Saturday, July 31, 2021

Someday Funnies

Wearing Wigs at Piggly Wiggly!

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Cary Grant
Cary Grant femulating in the 1949 film I Was A Male War Bride, which in my opinion, represents one of the worst film femulations by a major star in film history.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Finding Herself in New Orleans

By Paula Gaikowski

Stana’s recent post about New Orleans jarred my memory and made me think of a New Orleans encounter I had back in 1977.

I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1977 and it was an easy weekend trip to New Orleans for young airmen. The French Quarter was still filled with jazz bands and an eclectic mix of people from all over the country who came to find refuge from intolerance in their home towns.

Five of us crammed into a tiny Mercury Capri and headed to New Orleans for the weekend. We started to make the rounds Saturday night and ended up at Gunga Den, which to my surprise and well-hidden delight featured female impersonators. 

After one drink and a few curious looks, my buddies decided to leave. They were off to seek the company of members of the world’s oldest profession. I opted out and inconspicuously made my way back to Gunga Den to watch the show. These were girls who were on HRT, their bodies soft, curvy and feminine. As others watched in lust, I watch transfixed with envy, amazement and awe. This was the first time I actually saw a transgender person. This was real, it was possible, it could be. 

After the show I talked with a girl named Angel, who was from Indiana and was kicked out of the house by her father after being caught several times crossdressing. She told me her story, which is familiar to most of us – a little boy who just wanted to be a girl and tried to fit in. 

When she was 10 years old, she was admonished by her mother for trying on her clothes and using her makeup. Her teenage years were filled with crossdressing, confusion and domestic abuse. After graduating high school, things boiled over, so she visited a friend who had went to school in New Orleans. In the French Quarter she found a job tending bar and the kindred spirits at Gunga Den. 

I took in every word of her story as if she were a prophet. She was first person I ever met who was like me – a person from my home planet who spoke my language.

People didn’t come out as transgender in 1977. The word didn’t even exist then, but for the first time in my life, I could admit to another person my secret – that I wanted to be a woman. So just before leaving, I said, “Angel I am just like you.”

She smiled knowingly and replied, “You’re not alone.” 

I left Gunga Den and wandered the streets of the French Quarter finding sanctuary from the roaming ne’er-do-wells. I watched the sun rise over the Mississippi River, while running through my mind were thoughts of fear, hope and possibility. I couldn’t find my buddies, but met up with another group of airmen from Keesler who gave me a ride back to base.

I had a lot to think about – and still do.

Source: New York & Company
Wearing New York & Company

New Orleans’ Gunga Den
Professional femulators performing at New Orleans’ Gunga Den, circa 1975

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


The surgery went well yesterday. I was in the hospital from 8 AM to 3 PM. Operation lasted about 90 minutes. The rest of the time was spent prepping and unprepping. 

Doctor said my hernia was “big.” There are now three tiny wounds on my stomach where the robot ports were located. Except for the soreness around the port holes, I have no pain. 

Next week I go see the doctor for a follow-up and then I am good to go femulating again.

A Rose by Any Other Name

Tommy Dorfman
Tommy Dorfman

Another “celebrity” came out as trans: actress Tommy Dorfman, who came out as a transgender woman.

I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy.”

What struck me was that she retained her male first name, Tommy, rather than adopting a female name.

When I started crossdressing, I did not adopt a female name. I did not even consider it. It never came up (and why would it since my crossdressing was closeted).

Only when I joined Genderline, the crossdresser group on CompuServe, did I adopt a femme name. And I only did so because the male-to-female crossdressers on Genderline had adopted female names. In retrospect, it made sense for my personal security back then (circa 1977) because I was still closeted and out to nobody. 

Fast forward four decades and I am out to almost everybody. And a lot of those people are civilians who knew be by my male name before they knew me as trans. Most of them don’t even know my femme name and still call me by my male name.

