Allison M.

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


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The definitions of “family”

This is the holiday season, a time usually observed with holiday-specific traditions, religious commemorations, parties, and gift giving.  This time is also usually associated with being with or at least thinking about the family members you know, love, and hold dear to your heart.  Or at least those who share with you some sort of trait.  When one thinks “family,” they usually associate the word with being bound by blood or marriage.  That includes the parents who raised you from youth to adolescence and wished you good luck and good guidance as you ventured into adulthood; the siblings who grew with you and look up and to you for mutual support; and the cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents who provide their own versions of love, support, and encouragement.

Unfortunately, for some in the broad LGBT+ community, the term “family” doesn’t mean the natural definition of parents, siblings, etc. noted above.  Many has been the case where someone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or even simply questioning has been blackballed by their relatives.  Not only is it heartbreaking to think that those who identify as LGBT+ can face such shunning, it should also make one reconsider the traditional definition of “family.”

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Allison’s night at Trans Monologues

Okay, okay, okay!  I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for me to tell all about my night at the Trans Monologues event.  You haven’t?  Well, even if you haven’t, here’s where I finally talk about it.

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As I mentioned previously on here, Trans Monologues is an annual event put on by the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s LGBT Campus Center.  The event, which coincides with Transgender Awareness Week, aims to be a “night of honest expression about the joys and trials of being anywhere on or off the gender-variant spectrum” (direct quote from the event’s Facebook page, where the above image appears).

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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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Some thoughts on TDOR 2017

While I’m still formulating a post about my performance at Trans Monologues last Friday (I promise to you it will come in due time), I want to mention something held in that same venue (Madison Public Library) immediately after the event.

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The group of five you see above are from the Mad City Sisters.  Yes, I know they look quite peculiar to some of you, but it’s their trademark look.  Though they are usually a joyous group, you can tell behind that fancy dress and all that greasepaint that they had serious looks on Friday night.  That was because they were presenting the vigil portion of the event.  Just as Trans Monologues was meant to coincide with Transgender Awareness Week, the vigil was to acknowledge Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is today (November 20).  Together, the Sisters presented a list of trans people lost over the past year to senseless acts of transphobic violence, complete with a mourning bell and words of divine prayer.

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Fifty-two weeks after

Okay, I must apologize at the outset, because I’m going to get politically serious on this post.  So with that being said, brace yourselves:

For those of whatever persuasion who are big on anniversaries, you probably are aware of the chilling anniversary being marked this week:  One year ago, a man who is vain, egotistical, lewd, misogynistic, hateful, womanizing, racist, and chauvinistic was elected President of the United States.  It was an election outcome not very many at the time expected would happen, but happen it did.

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My night at the Halloween party, 2017

[*cue rumble of thunder and eerie organ music*]  Salutations, ghosts and goblins and non-conforming.  I’ve gone on the record on here once or twice about not getting into the whole dress-up thing for Halloween very much.  Since I’m a crossdresser and normally appear as my usual male self before the public eye, any day of the year can be a day when I can put on that “costume” I call “being Allison” and bring my feminine character to life.

But that’s not to say that I’ve never dressed up for Halloween, at least as an adult.  Matter of fact, this past Saturday night, I dressed up to the nines for a Halloween party.  And here’s proof:

Black gown on Halloween

This dress may look familiar to you regular readers of this blog, and it’s true, you’ve seen it on here before.  This is the very same black lace-and-beads dress and accompanying bolero jacket I found several years ago at the Savers thrift store and have had in my closet ever since.  At first, I didn’t have any thoughts about attending any Halloween party this year (more on the party in a little bit), and even when I decided to go, this outfit wasn’t my first thought for a costume.  Instead, the first thought of a costume that came to my mind was a certain yellow-and-black sexy taxi driver outfit, an homage to a friend of mine on Facebook who occasionally wears such an outfit as part of her work.  Alas, I could not find such an outfit that was in my size.  And with the party coming up very quick, I went with Plan B (and, no, I’m not talking about the nightclub) and got all formal and classy.

