Allison M.

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


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Random personal thoughts (8/18/2018 edition)

I have just enough time this Sunday morning to let you in on a couple of personal matters.  First off, I’ve put in a feeler on a potential new employment opportunity.  It’s through a different staffing agency than the one where I found my current assignment.  It’s also a temp-to-hire role.  But it also appears to be an indefinite, long-term role.  And it’s also in an industry where I spent a significant portion of my early professional life, meaning I need to move some of the industry’s terminology from the back to the front of my memory if I get this role.

But at the very least, if nothing pans out there or anyplace else, I do have my current assignment to fall back on.  As much as I’m not happy there and have struggled sometimes, the managers I work under seem to be pleased with my work.  Well, at least pleased enough to indicate they’d like to keep me on past September 1 and work some special projects.  While that’s nice, and I’m grateful, I’m not sure if it will be a full-time role.  And let’s just say that it’s not easy having just part-time employment while living in a city as expensive as Madison.

This afternoon, at least, I get to put all those work worries aside and get dressed up.  And for good reason, as today is Madison’s LGBT+ celebration, OutReach Magic Festival.  As I noted back in the spring, city regulations, logistics, and lingering resentment from last year prompted event organizers to eschew from having a parade downtown up State Street, and instead have a picnic/festival event at Warner Park on the northeast side of town.  The setup is meant to help bring the various groups within the pride acronym together, something our community needs right now and will hopefully benefit from.  The bad news, however, is that somebody has been praying for rain.  As I write this, there’s a loud storm moving through town, and a chance of rain exists late during the event.  Ugh!

Hopefully, everyone will stay dry at Magic Festival.  Myself especially, as I will be lugging around a fancy camera while dodging raindrops.  See, yours truly will be volunteering as Allison at the event.  Little Ol’ Do-Gooder Me wanted to help out in any way.  Despite my signing up relatively late (I did so after a volunteer orientation), spots were still available, and I added my femme name to the list as an event photographer.  I’m planning to arrive early enough to not only drink in the event and get a lay of the land, but also to get the ground rules on photographing the event, one of which I’ve learned about already — get consent before taking someone’s picture.  It will be a great thrill to not only lend a hand to what will hopefully be a great event, but to also help document it for posterity.


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Some lingering birthday thoughts

The euphoria (and sugar high) surrounding my turning 50 years old a couple of weeks ago has now long subsided.  But whatever the day, I can still relate to stories about turning another year older — even if it’s not my own birthday.  As an introductory, let me share with you video from Rachel Brosnahan’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  In leading off this appearance, Rachel talks about a bit of a birthday inaccuracy.

I’ve never told anyone that my birthday is on any day other than August 3.  But I can certainly relate to how Rachel’s birthday went from July to April to December, and it’s not out of anyone’s chicanery or anything.  I’ve mentioned it in passing on here before, but I will happily elaborate further in this entry…

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Random rants about this past week

Before I go any further, much of this post will be devoted to the dark past 7 days, and as a whole past 2½ years, that our country has gone through.  I perfectly understand if you want to hit your browser’s back button and go somewhere more cheerful.  Heck, right after I finish writing this I may very well join you.

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One month after that

While tumbling through the internet rabbit hole to write up my last post, I came across this photograph:

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The photo, rainbow border and all, was posted on the Student Life section of New York University’s website.  The photo was taken by the late Fred McDarrah, who was a writer and also a longtime photographer for The Village Voice.  Among his many assignments was the photographing of the Stonewall Riots, their immediate aftermath, and many LGBT-related marches and celebrations after that.

The date of this particular photo is significant:  Sunday, July 27, 1969.  Yes, 50 years ago yesterday.  Many people may think that all there was of the Stonewall uprising was what happened in June of 1969, followed by a quiet period and the first organized pride march one year later in 1970.  Even worse, many think that the LGBT+ rights movement was only the product of later (i.e. much more recent) generations.

But that line of thinking is incorrect, really.  There was a more quieter LGBT movement before Stonewall.  It’s just that those hot nights in late June 50 years ago were the propellant that took the movement further.  And sure enough, Stonewall led to other protests and rallies in New York immediately afterward, including one exactly one month after the riots, in which a “Gay Power” march culminated in a rally at Washington Square Park.

Admittedly, I don’t know every single detail about the LGBT+ movement.  I’m sure a great many not just outside but also within our community will say the same thing.  But it’s a great feeling to learn about a small moment or a minor contributor that would help ensure the freedoms we enjoy and inspire the open lives we live today.

Here’s hoping you experience that same “gee whiz” feeling when you peruse though our community’s vast and proud history.


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Trying to keep a “million dollar” look in place

As I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog, Ragstock has been one of my go-to stores to find clothing items that are unique, edgy, daring, retro-themed… and more than a few times all of those at once.  About that retro vein, Ragstock is known for stocking lots of vintage clothing, whether it would be current designs inspired by looks of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, or something that looks as if it came straight out of those decades.

At their State Street location here in Madison, Ragstock has a “seriously retro” (my term) section where they keep all of their metallic lycra/lamé clothing, along with vintage-style clothing and accessories that would go well with them.  For the most part, I think, Ragstock considers that section as a “costume” area, in that not everyone will go around every day looking like a Blues Brother or a disco queen or a prom queen.

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Some fashion (and some thoughts) for Pride Month 2019

Rainbow shirt and Apt. 9 maxi-skirt

The other day, with a thunderstorm ruining my plans to venture out en femme, I decided instead to head down to my building’s basement.  It’s obviously not the most glamorous locale in my building, let alone the world, but the pale color of the concrete walls that help keep our apartments upright are a nice background for a fashion shoot.

And just what am I wearing here?  Well, let’s start off with the skirt.  Back at Christmastime, I received a nice gift card from Kohl’s department stores.  With the $40 on that card burning a big hole in my wallet by the time spring rolled around, I figured it would be a nice way to help build the summertime portion of my feminine wardrobe.  Luckily, I found a perfect addition in this navy blue Apt. 9 maxi-skirt.

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Dreams of me doing… what?

I’m goin’ back in time
And it’s a sweet dream
— Lyrics from “Best Of My Love” by The Eagles

I was perusing through my mail one day earlier this spring, and lumped with the bills and junk mail was a brochure promoting non-credit continuing studies courses at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.  Admittedly, I have never really considered taking a course to learn something like, say, art or language or (*sigh*) business leadership.  I’ve always thought (foolishly, I admit) that such classes were for those who have the time, money to do so, not to mention the desire to make a great big pivot in their lives.

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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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Allison is witness to a RAID!

As I noted in my previous blog post, I’m skipping participating in the Crazylegs Classic today, mentally recuperating from a very grueling work week.  However…

At least I did take the time to do a little something for me.  Friday night, I got out of the house, hit the town, and considered a significant event that occurred way back in the past.  June 28, 1969, to be exact.

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Image source: Stage Q on Facebook

This year is the 50th anniversary of the famous Stonewall riots in New York City.  As they occurred during an era of social upheaval in the United States (the late 1960s), they are widely considered to be the catalyst of the gay liberation movement and the modern-day fight for LGBT rights and freedoms.

With the golden jubilee of Stonewall upon us, the Madison-based LGBT theater group Stage Q commissioned an original play that reenacts that important night in history.  The result was RAID! Attack on Stonewall, which ends a 7-performances-over-2-weekends run at the Bartell Theatre this afternoon. Continue reading


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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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