Allison M.

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


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Random personal stuff (10/17/2018 edition)

Thought I’d share with you a few things that are going on in and around my life.  First off, I’m still on that temp-to-hire assignment.  Am I happy about it?  Well, I’m happy that I’m getting paid, if that’s what you’re wondering.  I won’t bore you in this post with the details, but I will say it’s probably the most demanding work I’ve ever done in my career.  There are lots of things to learn, and the boss is a very hard person to please.  But at least they can’t say I’m not trustworthy:  I do show up when my shift begins; I stay late if need be; and I do my best to at least try to learn and retain what I’m learning, and ask questions when necessary.

Despite that, I’m quite nervous about my long-term prospects at this company.  The person who’s been training me is planning to depart by the end of this month, and most of the responsibilities of this position will fall to me.  So, yeah, a lot will be demanded of me, and I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for all of it.  [*sound of my throat swallowing a big lump of nervousness*]  But if it doesn’t work out… well, who know’s what will happen for me if it doesn’t?  But I know I will at least take with me a better sense of what I can do, what I will need to improve on, and a bit of personal pride (as dinged as it might be) that I did my best in a difficult role. Continue reading


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Coming out, so to speak

Today (October 11) is National Coming Out Day, a day set aside to celebrate those in the broad LGBT+ community and to highlight the many in said community who have self-disclosed their sexual or gender identity — “coming out” — to family, friends, or whomever else they feel should know at the time they’re most comfortable to tell them.

When I last opined about National Coming Out Day on here a couple of years ago, I pondered the question out loud, “Will I come out?”  I wasn’t really ready to come out back then, or at least fully disclose to the whole wide world that I live as a male-to-female crossdresser who has been questioning their sexuality.  And I’m still not.

Well, perhaps I should clarify that:  In the past few years, I have indeed displayed my crossdressing side to actual, non-online world.  Well, okay, it’s just safe, accepting locales in Madison and it’s been mostly along with like-minded people like me.  But every time I have done so, regardless of the setting, it’s been an exhilarating experience.

And perhaps I should really clarify all of that:  When I’ve ventured out wearing a wig and a dress and makeup, or whenever I’ve posted photos online, I’ve never made a practice of telling the world, “Yes, my name is [insert my male name here].”  And if you wouldn’t consider that coming out of the closet… well, it’s been technically Allison’s closet that I’ve been breaking out of, so I will both agree and disagree with you a little bit.

Agree and disagree, you’re asking?  Well, yeah, why not?  One of my long-held hopes as Allison has been to display my feminine side to the world at least once.  And in the past couple of years especially, I’ve been doing it quite a bit.  It could be at a private support meeting, or it could be at a post-meeting dinner with friends, or it could be a pride parade.  And each time, it’s been a thrill to have been welcomed and accepted.

But will I come out to my family, colleagues, and relations who have only known me as a loving and devoted son, brother, uncle, and worker?  No, I have no plans to do so.  They only know my male mode side, and I’m still worried that they will shun me and disown me, only because I present a side of me that’s not entirely that of a straight, cis-gender male.  Yes, it’s the pits to live in such fear, but it’s a real fear that I have.  Will they be accepting of me if I came out?  I don’t know for sure.  Maybe one day they will (pardon the expression) come right out and say they’ll love me unconditionally, even if I were to say, hey, I’m not entirely a straight, cis-gender male.  I know I’d love them unconditionally if any of them were to come out.  Of course, those who know me professionally might not care.  Indeed all they will say to me would be on par with, “Yeah, okay, that’s fine, but I need that report tomorrow!” *sigh*

National Coming Out Day is a day whose general idea is that it’s okay, daring, beneficial, or whatever similarly positive adjective to live as openly LGBT+.  And while it’s good to live so openly, there’s still that stigma of being shunned for that reason.  I still live in fear of being shunned by the family I hold dear.  But I am glad that I’ve been accepted by those who are like me and don’t mind me being… well, me.  That includes the online friends who know me as only Allison, those who first met me online and came to meet Allison in person… and the friend who has met both my male and female sides, has appreciated me as a whole person, and has become the closest friend I’ve ever had.

