Sunday, May 30, 2010
These days, the blog averages over 4,000 hits per day, which I find amazing.
I am honored that so many people keep coming back here to view my postings. I guess I must be doing something right and I promise to continue on the same track.
One million thank-yous from me to you!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Needless to say, I am disappointed.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
I usually go months without adding new items to my female impersonator ephemera collection, so it is unusual that I added two new items in matter of days!
Anyway, I just added the "souvenir" from Finocchio's in San Francisco. It looks like it is from the early 1960s. (You can click on the image to make it look BIGGER!)
You can view other items in my collection on my ephemera web page.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
I have another addition to my female impersonator ephemera collection: a drink menu from Sammy Lee's Show Room in Melbourne, Australia. Going by the hairdos on the "girls," I would estimate a late 1960s date for this item.
You can view other items in my collection on my ephemera web page.
This particular wbp took place last month at the Florence Middle School of Florence, MS, and in my humble opinion, the "girls" went all out and there are some excellent femulations among the competitors for the crown of "Miss Eagle Queen."
Thursday, May 20, 2010
One week ago, I was on my journey en femme attending the world's largest ham radio convention in Dayton, Ohio.
I have had a few days to reflect on my experience and have some thoughts to share. Part Two of those thoughts follow.
You readers have posted comments and sent e-mails congratulating me on my trip to Dayton. I thank you all for your congratulatory words.
"Courage" is the oft-repeated word you used in those comments and e-mails. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, courage is the "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty."
Wow - that is stuff that makes someone a hero! I sure did not feel courageous in Dayton, nor did I feel like a hero (or heroine). I was just trying to be the real me.
All my life, I struggled trying to be the real me. While I patently rejected most of what it meant to be a male, I still presented as a male and as a result, I was an incongruous being, that is, I was a woman dressed like a man (or a girl dressed like a boy).
Although I did not know it at the time, I began crossdressing in my teens to correct that incongruity. I discovered that my new hobby was such a good fit that I crossdressed at every opportunity, initially in the home closet, but later in other closets beyond the home, for example, support group meetings, support group outings, crossdresser conventions, Fantasia Fair, all larger closets, but closets nonetheless.
While I was hanging out in those closets, I also took a few steps out of the closet and got a taste of being the real me in the real world. That experience was so addictive that I wanted to do it more often. Eventually, whenever I had the opportunity to be the real me, I chose to do it in the real world rather than in a closet, no matter its size.
If there was any courage on my part, I had it when I took those first few steps out of the closet into the real world. After that, my forays into the real world were fueled by the exhilaration that I knew awaited me when I was the real me in the real world. I did not need courage to do that; I just needed the opportunities to do that. My trip to Dayton was one of those opportunities.
I look forward to all the opportunities that present themselves in the future. I assure you I will use those opportunities to be the real me and it will not take courage to do so.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
One week ago, I was on my journey en femme attending the world's largest ham radio convention in Dayton, Ohio.
I have had a few days to reflect on my experience and have some thoughts to share. Part One of those thoughts follow.
I wish I had spent more time away from our booth. I visited some other booths, made a short trip into the flea market, but I did not attend any forums.
I confess that on the first day of the convention, I was a little fearful about interacting with strangers and felt safer ensconced in our booth.
I spent the morning of Day One working in the "background" of our booth assisting the guys who were on the firing line interacting with customers.
In the afternoon, the firing line got busier, so I stepped up and began interfacing with the customers. They had questions and wanted information about our products. They did not care who was delivering that information and I quickly felt comfortable in the role of dispensing that information.
Being the only booth babe in our booth, I noticed that I was attracting customers away from the booth boys. Some of our customers actually held off dealing with the boys and waited patiently for their turn to talk with me. So, I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon as the booth babe
On the second day, I had to put out a fire in our booth.
We were running low on one of our most popular brochures. We had a printer in our booth (for customer orders and receipts), but we only had 8.5-by-11-inch paper, whereas the brochure required 8.5-by-14-inch paper, So I had to reformat the original 8.5-by-14 format to an 8.5-by-11-inch format.
The original was a Powerpoint creation; I seldom work in Powerpoint, so I also had to port the information into an application I am familiar with (Adobe InDesign) to create the newly formatted brochure.
Of course, I was interrupted numerous times to help out in the booth. As a result, it took about two hours to convert the brochure and before I knew it, the morning was over. I left our booth a few times in the afternoon to visit other booths, but time was running out and I probably visited less that 1/4 of the booths at the convention.
