girls_coffee_chat

I wrote an earlier features about my experiences at Esprit 2017, which was more of a travelogue of the events at the conference.  However, I also wanted to convey some thoughts about what my time at the conference helped me to learn about myself and the others who attended.  Like the members at our own Crossdresser Heaven, the attendees of the conference are a diverse group.  They range from folks going out in public dressed for the first time to those who have been coming here for many years, and include those who are only occasional crossdressers, those who present female nearly full time, and those who have are in the midst of transitioning to some extent.  Each attendee brings her own expectations.

Having attended the Southern Comfort Conference last fall, I was a “newbie” to this particular conference (and indeed to the Pacific Northwest of the United States), but had some experience of letting the Cyn side of me have a fuller rein than has normally been the case.  The first thing that I learned to appreciate was the value of having a friend who cares about you.  This trip might not have happened for me had April, the Pacific Princess, not invited me to come visit and room with her at the conference.  We had had many late night conversations about each of our circumstances, and that friendship only deepened over the week we spent at Esprit.

The area where the conference took place, Port Angeles, Washington, outside Seattle, was amazingly welcoming, and was not just tolerant of the conference goers, but was actually friendly.  Throughout the region, attendees were greeted with smiles and compliments, and treated as the ladies as whom we were presenting.  I cannot recall a single time during the entire trip when I noticed anyone pointing or smirking, much less making any negative comments.  For those of us who live in areas which are not always as friendly toward those who are seen as different, it was a refreshing and relaxing respite from the need to be constantly on guard.  Port Angeles, I believe, is the model for what will hopefully and eventually become the norm across the world as people appreciate us for who we are individually, and not as members of any particular group.

Crossdresser Heaven - Find Your Tribe

This lack of animus toward us enabled me to allow more of myself to be seen than I ever previously have.  While in guy mode, I have always been terrified of going out to a club or bar and dancing, fearing ridicule and laughter at my attempts.  Cyn, however, was able (after a few rounds of liquid encouragement  ) not only to step onto the dance floor, but to stay out there the entire evening, and enjoy herself.  I also am not usually one to open up quickly to new folks whom I have not previously met, but the “old hands” at the conference made me feel welcome from the moment April and I arrived and registered.

But of all the experiences I had, the best part for me was not officially even a part of the conference, but has been there for years, and has made a huge impact on many people.  That was a place called Club 130, which was an open room graciously hosted by a group of folks who opened their hearts and doors to anyone who wanted to stop in and visit, talk, drink, and commune with other attendees of the conference.  As a regular participant in the public chat room on CDH, I have always tried to keep the conversations from being strictly about what kind of “undies” people like and whether or not someone is dressed at that moment.  Those are okay for conversation starters, but the purpose of the chat room is to be a place where we can mix and mingle, and conversations can range freely (minus religion and politics ) about relationships with friends and family, discovering who we truly are, and getting advice about fashion, makeup, etc.  Basically, it provides the ability to have friends who understand from where you are coming, and with whom you can have more than trite or superficial conversations.  Club 130 was a face-to-face version of the chat room. The number of people in the room at any given time varied from as few as three or four to as many as thirty.  From opening each evening around 8 p.m. until closing down around 4 or 5 a,m., the conversation might be amongst all present, or they might be multiple small conversations between different groups of two to four people.  And just as we hope to do in chat, it is that building of friendships and relationships that I think is the true benefit of these conferences.

After all the fun of the classes, the seminars, and the other events, ultimately it is people reaching out to other people that is the highlight of the conferences like Esprit.  It is these relationships that will help us through the inevitable difficult times which we will face, and provide an avenue to share the joy at each small triumph as we learn to accept ourselves.  I hope that did not sound too sappy, but it is the part that I will remember and treasure in my heart and that makes me want to return next year.

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  1. Randee Sterling 1 week ago

    Very nice piece. Congratulations.

  2. Esther 3 weeks ago

    This kind of “club” is an example of how churches should function for Christians, but try to find a church that does this!!! This kind of fellowship would even attract seekers! Love Esther

  3. Katie 3 weeks ago

    I think it’s great all them girls get to fulfill their dreams but some of us don’t get that chance.Im not angry with them girls but I’m angry with us girls that fail to fulfill or the ones or afraid!Take me I’m afraid I Ed consider myself transgender totally want to be a woman feel like a woman but I am a married man with children and have felt “different all my life ” but couldn’t explain it until the last few years talking to my mother we both discovered that I’m a woman not just a cross dresser but inside I’m a woman.I always knew I should have had women parts where my man parts are but didn’t understand it

  4. Jackie Wild 1 month ago

    Beautifully written Cyn. I do believe there are more conferences as you described in your article on they’re way in the near future. They sound like fun and a way for everyone who lives and breathes this lifestyle to have the chance to introduce themselves in a safe and sound environment. Ridicule from those who illustrate ignorance towards us is what sets so many back and brings hesitation to take full advantage of the opportunity to be themselves without extreme fear, reluctance and procrastination. It’s a sad hypocritical world we live in. If a woman wears male clothing it’s cool and to some sexy, but when a male wears women’s attire it’s considered a decease or mental psychological impairment. With this said I hope and pray from the heart that this will all soon change. It’s a big world out there and we as Americans are here in the land of the free and suppose to live our lives being who we are (at least the one’s who follow the rules and laws of the land). Great article, Jackie (Wild Child)….

  5. Jamie Defoe 1 month ago

    That sounds like it was amazing!!! How would one go about attending next year?

    • Author
      skippy1965(Cynthia) 1 month ago

      You can google Esprit conference 2018 and click on the esprit gala link ti get info. Registration opens in January 2018 fot the 2018 conference which runs from May 13-May 20, 2018.
      Cyn

  6. Paula1 1 month ago

    this sounds like a fantastic event I only wish we had something like this in Australia

  7. Awwwww….Cyn! Such a sweet capture of the essence of the conference. It was really wonderful to mingle with so many ladies at the conference, as well as the men and cis-women we met in Port Angeles. I can hardly wait to see you next year!

    Hugs,
    April

  8. Sarah Daniels 1 month ago

    Yes. Cloughie…..clubb130. That could be the start of a new phase of cdh. Real live chat.

    Great articles Cyn!

  9. Cloughie Dunn 1 month ago

    Club 130 sounds like my kind of place! Can’t wait to find out with you!

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