Tuesday, June 30, 2009

and now a word from our sponsor... not


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Stonewall: getting it right

It pleases me when I read an article about the Stonewall riots that gets it right, i.e., that trans-people and drag queens were at the forefront of that skirmish.

Michael DeJong got it right in his piece that appeared on The Huffington Post yesterday. You can read it here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

random thoughts on a Monday morning

I read in this morning's paper that Gale Storm died. Ms. Storm was an actress in television situation comedies.

She was best known for playing the title character of the television series My Little Margie. I watched the show in rerun regularly as a kid and recall that the show was very funny and one of my favorites, but I cannot recall one trans moment in that series.

However, when I recall My Little Margie, I always also remember Our Miss Brooks, another situation comedy that I watched in rerun as a kid around the same time I was watching My Little Margie. Eve Arden played the title character, a high school English teacher, who had a love interest in the shy biology teacher, Mr. Boynton.

I don't recall much about the show except for one episode in which Miss Brooks was trying to convince Mr. Boynton to attend a costume party. Mr. Boynton complained that he did not have a costume, but Miss Brooks offered as solution: with the right foundation garments, he could dress as a woman.

I sat through the rest of that episode waiting for Mr. Boynton to appear en femme, but that never happened and that trans moment in Our Miss Brooks was limited to words. (I cannot recall any other trans moments in Our Miss Brooks.)

Speaking of dead celebrities, I am burnt out by all the coverage of Michael Jackson's death and refuse to watch anymore. As a result, I may have missed if anyone commented that Mr. Jackson may have had trans issues.

I recall reading years ago on more than one occasion that Mr. Jackson had all that facial plastic surgery because he wanted to look like Diana Ross. Does that make him trans? I dunno, but it sure raises the issue.

Friday, June 26, 2009

up next

Two weeks ago, I was in the midst of my extended weekend in Manhattan. For over four days, I was en femme attending workshops, shopping, clubbing, dining, and sightseeing without a safety net. I was not attending any trans-event in NYC that affords some protection, illusory or otherwise; rather, I was completely out of the closet, just another out-of-towner visiting The City.

It was a big test for me: a test to find out if I could live as a "woman" in the real world. And I passed the test in more than one way.

I interacted with the civilian population without giving any consideration to my female appearance, i.e., I was not walking around Manhattan thinking that I was a guy dressed as a gal and how is the public going to react. I was completely confident in my skin and as a result, the civilians treated me as a real person, not as a sideshow freak.

I had no fear coming out to the other people attending my workshop. I might be able to fool some of the people some of the time, but attending the workshop, I would be interacting face-to-face with 20 or so people for hours on end over a four-days period and there was no way I could fool them in that scenario. So it made sense to come out and make everybody more comfortable about the unusual person in their midst. My honesty resulted in more respect from my peers and it made me feel more comfortable, too, because now I could be myself.

It also felt wonderful to "pass" as often as I did. The "ma'am" and "hon" and "dyke" comments sent my way attest to my ability to pass some of the time. And you know you're onto something when a squad car full on NYC police checks you out as you cross Sixth Avenue in Times Square wearing a dress and heels!

And so it went. But, what's next?

I don't think I can top my trip to Manhattan. I can probably equal it with extended stays en femme in other locations and I hope the opportunity arises to do so.

But back with my high heels on the ground in southwestern New England, what can I do?

Sadly, summer is settling in for the next eight weeks or so and that means heat and humidity and Staci does not perform well in heat and humidity. My wig and foundation garments causes me to perspire and my perspiration finds its way to my face where it eats away at my makeup and results in a mess that I prefer that the public not view. So, my outings en femme in summer are few and far between.

But summer means that the fall fashions will be appearing in the stores and I imagine I will do some shopping, probably en homme, for some new clothing that I can wear in September and beyond. And I think that is very apropos: new clothing for the new me that I discovered two weeks ago in New York City.

the day the music died... again

John Lennon, George Harrison, Carl Wilson, Roy Orbison, and Gene Pitney were music-makers whose deaths were very very sad for me and now Michael Jackson is gone, too.

