Friday, November 30, 2012

All Hands

Advice and Tips on Hands

By Paula Gaikowski


One of my favorite sitcoms is Seinfeld. As transgender women, we can all relate to the Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s date cracks open a lobster with somewhat less than feminine hands. Jerry refers to her as having “big meaty paws.”

This kind of talk can be discouraging to us girls. So I have put to together some guidelines on overcoming what Jerry called “man hands.”

The biggest issue is hair. If you are out of the closet and have a supporting spouse you have probably already waxed or shaved your hands and arms. But like many of us, this is not an option for me.

I have always been disgusted by the hair on my hands and arms. Over the last year I have been slowly trimming it back. I use a hair-cutting kit to thin out my arm hair. Running the ¼-inch attachment through your arm hair brings it down to a nice level.

I shave my fingers and parts of my hands and then leave just a bit. I then use a little bit of Sun-In, a product that lightens hair in the summer sun. This will lighten up what’s left. In the winter, you can use a hair dryer with the Sun-In.

Next, if you want be a girl or look like a girl, start acting like one! Take care of those hands. Buy some really good hand cream and keep it at your desk. Wear gloves when doing your manly activities, raking leaves, changing the oil, roofing, etc.

Let’s talk about those nails. I keep my nails a tiny bit long, about a 1/8-inch of white at the tips. When I am on the road for work and planning a day out, I’ll go to any local nail shop.

I usually go in drab the night before my outing and get a French manicure. The French manicure features white tips that are accentuated by a natural looking base.

The nail technicians are typically delighted and fascinated by me. I tell them I am going to a party dressed as a woman and they usually think this is so cool and ask a bunch of questions. Once again, this provides a great opportunity for outreach and education. Never has there been a negative or cold reception. The cost is about $20.00 with a gratuity.

A trick with this manicure to camouflage our larger hands is by having the white tips run a little deeper inward. Normally women have a ½-inch nail tip that is polished white. Instead, we have a ¼-inch of white polish, but it doesn’t extend out past the edge of the finger. This creates the illusion of a longer nail and thus shorter fingers.

I understand that going to a nail salon might not be in the comfort zone of many girls. Another great option that produces fantastic results are Broadway press-on nails. Get the short ones and you will get almost the same effect. I am wearing them in this picture.  The only place I can find the press-on nails is at CVS stores. I wait until there is a two-for-one sale and stock up.

(Stana’s Note: In my neck of the woods, Rite Aid, Stop & Shop, and Walgreen also carry press-on nails, usually the Kiss brand.)

Finally, we send gender clues by the way we move, hold and gesture with our hands. I have seen beautiful transgender women who use masculine hand gestures that look out of place.

Here is an amazingly simple trick that I saved for last: how to make our hands 30 to 40% smaller.

Place you hands flat on the table in front of you. Then take your thumb and place it between your pinky and ring finger. See the difference? Now, add a faux engagement ring on one hand, a birthstone ring on the other, a gold watch on one wrist and a bracelet on the other; teamed with your manicure and hand care makes a huge difference!

A rule of thumb (pun intended): when observing feminine body language, notice that women tend to make themselves smaller. For example, women hold their arms closer to their bodies and cross their legs. Men hold their arms away from their bodies and keep their legs open. You’ll notice that women keep their hands cupped or have their fingers curled inward while holding their hands idle. Women also tend to keep their hands above their waist.

Another typically feminine hand gesture is self-annunciation. This is when a woman demurely touches her hand to her chest when speaking in the first person. “In my opinion, I really think you need to speak to Karen about this.”

Become an observer of women; find a mentor and notice her movements and gestures. Then practice and don’t be afraid to act feminine. When I first started going out in public, I was hesitant to act feminine, then it dawned on me. “You’re wearing a dress idiot!” Of course I should act feminine.

Observe yourself in front of a mirror as you would when rehearsing lines in play. Learn the part and then it will become natural.

One thing I have noticed about transgender women, the girls who look good work at their femme presentation. I’ve covered some of the things you can do to improve the look of your hands.

