Friday, March 31, 2023

A Proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility

Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the joy, strength, and absolute courage of some of the bravest people I know — people who have too often had to put their jobs, relationships, and lives on the line just to be their true selves.  Today, we show millions of transgender and nonbinary Americans that we see them, they belong, and they should be treated with dignity and respect.  Their courage has given countless others strength, but no one should have to be brave just to be themselves.  Every American deserves that freedom.

Transgender Americans shape our Nation’s soul — proudly serving in the military, curing deadly diseases, holding elected office, running thriving businesses, fighting for justice, raising families, and much more.  As kids, they deserve what every child deserves:  the chance to learn in safe and supportive schools, to develop meaningful friendships, and to live openly and honestly.  As adults, they deserve the same rights enjoyed by every American, including equal access to health care, housing, and jobs and the chance to age with grace as senior citizens.  But today, too many transgender Americans are still denied those rights and freedoms.  A wave of discriminatory State laws is targeting transgender youth, terrifying families and hurting kids who are not hurting anyone.  An epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, in particular women and girls of color, has taken lives far too soon.  Last year’s Club Q shooting in Colorado was another painful example of this kind of violence — a stain on the conscience of our Nation.

My Administration has fought to end these injustices from day one, working to ensure that transgender people and the entire LGBTQI+ community can live openly and safely.  On my first day as President, I issued an Executive Order directing the Federal Government to root out discrimination against LGBTQI+ people and their families.  We have appointed a record number of openly LGBTQI+ leaders, and I was proud to rescind the ban on openly transgender people serving in the military.  We are also working to make public spaces and travel more accessible, including with more inclusive gender markers on United States passports.  We are improving access to public services and entitlements like Social Security.  We are cracking down on discrimination in housing and education.  And last December, I signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law, ensuring that every American can marry the person they love and have that marriage accepted, period.

Meanwhile, we are also working to ease the tremendous strain that discrimination, bullying, and harassment can put on transgender children — more than half of whom seriously considered suicide in the last year.  The Department of Education is, for example, helping ensure that transgender students have equal opportunities to learn and thrive at school, and the Department of Justice is pushing back against extreme laws that seek to ban evidence-based gender-affirming health care.

There is much more to do.  I continue to call on the Congress to finally pass the Equality Act and extend long-overdue civil rights protections to all LGBTQI+ Americans to ensure they can live with safety and dignity.  Together, we also have to keep challenging the hundreds of hateful State laws that have been introduced across the country, making sure every child knows that they are made in the image of God, that they are loved, and that we are standing up for them.

America is founded on the idea that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout their lives.  We have never fully lived up to that, but we have never walked away from it either.  Today, as we celebrate transgender people, we also celebrate every American’s fundamental right to be themselves, bringing us closer to realizing America’s full promise.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2023, as Transgender Day of Visibility.  I call upon all Americans to join us in lifting up the lives and voices of transgender people throughout our Nation and to work toward eliminating violence and discrimination against all transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.


Aspiration Is Inspirational

By Cathy Laura Peterson

Cathy Laura Peterson
Tami Knight closed her recent post with these lovely words, “friendship is aspirational, when we meet someone we like, because we find aspects of them we admire.” I absolutely confirm Ms. Knight’s perspective. I enjoy my regular visits to Femulate because it is very affirming and encouraging to know there are so many femulating women like me all across the country. Tami shared her lovely personal story of connecting with others in the everyday world as the woman she enjoys being. As I read about her experience, her aspiration became my inspiration to share my very similar experiences to her socializing at church.

I live in very open-minded LA. I’m mid-60s (but everyone tells me I look mid-50s). There are two “safe places” of cisgender gal-friends I see regularly, similar to Tami’s Congregational church. The first is a new-age/far-East influenced day-spa. The second is a women’s book club. 

I have been going to the spa every three to four weeks for over five years. The owner is an early 50s woman. The two female receptionists are early 40s. The staff of aestheticians, massage therapists, manicurists and beautician-stylists are ten gals and one male masseuse. They all only know me as Cathy and to quote Tami, it is these “women who are more social” and have been incredibly friendly and welcoming. Same as Tami, “I have no doubt that the owner and her staff have or might have figured me out, but how does one explain the friendly faces, smiles, and laughter from so many women?” The women at the spa are so fun to see. I love to hear, “Hi Cathy” or “she can sit right here” or “hello my dear, don’t you look lovely today,” or “let’s have her in salon number four today.”