So, yeah, I’m out of the closet, so to speak.  It’s just that those I’m out to mostly know only my female side and just happen to not be blood relatives.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  National Coming Out Day shouldn’t have to be a day where everyone who’s LGBT+ must shout out who they are from the rooftops.  Just doing so to just one person, and only doing so when they’re ready to do so, is what this day is supposed to promote.

On this National Coming Out Day, here’s hoping that you appreciate and admire the stories of those who have come out as LGBT+ to those they care about.  If you’re firmly in the closet and not ready to come out, don’t worry.  While it may not be apparent to you now, there will be those ready to accept and support you when you’re ready to come out.  They may only be friends you haven’t met yet, but know that they’ll be supporting of you when you’re ready.


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A vital voice

I want you, the fair readers of this blog, to take a look at this outfit:

10-6-2018 1032-48am

Saturday morning, I made a quick trip to Target.  No, if you’re inquiring, I wasn’t there to add new purchases to my closet, nor did I bring any new clothes home.  However, while walking past the women’s clothing section, I saw this mannequin with a nice pleated skirt and a simple pink top with… well, just read what it says.

Saturday was also a troubling day in the national news.  If you haven’t heard, You Know Who got his man on the highest court in our country.  Ugh.  And it comes after a nomination period that saw said man be accused of gross misconduct in his younger days, including not one, nor two, but three women coming forward to claim he sexually abused them when they were all younger.  More disgusting was the fact that said man vociferously deny those claims, which only exacerbated his bad character and made him look more guilty than he likely already was.

And yet, a group of mostly old, misogynistic men saw fit to put him on the highest court in our country.

Now, I know it’s impossible for our side to win every battle.  But when a battle this important and this hard fought finds our side on the losing end, it’s hard not to feel disappointed.  But through the disappointment, I saw the message on this outfit at Target and thought… yeah, I needed that message on Saturday.

Matter of fact, that was a message everyone needed on Saturday.  And today.  And every day during these dark times.

With those with evil in their hearts and dark motives on their minds threatening our community’s hard-fought freedoms, or at least just waiting do us harm, we should be a “vital voice…”

Yes, it’s good to be that “vital voice” for what’s right (not for the right side, if you know what I mean).

It’s best to be that “vital voice” to stand up for those who go without.  It’s necessary to be that “vital voice” to stand and defend for those in our LGBT+ community who feel threatened for living as who they are, and should not be discriminated because of who they are.

It’s important, now more so than ever, to be a “vital voice” who can stand up to the bullies in our country and the men (well, they are almost all men) who are making all of us live in fear only because they’re living in fear of women who aren’t afraid to stand strong.

I cannot profess to being all that articulate in voicing support for the downcast and others like me in our community.  Indeed, there are those much, much better than I’ll ever be in being that “vital voice.”  But at least I can use this platform, small and unpolished as it may be, to highlight those who think positive and stay strong and never yield or give ground to the hateful.

Even if our voices are small, let’s all speak up together… for when we do, we will be come the VITAL VOICE (note the all caps) that is so very necessary at this time.

(Oh, the outfit? The shirt especially? A certain friend of mine is really big on social justice and standing up for the disadvantaged. I imagine she may want to buy that shirt the next time she’s at Target. Walk the talk, friend. *grin*)


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Random personal stuff (10/4/2018 edition)

Just a few quick personal tidbits from my life to keep my writing juices flowing:  First off, as I’ve mentioned before, I am currently in a temp-to-hire assignment at a certain charitable organization here in Madison.  Tomorrow ends my 9th week with them, and… well, the going there is a little bit better.  I won’t get into details for the sake of personal confidentiality.  But I will say that the first month or so there, I felt overwhelmed and more challenged than I had been expecting.  Now, while I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I had been, I still feel the challenges.  It does leave me to think at times What did I get myself into here?  And it does make me hope that when the incumbent in the position takes his leave around the end of this month (as had been the plan) and I must take the steering wheel, I hope I won’t steer the boat aground, as it were.  But at least I have someplace to spend my days that isn’t the confines of my apartment.

