Allison M.

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


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Somebody’s memories

Four years ago, I sung the praises of an advertisement that PFLAG Canada put out to promote and support legal marriage equality worldwide.  The ad was titled “Nobody’s Memories,” and it depicted images of what could have been:  Weddings of same-gender couples from the mid-20th century, shown as home movie footage from an “alternate universe” that gives the viewer chills with their authentic aged styles.  If you want to learn what I’m talking about, check out this blog link to take a look at it yourself; I just watched it again myself and am still struck by how powerful and moving that ad still is.

This week, a news item in the showbiz world made me recall that “Nobody’s Memories” ad and its (*sigh*) imaginary depictions of couples who just happen to be of the same gender in real love.  I’ll talk up that TV item in a bit, but while doing some research on it, I went further down the internet rabbit hole and came across this photo of an actual wedding memory that did happen:

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Photo credit: Universal Entertainment Agency via Houston Chronicle

The above photo, as confirmed in this 2014 Houston Chronicle article, is from a small ceremony that took place at Harmony Wedding Chapel in Houston in October 1972.  The groom is Antonio Molina, a shipping clerk, former high school football star, and Navy veteran.  The resplendent bride is William “Billie” Ert, a female impersonator (stage name: “Mr. Vicki Carr”) and former hairdresser.  Yes, William Ert was a male, but he had a voter registration card that listed his gender as “female.”

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Some fashion (and some thoughts) for Pride Month 2019

Rainbow shirt and Apt. 9 maxi-skirt

The other day, with a thunderstorm ruining my plans to venture out en femme, I decided instead to head down to my building’s basement.  It’s obviously not the most glamorous locale in my building, let alone the world, but the pale color of the concrete walls that help keep our apartments upright are a nice background for a fashion shoot.

And just what am I wearing here?  Well, let’s start off with the skirt.  Back at Christmastime, I received a nice gift card from Kohl’s department stores.  With the $40 on that card burning a big hole in my wallet by the time spring rolled around, I figured it would be a nice way to help build the summertime portion of my feminine wardrobe.  Luckily, I found a perfect addition in this navy blue Apt. 9 maxi-skirt.

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Random stuff (post-VS edition)

I haven’t been on here the past several days, what with trying to earn a living and fighting an achy cold since Thursday.  But I’m back to share some lingering stuff related to my last post about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and more importantly comments by Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, expressing that the show has no place for “transsexuals” (his term) or plus-size models on the catwalk (“because the show is a fantasy,” he reasoned).

Well, any hope that Victoria’s Secret and ABC would generate great ratings for the 2018 edition of the fashion show turned out to be a bigger fantasy.  Last Sunday’s (December 2) airing of the event registered an all-time low viewership number.  And that’s coming off previous all-time lows for viewership in both 2017 and 2016, the last two years the event aired on CBS.

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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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Some post-Pride tidbits (2018 edition)

Okay, I promised some stuff I had left over from but didn’t have room in my last post about the 2018 OutReach Pride Parade & Rally that occurred last Sunday (August 19).  Unlike that previous post, I promise I won’t even bring up the controversy that surrounded the parade this year.  Nope, this will be all positive.  The first thing is that though some of the same socialists who despised the police being at pride also despised the presence of corporate sponsorship (no, I’m not gonna get any darker than that in this post), there was, without mistake, a sincere presence of businesses who wanted to show their support of the LGBT+ community.  Just as with the charities, non-profit organizations, and church and advocacy groups that also populated the parade, they made it known that they truly support our community and do not venture to discriminate against us.  That they also do so with their checkbooks and accountants through their sponsorship of Pride does not (and should not) hurt, no matter what your level of disdain of the corporate world.  And, yes, sometimes I do think this world has gotten all-corporate, if you know what I mean.  Still, I do understand the necessity of having a benevolent, philanthropic sponsor offering cash. Continue reading


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Allison carries the banner at the Pride Parade

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Image credit here

It’s been a full week, one that’s been somewhat busy and very wet, since the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally, but I’m finally ready to share with you some of my experience.  As I’ve mentioned here and here, this year’s parade and rally was held under an ugly shadow, not from any rain clouds but under the specter of controversy.  A loud contingent from Madison’s LGBT+ community raised a ruckus over the presence of the Madison Police Department at the parade, with some threatening to stage a counter-protest.  In the end, parade organizers withdrew the applications of LGBT+ employee resource groups from MPD and UW—Madison Police as well as the Dane County Sheriff.  Members from those groups could (and did) march in the parade, but had to do so unarmed and out of uniform.  (Side note:  The Madison Fire Department decided to withdraw one of their engines from the parade in sympathy to the boys in blue; it was MFD’s decision.)  While OutReach’s move to formally eliminate the police entries upset some parade supporters and still likely upset some protesters (especially since the parade permit still required MPD to provide security), the parade and rally (**SPOILER ALERT**) went off without a hitch and without any rabble-rousers causing disruptions.

