Allison M.

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

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Whenever I publish a new entry to this blog, one concern tends to run through my mind:  Will you, the reader, appreciate what I want to communicate, even if it isn’t always delivered in a perfect way?  In regards to wanting that perfect delivery, I’ve found myself reading, re-reading, and editing, for purposes of grammar and clarity and clarification, what I’ve already published on here.  Even a comma that seems missing or a thought that gets lost in the syntax can be subject to my wanting to keep this blog rock-solid perfect.

You notice, though, that I don’t say I make edits for the sake of changing the theme or purpose of the post.  Yeah, I’ll go back to edit my misspellings and bad grammar, but the purpose of the post is left unchanged:  I have a story to tell, a thought to share, or praise or criticism to disclose.  And though you may agree with it (hopefully) or not, I always hope you will appreciate my words and be enlightened by them.

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#TBT follow-up: From Plan B to Prism to…

On several occasions in the past, you’ve seen me talk up a certain business located at 924 Williamson Street here in Madison.  From 2009 until early 2019, it was known as the LGBT+ nightclub Plan B.  One year ago, however, Plan B faced the brunt of deserved criticism, starting from restricting drag performers’ needed access to backstage dressing areas, and exploding to reports of serving underage patrons, sexual misconduct by ownership, and staff treatment of customers, including patrons of color.  It led to a change in not only ownership but in name, with the club becoming Prism after a 2-week remodeling.

Unfortunately, the club’s identity as Prism would be short-lived:  Last fall, its principal owner decided to close up shop, citing Madison’s competitive nightlife landscape, the increased acceptance of LGBT+ people by other establishments, and issues with building ownership.  After Prism had its big closing bash last November 9, the employees, clientele, and performers went their separate ways, moving to other spots where they can drink, dine, dance, perform, and be themselves without judgement.

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Trans Monologues 2019

For various reasons (employment, shopping, domicile matters, other things to write about), I never got around to writing on a couple of tidbits for this blog before the end of 2019.  Now that it’s 2020, and now that I have time to write, I feel it’s high time to talk up a little something I attended back in November…

A couple of years ago, I attended and performed at the Trans Monologues.  For the unfamiliar, this event is put on every November by what is now known as the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center at UW—Madison.  This event seeks to highlight the voices, experiences, and talents of the trans and gender-nonconforming community in Madison and Wisconsin.  Participants can perform whatever works they wish, and get to do so in a supportive, non-competitive environment (this event isn’t any “who’s better than the rest” type of competition).

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Allison in Madison: Soccer it to me time!

There are so many items I wanted talk up on this blog before 2019 becomes 2020 that I know I won’t get to them all.  But at least one of those topics will be brought up in this post.  The topic comes from the realm of… soccer!  The world’s game!  The most beautiful game!  Whatever other superlatives the rest of the planet gives applies to it!  And the topic of that corny title I just made you read (I may be 50, but I still have an 8-year-old’s sense of humor).

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Comings and goings at West Towne

While my mind formulates a post about my recent night at Trans Monologues (it’s coming, I promise), I want to keep my writing juices flowing with a few things about the mall down the road from where I live, West Towne Mall.  Thankfully, none of what I want to talk about is about this incident (yikes!).  Rather, it’s about a couple of stores at West Towne, beginning with Forever 21.  As you may have heard, Forever 21 declared bankruptcy back at the end of September, and that the roster of locations the retailer plans to close includes the spot of West Towne they’ve rented out for the past 10 years or so.

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A poem: “Live Your Light”


Image source here

As recounted in this post, Madison will be losing a prominent spot for the LGBT+ community.  The dance club Prism, located at 924 Williamson Street, will have a “Last Call” party this evening, complete with a happy hour, performances, dancing, and lots of pulsating lights and music.  It’s a safe bet that it will be a big blowout of a party before the bar lights come up and the doors are shuttered for the final time at 2AM.

Unfortunately, I won’t be among the revelers that will be there to send Prism off to the great beyond.  It’s not just because I’ve never been a have-a-drink, dance-the-night-away, or party-until-the-wee-small-hours kind of girl.  Yes, I do have other matters this evening that I won’t divulge.  But I’m never one to deny any revelers a night of fun.

As noted by the above banner promoting Prism’s “Last Call” party, the club has used the tag line “Live Your Light” on social media and other promotions.  As Prism described it on their Facebook page, “We all seek out places that accept us and refracts the true colors of the inner light that permeates through us all.”

