Sunday, July 7, 2024

Trans Girl in the Big Easy


Mardi Gras woman by 
Jeremy Brady on UnSplash. 

For those of you who may not know the "Big Easy" is a nickname for the city of New Orleans. 

Since I live in far away Ohio, a trip to the Big Easy was and is a special undertaking. During my long life I have been fortunate enough to have been there two times. Once as a cross dresser and once as a transgender woman. Naturally, my visit as a cross dresser came way before my arrival there as a trans woman. 

To go as a cross dresser in many ways required much more work than my second trip. One of the big reasons was I needed to hide the fact I was taking a very small stash of feminine clothes, a wig and makeup from my second wife and I was flying down there. Which meant I had limited space to plan for as far as my luggage was concerned. I am amazed now how I was able to pack and hide my essentials from the prying eyes of my wife but I did.

I was going to New Orleans for a AFTN Network reunion. AFTN stands for the American Forces Thailand Network which I was a broadcaster for when I was in the Army back in 1972. The reunion itself was well attended and once I was there I needed to figure out how I was going to escape my friends, apply my makeup, put on my clothes and discover a venue to go to. I was lucky when my friends decided to call it a night not long after dinner and I was on my own. So shortly, I made my way out of the hotel into the hot and humid Big Easy night. Melting down and saving all my makeup was not making my night life any easier. 

I finally found my salvation in the form of an air conditioned gay venue. In the venue I was able to see several impossibly feminine and beautiful transgender women. So much so, I did not think they were drag queens. As I enjoyed myself immensely and all too soon my time was up, I needed to find my way back through the night to my hotel room where the air conditioner struggled to keep up with the summer temperatures of New Orleans. From there, the next day was made up of memories made in Thailand and it was off to the airport for the return trip to Ohio. 

Similar to the trip down, I was able to hide my extra cross dressing wardrobe from my wife when I unpacked when she was not around. I had a great time at the reunion and even discovered another transgender participant at the festivities. She was very shy and I did my best to open lines of communication with her which naturally I wished I could have as there would be no more reunions.

My second trip to New Orleans was on a bus tour to "Mardi Gras" many years later with my current wife Liz. The extended time we spent on the bus which seemed as if it would go on forever was more than made up for with the party excitement. Our hotel turned out to be a classic restored property within walking distance of the famous Bourbon Street district. Looking back, I would not do it again but on the other hand, since I did it, I would have not to do it again. 

Highlights of the evening we spent at the huge party was when we discovered a food venue we could get into just a block away from the main event and enjoyed a light dinner of appetizers and sandwiches. More importantly, by this time in the evening, we had access to a single stall women's bathroom on the venue patio we were sitting at. Still being restroom shy at the time, I waited for the line to disappear before I went in the tiny space to take care of business. The problem was, I had been in better "Porta Potties" than this restroom. It reeked of sewer gas and I quickly finished, washed up and left. When I opened the door, a line of women had formed and the first woman was glaring at me. I simply smiled and said good luck to her and returned to our nearby table. The only other stop of note we made was to the supposed oldest gay venue in New Orleans. On that night at least, the place was full of male gay "bears" along with a few scattered cross dressers in their mini skirts and heels. 

As the evening wound down, it was time for us to return to our hotel and rest for the evening, knowing it was a great time but not one we would likely be making again. 

Now we are looking at the possibility of going back to the Big Easy during hopefully not during the summer months on our own so we are free to go to the spots we want to go. Finances and health permitting we hope to do it again.

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