Monday, April 30, 2007

en femme again

Tomorrow, I spend the day en femme again.

I will be ready to go out about 9 or 10 AM. I will meet D around 11:30 AM and we will travel to the university in New Haven where we will be doing outreach for two human sexuality classes in the afternoon. Since I will have some free time before I meet D, I may do some shopping at the mall or maybe I will go to a park and take some photos.

The weather is supposed to be on the cool side, so I plan to wear something more winter-like than summer-like: a two-piece tweed suit.

I am so looking forward to the day out!

Friday, April 27, 2007

can I picture sophia loren wearing it?

Recently, I read a blog that discussed the subject of dressing appropriately for your age. The blog was "What To Wear This Very Second" and the pertinent post in that blog was "How To Dress Your Age."

I recommend reading it, but I want to repeat (and comment on) the author's checklist for determining whether someone is dressed appropriately...

So, when considering whether you'd look good in a particular piece, use the following checklist:

1. Do I look good?

2. Do I feel good?

3. Does it say something positive (and perhaps truthful) about my rank in life?

4. Can I picture Sophia Loren wearing it?


In my opinion, question number 4 does it for me! If I can imagine the 70-something Ms. Loren wearing the same outfit that I am wearing, then I believe it is perfectly appropriate for this 40-something-else female wannabe.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

size

Lately, I have been noticing the tiny size of some women I know. Some seem to be only 5 foot 2 and 99 pounds soaking wet. They wear size 0 or less. They buy clothes in the children's department.

I do not compare favorably with such women. I am a foot taller and twice the weight (on a good day). So, when I am out en femme, I try to avoid tiny women like the plague.

Standing or walking alone, people see a big, tall woman, but if I stand or walk near a tiny woman, people now have a point of reference. They see how much bigger I really am and then the start putting two and two together and come up with man.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

a rare sighting

During my lunch hour, I usually walk a mile or so around the office park here where I work.

Yesterday, while I was walking by the parking lot of one of our neighbors, I heard one of my favorite sounds: high heels clicking on pavement. I looked around and found the source of the sound: a woman walking through the parking lot wearing high heels. She also wore a skirt or dress with a mid-calf hemline under a long coat.

What a rare sight! On the average, I see one or two dozen women on my daily lunch hour walks, but I seldom see any wearing skirts and heels. Usually they wear slacks, trousers, or jeans with sneakers or flats, which is what I usually wear when I walk.

And that's the problem! If more women wore skirts and heels, then I wouldn't stand out so much when I wear skirts and heels.

Monday, April 23, 2007

questions & comments I received during outreach

I added a new page to My Adventures in Femulation. The page is called questions & comments I received during outreach and I will update it whenever I receive new questions and comments while participating in future outreaches.

outreaching again

I will be doing outreach May 1 for two human sexuality classes at a local university. This is always an interesting experience because it gives me an opportunity to show young adults that crossdressers are like other people and not crazy, perverted, sick, (you insert the adjective) individuals as often portrayed by the media.

Fielding the variety of questions that the students ask is stimulating. Some of the questions they ask, I have heard from students during past outreaches, but there are always a couple of unique questions that are thought provoking.

Now, the big question for me to answer is "what to wear?"

Friday, April 20, 2007

my new girly car

I bought a new car and picked it up at the dealer the other day. My feminine side must have been in high gear when I picked it out because when I drove it home and showed it to my spouse, she said it was "pretty."

Now, I am looking forward to driving my girly car en femme.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

other sites for crossdressed film buffs

Two other excellent Web sites for crossdressed film buffs are Hazel Freeman's International Transgender Film Guide and Tiffany's TG Movie Guide. Hazel's guide lists any film with transgendered content, while Tiffany's guide only lists films with male-to-female transgendering.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

site for crossdressed film buffs

I am a big film fan. Yet, I seldom go to the movies. (Last movie I saw at a theater was Clerks II.)

However, I do have a Blockbuster subscription and I also have the big movie package on Dish Network, so I watch a lot of movies from the comfort of my home.

Over the years, I lost count how many times I would be watching a film for the first time and surprise, crossdressing appears in film unexpectedly.

