Sunday, May 31, 2015

Catherine's Favorite Photos (of Catherine!)

Please allow me to present two of my favorite photos. They are both from a lovely time in my life when I was enjoying frequent forays into ‘woman-world.’

The photo of me wearing a green outfit was taken at a weekend gathering of like-minded souls where I had to be my femme self for two complete days. I always felt special in this outfit and wish I could still have now the same reasonable figure that I had then. The skirt is very close-fitting and restricted my movement. I always wore higher and more slender than normal heels on occasions like this, when I would enjoy tottering around in a delightfully feminine, delicate and controlled manner.

The other photo is taken at the Marble Arch end of Hyde Park, London. I am on holiday staying in a hotel on the south coast of the UK. I travelled there dressed, taking with me no boy clothes whatsoever; packing only skirts and dresses accompanied by high heels, handbags and lovely lingerie. I am not a lover of tights (pantyhose) and wore stockings and suspenders (garter stockings) every day ― total and complete joy.

This outfit was worn on day three when I was feeling more relaxed. I walked to the train station after breakfast and bought a ticket to London. I remember travelling all alone in the carriage and exited onto the platform in London where I was also completely alone. Nobody else was around. This felt quite strange as here I was in one of the largest and busiest cities in the world and during my journey there for the last two hours, I was dressed as a woman, but there was not a soul to notice me.

Eventually I was in the real world and mixing with other humans, some of who were dressed like I was! I took the tube to Oxford Street and shopped for a few hours. I walked into Hyde Park and I asked someone to take this photo of me. No problem at all. I shopped a bit more, had a bite to eat and dreamily walked around as the winter evening grew darker and in the dimmer light, I merged amongst the others hastily going on their way.

I enjoyed the same travel arrangements back to my hotel where, sitting on my bed, I wondered at how easily and without mishap I had managed such a beautiful and amazing day out overflowing with so many feminine experiences and thoughts.

The remaining five days continued like this and as the days away approached number eight, I was sad to be leaving woman world and heading back to those drab old boy clothes again.

It is somewhat daunting to wake up in a room far from home surrounded by everything feminine. Almost as if I had swapped room with a woman in the middle of the night and had no option but to get dressed in her things. No choice and no decision to be made ― I have to leave the room as a woman and go out for the whole day. Even if I decided that I was going to give it all up and go back to being a boring male, I had to get dressed as a woman, have breakfast, pack my things, pay my bill and then drive all the way home in a skirt, as a woman stopping on the way to use the ladies loos! This experience of having no choice in the matter and having to get on with being feminine is an amazing feeling. Almost a relief and a good way to relax, give in and let go. I think it made me not think too much and allowed the feminine within me to take over.

During my stay, I shopped every day, trying on many skirts and dresses. I bought several pairs of stockings; some makeup, a pair of shoes and browsed for England! I walked a fair bit, took in a couple of classical concerts, visited many local sights and enjoyed a fine meal or two. I lost count of the number of times I accompanied other women to the ladies toilets.

All in all the whole week was incredible and many is the time I look at this photo and re-live feeling so special in this outfit ― completely different but normal ― as a smart, feminine everyday woman.
Thanks for allowing me to share these thoughts. I hope they are of use to someone.


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: MyHabit
Wearing Single

Source: Pinterest
Czech professional femulator Libor Landa

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hilary's Favorite Photos (of Hilary!)

I have been following your blog for a few years.
The pictures attached are my favorite pictures.
Because of my prior weight, I had very low self-body image.(I have attached a picture of me when I was a ++size women.) 
I tend to hide my body in non-forming clothing. I had the opportunity to spent the day at True Colors Artistry in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and was worked on by the amazing Amanda Richards. She provided me the opportunity to improve my self-image. Simply one of the best days of my life!

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: ShopBop
Wearing Saylor

Source: Pinterest
Pretty in pink for the American Canyon, California, middle school beauty pageant

Friday, May 29, 2015


In high school, I did not date much. I interacted easily with girls on a day-to-day basis, but when it came to dating, I did not interact successfully.

Looking back, I realize that interacting with girls was easy because I was so feminine, I was really a girl. However, dating girls was difficult because I had to act like a male and that was so foreign to me that I was lousy at it.

