Allison M.

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


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A poem: “Warmer”

The problems I encountered last winter with the heat in my apartment, which I recounted in this post, inspired me to write the following poem.  Enjoy!

“Warmth”

It’s getting hot in here
But I didn’t turn up the thermostat
Oh, I see why it is:
Smoothed-out legs
Fancy blouse
Lovely skirt
Awesome hair and makeup
A great look at myself in the mirror
I never realized how hot I can be
Or make this room feel like a summer beach

It’s suddenly cold around me
But there’s no thermostat
Oh, I see why it is:
Leering glances
Icy stares
Prejudice
Intolerance
Narrow-mindedness
Misogny and bigotry
From those who disdain me
And who don’t want me to show my face
I never realized how, with such a haunting pace
Hate can make the world a more chilly place

But it’s warming up again
Not a heat wave, far from it
For it’s much more comfortable than that
And I can see why it is:
A pat on the shoulder
A hug or two
Words of “Welcome”
And “I support you”
And “I accept you…
“for the beautiful person you are”
From people who are just like me
And others who support me
And the community in which I’m proud to be
I’m glad I can see
Well, to be reminded of it really
How a little friendship can go a long way
Toward making it a better day
There’s still hate’s winter around the corner
But I’m glad I now feel much warmer

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A poem: “Wonder and Worry”

Here’s another poem I had previously been working on and let sit idle.  Luckily, I have finished it and am able to present it to you.  I should preface this by saying I have no plans to come out as a crossdresser to my immediate family; it’s the fear of being shunned with rejection that prevents me from doing so.  But that’s not to say I’ve never played out the possibility of doing so in my mind.  The thoughts and concerns I’ve had about coming out are the basis of this poem.  Perhaps one day I’ll have the gumption to come out and say, “Yeah, I have a female side.”  But until then, I have to…

“Wonder and Worry”

I can’t help but wonder
If I came out today
As a crossdresser and transgender?
What would the people around me say?

Should I come out to my mother
Who loves her only son?
She already has two daughters
But would she accept a third?
And would our family bond come undone?

How about my two sisters?
Would they approve?
I think the younger wouldn’t mind
But with the other, well…
I’m hesitant to make a move

Would my four nieces comprehend
About what their proud uncle would say?
I’d hope they’d all love and accept me
No matter what gender I would display
They are of a younger generation
One that’s more accepting of LGBT people such as I
But I fear their parents have molded them
To have conservative, disapproving minds

Or how about my stepfather
With whom I don’t see one-on-one?
Being the stern man that he is
Would my presenting as a woman
Be something he’d never condone?

What about those I work with?
Our company culture wouldn’t mind
But they have one major concern
Around it my whole world turns:
Whether my job wold be on the top of my mind

At least there are those like me
Those who saw another gender in the mirror
Together, we show each other support
And share our joys, hopes, and fears

I’m glad my trans sisters and brothers are there for me
But they haven’t known me as long
As the sisters, parents, nieces, aunts, and uncles
In the family I come from

I know, I can’t please everyone
I’ve got to please myself first
But if I came out
That fear of no familial support
Would leave me sad and hurt

It’s why I wonder and worry
About coming out and its repercussions
Would it bring me the joy of being myself?
Or would it leave me nothing but compunction?

Perhaps I’ll wait and see
If the coast will be clear
And then
Just maybe then
I’ll tell the world about both sides of me
And the world will hopefully be supportive
Especially the ones who I hold dear


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A poem: “High Flyer”

I’ve already confessed this on here once or twice and I’ll confess again:  I am not the greatest of public speakers.  I am also not one who’s capable of thinking on the fly.  Case in point, last Saturday night, when I took part in a “freeform” open mic performance show at Mother Fools coffee house.  Rather than read a typed-out poem as I have done in prior performances, instead I took the “freeform” part to heart and do a part-monologue, part stand-up performance.  Yes, I typed out some notes in my phone, and I rehearsed some of what I wanted to say in my head beforehand.

But when I stepped up to the microphone, however… uh, yeah, it wasn’t pretty.  I stammered and hemmed and hawed quite a bit, forgetting what I had written down and rehearsed.  For some reason, I also didn’t look at the notes on my phone very much.  Needless to say, I didn’t rehearse as much as I should have before last Saturday’s performance, nor did I do a lot of memorizing.  I received a polite, appreciative applause from the audience when I left the stage, but to me that polite applause felt more like a participation medal than a rousing reaction.

