Friday, February 24, 2017

Mi Casa es Su Casa

As you probably know, "Casa Valentina is a play written by Harvey Fierstein which premiered on Broadway in April 2014 and opened in London in September 2015. It tells the story of men who spend weekends at a resort in the Catskill mountains, dressed as women." (source Wikipedia)

The play is based on a real upstate New York resort called "Casa Susanna" where men spent weekends dressed as women in the early 1960s.

Casa Valentina is also the name of a high fashion boutique in Lima, Peru, that sells cocktail dresses and evening gowns.

I wonder if any of its customers are men who spend the weekends dressed as women!

Source: The Vivaluxury
Wearing Rebecca Taylor dress, Sophia Webster sandals and Jean Bespoke clutch.

Christian Clemenson
Christian Clemenson in the Los Angeles stage production of Casa Valentina.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Stana Behavy and Stana Katic
"Stana" is not a name you encounter frequently. My first acquaintance with the name was about 10 years ago on a postcard that that depicted an early 20th Century European "damsky imitator" (female impersonator) named Stana Behavy. My second acquaintance with "Stana" occurred soon after when actress Stana Katic appeared on the scene and made a name for herself starring in the television series Castle.

Jean Shrimpton
Jean Shrimpton was a fashion model in the 1960's and the model for the woman I wanted to become when I grew up. I love the outfit she is modeling in this photo. It is timeless and I would not hesitate to wear it today.

Mr. Billie Herraro
Mr. Billie Herraro was a natural beauty and was femulating professionally about the time I was born... in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Better Read than Dead

I received the following e-mail from a reader:

When you're out as a woman and someone "reads" you or you run into any kind of trouble, how do you handle it?

Since I got my act together, I have been very lucky; I seldom notice anyone who I think might be reading me when I am out solo as a woman. However, my mileage will vary if I am out as a woman with other transpeople.

When I do get read, I seldom get more than a smirk or dirty look from a reader or a reader might nudge his/her companion to get their attention and "get a load of that."

I usually do one of two things when I think I’ve been read:

      Ignore the reader and go about my business.

      Flash a great big smile at the reader, which may disarm/confuse him/her.

There is a third option someone passed along to me that I would love to try, but never have:

      Flash a great big smile, then say, "Yes, you recognized me. Would you like my autograph?"

Thankfully, there has never been a "scene" or any kind or trouble that I have had to deal with.

Now let me back up a bit and elaborate on what I wrote above.

Since I got my act together…

When I was a "man in a dress," I got read more frequently than I do now. But as my presentation improved, the readings diminished.

I seldom notice anyone who I think might be reading me…

Unless the reader confronts you or reacts in some way (a smirk, a laugh, a grimace, etc.) indicating that they know what's up, you never know for sure if they are reading you or just checking you out or even better, admiring you. (I always assume the last option, although when I was less confident about my presentation, I always assumed the first option.)

By the way, I wear eyeglasses in boy mode, but seldom wear them in girl mode except when I am driving. As a result, I might miss a read or two sans eyeglasses. However, my vision is not that weak, so I doubt that I am missing much.

All that being said, in my opinion it is better to be read than be dead. That is, it is better to go out and experience the world as a woman and be read occasionally than to suffocate your woman in the closet.

Source: Madeleine
Wearing Madeleine.

Kevin Kriegel
Kevin Kriegel (center right) femulates on the Florida stage in Sylvia.
(Thank you Jan for the heads-up!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hard Work

My wife often comments that since it takes so long for me to get ready to go out as a woman, is it worth it?

Of course, it is worth it (what a silly question), but she does make a legitimate observation, i.e., it does take me a long time to get ready.

My excuse is that I am obsessive compulsive. According to Wikipedia , "The phrase "obsessive-compulsive" has worked its way into the wider English lexicon, and is often used in an offhand manner to describe someone who is meticulous or absorbed in a cause. Such casual references should not be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder…" (So, I'm not nuts, just a little crazy!)

As a result, when I go out as a woman, I want to look as perfect as possible, which means flawless makeup and not a hair showing that should not be showing.

I love putting on makeup and if I have the time, I indulge myself in the makeup process and can while away an hour or so putting on the war paint. But usually I don't have the time and I must get the job done as quickly as possible.

After years of practice, I have my makeup routine down to about 35 minutes if everything goes smoothly. I see no way of reducing that time without cutting corners and I refuse to cut corners, so I invest 35 minutes putting on my face.

The actual dressing is the easy part. I usually have my outfit picked out beforehand and I can have it on from soup to nuts, or should I say from girdle to wig in 15 minutes or less.

The wig I wear these days is a "shake and bake" wig. I just shake it out, put it on my head, make a few adjustments, and I'm done. I use self-stick pre-glued nails and they go on in less than five minutes with no muss or fuss. So, once my makeup is on, I can be out the door in less than a half hour.

Now the part I hate: hair depilation.

I am hairy. It is everywhere and depending on what I plan to wear, it can take 30 minutes to an hour just to get rid of it all.

I have long legs and they alone take some time to depilate. If I wear anything other than a long sleeved dress or top, then I have to depilate my arms. If I am wearing anything that exposes my shoulders, then they must be depilated, too. And so it goes for my chest and back if I am wearing anything that is low-cut in the front or back. Shaving my face is a joy in comparison.

