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If you read this, you will be about the 53,000th person to have done so!

By Cristy Garcia

Reflections after my eighth yearly event (written and posted on Cristy’s Flickr page in 2019, a great read nonetheless).

After spending a week as Cristy, having waited almost a year to wear a dress, I’d like to share my thoughts, and not the experiences, about why an event such as the VC Soiree in DC, means so much to me. I know that many girls out there live vicariously through the narratives of those of us who are fortunate to attend these types of gatherings and conferences and I hope that after reading this, they will feel motivated to find the means to attend a conference at least once in their lives.

This was the eighth time in ten years that I have sacrificed family time and budget to indulge in a pleasure that is meaningful to me alone. Each time, I have missed my wife and children and have felt somehow guilty about having to do something that I can’t share with everyone around me in my daily life. Having to lie to friends, some family members and my partners about the real purpose of my trip is something that I am not comfortable doing but must do, given the circumstances. However, what I get to experience as an individual and as a part of a group of kindred friends is worth every sacrifice and white lie. I spend a whole year, that seems like an eternity, patiently waiting for this week to happen and it all goes so fast that it appears as if it was just a brief dream. I have to go back to the photos and read the other girls postings to fully recall all the details of wonderful times shared.

Besides work and family, many of us have a few personal interests that we tend to share with other people without reserve. However, for a heterosexual CD like me, playing the role of a girl is something that I can only share with those who also need to practice and enjoy this particular treat of our beings. We all start doing this on our own and with shame. As we learn more about it and begin to understand and accept ourselves, the shame tends to go away but we still need to share this feminine persona with other people. In this time and age, the Internet has provided the means to (at least virtually) exchange ideas, advice, tips, feelings and images to give our feminine persona some kind of existence and validation. I recall how afraid I was to come out to some family members to seek acceptance and validation for Cristy in the real world. Since having an Internet presence, I was able to relate to other girls like me and several years later, when presented with the opportunity to meet with some of them in person, I informed my wife and made arrangements for a trip that I was not sure how it would turn out. Would there be people seeking other things besides socializing or tranny chasers? My questions were answered as soon as Cristy emerged that first morning in Atlanta. Birds of a feather flock together and those friends I had come to meet in person but knew well online, were just like me. Our interests were the same and if there were other activities going on among other attendees, they took place behind closed doors. Ten years later I can say that not once have I received an improper comment, advance or any kind of harassment or uncomfortable situation.

Meeting with “the girls” for that first time and then almost every year since, is the most gratifying sensation that I have experienced in my life, excluding only those that are related to my family. That first time, I had planned to make sure I would have plenty of outings on my own so that I could put my passing to the test. After spending two minutes with my friends, I knew that I did not want to spend any time on my own. Passing was not important; what mattered was to be in the company of honest, loving and caring people who had a very unusual treat in common with me. They had been awesome as online friends and they were even more exceptional in person. Why would I want to part from them to venture out on my own? With them I had all I was looking for. Cristy existed and was the person they had come to know and love and that was all I needed. Cristy was validated as the woman I intended her to be and who cared if we were clocked at restaurants or any other place we visited. I will admit that still after that first trip, passing was very important for me when I was on my own. However, after the second trip, I was the one letting people know that I was not what I appeared to be and to my surprise, they could not care less and were very happy for me. At the same time, they would ask valid and interesting questions that I would gladly respond in an attempt to educate people and expand their knowledge about our community.

Over these years, I have identified two main components that combine to make the experience unparalleled by any other personal interest that I might have. One is at the personal level and the other at the group level. Both are equally rewarding and can be enjoyed individually or simultaneously.

At the personal level I savor every little detail of my individual experience; from the moment I start applying makeup to the feel of the breeze gently flowing through my legs causing the fabric of my dress to caress my smooth skin! Yes, even though we can share the feeling with others and even agree on the effect it produces on us, these are sensations that are unique to us and that many genetic women take for granted since they are common occurrences for them. Even though we can enjoy this experiences within the confines of our private dressing cloister, they are enhanced and made more memorable and enticing when you are out there in the outside world while being just another of many individuals around.

