What is Esprit?

It's time again...

...to be dreaming, thinking, and planning for the best week of the year -- a week of fun, freedom, and friendships! Yes, it's time to get serious about Esprit!

Esprit focuses on changing lives for the better and creating pride and self-respect for anyone who is transgender. Educational, inspirational, and experimental, Esprit is steeped in prospects for personal growth and friendship. But most of all, Esprit is about fun in a magnificent setting among a friendly and accepting local population. It's an opportunity for you to spread your wings for an entire week and have a ball!

So what is Esprit? Think of Esprit as a combination of college, sorority, shopping and sightseeing tourist fling, high society parties, and slumber party all rolled into one. Yes, it's ridiculously unrealistic as most vacations are, but that's also what makes it so memorable and fun. Where else can you attend classes dealing with fun and serious topics (without tests!), mill around a mini-mall right inside the hotel with resources who understand your unique needs, wander into town dressed as you wish and be doted on by restaurants and shopkeepers, pop into girlfriends' rooms to gab or borrow a needed item of clothing, and dress up in a gown and party the night away...all in the same day?

More Exciting Than Ever!

We collect attendee input from each year and tune our program to best meet today's needs. Dances, activities and excursions, parties, and exciting theme events fill the week. As in recent years, even more involvement with the local arts, charity, and entertainment community is planned. Events have been scheduled to give you time between events when you need it, to keep events at the hotel flowing smoothly, to host special events at venues around town, and to give you the flexibility to attend the events you want from the many to choose from.

Classes

As always, Esprit will offer a full slate of classes -- including many of the finest ones from last year -- as well as fresh presentations from new faces. Fundamental offerings include make-up, wardrobe, wig, voice and deportment help, as well as the popular Crossdressing 101 class. Specialty classes include topics such as surgery, transition, and legal issues. Of special importance is the track for couples, whose seminars address issues such as intimacy and communications.

Resource Providers

Complementing the educational activities is an array of resources offering high-quality goods and services. The popular Resource Mall returns where you can wander through rooms filled with a wide range of goods and services. Our friendly providers are experts at addressing the special needs of the transgender community. Wigs, makeup, and jewelry are some of the areas in which you can receive personal attention and add to your presentation skills.

Events

Equipped with your new accoutrements, you'll be ready for an exciting schedule of social events. Of course, favorite events will be back: the fashion show, slumber party, talent show, Saturday Gala banquet and dance, and the farewell brunch. We're also planning some special themed events that will give everyone a chance to show their creative side. Our entertainment is closely connected with the Port Angeles community: we team with local businesses and we admit local residents to the most popular events.

Excursions

Esprit is also the starting point for many excursions. You may be touring a winery, taking the ferry to Victoria, B.C. for high tea, taking a scenic drive up to magnificent Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountains, taking a guided tour of local art and historical sites, or simply enjoying the variety of shopping, dining and services in Port Angeles.

Venue

The venue for Esprit is the Port Angeles Red Lion, a warm and welcoming haven. Attendees will be treated to friendly hospitality and good food. More importantly, the people who attend Esprit are incredible! You'll meet your peers, listen to fascinating journeys, and make lifelong friendships.

Is Esprit for you?

  • Are you a crossdresser?
  • Are you closeted but want to get out?
  • Are you an out-and-about crossdresser who wants to get together with like-minded people for a week of fun and learning?
  • Are you questioning your gender identity?
  • Is gender transition part of your search, your plan or your reality?
  • Are you the Significant Other or family member of a cross dresser or a person in gender transition?

If you answered YES to one or more of the above questions, then Esprit is for you! If you're still not sure, consider the following:

  • Esprit lasts for a full week when most other conferences last for only 2 to 3 days.
  • At Esprit education is a primary goal, not an afterthought.
  • Esprit has top quality onsite resources to attend to your every need.
  • Esprit is has been held for over 20 years in Port Angeles, Washington, one of the most beautiful locations in the country. The residents of Port Angeles are very accepting and look forward to the conference every year. There is no safer or more accepting venue anywhere.
  • At Esprit, Significant Others are treated on an equal footing with the transgender participants. Significant Others who are attending for the first time go through the graduation ceremony the same as their transgender partners! According to Dr. Sandra Cole, an internationally known counselor and therapist, Esprit is THE flagship conference when it comes to including and supporting our wonderful Significant Others.
  • Every participant receives a beautiful yearbook packed full of pictures and memories! There is NO extra charge for this wonderful souvenir.
  • The registration cost is usually no more, and in some cases less, than other 2 to 3 day conferences.

And this is just the beginning. Esprit's true magic comes from the simple presence of so many like-minded people. When you combine the people and the events, what happens and what you take away from Esprit may surprise you. Some treat Esprit like a casual vacation and pick just a few of the planned activities, and others try to do absolutely everything. Some come just once while others come year after year. What you do is up to you, and from what we've seen over the years, Esprit has put together a winning formula that manages to satisfy virtually everyone...and leave a lasting impression on all who come.

Esprit is an exciting, liberating experience, certain to boost your spirits and leave you with a warm glow long after the convention ends. If you've attended before, you know this is true. If you've never attended, talk to someone who has. We're confident you'll like what you hear.