Allison M.

A crossdresser's thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and (oh yeah) dressing up


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May this lady reign

I’ve mentioned on here in the past that I don’t really get into two types of television programming very much:  Awards shows and reality television.  Not to fault anyone who enjoys said programming, but I’ve never got my kicks watching events where glamour overshadows the rewarding of good accomplishments, nor do I take satisfaction in watching how a likely normal person with good intentions get painted in a vicious light for the want of winning a half-million bucks (uh, thanks, prodding producers?).

One other TV staple, or at least it was when I was younger and my mom and sister commanded what we watched on the TV, is the beauty pageant.  Admittedly, a dresser-upper like me would have an inkling to tune in and marvel over the elegant evening dresses and hairstyles the contestants wear on the stage.  And, yes, the women on those stages deserved to compete and present their grace and talent.  But the then-corniness of the Miss America pageant left me with the impression that it and other similar events were the product of a time when when an older, more conservative, and, let’s face it, mostly male mindset decreed a certain kind of feminine beauty. ([cue old timey music] “I say, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal!  Just look at how that pretty little thing struts across that stage.  That dame’s the bee’s knees, I tell ya.”)

But rather than go on and on about how beauty pageants feel antiquated (perhaps a topic for another post), let’s use this particular space to highlight one particular beauty pageant figure on the verge of doing something historic.

That, on her official Instagram feed, is Angela Ponce.  Yes, she looks photogenic and fashion model-caliber glamorous, which is un modo requerido in beauty pageants such as Miss Universe.  Angela has been competing in beauty pageants since at least 2015, when she won the title of Miss World Cadiz.  She is the reigning Miss Spain, and is representing her country this week at the Miss Universe 2018 competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Continue reading


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Random stuff (post-VS edition)

I haven’t been on here the past several days, what with trying to earn a living and fighting an achy cold since Thursday.  But I’m back to share some lingering stuff related to my last post about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and more importantly comments by Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, expressing that the show has no place for “transsexuals” (his term) or plus-size models on the catwalk (“because the show is a fantasy,” he reasoned).

Well, any hope that Victoria’s Secret and ABC would generate great ratings for the 2018 edition of the fashion show turned out to be a bigger fantasy.  Last Sunday’s (December 2) airing of the event registered an all-time low viewership number.  And that’s coming off previous all-time lows for viewership in both 2017 and 2016, the last two years the event aired on CBS.

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Entertainment for men

No, this post isn’t about Playboy, though hopefully when you finish reading you’ll understand why I titled this post with that magazine’s former tagline.  This is going to be a rant about a recent controversy a certain fashion retailer got into.  That company is Victoria’s Secret, the (in)famous designer of lingerie and women’s wear that are nowhere near the dowdy floral gowns its founder frequently found on sales racks.  It’s a safe bet that the mall near you has a Victoria’s Secret selling scantily designed undergarments and/or a PINK store selling sleepwear for the college-age set.

Before I get into the controversy in question, take a gander at this photo.  (Gentlemen, don’t drool.)

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Photo credit: Corey Tenold via Vogue

What do you see in that photo?  Obviously, you see a multitude of beautiful women.  That photo is from last year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Every year since 1995, and every holiday season since 2001, Victoria’s Secret sets up a very glitzy show to showcase and promote its lingerie, sleepwear, or whatever else they’re selling.  It’s not a sedate affair for sure:  The setting is elaborately designed; the music is live and pulsating; the costumes are extravagant; and the star wattage is high, with A-list stars both strutting the catwalk and providing the music.

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Allison snarkily watches the Macy’s Parade… but sees something fabulous

As I indicated in my previous post, one of my Thanksgiving Day traditions (if you could call it that) is to hate-watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from New York City.  Well, that is if I’m not preoccupied with something else on Thanksgiving morning such as, say, traveling to see my family, typing my blog, or… I dunno, just recuperating after a short but tiring work week.

