Allison M.

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


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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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Allison’s second… er, uh, third live performance

It’s Wednesday as I finish this post, and while I try to process my long weekend out of town and my return from work afterwards (a topic for a forthcoming post, I promise), let’s devote this post to the big weekend I had exactly one weekend previous — Saturday the 23rd of September, to be exact.  As you can tell from this post’s title, I did indeed perform poetry as Allison once again.  But was it my second performance or my third?  Well, I guess some clarification is in order:  The first time I performed in front of a mic was during a poetry event at Mother Fool’s back in early July.  A few weeks after that, on the last Saturday night of July to be exact, I was actually back at Mother Fool’s, though not to read poetry.  Instead, since it wasn’t exclusively a night of poetry, I did a little bit of freeform spoken word storytelling about how I first found that sack of women’s clothing.

Saturday the 23rd, however, was all about the poetry.  And instead of Mother Fool’s, we did our thing at another coffee house in town.  (I’ll get to the significance of the “we” later.)  The business in question is Cargo Coffee, a locally- and family-owned coffee shop that has two locations here in Madison, one on the south side and the one we performed at on East Washington Avenue, a few blocks northeast of the State Capitol.  Cargo Coffee’s East Wash location is part of a major redevelopment that’s been occurring on the avenue the past several years (well, it’s happening throughout Madison but it definitely applies to East Wash):  Older, smaller, and generally decrepit buildings, ones that housed businesses ranging from repair shops to an automobile dealership, have been replaced by more modern buildings and shops (including restaurants, a swank hotel, and a supermarket) and condominiums and luxury apartments that cost a pretty penny.  And the redevelopment isn’t done yet:  A new music venue is under construction just kitty corner from Cargo Coffee; further up the avenue, a separate redevelopment is turning a long-empty and neglected plot of land into a mix of apartments, shops, and a UW Health clinic.

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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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From Point Then to Point Now

Just a brief post to contemplate something important for me:  This entire month of September has been and will be quite a busy one, both in my professional and familial matters.  So it was only this week that I reflected on a very important step in my life:  Fifteen years ago on Labor Day weekend, I made the big move from Green Bay to the Madison area.  And 15 years ago this week, I joined my place of employment.

During this busy schedule of mine, and that of my supervisor who is based in another office away from Madison, we took the time to commemorate my 15-year work anniversary this week.  It was a very modest celebration, really:  Just me (since I’m the only one on my team actually working in Madison); my current supervisor, who made a quick midday drive up to Madison (and brought balloons!); and, as my personally chosen guest, the person who was my first supervisor 15 years ago and who I remain close with professionally, all enjoying lunch and conversation at the Panera Bread next door from my office.

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What if… you know…

I hope you don’t mind that I get a little bit morbid in this post, but this is a deep thought that occurred to me this week.  Something has bummed me out the past few days, more than I thought it would.  It was the death of someone that Male Mode Me follows on social media, first on Twitter and later on Instagram.  I won’t identify this person, though I will describe him as quite the photographer.  Yeah, photography was his passion, not to mention his profession (some of his work graced quite a few print-and-ink publications around here).  And while I was attracted to his thoughts on current events at first (he was progressive, of course), he would put those thoughts (and retweets) to the wayside over time and concentrate on the images he would capture with his cameras, mainly the beauty around Lake Wingra, one of the many lakes around Madison, near which he and his family resided.

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Random stuff: Drag Queen Storytime

Though I might have mentioned this once or twice on here previously, I’ll mention it again right now:  The past few years, I, in male mode, have done volunteer work with children.  Yep, I’ve made visits to elementary schools here in the Madison area to help teach young children (mostly 2nd graders but some appearances with 1st and 3rd graders and even one kindergarten class) some general, friendly lessons about the importance of work and money.

Take note of the words “in male mode” in that last paragraph.  For one, while I do feel more expressive as Allison than I do as Male Mode Me, I won’t go so far as to display Allison in front of a class of impressionable elementary school children.  And it’s not necessarily because I’m representing a very reputable educational organization who takes the conduct of their volunteers seriously.  No, part of the reason is that I’m best working with a script, whether it be a folder full of poetry as Allison or a volunteer’s manual as Male Mode Me.  Take that script away from me and I begin to hem and haw and stammer and stutter, which doesn’t impress any audience of any age.  And before you ask, no, I can’t even improvise my way out of a paper bag.

