Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

All dressed up, but nowhere to go!

Actually, a snowstorm blowing through here today cancelled my New Year's Eve plans. So I am staying home tonight safe and sound rather than slipping and sliding across the slippery highways of Connecticut.

Happy New Year!

Gayle King

Gayle King is 5' 10" tall and I just added her to my Famous Females of Height list.

Ms. King is the best friend of Oprah Winfrey. She was a talking head on a local television station's newscasts here in Connecticut for 18 years.

A few years ago, my sister encountered Ms. King at the airport (BDL) and later remarked to me about how she was impressed with Ms. King's size. I had forgotten all about that until I saw Ms. King on Oprah's television show yesterday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

my en femme encounters with Bond, James Bond



Seems like James Bond is everywhere these days. A new Bond film came out recently, there are Bond movie marathons on the tube, and the new issue of Mad Classics has a retrospective of Mad magazine parodies of the old Bond flicks.

The Mad retrospective caused me to recall some things trans-related to James Bond that influenced me when I was a newbie femulator.

I can never forget the opening sequence of Thunderball, which had the bad guy disguised as his wife purportedly attending his own funeral.

The femulation was in two consecutive scenes. In the first scene, I am sure that the bad guy en femme was actually played by a woman because you can catch a glimpse of an attractive blonde under the thin veil covering her face, but in the second scene, the veil has suddenly became thicker and you cannot see the features of the grieving "widow" as she fights Bond and is revealed as male. Despite the obvious (to me), I always fantasized that the leggy blonde in the first scene was the bad guy en femme.

Another trans-related Bond memory actually appeared in a Mad musical parody of the Sean Connery Bond films (Mad #94, April 1965).

In the beginning of the parody (click on image above to magnify it), a bevy of scantily clad female admirers surround Bond, while another female stands to the side admiring Bond's revolver. Bond asks why the she is admiring his revolver and not him.

The female reveals that "she" is actually agent 008 in training and that his girdle is killing him. The secret agent in training was not very attractive, but he was wearing a wig, dress, and a girdle and that definitely was of interest to me.

Finally, I recall another comic book parody loosely based on the Bond films. The spy in this parody was gay and named Jamie. He goes to a hair salon for some work unaware that the salon is run by the enemy. While under the hair dryer, the hair stylist puts him under a spell that reveals his sub-conscious feelings that he really wants to be a woman. He then undergoes a makeover and soon appears seated in the hair salon chair dressed as a pretty leggy blonde in a short dress and high heels with the other hair stylists gushing over him about how fabulous "she" looks.

When Jamie returns to spy headquarters en femme, his superior is aghast, but he has a cure, i.e., a sexual encounter with a female. Sure enough, the cure works and soon the now macho Jamie confronts the brains behind the enemy operation that transformed him into a woman: his mother.

As you can imagine, I read that comic book over and over again and wished I could be so lucky as to walk into the enemy's hair salon.

By the way, this story appeared in a one-shot comic book in the mid- to late-1960s. I lost the book in a purge a long time ago. I have no idea who published it or what was the name of the comic book, but I do recall that the book contained two stories and they appeared throughout the book with one story appearing on the top half of each page, while the other story appeared on the bottom half of each page. If anyone can provide any other information about this comic book I would greatly appreciate it, so that I can track down a copy to add to my collection.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Born to Be a Woman of God

On a dreary morning in Yogyakarta, in a brick house, some 10 meters from the main road in Gedong Tengen, Notoyudan hamlet, an 8-year-old girl is folding yellow paper napkins with a friend. They work slowly, whispering comments about boys and giggling as they form perfect little paper triangles.

“Mom, how many of these napkins should I cut and fold?” the 8-year-old calls out to a woman wearing a long-sleeved black shirt and Muslim headscarf.

“Make it 40,” the woman answers. “There will be a lot of people coming today.”

The girl’s mother, Mariyani, is a transvestite.

In July, Mariyani established Indonesia’s first pesantren for transvestites.

By definition a pesantren is an Islamic boarding school. Mariyani uses the word pointedly, to improve her school’s credibility with the public as a place of learning.

Read the rest of the story here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jahna Steele

I happened upon this article, "15 Overlooked Deaths of 2008," which is about "the unsung deaths, the people whose passing went largely unnoticed, but deserved better."

Number 13 in the list of overlooked deaths is Jahna Steele, "a Las Vegas showgirl who was voted 'Sexiest Showgirl on the Strip' in 1991, and 'Most Beautiful Showgirl' in 1993. She also happened to have a penis."

You can visit Ms. Steele's Web site here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

200,000 and counting

The hit counter climbed past 200,000 earlier today.

This blog was up for 16 months before the hit counter reached 100,000. The next 100,000 hits only took six months.

Thank you for visiting!

Dustin Hoffman passes

While filming Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman passed. He recalled his success en femme on David Letterman's "The Late Show" this week.

Read all about it and see it here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

crossdressed in the past

Merry Christmas... (signed) Vickie Jordan



Vickie Jordan was a mid-20th Century female impersonator, i.e., a professional femulator.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

skip The House Bunny

I watched The House Bunny last night.

We saw the previews for the film last summer and thought it might be worth renting. It was not.

There was a trans scene in the film and I will recount it here because I am a completist (and not because I recommend the film).

The main character, a Playboy bunny ends up in a prison cell with a group of prostitutes. She tries to make nice with her cellmates and suggests to one that she should let her natural beauty show and not wear so much heavy makeup. The prostitute responds that she is a dude.

Jonathan Loughran plays the prostitute (see photo).

You may remember him from the film Death Proof, in which he plays the country gentleman, who owns a 1970 Dodge Challenger that is a clone of the one that appeared in the film Vanishing Point.

I highly recommend Death Proof and Vanishing Point, but not The House Bunny.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Please Take A Survey For Trans Equality!

We Need Your Help To Assure Equality in '09!

Anti-Discrimination Protections can be just a House Vote away and your voice is needed so

Click Here to Take Survey

In 2009 we will be looking to raise and pass the Gender Identity and Expression Anti-Discrimination Bill. But we can't do it without you...

