Allison M.

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


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Random stuff: Pride Night at the Brewers game

Yay!  It’s the day of the summer solstice here in Wisconsin, a day to appreciate the abundant amounts of sunshine that make summer, well, summer.  If you see any sunshine where you are, would you mind sending some our way?  That’s because the weather forecast here in Wisconsin calls for rain all day.  And we’ve had more than enough rain the past week or so.

At least the home of my beloved Milwaukee Brewers has a convertible roof to keep out the rain when necessary.  And tonight they’ll need it closed, for tonight the Brewers will host their very first “Pride Night” at Miller Park.  Themed nights and sports teams go together like hand in well-worn baseball glove, and we’re not just talking “2 brats for $1 nights” either.  There have been everything from ethnic heritage nights to weird jersey nights to “retro nights” to movie nights.  Of the latter, Star Wars nights have been a big draw the past few years, especially in the minor leagues with their jerseys patterned after, say, Stormtroopers or Jedi masters.

Nights with more grounded themes have also been featured, including “Pride Nights” to celebrate the LGBT community.  Major League Baseball has seen an increase in Pride Nights in recent years, though some of its clubs have been laggards in paying official acknowledgement to our community.  Heck, whole leagues such as the NBA and WNBA have lapped MLB in paying respect to the LGBT community.

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Image source: Brewers.com

Thankfully, however, MLB has been on the ball (so to speak) in acknowledging and embracing the LGBT community in recent years.  And tonight (June 21), the Brewers will become the 23rd MLB team (out of 30) to officially stage a LGBT-oriented event during the 2018 regular season.  To borrow a quote from the Brewers’ website, this is a night aimed at “celebrating diversity and inclusion within the Brewers fan base, the Milwaukee community, and all of Major League Baseball.”  The events are slated to include a tailgate outside Miller Park held by the Milwaukee Gay Sports Network; the rainbow-themed shirt you see to your right; and, for those who purchased a special ticket package, the opportunity to participate in a pregame parade on the Miller Park warning track. (Yes, the chance to actually go on the field!)

How this Brewers’ Pride Night came about is a sweet story in itself.  A year ago, a Milwaukee resident and Brewers fan by the name of Hilary McCabe sent a note to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl lamenting the fact that the Brewers have never held some sort of in-game promotion to connect with the LGBT community.  Stingl forwarded that note to the Brewers’ vice-president of communications.  A few days after that, the Brewers formally joined the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.  And earlier this year, when the Brewers released their roster of theme nights for the 2018 season, a Pride Night was included for the very first time… and appropriately enough during the traditional LGBT pride month of June.

As a Brewers fan and a part of the broad LGBT community, I’m so happy to see that the Brewers are embracing and officially acknowledging the LGBT portion of their fan base and our community as a whole.  It’s a great move, and part of a continuing move that began back in 2001 when the Chicago Cubs held their first “Out at Wrigley” event.  (Kudos to the Cubs for actually staging two LGBT pride events here in 2018, one earlier this month and the annual Out at Wrigley event coming up in August.)  There are now only two Major League Baseball teams who have never held an official pride night during their histories, the Yankees and the Angels.  Here’s hoping those two teams will finally get get on the ball (so to speak) and stage their own pride nights in 2019.

Oh, one must-read link to share with you:  If you think a pro sports team holding a night to embrace the LGBT community seems like small potatoes to you, think again.  Luke Schaetzel of the website SconnieSportsTalk.com (“An official student organization of the University of Wisconsin-Madison”) wrote a great opinion piece about the Brewers staging this event.  Luke ponders that somewhere out there, some young Brewers fan who’s struggling with their sexual and/or gender identity and feels alone and shut out will tune in to the game tonight and see the rainbow shirts and related paraphanelia.  And then, he writes, “That fan, that kid, is going to feel a hell of a lot better knowing their favorite baseball team supports who they are.”  Indeed, this relatively small move on the Brewers’ part will make a whole lot of difference in the long run.  Please read Luke Schaetzel’s opinion piece at this link.

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A poem: “Warmer”

The problems I encountered last winter with the heat in my apartment, which I recounted in this post, inspired me to write the following poem.  Enjoy!