Yeah, ever since at least my teen years, I’ve never taken too much of a keen interest in parades.  And when I watched the Macy’s Day Parade (whoops, I keep calling it “Macy’s Day Parade”), it was because Mom either wanted me to help prepare our family’s Thanksgiving lunch or just didn’t want me cooped up in my bedroom.

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Some things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 2018, my fellow Americans!  Yes, yes, we know this is a day where we’re supposed to join our families in eating turkey by the plateful, watch starlets lip sync down a New York boulevard, veg out in slumber post-dinner while watching grown men in helmets hit each other into oblivion on only 3 days’ rest… and try to think of what they’re thankful for.  Oh, and start thinking about what gifts to give their loved ones come Christmastime.

While I will likely hate-watch the Macy’s Day Parade (whoops, I did it again), definitely watch some football, and put thoughts on holiday shopping on the back burner, I won’t be with my family on this Thanksgiving.  Not that I don’t want to; it’s just that our family has already had our Thanksgiving to-do the first Saturday of this month.  Just as she did last year on the actual holiday, our mom wanted to host Thanksgiving again at her senior living apartment building.  However, the only spot in said apartment building big enough for all of us — the meeting room — was already booked this day, as well as the Saturdays before and after it.  The earliest she could host us was back on November 4.  And so, that’s when we all got together:  My mom; my stepfather; my sisters and their families; and I, who was assigned (again) to bring pumpkin & apple pies and Cool Whip (the low-fat version, my decision).

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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018

This day (November 20) is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.  This is the annual day meant to memorialize those in the trans and gender-nonconforming community who have lost their lives to brutal anti-trans violence.  It comes at the end of Transgender Awareness Week, which helps bring awareness of trans/GNC people and the issues they face on a daily basis.  It’s appropriate that TDoR ends Trans Awareness Week, in that while our community has come far and still must go far to gain respect of our living our true selves, the day reminds us all that our community is still in danger because… well, we dare to live our true selves.

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Four years into this blogging thing

I’ve been too preoccupied this week with getting my car fixed, trying to catch up on tasks in my work assignment, and pondering what subjects to write about on this blog that I didn’t think of the significance of this particular date too much.  But since WordPress appears to be big on anniversaries…

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Yep, it was four years ago today that I launched this blog and posted my very first entry.  Since that time, I’ve pounded into my keyboard, and onto this blog, lots of experiences to write about, positive things to trumpet, good people to highlight, fashionable things to marvel over, bad news to gripe over, poetry to express, and memories to share.

Writing this blog is not the easiest thing to do.  There have been times where I’ve wracked my brain on what to write about.  When I know when I want to write out, there’s also the issue of how to write it out; more than once I’ve edited and re-edited and re-re-edited a post.  And of course, there are still times where my non-writing, non-Allison real life can intrude and keep me away from writing a post, just at the time when my writing juices are piqued.

But at least I do make an effort to write, and when I do I get a cathartic feeling over me.  I feel truly excited to share my thoughts and feelings and good words to the world.  It all results in a sense of pride when I hit that big blue button in the corner of my screen marked “publish.”

Hitting that “publish” button also brings a little bit of anxiety, in that I hope that those who read it will like it.  But those fears vanish rather quickly, especially when seeing someone “like” my post or hearing someone tell me (especially in person), “You do a great job on your blog, Allison.”  Even a little bit of constructive criticism buoys my confidence; at least they aren’t saying out loud that my blog stinks.

But above all else, and no matter what anyone else may say, I get a feeling of expressing my true self to the world with every single post.  Yes, its all under a feminine nom de plume, but I feel secure expressing every bit of joy, heartbreak, disappointment, fondness, ecstasy… and pride in being myself and expressing who I am through words on a screen.  It’s a far cry from the moment 37 years ago when a shy, teased, and insecure 11-year-old first felt a feeling of comfort when putting on a feminine garment.

To all of you out there, whether you’re WordPress peeps or simple readers, I sincerely thank you for your support.  Whether it’s the form of good words, encouragement, challenges, applause, or just a simple hit of the “like” button, you’ve kept me going and kept me striving toward my desire to self-express my true self.  Here’s to four more years.


