Acceptance by Volunteering – Part 2

Sorry about my delay in part two of my discussion on volunteering, but as we all know, life tends to get in the way. Last month I promised the nuts and bolts of how you get involved like this.  Over a two week span this holiday season, I was blessed to be involved in so many wonderful volunteer activities.  I worked an entire weekend on Cleveland’s Playhouse Square (the largest such district in the country after Broadway) for the North Coast Men’s Chorus.  A good 36 plus hours en femme.

Kandi Volunteers at Playhouse Square

This was my complete Kandi weekend. I booked a hotel room downtown on Playhouse Square. We had three concerts in two days and I was ready to assume my position as ticket girl/ambassador for North Coast Men’s Chorus.

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Chamber music

This was yet another chamber music concert I worked for the stupendous Cleveland Museum of Art. Black and white are the colors for an usher, so I went with this adorable black shirt dress. If I were to have an office job, this would 100% be my look! I love the simplicity of the overall outfit, the petite and pretty necklace, the cute (and comfortable) little buckle shoes. Modest jewelry and since my nails remained painted from the previous night, a burgundy make up pallet.

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I checked in the guests for The Diversity Center of NE Ohio’s 64th Annual Humanitarian Awards.

Volunteering for Humanitarian Awards Dinner

This evening I was honored to work the 64th annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner for The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.

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The Providence House, a crisis nursery, had a wonderful fundraiser where I worked and had my picture taken with former Cleveland Browns (no longer the joke they used to be).  I even made my brief (less that a second) TV debut!

Providence House

The Providence House (https://www.provhouse.org/) protects at-risk children and supports families through crisis, strengthening communities to end child abuse and neglect. I volunteered to work for the 23rd Annual Deck The House fundraiser, presented and hosted (at First Energy Stadium) by The Cleveland Browns. A streamlined version of The North Coast Men’s Chorus performs there among many other activities. The chorus is one my my principal causes. I was able to meet many local celebrities and former and current Browns players and their wives.

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I worked a few events at The Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Museum of Art

Monthly The Cleveland Museum of Art, a world class museum, holds a party and I am one of the hostesses each month. This was the December party, so I wanted to be a bit Christmasy with my outfit. This dress was my one and only internet purchase (I prefer my thrift store gems), but I couldn’t resist!

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and attended a holiday party for Plexus, our LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which I recently became a member.

-Plexus

I’ve recently joined Plexus, Cleveland’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce. I’ve attended a networking luncheon and an after work networking event, both times having a great time! Now it was time for the Holiday Party!

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I was recently honored to be asked to represent Plexus on the event committee for the upcoming Transgender Job Fair, to be held by The MetroHealth System.

The truth of the matter is that you ask.  Plain and simple.  Be honest, discuss who and what you are so there are no surprises, no misconceptions.  Nervous about doing so?  That is understandable.  Remember, email can be anonymous.  Send an email, ask.  How can I help?  Offer to meet, to be interviewed, as it were.  Dispel any doubts.  Be excited and giving.  Be gracious and classy.  Find events and/or organizations that would be naturally accepting.  I work the arts, theaters, LGBT organizations, meaningful charities, anywhere that can always use help.  I have now established a reputation of giving, of being someone people want to be around.  I interact with others with ease.  Yes, I am sometimes referred to as “he”, but that is because they completely have looked past my attire and have just become comfortable with me (my voice is clearly male).  The enlightened refer to me naturally as “she”.

I will work any event I can.  Events put me in front of hundreds and hundreds of people.  Events allow me to dress to the nines and fit right in.  Events put others in a good, party mood and are more conversant.  Events allow me to run elbows with the Cleveland beautiful people and local celebrities.  I hide in plain sight.

Many tell me they can’t do what I can and I find that hard to believe.  I fool no one, never have, never will.  How do I know this?  I get frequent complements, rare is the outing I am not complemented and I get out usually three times a week.  I have had drinks bought for me, get hugged all the time.  This never happens if I passed, was taken for a women.  Never.  It is because I am who and what I am and do so confidently and with class and dignity.

There are so many ways to get involved and/or get out.  Work for a thrift store.  How about a library?  Most cities of any size have a community theater.  There are only excuses, no real reasons you cannot have some of the experiences I have been blessed to have.

Things are better.  We do have work to do, but being visible, being out there, makes all the difference.  Be smart, be appropriate, be confident, get out there and be visible!

 

Kandi Robbins

Sister House Fashion and Style Columnist

Visit Kandi’s Land at https://kandis328772669.wordpress.com/

If there is anything you would like me to discuss, please let us know.  You can contact Tasi directly, me through my blog or leave a comment here.

You can read Part 1 of Acceptance by Volunteering here

 

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