Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Dark Side of Trans “Visibility”

The "transgender tipping point" was a welcome milestone—it's also made trans adults and youth more visible targets of my close friends, who is trans and who hadn’t heard of the holiday (International Trans Day of Visibility), responded with a scowl when I told her about it.
“My goal isn’t visibility, my goal is survival,” she said. “The Jews were extremely visible in 1930s Europe, how much good did it do them?”
Please read the rest of Arthur Chu's thought-provoking article on Salon.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper.
Dave Thomas Brown
Dave Thomas Brown on stage in The Legend of Georgia McBride (NYC 2015).

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tricia's 2nd Favorite Photos (of Tricia!)

Some weeks back, Stana was kind enough to run my photos and story about Tricia’s favorite photo of her in her replica 17th Century ball gown, plus a “normal” shot.

There appears to have been a lack of this genre on Femulate in recent times, so the “ever helpful” Tricia is quite happy to volunteer another duo of photos.

In addition to the “Lady Patricia” gown, I have always fantasied about the Gone With the Wind sweeping down the staircase” style of period dress. So via the US website,, I was able to purchase the gorgeous gown you see in the shot. I teamed this with a red head curly wig and other accessories and again, together with my very favorite and ever so skillful makeup artist, was able to have a makeover and if I do say so myself, “look the part.”

No so much as Scarlett O Hara as “Scarlett O’Tricia.” The only drawback was that I could not order a hoop crinoline with the gown to fill it right out. Tricia has a very large “Sheduior” with all manner of male hobbies to provide “nook and cranny” places to hide her femme things. However, a hooped crinoline would have been just too hard.

The “normal shot” has some history as well. In addition to period dress, Tricia just loves classy evening gowns and the one I am wearing came from Light in the Box, one of the well-known Chinese online retailers. Very cheap for the amount of work involved in the dress, but I made a critical error in the bust measurement in the first one and left it at that, until such time as I wore it and the strawberry blonde wig you see in the photo. Then I just had to reorder it in the correct size for as is evident, the hair color and style, plus the superb makeover, make Tricia look at least 20 years younger than her male self. I just love the beading, the color and especially the brush train…

The “downer” with this hair and dress combination came at the Seahorse Society Ball in Sydney in August 2014 when the makeup artist was substandard and made Tricia look not much better than a “man in a dress.” That event was supposed to just about be the pinnacle of Tricia’s crossdressing career, so the night was a bit of a letdown. What was especially disappointing, given Tricia’s SO knows about her, but does approve, it took months of planning to organize a “legitimate” side trip in order to get to the Ball. That “excuse” is unlikely to work ever again.

But there was a funny side. The ball is held at a hotel close to Sydney airport. At “pre ball cocktails” there was circa 200 attendees all “frocked up to the nines” milling in the bar, foyer and reception area. In the same area was a large group of goggle-eyed tourists. Tricia doubts what they saw that night was included in their “Australian holiday sightseeing tour package!!!” Sydney Harbour and kangaroos for sure, but not a very large group, (of in some cases, 6’3”) "women" in killer high heels

Happy dressing everyone!

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
Source: Intermix

Belfast, Ireland
A student in Belfast, Ireland femulated the school principal for charity.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Diane's Favorite Photo (of Diane!)

Hi Stana,
Here is a pix taken at 70th Birthday at Carla's in San Jose.
Hope you can post on your blog.


That's two days in a row that Femulate has featured photos from San Jose. The Capital of Silicon Valley must be a hotbed of Femulate readers!
Anyway, you don't have to be from San Jose to see your photos here. 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: Rent the Runway
Wearing Nicholas.

Canadian soldiers performing as the Dumbells during World War I.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Day at Comicscon

By Michelle Nelson

This was my first ever comicscon, first Silicon Valley Comic Con in San Jose, California. I have been to numerous Star Trek cons and I'm not that hugely into just comics and their art, but since it was local and I had been wanting to experience a comicscon, it was perfect.

I knew it would be big, but I was still amazed by the size of it, overwhelmed actually. The San Jose Convention Center is immense with three huge halls that were opened up to make one vast space. And every square inch of it was filled with something ! Not to mention the many halls and auditoriums where the talks and seminars were held.

