Marching my way toward the Thanksgiving Parade

Thanksgiving comes around the same time every year. Twice  a year if you count Canadian Thanksgiving. I am fortunate enough to get to count both because my wonderful girlfriend is Canadian, and I am American. Every year my number one desire is to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It never seems to happen no matter how much I declare it as my goal. That changed this year for the first time.

Most years I don’t get to enjoy the parade because I am working some job counting the days until I walk out. Then there are the years I am with family members who dictate what is on TV. Rather than watch the parade they mostly opt to tune to some silly TV program with grown ass adults playing a children’s game. Eh who am I to judge? I love the parade because it has the cute balloons, the awesome dancing, the fabulous costumes and all the amazing performances.

This year I recorded the program on my DVR so I wouldn’t miss a beat. I was able to watch the first hour and  a half live as it happened. It provided me with a boost of cheer, good spirits and brought a smile to my heart. I love the hard work that goes into preparing these fantastic live performances.

I absolutely understand the thrill of being a live entertainer. I got my start the same as most American children, being on stage in front of all the neighborhood parents during school programs. In 6th grade I got to perform in a play with speaking lines for the first time. I was even able to contribute a joke or two to the script another kid got to tell. It was a blast.

That same year I was in marching band. I got to march in the Miltonale Kansas Tootle Fest. An annual festival in the small town I write about from time to time. It was the first parade I ever marched in. My next would be a Thanksgiving Day parade in Concordia, Kansas. That was a thrill ride the entire stretch. It was a cold winter day but it was still an blast the entire time. The last time I was able to be in the marching band was when our school band marched in the State Marching Band competition later that year. That was an adventure I will never forget. It was a long stretch of city street sandwiched between two agonizingly painful bus rides.

I continued my journey exploring public performing when I joined the concert band in middle school. I also turned to choir in high school. Between the two I was able to either bang the drums or sing songs from a stand in a number of occasions. In addition to this I began stepping outside school to put on some public performances of my own. It was around this time my friends and I started a hip-hop troupe. We began break dancing. I only performed publicly on a handful of instances but they were all extremely memorable. In each case my team or crew won the crowd’s cheers so I call that a victory.

Following high school I turned to expanding and promoting my techno and hip hop cache.  I was working to start up an independent underground recording studio in order to release my music to the world in a semi professional sorta official manner. During that time I booked one concert at the rec center which I put on in front of the entire town. It was lame but I had to do it.

I continued my love of live entertainment on into college. My first published article in a newspaper was the story I did on the Loper’s Marching Band. You can find the PDF of that article HERE.

There s nothing more exciting than going on stage in front of an audience and putting on a live performance you’ve spent hours, weeks even months perfecting. One of the reasons I love watching live shows so much is simply because my appreciation of what goes into them behind the scenes. There’s so much hard work to bring even a single dance number to stage.

When I went into college I declared my major Broadcasting with my minor in Theater. I wish I had stuck with it but due to complications I can’t divulge here yet I backed out went into a panic then flushed my entire college education down the toilet.

I went into theater and broadcasting because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go into Hollywood, TV, theater, movies or news. I thought I would get a well rounded education that I could translate into a career in the business. While I have largely been successful staying within my field for the most part I can say honestly I have aspirations to try once again to keep pushing forward.

If you think my live performances have ceased you are sorely mistaken. Every podcast I record, every YouTube video I release, every Facebook Live I stream, those are all performances. While I am mostly authentic in my showings I haven’t always shed that performance face. I never will either. I love live entertainment. I love having been blessed with the few opportunities to perform in public I have had. I am fortunate to have been a news reporter given the chance to view, cover, photograph and report on several amazing live events over the years. I am happy to settle, for now, into a small Podcast/YouTube channel dedicated to providing trans content for an audience starved for representation.

I could write about how much I love the parade as a live TV event, but I already wrote about my love of live TV here. Instead I chose to focus on my love of live entertainment. As a shoutout to wrap this up I would like to link to the Facebook page of a live performer I have seen in person multiple times. A wonderful lady with a beautiful voice and a great big heart that comes through in her songs. Find her here.

I am very happy I got to watch the parade this year. I hope I can pull it off again. Maybe someday I can pull it together and find a way to be there performing again? I can dream can’t I! In the meantime stay cool.

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos. If you like my writing please consider helping me survive. You can support me directly by giving money to my paypal: If you prefer CashApp my handle is @Stephaniebri22. Also feel free to donate to my Patreon. I know it's largely podcast-centric but every little bit helps. Find it by going to, Thank you.