Being a pretty girl takes time, dedication and effort. It’s not an impossible dream, you will take small steps that add up and someday you’ll be out in public and receive an unsolicited complement. Then you’ll realize that all these tips were…umm “handy.” Okay, I embarrassed myself with that awful pun.

Happy Femulating, Sisters!



Male dancers femulating back stage in Broadway on Broadway, 2010.




Wearing Macy’s.

Thursday, November 29, 2012



I left you yesterday as the snow turned to rain by the time I got to New Haven to do outreach at Southern Connecticut State University on Tuesday.

I always hope that my visit to the university starts on a positive note when I drive into the school's parking lot and get stopped by the security guard manning the entrance to the lot. Using my soft effeminate voice, I explain to the guard I am speaking to a class at 12:25 and the guard usually responds as sweet as he can be, directing me to the area where I can park, while calling me "Miss" the whole time.

The rain was heavy, but I was lucky and found an empty spot in the lot about 20 steps away from the entrance of the building where I was doing outreach. A quick mad dash (in heels) from my car to the entrance left me mostly dry.

I was the first to arrive, but shortly was joined by the professor and other speakers, both male-to-female like me, but full-time female unlike me. One is older and one is younger than me and I have done outreach with them countless times.

There were about 30 students in the class and they listened politely as each of us gave our trans biographies in a nutshell. Then the students asked us questions and before you know it, the period was over and the next class of 30 or so students replaced the first 30 and we did it all over again. The only difference was that in the second class, a student who is male-to-female joined us.

Students in both classes asked how we came up with our female names and asked me specifically about my nails ("If you only dress as a female a few times a month, what do you do about your manicured/painted nails the rest of the time?")

One student asked how sexually active we were in our youth. (One of us was very promiscuous, the others not so much.)

Another student asked how many wigs I own. (I have lost count, but said I have about a half dozen that I consider my "currently active" group of wigs.)

There were a few questions with a similar theme, that is, what we thought of the current state of acceptance of transgenders in society.

There were other questions, but I don't recall them now.

After each class, we make ourselves available in case any student wants to talk with us. I look forward to the one-on-one and it occurred once after each class on Tuesday. After the first class, a female student came up to me and complimented me on my nails and my appearance in general. After the second class, a female student thanked me for coming to the class to speak.

I decided to drive home immediately after the second class instead of hanging back to read the student's impressions of us. Although it was raining in New Haven, it was likely still snowing in the direction I had to travel. Leaving right after the class permitted me to avoid the rush hour.

I said my goodbyes and when I exited the building, I discovered that the rain was now mixing with snow. (The classroom we were in is in the basement and has no windows, so we were in the dark about the weather.)

Snow was starting to accumulate on the ground in New Haven, but not on the roads and that is what I found all the way home, so traveling was not a problem.

It was another great day out for me and I hope doing outreach opened more eyes about transgenders in a positive way.

(I have told my outreach stories many times in the past and it has become old hat for me, but maybe not for you. If you want me to expand on anything or if you have any specific questions, let me know and I will gladly write more.)


56271282 Comic presenter Graham Norton femulating
on the UK stage in La Cage Aux Folles, 2008.



spiegel-2012-11-28Wearing Spiegel.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shopping Spree

new hair and new bag
Tuesday morning, the weather forecast looked foreboding especially for someone who hates to drive in the snow. I figured my all-wheel-drive Subaru would get me through any white stuff that tried to ruin my day, so I went forward with my plans.

The temperature was supposed to be in the 30s all day long, so I dressed appropriately. I wore a blue Victoria's Secret sweater dress that I bought years ago on clearance, but had never wore because I was not sure it looked good on me.

I don't know why I thought that because when I put it on Tuesday morning, I thought it looked fine. Maybe losing weight since I bought that dress made a difference. Along with the dress, I wore my unmentionables, nude hosiery, black booties, silver jewelry, black bag, fake lynx fur coat and the short auburn wig I wore last time out.

