Allison M.

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


Leave a comment

One month after that

While tumbling through the internet rabbit hole to write up my last post, I came across this photograph:

1554301672242

The photo, rainbow border and all, was posted on the Student Life section of New York University’s website.  The photo was taken by the late Fred McDarrah, who was a writer and also a longtime photographer for The Village Voice.  Among his many assignments was the photographing of the Stonewall Riots, their immediate aftermath, and many LGBT-related marches and celebrations after that.

The date of this particular photo is significant:  Sunday, July 27, 1969.  Yes, 50 years ago yesterday.  Many people may think that all there was of the Stonewall uprising was what happened in June of 1969, followed by a quiet period and the first organized pride march one year later in 1970.  Even worse, many think that the LGBT+ rights movement was only the product of later (i.e. much more recent) generations.

But that line of thinking is incorrect, really.  There was a more quieter LGBT movement before Stonewall.  It’s just that those hot nights in late June 50 years ago were the propellant that took the movement further.  And sure enough, Stonewall led to other protests and rallies in New York immediately afterward, including one exactly one month after the riots, in which a “Gay Power” march culminated in a rally at Washington Square Park.

Admittedly, I don’t know every single detail about the LGBT+ movement.  I’m sure a great many not just outside but also within our community will say the same thing.  But it’s a great feeling to learn about a small moment or a minor contributor that would help ensure the freedoms we enjoy and inspire the open lives we live today.

Here’s hoping you experience that same “gee whiz” feeling when you peruse though our community’s vast and proud history.


1 Comment

Somebody’s memories

Four years ago, I sung the praises of an advertisement that PFLAG Canada put out to promote and support legal marriage equality worldwide.  The ad was titled “Nobody’s Memories,” and it depicted images of what could have been:  Weddings of same-gender couples from the mid-20th century, shown as home movie footage from an “alternate universe” that gives the viewer chills with their authentic aged styles.  If you want to learn what I’m talking about, check out this blog link to take a look at it yourself; I just watched it again myself and am still struck by how powerful and moving that ad still is.

This week, a news item in the showbiz world made me recall that “Nobody’s Memories” ad and its (*sigh*) imaginary depictions of couples who just happen to be of the same gender in real love.  I’ll talk up that TV item in a bit, but while doing some research on it, I went further down the internet rabbit hole and came across this photo of an actual wedding memory that did happen:

UEA-Molina-Ert-1972

Photo credit: Universal Entertainment Agency via Houston Chronicle

The above photo, as confirmed in this 2014 Houston Chronicle article, is from a small ceremony that took place at Harmony Wedding Chapel in Houston in October 1972.  The groom is Antonio Molina, a shipping clerk, former high school football star, and Navy veteran.  The resplendent bride is William “Billie” Ert, a female impersonator (stage name: “Mr. Vicki Carr”) and former hairdresser.  Yes, William Ert was a male, but he had a voter registration card that listed his gender as “female.”

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random personal stuff (6/9/2019 edition)

6-7-2019 738-31pmYep, that’s me taking that selfie.  This past Friday night, I dolled myself up, put on this brand new pride-themed shirt I found at Ragstock, and went to Mother Fools for their monthly poetry performance.  I hadn’t been there since doing some semi-freeform spoken-word stuff last December, and hadn’t been a part of their first-Friday-of-the-month poetry events in well over a year.  I hadn’t been there for various reasons, including my job search last summer, just feeling dog-tired from the work assignment I have right now (more on that in a moment), and lack of creative poetry juices.

This time around, though, I didn’t want to make excuses to myself or wait any longer.  So, after I finished my work day late Friday, I made a bee line straight home to get changed into Allison.  It would have been a little sooner than late Friday had I not had to stick around for a couple of things I had been meaning to do all day at work (again, more on work later).

Still, it was amazing how I turned out after applying my makeup.  I’d say it took under an hour for me to slather on the foundation, blush, eye shadow, and lipstick, not to mention straighten out my wig.  (Note to self: The hair goes over the glasses’ arms.)  Oh, it also took an extra hour to do some extra shaving of my face and find the maxi-skirt and shirt I wanted to wear (my closet is always unorganized *sigh*).

But how did I do at the mic, you ask?  Well, while I was a bit rusty, especially with my less-than-perfect poetry intros, I did all right.  And even with the light crowd indoors at Mother Fools on what was an incredibly beautiful Friday evening (perhaps most of the regular crowd was taking advantage of that weather), it was a nice, accepting, and appreciative atmosphere.