Click Here to Take Survey

Ct TransAdvocacy and the Anti-Discrimination Coalition members are working now to raise and PASS in 2009, the Connecticut Gender Identity and Gender Expression Anti-Discrimination legislation! We are optimistic in our efforts in 2009, however we will only be able to do this with strong support and sweat equity from each and every one of you. As we all know from prior years, our stories, our talking to legislators, our Lobby Day and our calls and letters go a long way in moving each of our individual legislators to support this bill and to assure it passes as raised and not amended in any way. Since there are 151 members in the Connecticut House of Representatives your help is critically needed since we need to assure that many of them hear our stories and willing to support raising and passing of this legislation in '09!

So please complete the following survey and let us know how you can help assure that Connecticut passes a Gender Identity and Gender Expression anti-discrimination bill in '09!.

Click Here to Take Survey

What is the Gender Identity and Expression Bill?

The Gender Identity and Expression Anti-discrimination Bill clarifies and updates Connecticut' s non-discrimination laws to ensure that they clearly and uniformly protect all people regardless of their gender identity or expression by simply adding the phrase "gender identity and expression", as defined in Connecticut' s "Hate Crime law", to all statutes that address discrimination.

From both a priori and empirical studies it is well known that gender non-conforming people experience widespread discrimination in Connecticut. Your support of this bill is vital and is needed to protect transgender and gender non-conforming individuals from being fired, denied basic housing, denied credit and most basic services.

Currently, a number of major Connecticut Corporations (e.g. Aetna, The Hartford, IBM, Pfizer, ESPN, Chubb) as well as small businesses have explicit policies prohibiting discrimination based on ones gender identity and expression as well as employing Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

Whenever this bill (SB 1044 or HB 5723; Click links for bill details) has come up for a vote in Committee's or the Senate, it has passed overwhelmingly with Bi-Partisan support. However, we cannot take this strong support for granted and your help this coming session will be vital to assure the bill is raised and passed, without any amendments, in both the House and Senate of the Connecticut General Assembly.

This bill is NOT about Special Rights but rather simply about assuring Basic Human Rights for all those who are discriminated against because of their Gender identity or Expression!

What is the Anti-Discrimination Coalition?

The Anti-Discrimination Coalition (ADC) is comprised of individuals and local, regional and national organizations interested in ensuring that any people vulnerable to discrimination are given equal protection under the law. Currently, because Connecticut has no law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression in education, housing, employment, credit, or public accommodation we are working to pass a bill that will include the phrase "gender identity or expression" in Connecticut' s non-discrimination law. The ADC is working collectively with individuals and agencies to create permanent systemic change to strengthen all of our communities.

If you are interested in our work and would like more information on how you or your organization can fight for equality for all Connecticut citizens, please contact Amy Miller at amiller@cwealf. org

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

snow

If you've lived in the northern climes as long as I have, you learn to dislike winter weather because it can disrupt your plans.

Tonight, I planned to go out en femme to have dinner at a local restaurant with a friend. After dining, we planned to move on to the monthly cocktail party put on by a local "alternative multidisciplinary arts organization."

Tomorrow afternoon and early evening, I had family commitments en homme.

Those were my plans, but then along came the weather forecast calling for 6 to 10 inches of snow tomorrow. As a result, I had to move my plans en homme to today, which trumped my plans en femme.

I have lost count how many times winter weather has messed with my plans to go out en femme. I often amused myself wondering if Mother Nature was trying to tell me that what I was doing was not natural!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

1001 Little Ways to Look Younger

While Christmas shopping at the local Barnes & Noble store on Sunday, I found 1001 Little Ways to Look Younger in their bargain sales area for $6.98 (list price is $11.92). I just checked and the book is available on the B&N Web site at that bargain price, too.

This book is not a mind-numbing tome detailing the intricacies of looking fabulous. Instead, it is a collection of 1001 logically organized two or three sentence tips that you can breeze through quickly.

I highly recommend the book especially at that discount price.

Here is a synopsis from the B&N Web site:

From age-defying make-up tricks and fashion tips to cosmetic procedures and skincare advice, 1001 Little Ways to Look Younger offers top-to-toe anti-aging remedies that will reap big benefits, both in the way you look and how you feel. With solutions for wrinkles, as well as advice on everything from improving your memory to battling the effects of aging on the body, the book shows both preventative and curative ways to stay young, beautiful and physically fit.

* 1001 beauty, fashion and health tips that will help you counter the negative effects of aging.

* Includes small changes that can make you look and feel younger – you don’t need a total makeover or a surgical rehaul to trim years off the way you look.

* Specifically geared to problems commonly faced by women from the age of 30 on, the book reveals the facts about antioxidants, cosmetic surgery, skincare products, salon treatments and more.

Monday, December 15, 2008

tall at the mall


After spending over four hours Christmas shopping at the mall yesterday, I have two observations:
  • Young women are getting taller. I noticed a lot of women hovering around six feet in height. Maybe it's better nutrition or maybe a women's basketball team was in town. I dunno, but as a tall femulator, I sure made note of it.
  • People are friendlier. About a half-dozen times yesterday, complete strangers, both male and female, greeted me as if we were old friends (by the way, I was in boy mode). Maybe it's the Christmas spirit, maybe somebody spiked their eggnog, or maybe folks are relieved that change is in the air. I dunno, but it was refreshing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

another addition


My recent success on eBay made for a busy week updating my female impersonator ephemera Web pages. Yesterday, another eBay acquisition arrived in the mail and I added it to my San Francisico page last night.

Friday, December 12, 2008

another trip to Dress Barn

When I called Sunday to inform Dress Barn that I was on the disabled list and could not be the hostess at my support group's party, I asked the sales rep to hold the daytime outfit I was supposed to model in order that I could purchase it this week.

I returned today to pick up the outfit. The top is similar to the same as the one pictured here and the skirt is a black knee-length pencil skirt with a wide black patent belt.

