Allison M.

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

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Allison’s Word: “Whoa”

I should warn you that this edition of “Allison’s Word” will be a bit of a downer.  Before getting into the subject matter, though, I want to briefly note that I went before a fancy camera again last Sunday.  Yep, there was another LGBT-oriented photo event here in Madison, and I got all dolled up, put on my best wig (well, as best as that best wig could get anyway), and became acquainted or reacquainted with fellow people from Madison’s LGBT+ community.  Oh, yes, and I posed for new photos.  I can’t wait to see how the pics turned out, and when I order and receive my selected final shots, I’ll definitely share them with you.

Now, on to what I wanted to talk about here, and the word I want to highlight:


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Letting in some light

My previous post recounted the first part of my busy weekend performing poetry at Mother Fool’s.  Here, I want to talk about something from the second half of same weekend, after the trans/CD support group I regularly attend held their meeting.  Several of us gathered at a pizza place located, ironically enough, kitty corner from Mother Fool’s.  Among our group was a cis-gender ally who was there with her partner.  The conversation between the two of us ventured into where we had previously lived and worked, and it raised familiar territory for me:  She noted that she used to work in the Green Bay area at… let’s just say it’s a certain company that’s part of a certain industry we’ll need to rely on at least once in our lives.  I mentioned to her matter-of-factly that I used to live in Green Bay as well… and I used to work at that very same company, around the same time she had been there. (We worked in separate offices and different departments, natch.)

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When a playful side comes out

Slightly risque and not quite perfect in leather

Just a quick thought to share.  And, yes, this photo looks familiar.  It’s one of the pictures I shared in my previous post, during which I recounted my day posing for Caitlin at Smoketree Photography (gotta give credit where credit is due).  When I posted this photo to Flickr, I added an aside I want to expand on a little bit here.  One of the outtakes from my session with Caitlin was of me having a little bit of playful fun with the traffic driving past our shooting location.  I gave the traffic a playful waive of the hand, as if to say, “Well, hello there, good looking.”

One thing’s for sure:  Male Mode Me would never do something as playful as that.

If you’ve ever put on a costume for Halloween, perhaps you notice that your personality changes a little bit.  Your inhibitions start to loosen up, and you go from someone who’s rather reserved to one who is more outgoing than usual.  The happy feelings you exude rub off on everyone around you; that joy and happiness spreads quickly.  It’s almost as if a light switch in your mind is flicked from “off” to “on,” doesn’t it?

Every time I get dressed up, be it for venturing out or just staying inside, I notice a clear change in my personality.  Male Mode Me and his straitlaced, reserved personality “steps out of sight” for a bit.  In his place steps Allison, ready to brighten everyone’s day and offer a little bit of playfulness for the mirror, a camera, or a stranger passing by.

For sure, I am definitely more confident and outgoing when dressed up as Allison, which isn’t always how Male Mode Me appears to be.  Methinks Male Mode Me could stand to learn a lesson or two from Allison.

For my fellow crossdressers out there:  When you shed those male mode clothes and step into your favorite skirt or dress, do you tend to notice a more playful, more outgoing, more confident version of yourself making their presence known?

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Allison watches the birdie

A little admission:  I have never really had any sort of a bucket list.  You know what I’m talking about, the list of items and activities you feel you absolutely, positively need to do before you (*ahem*) shove off this mortal coil.  I’ve never had the urge to see an exotic locale (Canada is good enough for me), nor have I desired to parachute from a plane (I hate heights).  Nope, for better or worse, I’ve been rather modest about the figurative heights I want to shoot for in my life.

That’s not to say that I don’t have things I would love to do as Allison before I expire, not minding too much if I will never get the chance to do them.  I already have presented my femme side in public several times in the past year alone, including marching in a pride parade and performing my poetry.  I have also longed to get a professional makeover and pose for the camera afterwards.

Well, back in September 2017, I didn’t get a professional makeover.  But I did pose for a professional photographer.

Sunglasses and leather jacket

Last September, I learned on Facebook about a “LGBTQ Photo Pop-Up” event here in Madison.  The event was set up by Caitlin, who runs her own photography business called Smoketree Photography.  As Caitlin communicated on the event’s Facebook entry, the rationale for the event was this:  Intentionally or otherwise, a LGBT+ person can be put in an uncomfortable situation when working with photographers who come from a background that can be considered “traditional.”  Their subjects and events are usually heteronormal in nature (e.g. man-and-wife weddings, proms, etc.), and their mindset can be heteronormal as well.  This can result in photos that don’t reflect how their LGBT+ client see themselves as.  Caitlin and her “pop-up” event sought to alleviate any such discomfort and create a safe environment for their subjects.

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A nice, comfy winter coat

Okay, okay, you’ve had your fill of me talking about the business world, and I hear you.  You want to see an actual new photo of me?  Well, let me take care of that right here and now.  If you’ve noticed the calendar, it’s still February.  And here in Wisconsin, February still means we’re in the grips of winter, no matter what some groundhog may say.  And when it’s winter in Wisconsin, one really needs to bundle themselves up before opening the front door and facing winter’s chill and snow.  And that includes…

Purple winter coat

Yep, a winter coat.  The past year-plus, I’ve been venturing out of the house as Allison much more often, primarily to support group meetings.  Before this winter, I never had a women’s winter coat.  No, I don’t mean the leather or denim jackets that occupy my closet; as lovely as they are in their own right, they’re more suited for a season like spring or autumn, when the weather in Wisconsin isn’t as harsh as what winter regularly brings.  So, back in December, I moseyed over to the Burlington that’s located here on the West side.  When you think of Burlington, you tend to think of coats (it’s website is still, although it also features other clothing as well as home decor and gifts.  But it’s that “Coat Factory” part of its old name that still makes me think of Burlington as a store for affordable outerwear.  And sure enough, this purple Madden Girl coat was on the sales rack.

