Allison M.

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


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An enjoyable moment from my 2018

Whenever it’s the last week of a year, I find myself looking at the calendar on the wall, noticing the dwindling dates of December, and asking myself, egads, where has this year gone?

The gravity of knowing that one year is about to give way to another makes one think of all that’s to come with the new calendar on the wall as well as, naturally, all that occurred while the old calendar was posted.  And a lot happened in 2018, including something you probably know by now if you’re a frequent reader of this blog:  My having to depart my previous place of employment and eventually finding the current temp-to-hire assignment I call my new income source.

But rather than bore you with another post of the professional journey Male Mode Me took in 2018, or for that matter any other issues that popped up in my life this year, I want to lift my cup of kindness yet for one of the more enjoyable days of my previous 365 that should not be forgot.  At the end of September, I joined up with a Flickr friend and fellow male-to-female crossdresser.  The two of us first got together a few years ago at my apartment, at my invitation.  Back in the fall, my friend put out the call for someone to join her for an afternoon at her place, which she would have all to herself.  (Her wife doesn’t mind her dressing up but wants no part of it.)

My Flickr friend and I spent the few hours of that late afternoon trying on outfits, conversing (despite my not being a brilliant conversationalist), and just enjoying that “girl time.”  And, yes, we took pictures.  It was just these past few days that I finally got around to going through the photos from that afternoon.  First was this pic of yours truly in a leopard print dress and trusty leather belt you probably saw before on here:

Leopard print dress & black belt

And this dress I found earlier in September at St Vincent de Paul.  Yes, there are diamond shaped studs along the lower halves of the sleeves and above the hemline.  And, yes, it was love at first sight when I saw it, especially considering the fact that it’s in my size (8).

Black dress with studs

And here’s me in another item I found at St Vincent de Paul, a tank top all glittery in front-panel sequins.  I pair it here with a patent leather mini skirt I found at Forever 21.

Sparkly top and patent leather skirt

But the best photo of yours truly from that late afternoon was one of the last pictures my friend and I took.

Pinstripe suit & "Me" shirt

Yes, you’ve seen this “me” shirt I found in the Macy’s markdown racks back in March.  But the suit?  I had just bought this Who What Wear pantsuit earlier that very day before my dress-up rendezvous.  A few days earlier, I had actually noticed this suit on the rack at Target but didn’t think of purchasing it then.  After that, however, I thought about how my femme side deserves to have a professional look.  I mean, an endless stream of wigs and leather skirts isn’t enough sustenance for a crossdresser.

So when you look at me in this suit, you’re not just looking a crossdresser.  You’re looking at a human being who in 2018 went through the sadness of losing one job; regained pride in finding new employment; and for one Saturday afternoon, put aside the worries of the outside world and took the time to be… well, me.

It’s this day of meeting up with someone and dressing up for the camera that is one of the better moments I will want to remember 2018 for.  Yeah, the steep slopes and rough seas of this year will linger in the back of my mind, but my glass will be raised in honor of the good moments and good people I spent them with.

Here’s hoping when you raise your own glass at midnight tonight (or earlier if you like to turn in early on New Year’s Eve as I do), you’ll have your own happy moments and good friends you’ll remember from 2018.  Thanks for reading, and may you all have a happy and safe 2019.


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Happy Holigays!

Happy Holigays (2017)

Back in September 2017, I posed for a professional photographer for the first time, doing so before the camera of Katie Berry at Smoketree Photography.  Three months later (December 2017), Katie, her partner, and their friends in the Everyday Gay Holiday art studio/collective on Atwood Avenue threw a holiday get-together for their friends in the LGBT+ community — a “HOLIgay” party.  While I’m not a party person, I jumped at the chance to doll myself up, snack on some food, and mingle with other LGBT+ people from the Madison community.

Happy Holigays (2017)

Being the photographer that she is, Katie set up a corner in the studio to let the partygoers use her fancy camera and snap a few free selfies in front of a festive “toyland/horse/holiday/winter wonderland” setting.  Not wanting to pass up a photo opportunity while looking fabulous, I took the remote and snapped a few photos.  There I was in red hair, soft sweater, and patent vinyl Forever 21 skirt, and Katie’s remote clicker in hand, smiling and being all beautiful for the camera. (Oh, the Santa hat was among the available props in the studio.)

