Thursday, April 30, 2015

Morning Person

Saturday, I attended the Transgender Lives Conference at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. Continuing from yesterday's post, this is the conclusion of my story.

After my police escort, I found the conference and picked up the registration and presenter packages. I did not recognize anyone except a few people who were as busy as could be running the conference, so I did not bother them, got a cup of coffee and looked over the program trying to decide what presentation to attend before mine at 10:45 AM.

A few people I encountered said “Hello,” but they were passing like ships in the night hellos, rather than long time, no see hellos. 

And then a male name-tagged “Tom” stopped and engaged me in conversation. She had attended my old support group’s meetings and remembered me, but I did not remember her especially since I would have only seen her en femme in the past. Nevertheless, we had an pleasant chat.

I visited the various booths that were set up for the conference, talked to the folks staffing those booths, picked up some literature and then went to auditorium for the “welcoming remarks.” 

The person who was supposed to welcome us was a no-show, so my friend Diana, who was running the conference, welcomed us. One memorable moment during the welcome was when a woman seated in the row behind me tapped me on the shoulder and remarked how much she "loved" my outfit. (During the conference, I received a number of kudos regarding my outfit.)

I decided to attend a workshop that sounded interesting on paper, but was not interesting to me in person. The person presenting the workshop spoke well, seemed to know the subject matter, but I did not get it. Maybe it was me, I dunno. Anyway, I will not mention the title of the workshop or the presenter’s name to protect the innocent.

Jan and I were up next. Our presentation “Crossdressing in the Real World” was basically a show and tell. We showed photos of us out and about, explained what we were doing in each photo and hoped that it would inspire the attendees to get out of the closet and go out and about, too.

I felt that I was not very organized and winged it. Despite what I felt, a number of people said they enjoyed the presentation (by the way, there were about a dozen in attendance). However, one person (Allison) e-mailed me some feedback and suggestions for improvement including, "Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them."

Self-criticisms: at the beginning of the workshop, tell the attendees to break in any time with questions. Also, let the attendees introduce themselves and say why they are attending the workshop.

Allison was happy to meet me in person. I won’t go into details, but I helped her get out of the closet. She told me she was having lunch with an old support group friend, Willa, who I had not seen in about 15 years, so I invited myself to join them for lunch.

Box lunches were included and all the attendees met up together for lunch in the cafeteria. Only then did I realize how many people were in attendance – over 150!

I enjoyed chatting with Willa over lunch (I chatted more than I ate) and met some other girls including Betty and Francesca. I also ran into other old friends: Dallas, Janis, Karen, Moonhawk and Tony.

I left after lunch because my wife was having a bad day with her MS. So I missed the afternoon presentations and Dallas Denny’s keynote address, but I had a very good half-day and look forward to another outing real soon now.

Source: Travel + Liesure

Wearing Dior (dress and shoes, left) and Nina Ricci (dress and shoes, right)

Actor Sid Silvers in the 1935 film Broadway Melody of 1936

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I, Damsel

Saturday, I attended the Transgender Lives Conference at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. Doors opened at 8 AM and the conference got underway at 9 AM.

I live only 20 minutes away from the conference, but I was up at 5 AM because I have to feed the menagerie, clean the litter boxes, clean and refill the menagerie’s bowls for their next feeding, get the newspaper from the tube at the end of the driveway and make myself a cup of coffee before I begin to femulate, which got underway at 5:45 AM.

I shaved my face, Veeted my legs, showered, slipped on my undies, did my makeup and hair, got dressed and was ready to go at 7:15 AM. I wore my new “presidential” outfit from Fashion to Figure; a white zippered pencil skirt, matching white blazer, black top with a flower petal neckline, black patent high heels, beige hosiery, silver earrings, black watch and black bag. The weather forecast was good, but I brought my blue trench coat along just in case.

Out the door at 7:45, I arrived at the Health Center at 8 AM and found the shuttle parking lot where attendees were instructed to park due to construction at the Health Center. There were no other cars or a shuttle in the parking lot, so I decided to drive right up to the Health Center to see if parking was available there.

I saw a UConn police officer working with a group of guys setting up traffic cones in the middle of the parking lot. Almost simultaneously, he spotted me, detected a damsel in distress and walked over to my car to speak with me.

I told him I was attending the “trans conference” and wondered where to park.