The ladies’ book club was referred to me by the spa owner and the gal who has always done my Swedish massage for five years. Sharon has hosted the club for about 20 years at her beautiful (and huge) house on a quiet tree-lined street in Santa Monica. We are currently reading and discussing All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Most nights we are nine or ten women relaxed in a spacious living room with fireplace along with tea and scones. These gals also only know me as Cathy and once again, all I can do is wonder do they know? But they always treat me like any other woman in the group and this has carried over into meeting for coffee or lunch with three ladies I have become genuine friends with.

Granted, the westside of LA near the beaches is very progressive, PC and TG-friendly shops, clothing stores, restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, libraries, art galleries – so this provides the perfect environment to venture out as a woman among women. Perhaps all these gals know or at least suspect, but I have only experienced genuine kindness, laughs, fun conversations, smiles, hugs and a true acceptance among them simply as Cathy.

Tami’s thoughts on aspirational friendships are incredibly inspirational to me as I have navigated this delicate walkway at the spa and Sharon’s home these many years. And I can wholeheartedly say that being with women as Cathy only makes me wish to aspire to even more female friendships who will only know me as Cathy Laura Peterson. Times at the spa and book club are far and away the most relaxing, affirming and encouraging places to be as Cathy and I am so grateful for these ladies. Hopefully, you too will also be inspired to aspire to such opportunities for friendship with women solely as a woman. 

Side Note: I echo Tami’s words, “My voice is pretty good, but I might give out clues in a longer conversation and I dress like any other female wherever I am and carry myself with a sense of pride.” One fun outcome from my many years of individual and group gender identity counseling therapy has been for me to aspire to three female archetypes in my clothing, hairstyles and overall look when I aspire in public (these arose out of my therapist’s passion for Depth Psychology). 

First is Beachy BoHo Casual Pinterest Shabby Chic. Second is Professional Business Woman (law firm, accounting office, bank, finance company, etc.). And third is Elegant Garden Party/Wedding Reception/Bridal Shower/High Tea. For the spa and book club, I usually aspire to the Beachy BoHo Casual Pinterest Shabby Chic archetype and blend in very well like one of the gals.

I do envy Tami for her more traditional feminine dimensions. Like Stana, I pass very well in public even though I’m definitely a tall woman at 6 feet 2 – but 183 pounds with a 31-inch waist and long slender legs. My own hair is very full so I wear it in an age-appropriate style just over my collar all around. I have invested seven years with a naturopath-homeopathic gal’s prescribed intensive daily regimen of plant-based phytoestrogen extracts and capsules (alongside diet and exercise) resulting in amazing natural breast development. I now measure 39-31-35, wear Misses 10 or 12 and 36C bra. Also like Stana, I can no longer be without a shirt with family, friends, neighbors – so I have settled into good ways to stay covered and flattened. But it’s a very small price to pay as I aspire to acceptance among women as a woman.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Bella Dahl

Kayky Brito
Kayky Brito (left) femulating in Brazilian television’s Pepper Chocolate (Chocolate con Pimenta).

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Someday Funnies: Beyond Chapeau

Source: Ann Taylor
Wearing Ann Taylor

Piotr Gawron-Jedlikowski
Piotr Gawron-Jedlikowski femulated Magdalena Narożna on Polish television’s Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo. Click here to view this femulation on YouTube.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

My Trigger

Monday’s post and your comments to that post reminded me what may have been my trigger.

In the past, I have written that discovering the world of female impersonators moved me to try female impersonation myself at the age of 12. However, I had been exploring my gender gifts years before that, so female impersonation was not necessarily my trigger. But it was so long ago, that I am not actually sure what it was. 

Digging way down deep in my memory, I can only recall one event that may have started it all.

I was probably between the ages of 6 and 9 and for a day or two, I wanted to be a circus clown when I grew up. I remember I was home alone with my mother (my father and sister were out) and I covered my face with my mother’s cold cream to simulate a clown’s white face. What a mess!

I showed my handiwork to my mother and she volunteered to do a better job. She removed the cold cream and started anew applying various cosmetics to my face.

When she was done, I looked in the mirror and was shocked. Instead of looking like a clown, I looked like a girl. I still remember the bright red lipstick on my lips.

In retrospect, I am not sure if she realized what I was trying to do. I do not recall if I was clear about trying to be a clown. She may have thought I was trying to be a girl and acted accordingly.

Anyway, I was so embarrassed that I insisted that she remove the makeup before my father and sister returned home. She complied.

But now I no longer wanted to be a circus clown when I grew up. I wanted to be a woman.

Source: Cynthia Rowley
Wearing Cynthia Rowley

William Hoeveler
William Hoeveler femulating for University of Pittsburgh’s 1938 womanless stage show.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Monday, March 27, 2023


Anonymous wrote the following comment to a recent post. I thought the comment deserved a post of its own, so here it is.