And the crowds... I'm pretty sure this was the largest group of people I've ever been with in my life. I thought I'd be clever and get there early and did, but still had a hard time finding parking, and then ending up in a long, long snaking line just to get in. Guess everybody else had the same idea!

There were also three fascinating mini-museums, "Rancho Obi-Wan," a large private collection of everything Star Wars; the "Cartoon Art Museum" with original stills and cells and probably the best, the "Stan Lee Museum." So neat to see things drawn by his own hand. I didn't catch his seminar, but apparently he's still going strong at 92 ― good for him!

I actually went to only one seminar. I hated to take time away from other things waiting to get into them, but it was an incredible mix of science fiction and real science. For some of them, you waited in large holding areas to get in, but I was told by others that this was good because they were clearing the rooms after each talk, so people couldn't just squat and stay the whole day, as at other cons.

The vendors area made me think of a big box store with rows and rows and aisles and aisles, closely packed. At times, it truly was hard to even get through them ― you just sort of went along with the flow. I hate to keep repeating it, but I was again blown away with everything that was there ― so different from other cons I've seen.

I did make one big purchase, a replica of Gort, the robot from the The Day the Earth Stood Still (the 1951 original, not the grossly disappointing remake!) More than I should of spent I suppose, but what can you do, I had been wanting a larger one for along time. Also bought two poster prints.

The other great thing was seeing all the cosplayers, something I was looking forward to. Many I didn't recognize, but so much work went into them, it's hard to believe they are homemade in most cases. Large numbers of super heroes of course, and also something I'd heard of but hadn't seen before ― gender/swapped heroes and villains. Lady Lokis, Thors, Capt. Americas, like that. It actually seemed like there were more of those than the originals! And Victorian-themed superheros ―  they were quite fun too.

I knew I'd be going to this as Michelle, but then thought I too might fully experience the con by going Time Tunnel television series. How they always dressed really nicely ― dresses, heels, jewelry and then labcoats! It seemed funny to me even back when it was on.
in costume, which wasn't really too hard to come up with. I had gotten something together for Halloween and thought it would fit in just fine here. I was playing one of the lady scientists or engineers (forgive me, Lee Meriwether) from the old

There was also a large display by what looked to be almost professional cosplayers showing how they make various parts of their outfits. One of the people there complemented me on my crossplaying.

I got only one other comment along this line. Right at the start I was at a parking kiosk, chatting with a lady ahead of me on how we were already in a line before even getting in! She was wearing a dalek dress and her son, about ten, was dressed as the David Tennant version of Doctor Who. And he really looked like him with a blue suit, tie and hair brushed up. So the kid comes right out and asks me, "Are you in drag?"

Wow, busted. I said I was and he said he didn't know until I spoke. His mom said she didn't know either and we continued our chatting! I saw them a few times in passing throughout the day and they always waived.

There were many kids and whole family groups dressed, too, and themed couples and groups. I can only once again respect the work people put into this. Mine was about as simple as you can get, but even it got many compliments and photo requests ― amazing. I guess if you put even a little effort into something, people appreciate it.

I don't know how much going in costume increased my enjoyment of the con, but it was fun. Talking to other cosplayers about, who and what we were, taking photos together and I might add here, everyone was polite about taking photos, always asking first. I did feel a connection I don't think I would have otherwise.

One funny thing, Woz was said to be walking around the show, just like anyone else, possibly in costume. I didn't see him, although for all I know he could have been right next to me in costume and I would have missed him!

I thoroughly enjoyed the con. The only drawback was the crowds and the long lines for just about everything. But that's hardly the con's fault ― genre stuff is just so popular. It was actually handled quite well, considering. There were many entry/exit gates, where you checked in and out each time. The badges were wristbands each with a chip in it; what do you expect in Silicon Valley, I guess. Security people were present, but unobtrusive.

My only real complaint was that there was only one food concession on the whole floor. I had lunch early, but the line for it was reaching grotesque lengths as the day wore on. But my complaints are all related to just the number of attendees,and you can't blame people for going.

The only other thing I suppose was that the area for the celebrity photo ops was completely curtained off; you couldn't even get a glimpse of them. I did get one photo op though and a free one at that! One area had a green screen and after you were in front of it you would be placed in a still from one of the Hunger Games. You even got a 4x6 print of it. It was of course a promotion for the latest movie, but still, mighty nice. And it was in one of the very few uncrowded areas, too.

