Allison M.

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


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What strikes Allison about “Pose” (from what she’s seen)

If you have a basic cable subscription or one of those relatively newfangled online TV accounts, perhaps you’ve seen this title card at least once… and if you have a keen ear, the high-heel clicks that accompany it.

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The tile card for Pose (image source here)

Pose is a dramatic series whose first season ran a year ago on the FX network and debuts Season 2… holy freakin’ cow, this week?!

For the uninitiated, here’s a basic description of what Pose is all about:  Set in New York City of the late 1980s, the series is centered primarily around the subculture of the LGBT+ community known as ball culture.  In this environment can be found participants who are, more often than not, part of “houses.”  No, not a physical house per se, but rather teams of participants who glam themselves up, walk the stage, vogue, and emulate other genders (especially the one they weren’t born as) and social categories in ball events.  The object:  Making a good impression on the event’s judges and audiences (“10’s across the board!”).  The reward:  A trophy, personal pride in knowing that you and your house are top dog for at least a night… and the thrill of venturing outside your drab and nowhere-near-glamorous social, economic, and health-related circumstances.

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Some fashion (and some thoughts) for Pride Month 2019

Rainbow shirt and Apt. 9 maxi-skirt

The other day, with a thunderstorm ruining my plans to venture out en femme, I decided instead to head down to my building’s basement.  It’s obviously not the most glamorous locale in my building, let alone the world, but the pale color of the concrete walls that help keep our apartments upright are a nice background for a fashion shoot.

And just what am I wearing here?  Well, let’s start off with the skirt.  Back at Christmastime, I received a nice gift card from Kohl’s department stores.  With the $40 on that card burning a big hole in my wallet by the time spring rolled around, I figured it would be a nice way to help build the summertime portion of my feminine wardrobe.  Luckily, I found a perfect addition in this navy blue Apt. 9 maxi-skirt.

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Wrong and right ways to commemorate this day

As promised, here’s the second post where I wanted to discuss Memorial Day.  Again, this is a day meant to pay tribute to those who died in service of the United States Armed Forces.  If you’ve paid your own tasteful tribute today, even if it’s as simple as offering condolences or planting an American flag on a military member’s grave, good for you… for you understand the gravity of this solemn day.

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Allison is witness to a RAID!

As I noted in my previous blog post, I’m skipping participating in the Crazylegs Classic today, mentally recuperating from a very grueling work week.  However…

At least I did take the time to do a little something for me.  Friday night, I got out of the house, hit the town, and considered a significant event that occurred way back in the past.  June 28, 1969, to be exact.

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Image source: Stage Q on Facebook

This year is the 50th anniversary of the famous Stonewall riots in New York City.  As they occurred during an era of social upheaval in the United States (the late 1960s), they are widely considered to be the catalyst of the gay liberation movement and the modern-day fight for LGBT rights and freedoms.

With the golden jubilee of Stonewall upon us, the Madison-based LGBT theater group Stage Q commissioned an original play that reenacts that important night in history.  The result was RAID! Attack on Stonewall, which ends a 7-performances-over-2-weekends run at the Bartell Theatre this afternoon. Continue reading


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A couple of spring election thoughts

A couple of thoughts that surfaced to the top of my mind the day after an important spring election.  Well, it was important here in Madison, and I’ll bring up why in a second.  If you had spring general elections where you lived, know that it was important for your locale as well, and that you exercised your right to vote.

Perhaps the most noteworthy election occurred in the city of Chicago, which in Lori Lightfoot will see only its second female mayor, not to mention its third African-American mayor. (That her opponent was also black and female made it an historic campaign.)  Lightfoot is also gay, and will become Chicago’s first openly LGBT mayor.

Lori Lightfoot’s victory is certainly noteworthy and historic in Chicago, certainly perking the spirits of her supporters and some optimism within the city’s LGBT community.  But here in Madison, we had our own significant election this week, involving the person pictured to your right.  Satya Rhodes-Conway has called Madison home for 20 years.  She served on Madison’s City Council for 6 years and had been working with a UW—Madison-based think tank when she decided to run for the office of Mayor of the City of Madison.

Satya was among 6 candidates for mayor and placed in the top two when the first round of the election was held in February.  The other person who advanced to this week’s election is perhaps best known by this moniker:  “Mayor for Life.”  No, don’t take that literally, but he did spend 22 years over 3 tenures as mayor that covered parts of five decades.  That and the fact that his viewpoints and fighting spirit matched that of most of the citizenry (progressive, radical) gave one the sense that he could be mayor for as long as he lived on this earth.

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A dream… or a Pride premonition?

At least a couple of times on here, I’ve described some of the crazy dreams I’ve had, not the “I wanna see my name in lights” kind of dream but rather the “deep in peaceful slumber” and “so lucid it felt as if it was real life” kind.  I had one of those very lucid dreams last weekend… but with some news this week, I’m wondering if it wasn’t so much a dream as it was a forecast of what was to come.

