I had a lot of high hopes for this trip. The last trip I went on ended abruptly after I got COVID before I could even dress up – that was ten months ago. I realised in the run-up to my Las Vegas trip in May that I hadn’t actually dressed up since then. A whole ten months. Life tends to get in the way, I suppose. Between getting through six months of constantly being sick from kid-germs, to general life/work stress and scheduling woes, finding the right combination of time/opportunity/energy/willpower to actually get my shit together seemed like such a daunting task, almost insurmountable.
My prep-work for the trip stressed me out too. Typically I’m planning outfits and poses ahead of time so I know what to pack and what I’ll be doing – this time around, none of that. I essentially just dumped a bunch of clothes I hadn’t worn yet into a couple of suitcases and relied on working things out when I arrived. I suppose that mostly went ok.
Day one, I arrived at The Palazzo and my room wasn’t ready. I paid for an upgrade to a Hospitality Suite, which was pretty great actually – it was a huge room, and right next to the pool, with an outside patio! Lots of light for some pictures out there! I tested my new camera setup, unpacked the tiniest amount and went to sleep, ready for a full day of pictures the next day.
I woke up, ventured out to get some deeply mediocre breakfast at Grand Lux Cafe, and started getting ready, which was a challenge. Having not dressed up or put on makeup for almost a year, I was decidedly rusty, which made things more difficult – mentally, at least. It kind of felt like I was fighting a lot of demons on this trip:
- Do I remember how to do this?
- Do I look good?
- Did I ever?
- Can I be brave and leave my hotel room?
This is when it occurred to me that while I hadn’t dressed up in almost a year, I hadn’t actually dressed up in public for over 3 years – since just before the pandemic started. With transphobic sentiment on the rise, and being in Las Vegas – a melting pot of people from _everywhere_, I was consumed with thoughts of whether or not I could actually feel safe stepping out of my room.
One problem at a time. Let’s just get down to business first.
I managed to shave all the things, and then slathered makeup somewhat appropriately in the right places. Game-face on, so began the photoshoot.
I’m beyond glad that some of these first pictures turned out well. If I didn’t have some early success, I think I might’ve imploded in a tiny ball of negative confidence. This red dress was dope too.
Feeling confident, and unsure about if my leg-shave would last until the next day, I went straight into swimsuit mode. I had planned on actually wearing this to the pool, but I was still building up my confidence even being dressed again. Maybe the next day? I should’ve just went for it. Lesson learned.
I’m pretty happy with how the bikini pics turned out. I should try and use these as motivation to get more in shape!
At this point I started getting hungry, so changed into yet another outfit in preparation to get some lunch, because photoshoots are hungry-making. I had also bought a new, shorter wig that I wanted to try out. I probably spent too much time trying to get a good pic in it – half because I wasn’t in love with it, and half because I was hesitating stepping out the door to get food.
I don’t love it, but tell me what you think.
Ultimately I decided to switch back to my regular wig, because I was going to need all the confidence I could muster if I was going to step outside again.
More delaying tactics: I took more pics.
ok fine fine fine I’m starving and light-headed and I came to Las Vegas as an opportunity to get out into the world again and be. I tried to remind myself I’ve done this before, lots of times, for years. It’s fine. Just take that little leap and get the fuck out of there.
AND GUESS WHAT IT WAS FINE.
The thing I strangely enjoy about walking around in public is that people stare.
Well. No. I could do without that.
The thing that I really enjoy is the fact that even when they stare, I can just ignore it. Keep your head high and just keep walking. People look, and you can remind yourself that it doesn’t matter. Their curiousity isn’t a judgment or indictment on who you are, because you’re still awesome. You’re being brave.
Food at CHICA was great! And everyone was really nice.
Energised, and the tiniest bit tipsy from…whatever drink that was… and back to the hotel room I went for more pics. Like I said, I hadn’t planned my outfits very much, and mostly threw anything I hadn’t worn in a photoshoot yet into my suitcases. And serendipitously, this crazy outfit happened
I’m basically in love with the sequin bomber jacket, and the mesh skirt was a recent purchase that it seemed I could do something with. Would I ever feel brave enough to wear this outfit out in the world?