Liz, the sales rep who arranged the party was not on, so I dealt with Denise, the store manager. The District Manager had them return the outfit to the racks yesterday, but Denise was able to retrieve them.

I could not remember what size skirt I had selected, so she handed me two sizes and escorted me to the dressing room to try them on (the smaller size fit). I was in boy mode and the other customers must have wondered what was going on, but I did not mind. Let them think what they want.

I talked with Denise about doing another party in the late winter and we shared some ideas about what worked and did not work on Sunday and what to do next time.

As hostess, I was supposed to get a 25% discount on purchases and I really did not expect to get the discount today, five days after the fact, but Denise gave me the discount anyway.

I paid with my Dress Barn credit card and after Demise swiped the card and returned it to me, she mentioned that I can get another card with "Staci" as the name on the card instead of my boy name. I was a little surprised that she knew my femme name because I never mentioned it to her, but I guess my reputation preceded me on Sunday.

I exited the store at the same time as another customer, who saw me exiting the dressing room with skirts in hand. Her car was next to mine and I noticed that its license plate displayed an Amateur Radio call sign, as does mine.

I pointed out that our cars had similar license plates and I asked her if she was a ham. She replied that the call sign belonged to her deceased husband. That led to a pleasant, but short conversation about ham radio and then we went our separate ways.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

115 dresses

Do you need a new dress for a holiday party?

You don't want to wear an old frock to the big New Year's Eve bash, so as a public service, I offer you a link to 115 holiday dresses ranging in price from $20 to $3000.

May your shopping be productive!

it is how God sent him

Helen Boyd's blog alerted me to this NY Times article concerning "Muxe," i.e., Mexican "men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned netherworld between the two genders."

"In Juchitan, Mexico, daughters are more valuable than sons. So mothers are encouraging their boys to become girls." from Marie Claire, March 2007

You can read more about Muxe here and here and view a video here.

(In my humble opinion, the Marie Claire article is much more revealing than the NY Times article.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

reorganized ephemera

I reorganized my ephemera pages.

Instead of displaying everything on one page, I organized the collection according to location.

The United States pages are almost fully populated, while the United Kingdom and Continental Europe pages are sparse. I plan to add ephemera to those pages as soon as possible, i.e., as soon as I have time to scan the items.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My First Holy Communion Dress (Almost)

Buy women's clothing online and soon your in-box fills up with e-mails soliciting you to buy more. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Fashionista that I am, I usually check out the e-mail solicitations to see what may be of interest to me.

Today, one of those e-mails had links that eventually led me to the dress you see on the right.

My first reaction was that they have to be kidding. The dress resembled the one my sister wore for her First Holy Communion back in the last century. I could not imagine an adult woman wearing such a concoction.

Here is the description:

Pencey Ribbon Dress

Unexpected details modernize a classic frock.

Silk-taffeta dress with crew neck and asymmetrical, contrast grosgrain banding at waist. Canvas panels at bodice. Inverted pleating at skirt and hidden zipper at back. Pleating at shoulders. Short sleeves. Lined.

33" long, measured from center back.
100% silk.
Dry clean.
Imported.


Then, the dress started to grow on me. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it! Yes, I can picture myself in that dress; I could pull it off.

I almost talked myself into buying it. Only two things prevented me from doing so. It did not come in my size and it cost $455! (They have to be kidding!)

Finocchio's ephemera


Last week, I had some success on eBay and added some female impersonator ephemera to my collection.

The first item arrived in yesterday's mail: a drink menu from Finocchio's, a San Francisco nightspot renowned for its female impersonators. I scanned the menu, added it to my ephemera page, and you can see it here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dress Barn party

From all the reports I received, my support group's Very Indulgent Party at Dress Barn last evening was a success.

I arranged the event and was supposed to be its hostess as well as a model in its fashion show, but I was unable to attend because after shoveling snow yesterday morning, I was placed on the disabled list.

I was very disappointed, but I felt a little better knowing that everyone had an enjoyable evening at the party.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Call Me Stana?


I chose Staci as my female name because it is the closest thing to a female version of my male name, Stanley. Here is how I arrived at Staci:

Stanislaus is the Slavic derivation of Stanley/Stanley is the English derivation of Stanislaus

Anastacia is the feminine derivation of Stanislaus

Staci is short for Anastacia

I'm not sure if these derivation of names is perfectly correct, but it is best I could come up with.

Last week, I discovered another and more direct feminine derivation of Stanley.

First, I found a postcard on eBay depicting a female impersonator named Stana Behavy (above left). Next, when updating my Famous Females of Height list, I found out about television actress Stana Katic (above right).

So, you can call me Stana.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Call Me Transgenderist?

Thank you all for all your thoughtful comments and e-mails regarding my "heavy" post here on Thursday. You gave me a lot of ideas to consider, but I think my friend Diana hit the nail on the head, i.e., I am a transgenderist.

While I was composing my heavy post (it took me two days to write it), the word "transgenderist" floated in and out of my conscious a couple of times, but I paid no attention to what my subconscious was floating by me. I knew I had encountered that term in the past, but as it floated by, I did not recall its meaning, so I let it go.

But I should have paid attention to my subsconscious because as Diana's comment revealed, my subconscious had something for me. (It is the first time I ever really noticed my subconscious thinking behind the scenes.)

Anyway...

Whereas the terms "crossdresser," "transvestite," "transsexual," etc., are a good fit for me only after some alterations, the term "transgenderist" fits me like a glove.

Don't confuse "transgenderist" with "transgender." Like crossdresser, transvestite, transsexual, etc., transgenderist falls under the umbrella of transgender, but is not the same as transgender.

Repeating Diana's comment, "Transgenderists are persons who consistently live as members of the opposite gender either on a part or full-time basis. Some maintain their original identity in the work place or during formal occasions. Others appear in their new identity during all aspects of daily life. Transgenderists are unique because maintaining both masculine and feminine characteristics is integral to having a sense of balance. However, the outward presentation of these characteristics varies subtly depending on the individual's needs and sense of connection to each gender. Like transsexuals, many are interested in obtaining electrolysis, hormones and even cosmetic surgery to bring their outward presentation in line with their inner sense of self. However, like crossdressers, transgenderists are not interested in Genital Reassignment Surgery."

