Monday, February 29, 2016

Those Pesky Torpedoes

It is never too late to be what you might have been. ―George Eliot

I spent the weekend doing housework, grocery shopping, and income taxes, while thinking about what to do about the elephant in the room.

One minute, I just want to blurt out everything and the next minute, I didn't want to say a word and just go on being a frustrated woman. And then there were times I wondered if I really am a woman.

I am reading No! Maybe? Yes! Living My Truth by Grace Anne Stevens. I bought the book because Grace transitioned in her mid-60s and I thought that would give me some insight at my age (64, going on 65).

I’ve read a lot of trans biographies and although I always find some similarities between myself and those biographies, there was never a close match between them and I. Not so with Grace Anne Stevens. I won’t go into details, but I see a lot of myself in Ms. Stevens… almost a sisters separated-at-birth scenario.

That should have settled all the doubts in my mind about being a woman, but there are still doubts and there probably always will be. Do I use those doubts as an excuse not to move forward or do I just damn the torpedoes and do it! 

There is a big difference between Ms. Stevens and myself. She was divorced when she took damned the torpedoes, whereas I am happily married. Although I am happy with my marriage, I am not happy about being stuck between genders. If I was not married, I would be living as my true gender today.

And there’s the rub.

Wearing Nordstrom.

Bryan Boy
Bryan Boy wearing Oscar de la Renta.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Primary Femininity

Like Mother, Like Son
I have been reading the old Drag magazines that are accessible at Internet Archive and the following article from a 1978 issue (volume 7, number 26) of the magazine fascinated me.
Boys Should Be Girls
LOS ANGELES  A University of California psychoanalyst says all little boys start life by wishing they were little girls.
This thesis, voice by Dr. Robert Stollar [sic], contradicts the theory of Sigmund Freud, who concluded that all little girls subconsciously wished they were little boys.
Dr. Stollar [sic] told a meeting of the American As­sociation for the Advancement of Science that it was "only natural that all babies would want to be girls because the mother, not the father, is the parent with whom they identify first.''
The doctor says he has treated hundreds of male patients who had trouble switching their ''gender identity" as they grew older. Earlier in life, they had all wanted to be girls, he said.
If this is indeed true, then TVs and TSs are the only people in society who are following their nor­mal God-given urges!
I looked the doctor up and found that he's Dr. Stoller, not Stollar. Wikipedia expands a bit on what the Drag magazine article said.
Drawing on his extensive research with transsexuals and new advances in the science of sex, Stoller advances his belief in "Primary Femininity," the initial orientation of both biological tissue and psychological identification toward feminine development. This early, non-conflictual phase contributes to a feminine core gender identity in both boys and girls unless a masculine force is present to interrupt the symbiotic relationship with the mother.
That fits me perfectly, like a size 14 dress!

Source: MyHabit
Wearing A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz.

Abraham Placencio, Kenneth Ansloan, Matthew Bubb
Abraham Placencio as Angelica del Rio, Kenneth Ansloan as Joan
Crawford and Matthew Bubb as Marilyn Monroe on stage in
The Joan Crawford Marilyn Monroe Christmas Show (1997).

Friday, February 26, 2016

Turning the Corner

My 65th birthday is just around the corner and I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I am going to live the rest of my life after that landmark birthday:

  • As a frustrated woman because I will continue to pretend to be a man most of the time or
  • As a woman

I have accomplished a lot in my life while pretending to be a man, but imagine what I could have accomplished if I was not a frustrated woman.

Truth be told, I suspected I was a frustrated woman most of my life, but it was less than ten years ago when I had my epiphany and realized I really was a frustrated woman. So I am kind of off the hook about all those years before my epiphany, but plead guilty to dragging my feet (pun intended) since my epiphany.

It seems that I have been closely following Scarlett O'Hara's words, "Tomorrow is another day" as I procrastinate.

The thought of living the rest of my life as a woman thrills me. Every morning when I get dressed to pretend to be a man, I pretend I am dressing to live as a woman. As I put on my briefs, I picture myself slipping on a pair of panties. As I pull a T-shirt over my head, I picture myself clasping myself into a bra. As I pull on my socks, I picture myself carefully pulling on a pair of thigh-highs. Etcetera, etcetera.

Oh, how I wish it were true! And I have the power to make it come true.

My employer would not be an issue. Human resources says I can start coming to work as a woman anytime and my boss said she is more than ok with it. And my many Halloweens at work as a woman have prepared my co-workers, so they are already used to that girl and will not be surprised if I go full-time.

