Friday, October 31, 2008


Halloween is reputed to be the national holiday for crossdressers. And sometimes I do celebrate our holiday.

I was thinking about going to work today dressed as Sarah Palin, but I scratched that costume idea because I like to have a unique costume and the Alaskan Governor seems to be everyone's choice this year. So I thought about doing goth schoolgirl because I already have all the pieces for that costume (short black pleated miniskirt, ripped fishnets, high heel boots, etc.), but I lost my enthusiasm to get in costume because I have been feeling rundown all week from a cold or allergy attack that has been bothering me for about a week.

As it turned out, nobody showed up in costume at work today. I am torn; if I wore a costume, I would have been the only one to do so and would have felt a little out of place, however, I sure would have received a lot of attention (and I love attention).

I have dressed en femme for work in the past, but only when there was some kind of company-sponsored Halloween celebration. (You can read about one of those Halloween escapades here.) So far, I have not had the nerve to dress when there was no company-sponsored celebration. Maybe next year.

My support group had their Halloween party last Wednesday while I was attending Fantasia Fair, so I missed that opportunity.

So, looks like I won't be crossdressing for our big holiday this year. But I will leave you with a photo of my Halloween costume from 2004. It is my favorite costume, my best effort and I don't think I will ever be able to top it. But, wait until next year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This Week: Change of Plans

Dunno if I caught a cold or am suffering from allergies, but I have felt poorly since Fantasia Fair Thursday. The lack of sleep during the Fair certainly played a part in it, but something else was going on and I had to take mass quantities of Vitamin C to try to keep things in check.

Vitamin C got me through the Fair, but when I returned home, I began feeling worse and started a regimen of allergy medicine to get me through it. Today, I still feel out of sorts and have a very low level of energy.

I do not feel up to visiting Dress Barn to set up a party for my support group, do not have much interest in dressing for Halloween, and the little woman convinced me not to do outreach tonight. So all my plans for this week have changed.

All things considered, I'd prefer to be in bed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Fantasia Fair Blogging

If you have not yet gotten your fill reading about Fantasia Fair, here are some postings from other blogs on the 2008 installment of the event:

* CDJanie's Blog has a collection of posts concerning Fantasia Fair. (Thank you Paula West for tipping me off about this one.)

* Diana’s Little Corner in the Nutmeg State: Off To Provincetown, MA On Cape Cod

* Morgans Journal: Craziness in my town #17

* Provincetown live .net: Provincetown Fantasia Fair 2008

* PTownMA: Personal Blog: Fantasia Fair and Round Up

Denise, Glenda, and myself taken at the Fantasia Fair Awards Banquet

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Week

Thursday evening, I am participating in a panel discussion on "LGBTQ communities" at St. Joseph College in West Hartford for an undergraduate course called "Cross-Cultural Psychology."


Friday is Halloween and I have no plans to dress in costume yet. There is nothing officially going on at work to celebrate the holiday, but I am keeping my ears open to find out if anyone is planning to wear a costume on Friday. If so, I may dress in costume, too. Then again, I may dress anyway even if no one else doing so.


Some time this week, I plan to visit the local Dress Barn to arrange a Very Indulgent Party for my support group. Here's the deal:

* Get up to ten friends (they'll do more, but ten keeps it fun for everybody) and book a party with Dress Barn by filling out their VIP form.

* I can book the party whenever I want, but they are willing to do it after hours if I want so we can have the entire store to ourselves.

* As the hostess, I get 25% off my entire purchase.

* My guests get 15% off.

* Staff will be there to help coordinate outfits.

* They provide refreshments.

Dress Barn has a reputation for being trans-friendly and they have hosted parties for trans girls before, so I expect they will go for it.

Fantasia Fair: Final Thoughts

Here is a shout-out to the new friends I made during Fantasia Fair:

* Andrea from Scandinavia
* Chantel from Los Angeles, CA
* Denise from Plymouth, MA
* Glenda from Cocoa Beach, FL
* Jan from Poughkeepsie, NY
* Joanne from Ontario, Canada
* Melissa from Hamden, CT


During my week en femme in Provincetown, I shopped, dined, and had many other encounters with civilians throughout Provincetown and never had a problem. Everyone I encountered was friendly and treated me like a lady with one exception. Twice, I bought items at Adams Pharmacy on Commercial Street.

First time, I found what I wanted to buy and stepped up behind a dude talking to the pharmacist who was standing at the cash register. The dude and pharmacist concluded their chat. I stepped up to the counter and the pharmacist turned his back on me and walked away instead of ringing up my purchase. I waited a minute or two for someone to ring me up. A middle-aged woman finally showed up to handle my purchase. She was very cold, avoided eye contact, and the only words out of her mouth was the amount of money I had to pay.

Second time, the same woman rang me up with the same level of frigidity.

In both cases, I was my charming self, but the only response I received was a blank cold stare. I would not say that Adam Pharmacy was transphobic, but they certainly were not transfriendly and being the only pharmacy in the center of town, I am sure they made a lot of money off the trans folks visiting town last week. Go figure!


I improved and streamlined my makeup skills during the week. Doing my makeup twice a day for a week, I found shortcuts to get the job done more quickly. ("Practice makes perfect.") By week's end, I probably shaved 15 to 20 minutes off my normal 1-hour makeup routine. I also was able to experiment with different looks and colors, which was a lot of fun!


I learned a lot about woman's footwear during my week en femme. Downtown Provincetwon uses cobblestones for many of its sidewalks and they are unforgiving when you wear high heels. I quickly learned which shoes to wear when I had a lot of walking to do, that is, my booties and my mid-heel pumps with the chunky heel. If I wanted to wear heels at an event, I carried them with me while walking in my comfortable shoes, then change to heels when I arrived at the event. Luckily, many events were in my hotel, so I did not have to carry heels around town that often.


I had a lot of fun mixing and matching separates (tops, jackets, skirts, pants) to create outfits during the week.


I reached a new level at Fantasia Fair. Femulating 24/7 for a solid week, you stop thinking about the fact you are femulating and begin living like a woman. All the techniques you use for femulation become second nature.; you no longer have to think about using those techniques because they are now natural. I believe that during Fantasia Fair, I came as close to being a natural woman as I can be and I hope that that second nature will stick with me forever.


Will I attend future Fantasia Fairs?

As my euphoria peaked at the end of the week, I told anyone who asked that I would be back next year and that I would begin saving money for the trip on Monday to make next year's trip possible.

After the banquet Saturday night, I began reconsidering my return next year or any year.

The civilians in Provincetown are aware that the circus is in town, which makes it impossible to pass. Every tall woman is a potential man, so the civilians check out every tall girl to see if that is the case. I never experienced anything untoward in Provincetown, but being a very tall girl, I soon became annoyed by the inspection that I (and all the other tall girls) had to undergo every time we walked outside.

