Unlocking the Keystone

As I’ve done for each of the TG/CD conferences I’ve attended, I wanted to write something about my recent time at Keystone in Harrisburg, PA. It was a glorious experience with some great workshops on makeup, deportment, and,  for those considering or already on the path to transitioning, medical and legal advice as well. The speakers at the luncheons and dinners were captivating and the camaraderie at the hotel bar and the dancing sessions made for so many memories. (The band at the Saturday night gala was Wicked Jezebel, an all-female and part-transgender band, that played a great mix of music from the 1970’s to the present.  In true rock band tradition, the drummer got so into her playing that at one point she tipped over backward in her chair, falling off the stage and out the ballroom doors!  Fortunately, one of the conference attendees who was an EMT ensured she was OK and she even came back to finish the night’s set!)

What made the week so much better was spending time with so many others who were able to openly express the side of themselves that so many of us keep hidden away from the world. We are each at different points in our widely varying journeys, but these events allow us freedom as well as the realization that we are not alone as so many of us thought in our younger years. For those of us who are members of Crossdresser Heaven, we have learned that over the past few years anyway, but to be able to get together for a little while in the real world instead of just the virtual world is incredibly powerful to validate the fact that we are real and valuable human beings, just as the rest of humanity.

My week began with the arrival, the Saturday prior to the conference, of our own Pacific Princess, April, returning the visit that I made to Washington to visit her at Esprit last May.  (I’ll be repeating this year as well!)  We spent the next three days hanging out, playing pool til the wee hours of the morning, going out to dinner, and seeing the historical sites of Richmond, my hometown. On Tuesday afternoon, Samantha G arrived and the three of us had a delightful lunch at Maggiano’s and window shopped at the outdoor mall en femme.

Crossdresser Heaven - Find Your Tribe

Wednesday morning we left with Chloe for the conference but stopped for lunch with Codille. Mackenzie was there as well and we had a great meal (peanut butter for me of course!) and reminisced about how far Crossdresser Heaven had come under Codille’s management these past three years. Codille was the first one to greet me when I joined the site in the pre-chatroom days of August 2015. She asked me about my journey and in a PM that probably broke the all-time length record, I poured out the things I had kept hidden from most everyone for all of my life. A friendship was kindled that will last a lifetime.

After lunch, we left for Harrisburg and the conference. I won’t bore you with a recitation of all the great times we had (though I’m certain some of the rumors of our escapades have leaked out!) but it was an awesome time with friends, drinking, dancing, and getting to better know both Crossdresser Heaven friends as well as dozens of others. On the way back to Richmond, we had to drop off April at BWI so we spent a few hours in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and then drove back home. Samantha G spent another day, then had to leave for home in Florida thus ending the adventure.

We all love Crossdresser Heaven for the support it gives us and the opportunity to talk and share advice and express ourselves without fear of rejection and ridicule.  However, to me, it is the friendships we form that make the site so vital in helping us through the difficult times and celebrating the successes. I encourage each of you to nurture those friendships for they are the lifeblood that will sustain us as we continue on our paths. Thanks to all of you for allowing me the honor of your company in chat and in a few (too-rare) moments face to face.
Cyn

For most of us, the time we get to spend as we desire
Is limited to moments grabbed from hours in the mire.
But sometimes we are fortunate enough to get the chance
To let the world see how we thrive when we get out and dance.

For just a bit, we cast aside the chains that hold us back
And revel in the freedom which we all too often lack.
A week to share with others who accept us as we are-
To push beyond the boundaries and to wish upon a star.

For some this starts their journey to a life of full transition
While others must return to live much closer to tradition.
No matter what your circumstances, be the one you are-
For life’s too short to have regrets-keep reaching for that star!

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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.

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  1. Julie Johanson 8 months ago

    Cynthia, I am very closeted but might get out if there is a local CD group. I am also in Richmond!! Is there anything local?

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 8 months ago

      There may be but I don’t attend if there is. I have been out to eat at Mojo’s near VCU with my sis and Cloe and others and to Tarrants’s downtown and out shopping all over the place. Also went to see Straight No Chase acapella group at Carpenter Center

  2. Franne 8 months ago

    I really enjoyed hearing about the conference. It sounds delightful. It would be so nice if I had the courage and confidence to go on such a grand adventure. Maybe I haven’t investigated well enough, but I don’t think there are much in the ways of meeting places in the area where I live. I do enjoy the time (although it’s never enough.) to dress up and feeling soft and gentle. I enjoy reading and hearing about what goes on in other gurls lives.

