Friday, November 30, 2007

random thoughts on a Friday afternoon

Yesterday, I received an e-mail and post office mail from Newport-News informing me that they shipped my new dress. Hopefully, I will get it in time to wear when I go out en femme on Thursday.

Today, I bought two pairs of tights, a black pair and a gray pair, to wear with the new dress. The dress is silver, so I am not sure which color will look better, but one or the other should work. (My guess is black.)

As I mentioned a few postings ago, I ordered the dress one size smaller than usual because (1) I lost some weight and (2) the clothing industry seems to be downsizing again, i.e., yesterday's size 18 is today's size 16. Hopefully, the dress will fit and I won't have to send it back.

The weather forecast looks good for Thursday. It will be cold ("high near 33"), but there is no precipitation in the forecast.

If I have some time before I do outreach on Thursday, I would like to shop for a new winter coat. All my coats are either old and worn or fake fur and therefore, too dressy for normal wear. I do have a cute white fake fur jacket that I wore whenever I went out last winter, but it does not look right with certain outfits, so I need a new coat.

And so it goes.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

vintage crossdressing

My Tuesday post "meet the Retro Queens" rekindled my interest in vintage clothing.

All along, I have been attracted to clothing that recalled fashions of the past and I have bought a retro item on occasion.

About ten years ago, I searched eBay on a daily basis looking for vintage clothing, particularly dresses of the late-1940s to early-1960s era. It was a difficult search because of the size issues, that is, there was not much available in my size.

I did win a few items on eBay and have worn some of those vintage dresses out en femme, but about half my winnings were a disappointment: they did not fit.

I never bid on an item unless the listing includes the bust, waist, and hip measurements and I only bid on items when I have a good idea the item will fit me. But sometimes I estimated wrong. For example, the bust, waist, and hip measurements matched my needs, but the cut of the dress was such that it did not fit right.

I could not return the item and I was stuck with something I could not wear. After winning too many too small dresses, I stopped searching eBay.

Eight years later, I think I am a better judge of what will fit me, so I am hitting the eBay women's vintage clothing listings again. I have found some gorgeous dresses and already have bids in on some of them.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

trying on a dress

"I never feel comfortable in the women's department. I feel like I'm just a little too close to trying on a dress."

So said Jerry in "The Red Dot" episode of Seinfeld.

On Seinfeld, Jerry did not play a trans character. In real life, I am not aware that Jerry is a trans person.

Larry David wrote "The Red Dot" episode and as far as I know, Larry is not a trans person either.

My point is that the "too close to trying on a dress" line came from a non-trans person. Admittedly, it was intended to be humorous, but I wonder if there is a grain of truth buried in that line.

Do non-trans men feel uncomfortable in women's department because they feel like they are a little too close to trying on a dress?

I don't know because I am trans. Whenever I am in the women's department, I always feel close to trying on a dress. In fact, I would love to try on a dress if I see one I like and I have actually done so on more than one occasion in boy mode.

But do non-trans men have thoughts about wearing dresses?

I am sure that the average guy would not admit it except in jest because he would not want to muddle up his masculine image. But, it does make me wonder how close the average guy is to joining my team.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

meet the Retro Queens

Meet the Retro Queens, who epitomize the Forties glamour that is winter's must-have look (and is the look that this fashionista crossdresser must have, too!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

my interview

My interview with blogger Marty Weil appears in his blog "ephemera" today. The interview concerns my female impersonator ephemera collection, some of which you can view here.


Friday, November 23, 2007


Instead of joining the throngs of people shopping the day after Thanksgiving, I am going to shop online today. I plan to make some Christmas gift purchases for my loved ones and I also plan to buy a new dress from Newport-News that is on sale (15% off) this weekend.

I fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it in the fall catalog, but I have delayed my purchase until there was a sale. The dilemma I face is what size to order.

For a number of reasons, I am considering ordering one size lower than what I usually order. For starters, I lost a little weight; not much, maybe half a dress size (and I would like to lose more... who wouldn't?).

Another reason is that what was a size 18 yesterday is really a size 20 today. For example, I recently ordered a skirt in my "normal size," but I had to return it for a smaller size because my old normal size was too big.

So, I will order the dress today in my "new smaller size" and hope for the best.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

a tight spot

Today, we went to New York City to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I have probably watched it on television every year since my family bought their first television or since they began telecasting the parade, whichever came last.

It is so much better seeing it in person! It is more colorful, louder, and the air is full of electricity. You see a lot more than you ever see on television and you do not have to listen to inane commentators or commercials. I had a fantastic time.

