Allison M.

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


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Somebody’s memories

Four years ago, I sung the praises of an advertisement that PFLAG Canada put out to promote and support legal marriage equality worldwide.  The ad was titled “Nobody’s Memories,” and it depicted images of what could have been:  Weddings of same-gender couples from the mid-20th century, shown as home movie footage from an “alternate universe” that gives the viewer chills with their authentic aged styles.  If you want to learn what I’m talking about, check out this blog link to take a look at it yourself; I just watched it again myself and am still struck by how powerful and moving that ad still is.

This week, a news item in the showbiz world made me recall that “Nobody’s Memories” ad and its (*sigh*) imaginary depictions of couples who just happen to be of the same gender in real love.  I’ll talk up that TV item in a bit, but while doing some research on it, I went further down the internet rabbit hole and came across this photo of an actual wedding memory that did happen:

UEA-Molina-Ert-1972

Photo credit: Universal Entertainment Agency via Houston Chronicle

The above photo, as confirmed in this 2014 Houston Chronicle article, is from a small ceremony that took place at Harmony Wedding Chapel in Houston in October 1972.  The groom is Antonio Molina, a shipping clerk, former high school football star, and Navy veteran.  The resplendent bride is William “Billie” Ert, a female impersonator (stage name: “Mr. Vicki Carr”) and former hairdresser.  Yes, William Ert was a male, but he had a voter registration card that listed his gender as “female.”

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Random personal stuff (6/9/2019 edition)

6-7-2019 738-31pmYep, that’s me taking that selfie.  This past Friday night, I dolled myself up, put on this brand new pride-themed shirt I found at Ragstock, and went to Mother Fools for their monthly poetry performance.  I hadn’t been there since doing some semi-freeform spoken-word stuff last December, and hadn’t been a part of their first-Friday-of-the-month poetry events in well over a year.  I hadn’t been there for various reasons, including my job search last summer, just feeling dog-tired from the work assignment I have right now (more on that in a moment), and lack of creative poetry juices.

This time around, though, I didn’t want to make excuses to myself or wait any longer.  So, after I finished my work day late Friday, I made a bee line straight home to get changed into Allison.  It would have been a little sooner than late Friday had I not had to stick around for a couple of things I had been meaning to do all day at work (again, more on work later).

Still, it was amazing how I turned out after applying my makeup.  I’d say it took under an hour for me to slather on the foundation, blush, eye shadow, and lipstick, not to mention straighten out my wig.  (Note to self: The hair goes over the glasses’ arms.)  Oh, it also took an extra hour to do some extra shaving of my face and find the maxi-skirt and shirt I wanted to wear (my closet is always unorganized *sigh*).

But how did I do at the mic, you ask?  Well, while I was a bit rusty, especially with my less-than-perfect poetry intros, I did all right.  And even with the light crowd indoors at Mother Fools on what was an incredibly beautiful Friday evening (perhaps most of the regular crowd was taking advantage of that weather), it was a nice, accepting, and appreciative atmosphere.

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The not-so-ordinary mother figures (a Mother’s Day addendum)

I had a feeling when I wrote my previous post about Mother’s Day on Saturday night, I would fail to include a few important (to me) things about the subject matter.  Indeed, I had only made passing mention of three not-so-traditional forms of mothers in this world.  One of those was the single-parent setup, of which I was part of during my very young years:  My mother was a divorcee, and she looked after and provided for both my sister and I on her own for several years.  Even after she remarried, had another child, and took another job, she still cared for us and made sure we were doing alright even with our latchkey kid setup (she worked nights for a while, and Dad was on the road quite a bit).  Things weren’t always hunky dory, but we turned out okay for the most part.

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Random personal stuff (Easter Sunday 2019 edition)

So, did the Easter Bunny leave you lots of eggs to hunt for?  Did same bunny deliver lots of chocolate for you to devour?  Well, Peter Cottontail skipped my house this year, forcing me to buy all that sugary stuff on my own.  To be honest, though, I do need to keep watching what I eat, so it’s just as well that E.B. passed me by.  Perhaps next year, though.

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Oscar, Oscar, Oscar…

Time to fire up that recognizable theme music and… oh, wait, this isn’t supposed to be about Felix Unger disdainfully looking at his roommate’s pig sty of an apartment?  Okay then, sorry. [sound of record needle scratching]  Yeah, this is about last weekend’s big event, the 91st Academy Awards.  And, yes, I’m late to the “pile on the Oscars” party.  In my defense, I’m still trying to shake off a very long, grueling, and stressful work week, so please give me some slack.

Anyway, it goes without saying that the Academy Awards are the most scrutinized entertainment awards show on the planet.  Even just hearing the word “Oscars” makes a human being consider at least one of three Oscar-related questions:  How glamorous were the celebrities on the red carpet?  Was the ceremony worth watching?  And were the actual Oscar recipients deserving?