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A poem: “Makeup”

Show of hands:  How many of you are familiar with haikus?  Okay, quite a lot of you.  For the very few uninitiated of you, a haiku is a short form of poetry that originated in Japan and usually has 3 lines of 17 syllables —5 syllables in the first and third lines, 7 in the middle line.

When written well, the simplicity of a haiku can potently communicate subject, setting, and feeling.  Fitting all that into the 5-7-5 rule can be a challenge to a relative poetry novice such as myself.  But the nature of haikus inspired me to write what you’re about to read.  What also inspired me was a support group meeting I attended Saturday, during which was presented makeup tips for those presenting as male-to-female.  It was a pretty nice presentation, and I gained (and wrote down) tips that will help accentuate my feminine presentation, including tips on contouring your cheekbones and how not apply foundation as if you’re painting a wall.  (Memo to self:  It’s makeup, not spackle.)

The thoughts about those tips led me to write a few lines of prose… and for some reason, it also tempted me to write in haiku form.  But this won’t be a haiku per se.  For one, there are considerably more than three lines, although each stanza has three lines.  And two, not all of the stanzas fit the 5-7-5 rule.  Still, I consider this a nice way to keep my writing and poetry juices flowing.  Enjoy.


Moisturized skin glows
Ready to become a canvas
With makeup for paint

Primer and powder
Hides evident imperfections
Of this imperfect skin

Concealed under eyes
Are the weight of stress from life
I want to shed tonight

Full, luscious, lovely lips
Sit pouting, waiting to be kissed
By the right person

Contours along cheeks
And nose and foreheads and chin
Helps present a different gender

Makeup on my face
Converts me from the man I usually am
Into a pretty woman

My makeup hides lines
That show the toll of work and life and strife
As well as gender

Makeup helps to ease
My male mode tribulations for a while
And lets Allison come out to play

Makeup can be my shield
That helps stave off disapproving stares
From an evil world

Yes, I know it can’t stop
Their words of anger and vitriol
Or their name-calling

And I know it can’t cure all
Of my everyday fears and worries
It’s just a temporary salve

But just for a while
A day, or a night, or whenever
Makeup boosts my confidence

It helps present me
As the well-polished woman… and kind person
I’d love the world to see

And if someone I see
Says to me, “You’re quite beautiful”
Oh, how happy I would be

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2017 was the year…

This is the final weekend of 2017.  And, yikes, what a year.  When I say that, I obviously don’t mean that 2017 was full of happiness and good cheer.  To the contrary, 2017 was crappy.  To confirm that, one needn’t look to far from the current occupant of a certain house in Washington.  Yes, the man with thin orange skin, the biggest ego in the universe, truly poor character, and a reputation of wanting to destroy (or at least unjustly distort the reputation of) anyone who doesn’t get in line with him and see the world the way he sees it.  And the way he sees it, he’s the only savior from this world of evil and prejudice, despite overwhelming evidence that he’s the leading propellant of evil and prejudice.

Yeah, You Know Who (my shorthand for the above mentioned man with thin orange skin) and his minions have led us into very dark times here in 2017.  But for every dark story this old year has wrought, there has been at least one positive story to counter it.  And with it being the end of the year, it’s high time for me to think of some positives.

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My Christmas 2017

It’s after 5:30PM in Madison as I write this, and my Christmas Day 2017 was… rather lonely.  For the second year in a row, my family had our annual Christmas get together and gift exchange on a day other than Christmas Day.  Last year, it was on New Year’s Eve.  This year, it was last Saturday, the 23rd.  So, my Christmas Day was spent working on the computer and sending an important (for me) e-mail; exercising in the gym at work at midday; cleaning house in the afternoon; and writing this post in the evening.  Yeah, I tend to live the exciting life, don’t I? (Note the sarcasm there.)

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Allison on video performing (part of) “Store-bought”

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this, and I hadn’t been planning to write anything on here, just wanting to give my keyboard and my writing skills a breather.  But then I remembered I had performed at Mother Fool’s earlier this month.  And I had previously mentioned in passing that someone recorded part of my performance.  When my name was called to perform, I kindly asked someone at the table next to me to snap some pictures of yours truly performing.  She kindly obliged.  But not only did she take a couple of still shots… by chance or whatever, she hit the “video record” button of my camera while I was performing the first of the three poems I read that Friday night, “Store-bought.”

Three things that I must make note of here:  The kind person who caught this didn’t capture my entire performance, just a little bit of the first two stanzas of “Store-bought” (itchy fingers, I presume.  Also, the video is not the greatest in audio or visual quality (it was shot from a distance after all).  And while I am comfortable with writing poetry, my actual performing skills are still not up to snuff.  Hopefully, with more practice and more performing, I’ll improve the second part of that equation.  So, enjoy this rather impromptu gift from me to you, and Happy Christmas or whatever you may be celebrating!