If you are a closeted femulator and want to get out of the closet in a safe way, I highly recommend Fantasia Fair to you, but I don't need that. I could take the money I saved to bankroll a trip to Fantasia Fair and have a wonderful time shopping for a new wardrobe in the malls and outlet stores of Connecticut. Sure some people might gawk at me as I shopped, but most would not because (1) they would not be alerted beforehand that a crossdresser may be in their midst and (2) I often pass and do not attract attention to myself in a bad way, that is, in a way that gives away my birth gender.

I had a wonderful time at Fantasia Fair and I am sure I would have a good time if I attended again, but weighing the cost versus the potential of growing more as a woman, I think my money would be better invested elsewhere.

My friend Jamie hit the nail on the head. During one lunch, she distributed ballots to the Fantasia Fair attendees to vote for the Miss Cinderella Award. Another friend suggested that everyone vote for me, but Jamie remarked that the purpose of the award is to recognize the attendee who blossomed the most during the Fair and that Staci had blossomed before attending the Fair.

Nuf said!

Fantasia Fair: Day 7, Part 2


(Fantasia Fair: Day 7 below has more photos and a few words about Day 7. This post details Day 7 more fully.)

After my wonderful Friday, I was so tired that I stayed in bed instead of immediately getting up when I awoke.

When I finally got out of bed, I packed everything I did not need for the day so that I would not have to pack later (or on Sunday) to facilitate a quick getaway the next morning. By the time I was ready to go out, it was 10:30 AM.

It was another beautiful day weather-wise and I didn't need any outerwear, but I was kind of tired and did not feel like window-shopping the length of Commercial Street again. So, I chose to go to Lezli Whitehouse's workshop on voice and movement, even though it was already in progress.

I missed the voice portion and came in near the beginning of the movement portion. An hour later, I felt that I was moving and presenting in a more feminine manner than I had been an hour earlier, so the workshop was a success for me.

By the way, after the "walking the walk" workshop earlier in the week, I made a concentrated effort to move my hips in a feminine manner when I walked. I started feeling a difference in my walk around Thursday and I think I am finally getting it!

Lunch was at Napi's again and was excellent again.

The keynote address followed lunch and was presented by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Titled "Growing up Haunted," Jennifer read excerpts from her last two books. She is a great story-teller and was very entertaining. I did notice a hole in the plot of her "hiding in the attic wearing her sister's wedding gown" story (what happened to the flashlight), but I enjoyed her presentation nonetheless.

The Fantasia Fair Awards Banquet was on tap for the evening, so I returned to my room to get ready. I touched up my face and bod with an electric razor, then applied a new layer of warpaint. My makeup was flawless, but there was a problem that would affect me all night long. As soon as I made up my eyes, they started watering and all night long, I was wiping tears away. I had been fighting allergy symptoms the second half of the week and I think that was the cause (and not bad makeup or dirty makeup brushes) because I had the same watery eye problem all day yesterday without wearing makeup.

I slipped into the gown that I borrowed from my friend Patty's closet, added bling, and my strappy sequins sandals and I thought I looked fabulous! (The gown, not me, received a lot of compliments throughout the evening.)

Next, I had to decide which wig to wear. I had my long, curly auburn wig and I intended to wear it in an up-do using the silver combs that Patty lent me, but the wig would not cooperate and I gave up trying to tame that mane.

I liked the way my short blonde wig looked the previous night, so I decided to play with it a bit. Instead of shaking it out and finger combing it as I usually do, I combed it all out using my wig comb. Instead of a casual do, I ended up with a more formal do. Then, I started playing with height and managed to tease enough wisps of hair up to create a little crown. Then I applied mass quantities of hair spray to make sure that my do was not going anywhere.

I was happy with the results. (You can see them for yourself in the photo above right.) During the banquet, a pretty waitress said, "I love your hairdo," so I guess I did good.

The banquet was at a restaurant about ten minutes away by car and Diana gave me a lift. We arrived in plenty of time, found a table for four, and dug into the fabulous appetizers. (In my opinion, the appetizers were better than the main course.)

Denise and Glenda joined us and we had a great evening conversing, kibitzing, taking photos, and watching the awards presentation. No one at our table won anything.

The bash ended at 10 PM and Denise gave Jan from Poughkeepsie and I a ride back into town leaving us off in front of my hotel. Jan suggested we go to the piano bar in the hotel, so we entered the bar and walked its length, but there were no empty seats. However, we sure attracted a lot of attention as we passed through. So, we camped out on the veranda next to the bar and soon were joined by a contingent of trans girls and friends returning from the banquet.

Sue Nagel from Joy of Nails in Waterbury sat next to me and we talked about the purpose of the Fair and the services she provides at her shop. Like the Fair, her shop gives closeted crossdressers an opportunity to dress in a friendly environment outside the closet. I told her that I might visit her shop for a makeover and she didn't think I needed one because I pass so well.

On that note, I excused myself, returned to my room, finished packing and went to bed.

I slept a few hours, rose at 4:30 AM, and was on the road at 5:30 AM.

My week en femme 24/7 was over and I was exhausted from it, but I think I have reached a new level. More about that in my next blog posting in which I summarize the week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fantasia Fair: Day 6, Part 2


(Fantasia Fair: Day 6 below has more photos and very few words about Day 6. This post details Day 6 more fully.)

This turned out to be a very busy and full day! It was a very emotional and fun day, too!

After getting ready and having my continental breakfast, I attended a presentation by my friend Diana L titled "Building a Grassroots Coalition for Trans-Issues." I helped Diana before and after her presentation, which was very good. Not many people showed up and I think that might be due to a last minute change in locations for Diana's presentation.

Lunch was at the same location as Diana's presentation, i.e., Napi's Restaurant. (By week's end, I ended up eating lunch at Napi's three times and each time, the meal was excellent and included delicious desserts.)

After lunch, I went back to my hotel for the keynote address du jour: "Transgender Victories and Challenges" by Mara Keisling. Ms. Keisling is a good speaker, her subject was interesting, and the time flew by.

Next, I attended a group session for trans people who are attending Fantasia Fair without their Significant Others (SOs). Titled "Cinderella - Alone in Paradise," the session was run by Sandra Cole, who is "is a sexologist, nationally AASECT Certified as a sex educator and sex counselor, and for thirty-eight years has been faculty in University academic medicine. For the past 25 years she has been friend and colleague with the transgender community, working with transgender individuals and their partners on topics of sexual health, intimacy and relationships. Over a period of 20 years she has conducted scores of important group discussions at Fantasia Fair, where she experiences many wonderful friendships, amazing programs and creative events." (from the Fantasia Fair Web site)

Six of us attended the session and we each poured our hearts out telling our stories about our relations with our SOs. I broke down near the end of my turn to speak. I am not going into details except to say that Sandra was very supportive of me and said that considering my circumstances (which she said were "difficult"), there is nothing wrong in what I do in order to be the real me. She made me feel great about what I do and I am so glad that I decided at the last minute to attend her group session instead of attending the "Fierce Evening Makeup" presentation.

The session went 30 minutes over its two-hour allotment and I think we all would have been willing to stay and talk things out longer except that we all had other commitments, in my case, getting ready for the Fantasia Fair Follies and the Post Follies Fetish Party.