When I attended my high school's prom, my sister had to set me up with her best friend as my date. That date went fine because I already knew my sister's friend well; it was as if we were two girls out on a date. The only problem was that one girl had to dress like a boy.

So as the prom season winds down throughout the land, I think about the pretty prom gowns I wasn't able to wear to my high school's spring formal.

Times have changed. As Ray Davies once sang, "Boys will be girls and girls will be boys" and today, boys do wear gowns to proms and girls do wear tuxedos, probably not at my Catholic high school, but at some of the more progressive schools in the land.

And so it goes.

Miss Garber was way ahead of the curve attending her prom in Texas in 1996.

Canadian lass, Rachel attended her prom in 2011. 

Chris attended her prom in the UK in 2012.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I am participating in Trans*forming the Dialogue, Simmons College’s Online MSW Program’s campaign to promote an educational conversation about the transgender community. By participating in this campaign, I will be offering my perspective on what TO ask and what NOT to ask trans*people.

So, what are the do's and don't's when asking a trans person about their experiences?

My Golden Rule is do not ask a trans person any questions about their transness until you ask the following question and receive a positive answer: Do you want to talk about being trans?" 

No other questions should be considered until the trans person agrees to talk about it.

If the trans person does not want to talk about it, then do not pursue it and let them be. On the other hand, if the trans person gives you the go-ahead, they are still within their rights to refuse to answer any question for whatever reason.

Personally, I love to talk about being trans. I have even been known to ask civilians who seem hesitant or too polite to ask if they want to hear about my transness.

Being trans still fascinates me 50 years after trying on my first pair of heels. I love to talk about my trials and tribulations, my amusing experiences, my affirming experiences, my hits, runs and errors and my natural, no hormone, no surgery B-cups (LOL)!

Although I am willing to talk about being trans, I do reserve the right to not answer a question, but I have yet to ever invoke that option. So, ask away.

Source: Vogue
Street style, Cannes, May 2015

Source: Pinterest
Womanless Beauty Pageant Contestant Number 4

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saturday Evening in Dayton

My Fridays and Saturdays at Hamvention are so similar that it is hard to remember what I did each day. Up at 5 AM to get ready, grab breakfast and get to the Hamvention before it opens to the public. Then staff the booth most of the day with breaks to attend any presentations that interest me or to visit other booths.

The only differentiation is what I wear and what I do in the evening. As I wrote yesterday, Friday, I wore my white blazer and pencil skirt from Fashion to Figure. Saturday, I wore my JB by Julie Brown Kole shift dress. Friday evening is my group's annual banquet and Saturday evening is a cook-out at the home of a board member who lives in the Dayton suburbs
There is nothing to add about my daytime experiences at Hamvention that I haven't already written about in my previous posts. However, I will describe my evening at the cookout Saturday evening.

What I Wore Saturday Evening to My Board Member's Cookout ― The same outfit I wore when I drove to Ohio on Thursday. i.e., blue skin-tight jeggings from Dress Barn, black tunic top from Avon, black patent heels from Payless over Victoria's Secret bra and panties, a forgotten company's waist cincher and Berkshire nude thigh-highs. I accessorized with silver door-knocker earrings from Napier, silver dangling heart bracelet, black watch and a black hobo bag, all from Avon.

There are usually 30 to 40 people at the cookout. The majority are male and it seems that every year, there are new faces from the ham radio community, who were not in attendance at previous years' cookouts. Most of the females in attendance are wives of the hams and they kind of take over the kitchen.

When in Rome, do as the Romans, so I hung out in the kitchen with the ladies, while the guys hung out around the gas grill. The girl-talk was a pleasant break from the wall-to-wall ham radio talk of the previous 48 hours. One woman was surprised when I told her I had been a ham for over 45 years; she had assumed I was the wife of one of the hams at the cookout.

The only women I remember from last year's cookout was the hostess and the woman who was shooting daggers at me all night. Of course, my hostess was present this year, but the dagger lady was absent.

The handful of other women who were present were not in my memory, however, one of the women, a neighbor who was helping our hostess, remembered me and decided to welcome me into the club of women in the kitchen.

"Another woman!" she exclaimed when she saw me.

She became my best friend chatting with me throughout the cookout and introducing me to everyone else who joined our kitchen cabinet.

