Allison M.

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


1 Comment

Allison watches the birdie

A little admission:  I have never really had any sort of a bucket list.  You know what I’m talking about, the list of items and activities you feel you absolutely, positively need to do before you (*ahem*) shove off this mortal coil.  I’ve never had the urge to see an exotic locale (Canada is good enough for me), nor have I desired to parachute from a plane (I hate heights).  Nope, for better or worse, I’ve been rather modest about the figurative heights I want to shoot for in my life.

That’s not to say that I don’t have things I would love to do as Allison before I expire, not minding too much if I will never get the chance to do them.  I already have presented my femme side in public several times in the past year alone, including marching in a pride parade and performing my poetry.  I have also longed to get a professional makeover and pose for the camera afterwards.

Well, back in September 2017, I didn’t get a professional makeover.  But I did pose for a professional photographer.

Sunglasses and leather jacket

Last September, I learned on Facebook about a “LGBTQ Photo Pop-Up” event here in Madison.  The event was set up by Caitlin, who runs her own photography business called Smoketree Photography.  As Caitlin communicated on the event’s Facebook entry, the rationale for the event was this:  Intentionally or otherwise, a LGBT+ person can be put in an uncomfortable situation when working with photographers who come from a background that can be considered “traditional.”  Their subjects and events are usually heteronormal in nature (e.g. man-and-wife weddings, proms, etc.), and their mindset can be heteronormal as well.  This can result in photos that don’t reflect how their LGBT+ client see themselves as.  Caitlin and her “pop-up” event sought to alleviate any such discomfort and create a safe environment for their subjects.

Continue reading

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Allison gets Olympic fever (Pyeongchang edition)

2018 Olympic Winter Games logoA question for you:  Have you watched any of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games at this point?  Yeah, you knew I was going to ask you about the Olympics, what with the title of this post, the logo to your right, and the “BOOM! Boom! Buh-BOOM! Boom!” coming out of your TV set.  Since Pyeongchang, South Korea is now in the second half of its Olympic fortnight, I thought I’d highlight some interesting notes about I’ve watched and read about the Olympics.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of these Games that I’ve noticed and taken a routing interest in is the performances of LGBT athletes in Pyeongchang.  This article from The Advocate gives a nice summation of the performances by out athletes up to this point, but I’ll do a quick summary of what are perhaps the two most noteworthy feats, both of which happen to be in figure skating.  First, there was out skier Eric Radford of Canada, who with skating partner Meagan Duhamel were part of the gold medal winners in the team competition and later won bronze in the pairs competition.  It’s a bummer that both Eric and Meagan are retiring from competitive skating, but they are certainly going out on a high note.

Continue reading


1 Comment

A nice, comfy winter coat

Okay, okay, you’ve had your fill of me talking about the business world, and I hear you.  You want to see an actual new photo of me?  Well, let me take care of that right here and now.  If you’ve noticed the calendar, it’s still February.  And here in Wisconsin, February still means we’re in the grips of winter, no matter what some groundhog may say.  And when it’s winter in Wisconsin, one really needs to bundle themselves up before opening the front door and facing winter’s chill and snow.  And that includes…

Purple winter coat

Yep, a winter coat.  The past year-plus, I’ve been venturing out of the house as Allison much more often, primarily to support group meetings.  Before this winter, I never had a women’s winter coat.  No, I don’t mean the leather or denim jackets that occupy my closet; as lovely as they are in their own right, they’re more suited for a season like spring or autumn, when the weather in Wisconsin isn’t as harsh as what winter regularly brings.  So, back in December, I moseyed over to the Burlington that’s located here on the West side.  When you think of Burlington, you tend to think of coats (it’s website is still BurlingtonCoatFactory.com), although it also features other clothing as well as home decor and gifts.  But it’s that “Coat Factory” part of its old name that still makes me think of Burlington as a store for affordable outerwear.  And sure enough, this purple Madden Girl coat was on the sales rack.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random thoughts (2/17/2018 edition)

I’m spending this Saturday giving Male Mode Me a deserved rest — and, by obvious extension, yours truly — after he had a somewhat draining week professionally.  How draining, you ask?  Well, it wasn’t so much physically draining as it was mentally.  Let me explain by following up to my previous post recounting my satisfying yet not entirely enjoyable day of volunteering at a youth business event on Wednesday, which you can read about here if you haven’t done so already.  During and after my “mentoring” of my assigned team in their business simulation (note the quote marks as they ran circles around me in terms of knowing how to manage a business), several thoughts ran through my mind:  For one, unlike how I was at their age (or even now in my adulthood), these students are clearly bright and talented, and it’s for certain that their skills have been and continue to be molded and nurtured by their teachers and other educators who clearly want their students to succeed.