You may remember that I wrote about tights two days ago. Today I saw tights everywhere around the City. I estimate that half the woman I saw today wearing skirts or dresses were also wearing black tights with black patent high heels.

I love the look and the women wearing the look looked lovely. I think I would nice wearing that look, too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy T-day

I wish all my blog readers a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I also wish all my blog readers a Happy Trans Day! (Everyday is Trans Day when you are a member of our crowd.)

Simpsonize This:

My girl friend Patty sent me this link to Simpsonize myself. The results are to the left.

During the Simpsonization process, you can pick out the style of clothing you wear. I selected "cross-dressy" and expected to be wearing something drag queeny. Instead, I ended up wearing a man's shirt and trousers. D'oh!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I like tights and tights are in. So, everything is perfect in the world!

Some people do not like tights. Some people actually hate tights. They say they don't like the way they feel, that they are itchy, unhealthy, hot, their visual impression is just not flattering, etc.

I think they look great. Don't they look great on the model to the left?

And I have never found that they were itchy, unhealthy, or hot.

That expensive dress that I bought from Victoria's Secret was shown in their catalog being worn by a model wearing tights. I plan to wear tights too when I wear that dress to my Christmas party.


The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

I often write about going out en femme. It is exhilarating, invigorating, validating, and the most fun I can have without taking off my clothes. However, there is always a little fear in the back of my mind whenever I go out en femme.

My fear has two components.
  • If I pass as a woman, I am a target for males who target women.
  • If I don't pass as a woman, I am a target for males who target men dressed as women.
These are genuine fears. The ever-growing list of dead trans sisters validates my fears.

I am big and strong and if I was ever attacked, my attacker might regret it, but that does not lessen my fears.

President Roosevelt was correct and we should not let our fears debilitate us. My fears are not going to stop me from going out en femme; it is something I have to do.

Today, we must remember the dead trans sisters and brothers whose fears became their realities, but we must also continue to move forward away from the closet and validate our existence in society.

Monday, November 19, 2007

There’s Something About “Deception”

According to Julia Serano:

Few attempts to blame the victim are more blatant than when trans people are accused of "sexual deceit" or "sexual assault" simply because other people have chosen to express their attraction toward us. In reality, it is they who are guilty of cissexual/cisgender assumption (when one presumes that every person they meet is nontrans by default). Trans people simply exist, we are everywhere, and the rest of the world has to start recognizing and accepting that.

Read Ms. Serano's excellent article here.

weekend update, part 2

After a busy day yesterday, I sat down to relax with some reading material in front of the television. I narrowed my television viewing choices to the Patriots vs. Bills football game and the American Music Awards.

I expected that the football game would not be much of a game (my Patriots should win big time), so I decided to watch the music awards program and check on the game during commercials.

Please note that I am not a big fan of the current music scene. I like some of today's music, but most of it leaves me cold. However, as a crossdressing fashionista, I watch awards shows to see how the females are dressed to kill.

Two singers impressed me.

Fergie: I loved her micro minidress (and she has the legs to wear it).

Rihanna: I liked her dress, too, but what really impressed me was her height. I looked it up and she is either 5' 8" or 5' 9" depending on whom you believe. The very high heels she wore made her look taller.

By the way, the Patriots won 56-10.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

weekend update

It was a very quite weekend trans-wise. Did some house mending Saturday, holiday shopping today, and now I am too popped to Polka.

Back on topic... A few days ago, I left a comment on Jodie's blog and as a result, me in my new do showed up in the comment sidebar.

Jodie commented on my comment and added, "Also -- I love the new avatar."

Thank you! I love the new do, too, and I can't wait to wear it out again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

wear what makes you feel special

Tony Alcindor blogged about winter fashion trends on The Huffington Post. It is a good read and I recommend it.

Mr. Alcindor also had some wise words about fashion, in general:

"A good rule of thumb is to only buy if you absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. If you truly love, then you should buy it and enjoy it. If you kinda like it, then forget it -- it's just an impulse. Fight it! You'll thank me when you don't have to look at that neon green coat staring at you from your closet, laughing at you."

And with the following statement, he really hit a home run with this crossdressing fashionista:

"Wear what makes you happy, wear what makes you confident, wear what makes you feel special."


The image is a postcard size advertisement for Eldorado, which was a Berlin nightclub well-known for its diverse clientele during the Weimar era.

