Allison M.

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


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The definitions of “family”

This is the holiday season, a time usually observed with holiday-specific traditions, religious commemorations, parties, and gift giving.  This time is also usually associated with being with or at least thinking about the family members you know, love, and hold dear to your heart.  Or at least those who share with you some sort of trait.  When one thinks “family,” they usually associate the word with being bound by blood or marriage.  That includes the parents who raised you from youth to adolescence and wished you good luck and good guidance as you ventured into adulthood; the siblings who grew with you and look up and to you for mutual support; and the cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents who provide their own versions of love, support, and encouragement.

Unfortunately, for some in the broad LGBT+ community, the term “family” doesn’t mean the natural definition of parents, siblings, etc. noted above.  Many has been the case where someone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or even simply questioning has been blackballed by their relatives.  Not only is it heartbreaking to think that those who identify as LGBT+ can face such shunning, it should also make one reconsider the traditional definition of “family.”

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Why I’m thankful (or not thankful) on Thanksgiving 2017

As I write this, it’s Thanksgiving morning in the United States.  As my fellow Americans surely know by now, this is a day to meet up with family, eat copious amounts of food, watch grown men hit each other on only 3 days’ rest… and try to think of what they’re thankful for.  I’ve thought a bit about the intent of this holiday’s title, and in this post I’ve compiled some of things I’m thankful for — and a few I’m not thankful for — here in 2017.

  • I am thankful for still being employed.  Well, duh.  And while some of the work may be tedious, and while this is one of the busiest times of year for our team, at least I am doing a job I mostly enjoy using skills I’m proud to possess.
  • Despite my own employment and the fact that Madison has a pretty good climate for job prospects and growth, I am not thankful that this Thanksgiving finds some around here who, for reasons beyond their control, must go without gainful employment  Case in point:  Someone I’ve built a good friendship with this past year (more on how that came about in a little bit) was let go from her steady job last summer.  As with other unemployed people around here, I sincerely hope my friend will gain a job with a company that will appreciate her skills, her work ethic, and especially her passion for those who have less and for life in general.  (Side note to my friend:  I apologize in advance that my bringing up your plight on here may make you sad on this day, but know that I am here to respect and support you and wish you nothing but the best.)
  • I am thankful that I still live in such a wonderful, progressive, and wonderfully progressive community that is Madison.
  • I am even more thankful that I’ve had the opportunity — and the gumption — to step out as Allison into a city so welcoming.  I’ll likely bring this up again in an end-of-year post, but 2017 has been a big year for my stepping out of my wardrobe and into the world, from performing poetry to marching in a parade to attending a banquet.  These are experiences that I will never forget.
  • I am thankful for the health and happiness of my family.  I’m also thankful that we’ve grown bigger through the uniting in marriage of my youngest sister with her husband and his extended family (including his daughters).
  • I am also thankful that my four nieces are growing into wonderful young women.  One of them graduated from high school this year, and I hope she has ventured into what will be a positive future for her.  I hope, too, that my other nieces will have positive futures of their own.
  • I am not thankful that some in my family have our differences.  Those differences have been shown bare through Facebook:  My mom is among a (thankfully) few of my Facebook friends who are not above sharing a conservative-leaning meme with their friends.  At least I’m not one who uses Facebook much (at least as Male Mode Me), so I don’t have to see those irritating memes very much.  When I do, however, I’m not above using the “angry” reaction button to show my displeasure (I hope Mom and my Facebook friends get the message).
  • Needless to say, I am not thankful that our society has become more and more divided over the past year since You Know Who was elected You Know What.  Most of the previous 8 years, we didn’t have that feeling of our country being ripped apart centimeter by centimeter.  Now, in the past year, it’s as if those rips are not metaphoric and are miles in width — with the chasm being filled not by bridges but by walls.
  • Despite that, I am thankful that a great many people in this country are willing to stand up for what’s right and just, rising above the hatred and vitriol to stand for a country that should not have fear and hatred as its bedrock.
  • Above all else, I am very, very thankful to have joined and in and being a relatively active part of a transgender/crossdresser support group over the past year.  I regularly meet up with this group’s members, and they have proven to be a wonderful group.  They are ready to lend an an ear, their advice, and their support to those like me, regardless how how we identify.  (Respect for others’ differences is our group’s own bedrock.)
  • I have come to know my above mentioned friend through this TG/CD group; she is a cis-gender ally who respects and admires us for the people we are and the identity we know we are.  Friendships like this can be a rare thing for some, and I’m very glad — and very, very thankful — to have found such a friendship.

And just as I am very, very thankful for the friends I’ve built over the past year, I am very, very thankful for your readership and kind words.  Whoever you are, wherever you may be, whatever your identity, and whatever your background, here’s hoping Thanksgiving 2017 proves to be a happy time for you, and that you have your own reasons to be thankful.  Have a safe and enjoyable day.


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Allison’s night at Trans Monologues

Okay, okay, okay!  I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for me to tell all about my night at the Trans Monologues event.  You haven’t?  Well, even if you haven’t, here’s where I finally talk about it.

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As I mentioned previously on here, Trans Monologues is an annual event put on by the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s LGBT Campus Center.  The event, which coincides with Transgender Awareness Week, aims to be a “night of honest expression about the joys and trials of being anywhere on or off the gender-variant spectrum” (direct quote from the event’s Facebook page, where the above image appears).