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Oscar, Oscar, Oscar…

Time to fire up that recognizable theme music and… oh, wait, this isn’t supposed to be about Felix Unger disdainfully looking at his roommate’s pig sty of an apartment?  Okay then, sorry. [sound of record needle scratching]  Yeah, this is about last weekend’s big event, the 91st Academy Awards.  And, yes, I’m late to the “pile on the Oscars” party.  In my defense, I’m still trying to shake off a very long, grueling, and stressful work week, so please give me some slack.

Anyway, it goes without saying that the Academy Awards are the most scrutinized entertainment awards show on the planet.  Even just hearing the word “Oscars” makes a human being consider at least one of three Oscar-related questions:  How glamorous were the celebrities on the red carpet?  Was the ceremony worth watching?  And were the actual Oscar recipients deserving?

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#TBT follow-up: From Plan B to…

12-30-2018 1205-30pmOne month ago, I wrote in this post about Plan B, the LGBT-oriented nightclub on Williamson Street that you see in the above photo, and how wound up in a very unflattering light.  To sum up:  Back in December, some drag performers had a cow when club staff forbid them from changing in their usual dressing room.  The queens called out the club on social media, with some of them severing ties with Plan B.  Several other performers and patrons said “I can top that story” and called out club ownership for how they ran the club, one owner in particular for his treatment of staff and customers, and one security staffer for an incident with a black patron.

When the dust settled, Plan B was sold, with founding owner Rico Sabatini returning to take ownership of the club.  It also led to some reflecting of what Plan B became under the previous ownership — that is, a club that was and still is widely popular but lost its original focus of being a safe and inviting haven for the LGBT+ community.

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Thanks, other states!

In my last post, I sang the praises of newly inaugurated governors here in Wisconsin and next door in Michigan signing executive orders aimed at prohibiting discrimination toward state employees or those they serve based on gender or sexual identity.  Both Tony Evers and Gretchen Whitmer were elected governors of their respective states last November, when a nice “blue” wave washed across much of the United States.  And their pro-LGBT orders were a nice start to 2019.  But they weren’t the only ones to make such an awesome move.

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Image source: The Wichita Eagle

The lady sitting at that desk is another newly elected governor, Laura Kelly of Kansas.  Kelly took office this past Monday, and in her own first official act as governor, signed an executive order that reinstated protections for LGBT workers within the executive branch of state government, as well as extend such protections to businesses that have contracts with the state.  I say “reinstated” because back in 2007, the governor at that time put into place protections that prohibited harassment, termination of employment, or any form of discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  Eight years later a successor governor who was nowhere near as progressive rescinded those orders, claiming it’s the responsibility of Kansas’ legislature to enact any changes.

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Thanks, Gov!

It’s almost the middle of January.  And depending on where you live in the United States, the fruits of last November’s elections, which saw for the most part success of progressive-leaning candidates nationwide, are starting to take shape.  And while it’s definitely good to know that the Democratic Party caucus in the new Congress has more diversity (including 10 openly gay or bisexual Senators or Representatives), this quick post will highlight a very nice development on the state level.  Or to be more precise, at Wisconsin’s state level.

Image source: The Capital Times

The man you see in the glasses in this photo is Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s 46th governor, who took the oath of office last Monday, January 7, at the State Capitol here in Madison.  As you’d expect from such a ceremony, there was a lot of pomp and circumstance:  The music.  The administration of the oath to Evers.  The same to four other constitutional officeholders, including the state’s first African-American lieutenant governor (and second person of color to hold statewide office in Wisconsin), Mandela Barnes.  The speeches.  And the promise of a hopeful next four years, even if the legislature is still dominated by a not-so-progressive party.

Needless to say, Governor Evers is progressive, and in his first day in office, he signed his first executive order, one that’s nothing but positive for our community.  The order he signed requires that state government agencies develop policies that will prohibit discrimination against employees and whomever they serve on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Additionally, the Evers administration will begin development on “a model anti-discrimination policy that will be distributed to all state employees.”

Yes, this is indeed great news.  In the previous 8 years, Wisconsin was governed by a man who sought to “divide and conquer,” starting with controversial legislation that hit public sector employees and unions where it hurt (and led to said employees storming the State Capitol in protest).  His tenure also fostered an atmosphere of his party having an attitude that they could do anything they want, including actual or perceived “cronyism,” left-leaning opposition inside and outside the State Capitol be dammed.

That’s not entirely the case any more here in Wisconsin.  Oh, sure, Governor Evers still has to face a legislature that’s still controlled by the other party.  But his first actions show that it’s still necessary to ensure that people in our state are treated with dignity and respect, and that their work is judged on how they do the job, not based on who they love, nor how they identify, and certainly not by how they’re connected in government.

Not only did this move occur here in Wisconsin this month, our neighbors in Michigan have seen the same thing:  That state’s own new Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, signed her own executive directive that prohibits Michigan’s state agencies, service providers, and whoever else works with the state from discriminating against LGBT+ people, as well as strengthening prohibitions against discrimination in state services based on sexual or gender identity.

So, this is definitely great news here in the Midwest.  If only every governor had the smarts to make such moves (giving an angry look at you, Florida).