Saturday, April 29, 2017

My Lucky Day

I was supposed to do outreach on Thursday for a Human Sexuality class at Southern Connecticut State University.

I wore a new "cut-out" top that I just got from Avon, relatively new dressy wedges from Payless and a very old, but seldom-worn ankle-length skirt from Newport News (remember them?). I took along my blue trench coat because light rain was in the forecast, then I grabbed my black purse and was out the door at 11:15 AM for a 45-minute drive to the campus.

Half way to New Haven, the rear passenger-side tire went flat. Luckily, I was on a two-lane state road and not an Interstate, so I was able to pull over to the side of the road without dodging traffic at Interstate speeds.

I have changed many tires in the past, but I have never changed one as a woman, so I was about to have a new real life experience. I knew my hands would get dirty, but I wondered if my stick-on nails would survive. I had the option of calling AAA, but from past experience, I knew I could change the tire before they would arrive on the scene and if I wanted to get to outreach on time, I had better do it myself.

So I switched to a pair of flats that I carry along just in case, got out of the car, opened the hatchback, got out the spare tire, car jack and wrench and it began to rain. Nuts!

I struggled loosening the lug nuts and just as I was about to jack up the car, it began to rain harder. I decided to wait until the rain slowed down, so I sat in my car, looking at my filthy hands and wondering how I would remove all the grime since all I had in the car were paper towels and no soap.

The clock was running. I was about 20 minutes away from campus and it was 20 minutes before the class started, so I knew at best I would be late getting to class. And the rain kept falling.

About five minutes later, the rain let up a little, so I decided to tackle the tire again. As I began jacking up the car, a car pulled up and parked behind me. A 20-something guy got out and said, "Let me do that. You go sit in the car" and proceeded to change the tire for me.

About five minutes later, he tapped on my window. "Ma'am, I have some bad news. Your spare is flat."

I suspected that the spare was good, just flat after sitting in my car unused for 10 years. Luckily (yes, it was my "lucky" day), I carry a tire pump that is powered through the cigarette lighter. It is slow, but it works. We got it going, inflated the spare and "Mike" finished changing the tire.

I thanked my knight in shining armor profusely and as he drove off, I looked at my watch. The class had already started and I figured that by the time I showed up, it would be almost over, so instead of driving to New Haven, I drove home to wash my hands.

Source: ShopBop
Wearing Monse dress and Helmut Lang shoes (Source: ShopBop).

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tempest in a Teapot

Source: Madeleine
I occasionally receive emails from a reader who always finds something to criticize. Usually, her criticism is related to dressing my age. She is of the opinion that I should dress like an elderly woman.

Her latest missive was in regards to the outfit I wore to the GLAD reception on Sunday. For a change, she did not complain about what I wore.

"Congratulations. you finally look like a woman... No shoulders, knees or excessive amount of legs showing as would be the case with every well dressed 60 plus woman. They are so unattractive."

But she would not leave well enough alone and found something to criticize.

"Please, one final request. Don’t stand looking like a teapot with your arm on your hip. I have never seen any woman adopting that pose."


Does that mean all those women I see posing with their arms on their hips are not women?

As luck would have it, a recent Who What Wear newsletter had articles titled "10 Easy Steps to Looking More Photogenic" and "The Worst Poses to Strike in Photos (and How to Make Them Better)."

The latter offered this advice from Getty Images photographer Mike Coppola:
DON'T just stand there with your arms by your side.
DO put one or both hands on your waist. 
"Do put one or both hands on your waist like Gigi [model Gigi Hadid] to create negative space between your body and your arms. This also creates a beautiful line up to the face. You can choose to put one hand on your hip or both if you are taking a photo solo." Coppola says.
Both Who What Wear articles have great advice for posing for photos. They are recommended reading because you know how girls like us (elderly or otherwise) like to pose for photos!

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus (Source: Venus).

Paolo Ballesteros
Filipino actor Paolo Ballesteros

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

See You / See Me in New Shoes Soon

Saturday, I will attend and present at the Transgender Lives conference.

