Sunday, November 29, 2020

Growing Old Isn't for Sissies

As I close in on my 70th birthday, I am feeling my age. Aches and pains linger longer. I don’t move as fast as I did in the past, but I do get tired faster. My memory is not as good as it used to be and my eyesight is slowly getting worse.

On the other hand, my health is very good. I have no diseases and no prescriptions. And I look young for my age. I’m sure that never smoking and seldom drinking has something to do with it. Applying creams and moisturizers on a daily basis helps, too.

That being said, when I was younger, I assumed that when I became a senior citizen, I would not want to femulate because I would be an old lady. The desire to crossdress would dry up just like my youth. Who wants to look like an old lady? So I would abandon femulating and rest on my laurels.


The desire to femulate is stronger than ever. I want to femulate as often as possible because time is running out. But I feel so frustrated because the pandemic is keeping my femulations at bay. 

I do dress to the nines at home to keep in shape for future outings, but dressing up with no place to go is so boring. The holidays usually offer many opportunities to dress to kill, but not this year!

I am so anxious to femulate that I plan to dress en femme when I go to get vaccinated.

Wearing Adrianna Papell
Wearing Adrianna Papell

“Old Lady” wearing Boston Proper dress and Nine West heels
“Old Lady” wearing Boston Proper dress and Nine West heels

Friday, November 27, 2020

Death of a Friend

The big names in our community garner a lot of press when they die, for example, the recent deaths of Jan Morris and Monica Roberts. But the death of the lesser-knowns in our community fade away without a word.

The following piece written by Paula Gaikowski, is a eulogy for one of those lesser knowns – Marcia Alvey.

I met Marcia back in the dark ages of the 90’s. I had a site on Geocites and she saw my picture and sent me an email. We were the same age. She lived in Portland Oregon and I lived in New England. We were both married, had children and were struggling with the angst of being transgender.  

Her story is not unlike yours, mine or ours and it is these shared experiences that bonded us together. 

As a child, Marcia always wanted to be a girl. There wasn’t any doubt, however, she did her best to fit in as there wasn’t any other real choice back then. She played football in college and graduated from Willamette University and went on to earn a law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School. She was admitted to the Oregon bar in 1987 and started her own firm in 1996. She married and raised two sons. 

After her divorce a few years ago, she decided to transition. She was an active volunteer with the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and with Basic Rights Oregon seeking to protect the rights of LGBTQ Oregonians.

Throughout my life, I noticed that the feminine part of me, like a vine always moved toward the light. The growth of our friendship was one of those searching feminine moments, a need for someone like myself, who understood, respected and loved me. She was that light.

We shared our most secret secrets, words we did not dare to whisper to another soul. We shouted to each other in a language that only we understood because we were sisters of a type. What was foreign to others was native to us.

Watching her transition was amazing. I truly envied her and was awed by her bravery and the sensitivity and intelligence of how she approached it all.

Marcia was always there for me willing to listen and respond with kind words or advice. She was a kind, generous and a gifted person. Being transgender is not easy and unless you are transgender it is difficult to understand.

I corresponded with Marcia for over 20 years supporting, comforting and advising each other as we struggled with the problem of being transgender, married and parents.

My own brother died exactly one month before, Marcia did. Because of this preoccupation, I didn’t email Marcia for awhile. Finally, a few weeks ago, I sent an email, then another and finally one with the words, “I’m worried please answer!”

Last night, I received this from Marcia’s sister,


This is Marcia’s sister. Marcia passed away a week ago after having gall bladder surgery. I am so sorry to tell you this way.

I was heartbroken, however, you my Femulate sisters are the only ones who can understand this relationship and the loss. I really can’t share it with my wife, family or friends.

I have not transitioned, but I know that Marcia found peace in doing so. In her last email, she expressed to me the joy and happiness she felt that she was now seen and accepted as a woman by her colleagues and friends.


I was thinking of you yesterday on my drive home from work. I wanted to tell you this information in the worst way; like a girlfriend would.

It is not earth-shattering. I just had the realization due to a few moments and experiences that there is hardly any remnant of maleness left. I am a woman now. I feel it very much physically. I feel it very much socially. 