It is hard to write about it, so I won't try especially since Bill Wyman wrote an excellent article on the matter in today's Salon. So, put some Jackson tunes on the Victrola and go read read it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett died today.

As a femulator, I always have had an eye for attractive women and I remember spotting Ms. Fawcett in television commercials years before she achieved stardom in Charlie's Angels. She was such a standout that I could not help noticing her and I filed her image away in my mind as someone I might see in the future.

And see her, I did. I probably saw every episode of Charlie's Angels that she appeared in and I continued to watch the series even after her departure because I also had great appreciation for her co-star Jaclyn Smith.

Like many young males in that era, I watched Charlie's Angels to see the women who appeared on that show. The plot was secondary and usually disposable; the women were the main attraction. But unlike most of the male fans of that show, I watched Ms. Fawcett and Ms. Smith because I wanted to emulate them, not bed them.

Anyway, Ms. Fawcett's passing makes me feel sad; may she rest in peace.

a wife's cure


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New York City, June 15, 2009

understanding

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show last night and talked about the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

My wife was watching the show and stated something to the effect that it was not fair that gays were discriminated against by the military because they were born that way and cannot do anything about it just like you were born trans and cannot do anything to about it. She did add that she did not like it (my trans-ness), but she understands that I am not going to change.

My wife never wants to discuss my trans-ness and it made me happy to learn that she does understand my situation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

out sick

I have been ill since Friday with a very bad head cold. I think that it peaked yesterday and I should get better as the week progresses.

My output here the past few days has been less than usual due to my illness, however, that should also improve as the week progresses.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Suzie Plakson

Lauralee e-mailed me that actress, singer, artist, and writer Suzie Plakson is 6'1-1/2" tall. Our height arbitrator rounds that out to 6'2" and I added Ms. Plakson to the Famous Females of Height List.

femulate.org = www.femulate.org

The folks at Register.com fixed the problem with femulate.org and it now works the same as www.femulate.org, i.e., both URLs, with "www." or without, will get you here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rie Rasmussen

Rie Rasmussen is a Danish fashion model, actress, film director, writer, and photographer. She appeared in one of my favorite motion picture thrillers, Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale. She is also 5'10" tall and the newest addition to my Famous Females of Height List.

at the hair salon

I got a haircut on Friday. I usually get my hair cut at a local hair salon that I have been patronizing for over 12 years.

The owner of the salon has two school-aged sons. My sister, who also patronizes this salon, mentioned that one of the sons might be gay. His mother (the salon owner) is supportive, while the father, not so much.

Anyway, I walked in to the salon about 1 PM without an appointment. I was the only customer, so the owner took me immediately.

When I walked in, I noticed a pretty young girl playing in the waiting area. She was about 10-years-old and was wearing yellow cropped pants, a white flowery top, and her short bobbed hair had a pink swatch in it.

The receptionist asked the girl to go fetch her Mommy from the back of the store because she had a customer.

I did not know who the girl was going to fetch because there are at least three hairdressers working at that salon. When the owner came out from the back of the store to greet me, I realized that the young girl was her son!

I did not mention her son and neither did the owner, but it struck me that maybe her son is transgender and not gay.

I am not "out" at the salon, so I kept my opinions to myself, but maybe I will drop an anonymous note to the owner about my thoughts on the matter or maybe I will mind my own business.

cross-shopping


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Friday, June 19, 2009

transgender primer

"Transgender issues have been in the news with the recent announcement that Cher's daughter, Chaz Bono, is transitioning from female to male. This subject has been plagued by misunderstanding and fear of the unknown."

A Huffington Post article, "A Pro Bono Transgender Primer" by Dr. Jon LaPook attempts bring understanding to this unknown.

You can read it here.

By the way, that is 5'9" actress Kim Raver in the photo. She is the latest addition to our Famous Females of Height List.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

femulate.org is not equal to www.femulate.org

For some reason, http://femulate.org is not the same as http://www.femulate.org. Entering the URL without "www." should get you here, but it does not.