I suppose the thing to do would be to go both days, spend one at the seminars and one shopping and viewing or mix and match. And get your pass early online. They send it right to your home, so aside from just being sure of getting one, you bypass all the pre-check-in, let alone trying to get in at the time. Whenever I happened to pass by the entry area, it was filled with people trying to get passes!

I'd say it was no question about it being a rousing success, so I'm sure it will be back next year. My recommendations for this or any con really, would be to get your pass online, go early, do both days and have an early lunch!

Source: Blank Itinerary
Wearing Blank Itinerary.

Richard Schaefer
Richard Schaefer, crossplayer

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Guy Poses As A Woman On A Dating Site...

...And Learns Just How Gross Dudes Are

Lynn e-mailed me this link to a story about a man who posed as a woman on a dating website in order to be on the receiving end of the suggestive and lewd comments that some men send to women on such sites. By doing so, he did indeed learn how gross some dudes can be.

Reminds me of the time I posted the accompanying photo on Hot or Not. I did it because I thought that the experience would provide me with interesting fodder for the blog.

Over a long holiday weekend, I received 2054 votes and an average score of 8.1 on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being "not" and 10 being "hot").

I received a few comments, but none were lewd or suggestive and one fellow made my day when he wrote, "Is your age correct? no way you look that hot at 60!"

When I assured him that my age was correct, he wrote back, "wow, amazing, :)"

And so it goes!

Source: Intermix
Wearing Jay Godfrey jumpsuit, Chloe handbag and Miansai bracelet.

This photo has been kicking around the Internet for awhile and is reputed to be two brothers dressed by their mother for Easter 1958. Actually, this photo is from Petticoat Pond and is intended to illustrate how nicely girls dressed for church and other occasions in the mid-20th Century. 

My mother dressed my sister in a similar manner back then, while I wore a suit or a sports jacket, tie, trousers, etc... the boring boy uniform of that era. I so wanted to dress like my sister and since I was a little older, maybe Mom would let me wear nylons and heels and maybe a little lipstick and rouge, but it never happened.  

Happy Easter to all my sisters, who had similar dreams!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Our History

K.J. Rawson sent me a heads-up about Digital Transgender Archive (DTA). Little did K.J. know that I had already been exploring DTA after receiving news about it via the mojo wire. So I thanked K.J. for the heads-up and said that I would pass along news about DTA here.
The purpose of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. Based in Worcester, Massachusetts at the College of the Holy Cross, the DTA is an international collaboration among more than twenty colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and private collections. By digitally localizing a wide range of trans-related materials, the DTA expands access to trans history for academics and independent researchers alike in order to foster education and dialog concerning trans history.
The DTA uses the term transgender to refer to a broad and inclusive range of non-normative gender practices. We treat transgender as a practice rather than an identity category in order to bring together a trans-historical and trans-cultural collection of materials related to trans-ing gender. We collect materials from anywhere in the world with a focus on materials created before the year 2000.
My initial exploration of DTA was to find anything related to Fantasia Fair. My search turned up 182 items going as far back as 1974!

Since I am very interested in history (and herstory), I will revisiting DTA often. It is a great resource for anyone researching transgender history and will only get better as the archive continues to grow.

Source: MyHabit
Wearing Chetta B.

Arthur Askey
Arthur Askey in the 1940 British film Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Still At True Colors Conference

After my workshop, I hobnobbed with my peeps, ate a cup of yogurt (banking my calories for dinner) and people-watched.

Things change.

The first time I attended True Colors nine years ago, I did not notice any youths in attendance crossdressing. I wrote "notice" because maybe some passed so well that I did not detect them crossdressing.

This year, I saw countless youths crossdressing, both male-to-female and female-to-male, and they were not shy about it. They were living the dream and enjoying the authenticity of it. I was so happy for them and wished that I could have been there with them in my youth.

Mid-afternoon, I attended Diana's workshop about the history of transgender activism after World War II. It was SRO and very interesting. I knew a some of the history already, but Diana revealed some things that I did not know. You can access an Adobe Acrobat version of her Powerpoint presentation here.

