Chapter 1 I had heard that some of my Vanity Club girlfriends would be meeting in Las Vegas in January but knew my chances to attend were pretty slim. I really wanted to go since I knew this would be a great chance to finally meet in person two of my long time internet friends DonnaKelli and Diana Baker. However, I had recently gone to Atlanta for a Heidi trip, I needed to spend more time with the wife and kids, and my work schedules had not been very accommodating. But then, about 2 weeks before the gathering I realized the holidays had provided more family time than I had expected, my wife and I had been able to arrange for a family weekend later in the month, and I was unexpectedly scheduled off from working the weekend of the Vegas soiree.
So I somewhat hurriedly packed. I know two weeks is plenty of time to pack but I usually spend months planning every detail of my packing for my Heidi trips. I was excited to be able to wear some of my winter fashions that so far I have had rare chances to try wearing out in public. When Friday came and it was time to leave I left home about 4am to drive the 6 hours to Vegas and still have most of the day for girl time in Vegas. As luck would have it a major winter storm was hitting Utah and it took me more than 8 hours to get there. Besides the slow driving I also turned back after about 20 minutes to switch from driving the little gas-sipper car for the 4WD vehicle….and for my camera!!! Can you believe I had left for a CD weekend without a camera??
Chapter 4 (the “missing” chapter)
Originally I was hesitant to post this. I’m not sure why. I guess I was afraid people would read into it something that wasn’t there. I'm not sure people understand that in country dancing it's very common for men and women to dance together in a non-romantic way. And in line dancing, even guys "dance together" as they coordinate fun moves. But it was one of my favorite memories from the trips so:
…I was completely unprepared and not expecting to be asked to dance. Now, I’ve two-stepped with my wife many times but have never done the girl’s steps. My first inclination was to refuse but immediately I thought that this may never happen again so I said, “I’m not sure I know how”. He said to just follow his lead. It took a second to remember where the hands are supposed to go since it is opposite for the girls’ part. But he started leading me and spinning me around the floor before I had gotten the pattern of the girl’s footwork down. The gentleman was a very good dancer and did very well at talking me through the moves... “I’m going to spin you twice now…” etc. I kept falling into doing the guy’s footwork but faked it enough that it wasn’t awkward. At the end of the song he thanked me and went back to his friends. The ladies I was with said I did very well and looked graceful and they wondered if he knew I was really a guy dressed as girl. I always assume anyone that gives me more than a glancing look can tell but we joked about what his reaction might have been if his friends had to reveal the truth to him.
It was a surreal experience. It didn’t feel like it was a joke or farce. It just felt like a girl and a guy dancing. Strangely, it was neither frightening nor thrilling at the time. I just felt like a girl trying not to mess up as she was being lead around the floor. Afterward, it was quite a thrill to realize what had happened, and in front of a crowd....and no one seemed bothered by it.
All weekend, everywhere we went we were treated like any normal women. I have found that when you act like a lady you get treated like a lady and the more you act like there is nothing strange going on, the less people think that something strange is going on.
Saturday morning Donna and I dressed in our matching striped tops, skinny jeans and black pumps. We had planned ahead to both bring matching tops to take a “twins” picture. Sharing a room with two other CD’s made doing makeup, primping etc a challenge and I wasn’t happy with my eye makeup but was excited to start the day’s adventures. We took some photos in the room….duplicate poses, mirror images…etc and then went down to the casino for some more. We didn’t really have a plan but stopped and took pictures as inspiration hit us. We tried to get pictures of Donna looking in the mirror at the reflection of me. We did several pictures of us sitting at slot machines. And then passing each other on the up and down escalators. The timing required to take the picture at the exact time we passed each other was almost impossible so we did several takes and never really got the picture we intended. However, because there were people waiting in line nearby that were amused by our silliness that one in particular was fun.
We got back to the Nugget in time to get ready for the big Vanity Club formal dinner. I wore black nylons, black peep-toed pumps and a black long sleeved dress that my wife had picked out for me a few months earlier. And, of course, my new wig.
