Allison M.

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


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Random personal stuff (10/17/2018 edition)

Thought I’d share with you a few things that are going on in and around my life.  First off, I’m still on that temp-to-hire assignment.  Am I happy about it?  Well, I’m happy that I’m getting paid, if that’s what you’re wondering.  I won’t bore you in this post with the details, but I will say it’s probably the most demanding work I’ve ever done in my career.  There are lots of things to learn, and the boss is a very hard person to please.  But at least they can’t say I’m not trustworthy:  I do show up when my shift begins; I stay late if need be; and I do my best to at least try to learn and retain what I’m learning, and ask questions when necessary.

Despite that, I’m quite nervous about my long-term prospects at this company.  The person who’s been training me is planning to depart by the end of this month, and most of the responsibilities of this position will fall to me.  So, yeah, a lot will be demanded of me, and I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for all of it.  [*sound of my throat swallowing a big lump of nervousness*]  But if it doesn’t work out… well, who know’s what will happen for me if it doesn’t?  But I know I will at least take with me a better sense of what I can do, what I will need to improve on, and a bit of personal pride (as dinged as it might be) that I did my best in a difficult role. Continue reading


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Cheapest hottest-looking outfit ever

You know, as much as the subject of my last post was intended to keep one’s spirits up, I still felt a bit down after writing it.  So, to perk myself up — and you as well — let’s do something I’ve been wanting to get around to doing:  Venture into my closet (figuratively speaking) and pull some things out (figuratively speaking).

Vinyl trousers and Gitano jacket

Last March, I ventured out as Allison for a couple of evenings of poetry and spoken word performances.  One of those was the very chilly evening where I sported this gingham trench coat.  What did I have underneath?  Well, you’re looking at it.

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Random stuff: Two deserving LGBT Chamber honorees

While I spend the weekend recuperating from a grueling work week, I want to highlight a Wisconsin-related, Madison-related, LGBT-related story I came across this morning.  The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is, yes, an organization of businesses that promote economic growth, business opportunities, and blah blah blah.  But note the inclusion of the acronym “LGBT” in their name.  Yes, in addition to all that stuff about promoting economic growth, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for and promoter of LGBT-owned or -allied businesses and professionals in Wisconsin.

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A poem: “Big Sale”

This poem is inspired by the topic I addressed in my previous post, which talked up the closing of a couple of anchor stores at West Towne Mall here in Madison.  As I mentioned in that post, the eventual closing of the Boston Store chain, including its West Towne location, first made news back in April (it’s slated to close for good this week).  Sometime after that, this poem started percolating in my mind.  And in all truth, I finished it pretty quick, or at least quick enough to perform it in an open mic performance the last day of June at Mother Fool’s.  (Yes, it was a few days after I lost my job.  Yes, performing helped take my mind off my job search a little bit.)

In prefacing this poem at that performance, I asked a show of hands from the audience of about 20 or so, inquiring as to how many of them had the chance to check out the Boston Store closing sale at that point.  The response wasn’t 100 percent, but more than a few (60 percent was my guess) put their hands up in the affirmative.  The rest of the audience?  Well, I think they spend too much time on their computers.  (Dang you, Amazon!)

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When going to the mall isn’t fun at all

I want to start this post by mentioning something that took place a year ago but did not get the chance to share until now.  Despite the delay, it perfectly dovetails to the theme of this post — stores closing in malls.

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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 big beef over the boys in blue

I’ve been away from WordPress for over a week and, oh boy, has a lot gone on around here.  For one, I am in the midst of new temporary employment, which I promise to expound on in a later post.  But I want to devote this post to a little something… okay, a rather big something that’s been going on here in Madison, one that has plagued the biggest and most important event in Madison’s LGBT+ community.

I’ll cut to the chase and let you know of the outcome:  There will be an OutReach Pride parade this coming Sunday afternoon, starting at the west end of State Street, circling once around Capitol Square, and ending with a rally.  And baring anything unforeseen on my end, I will be there as Allison and marching with fellow members of our crossdressing/transgender support group.

You may be reading that and are thinking that there was a possibility that the parade and rally wouldn’t be taking place at all.  On the contrary, the event is not in any danger of not taking place.  However, it will be taking place without one prominent group of participants — law enforcement.  Had they been part of the parade, there would have been another prominent group that would have boycotted the event — those who have real disdain for law enforcement.

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Allison’s Word: “Compassion”

Time to bring back a feature I haven’t done on here in a while, “Allison’s Word.”  Sorry, no disembodied voice in this entry (last I checked, they’re getting their nails done), but there will be a word representing a beautiful trait of human emotion I’ve encountered so far during my job search:

Compassion

Compassion is a human trait that allows people who are moved by someone’s physical, mental, or emotional pain to want to alleviate or ease that person’s pain.  Compassion is that feeling that prompts a person to reach out to someone in their time of need as if to say, “Don’t worry, things will be all right for a little while.”

This week, during my job search, I took time between sending lots of resumés and practicing for phone interviews to have lunch with someone who showed a lot of compassion my way — the first supervisor at my now-former place of employment.  She’s still employed at that company, and that allowed the two of us to keep in touch rather easily during my time there (she was just one floor below me in our building).  Since I departed the company, she has shown quite a bit of compassion in her e-mail conversations with me.  And on Thursday, for the first time since I left, she offered to meet up with me for lunch.  I thought, why not?  I’ve got all the time in the world for lunch at the moment.  We had a pretty nice conversation at that lunch, and she offered nothing but lots of encouragement, including a few statements of “be confident” and more than a few mentions of “there’s a job out there that will be perfect for you.”   And, yes, the lunch was her treat.

My old boss’ lunch wasn’t the only form of compassion from someone at work.  Another person who’s still at that company and was also my supervisor (albeit for a brief time) learned of my departure from my supervisor.  And, yes, she’s reached out to me via e-mail with nothing but support and compassion and advice.  (It goes without saying that both are among my list of personal references during my job search.)  One of my first supervisor’s current colleagues also learned about my job search, and she asked for a copy of my resumé.  I’m not sure who or where she planned to send my resumé to, nor have I noticed any results from it.  But I’m appreciative of her efforts.

Compassion allows one to identify themselves in others and motivates them to do something for the sake of making that other person feel okay for at least a little while.  That thing can be a word or two of support, a lunch with a good friend, a forwarding of a resumé… or perhaps even that next new job opportunity.  No doubt about it, I am very, very appreciative of all this compassion.


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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