After her workshop, we called it quits and I agreed to meet Diana at a restaurant to break bread.
As I exited the classroom building, one of my earrings fell to the ground and I stepped on it breaking the clasp in the process. Examining the earring, I don't see any way to repair it. The earrings were a pair of vintage retro clip-ons that I bought in an antique store in Stonington; they were my favorites and I will miss wearing them.

Everyone was getting out of Dodge at the same time and I figured that the two-lane to the Interstate would be slow-going. So I decided to use the back door route like I did when I attended UCONN back in the early 1970s. Since I had not used the back door route in over 40 years, I relied on my iPhone Maps app to assist me where my memory failed me.

It worked. Traffic was light and I arrived at the restaurant in 30 minutes. When Diana arrived, we went inside the restaurant and had an excellent dinner.

Diana knows that I need to feed the blog, so she asked me if I wanted her to take my photo. I accepted her offer and the result accompanies this post.

After dinner, we went our separate ways and I was home 35 minutes later.

It was a long and full day and my girdle was killing me by the time I arrived home, but  as usual, I had a wonderful day as a woman.

Source: ShopBop
Wearing Marchesa Notte.

Berenice Strada
Berenice Strada

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

At True Colors Conference

After I arrived at UCONN, parked my car and began walking three blocks to the Student Union, I realized that I should have worn a heavier coat. The temperature was in the mid-40s, but the wind was blowing hard, so it felt a lot colder. As soon as I arrived at the Student Union, I repaired to a restroom to attend to my mussed-up hairdo and soon I was gorgeous again, although a little worn out from fighting the wind while walking in heels.

I said hello to my friends, Angie and Robin, who were staffing the information table and then I checked in at the presenter’s table to pick up my presenter’s package.

With a half hour to go before my presentation began, I decided to find the room where my presentation was to be, get settled in and fine-tune the outline of my presentation.

Every time I make a presentation at True Colors, the room assignment is different and this year, my room was a conference room with a huge marble table surrounded by 20 comfy chairs. Plus there was a stack of about 15 portable chairs in case we ran out of the comfy chairs surrounding the table.

I took a couple of selfies and then a volunteer came in to offer any assistance I needed. I was all set, but I asked her to take a few photos, which she was happy to do.

No one showed up at the appointed time! Ten minutes later, still no one showed up, so I went into the hall to see what was happening. Except for a couple of volunteers, the hall was deserted, so I asked the volunteers why. Turns out “my” appointed time was incorrect; my presentation was scheduled for 10:30, not 10 AM! (Old age plays mean tricks like that!)

So I went back in the room to cool my heels. Another old friend, Lee Ann, came by. She was a volunteer and we chatted until the real appointed time when the throng showed up. They filled every seat and it was standing room only (there were 40 attendees by my count).

Most of the attendees were middle school, high school and college aged. Also, there were two middle-aged women, who I found out later were from the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) and there was a grammar school aged trans-girl, dropped off by her mother who was attending a workshop a few rooms away. When the mother asked if her daughter could attend my workshop, she asked if it was PG-rated. When I assured her it was, the mother was happy because her daughter “loved makeup!”

After everyone settled in, I distributed my handout, which was an outline of my own makeup routine, and we went through it from beginning to end.

There was a lot of give and take, which I encouraged and from the reactions of the attendees, it seemed that most were having a good time. This was confirmed when I read the written comments that the attendees left after my presentation. (There was some criticism in the comments, too, and I will use that to improve my presentation.)

After the workshop, the two women from DCF hung back to wait for the mother of  the grammar school trans-girl. The girl said she enjoyed my workshop and she even volunteered to take a few more snapshots of me, one of which you can see above.

While we waited, one of the woman remarked how much she liked how I did my eyebrows. I always thought that I could do a lot better with my eyebrows, so I was surprised by the compliment.

Then both women complimented my hairdo. I confessed that I was wearing a wig and they were very surprised  they thought my hair was real! So that confirms what I say about wigs  don't go cheap because a cheap wig looks like a wig. Invest in a good wig and your hair will look authentic.

Source: ShopStyle
Wearing Gucci.

Michael Hurst
Michael Hurst  in  televisions Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1998).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Going to True Colors Conference

At True Colors Conference
Friday, I attended the True Colors Conference at my alma mater UCONN. My main purpose in attending was to do a workshop ("Makeup Basics for Trans Females"), attend other workshops of interest and hobnob with my peeps.

