Several months ago I heard there was going to be a gathering in Washington DC. As soon as I mentioned it to my wife she enthusiastically said "I"m in!"
She had never gone to a major transgender event before, and it actually was happening at a bad time of year for her so I wondered if she'd back out but she got more excited as we got closer. Now to be honest, she wasn't so much interested in the gathering as in visiting the city. We kind of came to an unspoken agreement that I'd be her husband in the morning most days while we did some touristy stuff and then I'd be a girl in the evening with my friends while she stayed in to do some work to keep from falling behind.
Our red-eye flight got in early so we had all morning before we could check into the hotel. As we dropped off our luggage at the hotel I looked around at the people in the lobby and didn't see anyone that looked like they were part of our group. We grabbed an Uber and spent a few hours walking the National Mall seeing the iconic monuments. When we returned to the hotel and again I didn't see anyone I recognized in the lobby. I hadn't really been in touch with many of the other attendees, and really wasn't sure who was coming, and now was beginning to wonder if I'd be involved in any socializing and outings.
I took my time getting transformed in the hotel room and eventually just decided to head down to the lobby and hope for the best while Nikki settled in to hit her books. Immediately as I got off the elevator I saw Cristy Garcia. She was one of my first inspirations as I browsed the internet many years ago trying to figure out how to deal with being a man who likes to wear women's clothing. She has always been so classy.
Cristy told me that there were some of us gathering at the hotel bar so I followed her there and met several girls that had been casual internet acquaintances but had never met. Immediately I felt like I was among friends and I eagerly accepted their invitation to accompany them to a drag bar/restaurant for dinner. There was good conversations and I met several people there but having not really slept that night on the over-night flight I left with the first group to get back to the hotel. Later I learned that more people had arrived later and they had partied into the night. No matter. I was glad I had not over-extended myself on the first day and as it turned out I would return later in the week for some serious fun!
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Day 4 Part 2
As always our final day ends with a dinner dressed to the nines. I decided on the long black and white tuxedo dress with the slit in the leg, black pantyhose and black pumps. . The dinner was hosted by the hotel so all we had to do was go down to the lobby and to the banquet room.
The adjoining courtyard was filling with the ladies decked out and looking glamorous. How fun it was to see the styles and elegance of each girl.
Several people struck up conversations with my wife Nikki and expressed appreciation for her support. One husband (crossdresser) was there with his wife and said that they got the courage to come to the event together when they learned that Nikki and I were going. Others expressed appreciation for my blog and how Nikki's comments and support have been an inspiration to them. When things like that happen it really makes me glad I have put in the work to keep up this site.
Probably the highlight of the night was the family members who attended. In addition to a few wives there was a brother and his wife as well as two daughters of transgender ladies that are part of the group.
Day 2 Part 2
As you may already know I really enjoy country line dancing and try to make a point of going line dancing as a girl whenever I go away for a Heidi vacation. Since I didn't know of any exciting events on the evening of the second day I encouraged others to join me. Country dancing isn't quite as popular back east but I was able to find on the web a place that has country dancing several days a week. I knew they would not be doing line dance lessons on this day but figured with good music and willing friends we would make it fun regardless. Nikki decided to stay at the hotel and get some work done.
We arrived a little early to have dinner and wait for the scheduled couples dance to end before the floor opened to general dancing. About 10 or 12 of the ladies from our group joined us at the club. Unfortunately the couples dance lesson, west-coast swing, started very late and it was beginning to look like there wouldn't be much free time for us to dance. I was feeling the pressure of disappointing everyone when one of the girls, Chloe, suggested joining the couples lesson so I jumped at the idea and she and I joined the dozen or so women lined up across the dance floor from the group of men.
After the instructor briefly taught each gender their steps, she told the men to go partner up with a woman. I was a little nervous not knowing what kind of reaction to expect and when the gentleman across from me smiled weakly I tried my best to be friendly. He seemed a little uncomfortable to be paired up with me but that could have just been his personality. The instructor lead us through a simple move then had every man rotate down to the next lady. The lesson lasted an hour and I danced briefly with each man at least 3 or 4 times. Only a couple of the men seemed a little awkward being paired up with myself or Chloe but the vast majority were very sweet and even provided helpful dance tips.
One gruff looking gentleman, who I think joined the lesson late, seemed especially taken aback by the intrusion of our group. He seemed a little annoyed when he was paired with me and remarked how there were a lot of new people here tonight.
Eventually the lesson was over. I had had a wonderful time learning some of the female steps in a dance that looks so elegant and graceful. When I went back to the table all of the other ladies wanted to know what it was like and how the guys had reacted. A few songs later the gruff gentleman who had seemed annoyed by all of the new people approached our table and asked me to dance. I said that was my first lesson and didn't really know how and he said he'd lead me. So I did a west-coast swing dance with him and then a two-step song came one and he asked if I would 2-step with him. I did my best and again fumbled my way through it but overall held my own. It was a fun challenge and a neat feeling being lead around the dance floor.
The dance floor wasn't really opening up and I knew some of the girls in our group were hoping to learn a line dance or two so I encouraged them to squeeze into the corner and I'd teach them one. When the staff saw what we were doing he asked if we needed more room. I said yes and he said to follow him. He let us into a second bar with it;s own dance floor that apparently is reserved for the busier nights. With the floor to ourselves I taught the ladies a couple of simple line dances and we had a fun time trying dance together.
Unfortunately, there was no air conditioning on in the second room so after a while we went back to the first bar and were relieved to see that the floor had opened enough for us to dance there. We danced and had a great time mingling with the few patrons that had lingered. One particular man and woman were especially accepting of our group and complimented us several times. As we were leaving a couple of the girls from our group who lived locally said they would definitely have to come back some time.