I am trying to solve this technical difficulty, but have been unsuccessful so far. So don't use the shortcut until I sort this thing out.

additional famous females of height

Over the weekend, Huffington Post published "Famous Couples With Taller Women: Is Height Just A Number?" The piece had a series of photos showing famous couples in which the female of the couple is taller than the male.

Some of the females were 5'8" or higher and some of them were not on my Famous Females of Height List, so I corrected their omission and welcome the following tall women to the list:

Emmanuelle Seigner, an actress and former model, is 5'8"

Padma Lakshmi, a cookbook author, actress, and former model, is 5'9"

Sophie Dahl, a model and author, is 5'11"

Pia Glenn, an actress, is 6'

Penny Lancaster, a model, photographer, and wife of rocker Rod Stewart, is 6'2"

L'Wren Scott, a stylist, costume designer, and former model, is an amazing 6'4" (see photo)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

womanhattan: the end

Monday was a half day en femme.

I attended the last day of the workshop en femme, then returned to my hotel to change into boy mode for my trip back home. As a result, I did not have much interaction with the public at large en femme.

***

I can look back and laugh at myself now, but you know what I worried about the whole time I was in Manhattan? I feared that while I was walking around town, someone would recognize me as a guy, grab my wig, and run off with it! (I brought an extra wig just in case.)

***

The photo shows me dining with Prometheus at the Rink Bar restaurant in the heart of Rockefeller Center.

***

In conclusion, I found myself.

Everything just fell into place.

* Getting cold feet about attending the workshop en femme

* Phoning the workshop to find out if they had any issues about my attendance en femme.

* Getting their green light of support to attend in whatever way I felt most comfortable.

* Finding a group of fellow attendees, who did not shun me, but respected me.

* The group's respect motivated me to be completely up front with them about my transness.

* My planned "show 'n' tell" became a natural conduit for coming out.

* The group's respect seemed to grow ten-fold after I came out.

* Coming out freed all my stress about the workshop; I really let myself go and apply myself fully in the workshop...

* Which permitted me to get a lot out of the workshop that I will apply in my career as a writer.

There was always the possibility that something could go wrong, but it did not. Maybe I was just lucky, maybe I was well-prepared, maybe some higher power was watching over me, I dunno.

But I do know that integrating all of me at the workshop permitted me to integrate myself outside the workshop, too. I was myself throughout the day rather than trying to impersonate someone else. And integrated as myself, I felt very confident about myself.

An example: one morning after I dressed en femme, I adjusted the thermostat in my hotel room and somehow managed to shutdown the system. Nothing I tried could bring the system back to life, so I called the front desk and they said they would send someone up. In the recent past, I would have panicked and changed into boy mode as quickly as possible. But, that morning, I stayed in girl mode. When the maintenance man showed up, I interacted with him without concern or nervousness and he reacted in a positive manner.

Another example: Flag down a cab wearing a dress and high heels and you usually get the first available cab. Now that's power and it just added to my confidence!

I am so happy that I did what I did. It changed me for the better by making myself whole and more confident, so confident that I no longer fear being outed, nor do I fear coming out to anyone.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

womanhattan: "dyke"

Sunday in New York and I dressed up for the day: my purple dress, jewelry, mid-heel Mary-Jane pumps, suntan pantyhose, etc.

My workshop ended about 2 PM and I returned to my hotel room to freshen up. After touching up my makeup, I went outdoors (the weather was perfect) and hailed a cab.

A cab stopped, I got in and told the driver to take me to Rockefeller Center.

The driver told me he could not take me there because the Puerto Rican Pride Parade on 5th Avenue blocked the path to the Rock. So, I got out of the cab and decided what to do.

I had fallen in love with a perfume sample of Aquolina Pink Sugar that I received at Sephora, so I decided to walk the six blocks to their West 34th Street store to buy the perfume.

