Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Kathy's Favorite Photo (of Kathy!)

Hallo Stana,

At first I'd like to thank you for your blog. It's so inspiring and motivational for  I guess  a lot of people (including me).

My real name is Karsten (I haven't really decided on a "real" feminine name  online I mostly go by Kathy so that's fine :D ). I come from Germany.

Always in my life I knew I was different. I also accepted that in a way, but I thought I could just live out those desires in private, for myself. I also have gone out en femme for a couple of years. But I never told anyone except my last girlfriend. She seemed OK at first, but I was still uncertain with my situation, so we eventually broke up.

Anyway, I still tried to keep things private, but in the recent months the pressure was getting worse and I finally decided to seek help. I outed myself to my sister, which was super positive and is now my biggest supporter (love u sis!). We still didn't tell our parents, but will eventually at the end of the year (so I can have the new year as the start of my long journey).

I also recently started to take pictures of me (something that I before avoided), but I never really was satisfied with it until That picture!

It feels like for the very first time, I really caught a glimpse of the beauty that is inside of me. I even started to cry a little when I first saw it on my computer screen :')

That picture moved something in me. I guess for the first time I realized who I really was. I am that girl! I will become that girl inside and outside. I will fight for being that girl  for being me.

It will be a long journey  but I'm finally on my way.

Wish you all the best in the world!

Love Kathy

Calling all girls! My open invitation to post your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo still stands, so don't be shy, send me your fave foto. ― Stana

Source: Intermix
Wearing Alexis Sonia.

Boys are girls in Brazil, too.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Paula's Favourite Photo (of Paula!)

Hi Stana,

You recently put out an appeal for favourite photos. I feel a bit of a fraud since I sent you a photo a last year. That was the one with my trombone taken as an ad for a concert I was playing with the London Gay Symphony Orchestra. Since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge and my life has changed in all sorts of ways. Not least that I am now living authentically full-time.

Earlier this year my Friend Vanessa Lees ( put together a photographic exhibition of portraits of trans people going about their normal day-to-day lives; a welcome change from the usual overly glamorous or sexualized images we so often see.

As one of her subjects, I was invited to the first night, maybe not quite a red carpet affair, but nonetheless, great fun. During the course of the photo sessions, Vanessa and I became better and better friends. She expressed this very generously by letting me have a pair of earrings she had made and a dress she had bought for herself, but had no occasion to wear.

Attending the exhibition I knew I wanted to present myself well. I also wanted to make a big thank you to Vanessa for all she was doing. I could think of no better way of thanking her than by wearing the dress and earrings she had given me. The photo shows me with one of the photos of me at the exhibition on that first night. It is a wonderful memory of a great evening, it was also one of those rare occasions when my whole look came out just how I wanted. I felt like a star, my self-confidence came together and frankly, I haven’t looked back since!

Keep up the good work, it is a very big commitment to keep getting out a daily blog, especially of complexity of Emulate.

Many thanks,


Calling all girls! My open invitation to post your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo still stands, so don't be shy, send me your fave foto. ― Stana

Source: Dolce & Gabbana
Wearing Dolce & Gabbana.

Marty at a New Year's Eve ball in Brooklyn, NY, 1974.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Paulette's Favorite Photo (of Paulette!)

Here's a picture of me, taken about 10 years ago. Born in 1950, I've had over half a century of happy crossdressing, and not "grown out of" my sartorial preferences yet.

However, since every silver lining has a cloud, here are a couple of (im)pertinent questions

1) I've always failed to understand my behavior. Luckily, Stana's recent heads-up on the topic broaches the not-unreasonable possibility of my mother's use of the female hormone diethylsilbestrol when pregnant with me to conquer miscarriage. And now since both parents are long dead, happily (can I say that?) I'm excused aren't I?

2) I've always enjoyed an arousal element and this is not yet extinguished. In my case, dressing still energizes like a dose of HRT. And so it has to asked, would not all seniors benefit from silk underwear and some decent heels?