Adding to Diana's comment, "To elaborate on this distinction, even if a transgenderists lives "in role" as a member of the opposite gender on a full-time basis, what separates them from transsexuals, is that they derive pleasure from and value their genitals as originally developed. However, in most circumstances, it is unlikely that a transgenderist who lives in role full-time will disclose such private information without good reason. Because transgenderists are not interested in genital reassignment, they should not be confused with "non-operative" transsexuals or persons who are unable to have surgery due to financial or medical hardship. Although the majority of non-operative transsexuals live "in role" permanently, most need to adjust to a period of internalized incongruency during the time they are unable to have genital reassignment, if at all. Transgenderists do not go through this period of adjustment, because they are not interested in altering their genitals.

"Like transsexuals who are at the very beginning of transition, transgenderists frequently experience incongruent feelings regarding their gender identity. Unlike crossdressers these feelings persist "after the clothes come off" and the person dresses in their original gender. These incongruent feelings typically can be continuous, lasting for days and even weeks, until the individual recognizes a pattern in his or her needs. Transgenderists stop feeling incongruent when their needs are consistently met by maintaining characteristics from both genders."

Those words come from Gianna E. Israel's excellent article "Transgenderists: When Self-Identification Challenges Transgender Stereotypes," which I urge you to read in its entirety if you are interested.

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Heights

Peaches e-mailed me that she had an addition to my Famous Females of Height list: the 6-foot-tall Terry Farrell from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Before I added Ms. Farrell to the list, I looked her up on the Internet to refresh my memory as to what she looked like and as often occurs on the Internet, one thing leads to another and I found myself on the Celebrity Heights Web site, which offers "commentary, celebrity fan photos, quotes and gossip on the heights of celebrities."

I worked the site and discovered a bevy of tall females that were missing from my list and I have now corrected my omissions.

Caveat One: There are tall female celebrities listed on Celebrity Heights Web site that I did not add to my list because I have never heard of them. (It's my list, so I'll include who I want and I only want to include who I know.)

Caveat Two: The Celebrity Heights Web site lists heights by the half-inch, i.e., 5'8", 5'8.5", 5'9", 5'9.5", etc. My list lists heights by the full inch, so I rounded up anyone who was in between to the next full inch, for example, although Miss Staci Lana Hunter may be listed on the Celebrity Heights Web as 6'1.5", I listed her as 6'2".

Here is the list of omissions that are now on my list, listed according to height:

5'8": Tia Carrere, Ciara, Jill Clayburgh, Marcia Cross, Heather Graham, Veronica Hamel, Mel Harris, Jill Hennessy, Faith Hill, Jessica Lange, Angela Lansbury, Kelly LeBrock, Michelle Lee, Judith Light, Andee Macdowell, Ali MacGraw, Pamela Sue Martin, Maureen O'Hara, Elizabeth Perkins, Rihanna, Molly Ringwald, Tanya Roberts, Mimi Rogers, Isabella Rossellini, Rene Russo, Cybill Shepherd, Vonda Shepherd, Mary Steenburgen, Sharon Stone, Emma Thompson, Jo Ann Worley, Daphne Zuniga

5'9": Mischa Barton, Ingrid Bergman, Cate Blanchette, Joanna Cassidy, Carol Channing, Susan Clark, Natalie Cole, Polly Draper, Barbara Feldon, Pam Grier, Melanie Griffith, Rachel Griffiths, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Katherine Heigl, Stana Katic, Joanna Kerns, KD Lang, Sophia Loren, Tina Louise, Lee Meriwether, Patricia Neal, Nancy O'Dell, Paula Prentiss, Diana Rigg, Connie Sellecca, Joan Severance, Molly Sims, Alexis Smith, Lindsay Wagner, Kate Walsh, Esther Williams, Alicia Witt, Paula Zahn

5'10": Lucie Arnaz, Teresa Graves, Sally Kirkland, Jane Leeves, Camryn Manheim, Bridget Moynahan, Jo Ann Pflug, Jean Smart, Peta Wilson

5'11": Carol Alt, Anna Chancellor, Adrianne Curry, Ellen Dubin, Jaclyn Lee, Kristanna Loken, Tracey Needham, Missi Pyle, Rie Rasmussen, Victoria Silvstedt, Taylor Swift, Gina Torres

6'0": Terry Farrell, Margaux Hemingway, Marjean Holden, Allison Janney, Jane Lynch, Aimee Mann, Marjorie Monaghan, Brenda Strong, Aisha Tyler

6'1": Yolanda Adams, Andee Frizzell, Monika Schnarre, Claire Stansfield

6'2": Bergen Williams

Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me

A Dress A Day is one of the blogs I read regularly. (If you love vintage dresses, you will love A Dress A Day.)

Erin, the brains behind A Dress A Day, recently reviewed a book titled Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me. The book offers fashion advice and in my opinion, belongs in the library of every serious femulator (read the review and decide for yourself). I dunno about you, but my mother offered me no fashion advice for the distaff side of my closet, so this book will fill that void.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Theory of Operation

When I do outreach, the other presenters almost always identify as transsexual. I only recall doing outreach on two occasions with others who did not identify as transsexual.

Listening to the transsexuals tell their life stories always causes me to consider my own identity. Tuesday's outreach was no different. Since then, I have done a lot of thinking about my identity and I believe I have had an epiphany.

I identify as a heterosexual male-to-female crossdresser, who crossdresses once or twice per month (in deference to my spouse). However, I readily admit that if I had the opportunity, I would crossdress 24/7 and live full-time as a female without surgery, hormones, or other body modifications. I likely would get electrolysis, but nothing more than that.

If I desire to live full-time as a woman, am I still a crossdresser? Or am I something else... something beyond a crossdresser, but not quite a transsexual mainly because I never felt that I was a woman trapped inside the body of a male.

