Thursday, June 6, 2013

Elaine Writes About Her Photo

Femulator-Polaroids Elaine_Armen_polaroid

Elaine Armen

This photaroid was taken 22-23 years ago. It brings back a lot of memories, good and bad from the closeted years.  

The Good: The high-necked white Edwardian top (think Prince and Purple Rain) that looked good and covered a lot of sins, a leather mini with tasteful hem length that seemingly shrank whenever I sat down, black knee-length boots with 3½ inch heels (that didn't make it into the frame), the black (big hair) wig that I liked without the tease and spray, and a few glorious (albeit secreted) minutes getting to explore my femme self.

The Bad: Layers of hosiery (pre-shaving) that were hot, hot, hot in the summer, my self-taught rudimentary makeup skills (predating the abundant Internet tutorials), deep red lipstick (not my color), the pose (that's a pose?), the off-center and incomplete framing (a makeshift, time-limited setup), and the constant fear of being discovered fully or partially dressed (what is this crazy desire?)

And yet, I often reflect fondly on this simpler time and the simple temporary pleasure of being myself. Dealing with transgender flame wars and self-serving hierarchies and slippery slope expectations and marital (and social) tensions from being partially out and LGBTQAI conflicting positions and political appropriateness and "are you gay (no), do you want a sex change (no), what is gender?" questions, among other transgender and non-transgender community dealings, only came later for me.

Yes, I think, on the whole, we are better off and more accepted today than ever before because of those things. It's just more complicated.




Wearing Alice + Olivia.


  1. Thank you for sharing this, I am fully with on the complications but yes on the whole things are much better for us now.

  2. I agree, Stana - on the whole I find myself wishing "If I knew then what I know now". And I also desire the fashions (well, SOME of the fashions) from the 70's and early 80's. They helped hide a multitude of sins! (Mostly "sins" of omission! ~~giggle~~ )

  3. Nice post Elaine,
    Indeed we "more mature" girls have gone through the "be careful what you wish for".
    We have lived from nearly no information to a torrent of ideas, abbreviations and labels.
    Fortunately the "kids" are the ones working it the benefit of all.

  4. I, too, reflect on that simpler time, not the fashions but for the younger generations! Because of them we lifelong "trannies" are able to get out and be more accepted. Thanks goes to them! I would agree, tho, it is very complicated today.

    Good article Elaine. Thanks for sharing, Stana.

  5. Well said and I agree with your assessment about the good and the bad side of things....

  6. Thank you for posting that old photo. I did like the styles back then but it was simply not possible for me to get out while dressed. THen we had children at home for 2 decades and that sure put a crimp on primping.
    I say accept what you must and make the best of every situation.