About Us

Who We Are

The River City Gems are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the lives of transgender individuals and their families by providing social opportunities, peer support, education, resources, outreach programs, and other services focused on the specific needs of the male-to-female transgender community.

Our Mission

Our primary goal is to create opportunities for transgender women to get together and socialize in a personally affirming, safe, and supportive environment. We also strive to raise awareness and understanding of the transgender community through our online presence and our positive interactions with the public at our events. We’re all about changing lives and changing perceptions.

Our members

We’re a warm, caring, and fun-loving group of girlfriends who happen to be transgender! We range in age from our twenties through our eighties and come from a variety of backgrounds and professions. We may be married or single, and may describe ourselves as gay, straight, or bisexual. What we have in common is a desire to celebrate who we are and to support each other.

Open Hearts, Open Minds

Our group is open to anyone who identifies as transgender, including crossdressers, transsexual women, and those who are questioning or exploring their gender identity. We also invite partners, family members, friends, and allies to join us. Our spirit of inclusiveness creates a welcoming space where all of our members can enjoy themselves, and most importantly, be themselves.

 New and nervous?

We get it! The thought of stepping outside your front door for the first time can be scary. We aim to make those first steps as easy as possible. Remember, we are here to help, advise, encourage, and support you.

  • Would you like to be introduced to the group online before you meet us in person? Join our Community Group
  • Would you like to talk to someone before attending your first event? Get in touch

If you are not quite ready to join us en femme, you are welcome to attend any event in male mode. We even have a monthly gathering called the Drab Gab, which is perfect for first-timers who may be more comfortable meeting with a small group of Gems in male attire.

What We Do

We sponsor a variety of different activities throughout the year, and we are constantly exploring new ideas and new venues for our events. We know that our members have different interests and varying degrees of comfort with public exposure. That’s why we offer a broad range of options, from private gatherings to mainstream outings.

Our Socials


Our monthly socials are relaxed, friendly, welcoming, and fun for everyone. From casual game nights to group dinners at local restaurants, we give you plenty of ways to get out and be social!

Femme Friday

Femme Fridays

Femme Fridays are casual social mixers that give you a chance to get together with friends (and make new ones) over drinks and appetizers. They’re a great way to meet new people and enjoy some quality girl time.


Drab Gabs

Drab Gabs are casual lunches held on the 4th Friday of every month at different Sacramento area restaurants. Come in male attire for good food and friendly conversation with an understanding group.



The Gems love a good party! Our Holiday Party in December, Anniversary Party in March, and Luau in July are some of our most popular events. You can always count on having a memorable time with a great group of ladies and their partners. Come celebrate with us!

River City Sparkle


Each fall our signature event, River City Sparkle, draws attendees from all over California (and beyond!) to join us for an elegant evening of dinner, dancing, and entertainment. Visit River City Sparkle and get ready for the transgender party of the year!

LGBT Pride flag

Community Events

We are active in the local and regional transgender community and support other groups that share our goals. We participate in a wide variety of events such as Pride, Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Gender Bender Ball, and the DVG Fall Dinner.

 Support for Partners

Spouses and partners are an important part of the Gems, and the Gems are an important social and support network for them too. We have a large and active group of significant others who participate in events, help with organizing and running the group, and serve on our board of directors. They often form lasting personal friendships that extend beyond their involvement with the Gems.

What Partners Are Saying:

  • Opportunities to Meet Other Couples Like Us

    I was tentative about going to our first Gems event, but I did want to better understand what Vanessa was experiencing. Everyone was welcoming, warm, and friendly! Events with the Gems are valuable opportunities to meet and get to know other couples like us, to have a place to be ourselves, and to support each other. I look forward to more of these in the future!

    -Valerie fromSacramento
  • Many Things in Common

    The Gems present an opportunity for me to support my partner, as well as enjoying our time together in a fun, safe environment. I really appreciate that there are other wives who also attend the Gems events. We have many things in common, enjoying this uniquely wonderful lifestyle. Paige and I always have so much fun at all the Gems events!

    -Cynthia fromSacramento

Get Involved

Newcomers can always expect to feel welcome at River City Gems events. When you are ready to attend your first event, just RSVP. We’ll give you directions to the event and answer any questions you may have. It’s that easy! View upcoming events

Community Group

If you are thinking about getting involved in the River City Gems, why not start by joining our online community at groups.io? You’ll be able to exchange messages with the group, ask questions, view photos of past events, get event reminders, and more.Learn more


We strongly encourage attendees to become supporting members. It’s the most important way you can “give back” to the group, and you’ll also be entitled to discounted entry fees and your support enables us to continue serving the needs of the transgender community.
Learn more


We love our volunteers! Volunteering is a great way to get to know everyone. We have all kinds of volunteer opportunities, so if you’d like to donate a little of your time, or if you have a special skill that could benefit the group, please let us know.
Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

I am very concerned about protecting my privacy. Will I feel secure with the Gems?

The Gems take your privacy, safety, and security very seriously. You are not required to give us your legal name, address, or telephone number. If you do provide us with any personal information, it will be kept strictly confidential. It is up to you how much you choose to reveal in your conversations with other members. View our privacy policy

In addition, our code of conduct states that photographs may not be taken, posted online, or shared without your permission. View our code of conduct

Do I have to be a member to attend your events?

Paid membership is not required in order to participate in our activities. However, if you enjoy our events and attend regularly, why not help support the group by becoming a paid member? Visit our membership page

Are there any rules about what I can wear?

We do have a Code of Conduct which includes some guidelines. All we ask is that you dress appropriately for the venue and refrain from behavior that might make others uncomfortable. View our code of conduct

Does your group offer any support for trans men?

Our group is focused on male-to-female crossdressers and trans women. However, trans men are always welcome at our social events, which are open to everyone. If you are looking for female-to-male resources in the Sacramento area, you can check out our listing of local support groups

How do I find out where an event is located? The website doesn't always say.

For privacy and security reasons, we do not publicize the location of some events on the website. Complete details will be provided when you RSVP.

I am interested in dating transgender women. Can I meet people through your group?

We are focused on the needs of transgender women and their significant others, including the need to be protected from unwelcome attention. Our group environment is intended to be one in which even the most vulnerable members can feel completely safe and secure. For that reason, we do not admit those looking to date transgender people. If you are interested in a relationship with a transgender woman, try the local nightclub scene or personal ads.

I am under 18. Can I join?

You must be over 18 to participate in River City Gems activities, unless we have written permission from your parent or guardian. If you are a teen, check out our list of local resources for trans youth

Why Gems?

What comes to mind when you think of a gem? Rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds are beautiful, precious, and rare. They come in many different hues, but all sparkle in their own way. Sometimes their inner beauty is hidden within, but it is there all the time, waiting to be discovered. Gems have many facets, with each facet contributing to the whole. We believe that nurturing and developing the feminine facet of our personalities enhances every aspect of our lives.

Our Board

The River City Gems is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors who are dedicated to serving the transgender community and nurturing the Gems vision.

Membership Coordinator


Anne Upton
Vice President






Activities Director


View All Board Members ➤