FIRST EVENT DIARY – 2018
DAY 2, Tuesday 01/30/18
Emily Jo Donatello
(call me “Em”)
Please open the audio below in another window and listen while reading this entry:
This will be my fourth First Event. At my first I was an unindicted comingler. My trivial personal involvement at that time I don’t discuss. Yet I’d be ungrateful if I didn’t recall the two women, each now very dear to me, who welcomed me. Awkward each was then but enormously hopeful. Both are long since fully transitioned. One, a brilliant computer executive, has withdrawn from regular trans-activities, instead growing her career as a female professional.
She proudly notes that, within her business, she’s outlasted all those who in her transition whispered disapprovingly or doubted her. No one can doubt any more. She is, as she always has been within, a beautiful woman to all. The other, a brilliant attorney, has withdrawn from conferences of the First Event sort. Instead she advocates assertively for trans-people, particularly children, and is now a resource for individuals and groups nationwide.
Today no one would have the nerve to doubt her; few, female or male, can match her brilliance or tirelessness on behalf of full, equal rights for all, not only transgenders.
She too is, as she always has been within, a beautiful woman. I am honored to know them both and — far less often than I would like — to revel in the company of each.
My first First Event, as a puppy participant, was in January, 2016.
How ungainly timid was I; how much the feckless follower, trailing others whenever I could. I thought, “well, I’ll learn.” Oh, but that week there was one seminar I attended which was intended to be a group discussion. There was a group there; the others, all of them, did talk expansively. What little I said, I mumbled (my voice, then and still, remains an insufficiently practiced work in progress). As the group was breaking up that day, one woman came over and offered sincere words of encouragement.
I felt just a little better; better still the next evening
when that same woman came over to me as I entered the dining room alone and asked whether she might join me for dinner. I was so gratified. As the dinner wound down, I asked her whether we might stay in touch. She said, “of course.” That was a stressful evening for me, very stressful for many reasons, my first in public begowned. Were it not for honesty in memory and in fact,
I’d not now recall that image.
And I’m so happy to say my dinner companion and I have stayed in touch. Like my two other friends from years before, she too is now fully transitioned. I got an email from her the other day, asking whether I’d be at First Event and offering to get together if I would be. Never will I be able fully to calculate the value of her kind and gentle gestures that day two years ago. She will never know how they steadied me. I feel certain that her character will have carried her to continued professional success; I hope too to personal joy. I look forward to catching up and reporting in a later entry on the progress of her woman’s life.
Daily now I am anticipating those I’ll see again at First Event and those too I’ll meet for my first event with them.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org (mind the underscores, or you’ll — like me — trip in writing)