I was out the door at 9:45 AM; it was snowing lightly with no accumulation on the ground. I drove to Tonkin's Wigs in Waterbury and arrived just before owner Kathy Tonkin opened the shop.

Kathy has always done me right and I trust her to find the perfect wig for me. She asked if I had anything in mind.

I replied that I liked the auburn wig I was wearing, but wanted something longer.

The first wig Kathy found for me was in the ballpark, but not a home run. The second wig was a grand slam. It is a "Kiera" from Tony of Beverly in the color "wineberry" also known as “chestnut red.” The wig is a little bit retro and a little bit mod.

"Kiera is a fashion forward mid-length. The Hollywood wave. A modern interpretation of lush layered curls. The angled bangs are styled smooth for a cool contrast."

I loved it and did not need to try on another wig. Kathy styled it, I paid for it and wore it out the door.

Next stop was Goddess Plus Size Consignment. I had been in the shop twice in boy mode with my wife when she was looking for a new bag. Now I was solo, en femme, also looking for a new bag, but not just any bag --- I wanted a designer bag.

I perused the display case containing the designer bags that the store had for sale. A black bag caught my eye and I asked the saleswoman to take it out of the case so I could examine it.

It was a B. Makowsky satchel for $80 (it cost $250 new). I examined the bag closely and it was brand new. It still had a B. Makowsky advertising booklet inside, as well as a cloth bag to protect it during storage. I decided to buy it.

Then, I perused the clothing racks and found two dresses that I liked. I took them to a dressing room to try them on.

The first dress I tried on was a New York & Company sleeveless zebra print with ruched sides along the skirt and ties to tighten or loosen the ruched sides, which in effect, shortens or lengthens the hem. It fit perfectly and looked ok in the dressing room mirror, but I wanted to look at the dress in the semi-circle of mirrors that the store had outside the dressing stalls.

I stepped out of the stall, walked to the semi-circled and twirled slowly to see the dress at all angles. The saleswoman thought it looked great on me and I agreed. And it only cost $6!

The second dress was a Dress Barn black sequins sleeveless cocktail dress with a $39 price tag. It also fit well and looked good in the dressing room mirror, but I wanted to see it in the semi-circle of mirrors, too.

As I twirled slowly in the semi-circle, the store owner said my arms looked perfect in the dress. No one had ever praised my arms before! Then she added that my legs were perfect, too.

I bought both dresses and the bag and was very pleased with my shopping experience.

I have no idea if the folks at Goddess knew I was trans, but the store has a reputation of being supportive of the trans community and the staff treated me like a lady. The store has a wide range of clothing in plus sizes, as well as shoes, bags, jewelry and other accessories.

I highly recommend visiting Goddess if you are in the Waterbury area. And while you are in the Waterbury area, I also highly recommend Tonkin's Wigs --- Kathy Tonkin has a great eye for knowing which wigs and colors look best on you and like I said earlier, she has never done me wrong.

The snow was now falling more heavily and accumulating on the ground, but not the road, so I continued on to Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven to do outreach. About half way to New Haven, the snow transitioned to rain and all was right with the world as far as I was concerned.


tim-conway---flip-wilson---the-flip-wilson-show---tv-us---1972 Comedians Tim Conway and Flip Wilson femulating on television’s
The Flip Wilson Show, 1972.


smythe-(jckt)-madewell-(drs)-2012-11-26 Wearing Smythe (jacket) and Madewell (dress).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Return of the Elusive Leopard


This girl needs a nice pair of beige pumps. So I visited Nine West to see what they had for sale in beige in my size.

I liked their “Flute” (above left), which is a “peep toe pump with all leather upper. 4 1/2" heel and 3/4" platform.” They had it in my size (12) and I ordered a pair.

While I was on the website, just for the heck of it, I checked out their “Fortonight” (above right), which the last few hundred times I checked, was sold out in my size.

They must have restocked because the “round toe pump with 4 1/2" heel and 1" platform” was now available in my size!!! I could not order a pair fast enough.

Both pairs were on sale, too.