I went to the paint store yesterday and bought two gallons of stain and supplies for my sons to stain my deck at my condo. The clerk put it all in a box. When it was time to go, he handed me the roller extension pole then said, “Let me help you out with this ma’am.” 

You know what? I was thankful and relieved. I also felt very much a woman…

I believe that we never really lose the people we love, even to death. Their love, thoughts and principles leave a permanent imprint in our hearts. They continue on in this way in every action, belief, and choice we make. So too will you, dear Marcia, in our community you will be with us

I’ll miss you dear girlfriend, thank you so much for always being there and listening and advising. You left us too soon.

Wearing Shoshanna
Wearing Shoshanna

Don Edmondson femulating in the 1974 film Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes also known as Jive Turkey.
Don Edmondson femulating in the 1974 film Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes also known as Jive Turkey. You can view the film on YouTube.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wearing New York & Company
Wearing New York & Company

Femulating in the 1991 Mexican film Hembra o Macho (Female or Male)Also known as Un Abogado en Aprietos (A Lawyer in Trouble), you can view the film on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

What Else I’m Underwearing

I realized that my previous post was incomplete after receiving this comment: “No hip pads?”

In addition to the longline bra, corset and padded panty, I wear a SPANX Oncore Open-Bust Panty Bodysuit to smooth and sculpt my body, i.e, to put the icing on the cake that my other shapewear had created.

Also, to be complete, I usually wear Berkshire thigh highs. Occasionally, I will substitute the thigh highs with No Nonsense sheer-to-waist pantyhose if my hemline is very short or if I am wearing a romper or shorts. HUE opaque tights are another leg wear option.

Getting back to the hip pads comment, my response was “No hip pads. The foundation garments I wear reduce my waistline so that it appears I have hips and a 42-34-42 figure, more or less.”

My “more or less” equivocation haunted me all morning. I had not taken my measurements in years – certainly not since I lost weight, nor since I began wearing the current combination of shapewear. 

To sate my curiosity, I slipped on all my shapewear, took my measurements and took them a second time because I was surprised by my initial measurements. Turns out I was little more voluptuous than I thought – my measurements are 44-36-44.

Wearing Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Carl Switzer femulating in a 1937 Our Gang comedy Mail and Female
Carl Switzer femulating in a 1937 Our Gang comedy Mail and Female

Monday, November 23, 2020

What I’m Underwearing

Self-portrait in pencil (2008)
I am always trying to improve my presentation. Losing 25 pounds last year made a big difference, but also required that I purchase new foundation garments because the undies I had been wearing were now too big. So a review of what I am currently underwearing is in order.

From top to bottom...

My bra size did not change. Maybe because what I was wearing was too small and now fits just right. I wear a longline bra to keep my tummy in check and recently switched from a Rago to a Carnival longline bra. I switched because the Carnavil is a front closure bra, whereas the Rago is a back closure bra. The front closure is just so much easier to deal with especially with a longline bra. Caveat emptor: the Carnival runs small and I had to order one band size larger (42B instead of 40B).

My derriere was not very shapely before the weight loss and was even more lacking after the loss, so I decided to experiment with padded panties to improve things down under. I found the Rago High Waist Padded Panty to be the solution for me. It adds a nice curve to my derriere where there was none before and it also acts as a girdle to flatten my tummy.

Under the bra and padded panty, I occasionally  wear a corset – the occasion being whether or not the outfit I am wearing is “body conscious” (“body con”). Corsets can be expensive, but I found a very inexpensive one that works for me – Frawirshau satin underbust corset that only costs $12.99! (It is so inexpensive that I bought a second one!)

So that’s the shape I’m in these days.

Wearing Marta Ferri
Wearing Marta Ferri  

Christian De Sica femulates in yet another film, Amici Come Prima, a 2018 Italian comedy.
Christian De Sica femulates in yet another film, Amici Come Prima, a 2018 Italian comedy.
You can view the film’s trailer on YouTube.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Someday Funnies

Wearing Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Lino Banfi and Christian De Sica femulating in Belli Freschi, a 1987 Italian remake of Some Like It Hot.
Lino Banfi and Christian De Sica femulating in Belli Freschi, a 1987 Italian remake of Some Like It Hot. Thank you, Sara, for the information about this film, which you can view in its entirety on YouTube.
By the way, I loved the polka dot dress that Christian wore in this film.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Men are from Mars, but they can wear Venus

By Jeanine Williams

I was prompted to write this Femulate entry when I saw the lovely Carollyn Olson’s photo wearing the “Lace Detail Sweater Dress” from Venus that I also own and am pictured wearing here as well. 