I did not pack for fetish. The only things I brought that I thought were remotely fetish were my black booties and my black fishnets, so I had to decide what to wear with my "fetish" leg and footwear. I slipped on my Victoria's Secret black sequins sweater tunic, but it is so low-cut that all the bras I brought with me would show. I tried a cami to hide my bra, but that looked lousy. Finally, I decided to go bra-less and after adding some bling and my short blond wig, I achieved a six-foot-two Joey-Heatherton-like look!

I thought I looked very hot and throughout the night, a lot of other people agreed with my personal assessment. (The photo above right shows me and TM before the Follies began.)

The Follies were downstairs in my hotel's theater, so I did not have far to go and when I showed up, I received the oohs and aahs of trans people and civilians alike. Wow... did I feel great! I wanted everyone to see me, so I kept getting up to walk around and talk with anyone I knew.

The Follies is a fund-raiser for a local soup kitchen, so during intermission, Donna Marie, the head of the Fantasia Fair "volunteers," handed me a bucket to go around the hall to ask for donations. Perfect! I strutted my stuff throughout the crowd filling the bucket with greenbacks and filling my ears with compliments. ("You are so pretty," was my favorite compliment of the evening.)

By the way, the Follies were excellent and showcased a lot of talented people, some of professional caliber. The show seemed to fly by and the next stop was the Fetish Party at Club Purgatory.

Since we had not eaten since noon, Denise from Plymouth and I stopped for pizza slices on the way to the Fetish Party. Needless to say, we were way overdressed for a pizza palace and were gawked at by the help and customers alike.

Next stop was the Fetish Party. A few people dressed somewhat fetishly, but the majority were dressed more clubby than fetishly.

The music was loud and the beat was infectious at Club Purgatory; so much so that I decided to dance. Chantel from L.A. was nearby and she became my first victim. I danced my ass off for about ten minutes, then we quit for awhile. As I left the dance floor, a gay dude asked if I won the best evening gown costume. I said there was no such contest, but thank you for the compliment anyway.

Fifteen minutes later, I was ready to dance again and Glenda from Cocoa Beach was my next victim. I really got into it again, dancing as furiously and femininely as I could with the light show and the music molding me into a dancing queen. I reached a new level... I was no longer a femulator, I was a woman, at least in my mind. People at the bar were watching me and I continued to give them something worth watching. It was a fabulous moment, probably the highpoint of my week.

I didn't want to stop, but after 15 minutes or so, my thighs ached and needed a break. As I left the dance floor, the gay dude (I do not pay much attention to gay dudes, so I am not sure if he was the same dude who commented on my "evening gown") said I was the only one on the dance floor who knew how to dance. I thanked him and quickly scurried to a group of friends for protection in case he wanted to pursue me.

Wow! What a night! The crowd was thinning out as closing time approached, so I returned to my hotel walking on a cloud.

Fantasia Fair: Day 5, Part 2


(Fantasia Fair: Day 5 below has more photos and a few words about Day 5. This post details Day 5 more fully.)

I was up and at 'em (or more like "up and Eve") and into my female morning routine (shower, shave, makeup, pick an outfit to wear, dress, continental breakfast, and make my plans for the day).

The morning talks did not interest me, so I decided to go shopping again. The weather was the nicest so far.

My goal was to visit a vintage clothing store. The store had some delicious vintage clothing on display in its windows, but it was closed when I was in the neighborhood on Wednesday.

I walked about a mile to the store, but it was closed even though its posted hours indicated that it should be open. I was disappointed.

I window-shopped my way back down Commercial Street and visited some of the stores of interest, but I did not find anything I wanted to buy.

Soon it was time for lunch. My lunch ticket for the day was for my own hotel, so I returned to my room to freshen up, then went downstairs to the dining room on the enclosed veranda.

Lunch that day was a disappointment. Despite the pleasant weather, it was not warm enough to be sitting on a veranda to eat a meal and I was uncomfortable. Also, the food was only so-so. On a positive note, the luncheon conversation with the other girls was fun (I found the conversations over meals this week were always great fun and I tried to sit with new people as often as possible to make the conversations even more interesting.)

The keynote address at 1 PM was a panel discussion titled "State of the Trans Union." I especially wanted to hear the words of my favorite trans personality Ethan St. Pierre, but others on the panel spoke more than he did and I was a little disappointed. However, it was an excellent discussion (Stephen Whittle's words were worth the price of admission). I hung around for the open discussion after the panel discussion ended, but I just listened and did not participate because I did not have anything to offer.

Most of the Fantasia Fair attendees from my support group made a date to dine together at the Lobster Pot, a restaurant with rave reviews from folks, who had dined there in the past.

I changed into my outfit for the evening and primped (see photo above right) for my night out. Then I walked the four or five blocks to the restaurant in my short bubble skirt, which attracted the attention of some of the passerbys.

Three of my friends were waiting outside the restaurant, including one of my biggest fans, Teresa Marie (aka TM), who jokingly pointed out that my skirt was too short for the weather. (I call TM "one of my biggest fans" because she tells everyone that in her opinion, I am pretty.)

After two other friends showed up, we went inside to join still other friends, who already were seated in the restaurant. As we girls entered the dining room, I noticed that we caught the attention of a table of six or eight civilians, who were gawking at us. Before I sat down, I waved at them using my girliest limp-wristed wave. They did not wave back.

Dinner was excellent. I had three crab and seafood cakes topped by hunks of lobster meat. It was so filling that I could only eat one and one-quarter of the cakes. And, as usual, the dinner conversation was wonderful.

After dinner, we went to Club Purgatory for karaoke. Fifty-seven years on the Planet Earth and I have never seen karaoke in person, much less participate in karaoke, but I was going to do karaoke this night.

I so wanted to do Wendy by the Beach Boys, but it was not one of the available karaoke tunes. As a long time Beach Boy fan, I know a lot of their songs by heart, but they had only two to choose from: Fun Fun Fun (one of my faves) and California Girls (one of my least favorite Beach Boy hits), so I signed up to karaoke the former and put my sign-up sheet in a fishbowl with the other sign-up sheets.

It was my lucky day... not! The DJ picked my name out of the fishbowl to be the first karaoke performance! No, not me! I was hoping to witness a few karaoke performances before my turn came up. Holey Shirt! I was so not prepared for this!

By the way, I did not get lubricated for this event. In fact, the only alcohol I drank all week was two glasses of wine at the welcoming reception Sunday night. In retrospect, I should have gotten well lubricated before my maiden karaoke performance, but so it went and I was called up by the MC, who was a professional drag performer.

Before I began, I mentioned to the MC that I was a novice and she announced that fact to the crowd. So I hoped that the crowd would be sympathetic if things did not go so well.

Things did not go so well. I lost my place after the first verse of the song and it took me another verse to catch up with the music. I also sang in falsetto and did not sound much like Brian Wilson... more like Minnie Mouse. Despite my awful performance, the crowd cheered me on and most people said I did OK (they were too kind).

