Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Joann Roberts was one of the people who helped me discover my true self.

Jump on the wayback machine to the mid-1980s and you will find me religiously attending my support group meetings twice a month. Those meetings were my only opportunity to be en femme beyond my closet at home and I seldom missed a meeting.

I was still learning the art of femulation back then. My wigs looked like wigs, my makeup was all wrong, my heels were too high and my skirts were too short. (I guess some things never change.)

Besides giving me an opportunity to go out en femme, attending support group meetings helped educate me about the finer points of femulation. By chatting with the other girls in attendance and listening attentively to speakers who appeared at our meetings, I corrected the errors of my presentation.

Joann Roberts was one of our speakers. She spoke for about an hour and then hung back to chat with us as we perused the books she had for sale: her Art and Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing and her Art & Illusion Companion, which was a supplement to the original Art and Illusion.

I bought a copy of both books. After I paid her, she thanked me for my purchase, then she added, "I could not help noticing you during my talk."

"Huh?" was my clever response.

"You are a natural and have a lot of potential."

I managed to squeak out a "Thank-you" and went on my way.

I will never forget what Joann said to me that night and thanks to her, I have been working on my "lot of potential" ever since.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Self Portrait dress and Sergio Rossi pumps (Source: Intermix)

Alan Coyne
Alan Coyne femulates on stage in Charley's Aunt '66.


  1. AnonymousJune 13, 2018

    I think she´s a lady with what we call here in Germany "the second eye".
    That´s when people got a glimpse of the future and she did the right thing in telling you her thoughts.
    That´s encouraged you to become the lovely female lady you are today, so thank´s to Joann for her advice and you for taking it and make what you are out of you!
    You are a real role model, even if i had mention that bevore...

  2. Hi Stana
    I went to a to a Joeann Roberts weekend in Penn. 1991
    She was a very caring person I was so shy she tried her best to get me to upen up.
    I just did not feel I fit in but she tried her best.

  3. Dear Stana,

    I also bought the 2 Joann Roberts books you mentioned, plus her TG Makeup Instruction DVD. As you may know, sadly, Joann passed away a few years ago.

    Another well known and very active crossdresser who wrote a few books for crossdressers was Lacey Leigh. She attended and spoke at my Orlando area support and social group in 2006. She was very, very active in the crossdressing world for just a few years around the 2000’s decade. Suddenly, and with no explanation, she dropped out completely from her prominent visibility. No one seems to know what happened to her ... we don’t even know if she is alive. But back in the 2000’s decade, she and Joann were possibly the 2 most well known crossdresser activists. They each considered themselves to be crossdressers ... they did not consider themselves to be transwomen.



    1. Dear Stana,

      Follow-up ... a friend of mine from our Orlando area support group messaged me regarding Lacey Leigh. She said that “he” is still alive and has an internet presence, but strictly as his male persona. He apparently (at least publicly) has dropped his feminine persona. To respect my friend’s privacy and that of “Lacey Leigh”, that is all I’ll say about my post above.



  4. I always loved seeing Joann at Southern Comfort back in the days when I was part of the conference staff. I was the "Big Sister" to all the confernence newcomers and Joann was always willing to take a little time for them. Her passing was a huge loss for the community.

  5. There is internet archive of this book (in pdf).

    Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing, Vol. 1

    Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing, Vol. 2

    Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing, Vol. 3