Let me just start by saying that SizeCon and everything surrounding it was one of the most amazing and inspiring days of my life. From the moment I found out about the event and its motivation, I was instantly on-board. Inclusiveness, openness, and love were the goals of the event, and from beginning to end, that's completely what I experienced.
Of course, the story of my SIzeCon starts with the travel. I went to bed at one in the morning and then got back up at three to get dressed. As I mentioned in my last journal, it was my first time going out in women's clothes, so there was a little more to it than simply throwing on an outfit and getting out the door. I had everything laid out and planned, but suddenly my shirt was missing, so I had to wake my poor wife from a dead sleep after dashing around for half an hour, sweating nervously as I got closer and closer to missing my train.
From there I got myself into my boots and leggings and dress and hurried out the door, almost too preoccupied by making it to my destination on time to really let what I was doing sink in. I had to stop for gas in town and that's when what I was doing really hit me. So much of me wanted to march into the store and fix myself a coffee and smile at the bleary-eyed attendent, but I'm also still very conscious about how my nature might reflect on my family, so instead I parked as far away as I could and hastily pumped my gas, then dashed off to catch my train in Connecticut.
That's where I saw my first people, and more importantly they saw me. I also realized that I'd never carried a purse before and I wasn't overly comfortable with it quite yet, so there was a fair bit of awkwardness. I smiled at everyone but I didn't talk, and unsurprisingly, nobody said anything to me.
Two hours later I was walking out into Grand Central. I knew my route would take me past the Empire State Building and all along 5th Avenue, and just that simple fact already had me excited. I walked out into the street in a light rain and got my bearings, and from there it was like a different world.
Walking down that famous street with my boots clicking gloriously against the pavement, I could feel the change in me. The poise that overtook my body, the confident, swaying strut that seemed both exciting and natural. Without even realizing it until I was halfway there, my chin was raised and my head held high.
I stopped at a Starbucks and had my first conversation since leaving the house. I told the surprisingly kind girl there about SizeCon and, while leaving out some of the details about violence and sadism, I told her that I was an author and that I wrote stories about size fantasies, and she was adorably receptive and encouraging even through her certain confusion.
Then I was at the venue and it was about 9:20. Things were still being set up and people were very busy, but I met Bryan and he was quite sweet, panicked and ill. I discovered that I was still scheduled to moderate four panels and participate in three more, so I freaked out just a little bit and prepared to spend pretty much my entire day in the sweltering little panel room.
Speaking of panels, and I totally will talk about them a lot more as I go, but I also met Taedis almost immediately after arriving and I seriously could not have asked for a better panel buddy than this totally fine man. Immediately I commented on his professional attire, and I think he was really the first person to surprise me with his openness, honesty, and friendliness. We volunteered and worked together, though not really side-by-side, to somewhat facilitate the setup and very vague guidelines for how the panels would run, and I was worried we'd both gotten in over our heads, but it turned out that he was an amazing "trained monkey in a suit," as he'd often say, and though I can't even remember exactly what it was that was said during the Ladies' Panel that he moderated and I participated on (with nervous reservation, being neither physically or persistently a woman), but one of the deepest moments of affection I experienced during the convention as a whole was shared with him. Taedis, thank you for being so magnificently you.
M31 approached me pretty early on, perhaps as the first person I actually talked to (though the events really are somewhat of a blur by now), and it was my first experience having someone just walk up out of the blue and say how much of a fan they were. I truly had no idea how to react, but at the same time I was overwhelmed with gratitude and delight. That's probably when it hit me that I was where I was and I am who I am.
From there I noticed a woman with a tiny notepad, and I approached her and asked if she happened to be the reporter who was attending. Tracy was incredibly friendly and kind, and when I volunteered to talk to her at any point if she had any questions (since she'd been asked not to approach people herself), she immediately took me aside and we talked at length about how I came to be there, my motivations and involvement with the community, my background and my desire to help others feel comfortable and confident about themselves and their desires. I saw her many times throughout the day being truly engaged and involved, even trying out the green screen and giving her best stompy pose. Awesome person, and I can't wait to see her story when it's published.
