high priced dress for a more than reasonable price. Mine was a lovely Elie Tahari dress, while my wife was stunning in Bradley Mischka.
I was excited for this event, not only for the chance to dress all fancy like, but for the opportunity to see some familiar faces. It’s been steady work over the years to build connections with a great community. The first time we went out to an LGBT events like this, we hardly knew anyone and wouldn’t stick around for too long, or do much after the event. This year it’s been nice to see good friends and catch up, while meeting new people, which I took full advantage of. A couple of those new friends, David (who has a wonderful blog), works with my wife and has a twin, who is a fierce local drag queen named Goldie Dee. We all had a great time watching the different acts on stage, everything from singers, dancers, drag queens, and aerial performers.
I sometimes get asked “Are you different as Katie, compared to your male side”? The answer I give is mostly no. I feel very comfortable in either expression, and I don’t feel like I’m presenting as a different person, but there are a few subtle differences. For example, throughout the night, we’d take a break and sit at our assigned table, but that wouldn’t last long as I would get the urge to walk around and mingle with the crowd and chat with new friends. As a guy, I would tend to have less of an urge to do that, and blend in more. Katie is a bit more outgoing in that respect. As Katie, I also tend to say “Yes” to more things. At the end of the event a small group were going to Mollie’s, (A beautiful old Victorian house turned into a lounge with amazing cocktails and music), and as a guy, I would have tended to make up some excuse for why I couldn’t make it out, just because I’m a bit more reserved and shy. But as Katie, I was like “Absolutely! We’ll see y’all there!” That attitude lead to some great conversations with great people.
In the end, I felt more comfortable than ever as I keep challenging myself and pushing beyond those boundaries I’ve put in my way. All this is my effort to make my mark in the world and claim my space to express myself.
Much love to all,