Allison M.

A crossdresser's thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and, um… oh, that's right, dressing up!


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More Pride colors

It’s still June, and it’s still Pride Month.  And while, for understandable reasons, many extravagantly-constructed Pride celebrations have been few and far between this month, it’s not as if the LGBT community’s biggest month hasn’t gone unrecognized.  I mean, earlier this month in at least Madison and Los Angeles, relatively last-minute rallies have taken place to celebrate Black LGBT+ peoples.

Still, it’s likely that due to the virus that’s going around, lots of Pride festivities have either been postponed or cancelled.  For sure, Milwaukee’s PrideFest was scrubbed from last weekend’s calendar.  And here in Madison, Magic Pride Festival would’ve taken place in the flesh this August, but instead will be a virtual event.  (Bummer.)

So in lieu of anything big or impromptu or delayed, we must make due with the smaller commemorations of Pride Month.  Like the semi-bathing of Overture Centerthe semi-bathing of Overture Center in rainbow lights earlier this month, the picture of which is still fresh in my mind but leaves me thinking… meh.

Or…

Back on June 12, a couple of days after Overture Center did the all-rainbow thing, the UW—Madison’s Memorial Union (they of the famous sunburst terrace chairs) bathed their building in solid colors in recognition of Pride Month.  At that point, Memorial Union was closed as an anti-virus precaution (they’ll begin a phased opening tomorrow).  But just as with Overture’s well-intentioned display, the Union wanted to do theirs before June was out, and theirs was… well, not underwhelming.  I hate to play favorites on this, but the Union’s display ran circles around Overture’s.

Regardless of the simplicity or quality, however, these displays can’t go unappreciated.  And right now, even though the broad LGBT+ community has made so many advancements, there’s a still a need for those to say, in one form or another, “We see how beautiful you are.”


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Allison in Madison: Soccer it to me time!

There are so many items I wanted talk up on this blog before 2019 becomes 2020 that I know I won’t get to them all.  But at least one of those topics will be brought up in this post.  The topic comes from the realm of… soccer!  The world’s game!  The most beautiful game!  Whatever other superlatives the rest of the planet gives applies to it!  And the topic of that corny title I just made you read (I may be 50, but I still have an 8-year-old’s sense of humor).

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My Christmas 2019

This Wednesday, of course, will be Christmas Day, a holiday that finds many spending time with their loved ones, or at least that’s the ideal.  Of course, not every person, for one reason or another, will have that chance.  That will be the case again for me this Christmas once again.  For the fourth year in a row, the rest of my family will be busy, either because they’re working (my mom, in her caregiver role), spending time with the in-laws (my sister and her family), or just want a quiet day at home (my younger sister and her husband).

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Comings and goings at West Towne

While my mind formulates a post about my recent night at Trans Monologues (it’s coming, I promise), I want to keep my writing juices flowing with a few things about the mall down the road from where I live, West Towne Mall.  Thankfully, none of what I want to talk about is about this incident (yikes!).  Rather, it’s about a couple of stores at West Towne, beginning with Forever 21.  As you may have heard, Forever 21 declared bankruptcy back at the end of September, and that the roster of locations the retailer plans to close includes the spot of West Towne they’ve rented out for the past 10 years or so.

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False start! (No offense?)

It’s the weekend, always a prime time to decompress from the work week just past, and recharge for the work week ahead.  For me, this past week was a significant one, in that I started a brand new work assignment through a staffing agency.  The assignment is at… well, uh uh, I’m not gonna tell you all.  I need to let Male Mode Me have his anonymity and professional dignity secure.

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Happy Holigays!

Happy Holigays (2017)

Back in September 2017, I posed for a professional photographer for the first time, doing so before the camera of Katie Berry at Smoketree Photography.  Three months later (December 2017), Katie, her partner, and their friends in the Everyday Gay Holiday art studio/collective on Atwood Avenue threw a holiday get-together for their friends in the LGBT+ community — a “HOLIgay” party.  While I’m not a party person, I jumped at the chance to doll myself up, snack on some food, and mingle with other LGBT+ people from the Madison community.

Happy Holigays (2017)

Being the photographer that she is, Katie set up a corner in the studio to let the partygoers use her fancy camera and snap a few free selfies in front of a festive “toyland/horse/holiday/winter wonderland” setting.  Not wanting to pass up a photo opportunity while looking fabulous, I took the remote and snapped a few photos.  There I was in red hair, soft sweater, and patent vinyl Forever 21 skirt, and Katie’s remote clicker in hand, smiling and being all beautiful for the camera. (Oh, the Santa hat was among the available props in the studio.)

Happy Holigays (2017)

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Random personal thoughts (11/14/2018 edition)

Just a very quick about something I could have been doing tonight as I write this but won’t — perform poetry before an audience.  While getting all dolled up and reading my words before actual living, breathing people is something I’ve enjoyed doing, it’s also something I haven’t done since the end of June.

And tonight would’ve been a perfect night to do it again, because it’s the 2018 edition of Trans Monologues.  Does that name ring familiar to you, dear reader?  Well it should, for one year ago this month, I performed a poem at the 2017 Trans Monologues, which is the annual night of performances by trans and gender non-conforming talent put on by UW—Madison’s Gender & Sexuality Campus Center.

You’re probably asking why I’m not there in person tonight?  Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve been trying to master this work assignment I’ve been on since the first full week of August, one that’s been naturally preoccupying my weekdays but also been lingering on my mind when I’m away from the office.  Needless to say, it’s pushed the desire to submit my work for consideration for Trans Monologues to the far back burner, so much so that I missed last week’s deadline for submissions.

On top of that, the outcome of this particular work day would have impinged on my enjoyment of performing had I actually signed up and performed.  How bad was this work day for me?  Well, let’s just say that I’ve fallen behind on a major task I’m responsible for.  But it wasn’t like I’ve fallen so far behind on it that I’m drowning.  Actually, I’ve squeezed in working on this task in between the other tasks I’m committed to.  But it hasn’t pleased the “dragon lady” of a boss I must report to please.  She can be curt and direct, is often demanding, and can come across as displeased if we create an error or come up short of her expectations.

So tomorrow, I will have a lot of catching up to do, in addition to the other regular tasks I must cover in this assignment.  No, it doesn’t leave me in the greatest of situations.  But at least no one in this office can say I’m not making an effort to perform admirably in this assignment.  And at least despite not always getting a positive read or encouraging word from the “dragon lady,” there are at least two other people who can give me words of comfort.  A peer of this “dragon lady,” who I partially report to, reassured me that I’m doing a good job.  Well, I sure hope so.

So while I may be too tired, physically and mentally, to attend Trans Monologues tonight, I know that I will be there in spirit.  This is a night where my trans sisters and brothers can shine, and do so during an era that finds the collective embrace and support we’ve been receiving larger than before, yet the resistance we’re facing is just as big.  Let’s show in our own special ways that we’re just as human as the cis-gender world, whether we’re singing, writing, performing poetry… or, yes, fretting over work.  Let’s knock their socks off!


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Was I recognized?

I want to share with you a little personal tidbit I left out during my recap of the OutReach Awards Banquet I attended last week Friday.  And I want to preface this by saying that I have never told anyone I’ve worked with or encountered in my professional career that I dress up as Allison, nor do I have any plans to do so.  And there have been only two people who have seen me present as both female and male, and both of them have seen me in male mode only once.

All that being said, there was someone I’ve encountered in my professional male-mode past who was literally inches from me at the OutReach banquet.

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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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