Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If I Could Be A Woman

This video was a recommendation on Genderfork, a blog that I recommend.

Aspiring Ednas

Marlena wrote, "Your readers may find it interesting that a number of high schools and amateur theater groups in the U.S. and U.K. are now mounting their own productions of the musical Hairspray, complete with what looks like some quite good femulating by a troupe of aspiring Edna Turnblads in drag."

Check out these examples: 1, 2, and 3.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Real World

After an event like the banquet on Saturday night, it is very difficult to return to the "real" world on Monday morning.

After my daily regimen of moisturizer and anti-aging creams this morning, I wanted to apply my makeup.

When I walked into my closet to fetch clothes to wear today, I wanted to pick out a dress and a matching bag and heels.

Throughout the day, my feet still felt like I was wearing heels and I caught myself walking on my tiptoes a number of times and if no one was around, I kept walking on my tiptoes..

Also, my mind was somewhere else today.

Luckily, today I was Photoshopping images in an assembly-line fashion --- so my mind could be somewhere else.

And somewhere else is a place I have visited many times in the past.

It is a place where I debate myself about living in the "real" world vs. living in the real world.

So far, the debate always concludes with me returning to the "real" world.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Feet Hurt

Saturday evening, I attended the annual banquet of the Connecticut Outreach Society at the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden.

I began primping at 2:30 PM and was out the door at 5 PM.

Twenty-five minutes later, I was ringing the bell at my friend Patty's home to show her what I had wrought. Patty answered the door, but she would not let me in because her and her hubby had the bug and did not want me to get it. So I removed my fur coat and modeled my outfit for her while standing on her front porch. She loved my dress and my wig; she said it is the most flattering wig she has ever seen me in.

As I put my coat on and prepared to depart, Patty said she had a gift for me. I could not imagine what she had for me as she repaired to the kitchen to fetch the surprise. She returned with a Barbie Fashionistas head with long wavy blond hair.

I have not played with Barbie dolls in awhile, but evidently they now have a Fashionistas series that allows you to swap heads with different hairdos and makeups. The swappable head  Patty gave me is called "Cutie." She gifted me it to me because of my reputation as a "fashionista." I love it!

And my reputation is well-deserved. My outfit for the banquet included a pair of sexy strappy sandals. I had worn these shoes to the banquet a few years ago and they were foot cripplers. But I figured that since I lost some weight since I wore them last, that they would not hurt as much. Fashionista that I am, I also figured that I would put up with any pain in deference to being fashionable.

As I stood on Patty's doorstep, my feet were already killing me (specifically the balls of my feet) and the night was still young. Patty said I should get gel inserts that they sell to alleviate foot pain.

I thought that that was such a good suggestion that I decided to stop at a CVS on the way to the Sheraton. So, I thanked Patty for the gift and was on my way again.

Five minutes later, I was walking into the CVS way overdressed for a shopping trip. As I walked through the store searching for the foot supplies, one guy checked me out, but the other customers paid me no mind.

I found the foot supplies rack, but what I needed was out of stock, so I exited CVS.

I had a laugh as I walked by the check-out counter. The woman working the register is the cashier that always gives me an odd look when I am in boy mode purchasing L'eggs pantyhose, Kiss stick-on nails, or Nair hair remover. Now here I was walking right past her dressed to kill in girl mod and she did not even notice.

As I got back in my car, I heard a wolf whistle. I did not look around to see where it came from; instead, I got in my car and once I was seated, I looked in the rear and side view mirrors trying to find the whistler, but I was unsuccessful.

I drove to the hotel, parked my car, and walked gingerly inside. I found our banquet room and a lot of old friends and acquaintances. Eventually, there were 50 transgender folks and their significant others in attendance ranging in age from the early 20s to late 70s. I knew about half the crowd; the other half were new to me.

I sat with a table full of old friends and our after-dinner speaker, Ethan St. Pierre. The conversation at that table was rousing and a lot of fun; it made for a great evening.

Old friends stopped by to chat and compare notes on what we had done since our last meeting, which in many cases was last year's banquet.

Wendy, who I have known for over 20 years came by and she was wearing a dress that was exactly like mine except that the silver and gold flecks in the vertical ribbons of my dress were replaced by red flecks in hers (we both bought our dresses at Dress Barn).

Wendy introduced me to one of her friends, Tracey, who is a regular reader of this blog and we had a nice conversation and short photo shoot.,

A cocktail hour, an excellent meal, Ethan's after dinner speech, a poetry reading by Tristan and three songs performed by one talented lady, Deja, filled the first half of the evening, then the DJ virtually spun platters  the rest of the evening.

