Wednesday, September 30, 2020

On Main Street

On Main Street (actually on Commercial Street in Provincetown)
On Main Street (actually on Commercial Street in Provincetown)

Until recently, this year has been typical as far as blog readership is concerned. For years now, I can count on at least 5,000 hits per day, usually more, but seldom less. And that’s the way it has been in 2020 until the past month or so during which 5,000 hits became 6,000 hits and yesterday, 7,000 hits!

Go figure! Nothing has changed here. Same old blog, same short hemlines, same old Stana. 

Maybe the pandemic has driven stay-at-home guys with time on their hands to explore their feminine side and those new femulators are just now discovering this blog.

Could be. I dunno. You tell me.

Anyway, femulating is certainly becoming more mainstream. We seem to be everywhere these days – on television, in films, on stage, in print media and even on Main Street.

Successful femulating on Main Street does not necessarily mean passing on Main Street. If you pass, great, but most of us do not pass most of the time. However, that does not mean we should not have pride in our presentation. Although it may work at home or at a support group meeting, the “man in a dress look” does not cut it on Main Street. 

I recently read an article titled “What Kind of Crossdressing Men are Popular on Crossdresser Dating Sites?” by hemrna mikier. Although the article is about achieving popularity on crossdressing dating websites, it is just as applicable for achieving success as a femulator on Main Street.

Confidence is mentioned more than once. Having the right attitude is also important. While proper grooming, mannerisms and speech are essential.

I urge you to read the article – it is short, but full of good stuff that may help you succeed.   

Wearing Venus
Wearing Venus
(I liked this dress so much that I ordered it for myself.)

Repeat womanless beauty pageant contestant
Repeat womanless beauty pageant contestant

Monday, September 28, 2020

Old crossdressers never die, they just fade away

Over the years, I have made friends and acquaintances with hundreds, if not thousands of trans people. Although I knew them by their trans names, I've known the birth certificate names of maybe 50 or 60.

And that’s only because I was privy to their names (and addresses) when I produced and mailed my support group’s newsletter or because they are trans radio hams and I know their government-issued call signs (which I can look up online). Take that away and I would probably know 10 or 12 by their birth certificate names (and you are probably in the same boat I am).

When one dies, you can bet the farm that their obituary will not mention their trans name or mention that they were a member of a trans support group. And unless you know their birth certificate name, you will never know that they died. As far as you know, they just stopped attending support group meetings, stopped exchanging emails with their trans friends or stopped posting to their blog and they just fade away.

Sometimes the spouse of a deceased trans person will contact a trans friend of the deceased to pass along the bad news. But in the majority of cases, spouses have no idea who or how to make that contact or could be bothered less.

It is so sad when our trans friends fade away like that. Their trans identities were probably as important or more important to them than their birth certificate identities, yet their preferred identities disappear without any acknowledgment (and often with a sigh of relief by embarrassed family members). Very sad.

And so it goes. 

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Womanless beauty pageant contestant, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, 2016
Womanless beauty pageant contestant, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, 2016

Friday, September 25, 2020

For men and boys the future looks bleak

The following article originally appeared in the always entertaining Gwen’s Place, Glavyril's now-defunct blog. Although originally written with tongue in cheek, as time goes by, the grains of truth buried in this article may come to fruition.

Personally I am in the camp that believes that “male” and “female” are precise terms defined by the biological capacity of each sexes anatomy. We can change anatomy, but we can’t change capacity, yet… perhaps more on that later. So, from my perspective, all other gender roles, duties, activities, etc. are anchored in societal constructions and subject to change.

What we have is an assessment of the social future for males if current trends continue. What trends you ask?

First and foremost, despite the feminist smoke screen, women are obtaining more education, better jobs, and higher pay then men. Women have the same sexual and financial freedom that only men really enjoyed in the past. That is to their credit. Boys don’t seem to get it, evidently all planning careers in the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc. ?