Four Days in Washington DC
Day 3 Part 2
Once returning to the hotel I noticed that many of the ladies had already gotten dressed for our 50's themed night. I anxiously went up to the room to change into my black and white leopard skin leggings, off-the shoulder top and purple platform heels. A week earlier Nikki had gotten me a purple chiffon scarf to match my heels. I had gotten the heels second hand and even though I had walked around in them at home without issue the strap over the toes broke before I even left the room. Undeterred I just changed to a more modern style of heel and made the best of it.
As expected we took lots of photos in the lobby then ubered over to a restaurant near the club we planned to spend the evening at. There were about 40 of us there, about half in 50's style frilly dresses and outfits. There were two others that dressed in leggings and off the shoulder tops and we were quickly nicknamed the"Bad Sandys" in a reference to the final scene of the movie Grease.
Dinner was fun and the wait staff were amused by us but, I think, a little frustrated at the chaos of the situation. So much socializing etc.
One older couple dining nearby just stared at us, the woman shaking her head blankly. A gentleman that was dining nearby came over as we were taking pictures and started up a conversation with me. I think it was the first time I had someone obviously hitting on me.
After dinner we walked down to the drag bar and occupied almost half of it. Very shortly the karaoke started and I was impressed by the talent and entertainment of those performing. There was one GG woman there that was particularly good and really enjoyed performing for and among us. The small dance floor in front of the stage was full of people dancing and everyone was singing along. It was quite a party.
Swept away in the fun I put my name down on the list of singers even though I am a terrible singer and have one done karaoke once. Eventually my name came up and I sang "Only Prettier" by Miranda Lambert. Some people knew the song even though its not a mainstream hit but the theme of the song fit just perfectly. Check out the lyrics some time. Knowing I have no talent for singing I was just glad to have participated. I figure I go to things like this to to "do" not to "watch".
The gentleman from the restaurant arrived and we talked a bit before I politely excused myself. I met a lot of wonderful ladies, some of them with their wives or girlfriends; and even had some good conversations with other patrons of the bar including two women visiting DC from Australia who were staying at our hotel and thought we looked like a fun group so they followed us to the club.
It was definitely one of those nights that felt like a party among friends and was one of the most fun times I'd had in a while.
Day 4 Part 1
This was the last day before having to fly home and it had a FULL schedule. In the morning Nikki and I took a tour of the White House as husband and wife and then came back to the hotel to get dolled up for High Tea. When the idea of going to the fancy English style tea party was suggested Nikki jumped at the idea.
We got dressed up in our fancy dresses and high heels and met the others at the upscale hotel. We were seated and enjoyed conversations with some friends and met new ones. My wife Nikki was the only cis-woman although someone that didn't know better would have a very difficult time to determine that the rest of the classy dressed and beautiful ladies were not natural women.
Nora had arranged for a photographer to take candid pictures of the lunch as well as to take some posed photos of each of us in the gorgeous hotel lobby.
Day 2 Part 1
Nikki had been more proactive about planning our trip than I had been with the exception of what to wear. She managed to acquire tickets for tours of the Capital building, the Library of Congress, and the White House. I agreed to go on the tours as her husband. That really suited me fine since that meant being in boy mode most mornings and girl mode afternoons and evenings. In the past I've had concerns about 5 o'clock shadow in the evenings when I shave first thing in the morning so waiting until after lunch to shave was also strategic for my evening girl time.
After our tour of the Capital building Nikki went on the Library tour and I went back to the hotel. I was hoping to find someone to go with and see the monuments again but this time as Heidi. Julie quickly agreed and when I got dressed up I was pleasantly surprised that Stephanie and Samantha would be joining us.
I wore my denim skirt, white tank top, summery cardigan and low wedge sandals.
Our first stop was the Lincoln Memorial. There were quite a few people there but we were undeterred as we climbed the steps among the small crowd. Being in a place like this it seems easy to blend in because everyone is there to see the sights and take pictures of each other just as we normally do.
We continued along the reflecting pool to the WW2 memorial with all of its fountains and even got someone to take a picture of the 4 of us together.
After a brief visit to the Washington Memorial we decided to get some pictures near the White House. We got to the place behind the White House where the view was best. (It's really difficult to get anywhere near the place and view are completely obstructed from most directions.) After a few minutes of viewing among the other tourists two nearby Secret Service agents suddenly and emphatically decided viewing time was over and shouted angrily for everyone to leave.
Since we were now only a half mile from the hotel we decided to walk but since we were mostly wearing stylish shoes rather than walking shoes we probably would have been better off getting a ride. We still made it back in plenty of time to get ready for dinner and dancing at a country bar that I had seen online and suggested trying out.
Tips & Tricks
Day 3 Part 1
Nikki and I spent the morning as husband and wife going to a couple of museums. She was really cute in getting so exited by the works of art the relevance of which quite a bit over my head. After appreciating the museums to my content I left her to continue to enjoy the museum unfettered while I headed back to the hotel to see if anything was going on.
I put on my makeup and a casual outfit of white shorts, open sleeve top and flat sandals and headed down to the lobby. Almost immediately Gina saw me and said she and a couple of others were headed to a photo shoot at the Kennedy Center and that I should tag along. I agreed and was very glad I did.
As the photographer was taking pictures of the ladies I got a few pictures of my own and briefly joined a tour on the balcony overlooking the river. As we were taking pictures in the lobby an older security guard good naturedly asked where these pictures would be published. So then when the photographer was done I asked the security guard if we could get a look in the main theater before leaving. He said he could not allow it but that we could get free tickets for a tour. We didnt have time for that so he sweetly radioed a current tour and got us permission to join.