dressing in Dayton

In addition to being an amateur female impersonator, I am an amateur radio operator and attended the Dayton Hamvention this past weekend (May 17-20, 2007).

While in Dayton, I wanted to go out en femme Saturday night. When I mentioned my plans on (en)gender – the my husband betty message board, Jade Catherine contacted me. Jade Catherine ("JC" from hereon) lives near Dayton and had a friend staying at her house for the Hamvention, who is also a crossdresser. We decided to get together Saturday night en femme. Great! I would not have to go out crossdressed alone.

After two full days at the Hamvention, I was exhausted when I returned to my hotel room early Saturday evening; so exhausted that I was reconsidering my plans to go out en femme. But after a quick shower, I was reinvigorated and I prepared to go out.

I phoned JC and we decided to dine and go clubbing/dancing after dinner. JC, her spouse, her ham friend, Sarah, and I agreed to dine at Uno Chicago Grill in downtown Dayton.

I grabbed my keys and purse and walked down the hallway to the hotel lobby. A handful of people mingling in the lobby paid no attention to me despite my heels clicking loudly on the lobby floor.

I exited the hotel, walked to my car, drove downtown and found the restaurant, but circled the area for over ten minutes trying to find a parking space. I phoned JC for advice and her spouse suggested that I park in the same parking ramp where they had parked. She gave me directions to the ramp and I found it easily.

After parking my car, I had to walk about three blocks to the restaurant. There was not much foot traffic on my route, so I was a little worried about walking alone, but I wasn't going to let that stop me now.

On the way, a hotel shuttle bus was waiting at a traffic light and the bus driver smiled and waved at me (I smiled back). A block from the restaurant, there were groups of well-dressed people mingling outside the Schuster Center. They were probably attending an event in the center. No one paid much attention to me except one fellow, who was alone. He seemed very interested; maybe he was looking for a date!

I entered the restaurant and a waitress accompanied me to the booth where JC and company were already seated. I was stunned: What a group of beautiful woman! And so young, too!

After introductions, we chatted. I did not recognize Sarah's ham radio call sign and she did not recognize mine, so we likely have not crossed paths in the ham radio world. Turns out another ham, a non-crossdresser would be joining us. When he arrived, we exchanged call signs. I did not recognize his call sign, but he was familiar with mine having read some of the things I have written for the ham radio media.

We had a wonderful time getting acquainted, talking about our lives and careers. JC and Sarah are like me: plain vanilla crossdressers, not interested in sex-reassignment surgery, so we had a lot in common.

JC actually worked as a woman for a long time. And I can see why: she passes very well. Her photos on the Internet do not do her justice: she is even more beautiful in person. In addition to her very passable looks, she knows how to act, walk, and talk like a woman, too. She inspired me to stop being lazy and start practicing using a femme voice myself.

After a delicious pizza dinner, JC and I went clubbing, while her wife and the other hams returned home. Our first stop was a lesbian bar called Up On Main. The place was an old neighborhood bar with 15 or so lesbians inside. A DJ was playing music, but there was no one on the dance floor. Since JC was a dancer and not a drinker, she went straight to the dance floor and began dancing. I joined her and danced a bit, but JC is 20 years younger than me, so she kept on dancing while I sat out a song or two to rest.

After a half hour, JC was frustrated that no one else was dancing, so we decided to leave and go to a gay club downtown called Masque. Masque was jumping! Walking into Masque reminded me of those movies about the disco era, where the hero or heroine of the movie walks into Studio 54 or someplace similar.

Downstairs was a bar and a small stage, but no dance floor. At first, we thought the stage was the dance floor because when we came in, a couple were dancing on the stage. After walking around the bar and finding no other place to dance, JC decided to climb up on stage to dance and I agreed to join her, but before we did, I suggested we ask the DJ. Good thing we did because the stage was for a drag show! The real dance floor was upstairs. So I followed JC upstairs.

The dance floor upstairs was beautiful with fog and a fantastic light show, but the sound was deafening (my ears are still ringing). After one dance, JC wanted to leave because it was just too loud. She said next time we should bring earplugs.

By the way, while we were in Masque, a half dozen or so young females smiled at me. Maybe they were happy to see a mother figure in attendance! When I went clubbing in boy mode in my youth, I can count on one finger the number of young females that smiled at the boy mode Staci!

The women at Up On Main were friendly, too! I don't know if they had us figured out or not. For what it's worth, when I ordered a glass of water, the bartender called me "Sweetie" and not "Sir," so go figure!

We called it a night around midnight. I drove JC home. She invited me in, but I declined because I had a long drive home ahead of me on Sunday and wanted to get some sleep before I began my journey.

I had a wonderful time en femme in Dayton and I can't thank Jade Catherine enough for making it happen.

Jade Catherine posted the following on (en)gender – the my husband betty message board after I thanked her for the night out on the town in Dayton:

Staci charitably doesn't mention that, if there was a professional accreditation for colorful native guides, mine would be so revoked. 'Cause I'd only actually been to one gay bar here, and didn't want to hit that one again, so we went to (1) a lesbian bar where they seemed nice, but I'd swear the music was misogynist rap (!??), which might be why not even the sight of two fabulous crossdressers on the dance floor could get a single one of them up to dance, or maybe they were all old-time baptists, and (2) a hopping, lively club with a mixed, youthful, dancing crowd, which we had to flee in about five minutes because I was afraid bleeding from my shattered eardrums would stain my outfit. Ow! Kids these days.

But even chasing wild geese can be fun with the right company, and we really did have a fun time even if it was a bit of a misadventure. And, next time I'm grandstanding about dressing in a mature way, I trust Staci will remind me of the cute-but-absurd fringed top I was wearing.

Anyway. When we were at dinner, Staci mentioned the column she writes, and the non-CD ham (bless him for knowingly going to dinner with 3 CDs) immediately said, "Oh, so that's who you are!" - she's right about being Somebody in the community. I'm looking forward to her trip next year and curious about how she'll ultimately handle the outness issue.

Oh, and Staci's lovely. Her pictures don't do her justice.

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