I admit that I am not the most manly male, at least according to other people's opinions of me. When I was young, I was called a "sissy," "fairy," "twinky," "faggot," etc. because others perceived me as being effeminate. That perception may still exist, but as an adult, the people I encounter are polite enough to keep such opinions to themselves.

I did not (or do not) make any effort to be effeminate (or masculine, for that matter). I always acted in a way that was natural to me and my natural inclination was to act effeminately according to the "standards" set by our society.

I never felt I had a masculine or feminine side and I never felt that I was a woman trapped inside the body of a male like the typical transsexual, who hid or suppressed their femininity in boy mode.

I never felt that I was a woman trapped inside the body of a male because SHE WAS NEVER TRAPPED!

I never suppressed my femininity because I never realized I was acting effeminately, so as far as I was concerned, there was nothing to suppress.

Back in college, I attended a Halloween party in drag. One of my classmates who knew me well was impressed on how my normal persona was such a good fit for my costume. Until he saw me in drag, he never realized that my everyday persona was so feminine. That confirms what I always believed, i.e., "I" am the same person in boy mode or in girl mode except that "I" am a better fit in girl mode.

In conclusion, I am not a woman trapped in a male body, rather I am a woman with a male body and I’m OK with that. I realize that my body has nothing to with my gender and further that having a male body does not make me less of a woman.

(By the way, this is pretty heavy stuff for me and I would greatly appreciate any and all opinions on my theory of operation.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

outreach yesterday

Yesterday, I did outreach for two Human Sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University. I did not go shopping as planned because I did not feel up to dealing with the Christmas shopping crowds that seemed to be out in full force yesterday.

As usual, I was the token crossdresser in the group doing outreach. The others were pre-op, post-op, and no-op male-to-female and female-to-male transsexuals and a spouse. In the first class, there were six in the group. In the second class, there were seven. In the past, about four was the max. As a result, the biography portion of the class was longer and ate into the Q&A portion of the class. I enjoy the Q&A more than the bio portion of the class because I have heard all the bios before and although I've also heard many of the questions before, there are usually one or two new questions that make things interesting.

Anna Schildroth, the professor of the class scored big points with me. When I saw her for the first time yesterday, she asked, "Did you lose weight?"

I admitted that I lost eight pounds and I was happy she noticed. Then she added, "Well, it looks like you lost more than eight pounds!"

She made my day, but later she made my day again.

Before the second class, she came over to me and remarked that my legs were attracting a lot of attention. I asked her what she meant and she said that she was following me as I walked to the classroom and that she noticed a lot of people turning to notice my long legs. When she said that I blushed. (The accompanying photo from yesterday reveals the revealing length of the hem of my dress. Click on the photo to get a better view.)

Speaking of long legs, I noticed a tall attractive female student file into the first class and pegged her as being six feet tall. I don't recall her asking any questions during the Q&A portion of the class, but after the class was over, she asked, "Staci, how tall are you without heels?"

"Six two," I replied.

"Me, too," she said.

She was wearing flats, so I asked her if she wore heels. She said she does, but not currently because she just had knee surgery.

I was happy that here was a very tall girl, who was proud of her height and not afraid to wear heels. Good for her!

The questions asked of me were basically the same questions I have been asked at past outreaches with a few variations.

There was an amusing exchange with one student, who could not understand how I dressed in boy mode without people wondering about the telltale signs that indicated that I also dressed in girl mode. I did not understand what she was getting at, so she was more specific and said she was referring to the fact that since I get my nails done, don't people wonder what's with that. We all had a good laugh when I revealed that I use stick-on nails that come on and off in five minutes.

An admitted gay student asked me if I ever tried to stop crossdressing and I said that in the past, I was very guilty about crossdressing and tried to stop. I guess my Catholic upbringing had something to do with my guilt and I recalled the numerous times I planned to go to confession, confess my "sin," and stop dressing. (I never had the nerve to make that confession.) I also mentioned how I had purged a few times, but again took up crossdressing sooner or later.

Then I explained how as I grew older and a little wiser, I stopped feeling guilty when I realized that crossdressing was part of who I am and that I was going to be true to myself.

That was the last question of the day and I can't think of a more appropriate way to end it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

this week's femulations

I have two outings en femme on tap this week.

Tuesday, I join two or three other transfolk to do outreach at two human sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University. I have lost count of the number of outreaches I have done since my first one back in May 2006, but I keep coming back because it gives me an opportunity to inform college-aged people that crossdressers are real people too and not the caricatures that appear on television shows such as Jerry Springer.

If time permits, I also plan to do some shopping before I do outreach (I need a winter coat).

Sunday will be something new for me. I will be the hostess for my support group's Very Indulgent Party at the local Dress Barn. In addition to being hostess, I will also be a model in the fashion show during the party. Fifteen members and their significant others have RSVP'd and it should be a lot of fun.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Angie Harmon

Just caught a bit of Good Advice, a film starring Angie Harmon and Charlie Sheen. When I noticed that Ms. Harmon was taller (in heels) than Mr. Sheen, I checked her height on the Internet and as a result, I am happy to add the 5' 10" beauty to the Famous Females of Height list.

Don't you want to be part of the experience?

When I'm feeling down, feeling a little guilty about my trans-ness, or feeling a little depressed, I think about the following words from Hannah and Her Sisters by Woody Allen.

One day, a month ago, I really hit bottom. I just felt that in a godless universe I didn't want to go on living.

I happen to own this rifle, which I loaded and pressed to my forehead.
I thought, "I'm gonna kill myself."

Then I thought, "What if I'm wrong? What if there is a God? Nobody really knows."

Then I thought, "No. Maybe is not good enough. I want certainty or nothing."

I remember clearly, the clock was ticking and I was sitting there frozen debating whether to shoot. All of a sudden, the gun went off. I was so tense I inadvertently squeezed the trigger. But I was perspiring so much the gun slid off my forehead and missed me.

Suddenly, neighbors were pounding on the door and the whole scene was just pandemonium. I ran to the door. I didn't know what to say. I was embarrassed and confused.

