Fate brings people together at just the right time and just the right moment. Laura Gassner Otting is such a gift. This message below had me beautifully gobsmacked. I’m honored and touched – but more importantly I love how she sees our Legal Marketing Association – LMA International community. These are special souls and her message will mean the world to all.
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She writes …
This past week I keynoted one of the most fantastic events ever. It was the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference, and while you might think that an association conference could never be exciting or even surprise you… you’d be wrong. Dead wrong.
And here’s why.
Roy Sexton is the chair of the association, and Roy knew his members, and he knew what his members needed: an emotional release, unbridled joy, and amplification of their truest selves after a long few years of taking it on the chin. And, he decided to give them exactly what they needed in the form rainbows, sequins, wigs, and platform heels.
Yes, my friends, there was a drag queen duet to start a conference of 1100 legal marketers. Because why not, right?
My call time for the stage was 9am. At 8:15am the doors opened. All 1100 of the legal marketers in attendance filed in and found their seats. (My parents, who had never seen me speak, were also there and filed in alongside the attendees.) People were subdued, back together for the first time in years, an early morning after late night travel, and while they were excited to see each other, there was a palpable nervousness in the air.
At 8:30am, the room went dark, and Roy, backstage and bejeweled from head to toe in a rainbow-sequined tuxedo tails and silver shirt and pants started singing the opening bars to Born This Way by Lady Gaga. The audience started clapping in time as he came out from behind the curtain and performed the first part of the song.
But, wait! There’s more!
As he began to belt out the chorus, Athena Dion, The Greek Goddess, strode out to join him, and together they sang. The audience was on their feet. The room was pumping. The audience sang and danced as they worked the room like a runway.
The joy was everywhere. (And you can watch the video here.)
Regardless of where you stand on the nonsense fight going on about drag queens — I mean, let’s face it, with the existential climate crisis and rampant mass shootings, don’t we have bigger fish to fry?!? — you can’t help but fall in love with love.
(By the way, if this week’s newsletter offends you, feel free to show yourself out here by unsubscribing. It’s cool.)
Roy wanted to open this conference — the first time they were all back together in three years — with a message: a welcome mat laid out wide, love for all, amplification for every one of us.
Here’s what I know to be true this week: There are million billion miles between being loved and being seen. (Tweet this.)
So many of us feel unseen. Even if we feel loved, we stand nervously on edge, worrying about whether of not people will love the real us when we show them who we really are. Roy blew the doors off of that notion, inviting the entire audience in to his world, and showing them that they could invite him into theirs.
Oh, and, from now on, I’m going to insist in my rider that a drag queen opens every keynote for me.