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Allison’s Jukebox: “Don’t Give Up” by Maggie Szabo

Do you remember my post from September where I added a song called “Don’t Give Up” to “Allison’s Jukebox”?  You know the one where Peter Gabriel sings of deep lament and Kate Bush tries to steer him toward the positive?  Yeah, I bummed you out with that one, didn’t I?

Well, let’s see if I can brighten up your spirits a little bit with another addition to my jukebox that just happens to have the same title, “Don’t Give Up,” yet has a background that nicely dovetails with the week we’re in right now, Transgender Awareness Week.  Please have a look & listen to the Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/YouTube personality Maggie Szabo:

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Random personal thoughts (11/14/2018 edition)

Just a very quick about something I could have been doing tonight as I write this but won’t — perform poetry before an audience.  While getting all dolled up and reading my words before actual living, breathing people is something I’ve enjoyed doing, it’s also something I haven’t done since the end of June.

And tonight would’ve been a perfect night to do it again, because it’s the 2018 edition of Trans Monologues.  Does that name ring familiar to you, dear reader?  Well it should, for one year ago this month, I performed a poem at the 2017 Trans Monologues, which is the annual night of performances by trans and gender non-conforming talent put on by UW—Madison’s Gender & Sexuality Campus Center.

You’re probably asking why I’m not there in person tonight?  Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve been trying to master this work assignment I’ve been on since the first full week of August, one that’s been naturally preoccupying my weekdays but also been lingering on my mind when I’m away from the office.  Needless to say, it’s pushed the desire to submit my work for consideration for Trans Monologues to the far back burner, so much so that I missed last week’s deadline for submissions.

On top of that, the outcome of this particular work day would have impinged on my enjoyment of performing had I actually signed up and performed.  How bad was this work day for me?  Well, let’s just say that I’ve fallen behind on a major task I’m responsible for.  But it wasn’t like I’ve fallen so far behind on it that I’m drowning.  Actually, I’ve squeezed in working on this task in between the other tasks I’m committed to.  But it hasn’t pleased the “dragon lady” of a boss I must report to please.  She can be curt and direct, is often demanding, and can come across as displeased if we create an error or come up short of her expectations.

So tomorrow, I will have a lot of catching up to do, in addition to the other regular tasks I must cover in this assignment.  No, it doesn’t leave me in the greatest of situations.  But at least no one in this office can say I’m not making an effort to perform admirably in this assignment.  And at least despite not always getting a positive read or encouraging word from the “dragon lady,” there are at least two other people who can give me words of comfort.  A peer of this “dragon lady,” who I partially report to, reassured me that I’m doing a good job.  Well, I sure hope so.

So while I may be too tired, physically and mentally, to attend Trans Monologues tonight, I know that I will be there in spirit.  This is a night where my trans sisters and brothers can shine, and do so during an era that finds the collective embrace and support we’ve been receiving larger than before, yet the resistance we’re facing is just as big.  Let’s show in our own special ways that we’re just as human as the cis-gender world, whether we’re singing, writing, performing poetry… or, yes, fretting over work.  Let’s knock their socks off!


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Some very happy returns

It’s been a few days since the 2018 general elections here in the United States.  As with every election season, the 2018 conclusion had some good, bad, and very best news:

  • The good news about that is that we no longer have to put up with awful campaign attack ads dirtying up the airwaves (at least until 2020 or *sigh* late 2019).
  • The bad news is that not every candidate with a forward-thinking viewpoint won their election (as the saying goes, you can’t win ’em all *sigh*).
  • But the very best news?  Well, let me get off this bullet point and tell you…

Okay, the very best news is the advancements of bright, shining, forward-minded political stars on Tuesday night, the biggest highlight being the biggest takeaway of the night, at least among many political pundits:  The Democratic Party gained the majority of seats the House of Representatives!  That means that America now has a little bit of a check and balance against You Know Who and his myopic, misogynistic, anti-everything administration.

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