Home is where there is a catch. I have not broached the subject with my spouse and I have no idea how she would react.

For what it's worth, about a month ago, her and I are eating dinner, when out of the blue, she asks, "Do you think you might be transgender?"

I blurted out, "Duh."

And that was the end of the conversation. So she knows something is up with me and has been up with me for a long time.

I have to make the next move.

Source: Bergdorf Goodman
Wearing Bergdorf Goodman.

Brendan Jordan
Brendan Jordan

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Makeup Matters

Source: Instagram

"Why Makeup Matters to Transgender People — and How the Internet Is Helping" is a very interesting article written by Rachel Lubitz, which was just posted on Style.Mic.

“The relationship between makeup and transgender people is a complex one. For… transgender women, makeup is one of the first steps to embracing their own gender identity. There isn't one way to be ‘female,’ but makeup is certainly one traditional aspect of modern femininity that trans women may try.”

As a makeup maven, I thoroughly enjoyed the article and highly recommend it to my readers. I began playing with makeup during the Kennedy Administration and I am still playing today trying to achieve the unachievable, perfection.

Nobody’s perfect, but I’m trying and I will try to share what I learned over the years with a group of young transgender women when I present my new workshop titled “Makeup Basics for Trans Females” at the True Colors Conference next month.

In my past workshops, questions regarding makeup came up frequently, so I decided to try something different and concentrate on a topic people want to know about (and something I know something about).

It should be fun and I am looking forward to it!

Source: Bergdorf Goodman
Wearing MSGM top, Jonathan Simkhai skirt,
Aquazzura shoes and Les Petits Joueurs bag.

David Albarn
Blur band member Damon Albarn femulates Blondie.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Eureka: Drag!

In my late teens and early twenties, I would occasionally take the train into Manhattan and explore The City. During one of my explorations, I was taking in the huge display of magazines and newspapers on sale at the newsstand in Grand Central Terminal, when what to my wandering eyes should appear, but a magazine titled Drag.

Now, this was not the typical drag magazine I was used to seeing back home  magazines that featured hemis, gassers, headers, blowers, mag wheels, Garlits, funny cars, etc. No, this drag magazine featured guys in gowns, boys in bras, men in minis, fellows in fishnets, males in marabou, etc.

Wow! I had found a magazine just for me!

I looked around me to see if anyone was looking at me looking at the magazine sitting on the rack. The coast was clear, so I reached for the magazine and flipped through it quickly to make sure it really was a magazine about trannies and not trannies. Satisfied, I handed it to the newsdealer and paid the exorbitant (for circa 1970) cover price of $3 (that's almost $20 in 2016 money).

As the newsdealer put the magazine in a brown paper bag and handed it to me, he gave me a dirty look. No fan of drag was he, but I did not care because I had in my hands something I hoped would expand my knowledge of the world that I seemed to be part of.

Drag never showed up on the local magazine racks, so I did not buy the magazine unless I was in NYC and could dp so surreptitiously if I happened to have any company on those trips. As a result, I only acquired two or three issues of the magazine and cherished them until "The Great Purge of 1983," when they went out to the trash with all my other gurly paraphenalia.

Over the years, I saw clippings from Drag on various Internet places and I even saw complete issues for sale on eBay at exorbitant prices that I was unwilling to pay. But last week, Diana of Little Corner of the Nutmeg State fame e-mailed me with some good news: complete issues of Drag were now available for downloading from Internet Archive.

So I plan to reverse "The Great Purge of 1983" and rebuild my small collection of Drag.

Source: JustFab
Wearing JustFab.

Two pretty femulators from San Francisco, circa 1970
Two pretty femulators from San Francisco, circa 1970

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blue is for Boys

Everyday, I receive e-mail advertisements from various clothiers trying to convince me to buy their wares. Sometimes the e-mail ads entice me to visit a clothiers' website to see what they have to offer and often I find items to-die-for that I just have to add to my wardrobe. Lucky for my pocketbook that I am a big girl and a lot of the items to-die-for are not available in my size.

Such is the case with They have enticed me to visit their website a number of times, but everything I fell in love with was too small for me... until last week, when I visited their website one more time.

I don't know how I missed their "Sheath a Lady Dress in Navy" on my previous visits, but it found me last week with only one left in my size. So I ordered it as fast as my mouse could click the "Add to Bag" button.

