Well, I did it! After a year of meticulous and detailed planning with my mentor, traveling companion, and all-around BFF Beverly (of CDH), we drove almost 600 miles to Harrisburg, Pa., and attended the 2022 Keystone Conference! And it was everything I had hoped it would be, and then some!

Imagine spending each day (and night) from Wednesday thru Sunday dressed in full femme, including makeup. We did that. Five full 24-hour days socializing, attending seminars and workshops, luncheons, dinners, in your finest femme attire, not a shred of anything drab, with hundreds of other CDs and trans people.

I can’t believe it’s over. All of it now resides as cherished memories in my mind, and, thankfully, a few photos (in my CDH Private Gallery.) Yes, I was really there! After I got home, I descended into a depressed slump which I can only describe as the “post-Keystone blues”. It just went by too fast. I wanted it to last forever. Given my age and physical condition, this will probably be the last such Conference I’ll ever attend. This one will live on in my memory.

En Femme Style

For those who might be unfamiliar with, but have some interest in, the Keystone Conference, here is their website: https://www.keystone-conference.org/

A little highlight of what the conference is like.

Tuesday, 3/22/2022

There was a CDH pre-Conference meetup already in progress in the Dog and Pony Lounge, but after hauling an untold amount of luggage up to the room, the time it would’ve taken to unpack our makeup, wigs, shoes, etc. and get all doodied up, the meetup would’ve been over.

As we were getting settled into our room, my friend Roberta Broussard (of the Bayou Belles, the CDH Local Chapter we both belong to) paid us a visit in our room. She was elegantly dressed, wearing a dark floral dress and heels, and on her way to the CDH meetup. She let us know we could go in drab. Later, we went to check it out, but from what we saw, no one else was in drab, so we slinked on out of there. That was the last time I was in drab mode until Monday morning, 3/28, when we checked out.

Wednesday, 3/23/2022

The first official day of the conference!! Up at 6:00 am, shaved, showered, dressed, put on my makeup, slapped on my wig, and headed to the D & P for breakfast. Beverly took the very first picture (in the Keystone grouping in my Private Gallery) as I opened the hotel room door to leave for breakfast.

There is a profound significance for what that photo represents; you should realize that prior to my arrival for the Conference, I had NEVER set foot dressed outside in public… not even out onto my private patio at my apartment at home. And there I was, boldly stepping outside the hotel room into a brave new world of trans-folk and CDs. Well, maybe not so boldly. You cannot imagine the trepidation I felt. In that moment, for a brief instant, the visual image of me curled up in the fetal position in a corner of the hotel room, terrified of going out, flashed before my eyes. After all the planning, after all the travel. But out I went.

Koala Swim

Unfortunately, I didn’t join anyone at their table and ate breakfast alone. It was still an amazing first experience. My server, a young feller, didn’t even bat an eye as he fetched my milk and coffee. It could be because there were only CDs dining in there–not a single non-trans individual (except for the wait staff). Could it be we scared them off?

My first seminar that morning was “Hello World! Taking Those First Steps Out”. It was a small group, and one or two of the girls shared their experience of going out in public for the first time.

At noon, I hooked up with Beverly to attend the “Get the T about Keystone–How to Maximize Your Experience at the Conference” talk. The lecturer went around the room and asked each of us our reason for coming to Keystone. I was unprepared for their questions, and blabbed out, “I came to meet and socialize with crossdressers just like myself.” Isn’t that why all of us went?

Then came the second-best part of Wednesday–the “Debutante Day Outing – Nail Salon and/or Shopping.”  You could do both if you wanted, but Beverly chose just the shopping excursion and I opted for “nails only”. The bus picked us up outside the Front Lobby and whisked me away to the “Lee Nails Salon,” which wasn’t far from the Sheraton.

This was an amazing experience! I have painted my own nails, but I’m terrible at it. I do what I call a “gob job”. I wanted to have a manicure that would last thru Saturday’s Gala. Well, they did a magnificent job on my nails. Their application was so perfect, that they almost looked fake. They used a base coat, two coats of red polish, and a topcoat.