I decided to try and redeem myself, so I signed up for another song: Shania Twain's Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under, which I kind of knew because I had practiced singing it when I was considering lipsyncing it for my support group's banquet entertainment.

Second time around, I did better than the first time. I sang in my natural voice and I kept up with the music most of the time. The crowd reacted well, just like the first time. (My guess is that they were well lubricated!)

In retrospect, I should have picked Man! I Feel Like a Woman, which I knew cold. I think the key to doing karaoke is to pick a song you know by heart and just sing your heart out to the music and avoid reading the lyrics appearing on the karaoke screen. Next time...

Around midnight, the crowd was thinning out and my friend, Denise from Plymouth offered to give me a ride back to my hotel, which I gladly accepted. (Even though Provincetown has a very open, liberal, and diverse population, I was still concerned about walking the streets alone late at night especially the way I was dressed!)

I had a wonderful day on Thursday and went to sleep with visions of female impersonators dancing in my head.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fantasia Fair: Day 4, Part 3


Coming Soon!

Sorry, but I am so busy that I am getting a little behind.

The dressing room for the fashion show models was not a dressing room per se; it was actually the room used for the keynote addresses and other presentations. As a result, the facilities were not very good for dressing. We had to drape our stuff over the chairs in the room.

Later, a clothing rack showed up, but by then, my stuff was in such a disarray that the arrival of the rack did not matter.

I wore the first outfit I planned to model to the show, so I was ready to go while other models were dressing.

A photographer working on The Gender Photo Project had a portable studio set up in the dressing room near where I had plopped my stuff. The photographer asked me if I wanted to pose for a photo for the project and of course, I agreed.

During the photoshoot, the photographer mentioned that I resemble Norway's most famous crossdresser, Espen "Esther Pirelli" Benestad. I never heard of Benestad, but I was familiar with a film she appeared in: Alt om min far, which is a true story about a transvestite, who seeks his son's acceptance.

Before I turned in for the night, I looked Benestad up on the Internet to see if I do resemble her. I'll let you be the judge; her photo appears above right.

Nigel Dickson had his photography equipment set up at the opposite end of the room. Nigel is the photographer working on the Fantasia Fair book I mentioned in Fantasia Fair: Day 3, Part 2 and it turns out that he has taken photos of many famous people, for example, Michelle Obama. (Visit his Web site to see some of his work.)

While I was still enjoying the afterglow from my first photoshoot, Nigel came over and asked me if I would pose for him. I joked with some of the other models saying, "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."

Turns out I was the first subject that Nigel photographed! After he took a few shots, he thanked me and will e-mail me a copy of the photo later.

The actual fashion show was now becoming an afterthought!

I was the fifth model of 23 models to go up the catwalk and I was up on the stage very quickly. With floodlights shining in my face, loud music blaring, and the MCs making comments, the experience became a blur, but I do remember one of the MCs asking me if I was now ready for a New York City catwalk. I responded, "You betcha" in my best Alaskan accent and I got a big laugh from the audience.

Speaking of the audience, it was not a full house. I assume the lousy weather (cold and raining) kept down the crowd, but the audience that did show up was very enthusiastic and cheered each model loudly.

Wearing the black velvet evening gown from the Patty Collection, second time up was same as the first... a blur, but the MC asked me to walk the walk twice (something they only asked a few models to do), so I must have been doing something right.

There was a party after the fashion show, but the weather was so miserable, I did not want to walk to the party venue, so I skipped it and went to bed.

Fantasia Fair: Day 7

Daywear and eveningwear on Fantasia Fair Day 7.

I apologize for not keeping my Fantasia Fair diary up to date. As the week progressed, there were more things to do and less time to write. However, I did keep notes and will be filling in the missing pieces in the days to come.

I hope the photos I have posted here in lieu of text have whet your appetite for the text to come in the next few days.

Until then... Peace, Love, and Rock 'N' Roll!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fantasia Fair: Day 5

I do have time to show you the latest photos. Left is my daywear for Day 5 and right is my eveningwear for Night 5.

I just got back from dinner, freshened up, and am posting this blog entry now. And I'm off to karaoke when I'm done!

Fantasia Fair: Day 4, Part 2

This was a great day! But, it did not start out so good.

Wednesday's workshop schedule did not hold much interest for me. The only thing that was a must was the fashion show practice at 2:30 PM. I also had a lunch ticket for noon. So, I thought that it would be a good day to shop.

The weather was lousy: cold with a light rain, but that did not stop me. I grabbed my umbrella and began window shopping down Commercial Street. Problem was that most of the stores were closed.

I did find a women's clothing store that was open: Moda Fina. They had some beautiful coats and dresses and everything was 30% off. I started picking out things to try on and the saleswoman took them to "start" a dressing room for me.

I tried on three dresses and a coat. The coat did not fit and neither did the dress I like the most (a retro 1960's style floral print). Two dresses fit like a glove. The saleswoman said one looked better on me than the other, so I bought that one.

I was wearing gray leggings with my booties and she said that that dress went perfect with my outfit, so I decided that I would wear my new dress for the fashion show replacing the gray leggings with gray tights.

(In my hotel, I am in the first room next to the lobby where the continental breakfast is set up. I just took a break from blogging to get a second cup of coffee and exchanged chit-chat with Bruce, who works the desk during the day. Bruce is one of my biggest fans now and often calls me "beautiful" whenever I see him. I think he is gay.)

As I left the hotel to start shopping, I ran into Ethan St. Pierre and his SO. We talked awhile and I mentioned how I missed his podcasts and he said that they had taken a little hiatus, but is back on a regular schedule again.

I ran into Ethan again at lunch, but did not have an opportunity to lunch with him. Maybe another time.

Lunch was excellent. I have not had a bad meal yet. I lunched with a couple from the Philly area and some other new people, whose names I have forgotten (so many new faces and new names!)

I returned to my room and relaxed for an hour, then went to fashion show practice with my highest high heels in tow. (We were supposed to bring the highest heels we planned to wear for the show to the practice.) I had not worn these shoes before (the silver sequins platform sandals from Payless) and I was surprised how comfortable they were.

Everyone took a turn or two walking on stage and down the catwalk. After practice, I returned to my room to get ready for the show.

We were told to apply our makeup on the heavy side because the stage lights would wash out our faces if all we had on was a normal application of makeup. So I used black and dark grays to do my eyes, bright reds for my lips, and heavy on the blush. The photo above gives you a good idea of the results.

I will continue this in Part 3 later today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fantasia Fair: Day 4

Just two photos of me modeling at the fashion show this evening.

It was quite a night. I'll tell you all about it after I get some sleep.

Fantasia Fair: Day 3, Part 2

One thing about Fantasia Fair that impresses me is all the new friends I have made here. Wow... it is a major effort trying to remember all the names!

A few posts back, I mentioned that I have not seen a Fantasia Fair attendee of color. Well, I did encounter my first attendee of color at Robin McHaelen's presentation on Monday, and last night, she was seated at my table at the banquet and we hit it off swimmingly. So, here's to another new friend, Chantel from L.A!

