Monday: Did a 1 hour interview by a Rutgers sociology grad student who is doing her thesis on "Sex Attribution"--how people determine the sex of other people. She thought it would be a good idea to start by canvassing TGs, who probably have given the subject more thought than average.
Wednesday: My friend Wendi and I went down to the LGBT Center for a reception for the newly-elected speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn. She's the first openly gay person in that position--as well as the first woman, and the first Irish person also (the first Irish person?--amazing!).
There were some hors d'oeuvres (I really have to learn how to spell that--I have to look it up every time) and wine. Quinn was delayed, so there was plenty of time to mingle. I ran into Paisley Currah, the Brooklyn College political science professor who heads up CLAGS. I hadn't seen him in a while--maybe not since the Lammy Awards last summer. I got a hug from Matt Foreman, the executive director of the NGLTF. I did a very brief interview for the Center's public access cable TV show (I wonder when it's on?). I ran into a woman who had worked with me on setting up the Name Change Project of the West Village TransLegal Clinic. She mistook me for my friend Joann Prinzivalli, the head of the New York Transgender Rights Organization (NYTRO). We figured out that she didn't recognize me because I only presented as a man at those meetings.
Someone in the crowd--I'm pretty sure it was the guy who writes the Homo Dish column for HX Magazine--complimented me on my outfit, or at least its color: I was wearing my red business suit. Maybe I'll see my name in print again.
I was talking with one of the guys from the Stonewall Democrats, I think, when he spied Rosie Mendez, the new City Councilperson who took over Marguerita Lopez's seat. There was an evening last fall when she was campaigning, going from event to event--and ran into me at two different ones. Mendez remembered me from that (politicians really need the ability to remember everyone). She was saying how she was honored that Quinn had passed on her own physical seat in the Council chamber to her, as the newest lesbian on the Council--and how she was kind of overwhelmed with all the new things to learn about being on the Council. She didn't seem to have any staff person with her.
Eventually Quinn arrived, there were some introductory speeches, and she spoke a bit, after having all the other elected officials join her on the stage. Nothing remarkable in any of it, except that one of those officials was Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney--my representative. I hadn't heard of any particular connection between Maloney and the LGBT community (I don't think the Center is in her district), or with Quinn, but there she was.
Anyhow, the speeches ended, and after a bit the gathering started to break up. Maloney happened to be walking by me on her way out, so I said hello, telling her I was a constituent.
I left a short time later, to get to my other event of the evening, the annual business meeting and interim election of Crossdressers International (CDI). I had to give my treasurer's report, and I wanted to let people know what was happening with the website update project. There were elections for three positions (all but mine), because there had been resignations in all of them last year. What was really unprecedented, was that two of the elections were being contested--there had only been one contested election in the history of CDI before this.
Anyhow, S. Kristine James, the CDI founder (who calls herself the chair--though the position is not in the bylaws), brought the meeting to order--announcing it was a joint meeting of CDI and the Greater New York Gender Alliance, an umbrella organization with only one member--CDI. It really exists only on paper, but it is incorporated (unlike CDI), which makes it useful at times. We did the minutes of last year's meeting--mostly from my memory, as the secretary had resigned. I gave my reports.
Then Kristine conducted the election. There was only one candidate for president, so that went by acclamation. Then, for some unknown reason, she skipped to the office of secretary. This turned out to be practically a non-contest, as one of the candidates endorsed the other. A vote was taken, though the totals weren't announced. Kristine appointed the loser "assistant secretary"--a position as non-existent as her "chair."
Finally we got to the office of vice president, where there were three nominated candidates. It was announced one had withdrawn, but the other two were quite serious about wanting the job. Each gave a speech, and the vote was taken. One candidate was declared the winner--we were only told the vote was close. Kristine again appointed the loser the assistant.
She then turned the meeting over to the CDI president, and we got into a big discussion about money--dues, charges for the open house and for the holiday dinner, and charitable contributions. All kinds of opinions were offered. Some people wanted big incentives to become members, some wanted large charitable contributions to be made, some wanted no contributions to be made. I was not at all surprised by the lack of consensus--the only thing the CDI members have in common is an interest in crossdressing. Otherwise you have huge differences in income, education, political view, everything.
Eventually it was decided to raise the dues a little for 2007, raise the open house charges (but make it free for first timers), decrease the big discount for the holiday dinner, and leave the question of charitable contributions to the officers and an advisory committee. I was very happy when the meeting was adjourned. I was even happier when some of us went up to Dave's Tavern and I had a nice gin and tonic. And there was a huge bucket of peanuts I could munch on.
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