3) After a lifetime in the closet, I worry just a little at the possibility of a sudden stroke while dressed. If not immediately fatal, surely I'll die of shame when the paramedics arrive?

4) Then how will my executors cope with the sheer quantity of my many extravagances? Will my heirs be forever finding caches of forgotten clothes every time the house is remodeled? ("Oh look, a hidden cupboard full of granddad’s crinolines. There, under that old bird's nest. Oh. It's another wig.")

5) And then there's the 1-in-5 possibility of late-onset alzheimer's. As when confronted by a wizened lady in the bedroom mirror, I shout, "Do I know you? You're not my mother. Get out of my house!"

Crossdressing is not easy at the best of times. All that dodging and hiding. Not to mention smudged lipstick on the teeth. And just lately I feel there should be some recognition of the extra difficulties faced by gender-bending seniors. Luckily, some of this is covered in Amazon's excellent Transparent episodes. And hooray, a new series started 11th December.

Keep up the good work!


Calling all girls! My open invitation to post your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo still stands, so don't be shy, send me your fave foto. ― Stana

Wearing Pierre Cardin.
Wearing Pierre Cardin.

Two females and one femulator.
Two females and one femulator.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Carolyn's Favourite Photo (of Carolyn!)

Here is another favourite. Since sending you the last one, I thought a warmer weather one would compliment the previous wrapped pic.

I am sitting in the atrium of the Midland Hotel in Manchester in front of the sumptuous flower feature. The Midland is a lovely place for afternoon tea or a gorgeous meal; the restaurants are exceptional. 

I am wearing my summer plumage (well, my only summer plumage really). I don't do hot weather so my choice of summer clothes is very limited. Gloves as always, I never am without them, they are my passion, my main fetish, I have fifteen pairs at the last count, all in thin kid skin. What I am without, sadly are my usual f/F stockings, it was too hot for them that day, Ah!

The photo, as usual, was taken by my special friend Madame Margi. She and I just love getting out and about dressed to the nines, especially in winter (which is most of the time) where we can wear our cosy woolens long gloves and of course, fabulous furs. I'm glad I live in a cool climate.

Is it my favourite favourite? Well, maybe but a good one nevertheless, for me to show off. Not bad for a 71-year-old?

Carolyn in dreich Edinburgh

Calling all girls! My open invitation to post your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo still stands, so don't be shy, send me your fave foto. ― Stana

Source: HauteLook
Wearing Alexis.

Transwomen wedding party in Plainville, Connecticut, in 1974.
Transwomen wedding party in Plainville, Connecticut, in 1974.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Marie Anne's Favorite Photo (of Marie Anne!)

Dear Stana,

For your favourite pics, here I am in 2010. Lovely day of dressing and modelling my clothes, with a great professional make-up. A picture to treasure.

Best wishes,

Marie Anne

Calling all girls! My open invitation to post your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo still stands, so don't be shy, send me your fave foto. ― Stana

Source: Dolce & Gabbana
Wearing Dolce & Gabbana.

Kim August
Kim August, professional emulator, circa 1962

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Care and Feeding of Clip-On Earrings

By Amy

Today, our regular contributor, Amy, writes about clip-on earrings.

I have not pierced my ears, but may yet find the courage to do it someday. I can rationalize lash extensions, Botox, dermal fillers and long hair for every day, but just haven’t taken this step. Go figure.

Clip-ons can be maddening as some are too loose, some are too tight, while seemingly few are just right. I have a couple pair that cause my ear lobes to scream after a full day of wear.

Those earrings that are too tight often get taken off when I am in the car and placed on my lap as I drive, while I rub my ear lobes! Then I forget where they are, jump out of the car and they go bouncing across the parking lot, sometimes unseen and lost. I often walk into my destination and discover my ears are bare!

But I get along pretty well with clip-ons. If I find a pair of post earrings that I just have to have, I can usually get them made as or converted to clip-ons when I order them. Alternately, after the purchase, I may take them to my jeweler for conversion.