It was my first time out wearing the mid-heel Mary Janes I bought a few weeks ago. When I paid for the shoes, the cashier commented that the shoe was popular with dancers because they are very comfortable and I was discovering the same thing as I walked from my hotel to Sephora.

In Sephora, I walked around the store looking for the perfume. During my hunt, I passed an older gentleman and as I walked by him, he turned to me and said, "I want to give you a kiss" and then he blew me a kiss!

Flabbergasted, all I could do was whisper, "Thank-you."

I found the perfume, paid for it, and exited with my heels never touching the ground!

Since my new shoes were cooperating, I decided to walk a half-block to Herald Square and take a few photos. After taking a few shots, I saw an empty chair and sat down to take a break. While I sat, I took a few photos of myself. They turned out OK, but I could only stretch my arm so far and I wanted something better.

Seated next to me was a older gentleman with a camera case in his lap. I tapped him on the shoulder and with a big smile, I asked him to take my photo. He smiled, I handed him my camera, and he took a photo of me.

After resting for five minutes, I decided to walk eight blocks up Broadway to Times Square. I took photos along the way and with no complaints coming from my feet, I decided to head east towards Rockefeller Center.

While waiting for the traffic light to give me the go-ahead to cross Broadway at West 45th Street, I took some more photos of Times Square. A trio of women joined me at the crosswalk and one asked me if I'd like her to take my photo. Of course, I accepted her invitation and the photo I posted here on Sunday is the result of her handiwork.

Five more blocks and I was in the middle of Rockefeller Center. Foot traffic was light, so I thought it might be a good time to go to the Top of the Rock. I entered the RCA Building (you call it what you want, it will always be the "RCA Building" to me) and found the ticket counter for the Top of the Rock.

My timing was good; there were no lines and I was on my way. Before getting on the elevator to go to the top, I had to go through a the metal detector and I set it off. The guard looked at me, then waved me on with the words, "Must be your bracelets, hon'."

That was a new one! I've been called "miss" and "ma'am" before, but never "hon'." I smiled at the guard and got on the elevator.

Seventy stories later, I was on top of the RCA Building and the weather was perfect. Visibility was virtually infinite and the view was spectacular. To the south, the Jersey shore was visible, to the north, Catskill peaks poked over the horizon, to the northeast, I could see the Connecticut shoreline, and all around me was The City.

I spent about an hour atop, taking a lot of photos and taking it all in. I asked a couple of people to take photos of me and more than a couple of people asked me to do the same for them.

Next, I wanted to go to Saint Patrick's Cathedral, which is just across the street from Rockefeller Center. I took the elevator back down and walked to 5th Avenue. During this short walk, a young man cut me off and immediately apologized, "Excuse me, hon'."

Second "hon'" in an hour. I started to wonder if "hon'" was a New York thing, but I didn't care. A blown kiss and two hon's meant I was passing, however, I was about to receive another term of endearment that would seal it.

As I walked up 5th Avenue toward Saint Pat's, a small group of high school boys were heading towards me. As I passed through the group, I heard one of the boys say, "Dyke."

Now I knew I was passing!

I crossed 5th Avenue and entered Saint Pat's. There was a Mass in progress and the priest was just finishing the sermon.

This was a big deal for me. I was a Roman Catholic and my religion was the source of much needless guilt about crossdressing throughout my life. I overcame the guilt years ago and now I was entering the church for the first time en femme.

When I planned this visit, I thought it would be like spitting in the eye of the Church of Rome. "Take that for all the pain and suffering you brought down upon me for so long."

But instead of feeling vengeful, I felt wonderful. The prodigal son has returned, but now he is your daughter!

I decided to attend the Mass. I remembered and recited all the prayers and when it was time for the Sign of Peace, I exchange handshakes and "peace be with you's" with all the folks around me, or so I thought.

From behind me came an anxious voice, "Peace be with you, Ma'am. Peace be with you, Ma'am."

I realized I missed someone, so I turned around and exchanged another handshake and "peace be with you" with a fellow two rows behind me.

