Friday, October 31, 2014

Over the Brink

First photo after arriving at work today.
All week long, I had Friday on my mind. I was undecided whether to femulate at work for the third Halloween in a row or not... until mid-morning Thursday when my boss stopped by my cubicle.

She asked if I was dressing for Halloween because her boss wanted to take a "before" photo on Thursday and an "after" photo on Friday. (Her boss also plans to costume up at work for Halloween.)

Needless to say, that pushed me over the brink and I went to work en femme today. (I will post a photo as soon as possible.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Some Mondays Aren’t Monday Mondays

Fantasia Fair: Monday, October 20, 2014


I slept well, which is atypical when I am not home. Except for the night of the thunderstorm, I slept well the whole week. Busy days and the cozy environs of my B&B probably helped.

Shaved, showered, makeup applied, I was dressed and downstairs for breakfast by 8:30 AM. With brunch in my near future, I ate lightly and chatted with which ever of my Chicago House sister(s) were also breakfasting (sorry - I can't remember who).

Teeth brushed and lipstick fixed, I exited the B&B and walked two blocks to the Crown & Anchor for the Fantasia Fair Orientation Brunch. I wore JCPenney white shorts, Dress Barn multi-color top, Avon white blazer, Avon pink scarf, Payless nude high heels, Napier jewelry and Avon nude bag. Over it all, I wore my Fashion to Figure trench coat.

        Luna photographing me; photo shot by Diana.

I planned to wear the shorts outfit weeks ago weather permitting. According to the forecast, Monday looked to be a best day of the week temperature-wise, so I figured it was probably the best day for my leggy outfit.

My friends and I sat at a table near the front of the room, but I only paid half attention to the orientation presentation because it would be the fourth time I heard it and it seemed to be very similar to the previous three. Instead, I was more interested in socializing and brunching.

I am a lover of history, so at noon, I joined the throng taking the "Walking Tour of Historic Provincetown." Our guide, Robert Anderson, is an architectural historian and his commentary was revealing as we toured the "heart" of Provincetown.

Most revealing was his assertion that the Chicago House B&B was the birthplace of the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE). After the tour, I asked around and some people disputed that claim, while others seemed to support it. For what it's worth, the IFGE's fundraising project, the Winslow Street Fund, is named after the street where Chicago House is located, so go figure!

The tour ran long, so by the time I hoofed it to the Crown & Anchor for the keynote address, I missed about half of it. Titled "Yellowed and Fading: Searching for Transgender Identity in Vintage Photographs of Crossdressing," it was a fascinating show and tell of Ms. Bob Davis' huge collection of vintage crossdressing photography.

Since I also collect vintage crossdressing images (the more economical digital versions rather than the expensive print versions), I spoke with Ms. Bob after her address. I was curious about her take on the images of World War I and II prisoners of war putting on elaborate shows that included beautiful costuming of the female variety.

Since my idea of a POW camp comes from the film depictions of the World War II camps of Stalag 17 and The Great Escape, I always wondered how the POWs obtained the costuming for their femulations. Did the German military budget include line items for dresses, wigs and makeup for their POWs?

We never came to any conclusions regarding this mystery, but I enjoyed spending over an hour exchanging stories with Ms. Bob and viewing her collection, which included Casa Susanna photos that I had never seen.

I returned to my B&B to freshen up for the Fantasia Fair Town & Gown Dinner. Freshening up included a few minutes napping before I actually freshened my makeup and changed outfits.

For the evening, I wore a dress I had been dying to wear ever since I bought it from ideel a few weeks earlier: a Tahari Arthur S. Levine sheath in royal blue. I accessorized with my black patent high heels from Payless, vintage gold earrings from eBay and a beautiful gold herringbone necklace that I inherited from my Mother. I thought I looked fabulous  —  whether I did or not, I know I felt fabulous!

I donned my white fake fur jacket, met up with the girls and walked two blocks to the Crown & Anchor for dinner and a show.

I have no recollection of the dinner menu! (Does anybody remember?)