Tuesday seemed like a Catholic Friday in my past. I had fish for lunch and dinner and both fish dishes were delicious: a scallop salad for lunch and a salmon steak for dinner.

Lunch was at a restaurant a few blocks up Commercial Street, so after attending my first workshop of the day (more about that later), I started hoofing it to the restaurant. By the way, yesterday was gorgeous: sunny with temps in the mid-60s.

Anyway, I am walking out the door of my hotel and I run into Miqqi Gilbert, who is the top girl at Fantasia Fair (I forget what her actual title is, but she is one of the brains behind the operation). She asked me if I was going to lunch, joined me on my walk to the restaurant, and we conversed. At the restaurant, she asked me to sit at her table. I don't often get a chance to eat lunch with the brains of any operation, so I accepted.

Since Miqqi is one of the brains of the operation, she attracted an interesting group of people at our table. Joining us were David Macfarlane and Nigel Dickson from Canada, who are writing and photographing a book about Fantasia Fair (David is the writer and Nigel, the photographer.) That combination naturally attracted Mariette Pathy Allen to join our table for lunch, and it was like dining at a trans version of the Algonquin Round Table. It was very interesting and I managed to get a few words in edgewise! (David was particularly interested in my reaction to Fantasia Fair from my perspective as a first-timer.)

The morning workshop I attended was learning how to move and walk like a woman. I think I do OK in that area, but I thought that there is always room for improvement.

I just did not get it! I understood the instructor's explanation why women and men walk differently, but I just did not understand her explanation on how a man can do certain things to emulate a woman's walk. I never was very good at physical things (like sports), so I guess I am not surprised by my failure to get this right, too!

After lunch, I attended the keynote speech of the day by Stephen Whittle, the UK trans rights advocate. He talked about his life, his struggles as a trans person and as an activist of trans people's rights. His speech was very interesting and inspiring; I could listen to him speak all day long!

Next, I attended a practice session for the fashion show. Yes, I am modeling in the annual Fantasia Fair fashion show before an audience of civilians and trans people alike and it should be the thrill of my lifetime (up to now). The girls running the fashion show walked us through the routine of walking down the catwalk, etc. The first step from the stage to the catwalk is a doozy, so I plan to take it slow in my killer heels! The fashion show is tonight and it should be a lot of fun!

The Pioneer Awards Banquet ended my day and I had the privilege of collecting tickets along with a new friend, Joanna from Ontario. As a result, I got to meet everyone attending the banquet and got to drool over the fabulous outfits they were wearing. I must say that I have never seen so many beautiful trans women than I have at Fantasia Fair. Wow!

Which reminds me... Monday night, a woman at dinner said to me that she thought I was "beautiful." That certainly made my day!

Except for making even more new friends and girl-talking with them, the banquet was a typical banquet (speeches, awards, door prizes, etc.). It was over after 10 PM and I was ready to turn into a pumpkin, so Cinderella ran back to her hotel room before the clock struck midnight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fantasia Fair: Day 3

(updated below)

It is very late and I am going to bed. But, I promise to fill you in on today's activities in the morning. Meanwhile, I leave you with two photos from today.

The photo on the left shows me ready to go out this morning. The photo on the far right is me attending the Fantasia Fair Pioneer Awards Banquet this evening.

UPDATE: Regarding the photo on the right, I just want to note that my dress was not that short. The hem fell just above the knee; it rode up a bit during that pose, but that's OK because it allows you to see my black fishnets over my black pantyhose.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fantasia Fair: Day 2, Part 2

At 1:30, I attended the keynote address "Let's Talk about Trans Youth" by Robin McHaelen. Robin runs True Colors in Connecticut. (I have participated in the the annual True Colors Conference the past two years and again plan to have a workshop at the 2009 Conference.) Robin has also spoken at my support group's banquet, so I am familiar with her, but now I am even more familiar with her.

Sunday night, as I was roaming around Provincetown lost in the dark, I encountered a woman pulling her wheeled suitcase looking as lost as I was. I smiled at her and said I was lost and she said she was lost, too, and asked me the location of the town hall. I had no clue and wished her "good luck" and we parted ways. Two blocks later, I realized the woman was Robin, but when I turned around to look for her, she was gone.

I mentioned this to her at her presentation on Monday and we had a good laugh about it.

Her talk was excellent, informative and inspiring. There was a lot of interaction with the audience and near the end, she asked what we could do to make it easier in the world for the young and future trans generations.

I spoke up telling the group about how I do outreach at colleges and universities and that by doing so, I am educating the "civilians" that trans people are not the drag queens you see on Jerry Springer, but are real people just like they are. Educating the civilians in this way helps them to accept trans people more readily.

After the presentation, a couple from Pennsylvania stopped me and asked me a load of questions about doing outreach. I hope I was helpful.

The weather was brisk in the afternoon, but a big improvement over the morning, so I took a 20-minute walk to get a feel for the town. I got a few looks and gawks, but nothing untoward.

Next, I attended a short meeting to sign-up to model in the fashion show on Wednesday. This event is one of the highlights of the week and especially interested me because it is open to the public.

After the meeting, I returned to my room to freshen up and change for dinner. The photo above is how I turned out.

The weather has not been as pleasant as last week's forecast promised. It has been on the cool side and I am glad I brought my fake fur jacket. (I almost did not bring it because of the optimistic forecast.) So, I put on my fake fur jacket and walked a couple of blocks to the venue for the evening festivities.

Dinner was an excellent buffet and the entertainment was a murder mystery. I enjoyed the food, but did not pay much attention to the mystery. Instead, I spent the evening chatting with every new person I encountered and I had a great evening.

Speaking of chatting, I used my femme voice a lot yesterday, but many times, when I stopped thinking about it, I dropped back to my normal voice. But I have a lot more time to practice this week.

It is a new day and I must get ready for it. So, later alligators.

Fantasia Fair: Day 2

I slept about six hours last night and was tired when I got out of bed. Once I am up and it is daylight, I seldom can fall back to sleep, so I got an early start on the day.

My old makeup skills have come right back to me after a two-month hiatus and I was ready to go by 8 AM. That's me in the photo ready to go out the door in what I call "real estate agent drag."

The first event of the day was not scheduled to start until 9:30 AM, so I had some time to kill and I planned to do that by finding a place where I could get some coffee. I thought I saw a coffee dispenser in the lobby, so I checked there first and not only did they have coffee, but they offered juice and pastry.

I attended the orientation and brunch. The food was good and the orientation was ok. It basically repeated the orientation information that Fantasia Fair has online. But it was nice to put faces to the names of the various people whose names I was familiar with and I met some more new people at the brunch.

After the brunch, there was a short walking tour of Provincetown. My tour was shorter than most because I was so tired that I dropped out of the tour and returned to my hotel room to rest.

I am going to bed, but promise to continue the Day 2 story in the morning.

Fantasia Fair: Day 1, Part 3

It is actually 6:15 AM of Day 2 at Fantasia Fair, but I want to finish my Day 1 thoughts before starting Day 2.

