Allison M.

Thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and (oh yeah) dressing up from a full-time male who's a part-time female


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A poem: “I See You”

Today (March 31) is the International Transgender Day of Visibility, which is a day meant to celebrate those who identify as transgender and to help raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans people everywhere.  (It should not be conflated with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs in November.)

I won’t get too much into the ins and outs of TDoV in this post, though I do recommend you learn more about the day (here is a good starting point).  What I do want to do is dedicate a few lines of prose (and passing references towards David Bowie and J. Geils Band) to this day and to trans people of all stripes, especially those who, by circumstance or choice, may not live out and proud.  While this prose may not be perfect, know that the words are meant to communicate my appreciation for you, whatever you may identify as.

“I See You”

I see you over there
Sitting all alone and scared
You’re not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
And it’s got your mother in a whirl

The world wants to put you down
And make you frown
They’re misguided for insisting you’re one thing
When you know you’re not what they’re saying

They want you to wear one set of clothes
A set in which you’ll never grow
For that, they think you’re an abomination
But, really, you’re an amazing creation

I know, they want to put you down
To keep you from wiping off your frown
You know you’re one thing
When everyone says you’re another
But to me, you’re more than a sister or a brother

No, really, you’re beautiful
Just the way you are
So don’t be afraid
Shine your own kind of light
Fight their darkness with your personality bright

Oh, I’m sorry
You don’t want to come out?
You do want to be the person you are
But you don’t want to scream or shout?

It’s okay, I understand
I have my own four-walled Neverland
Where I can feel free
And be who I know I be
Which is whatever gender I can be

But you want to be quiet about it
And, really, that’s okay
For it’s good, even better
To be more than whatever gender

But I do wish you can be free
You deserve to be who you know you be
Free from prying eyes
Free from disdaining eyes

Wait…  Please, wait…
Yes, I see you
And I do accept you
For you being you

No, it doesn’t matter to me
What gender you may be
Male or female
Maybe both, maybe neither

Know, though, that I admire you
And I will stand by you and with you
And help protect you
And keep the wolves at bay
No matter what the world may say
I’ll have your back until my last day

So go and be the real you
Do what you feel you can do
Whether you’re trans or non-binary
Or third gender or even spirit two

Fully displayed or in the closet
Know that you’re living honest

But if you’re not out now, don’t worry
For if the time comes when
You show the world who you are
There will be those who will call you friend

There will be those just like you
Or supportive and accepting of you
Who will have your back if you fall
And help you stand up and stand tall

I will be there with you
For today, I see you
And I love and respect you
Because no matter who you are
And no matter what others will say of you
You are living your life… amazingly
Just by being… you


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A thought about how to come out

While I wrote my last post about how Colin Mochrie’s child came out to their family as a transgender woman, a thought was running through my mind.  But it wasn’t so much about the fact of one coming out to their family as, well, anything other than a cis-gender straight person.  Rather, it was more about how they come out.

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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.

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On strike in spirit

An open letter to my supervisor at work (I know who they are, and by the end of this post, you, in a way, will know her as well):

Dear Boss:

First off, thank you for the annual bonus.  I know everyone in our company receives one every year, and I know the money will give my bank account a boost.  But this letter isn’t about that.  I should advise you that though I will be at work tomorrow (March 8), my mind won’t be.  Why, you ask?

Day Without a Woman banner

That’s right, I’m sure you’ve heard about A Day Without a Woman by now.  I’m sure, too, you’ve heard about that big march that happened back in January, not only here in Madison but in Washington and around the world. Continue reading


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A poem: “The Great Unknown”

Well, tomorrow (January 20), you know who will ascend to you know what.  Oh, don’t deny you don’t know who I’m referring to; we all know what’s been going down the past 2+ months and what will go down tomorrow.  It has been and will be an earth-shattering adjustment we’ll all have to deal with.

If there’s one word that’s been running through my mind the past couple of months, it’s “uncertainty.”  We know there will be damage done over the next 4 years; we just don’t know what kind of damage, nor do we know how much or how severe it will be.

I think it’s human nature for uncertainty to plague a person’s mind.  I think it’s also natural to give uncertainty a physical, or at least visual, representation.