Maybe. At night.
Speaking of night, daylight was fading and as I looked to one side of the room, I realised I had precious few minutes to capture a shot I had been hoping for, which meant I had to rush to figure out how to put this strappy nightmare on my body in the correct way. If you don’t want to see my butt, you probably want to click away at this point.
I think I managed to get it on correctly, but it honestly took a few minutes (and looking at the amazon listing)
Pushing the limits there of how much of my butt I’m willing to post online. I doubt you’re gonna see anything more than that, perverts.
That was exhausting, and once again, I was getting hungry. The decision to venture out this time was, expectedly, much easier. With renewed confidence, and a dress I have been waiting too long to wear, I headed out to BRERA Osteria and had an expensive, mediocre meal.
The wine was pretty good though.
I took a walk the long way round, put $20 into a slot machine and got $340 back out. Don’t gamble, kids.
It’d been an absurdly long day at this point, and I was tired and headachy and ready for bed. I snapped a quick few pics out on the patio area again, wrenched all my makeup off and headed to bed.
SEE THE EXHAUSTION IN MY EYES.
Not a great sleep, but I did sleep, and when I woke up… I knew.
My head hurt pretty bad. I waited a while before I got out of bed, hoping that the pain would stop. I took some migraine pills (which usually work) in the hope that they would kick in in time for me to take some more photos. I headed out to Canyon Ranch only a minute’s walk from my room, and had a fantastic breakfast of Huevos Rancheros, and a pretty decent cappuccino. Back to the room I went, and with my head still hurting, started back on the photoshoot.
I don’t know how well it comes through in the photos, but at this point I’m pretty frazzled. Photoshoots are hard work – it’s not just my head that’s aching. My whole body is feeling the hurt as I bend and stretch in peculiar ways to try and do some good poses. Not to mention the fact that while I love the room I’m in, it’s not super well-lit, and getting lighting right proved to be a struggle.
I tried for too long to get a shot in that little nook. I did not succeed.
If you’re here to see more pictures of me in my underwear, you’re in luck, because that’s basically all the pictures I’ve got left.
I was a big fan of this combo – the complementary colours worked super well together.
A quick change (I say quick, yet another set of strappy undies took, once again, too long to figure out how to wear) and onwards we went. At this point, with my head still pounding, I had started to realise that the end was in sight much too soon.
There’s that butt again. I’m glad all that running’s been good for something.
I’d been dying to get this gold sequin skirt into pics for… a long time. It’s one of my favourite pieces of clothing, and there’s never really a good opportunity to wear it.
With that, at a shockingly early 1pm, we were done. I didn’t know that at the time, I just took my wig off and laid in bed, as motionless as possible for the next few hours, hoping my head would stop hurting and that I could go eat something and take some more photos.
At around 2.30pm I gave up – the pain was getting worse, and I wasn’t feeling hungry when I clearly should have been. This was a bad sign. I don’t really know anything about timings past this because until about 2am I was stuck between occasionally taking a hot shower to try to get the pain to go away, and the occasional episode of puking up what little food I’d had that day. At least twice I did both simultaneously – puked while sitting on the floor of the shower.
Migraines are no fun. They’ve been a growing problem for me over the last few years, and I hope that I can start to better divine the causes, though I’m a little worried that one of them might be wearing a wig for extended periods which is somewhat antithetical to what I’m trying to achieve. Yeesh.
I think I’m more upset about just losing eight to ten hours of being out in the world.
I suppose I’ll just have to do a trip like this again, to make up for it.
Obviously I must end with a derp, because no matter what happens, there have to be some constants in the universe.
It blows my mind that you haven’t been dressed in public in three years and that you were scared to do it, because you have done things that I may never get to do (go to work dressed pretty). We are in a weird community. Congratulations on your outing.
Haha thanks! Yeah the trepidation was definitely, and unfortunately real. I think it’s like anything you haven’t done for a long time – just a matter of getting back in the saddle!
Looks like a fun trip! Love your blog and you look great, but I get the self doubt part!