During the Mass, I noticed a reproduction of the famous painting, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa in one of the side altars of the cathedral.

Being a Pole, I checked it out and discovered that that side altar was dedicated to the saints of Poland. It included biographies, paintings, and sculptures of all the saints. After saying a prayer for all my deceased relatives at the side altar, I exited the cathedral.

It was now 7 PM and the last meal I had was breakfast, so I was hungry and decided to treat myself by having dinner at the Rink Bar, the outdoor bar/restaurant that resides in the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink when it is too warm for ice skating. My table for one was immediately in front of the fountain, so I did not feel lonely eating solo because Prometheus was right by my side.

I had peach sangria, watercress salad, rissota crab cakes, and coffee. They were all excellent and they were all only $50 and change!

After dinner, I hailed a cab and enjoyed the ride down 5th Avenue while reflecting on my wonderful day out en femme.

Monday, June 15, 2009

womanhattan: show 'n' tell

In my Saturday Continued post, I mentioned that I came out as transgender to the other people attending my workshop. I want to flesh out that story a bit.

I planned to attend en femme and if anyone asked, I would tell them what was going on, but I had no intention of coming out to the whole workshop.

Part of the workshop was show and tell; we had to bring something to the workshop, preferably from our youth, and explain how that object impacted our lives.

My show 'n' tell was the #60 issue of Mad magazine. Here is my story:

The public school system I attended let the students out early every Thursday to attend religious instruction classes at a local house of worship. On the way home from religious instructions, I had my weekly quarter allowance to spend at a Mom and Pop store. With my quarter, I could buy two comic books and a pack of baseball cards or the new issue of Mad magazine

So, one fall day in 1960, about a month before the November Presidential election of John Kennedy, I find two new issues of Mad for sale; one issue congratulates Nixon as the election winner and the other issue congrats JFK. Only having a quarter, I can only buy one, and being a good Roman Catholic, I buy the JFK issue.

After paying for the magazine and getting Mad in my hands, I realize that the Nixon and JFK issues are the same issue; the same magazine had two covers! The front cover had Nixon and the back cover had JFK, however, the back cover was printed upside down so that it opened with the binding on the left as if it was a front cover!

Upon further investigation, I discovered that not only was the back cover printed upside down, but half the magazine was printed upside down following the upside down cover

This blew my mind. It was thinking outside the box and it was so far out there that opened my mind to thinking outside the box, too... yadda, yadda, yadda...

Originally, that is how I intended to end my show 'n' tell, but the night before my presentation, it suddenly hit me that that two-in-one Mad issue also defined my life as transgender... half and half... man and woman... ying and yang! It was an epiphany of sorts to me and I had to share it, so that is how I actually ended my show 'n' tell.

It was no big deal. I am sure that two days into the workshop, all the attendees had me figured out. I was not fooling anyone, so my revelation would not be a surprise. And it fit so well into my show and tell that I just had to do it.

Seeing everyone's reaction to my show 'n' tell, I think just about everyone appreciated my story and its honesty. Like one of the attendees, a male 60-something retired teacher, who went out of his way to tell me the next day that he loved my metaphor!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

womanhattan: Sunday afternoon


I don't have much time to blog at this time, so I will leave you with this photo taken late this afternoon.

I promise to flesh out the details of my New York City trip real soon now. I have a lot to say, so please stay tuned.

womanhattan: Sunday morning

I am sitting in my hotel room early Sunday morning sipping my first cup of coffee with random thoughts flowing through my head.

***

It is so cool to sit here and look out the window and see the top of the Empire State Building looming over the roofs of the buildings across the street. The Building is quite imposing since it is only three blocks away, but the first day I was here, I did not know it was there because the low clouds obscured it. Friday, I saw it for the first time in all its glory.

When I awoke this morning the clouds cut off the television and FM radio transmitter antennas at the top of the tower, so all you saw was its Zeppelin mooring mast, as it appeared in King Kong. Like I said, "so cool."

