What a great day!
Today is Halloween, my Red Sox are the World Champions, and I went to work en femme!
In August, I wrote “Boys’ Day Out” about a day watching motor racing during which I informed my “knows about my feminine side” friend that I had an ambition to go to Royal Ascot race meeting en femme. He said he would be willing to accompany me if I’d like him to.
Since that day, we have had regular e-mail conversations on various subjects (femulating did come up on occasions, too!) To my complete surprise, he also offered to have a “dry run” or two to build up to Ascot next June. Rhonda, when commenting on my original article, had suggested this might be a good idea, to see if could handle the situation.
After much planning, we eventually set a date to meet for lunch at a place which required an hour’s drive for each of us. I decided what to wear and changed my mind many times after that as the day got nearer. Unfortunately, about a week beforehand he e-mailed to say with much regret that he would have to work that day, so could we rearrange?
Very disappointed, I suggested an alternative and it was agreed we’d meet on October 22, a Tuesday when neither of us were working.
As the day drew near, I feared another postponement, but I needn’t have worried. After final confirmations, I set off from home on the day two hours before our rendezvous time. One hour for travelling, one hour for an in car transformation.
I arrived a few minutes early; my friend arrived pretty much on time. He’d never seen me dressed before, although he had seen “glammed up” photos ---his reaction as he saw me was as if I was my male self in jeans and tee shirt. As I remember, it was “Hello” and some comment about his journey. Should I take this as “I’m not impressed by what you’re wearing”, after all every femulator likes to be complimented or should I take it as “she wants this to be normal, I won’t seem surprised?”
After going out dressed for many years, I still expect the first person to see me to do a double take and stare, so when they don’t, I should no longer be surprised, but I still am. Anyway, of the two interpretations of his reaction, I decided to assume it was the latter.
We walked from the car park to the entrance of our lunch venue. My heart was pumping as we entered the front door. We were warmly greeted by the staff who didn’t react at all unusually to the 6’1” female who had wandered in from the rain, and again when ordering from the bar and being shown to our table, there was no expression of surprise.
Conversations with the staff over lunch were pleasant and “normal” for want of a better word as they were with my lunching partner. We talked about all types of topics, but this time femulating was not one of them. We could have been any man and woman meeting up for lunch and judging by the reaction of the other diners (or should I say lack of it) it would seem that they thought the same. If 30 years ago you had told me when I was only dressing when at home dreading an unexpected interruption, that I would do this one day I would have not believed it. It was wonderful.
The tables gradually filled up until we were surrounded on all sides. I was still a little nervous and conscious of my too masculine voice, but there were no double takes or stares (not that I was of aware, anyway) and my confidence grew.
I left my escort to pay the bill (I had contributed, but wanted him to hand over the money) and walked through the bar to the ladies’ room before we left the restaurant – again no reaction at all from anybody. We said goodbye and thanked the staff and after a few photos in the car park, we drove to the nearby National Trust property where we browsed in the gift shop and took more photos.
On returning to the pub’s car park to pick up my car, aware that this lunch was in fact a more unusual experience for him than me, I asked, “How was that for you?”
The response was that he had enjoyed it. I asked was he still up for Ascot?
He said, “You’re still going for it are you?”
I said that if it possibly could be arranged I was.
“Yes, definitely,” he replied. He could cope with the situation, after all! It was then, for the first time, that conversation turned to femulating. I explained that I was quiet over lunch because of my consciousness of my voice. He asked if I had I ever had any adverse comments (fortunately, so far I haven’t, although I have, of course, been “read” on occasions). He said he certainly hadn’t noticed any second looks in my direction. Good, neither had I.
In texts since our meeting, he made an unprompted comment saying “I looked great,” so my assumptions about his reaction on our first meeting were not far off. Thank goodness for that!
One final thing, we have been best friends for over 40 years in a completely male buddy way, but as we said goodbye, as he held out his hand to shake mine, I leant across and kissed him on the cheek. I immediately regretted doing this, but it just seemed the right thing to do. As a woman at that moment I was thanking him for a nice two and a half hours or s, and that he had completely accepted me for what I am. I immediately apologized and wiped his cheek to remove any lipstick.
“Now THAT would take some explaining to my wife”, he said.
The whole event was a marvelous experience, mainly because it was so normal and uneventful. And, yes, I have a very good friend.
A Femulate reader (center) dressed as a flight attendant
with her friends at a recent Halloween party.
"Can I help you?"
"I need this dress cleaned and pressed."
The cleaner picked up the dress, inspected it, then did the paperwork. As he handed me a receipt, he jokingly remarked, "I assume this is your wife's dress and not yours."
I was surprised by his remark and did not know what to say, so I just smiled.
