Susan Stanton debuts in DC – By Lorri Helfand

She will join a large group to lobby Congress today for transgender rights.

Washington – After months of notoriety in her hometown for wanting to become a woman, Susan Stanton found for the first time Monday what it’s like to be one of the gang.

Swarmed as she stepped into an evening reception at the National Press Club, Stanton smiled and chatted with the media and other transgender people.

Some she had come to know since March when the Largo City Commission fired her, as Steve Stanton, from the job of city manager. Others she had met since arriving in the nation’s capital Saturday as one of more than 120 people who will lobby Congress today for transgender rights.

But in the end, Susan Stanton’s formal debut as a woman on the national stage Monday night required nothing more than to be present. She gave no formal remarks at the reception, hosted by the National Center for Transgender Equality. Dressed in a lacy, gold-and-sage tunic over an asymetrical sage skirt, she merely showed up and socialized.