Since my feet hurt, I only danced to two songs: one I requested ("Dance, Dance, Dance" by the Beach Boys) and "Legs" by ZZ Top. I considered dancing barefooted, but I did not want to ruin my fashionista image. Only kidding! Actually, I worried that I might not be able to get my shoes back on and I did not relish walking barefooted across the parking lot in 20 degree weather. (By the way, a pair of my boy shoes awaited me in the car for the drive home.)

The banquet ended at midnight and four of us moved on to the hotel bar. Saturday night was "salsa night" and the bar was full with mainly a male crowd. The testosterone level was so high that I walked out after walking in, but my friends coaxed me back in and we found four seats together at the bar.

The guys stayed away, but the lady who manages the bar and one of the cocktail waitresses engaged us in conversation. The waitress remarked that we did our makeup better than she did (she needed no makeup, in my opinion) and the manager wanted to know who did our makeup (we all admitted to doing our own makeup). I nursed one drink for an hour and departed about 1:30 AM, and I was home before 2 AM.

During the evening, a long-time friend asked, "So when are you going to get it over with and go 24/7?"

I shrugged. Later I asked her why she asked me that question and her response was the highlight of the evening up to that point.

She said that I have always put such a great effort into my presentation, that mine was the best, that I pass as a woman, et cetera., et cetera, and it follows that I should live 24/7 as a woman. She is well-aware of my marriage situation and realizes I cannot live 24/7; her remark was in jest, but with a big grain of truth embedded in it.

That highlight was topped later in the evening by another long-time friend, who I see about once or twice a year. She remarked, "You are so feminine now," I was surprised at her unsolicited comment and she continued explaining how feminine I have become in my speech and mannerisms.

Wow!

Consciously, I am not intentionally acting or speaking in a more feminine manner. I act naturally without any pretenses.

Have I evolved without realizing it? Am I now completely comfortable in my skin, which is decidedly female, and have escaped all those male shackles that have been holding her back for so long?

Yes.

Banquet Last Night

This photo will have to suffice for now.

I did not get to bed until 2:30 AM , so I am still removing the cobwebs from my head! I promise more words later.

That's my good friend Angie and I posing for photos outside the banquet hall around 10 PM.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Banquet Tonight

Tonight is the biggest transgender social event of the year in this area: the Connecticut Outreach Society's annual banquet. I will be attending with bells on.

About 2 PM, I will drop everything to get ready for the banquet. A close shave, a warm shower, and makeup application will take about an hour, maybe a little longer because my makeup will have to be perfect for the big event. Then I will get dressed, do my hair, and take a few photos, which should take about a half-hour.

My goal is to be out the door by 5 PM. Then I drive 30 minutes to my friend Patty's home to show her my outfit. Finally, a 5-minute drive to the hotel hosting the event and the fun evening begins!

You can expect a full report and photos here in a day or two.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Transgender Student Dresses En Femme For Prom; Mom Does Her Make-Up

Despite the pronoun issues, I so love this story!

(I wish it was me.)

I Wore A Dress To Work Today

tunic

Well - it isn't actually a dress. It is a long sleeve green and blue plaid tunic with a hemline that falls just below my derriere. I am wearing it over jeans.

Kind of androgynous --- most people probably won't notice, but in my mind, it is "girly" and that is what counts.

I wonder if any women will notice?

Speaking of women at work...

Last Friday, I met with the head of HR to bitch about my review. She made me feel better about it and when we were done discussing that, she asked how things were going on the transgender front.

During that discussion, she mentioned that she had not told anyone about my coming out to her last spring, but she said that if I thought anyone else should know, she would inform them if I felt uncomfortable about doing it.

I admitted that I thought she might have informed the other HR rep because it was her duty to share that kind of information (what do I know about HR). She assured me that she would not tell anyone without my permission.

I thought about it over the weekend and figured it would be good to have as many HR people in my corner as possible. For example, if something came up while the head of HR was away, it would be nice to have a backup who knew about my situation. So early this week, I asked the head of HR to inform the other HR rep and she said she would.

So now I am officially out to three women here at work.

The Femulated: Harry LeSabre

dwayne-hoover-circa1973

In Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 novel, Breakfast of Champions, Harry LeSabre was a car salesman at a Midland City Pontiac dealership owned by Dwayne Hoover. Harry was a "transvestite," but only he and his wife knew about it.

For the dealership's Hawaiian Week car sale promotion, Dwayne suggested that Harry dress a little more flamboyantly or Dwayne would fire him. This caused Harry to wonder if Dwayne knew that Harry liked to wear women's clothes.

After discussing his suspicions with his wife, he concluded that Harry did not know, and he showed up for work on Monday wearing a green leotard, straw sandals, grass skirt, wreath of flowers and a pink T-shirt inscribed "Make Love Not War."

And so it goes.

(Yesterday’s  The Femulated: image --- repeated here --- was my attempt to celebrate my favorite author's only transgender character.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It is still March and this is New England, but this weather is ridiculous. Snow Monday, snow last night! The forecast for Saturday night — Banquet Night — is "Partly cloudy, with a low around 18." That is 18° Fahrenheit, not Celsius.

