16 Frequently Asked Questions* about joining Seahorse
*(Ok, I am sure that a couple of these questions have been rarely, if ever, actually asked. However, I am sure that they may have crossed people's minds at times or maybe they were just too embarrassed to ask them!)
How private is Seahorse?
Your foremost and most obvious concern may be privacy and confidentiality. We understand the need for complete confidentiality and the need to protect one's private information and identity given the very nature of being a cross-dresser.
Only committee members have access to your personal information and are strictly bound by the rules of the Seahorse Society of NSW to never divulge your personal information (such as your male name, your address or occupation) to anyone, including fellow members. All members are bound by this rule.
You may wish to be selective in how much you tell other members about yourself and you have the right to decline to divulge private information. By the same token, you should careful and discrete about what you ask other members. Some members are very private and we respect that. Other members may be more open about themselves.
I have applied for membership, but I have not heard anything yet.
Sorry about that. We are a small organisation run by a few volunteer committee members on a part-time basis.
The Membership Secretary, Brenda, has a busy life, working full-time. As a result, she may occasionally not be available for a few days
If you have applied on-line, Brenda will have a record of your application and can be contacted of you have not heard from her with a few days. Use contact page to send Brenda a polite reminder and she will get back to you as soon as she can.
At the longest, it might take a week to organise the induction interview. You have probably waited years to do this, so please be patient. Waiting another week or so is nothing in the scheme of things.
An induction interview sounds a bit scary!
No, not at all! These days, the way we interview is really quite flexible and non-threatening. It does not have to be in-person in front of the committee as was required in years gone by.
Nowadays, you get a choice and we try to make it as easy and comfortable as possible. You can be interviewed by any of these three ways:
Most likely these days, an email discussion with Brenda, the Membership Secretary. This is the preferred method of interview.
A phone interview with the Membership Secretary.
A face to face interview with a committee member who lives in your general area. In the past, this has always been a bit hard to organise and is rarely done these days.
We can understand why you may be anxious, but, really, it is not scary, it is just an informal chat to get an idea that you are suitable to join (the majority applicants are suitable) and for us to explain the function of the Society.
We also have the interview to be able to exclude persons who may be unsuitable for Seahorse, for example those looking primarily for sexual contact, and not social contact and support.
And,no, just in case you are wondering... you do not need to be cross-dressed for a face-to-face interview.
How much does it cost to become a member?
The year subscription fee is $50 per year, payable in March each year.
However, we vary to fee for new members depending on which month you join:
Month of payment
$50 (Membership until 1st March next year)
Once I have joined, do I get a membership number or the like?
Yes, you do. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson when he joined The Sacred Order of the Stonecutters:
"These people look deep within my soul and assign me a number based on the order in which I joined."
Well, we do the much same, except the looking-deep-into-your-soul bit!
So when and where are your monthly social meetings held?
The social meetings are held on the last Friday of each month, except for December when we do not have a meeting.
For privacy reasons, we do not divulge the exact location until you have been accepted as a member and paid your subscription.
Suffice to say that our meetings are held at a safe location in a discrete hired hall in a quiet street on the north side of Parramatta River.
Does it cost anything to go to a meeting?
The entrance fee is just $7.00 for members and guests. There is no charge for partners. The fee helps cover the hall rental and allows us to provide some food, such as pizza or Chinese take-away, as well as soft drinks.
What age group are the members.
We cover all adult age groups, and we tend to dress in an age-appropriate, but stylish manner. We have some younger members (<30 years old).
Look, I'm really nervous about coming to my first meeting and wearing female clothes in front of others.
That is OK. First meeting nerves are very common.
Many first time members come along in male clothes for the first meeting. You will be welcomed warmly no matter how you are dressed.
Those that do come to their first meeting dressed as a male, often regret that they did not come along dressed as a woman, and usually will dress enfemme at subsequent meetings.
If you do come along dressed as a woman, no one will criticise your style of dress (unless it is inappropriate) or your make-up skills or grooming.
I would love to travel to the meeting enfemme, but it is just not practical for me to do that.
No problem. That is an issue for some of our members, especially with Daylight Saving Time making it difficult to exit your residence discretely.
We have plenty of changing facilities available if you cannot dress at home and travel to the meetings. There are mirrors to apply your make-up.
My partner is concerned that the meeting will turn into a bit of an orgy!
Definitely not! Overtly sexual behaviour or propositioning members is not at all acceptable. A nice chat over a cup of coffee or tea and a cake, a fashion parade, a trivia quiz or the like, is more likely what happens.
One prospective member suggested that we "dressed more like librarians" rather than orgy goers! He did not join!
Can my wife/girlfriend/partner/family member(s) attend?
Most certainly! There are usually quite a few partners and/or friends attending each meeting. There is no charge for them attending.
How many members and guests attend the Social meetings?
This varies, but of recent years it has not been unusual for 25-35, sometimes more than 40, members, partners and guests to attend.
So, what happens at the Social meetings?
Mainly it is a chance to relax and have fun, to catch up and socialise with fellow cross-dressers, and to meet and greet new members.
We usually have a theme for each meeting, including fashion parades, trash & treasure nights, visits from supportive commercial companies, and occasionally guest speakers.
A senior committee member will let everyone know about upcoming events and what is happening within the Seahorse Society.
Are transsexuals or gay cross-dressers allowed to join Seahorse?
There was a time, many years ago, that club limited its membership to "heterosexual transvestites", and transsexuals were specifically disallowed from being members. However, this rule was formally dropped in about 1990 and transsexuals are now warmly welcomed as members.
A small, but significant proportion of our members have transitioned to living full-time as women and a couple are post-operative transsexuals.
While the majority of our members are heterosexual, gay cross-dressers are also welcome.
What reasons do members have for not attending a Seahorse meeting?
A list of reasons (some real, some silly) can be found HERE, together with Christine's sensible and/or witty replies.