Happy Holigays (2017)

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Sporting a little red and black downtown

Yes, I hear you from a mile away.  “Yes, Allison,” you’re telling me, “we don’t mind you telling about what’s going on in your life and what you’re digging.  But we just want to see new photos of you.”  Okay, you got your wish.

Red hair, candystripe shirt, and vinyl leggings

One Saturday back in may of this year, I attended a regular meeting of the CD/TG support group I’m a part of.  On most Saturdays after our meetings, our group meets up at some restaurant in the Madison area to break bread, literally and figuratively.  On this particular Saturday, we had dinner at Short Stack Eatery, a LGBT-friendly restaurant I’ve talked about here and here and will eventually devote a full post to sometime soon (the food and atmosphere are that good there).

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Some things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 2018, my fellow Americans!  Yes, yes, we know this is a day where we’re supposed to join our families in eating turkey by the plateful, watch starlets lip sync down a New York boulevard, veg out in slumber post-dinner while watching grown men in helmets hit each other into oblivion on only 3 days’ rest… and try to think of what they’re thankful for.  Oh, and start thinking about what gifts to give their loved ones come Christmastime.

While I will likely hate-watch the Macy’s Day Parade (whoops, I did it again), definitely watch some football, and put thoughts on holiday shopping on the back burner, I won’t be with my family on this Thanksgiving.  Not that I don’t want to; it’s just that our family has already had our Thanksgiving to-do the first Saturday of this month.  Just as she did last year on the actual holiday, our mom wanted to host Thanksgiving again at her senior living apartment building.  However, the only spot in said apartment building big enough for all of us — the meeting room — was already booked this day, as well as the Saturdays before and after it.  The earliest she could host us was back on November 4.  And so, that’s when we all got together:  My mom; my stepfather; my sisters and their families; and I, who was assigned (again) to bring pumpkin & apple pies and Cool Whip (the low-fat version, my decision).

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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018

This day (November 20) is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.  This is the annual day meant to memorialize those in the trans and gender-nonconforming community who have lost their lives to brutal anti-trans violence.  It comes at the end of Transgender Awareness Week, which helps bring awareness of trans/GNC people and the issues they face on a daily basis.  It’s appropriate that TDoR ends Trans Awareness Week, in that while our community has come far and still must go far to gain respect of our living our true selves, the day reminds us all that our community is still in danger because… well, we dare to live our true selves.

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Allison’s Jukebox: “Don’t Give Up” by Maggie Szabo

Do you remember my post from September where I added a song called “Don’t Give Up” to “Allison’s Jukebox”?  You know the one where Peter Gabriel sings of deep lament and Kate Bush tries to steer him toward the positive?  Yeah, I bummed you out with that one, didn’t I?

Well, let’s see if I can brighten up your spirits a little bit with another addition to my jukebox that just happens to have the same title, “Don’t Give Up,” yet has a background that nicely dovetails with the week we’re in right now, Transgender Awareness Week.  Please have a look & listen to the Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/YouTube personality Maggie Szabo:

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Putting on a dress and a wig…

[*sound of loud rumble of thunder and spooky music*]

Salutations, ghosts and goblins!  Before you directed your eyes to this paragraph, you probably took a gander at that old photo of yours truly at the top of this page.  Yeah, that was me a few years back looking all so sultry in a sexy witch outfit and leather boots.

The timing of both donning that costume back then and writing this post now are intentional:  Yes, today is, and the date of that photo was, Halloween.  And since it’s Halloween, you’re probably thinking this post will be all about the joys of dressing up en femme on Halloween, right?

Well… [*sound of record scratching on phonograph*] not really.

Halloween has always been, and perhaps always will be, an occasion when you can dress up and display to the world a personality you normally wouldn’t appear as.  Many of my crossdressing sisters (and, yes, brothers too) will use this day as the perfect excuse to bring their hidden side out of the proverbial closet.

More likely than not, Halloween will be a time when some fine young gentleman will don a wig and a dress, slap on some heels and makeup, and carouse around town in a female appearance.  And depending on the effort they put into their outfit and comportment, the resulting display will have various success.  Just read them for a few seconds and you can tell whether they dressed up en femme to make a good impression on passersby, or just threw on something for their own giggles and jollys.

