Wednesday, August 30, 2023

24 Hours

By Tami Knight

Sunday was to be busy. 

Here goes: I had a hair appointment at 9 AM with Tiff who has a small salon in her home. First priority was a brand-new R. Lauren dark navy pleated midi skirt. I added a yellow sleeveless top and a pair of Nicky Hilton ballet flats trimmed in yellow to tie it all together. With a thin ¾-length sweater over my shoulders and a quick stop at Starbucks, where I received a compliment, I was sitting in church at 10 AM, hair looking great! 

The pastor’s first request was that everyone stand and say hello to as many others as they can. This was fun as several people shook my hand and asked me to come to coffee after the service. Afterwards I met several people including one woman (and her husband), who I had much in common with as she lives on a lake where I was born. Lots of memories were shared.

I had a mani/pedi appointment at 12.30, so I headed home to change. Madewell jeans, Joie floral top, Ann Klein short camel collarless blazer and brown croc loafers would get me through rest of the day. I rushed the tech a bit on the pedi; I had a flight in three hours and I like to be early.

As soon as I was dry, I was in the car with a Pepsi and headed to the Detroit airport for a flight to Arizona. I am always in pre-check, but this afternoon my driver license was rejected and TSA sent me to the regular line. This was a first! In the regular line, my license was again rejected and they sent me back to the AA desk to figure it out. Turns out, someone had input my birthday wrong by two years, so this was fixed quickly.

Back in line at the pre-check, I sailed through with a smile. But set off the alarm due to the brand-new hip and was asked to step into that other scanner. 

Finally, I had time to kill, so I had a salad at Outback and chatted with the people at the next table. Once on the plane, I opened my copy of the Presidential Records Act to prepare for a good conversation with an attorney friend of mine who had provided me with all the pleadings in Trump’s indictment. The young man to my left noticed my reading and asked if I worked “on the hill” and I had to explain that the preparation was only for a good conversation with a friend. My seatmate said he had worked there and that led to another interesting exchange.

Once in Dallas waiting for my connection, I stopped at MAC to try something new and see a new friend who works there.

After much delay at the gate, another couple and I boarded one after another,and once seated the woman, explained that she and her husband were just getting back from Paris. That led to another fun talk about each of our many trips there.

I arrived in Arizona late, got to bed even later. Arizona time is three hours later than Michigan time and I, of course, wake at 3 AM! So I got busy for the coming day. I threw on some shorts, a cute crocheted white top and white tennies. Did hair and makeup (light) and I am off to my coffee shop that opened at 6 AM for a breakfast burrito. There was a line at the door and two gentlemen asked me to go ahead of them. “Paying customers first, Ma'am.”  I thanked them. More corny jokes followed.

My interest in sharing this busy 24 hours is that I couldn’t count the number of people who were so pleasant, friendly, helpful, sincere, interested and interesting, all condensed in a 24-hour day. 

My idea of fun!

Source: Boston Proper
Wearing Boston Proper

Ralph before, Roxie after

Monday, August 28, 2023

Stuff 7

By J.J. Atwell

Hello All

JJ is back with more stuff! I find it hard to believe that I’m up to number 7 of this little corner of Stana’s Way. Many thanks to Stana and all you faithful readers for following along with my Stuff.  


Let’s take a brief trip on the time machine to grade school grammar classes. For those who need a refresh, here is a definition of pronouns from an on-line dictionary: “a word that can function by itself as a noun phrase and that refers either to the participants in the discourse… or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse.” Whew! That’s a long way of explaining words like “him” and “her” as they apply to our world. Hopefully that wasn’t too painful a trip to those school days. 

Most people don’t think about pronouns when they write or speak. It kind of comes naturally.  “Naturally,” that is, until you enter our world of crossdressers and transgender individuals. Then it becomes something we need to think about carefully. Should I address that person as “he” or “she?” Does that change depending on what the person is wearing?  

All very difficult questions with many nuances to an answer. In general, the rule I follow is that if they are attempting to look like a female, then female pronouns are appropriate. Of course, if they tell me their preferred pronouns, then that’s what I use. In my everyday guy life, I’m always “he.” But when I’m dressed as JJ, then “she” fits better. It just seems right to me.   

I was recently at a Girls’ Night Out with about a dozen folks at a restaurant – half CD/TG and half SOs. I happened to be siting between two of the SOs and struck up conversations with them about their other halves. I found it interesting that they sometimes slipped back and forth between he and she when referring to their partners. No doubt, they have lived many years as husband and wife and that person still occupies that role no matter how they dress.  

The wives did say that they help with the spouse’s feminine presentation. Things like making sure that the partner looks appropriate for the event/venue. Generally, that’s something that we of the CD/TG community struggle with at first. Some of that is probably self-preservation for the wife, but I got the impression that they really wanted to help.  

So where am I going with this Stuff? No place in particular. I just wanted you to think about how you use pronouns and if that affects your perceptions and interactions with members of our community.  

I’ll be back

That’s it for today. I hope my stuff gives you something to think about. In the meantime, I’d welcome comments here on the blog or by email at Jenn6nov at-sign gmail dot com.