I had a wonderful time. It was so affirming to be treated as a lady by the other ladies. They had nothing to lose if they decided to ignore the me, unlike the sales ladies I encounter when I shop, who will lose sales if they ignore me. The ladies at the cookout welcomed me with open arms and it was so very, very nice!

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Actor Mehdi Dehbi femulating in the 2009 French film He's My Girl.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Friday at Hamvention

Up at 5 AM, I shaved, showered, made up my face and got dressed for the "Big Show," that is, Hamvention  the largest ham radio convention in the USA, if not the world. (How big? Last year, nearly 25,000 people attended the event.)

I wore the same outfit I wore to the transgender conference last month  the white blazer and pencil skirt from Fashion to Figure. I think it is a killer outfit ― "Presidential" as the saleswoman at Fashion to Figure put it; a very professional look that was appropriate for a woman staffing a booth. I could not wait for the civilians to see me, so as soon as I was dressed, I took the elevator down to the hotel restaurant to eat breakfast.

The restaurant was about one-quarter occupied, mostly with business people on their way to conduct some business. None of my group were present, so I parked myself at a table and began breakfasting.

My table just happened to be facing the only other business woman seated in the restaurant. Whenever I looked in her direction, I caught her checking me out. This went on until a couple of male colleagues joined her for breakfast, which was just about the same time that one of my male colleagues joined me for breakfast.

Let me tell you about my colleagues.

I am the second or third oldest person on the board. One board member is about 10 years older as is his wife, who usually travels with him as she did this trip. The rest of the board members range in age from 35 to my age.

Most of them got to know me when I was still presenting as a male, either through my prolific writing in the ham radio world or as fellow board members. In either case, I consider most of them friends and I think they feel the same way. So when I began presenting as my true self, they found that I was still the same person that they knew before, but with a better fashion sense. And they continued to treat me as a friend and from my perspective, I saw no change in the way they interacted with me.

And a few of my colleagues joined the group after my coming out, so they only know Stana and did not have to make any adjustments. And they have become my friends, too.

I usually girl-talk with the wife of the oldest board member and she mentioned to me that when she first saw me on Thursday evening, she remarked how different I looked. We discussed the improvements I made in my presentation, but she thought I overdressed for Hamvention, which brings undo attention to me and was a giveaway that I was (in her words) a "tranny."

My retort.

Whereas most of the female attendees at Hamvention are dressed casually, the females staffing the various booths at Hamvention in general, dress nicer than the attendees, and some even dress as nice (or nicer) as I dressed.

Maybe I am making too much of her remark about giving away the fact that I am trans by dressing too well. She seems to have accepted me in the club, for example, we occasionally go to the ladies' room together as women do and she has interacted with me in other ways that indicate I am part of the club. Perhaps, her remark was due to the fact that she knew me for a long time when I was still presenting as a boy.

Anyway, it seems to me that I was accepted as a woman by most of the civilians I encountered.

There is a lot of foot traffic on the convention floor and at times, the congestion is such that you find yourself stuck in place waiting for movement or looking for an opening… unless you are a tall, well-dressed woman; then the mostly male crowd parts way to let you pass or a male will stop in his tracks to let you use an opening through the throng.

Many males and a few females checked me out. In the past, it was usually middle-aged and beyond males who did the checking, but this year, I noticed that younger males also were checking me out, which was very affirming with regards to my improved presentation. And that probably precipitated the guys who tried to hit on me, as well as the guy who handed me his business card with his personal phone number scrawled on the back; "Please call me," he said.

While I was staffing the booth, a guy stopped by and remarked that he remembered me from the previous year because I had bought an item from his booth. I recalled buying the item, but I did not recall him, so I used my feminine charms and managed to never admit that I did not remember him.

Another guy asked me a question that I could not handle, so I jokingly said, "You'll have to ask him (referring to one of the guys staffing our booth) because I am just a 'booth babe'"

His response was, "And a very good 'booth babe'!"

Speaking of booth babes, the suite of booths across the aisle from us had three young ladies filling that role (just as they had the previous year), but this year, they all wore flats instead of heels. I wore heels, but occasionally went barefoot in our carpeted booth just to give my feet a break. I exchanged smiles with the women across the aisle throughout the weekend and I encountered one of them in the ladies' restroom where she remarked, "How pretty you look!"