I hope they fit. Nine West size 12s always have fit me in the past, so there is an excellent chance these will too.

UPDATE: They arrived today and are a perfect fit!



Two women circa 1910, one a female (left) and one a male (right).




Wearing Diane von Furstenberg.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Out Tuesday

I will spend Tuesday en femme.

In the morning, I plan to go shopping. First, I have an appointment at my favorite wig store to get a new do. Afterwords, I plan to visit a local consignment shop that specializes in clothing for voluptuous girls.

In the afternoon, I will attend two Human Sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University to do outreach.

After outreach, I may get a bite to eat if the weather is cooperative. (Snow and rain showers are in the forecast for Tuesday.)

man-in-dress-and-heels-for-lavendar-graduationMale femulates at a lavender graduation.

FEMULATE HER:VS-2012-11-10-at-10.51.37-AMWearing Victoria’s Secret.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

One Big Event One More Time

I asked MaryEllen Fillo at the Hartford Courant if she would send me the original electronic version of my photo that appeared in the print edition of the newspaper on Tuesday. She graciously e-mailed me the photo and here it is.

MaryEllen was the photographer of the photo and here you can read the online version of her article that the photo accompanied.

Have You Girls Done This Before?

Starla has been hard at work digging through online high school yearbooks. She has uncovered 65 additional images documenting boys being girls and I uploaded the images to flickr to view.*

This set has some interesting things going for it.

The Beaumont (TX) High School femulation dates back to 1938!

There are some excellent femulations in addition to the sample images above. Check out the girls of Lackawanna, Lake Mary and Lakeside High Schools, who had their natural hair done in female styles. Also, note Stagg High School's Steve Wilson and her all-out effort (check out her nails) for Halloween and not some womanless event.    

Which begs the question, "Have you girls done this before?"

And the next question, "Will you do it again?"

* There are two ways to view the newest additions:

Method 1: Open one of the Yearbooks sets (A through Z) and you will find the newest uploads at the end/bottom of the set. (The oldest uploads appear at the beginning/top of the set.)

Method 2: Open my photostream and you will find the newest uploads at the top of page 1. The uploads get older as the page numbers get higher with the oldest uploads on the last page.

By the way, the contents of the Yearbook A through Z sets are organized according to school name, for example, the photos from Hard Knox High School would be in the Yearbooks H set.

ken_femulatesKen Carson prepares to femulate.

Ramy-Brook-2012-11-18-at-10.39.02-AMWearing Ramy Brook.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Stana in the News

Out of the blue yesterday, I received an e-mail from Femulate reader Victoria asking if I had seen my photo from One Big Event in the print edition of the Hartford Courant.

I don't subscribe to the Courant, so I missed.

Victoria and my friend Robin kindly scanned the pertinent page of the newspaper (page D6 of the November 20 edition) and e-mailed their scans to me (see above).

Wow! I guess this is a milestone of some sort. And it is definitely so cool to have my en femme photo published in the oldest continuously-published newspaper in the USA!

By the way, the Courant published other photos of the event online.

Dagwood Bumstead, reluctant femulator, 1943 


Wearing Macy’s

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Models Crossing the Gender Divide


You already know about Andrej Pejić and Stav Strashko, the pretty male models who model womenswear.

Well, I just learned about a female model, Casey Legler (above left), who models menswear.

And a 72-year-old Chinese grandfather, Liu Xianping (above right), who models womenswear for his granddaughter's boutique.

Yes, Ray Davies was correct: boys will be girls and girls will be boys.


anita-mann Womanless Beauty Pageant participant “Anita Mann”



free-people-2012-11-16-3Wearing Free People

Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Actor  née singer Jared Leto femulating
in the film The Dallas Buyers Club, 2013.




Wearing Victoria’s Secret

Giving Thanks

w100_2030 At One Big Event Saturday night, I chatted with a friend who I had not seen in a long time. I brought her up to date about what I have been doing the past few years. In conclusion, I said, "I find my life very interesting."

She agreed wholeheartedly.