Speaking of leaving the confines of my apartment, I did so this week even while not feeling my best.  It’s now autumn here in Wisconsin, a time when the leaves start to fall, the temperatures start to cool down, and I always seem to get a nasty cold.  A year ago, I got rocked by a nasty cold that lasted just over a week.  This past Monday, I started feeling that same sore throat, woosy head, and stuffed-up nose feeling as before, and it had me worried that it was another week-long cold.  Luckily for me, after a few days of sharp drops by the thermostat, Wednesday was a warm day, allowing my body to readjust.  So, as I write this on Thursday night, I don’t feel too bad at all.  Yay!

Of course, a reason I wound up with this cold in the first place is the fact that I didn’t take precautions to stay warm while the temperature dropped and I had to venture outside when the temperature dropped last weekend.  But I’m glad I did venture outside last weekend, for I got to play dress-up with an online acquaintance.  She is a cross-dresser as I am, and I drove up to her place about an hour outside of Madison late last Saturday for a few hours of dressing up, snapping photos, and conversing.  The good part about it was that we had a pretty nice time (no hanky-panky involved, so get your mind out of the gutter).  The better part about it was that we took more than a few pictures, which I haven’t had the chance to go through this week (what with my work assignment and all).  The best part about it was that after losing her own job just as I had, my acquaintance found new employment (yes, she feels good about it).

The worst part about that dress-up time however?  I had to drive through a pounding, cooling rain storm.  Guess that’s how I got that nasty cold I’m thankfully shaking off.


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Thoughts about finding a new place to live

Last weekend, I drove out of town and visited my sister and her family.  A funny anecdote about my visit first:  Sis gave me a birthday card during my visit, thinking the next day (September 3) would be my birthday.  Actually it was a month earlier (August 3), and she seemed kind of surprised when I corrected her.  Perhaps you could chalk it up to a big workload on her part or traveling this summer or something else I’m about to talk up, but Sis thought for sure my birthday was in September.  At least she didn’t mind being corrected.  “Just consider it a belated birthday wish,” she advised.

There was a reason for my visit, other than the obvious reason being seeing relations I haven’t had the chance to see in a while.  Sis and her family had just finished relocating to a new home they had purchased.  Pretty much everything they had were still in boxes when I visited, so their new house doesn’t yet feel like home.  And those boxes may be occupied for a while because… well, their new home?  Compared to what they left behind, it’s half the size.  And their old home wasn’t all that big to begin with.  But in finding this A-framed house in the middle of the woods, they saw a bit of potential.  Well, the potential that comes with an expansion of the house, which they hope to commence with sometime soon (they don’t know when).

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On assignment

As many of you regular readers may know, I had to leave my previous place of employment back in June, after which I ventured into the great unknown that is looking for new employment.  Most of my search has taken me to the equally great unknown that is temporary and staffing agencies.  By my count, I signed up with 7 such agencies during this summer, and it could have been 8 had I not actually gained regular employment through one of those agencies.

If you have been looking for your own new employment, perhaps you too have signed up with an agency or two.  It’s part of what has been billed the “gig economy,” in which short-term or freelance work, as opposed to something that’s long-term and permanent, is prevalent.  An employer may not want, need, or be capable of employing someone for a long time, so they’ll retain the services of a temporary staffing firm, who will do the legwork when it comes to searching for and compensating qualified workers.