The ad was up for auction on eBay and I lost out. My high bid was about one-third of the winning bid.

I wish I could have added this card to my female impersonator ephemera collection, but I was loathe to bid higher because of the card's condition; the card had damage from being folded twice. (I cleaned up the image you see using Photoshop).

"Located at the corner of Motzstraße and Kalckreuthstraße in Berlin's Schöneberg district, the Eldorado was a popular destination during the 1920s and early 1930s for lesbians, homosexual men, transvestites of both sexes and slumming tourists. The nightclub featured cabaret shows, dancing and drinking in a stylish atmosphere." You can read more about it here.

The card would have been a nice addition to my collection, but it was too pricey and too damaged for my purse.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

vox en femme

During outreach Wednesday night, one of the students asked how much different are our boy and girl personalities.

I replied that I am just about the same in boy and girl mode. People who know me in both modes claim that they don't see any difference. I admit that I do femme it up in order to be more passable in girl mode, i.e., I try to carry myself in a more feminine manner, but I confessed that I don't do much with my voice because I felt silly whenever I did it.

Isn't that a contradiction! When I dress to the nines as a woman including full makeup and wig, I don’t feel silly, but speaking in a feminine voice makes me feel silly.

And believe me, my feminine voice is not a silly high-pitched, Minnie Mouse-like falsetto. I actually bought Melanie Anne Phillip's How to Develop a Female Voice videotape, practiced with it, and managed to sound like a woman. So, why does speaking in a feminine voice makes me feel silly?

I guess it has something to do with the fact that I really do not have separate boy and girl personalities. When I am in girl mode, I am the same person that I am in boy mode. I do not express my feminine side when I am en femme because I don't have a feminine side! So, when I use a feminine voice, I am doing something that is so unlike myself that it makes me feel uneasy.

On the other hand, my goal is to use a feminine voice when I am en femme. Back in May, when I went out clubbing with my Ohio friend Jade Catherine, her perfect feminine voice inspired me to use my own feminine voice. After many false starts, I think I finally found a way to kick-start my feminine voice whenever I go out.

I usually start my en femme outings by getting in my car and driving somewhere. To put me in the mood, I dial up Shania Twain's Man, I Feel Like a Woman! on my iPod and blast it through my car's audio system. And I always sing along.

My girl friend Patty said that one way to develop a feminine voice is to sing along to recorded music, especially female vocalists. When you sing, you are using the parts of your voice that woman uses when she speaks and you usually do not use the parts of your voice that a man uses when he speaks. (There are technical terms for this, but I don't want to get technical.)

Makes sense, so I went through the 8,000 songs stored on my iPod to find female vocals that would do the trick. I found a few that had potential, but they really did not work, so I kind of forgot about it.

Wednesday evening, after outreach, I was in a very good mood and I decided to reprise Man, I Feel Like a Woman! on my iPod and of course, I sang along. (By the way, I know all the words by heart because I lip-synched this song at my support group's banquet a few years ago.)

As I sang along, I realized that my feminine voice was kicking in especially during the verses when Shania is singing in a lower pitch… not so much during the chorus, when Shania is singing in a higher pitch. I played the song over again a few times and again yesterday morning, as well as this morning on my way to work, and my feminine voice kicked in each time.

So, I have my answer and found the perfect song to kick-start my feminine voice when I start out en femme. I'll let you know how it works next time I am out en femme.

Vox and the Fab Four

The word "vox" reminded me… Do you remember when the Beatles used Vox brand guitars, amplifiers and speakers when they performed live?

During that era, I remember cutting out a coupon from some magazine and sending it to Vox. In return, they sent me a Beatles poster depicting the Fab Four in concert. The poster also cataloged the Vox line of musical equipment. I remember drooling over the Vox guitars and dreaming of filling in with the Beatles or Beach Boys when George or Carl got sick.

I still have my copy of the poster somewhere.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

30,000 customers served

Early this evening (Eastern Standard Time), the hit counter on this blog broke 30,000.

Thank you to all my loyal readers and to all who just stop by to take a peek!

the woman I sometimes am

Last night, I did outreach at Dr. Janell Carroll's graduate-level family therapy class at the University of Hartford. Joining me were my old friend, Barbara, a male-to-female transwoman, and a new acquaintance, Teo, a female-to-male transman.

I wore my new wig, new outfit, and new shoes. I love the retro look! Dr. Carroll complimented my look and considering the source, I was very pleased.

It was a little spooky though because when I looked in the mirror a certain way, I saw my mother! I do resemble my mother's side of the family and the new wig confirmed that fact.