One reads almost constantly now about the woman as the predominate bread winner in the modern marriage and the stresses it causes for men and let’s face it, in modern society hunting skills are not exactly appreciated and day labor isn’t the avenue to financial freedom. The tipping point will come, not sure when, perhaps when women run almost everything including the government and boys have fallen so far behind that attracting, marrying and pleasing a successful woman is their only chance of financial security? At the very least, the time of male physical violence and sexual aggression against females will be over. In the more extreme case, my Holiday picture there may not be far off!

The standard of  “male” attractiveness will be set by society, which is now a reflection of female power. If they decide that all males should be muscle-bound hunks well, that does fly in the face of my construct, but I think not as it enhances the innate physical advantage that already exists. No, I think women would likely apply the same principals to men that were applied to them, likely and ironically through the educational system.

Females will opt for the prettiest, softest boys, who can still satisfy their female needs, but in a gentle and attentive way. It will be boys who compete on the fashion and social stage for the attention of the girls. Rough whiskers will be a definite no-no and treatments that eliminate it quickly and painlessly will make millions. Boys will depilitate and wear heels to make their hairless legs look shapelier and be brought to tears if a girl calls one “rough.” No need to deal with tough courses in math and science, everyone will agree boys just aren’t suited for such learning. 

Oh, not to worry, society will still have it’s,  “Girls,” “Ladies,” “Brides” and “Wives,” they will just be male. The term “Mother” will not be banned as some futurist extremists predicted, it will just no  longer have anything to do with the birth-giver but refer to the person raising the children. While the female gestates the baby, the future “Mother” will drink his daily “nursing cocktail” – a hormonal bomb that will certainly temporarily highly feminize and render his breasts perfectly capable of lactating and nursing. (That could probably be done now, who knows?)

So, when you go to visit your grandson and his “Husband” for the Holidays and you see the scene above, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Wearing Baum Und Pferdgarten
Wearing Baum Und Pferdgarten

Two Girls – One Male and One Female
Two Girls – One Male and One Female

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Just Fabulous

In these days of COVID-19, I do not go out much en femme or even en homme, so I hope you enjoy this story from 10 years ago when a girl did not have to think twice about going out.

Wednesday, my plan was to attend a day-long seminar on photograph lighting techniques.

I went en femme wearing an argyle sweater tunic, black leggings, and black booties. I considered wearing black tights without leggings, but the tunic was way too short, so I chose a more modest fashion statement.

I dressed, drove to Hartford, parked my Subaru and found my way through the Connecticut Convention Center to the ballroom hosting the seminar where I joined approximately 500 other attendees.

If I learned anything from the seminar, I learned that I have a lot to learn!

I sat through the morning session and got very little out of it. It was way over my head. I needed training at a more basic level and this seminar assumed I already had that training.

During the lunch break, I decided it was pointless to continue. The folks running the seminar were speaking English, but it might as well have been a foreign language. So sitting through four more hours would be fruitless, not to mention extremely boring.

By the way, except for the woman collecting my seminar ticket, not one person spoke to me at the seminar. I exchanged a few hellos and smiles with other women in attendance and I noticed a few guys and gals checking me out, but that was the extent of the interaction with my fellow attendees.

Since I needed a few things for my upcoming Fantasia Fair trip, I decided to go shopping and I can't think of a better time to go shopping for girly things than when I am dressed like a girly.

My first stop was a strip mall in West Hartford where my favorite clothing and shoe stores reside.

As soon as I walked into Dress Barn, the sales staff recognized that my argyle tunic was theirs and they all complimented my outfit. (“That sweater looks fabulous on you,” so said one saleswoman.)

Last time I went to Fantasia Fair, Patty let me borrow a sweater coat that kept me warm during the cool weather in Provincetown. I wanted to get one of my own and I found a black double-breasted shag trim sweater jacket that was a perfect fit.

Dress Barn had a promotion that if you bought one sweater, you could buy a second at 50% off, so I perused their selection of sweater dresses. I found two to try on.

