‘Tis the season for graduation, so I returned to my alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, to celebrate commencement and visit people I love.
When I graduated from UC, there was no lavender graduation, a traditional ceremony marking the achievements of LGBT students. Since the university opened the LGBT Center a few years ago, it has hosted a year-end Rainbow Celebration to honor LGBT students, faculty and staff. This year, I was honored as the Outstanding LGBT Alumna:
My former professor and mentor Deb Meem nominated me for the award, naming the myriad of things I’ve done since leaving UC. Graduating students, including my Butch Bestie, received certificates of recognition and rainbow stoles to wear during the university commencement.
During the ceremony, my Butch Bestie shared LGBT recent history of UC. Watch it below:
- Dots black lace bolero, size 3x, $3
- Old Navy gold knit tank top, size XXL, $0.50 via the Gap Clearance Store in Hebron, Ky.
- Black lace over gold lame A-line skirt, thrifted
- Stacked pearl necklace, gift
- Vintage pearl bracelet, thrifted, $5
- Forever 21 beaded headband, $6.80
- ZenniOptical.com black cateye glasses with progressive lenses, $34.90 (tutorial for embellishing them with rhinestones is here)
- Sears gold pointy toe flats, size 11, $5
Now that I’ve done the math, this might actually be one of the cheapest outfits I’ve ever worn. The pièce de résistance of this look is the lace skirt. Originally, the skirt was the bottom half of a dress with a cheap, stretchy black polyester top. It looked like an overgrown flower girl dress, but I saw the potential in the skirt, so I lopped off the top, created a waistband and voila! I have myself a sophisticated lace skirt that cost me nearly nothing.
The other reason I was in Cincinnati was to watch my Butch Bestie walk at the master’s degree commencement. My Butch Bestie grew up in rural Northwest Ohio, and they are now the most highly educated person in their entire extended family (which extends to most of the county). I couldn’t be more proud. Here is my Butch Bestie in their full graduation regalia with their partner Beelisty:
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