The photos of the dress sold it to me and its description convinced me that I made the correct choice.
"You’re proof that corporate style can still look ladylike, especially when you wear this cap-sleeved, navy-blue sheath dress by Stop Staring! Today, you’re excited to interview possible new hires and are feeling great in this stretch-fabric frock, which features a lovely, beige bow, beige trim, a smooth center panel, and delicate ruching. Sitting in your office, wearing pointy-toed black heels and light pink earrings, you wait to meet candidates who are eager to join your team!"

I can't wait to wear it!

Source: MyHabit
Wearing Chetta B.

Ron Megee and Gary Campbell
Corrie Van Ausdal, Ron Megee and Gary Campbell on stage in The Bad Seedling (2005).

Monday, February 22, 2016

I'm Batgirl

My favorite comic book superhero was Batman. Whereas the other superheroes had all the super powers, Batman had all the cool gadgets, a cool costume, headquartered in a cave and used the bat for his symbol ― can't get much cooler than that!

Pop worked in the comic book factory that printed the Marvel line of comic books, but he had to have a kid who preferred a character from a competing line of comic books. I appreciated the Marvel superheroes and read many of their books religiously, but Batman was always Number 1.

Fast-forward to Halloween 1995 and in honor of my favorite superhero, I attended my support group's Halloween party dressed as my version of Batgirl. I recently unearthed and scanned photos from that Halloween and here they are ― most of them seeing the light of the Internet for the first time.

Source: Brahmin
Wearing Brahmin.

Robin as a voluptuous Marie Antoinette in a 1946
installment of the Batman And Robin daily comic strip.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Weekend in Drag

For your weekend enjoyment, I proffer you a must-see music video: "Andrew In Drag" by The Magnetic Fields.

Source: JustFab
Wearing JustFab.

Source: Vanity Fair
Hibiscus, an early-1970s crossdressing rock group

Friday, February 19, 2016

Have You Seen Your Brother, Baby, Standing in High Heels?

Commenting on the "Moaning Lisa Smile" post, Beverly wrote,
I'm not sure, but I think the first use of a trans person in a music video was The B-52's "Love Shack." My trans-radar always went off when I saw that video. Then I found out the video was the debut of the tall woman of color with the huge hair. A local Georgia girl named Ru Paul who was a friend of the band.
"Love Shack" was a hit in 1989 and I recall seeing the video, but I missed Ru Paul.

Back then, I watched music videos on MTV and recall a number of trans moments, but I don't know if they involved actual trans people. For example, in ZZ Top's 1984 video for "Legs," there is a young guy in a boutique dress-shopping. Who knows if the actor playing the guy was actually trans ― probably not.

Then there's David Bowie's music video for his 1979 hit "Boys Keep Swinging" in which he appears in three drag personas. David claimed he was bisexual, but never trans, although he appeared in female clothing quite often, especially early in his career.

Before there were "music videos," as popularized by MTV, there were promotional films made to stimulate the sale of singles. For example, The Beatles made a bunch of these and they would be shown on The Ed Sullivan Show in lieu of live appearances by the Fab Four.

The Rolling Stones made a promo film for their 1966 single "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" If you recall, the front side of the picture sleeve of the 45 RPM recording of that song had the boys standing around in a group, while the back side of the picture sleeve had the boys standing around dressed as girls.

The promo film for "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" shows the band performing the song interspersed with clips of the boys getting dressed en femme for the picture sleeve photoshoot. Needless to say, that version of the promo did not get much airplay anywhere in 1966.

Wearing Etienne Aigner.

David Bowie
David Bowie in the Boys Keep Swinging music video (1979).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Femulate: The Word

Source: The Femulate Lifestyle
Sira Siravitch Kamonworawut from "The Femulate Lifestyle"
When I started this blog, I created the word "femulate" and used it as the name of the blog. The word caught on and I often see it used by members of our community.

Christopher Morley, the professional femulator of film and television fame wrote to me once that he loved the word adding that femulate was "so much more accurate than 'female impersonator,'" which he never cared for and "drag queen," which he loathed.

"The Femulate Lifestyle," "tHe Art oF feMuLate" and "Femulate Brasil" are three websites that I am aware of that use the word in their title  there may be more.

"That lady likes to Femulate" and "femulate" are two boards on Pinterest and then there is "Pins from" that contains hundreds of images from my blog that were pinned by me and other Pinterest users. I have no idea how that board works. There is no visible owner of the board, that is, someone who is manually pinning pinned images from my blog, so I assume a Pinterest robot searches all its pins, collects the pinned images from the same source and displays them on a board like "Pins from"

Try it yourself. In the URL,, replace with your favorite website and see what happens.

Have Fun!

Source: Rent the Runway

Phil Johnson
Actor Phil Johnson on the San Diego stage in She Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D!