I guess I will be wearing my fake fur coat to the banquet. Not that I mind wearing my "fur" — it is glamorous and so comfy, but you would think that one week into spring that some lighter outerwear would be sufficient.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Error

The caption of today's The Femulated: image reads "Dwayne Hoover, circa 1973." It should read "Harry LeSabre, circa 1973."

(At this time, I can publish this post, but I cannot access the caption editing function, otherwise, I would have fixed the caption without publishing this post.)

And so it goes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Retrospective

Just for fun, I decided to compare what I wore to the Connecticut Outreach Society banquet in the past. I was surprised to learn that I have attended 12 banquets and to see how many different looks I managed to pull off!

I hope you will enjoy the banquet photo collage I put together. It represents the following years:

• Top Row:1997, 1999, 2001, 2002

• Middle Row: 2003, 2004, 2005,2006

• Bottom Row: 2007, 2008,2009,2010

(Click on the photo to enlarge the image.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Man Wearing High Heels and Skirt

This young man seems so happy wearing high heels even on a rainy, windswept day that I had to share his joy with you. His photos appear on the High Heels For Men blog, one blog that I visit every day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Banquet Time Is Here Again!

After my makeover before last year's banquet.

Connecticut Outreach Society's annual banquet is Saturday evening. It is the biggest trans social event of the year in these parts and draws 50 to 75 trans people, their supporters, partners, admirers, etc. every year. A good time is had by all.

This year's after-dinner speaker is Ethan St. Pierre. I have not seen or heard from Ethan since Fantasia Fair, so I am looking forward to seeing him on Saturday.

I also look forward to seeing my favorite fashion consultant, Patty, before the banquet. She lives near the hotel and if our schedules are in sync, I usually stop by before the event to show off the results of her advice.

When I was less outgoing a few years ago, the banquet was a very big event for me. It was a rare opportunity to get dressed to the nines and socialize with my "girlfriends," who were similarly attired.

I was so closeted back then that I rented a room at the hotel, arrived in boy mode, and changed into girl mode in my room. When I was ready to make my way down to the banquet hall, I would look through the peep hole of my hotel room door to make sure no one was around. Then I would open the door slightly to see beyond what I could not see through the peep hole.

If all was clear, I would walk down the hall and hope that I would not encounter any civilians in the hallway or worse, in the elevator.

In the lobby, I would scurry as fast as my 4-inch heels would permit me to the banquet hall, check-in, and stay within the hall's confines until the event ended. If, heaven forbid, Mother Nature called, I would slink to the bathroom that the hotel designated for our kind of "girls."

Those days are long gone.

Now I dress at home, drive a half-hour to the hotel, walk the walk through the parking lot and lobby proudly strutting my stuff with no thought about avoiding civilians, male or female. During the banquet, I will repair to the lobby if the music is too loud to gossip with the girls and if Mother Nature calls, I use the most convenient ladies' room, not necessarily the one designated for our kind.

And the banquet is no longer the end-all and be-all event of the year for me. I am no longer stuck attending trans-only events; I relish all opportunities to really be myself out in the real world. But I still forward to the banquet to visit with friends, old and new.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Attention: Connecticut Trans Folks

If you live in Connecticut like I do, please pop over to my friend Diana's blog and find out what you can do to help promote transgender rights in "The Land of Steady Habits."

Friday, March 18, 2011

82 Club Postcard

I added this postcard to my female impersonator ephemera collection.

The postcard depicts the performers at New York City's 82 Club (also known as "Club 82") circa 1960. The nightclub was in the East Village at 82 East 4th St. It had a 20 year run and closed its doors for good in 1978.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Before and After

before-and-after-marriage-2011-03-14

I am not sure what was the original intention of this early 20th Century postcard.

It follows the theme of the anti-suffrage propaganda, that is, if women got the right to vote, it would lead to a gender role reversal.

But the postcard makes no reference to the suffrage movement. So  is it anti-marriage propaganda or simply a joke about the state of harried married males?

In any case, the male’s femulation is disappointing.

P.S. The woman in the before and after scenarios looks like the same woman, but the male looks different. In addition to wearing a dress, he looks shorter and has a mustache in the "after" scene.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ups and Downs

taxes I had a TurboTax weekend and managed to almost finished my taxes with the government owing me money. Yay!

There was just one loose end: a tax-related document from my employer that I did not understand and could result in me getting back less money from the government or actually owing money. I didn't lose any sleep over it, but I did lose sleep because my body clock was still confused by the switch to Daylight Saving Time. Boo!

I resolved the issue first thing this morning at work; it turned out that the document had no effect on my taxes. Yay!

