Allison M.

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


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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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Putting on a dress and a wig…

[*sound of loud rumble of thunder and spooky music*]

Salutations, ghosts and goblins!  Before you directed your eyes to this paragraph, you probably took a gander at that old photo of yours truly at the top of this page.  Yeah, that was me a few years back looking all so sultry in a sexy witch outfit and leather boots.

The timing of both donning that costume back then and writing this post now are intentional:  Yes, today is, and the date of that photo was, Halloween.  And since it’s Halloween, you’re probably thinking this post will be all about the joys of dressing up en femme on Halloween, right?

Well… [*sound of record scratching on phonograph*] not really.

Halloween has always been, and perhaps always will be, an occasion when you can dress up and display to the world a personality you normally wouldn’t appear as.  Many of my crossdressing sisters (and, yes, brothers too) will use this day as the perfect excuse to bring their hidden side out of the proverbial closet.

More likely than not, Halloween will be a time when some fine young gentleman will don a wig and a dress, slap on some heels and makeup, and carouse around town in a female appearance.  And depending on the effort they put into their outfit and comportment, the resulting display will have various success.  Just read them for a few seconds and you can tell whether they dressed up en femme to make a good impression on passersby, or just threw on something for their own giggles and jollys.

The thought of that “I’m just dressing up for Halloween” thing brings me to this quote I just happened to come across the other day during an online search:

“Putting on a dress and a wig doesn’t make you a transgender woman.”

Unfortunately, the link that had that quote was broken, meaning I can’t confirm the context the speaker was intending with those words.  I do know, however, that those words came from a trans woman.  And I know that said woman started out life assigned with a male identity, but would over time begin to don women’s clothing and makeup; take on an online feminine identity; and eventually realizing that said feminine identity was the one she was born to be, birth certificate be dammed.

Despite not knowing the context of her line, I could imagine how that could be interpreted as being directed to some guy only dressing up as a woman for some Halloween party.  “Hey, dude!” he’ll probably tell his friends in a bit of intoxication and self-sarcasam, “I look all girly.”  But as soon as his party ends and he’s safely home, he’ll shed that dress and wig and head back to the everyday life of a cis-gender male.  And during that brief time he wore a dress and a wig for the sake of doing so, there’s a good chance that he won’t have the chance to feel empathy toward someone who has struggled with gender identity and has yearned for acceptance while transitioning.

But then… that guy just wearing a wig and dress on Halloween could be someone like me.  As I noted above, Halloween is the perfect time for a crossdresser to dress up, leave the closet, and have a good time.  And it doesn’t always have to be at a party.  I mean, they could use the day to dress up for the camera instead of some partygoer.  I say this because a fellow WordPress peep whose blog I love to follow posted photos of her wearing a vinyl dress and butterfly wings.  Yes, she posted them for Halloween.  And, yes, she’s a male-to-female crossdresser just as I am.  And, yes, even though she may not live full-time as a woman (and neither do I), she does consider herself part of the broad trans community.

But even though she’s a part of our transgender community, she doesn’t live full-time as a woman.  But does that make her any less of a transgender woman?  I don’t think so at all, and I think a big part of that, in addition to her looking stunning, is the fact that she’s a big champion of our community.  She has used her blog to share stories about her everyday life, her photos, and tidbits in support of fellow crossdressers, other trans people, and our allies.  She has great comportment through her positive actions, and that’s something that’s beneficial for our community at a time when we desperately need any positive imagery.

So, back to that quote I came across:  “Putting on a dress and a wig doesn’t make you a transgender woman.”  The person who said that has a valid point:  Don’t just put that dress and wig on tonight.  If you’re gonna look the part, try to play the part.  And, no, I don’t mean put on a falsetto voice.  Be friendly to others.  Have a positive demeanor.  Take a compliment.  Give a compliment, too, especially to some other guy who may also be wearing a dress and wig.

And don’t just compliment that guy in that dress and wig, empathize with them… for perhaps deep down inside they are trying to figure out what it is that makes them a transgender woman.


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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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The 26th Annual OutReach Awards Banquet

If I haven’t said so in specific terms before, you’ve likely gained the impression on here that it’s always a thrill for me to get dressed up and venture outside my house as Allison.  And while I’m one who normally likes the intimacy of small groups, an awesome feeling always surfaces in me when en femme in a large congregation of people.  Such was the case again last Friday evening:

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Image source here

OutReach, the LGBT+ support center here in Madison, staged its annual awards banquet last week. at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center.  As the name implies, the event is a combination of a fine meal, friendly conversation, and awards to those who promote equality and quality of life for the LGBT+ community.

