Friday, May 31, 2013

Mid-Femme Mode

2013-05-31 Beth mentioned to me how she goes out to places like Starbucks or JCPenney in "mid-femme mode" presenting not fully woman, but with feminine clothes, purse, etc., and has no problem.

I love going out full femme, but it is a lot of work and I have often considered going out in mid-femme mode when I don't have enough prep time. For example, instead of spending an hour applying makeup, maybe just put on some mascara and lipstick, then grab my purse and see how it goes.

I am the most feminine boy I know, so my speech and mannerisms are in the right ballpark. If I wore a bra and heels with one of my androgynous boy outfits, I might be able to pull it off.

Mid-femme mode would be pushing the envelope in a different direction and would be an interesting experiment in femulation.

What’s your mid-femme mode?




Actress Candy Darling (1944-1974).






Wearing Spiegel.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Odds and Ends

Last Part of My Hamvention Story

This is the final installment of my adventures en femme at Hamvention and it contains random bits and pieces that did not fit in with the themes I covered in the previous installments of my story.

IMG_0302_web Perfect Check In

Since I have a credit card that has only my first name initial (S) and my full last name, I always make my hotel reservation using my female name when I plan to be en femme during a hotel stay. When I arrived at the hotel on Thursday and checked in at the front desk, the woman working the desk pronounced my first and last name perfectly.

Many people pronounce my first name as if it rhymes with "Nana," when it actually rhymes with "Donna" and I lost count how many ways people have botched my last name (it rhymes with Mxyzptlk)!

(The accompanying photo shows me in my hotel suite shortly after check-in.)

Grand Entrance

Saturday evening, I attended a banquet I had never attended before. The schedule stated that the hours of the banquet were 7:30 to 10 PM. I assumed that the 7:30 start time was the time that the banquet room opened for the attendees.

I was dressed to kill.

I drove a half hour through a thunderstorm to the hotel hosting the banquet and arrived at 7:30 sharp.

The hotel lobby was suspiciously empty. At most banquets, groups of people are hanging back before entering the banquet room, but not this time.

I entered the banquet room and realized 7:30 was the time that dinner was served. Every table was full of seated diners waiting for their table to be called for the buffet.

As this six-foot-two women in five-inch platform pumps entered the room, 250 heads turned to look at me! And they continued looking at me as I tried to find the table where my reserved seat was located.

I was not embarrassed, but I was a bit flustered trying to find my seat. Finally, the fellow who had invited me to sit at his table, saw my predicament and escorted me to my seat.


I mentioned awhile back that I began wearing false eyelashes whenever I am en femme: not big drag queen eyelashes, but conservative eyelashes that give my eyes just a little extra oomph.

I pretty much have the hang of putting on the eyelashes unless I am in a hurry, as I found out during Hamvention.

Thursday morning, I had plenty of time to do my makeup and I put on my eyelashes without an issue.

Friday and Saturday mornings were rushed. I had to shave, shower, makeup, dress, and eat breakfast by 7 AM when my ride departed for the Hamvention site.

I botched up my eyelashes on Friday, but I was able to camouflage the botch with eyeliner.

Saturday was worse. I finally ripped off the lashes in disgust and threw them in the trash! I applied extra mascara to compensate.

Ham Radio in this Day and Age

Peter Lappin of  Male Pattern Boldness fame asked, "Would you mind mentioning at some point what ham radio operators actually DO in this age of the text message? -- or don't I understand what ham radio is; perhaps I don't!"

Basically, ham radio operators communicate with other ham radio operators around the world and around town using voice, text, or Morse code. In emergency situations (like floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), ham radio provides a valuable public service because it still functions when all other forms of communications (including cell phones) fail. As a result, emergency responders go to hams for reliable communications when everything else becomes unreliable.

This link describes ham radio in more detail.



Actor Chris Williams (in white) femulating on television’s Ugly Betty in 2010.