Some jewelers don’t want to mess with this type of work especially if they are made with base metals and some won’t even bother with silver. Since most my earrings are not gold, I have found a couple of local jewelers who will fix whatever I come in the door with.

I found the Earring Doctor that has a great assortment of fixes for clip-ons and posts. The Earring Doctor has a good selection of pads that better distribute the pressure of the clip-on and also correct a heavy earring from sliding off – critical! They even have a wrench like tool for adjustments.

I just purchased a vintage pair of Chanel clip-ons, quite large with large pearls as drops. The weight of these really requires a sticky pad on the back of my lobe. I have a trick for heavy earrings; I use a broad pad on the back clip and a dab of It Stays skin adhesive on the back side of my lobe. This creates a really nice holding surface that lasts; you can forget about losing one or both earrings and enjoy your day.

Coco Chanel once said, "I always take off at least one piece of jewelry before I leave the house… to ensure that I am not overdoing it."

Good advice.

Source: MyHabit
Wearing Jay Godfrey.

crossdressed Christmas party
Boys and girls crossdressed at a Christmas party, circa 1935.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Gurls' Night Out

Christmas decor in the lobby of City Place in Hartford.

The agenda for Wednesday's gurls' night out was to go to Hartford to dine at Max Downtown and after dinner, go to TheaterWorks to see Christmas on the Rocks, "an off beat collection of twisted holiday tales."

I don't know my way around downtown Hartford especially in the dark, so I bribed Diana to do the driving because she works in Hartford and knows her way around town even in the dark! So after I got dressed to the nines, I drove to Diana's abode and she drove us to Hartford.

I-84 in Hartford was threatening to become a parking lot and although we left Diana's house with plenty of time to spare, making our 5:30 reservation at the restaurant looked impossible. Hopefully, the other gurls would save the day and get to the restaurant on time.

After abandoning I-84 and working her way through the streets of Hartford, Diana parked in the City Place underground garage, which was under the restaurant (more or less) and we arrived at the restaurant about ten minutes late. Luckily, the other gurls (Laura and Robin) and Robin's spouse (Arlene) did arrive on time, so our reservations were intact.

Let me tell you about the restaurant.

Robin suggested it and I went along ― it was new to me and I am always willing to try something new. I checked the menu online and its prices were on the high side, but it's the holidays, so what the heck!

This place was very classy. Probably one of the classiest restaurants I have ever been in. The male diners all wore suits or sports jackets and the female diners were equally well-dressed. No jeans or tees in this joint!

After checking in, they asked to take our coats and I was pleased to give mine up so I could better show off my outfit while we were escorted to our table. It was a long walk during which I strutted my stuff and took note of some of the attention I was getting. I loved it!

It wasn't long ago that when this gurl was in a similar situation, she would avoid eye contact with any civilians and try to hide in plain sight. Now she relishes the attention, tries to make eye contact and responds with a pretty smile. That's progress!

The restaurant was packed and we were seated next to tables full of business people, who seemed to mind their own business and not ours, which is no surprise because a table full of middle-aged women just blends into the background in settings like these.

The very attentive waitstaff used the correct pronouns, called us "ladies" and made our visit as enjoyable as possible. The wine and food ("Max’s Label Dry Aged Prime Beef Burger," a $21 cheeseburger) was excellent, but the after-dinner coffee seemed a little stale.

Showtime was quickly approaching, so we paid the bill and prepared to exit. I knew that as soon as I hit the cold air outdoors I would have to relieve myself, so while the others headed for the exit, I headed for ladies' room and used the facilities as they were intended to be used, that is, I sat to pee.

Exiting the ladies' room, I was unsure about which way to go to get to the exit. One of the staff, an older gent (probably my age), sensed my predicament and asked me where I wanted to go. He then escorted me all the way to the exit, while engaging me in conversation about my experience at the restaurant. It was such a feminine moment ― a lady in distress rescued by a knight in shining armor!

