I woke up at 7 AM and got ready, while my wife slept in, but she loves breakfast, so she was off to the hotel's dining room by eight. The hotel's breakfast offerings were top-notch with lots of choices, so she was a very happy girl when she dropped me off at the college and went on her way to a fabric store, where she spent most of the day. When she has the opportunity to get away like this and do her thing, she's much more inclined to join me for a girls weekend, so we parted company for the day.
My workshop was scheduled for 3 PM. I wore a black suit jacket over a grey stretchy top and matching skirt with suntan hose and my low black heels. I added a small silver "J" pin to the lapel and a subtle necklace.
Upon arrival I was greeted by conference staff and a cadre of volunteers who were very helpful. I'm a bit technologically-challenged, but in a matter of minutes with the help of a professor/volunteer, I was connected to the college's Wi-Fi and checked on aspects of my presentation. Rahul also printed my handout copies for me, so I relaxed and had some coffee and a bit to eat.
This conference was very well-organized, so I did not want for anything and immediately felt at home. You can Google the conference website for more information on the workshops and schedule of events if you're interested in attending next year. About 270 people attended, most being students from various colleges and university's in Minnesota and surrounding states.
Being an LGBTQIA conference, I did not want to preach to the choir, so my workshop was titled "Crossing Paths: The Intersection of Law Enforcement (my career) and the LGBTQIA Community." I had an hour to enlighten about 12 students and with input from about half of them, it resulted in a fairly productive session.
I completed the day by listening to the afternoon keynote speaker and my wife came back at 5 PM to pick me up so we could change and go out to dinner. We only had a few hours and I wanted to return for the drag show at 8 PM, so I debated whether to take a quick shower and redo my makeup, but it was already after 10 hours and my close shave was no longer close.
Wow, fast and furious worked; my makeup was great and I even had time to put on my nails. I wore my favorite speckled grey, white and black cowl neck sweater dress with a pair of sheer black nylons and my high heel pumps. And off to an Olive Garden in the suburbs!
It was about 7 PM when we got there and it was standing room only in the foyer. Needless to say we got quite a few looks because we both were dressed very nicely. My wife wore a brown sweater-like top with a fur collar and a short dark floral print skirt with her high heel boots. I must admit that I was a tad nervous as other customers took in the tall girl trying to look shorter standing partially behind a potted plant.
We asked if we could be seated in the bar area provided we only wanted to order from a limited menu. A family with children was there, but the kids did not seem to notice. Once again, no fingers were pointed, no whispers were exchanged, conversations continued and after a long exchange with my glass of wine, I crossed my legs and relaxed. Our waitress greeted us with "hello ladies" and we began a very pleasant exchange with her that lasted throughout our meal.
The food was very good and by the time we left, the crowd had thinned and we got to the drag show just as it began. It was like most drag shows, but I tipped some of the student performers which, of course, gave the audience an opportunity to check out my evening look. Yes, as most of us must acknowledge, I too admit to my degree of vanity; isn't that one of the reasons we do this?
I sat with Nickyia, the Diversity Director, who was wearing a similar dress and we agreed that cable knit sweater dresses are one of the most comfy and dressy things you can wear when the cold weather sets in. And I've found that wearing a dress or top with a cowl or V-neck works best for me because it focuses the eye on or about the neck rather than on the center of my face as when I wear a turtleneck. I think most of us on average have larger heads and faces than genetic woman and this wardrobe tip may help to make your face a bit smaller; well, at least it does for me and I can see that in past and present photos.
We left a bit early and by 10 PM, we returned to Olive Garden to have coffee and share a pumpkin cheesecake drizzled with caramel and lots of whipped cream. Our waiter went over board to treat us ladies well and spent so much time chatting with us that he almost (but not quite) became a tad annoying, but he got a nice tip anyway!
The place was closing up as we left and went back to our hotel. I was careful to avoid the families returning to their rooms from the pool with their children as "Daddy, Daddy why is that man wearing a dress?” wasn’t something I wanted to hear!
I returned for Sunday's workshops and closing keynote while my wife packed up and then joined me for lunch. She took these pictures of me with Mary, another presenter, and with Nickyia (standing by the Century College banner) just before we left. I wore my black and brown outfit again with an orange colored top.
We drove north to Duluth and stopped for dinner at Pickwick's downtown. I received a bit more attention this time because my wife was dressed very casually. The only thing I noticed was that our waitress, who was very pleasant and efficient, mostly referred to us as "you two" when chatting with us. I also saw a guy at the bar glancing in our direction quite a bit and checking us out when we left, but once again we came, ate and went with no cause for alarm.
Well, that's about it for my femulating adventure. We had a great time and I'm looking forward to our next trip to The Cities next month. In the meantime, I have at least two other outings coming up including a micro-dermabrasion appointment and attending the monthly Free Thinker meeting, a non-religious group which has embraced me completely and scheduled me as their speaker this past April.
I genuinely enjoy allowing the feminine energy and essence that embraces so much of my spirit to shine and thrive and I'd be less than honest to say that my femme persona is not "the better angel of my nature." Thanks for taking the time to read about me and my thanks to Stana for posting it. I truly hope you found it interesting and helpful in your desire to live your life the way you'd like too!
And of course, a few more pictures: standing by the Father of Our Country and ready to go out dancing at a Halloween party.
The first part of Jeanine’s adventure in Minneapolis appeared here yesterday.
Wearing La Redoute.
Femulating chorus boys from the University of Michigan Opera in 1952.