Friday, July 29, 2016

Things to Come

Femulating in public is more common today than it was yesterday and I predict that femulating in public will become even more common tomorrow. There are two or three reasons for increased public emulating.

One Reason

Every day, older femulators are discovering that the world does not end when they step outside en femme. It turns out that it was a lot easier than they thought and as a result, they all regret not taking that first step earlier (I know I did).

My countless outings en femme, as well as outings by girls like PaulaKimberlyJanieMeget al, who don't think twice about being pretty in public, have, by example, encouraged indoor femulators to try femulating outdoors. 

The more we femulate in public, the more others will try it.

Another Reason

Younger femulators do not need much encouragement. They grew up in a world where the fluidity in gender and sexuality among their peers is accepted rather than excepted (like when old ladies like me were growing up). As a result, they already know that the world will not end when they step outside en femme. The only thing holding them back is deciding which skirt to wear today.

Still Another Reason

Males, who are not femulators, are femulating in public unintentionally by adopting items in their wardrobe that were formerly considered feminine. Today, fashionable males may be seen in public wearing items that were considered strictly "girly" a generation ago.

This growing number of unintentional femulators just further encourages intentional femulators to do their thing.

In Conclusion

In the not-too-distant past, I seldom encountered another femulator in public, but nowadays, I often encounter other femulators when I am out. And I expect that in the near future, we will be everywhere!

(Caveat Emptor: This is a reboot of an 2-year-old post.)

Source: WhoWhatWear
Wearing Timo Weiland jacket.

Audrius Janonis
Audrius Janonis (center) femulating on Lithuanian television's Muzikinė Kaukė (2015).

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Long is Short?

By Susan King, guest poster and renowned blogger

I am always learning about the constant changes in fashion. It's one of the reasons I love being a woman.

I found this chart that explained the lengths of skirts and their labels.

The industry "norm" is a size 10 with a height of 5'5" to 5'6". I am a size 10, but I am 5 inches taller than the norm. So I add 5 inches to the average length of the 10 skirt lengths listed below.

Learning these terms and applying them to me, helps my understanding of woman's fashion.

Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe.

Wally Brown and Alan Carney
Wally Brown and Alan Carney sport below-the-knee hemlines in the 1945 film Genius at Work.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Passable vs. Presentable

I like to think that I pass. Just today, I received an e-mail from a dear friend who wrote, "You pass so well."

But who am I kidding?

I am six feet, two inches tall (or a more dainty five feet, 14 inches tall) and I always wear heels of some height when I am out en femme. There are not too many women out there who are six-feet-two. So, when I am out en femme, my height is my biggest giveaway.

I can hear some of you saying to yourself, "Well, Girl, don't wear heels, then you will be shorter."

My response to that is even without heels, my height is still my biggest giveaway and adding three or four inches will not make much difference.

Last Friday at the mall, I passed some of the time.

While I was walking through the mall, I passed a few women walking in the opposite direction, who looked me in the eye and smiled. Of course, I returned the smile. When a woman smiles at another woman, it is a sign of camaraderie, so when a woman smiles at you when you are out en femme, it is a good sign that they have accepted you into the club.

On the other hand, I have also passed women in the mall, whose smiles indicate that they have read me as a male. Their smiles (or smirks) indicate that they are mildly amused by my attempt to pass. Go out en femme for awhile and you will begin to recognize the difference between smirks and genuine smiles.

At the mall last Friday, there were times when I did not pass.

For example, the saleswoman at Sephora referred to me as "he," then quickly corrected herself and referred to me as "she." I was not offended. When you are up close in another person's face, as when you are dealing with a salesperson, it is more difficult to pass because they are concentrating on you and therefore, are more likely to pick up telltale signs that you are male.

I have gone out en femme enough to resign myself to the fact that sometimes I pass and sometimes I do not pass. There is not much I can do about my ability to pass because I believe I have pushed the envelope about as far as I can to emulate a woman without undergoing surgery.

Admittedly, my ultimate goal is to be passable, but since that is not always possible, I always try to make myself look presentable. If I present as the best woman I can be, then I will be less likely to attract attention and will blend in with the real women out there.

On the other hand, if I go to the mall wearing my highest heels, shortest skirt, largest breasts, biggest hair, and thickest makeup, I am going to attract a lot of attention. Dressed so, more people will check me out and thus increase the chances that people will figure me out.

So, I try to present myself as a real woman would present herself in a similar situation. Last Friday, I even wore dress slacks instead of a skirt in order to be more presentable and I believe that helped.