“Warmth”

It’s getting hot in here
But I didn’t turn up the thermostat
Oh, I see why it is:
Smoothed-out legs
Fancy blouse
Lovely skirt
Awesome hair and makeup
A great look at myself in the mirror
I never realized how hot I can be
Or make this room feel like a summer beach

It’s suddenly cold around me
But there’s no thermostat
Oh, I see why it is:
Leering glances
Icy stares
Prejudice
Intolerance
Narrow-mindedness
Misogny and bigotry
From those who disdain me
And who don’t want me to show my face
I never realized how, with such a haunting pace
Hate can make the world a more chilly place

But it’s warming up again
Not a heat wave, far from it
For it’s much more comfortable than that
And I can see why it is:
A pat on the shoulder
A hug or two
Words of “Welcome”
And “I support you”
And “I accept you…
“for the beautiful person you are”
From people who are just like me
And others who support me
And the community in which I’m proud to be
I’m glad I can see
Well, to be reminded of it really
How a little friendship can go a long way
Toward making it a better day
There’s still hate’s winter around the corner
But I’m glad I now feel much warmer


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Happy Pride Month 2018!

320px-gay_flag-svgIt’s almost midway through the month of June and I’m way late into acknowledging the fact that this is Pride Month!  This, of course, is the month we in the LGBT community celebrate our community as a whole, display our true selves at various events, acknowledge the many figures and allies from around the world who have helped pave positive avenues for us as a community and as human beings, and to remember those in our community who left us too soon and who have handed us the (rainbow-colored) torch to hold high into the future.

I make that note of remembrance at the end of that paragraph in part to acknowledge this sad fact:  Two years ago this morning, 49 members of our proud LGBT community lost their lives in a truly senseless act of terror at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  It was heartbreaking to hear the news then. It’s just as heartbreaking to remember it now.  And it’s still necessary to remember the lives lost, for they dared to celebrate who they were and their deaths inspire us to stay resilient in the face of those who still desire to keep our community under their thumbs or out of sight entirely.

Despite the tragedies and difficulties and obstacles we still face as a community, it’s still important to celebrate who we are.  More importantly, we still need to celebrate how far we’ve come together… and, boy oh boy, we have come a long way, with positive representations in many types of media and with the assistance of a supportive generation who isn’t too quick to judge by sexual or gender identity, unlike the older, more conservative generations who only see us as a “sin”  Our community is talented, and we are deservedly valued and recognized for our positive contributions to society, no matter what letter of the acronym we fall under.

Not all of us will have the right and privilege to celebrate Pride Month this month.  Indeed, Green Bay (my old city of residence) will have their own pride celebration next month, while we in Madison will have our annual pride event in August.  But wherever you are and whenever you have the chance to do so, don’t be afraid to let your own rainbow shine.  Happy Pride Month, everyone!


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Allison’s #TryPod: “The Hilarious World of Depression”

Time for the last recommendation in my list of podcast programs that you should try out and enjoy.  Well, last for now, that is.  I say that because I’m not above coming back to this topic in the future and adding more entries, or at the very least add a list of “honorable mentions.”  And I’m definitely not above trying out something that you, the reader, are open to recommending, so hit me up in the comments section and offer your own thoughts and suggestions.

A bit of a caveat about this entry before you read on:  This recommendation deals with a usually dark subject.  And by pure coincidence, this recommendation comes at the end of a week (first full week of June 2018) that saw some pretty dark news that involves this pretty dark subject, as so succinctly summed up at this link.  You probably saw the last word in the title of this post and already feel skittish about hearing anything more about it.  But while I do hope you can hear me out (after all, this is technically a post about a podcast), I don’t blame you for wanting to hit the “back button” or “close button” on your browser or clicking on another post link.  So, if you want to do so, go ahead, because I’ll get into the subject matter after the jump. Continue reading


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These are jeans?!

Time for me to clear out a couple of bookmarked web items from my browser.  And I’m doing so with one hand holding my nose, because earlier this spring I bookmarked articles from The Independent and Teen Vogue about the same fashion item.  I’m hesitant to call it “fashion” as I’m not sure if this was just a case of someone pulling a late April Fools joke on the world.

What am I talking about exactly?  Well, three years ago I talked about a trend in denim called “distressed jeans.”  Basically, fashion brands and retailers made and marketed jeans that had intentional wears and tears in them.  These weren’t the still-very-comfortable-but-faded jeans in your closet.  Rather, these were jeans with tears, strains, bleached spots, and other on-purpose distresses that were put on sale for more than they looked like they were worth.  Yeah, you were able to go to an American Eagle or an H&M and plunk down large coin ($65 or so) and take home something you probably could have found for a lot, lot less at a Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul, where the distresses in the jeans they sold were real because, well, someone else lived in them for a long period of time.