As I walked to the dressing room with my finds, I passed a rack of houndstooth sheath dresses that were oh so retro that I had to try one on. The only problem was that they did not have my size. Not to be deterred, I took the largest size on the rack with me to the dressing room and hoped for the best.

A belted purple sweater dress was too tight (and probably too short), so I re-racked it. A gray cable sweater dress was a perfect fit; it showed off my every curve, so it was a keeper.

Finally, I tried on the to-die-for too-small-for houndstooth dress and I was shocked that it fit. Go figure — dress sizes are all over the place; you don't know what will fit until you try it on. That is why I prefer shopping in person en femme.

Anyway, I bought the houndstooth, too, and between the 50% off one sweater dress and a 20% off everything coupon, I only put a small dent in my credit card.

Next stop, was a few doors down from Dress Barn: Payless shoe store. Like dresses, shoe sizes are all over the place, so I was glad to be able to shoe shop in person en femme. I was looking for something comfortable to wear while I traipsed upon the unforgiving cobblestone sidewalks of Provincetown.

Payless had heels in my size, so I had to try them on. One pair was too tight, another pair fit perfectly, but hurt (go figure), and the third pair was just right; when I slipped it on, it was like putting on a bedroom slipper. It was on sale, too, so I anted up and bought the pair.

At the register, the saleswoman asked if I was a member of AAA, which I am and that was worthy of a 10% discount. So, I bought a nice pair of comfortable and fashionable shoes for $18!

I checked my watch and noted that the afternoon was still young and the West Farms Mall was beckoning to me from across the street, so I spun my Subaru over to the mall and started at Nordstrom.

The store was way out there price-wise. Simple dresses cost $350, but I browsed the racks anyway hoping to find something that was marked down (way down).

While I was perusing a rack of cocktail dresses, 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 (“I love 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 headed out the door to greener pastures that go by the name of “Jessica McClintock.” The store had some drop-dead gorgeous cocktail dresses, but very few in my size. I tried on a green dress reputedly in my size, but it was too too small.

The saleswoman confided that their dresses run small and that my best bet would be something stretchy. She suggested a purple stretch taffeta bustier dress, so I took it to the dressing room and tried it on. It fit and it looked great, but it cost $160, so I did not buy it (I had non-buyer's remorse for days).

The cocktail dress I did not buy.

As I prepared to leave the store, the other saleswoman in the store said I looked “fabulous” and the saleswoman I had been dealing with shook her head in agreement.

I thanked them profusely and exited on that positive note.

By then, my feet were no longer getting along with my booties, so I decided to call it quits, and rode my Subaru into the sunset.

Needless to say, my day out en femme was “fabulous.”

Unlike days out in the past, I went about my business without any hesitation because now I am so very comfortable and confident in my skin. After all, I am a woman, so why shouldn’t I be one.

Source: Intermix
Wearing A.L.C. sweater and Marissa Webb shorts

Dwayne Hickman and Frankie Avalon
Dwayne Hickman (left) and Frankie Avalon (right) femulating in the 1965 film Ski Party.
You can view the film’s trailer on YouTube and a 10-minute clip from the film here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

By Stephanie Julianna

I had been doing my family's genealogy way before it was fashionable and easier with Ancestry and computer software help. However, the introduction of science and DNA has opened up my searching to a world of amazing possibilities. 

This last June, I saw a very promising match and after a few emails, I connected with a second cousin in Vilnius, Lithuania. Her grandfather and my Polish grandmother were brother and sister. For reasons unimportant to this narrative, the American branch of the family had lost touch with the European branch with the passing of the older generation. 

The emails continued as my cousin and I started to share what we have. Then she floored me with pictures that had been sent to family in the “Old Country” by my grandmother and her four younger sisters. They were mostly professional portraits obviously meant to show the family they left behind that they were doing well in America. None of these pictures had survived in the USA, but had been lovingly preserved and put in an album in Vilnius and now were returning to America via email.  