“The Great Unknown”

I enjoyed these years of warmth
I loved being bathed in all this happiness
I wish I could enjoy it more
But I can’t

It’s not that I don’t want to stay out here
And enjoy more of this warmth
It’s just that I have to go inside
Where it’s very cold
And foreboding
And threatening
And… uh…

Honestly, I can’t see what’s in there
But I’ve heard of what awaits me:
Disdain
Misogyny
Prejudice
Absolute hate
Hate towards me
Hate towards others like me
All because we’re not like them
The “them” that await inside

No, I can’t see what’s inside
But I know for sure what’s inside
And it’s what I see in front of me:
Darkness
Darkness upon Darkness
Absolute, unadulterated darkness
Darkness we can’t see with our eyes

I am afraid
I am truly afraid
Afraid of how this darkness will hurt me
And how it will hurt others like me
For this darkness is just waiting to attack us
And destroy us
Until it’s victorious
And sees nothing that “threatens” them

I know, I know
I must go into this darkness
But I can’t go
At least not without you
You are just like me
Or at least supportive of me
As I am supportive of you
So take my hand
Please, take my hand
We can’t survive alone
In this dark, dark Great Unknown
But I know we’ll be stronger
And make it through much better
If we go in there together


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Allison’s Word: “Mortality”

“Look, all I know is what they taught me at command school. There are certain rules about a war. And rule number one is young men die. And rule number two is, doctors can’t change rule number one.”
– Henry Blake to Hawkeye Pierce in a 1973 episode of M*A*S*H

I should warn you that this edition of “Allison’s Word” is going to be rather depressing, and for that I truly apologize.

“I saw the title and felt depressed already.”

I felt depressed just by typing that title, so I know the feeling.  That title shows a word we unfortunately understand here at the end of 2016.  That’s because we lost quite a lot of good people in 2016.  I mean just look at this list (an incomplete one as I write this if you haven’t heard the news last night/this morning) and you’ll see a lot of familiar names.  Names of those we grew up with and idolized.  Names of people we may not have grown up with but had long admired and appreciated just the same.  Names of those we were just beginning to appreciate.  Names of those we watched on TV, saw in the theaters, or rocked out with in our rooms while the stereo was turned up to 11.

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#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…

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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.

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Allison offers an unsolicited suggestion

I am currently in the middle of a week-long break from work.  It’s not that I need the vacation.  Well, okay, I do.  Let me actually rephrase that:  I actually need to take a vacation.  Let’s just say Male Mode Me is a workaholic and isn’t one to travel too far for a vacation, let alone take one.

But that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the good things that a week away from work can bring.  I can just relax, do some volunteering, and… yep, go shopping!  Especially at this time of the year, when every store is wrapped up, figuratively speaking, in the hustle-bustle of the holiday season.  So it was last Saturday, when I decided to just browse around the mall down from where I live and came across several displays of cool clothing at Boston Store.  Like, say, this one in particular:

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Allison looks up to “Musical Heroes”

So, it’s a Friday night.  You need to go out after a very, very long week.  And you need to get away from all that’s been going on in the world.  The natural thing would be to go out and perhaps see a show.  And that’s what I did last night (December 2), when after a long day and week of work, I went here:

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Image source here (not from me, sorry)

That’s the front marquis for the Barrymore Theatre, which is located in the Schenk-Atwood neighborhood on Madison’s near east side.  The Barrymore (named in tribute to the Barrymore acting family) has had a long, and varied-yet-rich history since first opening in 1929 as the Eastwood Theater.  It served primarily as a movie theater for much of its first 6 decades, offering the latest Hollywood fare and even featuring an occasional live performance.  But competition from newer, multi-screen cinemas, combined with a declining neighborhood surrounding it, would leave the theater resorting to showing X-rated fare exclusively by the early 1980s.

New ownership and the adoption of its current name in 1987 would transform the Barrymore.  With it began a gradual transformation from a second-run budget cinema to the live performance venue it’s known as today.  The screening of films would stop completely by 1992, when its current nonprofit ownership began concentrating exclusively on concerts by various touring artists of wide-ranging styles (from rock and folk to world beat and stand-up comedy), along with an occasional art house film.  A much-improved Schenk-Atwood neighborhood has certainly helped, with many restaurants and small businesses sprouting up since the Barrymore’s revitalization.

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