Koala Swim

Most of us in the Salon were CDs and many of the girls got both manicures and pedicures. Not me… this old lady’s toes are not fit to be seen in public! But it was the best $20 I ever spent. I simply could not stop admiring my glistening nails! In fact, for the rest of Keystone, I would catch myself looking at my nails and wishing I could have this done every week!

The bus brought me back to the hotel’s Front Lobby. The Lobby was always filled with crossdressers lounging, talking, and waiting for busses. I don’t know what made me wander into the coffee bar behind the Registration desk to get a hot cup of caffeine, but I’m so glad I did. It’s where the FIRST BEST thing of Wednesday happened, one of my best memories of the entire Keystone Conference! As I was filling my cup (self-serve), who, of all people, should come up beside me to get a coffee? None other than one of my biggest CD idols, an ICON of the crossdressing community (at least, for me): Ana Cristina Garcia!!

Well, I recognized her immediately without even a glance at her name tag. How does courage spring up in such a shy, closeted crossdresser like me? I introduced myself and told her how big a fan I am of her YouTube videos, and suddenly we were talking as if we knew each other for years!! And how bold and forward was I to ask if she would pose with me for a photo? But I did, and I amazed myself. Another CD in the crowd took our pic on Cristy’s phone, and she “airdropped” it to my phone (I never even knew such a thing existed!). You can see that picture in my Private Gallery. I will treasure this picture for the remainder of my crossdressing life!!

Exceptional Voice

I found Beverly back in the room, and we went to the 4:45 pm pre-Kick-off Dinners Meet & Greet. After that, we changed into our dresses for dinner. I wore my 2-inch patent “kitten” heels and was fairly comfortable in them the whole night.

Our first dinner at the Keystone Conference was at the Longhorn Steakhouse. Beverly and I were seated at a long table with several other attendees. Unfortunately, there was no one from CDH at our table, so I didn’t find much to talk about with the other diners. (For the next two nights, there was at least one CDHer dining with us).

After dinner, just before we boarded the busses to go back to the Sheraton, I had yet another first in my crossdressing life. I used the ladies’ room for the FIRST TIME EVER! Beverly thought I was going to use the men’s room. Dressed as I was, I felt that was NOT an option! As I entered the ladies’ room, there was one lady in there, so, completely embarrassed, I went back out and waited until she exited. I can’t even imagine what went through her mind, as I am obviously NOT a woman. I went in while Beverly stood watch outside. One more incident that will live in my memory for years to come.

To be continued…

 

More Articles by Camryn Occasionnel

View all articles by Camryn OccasionnelTags:
5 3 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
51 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paula Worth
Member
1 month ago

I would love to go one year!!

Gwyneth
Active Member
1 month ago

Oh if I only had your courage!

Gwyn

Gwyneth
Active Member
1 month ago

If I were single like you. Since I hate being alone, I’m afraid to do anything that would cause me to be single.

Lisa Wilson
1 month ago

So glad you got up the courage to go and get out ! Keystone was a great time, and think I remember seeing you there. I hope you can make it back again.

Brielle Ross
Duchess
Active Member
1 month ago

Hi Camryn, what a great recap! Can’t wait for the next installment!!

Brielle Ross
Duchess
Active Member
1 month ago

Right back at you, Camryn! I couldn’t imagine my first ever time around other people being at a large conference in a different city!! You are fierce, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!!

Luv ya,

Brie

Carole Corbett
Ambassador
Member
1 month ago

Camryn…thanks for sharing how you felt and your experience. I too experienced the feelings you felt afterwards…I just didn’t want the conference to end! I’ve said this time and time again…the best part of it was meeting some wonderful people. I know we didn’t get tons of time to talk but it was great to have breakfast with you (free I might add…thank you Robyn) and get to know you a little. You looked fabulous and are so kind! I really hope that’s not your last one. I would so look forward to chatting more next time !
hugs
Carole

Roberta Broussard
Baroness
Trusted Member
1 month ago

Thanks, Camryn, for telling about your Keystone experience. The event was just so full of activities. It was a whirlwind of people and workshops. I sure hope I can make next years.

