Allison M.

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

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Another enjoyable poetry performance

It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this, and instead of going to the gym or running errands as I usually do on a Sunday, I’m just relaxing and doing an odd job or two around the house.  And, of course, writing this blog entry.  The reason I’m relaxing is because the past 48 hours or so have been pretty busy for my feminine side.  The CD/trans support group I’m a part of had a Saturday afternoon meeting.  And Friday night, I took part in what I want to talk up here — another open-mic poetry reading Friday night at Mother Fool’s coffee house on Williamson Street.

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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.

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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.

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Allison on video performing (part of) “Store-bought”

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this, and I hadn’t been planning to write anything on here, just wanting to give my keyboard and my writing skills a breather.  But then I remembered I had performed at Mother Fool’s earlier this month.  And I had previously mentioned in passing that someone recorded part of my performance.  When my name was called to perform, I kindly asked someone at the table next to me to snap some pictures of yours truly performing.  She kindly obliged.  But not only did she take a couple of still shots… by chance or whatever, she hit the “video record” button of my camera while I was performing the first of the three poems I read that Friday night, “Store-bought.”

Three things that I must make note of here:  The kind person who caught this didn’t capture my entire performance, just a little bit of the first two stanzas of “Store-bought” (itchy fingers, I presume.  Also, the video is not the greatest in audio or visual quality (it was shot from a distance after all).  And while I am comfortable with writing poetry, my actual performing skills are still not up to snuff.  Hopefully, with more practice and more performing, I’ll improve the second part of that equation.  So, enjoy this rather impromptu gift from me to you, and Happy Christmas or whatever you may be celebrating!

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Allison’s night at Trans Monologues

Okay, okay, okay!  I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for me to tell all about my night at the Trans Monologues event.  You haven’t?  Well, even if you haven’t, here’s where I finally talk about it.


As I mentioned previously on here, Trans Monologues is an annual event put on by the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s LGBT Campus Center.  The event, which coincides with Transgender Awareness Week, aims to be a “night of honest expression about the joys and trials of being anywhere on or off the gender-variant spectrum” (direct quote from the event’s Facebook page, where the above image appears).

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My night at the Halloween party, 2017

[*cue rumble of thunder and eerie organ music*]  Salutations, ghosts and goblins and non-conforming.  I’ve gone on the record on here once or twice about not getting into the whole dress-up thing for Halloween very much.  Since I’m a crossdresser and normally appear as my usual male self before the public eye, any day of the year can be a day when I can put on that “costume” I call “being Allison” and bring my feminine character to life.

But that’s not to say that I’ve never dressed up for Halloween, at least as an adult.  Matter of fact, this past Saturday night, I dressed up to the nines for a Halloween party.  And here’s proof:

Black gown on Halloween

This dress may look familiar to you regular readers of this blog, and it’s true, you’ve seen it on here before.  This is the very same black lace-and-beads dress and accompanying bolero jacket I found several years ago at the Savers thrift store and have had in my closet ever since.  At first, I didn’t have any thoughts about attending any Halloween party this year (more on the party in a little bit), and even when I decided to go, this outfit wasn’t my first thought for a costume.  Instead, the first thought of a costume that came to my mind was a certain yellow-and-black sexy taxi driver outfit, an homage to a friend of mine on Facebook who occasionally wears such an outfit as part of her work.  Alas, I could not find such an outfit that was in my size.  And with the party coming up very quick, I went with Plan B (and, no, I’m not talking about the nightclub) and got all formal and classy.

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Triplicate Person and the very long, very busy, very awesome Friday

Let’s start off this post with a quick comic book analogy, and before you think I’m a sci-fi/comic book geek, I’m not; it’s just that I read a quick blurb about this character a long while ago and felt they were apropos for this post:  In the DC Comics Universe, there is a character by the name of Luornu Durgo, a strange visitor from another planet (whoops, wrong character) where the natives had the ability to split themselves into three identical bodies at will.  Luornu Durgo used that that ability to overwhelm and fight evil forces, earning her the nickname “Triplicate Girl.”

