Saturday, May 31, 2014

One Person's Journey to Womanhood – Part 12

By Monica M


Movement is the second of the four software skills after voice. As I have mentioned, Denae Doyle's DVDs were (in their day) the top of the range as far as movement was concerned. You would not believe how complicated and interconnected a genetic woman's movement pattern is (well, you would, because like me you have studied the movements of women all your life, but studying and replicating are very different). It is a form dancing really.

Denae takes you through very useful exercises which you would not ordinarily think about. For example, how you get in and out of a car while you are wearing a skirt. Putting on and taking off your coat. How to carry a purse correctly. How to put on or take off a shawl. How to sit down and stand up from the chair in a restaurant. Opening and closing a door. She covers these and many more situations in her DVDs.

However, you really need to prepare your body to be able to carry out these movements. Men's bodies tend to be stiff and linear. Women tend to be flowy and curved.

To get your body to naturally move more like a woman, you need two practices (in my opinion). First you need to be in touch with your body and this comes from practices like those in the Art of Feminine Presence (more later). Then you need to move your body in a fluid or dance-like way and this is where dancing (waltz, tango, etc.) and soft martial arts like Tai Chi really help.

Great exercises, which really help your muscles to start acting in a feminine way can be found on Lucille Sorella's website. I practice these and do Tai Chi most days. Women tend to cross the center line of the body with their arms and legs much more so than men. You need to get your muscles used to this and to moving in a much slower way. Danae says that you should move your arms as if you are under water, that is, the correct speed and manner.

In my opinion, it is important to get into the correct mind set as regards the movements of your body when en femme (and again the Art of Feminine Presence greatly helps here). If you do not, then you are going to feel stupid as you move and walk like a woman. If you feel stupid, your confidence will leak away and you will get read very quickly and feel miserable. Denae has a phrase, “as soon as the wig goes on, you act, think and move like a woman.” My version of that “go female or go home!”

The most difficult practices, I have found, are eating and drinking like a woman. It seems to be particularly hard to break these habits.

Woman put less food on the fork and they put the fork down to rest much more than men. They don't bend down to the food or to the menu when they are reading it.

And, my personal bug bear, what to do with my hair when I am eating. Some part of it usually ends up in my food. It won't tuck behind my ears neatly and it looks kind of weird holding it out of your food with one hand, especially when your hands are as big as mine. Maybe I need to find some kind of hair slide or clip that I use only when eating.

If I do use something to hold up my hair, I will need to practice exhaustively for it to become second nature. Nothing feels more artificial than when you do something with your hair or with your clothes that you have only practiced a few times and then you compare how a genetic woman who has repeatedly done this action for years.

(Part 11 of One Person’s Journey to Womanhood appeared here.)





Source: ideeli

Wearing Anne Klein.






Officer Dibble femulates in a 1961 episode of Top Cat.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Revisiting Dayton


Two weeks ago, I was living full-time as a woman while attending the Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio. Here are a couple of thoughts about that experience that I did not mention in the Dayton diary that I posted here last week.

One Booth Babe to Another

Across the aisle from our booth at the Hamvention was a big booth that took up eight booth spaces in a 4 by 4 rectangular configuration. Stationed at opposite corners of that group of booths were two attractive 20-something women. Both wore very nice dresses and high heels (just like me) and all weekend long, they handed out stickers to people passing by and we exchanged smiles whenever we caught each other’s eyes.

The stickers were those white oval stickers that you see on the bumpers and rear windows of vehicles. Typically, they display an abbreviation for the location that the driver of the vehicle has visited, for example, "MV" for Martha's Vineyard or "PL" for Poland. But in this case, the stickers had "73" printed on them. (73 is ham radio lingo for "best regards" and is used instead of "good-bye" at the end of a contact between ham radio stations.)

The woman stationed closest to our booth wore a killer pair of high heels that I could picture in my shoe collection, but around 3 PM on Friday, I noticed that she switched to a lower heel, which she stuck with the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning, while foot traffic was light, I went over to ask her for a sticker, which is now on the rear window of my Subaru. She gladly gave me a sticker.

I thanked her and then I mentioned that I loved the heels she had worn on Friday. She thanked me for complimenting her shoes and then we had a short chat about the perils of wearing heels while staffing a booth for 8 hours a day.

She had to get back to work handing out stickers, so we cut it short, but the girl talk was affirming nonetheless.


My carpool buddy at Hamvention witnessed me carry a pair of flats around all weekend and when I drove, he patiently waited while I switched from heels to flats... not only this year, but in past years when we car-pooled at Hamvention. (What a gentleman!)