He went above and beyond to help me out. First, he said I could park anywhere in the lot where we were standing. Since the lot was not near the best entrance to access the conference, after I parked the car, he escorted me into the building and through a maze of doors and hallways until he was assured I would find the conference “just down the hall.”

He was as friendly as could be, did not seem put-out helping me and treated me like a lady. It was an affirming moment for me and a great way to start the day!

More tomorrow.

But before I go, I will leave you with two items that came off the wire earlier:

Source: MyHabit

Wearing Christian Siriano

Actors Wade McCollum, Scott Willis and Bryan West in the 
2013 San Francisco stage production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Gender Confusion

After a productive morning shopping, I drove to Southern Connecticut State University to do outreach at a Human Sexuality class.

Construction near the building where the class meets decimated a parking lot, so parking is more remote. So I wore flats for the half-mile walk from the parking lot and switched to heels when I arrived at the classroom building.

As I was switching shoes, Professor Schildroth came by, so we walked and talked our way to the classroom and met up with the other folks who were doing outreach, Michelle, Mary-Ann and Quinton.

It was a typical Professor Schildroth human sexuality class – about 25 students with about a 5-to-1 female-to-male ratio. After we each presented our bios in a nutshell, the class was split in two and I was paired with Mary-Ann, a no-op, no-hormone, but 24/7 transwoman, to do Q&A with each of half of the class in tandem with post-ops Michelle and Quinton.

Atypically, this class was full of questions and did not need much encouragement. Some of the questions indicated that there was confusion concerning the trans terms "crossdresser," "transgender" and "transsexual" and after reading some of the student’s post-class comments, I am not so sure we cleared up the matter for everyone. There also was some confusion about our sexuality, but that seemed easier to clarify... "Yes, Mary-Ann and I are lesbians."

Except for the confusion, the students’ comments were generally positive. One student commented that she thought we were cisgender women when we entered the class. Another student mentioned that she would like to go shopping with me!

After class, we went to the student center to eat, digest the students’ comments and chat.

At 3 PM, I said my goodbyes, switched to flats, walked to my car and drove home after another successful day out in the real world as a woman.

Pink Light Specials

This week, CVS has two items on sale that this femulator stocks up on;

  • Kiss stick-on pre-glued nails: buy 2, get third for free
  • Veet hair removal cream: buy 1, buy second at 50% off

Buyer beware: those are central Connecticut sales; your mileage may vary.

Source: ShopBop

Wearing Club Monaco (top), Dsquared2 (skirt) and See by Chloe (sandals).

On the Chicago stage in 2014, Snow White and the Seven Drag Queens

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fashion to Figure Fun

Dressed for Thursday's outing
Thursday, I was out to do outreach at a human sexuality class at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Before outreach, I planned to shop; after outreach, eat.

I wore a new hairdo, a new dress and new glasses and was out the door at 9:30 AM. I was back in the door at 9:31 to switch to heavier outerwear. It was a blustery 40 degrees and the trench coat I initially wore out was not going to cut it, so I switched to a new swing coat that was more appropriate for our wintery spring weather. (On the road, I actually ran into some snow showers!)

Originally, I planned to drive to a DressBarn located near the University campus to buy a pair of white jeggings that I saw for sale on their website. But the route to New Haven takes me right past the Meriden mall where my favorite Fashion to Figure (FTF) store is located.

I always score at FTF and with my annual roadtrip to the Hamvention in Ohio looming on the horizon, I thought I might be able to get some new outfits for the trip at FTF's very reasonable prices. So I took the exit for the mall instead of driving to DressBarn.

Upon entering FTF, I encountered my favorite sales associate (SA) who was so helpful during my previous visit to the store. Even though that was five months ago, she still remembered me!

I did not see white jeggings on the FTF website, so I assumed they did not carry them, but I thought it would not hurt to ask, so I did. I was correct, they did not have white jeggings and that revelation segued into a short discussion about how white jeggings were not necessarily a good fashion choice for zaftig girls like us. That thought had crossed my mind and now that it was confirmed, I crossed white jeggings off my shopping list.

I browsed the racks and found a white zippered pencil skirt and matching white blazer. They had my size (1), so I handed them to my SA and she started a dressing room for me. While I continued to browse, she showed me a gray flared pleated dress that I immediately fell in love with, so she added it in sizes 0 and 1 to my dressing room. I did not see anything else that caught my eye, so I went to the dressing room to try on the finds.