I wish I could do it all over again; I guess there is always next year!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
It has been awhile since I added any tall ladies to the Famous Females of Height List, but today, I have three additions.
Baylor University basketball player, Brittney Griner, is 6’8” (thank you Petra for that).
Newscaster Laurie Dhue is 6’3” (thank you Allison for that).
Dixie Carter, the late actress of television’s Designing Women fame, was 5’8” and appears in the photo (right). (I used to fantasize about being the fifth female on the staff of Sugarbakers Design House.)
Monday, May 17, 2010
There is so much to write about my long weekend en femme, but, first, let me set the scene.
I am well-known in the world known as amateur radio or ham radio. My notoriety in that world is as a writer/author. For over 30 years, I have written for the leading ham radio organization in the USA.
During that time, I have written monthly columns for the their magazine, articles for their books, and complete books, one of which was a best seller, and currently, I write a weekly column for their web site.
I am also on the board of directors of another prominent organization that represents a sub-group (digital experimenters) in ham radio. I also serve as that organization's newsletter editor.
As a result, I am well known in the ham radio world; I was once told to my face that I am a ham radio "legend."
Each May, the biggest ham radio convention in the world occurs in Dayton, Ohio. I attend most years as I did this past weekend. I usually moderate a forum at the convention and staff the booth of the digital experimenters' organization.
By the way, I did not moderate a forum this year because I was undecided about attending at all and by the time I made up my mind to go, it was too late to volunteer as a moderator. Next year, I plan to submit a proposal to do something for trans hams.
As you know, I came out to the other board members and officials of the digital experimenters' organization as well as my editor and her supervisors at the national organization I write for. In addition to coming out, I informed them that I intended to attend the Dayton convention en femme.
Not a discouraging word was heard. In fact, I received much support and offers of assistance, if needed.
Wednesday and Thursday
My weekend started with an early departure on Wednesday. I "cheated" and did not dress en femme because I wanted to get on the road as early as possible and getting en femme would have put a two-hour dent in my departure.
I drove 400 miles to Bedford, PA, where I stayed overnight.
Thursday morning, I dressed en femme and checked out of the Quality Inn. The woman staffing the desk during check-out was different from the woman staffing the desk when I checked in, so there was no confusion about who was staying in my room.
I arrived at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Dayton about 2:15 PM. At check-in, the woman staffing the desk loved my top.
By the way, I registered at the hotel as "Stana" to add credibility to my femulation. (My credit card has only the initial "S" as my first name, which lets me get away with using "Stana" or any other "S" name I desire.)
In my room, I freshened up, changed from a top, leggings, and flats, to a black and white floral print dress, and black patent platform slingback peep-toe pumps (see photo above left).
I took the elevator down to the lobby and visited the hotel's bar. I perched myself on a bar stool, ordered a drink, and relaxed before heading out to the board of director's meeting.
The bartender treated me respectfully and I nursed my drink, but it was boring. There were two other customers talking about some boring ham radio convention and there was a hockey game on the television.
I left, fetched my car from valet parking, and drove to the hotel uptown for the board meeting.
Entering the meeting room, I found two friends already there, who greeted me enthusiastically. As each of the other board members and officers showed up, they also greeted me as old friends even though I was sporting a "new look."
The new board members were less enthusiastic because we were not old friends, but they were respectful and seemed accepting. Our accountant, who was not aware of my status, also was respectful and the waitstaff, who served our food referred to me as a female, so overall, the weekend started off on a very positive note.
The meeting ended and I was back in my room by 10 PM. I went to bed as soon as I could because I had to be up at 5 AM for my first day at the convention.
Friday and Saturday (Days)
Friday and Saturday, I spent most of those days staffing our booth and occasionally, I visited the other booths at the convention. Both days were similar and in my mind now, it is hard to separate the two, so I will summarize the days together.
Males dominate ham radio. Females only represent about 15% of the US ham population. This demographic was clearly evident at the Dayton convention and attending the convention as a woman was a revelation.
For one thing, there were no lines at the restrooms. Also, the restrooms were pristine and the floors were dry even at the end of the day. (Attending the convention in the past as a male, I usually avoided the restrooms after mid-morning because they are disgusting.)
Another thing, I was the object of many a male's attention. Staffing the booth or walking around the convention hall, strange men smiled at me, said "hello," admired me from afar, etc., etc. It was amazing.