Then I met with my boss for my annual review. This was my first review from this boss, who replaced my old boss last December. My review was a stinker. It was the worst review I've received since I began working for this company 13 years ago. Boo!

My previous 12 reviews were all excellent reviews, so did my work suddenly turn into garbage during the past year?

Go figure!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Women, More or Less

Aunty Marlena kindly sent me this link to an online back issue of Life magazine dated December 21, 1942. In a nutshell, it's an article about an all-male cast of soldiers en femme performing Clare Boothe Luce's  all-female satire The Women.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stuck in an Online Fashion Rut?

shopping_online Ginger Burr is an image consultant who presented at a Connecticut Outreach Society meeting in October. She was very good, so I subscribed to her e-mail list, where she offers advice to improve your female visage.

Since so many of us girls depend on online resources to shop for our feminine wardrobes, I thought Ginger's advice today was particularly relevant: Are You Stuck in an Online Fashion Rut?

I hope you find her advice useful (I did).

He’s a perfect size 12

my-husband-will-love-this-dress

Thursday, March 10, 2011

50 Best Blogs For Gender Studies Majors

laptop00 I just received an e-mail informing me that Online Colleges & Universities has included Femulate in its list of "50 Best Blogs For Gender Studies Majors." Femulate was number 6 in the "Transvestism, Crossdressing and Drag" category and is described thusly, "Cross-dressers new and experienced alike looking for fashion and makeup tips would do well to check out Femulate's awesome content."

For what it’s worth, two years ago, Bachelors Degree Online included Femulate in its list of the "Top 100 Gender Studies Blogs." Femulate was number 11 in the "Gender Identity and Sexuality" category.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm Back

greeting00 I have returned from my two-day birthday hiatus.

Yesterday, my family took me to the casino (in boy mode) to celebrate my birthday. I had a great day and it made it less painful turning another decade on the oldometer.

One of my trans friends works at the casino (in boy mode), but I have never run into her there... until yesterday.

As soon as we arrived at the casino, I recognized her in boy mode and greeted her. She greeted me back, but I could sense that she had no clue as to who I was; it took her a few seconds before she recognized me in boy mode, then we acted like the old friends we are.

It was one of those moments that are reserved for girls like us.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coming Up

time&money

Updated Saturday Morning

You have asked me to list upcoming transgender conventions.

So I compiled a list of the stateside conferences and conventions I am aware of that will occur during the next 12 months. If I missed anything, let me know.

By the way, by "conventions" I am referring to multi-day events that include a mix of educational and social events as opposed to one or two-day "conferences" that are more or less strictly educational.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

More March En Femme

cowlneck sw urban blue heather

Yesterday, I wrote about my plans to dress to the nines for the Connecticut Outreach Society banquet on March 26.

I also have plans to dress en femme even sooner, but my plans are a little indefinite.

On Tuesday, I become 60-something (rather than 50-something). So I am taking a few days off from work to celebrate the milestone (or is it "millstone"). And I plan to go to the Mohegan Sun casino en femme one evening during the extended weekend to celebrate, but I am not sure which evening.

I know what I am going to wear --- my new sweater dress from Vicky's (see photo), but I don't know when just yet because the weather forecast is not cooperating.

So I may have to postpone my night out until the weather is more cooperative.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March En Femme

95887753

The worst of winter is over. Spring is less than three weeks away. And this young (at heart) girl's thoughts are all about getting out more en femme now that the weather is compatible. (I don't know about you, but I find it daunting to drive a car with a manual transmission on icy roads while wearing 5-inch stilettos.)

March is very promising.

The local support group, Connecticut Outreach Society, hosts the transgender social event of the year in this area: their annual banquet on the 26th in Meriden. A cocktail hour, dinner, after-dinner speaker Ethan St. Pierre, awards presentations, live entertainment, and dance music provided by a DJ is an excuse for this girl to don her prettiest dress and join the fun.

I had two cocktail dresses in mind to wear to the banquet, so last night, I tried them on to decide which to wear and how to accessorize. They both looked nice, but one was not dressy enough for the "transgender social event of the year." The other was dressy enough, but I had worn it to two dressy events I attended in the fall and I did not want to be seen wearing it again so soon after those events.

So I rummaged through my wardrobe to find something else to wear. I found a dress that I bought at Dress Barn back in December 2008 that I never wore out in public because I thought it looked better on the rack than on me. But, what the hay, I tried it on.

The dress has a ribbon belt and whenever I tried it on in the past, I wore the belt. Last night I forgot about the belt and the dress looked completely different. In fact, it looked beautiful and it is the dress I will wear to the banquet.

Like I said, the banquet is the trans social event of the year in Connecticut. If you are in the area and interested in spending an evening socializing with some of the classiest ladies in the Tri-State area, consider attending the banquet. (Here is the banquet registration form.)

I hope to see you there!