My usual routine at Hamvention is to staff our group's booth, attend any talks of interest and tour the convention hall to see what the other booths are showing. Although Hamvention also has a huge outdoor flea market, I usually don't find anything I want, so I hate to waste precious time going up and down rows on a fruitless search.

This spring, I sold some radio equipment I was not using and planned to use the proceeds to join the 21st Century radio-wise and purchase a new radio to replace my 30-year-old transmitter/receiver (transceiver, a Kenwood TS-440S). I had researched the matter beforehand and pretty much knew what I wanted to buy (an Elecraft KX3).

Friday morning, my group has a two-hour forum, so I attended that to take photos for our group's newsletter, which I produce. After the forum, I made a bee-line to the Elecraft booth to buy a KX3.

Arriving at the booth, a gent staffing the booth quickly untangled himself from the conversation he was having with a male civilian to talk with me. I told him what I wanted to buy and he guided me to the area of their booth where sales were being handled and departed only after he was able to hand me off to a sales staffer, a woman who sadly informed me that they were sold out of all the KX3s they had brought. But I could order one with the incentive of no sales tax and no shipping charge.

I would have had to pay sales tax if I took a unit home from the show, so that incentive along with free shipping was very attractive. I took a blank order form, filled it out and returned the next day to place my order. The sales staff remembered me, so I must have made a good impression the day before.

After a busy day at the Hamvention, we returned to our hotel to freshen up before attending my group's annual banquet dinner with another group, AMSAT. Since I had an hour to freshen up, I decided to change outfits and wore my new gray flare dress from Fashion to Figure.

By 5 PM, my face is sprouting some of the hairs I closely shaved away 12 hours earlier, so before I freshen up my makeup, I must tend to the new beard growth. Here is a trick I learned years ago from Hollywood makeup artist, Jim Bridges. Instead of removing my makeup, shaving and then reapplying my makeup, I use an electric razor to go over the spots that have new beard growth. This is adequate for the small amount of hair I have to remove and I only have to touch up my makeup, rather than reapplying it all over again. It also helps avoid getting a shaving burn on my face, which may occur if I shave twice a day with a manual razor.

After getting gorgeous, I encountered a well-dressed couple about my age waiting to take the elevator down to the lobby. After we boarded the elevator, the woman remarked, "It's nice to see another tall woman."

I responded, "I'm 6 feet 2 without these" referring to my 3-inch heels.

And then I accurately guessed, "You look to be 5 feet 9."

She added, "Without these" referring to her heels.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Source: HauteLook
Wearing L.A.M.B.

Actor Woody Harrelson in the 2003 film Anger Management

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fashionable Dayton: Saturday Daytime

What I Wore Saturday at Hamvention ― JB by Julie Brown Kole shift dress, nude patent high heel pumps from Payless over Victoria's Secret bra and panties, a forgotten company's waist cincher and Berkshire nude thigh-highs. I accessorized with black and silver loop earrings from WalMart, black and silver loop necklace from Fashion Bug; silver dangling heart bracelet, black watch and nude hobo bag, all from Avon.

Source: MyHabit
Wearing Robyn

Actor Victor Rueda in the 1999 Spanish film Between Your Legs

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fashionable Dayton: Friday Evening

What I Wore Friday Evening to the TAPR-AMSAT Dinner ― Fashion to Figure gray flare dress, black patent high heel pumps from Payless over Victoria's Secret bra and panties, a forgotten company's waist cincher and Hue black tights. I accessorized with vintage door-knocker earrings from Napier; black and white print scarf, silver dangling heart bracelet, black watch and a black hobo bag, all from Avon.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Actor Jeffrey Carlson on television's
All My Children in 2007

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Fashionable Dayton: Friday Daytime

What I Wore Friday at Hamvention ― Fashion to Figure white blazer and white zippered pencil skirt, black top with a flower petal neckline from Avon, black patent high heel pumps from Payless over Victoria's Secret bra and panties, a forgotten company's waist cincher and Berkshire nude thigh-highs. I accessorized with vintage silver disc earrings, silver dangling heart bracelet, black watchand a black hobo bag, all from Avon.