That less-than-rousing performance inspired me to write the poem you’re about to read.  You’ll notice it has quite of flying allusions, as well as some self-criticism.  I am my own worst critic at times, and I feel that need to bring myself back down to Earth and avoid being too confident in my less-than-stellar performance abilities.  Well, at least when it comes to performing without a script.  And a script is what I’ll be sticking to in the foreseeable future.  Yes, I do look forward to performing again in the future, perhaps as soon as the end of this month, when another open mic event at Mother Fools is scheduled.  But I’m definitely going to stay grounded with a prepared script… and quite a bit of practice beforehand.

“High Flyer”

So, you want to be a high flyer
Reach heights you’ve never attained
Be in spots where you’ve never been
And do things you’ve rarely done

And you want to do all that right away?
Like, right now?
At this moment?
With the whole world watching?

But… are you sure you know where you’re going?
And how to get there?
I ask because, judging from how everyone’s squirming
You sure don’t know where you’re going

Yeah, you sure didn’t plan out this flight you’re piloting
You’re tilting from one wing to another
And you’re about to crash land
Oh, don’t worry; everyone will survive
But there will be two casualties:
Your confidence
And your pride

Yes, you really want to fly
But you don’t know how to fly
Not yet, anyway
Before you grab that joystick again
(No, not that one)
How about reading the flight manual first?
Log some hours in the flight simulator
Maybe take a training run or two
Draw out that flight plan a little better

I know, all that pre-planning won’t be fun
But if you do all that first
You’ll gain lots of confidence
Your propellers will be ready to turn
Then, you can put aside that training manual
Because you’ll know by heart
What you’ve been wanting… nay, desiring
To tell the world what’s in your heart

And then, the world will see how strong you are
Not to mention your big, beautiful heart
And they’ll happily get on board with you
To heights you never imagined

Oh, they didn’t mind flying with you before
But they’ll really love flying with you
If you practice, practice, practice
At being a high flyer


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Another enjoyable poetry performance

It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this, and instead of going to the gym or running errands as I usually do on a Sunday, I’m just relaxing and doing an odd job or two around the house.  And, of course, writing this blog entry.  The reason I’m relaxing is because the past 48 hours or so have been pretty busy for my feminine side.  The CD/trans support group I’m a part of had a Saturday afternoon meeting.  And Friday night, I took part in what I want to talk up here — another open-mic poetry reading Friday night at Mother Fool’s coffee house on Williamson Street.

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A poem: “Show Me”

The other day, I heard a great quote uttered during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration here in Wisconsin.  Unfortunately, I don’t recall the speaker or the full quote.  However, I do recall it being a “show me this and I’ll show you that” kind of quote, one where two people see the same thing but see it very different… like, say, one person seeing the glass as half-empty and the other seeing it as half-full.

The “show me… and I’ll show you…” portion of that quote stuck with me the rest of the holiday, and it inspired me to write… and rewrite… and rewrite (as I usually do) the following poem.  As you’ll read (and especially notice in the last stanza), I’m not afraid to call out someone who is dismissive of those who do not live the same “pure” life they profess to live.  What’s for sure, the holier-than-thou set aren’t saints themselves, no matter how much they proselytize with their “holy book” of choice.

“Show Me”

Show me fields that have long been fallow
Overgrown with unsightly weeds
I’ll show you land that can spring to life
With someone’s ideas and dreams

Show me an artist’s canvas or a poet’s notebook
That are still blank and untouched
I’ll show you space that can be
The ground spring of a masterpiece

Show me someone immature and unruly
And I’ll show you a bright mind
That, if molded the right way
Will grow the fruits of their full potential

Show me someone not following the rules
And I’ll show you someone living free
Show me someone who doesn’t respect others
And I’ll show you someone who lets others be

Show me who should stay in a gilded cage
That with iron and lock and key you construct
And I’ll show you someone yearning to soar
To heights that will leave you awestruck

Show me someone who you prefer to stay quiet
And I’ll show you a person ready to roar
I’ll also show you someone ready to rebuild
If you only see someone you have no hope for

Show me someone who’s immoral
And I’ll show you someone on the straight and narrow
Show me someone that should conform
And I’ll show you someone who’s blazing their own trail

Show me someone whose existence you deny
And I’ll show you someone who needs to thrive
Even though caring for them is what you’re sworn to do
Would your “conscience” be quick to shun them…
And not care for them…
And seal their doom…
Just because they’re not like you?