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 8 months ago

      Where in the world are you? there are a number of conferences and folks come from all over the world to attend them.
      Cyn

  3. Charlize 8 months ago

    Really loved your article. Made me wish I was there! Sounds like a good time to be amongst supportive friends and have a great time so
    hopefully will see schedule for something in Louisiana.

  4. SteffieC 8 months ago

    Another great article, Cynthia! Wow! Another conference! Seems like just yesterday you were taking your first steps outside. I’m so glad to be living vicariously on your adventures! Thanks u rock, girl!!

  5. char 8 months ago

    Hey Cyn, Thank you so much for your article. Up here in redneck Saskatchewan Canada, I am alone. Not alone as in no one around lol I have my beautiful wife who supports and loves unconditionally and I am dressed every day now much like my photos here at CDH. stretch jeans, nice top, light eye shadow n mascara and of course earrings and jewelry but pretty tame really.
    I attended a function “once” in regina; I live near saskatoon, but it was mostly a meat market and which didn’t appeal to me; I haven’t gone back.
    I’m a little more zen shall we say hahaha
    Any way, I am so grateful for this virtual world we share, see and build wonderful relationships with. I’m jealous you got to hang with Codilleand the girls, lol we’ve chatted lots but our friendships are all here online.
    I wish you everything wonderful you can imagine dear soul and look forward to the day we can all walk tall and proud “anywhere” we choose to walk and feel only joy in our hearts; I Am working towards that so next generations will have a life more free than we have experienced.
    Unil next chat dear,
    Namaste’
    Charee’ (Char)
    xox

  6. Angela 8 months ago

    I am jealous!
    My dream is to dress en femme and go out for dinner with another girl that understands!

  7. Stephanie Stanek 8 months ago

    Thanks for the wonderful article about Keystone and as a first time attendee, I had a great time seeing old friends like Cloe and you and meeting new people like April and Samantha. It was fantastic to be a woman for four days getting dressed up and putting on makeup. It also helped that I only live 77 miles from Keystone so did not mind the drive at all. I enjoyed the atmosphere, speakers, seminars and vendors that appeal to all groups from women coming out to women who are living F/T. It is now the largest trans conference in the country and looking forward to next year.

  8. Terri 9 months ago

    Thank you Cynthia for posting about your Keystone Experience. I attended the conference also this year for the 5th consecutive year. Needless to say, I loved every minute of my time there. I had gotten there Thursday and got that wonderful feeling as I entered the lobby. I had gotten my hair and nails done before I left Long Island NY and was lucky with traffic. One of the things I love about attending large events like Keystone is meeting people from all over. The month before I attended First Event in Mass. for the first time and loved it also. I recommend Keystone highly.
    Yours Terri

  9. Jesse Nicole(Smokey) 9 months ago

    So glad you gals had a wonderful time! The part about the drummer falling off her seat had me rolling! Love you all,
    Jesse

  10. Wonderful as always Cyn! Can hardly wait for Esprit!

    Hugs,
    April

  11. Leonara 9 months ago

    Thank you , Cynthia, for sharing your experience. It is an inspiration for all of us, especially, ME. As Samantha G , “it’s even better if you have friends to go with”!

  12. jill vail 9 months ago

    you are an inspiration Cynthia

  13. Gisela Claudine 9 months ago

    Thanks for sharing, Cynthia. You are inspirational for me. The poem that closes is wonderful. I hope in some day not too far away I can attend an event of this kind. I would love to meet a couple of my CDH friends in there. In fact I would like to know all of you. Maybe it’s a dream, but it nourishes me with hope. I’m glad I have joined this place.
    I love you all.

  14. Ashleigh 9 months ago

    Sounds like a great time! We are almost neighbors. I am just outside Fredericksburg VA. I dream of being able to attend events like this. Perhaps someday.

  15. Marianne 9 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your experiences Cyn. Wish I was there.

    Marianne

  16. Amanda Patrick 9 months ago

    Hi Cyn,

    First let me say your Picture is Lovely. Glad to Hear you had such an awesome time. Keystone is something That I might be able to attend one day.

  17. maddie whitman 9 months ago

    very nice Cyn, love the photo too, keep up the wonderful work ,HUGS

  18. Samantha G..... 9 months ago

    Thanks for sharing Cyn.
    I certainly had a great time hanging out with you, Cloe & April and hope we get to spend some more
    time together soon. The week went by much too quickly. Of course I will certainly recommend Keystone for those who have not been to a conference before as a must do adventure. It’s even better if you have friends to go with.

    Hugs….

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