Allison M.

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


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Random stuff (10/15/2017 edition)

Just a couple quick thoughts to share on this Sunday afternoon.  First, as I noted in my post from Friday morning, I did indeed stay away completely from Twitter all day Friday. I did so as a show of support to the “#WomenBoycottTwitter” protest meant to highlight Twitter’s inequities in applying discipline in matters of harassment and safety among its users, especially in situations where women on Twitter were being harassed and Twitter did little or nothing to punish the misogynistic men that freely hurled the abuse.

So, how did it feel, you’re asking?  For me, of course, it felt somewhat liberating to be away from the 140-character universe.  Rather than read and scroll ad infinitum through my Twitter timeline (both my female and male accounts), instead I checked out my Facebook accounts.  Since joining Facebook this year, I’ve been rather conservative in my use of that platform (i.e. usually visiting it once or twice a day).  But on Friday, Facebook served as a nice substitute.  So did, Instagram, which Male Mode Me has an account on.  The nice thing about Instagram is that it lets the pictures do the talking, and just like one of those fidget spinners (the big fad of 2017), the photos can be so soothing, especially when it’s a nature or broad landscape photo.  Ahhh…

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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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A few leftover thoughts about my Pride Parade day

Hard to believe that it’s been a month and a day since I stepped out for the very first time as Allison in the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally.  To be honest, it feels like it was only yesterday that I dressed up and marched with my fellow members of the trans community, our supporters, and folks from the broad LGBT+ community in the Madison area.

While I try to keep the euphoria of that Sunday afternoon lingering in the top of my memory for a while, if not longer, I wanted to bring up a few leftover items from the day.  First off, the security.  In the days leading up to the parade and rally, the organizers felt concerned about something sinister happening that afternoon, a concern escalated since it fell just days after the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia.  With that, they had announced on Facebook that they were working with the Madison Police Department to step up security for the event, just in case… you know…

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Busy, busy, busy

Just enough time this morning for me to say… wowzers!  This September has certainly been a busy one for me so far!  As previously noted, I had a busy Labor Day weekend (ironic, isn’t it?), with not only a visit with relatives but a unexpected fire alarm.  Then last week, I was feted for my 15-year work anniversary at my place of employment.

But that’s not the end of it, not by any means.  I’ve already attended a couple of support group meetings this month, the most recent of which saw us send off one of our group with well wishes (she’s moving to California).  Then, Male Mode Me will have big volunteer opportunities coming up not only later this morning but also late next week.  And on top of all that, my little sister is getting married at the very end of this month, meaning there’s another out-of-town trip awaiting me (I’ve already got the hotel room booked).

While all that is well and great (especially the support meetings), two really big things for my female side have been on my September schedule, one already occurred and one still awaiting me.  I don’t know about the results of either event, meaning I must go into detail on them later.  But I will describe them briefly here:  This coming Saturday, I’m set to go to another poetry reading.  It’s won’t be at Mother Fool’s, where I performed poetry as Allison for the first time, but rather at another coffee house I scoped out in male mode during the summer.  That means this week, in addition to working for a living, I’ll be busy writing new poetry and/or deciding which of my previous works of poetry I should present to the audience.  What’s more, I’m looking forward to seeing at least one familiar face in that crowd (they know who they are *grin*).

Perhaps more exciting than being behind a mic and in front of an audience, this past Sunday I had the privilege to be in front of the camera… with a real, true professional photographer behind it!  Very late last week, I learned of a LGBTQ-oriented photo shoot event, and I knew I just had to take part, even if it meant skipping a necessary Sunday trip to the gym.  So, I got all dolled up, went over to the east side of town, and joined several other folks from Madison’s LGBT+ community in getting our picture taken.  I don’t know how my pictures turned out, as it will take a few weeks for the photographer to sort out everything.  But it’s safe to say that I am anticipating seeing the results.  When I do, I will further go into detail about my day on this blog.