The dress will be ready later this week. I think I will pick it up during my lunch hour on Halloween.
Actor Rupert Everett femulating on the 2009 British film St. Trinian’s 2.
Wearing Trina Turk (left) and Slate & Willow (right).
Saturday night, I attended One Big Event at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
It was a dress-to-kill event and I did my best. I wore a figure-hugging, leg-baring Christian Siriano gold brocade cocktail dress that I accessorized with pearl jewelry and nude platform pumps. I wore false eyelashes, so it took me nearly an hour to do my makeup and hair, but I was out-the-door in my faux lynx fur coat at 5:30 PM to make the 22-mile trip up I-84 to Downtown Hartford.
I arrived at the Convention Center, an absolutely gorgeous venue at 6 PM just in time for the cocktail hour. After walking a short distance through the parking garage and into the Center, I took three escalator to the glass-enclosed top floor which provided a spectacular view of Hartford and beyond. Very classy!
I was pretty happy with the way I looked. My dress got rave reviews right from the get go. When I arrived at the reservation table to check in and get my table assignment, the drop-dead gorgeous woman handling my reservation said, “Your dress is gorgeous!”
And that’s the way it went throughout the night. I lost count how many women, strangers all, said that they loved my dress. I even got a “I love your dress” from a young man in attendance!
However, all was not well. I should know better than to break in new shoes at an event like One Big Event. By the end of the cocktail hour, my feet were killing me, so I was happy when the doors to the banquet hall opened and I could sit down at my table.
There was a full-house; about 500 people in attendance including the Mayor, the Lieutenant-Governor, and one of our US Senators, Richard Blumenthal. None of them sat at my table. Instead, I sat with friends I have known for years and two newbies: girls named Billie and Katie. Katie was with her spouse Scarlett Thompson, the makeup artist I met and dined with at Fantasia Fair last year.
I asked Scarlett if she went to Fantasia Fair this year and she said no. I replied, “I didn’t go this year either, so that’s why I didn’t see you there!”
She laughed and then I added, “I go every other year. If you go every year, it’s like going to the county fair every year - you see the same pigs!”
She laughed again and then asked half-seriously, “What are you inferring by that?”
We both laughed.
I had a good time talking and laughing with my friends. Dinner was excellent, the speeches boring and the fund-raising annoying especially in light of the cost of admission.
The band struck up around 9:30 PM and it seems that about half the people got up to dance and the other half exited the banquet room to go home or to go outside the banquet hall where they could continue schmoozing without competing with the loud music.
I hung back in the banquet hall for about a half hour, but no one asked me to dance. One woman checked me out so thoroughly that I thought I had a dance partner for life, or at least for the next song or two. But she moved on --- maybe she figured out I was a tranny and not the woman of her dreams. So I decided to go outside the hall to find my friends who had gone outside earlier.
I found them and hung out with them for about 45 minutes. I was tired and there was nowhere to sit and chat, so I decided to go home.
It was a great girl's night out. I made new friends and enjoyed catching up with my old friends. I dressed to impress and I think I achieved that goal. But next year, I think I will pass on One Big Event. It's like going to the county fair every year...
Actor Buster Keaton (left and right) in the 1921 American film The Play House.
Wearing Nha Khan.
This just in from the Daily Mail Online:
“As the Brazilian contestants sashayed onto the stage in pink bikinis for a beauty pageant held in Rio de Janeiro’s João Caetano Theatre, their incredible figures drew a loud applause and cheers from a hyped up, excited audience.
“The wolf-whistles and shouts of appreciation were not just for the models’ feminine curves; they are also for the breathtaking courage of the leggy, high cheeked sirens, who in flaunting their bodies made an unequivocal statement that they are proud to be transvestites and transsexuals. All were born as men.
“But that wasn't the most controversial aspect of Monday night's Miss Trans Brazil 2013 contest.
“For the first time, the organisers, the Transgender Association for the State of Rio de Janeiro (RIO ASTRA), offered the winner a transsexual operation from male to female in Thailand.”
Read the rest of the story here.
Actor Trent Dawson (right) femulates on television’s As the World Turns, 2009.
Wearing Cédric Charlier.
It will be my fourth time attending this event, which includes a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing to a live band. The photo is me after dressing for the 2010 installment of the event. Last year, the Hartford Courant recorded my appearance with a photo in the print edition of the newspaper!
This is a dress-up affair; men in tuxedos and women in evening gowns and cocktail dresses. I plan to wear the $190 gold metallic brocade sheath cocktail dress that I purchased from Spiegel's Ultimate Outlet store for $10. My shoes will be the Nine West nude platform pumps that I just bought last week. I will wear a gold sequins clutch, but my jewelry accessories are still in the undecided category. I also am not sure how I will wear my hair.
