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My First Time (1989)

My First Time (1989)

©1989 by Dallas Denny

 Source: Denny, Dallas. (as Sheri Scott). (1989, March). My first time. The Dixie Belle, V. 2, No. 6.






In the late 1970s, desperate to find support for my transsexualism but unable to do so, I came across a television program that featured crossdressers from Tri-Ess, The Society for the Second Self. In hopes of getting referrals I wrote for information, telling them I was transsexual. I was put in touch with the late Virginia Prince who told me (or so I thought) I was crazy. Put off by the discriminatory membership policy, I never joined. Finally, ten years later, I sent Tri-Ess a check. I knew I wasn’t a crossdresser, but figured sooner or later Tri-Ess contacts would help me discover where people like me had been hiding all my life. Sure enough, that happened.


I took advantage of my brief time in Tri-Ess by writing for the newsletter of Sigma Epsilon, the Atlanta chapter. At first, following Tri-Ess custom, and because I had absolutely no idea my birth name worked just fine for a woman, I used a pseudonym—and because the organization was vigorously policed to exclude transsexuals, I identified myself in print as a crossdresser. I was okay with that. I knew who I was.


My First Time

By Dallas Denny

(As Sheri Scott)


Although I have been wearing women’s clothing in public for many years, yesterday (10 December, 1988) was the first time I had ever met another crossdresser. Saturday morning I arose early, dressed, and left the house shortly after first light for Chattanooga, where I planned to attend a meeting of the Sigma Epsilon chapter of Tri-Ess. The long drive gave me plenty of time to speculate and wonder about the men and women I was about to meet. What would they be like? Would I prove acceptable to them?

When I arrived, there was nobody at the church, so I made my way to the Ramada Inn and knocked on the door of the room with the Tri-Ess triangle in the window. The door swung open. I resisted the temptation to sternly declare that I was looking for my husband, and stepped into a new chapter of my life.

I knew I must be in the right place, for what group of genetic women would be watching the Broncos and Jets on the TV? Or talking with such deep voices? I introduced myself, someone pulled the back of my skirt down for me, and I was shown a chair, which I gratefully sank into, for I had been wearing heels all day.

For the next few hours, I felt as if I were under a microscope. It made me a little nervous and I talked too much. Sitting there with pierced ears, shaved legs, wearing lipstick, I felt a ridiculous need to prove myself as much a man as the rest of the similarly clad men of the chapter, and a conflicting need to prove myself as feminine at the same time! How was I supposed to behave? The other voices were an octave lower than mine—should I switch to my best backroom baritone?

I soon realized it wasn’t really my appearance that was under the spotlight—it was my discretion—or lack thereof, and my lifestyle. Was I (horrors!) a homosexual? A spy for the Moral Majority? Transsexual? Would I—could I—embarrass the group? I hope I passed muster.

Of course, I had my own inspection. The appearance of the sisters was much better than I had expected. There were so many trim, slim figures, so many pretty faces, such good taste in clothing, so much attention paid to accessories like handbags and jewelry. I thought most of the sisters should be able to go out in public without drawing undue attention to themselves.

As I mentioned, I was surprised by the voices. I was also taken by the variety of ages and interests of the group members. Except for the wigs and dresses, I might have been in the company of my computer users group in Nashville.

It turned out to be a marvelous evening, and the next meeting I attended was even better. All I can say is, what took me so long?