Allison M.

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


Leave a comment

Allison’s Word: “Canada” (volume 2)

Time for another edition of “Allison’s Word,” and a return to a topic I brought up exactly one year ago this weekend:

Canada map

Yep, we’re returning to the topic of Canada!  The Great White North!  The World Next Door.  Our wonderful neighbors, the Canucks!

“Uh, Allison?  Didn’t you say all of that before?”

Yes, I did.  But Canada is a country worth talking up any time of year.  And this is especially true on the very day I write this — Saturday, July 1, 2017.  It’s the 150th anniversary of confederation, commemorating the date in 1867 when three (soon to be four) British colonies united under one dominion, gaining some of its own self-governance while remaining part of what was then known as the British Commonwealth. Continue reading


1 Comment

Random stuff (3/14/2017 edition)

Now that my computer and browser are behaving (for now), I wanted to share a link to a great story in the news.  Earlier this year, the comedian/actor Colin Mochrie revealed to the world that he had a transgender daughter.  Kinley Mochrie is her name, and she came out as transgender to her family last year.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

#TBT follow-up: Viola Desmond

Just a quick follow-up to add some nice news to a previous post:  Back in February, I wrote this post about Viola Desmond, a beautician and black businesswoman from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia who one day in November 1946 took a stand:  While waiting out repairs on her car in the Nova Scotia town of New Glasgow, Viola took in a movie at the local theater.  But while wanting to sit in the lower level of the theater, she was directed to move to the balcony, the only part of the theater where blacks were permitted to sit.  Viola refused, and she had to serve a night in jail.  She would challenge the court conviction and the fine she had to pay, losing that appeal on the strange-sounding grounds of tax evasion.  Viola’s conviction that wasn’t overturned until 2010, when, 45 years after her death, she received a free pardon and formal apology.

It’s the stand that Viola Desmond took against racial segregation back then (9 years before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus in Alabama) that gained her admiration and recognition throughout Canada.  Her wanting to “make it right” was the first recorded challenge against racial segregation by a black woman in Canada.  Viola’s stand has been commemorated in books, song, a postage stamp, and a Canadian Heritage Minute.  Now, Viola is about to be memorialized in an amazing way…

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Empathy and Montréal 1989

A  warning before I go any further:  This is a hard post for me to write, not just because I struggled with how to write it out but because of references (albeit as indirect as possible) to details of a brief yet dark and ugly moment in history, a moment where the legacy of those who were lost or affected should be recognized and remembered.  It’s because of the references to that moment that you may find this post hard to digest.  So, if you want to hit your browser’s “back” button and read some other post, I perfectly understand.  But if you wish to read on, proceed with caution after the jump.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random (fashion) stuff: Now batting…

adele-toronto-size-custom-crop-813x650

Adele at the ACC (image source here)

Please forgive me in advance for the baseball metaphors, but I’ve got just enough time this morning before work to take to the mound and deliver a fashion-related (well, obliquely fashion-related, to be honest) pitch into your strike zone.  The acclaimed singer Adele has been on tour lately, and a couple weeks ago, she performed a quartet of shows at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre sports arena.  According to at least one review, Adele put on a good show while in T.O.  No, there was nothing in the vein of bunker-blasting pyrotechnics or laser lights that would befit a typical sports arena concert, but that’s not Adele’s style anyway (leave all that flash to the 80s rock band reunion tours).  Adele’s concert appeared to take the restrained route instead:  A small backing orchestra; a main stage, a subtle secondary stage; an equally subtle video screen in back; and, yes, Adele, delivering her hits while throwing in some humorous, unguarded chats to the audience in between the “Hellos” and the “Rolling in the Deeps.”  As she tells the audience at one point, “If I was AC/DC, I’d just throw every [expletive deleted] hit out there and run up and down the stage … But I want you to get to know me and I want to get to know you, as well.”

 

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random Stuff (9/28/2016 edition)

Before I bring up the two items I wanted to highlight here, I have a confession to make:  Only very recently did I become a regular podcast listener.  Yeah, go ahead and call me a luddite, but please hear my explanation:  While at work, I listen to live online radio station streams, far too many of them to single out here.  Which leads me to a two-part conundrum:  My employer doesn’t mind when its employees stream music stations on company computers, they frown on any streaming of “news/talk” stations.  And “news/talk,” for all the political leans that term suggests, can too broadly encompass any spoken-word content that’s not political at all; the hosts and guests could be discussing, say, gardening tips, but to an unforgiving employer, they could very well be talking a lot of left/right hot air.