My mind was racing a mile a minute. I just knew one thing: I had to get out of that house. I had to get out in the fresh air and clear my head. And I remember, I walked the streets. I didn't know what was going through my mind. It all seemed so violent and unreal to me.

I wandered on the Upper West Side. It must have been hours. My feet hurt, my head was pounding. I went into a movie. Didn't know what was playing. I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and be logical and put the world back into rational perspective.

I went up to the balcony and I sat down. The movie* was one I'd seen many times in my life since I was a kid, and I always loved it. I'm watching the screen and I started getting hooked on the film.

And I started to feel: "How can you think of killing yourself? Isn't it stupid? Look at all the people on-screen. They're funny, and what if the worst is true? There's no God, you only go around once, that's it. Don't you want to be part of the experience? It's not all a drag."

And I'm thinking, "I should stop ruining my life searching for answers and just enjoy it while it lasts."

And after, who knows? Maybe there is something.

I know "maybe" is a slim reed to hang your life on, but that's the best we have. And then I started to sit back and I actually began to enjoy myself.

* Duck Soup
starring The Marx Brothers

Saturday, November 29, 2008

all bundled up

On Thanksgiving Day, I went to New York City to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I had a great time, even though there were fewer celebrities in the parade that I recognized than there were last year.

Last year when I wrote about my trip to The City to view the parade, I noted that half the woman I saw "wearing skirts or dresses were also wearing black tights with black patent high heels." This year, the weather was a lot cooler and most women were bundled up to stay warm.

One woman in our group wore an incredibly short skirt, with black tights and black patent heels despite the weather (something I would do), but she was the exception. Most women were dressed appropriately for the weather including Miss USA (pictured here), who looked beautiful. Click on the photo to magnify the image and check out her boots!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

bras for boys

This story has been bouncing around the Internet for almost a week now and I am getting mixed messages from the various reports I have read.

According to the Reuters article, "A Japanese online lingerie retailer is selling bras for cross-dressing men and they've quickly become one of its most popular items.

"Since launching two weeks ago on Rakuten, a major Japanese web shopping mall, the Wishroom shop has sold over 300 men's bras for 2,800 yen ($30) each. The shop also stocks men's panties, as well as lingerie for women."

The mixed message is whether the retailer is targeting its boy bras for crossdressers or non-crossdresser, although I am sure they will accept anybody's money!

The beginning of the Reuters article indicates that crossdressers are the target customers, then the article seems to contradict itself by quoting the Executive Director of the retailer, "I think more and more men are becoming interested in bras. Since we launched the men's bra, we've been getting feedback from customers saying, 'Wow, we'd been waiting for this for such a long time.'"

Other reports (like this one from Wallet Pop and this one from Inventor Spot) indicate that non-crossdressing males and metrosexuals are the target customers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

boys' names into girls' names

Are you stuck for a name for your femulated persona?

The easy way out is to use the feminine version of your boy name, for example, Andrew becomes Andrea, Jack becomes Jacqueline, and Pat becomes Pat.

If you don't know the feminine version of your boy name, here is a short list of boy names and their feminine equivalents.

evening gown out of the blue

Peaches, one of my regular readers, gifted me with a Jessica McClintock evening gown.

Peaches and her SO bought the gown during a sale at the Jessica McClintock warehouse in San Francisco. Peach's SO wore the gown for one occasion and since then, she has downsized and has no use for the gown.

Peaches was going to sell it on eBay, but before doing so, asked me if I wanted it gratis. How could I refuse such a generous offer!

The gown arrived and when I opened the box, I found a gorgeous white tea-length gown. I crossed my fingers that it would fit and when I slipped it over my head, it fit perfectly. Now I just have to wait for the right occasion to wear it.

Peaches and your SO, thank you both for the lovely gift!

(By the way, the photo depicts a different, but just as lovely Jessica McClintock gown.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday musings

(Updated Below)
I watch awards shows to see the fashions worn by the female attendees and the rare male attendees, who show up in female attire. So, when I saw that a music awards show was on television last night. I watched it, but after about 15 minutes, I switched to a movie titled Passed Away.

I almost changed the channel as soon as the announcer announced that Jimmy Kimmel was the master of ceremonies (I hate don't care for Mr. Kimmel), but I stay tuned because Christine Aguilera opened the show (I love Ms. Aguilera). She was worth staying tuned, but I wasn't in the mood to sit through a lot of music that I did not like just to glimpse an occasional plate of fashion, so I moved on.

I switched back during commercials and I did catch the gorgeous Rihanna looking gorgeous as she collected an award, but that was about the extent my good catches during commercials.

***

I received my latest Spiegel clearance find and was surprised that it fit.

I had no doubt that the skirt would fit because it was in my size, but I was not so sure about the jacket. Spiegel did not have the jacket in my size, so I took a chance and ordered one size smaller. I was very surprised that it fit like a glove! I guess my weight loss made the difference.

The skirt also fit like a glove. It was a little shorter than I expected, but that won't prevent me from wearing it!

***

I plan to wear my new outfit on my next outing en femme, which will be next Tuesday, when I participate in outreach at two human sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University.

***
UPDATE: Regarding my first musing above, "hate" is a strong word. I don't hate Jimmy Kimmel. I just don't find him amusing or talented and sometimes I find him offensive, so I avoid him whenever possible.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus

Yesterday, I watched a film titled Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr. It was an interesting film, but according to the film reviews I read today, the title was accurate and the story had little to do with the reality of photographer Arbus' life. That being said, I enjoyed the film and I recommend it. (In my opinion, most films starring Kidman and Downey have some redeeming value.)

In addition to the story, I enjoyed the 1950's fashions worn by the women in the film. Some of the dresses were like the title of another Kidman film, to die for.

Also, there was a trans-moment in the film. About half way through, Arbus attends a party where there are men in various stages of getting crossdressed. (Transpeople were occasionally the subject of Arbus' work.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

going out en femme with less peril

In response to yesterday's post, Christy Tindy wrote, "You're so right about personal safety. As I was leaving a drag club one time my girlfriend stopped me and asked if I had my car keys out.

