Allison M.

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


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Why Allison couldn’t march this weekend but still found herself riled up

Two years ago this weekend, the day after You Know Who became you know what, millions of people marched in cities across the country.  It was the starting point, or at least the most prominent moment, of what is called the Women’s March movement to advocate women’s rights, workers’ rights, immigration reform, and several other important issues, not to mention respect of others and anger toward You Know Who and his right-of-center cronies.  Here in Madison on that day, an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 participants marched up State Street and assembled at the Capitol Square.

Yesterday (January 19), not only in Washington but across the country, the anniversary of that march was commemorated by another round of marches and rallies.  Yes, a march and rally was held here in Madison as well.  No, unfortunately, it wasn’t as big as the one that occurred two years ago; the estimated number attending at the State Capitol was reported at 700.  Perhaps it the snow and cold that kept some people away (Madison had received 4.5 inches of snow in the overnight hours), but 700 is still a pretty decent number all things considered.

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Thanks, other states!

In my last post, I sang the praises of newly inaugurated governors here in Wisconsin and next door in Michigan signing executive orders aimed at prohibiting discrimination toward state employees or those they serve based on gender or sexual identity.  Both Tony Evers and Gretchen Whitmer were elected governors of their respective states last November, when a nice “blue” wave washed across much of the United States.  And their pro-LGBT orders were a nice start to 2019.  But they weren’t the only ones to make such an awesome move.

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Image source: The Wichita Eagle

The lady sitting at that desk is another newly elected governor, Laura Kelly of Kansas.  Kelly took office this past Monday, and in her own first official act as governor, signed an executive order that reinstated protections for LGBT workers within the executive branch of state government, as well as extend such protections to businesses that have contracts with the state.  I say “reinstated” because back in 2007, the governor at that time put into place protections that prohibited harassment, termination of employment, or any form of discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  Eight years later a successor governor who was nowhere near as progressive rescinded those orders, claiming it’s the responsibility of Kansas’ legislature to enact any changes.

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Thanks, Gov!

It’s almost the middle of January.  And depending on where you live in the United States, the fruits of last November’s elections, which saw for the most part success of progressive-leaning candidates nationwide, are starting to take shape.  And while it’s definitely good to know that the Democratic Party caucus in the new Congress has more diversity (including 10 openly gay or bisexual Senators or Representatives), this quick post will highlight a very nice development on the state level.  Or to be more precise, at Wisconsin’s state level.

Image source: The Capital Times

The man you see in the glasses in this photo is Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s 46th governor, who took the oath of office last Monday, January 7, at the State Capitol here in Madison.  As you’d expect from such a ceremony, there was a lot of pomp and circumstance:  The music.  The administration of the oath to Evers.  The same to four other constitutional officeholders, including the state’s first African-American lieutenant governor (and second person of color to hold statewide office in Wisconsin), Mandela Barnes.  The speeches.  And the promise of a hopeful next four years, even if the legislature is still dominated by a not-so-progressive party.

Needless to say, Governor Evers is progressive, and in his first day in office, he signed his first executive order, one that’s nothing but positive for our community.  The order he signed requires that state government agencies develop policies that will prohibit discrimination against employees and whomever they serve on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Additionally, the Evers administration will begin development on “a model anti-discrimination policy that will be distributed to all state employees.”

Yes, this is indeed great news.  In the previous 8 years, Wisconsin was governed by a man who sought to “divide and conquer,” starting with controversial legislation that hit public sector employees and unions where it hurt (and led to said employees storming the State Capitol in protest).  His tenure also fostered an atmosphere of his party having an attitude that they could do anything they want, including actual or perceived “cronyism,” left-leaning opposition inside and outside the State Capitol be dammed.

That’s not entirely the case any more here in Wisconsin.  Oh, sure, Governor Evers still has to face a legislature that’s still controlled by the other party.  But his first actions show that it’s still necessary to ensure that people in our state are treated with dignity and respect, and that their work is judged on how they do the job, not based on who they love, nor how they identify, and certainly not by how they’re connected in government.

Not only did this move occur here in Wisconsin this month, our neighbors in Michigan have seen the same thing:  That state’s own new Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, signed her own executive directive that prohibits Michigan’s state agencies, service providers, and whoever else works with the state from discriminating against LGBT+ people, as well as strengthening prohibitions against discrimination in state services based on sexual or gender identity.

So, this is definitely great news here in the Midwest.  If only every governor had the smarts to make such moves (giving an angry look at you, Florida).


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A place that must “B” better

Time to get back on my high horse blogging-wise and share some news about a prominent LGBT-oriented venue here in Madison.  Well, at least it was originally established to be a positive part of our community.

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The building you see above is at 924 Williamson Street.  Until a decade ago, it was the longtime home to Star Photo Service; look closely and you can make out a faded star that was Star Photo’s marquis sign on the front facade.  Then in August 2009, during Madison’s pride weekend, the ownership team of Rico Sabatini and Corey Gresen opened the nightclub Plan B on this site.  The club’s opening came after 2½ years of not just finding a location for the club but also remodeling it for suitability. (The name “Plan B” is a nod to the false starts and changes in plans that preceded its opening.)