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A poem: “Come On In”

This is the Sunday morning of the OutReach Pride Parade/Rally here in Madison.  Later this afternoon, members of the LGBT+ community will march proudly down State Street and celebrate our hard-fought freedom to live as our true selves.

But as you may have guessed from my previous two posts, this pride weekend in Madison isn’t quite the lovey dovey moment it should be.  This year’s OutReach Pride theme is “Stand up!  Speak out!  Fight back!”  However, it’s been an inward fight rather than an outward one against those who shun our community.  And it’s clearly more than an issue of whether the cops can march in the parade or whether said cops are willing to listen.  At the risk of airing out private conversations, there’s been a bit of resentment within the trans/CD support group I’m a part of.  Well, at least there is an issue within the private Facebook page our group utilizes.  The same people who raised valid issues about the police presence in the parade and how said police treat trans and queer persons of color are also challenging us to embrace that very same TQPOC community.  And while it’s not like a civil war in our group, the boisterous comments in our Facebook page over the past week-plus — heck, within the past 24 hours — sure make it feel like one.

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Allison enjoys “Queer Shorts: Unity”

So, peoples, what did you do Friday evening?  I went to the theater.

Yeah, Male Mode Me took in a show Friday night.  And, yeah, I was tempted to get all dolled up as Allison, but a tight time frame after the end of my work day prevented that.  Still, I wanted to take in a show and support queer-oriented theater.

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Image credit here

Friday was the second-to-last staging of “Queer Shorts: Unity.”  Every year since 2006, Stage Q, the Madison-based LGBT-oriented theater company, has presented a showcase of short plays, usually 5 to 10 minutes in length and culled from a nationwide call for submissions, that showcase LGBT themes, characters, performers, and writers. Continue reading


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Happy Pride Month 2018!

320px-gay_flag-svgIt’s almost midway through the month of June and I’m way late into acknowledging the fact that this is Pride Month!  This, of course, is the month we in the LGBT community celebrate our community as a whole, display our true selves at various events, acknowledge the many figures and allies from around the world who have helped pave positive avenues for us as a community and as human beings, and to remember those in our community who left us too soon and who have handed us the (rainbow-colored) torch to hold high into the future.

I make that note of remembrance at the end of that paragraph in part to acknowledge this sad fact:  Two years ago this morning, 49 members of our proud LGBT community lost their lives in a truly senseless act of terror at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  It was heartbreaking to hear the news then. It’s just as heartbreaking to remember it now.  And it’s still necessary to remember the lives lost, for they dared to celebrate who they were and their deaths inspire us to stay resilient in the face of those who still desire to keep our community under their thumbs or out of sight entirely.

Despite the tragedies and difficulties and obstacles we still face as a community, it’s still important to celebrate who we are.  More importantly, we still need to celebrate how far we’ve come together… and, boy oh boy, we have come a long way, with positive representations in many types of media and with the assistance of a supportive generation who isn’t too quick to judge by sexual or gender identity, unlike the older, more conservative generations who only see us as a “sin”  Our community is talented, and we are deservedly valued and recognized for our positive contributions to society, no matter what letter of the acronym we fall under.

Not all of us will have the right and privilege to celebrate Pride Month this month.  Indeed, Green Bay (my old city of residence) will have their own pride celebration next month, while we in Madison will have our annual pride event in August.  But wherever you are and whenever you have the chance to do so, don’t be afraid to let your own rainbow shine.  Happy Pride Month, everyone!


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Random Stuff: 5/28/2018 edition

Time to highlight a couple of LGBT-themed advertisements that have been released this spring.  Well, they’re lesbian-themed advertisements if you must be specific, but I imagine others in the LGBT+ spectrum might find something they’ll relate to in these ads.  The first was released last month in Great Britain for Malteasers, a malted-milk-covered-in-chocolate candy (think Whoppers, my fellow Americans).  The Malteasers ad I’ll highlight here features a quartet of women at some café or break area or whatever.  One of the four, whose name is Sarah… well, I’ll let her tell her concern.

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