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A poem: “Who…”

Before I (finally) recount my performance last Friday at Trans Monologues, I want to first present to you, for the first time on this blog, the poem I performed at the event.  The reason for this is to have a preface to my post about my performance at the event, which will include how I presented the poem.  (Spoiler alert: It involved emphasizing some lines with hand gestures.  No, not those kinds of hand gestures.)

As for the poem itself?  This was one of two poems I wanted to refrain from publishing on here until after presenting them live.  Back in August, I submitted this and a few others for consideration at another trans-related performance event.  And as I mentioned here, I was turned down.  That did to not only a bit of soul searching but also editing and re-editing the two new poems.  (For the record, I’ve already published the other poem, and it’s found here.)  The re-editing process included some re-re-editing after I read it aloud for folks in a trans support group I regularly attend.  They were more supportive, were not one to readily scrutinize so harshly, and are part of a community that is this poem’s inspiration.  They did offer some praise, but also some constructive advice I heeded, and the final result is what you are about to read.

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Some thoughts on TDOR 2017

While I’m still formulating a post about my performance at Trans Monologues last Friday (I promise to you it will come in due time), I want to mention something held in that same venue (Madison Public Library) immediately after the event.

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The group of five you see above are from the Mad City Sisters.  Yes, I know they look quite peculiar to some of you, but it’s their trademark look.  Though they are usually a joyous group, you can tell behind that fancy dress and all that greasepaint that they had serious looks on Friday night.  That was because they were presenting the vigil portion of the event.  Just as Trans Monologues was meant to coincide with Transgender Awareness Week, the vigil was to acknowledge Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is today (November 20).  Together, the Sisters presented a list of trans people lost over the past year to senseless acts of transphobic violence, complete with a mourning bell and words of divine prayer.

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Three years into this blogging thing

It’s Friday as I write this, and I have the entire day off.  A good thing, yes, since it gives me a three-day weekend.  But it’s an even better thing for me since it’s been a major bummer of a week, thanks to taking my (supposedly) sweet little car into the shop not once but twice.  The first, unplanned visit was because of a flat tire.  On my drive into work on Monday, I had to dodge a little yet quite noticeable something that the construction site across from my place of employment did not sweep up.  However, I heard a little “pop” in the back of my car.  While I had dodged what I had to dodge, I wasn’t expecting something else in the road — a nail, which I didn’t realize I had run over until my work day ended and I came back to my car.  The good news is that there was a tire place literally two doors down from my place of employment, and they were able to replace my tires and get me back on the road that night. (I say “tires” because they got me with the up-sell thing and replaced both of my rear tires, since they didn’t have a single tire in stock that matched the size of the good rear tire.)

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A quick thought or two on this Spirit Day

While I wrack my brain over how to write my next big post (okay, it might not be that big), I want to make note of something that almost escaped my mind:  Today is Spirit Day, which has been held the third Thursday of October every year since 2010.  It’s a day set aside for LGBTQ awareness and support, and was initially created in the wake of bullying and suicide incidents among gay youth.  Spirit Day is meant to honor the LGBT youth who, sadly, felt taking their own lives was the only option to end their hurt, and also to tell the LGBT youth of today who are bullied that there are those who are very supportive (the color purple is prominently used to deliver that message).

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Triplicate Person and the very long, very busy, very awesome Friday

Let’s start off this post with a quick comic book analogy, and before you think I’m a sci-fi/comic book geek, I’m not; it’s just that I read a quick blurb about this character a long while ago and felt they were apropos for this post:  In the DC Comics Universe, there is a character by the name of Luornu Durgo, a strange visitor from another planet (whoops, wrong character) where the natives had the ability to split themselves into three identical bodies at will.  Luornu Durgo used that that ability to overwhelm and fight evil forces, earning her the nickname “Triplicate Girl.”

Now, I imagine that Luornu Durgo could have used that multiplication ability to do other things… like, say, straighten up her house before guests came over to visit.  Or… I dunno, appear in three totally separate places at once.  Last week Friday, I had not one, not two, but three separate commitments occupying my entire day from pre-dawn to well past sunset.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to be there all at the same time, but just the same, I felt like I had that multiplying superpower.  Just call me [*insert powerful superhero music here*] Triplicate Person!

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A few leftover thoughts about my Pride Parade day

Hard to believe that it’s been a month and a day since I stepped out for the very first time as Allison in the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally.  To be honest, it feels like it was only yesterday that I dressed up and marched with my fellow members of the trans community, our supporters, and folks from the broad LGBT+ community in the Madison area.

While I try to keep the euphoria of that Sunday afternoon lingering in the top of my memory for a while, if not longer, I wanted to bring up a few leftover items from the day.  First off, the security.  In the days leading up to the parade and rally, the organizers felt concerned about something sinister happening that afternoon, a concern escalated since it fell just days after the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia.  With that, they had announced on Facebook that they were working with the Madison Police Department to step up security for the event, just in case… you know…

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Allison adds MORE COWBELL to Pride Weekend

Last weekend, I finally had the opportunity — and more importantly, the courage — to do what I had long hoped to do:  March as Allison in a LGBT pride parade.

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Sunday was the day of the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally (the above logo is from the event website).  As you may recall my telling you in this post about last year’s parade, the event has been put on since 2014 by OutReach, which is the LGBT community resource and support center here in Madison.  As it has since 2015, the parade and rally was held downtown, with the parade going up State Street and circling Capitol Square before ending at a rally point where State Street meets the square.  The OutReach Pride Parade & Rally has grown each year since its establishment.  In fact, this year organizers had to cut off the number of registered parade entrants at 77, needing to do so since there was just no room for more.

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