Allison M.

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


Four years into this blogging thing

I’ve been too preoccupied this week with getting my car fixed, trying to catch up on tasks in my work assignment, and pondering what subjects to write about on this blog that I didn’t think of the significance of this particular date too much.  But since WordPress appears to be big on anniversaries…


Yep, it was four years ago today that I launched this blog and posted my very first entry.  Since that time, I’ve pounded into my keyboard, and onto this blog, lots of experiences to write about, positive things to trumpet, good people to highlight, fashionable things to marvel over, bad news to gripe over, poetry to express, and memories to share.

Writing this blog is not the easiest thing to do.  There have been times where I’ve wracked my brain on what to write about.  When I know when I want to write out, there’s also the issue of how to write it out; more than once I’ve edited and re-edited and re-re-edited a post.  And of course, there are still times where my non-writing, non-Allison real life can intrude and keep me away from writing a post, just at the time when my writing juices are piqued.

But at least I do make an effort to write, and when I do I get a cathartic feeling over me.  I feel truly excited to share my thoughts and feelings and good words to the world.  It all results in a sense of pride when I hit that big blue button in the corner of my screen marked “publish.”

Hitting that “publish” button also brings a little bit of anxiety, in that I hope that those who read it will like it.  But those fears vanish rather quickly, especially when seeing someone “like” my post or hearing someone tell me (especially in person), “You do a great job on your blog, Allison.”  Even a little bit of constructive criticism buoys my confidence; at least they aren’t saying out loud that my blog stinks.

But above all else, and no matter what anyone else may say, I get a feeling of expressing my true self to the world with every single post.  Yes, its all under a feminine nom de plume, but I feel secure expressing every bit of joy, heartbreak, disappointment, fondness, ecstasy… and pride in being myself and expressing who I am through words on a screen.  It’s a far cry from the moment 37 years ago when a shy, teased, and insecure 11-year-old first felt a feeling of comfort when putting on a feminine garment.

To all of you out there, whether you’re WordPress peeps or simple readers, I sincerely thank you for your support.  Whether it’s the form of good words, encouragement, challenges, applause, or just a simple hit of the “like” button, you’ve kept me going and kept me striving toward my desire to self-express my true self.  Here’s to four more years.

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Random personal thoughts (11/14/2018 edition)

Just a very quick about something I could have been doing tonight as I write this but won’t — perform poetry before an audience.  While getting all dolled up and reading my words before actual living, breathing people is something I’ve enjoyed doing, it’s also something I haven’t done since the end of June.

And tonight would’ve been a perfect night to do it again, because it’s the 2018 edition of Trans Monologues.  Does that name ring familiar to you, dear reader?  Well it should, for one year ago this month, I performed a poem at the 2017 Trans Monologues, which is the annual night of performances by trans and gender non-conforming talent put on by UW—Madison’s Gender & Sexuality Campus Center.

You’re probably asking why I’m not there in person tonight?  Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve been trying to master this work assignment I’ve been on since the first full week of August, one that’s been naturally preoccupying my weekdays but also been lingering on my mind when I’m away from the office.  Needless to say, it’s pushed the desire to submit my work for consideration for Trans Monologues to the far back burner, so much so that I missed last week’s deadline for submissions.

On top of that, the outcome of this particular work day would have impinged on my enjoyment of performing had I actually signed up and performed.  How bad was this work day for me?  Well, let’s just say that I’ve fallen behind on a major task I’m responsible for.  But it wasn’t like I’ve fallen so far behind on it that I’m drowning.  Actually, I’ve squeezed in working on this task in between the other tasks I’m committed to.  But it hasn’t pleased the “dragon lady” of a boss I must report to please.  She can be curt and direct, is often demanding, and can come across as displeased if we create an error or come up short of her expectations.

So tomorrow, I will have a lot of catching up to do, in addition to the other regular tasks I must cover in this assignment.  No, it doesn’t leave me in the greatest of situations.  But at least no one in this office can say I’m not making an effort to perform admirably in this assignment.  And at least despite not always getting a positive read or encouraging word from the “dragon lady,” there are at least two other people who can give me words of comfort.  A peer of this “dragon lady,” who I partially report to, reassured me that I’m doing a good job.  Well, I sure hope so.

So while I may be too tired, physically and mentally, to attend Trans Monologues tonight, I know that I will be there in spirit.  This is a night where my trans sisters and brothers can shine, and do so during an era that finds the collective embrace and support we’ve been receiving larger than before, yet the resistance we’re facing is just as big.  Let’s show in our own special ways that we’re just as human as the cis-gender world, whether we’re singing, writing, performing poetry… or, yes, fretting over work.  Let’s knock their socks off!

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Some very happy returns

It’s been a few days since the 2018 general elections here in the United States.  As with every election season, the 2018 conclusion had some good, bad, and very best news:

  • The good news about that is that we no longer have to put up with awful campaign attack ads dirtying up the airwaves (at least until 2020 or *sigh* late 2019).
  • The bad news is that not every candidate with a forward-thinking viewpoint won their election (as the saying goes, you can’t win ’em all *sigh*).
  • But the very best news?  Well, let me get off this bullet point and tell you…

Okay, the very best news is the advancements of bright, shining, forward-minded political stars on Tuesday night, the biggest highlight being the biggest takeaway of the night, at least among many political pundits:  The Democratic Party gained the majority of seats the House of Representatives!  That means that America now has a little bit of a check and balance against You Know Who and his myopic, misogynistic, anti-everything administration.