***

I did some outreach last night over dinner. As I wrote last night, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a woman from my workshop and her traveling companion daughter. While we dined, we talked about our lives and during a lull in the conversation, I asked her if she wanted to know about my transness.

She admitted that she was dying to ask, but did not ask because she respected my privacy. I told her I love to talk about it and I proceeded to do so.

She got "it" as was evidenced by her questions. She also thought that my coming out in the workshop was a very big deal and she gave me a lot of credit for doing so.

***

Most of the people in the workshop are very cool. After I came out, my workshop mates seemed friendlier to me.

One young woman, who was very friendly to me even before I came out, also went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday and we ran into her a few times. During one run-in, she insisted that I meet her husband, who was looking at some artwork nearby. So, she fetched him and introduced us and we had a short and pleasant conversation.

It made me feel so good that she would do that! That she thought well enough of me to want to introduce me to her spouse made me feel that she considered me a normal person and not a freak.

***

Erica, the transwoman I went out with on Thursday night mentioned our outing on the My Husband Betty message board and I quote, "Staci, who in addition to being muy bonita was terrific fun to hang out with."

I thank her for the kind words.

***

The sky is brightening and now I can see all the way to the top of the Empire State Building, so I am looking forward to another wonderful day in womanhattan.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

womanhattan: Saturday continued

The workshop went well and I learned a lot. Also, during today's session, I took a big step; we each had to do a brief autobiography and when it was my turn, I came out that I was transgender. I did not hear a discouraging word; on the contrary, most people were very supportive and I was glad I did what I did.

The weather continued to be poor with rain off and on all day.

During the workshop, I made plans with a woman who was staying in the same hotel as mine to do something together with her and her daughter, who was traveling with her, but not attending the workshop. (I did not want to be solo again.) Since the weather was not conducive for seeing the Big Apple on foot, we decided to take a cab and see the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

We arrived at the museum around 3:30 PM and viewed the exhibits for over four hours. (That's me in the photo next to Andy Warhol's take on Jacqueline Kennedy.) The museum is huge and we probably saw only 1/10th of its vast spectacular collection. It was a great experience.

We decided to dine at the museum's restaurant and the food was as good as the art. And I highly recommend the Mango Frida cocktail!

The museum closed at 9 PM, but we did not finish dining until 9:15, so we had the place to ourselves as we walked from the restaurant to the exit.

We took a cab back down 5th Avenue and were back at our hotel at 9:30 PM.

A lot of people saw me en femme today, probably thousands of people. And everybody who I personally encountered, treated me like a lady. I did notice more than a few people (mostly guys) giving me a second look, but they probably were just taken aback my Amazonian appearance!

My confidence en femme has surprised myself. I hailed cabs en femme (and usually caught the first one to pass by) and I spoke to people throughout the day and did not think twice about it. For example, when we were in the museum, I asked various museum personnel various questions. In the past, I would have asked one of the two women I was sightseeing with to do my bidding.

It was a great day and tomorrow promises to be even better!

womanhattan: Saturday

This is just a short episode that I want to write about before I forget it.

This morning, I went to my workshop carrying my purse and a large shopping bag containing the workshop materials. I get on the hotel elevator and a 40-something couple are already aboard.

As I got on, I smiled, and turned around to watch the floor numbers flash by.

Suddenly, the guy in the couple says, "Wow, she already has done a lot of shopping without leaving the hotel!"

At first I did not get what he meant, but then I realized the "she" he was referring to was me and he was making a reference to my full shopping bag.

I blushed and the woman said, "Good for you."

I said, "Thank you."

That was an auspicious start to my day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

womanhattan: Friday


I did not sleep well last night.

I attended my workshop in the morning.

I did not hear a discouraging word. A number of people, both male and female, took the initiative to engage me in conversation.

It was hot and humid, not my kind of weather when wearing a wig and foundation garments, but after the workshop, I went out on the town.

I walked four blocks up to Sephora and bought some makeup, then I crossed the street to visit Macy's. The store is huge. It just goes on and on and on.

I found a beautiful dress and I tried it on. It fit fine, but it was very low cut and I just don't have the body for it. So, I did not buy it.