Pretty soon after that Binary Prophet found me. We haven't talked a terribly great amount, but he did help edit a story of mine before and we've interacted a little bit before in the Giantessworld chat. In the days leading up to the event, though, he contacted me because he was absolutely distraught about accidentally suggesting that I might be trans in a conversation with some people involved with the convention. Immediately I was overwhelmed with affection for both his incredible distress and his deep concern for me, and one of the things I was looking forward to most was throwing my arms around him and giving him the best of hugs.
Somewhere in that mix I was greeted by my Group 11 friends, which was a result of SizeCon's buddy survey grouping up some people with relatively similar interests. We hadn't talked a tremendous amount but I'd reached out to them for a little bit of support when I was putting my outfit together and getting ready to finally go out, so Raksr and Saftkeur, even though we only spoke briefly, I'm glad to have a Twitter connection and enjoy seeing your names pop up here and there.
JDO showed up at some point possibly before that or after, and that was really the first long-term "size friend" of mine that I really encountered. I'm not nearly as active in the community as I used to be, so I don't have a lot of people that I talk to with much regularity save for really SorenZer0, since we collaborate almost constantly, but JDO and I go back several years to my first real emergence on GiantessCity. It's hard to express how uplifting and exciting and cool it was to meet someone like that in real life after years of knowing each other and talking off and on, even if it was mostly arguments about the (extensive and amazing) merits of Uggs, and even if he's totally a little bastard.
My first panel that I participated in was the Giant Women panel, and I have to admit that the panels in general are all kind of a blur. The thing about the panels that kind of connected to the whole theme of the day, though, was that there was an incredible amount of participation from the audience and there was never a moment of silence. I think that once we all got started talking about our passions and fantasies that, for many of us, had been suppressed and hidden for most if not all of our lives, it was so liberating and thrilling to just keep talking.
Most significantly, though, was that this was the first time I'd really gotten to meet and interact with Veronica, AKA Jitenshasw. I knew a little bit about her and had heard her talk a little bit in some of the planning stages for the convention, mostly during an extended Skype call where a lot of panel details were somewhat ironed out, but hearing her talk about "Size" with a capital S, as it were, was absolutely incredible. Her passion, candor, excitement and openness was not only a delight, but an absolute inspiration. All throughout the day, her presence on the panels was powerful and I admire the absolute crap out of this totally amazing girl.
Another very cool thing about this panel was that I sat next to Katelyn Brooks, and aside from that just being a rather cool thing on its own, what I really enjoyed was having a chance to get her perspectives on what brought her to the world of Size fantasy and what she enjoyed about her own work and experiences. For all the people out there who give her hell for being who she is and doing what she does, they couldn't be more wrong. She's such a cool, genuine person, and while her perspectives and background are certainly different than mine, I respect and appreciate where she comes from and more than that, the tremendously open and forward way she embraces her fantasies, too.
Quick example, and hopefully this isn't spoiling anything too much before she releases it, but she mentioned that she'd been going around New York just interviewing people at random on the street, asking them what they would do if they were tiny and she was after them, trying to crush them. At least that's the general jist of it, and to me that's just such an awesome idea that I would previously never have had the mindset to even imagine something like that happening, let alone being delighted by the concept. Katelyn, as most people who've met her have said, is just an awesome human being.
As I left the panel room after that to catch a breath, I ran straight into Nyx, Theophilous Bolt, and JDO again. There was a little bit of shock as I kind of caught up with my mind because, you have to understand, these are pretty much my Size idols. Nyx, beyond being an excellent writer who enjoys my work and being a tremendously generous woman in the community as a whole, tolerating and indulging far more people than I think I could ever manage and putting herself out there in ways I've been impressed with time and time again, has also recently become a little more than that to me with some really heartfelt encouragement in the weeks before the convention.
And Theophilous is an even more unique case, mostly because I don't know if I've ever actually talked to him directly. He's almost like this shadowy, brilliant giant male figure looming somewhere, being immense and terrifying, but I remember reading some of his stories like, over a dozen years ago and being really impressed, and then there's the fact that he and Nyx are the most amazing First Couple of Size in my mind, too. The stories they've put out together are just, oh my gosh, if you haven't experienced either of their work, just do it.