Source: Elisabetta Franchi
Wearing Elisabetta Franchi

Barbara Trebor
Barbara Trebor

Saturday, August 26, 2023

My Saturday Shorts

Cane Enable Dept.

I love wearing high heels, but my total knee replacement surgery in January put the kibosh on wearing heels for awhile. 

Last month, I began wearing heels again, but I was not completely comfortable doing so because I felt a little unsteady at times and worried about falling.

When I had the surgery, I used a cane for a day or two, but quickly abandoned it because I did not need it to get around. I still have the cane and wondered if it would help me walking in heels. So I got the cane out of the closet, put on my highest heels and was pleasantly surprised that I could walk in heels just like in the good old days. 

I know. If you need a cane to get around, why would you wear high heels? But I don't care. I love wearing high heels and whatever works...

After-and-Before Dept.

I love the before-and-after photos you all have been sending in for me to post here. Please keep them coming. 

However, I am amused by how many of those photos are after-and-before photos rather than before-and-after photos, that is, the en femme image is on the left and the en homme image is on the right. It’s as if a bunch of female-to-male crossdressers were sending me their before-and-after photos! LOL

Being an obsessive-compulsive sort, I have been taking the after-and-before photos and fixing them in Photoshop before I post them.

How’s She Doing Dept.

The Missus is doing much better. Thanks for asking. But she has a way to go and will probably be in rehab for another week or two.

Wearing Venus

Jorge Chacón
Jorge Chacón

Friday, August 25, 2023

Eight Years A Woman: Part One

By Ciara Cremin

Thank you for reading my first piece and the lovely feedback I received. It’s spurred and encouraged me to write another. Whether this becomes a regular thing, I don’t know. For one thing, I’m trying to finish my third book in a transgender trilogy that started with Man-Made Woman¹ in 2017.

The first book under my feminine name is scattered with anecdotes of lifelong desires to dress as a woman and the pleasures, which I’m quite explicit about, in wearing women’s clothes. Amongst dense theoretical exposition that’ll likely put off the casual reader, it charts, in a non-chronological order, reflections on living as a woman. Through a chronology of photos taken at the hairdresser at each of my visits since coming out in July 2015, I reflect in this brief series of essays how my style has changed over time, the challenges of presenting as a woman and the maturation of my thoughts and feelings between then and now. 

Before charting that chronology, however, I want to start with a few preliminary remarks, proclamations and for some, provocations.

I never considered writing on this topic or developing a public profile as a trans woman before coming out. Nor frankly, did I consider myself a woman or have any intention of dressing permanently in women’s clothes. Like I said in the previous piece, I considered myself a transvestite, a word that in the US is largely abandoned. 

Associated with a sexual proclivity, it is understandable to see why. Yet, we are sexual beings and derive pleasure in many things: the pleasure of wearing women’s clothes being one of the more banal, harmless and ordinary amongst them – a pleasure even of many ciswomen. You only need go into a makeup store to see that. 

With Man-Made Woman, I wanted to challenge the taboo of men wearing women’s clothes for pleasure and do my bit to normalize that pleasure. Being something of a transgender warrior who identifies many of the ills that blight the individual and society with masculinization and regarding this as symptomatic of a fear and revulsion towards anything held as feminine, if men I wagered, could overcome their fears and repudiations by openly embracing femininity, the world would be a better, kinder place. The absence of any signifier whatsoever associated with femininity on a vast majority of male bodies is the surest indication that men have problems with femininity and so too do women. 

For all the critiques of patriarchy, for many women the idea of a feminine man or that the socially designated male can be a woman, is not only a complete turnoff, it is anathema. If men are pressured to “man-up,” it is not only men putting on that pressure. 

So I do have an agenda for writing this. My lyrical descriptions of the pleasures of dressing daily as a woman are to provoke and encourage. Rather than the well-documented negative effects of being a woman under patriarchy and trans in a society invested in cultural binaries, it is the joys and healing effects of femininity that I like to stress and document. I want to encourage rather than discourage those who can (although excuses can always be found if you need them) to cross the line by fully embracing the feminine. In doing so, rejecting the labels “crossdresser” and of course, “transvestite,” labels I would now find insulting if used to describe me. 

If you think about it, for even those who are not living as women, the self-description “crossdresser” is a problematic one. Not only does it reinforce the idea that clothing possesses a gender, but that a label is needed for what ought to be of no significance to others: a misplaced, guilty pleasure that must be excused and rationalized despite the fact there is little that is rational about human behavior, proclivities and attitudes. 

We seek justifications to justify ourselves to others. Ask yourself who in fact you are justifying yourself to, why those justifications are demanded and on whose terms. The language in which our justifications are formed and articulated is a foreign one impossible ever to have command of – with so much is lost in translation – that the language itself ought to be questioned. 

It disavows and quietens a disturbing thought that we may in fact be women or at least be a happier, better person if we did identify and live as women. It constructs, in other words, a barrier in the psyche that men, whatever fantasies they harbor, draw comfort and security from. 