Being a crossdressed film buff, I used to make note of the film if it contained crossdressing. Then I found a Web site that already had recorded each film appearance of crossdressing. The site is JK's Transgender Movie Guide. It has been on the Internet for a long time and is very comprehensive. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

some good news for the crossdressed

The IFGE (International Foundation for Gender Education) held their annual convention in Philadelphia last week. I did not attend, but author Helen Boyd did and she had some good news for crossdressers in her blog:

"When we arrived at IFGE, we were greeted nearly immediately by Veronica Vera & Mariette Pathy Allen, even while we were checking in! Miss Vera would answer the question 'Are crossdressers obsolete?' in her opening remarks the next day, & she looked fantastic. (Her answer, in a nutshell, was 'no.')

"Crossdressers made a graceful stand for their place in the trans community this year, as in addition to Miss Vera, Miqqi Gilbert received a Trinity Award & delivered an acceptance speech that both (1) asked crossdressers to step up & (2) asked anyone who would disrespect or exclude CDs to step off. I was damned glad to hear it, since there really are some trans women who come off so smug I often feel tempted to mention that being a woman does not prevent one from liking crossdressers."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

a member of the third gender

Today's newspaper interviews James Lescene, who is an actor starring in I Am My Own Wife, a one-actor play about Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, who was born a man, but lived openly as a woman in East Germany under the Nazi and Communist regimes.

I appreciated Lescene's answer to the following question: Did Charlotte ever want to be a transsexual?

Lescene replied, "She said, 'I wanted to live as a woman. I did not want to become a woman.' She felt that was closer to who she was. She felt that was closer to who she was. In most cultures, there is a third gender, and I think she represents that. She didn't want to be a woman, and she didn't want to be a man. She wanted to be this third thing. The fact that during a period of history in which everybody was required to be either one thing or the other, strictly, she somehow managed to be that third thing. It's not that she wanted to be gay. She wanted to live her life as this third thing, which there was no room for.

"That's why the play is so timely, I think. I look around now and think it's crazy. Everybody has to be either this or that, even in the gay community. There's very little discussion or room for this third gender. When people think of transvestites or transsexuals, they always think of kooks. They don't think about the people who are quietly living their lives and trying to be their own person. For better or worse, Charlotte was her own person."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

the old girls' club

There was an article in my support group's newsletter about a road trip to see a presentation by Jennifer Finney Boylan, the author She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders.

According to the article, “After her presentation Ms Boylan opened up the floor for questions. After several ‘easy’ questions… Jenny was hit with a rather uncomfortable question from a genetic woman in her early 50s. The woman was truly trying to work this thing called transgenderism out, but she took the mood of the whole night in a different direction with her barrage of questions and comments.

“The tone of her questions was searching, but antagonistic. She basically said that she didn’t get transgenderism and that how can Jenny, after living the life of a privileged upper class white male, now expect to be welcomed as a woman. She further pointed out that Jenny did not have to go through growing up as a female, being teased by boys, dealing with menstruation, dealing with childbirth, and facing everyday discrimination. The woman topped it off by saying ‘frankly, I don’t want you as a member of my club.’

“Jenny was clearly shocked as was most of the audience and was taken aback and put on the defensive. She paused to compose herself, thought, and delivered her answer. Jenny agreed that these were all fair questions but that she did not expect them and could not answer them all right now…”

True, Jenny (and I) “did not have to go through growing up as a female, being teased by boys, dealing with menstruation, dealing with childbirth, and facing everyday discrimination.” However, growing up as a white male, who had yearnings to be female, at least some of the time, I was teased by boys and faced discrimination.

As a boy, I was not considered “macho,” although that term did not even exist in the English language when I was growing up. Other boys called me “fairy,” “twinky,” ”faggot,” and “sissy.” I did not know why. I did not think that I acted effeminately. I did not think that I looked effeminate either; I was the biggest kid in my class (200 pounds by the 5th grade) and I was the first boy who had to shave (by the 8th grade). I loved playing baseball and football, but I was usually picked last when choosing up sides (I could hit the baseball a mile, but I threw “like a girl.”). I did very well in grammar school (salutatorian in my graduating class) and was often considered the “teacher’s pet.” Maybe that gave the other boys mixed messages.

Things were not much better in high school. Some of the jocks got on my case. On graduation day, I recall a jock asking why I was in line with the boy graduates instead of the girl graduates. I also remember my Spanish teacher wondering aloud if I would dress like a senorita for “Spanish Night.” (I threw her for a loop when I showed up dressed like a Cuban revolutionary sporting a fake beard, cigar, and fatigues.)