I was very, very tired and returned to my hotel. I just wanted to rest and I did not look forward to going out to dine.

Like magic, someone slipped some menus for takeout under my door, and I took advantage of their offerings and had Japanese take-out delivered to my room. For dessert, I hit the vending machine and had a strawberry Pop-Tart.

It was not a glamorous evening in the Big Apple, but being a girl is not glamorous most of the time, and so it goes.

womanhattan: Thursday evening


This will be short because it is 12:25 AM and I am tired.

I dressed en femme.

Erica, from My Husband Betty message board met me at my hotel and we walked down 7th Avenue looking for a place to dine. We ate at an Italian restaurant called Restivo. The food was excellent and we were treated like ladies.

After dinner, we took a cab to Nowhere, a GLBT-friendly bar, had a few drinks and met some other girls I know from My Husband Betty message board and elsewhere on the Internet (Caprice, Abby, Devon, Rita, Skyler). I tired and took a cab back to my hotel around midnight.

I had a wonderful time, but I am too tired to write much more.

Tomorrow is another day!

The accompanying photo is Erica and I at Nowhere.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

womanhattan

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. – Audrey Hepburn*

Needless to say, most of my thoughts these days are on my upcoming trip to New York City.

If you are new to this blog, I'll fill you in: I will be in Manhattan over the weekend attending a four-day workshop related to my profession. I plan to arrive in The City on Thursday, check-in to my Midtown hotel, then dress en femme and remain en femme until I check-out on Monday.

It is not the first time that I have been en femme for an extended period of time. In the past, I have attended trans conventions, where I was en femme 24/7 for four or five days and last fall, I attended Fantasia Fair, where I was en femme for a week.

I enjoyed those experiences en femme, but in reality, trans conventions and Fantasia Fair are extensions of our closets, i.e., they are safe havens for transgenders.

Most of the action at trans conventions takes place in hotels where the staff is well aware of their guests' status. Since it is their job to take care of their guests, convention attendees feel very safe and comfortable at such events.

The situation is the same at Fantasia Fair only on a larger scale. Like the staff at the convention hotels, the whole of Provincetown, which hosts the Fair, takes care of its visitors, so fairgoers feel very safe and comfortable having the run of the town for a week in late October.

My trip to New York City is different. I will be en femme 24/7 without a safety net.

Besides attending the workshop, I plan to experience The City en femme. The workshop ends early each afternoon, so the rest of the day, I am free to visit museums, go shopping, see shows, go to the Top of the Rock, dine, dance, go to Mass at Saint Pat's, etc. and that's what I intend to do... all en femme or rather, as myself.

* Thank you, Holly, for the word "womanhattan," as well as for the Audrey Hepburn quotation, which helped take the edge off of the trepidation I am having about this upcoming adventure.

Monday, June 8, 2009

readdressing "passing"

Thursday's "passing" posting was written hastily and posted in error.

I typed my thoughts quickly and intended to save them for later editing, but when I intended to click on the "save now" button, I actually clicked on the "publish post" button and poof!... I published the posting on the blog.

I was very busy that day and let it go figuring it said what I wanted to say. But as time passed, the e-mails and comments I received indicated that I could have done a better job. So, this post is my attempt to do that, i.e., to clarify what I wrote in my previous post.

I usually check my ego at the Blogger door before I write a post, but if I do that now, what I am about to write will not make sense. So, I am not going to hold back in the following piece.

I am very good at what I do, i.e., I know how to emulate a woman.

Over the years, many genetic woman have complimented me on my taste in clothing, how well I put outfits together, do my makeup, my hair, my nails, etc. I am definitely not a guy in a dress, a man in a skirt, or a fellow in a frock. And despite my size, I often pass as an attractive statuesque woman. And I am very proud of that achievement.

From years of experience, I have learned that my natural speech and mannerisms are such that strangers sometimes take me for gay when I am in male mode. As a result, my natural speech and mannerisms suit me well when I am en femme.

