Allison M.

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


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Random stuff: Pride Night at the Brewers game

Yay!  It’s the day of the summer solstice here in Wisconsin, a day to appreciate the abundant amounts of sunshine that make summer, well, summer.  If you see any sunshine where you are, would you mind sending some our way?  That’s because the weather forecast here in Wisconsin calls for rain all day.  And we’ve had more than enough rain the past week or so.

At least the home of my beloved Milwaukee Brewers has a convertible roof to keep out the rain when necessary.  And tonight they’ll need it closed, for tonight the Brewers will host their very first “Pride Night” at Miller Park.  Themed nights and sports teams go together like hand in well-worn baseball glove, and we’re not just talking “2 brats for $1 nights” either.  There have been everything from ethnic heritage nights to weird jersey nights to “retro nights” to movie nights.  Of the latter, Star Wars nights have been a big draw the past few years, especially in the minor leagues with their jerseys patterned after, say, Stormtroopers or Jedi masters.

Nights with more grounded themes have also been featured, including “Pride Nights” to celebrate the LGBT community.  Major League Baseball has seen an increase in Pride Nights in recent years, though some of its clubs have been laggards in paying official acknowledgement to our community.  Heck, whole leagues such as the NBA and WNBA have lapped MLB in paying respect to the LGBT community.

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Image source: Brewers.com

Thankfully, however, MLB has been on the ball (so to speak) in acknowledging and embracing the LGBT community in recent years.  And tonight (June 21), the Brewers will become the 23rd MLB team (out of 30) to officially stage a LGBT-oriented event during the 2018 regular season.  To borrow a quote from the Brewers’ website, this is a night aimed at “celebrating diversity and inclusion within the Brewers fan base, the Milwaukee community, and all of Major League Baseball.”  The events are slated to include a tailgate outside Miller Park held by the Milwaukee Gay Sports Network; the rainbow-themed shirt you see to your right; and, for those who purchased a special ticket package, the opportunity to participate in a pregame parade on the Miller Park warning track. (Yes, the chance to actually go on the field!)

How this Brewers’ Pride Night came about is a sweet story in itself.  A year ago, a Milwaukee resident and Brewers fan by the name of Hilary McCabe sent a note to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl lamenting the fact that the Brewers have never held some sort of in-game promotion to connect with the LGBT community.  Stingl forwarded that note to the Brewers’ vice-president of communications.  A few days after that, the Brewers formally joined the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.  And earlier this year, when the Brewers released their roster of theme nights for the 2018 season, a Pride Night was included for the very first time… and appropriately enough during the traditional LGBT pride month of June.

As a Brewers fan and a part of the broad LGBT community, I’m so happy to see that the Brewers are embracing and officially acknowledging the LGBT portion of their fan base and our community as a whole.  It’s a great move, and part of a continuing move that began back in 2001 when the Chicago Cubs held their first “Out at Wrigley” event.  (Kudos to the Cubs for actually staging two LGBT pride events here in 2018, one earlier this month and the annual Out at Wrigley event coming up in August.)  There are now only two Major League Baseball teams who have never held an official pride night during their histories, the Yankees and the Angels.  Here’s hoping those two teams will finally get get on the ball (so to speak) and stage their own pride nights in 2019.

Oh, one must-read link to share with you:  If you think a pro sports team holding a night to embrace the LGBT community seems like small potatoes to you, think again.  Luke Schaetzel of the website SconnieSportsTalk.com (“An official student organization of the University of Wisconsin-Madison”) wrote a great opinion piece about the Brewers staging this event.  Luke ponders that somewhere out there, some young Brewers fan who’s struggling with their sexual and/or gender identity and feels alone and shut out will tune in to the game tonight and see the rainbow shirts and related paraphanelia.  And then, he writes, “That fan, that kid, is going to feel a hell of a lot better knowing their favorite baseball team supports who they are.”  Indeed, this relatively small move on the Brewers’ part will make a whole lot of difference in the long run.  Please read Luke Schaetzel’s opinion piece at this link.

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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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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, since there was just no room for any more.

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A big pride weekend

Happy weekend, peoples!  I’m writing this post on a “tape-delay” Friday evening; hopefully, if the WordPress settings are accurate, this will be delivered to you first thing Saturday morning.  Why am I writing this on Friday night and posting it on Saturday morning?  Well, I’m going to be very busy not just Saturday morning but all weekend; I’ll talk my to-do list in a moment.