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Rewording how I define myself

While there have been two good things that occurred in my personal life this August (my high school class reunion, my marching in the pride parade), there was one situation that really bummed me out.  Now that I’m slowly putting it behind me, I will start my explanation of said situation by highlighting a change you may have noticed this month:  My Gravatar profile description.  You know, the one listed under my smiling face you see on the right of your compute screen.  (Uh, you are reading this on a computer screen, right?)  Here is how that profile previously read:

blog bio before

Take note of the first three sentences in that description:  “Full-time middle-aged male.  Long-time overworked office drone.  Part-time female fashion plate.”  A witty and rather innocuous way to describe myself… or so I thought.  The thoughts of those three sentences, or at least how a very important gatekeeper interpreted them, prevented me from taking part in the perfect venue to showcase my poetry skills (such as they are).

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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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A big pride weekend

Happy weekend, peoples!  I’m writing this post on a “tape-delay” Friday evening; hopefully, if the WordPress settings are accurate, this will be delivered to you first thing Saturday morning.  Why am I writing this on Friday night and posting it on Saturday morning?  Well, I’m going to be very busy not just Saturday morning but all weekend; I’ll talk my to-do list in a moment.

First, though, I want to tell you about a celebration occurring southeast of Madison, in a place called Walworth County.  It’s just over 102,000 in population; it’s mostly though not entirely rural; it’s generally conservative in culture; and it’s home to the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, the Alpine Valley resort and music theater, and the vacation spot Lake Geneva.  And on Saturday, it will hold its first ever LGBT “pride fair,” conducted from 10AM to 3PM on the Chamber of Commerce grounds in the county seat of Elkhorn.

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One very busy birthday girl

As you can tell from the starry pink banner and this post’s title, today (August 3) is my 48th birthday.  As has been the case in most of my adulthood, this day will be your normal everyday kind of day:  Work, work, work.  Maybe a card or a text from family (I already received one from Mom earlier this week).  Already a few birthday wishes added to my URNotAlone profile’s guestbook (a big “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” banner is added to members’ profiles when it’s their birthday).  And perhaps a little bit of relaxation when I finally get home.

I say “when I finally get home” as I’ve been a rather busy girl of late, especially with putting my nose to the proverbial grindstone at work.  And I’ll be pretty busy the rest of this month as well.  Here in Madison, a small, trans-oriented art and performance exhibition is scheduled for the last weekend of this month.  I’ve become so enamored of late by presenting my poetry and storytelling before live audiences (and doing so as Allison), which propelled me to submit my poems for consideration to this event.  If they approve, I’ll get all dolled up and step up to the microphone before my fellow trans sisters and brothers for the first time (hope it won’t be a tough crowd).

A weekend before that, Madison will have its annual LGBT pride event.  And the trans support group I’ve been attending will have an entry in the parade.  All of our “T’s” and “I’s” need to be crossed and dotted yet, but I can’t wait for Madison to see us.  What’s more, I’m hoping to march with my group as Allison for the very first time.  I’m so excited.

And this very weekend will be the 30-year reunion of my high school graduating class.  Am I nervous about it?  A little bit, as I wonder how much time, adulthood, and our current society have changed my fellow Class of 1987 graduates.  The reunion came, for me at least, on rather short notice, so I’m not sure how many of my class will be able to attend.  Still, I’m actually looking forward to the event… even though I’ve never been the party girl-type, nor did I socialize very much in high school.  Plus, it’ll be interesting to see how much our home town, a rather small Northern Wisconsin hamlet, has changed (for better and for worse) in the 5 years since our previous reunion.

So, yeah, not a lot of time for me to celebrate turning 48.  But as I noted above, I’ve gotten used to the 3rd day of August feeling like any of the other 364 days of the year, and that’s okay.  But know that if you wish me a happy birthday, I’ll send gratitude and thanks your way.  Hope you have your own very nice day.