So, yeah, it’s definitely been and will still be a busy September for me.  Speaking of which, I gotta get going and head off to work.  Speaking of work, I’ve been putting in some required overtime.  Yeah, I’ve been one busy girl.


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From Point Then to Point Now

Just a brief post to contemplate something important for me:  This entire month of September has been and will be quite a busy one, both in my professional and familial matters.  So it was only this week that I reflected on a very important step in my life:  Fifteen years ago on Labor Day weekend, I made the big move from Green Bay to the Madison area.  And 15 years ago this week, I joined my place of employment.

During this busy schedule of mine, and that of my supervisor who is based in another office away from Madison, we took the time to commemorate my 15-year work anniversary this week.  It was a very modest celebration, really:  Just me (since I’m the only one on my team actually working in Madison); my current supervisor, who made a quick midday drive up to Madison (and brought balloons!); and, as my personally chosen guest, the person who was my first supervisor 15 years ago and who I remain close with professionally, all enjoying lunch and conversation at the Panera Bread next door from my office.

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#TBT: Parachute pants, a stepbrother, and a duffel bag

Before I go any further, a couple of things:  First, this is a story I originally posted on a previous journal site, and I wanted to tell it again here with a few embellishments.  Also, this may seem to you that I’ll be going off in multiple directions in this post, but they all tie in to this story.  Anyway here goes:

As I’ve hinted/mentioned/downright owned up to on here, I am indeed a child of the 1980s.  And if you recall the 1980s, that decade had a number of clothing styles to remember.  Leather outfits were one such style; in my opinion, leather skirts are an ubiquitous classic that, when tastefully styled, will never go out of style.

But, let’s admit it, the ’80s also produced several fashion styles that did not withstand the test of time, among them:

  • Leg warmers (“Just coming back from dance class, I see?”)
  • Noticeably wide shoulder pads (“So, you trying out for the football team in those?”)
  • Members Only jackets (something I didn’t see a lot of in my small town; it must’ve been a big city-only thing).

Times have changed for sure (oh, sorry, “like, fer SURRE!”), and you’ll likely find these old outfits in a vintage/retro shop.  If you’re like me and you come across them, you’ll think, “This is still a classic” or “boy, this look did not age well” or even “I think I may snap this up for some real or imagined retro dress-up party I may or may not attend at an indeterminate time in the future.”

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What if… you know…

I hope you don’t mind that I get a little bit morbid in this post, but this is a deep thought that occurred to me this week.  Something has bummed me out the past few days, more than I thought it would.  It was the death of someone that Male Mode Me follows on social media, first on Twitter and later on Instagram.  I won’t identify this person, though I will describe him as quite the photographer.  Yeah, photography was his passion, not to mention his profession (some of his work graced quite a few print-and-ink publications around here).  And while I was attracted to his thoughts on current events at first (he was progressive, of course), he would put those thoughts (and retweets) to the wayside over time and concentrate on the images he would capture with his cameras, mainly the beauty around Lake Wingra, one of the many lakes around Madison, near which he and his family resided.

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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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Rewording how I define myself

While there have been two good things that occurred in my personal life this August (my high school class reunion, my marching in the pride parade), there was one situation that really bummed me out.  Now that I’m slowly putting it behind me, I will start my explanation of said situation by highlighting a change you may have noticed this month:  My Gravatar profile description.  You know, the one listed under my smiling face you see on the right of your compute screen.  (Uh, you are reading this on a computer screen, right?)  Here is how that profile previously read:

blog bio before

Take note of the first three sentences in that description:  “Full-time middle-aged male.  Long-time overworked office drone.  Part-time female fashion plate.”  A witty and rather innocuous way to describe myself… or so I thought.  The thoughts of those three sentences, or at least how a very important gatekeeper interpreted them, prevented me from taking part in the perfect venue to showcase my poetry skills (such as they are).

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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.

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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, needing to do so since there was just no room for more.

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