I emailed Stana a few weeks ago after noticing that she featured several Venus items in the Femulate. I told her that I had mixed results with Venus sizing, so she encouraged me to write about it, but mentioned that she was happy with her selections.

I purchased this dress because I love sweater dresses, love the color and felt it was eye-catching, elegant and very feminine. Nevertheless I returned my XL for a 1X because it was too tight in the bust and underarms even though I was already swimming in it below the bodice. My wife, a professional seamstress, told me she can always take something in, so ordering a larger size is better in the long run. She’s altered several things for me, so I count myself lucky to have a spouse who not only approves of and assists me in my femulating endeavors!

Lots and lots of room in the 1X, which she took it in, but there was still way too much fabric to provide the silhouette I was trying to achieve, that the lovely Venus model accomplishes so nicely. That’s the reason for the belt. I didn’t have a briefer or bra that has detachable straps to allow me to use the clear ones I bought for this dress, so please try to overlook that.

The back of the dress is bunched and folded and held in place by the belt, so it does make for a nice look that way and I may still wear it with the belt after the second round of alterations. It is comfortable to wear, although the lace can be a bit scratchy. I would not consider it a quality garment, even though it has the appearance of one. It’s sized from XS to 3X, so Venus accommodates those of us like to wear the nice-looking skirts and dresses that usually stop at size 14 with other retailers.

If I had to change something about this dress it would be to lower or reduce the fabric at the neckline a little. I’ll discuss that a bit more with my comments on the “Glitter Bodycon Dress” that I’m also writing about, but it’s generally appealing as is and I like the hem of my skirts and dresses a few inches above my knees. I hope to wear it out and about in the future, but the verdict isn’t in yet.

My next review is the Glitter Bodycon Dress, which I had better luck with. It’s an XL and fits much better as it’s just a little bit too big for me below the waist.  In the photo, I’m using my left hand to sweep the extra inch or two behind me so that I can get that bodycon silhouette – so that’s on the list for an alteration.

I don’t like the higher neckline though and want to see if my wife can reduce or eliminate it and just leave the mesh insert. The other minor issue for me is that the dress gathers at the hem between the legs, which I’d prefer it didn’t, but it’s been designed that way and is part of the look. I’ll get used to that.  It’s a New Year's Eve or party dress, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be attending either this year.

My personal preference is a V or scoop neckline because it gives more area for the viewer to cast their gaze upon and takes away from emphasizing my face. I like to include my neck and a few inches below that in my appearance – it seems to round out my total look and tends to center the gaze of others on a larger area rather than concentrate on just my facial features. I think it also expresses confidence by showing a bit more of yourself, but then again I’m fortunate as I have a small Adam’s apple, so I don’t need to worry about that.

I think Venus is likely aware of the crossdressing community, based on some of their offerings. Although they don’t seem to market to us directly, I suspect we’re part of their target audience because of the extra large sizes, the ruched styling, the high necklines to hide the Apple of Adam and certainly, the hip and sultry look of their designs. If any of you know about their company policies please, do tell.

It occurred to me as I wrap this up that it would be wonderful and a service to Femulate readers for other women readers, as Stana does from time to time, to describe your purchase experiences and insights – what’s your favorite outfit, did it fit, was it sized right, was it worth the price, how does it make you look and feel and would you buy another item from the company? 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wearing Metrostyle
Wearing Metrostyle

Gabriel Sanches femulating in the 2017-2018 Brazilian television series Pega Pega (The Big Catch)
Gabriel Sanches femulating in the 2017-2018 Brazilian television series Pega Pega (The Big Catch)

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Back in the Attic

Throwback Thursday Dept.

