Allison M.

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


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Silver and gold and… rainbows?

A couple of years ago, I had some fun (as did Saturday Night Live) at Hallmark Channel’s expense.  It’s December if you haven’t noticed, meaning that network is now two months into their Countdown to Christmas movie extravaganza.  And while the movie titles number in the several dozen (perhaps several hundred?), the whole block is the same old same-old:  Charming setting, festive decorations everywhere, handsome male lead makes cute with pretty female lead… and little to no LGBT+ representation.

But if for one brief, shining moment, the thought of a slight change in that Countdown to Christmas formula was raised:  Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott, in a podcast talk with The Hollywood Reporter last month, indicated that the network was open to producing holiday movies with gay lead characters.  Abbott’s passing statement resulted from the podcast’s hosts/interviewers challenging Abbott over Hallmark’s prioritizing content for a broad audience ahead of those that reflect the unique aspects of American society.  Separately, Michelle Vicary, who heads the Hallmark-owned studio that produces these films for the network, indicated that they were “looking at pitches” for movies with LGBT+ characters.

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Christmas without the angel wings

This post and the one that will follow are in relation to a couple of holiday-related TV tidbits I’ve talked up in the past.  That next one will be about something that likely won’t leave the airwaves any time soon.  This one, however, is about one that has.

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Photo credit: Corey Tenold via Vogue

You probably recall this photo from a post I wrote at this time last year.  The image was from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which was first staged in the mid-1990s and used to be a prominent part of CBS’ holiday schedule.  Last year’s show, which aired on ABC, was marred by pre-air controversy thanks to a Vogue interview with Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of L Brands (Victoria’s Secret’s parent company), and Monica Mitro, VS’ executive VP of public relations.  Let’s just say that neither executive, Razek especially, made a good impression with their dismissive comments about plus-sized and trans models (they weren’t part of the “fantasy” VS was going for in the show).

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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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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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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:

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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