The thought of that “I’m just dressing up for Halloween” thing brings me to this quote I just happened to come across the other day during an online search:

“Putting on a dress and a wig doesn’t make you a transgender woman.”

Unfortunately, the link that had that quote was broken, meaning I can’t confirm the context the speaker was intending with those words.  I do know, however, that those words came from a trans woman.  And I know that said woman started out life assigned with a male identity, but would over time begin to don women’s clothing and makeup; take on an online feminine identity; and eventually realizing that said feminine identity was the one she was born to be, birth certificate be dammed.

Despite not knowing the context of her line, I could imagine how that could be interpreted as being directed to some guy only dressing up as a woman for some Halloween party.  “Hey, dude!” he’ll probably tell his friends in a bit of intoxication and self-sarcasam, “I look all girly.”  But as soon as his party ends and he’s safely home, he’ll shed that dress and wig and head back to the everyday life of a cis-gender male.  And during that brief time he wore a dress and a wig for the sake of doing so, there’s a good chance that he won’t have the chance to feel empathy toward someone who has struggled with gender identity and has yearned for acceptance while transitioning.

But then… that guy just wearing a wig and dress on Halloween could be someone like me.  As I noted above, Halloween is the perfect time for a crossdresser to dress up, leave the closet, and have a good time.  And it doesn’t always have to be at a party.  I mean, they could use the day to dress up for the camera instead of some partygoer.  I say this because a fellow WordPress peep whose blog I love to follow posted photos of her wearing a vinyl dress and butterfly wings.  Yes, she posted them for Halloween.  And, yes, she’s a male-to-female crossdresser just as I am.  And, yes, even though she may not live full-time as a woman (and neither do I), she does consider herself part of the broad trans community.

But even though she’s a part of our transgender community, she doesn’t live full-time as a woman.  But does that make her any less of a transgender woman?  I don’t think so at all, and I think a big part of that, in addition to her looking stunning, is the fact that she’s a big champion of our community.  She has used her blog to share stories about her everyday life, her photos, and tidbits in support of fellow crossdressers, other trans people, and our allies.  She has great comportment through her positive actions, and that’s something that’s beneficial for our community at a time when we desperately need any positive imagery.

So, back to that quote I came across:  “Putting on a dress and a wig doesn’t make you a transgender woman.”  The person who said that has a valid point:  Don’t just put that dress and wig on tonight.  If you’re gonna look the part, try to play the part.  And, no, I don’t mean put on a falsetto voice.  Be friendly to others.  Have a positive demeanor.  Take a compliment.  Give a compliment, too, especially to some other guy who may also be wearing a dress and wig.

And don’t just compliment that guy in that dress and wig, empathize with them… for perhaps deep down inside they are trying to figure out what it is that makes them a transgender woman.


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Was I recognized?

I want to share with you a little personal tidbit I left out during my recap of the OutReach Awards Banquet I attended last week Friday.  And I want to preface this by saying that I have never told anyone I’ve worked with or encountered in my professional career that I dress up as Allison, nor do I have any plans to do so.  And there have been only two people who have seen me present as both female and male, and both of them have seen me in male mode only once.

All that being said, there was someone I’ve encountered in my professional male-mode past who was literally inches from me at the OutReach banquet.

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The 26th Annual OutReach Awards Banquet

If I haven’t said so in specific terms before, you’ve likely gained the impression on here that it’s always a thrill for me to get dressed up and venture outside my house as Allison.  And while I’m one who normally likes the intimacy of small groups, an awesome feeling always surfaces in me when en femme in a large congregation of people.  Such was the case again last Friday evening:

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Image source here

OutReach, the LGBT+ support center here in Madison, staged its annual awards banquet last week. at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center.  As the name implies, the event is a combination of a fine meal, friendly conversation, and awards to those who promote equality and quality of life for the LGBT+ community.

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Cheapest hottest-looking outfit ever

You know, as much as the subject of my last post was intended to keep one’s spirits up, I still felt a bit down after writing it.  So, to perk myself up — and you as well — let’s do something I’ve been wanting to get around to doing:  Venture into my closet (figuratively speaking) and pull some things out (figuratively speaking).

Vinyl trousers and Gitano jacket

Last March, I ventured out as Allison for a couple of evenings of poetry and spoken word performances.  One of those was the very chilly evening where I sported this gingham trench coat.  What did I have underneath?  Well, you’re looking at it.

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