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Nice news and worse news

I had been hoping to use this space to tell you about my evening at the OutReach Pride Banquet this past Friday evening.  I’ll get to that in another post, hopefully in a day or two.  I had also been hoping to use my Sunday and Monday to put salve on the wound of seeing my beloved Milwaukee Brewers’ playoff run come to an end (just one game away from the World Series).  But there’s something even more wounding — an item that affects my trans sisters and brothers — that no amount of salve will heal any time soon.

But first, I want to share with you some good news that might perk up spirits, at least briefly:  The story comes out of Uruguay, or “The Oriental Republic of the Uruguay,” if you want to be all formal.  Uruguay has stood out among its fellow South American nations in terms of not only democracy, peace, press freedom, and economy, but also social advancements, among them tolerance, inclusion, and personal rights.  Not bad for a relatively small country of 3.4 million citizens.

That reputation of tolerance and inclusion was buffeted by news from last week, when the lower half of Uruguay’s General Assembly approved a law that guarantees rights to the country’s transgender citizens.  What kind of rights?

Trans people in Uruguay will have the right to gender confirmation procedures, including surgery and hormone treatments, all paid for by the state.

It assures that trans youth under the age of 18, with parental consent, can undergo gender confirmation procedures, and that child can appeal to the country’s Civil Code if they cannot.

A 1% minimum of public sector jobs will also be reserved for trans citizens over the next 15 years; as well, a certain percentage of public and private educational scholarships

The law will also establish a pension to provide compensation to trans people who were persecuted during Uruguay’s military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s.

Pretty awesome stuff from a country that has already prohibited incitement to hatred on sexual orientation and gender identity grounds in 2003; gave full marriage rights to same-sex couples in 2013 (and assured them civil unions and health & parental rights before that); and assured trans people the right to change their name and legal gender, with or without surgery, on their legal documents since 2009.  And while trans Uruguayans cannot yet serve openly in the country’s military, perhaps that will be the next roadblock to be cleared in Uruguay, one that the passing of this new law will hopefully help foster.

But while it’s so good that these new advancements for trans people in Uruguay are happening, that’s in Uruguay.  Here at home, however, came news over the weekend that should make you shudder:  The New York Times reported that the administration of You Know Who and his evil cronies is considering a very drastic move — “narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.”  In other words, when interpreting Title IX (the 1972 law that banned sexual discrimination in federally-funded education), they would reverse the previous administration’s policies and seek to limit one’s gender identity by the junk they had in their trunk when they entered this world.  Should there be a question about one’s gender at birth, it would be a settled through a genetic test.  (A genetic test?!)

Needless to say, the news of this proposal left me with a lot of anxious feelings.  For one, I felt frightened for the well being and potential future my trans sisters and brothers may face if this policy comes to fruition.  This move, the brainchild of a so-called “civil rights” director who firmly holds antiquated and myopic beliefs, would, in the eyes of the United States Government, literally wish a whole group of people — at least 1.4 million, by a 2016 guesstimate — into the proverbial cornfield. (Kids, ask your grandparents who spent a lot of time in front of the TV where that term came from.)  If an anti-gay bigot can make a whole demographic of people into “non-persons” with the stroke of a pen, who knows which other group or groups would face a similar fate?  You know, groups who are not old, white, male, protestant, and of Anglo-Saxon descent?

(Side note:  If you thought this anti-trans stand was only about “the bathroom question,” this news proves you dead wrong.)

Then I felt equal feelings of anger and hopelessness.  Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past 2 years, you know that this current administration and its cronies have true disregard for the broad LGBT+ community, if not in law or not (yet) in policy then in belief.  Just the news over this proposal is triggering feelings that our community is being pushed down to the proverbial ground, again.  No, it’s not fun to be trampled upon like this.  Yes, it’s peeving me off, and it should boil your blood as well.

But I also feel a lot of pride and passion in our community.  Almost immediately after this news surfaced on Sunday, there were calls for action, from in-person rallies to the social media topic #WontBeErased or similar variations.  There’s also the threats of legal action if this policy goes to force.  This passion won’t be a magic wand, but for at least this moment it can be the spark of a movement that leads to ensuring that rights and protections for the trans community will not be inhibited.

Perhaps most importantly at this time, I feel a sense of urgency.  And a need for anyone — nay, everyone — to stand up, speak out, and fight back against this pure evil being proposed.  Talk to a friend, co-worker, stranger, neighbor, or even a bigoted relative, but tell them that the rights of human beings are at stake.

I am only one voice, and not the most perfect of voices at that.  But if we all stand together in our own way, however big or small or simple or loud, we will create a powerful voice that will stand up to anti-trans phobia.  It won’t hurt.  Matter of fact, it will only help pave the way to a better future for the trans community, the LGBT+ community, and humankind.


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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