This week CDI gets a face-lift and all of us girls are not only better for it, we are all safer and better protected. There is a new game in town predicated exactly on the old one and all that we have come to know will be so much better in the long run. A safer location, better parking and more restaurants in midtown to choose from. What more can a girl ask for? A safer refuge made up of girls supporting each other in every way. I’m sure most people would all call that a win win.
I was just reminiscing about the past four years and my experiences with this wonderful organization. I first became a girl in the late spring of 2011. It was a totally unexpected transformation, but most welcomed. An incredible moment in time: one that changed my life forever, never to regret. I moved quickly after dressing for the first time and was led to CDI by a friend who I found on line within the first week. I reached out to the group after a brief on line look. Nancy answered the call, “Come on down this Wed to our weekly barbecue and you can change at one of our stations.” She was so warm and nurturing almost like a mother hen. I thought I was dreaming that such a place existed, or could exist in NYC. I’ll never forget how gracious and kind she was as a fledgling dresser. Nancy made me feel at home as did all the girls I encountered at that beautiful spring night barbecue.
The parties, festive times and barbecues, which were all part of the old CDI, won’t really change except for how the food is cooked and eaten. Considering how difficult and prejudiced the city of New York still is toward girls like us, we should all be ecstatic that we still have our dream oasis, our safe refuge from the outside world. Fifteen dollars a week can never begin to pay for all CDI has given me. In short, I learned to become a confident girl; from dressing there each week to eventually strutting in on my own fully dressed. None of this was an accident. Like most things in life it was hard work, molded by the group to become Dalana, the girl I am today. CDI gave me wings and now I can fly as a transgendered woman. In our darkness and struggle to become girls, CDI is our brightest light.
Let us take a moment as we begin a new chapter in this amazing journey. It is a wondrous story, far greater than any of us could write. We are the characters that drive this plot. The themes are universal, always important and filled with knowledge, applied with unconditional love. I look forward with jubilant excitement, the future, and what it holds for us all. Thank you for letting me, be me. In my heart and soul I thank you all forever.
Editor’s note: read more at: http://www.cdinyc.org