If you have been following along in my blog, I think you will agree with my conclusion, too.

My life is certainly not boring. I admit that those days when I have to be a boy are not as interesting as those days when I am a girl.

But even when I appear in boy mode, my heart and soul are in girl mode as I think about my latest adventures en femme or plot my next adventure en femme.

Would I wish things were different?

I tell everyone who asks that I would live as a girl 24/7 if I had not made commitments that prevent me from doing so. But I wonder if I did live as a girl 24/7, would my life be as interesting as it is now.

Who knows?

Maybe I will find out someday, maybe not, but in either case, thank God, I'm a transwoman!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012



Femulate Reader Patricia Sanches Monroe


shoe dazzle 2012-11-16

Wearing ShoeDazzle


This was my second choice for a hairdo Saturday night.


Top Ten TS Asian Entertainers

regine-wu---china---tv-personality presented their picks for the top 10 transsexual entertainers in Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand). Their number one pick, pictured above, was Regine Wu, a 50-year-old (!) television personality from China.

For what it's worth, the short biographies of nine of the top ten mention that the transwoman being described has undergone sex reassignment surgery.

The bio of Kayo Satoh is the only one that does not mention surgery. "According to Satoh, she began injecting herself with hormones from 15 years-old, something she continues, and besides her injections, she hasn't undergone any surgery." (source

Monday, November 19, 2012



Femulator George Fels, Jr., 1907




Wearing Helmut

You Look Amazing

wIMG_3570 I look forward to One Big Event. It is always a fab affair. Everyone dresses to impress with guys in tuxedoes and gals in cocktail dresses and evening gowns. And this year, the event moved to a new venue, the beautiful and relatively new Connecticut Convention Center.

I started getting ready at 2:30 PM on Saturday in order to show up at the event when it opened at 6 PM.

I wore false eyelashes. I rarely do and as a result, I am not adept at putting them on. The self-adhesive strips of the Revlon eyelashes I used were not adequate and I had to use eyelash glue to batten down my lashes. As a result, it took longer to do my makeup (about an hour compared to the usual 30 to 45 minutes).

I also wore stick-on toe nails (Kiss brand) for the first time. Turns out that they are just as easy to put on as the Kiss stick-on finger nails. It just took a little time to match the various sizes of fake nails to my real nails.

I dressed: undies, nude thigh highs, purple ruffle dress, silver jewelry, and silver strappy sandals.

My hair was up in the air. I grabbed a half dozen wigs from my wig drawer and tried them on individually to see which one looked best with my makeup and outfit. After messing around for about 15 minutes, I decided to go with my short dark auburn wig, which I have owned for about two years, but have only wore out once.

I examined myself in the mirror and thought I looked very nice!

Last step was to put on my stick-on finger nails. As I did, I noticed that the nail on my left thumb did not seem right, but I did not give it a second thought. I put on my fake lynx fur coat and began the 35-minute drive at about 5:15 PM.

Fifteen minutes into the drive, I glanced at my left hand and "Oh No!," the fake nail on my left thumb was missing! I rummaged around the car to find the errant nail, but it was a no-show.

I've lost nails before and survived, but I wanted to look perfect Saturday night, so I considered my options. If I took a 10-minute detour, I could get another set of nails at CVS or Walgreen, so that is what I did.

I was way overdressed for CVS, so when I walked into the store, I received a lot of attention from the other customers. But I did not pay much attention to their attention: I was a woman on a mission and I headed straight for the cosmetics aisle.

I found the nails and discovered that CVS was having a buy-one-and-buy-the-second-at-half-price sale, so I bought two sets of nails for $10 and change. (Every cloud has a silver lining.)

Back in my car, I slowly opened the box of nails because quickly opening the box usually results in nails flying all over the place. I applied a new nail to my left thumb, drove to the nearest entrance ramp to I-84 and headed northeast to Hartford. Despite the detour, I arrived at the Convention Center at 5:55.