The dinner was at kind of a cool place themed like a 1930’s speakeasy. However, the food was expensive, service was slow, and the room was very dark and loud. Not my preferred venue. But with such great company I had a good time. It's always fun to dress to the 9's and see everyone else dolled up as well. I got to meet a few more girls for the first time and repeated the now regular occurance of being thoroughly impressed at the intellignece and pedigree that makes up our community.
David deAlba attended. Apparently he is a somewhat famous drag performer but unfortunately I was not familiar with his work and couldn’t really appreciate the significance of his presence.
Afterwards I was pretty tired from lack of sleep and my feet were starting to hurt but many of the girls were going to a gay bar to sing karaoke so we went as well. I was dreading staying out late again and not sure what we were getting ourselves into. But the bar was not crowded or loud and the performances were entertaining and we had fun. I was also relieved that we didn’t stay especially long.
Before going to bed we all packed up so that we could leave in the morning without much delay. This made it another late night…finally went to bed about 3am…but it made leaving in the morning easy. We woke up and had breakfast in the lobby as 3 guy friends discussing the fun weekend and talking about meeting again before too long.
Chapter 2 Upon arriving at the Golden Nugget where I would be sharing a room with Donna and Diana, we greeted each other like old friends and I got myself made up. I decided to wear a dark green patterned thermal top, skinny jeans, brown ankle-boots, and a brown scarf, along with my older, long, brown wig. I chose to wear the silicon hip pads from Glamour Boutique out for the first time. I like my home made hip pads but they sometimes bunch up or need adjusting and hoped the silicon ones would be better. We confidently walked out the hotel through the lobby and to the parking garage. Before we left we were stopped by a woman who was trying to give us a sales pitch and I got a kick out of it when she asked if our husbands were in town as well. I’m sure she was just trying to be a good salesman but it was fun.
We met the other gurls at a house they had rented. In all there were 20 of us and one spouse. I met a few more girls for the first time and renewed friendships with several others. By afternoon we all headed over to the Stratosphere for happy hour at the top. It hadn’t sounded like the most exciting activity but I am very glad we went. What incredible views! We chatted for a while and took a few pictures overlooking Vegas before I was able to convince a few of the girls to head over to Gilley’s Western bar at Treasure Island. I had been there a couple of times to line dance and two-step with my wife and really enjoyed it. I had never been there enfemm but it didn’t seem like too red-necked of a place and, after all, it is on The Strip so a few dancing cross-dressers probably wouldn’t be the strangest spectacle of the night for most people.
I could have continued taking silly photos much longer but we wanted to head over to the Indoor Swap Meet to visit the Vegas Girls wig store so we went back to the room and I changed into black-and-white Nordic patterned leggings, a long red cowl-necked sweater, and black riding boots. The wig store was a lot of fun. When I was in Atlanta a year and a half ago I had tried two that I liked and chose the shorter one. Now I was looking for the longer one. The salesgirl immediately knew which one I wanted and I liked it. I tried a few more just for fun but bought the first one. While waiting Donna tried a shoulder length one on that looked incredible on her. I asked to try that model on as well as well and loved it. I’ll have to keep that one in mind for next year! Everyone was so nice to us. A man and woman who were in the store commented to me how stunningly beautiful Donna was. And a friend of one of the salesman was taken aback when he finally realized we were not genetic girls.
We left the wig store and browsed a little. A long, thin top on display caught my attention so I took a look at it. At nearly the same time a couple of ladies approached the same display. One of them said how cute the top was but then remarked how she didnt have the body to wear a top that slim. Then nodded in my direction and said, "like she does".
We had been so busy and having so much fun but soon realized we had not eaten since lunch on Friday so we left the swap meet without exploring more than a handful of booths and went to Applebee’s for lunch. As always we were treated very well. We met and ate with “Liz” who has not dressed enfemm for some time and spent quite a bit of time hanging out with use girls while in guy mode for the weekend. A sure testament to the bonds of friendship that are formed at meetings like this among those that share the experiences of being men that enjoy wearing women’s clothes.
