Allison M.

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


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Why Allison joined Facebook (and other thoughts about social media)

In this post from late last month, I detailed the topic of my general presence online.  That post and the one you’re about to read were inspired by one of the “June Jour” topics my WordPress peep, The Finicky Cynic, posted on her site in June:  Thoughts about social media use.  As I noted in that post, I tend to think of my online and social media presences as intertwined with each other.  After that lengthy post about the online life, I will center this post on how I got to the “You Are Here” point on social media, as well as whether there’s too much of it and if I tend to rely on it too much (spoiler alert: There is, and I do).

I will start off by alluding to some relatively personal social media news:  I had mentioned once or twice on this blog that I was never keen to establishing an account on Facebook.  I gave reasons such as the controversy over Facebook requiring users to use their real names and not their stage name or preferred private alias, to the image of Mark Zuckerberg being a big prick (yeah, I got that from The Social Network).  And I still feel a lot of trepidation and hesitance over establishing a Facebook account.

And yet, out of necessity, I’ve established a Facebook account.

Now, you will certainly brand me a hypocrite for joining Facebook after expressing for so long how nice it was to not have done so.  But I have two key reasons for doing so, which I’ll get to later in this post.  First, I want to start off with my first venture into social media, Twitter.  As I mentioned in this post, I had never thought about answering the siren song of social media until a couple of months after getting my first full-fledged smart phone.  Before then, I had one of those basic flip phones for a few years, but with the rapid advancement of personal technology, that phone became oh so archaic by the time I bought my first smart phone in 2010.

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How I became so much cooler online

I need to lead off this post with a confession:  This post was originally going to be much longer and much broader in scope than what you are about to read.  I was inspired by a recent writing prompt by one of my WordPress peeps, The Finicky Cynic, about social media.  However, I originally chose to cover the broad online life in responding, as I’m one who considers my online and social media lives as symbiotic with each other.  But once I got to around the halfway mark of my post, I realized… wowzers, this post is turning into a very long read.  I also realized that just talking about the social media life is a long slog in itself.

So, to give both of us — you, the reader, and me, the writer — a break from the monotony, I will save the social media ruminations for a near-future post that, knowing me, I will edit and re-edit and re-re-edit before sharing with you… and use this particular entry to talk up the path my female side has taken on the World Wide Web.  (Uh, do they still call it that yet?)

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Allison’s Word: “Canada” (volume 2)

Time for another edition of “Allison’s Word,” and a return to a topic I brought up exactly one year ago this weekend:

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Yep, we’re returning to the topic of Canada!  The Great White North!  The World Next Door.  Our wonderful neighbors, the Canucks!

“Uh, Allison?  Didn’t you say all of that before?”

Yes, I did.  But Canada is a country worth talking up any time of year.  And this is especially true on the very day I write this — Saturday, July 1, 2017.  It’s the 150th anniversary of confederation, commemorating the date in 1867 when three (soon to be four) British colonies united under one dominion, gaining some of its own self-governance while remaining part of what was then known as the British Commonwealth. Continue reading


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A letter to my state legislators

I made passing mention in my last blog post about this, but it’s time to finally give it the spotlight here:  Last Thursday morning (June 1), three members of the Wisconsin State Legislature introduced to assembled media and the public a new piece of legislation currently seeking co-sponsorship from fellow legislators.  The proposal, as with any piece of legislation (federal, state, or otherwise), has a grand name:  The Privacy Protection and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act.  And a press release announcing the proposal succinctly sums up the bill’s importance:

“A bill that would add protections to Wisconsin statutes against discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or gender expression.”

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The presidency of 6 words

I try my darndest to not get specifically too political on this blog, aside from expressing the occasional broad thought about some news of great national or international import.  But there’s something gnawing in my mind the past several weeks… er, actually the past year and a half or so that I so desperately need to express at this point in time, out of fear that it’ll be too late if I don’t.  I must preface this by saying I’m not the brightest and most adept of political commentators; if you want analysis that’s more direct and a little more well thought out, go read Politico or Huffington Post.  I must also note that I will try to synthesize these thoughts in a grounded though somewhat whimsical way; it’s all I can do to approach such serious matters.

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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’s Word: “Junk”

Time for another edition of “Allison’s Word.”  This time around, the disembodied voice and I present a topic that I’ve held in my mind for quite a while, yet I never devoted time to writing about it until now.