My Attic Finds post received a lot of positive comments, so I will happily offer another then and now comparison of a dress I rescued from the attic – a navy blue sequins number from Ultra Dress. The photo on the left shows me wearing the dress at my support group’s holiday dinner in 1995. The photo on the right shows me 25 pounds lighter wearing the same dress last week.

After taking the photo, I actually threw the dress in the trash because after hanging in the attic for over two decades, the hanger stretched out the dress leaving permanent stretch marks in the shoulders of the dress. 

I had second thoughts a few days later, retrieved the dress from the trash and threw it in the washer to see if a washing would fix the stretch marks. Surprisingly, that corrected the problem and now I have yet another cocktail dress to wear nowhere!

Pinback Thursday Dept.

The black velvet Onyx Nite evening gown I am wearing in the About Stana photo below right is another attic find. It is a dress I purchased on eBay long ago, but never wore.

When I bought it, it fit just right, but now it is too big. It looks OK in the photo because I pinned it up to make it look like it fit, but without the pins, it hangs on me like a muumuu. It might even be too big to be fixed by a tailor. Too bad – it’s a very nice dress.

By the way, the black patent high heel pumps (from Jubilee) are another attic find. 

Wearing Coach
Wearing Coach

Czadoman, Marta Gałuszewska, Filip Gurłacz and Gosia Andrzejewicz (boy, girl, boy, girl) femulating Sister Sledge on Polish television’s Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo.
Czadoman, Marta Gałuszewska, Filip Gurłacz and Gosia Andrzejewicz (boy, girl, boy, girl) femulating Sister Sledge on Polish television’s Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo.
You can view this amazing femulation on YouTube.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Up and Down and Up Again in High Heels

By Gina V

Perhaps the most quintessential part of a woman’s wardrobe is at the bottom, where her shoes live – especially if they are the high-heeled variety. I read somewhere that said items were invented by the vertically-challenged Catherine the Great to lord it over taller court rivals*. But whatever their origin, I am pretty sure they were not designed for comfort. Yet millions of women still don them at times in preference to something more practical (nowadays without eyebrows being raised as a result), for it is fairly likely they know it is a quick-fix means of looking elegant and feeling gloriously ladylike. 

Despite the trial presented, many appear able to strut about in them the way a duck takes to water. Yet even the most agile can (metaphorically and physically) get too close to the sun when they reach for the sky. With the result that they look in dire need of the nearest toilets!

Many things have come easily to me in life (and if not, then I made it someone else’s problem), one being able to wear high heels without effort when I came out the closet in my late 30’s. I could pose in imposing ones for a drag revue I produced plus spend all night on the local transvestite scene in them with no problem. I once even walked several miles home afterwards in some. 

Despite that, I eventually realized said scene wasn’t meeting my aspirations (that’s another story). So I “retired” for several years and put on several stone. I then relocated to a place of my own, and shifted a fair bit of blubber in the process. So took advantage of that to try out my old femme gear again. Fortunately the more-forgiving garments didn’t make me look like a sack of potatoes, but every pair of shoes gave both my feet and Achilles tendons a hard time.

Regardless, overall results were encouraging enough to rejoin the scene as the next step in my rehabilitation process. So I wore a different pair of approximately 3-inch heels whenever I went out in the expectation I would get used to them as the evening wore on. I realized I was rusty as well as older and heavier, but saw it akin to “riding a bike.” However, it soon became clear the natural ability I once possessed had now deserted me. 

So I then took several pairs out with me and when those I wore became insufferable, I would kick them off with great relief before stepping into a more comfortable pair. Yet despite that, I would still end up in stockinged feet thanks to the discomfort. The final straw was doing a gig while dressed and having to keep perching on a stool to give my complaining calves some much-needed relief.

Therefore, I realized that something else had to be done to reach the dizzy heights of yore. Initially, I solved the problem by acquiring some shoes with a 1½-inch kitten heel. They were manageable, but I felt that I was not only cheating, but envious of my peers prancing about in ones at least twice as high. So I finally bit the bullet and realized that for once in my life, I would have to put in some hard work.