By the time I was in high school, I had been experimenting for years with my sister’s and mother’s wardrobe. I felt very guilty about it and was sure that I was destined to spend eternity in Hell.

Attending a Catholic high school did not help matters. Once a month, the nuns marched us to church next door to confess our sins. One time, I remember making up my mind to confess my crossdressing sins, but when I got in the confession booth, I froze up and could not get out the words describing my sins. The priest sensed something was wrong and said he would forgive any sin I was too embarrassed to recall to him. All I had to do was admit that I had sins(s) I was too embarrassed to enumerate.

Here was my chance to get off the hook, a free pass that would enable me to start anew with a clean slate, but I blew it. I could not admit that I was hiding something from the priest! I ended up saying two Hail Mary’s and two Our Father’s and berating myself for years over that flub!

College was no better, but by then, I was used to my status and made the best of it. Boys and now even some girls teased me. Try asking a girl for a date when that girl thinks you are a “fairy” or worse. How many times did I hear “you are a nice guy, but…?” It hurt and I could not understand why I was being hurt. In my mind, I was not effeminate, so why was I being treated as if I was effeminate.

Today, I still don’t think I am effeminate; I act like I always acted and that is as my natural self; I am not faking it, I am not pretentious; I am not trying to fool anybody. But, now that I am older and a little wiser, I can put two and two together and realize that there must be some feminine traces in my male persona that other people recognize.

So be it. I try not to be concerned how others think about me. In my gut, I still care some of the time, but I try to convince myself that I shouldn’t care and maybe someday, I will be completely free of guilt.

And, in response to the woman who said she did not want Jennifer Boylan as a member of her club, I say “that’s ok,” because, as Marx once said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Thursday, April 5, 2007

still more photos

TM, another friend, e-mailed me more photos from Saturday's banquet. Here they are!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"...sweet, sugar, candyman"

Here is another photo from my support group's annual banquet on Saturday. My friend D took the photo and e-mailed it to me. It shows me lip-synching "Candyman" during the Follies portion of the evening.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

the banquet

Saturday night, I attended my support group's annual banquet. There were over 60 people in attendance. The majority of the attendees were male-to-female transfolk, but there also was a growing minority of genetic females in attendance numbering about 15 or so. They were either the significant others of the transfolk or female supporters of our support group. It is interesting that every year; the ratio of genetic females to transfolks attending the banquet has increased.

I received a service award for the work I did for the support group (editing the newsletter, chairing the banquet, doing outreach, etc.). I was very surprised to receive the award.

I saw some old friends and acquaintances at the banquet that I had not seen in years, which was nice.

During the "follies" portion of the event, I lip-synched Christina Aguillera's Candyman. I was very nervous and I messed up some of the lyrics, but nobody noticed or seemed to care and I received applause after I performed and was not hooted off the dance floor.

Our guest speaker was a psychology professor from a local university. I was supposed to do outreach for one of her classes last fall, but I had to cancel at the last minute because it coincided with my Mom's death. Our outreach chairlady introduced me to the professor and she was very nice, remembered our e-mail exchange, and hoped that I could do outreach at her class another time.

It was a bad camera night. Maybe the ghost of George Eastman was in attendance and jinxed all of us who were using filmless digital cameras. I have only one or two acceptable photos from the evening and I know other attendees who were also having bad luck with their cameras.

I decided to wear the dress I wore to the Avon representative Christmas party. It was more formal than the others I had in mind and more appropriate for the occasion, and in retrospect, I am glad I wore it because it received a lot of compliments. Miss R e-mailed me on Monday with the following, "But I have to tell you, at the banquet Saturday night when you went up to receive your award... the GGs (genetic girls) at the three tables around mine, all you could hear was, 'Look at that Dress! Where did she get that dress? It's Gorgeous!'"

Unlike last year, the non-trans guests in the hotel did not bother us. Some seemed intrigued by us, some just ignored us. A large group of us ended up in the hotel bar after the banquet and most of the non-trans patrons paid no attention to us. And as I was leaving the hotel to go home, a young woman entering the hotel said, "I love your dress."

Sunday, April 1, 2007

last night

I had a fantastic time at my support group's banquet last night, but I did not get home until 3 AM and into bed until 3:30 AM. As a result, I am too tired to write about the evening today, but I promise to write about it in the next day or two.