Allison M.

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


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Allison’s Word: “Who”

Time to add another post to not one but two of this blog’s recurring categories, the one where I clear some of the many multitude of pages bookmarked to my web browser that I’ve been meaning to share with all of you…

“You mean ‘Allison Empties Out Her Bookmarks’?”

Yes, and the one where I go back and forth with some disembodied voice…

“Hey, that’s me!”

…yes, with you, about a certain word.  This is indeed another edition of “Allison’s Word,” and let’s see here… oh, this is going to be a good topic, I do believe.  Who is the subject of this post. Continue reading

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My less-than-enjoyable Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, traditionally known here in the United States as a day to recognize the labor force… and, yeah, to have one last day of summer before autumn settles in.  Now, if you’re like most people, you probably have this Labor Day off from work.  I did as well, and to celebrate, I went to work.  No, not to sit in my cubicle and pound out the work I do when it’s a Monday that’s not a holiday.  Rather, I worked out in the fitness center at our place of employment, one of the perks provided to anyone who works there.  Well, let me clarify that:  It’s open to anyone employed at the companies in that building (we have more than one business in our building).

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What if… you know…

I hope you don’t mind that I get a little bit morbid in this post, but this is a deep thought that occurred to me this week.  Something has bummed me out the past few days, more than I thought it would.  It was the death of someone that Male Mode Me follows on social media, first on Twitter and later on Instagram.  I won’t identify this person, though I will describe him as quite the photographer.  Yeah, photography was his passion, not to mention his profession (some of his work graced quite a few print-and-ink publications around here).  And while I was attracted to his thoughts on current events at first (he was progressive, of course), he would put those thoughts (and retweets) to the wayside over time and concentrate on the images he would capture with his cameras, mainly the beauty around Lake Wingra, one of the many lakes around Madison, near which he and his family resided.

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Random stuff: Drag Queen Storytime

Though I might have mentioned this once or twice on here previously, I’ll mention it again right now:  The past few years, I, in male mode, have done volunteer work with children.  Yep, I’ve made visits to elementary schools here in the Madison area to help teach young children (mostly 2nd graders but some appearances with 1st and 3rd graders and even one kindergarten class) some general, friendly lessons about the importance of work and money.

Take note of the words “in male mode” in that last paragraph.  For one, while I do feel more expressive as Allison than I do as Male Mode Me, I won’t go so far as to display Allison in front of a class of impressionable elementary school children.  And it’s not necessarily because I’m representing a very reputable educational organization who takes the conduct of their volunteers seriously.  No, part of the reason is that I’m best working with a script, whether it be a folder full of poetry as Allison or a volunteer’s manual as Male Mode Me.  Take that script away from me and I begin to hem and haw and stammer and stutter, which doesn’t impress any audience of any age.  And before you ask, no, I can’t even improvise my way out of a paper bag.

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Rewording how I define myself

While there have been two good things that occurred in my personal life this August (my high school class reunion, my marching in the pride parade), there was one situation that really bummed me out.  Now that I’m slowly putting it behind me, I will start my explanation of said situation by highlighting a change you may have noticed this month:  My Gravatar profile description.  You know, the one listed under my smiling face you see on the right of your compute screen.  (Uh, you are reading this on a computer screen, right?)  Here is how that profile previously read:

blog bio before

Take note of the first three sentences in that description:  “Full-time middle-aged male.  Long-time overworked office drone.  Part-time female fashion plate.”  A witty and rather innocuous way to describe myself… or so I thought.  The thoughts of those three sentences, or at least how a very important gatekeeper interpreted them, prevented me from taking part in the perfect venue to showcase my poetry skills (such as they are).

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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, needing to do so since there was just no room for more.

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Totally eclipsed

Before I go any further, a quick note about something I’ll go into detail about in a later post:  Yesterday, I got dolled up and marched as Allison in Madison’s LGBT+ pride parade.  It was such an amazing experience displaying my usually closeted feminine side and standing alongside fellow members of Madison’s LGBT+ community, especially the “T” of that acronym, the transgender community and our allies.  I can’t wait to do it again in the future.

But that’s for another post, I promise.  I want to do this quick post about today’s big news:  August 21, 2017 is the date when a solar eclipse marches across the continental United States, with a total eclipse visible (or at least noticeable) across a stretch from Oregon to South Carolina.  Last year, in this post, I recalled the last time a total eclipse cast its shadow on the U.S. in 1979, and in it I mentioned that I hoped to get the urge to “call in sick” to work on this day (“I’ll just tell management that I’ll get a sudden case of being 9 years old all over again”).

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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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A thought about online deception

While recently writing about my online and social media lives, it occurred to me that I should bring up, in a separate post, another risk one encounters when venturing into the World Wide Whatever:  Deception.  Or, I’ll go ahead and say it, downright intentional fakery.

In the earlier of those two posts, I discussed my need to add a digital image of myself to my online accounts.  Before buying a digital camera, I resorted to using an anonymous-looking cartoon avatar for my representation on Yahoo!  The day I uploaded the very first digital image of myself en femme is an important day for me, as it confirmed to the world that, yes, Allison M. was and is a real, living, breathing human being.  Sadly, the online crossdressing world is full of people who willfully misrepresent themselves.  I’m not talking about people who fill their Flickr accounts with photos of beautiful women (trans or otherwise) and specifically say that they the types of women they admire and would love to emulate.  No, I’m talking about people who’d post a photo of Cindy Crawford online and say they look exactly like her.  Or someone who’d Photoshop their own face on the body of Cindy Crawford and claim it’s them.  Or someone who’d not only do all of that or something similar but also fictionalize a backstory… all for the sake of deceiving others in the online world.

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Why Allison joined Facebook (and other thoughts about social media)

In this post from late last month, I detailed the topic of my general presence online.  That post and the one you’re about to read were inspired by one of the “June Jour” topics my WordPress peep, The Finicky Cynic, posted on her site in June:  Thoughts about social media use.  As I noted in that post, I tend to think of my online and social media presences as intertwined with each other.  After that lengthy post about the online life, I will center this post on how I got to the “You Are Here” point on social media, as well as whether there’s too much of it and if I tend to rely on it too much (spoiler alert: There is, and I do).

I will start off by alluding to some relatively personal social media news:  I had mentioned once or twice on this blog that I was never keen to establishing an account on Facebook.  I gave reasons such as the controversy over Facebook requiring users to use their real names and not their stage name or preferred private alias, to the image of Mark Zuckerberg being a big prick (yeah, I got that from The Social Network).  And I still feel a lot of trepidation and hesitance over establishing a Facebook account.

And yet, out of necessity, I’ve established a Facebook account.

Now, you will certainly brand me a hypocrite for joining Facebook after expressing for so long how nice it was to not have done so.  But I have two key reasons for doing so, which I’ll get to later in this post.  First, I want to start off with my first venture into social media, Twitter.  As I mentioned in this post, I had never thought about answering the siren song of social media until a couple of months after getting my first full-fledged smart phone.  Before then, I had one of those basic flip phones for a few years, but with the rapid advancement of personal technology, that phone became oh so archaic by the time I bought my first smart phone in 2010.

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