I decided to wear my fake Kiss stick-on nails as long as I can. I have an ample supply, but why take them off if they are still sticking. I don't know if the glue will hold up during the shower I will take after writing this. The thing is that I am getting very used to doing everything with the nails on. Even intricate stuff that I used to think would be impossible to do with long nails... maybe not impossible, but I was always amazed at how women with long nails managed to do such things. Now, I know! And it is actually fun learning.

I was surprised at the welcoming reception how many young people were in attendance. Considering the cost of this event, I expected to see a room full of old white rich people. I did not see anyone of color, but there both young and old in attendance.

I was also surprised at how few use a femme voice. In fact, I cannot recall one femulator using a femme voice last night... including myself. But I am going to correct that today, at least on a personal level.

I met a lot of new people last night, as well as some old friends and acquaintances. A bunch of us broke off from the reception and went to a pizza restaurant. I was not very hungry and only had on slice.

The streets of Provincetown really do a job on your feet, so I plan to wear something more comfortable today.

I leave you with a photo of my collection of luggage that I brought to Provincetown. Now you know how much it takes to make Staci. (The fishing tackle box in the photo houses my makeup.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fantasia Fair: Day 1, Part 2

My trip to Provincetown took four hours and ten minutes.

I checked into my hotel and signed in at the Fantasia Fair registration desk.

At registration, I saw my friend Jamie, but she did not recognize me at first because she had never seen in me boy mode.

After registration, I returned to my hotel room to get en femme.

Hair removal was a lengthy process since I had not been out en femme in months. I used Veet for the first time and it worked as well as Nair, but I think I prefer Veet because it comes in a pump dispenser, which is neater to use than the Nair squeeze bottle.

After dealing with my body hair, I did my makeup and dressed, as you can see above right.

I planned to attend the Fantasia Fair welcoming reception, but got lost finding the place, so I walked back to my hotel and asked for directions. I tried again, but I still could not find the place.

I must have looked lost because another transwoman walking by asked me if I was looking for the welcoming reception. She knew where it was, so I followed her.

I asked her name and it turns out she is Tobi, one of the regulars from the My Husband Betty Message Boards. Just a day or two ago, we exchanged "I hope to see you at Fantasia Fair" messages on the board!

I will continue this tomorrow as it it is almost midnight and I am exhausted. Just want to add that everyone has been very friendly so far and I am having a great time. More tomorrow.

Fantasia Fair Diary: Day 1

Trans New England

8 AM EDST: In about an hour, I should be on the road crossing Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts on my way to Provincetown for Fantasia Fair. My next blog entry should be from P-Town.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fantasia Fair Diary: Day 0

(updated below)

This is the first installment of my Fantasia Fair Diary.

Today, I will be busy packing and getting things done around the house in preparation for my departure Sunday morning. So I won't be doing much blogging today.

Fall is Here

The weather here turned very fall-like yesterday with the temperature getting down to 38 degrees overnight. I expect to see similar weather conditions this week in Provincetown, 150 miles to the east.

Provincetown Webcam

My friend Diana posted this item on The My Husband Betty Message Boards last night and I want to pass it along to you here:

"For those who want to watch the coming and goings in P'town during Fantasia Fair, here is the Webcam on the corner of Commercial Street and Lopes Square (the town pier)."

The Webcam is about two block from where I am staying, so if you are patient enough, you might see me live from Provincetown.

UPDATE: I finished packing at 12:30 PM and the car is loaded and ready to go. But, I have a stomach ache and feel anxious.

Hopefully, I will be able to relax the rest of the day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

9 pairs of shoes

I started packing for Fantasia Fair last night and discovered that shoes, especially high heels eat up a lot of space.

Do I really need nine pairs of shoes for seven days and nights en femme?

I don't think so.

Three or four pairs are staying home.

Thankfully, I won't have to pack rain gear because the weather forecast for Fantasia Fair still looks good with temps in the mid-to-high 50s during the day and mid-40s at night. The only precipitation in the forecast is for the second Sunday, which is the day I drive home, so it really the won't rain on my parade en femme. (Just in case, I always have an umbrella stowed in my car anyway.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

crossdress like a star for Halloween

Just two weeks to go until National Femulator's Day, also known as Halloween. If you have not decided how to femulate on the 31st of the month, presents some ideas in their "Dress Like a Star for Halloween" slideshow.

The slideshow offers 12 suggestions for impersonating a "star" on Halloween. One and one-half of the suggestions are for male stars, but the rest are for female stars, although, I have to admit that I have never heard of some of them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Josou Paradise

I occasionally search YouTube for trans-related videos and in doing so, I found about a half dozen or so from a Japanese television show.

Each of these videos shows a group of people standing on stage in front of an alcove whose contents is hidden by a curtain. Soon the curtain rises to reveal a seated pretty young woman and the audience oohs and aahs her. According to the description that accompanies the videos, the young women are actually young men dressed en femme. The oohing and aahing is justified because they look great.

I always wondered about the premise of the show, but not enough to research the subject. Yesterday, while researching something else on the Internet, I happened upon some Web sites that revealed what was going on. There is not a lot of information to be had, but here is what I managed to dig up. (If anyone has anymore information about this show, please pass it along.)

The television show is called "Gakkou e Ikou! MAX" and the crossdressing occurs on a segment of the show called "Josou Paradise." During Josou Paradise, a young man ("school ages") appears en femme as described above.

The femulation is so good that some people in the audience cannot believe that the young woman is actually a young man. To prove it, the doubters are encouraged to feel the femulator's breasts to determine if they are real!

Males in the audience can kiss the femulator, but this is done by putting a sheet of glass between the two as they kiss.

Sometimes, the femulator goes out and interacts with the public. On one occasion, a group of femulators participated in a fashion show intended for young women.

This popular youth-oriented variety show went off the air in September after an 11-year run.

Can you imagine an American version of Josou Paradise appearing on television here? You can be sure that I would be a regular viewer.

dressing your age

Dressing your age is a topic that comes up often in the femulator community.

Critiques say that many femulators dress too young for their age. They claim that short skirts, high heels, long hair, etc., are attributes of women and femulators under the age of 40, not old broads like me. They advise that women and femulators over the age of 40 should dress more conservatively.

I disagree. I am 57 and I don't think I look my age, so why should I dress my age? Why can't I be chic and dress stylishly.

To prove my point, look at this slide show on the Atlanta Examiner Web site. It presents photos of female celebrities aged 40 to 68, who they consider the "sexiest older women." These women are not dressing their age because they don't look their age.

One of the "sexiest older women" is actress Jane Seymour and I consider her my bellwether because we are about the same age (she is three weeks older than me). She dresses to kill, so why shouldn't I?

If you got, flaunt it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

last minute shopping

(updated below)

I started packing for Fantasia Fair last night. Yes, I don't leave for Provincetown until Sunday, but I have so much stuff and so little time.

I still need a couple of items and I will take an early lunch to find them, specifically, a pair of flats and a long scarf to accessorize my evening gown.