Stephanie’s Aunts and Grandmother, circa 1930
One picture struck me. Taken about 85 years ago, it showed the five sisters much younger than my earliest memories of them. They are pictured here and were a cast of characters.  Left to right, there are Frances, who could outdrink any sailor and drive home sober; Helen, who had total recall memory before anyone knew it even existed, Rachela (my grandma), who made babka and perogies that still make my mouth water just thinking about them; Marianna, who actually taught two rescued US Army German Shepherds how to speak. Really, I heard them with my own ears, and lastly, the youngest, Emilia, whose husband was murdered by the Nazis and daughter lived in the woods for the duration of the conflict until being found in a displaced persons camp after the war.

These women are just a handful of all the people carrying my DNA that make Stephanie the person she is today. These women and many others in my family taught me, by example, what unconditional love is. And I can also say that about many of the women on my Irish side as well as my own sisters. They all came with my first birth in 1949.

Lee Brewster
My second birth eventually happened in 1979 when I wandered into Lee Brewster's Mardi Gras Boutique on 10th Avenue near 42nd Street in NYC. I had seen ads for the shop in some of the Drag magazines I was buying and took the leap while in The City on business.  

It was a climb up a long staircase to a magical place. The actual Lee Brewster (1943-2000) greeted me at the door and my life was changed forever. Lee had a lithe, feminine voice with a wonderful Southern drawl, but I did not comment on his sweet voice. Good thing I never did. Lee was an old school drag queen and always wanted to be called ‘sir’ or ‘mister.’  

I remember a few years later sitting in his office for a chat, when the phone rang. He answered and eventually slammed the phone on the receiver. “Can you imagine that! He kept calling me Ma’am.” I wasn't going to tell him he sounded like a woman. So I replied as only a friend would, “The nerve!” LOL

But what really happened that first visit was transformative (pun intended). Lee not only brought Stephanie (I was actually Debbie back then) into the world a few months later, but he also introduced me to his friends who welcomed me with open arms. Like my grand aunts, they were a cast of characters and I loved every minute with them. They were just girls like me who knew who they were, but took different paths on their roads to being themselves. They helped me become the woman I am today when I can be the total person that makes up the whole.

Lee Brewster (center) marching in the NYC Gay Pride Parade

Bebe Scarpi (just right of the banner) in the NYC Gay Pride Parade.
Well-known trans activist Sylvia Rivera holds up the banner on the left.

Drag queens get a bad rap as being narcissistic and self-centered, always trying to bring attention to themselves. Even I fell for that narrative for a while. So you can imagine my surprise when years later, trolling the Internet, I finally realized who I was rubbing shoulders with. Lee was a central figure in the Stonewall riots and the following movement. He was a founding father of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in NYC and his famous Mardi Gras balls helped fund the early groups that fought for our rights as crossdressers. Some gay historians say he funded the legal fees out of his own pocket to strike down the laws in NYC that criminalized crossdressing.

Bebe Scarpi and Stephanie
Another friend, Bebe Scarpi (Scarpinato) (1951-2019) was the first director of the GLF as was another lovely friend, Vicky West (1935-2005), who was another co-founder of GLF and a noted graphic artist whose artwork graced most of the early covers of Lee's Drag magazine. When she entered the room, heads did turn. Truly a class act and drop-dead beautiful. She was also a mother to us younger ones. And if I did not research them, I never would have known. They just did what they thought they had to do and went on with their lives.

Bebe also worked in the boutique, but was actually a teacher and became the first transgender principal in America in later years. If that is not enough, in her younger years as a teacher, she was also a stripper at night. It was like there was more than one person in that body and she was electric.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the achievements that makes up this trio. I had an angel on my shoulder the day I entered their world. Everyone here owes them a debt of gratitude because they truly fought for us and put it all on the line, physically, emotionally and even monetarily.  

