Saturday, November 22, 2014

Paula Gee's Favorite Photo (of Paula Gee!)


I actually find that as I grow in self confidence and am spending more and more time presenting my true self to the world I am taking less selfies. Keeping a blog going is like feeding an angry animal in the way it consumes photos and all too often, I forget to take any.

I think this is my favorite photo. It's not a sefie but one taken by my friend Justin David, a photographer, writer and generally very clever boy. It was part of a series he took as publicity shots for my orchestra, the London Gay Symphony Orchestra.

I am the only trans member of this particular LGBT group and was very pleased to be asked to be part of the photo series. We were asked to wear something that we thought was elegant or our idea of stylish; I went for this backless evening gown which was a bit odd at 11 o'clock on a Sunday morning.

I love the way the photo makes me look comfortable, confident and happy with myself. I like the black dress against the black background, so I almost seem to emerge from the blackness and I love the sparkle from the dress bodice and the shine of my trombone (precious).

This was one of the first photos ever taken of me,and certainly one of the first after I started to wear my own hair, so in many ways, it is a very early photo showing the real me, no disguise, no hiding, no trying to be somebody else, just me and my trombone.
 
In response to my open invitation to send your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo, I received a lot of photos and stories that I am posting in the the order I received them. My invitation still stands, so don't be shy, send me your photos! And by the way, there are currently 20 girls' photos in the queue.






Wearing Light in the Box.






Comedian Flip Wilson femulating on television's The Dean Martin Show in 1967.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Eating Pie

IMG_2352_cropped People have asked about what I wrote in my previous post, specifically "Wednesday was going to be a very big day out en femme for me. I was going to take the train to New York City to attend a conference with my boss and her boss: three business women in The City for the day."

No, I have not started working full-time as a woman.

Wednesday's trip to NYC was going to be a test for me and my bosses. I wanted to prove to them that I am a woman and not an embarrassment, so why not test that notion outside the office and amongst the general public who are not accustomed to my Halloween custom.

I was very disappointed that that opportunity was lost. Perhaps another will arise soon.

***

My Wednesday out en femme continued at the West Farms Mall, which in my opinion, is the premier shopping mall in Connecticut.

When I was doing my makeup Wednesday morning, I noticed that my bottle of Avon-brand liquid foundation was at its end. I also noticed that the Smashbox eye shadow primer I use was nearing its end, so it was time to restock and Sephora was my first stop at West Farms.

I quickly found the eye shadow primer, but I was overwhelmed by the huge selection of liquid foundations on display. Foundation brands and types were not as big an issue as was color. I have never been confident of the colors I use; I know my color choices are in the ballpark, but I want to hit a home run, so I asked one of the sales reps for assistance.

Filomena walked me over to the Sephora + Pantone Color IQ display where she used a handheld camera-like device to determine my color, which turned out to be medium beige. The result was entered into the Color IQ iPad and it displayed all the brands of foundations that were available in my color. I selected the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation. My foundation color choices were always in the lighter than medium beiges, so I will be anxious to see how I look in my corrected color.

I exited Sephora at noon and decided to have lunch. Like most malls, the dining choices are mostly of the fast food variety, but I noticed a new-to-me restaurant that seemed to be a few notches up from the usual mall fare: Brio Tuscan Grille.

As soon as I entered Brio, I knew my estimate was correct. It was a very well-appointed restaurant and most of its clientele were well-dressed business people. I fit right in!

I was seated quickly and an attentive waitress could not have been nicer to me. She helped me select a glass of wine by providing two samples and I selected a 5-ounce filet with grilled veggies from the menu. It was delicious.

The rest of the staff treated me like a lady and the other diners ignored me like an old lady.

After finishing my meal, I needed to use the ladies' room and one of the staff pointed me in the general direction. The problem was that when I arrived at the facilities, the names of the restrooms were in Italian.

I know a few words in Italian, but not "ladies' room" and "men's room," so I selected the room on my left, the one called "Domme." (When faced with choices I am clueless about, I always select the choice on the left.)

It turned out I made the correct choice, but I have to admit I was a little worried while sitting on the toilet trying to figure out which direction the shoes of the person in the next stall were pointed. I am sure they were pointed the wrong way, but maybe they did not know Italian either!

After dining, I browsed the racks in Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom and after getting over the sticker shock, I visited the Apple store to ask a genius a question about the iPad mini.

My feet were holding up very well after six hours in 3-inch heels, but I was done shopping, had bought more than I intended and decided to call it a day en femme.

Home by 4 PM, I kicked off my heels and reflected on my day.

 

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Source: MyHabit 

 

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Actor and professional femulator Jim Bailey in the 1987 film Penitentiary III.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lemon Meringue Pie

IMG_2344_www Wednesday was going to be a very big day out en femme for me. I was going to take the train to New York City to attend a conference with my boss and her boss: three business women in The City for the day.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to the trip, but late on Tuesday, the conference was cancelled and so was the trip to NYC.

Handed a lemon, I decided to make a lemon meringue pie.

Wednesday morning, I phoned my boss and told her I was taking a vacation day. Then I shaved, showered, did my hair and makeup, dressed (new sweater dress from Dress Barn, black opaque tights, black Payless Karmen pumps), grabbed my coat and my bag and headed to the malls.

I arrived at the Westfield Mall in Meriden (CT) a few minutes after it opened. Usually, the mall is very quiet when it opens on a weekday, but it was very busy yesterday. I assume the now perpetual Black Friday had something to do with it.

Wow! How I have changed!

Only a few years ago, I would carefully strategize my mall visits. I would use an entrance with the least amount of foot traffic and sit in my car until I was sure no one else would be entering at the same time as me.

After the all-clear, I would enter the mall and avoid any males who might be traversing the mall and I would avoid eye contact with any human being I might encounter. I would be all business and go directly to the store(s) I was interested in visiting and not browse, window-shop and enjoy my shopping experience.

That version of Stana is so foreign to me now. Now I do the mall just like a typical civilian woman does the mall and I enjoy every minute of it!

Westfield Mall is in decline. JCPenney closed its doors earlier this year and its large footprint remains unoccupied. There are other vacancies throughout the mall and most of the replacements, if any, are of the dollar store variety.

However, one replacement is now a favorite spot for me to shop: Fashion to Figure. They have a nice variety of clothing for fuller figure girls like me, yet their price tags are very reasonable. And they were having a buy one item and get the second item at 50% sale.

I spent an hour trying on clothes in Fashion to Figure and cashed out with three new dresses and one new jumpsuit for $125. (I hope Stana gets invited to some holiday parties this year because two of the dresses are too party to wear to work.)

By the way, the sales associate was so helpful and enthusiastic. She picked out some excellent items for me to try on and when she helped zip me into one of the dresses, she noticed I was wearing my Squeem (she was wearing hers, too), yet she was mum about the stray hairs poking out from the top of my Squeem.

After Fashion to Figure, I exited Westfield and headed to West Farms Mall to continue my day out en femme.

 

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Source: Brahmin

Wearing Brahmin.

 

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Actor and professional femulator Libor Landa in the 2003 Czech film Kamenak.