I parked my car in the parking ramparage and walked to the entrance of the Convention Center. Inside, a woman was directing folks up the escalator. As I walked by, she asked how my feet were holding up in my “fabulous sandals.”

"So far, so good," I said and I was telling the truth.

Three escalators later, I was on the top level of the Convention Center where the event was happening. About a hundred people were already milling about drinking, schmoozing and looking at the items that were up for auction.

It was CVS all over again. I received a lot of attention, but now I was appropriately attired.

I checked in at the registration table to get a program and find out where I was sitting (lucky table #38). Then I bought a glass of wine and began milling about.

I quickly found some of my friends and schmoozed, took some photos, schmoozed some more, posed for photos (including one for the Hartford newspaper), looked at all the auction items, and looked at the all the beautiful dressed-to-kill women.

On my way up the escalators, a woman on the way down said she loved my fake fur coat. I ran into her again while I was milling about and turns out that she was a singer in the band. We chatted briefly and as we went our separate ways, she said, "See you on the dance floor, beautiful."

After an hour or so, my feet needed a rest, so when they opened the doors to the dining room, I headed to table #38 and sat down.

There were ten people at my table: seven transwomen (most I have known for years), the spouse of one transwoman, and a gay couple who were co-workers of another transwoman.

There were a few other transpeople in the room, but the majority were seated at my table. In all, there were about 500 people in attendance including U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Dinner was excellent and a far cry from the rubber chicken they often serve at such massive events.

The only disappointment was the sound. The acoustics of the room and/or the sound system were poor. Everything sounded muddled. It was a strain trying to understand what each speaker was saying and it negatively affected the music, too.

As a result, the music sounded far away and did not move me to dance. I did dance to a couple of tunes, but I spent the majority of the time chatting with my friends and people watching.

My feet held up amazingly well as long as I did not stand for long periods of time as I did when I first arrived. Sitting for a spell revived my feet each time and I was able to walk around and dance. And even though I had a pair of flats in my car, I drove home wearing my heels.

One Big Event is a fund-raiser for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective, so I found it odd that they had a sign in the hall indicating where the "Transgender Bathrooms" were located and where the non-transgender "Bathrooms" were located. I don't think any of the transwomen at my table used the "Transgender Bathroom." I know I did not; I made a point of using the "Women's" bathroom when needed.  

During the evening, I caught a couple of women checking me out. In each case, when our eyes met, I smiled and they returned the smile. I also caught a few guys checking me out. Go figure!

As I exited the Convention Center, I passed a group of young women, who admired my fake fur coat. One of the women asked if she could feel the "fur" and I said, "Go ahead."

After she felt the fur, she said, "If I owned that coat, I would wear it every f***ing day."

I took that as a compliment and said, "Thank-you."

Then she added, "You look amazing!"

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Hannah Gotta, Femulate reader


Wearing New York & Co.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Femulate reader Sheila


Wearing Free People

Would you believe Plan C?

Getting ready to attend tonight's One Big Event, I decided to break in the new color block pumps I decided to wear.

Turns out they were more comfortable than the leopard print pumps I originally intended to wear, but not by much. Considering I will be wearing high heels seven to eight hours tonight, I decided to opt for Plan C, i.e., a more comfortable pair of heels.

I rummaged through my shoes and found a pair of strappy silver sandals that will go perfectly with my silver accessories.

This morning, I took the color block and leopard pumps to the Post Office and they are now on their way back to Shoe Dazzle.

I also stopped at Rite Aid to pick up a set of stick-on toe nails. The sandals expose all my toes, so I have to make them look pretty.

Friday, November 16, 2012



Amaury Nolasco femulating on television's Work It!, 2012


spiegel_2012-11-14Wearing Spiegel

Girlcation Day

By Paula Gaikowski, Femulate Guest Blogger

"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." – Ferris Bueller


That’s a quote from one of my favorite movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The 1986 farce tells the story of a high school student’s spontaneous day off and his imaginative attempts to keep from being caught by the dean and his parents.