The phrase “Live Your Light” and the above description inspired me to write this quick bit of prose.  Here’s hoping that it’ll be one heck of a final party tonight, and that those who have spent even a little bit of time at Prism or its predecessor, Plan B, will cherish the memories they made there and never be afraid to, well…

Live Your Light

There’s a beacon emitting from 9-2-4
Inviting everyone to come on in
Be welcomed and comfortable
In your very own skin
It’s red and orange
Yellow and green
And blue and purple
Colors so very bright
It’s letting everyone know
Don’t worry
Be yourselves here
And live your light

Indeed, people are coming to 9-2-4
People who aren’t afraid
To party hearty
Drink and dance
And meet that someone new
They dare to be proud and free
And to their own selves be true
In red and orange
Yellow and green
And blue and purple
(And, yes, pink and turquoise)
They’re bathed in colors so very bright
They revel in an atmosphere
Of acceptance and respect
Unafraid to live their light

But there’s now darkness from 9-2-4
Not of hate or anger
Just a fading light
And a sign telling the world
“Sorry, we won’t be here any longer”

But wait…
There’s a coda from 9-2-4
It’s a Prism giving direction
And telling our community
Go on!  Go forward!
Live your lives with conviction!
Take the memories from this place
And the confidence you’ve gained
To be proud, free, and unafraid
Whether you’re red or orange
Yellow or green
Or blue or purple
(Or, yes, pink and turquoise)
Show the world your inner beauty
One that’s proud and bright
And to anyone afraid to do so
Tell them to have no fear
Be strong, be you
And live your light

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Random stuff (11/2/2019 edition)

Just thought I’d share with you a few photos I had already shared on social media but also want to share to you, dear blog readers.  And I must emphasize, what you’re about to see is indeed from this past week.10-31-2019 713-30amYes, nice and quaint, now isn’t it?  But it’s just a storage shed covered in snow.  That’s right, snow.  At the end of October.  You want more?  By all means, take it… because we had to drive through it.10-31-2019 711-02amBoth of these images were from Thursday morning, when Madison and Southern Wisconsin was hit with a way-too-early snowstorm.  And believe it or not, it wasn’t the first bit of snowfall we saw this week, as a not-so-nasty storm hit late Monday evening.

All in all, Madison received a reported 8.1 inches of snow between the two storms.  It also left us scratching our collective heads and wondering, “It’s way too early for snow.”  I mean, more than a few trees around here still have yellow leaves on them (don’t let the lack of leaves on the above pictures tell you otherwise).  But if we’ve learned anything from previous winters in Wisconsin, it’s that Mother Nature can disrupt things any time she pleases.  Yeah, Mother Nature is one cold, evil, scheming, calculating, uncaring, unsympathetic witch!

But amidst the treachery of this early winter, I spotted a bit of levity.  No, it didn’t involve footage of people frolicking in the snow, but something even better:11-1-2019 746-27amDuring my drive to work on Friday, I came across this sign in front of a dry cleaning establishment.  The intended message of the sign, of course, is to encourage people to bring their not-so-clean suits, gowns, etc. here and they’ll put them back into good use.  But to put it more succinctly, if you look good, you feel good.  In other words… look snappy, feel happy.

I got a kick out of the positive attitude of this sign’s message.  When you think of it, its words are also timely, as adverse weather, not unlike what we’ve seen this week, can prompt even the most hearty of crossdessers to stay inside.  But don’t be afraid to dress to the nines in your best outfit.  It doesn’t matter what season it is, whether you must bundle up first, or if your catwalk or red carpet is within the confines of your home.  Do so, and you’ll give Old Man Winter the fierce brushback [*insert diva finger snaps in a circle*] he clearly has coming to him.


The light is fading from Prism

I’ve been busy the past couple weeks due to my current work assignment, my blog posts about the OutReach Awards Banquet (which you can read here and here), personal errands, and dealing with very loud neighbors who like to turn up their stereos’ volume to 22 (ugh!).  That’s not to say I haven’t kept up on other things going on.  This includes a significant news item that came about a week ago.

Image source: Prism via Our Lives Magazine (2019)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall my posts earlier this year about an LGBT+ nightclub on Williamson Street that had been known for most of its history as Plan B.  Late in 2018, some drag performers raised a ruckus about being prevented from prepping for their show in a dressing room that was already less than ideal.  The subsequent reaction to that incident revealed lingering issues from Plan B’s customer base, concerns about not only the club’s direction but how its then-owners and staff (mis)treated the bar’s performers and clientele, especially female and black patrons.

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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

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Random personal stuff (10/20/2019 edition)

I’ve been away from WordPress all week, and today I have a lot of housecleaning to do.  But I have just enough time in my day to give a few quick updates from my end.  This past week marked one month since I took on my new work assignment.  There was a little bit of a false start, and the work volume has seen its peaks and valleys, but I seem to have picked up on the tasks quite well.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have my share of questions to ask.  Matter of fact, most everyone on the team I’m assigned to, newbies and veterans alike, have their fair share questions.  So, twice every day our team gathers to ask and answer those questions.  Guidance and collaboration are pretty cool things in the professional life.

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