“What, are we la–“

Don’t you dare say “lazy!”  I have been pretty busy creating posts.  It’s just that I concentrated a lot on those other subjects and never formulated a post for this topic until now.  And this topic is…

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Yep, junk.  As in all that stuff I have in my closet, both meaningful and meaningless.  If you’ve followed my Twitter feed or even this blog, you know how much of a chore cleaning out my closet can be.  And, yes, it’s the closet behind me in particular the very same closet where all my girly stuff can be found.

“You got a lot of junk inside those trunks.”

Yeah, I most certainly do.  Still do, in fact.  I recounted in this post from August that I spent most of my week-long vacation away from work just cleaning out the closet.  I’ve always had a lot of junk inside and outside of those trunks:  Old books, office stuff, hats, things I’ve been meaning to give to Goodwill… and, oh yeah, my feminine attire.  So, I did some heavy duty cleaning of that closet. Continue reading


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Allison in Madison: The Elvis fight scene

Time for another edition of “Allison in Madison,” and this entry will be one part City of Madison highlight, one part dive into the deep recessions of my memory bank.  I’ll start with a little teaser question for you:  How would you think the site pictured below would connect to one the greatest, most popular, and legendary entertainers of all time?  (No spoilers from the Madison audience, please!)

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I’ll get into the hows and whys later in this post, but I’ll start by telling you upfront who the entertainer in question is:  Elvis Presley.  When Elvis hit the big time in the mid-1950s, it was with an energetic, provocative stage presence and a combination of upbeat country, rhythm and blues into a new form of popular music — rock and roll — that [A] drove the kids of the time into a wild frenzy (much more of a frenzy than what the prefab pop stars of today would generate), and [B] drove the older generations into having fits when they realized that his music and performance styles were not the same as the tried-and-true entertainment they enjoyed for decades.  Simply put, Elvis helped usher in a changing of the guard in popular music as well as culture:  Older, more conservative styles and morals were on their way out; in its place was a new “youth culture” with its own beliefs, opinions, and political and cultural stances; combine that with the growing popularity of television and the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement and it really made the grownups’ heads spin.  They needn’t have worried, though, for Elvis always seemed, to me at least, to be one who, despite breaking away from his elders stylistically, still had true respect for them. (“That’s all right now mama” indeed.)

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When it’s okay to be a “coward”

There’s a big story that occurred at the Rio Olympics within the past 24 hours that inspired me to write this post.  I’ll get to the Olympic story later, but I want to bring up a topic I think I’ve mentioned in passing here before about my school days.  I got teased.  A lot.  From elementary right up through my junior year of high school.  Sometimes, that teasing would result in a physical altercation, most often started by the person teasing or bullying me, or by someone who didn’t really give a rat’s behind about me but was just itching to push me out of the hallway, down to the ground, or into a locker.

More often than not, anyone who wasn’t me or the person teasing me would just look the other way or do nothing, not even giving me the benefit of the doubt.  Even a school principal would not look kindly on me.  For just one example, I was in 6th grade, I got into a shoving match with a notorious teaser in our class, who later responded during the lunch line in the cafeteria by grabbing a pepper shaker from the kitchen and throwing pepper into my eyes.  What was more stinging than the pepper was the stern talking-to the principal gave me in his office after the incident, all because I may have provoked him into the shoving incident earlier (or may not have, I don’t remember anymore).  Mom made it worse that evening back at home with her own stern comments of disappointment.

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Allison thinks about “Casa Valentina”

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StageQ’s publicity poster for Casa Valentina (Image source here)

I got out of the house once again Saturday night and headed back down to the Bartell Theatre, where StageQ — the LGBT-themed theater group known for producing “Queer Shorts” shows like this and this — is offering its latest production, Casa Valentina.  (Note the present tense there; the show is running through next weekend.)  For those unfamiliar with the play (and I admit I was among them until I saw it in person), Casa Valentina is a Tony Award-nominated show about a gathering of crossdressing men in the early 1960s.  The play was written by Harvey Fierstein — yes, the Harvey Fierstein, whose Kinky Boots just had a Madison run earlier this month (damn, I missed it!) — and premiered on Broadway in April 2014.

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