Continue reading


1 Comment

Allison empties a bookmark (9/10/2016 edition)

After I went down a dark path with my last post, I figure that I should — really, we all should — brighten things up just a little bit with a clearing of another of my browser bookmarks.  Just like the last post, I’m making note of a deceased person.  This time, however, it will be more positive, as it involves someone who, unlike someone who preached the discrimination and shunning of others, generally lived a dignified and well respected life in politics, specifically Canadian politics.

jack_layton_-_2011

Jack Layton in 2011 (image source here)

The gentleman pictured to your right is The Honourable Jack Layton, and if that name sounds familiar to you, I did indeed mention him in passing in posts here and here.  For most of his life, Mr. Layton was known as a respected activist, educator, and, yes, politician.  Politics have been a big part of his family, in fact:  His father and grandfather were in national and provincial politics; his great-granduncle was one of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation; and his widow, Olivia Chow, was like him a member of the Canadian House of Commons and a Toronto city councilor before that.

Mr. Layton also had an activist spirit during his life, perhaps getting it from his great grandfather, who was an advocate for the visually impaired.  During his career as a politician and a community activist, Layton championed issues such as poverty, homelessness, public transportation, and the fights against AIDS and violence toward women.  It’s issues such as those that led to his rise as a progressive politician and leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), one of Canada’s more prominent political parties.  Using a combination of humor, devotion to progressive issues, and a highly positive and enthusiastic attitude, Layton would lead the New Democrats to their highest Canada-wide plateau in 2011, when the NDP became Her Majesty’s Official Opposition after parliamentary elections.

Continue reading


3 Comments

Allison’s Word: “Canada”

Time for another edition of “Allison’s Word.”  Since the first entry of this feature one year ago was about America, I thought I’d turn to another country.  And that country is…

Canada map

Yep, Canada.  The Great White North.  The World Next Door.  Our wonderful neighbors, the Canucks.  Or whatever affectionate nickname you want to give them.

“Like, say, ‘Toque-wearing, beer-drinking, ‘eh‘-saying hosers.'”

Okay, you’re venturing into stereotypes and slang terms a little bit there, Disembodied Voice, though given most Canadians’ sense of humor (er, humour), I imagine they will have a good laugh about it.  The reason I wanted to talk about Canada is because the weekend when I’m writing this post is Canada Day weekend (July 1 was the actual holiday).  It’s popularly referred to as Canada’s birthday, but it’s technically the day four British North American colonies were united as one country. Continue reading


1 Comment

#TBT Follow-Up: Sook-Yin Lee and Sleepover

sook-yin-lee

Sook-Yin Lee of Sleepover (photo source here)

Time for a really quick return to a subject I wrote about last month, and it involves something that caught my eye literally in the past 12 hours.  The earlier post regarded the cancellation of a radio program I enjoyed listening to on Saturday afternoons, CBC Radio One’s Definitely Not the Opera. As mentioned in the last post, DNTO was a mix of music, interviews, and storytelling.  The show’s end came on May 14, which left the program’s host, Sook-Yin Lee (that’s here in the photo, again), a bit bummed out.  You know, it was the whole natural “stages of grief” thing that comes with such hard, earth-shattering news as seeing your radio program get cancelled, and it began with eating a lot of potato chips according to Sook-Yin. (Hope it was the kettle-baked kind of potato chips, because those things are good.)

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random Canadian LGBT Pride stuff (6/22/2016 edition)

Before I go any further, I must warn you that some of this post contains references and terminology that some may find offensive or tasteless.  It is just my intention in this post to inform and comment, not to titillate.  So, with that being said…

As I had mentioned in this post, the city of Toronto is commemorating LGBT Pride throughout the month of June.  Just as rights and respect for the LGBT community has never been easy to gain here in the United States, it hasn’t been easy in Canada either.  That was particularly the case in Toronto, where the city’s police had a history of raiding bathhouses — or as the Canadian Criminal Code termed it, “bawdy bath houses” — out of the belief that acts of prostitution or indecency were taking place.  One such raid occurred in February 1981, when police raided four such bathhouses, using crow bars and sledgehammers to force their way in.  Just under 300 men, both bathhouse proprietors and patrons, were arrested — one of the largest mass arrests in Canadian history — though more than 90 percent of the charges were later dropped.

Continue reading