Crossdresser goodbye is something that occurs every day around the world and has been with us forever. I am not trying to be dramatic with this introduction, it’s just that I don’t know any other way to put it. I use the term crossdresser goodbye to address something I have both experienced and observed for many years. When a crossdresser passes away in most cases they just vanish never being heard from again. In my observation their friends are not invited to the funeral. In many cases even made aware of the crossdresser’s passing. I have seen e-mails from people searching for information on a crossdresser who stopped responding to e-mails. They are concerned and reaching out to anyone who might have some information on their friend. Most never know what happened, no crossdresser goodbye just wondering. Being a member of a group or social club where people know each other’s private lives. Especially, if they socialize away from crossdressing makes information more available. I think in the majority of cases the crossdresser simply vanishes, so friends and acquaintances eventually assume they have passed. They deserve better but that’s just the way it is there is no crossdresser goodbye.
Last month I learned of my friend Espy Lopez passed away after a long illness. She was a friend for over 30 years, and I was fortunate to be in the loop of friends who were notified. Espy and I did not have matching tattoos or anything but shared growing up just 6 months apart in Southern California in the 1960’s heyday. In addition to the closeness in age we were both crossdresser’s which created somewhat of a bond. In those days there was no pride, stonewall or anything like today. A guy sharing with another guy that you were a crossdresser created a mutual vulnerability. Both of us were employed in the aerospace industry and would probably lose our jobs if word got out. We met in the early 1990’s when she was assigned to interview me for membership in CHIC where she was a member. We remained friends ever since although seeing less of each other in recent years. It was during that interview when I learned of Espy’s military background of which she was justifiably proud.
During the interview she shared her service as a U.S. Army Ranger in Vietnam, and I believe she said two tours of duty. I remember seeing a picture of her in uniform on a table in her home. Her uniform was covered with emblems and ribbons I am not familiar with. It was clear that she was an accomplished soldier.
Another of her accomplishments was her company Classic Curves international that has been around for over 30 years. She started with hip/ butt pads to give guys curves. Back then crossdressers were using an electric carving knife borrowed from mom or the wife. They carved up a foam furniture seat pad to make hip pads. When I asked her how she figured it out she explained how she used a computer at work to overlay a male image over a female image. It showed where a guy needed padding and how much. She noted that a woman’s shoulders and hips were close in size. She measured your shoulders which is how she knew what to make for you. At first, she had you come to her shop with your favorite dress so she could custom shape the foam pads to you. Putting on protective gloves taped to her arms along with an industrial breathing filter the process began. She turned on the industrial sanding machine and began to contour the foam pad to your shape with fit checks from time to time. You left with an amazing figure. Ever the inventor she kept thinking of ways to improve the product and gel pads came a year or so later. By now she had progressed to using molds to cast the pads in several sizes which fit most guys just fine. I have one of the first sets of gel molded pads that she made in her shop with another invention she conceived to heat the silicone. It looked like one of the old Igloo coolers common on construction sites which was a galvanized steel barrel. Espy modified it to cook silicone and poured me a set of pads on the spot which, I still have and use today.
If you go to her site Classic Curves International, you will see how her company evolved with more clever products over the years. Espy through her company, products, and outreach to others via phone or at one of the many conventions she did make a wonderful contribution to the Trans community.
She will be remembered fondly by myself and others every time we pad up to go out En Fem for an evening out. Espy was a pioneer in the crossdresser padding industry with her veteran owned American made products.
And so goes my crossdresser goodbye to Espy.