Source: MyHabit
Wearing Lafayette 148

Actor Clément Hervieu Léger in a 2009 episode of the French television series Suite-Noire

Friday, May 22, 2015

You All at Hamvention

I should have kept a log, but I estimate that 20 Femulate readers stopped by my booth at Hamvention to say "Hello." About half were repeats, girls who I had met during past Hamventions, while the other half were new encounters.

Some of those new encounters were so similar that it was scary.

Guy walks up to me while I am staffing the booth and says, "I read your blog."

I ask, "My ham radio blog?"

(I write a low-traffic, low-schedule blog related to radio and other non-trans interests, so I assume that the guy in front of me is a ham, but not necessarily trans.)

Guy responds, "No."

I respond, "Oh, that blog."

And then we proceed to discuss trans things!

Over half of the newbies never introduced themselves and their name tags were out of sight, so I amclueless as to who were the new girls I met.

One guy who did not introduce herself on Friday came back in girl mode on Saturday and introduced herself as "Tammy." And Tammy even wrote something for the blog, which I am happy to present to you now.

I thought I'd share my observations on the convention Stana attended last week. I also attended that convention ― one day en femme. In addition to attending the convention, I did travel three days as well as spent two evenings out eating and shopping en femme.

Just a little background ― the convention has about 260 vendor booths (one of which Stana staffed) and about 1441 electronic flea market spaces, so it's a pretty big event. About 25,000 people attend this convention ― I'd guess about 90% being men. 

The first day I attended in “boy mode” to get an idea of the lay of the land so to speak. I found the booth Stana was working and instantly recognized her. She was wearing an attractive business dress and heels appropriate for vendors working at the convention. She blended in with the rest of the vendors ― just a typical woman doing her job. We had a nice short visit and promised to exchange emails in the future.

On the second day of the convention, I attended en femme. Since I was not attending as a vendor ― just one of 25,000 people attending, I had to decide what to wear. My goal was to attend and blend in like any other woman attending. So here's how I made my decision ― starting with my feet and working up. 

Shoes ― I did not see any women (that were not vendors) wearing heels. All were wearing comfortable shoes suitable for a lot of walking. I decided to wear light colored running shoes. I did change the shoe laces to orange laces to make them a little more feminine. 

Next was dress, skirt, shorts, or slacks ― It was rare to see any women wearing a dress or skirt and none of them were wearing anything you would consider stylish (except for the vendors).  Any dresses worn by just someone attending would have fit right in at WalMart ― if that helps you figure out the “style factor.” I decided to wear black jeans.  The women's cut of the legs made them a little more slimming and stylish that your average “boy” jeans. 

The top was the hardest to decide on. There were a lot of women wearing T-shirts and light blouses. Comfort was the name of the game here so I wore a short sleeve, high neckline, light colored blouse. 

Most women attending were not wearing makeup ― maybe just a few were wearing lipstick. so I went with the minimum here also. A good foundation with setting powder, light eyebrow coloring to match the hair, just enough blush to add a hint of color and a lipstick just a little darker than my lips. The goal was for someone looking closely from a few feet away to think I wasn't wearing makeup. Jewelry was also kept simple ― silver hoop earrings and a silver watch ― similar to the other women attending.

How did it go? 

Great!! I had a wonderful time. I think I fit right in, maybe just a little nicer clothes than the average woman. I did have to get used to men opening doors for me, waiting for me to get out of my seat while getting off the bus, and suggesting I go first when waiting to buy something. 

When addressed in a gender specific way, I was usually called Ma’am. But I also got a “sweetie,” “hon," “honey” and “young lady” just like any other woman visiting the flea market spaces. Since there were so few women attending, I did have to get used to other women coming over to me to ask questions, get directions or just to chat about the convention. 

Even on the way home, I'd get women at rest stops starting conversations about where I was going and if I was going to do the trip in just one day. I stopped to see Stana at her booth the second day and I'm not sure she instantly recognized me ― although I'll bet her “radar” for these things is pretty good. 

What's the moral of this story?

Conventions and trade shows are good places to get used to dressing en femme as long as you don't dress too far above or below the average woman attending. If there's a good mix of men and women, you might not have to talk much. If there's a lack of women and you “pass," you'll probably find other women wanting to talk to you.

Source: Who What Wear
Street Style, Spring 2015

Source: Pinterest
Womanless beauty pageant contestant.