My presentation, "Makeup Basics for Trans Females," runs from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, but I plan to be at the conference throughout the day.

If you attend the conference, I hope we can meet up person-to-person and have a girl talk. You can't miss me ― I will be the tall blond asking strangers to take my photo!

Sunday morning, when I was getting dressed, I was searching through my shoe boxes trying to find a specific pair of high heel pumps when I came across a pair of shoes that I had forgotten that I had purchased! Not only had I forgotten about buying them, but I had never worn them ― they were brand new, mint in the box.

I have a lot of shoe boxes in my closet and I wondered how many other lost soles I owned. So Monday evening, I removed all the shoe boxes from the closet and took inventory. Turns out there were six more pairs of forgotten shoes, never worn, brand new, mint in the box.

Then I decided to organize what I owned. Soon there were stacks of shoe boxes with each stack representing a specific style...  flats, wedges, medium heel pumps, high heel pumps, Mary-Janes, sling-backs, T-straps, boots, booties, etc.

Before I moved the collection back in my closet, I knew that some shoes had to go. There was one pair that was in shabby shape, so it went in the trash. And I knew there were others that were bad fits, but I was not sure which of my older shoes fell in that category, so I removed my socks, slipped on a pair of knee-highs and began trying on shoes.

Turned out that seven pairs were bad fits. I expected more, but surprisingly about a half dozen pairs that were troublesome in the past now fit comfortably! I assume that their improved fit was due to my weight loss this past winter.

As a result, I only had seven pairs to deposit in the Goodwill box at work and have six "new" pairs to wear during future girl-time... like this Saturday!

Source: Bluefly
I love this outfit, but its presentation is a pet peeve of mine. Why do stores lop off the top of a model's head? Do they think that a pretty face detracts from what the model is wearing? In my opinion, it's just the opposite; a pretty face completes the picture and makes the whole presentation more attractive. Sadly, more and more stores are doing this. Yuck! (Source: Bluefly)

Veit Alex
Veit Alex, male womenswear model

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Glad I Went

Sunday afternoon, I attended GLAD's annual "Justice for All" reception in Hartford.

I showered and shaved and began doing my makeup at 10 AM. I was done in 40 minutes and got dressed. Standing in my unmentionables, I stared into my closet trying to decide what to wear.

Days ago, I had decided to wear my Albert Nipon silk floral suit. It is a beautiful outfit, but I thought it's shoulder pads were too much.

Unlike other shoulder pads I have encountered and removed with a couple of snips with scissors, these shoulder pads were sewn into the lining of the jacket and their removal would require major surgery by a professional seamstress. So I began trying on other outfits, but none of them had the going-to-Easter-Sunday-Mass look that the silk suit had.

So after wasting 15 minutes switching outfits, I gave up, slipped into the suit and my heels, grabbed my bag and drove to Diana's house to pick her up. I was early, so we hung out awhile at Diana's abode, then proceeded to Hartford arriving at the venue right on time.

Folks were arriving and we got in queue to check in. While we were waiting, a young woman from the GLAD staff greeted me and then remarked, "Wow! What broad shoulders you have!"

I'm joking. She actually said, "You look gorgeous," which was an auspicious way to start!

State politicians and the makers and shakers of the local LGBT community were in attendance. Overall, they were a very friendly bunch. Wherever I turned, there was another friendly face sticking out their hand to introduce themselves to me.

One of the first people I met was Jennifer Levi. I was familiar with Jennifer because she is a professor at the law school where I got my juris doctor and I also own her excellent book (Transgender Family Law: A Guide To Effective Advocacy).

The Governor was not in attendance, but the Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman did attend along with a handful of state legislators who were LGBT allies. Of course, the person who GLAD was honoring, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, was present. Thanks to Diana for asking, he agreed to pose for photos (as seen in yesterday's post). He was very friendly and outgoing and his speech was inspiring. He gets my vote next time he runs for office.

Diana and I drank a little and ate a little (hors d'oeuvres) and schmoozed with the other attendees. It was mostly a gay crowd and there were a lot of same-sex couples. So I was not surprised when someone asked me if Diana and I were a couple. Don't know if they thought we were a lesbian couple or a transgender couple, but nevertheless, we are friends (18 years and counting) and not a couple.