Wearing Donna Morgan.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Missed Boarding the Good Ship Lollipop


It's amazing to me how Starla keeps finding more photos of high school boys dressing as girls for one reason or another.

Where was I when all this high school femulation was going on? I must have missed the day they were passing out tickets to board the Good Ship Lollipop at my high school.

But who am I kidding? Back then I did not have the nerve to femulate in public especially amongst my peers who already considered me a girl without having to femulate.

I guess I've changed during the past four decades. If my high school class ever has another reunion, you can be sure I would do like Bob Johnson in that old Holiday Inn Super Bowl commercial.

But I am getting off track.

Recently, Starla shipped me another collection of high school femulation images that she dug up out of online high school yearbooks.

Hands down, my favorite in this batch of 140 photos is the 1996 image (above) of Matt Garber from Coppell (Texas) High School. The photo's caption begs the question: Did other male students attend the prom wearing prom dresses, but without makeup? Needless to say, Miss Garber wins the High School Femulator Most Likely To Still Be Femulating Today Award.

I uploaded the new images to flickr and you may view them in two ways:

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.



Femulating contestant performing during the talent competition at the Covington County (Mississippi) Hospital womanless beauty pageant, 2012.




Wearing Lover (dress) and Rebecca Minkoff (bag).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just Good Enough

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend break and the respite from my Hamvention stories. Despite the break, I did receive a few e-mails about my Hamvention experiences.

Beth wrote, "Thank you for reporting to us what sorts of responses you are getting from the ham populous… All I can say is that I continue to be amazed that you are accepted to the point that you are made to feel comfortable.  Quite simply, you continue to inspire."

My response was (more or less), "Thank you for your nice comments, Beth.

"I still find it hard to believe that the general population is so open-minded that they accept a tranny (me) in their midst all the time.

"I think I can attribute my success at being accepted to my ability to look just good enough so that people who might wonder about my cisgender are unsure and afraid to take that great leap and accuse me of being a man in a dress.

"For example, when I attended my first banquet at Hamvention, I was one of the first arrivals and was seated by myself. Two guys joined me; one was wearing a cowboy hat (atypical for southwestern Ohio) and the other was dressed like the trucker he actually was in a character T-shirt and jeans. They were both from Wyoming.

"In my mind, it was not the best case scenario. But we had pleasant chats throughout the evening and they treated me like a lady never giving the slightest hint that they had a clue.

"When I attended my second banquet at Hamvention, I was seated with three married couples and three single guys. While seated, two of the wives briefly and very quietly exchanged words, but I was able to hear the gist of what they said. One wife asked the other something about me ("her") and the other wife shrugged and said, "I don't know."

"Were they wondering about my cisgender or were they wondering if I was dating their friend, who was the guy who invited me to sit at their table or what? Whatever the case, they did not seem to have any problem with me.

"My life sure is interesting, if I say so myself!"

Professional femulator, circa 1955.


Wearing Vince (top), Calvin Klein Collection (skirt) and Pour La Victoire (shoes).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Very Comfortable in High Heels

Part 4 of My Hamvention Story

In the past, I have recounted my adventures en femme in sequential order, telling you what happened each day and night as it occurred. This time, I will try something different and describe a variety of vignettes in random order.


I continued coming out to ham radio friends at Hamvention who I have not had an opportunity to come out to in the past. Their numbers are dwindling, but there are still a few stragglers out there in ham radio land.

As in the past, the people I came out to this year were fine with it. One fellow, who I have known for over 15 years (and who had no clue who I was until I pointed to my name on my badge) said, "As long as you are happy, that's all that counts."

The ham friends and acquaintances I came out to in past years are used to me. All refer to me as "Stana" and they all use the proper pronouns (she, her). One fellow slips up occasionally, but he is getting better all the time.

Two ham friends, who I have known for over 25 years are super-supportive. Whenever they see me, they are very enthusiastic and often complimentary. At our banquet Friday night, one of them said I looked "beautiful" and after he said that, I felt beautiful.