The size 0 gray flare dress almost fit, but the zipper was very stubborn, so I tried on the size 1 and its zipper was more cooperative. I stepped outside the dressing room to check myself out in the mirrors and model the dress for my SA. I loved the way it looked and the SA agreed.

Next I tried on the size 1 pencil skirt and size 1 blazer. The skirt was a perfect fit, but I thought I might be able to downsize the blazer. When I stepped out of the dressing room, my SA said that I looked "Presidential" and I agreed  the outfit looked outstanding, but I asked my SA to get me a size 0 blazer to try on. I was correct, it fit and looked better than the size 1.

While I was changing, my SA presented me with another find: a blue belted wrap dress with an asymmetrical hemline. When she handed the dress to me, I had my doubts because it looked too small, but when I tried it on, it hugged my curves the way curves were meant to be hugged. I could see myself wearing the dress to one of the dinners I will be attending during Hamvention, so I added it to my shopping cart.

I was happy with the new additions to my wardrobe, checked out and said goodbye to my SA.

Payless is across the way from FTF, so I stopped in to see what fit. I tried on a variety of footwear in sizes 11, 11 Wide, 12 and 12 Wide. Only one pair that interested me fit me: a pair of white flats. They were on sale ($17), so I bought them because I don't own a pair of white flats and these were actually pretty rather than just utilitarian!

Time was running out. It was 11:35 and the human sexuality class began 20 miles away in 50 minutes, so I exited the mall a very satisfied shopper and drove to New Haven.

Source: Ann Taylor

Wearing Ann Taylor

Prisoner of war camp femulation in the 1937 film La Grande Illusion.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Amy's Favorite Photos (of Amy!)

Hi, Stana!

These photos were taken in a park near where I live, as part of a project by one of the interns at the Gender Identity Center of Colorado. Some of the photos taken during this photoshoot will appear in a coffee table book highlighting gender-variant individuals. My message with these photos is that you don't have to be a skinny-mini to be a beautiful woman; I'm 6'3" and wear a size 26. Be who you are...and be it in style!


Don't forget... 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 Romeo & Juliet Couture

Actor Lee Pace in the 2003 film Soldier's Girl

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kandi's Favorite Photos (of Kandi!)

I just spent the most amazing day at True Colors Artistry in Bethlehem, PA and was worked on by the amazing Amanda Richards. Her work is simply amazing as these pictures show. It's all her work, I was just blessed to be the pallet. Simply one of the best days of my life!

Don't forget... 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: MyHabit

Wearing Marchesa Notte (left) and Terani Couture (right).

Femulating in the 1914 Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Got Real?

Saturday, I will be presenting "Crossdressing in the Real World" with Jan Brown at the UConn Health Center for Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference.

My head spins when I read all the recent good transgender news.  I don't know what to make of it. 

We seem to be "it" as far as the news media is concerned, so every story with a transgender twist gets publicized. Even my local Neanderthal newspaper has published positive transgender news.

Is it real or is it just the media making hay while the sun shines?

My heart wishes it was real, but my gut says it ain't necessarily so especially when I read stories about haters, like those in California who are trying to control where we urinate and defecate. Or haters who maim and kill as if it was open season on transpeople.

Maybe things are getting better, but just in case, take Sergeant Phil Esterhaus words to heart and let's be careful out there.

Source: MyHabit

Wearing Sara Emanuel (left) and Valentino (right).

Source: Deviantart

"A Woman Inside" by Emmatyan

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Reaching Out

After being cooped up all winter by poor weather and poorly-timed illnesses, this girl is anxious to get out and strut her stuff. So midday today, I will be reaching out to a human sexuality class at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. I expect that other trans people will join me to tell our stories and field all questions the students may have.

Wrapped around the class, I will do some dining and shopping (white jeggings are at the top of my shopping list).

I promise to have a full report for you after the fact.

Source: MyHabit

Wearing Cooper and Ella (top).

When we were "transvestites."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Shop for Large Size Shoes

A girls guide to heels, heights and happiness

By Alex Oxborough
Co-Editor Isy B. Shoes, the shopping directory and blog for large size shoe shopping

Source: Lulu
There is nothing like a cute new pair of heels to put a spring in your step and a wiggle in your walk. Because heels give you a literal lift, they also give you confidence — or the illusion of confidence — so they are a key weapon in any woman’s armor. In the past shopping for heels could be tricky if you took a large size, but happily there are now some great brands and designers making beautiful shoes in larger sizes. 

