Hello friends! This is Riley, I’m back in Buffalo, but I’ve written quite a bit of this post in Jersey/NYC & different mental and physical states. I have thought and written extensively on this event, but heres a wrap-up. As I mentioned, I went out this weekend to participate in NELIcon, and I have to say that this experience has been nothing but positive for me. NELIcon took place in New Jersey as part of the North Eastern Littles Invasion, a moniker for a number of groups and munches focused around the American North East and beyond.
Positive is just one of the words I would use to describe how I feel about this event, so lets start there. I tweeted after the first night that “this reminds me of my first experience at a transgender leadership conference, so many like-minded folks just doing their thaaaaaang” and the aftertaste is just as sweet. Folks of all ages, colors, careers, backgrounds, spiritual/political alignments, all coming to together to celebrate what makes us unique. It’s inspiring to see people overcoming their own shyness, insecurities/boundaries to socialize. Humans NEED to express themselves, I have felt the weight that comes from not having that outlet, we need that freedom to dress, behave and live how we choose. I’ve seen it in the eyes of my many of my new friends, that glimmer of hope that everything really is going to be all right, I think it’s called happiness.
Happiness is another key word, but it’s the pursuit that i’m thinking of the most. Many of the folks came from great lengths to be a part of it, emotionally and geographically. I’m sure the first anthro (read: furry) convention elicited similar emotions of newfound freedoms. We’re talking about something that’s been in plain envelopes, locked bulletin boards, bedrooms and the recesses of our minds, the “closet” so to speak. No degree of alliteration can describe seeing what once was dark coming out into the light, a subculture sunrise for those involved, just a bunch of smiling folks smelling of baby-powder for the outsiders at our location. A wise DJ made a record titled “we’ve come a long way baby” – I’m looking forward to the future ❤
To everyone who had the pleasure to attend, thank you for coming and for being a part of what was for me something that I’ll remember forever… remember being the key word here. I filmed the event, but much of it is to be viewed exclusively by the attendees, discretion is a must. I’ll be posting some video from my trip and more diaper/cute/Riley stuff 🙂 I am thoroughly exhausted from the last week, I am getting over a cold after going from Jersey to the Bronx to Brooklyn and then back upstate. It looks like opportunity is ripe for the taking in NYC, good times ahead, and I’m looking forward to more events & more adventure! I’m excited!!!!
More stuff soon. ❤