January 24th, 2003

James Dale vs. The Boy Scouts...

I got up at 7:30 today, showered and went downstairs for breakfast. David, the "nice hairy chest and belly" television guy came down shortly after I got down there. He's free-lancing right now for ESPN covering the X-Games which start here next week. He came a few days early to get some ski (snowboarding) time in. He's very personable. I had a bagel with cream cheese and some grape jelly, and some coffee. I brought an extra bagel back to the room for my bologna sandwich.

My muscles were so sore this morning. I believe I heard them saying, "No, no! It can't be time again. Please don't." I ignored them, and got ready. I caught the bus over to the bus station, and switched to the Snowmass bus. We passed the airport, stopped at Buttermilk, picked a few folks up, and headed out to Snowmass. It came back to me, during the trip, how far it is to that mountain. Like last year, it was further than I'd thought it would be, and remembered from last year.

I got right to the skiing once I got there. I forgot how "massive" that mountain is. It should be called Snowmassive instead of Snowmass. The runs there are just so "expansive" -- so wide-open. I skied there until about 11:00. I arrived at the bus depot there at about 11:15, and caught the next bus back to Aspen Mountain. I wanted to see the 12:30 "costume party" at the base of Aspen Mountain. It's the "drag show" on skies. I was able to take a couple of runs before 12:30, and at about 12:25, I joined the crowd waiting for the show to start.

By 1:00, I was getting a little annoyed that the show hadn't started. I should have known it would start late. What was most annoying was that no announcements were being made about the delay. Fortunately, there were tons of beautiful men to look at while waiting.

While people-watching, Riki Wilchins walked by! I was stunned. I didn't say anything when she passed by the first time, but on her way back by, I yelled, "Riki!" She looked at me, and I waved her over. I introduced myself to her, telling her that I was with IBM, knew Sarah and Joseph, and was at the GenderPac conference in DC in May.

I also told her about my book club, and that we were currently reading her book.

"Oh??? Which one?"

"Read My Lips," I said.

"Oh. I was so angry in that book. I have a new one out, Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Gender Binary; you should read that one."

I told her that my book club consisted of three straight women, a Lesbian, and me, and that I've seen a lot of wheels turning (in their minds) as we're reading. She thanked me for doing that, and invited me to a GenderPac event starting at 4:00 today.

I decided that I didn't want to wait any longer for "the show" to start, and started buckling up my boots to leave. Just then an emcee came on, and introduced the "Kinsey Sicks." They are "dragapella" singers from San Francisco, and did several cute numbers. Their last one was called, "It's Crystal Time in the City," to the tune of "Silver Bells," but about crystal meth, which I didn't find very amusing, and thought was somewhat a pathetic statement about our community that so many folks there related to it.

I got tired of waiting for the "costume party," it was taking up too much skiing time. I hopped down off the wall I was using as an observation point, and got on the gondola. This was my first ride in the gondola with another person. There were four of us -- a guy and a girl on each side. The guy and gal on the other side were both from the Aspen area, and the lady on my side was from Wisconsin.

When we got to the top of the mountain, 15 minutes later, it was snowing like crazy. I didn't have my goggles with me, so it was a torturous first part of the run down for me. At about halfway down, the snow completely stopped. How wild. I skied entirely across the mountain, ending up on the lift closest to the Hotel Durant. I was going to stop at that point, but decided to take another run over on that side, since it wasn't snowing down there. I ended up taking two more runs, because I had so much fun going down that first time.

I walked down the road back to the hotel, and got in the jacuzzi. Boy, did that feel good! I then went up and showered and then headed out to the GenderPac gathering at the "Rustique Restaurant." I arrived there at about 3:35, and it was empty. The handout Riki gave me said that the gathering was from 3-6, but when she handed it to me, she said it was starting at 4:00.

There were two guys hanging out right at the door who were from the "AGLCF," which is the local Aspen Gay and Lesbian group. They had signed up to volunteer at this event, but had no idea who or what GenderPac was. I filled them in, and they were immediately interested, and full of questions. The one wanted to know what I was doing there, "If I might be so personal," he said. I should have said, "Well, I used to be Juanita."

After about 15 minutes, Ricki arrived with James Dale -- the Dale of "Dale vs. The Boy Scouts" supreme court hearing. Riki introduced us, and we chatted for about 20 minutes. He's a cool guy. Steel blue eyes and black hair. Nice combination. I met several nice people there, including Christopher from GenderPac (who I remembered from the DC conference), and John from HRC.

While everyone was mingling, I decided to call Susanne, and I said, "Hi, it's John, can you hold for a minute?" Then I asked Riki if she would say hi to her -- that it was "Susanne" from my book club on the line.

She said, "Hello Susanne. This is Riki Wilchins." [quiet] Riki, that angry tranny you're reading about."

They talked just a minute more. How cool was that!!!

I had to leave at about 4:45, which was, unfortunately, before James spoke. I really wanted to hear his talk. I went to the Wheeler Opera House, which is hosting the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival this week, and bought a ticket to the 5:00 show of "When Boys Fly." This played in Durham at the G&L Film Festival in August, but was at the same time as another movie I wanted to see, so missed it. I remember Gregor referring to it a couple of times, and wanted to see it.

While I was at one cash register buying my ticket, I heard someone from the other register say, "Hmmm. John. Hmmmmm." Turns out it was Ashish Gupta, who I had met at the IBM GLBT Leadership Conference back in April. I asked him if he was still at IBM, because about a month ago, when I sent out an EAGLE communique, the one to his e-mail address bounced as unknown address. Turns out he quit IBM. He said, "They didn't give me a raise, and they raised my quota. I said, 'Bye-bye!'"

He introduced me to the guy he was with, Walt, and they invited me to sit with them during the movie. We had a cocktail on the 2nd floor -- I had a small, one-serving size bottle of champagne -- and we took it up to the third floor to see the movie. I really enjoyed the movie. It was at once interesting, sexy, alluring, and disturbing.

Ashish invited me out to dinner with them, but I declined. I went back to the hotel, got my laptop, and went and sat in the lobby by the fireplace for a while catching up my journal. Amanda and David were there having a very animated conversation. At the end, David announced he was going in the jacuzzi, and I said, "That sounds like a good idea. I think I'll join you."

We had good conversation in there. We talked about Internet access (he has Earthlink), and a little about cable TV. He told me about a South Point episode about a gay teacher that was trying to get fired, did all this flamboyant stuff, and, in the end, ended up getting an award from the school board instead of being fired. He was very animated telling the story.

I stayed in the jacuzzi for about 15 more minutes -- until the timer popped -- and then went upstairs, finished this journal entry for the day, and then got online to check e-mail.