By the way, the weather forecast (according to Accuweather) looks promising for the whole week at Fantasia Fair: no precipitation and daytime temps in the mid 50s. I can live with that considering some of the bad weather stories I have heard about at past Fairs.

UPDATE: I scored a nice pair of black flats ($13) at Payless and a scarf/wrap ($9.99) at Burlington Coat Factory. I also bought a new black pocketbook ($19.99) at Burlington. It has lots of zippers, compartments, and a long shoulder strap, which these days is becoming a rare commodity, yet is so important for tall girls like me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

crossdressed in the past

William S. Osborne en femme in Boston circa 1901. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

forced "man" dressing

My personality tends to be more female than male without even trying!

During the first half of my life (so far), my peers perceived me as a "sissy." This is not just an assumption on my part; I was told to my face many times that I was a "sissy" or the equivalent.

I did not go out of my way to be a sissy, rather I was just acting naturally. My personality directed me to do things a certain way. The problem was that that way sometimes did not meet the expectations of how a "man" would do things.

When I realized that something was amiss, I began forcing myself to do things the way a "man" does things in order to be accepted as a "man" in society and not be shunned as being effeminate.

Often, I felt uncomfortable when I forced myself to be a "man." As time passed, I learned that being accepted in society as a "man" was not worth the effort. So as I grew older and wiser, I forced myself less often and let my personality act naturally more often.

I also began crossdressing more publicly at that time in my life* and my open crossdressing went hand-in-hand with my decision to stop forcing myself to act like a "man."

I enjoyed dressing as a woman and my normal personality did not conflict with the way I dressed, i.e., I was not a "man in a dress." Again, this is not an assumption on my part; I have been told more than once that when I crossdress, my personality is a natural fit for the way I am dressed.

I realized that the natural way for me was often the the feminine way, but so what? Why was I forcing myself to be something that I was not? So, I stopped acting like a "man" and instead, acted like "me."

So, why don't I drop the other shoe, i.e., why do I still force myself to appear as a man most days of the week? I stopped acting like a "man" long ago and have been acting like "me" ever since, so why don't I stop dressing like a "man" and begin dressing like "me"?

That is the question.

* FYI, I began crossdressing regularly in my early teens, but I had a keen interest in crossdressing much earlier and probably crossdressed for the first time when I was about 8 years old. I crossdressed in public (Halloween) for the first time in my late teens and I crossdressed in public (not Halloween) for the first time in my mid-30s.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

prep work

In preparation for Fantasia Fair, I shaved my armpits yesterday.

Of all the body parts I depilitate, my armpits are the most sensitive and I must follow a routine a few days before I go out en femme in order to have armpits that are hairless and painless.

I apply Gold Bond powder first. Then, I use the sideburn trimmer of my electric razor to remove the long hair. Next, I apply powder again and use the rotary blades of my electric razor to remove the remaining hair. Then, I apply the powder again.

Next day and perhaps another day or two, I apply powder and eschew deodorant because the deodorant will burn like heck. After two or three days, I can use deodorant again.

Maybe there is a better way, but this way works for me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


My best friend Patty offered to lend me some things for Fantasia Fair, so yesterday, I took a long lunch to visit her and see what she had to offer.

In addition to providing an excellent lunch (soup, salad, and freshly baked bread), she presented me with a half dozen outfits, coats, and jewelry that I could borrow. The outfits included beautiful formal and semi-formal dresses and a pants outfit. The coats came in an array of colors and styles.

I hauled my haul home and tried everything on today. Two of the dresses fit perfectly including my favorite of the bunch: a long beaded grayish-blue sleeveless crochet dress that I now plan to wear to one of the Fantasia Fair banquets. The other dress that fit was a long black velvet dress with see-through short sleeves and I plan to wear it out to dinner at Fantasia Fair. The other dresses and the pants outfit were lovely, too, but they were too tight in the chest, so I will not be packing them for the trip to Provincetown.

The coats all fit and I will be taking a selection of them to Fantasia Fair and the jewelry accessorizes the beaded dress, so that will be coming along for the ride, too.

Thank you so much for your generosity, Patty!

Friday, October 10, 2008


If you have visited here before, you may have noticed that I made some changes to the layout of this blog.

The biggest change is adding the left sidebar. That new sidebar contains items related to this blog, while the right sidebar contains items external to this blog.

This is a work in progress and I will continue tweaking the format for a day or so.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

plan B

"The gown" arrived yesterday. It is beautiful, but it is too small.

So with only a little over a week before I leave for Fantasia Fair, I am working on an alternate plan on what to wear to the Fantasia Fair banquets.

I may rerun something I wore in the past or I may buy something new if I can find something I like in a local store (no time left for mail or online ordering).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

shopping for the Fair

(updated below)

I took an early lunch and went to the mall to shop for my week en femme at Fantasia Fair. I intended to shop for three things: silver shoes to go with my evening gown, false eyelashes, and a pair of pants.

For false eyelashes, I went to the M·A·C counter at Macy's. I told the saleswoman that I wanted false eyelashes that looked natural. She suggested two pairs and I picked one . I was surprised that the eyelashes did not include glue; it was a separate item that I had to purchase.

Speaking of separates... after considering what I wrote yesterday about mixing and matching separates to save space in my luggage, I decided I needed a nice pair of black pants. Since I have never bought woman's pants before (leggings yes, pants no), I decided to go to a store where I was likely to get assistance from a salesperson: Lane Bryant.

I knew what I wanted, but I was overwhelmed with the selection. After trying to look as lost as possible, a saleswoman asked me if I needed help. I told her I did drag and that I wanted a nice pair of black pants around size 16 Tall.

She was very helpful and found two pairs of black "Right Fit Lafayette pants," one pair in size 2 Tall and the other in size 1 Tall. She showed me to the dressing room and I tried on the size 2 Tall first. It fit fine. Then, I tried on the size 1 Tall and it fit more snugly than the 2 Tall. I was not wearing a girdle (or a mirdle), so I figured that the size 1 Tall would be a perfect fit when I wear them with my girdle.

The pants cost $49.50, but by opening a Lane Bryant credit card, I saved 15% and the total cost came to $35.76.

Online, Payless had a pair of shoes that I liked, so I visited the Payless store at the mall, but they did not have the shoe in my size. I looked at shoes in the other stores and only one pair (in Macy's) caught my eye, but the price tag ($99) scared me away.

I stopped at another Payless store near work, but they did not have the shoe in my size either, however, the saleswoman did a search and found a pair in another Payless store that I can stop by on my way home from work this afternoon. (Wish me luck.)

UPDATE: The third Payless store had the shoe in my size and with the referral from the other store, I received a $3 discount. I also bought the matching handbag, which was on sale for $11, but I only paid $5.50 because Payless is having a BOGO (Buy One, Get One half off) promotion.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

if I became a man,
would you pay me more?

Catherine Price writes in today's edition of broadsheet, "Researchers from the University of Chicago and New York University looked at the experiences of transgender people in the workforce -- that is, people who had either transitioned from male to female or female to male -- and analyzed how their gender switch affected their pay. The result, as Time puts it, 'suggests that raw discrimination still remains potent in U.S. companies.'"