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Allison’s #TryPod: “In the Dark”

I’ve been away from WordPress the past couple of days playing Male Mode Me’s favorite role, “Devoted Volunteer.”  But on this Sunday morning, I have just enough time to squeeze in an addition to my list of podcast recommendations.  For now, this will be the second-to-last recommendation (one more will be coming up).  Note, though, that I say “for now” for I’m not above adding to this list as time goes by… especially if you offer your own recommendations (the comments section is open).  This will also be a recommendation about that overtly popular and perhaps most parodied subgenre of podcast — the true crime podcast.

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Mental health

Well I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
lyrics from “Maggie’s Farm” by Bob Dylan

It’s almost June 2018, but there’s a leftover topic from one of my WordPress friends’ list of “June Jour” writing challenges from June 2017, a topic that I had started response to but never finished until now.  I’ll start with old news from the sporting world from the very end of last June.  Well, it was peripherally from the sports world, but it did involve a figure from Major League Baseball.  Umpire John Tumpane was heading back to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ home ball park, ostensibly to prepare for that night’s game, when he saw something strange on the suspension bridge that approaches the stadium.  On the bridge was a 23-year-old woman who told Tumpane, as he would recall later, that she wanted to “get a better look of the city from this side” — that is, from the other side of the railing that separates the pedestrians from the Allegheny River down below.

Naturally, Tumpane, when noticing that the woman appeared to be very emotional and distraught and did not want to climb back over to safety, grabbed her in order to prevent her from jumping, doing so until others came to assist him in securing her better and until authorities came to take control of the situation.  Tumpane has since been lauded for his actions (and deservedly so), from those in local media, to those to assisted him, to at least one mental health expert, to even the Pirates, who recognized Tumpane for his actions before that night’s game.

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Random Stuff: 5/28/2018 edition

Time to highlight a couple of LGBT-themed advertisements that have been released this spring.  Well, they’re lesbian-themed advertisements if you must be specific, but I imagine others in the LGBT+ spectrum might find something they’ll relate to in these ads.  The first was released last month in Great Britain for Malteasers, a malted-milk-covered-in-chocolate candy (think Whoppers, my fellow Americans).  The Malteasers ad I’ll highlight here features a quartet of women at some café or break area or whatever.  One of the four, whose name is Sarah… well, I’ll let her tell her concern.

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Allison’s #TryPod: “Dead Pilots Society”

Time for another recommendation from the list of podcasts I frequently listen to.  Fellow TV aficionados should enjoy this recommendation as it nicely dovetails with the season that concluded earlier this month.  No, not spring (or winter here in Wisconsin [*insert mildly amusing chuckle here*]), but rather television pilot season.  The gist of pilot season is this:  Every year, the American broadcast television networks receive pitches for potential new series.  The list of proposals is whittled down to a few proposals the networks think will have potential to develop into a weekly series.  Over time, that list keeps shrinking when the networks take into consideration quality of scripts, availability of on- and off-screen talent, budgetary concerns, and the feedback of test audiences and executives.  Only a very few “pilots” that start the process get formal invitations from networks to become series, a process that reaches its culmination every May when the networks announce their lineup of new shows for the following TV season.

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Allison’s Jukebox: “Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way”

As I write this (Friday evening in Wisconsin), polls have been closed for a few hours in the Republic of Ireland, where citizens voted on a proposal that would amend the country’s constitution and allow its parliament (the Oireachtas) to relax the country’s strict laws against abortion.  Today’s vote comes three years after voters approved an amendment to permit marriage between two people “without distinction as to their sex”; it was also that same year that legislation passed allowing transgender citizens in Ireland to freely request a change in legal gender identification on government documents.

If early exit polls are any indication, today’s proposal will be approved by a sizeable margin of voters, just as the marriage equality amendment passed by a wide margin in 2015.  For a country where religiously conservative viewpoints have long held influence on society and laws, it’s sure seems that progressive attitudes are starting to take root in Ireland in the past 20 years or so.  But don’t think that Ireland had been a country where everyone had to strictly follow the edicts the Roman Catholic Church would pass down every Sunday regarding, say, what people should think, who people could love, or how people could express themselves.  On the contrary, for the Irish are a pretty progressive lot; it’s just that the laws of Ireland have taken some time to catch up to that fact.

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