During the two days staffing the booth, I met six readers of this blog. Three informed me beforehand by e-mail that they would look for me at the convention; the other three just showed up at my booth and recognized me, which was a little surprising because I had not announced which booth I would be staffing among the more than a hundred booths at the convention.
(Another reader e-mailed me yesterday saying that she thought she saw me walking near a specific set of booths around noon on Saturday. I confirmed that I was at those booths at that time on Saturday and wish that she had stopped me to say "hello.")
I am not aware of the comfort levels of the blog readers who met me at the convention, so I don't want to out them here by mentioning their names or worse, their call signs, but I want to thank them all for searching me out and giving me an opportunity to meet and girl-talk with them for awhile.
It was wonderful to meet and chat with the people I already knew, but it was also wonderful to meet and chat with people I did not know explaining the technologies displayed in our booth. I don't know if that qualifies me as a "booth babe," but in all my years of staffing our booth, mine was the first appearance of a female form on the booth's firing line. I wonder if that helped to attract visitors to our booth.
Friday night, our organization had a joint dinner with another experimenter's organization, which usually attracts 100 to 200 attendees at a banquet hall south of Dayton. I attend this dinner every year I attend the convention, so I am familiar some of the attendees, who also attend every year.
I wore my favorite dress du jour: the retro green dress that I wore to the casino during the holidays (see photo above center). I accented the dress with a gold scarf, my simulated snakeskin platform slingback peep-toe pumps, and a new matching simulated snakeskin bag.
The hem of the dress is short, so I was showing more leg Friday night than I did the rest of the weekend. I thought I looked very nice.
I drove to the banquet hall, bought a drink, sat at a table up front, conversed with the other folks who sat at my table, and tugged at the hem of my dress the whole time. I knew some of the folks at my table already and the others were new to me, but no one seemed to mind the new me.
The food was excellent as usual and I enjoyed the speaker, who is an old friend (we go back about 20 years).
Funny story... my speaker friend showed up at our booth early Friday morning and I made a point of saying "hello" to him. I thought I detected some confusion on his part and felt that I should have explained what was going on, but he was in a hurry to get to his booth.
I caught up with him before dinner and began to explain, but he interrupted me and said he knew exactly who I was and was very cool with it. The only thing he wanted to know was what name do I go by now.
That typified the whole weekend.
An aside: It was funny how some of my friends and acquaintances recognized me immediately despite my new look, whereas others were clueless as to my identity and we had to be re-introduced. Go figure.
Saturday night, my plans were to attend the Dayton Contest Dinner, which is the big event for the ham radio contest community attending the convention. My editor, who is a big contester, had invited me to attend.
When I checked out the web page for the dinner, I noticed that most of the men in attendance were wearing jackets and ties, which was unusual for a ham radio affair.
There were no photos of females in attendance; I wondered what I should wear, so I asked my editor. She informed me that she always buys a new cocktail style dress to wear to that dinner.
Still unsure about what to wear, I sent her photos of some of my cocktail dresses. She loved the red dress I wore to my support group's banquet back in March, so that is what I wore to the dinner along with some bling and my black patent platform slingback heels. I also sexed-up my makeup and hair and tried a new trick to accentuate my cleavage. In my humble opinion, I thought I came as close to achieving the term "hot" as I possibly could (see photo above left).
I took the hotel shuttle to the hotel hosting the dinner and climbed a grand circular staircase from the lobby up to the mezzanine level where the cocktail hour was in full swing. As I climbed the stairs, a sea of 200 to 300 males congregating in groups around the mezzanine appeared and suddenly it seemed as if they all turned their heads simultaneously to look at me! I smiled back at them and worked my way to the top of the staircase, where I discovered I was the only “female” attendee present at that point in time.
I am not active in ham radio contests and did not recognize one face in the crowd. My editor had not yet arrived, so I was on my own.
A lot of guys were checking me out, but not one had the courage to speak to me, so I worked my way to the bar and ordered a drink. Then I worked my way back through the crowd looking for a familiar face, found none, and decided to escape to the ladies' room to regroup.
In the ladies' room, I touched up my lipstick, took a deep breath, and went back out to the mezzanine. By then, the staff had opened the doors to the banquet room and people were filing in, so I joined them and found the table front and center that my editor had reserved . I chose a seat and sat down.
Eventually, the room filled up and my editor sat next to me. She introduced me as "Stana" to all the other people seated at our table. After my introduction, one of the guys at our table commented that he recognized my call sign, but the person he knew with that call sign looked very different. I dunno if he was being a wise guy or was actually confused.