Read all about it here.

to pack or not to pack

One of the first things I did when I knew I was going to Fantasia Fair was start working on a list of what to pack for seven days en femme.

My previous longest stint en femme was four days at the IFGE Convention in 2004. Being anal retentive, I saved my packing list from that event and I used it as a reference while making my list for Fantasia Fair 2008.

To start, I listed the day-to-day Fantasia Fair activities and assigned one outfit to each. This resulted in six daytime outfits, six evening outfits, and one special occasion outfit.

Since I favor dresses over skirts, pants, and tops, mixing and matching separate pieces does not make much of a dent in my packing list, but I am reconsidering and may revise my list to include separates that I can mix and match to save some packing space.

Truth of the matter is that despite the list, I over-packed in 2004 (ten pairs of shoes) and probably will over-pack next weekend, but at least the list serves as a reminder of the "necessities" that I must be sure to bring with me to Cape Cod.

Currently, my packing list includes ten pairs of shoes, but I want to pare that down a bit. Shoes, especially heels, take up a lot of packing space. But shoes are also my weakness and I bet ten pairs make the roundtrip to Provincetown.

Do I really need four wigs? Do I really need three pocketbooks? My answers are probably "no" and "yes," respectively.

Wigs don't take up much space, but I am sure one of the four will stay home. On the other hand, pocketbooks like shoes, take up a lot of space, but I will probably take three because I "need" all three to match the outfits I plan to wear.

Luckily, I am driving my Subaru to Fantasia Fair (over four hours door-to-door) because I don't know how I would pack if I was flying. (FYI, some girls suggest shipping ahead by UPS, Fedex, or your carrier of choice.)

Monday, October 6, 2008


I ordered my evening gown for Fantasia Fair on September 14.

According to the seller, it would take 10-14 days to make the gown and 5 days maximum to receive it after they shipped it, which means they would ship it, worst case, around September 29.

Everyday, I checked the order status and as of yesterday, they were still making the gown (a week past the day they should have shipped it). With Fantasia Fair quickly approaching, I started formulating Plan B in case the gown did not arrive in time.

Good news! I checked the gown's status this morning and they shipped it! So, I should have it by week's end and in plenty of time for Fantasia Fair.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

You have to be yourself.
It's really all you can ever be.

So far, I have one "follower," Zagria. She has a blog called Gender Variant Biography, so I decided to visit it.

I spent an hour or so browsing Zagria's blog, which assembles biographies of "gender variant" people from the present, as well as the recent and distant past. I congratulate Zagria for her research and highly recommend that you visit her blog. I found the biographies fascinating especially those that were new to me.

One biography, Paul Whitehaed's, brought up a topic that is near and dear to my heart, that is, coming out publicly as a crossdresser. In a nutshell, Paul is an artist and a crossdresser, who en femme is Trisha Van Cleef, who is also an artist. Paul is public about his crossdressing and sometimes Paul and Trisha exhibit their artwork together.

After reading that, I was hooked and had to find out more, so I searched the Internet and Google came up with an interview on Alice Novic's Web site Alice in Genderland.

The interview provided more fascinating reading and Paul's answer to the last question of the interview was inspiring. If you read anything, make sure you read the last answer from which the following quote originates, "You have to be yourself. It's really all you can ever be."

After reading the interview, I felt the same as I did when I read the Grayson Perry interview.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote this about Grayson Perry here, "She is my hero/heroine because she is a public personality (like me), who happens to be a crossdresser (like me) and is very out about it (unlike me)...

"I have considered coming out as a crossdresser in my writing world... sort of run it up the flagpole and see who salutes and who burns down the flagpole. It certainly would spice up my life. Maybe I'll do it soon, maybe never, but it is something to think about."

And I do think about it a lot.

Many of my friends, relatives, and co-workers know (or suspect) that I am a crossdresser, so my official public outing would not surprise them. So what do I have to lose?

Probably not much, but, on the other hand, what would I gain? Most, if not all of the gains would be personally motivated, so would my selfish gains be worth the losses, no matter how few they may be?

I dunno.

With a week 24/7 en femme at Fantasia Fair looming on the horizon, I wonder if that experience might push me over the brink.

I'll find out.

more on less hair

Just a couple of additional thoughts regarding yesterday's discussion of hair removal products...

The containers of Veet that I bought yesterday were a bit more expensive than the containers of Nair I normally buy. However, Veet comes in a 13.5 oz/400 ml container vs. the Nair 5.4 oz/160 ml container, so that's two and one-half more times Veet than Nair for only a little bit more out of pocket. Also, I found a $2 discount coupon on the Veet Web site if I decide to buy Veet again.

Another advantage of Veet is that it comes in a pump container (like those hand lotion pump containers), which should make less of a mess than using the Nair squeeze container.

Veet also includes a plastic spatula to scrape off the hair. Dunno how useful that will be, but I will try it out.

A Tip

Finally, here is a tip when using Nair, Veet, or some other depilator.

Have a bottle of witch hazel and a face cloth handy in case you get the depilator on a sensitive body part. The witch hazel will cool the chemical burn and in my experience, prevent a rash and/or red skin that often follows some misplaced depilation.

Another Tip

Witch hazel is a great astringent. I use it on my face after shaving and before applying makeup. (I also love the scent of witch hazel.)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nair vs. Veet

During my lunch hour, I went to my nearby discount department store to buy some things I needed at home. Near the top of my shopping list was Nair.

I have been using Nair like forever to remove hair and have learned what parts of my body to avoid because certain body parts do not like Nair at all. Those areas are my underarm area, areas near the base of my neck, and my nipple area. I am a happy Nair camper as long as I avoid those sensitive areas.

So, I visit the Nair area of my nearby discount department store and the Nair shelf is empty. I am shocked; there's nary a bottle of Nair to be found. (Maybe there is a crossdresser's convention in town and they bought up all the Nair! But, not likely because I would have heard about it.)

I noticed that there were a few bottles of a Veet on the shelf below the empty Nair shelf. I picked up a bottle and after reading the label, I concluded that it is similar to Nair, so I put two bottles in my shopping cart and kept on shopping.

During a break in the action at work this afternoon, I decided to see what the Internet had to say about Veet. I read the reviews and I became very worried about my purchase. Three out of four reviews were negative with reviewers complaining about all sorts of skin problems related to their use of Veet.

I was ready to get back in my car and go get a refund, but before I took that step, I checked to see how Nair faired in the Internet reviews.

Turns out that the Nair reviews were as bad as the Veet reviews. It seems that more people are more sensitive to Nair than I am, so I assume the same goes for Veet and I am safe, but I am holding onto my receipt just in case.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Michelle Obama Chooses Fast Fashion

Spotted: Michelle Obama wearing an H&M dress! BlackBook reports Obama wore the "Narciso Rodriguez–esque" dress while campaigning in Detroit, Michigan. Her sartorial choice was likely made in keeping with the current economic spirit as many might not find it prudent for our potential First Ladies to run around in designer outfits that cost $313,000.

Read all about it here.