Allison M.

A crossdresser's thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and… oh yeah, dressing up!


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Rest in power, Aimee Stephens

I’ve been busy the past few days with working at home, writing about working at home, and trying to clean my home.  As a result, some things tend to escape through the cracks of my mind.  However, there is one sad note from this week, concerning the passing of an important LGBT+ figure, that should not go unnoticed.

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Photo source: Paul Sancya/AP via NPR.org

That person was Aimee Stephens.  If the name rings a bell, it’s because she was a litigant in one of three separate cases concerning LGBT+ rights that the United States Supreme Court heard last October.  Stephens’ case involves whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on one’s “sex,” pertains to a person’s gender identity.

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A poem: “Walls”

With all the horrifying news we’re dealing with now, it may be easy to forget about the big days on the calendar that have occurred or will be coming up.  It was Saint Patrick’s Day a couple of weeks ago.  Easter Sunday will come around next month.  And Mother’s Day in North America will occur in May… when, fingers tightly crossed, things will start getting much better in this world.

But today (March 31) is the International Transgender Day of Visibility.  For the uninitiated, this day is intended to celebrate the broad transgender community, the accomplishments we’ve made, the impact we’ve made upon the world, and the difficulties we still have to face.  Needless to say, both the trans and cis-gender communities are having to face a certain viral difficulty at the moment.  It is, admittedly, a frightening reminder that while we still have our differences, we are all flesh-and-blood human beings.

Walls

There are walls between us now
The ones we want to live in
And the ones we have to live in

Your walls are the ones you’ve erected
Walls made of brick and mortar
Walls that serve as your ivory towers
And walls that are the fortification
That protects all you own and believe
From what you think will harm you

My walls are… what you’ve erected, too
Walls not of brick and mortar
But instead of words and actions
That hurt like sticks and stones
Walls that knock me down
And hurt my spirits
All because the person I know I am
Is an unfounded threat
To your world view

Yes, there are walls between us now
The ones you want to live in
And the ones you’ve made me live in

But they’re just… walls
Walls that stand tall but cast shadows
Walls that segregate and alienate
Walls that… can’t protect anyone
From things that are unseen
But will destroy you
As well as me
And those we love

Yes, there are walls between us now
Those we need to live within
But also those we can break down from within

Yes, stay within your walls right now
While I must stay within mine
But reach out to me
Talk to me
Ask “How are you” to me
I’ll ask the same of you, you’ll see

Please be kind
In this frightening time
And once you do, together we’ll find
There’ll be one less set of walls between us


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Allison’s Jukebox: “Everybody’s Got a Story”

Yes, this is another addition to “Allison’s Jukebox,” and it’s about a song I wanted to talk up long before I considered the subject about my last post, Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do.”  (Click here if you haven’t read it yet.)  That song’s lyrics, as you recall, painted its characters and setting not with a broad-bristled paint roller but with some focused dabs of a brush, allowing the listener to fashion their own backstory for the characters the lyrics and music depict.

Considering others’ stories is what makes “All I Wanna Do” and the song I want to talk up here stand out in my mind.  When you think of it, most popular music doesn’t always allow the listener to imagine how a character or setting in a song could be.  A “bro country” song, for example, doesn’t allow the listeners’ minds to drift very much past some dude putting the moves on some girl.

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All dressed up for two “dream” weddings

I was going to write about a couple of fashion tidbits I came across this past week, but I’ll have to postpone that for something else I don’t want my mind to forget… especially since it concerns a dream I had overnight…

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What’s scary… and what’s not-so-scary

On this Sunday morning, the thoughts I communicate in this post are not so much on the disappointing political news of the week, the big sporting event that’s set to take place this evening, or even a big decision I made yesterday (a subject for a future post, I promise).  Rather, it’s about other distressing news affecting the trans community.

Perhaps you’re well aware of the reality that myopic, unsympathetic state legislators (yep, from the right side of the aisle) are introducing bills designed to deny transition care to trans adolescents.  Already in 2020 alone, as Vox.com reports, legislators in 8 states have introduced bills that would make it a crime for doctors to provide medically necessary care to children with gender dysphoria, with similar proposals about to surface in other conservative-leaning states.