Look around yourself. Those people around you helping you with all this dressing stuff could be the next generation of movers and shakers. Maybe even that lady in the mirror is one. Stana definitely is and has made her mark and continues to help us through the labyrinth that is our lives. 

To all the wonderful ladies in my life, past and present, genetically linked or not, thank you for helping me be me.

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Vicky West
Vicky West, Drag magazine Art Editor

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Lovely Time

Eleven Septembers ago, I attended the garden wedding of two of my friends at their home on a Saturday evening. It was a beautiful and unique affair and it will always stand out from all the other weddings I have attended throughout my life.

It was a small affair – the guest list was composed of only 50 or so family and friends, but it was really a big affair because it was a very family-and-friend-oriented and vibrant event. Vibrant because it was a wedding where the kids were invited and included (most weddings I have attended in the recent past have excluded kids.)

I was very honored that my friends invited me to attend. They did not give me permission to attend en femme and I did not have to ask for their permission to attend en femme. They know me as Stana and expected Stana to attend. Friends like these must be cherished and I will always hold a special place in my heart for them.

Like my friends, their family and friends accepted me into their circle, treated me like an old friend of the family and I could not have felt more comfortable. Except for the wedded couple and two other friends who were guests, I did not know a soul going in and I am shy in such circumstances, but the other guests made me feel as comfortable as possible and I had a wonderful time socializing, dining, drinking and dancing the night away!

I wore a new dress and a new hairdo to the wedding. I received some compliments on how I looked, which just added to the wonder of the evening.

Being a garden affair, I quickly had to learn how to walk in high heels without sinking into the lawn. (The trick is to walk on your toes and not put much weight on your heels.)

I had a lovely time attending my friend's wedding and I will remember it all my life.

Source: Unique Vintage
Wearing Unique Vintage

Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston femulating in the 1944 film Goodnight Sweetheart

Monday, September 21, 2020

Salon on the Loop

By Marie Anne Greene

No matter what we plan, the day will take on its own personality, so best to just go with the flow.

This is what happened last Saturday. Marie’s latest addition to her small coterie of CIS girls (Laura) was going to visit for the weekend. So as Marie had arranged on previous visits, called Kristie and Tanya to schedule appointments’ hair, mani and pedicure for Laura for Saturday morning. Leaving the afternoon for some girl adventures.

Marie had met Laura several months back at a photo shoot with Phoebe and had gotten along fabulously from the very first minute we met in the Gift Shop at the Planation shoot site and immediately became fast friends – as well as super girlfriend’s. Laura continued to express “Love” for Marie, (regardless of presentation mode) and Marie responded in a like manner although having quizzical but similar feelings Marie had some trepidation as to where this new relationship would go. 

Phoebe, Marie’s Girl Guide, who knew both Girls (personalities) came to the rescue advised in her Grandmotherly manner not to worry just be open and honest. 

Interesting factoid: Laura has called Marie - Marie since that very first meeting.

Well sometimes the very best intentions do nor come to pass but others do. Tanya said “So sorry, as she would be out of town at a surprise party that Saturday” – so scratch hair appointment. Called Kristie next and learned the Nail Shop was going to be closed that Saturday for a Professional Cleaning, however Kristie seeking to satisfy a repeat client (Marie) offered to do her magic for both Laura and Marie at Marie’s cottage, located on Swan Loop, thus the name of this story. As a whim, Marie asked Kristie if she would feel comfortable doing Laura’s hair - specifically Highlights. The answer was yes! Great, the show was back on track.

Agreed and a start time of 10:30 AM was set. Now having worked with Kristie more than a dozen times at the shop and one time for a House Call recognized the goal of a 10:30 start was not to be attained, but Marie was not concerned as Laura could squeeze in another 30 minutes of beauty sleep as Kristie could do Marie’s nails first if she did arrive at the scheduled time. 

Kristie called Marie at about 10:50 and stating the obvious (the expected), Kristie said she was having trouble with car overheating and had go stop at a service station, wait for engine to cool down and then add Anti-freeze to the radiator and it would be another 30-40 minutes before she got to the cottage.