Some newer ham friends only know me as "Stana" and they are very cool with it. And my new female ham friends consider me part of their club and I am very cool with that.

More than one reader has remarked that they are surprised how well I have been accepted in the ham radio community, which tends to be more conservative rather than liberal. In addition, Dayton is about an hour from the Kentucky state line and as a result, Hamvention attracts a lot of attendees from the South, which also tends to be more conservative. So I had two strikes against me coming out to the Dayton crowd.

My first time at Hamvention 24/7 en femme in 2010, I felt a little uncomfortable going in, but my comfort level increased as I realized there was nothing to fear.

Now, I don't think about the fact I am en femme when I attend Hamvention because I am no longer en femme. My comfort level is such that I am complete as a person when I am en femme --- so complete that I am no longer en femme, rather I am a woman.

I love checking in and out of hotels as a woman. I love driving my car and pumping gas as a woman. I love dining and socializing with friends as a woman. I love doing everything as a woman because being a woman is my nature.



Students femulating on stage at Indiana’s Tr-State College, 1911.




Wearing Tahari Arthur S. Levine.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Joining a club that would have me as a member

Part 3  of My Hamvention Story

In the past, I have recounted my adventures en femme in sequential order, telling you what happened each day and night as it occurred. This time, I will try something different and describe a variety of vignettes in random order.


There is a international ham radio organization that is intended for hams who have been licensed for 25 years or more. Since I have been licensed for over 43 years, I definitely meet the qualifications for membership and stopped by their booth to consider joining.

Two fellows attended to me and tried to convince me to join. After extolling all the virtues of joining, one fellow added that the club even has a sub-group for its female members.

After that remark, how could I not join.

My Readers at Hamvention

A surprising number of you who are hams and attended Hamvention, stopped by my booth to say hello. You know who you are and I thank you for making the effort.

Another reader e-mailed me that she attended Hamvention on Friday, but she could not find me and suggested that I should have mentioned which booth I staffed.

For reasons I won't go into, I do not mention the exact booth number here. However, as a hint, I have posted photos of me working the booth with my group's banner in the background. Read the banner and you will know which group I represent and the Hamvention program will tell you where my group's booth is located.

I never made it to the Friday night party that one reader invited me to attend. It began at 10 PM and by that time, I was well done and needed to go horizontal. (A lot of good that did me --- I only got about four hours' sleep.) Next day, I ran into the reader who invited me and her wife who is also a ham and explained why I was a no-show; they were very understanding.

One reader gets a special mention for an effort above and beyond the call of duty.

Midday Friday, I was exiting a forum and returning to my booth, when I heard someone call out my name.

I turned around and found the gent who was calling me. Turns out he is a long-time reader of Femulate, who came to the Hamvention just to meet me. He was not a ham and had no interest in Hamvention, yet he paid for parking ($5 to $10 depending on where he parked) and admission ($25) with no guarantee that he would find me among the 25,000 pocket protector wearers in attendance. Wow - what a fan!

For that effort, I was happy to chat with him (or her because she is one of us) as long as she wanted. She seemed genuinely happy to meet and chat with me; I just hope I met all her expectations and did not disappoint.




Actors Leslie Hensen and Albert Burdon femulating in the 1933 film It's a Boy!



The Cut

Wearing Zuhair Murad.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spoken in the Girls' Room

Part 2 of My Hamvention Story

I the past, I have recounted my adventures en femme in sequential order, telling you what happened each day and night as it occurred. This time, I will try something different and describe a variety of vignettes in random order.


When I am en femme, I always use the women's restroom and that's what I did at Hamvention.

Even though the women's restrooms at Hamvention are usually deserted (because only about 15% of the attendees are female), I don't dilly-dally. I do what I have to do in the stall, then I wash my hands and fix my hair and/or makeup if needed.

I was in the restroom touching up my makeup Saturday afternoon when a woman entered and struck up a conversation with me... mostly about the weather, which was hot and humid. Our conversation ended when she realized that she needed to use the facilities and excused herself to enter a stall.

