He served his country, he loved wholly, and he wore what he wanted.

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That's what many people think of when they think of Larry 'Sissy' Goodwin. Goodwin, a Vietnam veteran and retired educator from Douglas, Wyoming, gained national attention, for some reason, because he chose to wear dresses. Maybe they were comfortable. Maybe he was making a statement. Or maybe they were just pretty.

Whatever the reason, Sissy chose to live life on his terms and The Nicolaysen Art Museum is hosting a closing reception for an exhibition that honors the life of the late Sissy Goodwin. The reception will be held at The Nic on March 25, at 5:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Occasions by Cory will be catering the event and Backwards Distilling Co. will be serving up cocktails.

The NIC is carrying on the legacy of support for diversity in Wyoming,” Vickie Goodwin, wife of the late Sissy Goodwin said. “I am looking forward to seeing everyone - whether your wear a TUTU or a petticoat or come in your most comfortable clothing. Please join us as we celebrate Wyoming’s diversity."

For those unable to attend the reception, The Nic is inviting any businesses or groups within Wyoming to hold their own Tutu Party on March 25. A press release from The Nic stated that anybody who has celebrated Sissy before is welcome to participate. Additionally, The Discovery Center is hosting a drop-in-Tutu-making activity from March 22 through March 25 for anyone who wants to make their own tutu. This activity is offered during normal business hours.

“I thank the NIC for hosting a TUTU PARTY in Sissy’s honor. This event was initiated in 2017 as a way to use humor to protest an unfortunate remark by a US Senator. Live and Let Live TUTU parties around the state showed Sissy and other LGBTQ Wyomingites that they are loved and supported,” Goodwin said.

Casper continues to make great strides in the community in regards to supporting and loving LGBTQ+ individuals. This is especially true in the arts realm. Recently, a local trans artist produced a performance at ART 321 that illustrated the exploitation of trans people in the media. This example and many others are moving Casper forward in important matters; matters that, hopefully, would make Sissy proud.

“This exhibit has been so well received by our community, it has been wonderful to work with Vickie Goodwin on this exhibition and honor to have the privilege of sharing Sissy's story,” Andy Couch, the Executive Director of the NIC said. “We are thankful for all our sponsors and supporters. Thank you, Dan Grace, Alice Vollman, Jay and Linda Cole-Butler, Robert Edgerly and Robert B. Warburton, Linda Dixon, Dale & Anna Bohren, Susan Anderson, and the Ramkota Hotel of Casper.”

If Sissy Goodwin were still alive, we don't know if he would want to be considered an innovator, or a trendsetter, or an 'icon.' From what people have said about him, we think Sissy would just want to be recognized as a good person; somebody who loved wholly and fiercely and unconditionally. This exhibit at The Nic exemplifies everything good about Sissy Goodwin. And though we probably won't look as good as he did, we'll still dress up. And we'll do it because Sissy did it first.

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