Roberta Broussard
Baroness
Trusted Member
1 month ago

With all of the activities all the workshops & dinners. It all just went so fast. Like you i got to spend just a little time with so many others. I think next time, im going to do far less workshops and focus on time talking with the friends that I’ve made.
This might be another reason for trying to get a local meetup going.

skippy1965 Cynthia
Ambassador
Trusted Member
1 month ago

Great seeing both of you there! (It was my 3rd Keystone) If you want more time (as many of us do) you should consider attending Esprit conference ( espritconf.com ) which is held the week around Mother’s Day each May in Port Angeles, WA (2.5 hours west of Seattle). I just yesterday returned from there on a redeye flight Sunday/Monday- this was my fourth Esprit. It is much smaller attendance than Keystone ( 90-150 for Esprit vs. 600 for Keystone); it lasts for an entire week from Sunday evening welcome cocktail party through the following Sunday farewell bunch; and it… Read more »

skippy1965 Cynthia
Ambassador
Trusted Member
1 month ago

My first conference was 2016 Southern Comfort (SCC) with Sammy G and yea it was fun! Presuming it is held again I think you would enjoy it and definitely see some CDH folks like Sammy G and Dawn Judson and others
Cyn

Roberta Broussard
Baroness
Trusted Member
1 month ago

Thanks Cyn for the tip on Esprit. I’ll take a look at as well as SCC.
It was so nice getting to finally meet you at KS. It was nice meeting the person behind the welcoming voice of CDH

Betty Rockwell
Member
Member
1 month ago

Camryn,
Great story. I could feel your happiness and excitement as I read the article. I look forward to reading the next installment.

About the nails, I always use a basecoat and a topcoat. I love OPI which you can use the drying drops with. I’m not amazing at painting nails but they always look better when using the basecoat and topcoat. I also just got an angled nail brush that I use to clean up when I get polish on my skin. I just dip it in acetone and it works wonders!

Hugs,
Betty

Betty Rockwell
Member
Member
1 month ago

Oh snap! It sounds like you had the gel polish that cures with the light. I personally hate that because it is so hard to get off. I use gel polish from the store that does not use the light to cure, it goes on and comes off like any polish would. I like to change my nails more often and they grow fast so a soak off kind is not what I want.

Cassie Jayson
Duchess
Trusted Member
1 month ago

Hey Camryn, maybe leave the polish on for a couple extra days (even in drab), tell people you lost a bet and you are checking out to see how they feel for a few days?????

.Cassie

Fiona Black
Member
1 month ago

Camryn,
Thank you for taking the time out to write about your Keystone experience. It is through reading articles like this about other CD’s experiences that I worked up the courage to finally go out in public a few weeks ago. I loved it, went out a second time last week and can’t wait to do it again.

I hope to attend Keystone next year for the first time.

Fiona

Paula1
Active Member
1 month ago

Oh how I would love to go, unfortunately the distance is a bit far and the cost from Australia is a bit high

Cassie Jayson
Duchess
Trusted Member
1 month ago

Loved your story Camryn. I so hope I can make a conference sometime the next couple of years, money being the way it is might be tough. Don’t sell yourself short, you look good. So happy for you that you had your chance to get pout totally en femme, hope you get more chances to go out again (with friends makes it so much easier). I had my first BIG adventure going out last Sept when I had my nails done also and loved them soooo much I kept them when I went back to work a week later and… Read more »

Cassie Jayson
Duchess
Trusted Member
1 month ago

Thanks Camryn, looking forward to part 2.
. Cassie

51
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Crossdresser Heaven.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account

If you don't see the captcha above please disable ad and tracking blockers and reload the page.