I do remember that I asked Diana to take some photos for the blog and while I was posing for the leggy photo posted here on Wednesday, Luna Maria, Fantasia Fair photographer extraodinaire joined the photoshoot. Luna used a digital SLR camera and I bet her shots came out better than the shots Diana took with my iPhone.

After dinner, there was a one-woman show titled Exact Change performed by Christine Howley. It told the story of Chistine's life-long journey from male to post-op transwoman. It was interesting, at times amusing and I was able to identify with some aspects of it.

After the show, we walked back to the B&B. Since it was early in the week, my feet were still in good shape and I was able to walk the walk in heels.

By the way, every night after slipping on my nightie and before turning in, I massaged my feet with Foot Works Beautiful Overnight Renewing Foot Cream from Avon. I think that regimen helped my feet stand the rigors of walking in Provincetown.





Source: Diane von Furstenberg

Wearing Diane von Furstenberg.






American soldiers femulating in a German
prisoners of war camp during World War II.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Forking Sushi

Fantasia Fair: Sunday, October 19, 2014

People ask me if people recognize me when I switch between boy and girl modes. And I answer that I am positive that they don't unless they have seen me in both modes.

Sunday, after I arrived in Provincetown, I registered while still in boy mode. Old friends Jamie and Barbara staffed the registration desk and have seen me in boy mode when I registered in past years  — so they recognized me and greeted me as old friends do.

On the other hand, Marybeth and Emily did not recognize me. Marybeth, who reads this blog regularly, was handing out forms for folks who wanted to be in the fashion show and/or follies. Emily, who stays at the same B&B as I do during Fantasia Fair, was looking for volunteers for various things. Neither Marybeth or Emily had a clue who I was in boy mode on Sunday afternoon.

IMG_2156_www Photo shot by Melissa or Natalie

Full disclosure: I wear eyeglasses 24/7 in boy mode, but seldom wear them in girl mode, so that probably has some effect on the lack of recognition.  

By the way, Emily volunteered me to collect lunch tickets at a restaurant later in the week.

The previous week was "Women's Week" in Provincetown. There were still a few stragglers strolling through town Sunday afternoon and suddenly I became a little paranoid.

Last year, my aunt and her cousin attended Women's Week and I was concerned that they might have done the same this year. They are clueless about me being a woman, but if they saw me in boy mode walking down Commercial Street, I would have a lot of explaining to do. So I ducked down a side street and walked back to my B&B via Bradford Street, which has very little foot traffic as compared to Commercial Street.

Returning to my B&B, I made the transformation into girl mode for the rest of the week. For the evening, I wore my black jump suit from Fashion to Figure, nude high heel pumps from Payless and jewelry from Avon.

After checking myself out in the mirror more times than I can remember, I grabbed my nude handbag from Avon and walked two blocks to the Saki Restaurant for the Fantasia Fair Welcoming Reception.

The weather was pleasant and I hoped it would hold for the next seven days, but it was not meant to be.

I encountered so many peeps at the reception that it is a blur now, but through the blur I do recall meeting Davina, another Chicago House B&B sister from the UK by way of Brazil (and I thought I had a long trip). Another Chicago House sister, Natalie, arrived along with my ham radio sister, Melissa, and sister blogger Diana. We sisters grabbed a booth before all the booths were grabbed.

For over an hour, the waitstaff served a variety of Japanese finger food that we munched on while discussing a variety of girly and not-so girly topics. Then we all got in line to sample the sushi buffet. Unsuccessful with chop sticks, I asked for a fork and was able to enjoy all the sushi I had buffeted.

Things were winding down and I was tired from the four-hour roadtrip and loading/unloading the luggage, so I said my goodbyes and returned to my B&B at 8:45 PM.

After I removed my makeup, moisturized and slipped into my nightie, I fell fast asleep with visions of femulations dancing in my head.





Source: Le Redoute

Wearing Le Redoute.





Mummers Parade 1909

Femulating in the 1909 Philadelphia Mummers Parade.