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1998: New Year’s Eve At The Queen Mary

| Aug 21, 2017
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Linda 1998 New Year’s Eve.

It seems every group in society has their “Mecca” — a place they just have to visit at least once in a lifetime.

For families it might be a Disney park, for gamblers its Las Vegas, for golfers it’s the Masters Tournament. As a crossdresser my personal Mecca is the Queen Mary Show Lounge in the Studio City area of Los Angeles. To have a chance to be at the Queen Mary for New Year’s Eve was for me like a football fan with tickets on the 50-yard line for the Super Bowl.

This year was the first time I could actually be there for the big evening and I was willing to jump through all kinds of hoops to be there; hoops like expensive airline tickets and difficulty finding a rental car and motel accommodation.

I spent the days before the big evening in San Diego, playing golf, seeing a football bowl game and going to see the Dream Girls Revue at the Brass Rail (but that’s another story). Driving up to Los Angeles I got to the city about 1 p.m. which was too early to go to the motel so I stopped at the Glendale Galleria to wander through Nordstrom’s and Macy’s looking for that special “special occasion dress.” There were some beautiful dresses but nothing that eclipsed what I already had for that evening. Besides I wasn’t en femme at the time so despite the temptation I didn’t feel I could do any trying on.

Jim Bridges works on Bryce’s hair.

When I finally tore myself away from the mall and got to the motel I decided on a three-stage preparation plan for the big evening. 1) Go for a run to hopefully shed some excess body fluid to appear more trim. 2) Shower, shave and take a nap and 3) give plenty of time to do my makeup before dressing. All went according to plan. In fact I felt so “pumped” about the evening that I was able to run non-stop up Dixie Canyon from Ventura Blvd to Mulholland Drive. That may not mean anything to you but it was definitely an achievement for me. The sleep and everything else went well however I was well into my makeup when I realized my plans hadn’t included eating and now I was starting to get slight hunger pangs. No problem; I finished my first foundation, put on a little lip color, put on some girl jeans, a blouse and of course a wig and headed next door to a coffee shop for a bite to eat.

The waitress and I briefly talked about our plans for the evening and I honestly think it wasn’t until I mentioned that I was going the nearby Queen Mary that it dawned on her that I might be transgendered. Back at the motel a minor glitch occurred when I discovered that I didn’t have a suitable pair of earrings to match my dress. Again no problem: I was going to Jim Bridges’ boutique as he had promised to do a final touch up on my hair if I dropped in on my way to the Queen Mary. Jim was sure to have a nice pair of earrings for me. So by 9 p.m. I was at Jim Bridges’, a hive of activity, as Jim and an assistant worked to put the final touches on three marvelous transformations.

Chris, Bryce, Nikki, and Laurie at The Queen.

Jim is a master of the makeover and it is amazing how he can turn even the most hulking bubbas into gorgeous princesses or at least into dowager queens who feel like princesses. Beards, blemishes and scars disappear under Jim’s touch to be replaced by pure skin, luscious lips and gorgeous eyes. There I met Bryce, Laurie, Melissa and others who were being made up, having photos taken and getting ready to go to the Queen. Jim had the earrings I needed. He also filled me in on the latest news on Sandi Hart, a mutual friend who is going through a rough spell in hospital. Years ago Sandi introduced me to the former Sherman Oaks Inn, a transgender friendly motel where we both would stay when visiting the Queen Mary and where we shared some great conversations while sitting by the pool. More than anyone Sandi encouraged me to have confidence in being Linda and to do things with at least a bit of a sense of humor. Jim told me Sandi was still in hospital but out of intensive care, which was a glimmer of good news. Bless you, Sandi.

Bartender Lori with a patron.

At the Queen Mary I entered as usual by the door to the back bar. Long time bartender John greeted me and gave me free entry where I joined about thirty early arrivals, a crowd which soon swelled to over one hundred. Lori, a bubbly friendly gg and Richard were working the bar and that meant unfortunately Deena would not be making an appearance. For some reason she and Richard never appear in public together.

A show in the front lounge was playing to a packed house and people who saw it said the girls were really “on” that night. Personally I was too busy talking to old friends and new to see much of the show. Jennifer, a girl I’ve had some contact with over the Internet was there as was Leya Quest, ‘T’ and many other Queen Mary regulars I’ve met over the years.

It was definitely a night for sequins, beads and plunging necklines. Bartender Lori was in a gold lame dress. Nikki chose gold sequins and Laurie wore a long beaded gown also in gold that she had picked up at a great price in San Francisco. She said the dress was probably too heavy for a lot of girls to wear. A number of old men friends were at the bar, too. One was Paul, a big friendly guy who loves to pull his partner in close for slow dances and he is a good enough dancer to make following him easy. I talked to Paul a long time but he never seemed to remember that we had been together on two previous occasions over the last three years. He was totally surprised when late in the evening I seemed perceptive enough to predict that he, a black man, would have a white wife and she would also be blonde like me.

“Oh I just knew that would be your type,” I said of the information he had shared with me on previous occasions. At one point in the evening I went to get my camera from my car. On returning I passed one of the QM security men talking to LAPD officers. “Are they here to enforce the new no smoking law?” I joked.

Bryce and Laya Quest.

“Have you got a moment?” said one of the officers. When I nervously said yes he explained that they were preparing a video for their sergeant’s retirement party and they were collecting some joke shots from around town. Always willing to foster good relations with the law enforcement community, I obliged with a brief sound bite. So hopefully somewhere sometime a sergeant and his colleagues will get a laugh when a big blonde in a blue and gold sequined dress croons huskily, “Cliff, I haven’t seen you around much recently. We all miss you but now that you’re retiring we hope you’ll have more time for the girls at the Queen Mary.”

How was the Queen Mary at the stroke of midnight? Somewhat subdued actually. We girls did a bit of hugging and well wishing but the men who hang around against the walls stayed there — not a very animated bunch.

Nevertheless the dance music stayed good and we had plenty of chance to show our moves, especially when I hooked up with three cruising lesbians who were much into “dirty dancing.” They took turns shimmying up against me. It was all I could do to keep my moves appropriately “girl to girl.” The party at the Queen Mary went well in to the wee hours but shortly after midnight a number of the girls left to go to AhhhCappella, an after hours club run by two transgender girls. For myself, I called it a night and headed back to my motel and to sleep for by 6 a.m. I would be up and heading for a golf game with only a few traces of nail polish left to remind me of the fun of the night before. Yes the trip to New Years Eve and the surrounding nights at the Queen Mary was well worth the expense and effort. I would do it again.

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Category: Out & About, Transgender Fun & Entertainment, Transgender History

Linda Jensen

About the Author ()

Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the Transvestian newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

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