By the way, I bought books and tapes to learn how to speak as a woman, followed the advice they offered, practiced, practiced, and practiced some more, and eventually achieved a feminine voice. But whenever I used that voice in public, I felt ridiculous. That voice was not the really me, so I abandoned the fake voice and returned to using my normal voice en femme.

When I wrote in Thursday's post that I was going to stop trying to pass, I did not mean that I was going to abandon anything I already do. I meant that I will continue to do what I do, i.e., femulate rather successfully, but that passing is something I would no longer worry about when I did femulate. As I wrote in my previous post, "If I pass and strangers think I am a woman, so be it. If I don't pass and strangers think I am a man dressed as a woman, that is OK, too; I won't deny it."

I also wrote, "I will stop pretending that I am a woman." That statement probably confused matters more than anything else I wrote in Thursday's post, so I will elaborate.

I will stop pretending that I am a woman because I don't have to pretend. I am a woman in many ways, probably in more ways than I know.

Unlike the classic transsexual model, I never felt I was a woman trapped in a man's body. I passed through the world in such a feminine manner that maybe the woman in me did not feel trapped. Instead, she was out there whether I was en homme or en femme.

And during those times when she was out there en femme, she blossomed and became whole. That explains why I so enjoy being en femme because then I am whole.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

passing

Years ago, I saw the logic of the concept that passing (as a female) was not important. However, passing was still important to me and whenever I went out en femme, the success of my outing depended upon how well I passed.

As I matured as a trans something or other, passing became less important; not passing when I was out en femme was no longer a deal breaker, however, it was still nicer to pass than not.

Now, I am seriously considering stop trying to pass. No, I am not going to burn my longline bra and I have no plans to stop dressing like a woman. I plan to continue to wear woman's clothing, makeup, hairstyles, etc. However, I will stop pretending that I am a woman.

If I pass and strangers think I am a woman, so be it. If I don't pass and strangers think I am a man dressed as a woman, that is OK, too; I won't deny it.

That would take a load off my mind and it is a concept that I may adopt real soon now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

women wear what they want and so do I - part 2


Commenting on yesterday's post, women wear what they want and so do I, livinglovingmaid wrote, "Two more males who wear what they want--fashion designer Philippe Blond and Japanese makeup artist/singer/media star Ikko."

I looked these guys up on the Internet and all I have to say is, "Wow!"

Philippe appears in the photo above left and Ikko appears above right.

new highs

The spurt of additions to the Famous Females of Height list last week resulted in two e-mails recommending more additions to the list.

Chris suggested Slavica Ecclestone, a former Armani model and ex-wife of Formula One racing CEO Bernie Ecclestone. Slavica is 6' 2" tall (same as me).

While looking up Slavica on the Internet, I discovered that the Ecclestones' daughter, Petra Ecclestone, a fashion designer, is 5' 8" tall. (That's daughter and mother in the accompanying photo.)

Meanwhile, Paula suggested CNN anchor Kitty Pilgrim, who is 6' 0" tall.

These three tall women have been added to the Famous Females of Height list.

Monday, June 1, 2009

women wear what they want and so do I

I admire Grayson Perry and Eddie Izzard because they are males who wear female clothing and make no bones about it. They don't have secret identities that they hide behind when they crossdress like I do.

"Women wear what they want and so do I," says Izzard.

If I did not have a family to love and support, I believe I would be out there, too, dressing in women's clothing without a secret identity.

But today, I have too much to lose because there are no laws to protect me if I came out as a crossdresser. My employer could let me go for that reason and I would have no recourse.

Also, I love my family and I think that they might be embarrassed and upset if I came out, but I do not know that for sure. It is something I might explore with them if our legislators ever get around to affording some protection at the workplace.

Anyway, I just discovered another male who is out there wearing women's clothing without a secret identity: Andre J.

Not only do I admire Andre J. for what he is doing, but I admire him for how he is doing it, i.e., I like his style. I can definitely see me wearing some of the outfits he has worn, although without a beard.