Yeah, I'd say I was right in my previous post. My life HAS changed forever.
I thought I would just meet maybe one or two schools at each conference and see if I could get a little bit of interest, and talk to some people here or there...I wasn't really expecting anything major, and if anything, I was expecting to be somewhat outcast and not so wholly embraced. Boy was I wrong.
Everyone, NACA, the schools, their advisers, the hotel, and everyone in between was truly and honestly interested. People were friendly, I never heard one negative comment, and I got a ton of really great leads and contact information.
In the last week, I:
Was up by 8 and not in bed until after 1,
Wore latex for 16 hours per day for 6 days,
Met students or staff at over 40 schools,
Handed out 150 biographies and 200 business cards,
Shook about 170 hands,
Maintained my sanity, somehow.
Despite all the good things, I did watch a few unfortunate circumstances. A couple campus delegates had some arguments over whether or not bringing a kink-positive speaker to their campus was a good idea. All I can say is, stand strong kinksters! It may not be today or tomorrow or next month or next year, but one day at a time, we can change the world. Your campus too will be able to accept who you are one day.
That hasn't gotten me down though. The leads I've gotten and the positive feedback has been so strong that despite my physical exhaustion, I'm pumped to move on to Tulsa for Central, and to Covington for Mid-America! Even other vendors who'd been going to NACA for 30 years came up to me and mentioned how nice it was that I was bringing something truly different to the marketplace, and some even just told me "Thank you" for everything I was doing. It was incredible.
So if I've learned anything from this experience so far, it's that there IS a market for this. People are curious, but scared. But on some level, my faith has been reaffirmed that people have an innate sense of integrity, which they can use to read your genuines. I went to NACA for the right reasons. It shined through, people listened to me, and slowly, I remembered that for others to believe what I'm saying, I must first believe in myself.
I work one shift at the hospital tonight (Tuesday) and then turn around and fly off to Tulsa on Thursday morning, early. Here we go again....