A friend, who taught gay couples ball room dancing, invited me to a party at her home. In attendance was a strange mix of people - gay, straight, transexual, old and young. The common thread is that most of them had attended one of my friend's assortment of dance classes. For about an hour, I talked to two fascinating women, psychologists, making their living as jury experts. Lawyers would hire them to consult through the voir dire process, assisting in the psychological shaping of the jury. The OJ Simpson trial was big news at the time and many of us were glued to the TV watching Judge Ito's court as the bizarre story unfolded. No subject could have been more fascinating at the time.
As I left the party and said my goodbyes, my friend the hostess commented, "I noticed you spend quite a bit of time with Harry and Norma." Harry? Turns out one of the "women" was in fact, Harry - a cross dresser who spent half his non-working time dressed as a woman and the other half as a man. Harry and Norma were married and Norma accepted this bizarre arrangement.
I was floored because I didn't even suspect or question his gender for a minute. Once my friend told me that "she" was a "he" I could see it immediately. His size and weird make-up should have given it away, but it was a party full of unusual people, gender confused, gender transitional - a little like the bar scene from Star Wars. This group was so diverse and so accepting that an elephant with a tutu would have been welcomed with a hug and drink.
Robert's blog today about our local cross dresser who is apparently accepted by his family and the community, reminded me of that party, 15 years ago and that unforgettable couple.