When I come face-to-face with my hairy problem, I start thinking that my wife might be right, is it worth it?

Yes, it's hard work, but I still think it is worth every minute of it.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Fleur Du Mal pants, Rag & Bone blazer and Alexander Wang sandals.

Source: Deviantart

Monday, February 20, 2017

Men from Maher's

Bill Maher is a comedian who has a long-running political talk show on HBO. I watch it occasionally because he has interesting guests of differing political persuasions.

I am not a big fan of Maher even though he and I see eye-to-eye on some issues. He is a smug smartass and I don't abide by smug smartasses. After his latest show, it is evident that he is transphobic, too, so now I have even more reason to dislike him.

I am not going to repeat all of what happened Friday night on his show. He invited the provocateur du jour as a guest and then he jumped on the provocateur's transphobic bandwagon with both feet! You can read all about it here.

I will never watch Maher's show again and as a long time customer of HBO, I plan to complain to the network.

The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode
Femulating on stage in The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode.

Friday, February 17, 2017

How High is High?

Yesterday, our male mail man (how redundant is that?) delivered my new shoes from Payless.

Whenever I shop in person at Payless, I try on sizes 11, 12 and 13 even though 12 is my "normal" size because sizing is very inconsistent and varies depending on the style and the maker of the shoe. So buying shoes online is a crapshoot and I try to avoid it because my success rate is about 50%.

But occasionally this girl falls in love with a shoe that she just knows will not be on the racks in her size at her local Payless store, so she orders online and hopes for the best – as was the case with the shoes USPS delivered yesterday.

As quick as a Playboy bunny, I switched from boy sox to knee-highs and tried on my new shoes. They fit perfectly and felt comfortable as I took a short tour around the house.

I was a happy camperette, put the shoes back in their box and stacked the box with my other shoe boxes, while plotting outfits to wear with my new shoes.

Then it occurred to me that the heels of the shoes looked higher than I expected them to be. Not that I have any trouble walking in high heels, but I was curious about their height because Payless claimed they had a 3 ½-inch heel.

So I got out Stan's Stanley tape measure (all his tools are personally engraved) to size up the heels of my new shoes and confirmed my suspicions: the heels were 4 ¼ inches high, not 3 ½ inches high.

This girl knows her heels!

Source: Intermix
Source: Intermix

Long time Femulate reader, pretty Mindy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Old Neighborhood

Susan's post on Sunday ("Not like other boys") inspired me to write this post today.

Growing up, I thought I was just like the other boys, but some of the other boys disagreed. They thought I was a "sissy," a "fairy," a "faggot," etcetera and the bullies did what bullies do.

I did not understand what caused them to treat me that way.

One day, an older neighborhood kid took me aside and said I needed to "man up" or I would continue to be the bullies favorite target. I shrugged off his advice because I still thought I was just like the other boys, so why should I do anything different.

When I went away to college, nothing changed except that there was a new set of bullies.

After I completed my higher education, I moved back home, but the bullies had moved on.

I moved out of the neighborhood 35 years ago and slowly discovered why I had such a hard time in the old neighborhood. I was really a girl in a boy's body and I played the part so well in so many ways that the bullies could not abide by it.

I will return to the old neighborhood in a couple of weeks. PFLAG is organizing a new chapter in my old hometown. The first meeting will be held in a church two blocks from my old home and right next to the grammar school where I was bullied for so many years.

It will be the first time in my old neighborhood presenting as a woman. How can I not go!

Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss

Michał Rudaś
Michał Rudaś femulates on the Polish version of television's Your Face Sounds Familiar.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Legalization of anti-LGBTQ discrimination

Going backwards: Feds halt Obama administration’s attempt to protect the civil rights of transgender students.

A day after Christian conservative Jeff Sessions was sworn into office as Attorney General, the Justice Department quietly dropped the Obama administration’s attempt to secure civil rights for transgender individuals.


In reality, it is Republican lawmakers, and not transgender people, who are the real danger in public bathrooms. In fact, more GOP Lawmakers have been arrested for sexual misconduct in bathrooms than transgender people.

Bottom line: The Justice Department led by conservative Christian Jeff Sessions has declared open season on transgender students, and the federal government under Trump will do nothing to protect the civil rights of transgender individuals.



Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz butted heads in the presidential primaries, but there’s one thing they can always agree on: discriminating against LGBTQ people under the guise of religious freedom. The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which Sen. Cruz is planning to introduce and Trump has said he will sign, codifies discrimination against LGBTQ people into federal law.

Republicans are playing a dangerous game with the lives of LGBTQ people. FADA is likely to be just one of many attacks from the Trump-Pence administration. Recently, a White House insider leaked a draft of an anti-LGBTQ executive order.

If signed, the order would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity.

Tell Congress: Don’t legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Sign the petition here.


Michael Stone, "Trump’s Justice Department Abandons Transgender Kids," Progressive Secular Humanist, Feb. 12, 2017

Sarah Posner, "Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination," The Nation, Feb. 1, 2017

"Tell Congress: Don’t legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination," Credo Action, Feb. 13, 2017

Source: Veronica Beard
Wearing Veronica Beard.

John Hurt
John Hurt femulates in the 1975 British television movie The Naked Civil Servant.