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13 weeks into my new “show”

I’ll start this post with a term from the world of television:  Time was (and in some cases still is) that when a network ordered a prospective show to series and added it to their new fall broadcast schedule, they would put in an order of 13 weeks worth of episodes to be produced.  Depending on how well that show performs in quality of episodes produced and ratings of said episodes (usually the latter reason), it will receive an additional order of episodes for a “full season.”  If it isn’t up to snuff, the network will drop it after those 13 episodes, if not sooner.

I bring up this analogy because this past Friday saw the finish of my 13th week at my current place of temp-to-hire employment.  As you may have read on here before, I am indeed currently in a “work assignment” (my term), working at a certain charitable assistance organization that, for the purposes of anonymity, shall remain nameless.  And just as with a TV show whose cast and writers are trying to gel over those initial 13 weeks of episodes, I had a lot of growing to do in learning all the ins and outs of the position I was assigned to after I somehow impressed the powers-that-be with my skill set (call my job search the “pilot season” if you will).

Also as with most TV shows just starting out and developing their characters and the world they’re in, I began rather modestly in this assignment.  I started out small, just composing and formatting small reports and siting alongside the person I thought I would be working with as he showed me all the ropes.  (I’ll get to the significance of the word with in a moment.)

Unless they’re real lucky and right away get a “full season” of episodes to stretch out and develop, a TV show really needs to make a good impression in their first 13 weeks.  That’s what I wanted to do at my assignment, and there were times when I did.  But overall, I felt unsure whether I did or not.  There really isn’t any significant metrics (or “Nielsen ratings” in TV speak) that would serve as a gauge of how I was doing, such as “how many invoices did I submit?” or “did I send this report to the CFO when she needed it?”  Those in the TV industry (executives, producers, talent, etc.) may have lingering doubts about a series they committed to, but more often they go with their gut, take a leap of faith, do their very best, and hope things turn out in a positive way.  That’s what I did for the most part in my assignment, taking a keen interest (or listening to as much as possible) to what I was being taught, taking a lot of notes, and performing as best as possible when I was lent the reins.  In other words, in lieu of ratings, I took leaps of faith, just as the CFO certainly did when she offered me the assignment.

At times during its first 13 weeks and even during its pre-air development, a TV series must go through a lot of changes.  Sometimes those changes are intentional, such as changing a set design, choosing which characters to emphasize, or even recasting one or more of those characters.  Other times a change becomes unexpected, such as when an actor must leave the series for whatever reason.  And here’s where I get to the part about learning from the person I thought I would be working with:  Like me, he was at this organization on a temporary basis, putting about 6 hours a day since July.  But he did desire another position at another place of employment where he felt more qualified for.

Learning that he was leaving and I would be the go-to guy — i.e. the person who the CFO(!) expects to know everything about my role — has left me rather nervous.  Just as TV networks have high expectations about the new series they treat as the “next big thing,” so it is with me at this organization.  And while I may likely do a good job when all is proverbially said and done, I worry that I will perform less than what they expect of me.  In other words, I hope I don’t have to hear the words “we’re going in a different direction and will replace you.”  Yeah, getting “cancelled” would be the pits.

But if “cancellation” is the end result… well, so be it.  Look up the IMDb list of any top-line actor, writer, and producer and you’ll see their name associated with likely-long-forgotten TV credits that occurred before and/or after they did more memorable work.  (Steven Bochco wrote for a sitcom called Turnabout.  Yeah, I don’t remember that one either.)  But for sure they made their best efforts to put out great work, no matter how it turned out in the end.  That’s the case for me in my career as a whole and my current assignment in particular.  I will try to keep positive and try my very best.  And with a part-time temp worker who may be able to help out when possible, I know I won’t be a one-man band (I do work better as part of some sort of team).

But what if it doesn’t work out?  What if the CFO desires to cast someone with better talent than I?  Or what if I desire to leave this “series” for another role in another operation where I can utilize my skills and make the role my own?  Well, there’s no certainty that the “next big thing” will be out there.  But with connections with “casting agents” (temp agencies, job boards, friends in high places), I hope that an awesome “starring role” will be waiting for me somewhere.

For now, though, I will bide my time in this current work assignment… which, I must say, is one that really challenges my skills.  I won’t get into too much particulars, though let’s just say that, for one, there’s a whole lot more to Microsoft Excel than just typing numbers into a cell… and, two, I’m better speaking to people on the phones than I ever thought I was.  Well, slightly better.  That’s the thing about being a role you’re not sure about:  As much as you think you’re uncomfortable playing the part, it brings out talents you never thought you had.

Please keep wishing me luck as I conclude my first 13 episodes… er, weeks in this part and begin my 14th week in an indefinite run.  Fate only knows if it will be an all-too-short run, a week-by-week renewal, or a long-lasting role, but it’s for sure that I will give this role everything I’ve got.

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Was I recognized?

I want to share with you a little personal tidbit I left out during my recap of the OutReach Awards Banquet I attended last week Friday.  And I want to preface this by saying that I have never told anyone I’ve worked with or encountered in my professional career that I dress up as Allison, nor do I have any plans to do so.  And there have been only two people who have seen me present as both female and male, and both of them have seen me in male mode only once.

All that being said, there was someone I’ve encountered in my professional male-mode past who was literally inches from me at the OutReach banquet.

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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:

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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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