I want to thank Diana for inviting me to the reception. I had a wonderful time!

Source: Vogue Patterns
Wearing Rebecca Vallance (Source: Vogue Patterns).

Edgar Allan Guzman
Edgar Allan Guzman femulates on Filipino television's Maalaala Mo Kaya.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday Outing

Chatting with Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembo at GLAD's annual "Justice for All" reception in Hartford on Sunday.
Chatting with Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembo at GLAD's annual "Justice for All" reception in Hartford on Sunday.

Wearing A.L.C. clutch, Nicholas dress and Aquazzura sandals (Source: Intermix).

Womanless wedding, circa 1950.
Womanless wedding, circa 1950.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Close Encounters with the Distaff Side

Dana and her "sister"
Has this happened to you?

You’re out en femme and a woman reacts negatively (or positively) because you look better than her.

Dana’s “Sister”

I was at a fund raising event (guest of a friend) of about 300 people in attendance and found myself not alone in the choice of my dress! I really love this dress and actually had to wait about 8 months before it went on sale and I could buy it. It is a very fun and flirty dress to wear and received several compliments on it from other ladies, which of course makes it even more fun and exciting!

So unlike a previous time where the girl was not liking the fact both of us had on a very similar dress, this woman was all smiles and we laughed, complimenting the other on how good we each looked (yes, she was just being nice to me, but it meant the world to me as I think she is beautiful). I told her we could just say sisters if anyone asked and she said YES, the story being set! To the right is a picture of us together!

Sindi’s Internet Intrigue

I am on a social site. I received a email from a member saying I should not be playing dress-up- nothing about how I looked. I read it and could not figure out why she wrote that. So I emailed back saying I guessed she did not want to be friends, LOL Turns out her husband had been looking at my page OMG - a jealous woman. And jealous of me???

Carollyn’s Makeup Counter Adventure

I went to Nordstrom at Bellevue Square (WA) to get a couple of Clinique items and to ask the cosmetologist for “smokey eye” assistance, since I was going to party that evening with Jamie Grae and her friends in Everett.

I was wearing the black outfit (photo below), but with boots not heels, since it was raining. The skirt was also longer. I rolled it for the party since everyone wears short skirts where we were going. I also wore my black leather jacket.

“Anyway, I walked in to Nordstrom and scanned the makeup area looking for Clinique. I finally found the counter and approached Michele to purchase pour concealer (which is a must under my makeup) and eye-liner. She was amazing and so helpful... but it was the two ladies at the other counter who went gaga over my appearance.

I told Michele I was ambi-gender and told me she had numerous CD customers and that she was not bothered. The ladies did not have any clients, so they walked over to see what Michele was doing for me. I had removed my jacket so my cleavage was apparent too. The first comment I heard was “Where did you get your nylons and boots?”

I was wearing patterned nylons. They asked me if I could model for them. So, I took off my boots and walked around the counter. I told them where I bought both items.

“Well, when Michele is done with you, please come over to our counter.”

About 15 minutes later, I paid Michele for the product and thanked her for her help with Carollyn the “smokey eye” and went to see the other two ladies.

“You are beautiful,” said one lady. The other said, “I could never look as pretty as you.”

And they were both lovely and classy in their appearance. Compliments continued to flow.

We talked for about 10 minute, mostly about where I buy my clothes, why I was in Washington, and about living in California. I don't think they knew I was CD, or at least they did not lead on to it. I did show them a couple of pictures of me that I had on my camera in different outfits and even gave them one of my “business” cards. The both gave me a hug and said to come back any time.

Obviously, I walked out of Nordstrom on Cloud 9.

Vicki's Workout

I was never out in a dress, but I was working out in a hotel workout room wearing a light blue leotard and what they called then "Toast" colored tights. I also had on a little elastic belt which was strictly to accessorize the leo and pull the outfit together. I had many different colored belts which mostly matched the different colored tights I would wear.  It really just gave it a cute look.

