First Time Outreach
Fall 2001

     It all started with a strong desire to help others get through what I had just come through a few years earlier. After starting a website and getting the first hits from other cross dressers, I was on my way. I was going to be able to give something back.
    
      After a time I was introduced to the term "Outreach" . I thought any C.D that did that had to be very confident with herself. I decided that I would set that confidence as my new goal.

     Some time later, and many outings, I finally found the strength to proceed with starting my journey in Outreach. To me, it was the best way to let people know that we, as Cross Dressers, were just regular people that had some different differences than others.

     I proceeded to do some research at the University of Arkansas web site. Since I live in the Fayetteville area, it was the logical starting point. After compiling a list of Professors in the Psychology and Sociology fields, I drafted a cover letter explaining what I was wanting to do. There were 26 separate letters that were going to be mailed to each individual Professor. As I was getting the literature, from Jane Ellen, put together, all Hell broke loose in New York and the mail became very unhealthy in some places. I was worried that if the Professors received a letter where the post mark and return address didn't match, they might do something counter productive. I was using the TriEss return address. Such as turning it over to Security or just trashing it. I decided to send the whole batch to Jane, in Houston, and have the letters mailed from there.

     Of course, during this same time I was trying to decide on an appropriate outfit to wear to such an occasion. I had decided that a "business" type of dress would be my choice. I already had a couple of possibilities but my Wife and I were shopping in Dillard's at the sale racks and we found a Plum colored dress and jacket by Liz Clairborne. It was just what I was looking for. I got the "approval to purchase" and took it home with me.

      In just a few days after Jane had mailed the letters, I got an Email from her that I had received a reply from one of the Professors. I emailed the Professor with some questions I had about her class. She responded very positively and I knew I was on the way.
 
    Since I worked in the area, I decided to do some reconnaissance. I found a few options for parking and scoped out the building I was going to visit. I finally visited the Professor's office, in boy mode, and introduced myself. She was very nice and we had a great chat. Her desire was to have me visit a Sociology "Families" class before the end of the semester. That was cutting it pretty close, since I was going to Holiday Enfemme in November, then Thanksgiving was coming up and I was also going on the Dignity Cruise in early December. That would leave no time afterwards. The semester would be in finals by the time I got home. I decided that the 27th of November was the only time I had to make this work, and I wanted to make it work the first time.
 
    By now I was "wound up real tight". I got all of my presentation printed out on note cards and TriEss literature sorted out. The 27th was on a Tuesday and the class was at 5 :30 pm. I had already arranged to take the afternoon off from work ,so that I could get put together. On Monday the weather took a turn for the worse. They were talking freezing rain by Tuesday evening. On Monday I stopped by the Professors office and assured her that I would make it if at all possible. After all, my first time out in Colorado Springs, 3 1 /2 years earlier, was in a driving snow storm. Weather was not going to deter this girl. I did make a change in wardrobe though. I just couldn't see me walking down the street in a knee length dress with a cold wind blowing. I elected to wear a pair of dress slacks with a long sleeved T neck and short vest with a pair of ankle boots, I knew I would stay warm.

     As I was driving into town that evening, I just couldn't believe I was actually doing this. I had a good conversation with the "Man upstairs" and thanked him for giving me the strength to carry this out and keeping the freezing rain away.

      I found a close parking place and walked a short walk to the building. There were some students on the way, but I didn't have any problems. I got to the Professors office a few minutes early, so we had some time to get used to each other. The time had finally come, so we headed of to the classroom.
 
     Fortunately, for me, the class was small, only 10 or 12 students. They had been forewarned, so they were all there that evening. I introduced myself and we all sat at our desks in a circle facing each other. There was quite an age span in this class. There were several college age students plus a few older ladies, one around my age, fiftyish. As I was going through my biography we would stop and discuss different things. I got very comfortable very quickly. After I had finished, we all had a question and answer session. I had answers for all of them, much to my amazement The questions were all very intelligent and varied. I have to say that I was very impressed with these people. Here we are in the middle of "Razorback Country" and a Cross Dresser was being accepted as "sort of a regular person". There was one male student that was pursuing a Law Enforcement major, that was very impressed and ask some very good questions. I regret to say that I had a "Brain Lapse" and didn't ask if he would talk to his Professor and see if I could visit one of the Law Enforcement classes. I did get several suggestions on other classes that I hadn't thought of initially. The Professor was also very impressed, so I will be doing more of her classes in the spring and summer semesters.
  
    I walked out of class with two young ladies answering more questions as we walked. They said that they had seen me crossing the street before class. I have always said that it is the Girls that make us first They went on up the street and I headed to my car. It was dark by then and I managed to find a hole. As I put my foot to the bottom of it, I pretty well lost my Feminine composure. I picked myself up and checked for grass stains on my slacks and headed to the car. As I approached the car I used my remote to unlock the doors. I set my briefcase in the back seat and then realized that I didn't have my purse. I locked the car and backtracked my steps. There was my purse where I had stepped in the hole. I did the feminine thing and checked the contents for cell phone wallet and lipstick. This action brought a chuckle. I guess I fulfilled the role pretty good. I drove home without any other surprises.

     I have to say that that evening was one of my "Milestones of Life". If any of you have ever considered doing Outreach with an organization, don't put it off. It is one of the most important things we can do to help our Sisters of the future. We all do small-scale outreach each time we go out in public, but this kind of coverage is an investment in the future. It is also a great confidence builder. I left for Galveston and the Dignity Cruise with a renewed confidence. That, of course, is a whole other story.

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