Wednesday, November 19, 2014


lemon_skirt I received the following e-mail yesterday.

I am a life-long TV, so I feel able to comment.

My advice to nearly all those who contribute to your blog is simple:

Throw away the cameras and look long and hard in the mirror. Look at the women around you; you should blush with embarrassment. Cover your shoulders and knees and get rid of those “long luscious locks.” Very few women over 40 look good with long hair. None of you (and me) really look anything like women and that is a tragedy.

By the way, I have no photos of me. The last that were taken were 30 years ago for an article in The Times. No! It was 40 years ago – time flies.

Stop being delusional. A mirror does not lie except at a fairground.

Look at the professional femulators and actors. Even they with all the advantages – professional makeup, expensive wigs, etc., are rarely convincing and face the reality of a cruel life.

We’ve all been dealt a lousy hand!

My response: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That is especially true if you are a male-to-female transperson.

We have a lot going against us. Compared to the quintessential woman, we do not compare favorably. We are too tall, too heavy, too wide, too hairy. Our voices are too deep, our faces too masculine, and our bodies too unshapely. We are just too too. 

So should we all hide in the closet because we don’t resemble the quintessential woman?

Just like my trans sisters, there are cisgender women who don’t resemble the quintessential woman. Nonetheless, we are all women and we try to make the best with what we have.

And by the way, the mirror does lie. I always look fab when I look at my femme self in the mirror; to see what I really look like, I take a selfie.

And so it goes. 





Source: Bebe

Wearing Bebe.





Mimo Momo, femulator extraordinaire.


  1. Stana,
    While I understand where your correspondent is coming from, she does not fully appreciate the trans experience. One reason we take photos (and I take very few) is to validate the other gender side of ourselves no matter where we lie on the spectrum. It is the same for those that wear long hair, short dresses and large breast forms. The need to validate should be obvious but when one lives in the wrong body, the brain needs comforting from the dysphoria.
    So, I would suggest to your correspondent that at the most, trans folks need to do what they need to do to achieve some sort of relief and, when they go out dressed, please consider one's safety. However, as much as I cringe when I see the some of us dress when they go out, if it doesn't affect my safety, it is none of my business and if I am concerned about my safety, I just leave.

    1. That really is what it's all about, validation. Even the most secure person at some time in their life had validation! Because our society as do must frown on feminine males. We have to look for our own validation in our image that we create to please ourselves!

  2. Hi Stana, the writer presumes that you dress only for vanity reasons and that is too simple. What drives transgender people is a condition which no one as of yet understands. It has to do more with internal identity and I personally could care less how convincing I look (although I think like you I do quite a good job). I do use a short hair wig and do dress to blend in and am treated and addressed as a woman everywhere I go. There are a whole bunch of women my age who look a lot worse and they don't stay home!......peace, Joanna

  3. I think that some of the photos you share here gives the lie to the idea that none of use can convince. Of course there are some aspects of our bodies that may let down our presentation, I know I have shoulders like a navie, yet my favorite photo of me is in a strappy evening gown. Sometimes looking good is about feeling good.

    1. It's all about the base not the treble. In other words we do what we are driven to do because it is with in us to look and feel feminine. Period. :)

  4. Yes, "so it goes". There is no question that reality co pairs well to the authors sentiment. Bu5 are we fooling are selves.. Perhaps in some cases but, I'll contend that there are far more of us the know our reality and live as best as we can in these realities. Frankly most women know (including gender fluid women) that being a woman is 10% body and 90% attitude. Let your girl out girls, and be whom ever you desire. Within what ever conformities or responsibilities you have. The only way for us to be come legitimate is to act as if we already are.

  5. As divergent as you and your correspondent may seem I find that I agree with both of you. I thiink that there are some genetic men who are blessed with the size, shape, weight and features that enable them to pass in all circumstances but for most of us the assurance of passing is elusive. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. It is somewhat like Lincoln's bromide that 'You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.'

    Success is not always the destination. Often it is the journey. Doing something that you like to the best of your ability is often reward enough. On a macro level I think that the more CDs, TG, etc. get dressed and out and about and interact with the civilian population in a respectful and acceptable fashion the better it will be for all.

    I may never pass but I can find times and places where I am accepted as a nicely dressed and mannered person. That may be the best I can do and I need to find the most positive aspects of this component of who I am and what I like to do.