Long and short, they were even cooler, sweeter, and more fun than I could have expected. Theophilous immediately knew copious details of the Spider Man and his Amazing Friends episode I mentioned with Red Skull, and also was this amazing font of strangely interesting but totally uncommon, bizarre knowledge. We also bonded over the merits and troubles of buying boots on Aliexpress. We'd meet back up again and again along with JDO throughout the afternoon and evening, being fun and familiar faces that we could all take comfort in together.
I went to the Size Fetish and Relationships panel after that, and I think more than any of the panels I attended or participated in this was the most encouraging and moving. Once again, hearing Veronica talk about her struggles and how she opened the doors to incorporating her fantasies into her marriage was absolutely awesome. She was great for providing so many examples of the little, simple, fun things they did to create a regular sense of enjoyment and excitement in her relationship, and so much of that helped me by showing that it's just not such a Big Fucking Deal to have some size fetishes, and that a loving partner, even one that's totally vanilla, will care about their partner's needs and wants to help and share, even if the journey takes a lot of steps along the way.
Juliekat and BustArtist were also just so spectacular to listen to. Their relationship is so deep and pure, and again, the greatest takeaway I feel like I got from this panel in particular was just the little, sometimes even silly things that they do for one another. The fetishes and fantasies are just another section and element of a successful relationship, and the things couples do to help one another out can be as simple and common as helping out with household tasks as well.
The night gets a little more blurry from here, as I was running on about an hour and a half of sleep and the venue, especially the panel room where I spent most of the day, was oppressively muggy and hot. A couple times through the day I met up with a really fun couple and talked to them a bunch, and I totally don't have the faintest clue what their names were. The woman had these totally cute yellow heels and the guy enjoyed my work, and they both had a lot of really cool questions. I think that you both sat pretty far forward during the Dark Side panel maybe and talked about varying power dynamics, and the phrase "Smack my ass harder!" remains in my mind. If you're out there and reading this, say hello and remind me who you are, because I really enjoyed talking to you every time we spoke and would hate to lose track of you for a whole year.
I also at some point met Mythical Cupcake and her girlfriend Tiny Jellyfish Fairy, and they were both so generous and awesome and truly delightful to talk with. That's another thing about this convention that was beyond cool: meeting people from outside my particular sphere of influence in the Size community and finding out how awesome they could be, and even sharing and comparing thoughts and perspectives that just showed how much even people with what would seem like totally different interests still could share and have in common. Don't be a stranger, you two, I look forward to e-mailing and getting to know each other even more.
I ran the Expansion and Inflation panel and the Vore Panel after that, and I have to be totally thankful for the panelists and audience members in both as they really helped me through both. I feel like I started flagging a little by the time we got about halfway into the Vore panel and to the vore lovers out there, I apologize for letting you down. I was exhausted and underprepared, but once again Veronica stepped up and kept things rolling, and Kreeyz actually put together a slideshow that kept things moving along.
After that I participated in the Ladies' Panel, which to me was a very nervewracking thing to be a part of for the reasons I've mentioned before. While I've had a female online persona for many, many years now and certainly experienced the difficulties and harrassment that others have, there's also the fact that I can turn all of it off and go back to the male life I've always had, too. The stories and the struggles that everyone shared were difficult to hear and really made for a challenging environment, though everyone was very receptive and appreciative of the things everyone had to say. In a way, I think that the slightly different perspective I could bring to the panel might have added more than detracted from anything, but overall, hopefully the message of civility and respect spreads from where it started, and more of these events where real people see other real people and can understand who it is sitting on the other side of a computer when they type crass, pushy, and cruel things out with such ease... I don't know, I want there to be progress and hope, and even if it's small I think there's a chance for community building and progress that comes from all of what started at SizeCon.
The Dark Side Panel was what I'd been living for all day. Oh my god, I wish it could have gone for four hours. All in all, I was kind of surprised at the size of the audience and how engaged and connected they were to the subject. Also, Binary Prophet sat in on this panel right next to me, and I just love this guy to death for having the courage to join me up there. Hearing him talk about his thoughts and desires and urges was really, really cool, and it seemed like he and Theophilous bonded somewhat over a brief back and forth about brutal, unstoppable, almost animalistic destruction, which was also really cool for me to see.