At the group level, I get to interact in a role that I don’t get to play on a daily basis. Most of the time I do it with other TGirls and other times with the general public. In both cases I get to be Cristy and people treat me like Cristy, the woman they perceive in front of them. I get to exchange opinions on life and other personal interests with my friends while we see each other as a person who, depending on the status, presents permanently or sporadically as a woman but who also has other interests and goals in life. I have seen friends transition while others remain like me, a crossdresser and the essence of the person has not changed. I have witnessed how the divide that used to separate transsexuals from occasional crossdressers no longer exists, as our community and cause becomes one of seeking acceptance. Long gone are the days of being ashamed of who we are and more and more we become ambassadors of a group of individuals who show the rest of the world, by example, that we have goals and ambitions in life like everyone else and that we are above all, human beings with the same needs and rights.

In both cases, as an individual or as part of a group, I used to put a lot of effort in making the character believable but with each passing year the line that divided Cristy from my male and dominant persona has blurred. By this I don’t mean to say that I have become careless about my feminine presentation but rather that I no longer mind if the guy takes over under certain circumstances. As a matter of fact, more than passing for a woman I seek praise and acceptance for a job well done as a man presenting as a woman. In this regard, I do my best to present as any woman would do depending on the setting and situation. I put a lot of effort in showing proper mannerisms and behave according to the expectations of any person regardless of gender. I do prefer to use the women’s bathroom because that is who I am presenting as at the moment, knowing that if I do not cross the boundaries of decency, nobody will have the right to oppose to that.

Through all these years I have come across many people who have approached me individually or as part of a group in a friendly manner to inquire about why we need to present as women. Their questions are always valid and in good will and they are responded in the same manner. Every time they have left the conversation with a better understanding and more respect for us. It is our responsibility to show the positive side of being TG because there are other groups who are doing just the opposite and they are usually more visible.

This year in Washington DC I had a few opportunities to interact with people under different circumstances ranging from other tourists around The Capitol to patrons at an upscale bar. Every time I was shown deep respect and understanding and was treated as I would have been treated if I had been in boy mode. The difference being that perhaps the conversation would have not lasted as long and would have been more superficial. People will like and accept you if you are likable and acceptable like any other person regardless of gender identity. That has not come easy for us so let’s do our best to keep it that way.

Excuse me if I have rambled or digressed but I needed to get this out of my system. I will try to expand and explain in more detail in future postings, as time permits, but let me finish by saying that these are situations that every TG person needs to experience first hand and not through other people’s narratives. There are many conferences or groups meeting near you- get out there, loose the shame and enjoy being who you are. If you find it difficult for financial or any other reason to attend an event, try to meet with girls you know near where you live and in friendly environments. Girls with more experience than you will be happy to guide you through your first steps out there. These days there are many establishments that are TG friendly and love our business.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed and just be you!


Editorial comment: No one brings it like Cristy. She brings intellect, she brings tremendous pictures, she brings perspective. She is awesome and I am always amazed that we are friends.

Cristy, never stop being you! I love you my friend.


11 Responses

  1. Cristy, this has to be in the all time top five posts here – there’s so much in it and I doubt that anyone, wherever they sit on the continuum, couldn’t find at least something they identify with.

    Two things stood out in particular for me. Firstly the whole question of lying. Even though Mrs A has given me her blessing to continue as long as she doesn’t get to hear about my CDing activities, it still troubles me that I’ve lied to her in the past and even now have to lie if she asks me what I’ve done during the day. The only consolation I ever have in this respect is the knowledge that telling the truth would cause her a lot of upset.

    The second thing is the whole question of ‘passing’. I often read accounts from others who are paralysed with fear at the prospect that they won’t pass and yet, as you have observed, 21st century society no longer seems to have the same concerns that they have. We’ll always pass as trans people, those who encounter us don’t need to know how trans we are, and if someone has a problem with that, there are plenty more that don’t.

    1. I am glad that you enjoyed this article, Amanda. I had forgotten about it and just re-reading it, I felt good to have spent time putting my thoughts in writing 🙂 Thank you for your input and opinion.


  2. Cristy,
    I totally agree that in the need to find ourselves we need to interact with like minded people , we are nothing in isolation