Okay, time to stir Sleeping Beauty. This done began to prepare our Girls Lunch, which for Laura would be Breakfast. Marie had envisioned a ring of Chilled Shrimp with sauce, served with Onion crackers and Flutes of refrigerator cooled New England Cider, to add a little festive flavor to the occasion.

Well Kristie was true to her word, well almost. It was an hour before she arrived at the “Salon on the Loop” with all the essential paraphilia needed to perform all of the essential female beauty rituals. Since Laura was still in a semi-coma, Kristie did Marie’s toes first in a Natural Cream-White. Marie’s nails were still good with their gorgeous silver pink gel from a week before. This worked out well as Kristie could concentrate on Laura and Marie reverted to part time assistant and hostess, both roles Marie excelled in and was pleased to perform. 

Marie was still wearing her “Morning Walk” outfit - Skinny jeans, a white thin flowing over Tunic with a Camisole underneath. She had traded pink walking tennis shoes for a more comfortable pair of white sandals which added a tiny bit off class to the otherwise casual outfit. Both of the other girls worn shorts, might we say Short-shorts and loose airy tops which clearly highlighted their girls.

As Kristie was putting the finishing touches on her subject and fluffing Laura’s long golden highlighted hair, Marie offered a toast to the two Gals for investing the “Salon on the Loop” with their presence and offering a return visit anytime.

Then Marie who had taken a few pictures of the GALS while the Magic Process was on going announced “WE’ just had to have some “AFTER” pictures, and with that Marie flourished three Summer Garden Party dresses and asked she Girls to confirmed the color she had picked earlier when they asked to pick one of three colors by Marie. She then said the dress of their color choice was laying on the bed in the Guest Bedroom) Laura’s Room and instructed the two Gals, that after slipping into these floating colored clouds of chiffon they were to pick a Sun Hat from the seven displayed on the Living Room sofa and take a seat in one of the rockers on the Front Porch for the “After Pictures”.

When Laura and Kristie had entered the Bedroom to change, Marie dashed to her room and in a flashed shed the casual jeans etc. and shimmied into a her own “Garden Party Gown.” and picked hat, a yellow brimmed number.

After taking a “Ton” of pictures and with many “Funny” faces included the Day/Afternoon at the Salon was formally declared concluded and all three of the Gals helped Kristie gathered up all her tools and stow them in her car. They then gathered for last minute words, and hugs, with Kristie and Laura expressing a “Promise” addressed to Marie which warned that the next session at the Salon would just have to include Marie as the chief Client. With a wave of a hand Kristie drove away and Laura put her arm around Marie’s waist and squeezed. This is what happened last Saturday. Marie’s latest addition to her small coterie of CIS girls (Laura) was going to visit for the weekend. So as Marie had arranged on previous visits, called Kristie and Tanya to schedule appointments’  hair, mani and pedicure for Laura for Saturday morning. Leaving the afternoon for some girl adventures.

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Alastair Sim
Alastair Sim femulating in the 1954 British film The Belles of St Trinian's

Friday, September 18, 2020

I Want My MTV

I watched MTV a lot during what I consider was its heyday, that is, when it played music videos 24/7. My watch occasionally paid off when a femulator appeared in a video. Some of the music video femulators were drop-dead gorgeous, while others were men in dresses.

Recently I took a tour of YouTube searching for music video femulations and I uncovered three in which the band members start the video in boy mode, but end the video en femme.

The three culprits are:

👠 “Heterosexual Man” by Odds (with guest appearances by some Kids in the Hall including femulator extraordinaire Dave Foley)

👠 “My Girl” by Little Odessa

👠 “Stef II” by Indochine (photo above)

Click on a song title to be transported to YouTube to see the video.

Do you have a favorite femulating music video?

Source: Moda Operandi
Wearing Rosario

Femulating in the music video for “Heterosexual Man” by Odds