If that wasn't admittance to the girl's club, I don't know what is!

Dumb Blond

Staffing the booth at Hamvention, I got a taste of the prejudices that professional woman face every day.

Approximately 15% of the US ham population are female and the attendees at Hamvention reflected that statistic. By far, the males outnumbered females.

The people staffing the booths at Hamvention also reflected that statistic. Some booths have no females, some of the bigger booths have one or two females, and a few booths have a bevy of women, but they are professional "booth babes" hired to attract customers.

Some of the visitors to our booth must have read me as the equivalent of a booth babe. On a few occasions, fellows approached me at the booth and asked, "Do you know anything?" or some such.

Damn! I probably know more about ham radio than they do. I was so taken aback by the question that I did not have a quick comeback. Instead, I did my duty and politely answered their questions.


Countless guys smiled and/or winked at me when they walked past my booth. (I wonder what kind of reaction I would have received if I wore my white shorts outfit while staffing our booth. Maybe next year, I'll find out.)

One fellow, who was staffing another booth nearby visited our booth Saturday afternoon to get better acquainted. He was interested in going out with me, but then he noticed my wedding ring, asked about it and then backed off when I explained that I was happily married.

And so it goes.




Charlie femulating circa 1910.




Wearing Ryu.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Part 1 of My Hamvention Story

In the past, I have recounted my adventures en femme in sequential order, telling you what happened each day and night as it occurred. This time, I will try something different and describe vignettes in random order.IMG_0295_web

I love the outfit that I wore on Thursday: white shorts, multi-colored top, pink scarf, and white wedges (from JCPenney, DressBarn, Avon, and Payless, respectively).

One of my ham radio friends said that I looked "fetching" in that outfit. I think it suited me perfectly both in style and color and I wish I could have worn it every day of Hamvention.

I met Cyrsti for coffee on Thursday afternoon and we chatted for about an hour seated in my hotel's lobby next to the registration desk. My back was to the desk, but Cyrsti had a clearer view and according to her, "With all those legs of hers (referring to me), there was a poor guy trying to check in who couldn't seem to concentrate on staying in line."

Not So Fetching

The white wedges that I wore for two days were the most comfortable pair of women's shoes I have ever worn.

Thursday, I drove to Dayton (standard transmission) for over four hours wearing the wedges and I continued to wear them until nearly 11 PM.

Friday, I wore them all day while I was at Hamvention and during most of that time, I was on my feet. I changed to my black high heel platform pumps when I changed outfits for the Friday night banquet.

They were pain-free during all the time they were on my feet, but mid-Friday afternoon, there was a problem. The ankle strap on the right wedge stretched out to the point that the shoe kept slipping off my foot as I walked.

Although I was not in pain, walking became awkward as I clenched my toes trying to keep the wedge from slipping off. I inserted some tissue paper under the ball of my foot to push my foot backwards and make the stretched strap more effective. It helped a little, but is not the final solution.

I have shoe pads for the ball of the foot that I can insert in the wedge that should be better than the tissues or maybe I can figure out another way to solve the problem.




Femulator crossplaying as Cinderella.




Wearing Brahmin (bag).

Monday, May 20, 2013

Catching Up

I am back from Hamvention and have some catching up to do.

I caught up on my sleep last night. (It was the first time I got more than four hours sleep since Wednesday night.)

I have about a dozen e-mails waiting for replies that I plan to respond to tonight.

And I have a trip report to write for you.

I have so many interesting things to tell you that I don’t know where to begin, but I am on the case and will have my stories for you real soon now.

Until then, I leave you with another photo: the outfit I wore to the banquet I attended Saturday night.





Vicney Zwart, male model.




Wearing Red Valentino.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I am home after 12 hours on the road and ready to go to bed, but I just wanted to let you know I am alive and well and have a lot of stories to tell you about my trip to Hamvention. So stay tuned.