Good news is that the Joy Baby Doll Pump is a very comfortable shoe. I wore them for over five hours and my feet were fine despite the three-inch heel.

There were approximately 15 students in the class. All, but one of the students were female, and most were already working as counselors, typically in schools.

We each told our "life stories." That took approximately 40 minutes leaving only 20 minutes for questions and answers.

One question gave me pause: What were my goals for the future?

Wow! I had to think about that answer.

My reply was that I wanted to continue to spread the word about transwomen like me, so that society would be more tolerant and open-minded of our tribe. I also admitted that I am a successful professional writer, that I write this blog, and that I am planning to write a book to evangelize plain, vanilla crossdressers like me.

The evening ended too quickly and before I knew it, I was home removing all signs of the woman I sometimes am.

new look

Yesterday afternoon, I wore my new wig with full makeup for the first time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

outreach tonight

Tonight, I step out en femme and do outreach for a graduate-level family therapy class at a local university.

I will be sharing the "stage" with another male-to-female crossdresser, who I have known forever (Barbara was probably my first telephone contact with another crossdresser), Robin McHaelen, Executive Director of True Colors, who will speak about trans youth, and a third person, whom I don't know.

It will be a new experience in a number of ways:
First time doing outreach with grad students
First time doing outreach at this university
First time doing outreach with this group of presenters
I hope I do a good job!

I will have a full report for you here tomorrow and I hope to have some photos, too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


A Footnote in Trans Film History

Justine is a 1969 film. It was not a big hit. I did not see it and I don't recall if it played in any local movie theater back then.

At the end of 1969, when Playboy published their annual review of films, it mentioned that Justine contained crossdressing. I made a mental note of the film because back in 1969, crossdressing in any media was very rare.

During the ensuing 38 years, I had no occasion to see the film. During that time, I also noticed that Justine never showed up on any list of trans films, so I started to doubt Playboy's take on the movie

Yesterday, while I was waiting on dinner, I was channel surfing and came in on the middle of Justine playing on one of the cable movie channels. About ten minutes into my watch, a male appeared in full evening gown drag.

Playboy was correct after all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

more outreach

When it rains, it pours! Today, I received another request to participate in another outreach; this time at Southern Connecticut State University in December where I have done outreach before.

Naturally, I accepted and look forward to spreading the word!

Friday, November 9, 2007


I tweeze my eyebrows for a more feminine appearance. Nothing drastic, but just enough to clean them up and make them a little thinner.

They are now at a point where I am satisfied with their appearance. So, I only tweeze for maintenance.

The last time I cleaned them up was over three weeks ago, just before my last outing en femme. In anticipation of my next outing on Tuesday, I decided to do some maintenance this morning.

I was surprised to discover that very little maintenance was required. I only had to remove four or five very thin hairs. I guess all my tweezing has finally resulted in some permanent eyebrow hair loss! Hurray!

the wife problem


By the end of the week, I sometimes run out of things to write here, but I can usually some up with something that I think is humorous. So, in lieu of brilliant prose, I will post another image that I created during my coffee break today.

I hope you enjoy the graphic images that I create and post here. I do enjoy creating them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

new outreach venue

After the dust settled yesterday, it turns out that I will be doing outreach at a graduate level family therapy class at the University of Hartford on Tuesday evening. This is a new venue for me, so I am excited about it.

Most of my previous outreaches have been with undergraduate students. Next Tuesday, the students will be future school counselors, psychologists, and therapists in private practice, so I expect that the Q & A will be a few notches higher than what I usually encounter.

It should be an interesting evening!

my ephemera update

My Ephemera web page displays my collection of female impersonator postcards and paper items.

I received the following e-mail last night indicating that one of the postcards (Sammy's Bowery Follies) was not related to female impersonators, so I removed that postcard from the web page.
I thought I'd let you know that Sammy's Bowery Follies did not have female impersonators. It had a floorshow of aging ex-vaudevillians.
Charlie (Sammy's Grandson)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

trans-parents panel

I just turned down accepted an invitation to be on a panel of trans-parents at the University of Hartford tonight next Tuesday night! I would love to do it, but there was no way I could on such short notice.

Too bad.

new look

A new wig ("Tatum" from Revlon), a new color ("rum raisin"), on old me, and, voila! I have a brand new look. What do you think?

A caveat: This is a composite photo of my head and a model modeling the wig.