I’m curious how many of us girls got our start in femininity after getting recruited to dress up as a girl in a show or skit? 

I’ve always believed that my interest was sparked after playing a girl’s role in a little show that my parents were involved in at the community theater in my hometown. I was seven and they were putting on Showboat. For reasons I never understood, they needed one more girl to be in the background of several scenes.

It was presented to me as a “big adventure” by mom. I didn’t want to be a girl, but I didn’t know how to say no. I remember being shown how to put on my 1850’s styled little girl’s dresses, petticoats and I think almost everyone who saw the show had no idea that I was not a little girl. Still it felt embarrassing and once the show was finished, I didn’t like seeing photos of myself as a girl or talking about it.

As a young teen, I began to think about that experience more and more. I wondered what it would feel like to try on a dress with pantyhose.

One day when I was home alone, I saw one of mom’s dresses on a hanger in the laundry room and I couldn’t resist trying it on. Who’d know? I was young enough so that mom’s dress fit me fairly well. I walked around the house and decided that I needed to find pantyhose. Then I wanted to put on a slip under my dress.

Dressing up as a girl became a regular activity when I was home alone. I felt guilty for doing it and felt that something was wrong with me, but I didn’t want to know what it was nor did I want to stop wearing dresses and skirts.

Who knows if I’d have ever started crossdressing had I not played a little girl in a show. I’m sure there are opinions both ways. I love the feeling of wearing dresses, the swish of a chiffon hem against pantyhose, but I love being a man and having a wife and family. So I don’t share that aspect of myself with them.

However, from the couple of surviving photos of me from the play, I didn’t look too unhappy being all dolled up.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Hemant & Nandita

KISS femulating to celebrate Paul Stanley’s 1977 birthday.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Friends in Dresses

Writing this blog for over 16 years, I have gotten to know a lot of femulators – most by email, but a good number in person. Some I consider friends, others acquaintances, but all of them are sisters.

One of my friends revealed that she went to work en femme on St. Patrick’s Day. It was the first time for her and she did it to support our community, which is being attacked on all fronts.  She wrote, “ being visible here as an out trans person is I think something I need to do.” Even though it was a “complete non issue for everyone” she worked with, it still took a lot of guts to do so and I was so proud of her for doing it.

My friend is not alone. I am aware of others who work and/or live full-time as women. And I am sure that there are a lot more who I am not aware of. 

I like to think that if I was still employed, I would be in skirts and heels in my office by now. Since I am retired, I can’t go to work en femme, but I still dress pretty whenever I can. And now that I am back on my feet, I let the local LGBTQ outreach coordinator know that I am available to do outreach again.

And so it goes.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Ted Baxter

Richard Simmons
Richard Simmons

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Got Hips

By Paula Gaikowski

Adding hip pads to my outfits was one of biggest steps in my journey and really improved my look and gave me confidence. It took awhile for me to get there and I had to experiment to find just the right combination of hip versus bum padding.  

What hip pads do for girls like us is to minimize our broad shoulders and produce an hourglass figure. It’s interesting to note that a search on Amazon for hip pads brings up dozens of garments that are used by cisgender women. I thought the market was exclusively for transgender women, however, this seems to be common issue that cisgender women deal with especially when wearing that special dress.

Back in the dark ages of the 90’s, I started to notice the curves on some femulators I saw in magazines, so I started to evaluate different DIY methods. Remember back then there wasn’t any Amazon or Glamour Boutiques, so I was on my own. I started by using the foam packing material that we used at work to ship circuit boards. I had moderate success, but they appeared bulky and a bit too high or a bit too low.

I finally found Classic Curves when the Internet came along and saved up, sent a money order and had the Veronica 2 shipped to my office. A big improvement, I liked the change and silhouette they produced. It was with these hip pads that I gained the confidence to go out in public. All went well until the great purge of 2004 and I had to start building my wardrobe over again. 

Today there is a huge selection of garments and pads out there. At the high end there are silicone pads that can be attached to your body with Holister medical adhesive. These pads run in the hundred$ and look great, but are heavy. 

Next there are padded shapers. These come with soft foam pads that go down the hip and curve around the bum for added shape.  

Finally there are just the foam pads themselves, I have several pair of these and like them because they are light, easy to slip into different foundations and look just right. Some of the padded shapers produce huge hips so I use the foam pads.

I put my foam pads under a pair of control top pantyhose or under my Rago high-waist girdle. There is just enough control to shape and keep things in place. 

I hope this helps in your journey. Happy Femulating.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Gracia

Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal femulating on television’s The Comedians (2015)>