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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Happy Pride Month 2018!

320px-gay_flag-svgIt’s almost midway through the month of June and I’m way late into acknowledging the fact that this is Pride Month!  This, of course, is the month we in the LGBT community celebrate our community as a whole, display our true selves at various events, acknowledge the many figures and allies from around the world who have helped pave positive avenues for us as a community and as human beings, and to remember those in our community who left us too soon and who have handed us the (rainbow-colored) torch to hold high into the future.

I make that note of remembrance at the end of that paragraph in part to acknowledge this sad fact:  Two years ago this morning, 49 members of our proud LGBT community lost their lives in a truly senseless act of terror at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  It was heartbreaking to hear the news then. It’s just as heartbreaking to remember it now.  And it’s still necessary to remember the lives lost, for they dared to celebrate who they were and their deaths inspire us to stay resilient in the face of those who still desire to keep our community under their thumbs or out of sight entirely.

Despite the tragedies and difficulties and obstacles we still face as a community, it’s still important to celebrate who we are.  More importantly, we still need to celebrate how far we’ve come together… and, boy oh boy, we have come a long way, with positive representations in many types of media and with the assistance of a supportive generation who isn’t too quick to judge by sexual or gender identity, unlike the older, more conservative generations who only see us as a “sin”  Our community is talented, and we are deservedly valued and recognized for our positive contributions to society, no matter what letter of the acronym we fall under.

Not all of us will have the right and privilege to celebrate Pride Month this month.  Indeed, Green Bay (my old city of residence) will have their own pride celebration next month, while we in Madison will have our annual pride event in August.  But wherever you are and whenever you have the chance to do so, don’t be afraid to let your own rainbow shine.  Happy Pride Month, everyone!


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Allison’s #TryPod: “The Hilarious World of Depression”

Time for the last recommendation in my list of podcast programs that you should try out and enjoy.  Well, last for now, that is.  I say that because I’m not above coming back to this topic in the future and adding more entries, or at the very least add a list of “honorable mentions.”  And I’m definitely not above trying out something that you, the reader, are open to recommending, so hit me up in the comments section and offer your own thoughts and suggestions.

A bit of a caveat about this entry before you read on:  This recommendation deals with a usually dark subject.  And by pure coincidence, this recommendation comes at the end of a week (first full week of June 2018) that saw some pretty dark news that involves this pretty dark subject, as so succinctly summed up at this link.  You probably saw the last word in the title of this post and already feel skittish about hearing anything more about it.  But while I do hope you can hear me out (after all, this is technically a post about a podcast), I don’t blame you for wanting to hit the “back button” or “close button” on your browser or clicking on another post link.  So, if you want to do so, go ahead, because I’ll get into the subject matter after the jump. Continue reading


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Allison’s Jukebox: “Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way”

As I write this (Friday evening in Wisconsin), polls have been closed for a few hours in the Republic of Ireland, where citizens voted on a proposal that would amend the country’s constitution and allow its parliament (the Oireachtas) to relax the country’s strict laws against abortion.  Today’s vote comes three years after voters approved an amendment to permit marriage between two people “without distinction as to their sex”; it was also that same year that legislation passed allowing transgender citizens in Ireland to freely request a change in legal gender identification on government documents.

If early exit polls are any indication, today’s proposal will be approved by a sizeable margin of voters, just as the marriage equality amendment passed by a wide margin in 2015.  For a country where religiously conservative viewpoints have long held influence on society and laws, it’s sure seems that progressive attitudes are starting to take root in Ireland in the past 20 years or so.  But don’t think that Ireland had been a country where everyone had to strictly follow the edicts the Roman Catholic Church would pass down every Sunday regarding, say, what people should think, who people could love, or how people could express themselves.  On the contrary, for the Irish are a pretty progressive lot; it’s just that the laws of Ireland have taken some time to catch up to that fact.

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Taking notes would have been helpful back then

I want to share a thought or two that occurred to me today, and it peripherally has to do with a couple of tidbits about Alone: A Love Story, a podcast I recommended in my previous postAlone is an audio memoir written and narrated by Michelle Parise, and reading up about the show at this link, Parise mentions her penchant for writing down details about her life as soon as they happen.  She mentions that she’s has hundreds of journals in her possession, all carrying short story- and dialog-style details about her daily life.  It’s the details in those journals that allows Parise to bring out specifics about this and that in Alone.

Earlier today, I listened to an episode of another of my podcast recommendations, The Debaters.  By pure coincidence, one of the subjects put up for debate in that Debaters episode had to do with writing memoirs.  It was a debate (and a pretty funny one, of course) considering the reasons people need to write memoirs (to leave behind insights on life and the stories to back them up) versus refraining from doing so (they can be pointless and uninspiring).