While I was at Sephora perched on the makeover seat at the front of the store, I did attract the attention of a lot of passerbys, but none of them gave any indication that they recognized me as a male. All they saw was a woman getting a makeover, so they gave me an interested passing glance and went on their way.

It probably helped that I was seated, so that my height was hidden, but I think more important was the fact that I looked presentable in that situation. I really looked like a woman who had been shopping in the mall and stopped at Sephora for a makeover.

One more thing: if you are presentable, other people are more likely to respect you and treat you like a lady even if they know you are not really a lady. If I dress like a teen queen, I am not going to get much respect, but if I dress like a middle-aged woman (with impeccable taste, by the way), I have found that I get respect because I am trying to be a female clone, not a clown.

So, the bottom line is that, of course, you want to be passable, but before you can be passable, you must be presentable. And once you hone your presentation, you may or may not pass, but at least you know you did your best come what may.

(Thank you, Michelia, for suggesting this topic.)

(Caveat Emptor: This is a reboot of an 8-year-old post.)

Samantha Mohr
Samantha Mohr in blue.

Artur Chamski
Artur Chamski femulates Irena Santor on Polish television's Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo (2015).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Naturally Effeminate or Naturally a Woman

Recently, I proffered, "Ask me anything" and Pat asked, "Were you naturally effeminate as a kid and ever called a sissy while going to school?"

Yes ― I was naturally effeminate as a kid. I know it was "natural" because at the time, I was not aware that I was effeminate.

I was not intentionally acting effeminate, I was acting as me, myself, and I, and as luck would have it, me, myself and I was very effeminate. So much so that my peers let me know it by calling me names like "sissy," "twinky," "fairy," and worse.

At my first summer job, which was in a very macho environment, my nickname was "Zelda" in honor of my feminine ways.

At another summer job working in the receiving department of a department store where I unpacked and sorted women's clothing all day long, one of my co-workers suggested that it must be my dream job because I got first shot at all the new dresses and lingerie before it went on the floor for sale to the public. He even showed me a private backroom where I could try on the clothing that I might like to purchase.

At my high school graduation, some of the jocks asked aloud why I wasn't wearing a gold-colored graduation cap and gown like the other girls.

In college, the guy in the dorm room next door said I could borrow his girlfriend's bra that she left behind after one of their evening rendezvous.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

I never changed my feminine ways even when I figured out what was going on. I knew how to fix the problem, but I rejected manning up and becoming macho because doing so was so incompatible with my nature.

On the other hand, dressing in woman's clothing was a perfect fit. I already acted, moved, and spoke like a woman, so the clothing just completed the picture.

(Caveat Emptor: This is a redo of a 3-year-old post.)

Source: Intermix
Wearing Self Portrait.

Vladimir Luxuria
 Italian actress, writer, politician and television host, Vladimir Luxuria

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Worst Nightmare

I was out all day Monday. (That’s me in the photo before going out.)

In the morning, I did outreach at a Human Sexuality class at Southern Connecticut State University.

After the class, the professor took us out to dine at a local New Haven eatery.

And after dining, I planned to return home. Before starting the car, I called home and discovered that my presence was not required at home as early as I had previously thought, so I had more time to spend out en femme.

I pass a DressBarn on the way home, so I decided to stop and shop.

After shopping at DressBarn, I returned to my car and it won't start! The dashboard lights up, the radio plays, but when I turn the key, all I get is a loud ticking noise.

I have AAA, but I am a little concerned about dealing with AAA en femme.

As I am sitting in my car contemplating my next move and occasionally turning the ignition key to no avail, a small red pickup truck parks next to me just as I am cranking the ignition for the umpteenth time.

Two young fellows get out of the truck. They do not ask me if I needed help. Instead the driver walks to the front of my car and signals to me to pop the hood.

I gladly do so and the two of them poke around the engine compartment, but do not find anything amiss.

I have a set of jumper cables, so we tried jump starting the car, but that does not work.

Since my car has a manual transmission, they suggested rolling the car and popping the clutch to start it. (I had not done that in years and had completely forgotten that trick.)

So they gave my car a little push. The car started rolling across the parking lot and I am trying to pop the clutch, but I am not getting the job done.

Just as I am about to run out of parking lot, I remember that I have to pop it into second gear, not first gear, and as soon as I did, the car started.

I waved my hand out the window to my two "good Samaritans" and headed straight home with my fingers crossed that nothing else would go wrong with my car.

I made it home without issue. This morning, I popped the clutch again to start the car and drove it to my dealer to get it fixed (my car needed a new battery).