When Olympic champion Jessica Ennis came back to athletics after a break, I read things were not going according to plan due to similar problems. However, that she managed to overcome them to win the world title gave me encouragement in my own battle to triumph against the odds. I also noted that actor Sean Bean prepared for the role of a transvestite by walking around his house in heels on a regular basis. Not an ideal way for an actual crossdresser to tackle the problem, as the thrill might be diminished or even lost in the process. All the same, it was still something to think about. For if one could no longer walk the walk, one would need to take a more down-to-earth approach in order to be less down-to-earth.

So I reluctantly resorted to Mr. Bean's method (Sean’s, that is, not THE Mr Bean!) in the hope that I could overcome my physical and psychological issues. Unlike many, I could wear heels in my home at my leisure, thus, I did so (trying out ever-more daunting ones as time went on) when the mood took me, which was usually while relaxing with a glass of wine or three. Once I got into that habit, I decided to wear some even when not feeling particularly inclined. In that regard, I kept in mind the following experience I had a few years back.

While attending a wedding, I enviously took note of a couple of female peers dancing at the reception in high heels they probably didn't wear any more regularly than I did formal male attire nowadays. I then overheard one say to the other, “My shoes are killing me now!” To which the other responded, “So are mine! But you can’t take them off, can you?” To which they both giggled before carrying on boogieing without apparent concern, as I watched on in my own “shackles” of suit and tie even more wistfully.

So I have kept that regime up for a while now and as a result, have come to view the higher heels in my collection as at least acquaintances, if not friends, as opposed to the intimidating strangers they were before. Sadly, these troubled times dictate that at present, the only convenient place available to test my endeavors in public is my local precinct. Which I have no immediate plans to visit en femme anyway – coronavirus or not!

* I believe that is why court shoes are so-called!

Wearing Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Rob Lowe and Paul McCrane femulating as nurses in the 1984 film The Hotel New Hampshire
Rob Lowe and Paul McCrane femulating as nurses in the 1984 film The Hotel New Hampshire
You can view the film’s trailer on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


Wearing COVID-19 masks has put the emphasis on our eyes. More than ever, a girl has to be expert at applying eye makeup. I am no expert, but I have learned a few things over the years. 

In the past, I have had a number of makeovers primarily for the purpose of learning how professionals would apply makeup to my face. The problem is that it is difficult to see what the artist is doing if you are the canvas. 

One Jim Bridges’ makeover, Jim proffered a handheld mirror so I could watch what he was doing. In theory, that should work, but in practice, it did not because holding a mirror up to my face impeded what Jim was trying to do. I could view the results of each step of his makeup application, but I could not see how he performed the application.

Back when I was trying to learn a few things, videotapes were popular and I bought a VHS tape called The Eyes Have It by Donna Mills, a drop-dead gorgeous actress, who had beautiful eyes. On the tape, Donna showed how she did her makeup step-by-step.

After watching the tape once, I set up my makeup mirror next to the television and played the tape again applying each step of Donna’s routine to myself. You can see the results in the accompanying Polaroid. 

I have thinned my eyebrows considerably since that 1992 Polaroid, but 28 years later, I still follow Donna’s routine to do my eyes. The videotape is no longer for sale unless you can find a used copy on eBay or elsewhere, however, the video is available on YouTube in various forms.

Doing my eyes a few months ago, I noticed that my eyelashes were not what they used to be! There weren’t as many lashes as I had in the past and the lashes that I did have were not very long. 

“Old age stinks,” I muttered.

Being an Avon Lady, I recalled that Avon had a product that could solve my problem. Called Avon Clinical Unlimited Lash, Avon claimed that I could “Get lush lashes that are all yours.” Avon's “unique serum, with a peptide blend and botanicals, is designed to dramatically enhance the look of your lashes. In just weeks, lashes look longer, fuller and healthier.”

I purchased a tube and began applying it religiously every evening. 

Six weeks later, I was impressed how my eyelashes had improved. My lashes looked much fuller and longer than they did back in September. 

“Old age doesn’t have to stink,” I proclaimed.

Wearing Venus
Wearing Venus

Bernard Bresslaw femulating in the 1973 British film Carry On Girls.
Bernard Bresslaw femulating in the 1973 British film Carry On Girls.
You can view the film on YouTube.