I began in the room by myself and two women came in together to workout. They struck up a conversation with me.

One said to both her friend and me, "I think I need to have a talk with my husband about letting me spend more on my workout clothes. It is depressing when a guy has cuter outfits than me."

Then the other woman said, "He also has better legs than you."

She then looked at me and said, "Do you like having girly legs?"

The last comment that they made after I finished and said goodbye, "You have a better ass than either of us also. Now that is depressing."

Stana's Tall Encounter

One of my best femulating moments was when I was browsing the racks at the local Nordstrom and a saleswoman nearby spoke up, "You're tall. I'm tall, too. How tall are you?"

I said, "Six foot two."

She replied, "I'm six foot one."

And she engaged me in a discussion about being a tall female. She asked me how I liked being tall when I was a girl. ("I loved it.") She admitted that she had some difficulties during her school years because of her height, but as an adult, she was happy with her height.

After we exchanged a few more words, I excused myself and walked on air for the rest of my day at the mall.

I used to worry that I could never pass because of my height. That day at the mall convinced me otherwise.

Caveat Emptor: This post is a variation of a previously post published.

Source: Vogue Patterns
Wearing Guy Laroche. (Source: Vogue Patterns)

Old school womanless beauty pageant, circa 1960.
Old school womanless beauty pageant, circa 1960.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I haven't a thing to wear!

The weather forecast for Sunday is "A chance of rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 59. Chance of precipitation is 30%."

I like the temperature, but I could do without the precipitation as I try to plan what to wear when I hob knob with our Governor and other politicians at GLAD's annual "Justice for All" reception in Hartford.

"I haven't a thing to wear!"

That's not true. I have plenty of outfits to choose from. I am just conflicted about which one to wear.

So, what does a girl wear to a Sunday afternoon reception with the Governor?

I think "Sunday afternoon" is the key. I should wear something similar to what my mother wore when she went to church on Sunday sans her usual white gloves and chapeau.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper.

George Logan and Patrick Fyffe
 George Logan and Patrick Fyffe femulating Dr. Evadne Hinge and Dame Hilda Bracket.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Proenza Schouler is Tipping the Point

By Hyunjee Lee, from New York Magazine's The Cut.

"Arriving in stores today (actually yesterday–Stana), Proenza Schouler’s pre-fall 2017 collection is luxurious but casual with bold colors and patterns. Three transgender models star in a lookbook shot by photographer Ethan James Green, a former model who starred in Calvin Klein’s sexting ad campaign in 2015: Stav Strashko, Marcs Marcus and Torraine Futurum (above).

"They and two other models (Michelle Gutknecht and Emm Arruda) wear sequins and stripes, pleated leather, and woven platform sandals, giving each look a collaged quality, as the different cuts are layered."

Read the rest of the story here.

FYI, Proenza Schouler is a New York based womenswear and accessories brand.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Philosophy top and A.L.C. skirt from Intermix.

Marcs Marcus
Marcs Marcus, male womenswear model

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Going to the Prom

It is prom season, a time when many a young femulator's heart is all a flutter thinking about the pretty prom gowns he won't be able to wear to his high school's spring formal.

I wore a white tux to my senior prom and that was probably a good thing because back then, I was about 40 pounds heavier than I am now. Squeezing into a prom gown would not have been a pretty sight, but I am sure my mother would have sewn me something dreamy to wear and would have had me fitted with the proper foundation garments so that I would be voluptuous in her creation. Of course, it did not happen, but I dreamed about it nonetheless.

Times have changed. As Ray Davies once sang, "Boys will be girls and girls will be boys" and today, at some of the more progressive schools in our nation, girls do wear tuxedos to proms and boys do wear gowns like today's Femulator, Rey Silva (see below).

Lucky kids!

Source: Intermix
Wearing Dannijo Odion necklace, Cushnie Et Ochs bodysuit and Brandon Maxwell pants.

Raven Ross and Rey Silva are going to the prom in drag to celebrate Silva's passion for pop fashion icons and bring awareness about the fears that LGBT high school students often feel.