The food and speakers were excellent and there was a mass quantity of door prizes. It seemed that 25% of the 432 folks in attendance won something, including me.
When they drew my ticket and announced my call sign as a winner of a ham magazine subscription, I came out en masse to all the hams at the dinner who recognized my call sign and happened to see me get up to pick up my prize. No one confronted me about the outing, so I assume it was not a big deal to anyone except me.
Overall, the weekend worked out great. Everyone I encountered accepted me one way or another.
All my friends and acquaintances were very ok with the new me.
The strangers who engaged me throughout the weekend, hams and civilians alike, accepted me as a woman, trans or otherwise.
I could not ask for anything more.
I drove 750 miles in 12 hours yesterday. Although I drove the same route that I took going to Dayton, there was a detour eastbound on I-70 in Columbus that added some unexpected mileage to my homebound total.
Anyway, when I arrived home, I unpacked, checked my mail, changed the “Femulate Her” image in the blog, and went to bed.
I already began writing an extensive trip report that I will post here later today. In the meantime, here is another photo from my trip.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
It was slower going the first few hours because of the rain. Conditions improved further west and I was able to make up for lost time except when I ran into the never-ending construction on Pennsylvania's I-80. As a result, I was on the road for over 6-1/2 hour trip, which averages out to a measly 61 MPH.
Now I am going to rest for awhile.
It is raining here now and the forecast looks like rain for both legs of my roadtrip.
I plan to post again this evening after I settle in at a hotel.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I depart for my conference mid-morning tomorrow, stay overnight at approximately the half-way point Wednesday night, then drive the rest of the way on Thursday.
Thursday evening, I will be attending my board of directors meeting, where my fellow board members will be meeting Stana for the first time.
Friday and Saturday, I will be en femme staffing our booth at the conference, visiting the flea market and other booths at the conference, and attending forums of interest.
Friday evening, I will be attending our banquet, which is a business casual affair, and Saturday evening, I will be attending the big banquet of the weekend, which is a dressy affair.
Sunday, I return home.
With that schedule, I will be so busy that my postings here will be hit and miss, but I will try to post something every day. And you can expect a detailed posting (or postings) after the weekend is over.
Monday, May 10, 2010
For my trip to the conference this week, the boy mode portion of the list is much shorter than the girl mode portion because I will be in girl mode most of the time. Yet, the list is still daunting because there is so much more to pack for girl mode.
My schedule includes two days traveling, two days attending the conference, and two nights attending banquets, which adds up to six outfits. I will wear the same outfit during my trip to the conference and my trip home, so that eliminates one outfit. But one of the banquets is a dressy affair, which means an extra set of accessories (dressy accessories to go with a dressy dress).
Not that I'm complaining; I'm just commenting!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The receptionist is the mother of the owner. After I paid for the order, I said to her, "Have a happy Mother's Day."
She replied, "You have a happy Mother's Day, too."
Just as the words left her mouth, she realized she erred in wishing a happy Mother's Day to a male and she blushed.
I quickly replied that I happily accepted her holiday greetings.
I like to think that my feminine persona shows through even in boy mode and was the cause of the receptionist's error. I dunno if that was true or not, but it was a nice start to the Mother's Day weekend.
Then, overnight I received the following e-mail from Michelle, which just sweetened the holiday weekend.
"Now that I have had time to look over your blog and read some of your writings, thank you for the blog. I don't know where you found the courage to start the blog and share your journey, but I am very glad that you did. You are an inspirations to all of us men that love feminine clothing.
"I don't know if I will ever be able to go out in public en femme like you, but I now know there are other men that appreciate being free to dress like they please.
"You look so much like a real women when you are en femme. When I first looked at your blog I thought you were a women that was running a site to help men that dress en femme. In all the pictures I have seen of you, you are dressed like a beautiful lady... hair, makeup and dress... anyone would think you are a real lady.
"Thank you for having the courage to be Stana and inspire the rest of us. Someday, we will be able to dress as we like openly and freely."
Thank you, Michelle, for the very kind words and thank you, Mom, for inspiring me to be the woman I have become.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Almost six weeks ago, I wrote here about possibly changing my name.
Your comments were positive and encouraging, but before I made a hasty decision that I might regret later, I decided to think about it.
Well, I'm finished thinking about it and I am very happy with my new name.
The timing is also perfect in light of my attendance en femme at my convention next week.