Saturday night turns out to be a "perfect storm."
For some reason, the date of One Big Event was moved from mid-November to Saturday night. Coincidentally, Real Art Ways moved their Odd Ball from mid-March to Saturday night. Fantasia Fair also has their Gala Awards Banquet on Saturday night. And the Red Sox will be playing in the World Series Saturday night.
The Red Sox's World Series appearance was impossible to plan for and I did not go to Fantasia Fair this year, but I would have attended One Big Event and the Odd Ball if they were on different nights. I had to decide between the two and chose One Big Event.
And so I go.
Actor John Hurt in British television’s The Naked Civil Servant, 1975.
For those of us who have to work next Thursday, Vogue.com suggests five Halloween costumes we can wear to work.
"To save you from dashing home to make a quick change after you punch out, or picking up a pair of cat ears from a nearby Ricky’s, we’ve come up with five costume ideas that you can actually wear to work. These looks are all office-appropriate and, with the addition of a few iconic pieces, will take you from a breakfast meeting to a midnight masquerade."
I just realized that I have all the pieces to put together a Cher Horowitz costume. Hmmmm...
Actor Lionel Barrymore (left) femulating in the 1936 film The Devil Doll.
Wearing Rebecca Taylor.
Peter wrote, "...during the first half of the Twentieth Century (and a bit beyond), women wore hats outside -- and sometimes in -- as a matter of course. A fashionable woman would no sooner be seen outside without a hat than she would without stockings or gloves..."
My mother wore hats for fashion through the mid 1960s, that is, during my formative fashionista years. As a result, I would don one of her hats when I femulated during that era especially if I was wearing one of the outfits she had put together that included a hat (like mother, like son).
Hats died out in the late 1960s. Just as my mother stopped wearing hats circa 1967, I stopped wearing hats when I femulated.
My mother passed on years ago and when we emptied her apartment, we discovered some of her hats. She kept some of her favorites. I don't know why; maybe she thought hats would make a comeback or maybe she just could not part with them. Whatever the reason, I could not throw them all away, so I kept my favorites of her favorites and have them stored in various nooks and crannies in the house.
Now that Peter has reminded me about hats, I plan to peruse my mother's hat collection and see if there are any that will go with the outfits I plan to wear out in the near future.
Actor Geoffrey Rush femulating on stage in
The Importance of Being Earnest, Australia 2011.
Wearing Boston Proper.
This week is Fantasia Fair in Provincetown on Cape Cod.
I have attended three times... every other year since 2008, that is, years that the Red Sox were not in the World Series.
Since this is an off-year, the Fair will be on my mind all week. I will be thinking about all my friends who are in attendance, while I am not (having a good time - wish I was there).
I am living vicariously in Provincetown by monitoring a webcam pointed south down Commercial Street, a block from the B&B where I have stayed my last two visits. I know the webcam's location well and made a point of waving at it whenever I strolled north on Commercial Street.
Although, you cannot recognize faces via the webcam, it is possible to recognize members of our community. For example, this morning around 8 AM, my transradar sounded when I noticed a tall well-dressed woman in white hosiery and black heels walking up Commercial Street and then stopping to sit on a park bench for 10 minutes or so.
She was an obvious first-timer because Fan Fair veterans and Provincetown's female citizens know better than to wear heels on the unforgiving cobblestone sidewalks of P-Town. Instead, you wear flats and carry your heels in your bag to slip on when you arrive at your dressed-to-be-fab destination.
Remembering my past Fantasia Fair visits, I recalled something that I found interesting yet never mentioned here before. When I stayed in the B&B, there were probably a half dozen other Fan Fair attendees also staying there. Being a B&B, most of the attendees came down to eat breakfast each morning. I was the only one to go to breakfast en femme; everyone else showed up in boy mode, which I found to be a little disconcerting.
By the way, that’s me in the photo above modeling in the 2008 Fantasia Fair fashion show. Also in the photo is Liz Winter, who was the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Femulating fashion model Danila Kovalev.
If you are like me, you need a little kick-start on Monday mornings. To help you start the week off on the right foot, I will pass along a link to photos of a French woman who will inspire all the ladies reading this blog.
I actually used a photo of her and her friend in the daily Femulator spot last month. I found the photo on Pinterest, but I did not know who she was until Chris1 commented that she goes by the name French Lolita on flickr.
Viewing her photos, you will see that Lolita has great fashion taste and a great wardrobe to go along with it. She is pretty, too, and so are her friends.
So be inspired and be beautiful this week, ladies!
Alexandre Beaulieu, professional femulator.
Wearing Alice + Olivia.