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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Extended thoughts about a LGBT center somewhere

My previous post, which you can read here, had me talking about a place of higher learning not too far from my old neck of the (literal) woods establishing a LGBT resource and support center.  After I added it to this blog, I couldn’t help but think about it further…

First off, I can’t say enough how great it is for the University of Wisconsin—Marinette to establish a LGBT center.  I’m happy, of course, that it’s happening in the area where I spent the later years of my adolescence.  More than that, though, I’m happy for those in Marinette and vicinity who identify as part of the LGBT spectrum or are LGBT allies, for they finally — finally! — have somewhere where they can find resources; obtain information on healthcare, transitioning, support, etc.; or just find a safe, welcoming place where they will not be judged for who they identify as or who they may be attracted to.

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#TBT: How I first heard of the word “crossdresser”

“Skip!  Skip!  Can you maybe make it next week?  I hate to miss Brian’s birthday; and Friday, the transvestites are back on Donahue.”
– the title character, speaking to one of his alien brethren in a 1986 episode of ALF

I want to start this post with the definition of “crossdressing,” as found here:  “the act of wearing items of clothing and other accoutrements commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society.”

Why do I use that word?  Well, I first started dressing in women’s clothing back when I was 11 years old going on 12.  Even back then, I knew that putting on women’s undergarments or anything else feminine was considered taboo and against societal (and more immediately, familial) norms.  But while I knew the definition at the time, I didn’t know of the word.  To me, it was nothing more than “putting on clothing that belonged to my mom or my sister or, before that, what was found in that spare bedroom where we lived.”

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Three weeks and one day later

A serious question for all of you:  How do you feel right now?  It’s for sure that things have seemed quite scary since the election of He Who Doesn’t Need To Be Named Here Since He Has His Name On Everything.  My heart sunk after that night, felt really low the next day, and has been stuck with that low feeling ever since.

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Random stuff: Rainbow Laces

In the past, you’ve probably seen me talk about efforts in some corners of the sports world to help build acceptance and inclusion towards those in the LGBTQ community, including the “You Can Play” movement in hockey and Canadian football, the use of rainbow-colored tape for hockey sticks, and even recognition of LGBT people from the Olympics to baseball’s first pitch.  But they’re not the only sports or sporting organizations to advance toward LGBTQ inclusiveness, as this image helps prove.

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A pair of rainbow laces (image source here)

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A poem: “Darkness”

Presented without any extra comment, a poem that sums up how I’ve been feeling this week.

“Darkness”

Oh, what a lovely day!
What a thrill to be outside today!
Walking down the street
Without a cloud in the sky
Friendly people passing by
Seemingly not a care in the world
As let the freedom to be me unfurl

But… wait…

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The mo(u)rning after

It’s after 6AM in Madison as I write this, and by now you’ve already heard the news:  A vain, egotistical, lewd, misogynistic, hateful, womanizing deviant and male chauvinist has earned enough electoral votes to become the next President of the United States.  A moment virtually the whole world had been dreading has now come to fruition.  It had been a moment I worried about as well, more so during the past week.  I admit the past several nights, I haven’t gotten enough sleep as I should.  It’s hard to make your brain relax when something with such big impact as who America’s president could be is so scary.  Yeah, not even thinking about, say, some dirt road in far northern Ontario that you saw on Google Maps’ Street View just earlier in the day is enough. *sigh*

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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).

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Allison empties her bookmarks (8/31/2016 edition)

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Michelle DuBarry in January 2016 (image source: CBC.ca)

Time for yours truly to once again clear out a bookmark that has been saved to my web browser for the longest time.  Well, a few bookmarks actually, and they’re all about the grand dame you see on your right.  She’s Michelle DuBarry, otherwise known as 84-year-old Russell Alldread.  The story starts in Alldread’s hometown of Bowmanville, Ontario, where at his mother’s urging he joined his sisters in performing for women’s groups and hospital patients.  At the age of 9 and visiting an uncle’s farm, three female cousins dressed him in a gown and pendant and a towel to cover his boyish locks.  The young Russell responded by striking a naturally fierce pose, with a hand to the hip and one thigh forward; you can see that pose in this 2011 photo spread from the National Post (cleared bookmark #1) on the occasion of Michelle’s 80th birthday.

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Allison’s (Olympic) random stuff (8/22/2016 edition)

2016_Summer_Olympics_logoSo, everyone, are you all tucked out from the Olympics?  As much as I love watching the Olympics every four years (or two years if you factor in the Winter Games), I admit I feel a sense of overwhelming exhaustion when the final day of any Olympiad rolls around.  Watching so many hours of the action and hearing all the news from Rio for 17 days straight can be so overwhelming.

But there is also a bit of a letdown feeling on that final day of the Olympics.  You’ve gotten so used to seeing anything and everything from Rio after 17 days, and when you see that cauldron extinguished, you can’t help but think, “Aww!  That’s the end?”  Whatever feeling one gets on that final Sunday, it feels weird when you get up Monday morning, turn on the TV, and realize that The Today Show is suddenly no longer giddy about whichever Olympian accomplished whatever feat by using any kind of ability in whatever event.

Whatever feelings of exhaustion or loss on the day after the Olympics end, I bet not a lot of people, even the most ardent of Olympic fans, will realize the gravity of the moment:  No matter how the 11,000+ athletes performed in Rio, and whether they took to the medal stand or missed out, their performances are now a part of Olympic history, right alongside those who took part in the first modern Olympics in 1896.  Theirs are experiences that they can tell everything about to their children and grandchildren, who can pass the stories on down to their descendants.  Pretty heavy stuff, huh?

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Allison’s random (Olympic) stuff (8/9/2016 edition)

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Image source: LGBTQNation.com

Yep, I’m still on an Olympic kick on this blog, and since the Rio Olympics are still in the early part of its fortnight, you’re probably hooked on them as well.  This time around, instead of having fun with the games (as I did here and here), I want to highlight the fact that the rainbow flag of pride appears to have a prominent place (figuratively speaking) alongside the Olympic rings and the flags of the participating countries.  I start with the image to your right that captured a moment one night before last Friday’s opening ceremony.  While the traditional torch relay, with the flame that would light the cauldron on Friday night, proceeded through Rio neighborhood of Ipanema last Thursday, two men carrying the flaming torches stopped for just a moment.  And they kissed.  The news reports I’ve come across about the moment (including here and here) do not identify the men nor confirm if they are indeed a couple.  But as you can tell from the photo, at least some of the tan-shirted volunteers helping to escort the torch relay took time to enjoy the moment.  Many of the onlookers appear to enjoy it as well, as did the rest of the world, thanks in no small part to Globo Esporte reporter/cameraman Pedro Verissimo’s image making the rounds on social media.

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