I also LOVED having the chance to say so many things about what I dream of both out loud and with an audience. Espousing the virtues of dehumanizing tiny people, crushing their hearts and spirits and bodies, delving into why it's just so appealing to break people and use their lives as disposable toys or momentary pleasurable entertainment... it was awesome to see people looking back at me, nodding as I talked about the things I'd do to a particular audience member if they were tiny.
Veronica shined here again, too, and it was beyond enlightening to have the perspective of someone who identifies as tiny sharing the details of just how compelling and exciting it was to imagine the most horrid of things happening to her. I seriously cannot ever in one lifetime give enough credit to her.
From there, it was drinks, conversation, and winding down, and after that a very long journey home that saw me getting in the shower at about 5:30 in the morning after stripping off my sweat-soaked leggings and trying to stretch my horribly throbbing toes.
SizeCon, though, was truly one of the most exceptional and inspiring events I've ever experienced in my life. From beginning to end, there was this amazing air of total positivity and love that I could feel, really feel all day long. So many people were excited to meet me, or just so totally encouraging and uplifting in so many different ways, and I remember the first time I started talking about crushing someone in the palm of my hand and how I curled my fingers into a fist to demonstrate it, how I had to actually stop and say the words, "I can't believe I'm actually talking about this out loud."
It was liberating, fulfilling, and vitalizing, and I was totally heartbroken to leave at the end of the night, but when I came home, I was so filled with confidence and positivity that I couldn't wait to talk with my wife and open up about everything I'd been holding back. Even though I'd discussed my fantasies before and shared my stories and done so much more with her than I thought I ever could, I realized how reserved and guilty I still felt when it came to discussing anything to do with my fantasies and that I still kept so much to myself because I felt that it was just asking too much for someone to actually accept everything about me and that it was wrong of me to put such an imposition and strain on somebody I loved, or at least that was part of what I told myself but there was also the fact that I never really got past being scared, too.
I was ready to trust people with who I actually am because not only had I been shown that there was nothing wrong with that person, but I'd experienced what it was like to just put every bit of myself out there, and if a room full of complete strangers could embrace and love me for who I was, it was beyond foolish that I couldn't trust the person who accepts and loves me more than anyone in the world to have the ability to do all that and more.
We've talked some so far and we have a lot more talking and work to do as I figure things out for my future and our continued and evolving future together, but I'm optimistic, hopeful, and for the first time possibly ever, confident about myself and being myself. I hope and really do believe that a lot of people brought this sort of feeling back to their homes, and it's my fervent, sincere hope that all of us take that feeling and use it to make our lives and world better.
So please, if you felt amazing, different, special at SizeCon, don't let the feelings and fears and emptiness that might have been there before back into your life. Stay in touch, keep the conversation and the good feelings going and reach out to the people you met. This whole thing was about building each other up and learning that we all deserve appreciation and love, no matter what we've felt or been told in the past.
I will be here because I love what we've done together, and I love what our community can be and can accomplish, but I do have a little bit of a tough announcement to accompany all of this, too. Over the past few months I've really struggled and strained my family to put everything together for this convention and as I mentioned a little bit ago, I've come home with this energy and drive and commitment to build and advance my relationship with my wife, which unfortunately has suffered many times in the moments where I turned to the community for the appreciation, love, and approval I should have sought at home. For a few weeks or a few months, I'm not sure which, I'm going to step away from Twitter and DeviantArt and really focus on my life at home, and when I'm ready to come back I hope to bring her with me, in some way either literally or figuratively.
I'm still going to work on my writing and my stories, and if you send me a note or e-mail I'll still be checking and responding to those here and there, so don't worry. I promise I'm not going anywhere, and I'm sure you'll see me at a meetup or at the very least SizeCon '17. Thank you everyone for all you've done for me, to everyone I met Saturday that shared a part of themselves with me, and thank you SizeCon and all of the wonderful volunteers that poured themselves into making this a reality. Well, well done, and I can't wait to be an even bigger part of helping with next year's event.