Continue reading


1 Comment

A more fashionable Memorial Day on the diamond

Like many of my fellow Americans, I’m taking a respite from work today.  And you do know what today is, correct?  It is Memorial Day, a holiday designated to pay honor to those who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  If you are one of the great multitude who do at least a little acknowledgement that this day is more than just an excuse for a 3-day weekend, thank you.  Sure, you may just say something like “lest we forget” while planting an American flag next to a gravestone, or even say “thank you for your service” to someone in uniform (who has their own days, which I’ll touch on briefly in a moment), but you do understand the gravity of this day.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

The not-so-ordinary mother figures (a Mother’s Day addendum)

I had a feeling when I wrote my previous post about Mother’s Day on Saturday night, I would fail to include a few important (to me) things about the subject matter.  Indeed, I had only made passing mention of three not-so-traditional forms of mothers in this world.  One of those was the single-parent setup, of which I was part of during my very young years:  My mother was a divorcee, and she looked after and provided for both my sister and I on her own for several years.  Even after she remarried, had another child, and took another job, she still cared for us and made sure we were doing alright even with our latchkey kid setup (she worked nights for a while, and Dad was on the road quite a bit).  Things weren’t always hunky dory, but we turned out okay for the most part.

Continue reading


1 Comment

Random personal stuff (Easter Sunday 2019 edition)

So, did the Easter Bunny leave you lots of eggs to hunt for?  Did same bunny deliver lots of chocolate for you to devour?  Well, Peter Cottontail skipped my house this year, forcing me to buy all that sugary stuff on my own.  To be honest, though, I do need to keep watching what I eat, so it’s just as well that E.B. passed me by.  Perhaps next year, though.

Continue reading


1 Comment

Allison’s true tales of Shopko

Does this photo ring a bell, faithful readers?

Vinyl trousers and Gitano jacket

If you read this post from last year, or if you’ve ever perused through my Flickr album, you probably remember seeing the above outfit, and in particular the black jacket I’m sporting.  The black-colored Gitano cotton jacket is probably the oldest item still in my female clothing closet.  I found it way back in 1992 in the youth/young adults section of the Shopko department store down the road from where I lived.

If you’ve also read my previous post, you’ve learned that Shopko is in a bit of a financial bind.  Shopko is a department store chain founded and based in Green Bay that has been in existence since 1962.  Last month, facing a lot of debt and withering competition, Shopko filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced a series of store closures, including the last three Shopko stores here in Dane County.

While I admit I haven’t gone to Shopko very much in recent years, the news of their bankruptcy and departure from Madison and other large and small towns in its footprint left me a bit sad.  I found myself in agreement with a retail industry observer interviewed by the Green Bay Press-Gazette about Shopko’s bankruptcy.  “This one doesn’t surprise me,” he said of Shopko’s bankruptcy, “but it’s a company I hate to see go.”  Indeed, while the Walmarts and Targets of the world have run laps around Shopko and other department store chains, it has been a nice place with generally good customer service, and where you can get what you want (cute outfit, comfy boots) or need (toiletries, shoes, dining room set).

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random personal stuff (2/8/2019 edition)

A few personal things from the past week to catch you up on, going somewhat in reverse order.  First, I’m relaxing at home this Friday evening resting up from a pretty annoying head cold I may be (hopefully) in the final throes of.  No, it’s not one of those “stay home and deal with the pain” types of colds, rather one of those viruses that starts with a little bit of congestion, spends a day or two blocking one nostril, blocks the other nostril the two days after that, and leaves you reaching for the tissue box more often than you’d like.  Or much more often if there’s a lot of sneezing thrown in.  I think there must be a lot of dry air in the office I’m stuck in.

The only person I’m blaming for giving me this cold is Mother Nature.  She had the audacity to send Madison from bone-chilling -30º temperatures last week to +47º last weekend to single-digit temperatures and icy roads and pavements today.  Sure, I enjoyed that nice warm spell we had last weekend (who wouldn’t?), but the whiplash-inducing swings from cold to warm and back to cold again has been the frequent culprit of colds in my lifetime.  Oh, well, I’ll survive. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random personal stuff (2019 polar vortex edition)

One of the nice things about living in Wisconsin is that the scenery is pretty awesome.  Whether it’s the urban skyline of Milwaukee or Madison, the majestic natural formations of places like Kettle Moraine, or the peacefulness of Door County, this state produces scenes that can be all at once tranquil, exciting, awe inspiring, and breathtaking, no matter what the season may be, including here in winter.  But the beauty of winter is served on a double-edged sword:  The sight of a snow-covered field or wooded area brings serenity, but it’s best appreciated when you’re indoors looking through a window.

Madison’s State Street on Monday (photo source: Wisconsin State Journal)

The past couple of weeks here in Madison have brought 3 different snowstorms of varying degrees of effect.  The most recent of those storms occurred this past Sunday evening/Monday morning, when a storm dumped around 6 inches of snow.

That Monday snowstorm was actually the good news of the week, and not just because the original Madison forecast called for more snow than that.  It ushered in what meteorologists call a polar vortex.  Basically, it’s Mother Nature leaving her freezer door open and letting a lot of chilly air escape.  This week, that vortex of cold, cold air dropped right smack dab onto the Upper Midwestern United States.

Continue reading


1 Comment

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