I have friends who are crossdressers, transgendered and gender fluid. I can’t claim to understand their situations but I hope they are happy and successful. I care for all of them. But thinking about the “why,” “how” and “when” just makes my head hurt. Their lives work for them and that’s good enough for me.

Back in the early 1990’s, QVC had a lot of health and fitness experts on-the-air. Everyone from Denise Austin to Bruce (then) Jenner. All had videos and/or products that they were representing. They were true experts and I’m sure their advice and products helped a lot of people.

Bruce (now Caitlyn) and I had a lot of fun on the show. As the viewers knew I wasn’t exactly the most coordinated person (a/k/a awkward geek), they enjoyed a fitness expert putting me through the paces. Since QVC was still making a lot of it up as we went along, the buyers and programmers thought it would be fun to have the former Olympic Champion put me through a full one-hour workout.

Since the male hosts had to wear suits or sportscoats and ties on-air back then, I would have to change into my workout duds between shows. I went out and bought the fanciest workout outfit I could find. It was a Nike, black with red trim. For a nerd, I looked pretty sharp.

Zero hour came and I rushed backstage and started to strip off my clothes. By the Beverly Hillbillies “code of the hills,” several members of the backstage team now had to marry me. I left my suit in a clump and was tying my sneakers (new Nikes to match my new suit) when the cameras went live. By the way, exercising for an hour in new sneakers proved to be as stupid as it sounds. I think I still have blisters.

We opened the show with a preview of the upcoming products, an elastic weight barbell, a folding stationary bike, a spring-powered leg exerciser and various other implements of torture. The guest was like a Marine Corps drill instructor for the full hour. Bruce demanded multiple reps on all the weight equipment and kept increasing the tension.

I was soaking wet by the middle of the hour. We planned for Bruce to do most of the talking, which was good. I barely had enough breath left to standup, let along to try and create an effective sales pitch. My new “classic” jogging suit was soaking wet by the middle of the hour. But I was determined I would not crumble. I made up my mind to finish all the exercises without complaining (or passing out).

I had enough energy to laugh when my drill instructor was pushing me on to greater results. It was an extremely entertaining hour and most of the products sold out. Unfortunately, I still had an hour left in my shift. After I shook Bruce’s hand, I sloshed backstage and peeled off my soaking wet Nike suit.

Suffering from lifelong OCD, putting my shirt and suit on a body drenched with sweat was not the easiest thing I ever did. The next hour was a Sampler, an hour featuring a little bit of everything. I remember dripping on some of the products. The callers were still having fun with me about the torturous last hour. That made it bearable…at least a little. I’m pretty sure I burned that suit and shirt when I got home. Had to wait until they dried out. I was able to salvage the Nike suit after washing it a few times in really hot water.

Today, I hear Caitlyn Jenner is running for Governor of California. In today’s world, why not? She’s smart, obviously very courageous and has a great sense of style. I’d have to check her platform, but, if I agree with most of it, I’d have no problem voting for her. I wish her the best in her quest for office!

We live in amazing times!

TV Shopping Host and Coach, Musician, Author, Teacher.

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