Michael Gilbert

Michael Gilbert is a college professor, who is very out about his crossdressing.

Here is an excellent article about the professor (although, I don't like the title of the article) and here are my favorite quotes from the professor that appeared in the article:

"However, while I know that I cross-dress, I have no real idea of why I cross-dress. I simply know that I do. My acceptance of this part of myself, without shame or guilt, has taken a long time."

"If you're doing something and you're not sure why, why not make it into something that’s about growth and learning?"

"An obsession [rather than a 'hobby'] would be a more appropriate description. It's not as if we can choose to give it up, the way you might decide to give up golf or collecting engravings. It's not a choice, really. Nobody wakes up one day and says, 'My life isn't complicated enough. I think I'll put on women's clothes.'"

Monday, November 5, 2007

in the same boat

Yesterday, Felicia Conti posted this on GenderEvolve:

"So you can dress as an attractive female, go alone to the mall and the straight clubs, fly under the radar... But you don’t dare to interact much because of the fear of discovery of your true identity and the peril that might follow... your experiences start to seem hollow, void, empty, lacking in substance. So the thrill is gone although you spend considerable time helping others. So is this all there is for a non-transitioned, transgendered woman? And now what?"

(Please read her entire essay here.)

I often find myself in the same boat. I dress to the nines, go out, sometimes fly under the radar, sometimes not, don't interact much, and get bored with the whole thing, then wonder, "What is the point?"

I love dressing up, but unless I do something new when I am out dressed, it sometimes seems like a waste of time.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

loose threads

It is another busy weekend; so busy that I do not have time to write much here or get dressed and go out en femme.

I did try on the dress from Victoria's Secret and decided to keep it. It is a very dressy dress, so I hope I get invited to a party during the holidays (hint, hint) where I can wear it.

Last night, I watched School for Seduction from beginning to almost the end. Something is wrong with the DVD that prevented me from watching the last 30 minutes of the film, but I enjoyed the film up to that point.

On a positive note, the trans character, Tony, the accountant and drag queen wannabee, was treated very nicely in the film. The female instructor and women in the class were very supportive in his desire to improve his female presentation. (I wish there were classes like that around here!)

And although the film was intended as entertainment and not instruction, I still learned a thing or two to improve my female presentation.

My only complaint about the film is that I had a hard time understanding some of the dialog because of the thick British accents of some of the characters. Sub-titles would have come in handy.

The previous post, beard cover, has the following comment from long time reader Shoshana, "Are you just joking around or can guys really look that hot.."

Yes, it was supposed to be a joke, but yes, some guys CAN look that hot. For example, browse flickr and you can find some guys who make very nice look gals. Just off the top of my head, go to flickr and look up Cindycd, Jade Catherine, Kate Salehurst, or Robyn1967 for examples of fantastic-looking females, who are actually guys. And they are just the tip of the iceberg at flickr!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

style vs. fit

The houndstooth jacket dress I ordered from Jessica London arrived yesterday.

After dinner, I took off my menswear and put on my girly underwear. When I removed the jacket dress from its package, my first impression was that the dress looked too big.

I put the dress on and it was at least one size too big (it was a size 16W). Also, it was longer than it appeared in the catalog; in the catalog, the hem of the dress was just above the knee, whereas on me, the hem covered the knee.

I tried on the jacket and it was too big, too.

Besides the wrong fit, I did not like the way the dress looked. It was matronly; something that the elder Barbara Bush would wear.

I was disappointed and will send it back for a refund.

Next, I tried on the dress from Victoria's Secret. When it arrived two days ago, I quickly slipped it on over my boy undies to see if it fit (and it did). As I wrote yesterday, "Since the dress is so expensive, I want to see how it looks and fits with my girly underwear and then decide whether to keep it or send it back."

I slipped it on and immediately slipped it off because the dress's neckline revealed the top of my bra cups and my bra straps. I switched to a bra with cups that showed more skin and with adjustable straps that can be placed wider apart on my shoulders.

I slipped it on again and now the dress's neckline only revealed skin.

The dress fit ok, but it does not "wow" me and a dress that costs $150 should wow me. I was a little disappointed, but not enough to send it back for a refund... yet.

I thought about it last night and decided to try it on again with different combinations of underwear to see if I can achieve wow-ness.* If not, it will go back for a refund on Monday.

* Another factor that affects wow-ness is whether I am wearing a wig and makeup or not. More than once, a dress that looked just OK when I tried it on sans wig and makeup, became a wow dress when I tried it on with a wig and makeup.