Now, I imagine that Luornu Durgo could have used that multiplication ability to do other things… like, say, straighten up her house before guests came over to visit.  Or… I dunno, appear in three totally separate places at once.  Last week Friday, I had not one, not two, but three separate commitments occupying my entire day from pre-dawn to well past sunset.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to be there all at the same time, but just the same, I felt like I had that multiplying superpower.  Just call me [*insert powerful superhero music here*] Triplicate Person!

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Allison’s second… er, uh, third live performance

It’s Wednesday as I finish this post, and while I try to process my long weekend out of town and my return from work afterwards (a topic for a forthcoming post, I promise), let’s devote this post to the big weekend I had exactly one weekend previous — Saturday the 23rd of September, to be exact.  As you can tell from this post’s title, I did indeed perform poetry as Allison once again.  But was it my second performance or my third?  Well, I guess some clarification is in order:  The first time I performed in front of a mic was during a poetry event at Mother Fool’s back in early July.  A few weeks after that, on the last Saturday night of July to be exact, I was actually back at Mother Fool’s, though not to read poetry.  Instead, since it wasn’t exclusively a night of poetry, I did a little bit of freeform spoken word storytelling about how I first found that sack of women’s clothing.

Saturday the 23rd, however, was all about the poetry.  And instead of Mother Fool’s, we did our thing at another coffee house in town.  (I’ll get to the significance of the “we” later.)  The business in question is Cargo Coffee, a locally- and family-owned coffee shop that has two locations here in Madison, one on the south side and the one we performed at on East Washington Avenue, a few blocks northeast of the State Capitol.  Cargo Coffee’s East Wash location is part of a major redevelopment that’s been occurring on the avenue the past several years (well, it’s happening throughout Madison but it definitely applies to East Wash):  Older, smaller, and generally decrepit buildings, ones that housed businesses ranging from repair shops to an automobile dealership, have been replaced by more modern buildings and shops (including restaurants, a swank hotel, and a supermarket) and condominiums and luxury apartments that cost a pretty penny.  And the redevelopment isn’t done yet:  A new music venue is under construction just kitty corner from Cargo Coffee; further up the avenue, a separate redevelopment is turning a long-empty and neglected plot of land into a mix of apartments, shops, and a UW Health clinic.

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Random stuff: Drag Queen Storytime

Though I might have mentioned this once or twice on here previously, I’ll mention it again right now:  The past few years, I, in male mode, have done volunteer work with children.  Yep, I’ve made visits to elementary schools here in the Madison area to help teach young children (mostly 2nd graders but some appearances with 1st and 3rd graders and even one kindergarten class) some general, friendly lessons about the importance of work and money.

Take note of the words “in male mode” in that last paragraph.  For one, while I do feel more expressive as Allison than I do as Male Mode Me, I won’t go so far as to display Allison in front of a class of impressionable elementary school children.  And it’s not necessarily because I’m representing a very reputable educational organization who takes the conduct of their volunteers seriously.  No, part of the reason is that I’m best working with a script, whether it be a folder full of poetry as Allison or a volunteer’s manual as Male Mode Me.  Take that script away from me and I begin to hem and haw and stammer and stutter, which doesn’t impress any audience of any age.  And before you ask, no, I can’t even improvise my way out of a paper bag.

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Allison adds MORE COWBELL to Pride Weekend

Last weekend, I finally had the opportunity — and more importantly, the courage — to do what I had long hoped to do:  March as Allison in a LGBT pride parade.


Sunday was the day of the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally (the above logo is from the event website).  As you may recall my telling you in this post about last year’s parade, the event has been put on since 2014 by OutReach, which is the LGBT community resource and support center here in Madison.  As it has since 2015, the parade and rally was held downtown, with the parade going up State Street and circling Capitol Square before ending at a rally point where State Street meets the square.  The OutReach Pride Parade & Rally has grown each year since its establishment.  In fact, this year organizers had to cut off the number of registered parade entrants at 77, since there was just no room for any more.

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