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Random work thoughts from the birthday girl

In my male-mode professional career, I’ve never made too much of a big deal about August 3 being my birthday.  Part of the reason for that dates back to when I got my first paying job about three weeks before I turned 21.  Back then, I was too evergreen, not yet mature, far too unsure of myself, and just fortunate that I found a job.  I also made too many mistakes in that job, which was… well, I won’t tell you where I worked or what I did, although I will say it was a small office where I had a lot of responsibilities and was let go after two months.  Naturally, the last thing on my mind during that run wasn’t a desire to have balloons and cake at my desk.  So, I didn’t tell a soul at this business that August 3 was my birthday.

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Trying to make out where John Candy’s sitting

A famous sports situation to tell you:  Picture a football stadium.  A crowd of over 75,000 people are on the edge of their seats.  There’s about three minutes left in a tightly-played game.  The two teams are separated by only three points on the scoreboard.  The team that’s trailing has the ball on the own 8-yard line, and they’re likely feeling some anxiety.  But their quarterback seems cool, calm, and collected.  Matter of fact, it appears that said quarterback has his eye on something else other than the opponent’s end zone 92 yards away.

If you’re a football fan, you’ve probably heard of this very situation.  The game was Super Bowl XXIII in 1989.  The team that was trailing was the San Francisco 49ers.  Their quarterback was none other than the legendary Joe Montana.  And before he and his offense started a drive at their own 8 with 3:10 left in the game, he got the attention of one of his linemen and motioned to the stands.  “There, in the stands, standing near the exit ramp… Isn’t that John Candy?”

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Allison’s Word: “Empathy” and “Sympathy”

The last time I posted on here, I talked about a human trait I’ve noticed during my job search.  That trait is known as “compassion,” in which one person is moved so much by another’s pain and distress that they want to alleviate said pain and distress.  This time around, I want to talk about two other human traits I’ve noticed of late:

Empathy

Sympathy

“Empathy” and “Sympathy” are traits that have been easily interchanged for each other over the years, but they are distinctly different.  Let’s break them down one at a time, shall we? Continue reading


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Allison’s Word: “Compassion”

Time to bring back a feature I haven’t done on here in a while, “Allison’s Word.”  Sorry, no disembodied voice in this entry (last I checked, they’re getting their nails done), but there will be a word representing a beautiful trait of human emotion I’ve encountered so far during my job search:

Compassion

Compassion is a human trait that allows people who are moved by someone’s physical, mental, or emotional pain to want to alleviate or ease that person’s pain.  Compassion is that feeling that prompts a person to reach out to someone in their time of need as if to say, “Don’t worry, things will be all right for a little while.”

This week, during my job search, I took time between sending lots of resumés and practicing for phone interviews to have lunch with someone who showed a lot of compassion my way — the first supervisor at my now-former place of employment.  She’s still employed at that company, and that allowed the two of us to keep in touch rather easily during my time there (she was just one floor below me in our building).  Since I departed the company, she has shown quite a bit of compassion in her e-mail conversations with me.  And on Thursday, for the first time since I left, she offered to meet up with me for lunch.  I thought, why not?  I’ve got all the time in the world for lunch at the moment.  We had a pretty nice conversation at that lunch, and she offered nothing but lots of encouragement, including a few statements of “be confident” and more than a few mentions of “there’s a job out there that will be perfect for you.”   And, yes, the lunch was her treat.

My old boss’ lunch wasn’t the only form of compassion from someone at work.  Another person who’s still at that company and was also my supervisor (albeit for a brief time) learned of my departure from my supervisor.  And, yes, she’s reached out to me via e-mail with nothing but support and compassion and advice.  (It goes without saying that both are among my list of personal references during my job search.)  One of my first supervisor’s current colleagues also learned about my job search, and she asked for a copy of my resumé.  I’m not sure who or where she planned to send my resumé to, nor have I noticed any results from it.  But I’m appreciative of her efforts.

Compassion allows one to identify themselves in others and motivates them to do something for the sake of making that other person feel okay for at least a little while.  That thing can be a word or two of support, a lunch with a good friend, a forwarding of a resumé… or perhaps even that next new job opportunity.  No doubt about it, I am very, very appreciative of all this compassion.