People fear change; they like predictability, a predictability draining of life and vitality. You see that in a regressive politics that harks to a past that exists only in the imagination and would be horrendous if realized. Identities are preserved, the advantages afforded to men in a patriarchal society maintained and, because they never experience what it is to live as a woman, the damage done to them and to others in their barely registered masculine performances are never ameliorated. 

There’s change afoot and we need to get with it and align lives, politics and attitudes with those of the rising generation. Not only on blogs or at special conventions, but in everyday life. We need to take our bodies resplendent in women’s clothes, our thoughts and proclivities to the very places many of us dare not go. At the supermarket, the regular bar, the shopping mall and, yes, the workplace. To start a conversation with colleagues, friends and loved ones. Even to agitate for change by joining those fighting for their rights to identify and live as women, most of all to be recognized and respected as women. And if like Stana and I you’re fortunate enough to have a platform and audience, to make these declarations to the broadest of all possible audiences. 

I write this now sitting in my favorite café. It’s winter here in New Zealand, which is reflected in what I’m wearing: a thick, woolen, A-line patterned skirt that comes down to below the knees, but with a split in the middle rising to above the knee through which, as I look down, reveals my black, silky petticoat. My legs are sheathed in fine nylon hosiery. The color of my pantyhose is cinnamon, which, slightly darker than my skin tone, are clearly visible. They’re shiny too, which, when caught in the light, produces a wonderful visual effect. My legs feel so smooth and slippery when crossed and with the silky black panties I’m wearing, my pantyhose help keep me firmly tucked in. 

I’m wearing brown, patent leather shoes with a two-inch heel. They provide a feminine shape to my posture and profile. They beautifully complement my sensuous pantyhose and bring out the browns in my patterned skirt (at another café, before a lecture, the same shoes and pantyhose that I have on in the photo taken a year ago). Beneath my zip up black jumper, I’m wearing a tight-fitting plain black silky top. Beneath that I have silky shapewear on. It keeps me warm and flattens my figure. Further adding to my feminine appearance, I’m wearing a Wonderbra which, because it is padded, doesn’t require those ugly fillers. 

I have full makeup on. A full-coverage foundation, powder, bronzer, rose-coloured blusher and highlighter. I’m wearing a creamy Lancome lipstick – my favorite brand – in a rusty bronze-reddish color that picks out colors in my skirt. My eyeshadow is in three shades of brown. I’m wearing eyeliner, top and bottom, and mascara. My perfume is Chanel N°5. I’m wearing hooped earrings, a woman’s gold watch and a simple golden band around my finger. My nails are professionally done, acrylic and red. They cannot be taken off, nor do they fall off. 

I walked to the café wearing my stylish and expensive – quality is worth the price if you can afford it – pink and black speckled women’s winter coat, which strangers have even complemented me on. Hands kept warm by a pair of soft leather women’s gloves. My purse, makeup bag – containing my lipstick, compact and mascara, which I’ll reapply before leaving the café – and laptop are carried in my pretty maroon handbag. 

More soon…

Note: ¹ Hyperlink to

Source: Ann Taylor
Wearing Ann Taylor

Paula Gawkowski
Paula Gawkowski, przed i po (before and after)

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A New Skirt, a Bodkin and a Question

By Penny from Edinburgh

I was really happy when my new red floral midi tiered skirt arrived in the post from Bonmarché. I had seen it in a shop window after closing time, had tried a couple of other branches of the chain for it and had ended up ordering it online.

A couple of weeks after it arrived I went out for the day with my friend Michelle. I wore the skirt with a white long sleeved top, black tights, black Mary Janes and a black tote bag.

It was only when we got home and Michelle took some pictures in the garden that the flaw was revealed. It looked great from the front, but at the back the elasticized waist was just too loose.

So I decided, I would attempt to repair it. After trying without success to find suitable elastic in a couple of supermarkets, the next time I was out en femme I went to a haberdashers (a shop which sells thread, fabric and sewing materials).

I showed the shop assistant the skirt and explained what I needed. After she had found me the elastic, she handed me a little pack with what appeared to be two large needles in it. “If you are threading elastic, you will need a bodkin,” she said.

When I got home, I examined the pack with the two bodkins in it. One was really a giant needle for threading lace; the other one was forked with a ring which could be pulled down forcing the two prongs together to hold the end of a piece of elastic.

With the bodkin, the elastic and a pair of scissors, it only took me a few minutes to thread the elastic through the waistband of the skirt, cut it and tie the ends together. The difficult bit of the repair was getting the materials!

I tried the skirt on and it sat perfectly. 

It was only later it occurred to me that none of the femulation blogs I had read ever talked about sewing, dress making, flower arranging or any other traditional feminine arts. Perhaps, my fellow femulators are overly modest about their skills.

Which leads to the question, do you, Dear Reader, practice some traditional feminine skill, other than walking in heels, which you are not telling us about.

Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe

Gaurav Gera
Gaurav Gera
I welcome all Femulate readers to submit Before and After photos for publication here.
Just send your photos to stana-stana at-sign