Allison M.

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


Leave a comment

Allison’s Jukebox: “Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way”

As I write this (Friday evening in Wisconsin), polls have been closed for a few hours in the Republic of Ireland, where citizens voted on a proposal that would amend the country’s constitution and allow its parliament (the Oireachtas) to relax the country’s strict laws against abortion.  Today’s vote comes three years after voters approved an amendment to permit marriage between two people “without distinction as to their sex”; it was also that same year that legislation passed allowing transgender citizens in Ireland to freely request a change in legal gender identification on government documents.

If early exit polls are any indication, today’s proposal will be approved by a sizeable margin of voters, just as the marriage equality amendment passed by a wide margin in 2015.  For a country where religiously conservative viewpoints have long held influence on society and laws, it’s sure seems that progressive attitudes are starting to take root in Ireland in the past 20 years or so.  But don’t think that Ireland had been a country where everyone had to strictly follow the edicts the Roman Catholic Church would pass down every Sunday regarding, say, what people should think, who people could love, or how people could express themselves.  On the contrary, for the Irish are a pretty progressive lot; it’s just that the laws of Ireland have taken some time to catch up to that fact.

Continue reading


1 Comment

The definitions of “family”

This is the holiday season, a time usually observed with holiday-specific traditions, religious commemorations, parties, and gift giving.  This time is also usually associated with being with or at least thinking about the family members you know, love, and hold dear to your heart.  Or at least those who share with you some sort of trait.  When one thinks “family,” they usually associate the word with being bound by blood or marriage.  That includes the parents who raised you from youth to adolescence and wished you good luck and good guidance as you ventured into adulthood; the siblings who grew with you and look up and to you for mutual support; and the cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents who provide their own versions of love, support, and encouragement.

Unfortunately, for some in the broad LGBT+ community, the term “family” doesn’t mean the natural definition of parents, siblings, etc. noted above.  Many has been the case where someone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or even simply questioning has been blackballed by their relatives.  Not only is it heartbreaking to think that those who identify as LGBT+ can face such shunning, it should also make one reconsider the traditional definition of “family.”

Continue reading


4 Comments

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).

Continue reading


5 Comments

A poem: “Birthday Boy”

Today is August 3, which is my birthday.  Yep, I’m turning 47 years old today.  (Please save your old hag jokes for some other blog, thank you very much.)  A year ago on this date, in addition to recalling some of my birthdays past, I made a makeshift bucket list of what I wanted to accomplish or have happened to me in the next 365 days.  Yeah, looking back on that list, I only managed to hold true to “stay employed” (which I thankfully still am) and “stay healthy” (which I am as well, thanks in part to this activity).  The others I didn’t accomplish either by not bothering with it or by unfortunate circumstance.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random stuff: “Alex’s” YouTube Music ad

I’m quite surprised that what I’m about to discuss in this post hasn’t made too many waves in the LGBT-oriented press as of yet, or at least the news sources I regularly follow.  While everyone’s attention (LGBT or otherwise) seemed to be directed towards some annoying political convention (except for me), YouTube unveiled an ad campaign for its subscription-based music service, YouTube Music.

The YouTube Music ad campaign’s tag line is, “It’s not just what we listen to.  It’s who we are.”  What do they mean by that?  Music is more than something conveniently playing in the background; it helps us express and define who we are, helps ease our emotions, and help build connections with new people and new places.

To coincide with that tagline and theme, the campaign features images of people from different backgrounds with different stories, each of which is told through their use of YouTube Music (you gotta highlight the product, of course).  Among the ads are a woman finishing her debt to society; another woman on a plane, clearly sobbing for reasons unknown; and the ad posted below, which features a character named Alex.  I’ll talk up this particular ad after you watch it:

Continue reading


3 Comments

Allison answers The Gender Tag

Hey there, peoples!  After going all dark with my last post, I thought I’d brighten things up by bringing up a subject I came across on The Finicky Cynic’s blog this morning.  F.C. wrote a post responding to a tag that I hadn’t yet discovered myself but has made the rounds of YouTube.  It’s called “The Gender Tag” and it concerns thoughts on and experiences with gender identity and gender roles.