"I didn't think much about it until she explained that you should have the keys ready and out where the lighting is good rather than a block away in the dark. Plus, you can use the key to defend yourself if it comes to it."

I have been using this key strategy for awhile... even in daylight. For example, whenever I am finished shopping en femme, whether it is day or night, I remove my keys from my purse before I leave the store or mall and head out to my parked car.

Also, you might consider adding pepper spray to your arsenal. They sell small cannisters specifically designed to attach to your keychain.

You can never be too safe!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the REAL perils of going out en femme

Yesterday, I wrote about my Tuesday evening out en femme and how I had a close encounter with a former co-worker, who I feared might out me at my workplace if she figured out who I was en femme.

Being outed at work is a real peril of going out en femme. It could result in the loss of your job and could negatively effect any future employment. However, there are worse real perils of going out en femme like the loss of your life.

Years ago, a bunch of girls decided to go to a gay bar after the conclusion of our support group meeting. I had never been, so I agreed to go to see what it was like.

As it turned out, I didn't like it. Smokey dim-lit bars are not my cup of tea, so I had one drink and hung around just long enough so that my clothes and wig stunk from the cigarette smoke.

The bar was not in the best neighborhood. The streets were not well lit and my car was parked a long block away. As I left the bar, another patron exited after me, followed me, and began accosting me. He thought I was one of the girls performing in the bar's drag show and he wanted a "date."

I was scared, so I ignored him, and walked to my car as fast as possible. (In retrospect, I should have returned to the bar and asked for an escort to my car.) He finally gave up pursuit, I assume, because I would pay him no mind. I escaped unharmed, although a little unnerved, but others have not been so lucky.

There are a lot of girls, who have turned up dead after being in similar situations and today we memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

For more information, visit the International Transgender Day of Remembrance Web site and find a Transgender Day of Remembrance event near you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the perils of going out en femme

Last night, I went out en femme wearing my new babydoll dress that I bought during my last outing (see photo).

I did my makeup the way the Sephora representative suggested during my makeover and I was very pleased with the results. I love the new powder foundation; being a powder, it is very lightweight, but it does an excellent job as a foundation.

I tried to replicate what the Sephora rep did and I thought I did a decent job, but after looking at my photos from last night, I don't think I did my eyes correctly. Well, practice makes perfect and I will have another go at it real soon now.

Out the door and on the road, my first stop was Dress Barn to pick out and try on outfits to model at my support group's in-store party.

The Dress Barn saleswoman, who I have been working with organizing the party, accompanied me through the store and we picked out a large handful of items to try on.

While we were looking through the racks, a new customer walked in, who happens to be a woman I worked with for ten years or more. She left my company two years ago, but I thought she might recognize me because she had seen me in drag when I went to work en femme on Halloween a few years ago. Then, I wore an auburn pageboy wig and was about 15 pounds heavier, so she might have not put two and two together seeing me last night in my short blond wig, but I was still very concerned because she still has friends at my workplace and if she had any suspicions, I am sure it would get back to work because she is a "gossip."

I told the Dress Barn saleswoman about my concerns. Luckily, we had already picked out a load of outfits to try on, so she escorted me to a dressing room in the Women's section of the store far away from my former co-worker, who was shopping in the Misses section of the store.

I began trying on clothes. First, I tried on the three holiday party dresses we selected. The one I liked the best did not fit in the bust area. The other two fit perfectly and I chose one to model at our party.

Next, I tried on the daytime "office girl drag" outfits we selected. The first outfit I tried on was my favorite: a clingy multi-colored top and a black skirt with a black patent belt.

I had my doubts about the outfit. I just don't look good in outfits like that (skirts and tight tops) and the only way to make them work is to wear a jacket or cardigan to cover up what needs covering up.

But I was pleasantly surprised! Just as I was buttoning up the skirt, my saleswoman returned to see how I was doing and she said the top and skirt looked great. I had to agree. I love my new weight! A girlish figure with no bulges where there shouldn't be bulges. (Nine pounds down and I plan to lose more.)

I was done, so I got dressed, and escaped without encountering my woman friend. I was a little disappointed because I was hoping to do more browsing and take my time in Dress Barn. But it worked out anyway because I did what I went there to do despite my unexpected encounter.

My next stop was the first meeting of the Non Conforming Gender Variant Group(s). Since I exited Dress Barn so early, I was too early for the meeting, so I stopped at the Payless shoe store, where I have shopped numerous times for women's shoes while in boy mode. It would be my first time shopping in that store en femme and as I walked into the store, I noticed that the two saleswomen were the same saleswomen I had dealt with in boy mode.

I tried on a lot of shoes, but did not buy anything. I was just killing time and really did not intend to buy anything unless something really moved me and the only pair of shoes that moved me to make a purchase, did not fit.

I exited the store and the saleswomen bid me adieu. I don't know if they figured me out. They might have realized I was male, but I doubt that they realized I was the male who had shopped there for women's shoes in the past.

I arrived right on time for group meeting. Thirteen people showed up including five significant others (SO's). I knew everyone except two (a tranwoman and the SO of another transwoman).

Each of us told the group about ourselves and conversations were spun off from what different people said. I spoke first because no one else wanted to speak first and I gave my bio in a nutshell. There was no spin off from what I said.

Two hours flew by and it was very interesting, but with five couples in attendance, the conversations were more couples-oriented and not too pertinent to me. It's not that I don't have issues with my SO, but these conversations did not deal with my issues. And so it goes.

Thirty minutes later, I was back home and back in boy mode already looking forward to my next time out en femme.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

out tonight

I will be going out en femme this evening.

First stop is Dress Barn to pick out and try on outfits to model at my support group's in-store party.

Second stop is the first meeting of the Non Conforming Gender Variant Group(s).

I will have a full report and photos for you here tomorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

clip-on comeback

Who would have thought that clip-on earrings would make a comeback? Not me, that is for sure.