Here’s our guide to buying your new favorite pair of heels:

Fit & Sizing 

Our number one tip for buying heels you will love to wear? Fit. It sounds obvious, but heels look great because they shift the weight of your body forwards, which straightens out your posture and gives your hips a natural swing. The catch is that any issues in their fit are more acute, and can quickly give you foot health issues that negatively impact your posture in the long run. 

If you have wide feet, then you might like to check out Samanta Shoes (up to size 14) who offer a wide fit option, or Ultimate Shoes, who have a basic website, but cute shoes in a great range of sizes and widths. For large sizes and narrow fittings, then you might like Ghigo Calzature (up to size 15), as Italian-made shoes often come up narrow. Just make sure you check your shoe size (it changes over time) and the exact product measurements before buying as size conversions between countries are not exact.


The key to feeling great in high heels is balance. Shoes that are not well made can often lack balance in the heel and leave your ankles feeling wobbly as you walk. Better quality shoes often have steel reinforced heels to keep you steady, and for styles such as very high heels and stilettos this becomes very important. To check whether the shoes you are trying on have good balance walk up and down on them on carpet or a rug for a while, if you can’t get into a swing with them by leaning back into the heel a little and loosening your knees, then they lack the balance you need. 

Brands that pay a lot of attention to balance include Stuart Weitzman (up to size 14), who prides himself on designing high heels you can walk in, and Sensational Soles (sizes 11-14), a new brand with great manufacturing values.

Heel Height

Killer heels can be just that. As Mr. High Heels himself, Christian Louboutin said, “High heels are beauty with pain.” And after a few hours in his signature Pigalle sky-high needle heels, anyone would agree. High heels are about feeling good and having fun with your look, so if you don’t feel confident in super high heels, then go for a low or medium heel to start. Many tall women find high heels scary (I did for years), but the good news — if you are tall — kitten heels really only suit tall people, so you have the option to make like Michelle Obama, and make the more wearable kitten heel your own.

If you fancy splashing out on your dream designer pair of shoes Christian Louboutin only goes up to a size 12, but Jimmy Choo goes up to size 13, and has the flirty Aza kitten heel style. If you dream of designing your own shoes, then check out Shoes of Prey (to size 15, great width options), their fun app lets you picks from dozens of style and materials options to create your own shoe design masterpiece — and they are a fraction of the price of luxury shoe brands.


At Isy B. we firmly believe buying cute shoes should be all about having fun and feeling beautiful. So experiment with what suits you, and what makes you feel good. Just remember — sexy does not have a size. 

So there you go, our guide to shopping for large size shoes. For more tips, tricks and big shoe brands check out Isy B. Shoes. Our community generated shopping directory has hundreds of large size brands for every size and occasion. You can search for your next favorite store, and pay it forward with your brand and designer reviews. We hope to see you there!

Wearing Christina Stambolian.

Femulating Princess Diana.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stana's Got a Brand New Bag

My co-workers have seen me as a woman the last three Halloweens in a row in addition to two other Halloweens around the turn of the century. If they looked closely, they also may have seen me wear items of woman's clothing on days that do not fall on the last day of October including lady's shoes, hosiery, slacks, jeans and tunics. If they had X-ray vision, panties, bras, and girdles would also be seen on occasion.

If the weather is bad or if I have a doctor's appointment on a workday, I work from home. This necessitates carrying my laptop home everyday.

My computer bag is now carrying its third laptop. It is showing its age and features a broken zipper and a handle which is going to give up the ghost any day now.

When I received a new laptop a few weeks ago, I mentioned to my boss that I could use a new computer bag, too. She told me to buy a new one and expense it.

I began shopping for a new computer bag and was surprised that on the Staples website, there are  computer bags offered for men, women, girls and the unisexed. (Why not "boys" is the subject for another blog post.) Naturally, I checked out the women's computer bags and found a few that were decidedly womanly.

I thought about it for a day or two and finally ordered a women's computer bag that looks more like a woman's bag than a computer bag (see image above). I look forward to carrying it to work!

Source: HauteLook

Alison St. John