As I noted above, I didn’t know about “The Gender Tag” previously; in fact, F.C.’s post is the first I had heard of it.  So, after reading her post and before writing this one, I searched for “Gender Tag” on YouTube and came across a couple of videos on the subject, including this nicely done video by Hannah Hart.  I must agree with what F.C. noted in her response, in that society has changed so rapidly that the traditional gender identification labels and roles have been broken.  Still, however, there are those still unfamiliar with how others may self-identify when it comes to gender and gender roles.  That’s why “Gender Tag” is a great idea, as it aims to help educate the unfamiliar with the identifications beyond cis-male or cis-female.

Before I proceed, a few things:

  • First, I thought it would be a nice idea to present my answers in a unique way; so, since I have two sides of me (male and female), I will write out my male mode answers in orange and my female side’s answers in magenta, with any answers we share in plain old black. (Side note: When originally posting this entry, I had my male mode answers in green… but I subsequently realized that, at least on my computer, green font doesn’t show up very well.)  By the way, please forgive me if you catch me writing in the 3rd person in some spots; I’m not that aloof.
  • Secondly, I’ll try to answer these as best as possible, so if they don’t all seem clear to you, well, that’s my failing as a writer (I’ve never been a master communicator).
  • Finally, just as F.C. and Hannah Hart answered these questions independently of anyone else, these answers are mine and mine alone, so please don’t construe these as a cover-all for every person who falls into the cross-dresser or gender-fluid category.

Okay, with all that out of the way, here goes:

1. How do you self-identify your gender, and what does that definition mean to you?

My male side identifies and presents as, well, male.  That’s not to say, however, that I agree or hold on to every trait of the average male.  I like sports but was never athletically stout as a young boy.  I’ve never taken up hunting, either, and the outdoors are a big thing in my family.

Allison identifies as female and is one to admire many feminine traits even if she does not practice them on an everyday basis.  For example, Allison loves fashion and anyone fashionable… but you won’t find her routinely watching those tawdry “all conflict all the time” daytime talk shows; she isn’t a routine reality television watcher either.

And while our gender presentations are either/or, both of our sides (or should that be my sides?) blend together.  We have the urge to dress up as Allison but are more prone to laying on the couch on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Also, we fear we’d be klutzes as parents, so we’ll be satisfied with being the devoted, doting uncle. Continue reading


2 Comments

Random stuff: Looking at bi-gender in The Mirror

This post has taken me a lot more longer to complete I thought it would.  I do know what I want this post to be, that is highlight a couple of things I spotted on the internet where the subject matter is worth highlighting.  What I’ve been wracking my brain over is how to highlight it.  I’ve found it hard to get past the fact that these links come from a source I normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole: British tabloid journalism, whose modus operandi is to write sensational, eye-catching content with little or no subtlety regarding subject matter.

At times, the British tabloids’ lurid approach extends to simple profiles of everyday Brits (“What these people are up to will BLOW YOUR MIND!”).  Knowing that, you do sense that the writers and editors of the Daily Mirror set to using that approach in the two stories I’ll highlight here.  Still, however, once you read between the lines (easy to do when most of the paragraphs are one sentence long), you do sense the humanity in their subjects — two individuals who classify themselves as bi-gender (that is, exhibiting two distinct gender personas).  So, putting any reservations about tabloid journalism aside, let’s start with the gentleman shown below:

mirror-ryan-1

Ryan as Ryan with Krystal (Image source: Mirror.co.uk)

That’s Ryan, with his girlfriend, Krystal, standing behind him.  As The Daily Mirror trumpets in an article that ran about a year ago, Ryan has a big decision to make every morning when he opens up his wardrobe: [Insert breathless British reporter accent here] “Should he pick out men’s clothing or go for something frilly and feminine?  That’s because Ryan lives a bizarre life as bi-gender!”  (Yes, the Mirror used “bizarre” in the headline.  See, I told you the British tabloids can be tawdry.) Continue reading