Renaissance Weekend changed me–made me question everything I thought I knew about who I was and how I was perceived. But it also opened my eyes and forced me to confront some of my own prejudices and stereotypes. I guess my ultimate take away is that one person’s remarkable might be another’s so, so ordinary, so we all better get comfortable defining ourselves for ourselves and keep trying to shake off what other people seem to think.

For one moment, the Earth stopped spinning and everything stood completely still as I darted my eyes out to the gaping-mouthed crowd. Then it started up again, and I turned my full attention to the audience, determined to take control of this preposterous moment…