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Random personal stuff (2/8/2019 edition)

A few personal things from the past week to catch you up on, going somewhat in reverse order.  First, I’m relaxing at home this Friday evening resting up from a pretty annoying head cold I may be (hopefully) in the final throes of.  No, it’s not one of those “stay home and deal with the pain” types of colds, rather one of those viruses that starts with a little bit of congestion, spends a day or two blocking one nostril, blocks the other nostril the two days after that, and leaves you reaching for the tissue box more often than you’d like.  Or much more often if there’s a lot of sneezing thrown in.  I think there must be a lot of dry air in the office I’m stuck in.

The only person I’m blaming for giving me this cold is Mother Nature.  She had the audacity to send Madison from bone-chilling -30º temperatures last week to +47º last weekend to single-digit temperatures and icy roads and pavements today.  Sure, I enjoyed that nice warm spell we had last weekend (who wouldn’t?), but the whiplash-inducing swings from cold to warm and back to cold again has been the frequent culprit of colds in my lifetime.  Oh, well, I’ll survive. Continue reading


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Random personal stuff (2019 polar vortex edition)

One of the nice things about living in Wisconsin is that the scenery is pretty awesome.  Whether it’s the urban skyline of Milwaukee or Madison, the majestic natural formations of places like Kettle Moraine, or the peacefulness of Door County, this state produces scenes that can be all at once tranquil, exciting, awe inspiring, and breathtaking, no matter what the season may be, including here in winter.  But the beauty of winter is served on a double-edged sword:  The sight of a snow-covered field or wooded area brings serenity, but it’s best appreciated when you’re indoors looking through a window.

Madison’s State Street on Monday (photo source: Wisconsin State Journal)

The past couple of weeks here in Madison have brought 3 different snowstorms of varying degrees of effect.  The most recent of those storms occurred this past Sunday evening/Monday morning, when a storm dumped around 6 inches of snow.

That Monday snowstorm was actually the good news of the week, and not just because the original Madison forecast called for more snow than that.  It ushered in what meteorologists call a polar vortex.  Basically, it’s Mother Nature leaving her freezer door open and letting a lot of chilly air escape.  This week, that vortex of cold, cold air dropped right smack dab onto the Upper Midwestern United States.

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A character’s definition

Just for a moment, forget the fact that this blog is being written by a male-to-female crossdresser.  Go on, briefly wipe from your memory any indications that I’m an everyday male; cover up those references on your computer screen if you must.

Okay, now that you’ve done that, go back and look at my photos, either the above header or my Flickr feed.  Now, then, ask yourself this:  Am I female?  Well, since I am wearing clothing and hair and makeup that’s associated with being feminine, your usual answer when you saw me would be “yes.”  But would your answer change if I restored to your mind the fact that I was born male?  Or that I live my everyday life as a male?  Or that, being a crossdresser, I consider myself part of the broad transgender community?  And having reminded you of that, would your respect of me as a person change in any way?

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May this lady reign

I’ve mentioned on here in the past that I don’t really get into two types of television programming very much:  Awards shows and reality television.  Not to fault anyone who enjoys said programming, but I’ve never got my kicks watching events where glamour overshadows the rewarding of good accomplishments, nor do I take satisfaction in watching how a likely normal person with good intentions get painted in a vicious light for the want of winning a half-million bucks (uh, thanks, prodding producers?).

One other TV staple, or at least it was when I was younger and my mom and sister commanded what we watched on the TV, is the beauty pageant.  Admittedly, a dresser-upper like me would have an inkling to tune in and marvel over the elegant evening dresses and hairstyles the contestants wear on the stage.  And, yes, the women on those stages deserved to compete and present their grace and talent.  But the then-corniness of the Miss America pageant left me with the impression that it and other similar events were the product of a time when when an older, more conservative, and, let’s face it, mostly male mindset decreed a certain kind of feminine beauty. ([cue old timey music] “I say, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal!  Just look at how that pretty little thing struts across that stage.  That dame’s the bee’s knees, I tell ya.”)

But rather than go on and on about how beauty pageants feel antiquated (perhaps a topic for another post), let’s use this particular space to highlight one particular beauty pageant figure on the verge of doing something historic.

That, on her official Instagram feed, is Angela Ponce.  Yes, she looks photogenic and fashion model-caliber glamorous, which is un modo requerido in beauty pageants such as Miss Universe.  Angela has been competing in beauty pageants since at least 2015, when she won the title of Miss World Cadiz.  She is the reigning Miss Spain, and is representing her country this week at the Miss Universe 2018 competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Continue reading


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Random stuff (post-VS edition)

I haven’t been on here the past several days, what with trying to earn a living and fighting an achy cold since Thursday.  But I’m back to share some lingering stuff related to my last post about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and more importantly comments by Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, expressing that the show has no place for “transsexuals” (his term) or plus-size models on the catwalk (“because the show is a fantasy,” he reasoned).

Well, any hope that Victoria’s Secret and ABC would generate great ratings for the 2018 edition of the fashion show turned out to be a bigger fantasy.  Last Sunday’s (December 2) airing of the event registered an all-time low viewership number.  And that’s coming off previous all-time lows for viewership in both 2017 and 2016, the last two years the event aired on CBS.

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