As I wrote six weeks ago, I am out to people who know me only by my male name and I intend to come out to more people who know me only by my male name. Why not make it easier for them by using a female name so similar to my male name? "Stan" and "Stana" are so interchangeable that one does not have to worry about slipping up when speaking my name? No one, certainly not I, will call them out if they say "Stan" when they intended to say "Stana" and vice versa. "Stan" can even be considered short for "Stana."
And I like the name. It rhymes with "Anna," the object of my first puppy love. It is unique (I always like to be unique). And it is a good fit, that is, it simply suits me.
Also, I have a new e-mail account to go with my new name: stana-stana at sbcglobal.net
So, call me "Stana."
“Riccardo Tisci loves a bit of androgony and male-female mix as much as the next Givenchy fan, but he’ll be blurring the lines between gender a little further next season by using a transsexual model in Givenchy’s AW10 ad campaign.
“But Lea T – a Brazilian with a bonestructure to die for, formerly known as Leo – isn’t any old transsexual, she’s a long-time friend and personal assistant of the designer and, coincidently, a former fit model for his own line.”
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Yesterday I was out the door en femme in time for the doors to open at Westfarms Mall.
I entered through the JCPenney entrance and when I discovered their 40% off dress sale, I never got beyond the JCPenney dress department.
I tried on about ten dresses. There were two to-die-for that were just too small and not available in a larger size. Others fit fine, but did not thrill me even with a 40% discount.
Next, I found some cute two-piece, jacket and skirt outfits. I tried one on and it looked very nice and fit perfectly despite being the same size as the two-to-die-for dresses that did not fit!
Schlepping through the dress racks and to and from the dressing room, my sweater dress let me know that it was too warm to wear a sweater dress. The jacket and skirt outfit was perfect for the hot and humid weather, so I purchased it for $41 (compared to the $70 list price), exited the mall, and drove to Diana's hacienda.
Before we left to go to Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) for outreach, I changed from the sweater dress to the jacket and skirt and immediately felt more comfortable. (I am wearing that outfit in the previous post's photo.)
We arrived at SCSU about 15 minutes before the first class, met up with Professor Schildroth and the other outreachers (six in all), then entered the classroom for the big show. Thirty students, the vast majority female, listened to each of our short biographies, then we divided the class for questions and answers.
In all my years of outreaching, it was the worst question and answer session I have experienced. The questions were good, but there was a lack of them. It was like pulling teeth trying to get questions out of the students. There are always lulls in question and answer sessions, but never such extended lulls as there were yesterday.
The second class we outreached in the late afternoon was not much better.
Viewing the student comments after the sessions, it was clear that a lot of the students were "uncomfortable" with us (one even used the word "scared.") They claimed that their discomfort made it difficult to ask quaestions.
Reading student comments at past outreaches, there are always a few that claim to be uncomfortbale, but yesterday, there seemed to be an epidemic of discomfort.
There were a few students, who made an effort to ask questions, but overall, the question and answer sessions were disappointing.
I did receive a couple of compliments that saved the day. Professor Shildroth took note of my weight loss and one female student complimented me on my proficiency in walking in heels. After her comment, a couple of other female students chimed in to agree with her assessment.
After class, four of us drove to USS Chowder Pot in Hartford for dinner. It was a new dining experience for me and when I visit a seafood restaurant for the first time, I often order the fried seafood platter. In this case, the platter included clams, shrimp, scallops, haddock, and french fries; it was the tastiest seafood platter I have eaten in a long time. Actually, I only ate half and took the rest home for a future meal.
The meal was excellent and our waitress only made it sweeter by constantly addressing us as "ladies."
After dinner, I drove Diana home, then drove myself home. It was a full and in many ways, a fulfilling day, but I could not wait to kick off my heels!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Yesterday, I used Veet to depilate my legs, arms, and breasts in order to be as hairless as possible for my outing en femme tomorrow.
I checked my armpits and they needed attention, too. Instead of using an electric razor, I applied shaving cream on my armpit hair and used a Gillette Fusion razor to remove the hair. Afterwords, my armpits were hairless and I was able to use a deodorant without any ill effects.
Tomorrow, I do outreach at two Human Sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.
The weather is supposed to be in the mid-70s, so I plan to wear a Victoria's Secret dress I bought on sale during the winter, but have not worn yet.
If it was much warmer, I would have to wear something lighter, so I am glad the weather is cooperating and I will be able to wear the outfit I put together to go with the dress.