He has also witnessed me struggle with other aspects of being a woman like a few years ago when I "lost" the keys to my car. (After a panicky 15 minutes, I found the keys hiding inside my purse.)

When we left the picnic Saturday evening, I had a difficult time retrieving my car keys from that same purse because the lining of the purse was caught in the zipper. With my long nails, I struggled for a few minutes trying to undo the zipper, while my buddy stood by waiting patiently.

I was relieved when I finally opened the zipper and was able to retrieve my keys.
With that, my buddy commented, "I'm not sure that dealing with all the trappings of being a woman is worth it."

"You have a good point," I replied.

On the drive home, I thought about my friend’s comment and all the things involved trying to be a presentable woman... not just the trappings of being a woman, but all that stuff both physically and mentally that my guy self has to go through to present as a woman.

Considering everything, I must be crazy to go through it all. But yes, it is all worth it because I am crazy about being a woman.






Sophia Loren, London, 1957.





A beautiful female impersonator photographed in the early 20th Century.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Home Ec for Boys

rvw238364 Today New Republic posted an article that recommends teaching home economics to boys!

When I think back 50 years to my days in grade school, I was not very good in shop (or "Manual Training" as it was called in my school). However, I probably would have excelled at Home Economics, but back then, taking Home Ec was not an option for boys... even girly boys like me.

Too bad. I would have made someone an excellent wife.

One Person's Journey to Womanhood – Part 11

By Monica M

art&illusion I had seen somewhere on the Web that there were transgender conventions and I managed to persuade my wife to go along with me. The “traditional” one (so they say) for newly-emerging transgenders is Esprit, which happens in Port Angeles, Washington State in May each year.

We decided that we would aim for 2010 Esprit. The convention is very couple-friendly and has special couples’s sessions. These were run by the wonderful Dotti Berry. My wife agreed to come on the basis that we make a holiday out of it and that if she did not gel with the other partners, she could just do her own thing. For convenience sake and for shopping sake, we decided to go to San Francisco and drive up to Espirit over a number of days.

I knew it was time to get serious about presenting as a woman. I ordered and devoured Art and Illusion by JoAnn Roberts. This gave me the basics of makeup, dress and movement. I ordered the voice CDs from Kathe Perez about six months before and practiced daily. I ordered the movement DVDs from Denae Doyle and practiced her moves.

My first makeup was anything discarded or unwanted from my wife. But I quickly realized that they were not doing the job and so I moved to Kryolan, the theatrical makeup and used that for the next couple of years. That helped a lot to hide the blemishes, but the problem really was a lack of good skin care. Then, I discovered Dermologica and it radically changed the quality of my skin. So much so that now I looked overly made up in the Kyrolan and gradually switched to MAC (but that was some time in the future!).

I learned from Denae that if you are serious about passing, you need a real hair wig and not a nylon one. She recommended Hansen Fontana in San Francisco. Our plan was to stay in a hotel in downtown San Francisco close to Hansen Fontana and for me to go there in drag with my wife to choose a wig. The next day, we would drive to Santa Cruz to meet up with Denae and I would spend a day being coached in Denae in movement. Following that, we would start the drive to Seattle. It was like a military mission. And all this time, my wife was with me and never complained; bless her, in fact multi Bless her!

I realized that most women dress to stand out but, really as a transgender, I thought it would be better to dress to blend in (I have since changed my view!). So, when I chose clothes from catalogs (I still had never shopped in person), I chose dull fall colors and styles. I had had my colors done about 15 years before, so I knew what was in my palette... or so I thought!

So, suited up, choreographed and tuned up, we packed the car and headed for Seattle and places further afield. In those days, I dare not drive as Monica in case I got stopped by the cops for any reason or in case I had to use the bathroom. How things have changed now!

But, there are a couple of stories and photos before we leave San Francisco.

(Part 10 of One Person’s Journey to Womanhood appeared here.)





Source: Madeleine

Wearing Madeleine.






Elliott Alexzander, fashion blogger.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Looking Ahead


The first draft of the Fantasia Fair daily schedule is now up and running on the Internet and includes the Femulate Blog Party, which is all set for Tuesday afternoon.

The party is "A gathering of readers, followers and interested parties of the Femulate blog ( for the purpose of meeting all the femulators in person and to discuss the fine art of femulating, i.e., emulating a female (among the general public)."

I will be there (I better be there!) and I hope to see you there, too!

