During the middle of May, I attended the Esprit 2017, a crossdresser / transgendered conference in Port Angeles, Washington, which is about two hours outside Seattle.  Having attended the Southern Comfort Conference last September in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I was not a novice to attending such an event.  This was my first time at Esprit and my first visit to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.  This piece will be sort a travelogue describing my experiences and adventures.  I want to provide a picture of what occurred in the hope of encouraging others to take the opportunity step out of their comfort zone, (or break out of the prison walls of their home).  Perhaps, my adventures will inspire other to let their true selves experience a taste of the real world.  In a separate piece, I will explore what I drew from the experience and the deeper thoughts about how it affected my life and future path.

Unlike the Southern Comfort Conference, which was a “mere” 925 miles or a thirteen hour drive, the Esprit Conference was a tad too far for a practical drive.  At just under three thousand miles, I would have been looking at 43 hours of driving, which is too much, even for one who regularly drives hundreds of miles to watch college football!  Even the train would have taken three days, so the only truly viable option was to fly, about five plus hours travel time.  Of course, that meant I would have to face the fierce dragon known to strike fear into the hearts of all who travel the “friendly skies” — the dreaded three letter beast known as TSA !!!  (Insert frightening, ominous music here!)

Before that encounter, I first had to winnow down a selection from my wardrobe that could fit into two checked bags and one carry-on bag, three bags of less than fifty pounds each?  Are they crazy?  Can any woman fit a week’s worth of necessities into such a pittance of travel bags?  Heavens to Betsy, for Southern Comfort, I had packed my car with eight suitcases, (two of which had only shoes), and five wardrobe bags!  Now I had to decide what items would make the cut, and which would be left out of the trip.  Hours, days and weeks of agonizing was completed at four in the morning, the day of my departing flight.

Once at the airport, it was time to face the dragon.  The two bags were checked, and I approached the TSA security check with my carry-on and laptop bag.  I had considered making the flight in full Cyn regalia, but I was a tad too cowardly to do so.  Instead I wore ladies’ shorts, socks, and shoes with a t-shirt and my baseball cap.  Nearing the x-ray scanners, I dutifully emptied my pockets completely, (“Even paper receipts can set off the machine!” one TSA agent reminded me and my fellow travelers.), before removing my hat, shoes, coat, belt, panties, and shorts.  Okay, I am kidding, but only about the last two items!  I even checked my navel for any lint that might have been there.  As I emtering the full body scanner, an agent came up and asked, “Is this carry-on bag yours?”  I replied yes, and he said to come meet him at a separate table after being scanned.  As I approached the indicated table, the agent opened my carry-on bag.  While I was wearing a male (or neutral)t-shirt, that was the only non-female item that I had in my possession.  Beginning his search of the bag, he removed my purse, rifled through it, took out my rolled skirts, dresses, and tops, and placed them in a bin.  As many of you may know, I am a huge fan of peanut butter.  Apparently, I accidentally had placed a butter knife in my carry-on which had triggered the alert.  I quickly apologized, and said, “Please, just throw it away!  My travails, however, were not over.  The next words from agent’s mouth were “What’s in this box?”, as he held up the box containing my breast forms.  There was nothing to do but answer honestly, so in a semi-quiet voice I said “breast forms”!  He said “I need to open the box” to which I said, “Okay.”  (Really, what else could I have said?)  He ran his chemical residue skimmer around the forms and the box, and said, “Okay, you may go on now.”  The breath that I had held in for the last three minutes was finally released.  I quickly repacked the items into the bag, and left to enplane.  Thus was my first TSA experience with Cyn’s things!

After the excitement of getting through security, it was a relief to experience an uneventful flight.  Arriving in Seattle, Saturday evening, I was met by Crossdresser Heaven’s own, the lovely Pacific Princess April, who had invited me out to Esprit, and would be my roomie at the conference.  She helped me gather my checked baggage, and we walked from the SeaTac Airport  to the hotel across the street where we stayed that night.  We rested for an hour or so, before Cyn and April went out for drinks that night.  Heading back to the hotel around one in the morning, we fell asleep with visions of what we would experience in the upcoming week.

Be sure to read Cynthia’s continuing adventures at Esprit 2017.


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skippy1965 Cynthia

The Original Cyn, or OC for short. Cynthia is from Richmond Virginia, she crossdresses every day (lucky gal!) and has a knack for tracking down niggling technical issues so we can fix them. She is also on a journey of self-examination to figure out where her feminine journey will lead her, and is always willing to talk with others about their feelings and questions or her own. Update January 2023- the above was written by Vanessa on my behalf back when I joined in 2015. So much has happened on my journey since then. From a shy CD who had hardly been outside as herself to being pretty much full time Cyn 24/7 now. I told work about me and started HRT last year. Everyone knows about me in my life now too. I've socially transitioned for the most part but not sure if I will do anything regarding legal name or any surgeries at all. It's taken mea long time to accept myself for who I am but the site has helped me reach that level of self-awareness. I say dating below but that's just the best status I can say. I have a friend who is very special to me that I HOPE will be more a life companion as time goes forward.

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Monica Meadows
Monica Meadows
6 years ago

Just flew to Chicago and back all dolled up. TSA wasn’t so bad. Just need to show them the ID of your gender and not fib if they ask. Got grouped by a female agent on my way to Chicago but then she apologizedoesn’t once she felt by my crotch and realized I still had something extra there. And that was the funny thing. They never bothered to look at the ID as I went threw the scanning machine. When I made it out of the machine they asked me what I had in my crotch and I said what… Read more »

Cynthia' class='avatar avatar-64 photo' height='64' width='64' />
6 years ago

Several years ago, a TG friend of mine flew to SCC in femme. She was wearing a corset that kept setting off the metal detector. Beyond that, she had not problems.

Cynthia' class='avatar avatar-64 photo' height='64' width='64' />
6 years ago
Reply to  Cynthia

Correction: She had no problems.

Darcy Bainsley
6 years ago

Haha Cyn I don’t know how you can possibly wear so many things in 7 days. Of course TSA is always fun. I went through security in guy mode the outer shell they did the full body X-Ray and noticed my bra – of course I had to get the TSA side boob feel up – it was funny.

Terri Anne' class='avatar avatar-64 photo' height='64' width='64' />
Terri Anne
5 years ago

Hi Cynthia, though I read this a long numbers of days ago, I had neglected to comment. Really enjoyed this article. Very helpful information for someone who has never had to experiance TSA or any conferences.
Thanks much!
-Terri Anne

Abbygale Nerys
5 years ago

How stressful, I read your story holding my breath!
Happy you defeated the dragon!

Kirsti Smith
Kirsti Smith
5 years ago

Just flew today. I can’t pass so I just wear women’s Women’s clothes that don’t stand out. Today I wore booties, panties, socks, jeans, flannel shirt, and wireless, front close, racer back bra. All women’s ;). Left my breast enhancers and pair of heels in my carry on that got searched. Noting was said. When I went through the scanner it detected my bra. They searched me and asked if was wearing a brace. I told them it was a bra and they let me go. No problem. I plan on doing the same on my return flight with a… Read more »

Kirsti Smith
Kirsti Smith
5 years ago

Just went through TSA on return flight. I don’t try to pass but all my clothes are more difficult to ID except TSA knows I’m wearing a bra. Flight to Philadelphia I got frisked. Return flight he just touched my bra strap and off I went. TSA does keep profiles of some passengers on file. If so it worked great for me. Easy trip through security.

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