First, though, I want to tell you about a celebration occurring southeast of Madison, in a place called Walworth County.  It’s just over 102,000 in population; it’s mostly though not entirely rural; it’s generally conservative in culture; and it’s home to the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, the Alpine Valley resort and music theater, and the vacation spot Lake Geneva.  And on Saturday, it will hold its first ever LGBT “pride fair,” conducted from 10AM to 3PM on the Chamber of Commerce grounds in the county seat of Elkhorn.

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Allison in Madison: Two downtown art fairs in one weekend

Yep, you read that post title correctly:  Madison is such a cool city artistic-wise that we have not one but two separate, neighboring, coexisting — and free — art fairs that occur downtown on the 2nd weekend of July every year.

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When I could’ve but didn’t dress up

I want to tell you about what I did — and didn’t — do this past Thursday night.  First off, what I did do was attend a little get-together that raised funds for the LGBT pride parade in Madison this August.  It was a rather simple party, with just under a couple dozen supporters and Board of Directors membership of Madison’s LGBT community center, held in the home and garden of one of the center’s longtime supporters in one of Madison’s more cozier and aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods (lots of shade trees, narrow and winding streets, beautifully manicured yards).

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A poem: “Summer Must Go Away”

Geez, where did the summertime go?  I look at my calendar today and it says it’s the first day of autumn.  Rats!  Mother Nature must hate the fact that summer is going away, too, as we’ve had a very wet week here in Madison.  So, taking inspiration from the occurrence of the autumnal equinox as well as The Finicky Cynic’s own poem about autumn, I’ve written up this quick prose about the change from a season we’re going to miss so very much when winter’s chill has its way.

“Summer Must Go Away”

Summer has to leave today
It knows it has to leave today
But it doesn’t want to leave today
It wants to stick around
And stay just a little bit longer
And give us warm and sunny days

But there’s something else today
There’s rain today
Lots of rain today, and yesterday
Because Summer doesn’t want to go away?
But maybe, just maybe
Rain is Mother Nature wanting to say
“Please, Summer, don’t go away”

But Summer will have to go away today
And Mother Nature’s tears today
Are creating a river, flowing away
Past trees that will turn gold and red
Before Winter’s shades of gray
And its cold and frosty days

Summer must leave today
But we will never forget its long days
Its lovely days
Of greens and blues and sunny ways
That led us to adventures
In places near and far away
With new smiling faces to see
And starlit nights after great days
Of fun and enjoyment
That we had day after day

Summer must leave today
For Autumn it must make way
But it will come back another day
After Winter and Spring have had their day
Then we’ll reunite with Summer, that old friend
And we’ll enjoy those warm and sunny days again


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Madison’s day to show some LGBT pride

If you recall from August of last year, I had plans to march, as Allison, in Madison’s LGBT pride parade.  However, a very last-minute familial situation scrapped those hopes.  (At least I did dress up for the public one month later.)  But I still love a (pride) parade, and I wanted to take in this year’s edition of Madison’s pride parade, which took place on August 21.

8-21-2016-137-22pmThe event is technically billed as the Outreach Pride Parade & Rally.  The Outreach of the name is the LGBT community resource center here in Madison (mission statement: “To promote equality and quality of life for LGBT people”).  Outreach, which just moved to a newer, more expanded office in Madison earlier this summer (memo to self: check it out very soon), puts on noteworthy LGBT-oriented events in the Madison area every year, including an awards banquet that is scheduled to take place this coming week, and, since 2014, a parade and rally every August.

You’re probably seeing that “since 2014” part in that last paragraph and are wondering to yourself, “Really?  Madison is so open and progressive, yet they’ve only had a pride parade since 2014?”  Well, that’s not true.  Other groups have put on pride parades in the past, including a group called Capitol Pride that put on a small parade in the late 2000s/early 2010s.  Those groups, for various financial and/or organizational reasons, have come and gone.  Some of the previous pride parades and rallies in Madison have been different than what Outreach puts on.  Some years it was just a parade; a parade followed by a picnic or rally; and, as I recall one year, just a picnic since there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a parade (a city parade license and police logistics can cost a pretty penny).

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Busy as a…

So, peoples, has your week been as busy as mine has been?  Yeah, I’ve been busy virtually the entire week, up to and including today (Sunday).  And the strange thing about it is I actually took the entire week off from work.  You’re probably reading that last sentence and are wondering, “Gee, Allison, isn’t not being busy the point of taking an entire week off from work?”  Well, what can I say?  I can be a busy beaver sometimes.

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