Saturday, November 18, 2017

Awareness, Remembrance, Support and Outreach

Aware and Remember: Mark Your Calendar

November is Transgender Awareness Month.

November 13–17 was Transgender Awareness Week. (Why are Sunday, November 12, and today, November 18, not part of Transgender Awareness Week?)

And Monday, November 20, is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Support

When I was still in the closet, my wife urged me to find and join a support group. Via CompuServe's Genderline, I found Connecticut Outreach Society and joined it as fast as my high heels could carry me to the group's meeting place.

I owe the Society a lot because it got me out of the closet to experience the world as a woman. And the rest is her story.

All support groups are different. Some are better than others. But if you want to escape the closet, I urge you to find and join a local support group. It may do wonders for you like my support group did for me.

And if your closet is in my neck of the woods, I highly recommend Connecticut Outreach Society.   

Outreach

Over ten years ago, I got my feet wet doing outreach at Southern Connecticut State University for Professor Anna Schildroth's Human Sexuality classes. Since then, I have also done outreach at other colleges and universities, but each semester, I returned to Southern to do outreach for Anna's classes.

I usually received an e-mail in early November from Anna inviting me to her class after Thanksgiving. But I did not hear from Anna this month, so I e-mailed her only to find out that sadly, she is no longer teaching that class and my services will no longer be needed.

I will miss my outreach trips to New Haven and hope I can fill the gap someplace else.




Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe (Source: Bebe)





Stana
Doing outreach at Southern Connecticut State University

Friday, November 17, 2017

Underdress


Time was of the essence on Tuesday and instead of presenting as a woman from head-to-toe, I underdressed to go shopping. Under my boy top and boy jeans, I wore a Rago longline bra and Rago high-waist long leg pantie girdle —not for the thrill of wearing woman's undies, but for practical reasons. I planned to shop at Roz & Ali (nee Dress Barn) and if I found anything that I might purchase, I wanted to try them on a female figure, not a boy body (it makes a big difference).

After notching my boy belt two notches tighter than usual and wondering if anyone would notice the two protuberances under my boy top and jacket, I started my journey with snow flurries in the air.

First stop was the Agway I visited on Halloween and left empty-handed because the cat litter I wanted was out of stock. As soon as I entered, the woman who runs the store recognized me and said that the litter had been delivered.

While I was paying for the litter, I asked the woman, "How did you like my Halloween costume?"

"You looked great! I had no idea who you were until you said you wanted litter."

Next, I shopped at Walmart and Petco and finally my favorite Roz & Ali. Walking in, I saw that the store manager was at the register dealing with a customer. I waved and she waved back.

I browsed the racks and found three items to try on. When the manager was free, she came over to me and gave me a big hug. She asked how retirement was going, then we talked about the store's name change and my job prospects. Like the assistant manager told me on Halloween, she said they had recently closed some other local Dress Barns, so they were not hiring.

I asked her to keep me in mind and that I would be willing to work as little as one day a week just to get my feet wet. She said she would keep me in mind and then opened a dressing room for me to try my finds.

All three size 14 dresses fit perfectly, which may not have been the case if I was wearing boy undies rather than a bra and girdle. Two of the three dresses were keepers and I took my purchases to the cash register where the store manager was dealing with an older gent, who was buying gift cards for the holidays.

I was standing within earshot and heard the gent say, "I feel odd making a purchase in a woman's clothing store."

The store manager said, "We have a lot of male customers."

"Crossdressers?" he asked.

The store manager just smiled and looked at me with an expression on her face that seemed to say, "Are you hearing this?"

After he finished paying for his purchase, he turned to find me standing right behind him with two dresses slung over my arm, but he did not seem to notice. I think he was anxious to leave the store quickly before somebody branded him as a crossdresser.

I moved up to counter and commented to the store manager that I should have showed the guy my photo. She laughed.

I had a couple of coupons and the two dresses (pictured above, a seamed scuba keyhole dress in wild peacock and a sequin sheath dress in navy/grey) only cost me $52 total.

The store manager gave me another hug as I left the store and I went home.

That's all I have to say about that.




Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper (Source: Boston Proper)




Lisa
Long time Femulate reader and Fantasia Fair friend, Lisa

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Michelle Rose's Story

Dear Stana,

I just wanted to thank you and all the women who have shared their trans experiences on your blog. As for myself and the entire Femulating Sorority, we owe you a debt and our gratitude.

As a long time reader, I look forward to your postings, letters, discussions and resources on presenting with a more feminine appearance. With the information from your postings, a most accepting spouse and a decade of weight loss, I am at long last, comfortable and secure enough to venture out en femme. Well that and my wife's consent! (I'll call here "Donna," but that's not her name.)

Donna has been very accepting of my trans identification and has taught me so much about being a girl. I constantly thank her for showing me all the important "girl stuff." She introduced me to Spanx shapewear and all the other under garments necessary to achieve a more feminine figure.

Over time, following her recommendations, we have put together a pretty complete women's wardrobe. Handbags, scarves, belts, hats, sunglasses and jewelry we can share, but truth be told, she sees right through me whenever I show her the "present" I bought for her!

There were several items specific to trans girls that she was unable to help with. Following your advice, I found a local cosmetician with trans experience. She offered so many tips on shaving, color correction for hiding facial hair, a proper palette for my skin tone, facial contouring and dealing with my close set eyes. After several lessons and lots of practice, the skills necessary to use makeup correctly are now within my grasp!

Also, I located a trans-friendly wig shop. The sales woman was very accommodating and provided time for a private appointment, prior to the store opening! I left with two wigs, all the accessories necessary to style and care for the wigs and a trans-friendly ciswoman for a new friend.

To be certain, it was your confidence-building that motivated me to finally step out. So this past October, I was away on a photography shoot and used the opportunity for my first outing! It was exhilarating! I dressed simply — just a plain black skirt, awhite cotton top (with some pretty lace work on the shoulders, sleeves and cuffs), stockings and black suede pumps. I think I took almost two hours to do my makeup, wig and get dressed.

I really have a thing for silver jewelry and didn't skimp: large teardrop earrings, a chain with my favorite cat pendent (we bought that in Italy years ago), a silver watch, my mother's charm bracelet (she passed away last year) and a few rings. I prepared a set of extra large press-on nails and they worked fine for the evening.

It was so much fun putting all the necessary items in my purse: driver's license, credit and bank card, cash, room key, car key, a wig comb, lipstick and a makeup compact. All dressed up and ready to go, I took a final look in the mirror and walked out the door!

I was terrified in the hall, the elevator and out to my car! Thank the goddess that nobody else was in the elevator! The lobby was busy, but with everybody going about their business, I passed through, unnoticed.

Once outside, the evening air had cooled considerably; how wonderful it was to feel a breeze on my exposed legs. Walking slowly with my best high heel gait, I arrived at the security of my car without event. To be truthful, I was shaking just a little! Driving off, I quickly made a strategic decision and removed my left shoe. Learning to drive in heels just got added to my "to do" list.

Since I was near a national park and had paid the admission fee earlier in the day, I drove to a quiet scenic overlook. It was near twilight when I parked. Leaving the safety of my car, I walked to the overlook.

I passed several people and to my surprise and delight realized that nobody gave me second look! I felt a small, but clear sense of contentment! You see, I was 60 on my last birthday and wanted to do this since I was in my teens. And while not exactly "passing" for a woman, it seems to me, that I am not too ghastly presenting as a woman! At least not in low light and when nobody is paying attention. Oh Happy Days!

I spent  20 minutes or so just savoring the time. It was the most spectacular sunset this girl has ever witnessed! The drive in was almost an hour and since traffic can move at a brisk 35 MPH in national parks, I decided to head back.

On my to the hotel, I went through the drive-in at the local Micky D's. While the girl at the counter did refer to me as "ma'am," the look of confusion on her face was precious! Back in my room, i changed out of my attire and enjoyed a very large glass of wine with my dinner!

Thank you again. All my love,

Michelle Rose (photo below)




Michelle Rose
Michelle Rose




Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper (Source: Boston Proper)