I was up at 5 AM, fed the menagerie and began transitioning about 30 minutes later. I Veeted my body the night before, so body-hair-wise I was good to go. Just had to do my makeup and get dressed.

I revised my makeup routine based on a suggestion I found on the Internet. Instead of doing the base of my face first, I did it after I did my eyes. (Doing my base includes applying foundation, doing contours, applying blush and undereye concealer and topping it all with loose translucent powder.)

In the past, when I did my eyes after doing my base, I almost always ruined my perfectly-applied base with eye makeup crumbs. By reversing the process, the eye makeup crumbs were not a problem. I could just sweep the crumbs away before I did my base.

This change did wonders and I will stick with it until something better comes along.

I broke out some new eyeliners for Friday: gel eyeliner pencils from Urban Decay — one in black for the top lid and one in a dark gray for the bottom lid. After applying eyeliner to the top lid, I wanted to sharpen the point, but the eyeliner was so soft that the tip crumbled in the pencil sharpener rather than coming to a point.

I Googled and found a solution: put the eyeliners in the freezer for 15 minutes or more and then sharpen them. I tried it and it worked, but that does not do much good if you need a point in the middle of applying a warm eyeliner.

I wore my favorite dress du jour: the black Calvin Klein sheath with the cute gold front zipper.  I accessorized with nude thigh-highs, nude pumps, my favorite gold clip-ons, gold watch and an animal print scarf.

I also took along a huge beige bag called a “territory bag" that I just acquired from Avon. It is perfect for attending an event like True Colors. It has plenty of room for the printed handouts I had for the presentation as well as room for all the papers and other goodies I was likely to acquire at the conference. And there was still enough room for my backup flats!

I was out the door at 7:45 and took a roundabout route to Storrs to avoid the commuter traffic heading into Hartford. That strategy worked out fine putting me on the UCONN campus at 8:50.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Jonathan Simkhai.

The Queen
Advertisement for the 1968 film The Queen.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Major Award

Going out to dinner during the 2010 Hamvention
This is huge! I just won the ham radio equivalent of an Oscar!
Frank Beafore, chairman for the 2016 Hamvention® awards has announced winners for the annual Hamvention awards convocation.
Special Achievement Award: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
The Special Achievement Award recognizes WA1LOU as an advocate for cutting edge technologies that are now commonly used in amateur radio. Stan authored five books and wrote over 1,200 pieces for the ARRL and TAPR while evangelizing the use of home computers, packet radio, APRS, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Software Defined Radio (SDR) in amateur radio. Licensed in 1969 as WN1LOU, Stan has sampled almost every entrĂ©e on the ham radio menu and served in a slew of roles including Section Manager of Connecticut. Presently, Stan is a director and secretary for TAPR and serves as editor of TAPR’s newsletter (PSR). “LOU” has driven the 735 miles to Hamvention most years since 1978 and looks forward to doing so forever. “My fondest memories of ham radio are rubbing elbows and making friends with the makers and shakers of our hobby who show up at Hamvention every year.”
I received a phone call two weeks ago informing me that I won the award, but I was asked to keep it to myself until an official announcement was made, which occurred on Friday.

When I took the call, I was floored. The award was totally unexpected and is a very big thing. I follow in the footsteps of astronauts, scientists, broadcasters and a U.S Senator who have won Hamvention awards in the past. I was so excited that I was physically shaking hours after receiving the news.

I informed the fellow who phoned me that I was trans, have been attending Hamvention as a woman since 2010 and would there be a problem? He was surprised, but did not think it would be a problem. However, he said he would pass that information along to the awards committee.

I waited for the other shoe to drop, but the only thing that happened was that the awards chairman asked me for a photo and a short biography to use on the Hamvention website and in 25,000 copies of the printed Hamvention program book.

I don't know all that winning the award entails. I hope free parking, but I do know that I will attend an awards dinner during Hamvention and that I will be presented with the award at the end of the event in an arena full of all the attendees who are still around. (There is usually a good crowd because the awards ceremony is followed by the prize drawing.)

My only concern now is what to wear to the awards dinner!

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper.

Allied Prisoners of World War II at Stalag 383