I worked all weekend with a big ladies retreat at a Fairmont hotel.  I got my room upgraded to the better hotel and was able to stay Friday night until Sunday morning.  They fed me this year without fighting about it (unlike last year).  The food was incredible but it seemed like everything had sugar dumped all over it.  I did manage to go the entire weekend without caving to the peer pressure to eat pastries, pies and booze.  I did the whole weekend dry, more than I can say for everyone else.

One of our head office staff members got hammered and was draping herself all over the promo boss.  When Amy Sky performed she would shout “You’re beautiful!” and other nonsense.  When I arrived on Friday this particular staffer gave me a big hug like we were old friends.  She makes me a little uncomfortable.  I joked with The Boss that next event we should have her manning another booth for us.  The table (we were at lunch) met this comment with raised eyebrows (she was doing a terrible job).  I added, “In the middle of the Atlantic.”  I had redeemed myself.

The speaker sessions were really great.  I enjoyed the talk on libido.  He kept saying “vaginal dryness” to the point I told Charlie that it could be a drinking game and we’d be buzzed before he was halfway through his slides.  Kent was really funny and didn’t bore them with too much science.  He went on to say that if you stop drinking coffee and cut out sugars that you’ll increase your sex drive.  I think if that’s the case I am going to need a team of girlfriends or anyone I’m dating is going to need a wheelchair.  Stock up on power bars and Gatorade, ladies!  I’m getting off the Sugar Express.

There was a big debate between myself and two of my on-air counterparts about being gay and the Pride parade.  It was a really good conversation even if I wasn’t being heard by The Robin.  I stated that it would be nice to live in a world one day where people wouldn’t have to tell their coming out stories.  She took this to mean that I didn’t like to share my story and that she felt it was one that needed to be heard (especially with the whole parental incident that followed months later).  I agree that now they are important but I know that there are a lot of gays and lesbians who get sick of having to explain themselves to straight people.

Of course I had to explain the whole “didn’t know I was gay” thing and that surprised The Robin.  All her gay friends knew when they were kids.  I’m sure she didn’t mean to sound…not even sure how to describe how that came off, but it was kind of annoying.  I suppose this is why we all have to tell that story.

We also got into an argument about whether or not famous people should have to hold a press conference to come out.  I disagree.  It’s a personal and private thing.  The Robin mentioned Meredith Baxter-Bernie.  “She’s famous.  She had to.”  My response was, “She was famous.  No one cares if she’s gay.”  Or do they?  I wonder if anyone called in to work, “I’m sorry I can’t come in today.  I am grieving that Meredith Baxter-Bernie is gay.  …Meredith…from Family Ties.  You know…’sha-la-la’?  Never mind, I’m sick.  Happy now?”

As far as Pride is concerned, it still bills itself as a parade designed to educate and foster understanding.  Problem is, you’ve got stuff that isn’t necessarily “gay” at the Pride parade.  Like fetish stuff, for instance.  It’s not that homosexuals don’t engage in that, but it isn’t something that is intrinsically gay.  I know that if my parents said “We want to understand” and I took them to a Pride parade they would be absolutely horrified.  The Robin said that people don’t want to see the two lesbians who are raising three kids or the gay doctor who volunteers in Africa.  So what is she saying?  They want a freak-parade?  They want a show?  That it should be about entertaining people and underscoring stereotypes?  Charlie said that a lot of her gay friends say the same thing I do about Pride.  That there isn’t enough “normalcy” and it makes things harder for them to fit in because people assume that’s how they are.

I’m not against the fun, or the kink, or the ass-less chaps or kings and queens.   I think there should just be a revisit to education, to building tolerance and understanding.  I’d like to see that happen while we work in the self-expression.  Happy medium, that’s what I want.  But I do feel as though it’s still important we have a parade rather than none at all.  Goes back to that whole “We’re here


That having been said, I think I will go this year.  Even if no one wants to see the “normal” gay people.

The performance by Amy Sky was great and I got to talk to her a few times over the weekend.  I said goodbye to her as she was heading off to the airport.  I mentioned that she sounded like she did on her CD’s.  She looked at me kind of funny.  I explained that a lot of times you’ll pick up a CD and love it.  See that person or band in concert and they sound like crap.  Damn studio magic.    Anyway, the look on her face, she said to me, “That is the best thing you could have said to me!”  It’s true, she really does sound the same.  It was a great show.   She gave me a big hug.

Yesterday morning she did a personal talk about her struggle with postpartum x2 and depression years ago.  I have read one of the books she recommended, and it really helped me.  I agree that there is still a stigma with mental illness and if no one ever talks about it, it won’t ever go away.  I’ve suffered serious depression.  I’m not ashamed of that.  I used to have anxiety attacks.  I felt hopeless and alone.  One in five people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime but only half will get treat

The most frustrating aspect of the weekend was being overshadowed by The Robin and Charlie.  Less Charlie, actually.  It started out as the two of them hoping to aliviate my initial stress and turned into TR bogarting the freakin’ mic and stage time.  I get it, she has the experience, but no one else is going to learn if you don’t share.  I did really well, all said.  I reduced my stress and nerves and everyone said that you couldn’t tell I was shaky.  I managed to be funny, charming and witty.  I am getting better.  Woot woot!

Much love to Cortejo for texting me most of the weekend to cheer me up since  I missed lots of cool non-work stuff this weekend.  She and a few other people texted me comments like “Did you get the hooker I sent?”.  At one point Pictor texted me, but I didn’t have his number in my phone so started to wonder if there was some kind of LJ post with my cell number and an invitation to text me about hookers.  Funnily enough there was a real hooker at the hotel.  Lehane saw her and came back to the room saying “I think I found the hooker your girlfriend sent you!”.  Good times.  Thanks to everyone who texted me and kept me from boredom.  :)  You guys rock!


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