Show me someone who’s only a gender
Or a skin color
Or a religion
Or an age
Or a behavior
Or “less” than you
And I’ll show you someone more than a label
For they’re much more than your closed mind
Forbids your open eyes to see

You think you see the scourges of the earth
But I see someone who can clear those fields
And plow those lands
And construct those buildings
And write those sonnets
And paint those masterpieces
And mold those minds
And help build a future
That will benefit the whole world

Show me all that you claim is ugly
And I’ll show you a mirror
So that you can look into it
And see true ugliness
Staring right back at you


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A poem: “Makeup”

Show of hands:  How many of you are familiar with haikus?  Okay, quite a lot of you.  For the very few uninitiated of you, a haiku is a short form of poetry that originated in Japan and usually has 3 lines of 17 syllables —5 syllables in the first and third lines, 7 in the middle line.

When written well, the simplicity of a haiku can potently communicate subject, setting, and feeling.  Fitting all that into the 5-7-5 rule can be a challenge to a relative poetry novice such as myself.  But the nature of haikus inspired me to write what you’re about to read.  What also inspired me was a support group meeting I attended Saturday, during which was presented makeup tips for those presenting as male-to-female.  It was a pretty nice presentation, and I gained (and wrote down) tips that will help accentuate my feminine presentation, including tips on contouring your cheekbones and how not apply foundation as if you’re painting a wall.  (Memo to self:  It’s makeup, not spackle.)

The thoughts about those tips led me to write a few lines of prose… and for some reason, it also tempted me to write in haiku form.  But this won’t be a haiku per se.  For one, there are considerably more than three lines, although each stanza has three lines.  And two, not all of the stanzas fit the 5-7-5 rule.  Still, I consider this a nice way to keep my writing and poetry juices flowing.  Enjoy.

“Makeup”

Moisturized skin glows
Ready to become a canvas
With makeup for paint

Primer and powder
Hides evident imperfections
Of this imperfect skin

Concealed under eyes
Are the weight of stress from life
I want to shed tonight

Full, luscious, lovely lips
Sit pouting, waiting to be kissed
By the right person

Contours along cheeks
And nose and foreheads and chin
Helps present a different gender

Makeup on my face
Converts me from the man I usually am
Into a pretty woman

My makeup hides lines
That show the toll of work and life and strife
As well as gender

Makeup helps to ease
My male mode tribulations for a while
And lets Allison come out to play

Makeup can be my shield
That helps stave off disapproving stares
From an evil world

Yes, I know it can’t stop
Their words of anger and vitriol
Or their name-calling

And I know it can’t cure all
Of my everyday fears and worries
It’s just a temporary salve

But just for a while
A day, or a night, or whenever
Makeup boosts my confidence

It helps present me
As the well-polished woman… and kind person
I’d love the world to see

And if someone I see
Says to me, “You’re quite beautiful”
Oh, how happy I would be


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Allison on video performing (part of) “Store-bought”

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this, and I hadn’t been planning to write anything on here, just wanting to give my keyboard and my writing skills a breather.  But then I remembered I had performed at Mother Fool’s earlier this month.  And I had previously mentioned in passing that someone recorded part of my performance.  When my name was called to perform, I kindly asked someone at the table next to me to snap some pictures of yours truly performing.  She kindly obliged.  But not only did she take a couple of still shots… by chance or whatever, she hit the “video record” button of my camera while I was performing the first of the three poems I read that Friday night, “Store-bought.”

Three things that I must make note of here:  The kind person who caught this didn’t capture my entire performance, just a little bit of the first two stanzas of “Store-bought” (itchy fingers, I presume.  Also, the video is not the greatest in audio or visual quality (it was shot from a distance after all).  And while I am comfortable with writing poetry, my actual performing skills are still not up to snuff.  Hopefully, with more practice and more performing, I’ll improve the second part of that equation.  So, enjoy this rather impromptu gift from me to you, and Happy Christmas or whatever you may be celebrating!


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A poem: “Masks of Honesty”

Time to get back into prose with a little something that popped into my head this afternoon.  I admit it feels similar in theme to this one, yet it has a clear theme of the vulnerability we all try to hide… but, ultimately, cannot keep masked forever.