    1. Here here girl! It's about presenting, nothing (well something) to do with passing. Living here in a small town in the boonies where the local women can hunt, bail hay, raise six kids. I can honestly say those I've met have an appreciation of the time I spend to create a positive female image.

  6. The one thing that makes a trans-woman stand out is self-conscious behaviour. Yes, look in the mirror to check your wig's straight and you haven't got lipstick on your teeth, and then go out and be fabulous.
    Not long ago there was a cis-woman on a TV game show who was a dead ringer for the woman who looks back out of my mirror before going out. Like me she had broad shoulders, a short and thick neck, a round face, quite a tummy and spectacles, and she was fun, sassy and fabulous. She knew how to make lemonade.
    Model agencies need to evaluate everybody against criteria to see if they measure up. The rest of us will carry on living life rather than scoring it.

    1. I was standing at the return counter at homedepot. The girl behind the counter did the international signal for "you have lipstick on your teeth". I got it emediately, I mentoned how I hate that, we both agreed at how hard it is to be pretty!

  7. It's amazing to me how easily most transpeople know when someone else is doing trans wrong. We have become so defensive about our own choices that we feel the need to criticize the choices of others, believing that by joining the chorus of social condemnation of wrong trans behaviour we become better people.

    Every woman in the world has to decide how wild she wants to be, how much she stands out as an individual, and how tame she wants to be, how much she blends into social standards of appropriateness.

    Most transpeople born male are not socialized and assimilated women, though, they are males expressing their own trans heart.

    Is the only right way to do trans to be tame, struggling to blend into the background? If we fail to do that, fail to pass, do we fail completely?

    If you believe that, then the sad and tragic conclusion that your correspondent so sweepingly offers is inevitable: "None of you (and me) really look anything like women and that is a tragedy. We are rarely convincing and face the reality of a cruel life. We've all been dealt a lousy hand!"

    Sex changes aren't possible. Bones that have gone through puberty don't lie. But for many of us transgender isn't about "femulation," measured by our success at extraordinarily mimicking a female body and an assimilated woman. It is about revealing the contents of a transgender heart.

    Lots of transpeople born male have less than well polished presentations, often dressing to indulge their own thwarted desires, showing tells that keep them well established as men-in-dresses, revealing their lack of social training as women. Does that mean that they are doing it wrong?

    Anyone who thinks they get to judge how other transpeople are doing it wrong based on their own bitterness over their inability to "pass," to "femulate" is spreading their own transvestite bile over others who are just struggling to represent, to explore, to claim their own nature in the world.

    That kind of ugliness will never lead to engaging presence in the world.

    1. what a wonderful response bravo!

    2. Honestly I have my own list of shoulds and should nots. It they are for me, they are not for others, I've been very guilty for thinking that others would be better off if.... But I know in my heart that we all are unique and individuals what works for another might not work for me might not work for another.

      My only conclusion.

      I can not expect people to rejoyce in me, if I do not rejoyce in others!

  8. Sad, tragic and so wrong when a person becomes this bitter. Rather or not he has looked in the mirror for 30 years-he is still trapped in it -for the worse.

  9. Girls can dress and groom themselves as boys and are well accepted that way, whether they are trans-anything or not.

    So much of what I read on your blog and others, as well as the press, leaves me no doubt that for us MtF trans-women greater acceptance will just continue to grow.

    The cynicism from that person's email is unfortunate. I think s/he needs some real friends that support her. There are plenty of us here :-)

    I hope some caught a recent story that apparently 1/3 of Fortune 500 companies are covering some type of transgender health care? We're getting there...

  10. "Looking good is about feeling good", wrote Paula G. and I must agree with this. When I present en femme, I do feel good about myself. I suppose that I am revealing my transgender heart, as "unknown" put it. So I propose to continue to present en femme when I can, knowing that on close and maybe not so close scrutiny I will be "read" but maintaining respectfulness to others and hoping to be respected in return. Which shouldn't be a problem if one is careful where one goes, and certainly hasn't been a problem for me..

    1. A bad day en femme is better than a good day en homme!

  11. Gosh everyone here has respond so well, and I think made most of the major points. Thanks sisters for doing it so well and graciously. You made it easy for me to respond, I end with my initial reaction after reading the post.

    "So What!"

  12. I guess we know we've made it when we all can be as insecure about our appearance as all the cis-gendered women are about theirs. ;-)

  13. Said as eloquently as "real" women would say!