Next stop was the theater ― a short two-block walk from the restaurant. The theater was small and the seats were narrow. I was very uncomfortable the whole time and it took away from my enjoyment of the show.

The theater describes the play, thusly, "It's Christmas Eve in a rundown local bar. Expecting a silent night, the bartender finds himself mixing drinks for a parade of surprising guests - children from your favorite Christmas specials and movies - now all grown up! Tiny Tim, Charlie Brown, Cindy Lou Who and a host of others pour out their Christmas woes in this delightful parody."

The Cindy Lou Who (of Grinch fame) and Charlie Brown segments were excellent; the others were OK. They saved the best for last (Cindy and Charlie), so I was less anxious to get out of Dodge because those segments held my interest, but I was still very happy to get up from my uncomfortable seat and file out when the show ended.

Outside the theater, we exchanged hugs and season's greeting because Arlene-Laura-Robin were parked in a different location than we were parked. Diana and I walked back to City Place under which Diana's car was parked and after a couple of false starts trying to get into the now locked-up building, we finally were let in, paid for the parking and left Hartford.

Back home, I turned back into a pumpkin at 10:30 PM with memories of an excellent gurls' night out. We discussed doing it again real soon now and I hope we do.  

Eddie Izzard
Eddie Izzard

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Cyrsti's Favorite Photo (of Cyrsti!)

I have watched for months with fascination the ladies who have sent you pix for publication. Presuming I am good enough to pass along a pix, this particular one means a lot to me from last summer.

First of all I love the shot which was taken high over the Ohio River near Ripley, Ohio.

Second of all, last summer was really the first I could be free. I could wear sleeveless fashion, tees, etc. Finally, Liz and I were enjoying a sort of a mini-vacation, the weather was wonderful and I could enjoy the world as I was always meant to do it.


Best wishes for wonderful holidays!


Calling all girls! My open invitation to post your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo still stands, so don't be shy, send me your fave foto. ― Stana

Source: HauteLook
Wearing Lovers & Friends.

Santa's Helpers
Boys can be Santa's Helpers, too.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Getting Outfitted for the Night Out

Yesterday, I mentioned that I went out Wednesday night for a dinner and a show to celebrate Christmas with my gurl friends. And so I did.

I planned to wear my new Calvin Klein sleeveless black and white colorblock textured sheath with my new Nine West pewter Leapafaith pointy toe high heel pumps. FEDEX was supposed to deliver the shoes on Monday, but FEDEX was a no-show.

I checked online and FEDEX rescheduled delivery for Friday, so I decided to wear my Payless Janine black patent pointy toe high heel pumps. I bought the Janines some time ago and had never worn them, so Wednesday noon, I installed a pair of Insolia inserts in advance of my gurls' night out.

Within an hour, the mailman rang the doorbell with a package to deliver: my Nine West Leapafaiths! So I installed a pair of Insolia pumps in the Leapafaiths, too, and slipped them on my feet to get used to wearing them because the heel is a little higher than what I usually wear
According to Nine West's description, the Leapafaiths have a 1/2" hidden platform and 4 1/2" high heels. Despite those specs, they were very comfortable for the hour or so I wore them around the house, but I feared wearing them Wednesday night because our plans involved some walking on city streets and sidewalks... not the best environment for high heel comfort.

The Leapafaiths were absolutely beautiful, but I decided against wearing them and went back to Plan B: the Payless Janines. As it turned out, the Janines were comfortable from beginning to end Wednesday night, but in retrospect, the Leapafaiths would probably have been fine, too, because our walks involved short jaunts separated by long periods of sitting, but I did not know that in advance.

Mid-afternoon, I put on my face and did my hair. Then I slipped on my undies, dress, shoes, jewelry and nails ― avoiding mirrors until I was all put together. When I was ready, I looked in the full-length mirror and was very pleased with what I saw: an attractive 64-year-old woman.

I love that look!

Source: MyHabit
Wearing JB by Julie Brown.

Company Christmas Party
Wife and husband dressed up to attend husband’s company Christmas party. (Wow!)