“Masks of Honesty”

To the rest of the world
I appear carefree and witty
In a short skirt
Soft sweater
Gorgeous hair
Stunning makeup
And a smile

With the rest of the world
I converse merrily
Saying, “How do you do?”
Or “How have you been?”
Listening attentively to stories
And agreeing with opinions
With a nod
And a smile

When I tell them my stories
I do so candidly
Voicing words of wit
Thoughts from wisdom
And whispers of melancholy
With a nod of, “Yeah, it’s true”
And an occasional smile

With these true tales I tell
I begin to transmogrify
The makeup starts to fade
And the smile peels away
Slowly but surely
As if it were a mask
Until what once was a smile
Disappears for a while

And with that, the world sees
What is the real me
Not hidden maliciously
But revealed honestly
Bit by bit
So that others know
I’m more than a mask of beauty
And a smile

Oh… the others I see
Also express honestly
And bit by bit
Their own masks come off
Slowly but surely
Until we can all see
Our own peaks and valleys
And understand each other with empathy
And smile


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Random stuff (12/2/2017 edition)

12-1-2017 944-02pmA quick post to reflect on a couple of things from the world of performing arts, one featuring yours truly and one not.  The former of the two goes first:  I dolled myself up last night (Friday) and returned to Mother Fool’s for the open-mic poetry event it hosts every month.  I hadn’t been to Mother Fool’s in a while, and the good feeling I had performing there, combined with the equally good feelings lingering from my performance at Trans Monologues last month, drove me to perform at Mother Fool’s again.

As is usually the procedure with the Mother Fool’s poetry and freeform events, those who wanted to perform added their name to a basket, from which the host (more on him in a moment) pulled out names to determine the order of performances.  I was the penultimate name pulled, taking the mic at around a quarter to 10PM.  By chance, I had a literal front row seat to the entire show; the table you see in the foreground of this photo is where I sat, with a lady sitting at the next table obliging to take photos while I was at the mic.  By chance or error, she hit the “video record” button on my phone’s camera a couple of times; they were brief and incomplete, but I’m tempted to edit and post them to show… well, audio proof that I perform my poetry.  (If I do, a bit of a spoiler alert:  I still not the most confident performer.)

Two spots after my 5-minute slot, which included 3 of my poems (including the holiday-themed first poem I ever posted here), the host took to the mic to finish off the event with a morose and rather morbid listing of the mass shootings in the United States over the past 5 years, including date and incident (his last entry was, “Next date: To be announced”).  The host was Ron Czerwein, who owns the Avol’s Books consignment business that operates out of A Room of One’s Own downtown.  For reasons left undisclosed, Friday was Ron’s last night hosting poetry open mic at Mother Fool’s.  The plan is for him to cede host duties to a rotation of four hosts, with one of the quartet caring for the hosting duties each month (including, presumably, making arrangements for the guest performers who open each event).  Two of those four hosting slots were still open, according to Ron, and being the type of person who wants to help out any way I can, I was tempted to inquire about the host slots.  I didn’t, however, because for one, I don’t have any real skills at arranging event logistics.  Also, I’m still relatively new at poetry writing and presenting.  Perhaps if I had more of those logistical and performing skills, I would have stepped up and asked, “Hey, do you need a fourth host?”  Maybe that will change in the future.

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A poem: “Who…”

Before I (finally) recount my performance last Friday at Trans Monologues, I want to first present to you, for the first time on this blog, the poem I performed at the event.  The reason for this is to have a preface to my post about my performance at the event, which will include how I presented the poem.  (Spoiler alert: It involved emphasizing some lines with hand gestures.  No, not those kinds of hand gestures.)

As for the poem itself?  This was one of two poems I wanted to refrain from publishing on here until after presenting them live.  Back in August, I submitted this and a few others for consideration at another trans-related performance event.  And as I mentioned here, I was turned down.  That did to not only a bit of soul searching but also editing and re-editing the two new poems.  (For the record, I’ve already published the other poem, and it’s found here.)  The re-editing process included some re-re-editing after I read it aloud for folks in a trans support group I regularly attend.  They were more supportive, were not one to readily scrutinize so harshly, and are part of a community that is this poem’s inspiration.  They did offer some praise, but also some constructive advice I heeded, and the final result is what you are about to read.

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