In this day and age, parents are naming their newborn girls with names that were previously considered male names, for example, Jesse, Taylor, Austin, Jordan, etc. According to Babycenter, even “Stanley” is a girl name, as well as a boy name – not a popular girl name, but a girl name nonetheless. So I feel motivated to jettison “Stana” and start going by “Stanley” full-time and complete the circle. 

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Rianna modeling in a fashion show in the Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Monday, July 26, 2021

Friends (and Acquaintances)

Last week, a reader asked, “Any advice on reaching out to find friends and acquaintances?”  

In my youth, my friends and acquaintances came from three sources: kids in my neighborhood, classmates in my schools and local ham radio operators. Since my crossdressing was closeted, I had no friends via crossdressing, although I am sure that one of my classmate friends was a crossdresser.

As a young adult, my friends and acquaintances also came from work. Since I was writing for an international ham radio magazine, I also had friends and acquaintances from the worldwide ham radio community. 

My crossdressing came out of the closet as an older adult when I started attending support group meetings and the group’s sponsored outings. As an active member of the support group, I had lots of support group friends and acquaintances including two who had been ham radio acquaintances before they became crossdresser acquaintances. (Small world!) Middle-aged, I began writing this blog and as it became popular, I had even more crossdresser friends and acquaintances.

That was my path for acquiring friends and acquaintances, but my path is not your path.

Joining a support group is still an option if there is a support group in your area. Similarly, you can make friends by attending a crossdresser convention.

The problem is that crossdresser support groups and conventions are becoming scarcer by the hour. Just as the Internet killed off our favorite brick and mortar dress shops and shoe stores, it is also killing off crossdresser support groups and conventions. So what’s a lonely girl to do? 

Turn the killer on its head and use Internet social media to find friends and acquaintances.

Google “crossdresser groups” and the Google comes back with over 83 million groups. Fine tune your search for locale, for example, Googling “crossdresser groups connecticut” returns over 741,000 results.

Some of the results will be dead ends, but there is enough active online action that may result in friendships with other crossdressers. Facebook, Meetup, Reddit are some of the online resources to check out. And they are just the tip of the Internet iceberg.

One more thing... There is always the possibility that friends from your boy life can be friends in your girl life. When I came out at work, my co-worker friends were still my friends. No one shunned me; they treated me as if nothing had changed and a few even seemed friendlier! You never know! 

Good luck!

And by the way, I want to thank everyone who wished me good luck regarding my surgery tomorrow.

Source: Brooks Brothers
Wearing Brooks Brothers

“Soldiers in Skirts” (circa 1943)
British “Soldiers in Skirts” (circa 1943) ready to entertain the troops

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Someday Funnies

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Tanya Taylor
Alison Laing
Trans activist and pioneer Alison Laing out and about (circa 1960)
(Alison and I became friends when we stayed at the same B&B during Fantasia Fairs. She was a sweetheart and our community misses her so.) 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Gabi Interviewed, Part 2

By Paula Gaikowski

While scanning the transgender subs on Reddit, Femulate contributor Paula Gaikowski became intrigued by a girl named Gabi, who worked at a bank presenting as a woman a few days a week. 

One of my dreams was to work while presenting as a woman. My company and bosses supported my dream, but except for regular Halloween and Christmas party appearances en femme, I did not follow my dream. So I was fascinated by Gabi’s success working as a woman. And lucky for us, Gabi has kindly agreed to an interview about her working life, which was conducted by Paula. 

Part 2 of the interview follows (Part 1 appeared here on Wednesday).

Femulate: I believe you spent as long as a week working as Gabi. How did you feel at the end of that week?

Gabi: I think working one day as a woman and the next as a man kept me grounded in the sense of making it not that difficult to be in boy mode. But I definitely thought of transitioning often and I still do. At the time, going back and forth didn’t have any negative consequences on my psyche because it was all so new and exciting. 

It was also the most I had ever been able to express my femininity outwardly. Over time, I do wonder if going back and forth maybe stunted my possibilities of transitioning. I wonder if maybe it gave me just enough femininity to ease those urges and still enough male privilege to keep that attractive enough. Being away from a job where I dress since then, has been difficult. It was hard going back to more exclusively boy mode.

