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.

Koala Swim

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.

En Femme Style

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.

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!!

EnFemme Style

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…

 

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Stephanie Bass
Member
Active Member
1 month ago

Hi Camryn it was a super time going as my very first year there and to top it off very first time ever out of my home into the world he he.. Then to throw another bit into the mix took wife with OMG what fun we had meeting you and all the rest of the girls from CDH we were there for the week from tuesday night till the next tuesday morning to fly out home a sad day there he he .. Really had a wonderful time and plans for next year are allready being planned .. Wife… Read more »

Sarah Kanter
Active Member
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing your experience. I am glad you had such a wonderful time. I am very jealous!

BobbiJo C
1 month ago

Hi Camyrn,
It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed and learned alot. I and my wife are pleased the we had opportunity to meet and dine with you and Beverly. I look forward to your future articles.
BobbiJo C

June Richards Jewell
1 month ago

I’m glad you had such a good time 🙂
I used to dream of spending a few days constantly en-femme 🙂

Ana Cristina García
Member
1 month ago

Camryn, meeting you at Keystone was also a highlight to me. We get used to meeting with the same friends at every event and, not having been to a big a conference in 7 years, I had forgotten about the pleasure of meeting new friends in person. Thank you for approaching me and letting me know that I still have some relevance in our community. My dear friend Sophie Lynne shared your article with me and it was because of your thoughts that I decided to join CDH. Thank you for your friendship and for being the instrument, along with… Read more »

Ana Cristina García
Member
1 month ago

Let’s stay in touch, Camryn. I plan to make the time to be more engaged here than in any of the other social networks.

Suzanne Jeffries
Active Member
1 month ago

Camryn,
I’m sure it was as wonderful as it sounds. I hope to be able to go at some point in the future. Being self-employed I’m retiring a little at a time and not all at once. So hopefully I’ll get there.
Huggs and kisses,
Suzanne

Alice Black
Duchess
Active Member
23 days ago

Camryn,

I found your Keystone Chronicles article part I and really enjoyed it. The article really expressed the joy and fun that you were having at the event. I wish I could do that some day – but with my wife around – not likely. Plan to check out part II as well.

Your Girl Friend,

Alice Black

Alice Black
Duchess
Active Member
22 days ago

Was the Beverly you went with Beverly Phillips or another CDH member or a non member?

Alice

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