Fast forward to November 14, 2012, visualize if you can an office building along Boston’s high-tech corridor, then a conference room, there a project team is getting ready to meet. They filter in, laptops, cell phones, coffee cups and backpacks. The project manager starts the meeting by taking attendance. Smith?, here!, Hancock?, here!, Reynolds? here!, Gaikowski?... Gaikowski?... Gaikowski?...

Nowhere was she to be found, but out amongst the New England countryside on a beautiful autumn day, there she was, Ms. Gaikowski in all her glory.

I normally spend my time en femme while traveling on business. However, recently I’ve been grounded and have been dying to get out as a girl. Wednesday was a perfect day; the house was empty as other family members were away or busy at work.

I had my doubts as I was suffering from a cold and also sore from doing hurricane clean-up work in New Jersey, so I just wasn’t feeling that girly. But, I put on a favorite black suit and added a leopard scarf; having lost weight everything fit great and just made me feel pretty and confident.

Down the driveway I went only to see my high school-aged neighbor waiting for the school bus. Who goes to school at 9:30 AM?

I waited a few minutes in the car. The school bus came and I was off down the road; my destination was the Paula Young factory store.

First, I stopped at the Dunkin Donuts drive thru for a hot coffee and had a pleasant exchange with the young woman there, who didn’t notice a thing.

Speeding down 495 toward West Bridgewater, I noticed that the coffee I bought was now filling my bladder. As I exited the highway, I stopped a t a Hess mini mart to use the restroom. As I entered the store, I noticed it was filled with several landscape crews who were on break. All of those macho men and in walks a 6-foot blonde in a black suit, black hose and heels.

Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive, but decided, "Screw it;" I’m a transgendered women, so "Forward march!"

I walked past two guys who checked me out, then down the hall toward the restroom and it was decision time: Men or Women? The girls won.

I took care of business and went back out into the store to see if I was being noticed for anything other than being a well-dressed business woman. There were no whispers, stares or knowing glances;, the men continued taunting each other while I got a coffee to go. I checked out with young a woman who was oblivious.

Did I really walk that gauntlet? During my many years of denial, self-loathing, and the endless cycles of purging, I would sometimes let myself wonder, could I ever go out in public? Would I ever be anything more than a caricature of a woman? Could I ever be perceived as a woman? The question was answered in the Hess station. Yes!
I tell you this because I know that there are many of you girls out there who are frustrated with your situation. It may be an unaccepting wife, feelings of isolation, shame and guilt. You look in the mirror and see an overweight, hairy guy, who’s getting too old too fast and think it’s a lost cause. I tell you my story because that was me three years ago.

So into Paula Young I went only to find that the stores computer systems were down and they couldn’t pull any stock. That meant I could try on any of the display wigs, but could not buy anything. So I spent about 45 minutes working with one of the sales associates. We tried a bunch of different wigs and I got some good ideas for the next time I came in.

They were friendly and helpful. I asked if they get many transgender customers and they replied “Oh yes all the time."

I’m finding that when I ask that question lately, the indication seems to be that more and more of us are getting out. The last time I went to Paula Young about two years ago, they said they had one other crossdresser who came in.

They told me right up front that they were trans-friendly and wanted our business. So no excuses here, girls! The older sales associate, who I was a little apprehensive about at first was wonderful. I found out she has a gay son and she complemented me by saying that she thought I was a woman until I starting talking.

My next stop was a visit to Illusion Wigs in Milford, Massachusetts. Dotty, the owner, is a sweetheart who has always been a friend of the trans community. She taught me how to style my wig, but had never seen me en femme so I decided to stop by and buy some accessories and also visit. Her eyes lit up and when she saw me. She then asked me to turn around so she could get a good look.

“You look stunning!”

That, of course, made my day and then she sat me down in her styling chair and touched up my wig and gave me another short lesson.

I asked “Dotty, am I kidding myself or do I look like a woman?”

“Sweetheart, no question, you look like a woman; you’re perfectly put together, dressed age-appropriate, and you carry yourself wonderfully. I see all kinds and I would tell gently you if you didn’t.”