    Amanda raises the debate over ” passing ” , I admit it’s possibly our first thoughts and question we might ask a supportive friend when in a transgender communtiy . I began to ask the question ” pass as what ? ” What is the criteria ? It really is an unanswerable question , the more we people watch the more we realise women come in all shapes and sizes , their choice of clothes vary wildly so making it impossible to adopt a single woman’s identity . To discover our own identity we need to be able to mix with society , in your case you look foward to the annual Washington Soiree . I found I was attending three different transgender social groups but the most essential point I found were the open events when we mixed with the general public , its only then you can assess your presentation from the response of non trans people . I still recall the feelings at breakfast in the hotel in the cold light of day after having a really enjoyable evening , some of the other guests still chose to speak and some thought better of it ( you soon conclude that’s their problem not mine ).
    The major difference for me was the need to move on from solely attending transgender meetings , the reason being I felt I will always remain a crossdressing male when I needed more , I knew sometime in the future I had to go full time and transition to some extent . I had to accept that I might lose some of them as friends , I guess it’s like attending college , you complete the course and graduate and then disperse into society . I’ve become very much part of that society , I hardly consider the transgender issue and it never comes up in conversation , perhaps I can claim I do ” pass ” but as Teresa . I also admit I never thought I would be saying those words , so I now say to others , ” never say never ” it is achieveable , you just have to believe in yourself .

    1. Your insightful comments are always enriching, Teresa. We are all different and the key is to find our place or a compromise that makes us feel good. I used to seek dressing often but now I am happy to wait a year or two for a full week as Cristy. When I am Cristy I am not my true self but rather an illusion portrayed by by true self and, as such, a part of myself.

      When we attend conferences or TG events, the most rewarding experiences are lived outside the confines of the hotel and its surroundings. I have been blessed to have good friends that count me in for very atypical adventures where we get to interact with regular people and be just part of the scene. This is why I encourage all to try to do that.

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

  3. Cristy,

    Thank you, as always, for sharing from your own rich experience and perspective. I may get some hate mail for saying this, but I have unresolved transphobia and have no desire to go to a CD/TG conference, which I expect would only compound rather than resolve my feelings. I just want to be and interact with civilians as much as I can (reserving my TG girlfriend time for one or two special ladies like Kandi). Maybe that feeling also comes from being an introvert, or maybe it highlights our unique perspectives on the CD/TG journey. Still, I am 1000% supportive of everyone who does attend, especially as so many folks seem to benefit from them, and I am very glad you wrote about attending and making close connections there.


    1. Thanks for being honest about it, Lisa. Maybe it is because you are introverted, but, like I said, birds of a feather flock together and if you were to attend an event, you would spend time with those with whom you relate or identify. I have to confess that I also have an issue with those who are too vocal, in our trans community, who demand instead of earning respect from others. Sadly enough, it is them who are the more notorious and this is why it is important that those of us who are not activist or turning our issues into politics, to be out there, be it at events or mainstream, like you, to show the kind and “normal” side of what we satnd for.

  4. Cristy,

    Your description of how you felt meeting the girls for the first time at the Atlanta event was exactly the way I felt attending Keystone for the first time last March. Being surrounded by others who accepted me as Fiona proved to be an exhilarating feeling, one that validated my decision to present as a woman. That, in turn, made it very comfortable to go out and mix with the general public and, as a result, I have met some nice people and had some interesting conversations. And the level of acceptance has been wonderful.


    1. I am so glad you got to experience it, Fiona! It was lovely to have met you and spent some time with you there, and hope that was not the last for either of us 🙂

  5. Christy, great post. Gives me motivation to finally take the plunge! As Amanda noted, the lies are probably the worst and most stressful part of my CD life. You noted that people have approached to ask why we need to present as women. Always a challenging question. Just curious…. how do you reply?

    1. I hope you make it to a conference soon, Claire.

      My response has always been the same. I am convinced that we are born like that and we get the urge since very early in life. the fact that we present as women is not to deceive anyone but rather something we are compeled to do and gives you a sense of peace that nothing else produces; granted that with it comes the guilt of having to hide it from loved ones. I could spend paragraphs going into the details and the questions asked and responded but, in summary, every person has become more understanding and accepting after our conversation.

    2. Clair,
      That question is on most people’s minds , what really does compel us or drive us to do it ? It took counselling sessions to come close to discovering the answer as it possibly does with many others in our situation . The thinking is now we are born like it , the gap between our physical development in the womb and the catching up with the brain doesn’t always coincide , the brain is still telling us we are female even if we appear to be male . It’s only when I understood that I could come to terms with accepting I’m transgender and eventually Teresa .

      I feel it’s perfectly possible to be transphobic even if we are transgender . Some of us may go through a period of hating what we are , if we live with unaccepting partners , if we fight what we become and fear losing our male status . Cristy also makes the point that other’s in our community behave in manner we’re not comfortable with and I also question the validity of banging the gong too loudly . We should stand up for our rights but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact others have equal rights which don’t always coincide with ours , we must be grateful for that as we live in a democracy . I always consider those in other parts of the World who are struggling in a totally different social structure .

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