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Harry Potter and the trans-exclusionary radical feminist

Perhaps you’ve heard of some big news that occurred this week, big because it involved, even peripherally, a world of very popular literature — the world of Harry Potter.  That world was the creation of one J.K. Rowling.  Earlier this week, Ms. Rowling went to Twitter and stood up for someone whose fellowship with the Center for Global Development was not renewed, this after the fellow made statements dismissive of a proposed U.K. law that would allow trans people to self-identify their gender and not have one gender or another imposed on them.  The ex-fellow claimed earlier this year that to mis-gender someone is akin to a religious or philosophical belief.  But this week a British employment tribunal denied that argument and denied the fellow’s request to have her fellowship reinstated.

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Anita Green for beauty queen

Anita Noelle Green 2017

Anita Green in 2017 (photo source: Anita herself via Self)

There were a couple of items from the week’s news that I want to share with you today.  I’ll share one of them in my next post, but I want to here share a tidbit that piqued my interest thanks to an interview that aired this morning on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.  The talk was with the person you see to your right, Anita Noelle Green of Clackamas, Oregon.  Anita has competed in several beauty pageant events, and currently holds the title of Miss Earth Elite Oregon.  Anita also happens to be an openly trans woman, a fact that is currently preventing her entry in the Oregon preliminaries for the Miss United States of America pageant.  The Miss Oregon event’s director, when returning to Anita the application and $195 entry fee she submitted earlier this year, noted that since Anita is not a “natural born female,” they cannot permit her to participate.

I must stop right here for a moment and note a couple of things:  First, to alleviate any misconception all y’all may have, Anita’s issue is with the Miss United States of America pageant system, which is not related to the Miss USA pageant, which is part of the Miss Universe system and is a totally separate organization.  (Yeah, with pageant names so similar to each other, you need a scorecard to help differentiate them.)  And speaking of Miss USA and Miss Universe, it must also be noted that Anita Green was once part of that particular pageant tree:  When she resided in Montana, Anita was a contestant for the title of Miss Montana USA 2017; she was at the time the third trans contestant in the Miss Universe organization’s history.

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More Hallmark holiday crap

That’s right, I said “crap” in the title!  And, yes, I’m gonna do some ranting.  Let’s face it, “crap” is what Hallmark Channel gives us every holiday season with their Countdown to Christmas series, and it’s the type of crap that has been ripe for parody.  Need proof?  Well, let me present you as “Exhibit A” this skit from last night’s (December 14) Saturday Night Live featuring guest host Scarlett Johansson.

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Silver and gold and… rainbows?

A couple of years ago, I had some fun (as did Saturday Night Live) at Hallmark Channel’s expense.  It’s December if you haven’t noticed, meaning that network is now two months into their Countdown to Christmas movie extravaganza.  And while the movie titles number in the several dozen (perhaps several hundred?), the whole block is the same old same-old:  Charming setting, festive decorations everywhere, handsome male lead makes cute with pretty female lead… and little to no LGBT+ representation.

But if for one brief, shining moment, the thought of a slight change in that Countdown to Christmas formula was raised:  Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott, in a podcast talk with The Hollywood Reporter last month, indicated that the network was open to producing holiday movies with gay lead characters.  Abbott’s passing statement resulted from the podcast’s hosts/interviewers challenging Abbott over Hallmark’s prioritizing content for a broad audience ahead of those that reflect the unique aspects of American society.  Separately, Michelle Vicary, who heads the Hallmark-owned studio that produces these films for the network, indicated that they were “looking at pitches” for movies with LGBT+ characters.

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The 27th Annual OutReach Awards Banquet

Last Friday (October 18), myself and fellow members of our CD/TG support group were in attendance at the OutReach Awards Banquet.  As frequent readers of this blog may be aware of, OutReach is Madison’s LGBT+ community center, and the organization that advocates the contributions, health, well being, and connections of LGBT+ citizens and allies in the immediate Madison area.

As part of OutReach’s… well, outreach, they put on several events each year for our community.  The two most prominent are the Magic Festival, which replaced the Pride Parade earlier this year (more on that in a moment); and the Awards Banquet, which honors individuals, businesses, and organizations who, through their work, services, and advocacy, have promoted “the equity and quality of life for all LGBTQ+ people,” to borrow a line from the evening’s program. Continue reading