Reflections of the Summer Past
The summer of 2003, as summers go, definitely ranked up at the top for excitement and rewards. Starting off, in June I received the Jennifer Richards award from the St. Louis Gender Foundation. Thank you StLGF for extending that honor to me.
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One Saturday evening while Lisa and I were partying at Generations, a couple gals told us that the Rocky Horror Picture Show would play at midnight at the Fox. Well that was all the encouragement we needed and we were off in time to pick up Stephanie and arrive shortly before show time. The line to get in was wrapped around the block, and we met some wild people down there. Being a virgin to the movie, the whole experience was really fun and strange. It would be fun to have it come back more often. I also enjoyed seeing the plush ladies room-- it was my first time at the Fox en fem. The night was over way too fast, as most nights out are.
Pridefest was a few weeks later, and once again I carried the Stars and Stripes for Mid America Pride Veterans and Allies, what a great group of veterans, thank you guys and gals for your dedicated service to our country.
The crowd was larger than last year, which made the march very exciting. The weather was warm, but a little discomfort was worth the experience.
Of course, I had a new outfit: a red majorette jacket, and silver boots and hat.
The following week, there was a drag contest at Hard Rock Cafe at Union Station. Lisa and I found everyone to be friendly, especially the employees. As it turned out, we were the only contestants and there were two cash prizes, so it was a no-lose situation. Lisa and I were joined by an out-of-town sister, and in drab, our sisters Gwen and Rita. It was a fun-filled evening, and I hope Hard Rock runs the contest again.
Much of my summer was spent at my regular hangouts, plus a few new spots. I have received questions from other sisters as to how I can go to straight bars and feel safe. In my experience, I have found most people to be accepting of the tg presence. A snide remark can come at anytime, anywhere, but they are far too few to miss out on all the wonderful people we meet while we are out.
Most of my experiences have been positive, like one of the last times I was at Have a Nice Day Cafe. A gal came out of nowhere and led me onto the stage to dance with her and her two friends. Later, a bride-to-be wanted her photo taken with me. This is fairly typical of attitudes at HANDC.
Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar always has a different crowd Lots of people are from out of town. I have found most people are friendly or curious. On one of my recent visits to Bottleneck I received a comment of a negative nature from a band leader, Farrell Webber . Usually bands are friendly and especially band with female lead singers. Perhaps he was just trying to get attention at the expense of someone else's feelings.
Coty's (Incahoots) is very, very country western. Lots of space to get lost in, pool tables, and a huge dance floor. I didn't see their mechanical bull; the new owners must've gotten rid of it. I dressed down for this place-- a jeans skirt or western skirt or jeans would be appropriate. I was there early on a Friday evening, 8-10. The ages varied from 20's to 60's. The only dancing I saw was line and two-step. I don't think I was even spotted there. If you like to line dance this is the place.
The Ritz Carlton was my favorite new place this summer. I have only been there once, but would not hesitate to go back. A story is linked here.
Some places are not as friendly, and I will keep them off my tgguide or give a warning.
At Red Dog Bar, I was dressed down with a jeans skirt, and with a friend in drab. We were there quite awhile before anyone appeared to notice. Four young guys came in and sat next to us, and later while I was dancing, one tried to get up and say something to me, but the music was too loud and the dance floor too crowded, so he gave up and sat down. I could tell by the look on his face that he had a snide remark he was just itching to get out. The moment passed, though, and he didn't try again even after I sat back down. Sometimes I'm a bit concerned about younger guys in groups. It seems they are always trying to prove themselves to their friends (and maybe are not yet comfortable with their own sexuality?). They act as if a transgendered person is, somehow, a threat to them. I usually take a little extra care when leaving a bar like this.
Fast Eddies was bit rough, somewhat of a biker bar. I received several less-than-approving looks, but no direct comments. The dance floor was small, but overall it was a fun place and we stayed till closing.
The Stratford Bar in Fenton has a country theme (rustic tables, jeans, boots), with a variety of music. They had been closed for a couple months, but are now open again. When I was there on a Friday evening, they were not very busy. Some friendly gals came over and talked with me, and all seemed well there. While I was dancing, a couple passed by and the guy made a derogatory remark but kept walking--about 15 feet away the gal hit him. So although it wasn't a place I would recommend, there are supporters everywhere.
Trying new places plus going to my favorites (Generations, Dorsett Inn, Bottleneck Blues, Have A Nice Day Cafe, Blake's, Attitudes, and Mags) has kept me busy over the summer. A few sisters have joined Lisa and me, and we are always looking for more. Hope you all had a good summer.
As I said in the beginning of this article, the summer was full of rewards. Most were the intangible type, the happiness that comes with meeting so many wonderful people and discovering that the whole world is not against us.
Oct 4, hopefully Cher will show. I was ready in August and will try again. I just need a bit more work on the makeup.
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