For some of you, the internet may be your first contact with the crossdressing community. Perhaps you are just now finding out that you are not alone. You may be a little scared or uncertain about wanting to reach out to others, I know I was. Many of our other members were also concerned, but we all took that first step. We all made a phone call or sent an e-mail and said "Yes, I'm interested, please tell me more." I think the only regret that many of us have, is that we waited so long to do it!
My point is, that if you are a crossdresser in the Chesapeake Bay Area who has wanted to get out and meet other crossdressers, here is a wonderful opportunity to do just that. Whether or not you seize this opportunity is your choice, but no one who has, has regretted it. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Many of our members have said that getting involved with our Chapter is one of the wisest decisions that they had ever made.
If you are concerned about passing don't be! Our members are very gracious and understanding and know that perfecting a ladylike image takes a lot of time, effort and perseverance. No one can do it without patience and practice. If you feel that your feminine skills are so poor that can't even put your lipstick on straight, don't worry, we understand. More than that, we'll be happy to work with you to help you develop the confidence and poise you seek.
Welcome to our site! The remarks above were originally written by Grace Gardener, our organizer and first Chair person, in 1998 and they still hold true today--more or less an indicator of our stability as both an organization and as a support group. I am Rebecca Adams, Chairperson for 2001-2002, and I also want to welcome you to our site and to echo Grace's remarks. We like to consider ourselves as the initial point for many of us who are coming "out of the closet" and who are seeking a place where they can begin to understand who they are and to be with like-minded individuals...as well as a place for spouses and significant others to know that there are others out there who share the same deeply felt emotions and concerns that they might have. Some start with us and while with us determine that perhaps there are yet other vista or selves that need to be explored. They then decide to move on to other more "open" organizations that meet their particular needs or interests--we wish them well and encourage them in their self-development. Others start with us and determine that we are what they do need--we provide them with an arena in which they can develop fully their second selves and grow in this new sense of self-awareness as fast as they want to--with no outside or peer pressure to do more than they themselves want to do. So please look us and our site over and if we appear to meet your needs, please contact us through this site. We--and there are at least three of us--will reply to you as soon as we can. You should expect a reply from myself as well as from Terri Andrews, our Director (and past Chairperson) and from Mary Alice Barrett, our Membership Chair. So, till then... With best wishes and thanks for visiting our site...Rebecca Adams
OUR VISION AND MISSION
The mission of CES is to provide an educational and social support group for heterosexual crossdressers, their spouses or partners, and families. CES provides a secure environment in which members and their partners can enjoy support and understanding from others that share their feelings, concerns, and hopes. We also devote special attention and consideration to the needs and concerns of our wives and partners.
ABOUT OUR MEMBERS
CES members have a wide-range of interests and backgrounds. We currently have a core group about 30 members most of whom are couples. Although we are based near Baltimore, our members come from as far away as Newport News, VA, Sheppardstown WV and York, PA, Delmarva Peninsula. Our ages range from thirtysomething to sixtysomething. With the average age being mid forty's to early fifty's. As a group, our members tend to be fairly well established and well educated. Our membership includes scientists, licensed professional engineers, several PhDs, professional musicians, registered nurses, a college English professor, retired Army and Navy officers including a full Colonel, a former U.S. Senate Fellow, a number of computer experts, a former artist for a well known national magazine and a New York Times list best selling author.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND SECURITY
We appreciate our members need for confidentiality and we take security issues very seriously. Members' personal information is restricted only to Chapter officers and treated with the utmost sense of confidentially. In fact, our security protocols require that all computer-based membership information be kept on removable media, not on someone's hard drive.
We are also acutely aware to the fact that many potential CES members living in the in Baltimore-Washington region may be employed in positions requiring special clearances. We fully understand and are very sensitive to the implications associated with compromising this standing, which is another reason that we place such a high premium on maintaining membership confidentiality.
OUR MEETING PLACE
Meetings are held once a month at a safe, convenient, and secure location near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The meeting space consists of two rooms. One is a regular lodging room, the other is a medium sized meeting room. Both have bathrooms that can be used for changing prior to meetings. The lodging room is also available to any member who would like to spend the night rather than drive home. Availability is on a first-come-first-served basis for half-price rate of only $60.
OUR MEETING PROGRAMS
Meetings officially run from 6:30 PM with a Social Hour to about 10:00 PM; however, members often linger and socialize until well past 11:00 PM. Arrangements are made so that members who may want to dress may arrive several hours ahead of time in order to prepare.
We generally begin with a short business meeting that includes a discussion of up-coming social activities and other items of general interest to the members. We then break into two groups allowing our wives to meet privately for as long as needed to chat about items of interest to them. We, on the other hand, discuss things that are of interest to crossdressers. One of our members usually brings a digital camera for updating the photos found on our photo page. We then reconvene for an educational program on a topic such as: makeup techniques, wigs, speaking more femininely or the legal implications of crossdressing.
SPOUSES SUPPORT NETWORK
One of our biggest strengths and something we believe sets us apart from most other crossdressing organizations is our spouses support network. As full members of the Chapter, our wives are equal partners in our activities and enjoy all of the rights and privileges of membership, including the right to vote on Chapter business.
Our wives are particularly sensitive of the needs of other wives who may have only recently learned of their husband's crossdressing, or who may have known about it for some time, but are only now coming to terms with it. Our wives care deeply about other wives who share their common bond, and are committed to helping them bridge the gap of understanding. They are very willing to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences in an effort to help other wives sort through their issues.
If you are a crossdresser who has not yet confided in your wife or partner, our wives support group can help both of you work through the stresses that are bound to arise once you lay bear your "secret." Although this is often a painful experience, people who have gone through it say that it has strengthened the bonds of their marriage.
OUR LENDING LIBRARY
We have a circulating collection of books on crossdressing including all of those written by Peggy Rudd. JoAnn Roberts has also graciously donated three video tapes: two on make up, and one on understanding crossdressing. Books and video tapes may be borrowed for a period of one meeting cycle. In other words, materials borrowed at one meeting must be returned bythe next.
Our monthly newsletter runs at least three pages long. The newsletter keeps members who cannot attend every meeting up-date on what's happening and what programs and activities are on the horizon.
CES is a sorority that embraces civility, good manners and proper decorum. Members are expected to dress and behave in a dignified manner. Prospective members are interviewed to assure that their expectations and needs are consistent with those of Tri-Ess International and our local membership. We find that members tend to become good friends and provide support to one another beyond scheduled meetings, especially through the Wives Support Network.
Membership in CES requires members to maintain membership in good standing with Tri-Ess International. Dues to Tri-Ess International are paid by the member directly to Tri-Ess International on an annual basis. Dues in CES are $36 per year for an individual or $48 per year for a couple and are prorated on an annual basis that begins on July 1. In addition to annual dues, members are expected to pay a meeting fee when attending meetings. This fee, typically $10 per person, is used to off-set the cost of the meeting room.
HOW TO JOIN
If you think that you would like to join us, send us an e-mail advising us of you interest. Any personal information that you wish to share such as your age, marital status, geographic location, the type of work you do, or your other interests besides crossdressing, are welcome but not essential. You can contact us at email@example.com.