Since I am in boy mode most of the time, I have resisted getting my ears pierced for those few hours each month when I am in girl mode. So I wear clip-on earrings.

These days, clip-ons are hard to find. Some stores don't carry clip-ons at all and the ones that do, have a very limited selection compared to the array of pierced earring they have for sale.

I am happy to learn this morning that clip-ons are making a comeback according to this article by Lindsay Mannering on The Huffington Post. Even our First Lady Elect was recently seen wearing a pair of vintage clip-ons.

I don't know how long it will take for the local retailers to begin stocking up on clip-ons, but as soon as they do, I will be buying them up before they go out of style again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

humor in an en femme vein

If you have been reading this blog long enough, you may have noticed that I enjoy celebrating the lighter side of being en femme. For example, see my blog post from earlier today.

One of my all time favorite Web sites for humor in an en femme vein is Transgender Graphics and Fiction Archive. Problem is that the site's last update was in March 2002, so I am always on the lookout for something more current.

A few days ago, I discovered "something more current," i.e., the TG Comics (and Stories) Web site. I have been perusing the site off and on since discovering it and I have had a few laughs (the toon accompanying this post came from that site; click on the image to enlarge it).

If you enjoy the lighter side of being en femme, I recommend that you visit TG Comics (and Stories) Web site.

guess I'm different!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

next outing

Tuesday evening, I plan to make my next foray out in the world en femme.

First stop will be the Dress Barn where I am hosting a Very Indulgent Party for my support group next month.

I volunteered to model outfits at the party (like they had to twist my arm to do it), so Tuesday, I am going to work with a saleswoman to put together the outfits I will be modeling. One will be a daytime office girl ensemble and the second will be a glam holiday party ensemble.

Next stop will be the inaugural meeting of my friend Patty's Non Conforming Gender Variant Group(s). It will be a get acquainted meeting, so I don't expect to have any great ephiphany, but I do look forward to seeing some new and old faces. (If you are interested, e-mail me and I will provide contact information for the group and meeting, which will take place in central Connecticut.)

Oh... what am I wearing Tuesday evening?

Since I will be trying on clothes at Dress Barn, I will wear something I can slip in and out of easily, so I plan to wear the black babydoll dress that I bought at JCPenney last week. I promise to take photos.

Friday, November 14, 2008

just rewards

I got on the scale this morning (actually, I get on the scale every morning) and I have lost 8 pounds! (Isn't that equivalent to one dress size, more or less?)

Anyway, it was slow going, but I did it (and I plan to lose a few more pounds).

To reward myself, I bought this tweed bouclé jacket and skirt that Spiegel has for sale. Their original price was $79 and $49 respectively; their sale price is $14.99 and $12.99!

How can I resist?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

passable vs. presentable

Passing, in regard to gender identity, refers to a person's ability to be accepted or regarded as a member of the sex or gender with which they identify, or with which they physically present. (from Wikipedia)

I like to think that I pass. Just today, I received an e-mail from a dear friend who wrote, "You pass so well."

But who am I kidding?

I am six feet, two inches tall (or a more dainty five feet, 14 inches tall) and I always wear heels of some height when I am out en femme (OEF). There are not too many women out there who are six-feet-two. (I list the famous ones here.) So, when I am OEF, my height is my biggest giveaway.

I can hear some of you saying to yourself, "Well, Girl, don't wear heels, then you will be shorter."

My response to that is even without heels, my height is still my biggest giveaway and adding three or four inches will not make much difference.

Last Friday at the mall, I passed some of the time.

While I was walking through the mall, I passed a few women walking in the opposite direction, who looked me in the eye and smiled. Of course, I returned the smile. When a woman smiles at another woman, it is a sign of camaraderie, so when a woman smiles at you when you are OEF, it is a good sign that they have accepted you into the club.

On the other hand, I have also passed women in the mall, whose smiles indicate that they have read me as a male. Their smiles (or smirks) indicate that they are mildly amused by my attempt to pass. Go OEF for awhile and you will begin to recognize the difference between smirks and genuine smiles.

At the mall last Friday, there were times when I did not pass.

For example, the saleswoman at Sephora referred to me as "he," then quickly corrected herself and referred to me as "she." I was not offended. When you are up close in another person's face, as when you are dealing with a salesperson, it is more difficult to pass because they are concentrating on you and therefore, are more likely to pick up telltale signs that you are male.

I have gone OEF enough to resign myself to the fact that sometimes I pass and sometimes I do not pass. There is not much I can do about my ability to pass because I believe I have pushed the envelope about as far as I can to emulate a woman without undergoing surgery.

Admittedly, my ultimate goal is to be passable, but since that is not always possible, I always try to make myself look presentable. If I present as the best woman I can be, then I will be less likely to attract attention and will blend in with the real women out there.

On the other hand, if I go to the mall wearing my highest heels, shortest skirt, largest breasts, biggest hair, and thickest makeup, I am going to attract a lot of attention. Dressed so, more people will check me out and thus increase the chances that people will recognize my birth gender.

So, I try to present myself as a real woman would present herself in a similar situation. Last Friday, I even wore dress slacks instead of a skirt in order to be more presentable and I believe that helped.

While I was at Sephora perched on the makeover seat at the front of the store, I did attract the attention of a lot of passerbys, but none of them gave any indication that they recognized me as a male. All they saw was a woman getting a makeover, so they gave me an interested passing glance and went on their way.

It probably helped that I was seated, so that my height was hidden, but I think more important was the fact that I looked presentable in that situation. I really looked like a woman who had been shopping in the mall and stopped at Sephora for a makeover.

One more thing: if you are presentable, other people are more likely to respect you and treat you like a lady even if they know you are not really a lady. If I dress like a teen queen, I am not going to get much respect, but if I dress like a middle-aged woman (with impeccable taste, by the way), I have found that I get respect because I am trying to be a female clone, not a clown.

So, the bottom line is that, of course, you want to be passable, but before you can be passable, you must be presentable. And once you hone your presentation, you may or may not pass, but at least you know you did your best come what may.

(Thank you, Michelia, for suggesting this topic.)