Femulate: How did family and friends react to you working as a woman?

Gabi: My family never really discusses much in the first place and they have never brought up my dressing. I do live very far away from them and I didn’t really advertise my dressing on the social media that they use. I will say that I did make a second, Gabi only, Instagram account. My long-time domestic partner has always had mixed feelings about my dressing and I do understand that it can be confusing and difficult for those around us. A lot of my friends, mainly female, embraced Gabi. Others have never really brought her up

Femulate: Your employer and colleagues were amazingly positive and supportive. Did you experience any trans-phobic comments or actions? A follow-on question would be did you experience any misogyny?

Gabi: I never received anything but support from my coworkers, which was absolutely amazing. I did have a customer speak to the guy version of me about Gabi where he described her as a man in a dress or something along those lines. I was very lucky to not have to face any of that while I was Gabi at work. 

I was in a store one time and my friends told me that some guys were mocking me behind my back while I was shopping. 

But honestly, I have been incredibly lucky with how safe I have been in my work environment, when shopping, eating and enjoying nights out. In many ways, I have always tried to be extra safe. I have stayed in public places and been alert. Some nights spent in Italy could be a bit worrisome as it got darker later, but I always did my best to be as safe as possible.

On the issue of misogyny, I will say that women are often treated much differently. I have had men tell me to smile. Here is a good word of advice to any men – don't do that. It is annoying and patronizing. I had male customers treat me like I didn’t know anything or how to do my job. Some of those guys were assholes to my male side, but in a more aggressive way, I suppose. 

When in Italy, while I was looking at my phone outside of a lingerie shop, I had a guy creepily ask me, “Voi (do you want)?’ while pointing at a lingerie set in the window. I have been followed by men on the streets asking to hang out with them. I had a man try to invite himself to my hotel room and follow me late at night. Men in Italy are much more aggressive in some respects. That isn’t to say some haven’t politely asked me to dinner, but I never agreed to go since I was in a relationship and I also did not wanting them to figure out I wasn’t born a woman. You never know what could happen with some people, so I am extra cautious.

Luckily, in the professional setting, so many people are women and that was as very true at the bank branch I worked at that, so I felt no workplace misogyny.

Femulate: What did you learn about living as a woman and yourself?

Gabi: I think I learned more about how deeply my feminine side runs. How it is a center of joy and light. How even during the worst times, it still feels right and comfortable in some ways. And I gained even more empathy for others doing so. I always say that everyone should crossdress at least once.

Femulate: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try working as a woman?

Gabi: Number one: Make sure you are comfortable with your co-workers and the environment. If it is a potentially hostile or unsafe work environment, it might not be the best place to try to reveal and try to live something that for so many is deeply personal and important.

Number two: Make sure you are comfortable with yourself and where you are along your journey. Confidence is the most important thing to being able to function while dressed as a woman in society when you weren't assigned as one at birth. Be happy with your skill level with makeup and make sure that you have enough appropriate clothes for the job you are going to be doing. Early on we think of “passing” as the be all and end all, but there are so many women out there in all shapes and sizes. There is no set parameters for passing. How you hold yourself, your poise, your confidence, your joy, your inner spark, that is what will make your choice of presentation acceptable to most people in the world. Honestly, most people see the clothes, hair and makeup to such an extent that it is easier for them to code you as a woman.

A final point that goes along with confidence is be ready for bumps in the road. Some days your makeup will feel off. Some days someone might clock you or say something that is hurtful. You have to be able to handle that just as well as you would if they did that to how you normally present yourself.

I am not exactly sure what the future holds for Gabi honestly. I am hoping to find a way to work as her again. And who knows, maybe I will transition. That always feels like an option honestly. Now I need to see if that is what feels right.

For more about Gabi, click here to visit her Reddit page. 

