Yes, I hear you from a mile away. “Yes, Allison,” you’re telling me, “we don’t mind you telling about what’s going on in your life and what you’re digging. But we just want to see new photos of you.” Okay, you got your wish.
One Saturday back in may of this year, I attended a regular meeting of the CD/TG support group I’m a part of. On most Saturdays after our meetings, our group meets up at some restaurant in the Madison area to break bread, literally and figuratively. On this particular Saturday, we had dinner at Short Stack Eatery, a LGBT-friendly restaurant I’ve talked about here and here and will eventually devote a full post to sometime soon (the food and atmosphere are that good there).
After we finished dinner and were about to part company for another two weeks, a group member kindly consented my request to take a few pictures of me posing in this outfit. A couple of elements will certainly look familiar to those who follow this blog or my Flickr photostream. First you see the belt, which has been a longtime mainstay of my wardrobe and you may have seen here. You’ve also no doubt seen these black PVC leggings from Lip Service, which I’ve featured here.
The rest of this outfit is brand new to you, beginning with those long, flaming red locks. A couple of months earlier, I went wig shopping at Mallatt’s warehouse on the south side. This was one of a couple of wigs I bought that day, and as you can see not only does it go well past my neck and all the way down to my chest area, it’s also in a very bright shade of crimson, a shade I find quite attractive.
What’s also attractive, though not as much as that hair on my head, is the striped red-and-white top I’m sporting. I had found it some time before at Ragstock, the retro-and-used clothing store located downtown. Just as with the hair, I thought it was attractive not just for the color but for the casual vibe it creates. Plus, it’s a long sleeved shirt, which Male Mode Me feels more comfortable in and to a lesser extent Allison does as well. (Yes, I do have short sleeves in my closet.)
Both Ragstock and Short Stack are located on State Street in downtown Madison. State Street has had a long and vibrant history as not only the corridor connecting the State Capitol with the UW campus, but a street known for various retail businesses, restaurants, entertainment venues, and just plain ol’ people watching. (Speaking of entertainment venues, you’ll see a couple of them in this photo. The Overture Center is to the far right, while the Orpheum Theater marquis is in the distance.)
State Street is also primarily a pedestrian avenue: Save for buses police & emergency vehicles, and delivery trucks, vehicular traffic is not permitted on the road. Once upon a time, State Street was a full 4-lane road, but in 1974 or so, a project commenced that narrowed State Street, widened its sidewalks, and let the pedestrians and bicyclists have free reign. That project, I feel, helped make State Street the generally friendly and mostly laid-back and vibrant avenue it is today.
Having my picture taken on State Street, and especially in this outfit, was a thrilling thing for me as a crossdresser. Not counting intimate group settings and the more formal OutReach Banquets, the opportunities for me to get en femme and have my picture taken have been very few and far between. That’s why having this chance on an early May evening, in nice weather, in this eye-catching ensemble, and on a location where it’s fun to see and be seen was an awesome thrill for me. I felt confident and comfortable in front of the camera as well as in front of passersby. Sure, that being alongside fellow CD/TG group members helped, but what also helped was knowing I was in a progressive, trans-friendly town where, more often than not, nobody will bat an eye of suspicion at some “guy” (note the quote marks) dressed up in an eye-catching outfit.
I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to dress up and pose for the camera on State Street, and I look forward to the next opportunity to do so. You can see a few more photos of yours truly in this outfit and in this setting in the 2018 and “Out of the House” albums of my Flickr photostream. Thanks for checking me out. *wink*