And if you want a look ahead to get a glimpse of where this may all be going, look to our youth and specifically, look at the House of Alexzander, which is "Not your average fashion blog. Constructed by Elliott Alexzander as a collective source for his own personal style, House Of Alexzander quickly became an inspirational power house for the gender variant community."

I will make no attempt to pigeon-hole Elliott, but I believe he is a kindred spirit and representative of the younger generation which is not constrained by the definitions of "gender" that was affixed to my generation and those that preceded mine.

Read Elliott's blog and I am sure you will be intrigued, impressed and wish that you were a youngster today and able to freely express your gender.






Andrej Pejic, model.





Source: Vogue

Wearing Gucci (dress, coat, boots), Dior (watch), Balenciaga (bracelet),
Rimowa Case and Globe Trotter (luggage).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monica's Back!

One Person's Journey to Womanhood – Part 10

By Monica M 

I have said that, from an engineering perspective, we can break down the femulate problem into five components (how male is that!): one hardware and four software. Not having had any changes to my hardware (or hormones other than the, thankfully, a depletion of testosterone), I don't really feel qualified to deal with the hardware issue. However, from observation and experience I feel that “the vag is not the badge.” There are more fruitful avenues of approach to presenting as (and feeling oneself to be) a woman – namely, the software approach.

To my mind, the cake is the software and the icing is the hardware.

The software components are 1) voice, 2) deportment, 3) presentation, and 4) operating system. It is my intention to devote a blog post to each of these over the next couple of days so that I can share my experience and, hopefully, help others. Today I will start with voice.

Voice is probably the most important thing in passing. No, really, it is so important. Your voice will out you very quickly if it has a male quality to it no matter how good you look. On the other side of the coin, I have a theory that if The Terminator spoke with a believable female voice, at least 20% of the people would accept him as a female in disguise. To train the voice takes so much time and effort that people assume you really must be a female if you have a good female voice.

I started working on my voice in 2009 about six months before I went to Esprit. I am still working on my voice. I practice about 20 minutes most days to keep it in shape. I am still not happy with it. It takes a long time to get the voice you want – do not get discouraged – but when you get that voice, a whole new level of confidence opens up for you.

In my opinion, the queen of feminine voice training is Kathe Perez. She is a great teacher and a lovely all-around person. I had dinner with her twice last month, when I was in Denver. There are some photos of that event taken by my good friend A. But the photo of me is so unflattering (so male looking!) that I am not inclined to publish it.

Kathe produces CDs and does on-line training of your voice to produce a feminine sound and cadence. I have found her practices and advice extremely valuable. She is currently working on an app for mobile phones, which will accelerate the learning process. Spend some time with Kathe, you will not regret it.

Here is the link to her website. If you connect with her, tell her that Monica sent you! :)

In the meantime, every time you hear a woman talking on the TV or radio, quietly repeat what she is saying so that you get used to the melodic flow of the female voice.

Next up, deportment and movement.

(Part 9 of One Person’s Journey to Womanhood appeared here.)

Actor Brian Charles femulating on stage in Pop! (2010).

Source: Boston Proper

Wearing Boston Proper.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Boys’ Girl Day

By Cheryl


It seems that it is common for boy bands in South Korea to perform while crossdressed. Recently, I was surfing the Internet and found this example of a great femulation in South Korea.

Music Core is a South Korean music television program. The show features popular artists who perform live on stage.

It recently completed its 400th show and to celebrate this milestone, they featured a popular girl band called Girl’s Day. As part of the special show, they asked members from four different boy bands to join forces, create a group called “Boy’s Day” and to perform on the show. The catch was that the boy band members were to perform dressed as girls.

Here are links (one, two, and three) to websites displaying photos of the group and here are links (one and two) to YouTube videos of the group’s performance.

This is not just some quickly thrown together crossdressing; rather it is excellent femulation. A lot effort was made to make each member look as feminine as possible.

By the way, each of these boy band members has previously crossdressed. Just Google the name of each band member or the name of their original group to see many examples of their fondness for heels and lipstick.






A pair of stylish femulators in 1929.






Doris Day

Friday, May 23, 2014

Perfect Curve

IMG_1451_cropped In addition to the new hairdo, new dresses and new shoes that I wore to the Hamvention last week, I also wore new shapewear: the Squeem Perfect Waist.

I was such a satisfied customer of the Squeem Miracle Vest that I was anxious to try out the other products that Squeem offers and the Perfect Waist seemed like the logical choice.