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Rue La La

Richard Gibson
Richard Gibson (left) femulating in British television's ’Allo ’Allo

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Gabi: A Working Woman Interviewed

By Paula Gaikowski

While scanning the transgender subs on Reddit, Femulate contributor Paula Gaikowski became intrigued by a girl named Gabi, who worked at a bank presenting as a woman a few days a week. 

One of my dreams was to work while presenting as a woman. My company and bosses supported my dream, but except for regular Halloween and Christmas party appearances en femme, I did not follow my dream. So I was fascinated by Gabi’s success working as a woman. And lucky for us, Gabi has kindly agreed to an interview about her working life, which was conducted by Paula.

Femulate: How did the opportunity to go to work as Gabi come about? It’s a big step to come out at work and you only worked some days as Gabi.

Gabi: Well, first I had been working at the place for a few months beforehand. That can have its positives and negatives. One of the big negatives is you can feel awkward and trapped by people knowing your male persona. But a huge positive is that you can gauge how people are and if you are comfortable with sharing this part of your life with them.

Once I determined that I felt comfortable with the environment and my coworkers, I began showing pictures of myself as Gabi. I was saying that I wanted to dress up for International Women’s Day to show my support. I had done so as a teaching assistant in graduate school so I had those pictures to help show I do it seriously and professionally.

For whatever reason, I didn’t end up doing it for International Women’s Day that year, but a few months later, I was away in Italy on an archaeological dig and messaging one of my coworkers. We had become good friends and I will actually be her maid of honor for her wedding this September! She happened to be ordering name tags for the bank branch and we were joking that it would be awesome if she ordered me a Gabriella name tag so I could dress as a woman for work. She ended up actually doing it and then had to explain to my boss who the tag was for. Luckily, my boss already knew about my dressing and is the single coolest lady I have ever known and such an inspiration. My boss handled telling the rest of the branch that it might be happening. 

When I returned home from Italy, I began to work as Gabi. I settled into a routine of working as her Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and in guy mode Tuesdays and Thursdays. The way my facial hair grows, it is difficult to shave close enough to dress for hours in the daylight on consecutive days. I also found that if I wore something that covered up my body a bit more on Wednesdays, I only had to shave my body Mondays and Fridays.

Femulate: How would a typical day as Gabi start?

Gabi: A typical day started waking up much earlier in the morning than I would have to as a guy. For my job, I usually started at 10, so I would wake up around 6 to give myself plenty of time. Mondays and Fridays consisted of shaving my body and my face. Then I would go about putting on my makeup. I actually made a YouTube video showing exactly what I do, which I learned from a professional makeup artist. 

I generally had my outfits already picked out in my head so I could kind of coordinate the makeup with them (I loved wearing a purple lipstick with a purple dress). Once I finished my makeup and clothes, I would just go to work and probably pick up a smoothie or something drinkable for breakfast so that I didn’t mess up my makeup too badly.

Femulate: What are some of your more memorable moments working as Gabi?

Gabi: There were lots of memorable moments. I will always remember how absolutely cool my co-workers were with the whole situation. I marched in the local Pride parade (my bank  happened to be the main sponsor of Pride in Buffalo). I felt really comfortable as Gabi there, in general. 

I always found it funny when people would talk with my guy side about Gabi without realizing we were the same people. One time a customer insisted that my male persona had worked with Gabi on a previous occasion. For example, “That girl in the purple dress, you were here.”

I had one customer compliment my sultry voice, which was a huge confidence boost because who among us hasn’t worried about that? 

A Filipino woman once asked me when my baby was due. I was in such shock that all I could reply was, “Not for a while.” That gave me very conflicting feelings, as you can imagine. 

I also saw firsthand how differently men can treat women in  very annoying and rude ways like telling them to smile.

That concludes Part 1 of our interview with Gabi. Part 2 will appear here real soon now. 

For more about Gabi, click here to visit her Reddit page.

Source: ShopBop
Wearing AVAVAV

Eve catching rays at the Conrad Hotel in Fort Lauderdale