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Random stuff: The cast of “Pose”

Just a quick post to highlight some awesome news from the world of television.  Earlier this month, I had mentioned in this post news about a a series of open casting calls for trans actors put on by the Casting Society of America (CSA).  Part of the reasoning for the CSA-staged events is to help stem the bias (conscious or otherwise) in Hollywood toward casting cis-gender actors in trans roles; to counter the belief that there isn’t enough trans talent in show business; and to help spearhead a commitment toward a newer, more diverse generation of showbiz talent.

Apparently, Ryan Murphy was way ahead of the CSA.  If you’ve watched or read about any bit of TV over the past decade or so, you’ve certainly heard about Ryan Murphy, or at least seen his name in the producing, writing, or directing credits of such prominent series as Glee and American Horror Story.  And he’s not resting on his laurels, for word came earlier this year of his latest proposed project for the FX cable network, a dramatic series called Pose.  What will it be about?  Well, here, as first reported back in March, is Pose‘s premise:

Set in 1986, Pose looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York:  The rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene, and the ball cultural world.

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A quick thought or two on this Spirit Day

While I wrack my brain over how to write my next big post (okay, it might not be that big), I want to make note of something that almost escaped my mind:  Today is Spirit Day, which has been held the third Thursday of October every year since 2010.  It’s a day set aside for LGBTQ awareness and support, and was initially created in the wake of bullying and suicide incidents among gay youth.  Spirit Day is meant to honor the LGBT youth who, sadly, felt taking their own lives was the only option to end their hurt, and also to tell the LGBT youth of today who are bullied that there are those who are very supportive (the color purple is prominently used to deliver that message).

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Random stuff (10/15/2017 edition)

Just a couple quick thoughts to share on this Sunday afternoon.  First, as I noted in my post from Friday morning, I did indeed stay away completely from Twitter all day Friday. I did so as a show of support to the “#WomenBoycottTwitter” protest meant to highlight Twitter’s inequities in applying discipline in matters of harassment and safety among its users, especially in situations where women on Twitter were being harassed and Twitter did little or nothing to punish the misogynistic men that freely hurled the abuse.

So, how did it feel, you’re asking?  For me, of course, it felt somewhat liberating to be away from the 140-character universe.  Rather than read and scroll ad infinitum through my Twitter timeline (both my female and male accounts), instead I checked out my Facebook accounts.  Since joining Facebook this year, I’ve been rather conservative in my use of that platform (i.e. usually visiting it once or twice a day).  But on Friday, Facebook served as a nice substitute.  So did, Instagram, which Male Mode Me has an account on.  The nice thing about Instagram is that it lets the pictures do the talking, and just like one of those fidget spinners (the big fad of 2017), the photos can be so soothing, especially when it’s a nature or broad landscape photo.  Ahhh…

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Triplicate Person and the very long, very busy, very awesome Friday

Let’s start off this post with a quick comic book analogy, and before you think I’m a sci-fi/comic book geek, I’m not; it’s just that I read a quick blurb about this character a long while ago and felt they were apropos for this post:  In the DC Comics Universe, there is a character by the name of Luornu Durgo, a strange visitor from another planet (whoops, wrong character) where the natives had the ability to split themselves into three identical bodies at will.  Luornu Durgo used that that ability to overwhelm and fight evil forces, earning her the nickname “Triplicate Girl.”

Now, I imagine that Luornu Durgo could have used that multiplication ability to do other things… like, say, straighten up her house before guests came over to visit.  Or… I dunno, appear in three totally separate places at once.  Last week Friday, I had not one, not two, but three separate commitments occupying my entire day from pre-dawn to well past sunset.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to be there all at the same time, but just the same, I felt like I had that multiplying superpower.  Just call me [*insert powerful superhero music here*] Triplicate Person!

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