Continue reading


1 Comment

In over my head in the “business world”

Time for some self-honesty about my professional life.  As I’ve mentioned once or twice on here previously, I have been a devoted volunteer.  I hesitate to specify who I volunteer for, out of a need to keep my male side’s professional integrity and dignity intact.  I will, however, hint that part of my volunteering involves work with a certain educational organization that has a presence here in Dane County.  It was with that organization that I volunteered with earlier today.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random thoughts (2/11/2018 edition)

A couple of quick thoughts on this Sunday afternoon.  First, I had mentioned in my last post about a bill in the Wisconsin State Assembly that would prevent local municipalities in the state (cities, counties, townships, etc.) from enacting and enforcing anti-discriminatory employment regulations and protections.  A State Assembly committee had a hearing on the measure Wednesday afternoon.  And from what I recall hearing Friday night at the trans/CD support group I regularly attend, there is a little bit of good news on the matter.  Apparently, there were quite a bit of comments made in the hearing against the bill.  And it may have made an influence on the conservative powers-that-be in the committee, who hinted they had no plans to send the bill to a full vote by the Assembly.  That’s good, for it’s a piece of legislation that can potentially do a lot of harm to several groups of workers, including those who are trans or gender non-conforming.  Needless to say, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is against the Assembly bill (as well as a similar measure in the State Senate), comparing it to the controversial HB2 measure in North Carolina, which was one of the most anti-LGBT ordinances in the United States.

Continue reading


1 Comment

A bad proposal

Okay, I’m about to get serious.  I’ve always admired how Wisconsin has, generally, had a history of progressive treatment of citizens who are part of diverse groups.  A prime example of this was the 1982 legislation that prohibited discrimination in fields such as housing and public and private employment based on a person’s sexual orientation.  That law had bipartisan support and was signed into law by a Republican governor who was fiscally conservative yet progressive on social/cultural issues.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Allison empties a bookmark (2/4/2018 edition)

Time for something I haven’t done on here in a while:  Clear out a bookmark that’s long been sitting idle in my browser.  It’s about a business here in Madison that I’ve highlighted a couple of times on here before:  Mallatt’s, which has long been known for its prescription services, home health care and convenience items, and more famously a wide selection of costumes and theatrical makeup.  In the autumn of 2016, Mallatt’s made the decision to discontinue its prescription services, due to changing times and increased corporate competition.  Then a year ago, they closed their remaining brick-and-mortar locations.  Since then, Mallatt’s has concentrated on their online sales and services, both in home care services and costume sales.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Allison watches (only a little bit of) the Grammys, but enjoys what she saw

First off, I may be ranting in a couple of spots in this post, so please accept my apologies in advance.  Okay, as I’ve mentioned at least a couple of times on here, I don’t get into watching awards shows very much.  Oh, sure, I may sample some of the pre-show red carpet coverage.  And I’ll catch a moment or two of the ceremony as I’m surfing through the channels.  And I’ll certainly read up and/or watch some of the highlights the next morning.  But watching 3+ hours of one award after another and performance after another can feel like a tedious slog.  On top of that, there’s the fact that most awards shows occur on a Sunday night, when I tend to turn in early so that my body and mind (the latter especially) can rest up for the week to come.  (Notice I’m leaving out politics; a certain segment of the populace will sneer at whatever statement of social/cultural import a host, winner, or presenter may say, but I’ll never dissuade them from saying it, especially these days.)

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random stuff (1/27/2018 edition)

After another long, tiring, downer of a week, I thought I’d use this Saturday post to catch up on some works of note from the accomplished actress Jessica Chastain.  And it’s not just about her acting skills, which I’ll dive into in a moment.  To use a common contemporary term, Ms. Chastain is one woke person, and not just because she wears black on the Golden Globes red carpet in solidarity for the Time’s Up movement.  Nope, Jessica Chastain talks the talk and walks the walk.  She has been a prominent voice regarding the issues of gender equality, safety, and misogyny that are plaguing Hollywood.  A particular concern of hers has been matters of pay equality:  When she’s negotiating to be the leading lady in a film, Jessica abides by a personal rule of seeking compensation for her talents that’s equal to that of the male lead (the “favored nation” clause).  Even if the producers balk or she must walk away from a plum role, Jessica takes satisfaction in drawing that line of fairness, no matter how many zeroes that paycheck may or may not include.  In other words, it’s not about the money; it’s about sticking to her principles of equal pay for equal work.

Continue reading