Basically, the Perfect Waist is the Miracle Vest without shoulder straps and upper back and underarm support. If you do not have back fat issues, then the Perfect Waist is for you.

Perfect Waist knocked inches off my waistline and flattened my tummy to give me the girlish curves I so desired. A picture is worth a thousand words and the accompanying photo of me in the sheath dress I wore last Friday shows the results of what Perfect Waist can accomplish. I assure you that sans Perfect Waist, the curves you see in that photo do not exist.

Perfect Waist also improved my posture and provided back support that painlessly got me through two 8-hour days staffing the booth at the Hamvention. At the end of those days, my feet knew I wore high heels all day long, but my torso had no complaints from wearing Perfect Waist.

Like the Miracle Vest, the instructions for the Perfect Waist recommend breaking it in gradually by wearing it one hour the first time, two hours the second time, etc. But just like the first time I wore the Miracle Vest, the first time I wore the Perfect Waist, I was all-in and wore it for over 12 hours! I suffered no ill effects from wearing the Perfect Waist for 12 hours out of the box, perhaps because my body was already acclimated to wearing the Miracle Vest for extended periods of time, but your mileage may vary.

Perfect Waist is the perfect choice for girls like us who are seeking that perfect curve.






Actor Ben Sander femulating television personality Sabrina “Brini” Maxwell.





Joan Crawford

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dayton Nights Two and Three Detailed

selfie in the ladies' room

Whereas my Dayton days two and three (Friday and Saturday) were similar and tend to blur together, my Dayton nights two and three were very different. Friday night, I attended our group's annual banquet and Saturday night, I attended a cookout at the home of one of the board members of my group who lives in the Dayton suburbs.


Our banquet occurs in a banquet facility in the suburbs south of Dayton. The food is always excellent, the after-dinner speaker is usually a well-known name in ham radio, and as a result, we fill the hall every year.

I wore my new orange and black peplum dress from Fashion to Figure with the same accessories I wore during the day sans necklace.

I drove to the hall with my carpool buddy, John, who had the job of collecting tickets at the event. So we had to arrive as early as possible, but since we are among the earliest arrivals, we can get a good table up front.

I had to go to the ladies' room upon arrival, so John picked a table and prepared to collect tickets. When I got to the table, a gent was already seated there. I did not know him, so I sat myself down and introduced myself.

He was a retired electrical engineer, but had only been a ham for a year and was attending his first Hamvention. We got along swimmingly and chatted about our families, careers, ham radio and Hamvention.

Ten minutes or so later, an old friend, someone who knew me as a boy before he knew me as a girl, joined our table and the conversation. Then two more strangers joined our table and there were introductions all around. I struck up a conversation with the two newcomers and we had a nice chat.

Everyone I encountered at the banquet, male and female, guests and banquet hall employees alike, were friendly and I had a great time.


I was a little worried about attending the cookout because of the weather. It was cold, rained throughout the day and I did not have proper clothing.

I wore black leggings with zippers on the cuffs from Macy's, a new blue peplum top from Fashion to Figure, black thigh-highs from Berkshire, mid-heel black "Daylight" wedges from Payless, and minimum jewelry. Over that outfit, I wore my blue Red Sox hoodie from my male wardrobe, which was the only piece of clothing I had that was appropriate for the weather.

When I entered the house, the hostess greeted me, "You're Stana, correct?"

She remembered me from when I attended the cookout two years ago. She was the perfect hostess to this transwoman on Saturday as she was in 2012.

There were about 50 people at the cookout. Some I knew (my fellow board members), most I did not, but almost all were very friendly... especially the guys. Guy after guy went out of their way to introduce themselves to me and chat awhile.

On the other hand, some of the other women in attendance were not so friendly. Most of the women were spouses of the guys in attendance and when my hostess introduced me to a table in a girl-boy-girl-boy arrangement, the girls were kind of cold. One woman in particular did not let up and sent daggers my way whenever I was in her vicinity.

Transphobia or jealousy? I like to think the latter, but you never know about the former.

The rain finally stopped, but the temperature was cold, so eating outdoors was a little uncomfortable, although the meal was excellent.

John and I both were leaving early Sunday morning, so we were the first to depart. As I said my final goodbyes, one of the fellows who was working at our booth came over and gave me a big hug. He has a transbrother and is sympathetic to transgender folks.

I appreciated the gesture and it was a beautiful way to end my trip to Dayton.





Johnnie David femulating in 1937.





Source: ideeli

Wearing Sue Wong.