Virtually from the get-go, Plan B became a very popular spot, one where Madison’s LGBT community could meet, converse, drink, dance, perform, and be themselves.  Speaking of performing, Plan B has been home to regular drag performances over the years, not only from national performers but those from here in Madison and Wisconsin.  Trixie Mattel (yes, that Trixie Mattel) was a part of Plan B’s drag cast before hitting it big not once but twice on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  And Plan B has not limited itself to the inside of the club either, as it’s used its parking lot and the street in front of it to stage its Fruit Fest block party every June. Continue reading


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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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Sporting a little red and black downtown

Yes, I hear you from a mile away.  “Yes, Allison,” you’re telling me, “we don’t mind you telling about what’s going on in your life and what you’re digging.  But we just want to see new photos of you.”  Okay, you got your wish.

Red hair, candystripe shirt, and vinyl leggings

One Saturday back in may of this year, I attended a regular meeting of the CD/TG support group I’m a part of.  On most Saturdays after our meetings, our group meets up at some restaurant in the Madison area to break bread, literally and figuratively.  On this particular Saturday, we had dinner at Short Stack Eatery, a LGBT-friendly restaurant I’ve talked about here and here and will eventually devote a full post to sometime soon (the food and atmosphere are that good there).

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May this lady reign

I’ve mentioned on here in the past that I don’t really get into two types of television programming very much:  Awards shows and reality television.  Not to fault anyone who enjoys said programming, but I’ve never got my kicks watching events where glamour overshadows the rewarding of good accomplishments, nor do I take satisfaction in watching how a likely normal person with good intentions get painted in a vicious light for the want of winning a half-million bucks (uh, thanks, prodding producers?).

One other TV staple, or at least it was when I was younger and my mom and sister commanded what we watched on the TV, is the beauty pageant.  Admittedly, a dresser-upper like me would have an inkling to tune in and marvel over the elegant evening dresses and hairstyles the contestants wear on the stage.  And, yes, the women on those stages deserved to compete and present their grace and talent.  But the then-corniness of the Miss America pageant left me with the impression that it and other similar events were the product of a time when when an older, more conservative, and, let’s face it, mostly male mindset decreed a certain kind of feminine beauty. ([cue old timey music] “I say, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal!  Just look at how that pretty little thing struts across that stage.  That dame’s the bee’s knees, I tell ya.”)

But rather than go on and on about how beauty pageants feel antiquated (perhaps a topic for another post), let’s use this particular space to highlight one particular beauty pageant figure on the verge of doing something historic.

That, on her official Instagram feed, is Angela Ponce.  Yes, she looks photogenic and fashion model-caliber glamorous, which is un modo requerido in beauty pageants such as Miss Universe.  Angela has been competing in beauty pageants since at least 2015, when she won the title of Miss World Cadiz.  She is the reigning Miss Spain, and is representing her country this week at the Miss Universe 2018 competition in Bangkok, Thailand. Continue reading


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Allison snarkily watches the Macy’s Parade… but sees something fabulous

As I indicated in my previous post, one of my Thanksgiving Day traditions (if you could call it that) is to hate-watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from New York City.  Well, that is if I’m not preoccupied with something else on Thanksgiving morning such as, say, traveling to see my family, typing my blog, or… I dunno, just recuperating after a short but tiring work week.

Yeah, ever since at least my teen years, I’ve never taken too much of a keen interest in parades.  And when I watched the Macy’s Day Parade (whoops, I keep calling it “Macy’s Day Parade”), it was because Mom either wanted me to help prepare our family’s Thanksgiving lunch or just didn’t want me cooped up in my bedroom.

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Allison’s Jukebox: “Don’t Give Up” by Maggie Szabo

Do you remember my post from September where I added a song called “Don’t Give Up” to “Allison’s Jukebox”?  You know the one where Peter Gabriel sings of deep lament and Kate Bush tries to steer him toward the positive?  Yeah, I bummed you out with that one, didn’t I?

Well, let’s see if I can brighten up your spirits a little bit with another addition to my jukebox that just happens to have the same title, “Don’t Give Up,” yet has a background that nicely dovetails with the week we’re in right now, Transgender Awareness Week.  Please have a look & listen to the Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/YouTube personality Maggie Szabo:

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Some very happy returns

It’s been a few days since the 2018 general elections here in the United States.  As with every election season, the 2018 conclusion had some good, bad, and very best news:

  • The good news about that is that we no longer have to put up with awful campaign attack ads dirtying up the airwaves (at least until 2020 or *sigh* late 2019).
  • The bad news is that not every candidate with a forward-thinking viewpoint won their election (as the saying goes, you can’t win ’em all *sigh*).
  • But the very best news?  Well, let me get off this bullet point and tell you…

Okay, the very best news is the advancements of bright, shining, forward-minded political stars on Tuesday night, the biggest highlight being the biggest takeaway of the night, at least among many political pundits:  The Democratic Party gained the majority of seats the House of Representatives!  That means that America now has a little bit of a check and balance against You Know Who and his myopic, misogynistic, anti-everything administration.

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