After a while the other girls had kind of given up on the line dancing. I’m sure it didn’t help that I happened to already know the ones they were doing and that made them feel left out. I was having a blast but felt kind of selfish and didn’t want the night to turn into them just watching me dance. Also, I knew the other girls had intended to try to meet some others at a piano bar back near our hotel so we called it a success and “tried” to leave.
I say “tried” because just as we were leaving, the hotel’s main theater was letting out and a huge crowd was moving toward the parking garage where we had also parked. We finally made it to the 4th floor where we had parked but when we walked to the spot where the car had been parked, the space was empty!!! Having been in a few different parking garages that day we were starting to wonder if we were remembering correctly so we wandered around the garage among the people trying to leave. We went back and forth and up and down and I started to be sure the car had been stolen, until we finally found the car on the 6th floor. By now we were very late for the piano bar but even if we had found our car right away we would have been late. We got in the car and sat there for another half hour in traffic waiting for all of the people from the show to clear out. An hour and half after leaving Gilleys we finally made it back to the Golden Nugget. Along the way there was a funny incident involving me running a red light and a cop talking to me about it but our spirit was not to be shaken.
Tips & Tricks
Chapter 6 Undeterred, we changed into some evening wear. I chose a nice gray sweater-dress, black hose and black, patent leather 4-inch spiked heeled boots. I loved the look and figured the boots were perfect for a couple of hours of sitting at a table listening to some music. Again we strutted our way down to the lobby but this time we walked through the casino and onto the famous Fremont street. Lots of other partiers were around and I think we fit in well. As if it wasn’t enough of a walk through the casino, it turned out the piano bar was quite a walk from our hotel. And whatever coating they have painted on the surface of the street was very slippery, especially in 4 inch heels!
So, as gracefully as we could we made it to the piano bar. The bar was kind of cool. It was more of a combo pianobar-kareoke-bar which is a fun idea but was too loud for us to have a conversation at all. Our waitress sang a few songs and was terrific.
It had been a long day for me and I had been up for about 22 hours so I suggested we call it a night. On the walk back a random guy asked to take a picture with us which we consented to, but I probably should have been annoyed because I’m sure he thought of us as a freak show. It’s not uncommon to see men in dresses, nylons, wigs, makeup and high heels in Vegas and many of them are happy to make a spectacle of themselves. We baby stepped our way back up the slippery street and up to the room.
What a fun and full day it had been. I had made two really good friends and had some exciting experiences. As we were getting all “un-done” I realized just how hard it was for 3 crossdressers to all get their makeup off at the same time in one hotel room!
Chapter 3 We got to Gilley’s at just the right time. We ordered drinks and then the line dance lessons started. I could see many of the clientele looking at us curiously but I was not to be deterred and boldly lead the other girls onto the dance floor. A couple of dozen other patrons, a few older locals and lots of young adults..mostly girls… joined us on the floor and we all tried to learn the “easy” dance being taught. I had never done this dance before but it was short and it was a grouping of dance steps I already knew so I picked it up much easier than most. Soon I noticed many of the other dancers were watching my feet to follow along and the curious looks from the people at the bar were turning into pleased and approving looks. Once I had gotten the rhythm I tried to move as feminine as I could, swaying my hips, pointing my toes, and moving my arms the way I’ve watched women dance. One of the dichotomies of being a heterosexual crossdresser is that daily while admiring the looks and movements of females I consider how to possibly imitate them.
The gurls I was with did great as well. We took a little break before and had our drinks so that we didn’t get too hot and start to melt off our makeup. Unfortunately for me, the dj played some songs I really liked and the few older locals(?) started doing dances that I knew and just HAD to join in. After one song a pretty, young 20-something girl, who was trying to follow my moves, wanted to know how and where I had learned to do the dance. We talked a little and I told her they had said they would be doing a second lesson soon. After line dancing a little more she brought her couple of friends over to join our group and learn the next lesson together. We had our pictures taken together and learned her pretty friend was celebrating her 21st birthday.
I managed to sit out enough dances to not overheat and we had a wonderful time. Then, as I was standing at our table, to my surprise, I man asked me if I wanted to two-step.