This acceptance and validation means so much to me in so many ways. I’m still trying to understand it all.

One thing for sure: if you’re thinking of buying a wig or just can’t style yours well, then call Dotty, make an appointment, go in drab and she will help you so much. She actually gave me lessons on how to style my wig. Made me comb it out and style it several times, coaching me along the way.

Next I stopped by a thrift store that I visit each week. The manager didn’t recognize me and was surprised to learn that I was that fellow who stops buy weekday mornings and always getting great deals on designer suits! So that’s who those suits are for!

As time was ticking away on my day off, I made one last stop at the local mall and visited the M·A·C counter to stock up on some pressed powder. Nothing to report here other than a woman getting friendly professional service from the M·A·C artist.

So before the sun set, I made my way home and Cinderella turned back into a fella, content with a great day out as a woman. I’ll end with my own version of that Ferris Bueller quote.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and put on a pretty dress, makeup and heels once in awhile, you could miss it." – Paula Gaikowski

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The Cher Within

“The Cher Within” by Pauly Pants
(Suggested by Juan of New Male Fashion fame.)



Wearing New York & Co.

Plan B


If the shoe fits, wear it. If the shoe does not fit, wear it anyway.*

I revisited my Shoe Dazzle purchase more carefully last night. Wearing knee-highs. I tried on both pairs again and it was apparent that the leopard print pumps were not a good fit.

Yes, I could squeeze my feet into the shoes, but the fit was tight and from past experience, I knew that I would not be comfortable for long wearing them.

I will return the leopards to Shoe Dazzle and wear the color-block shoes to One Big Event Saturday night. The color-blocks are roomier than the leopards and will be a more comfortable choice for the long evening of dining, dancing and schmoozing.

Buying shoes from Shoe Dazzle is a crap shoot. Eleven is the largest size they sell and that is the size I order; sometimes the fit is fine and sometimes it is not. Luckily, shipping and returns are free, so the experience cost me nothing.

* – The old philosophy of a long-time femulator, who has finally wised-up.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Tim-Dashwood---Managing-Carmen---stage-Australia---2012 Actor Tim Dashwood femulating on stage in
Managing Carmen, Australia 2012
(Source: Aunty Marlena)


jones-new-york-2012-11-14 Wearing Jones New York

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chasing Leopards

I am attending One Big Event Saturday evening. I plan to wear my purple ruffle dress.

Instead of my black patent open-toe platform sling-backs, I ordered new shoes from Shoe Dazzle. They arrived today and they are a perfect fit.

Patty recommended the color-block pumps with the ankle strap because the purple of the shoe matches the purple of my dress. The leopard pumps were my idea. I wanted a pair ever since I saw a similar pair in a New York Magazine's Fashion Week street style slideshow.

Nine West cloned a pair for $109, but that was too expensive. I waited for the price to drop, but when it did, my size was sold out.

I discovered Shoe Dazzle's leopard offering when I was ordering their color-block pumps, so I ordered their leopard pumps, too.

I like Patty's suggestion of wearing the color block pumps with my purple dress, but I like the idea of wearing the leopard pumps with the purple dress even more.

I went to Dress Barn in boy mode today to buy a leopard clutch to go with my leopard pumps.

The sales woman happened to be one I encountered when I went to Dress Barn on Halloween en femme.

On Halloween, she greeted me with a generic greeting and I assumed she had no clue who I was. In boy mode today, she greeted me like a regular customer (she has waited on me a few times in the past  when I shopped in boy mode).

I asked her if they had the clutch for sale.

She said it was a new item and it had not shown up in their store yet. She checked to see if any other local stores had it, but it was the same story. She suggested I phone her later in the week to see if the clutch came in, which is what I will do.

It is not a big deal. I have an oversized leopard wallet that can serve as a clutch. I also have a leopard patterned pendant to complete my leopard accessorizing.

Before I left Dress Barn, I asked if she recognized me when I was en femme on Halloween.

She said, "No. I did not recognize you."

End of story.