I always worried about having car problems when en femme. I thought it could be the worst thing that could happen. Now I am not so sure.

Maybe it is better to be a woman than a man when car problems strike. Would those two fellows be so quick to come to the rescue of a tall middle-aged guy as they were to come to the rescue of a leggy middle-aged blond?

I don't know and I am not anxious to find out again.

(Notary Sojac: This is a redo of a 4-year-old post.)

Source: Madeleine
Wearing Madeleine.

James Ross
Professional femulator James Ross and son

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One Regret

I have one regret ― that I did not come out of the closet sooner.

For over 50 years, I have explored the other side of the gender divide, but I have only been out of the closet for about 10 years.

During the first 40 years, my female presentation was limited to home, support group meetings and transgender conventions, which were all closets in one way or another. In my mind, I stepped out of the closet when I began doing outreach and flying solo in public as a woman. 

Once I was out of the closet, I realized that I should have gotten out sooner... much sooner. It was so wonderful to live as a woman and it was so much easier than I ever imagined. 

That's what kept me in the closet ― I thought it would be too hard, if not impossible to navigate society as a woman because I was too tall and that would give me away. But I was so wrong. Either I passed successfully as a woman or our society has become so nonchalant about dudes who dress like ladies, that no one minded me being their presence. Ether way, it was a win-win situation.

So I urge anyone who is on the fence to get off the fence. Sitting on the fence is not very comfortable, whereas living as a woman is the most comfortable place in the world to be.

Source: Brahmin
Wearing Brahmin.

Mark Gatiss
Mark Gatiss femulates Joan Crawford in UK television's Psychobitches (2013).

Friday, July 22, 2016

Renee Goes Fishing

A few months ago, I e-mailed you about how I got into crossdressing. At the end of that story, I mentioned a special lady and friend who runs a studio for crossdressers. I'll call her "D."

For several months, D had been talking about going on a daylong road trip with me dressed en femme. Last month the road trip became a reality.

Because we would be out during the day, I chose to dress comfortably in jeans and a casual top. We spent a short time discussing where to go on our drive. We wanted to go where we could stop and take a few pictures with scenic backgrounds. A drive south would not work because it was very rainy in that area that day, though there would have been many beautiful scenic locations for pictures.

I thought of a mountain pass that I had only ever been on once before. It is not treacherous, but it is very scenic. D, despite having lived in the area for many years, had never been on this road. We decided it would be ideal for our drive with great scenery and not a lot of traffic.

We made a few stops to take pictures, observe wildlife and photograph some beautiful wildflowers. As we were driving past a small beaver pond, I noticed some trout rising for insects on the surface. As an avid fly fisher, I thought this was too good an opportunity to pass up. I usually have some fishing tackle in my truck and that day was no exception. So I pulled off the road, donned my waders, strung up my fly rod, and tied on a small dry fly.

As I made my way to the pond, I handed my camera to D and asked her to take some pictures of me while fishing. I finally had a chance to combine my two passions: crossdressing and fly fishing! I did catch one very small trout, which I released unharmed, though I didn't get a picture of it.

As we continued, we decided it was time for some lunch. We drove to a small country store with a grill. On the way to the store, I mentioned that I wasn't really comfortable with going in while en femme. D said that she would go in and order burgers to go. The amazing thing about D is that she is so good a putting a gurl at ease. She never tried to talk me into going in, but by the time we arrived I had decided that I was going to go in.

We went in and D ordered for both of us. There were several other customers, as well as employees in the store and it was obvious to me that I was not fooling anyone, but no one seemed to care.

That day marked two firsts for Renee. One, she went fishing and caught her first fish and two, she made her first public appearance during daytime and outside of a nightclub where crossdressers are welcomed.

I am looking forward to more adventures with my friend D.

I did not attend the Republican National Convention, although I was mistaken for this woman who did attend.

Paul Gilbert
Paul Gilbert femulates in the 1965 film Sylvia.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Broaching Brooches

By Susan King, guest poster and renowned blogger

I love brooches.

They can really make an outfit special and tell the public something about you or how you are feeling that day. They can also be a reminder of something or someone. I wish I had a brooch from each of my grandmothers and mother. My sister may have some, but I doubt it. I am going to ask her anyway. But she is not the type of woman who would wear or keep them. She might surprise me.

My problem with wearing a brooch is how to wear one. I found this nice collage with six ways to wear a brooch. I am going to incorporate more brooches in my outfits.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Alexis dress, Alexandre Birman sandals and Tomasini bag.

Preston Foster
Preston Foster femulates in the 1938 film Up the River.