Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Read All About It!

By Gina

As a result of contributing to Femulate as an author, I felt it my duty to peruse the blog all the way back from its humble beginnings in 2007. 

It was a fascinating exercise to see it transform from the sapling planted by “Staci” to the mighty oak it is today and while I didn’t read every entry word for word (so I’m not quite the completist I thought I was, ha ha), I at least got the gist of them all. 

Perhaps, not surprisingly given the vast amount of entries and the limited scope of the subject, there is a fair bit of repetition. Plus Stana is the queen of recycling, but that might be for the benefit of more recent followers as opposed to being short of ideas (both actually – Stana). I have enjoyed making my way through it all anyway though, not just for the above reasons, but also as a means of whiling away the living hell of lockdown/cabin fever/Groundhog Day!

But this post particularly resonated with me as I actually remember seeing the newspaper cutting in question when it was first published in the 1980’s in one of the “red tops” printed to entertain the British lower classes (with a bit of actual news reportage thrown in as an aside). 

It was most likely in the Sunday publication News of the World, that delighted in titillating its readers with mildly shocking exposés of sex and scandal. As such, transvestites were fair game and would crop up in it from time to time as a source of amusement for its readers. And of course, a source of fascination for me.

That reminds me of around the same time, when one of the daily red tops published a photo of a young, attractive and extremely convincing transvestite on the front page dressed in a white miniskirt suit, who was causing some kind of kerfuffle as a result of dressing in public. And also of the fat and ugly middle-aged woman that went around the huge office I was working in that day, showing it to all and sundry while guffawing away in contempt of what she saw as a freak show. It may not surprise you to learn that my thoughts on the matter were along the lines of “Well, I certainly wouldn't climb over her to get to you!” But sadly, of course, I never got to speak my mind in that regard, as back then, I was still terrified that anyone would think of me as anything other than a red-blooded skirt-chasing geezer!

Like Stana I am a devoted collector of all things trans in print and other media, but sadly didn’t have the forethought (or perhaps the nerve?) to acquire and keep the article at the time. I have since tried to find it on the Internet, but alas, in vain so far. 

So in the meantime, readers will have to make do with this much more recent edition of the soaraway Sum that shows that the British red tops’ stance on transgenderism has barely changed since the 1980’s!

John Inman femulating in British television's Are You Being Served?
John Inman femulating in British television's Are You Being Served?
You can view this femulation on YouTube.


  1. This column is very surprising because I always thought the UK was more accepting of drag/camp and LGBT in general than the U.S. (Mr. Inman was a great example of this). Do any of our British followers have a good explanation of this?

    1. It's a bit mixed. There's a long tradition of camp/drag in theatre, however once you stray from that to the real world and certain newspapers can be less forgiving.

      LGBTQ+ acceptance is very different to what it was in the 80s, however we're seeing the rise of a vocal anti-trans minority being platformed by certain news outlets.

      It feels a little bit like a rerun of the homophobic BS certain papers peddled in the 80s.

      The good news is that in general, most UK folk are pretty accepting. I say in general as there's always haters.

      Others may have a different view and experience.

    2. dear anonymous (who i presume to be american?): i have said this here before, but my view is that thanks to the almost unique tradition of pantomime in this country (where crossdressing for comic effect is an essential ingredient) the great british public are usually ok with tranvestism in the media etc as some kind of novelty event. the effete and implied gay character played by john inman in "are you being served" using a special occasion like the works xmas party as an excuse to femulate (which for him is the ultimate act of campness) is a good example of that. it is only when it starts to get serious and/or encroaches on their own patch, that they tend to get somewhat less comfortable with the issue.

      talking of which: mr inman in drag happens to look very similar to john hurt when he played quentin crisp in "the naked civil servant", that was broadcast on uk telly around the same time in the mid-1970's. although as that was an autobiographical drama about a (gay) transvestite who dared to live that life for real (as opposed to a camp caricature in a sitcom), to my recollection the viewers didn't react quite so kindly to it!

      btw: i do like john's santa helper outfit (and he has some very nice legs), but i would rather be dressed in the manner of the (old-fashioned even when the show was made) lady lift-operator!

    3. The UK is generally quite accepting of camp or drag for entertainment, and LGBTQ+ in general life, but we do have a very small, but very vocal and very well funded group of mostly women who are intent on denying Trans Women (they tend to ignore Trans Men and non binary folk) even the freedoms we have won. The last few years have actually become quite unpleasant for trans women over here, but I am hopeful that things are about to stat getting better.

  2. Tabloids - Can't live with 'em . . . yeah, that's all.

    It's not often that the Femulate Her photo grabs my attention, but THIS one! I absoultely adore this style. It projects class, refinement, and true glamor. And, as is usually the case, when an outfit does get to me, it's one that is not captioned with the source!
    ~~ sigh~~
    Such is life. (lol)

    1. I found the image at, but that is not the original source and I have no idea where that blogger found it.

    2. This is about as Butch as John Inman ever got! A very camp comedian the main jokes in this show revolved around inside leg measurements and his colleague's (Mrs Slocomb) pussy! Not exactly a high brow show ~ but just the sort of thing to compete with Benny Hill on the "other Channel" ~ back in the 1970s we only had BBC and ITV

    3. I actually have a very similar Christmas outfit, only mines green

  3. My favourite Sun front page headline has got to be: "Sex swop doc in stag gore horror." This related to a serious attack on a Dr Kate Stone, when she was one of a group of walkers. Various papers were criticised for bringing up her trans status up in their coverage on the basis that it was irrelevant to the story. It may not, however, have been entirely irrelevant, as it was possible that she was singled out by the stag, because she was the tallest member of the group, and greater height tends to be a characteristic of trans as opposed to cis women. Fortunately, Dr Stone eventually made a full recovery.
    Penny from Edinburgh.

  4. Like many of a sensitive nature I was very gad when the "News of the World" got shut down, it had for a long time been the prime source of scurrilous and scandalous reporting, primarily for the titillation of it's readers. Just like The Sun and other papers they delighted in outing people, ruining many lives. Unfortunately the attacks on trans people in the UK are not limited to the "Red Tops" or the right wing press but can often be found in otherwise august organs like The Times and The Guardian.

  5. Yes indeed, tabloids exist for controversy and defamation. And they're not just in the UK -- anyone checked out The New York Post????? Paula points out reporting on trans stories sometimes show up in the better papers. That happens here, too. The NY Times and Washington Post, though, cover them as actual well-researched news stories. Leave the controversy to the swamp creatures.

  6. The "Red Tops" have their good points as well as bad
    In the pre internet 60s and 70s they made me realise I was not the only man who liked wearing women's clothes
    They were my only source of information