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Some thoughts about IDAHOTB

You’re probably looking at the title of this post and wondering what those capital letters mean.  No, it’s not an amalgamation of Idaho and Tampa Bay.  (I mean, really now…)  Truth be told, this is a day that even I wasn’t aware of until I saw this tweet:

Naturally, my curious mind did some quick looking around and discovered the meaning of the acronym “IDAHOTB” on this specific day:  This is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.  The day was first recognized in 2005 as the “International Day Against Homophobia,” with recognition spread to include concerns about transphobia in 2009 and biphobia in 2015.

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Clearing the air(waves)

Unfortunately, some after-work matters kept me from joining in with some of my TG friends on something important earlier this evening.  I’ll start with introducing a word to you:  TERF.  Yes, it’s an acronym, and an unfortunate one at that.  “TERF” stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”  Or in layman’s terms, a TERF is someone who promotes and/or holds generally progressive views on topics that affect women, but would rather not include transgender females in the conversation.

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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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I am visible

It’s Saturday morning as I write this and I didn’t have any plans initially to add a new blog post today.  The reason is that today is International Transgender Day of Visibility.  For those of you still unaware of this day, TDOV is meant to celebrate trans people of all stripes, their accomplishments and well being; highlight the blockades of discrimination the worldwide trans community has faced and continue to withstand; and recognize those in our community and our allies who have continued the fight against trans discrimination.  If you’re wondering, yes, I have plans to venture out and be visible on this TDOV.  For starters, the trans/CD support group I’m part of has a meeting this afternoon, after which some of us will enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant.  Then, should time permit, I’m hoping to take part in a freeform open mic event at Mother Fool’s on Williamson Street.

So, yeah, my female side has a busy day ahead of her, and it’ll need to start with a long, hot shower to cleanse off this downer of a month for me professionally.  Still, I needed to share some thoughts on this Trans Day of Visibility on here because… well, it’s Trans Day of Visibility.  First, I want to share with you a blog post written this morning by someone I follow on WordPress who like me identifies as a crossdresser and member of the trans community, Hannah.  Her thoughts (and I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing them here) include the following:

“I fully believe that each time we leave the house and interact with people in the real world we have an opportunity and an obligation to show others that transpeople live in the community and not just in Hollywood. It’s a chance to show others, whether it’s the cashier at the mall, the barista at Starbucks or someone we pass in the store that we really exist, that we are real people and hopefully not as different as some might think we are.”

That paragraph from Hannah (and, again, those were her words, so credit goes to her for expressing them) really struck a chord in me.  For several years, Allison had been safely(?) ensconced in the online environment, venturing out into the real world only a couple of times, and only in a supportive environment, before hiding back home.  But in the past year-plus, I have stepped out of my all-too-crowded closet and have been visible.  Sure, most of that visibility has been in the friendly confines of a support group, but it has also been in public environments. Whatever the place and the circumstances, I have found that… I am visible.

When I step out of the house all dolled up… I am visible.

When I take that drive to and from that very supportive support group… I am visible.

When I’m still dolled up and I make a pit stop at the grocery store to or from the meeting, even if it’s just to pick up that gallon of milk or pint of ice cream I’ve been meaning to buy but hadn’t gotten around to doing so in male mode… I am visible.

When I’m at the McDonald’s drive-thru window after the support meeting to pick up a quick bite to eat, all because I didn’t eat before the meeting… I am visible.

When I’m enjoying a post-meeting dinner with my fellow trans sisters and brothers… we are visible.

When I’m marching en femme with my trans sisters and brothers, or joining other LGBT+ people in a pride parade or celebratory banquet… we are visible.

When I’m celebrating other trans people of any stripe, as well as any supportive cis ally or anyone in the broad LGBT+ community… I am visible.

When I get over my nerves about public speaking and present my poetry in person to a receptive audience… I am visible.

When I’m posting my own pictures, telling my own stories, expressing my own thoughts, or celebrating my own accomplishments (even if it’s just online)… it’s not a sign that I am vain.  On the contrary, it’s just me being visible.

Also, when I’m telling my own stories, and my trans sisters and brothers do the same… we’re standing up to those who wish to shun us into a dark corner so that we’re never seen again.  Nope, we’re staying strong and visible.

When the clerk at the supermarket walks past me and can’t help but say, “I love your outfit,” or that cashier at the McDonald’s window compliments me on my makeup or hair or outfit (and, yes, they have happened to me)… I am blushing over receiving a good word, and I am thankful that I am visible.

When someone online also compliments me on how beautiful they think I am… I’m just as thankful for their kind words as the fact that I am visible.

When someone gives me constructive criticism with their compliments… well, it’s words that I take to heart (though I try not to let those words pierce my heart), as their words are advice I should heed to present myself better in the future.  Whatever their words, though, it’s a moment that makes me glad I am visible.

And when someone who is not ready to come out to their family and friends — regardless of whether they’re gay or or bisexual or cis-gender or trans or gender non-conforming — and gains inspiration from how I present myself… well, first, I sympathize with them because I am not entirely out to the rest of the world (my family and work colleagues do not know about Allison).  But then I tell them that if or when they’re ready to do so, they will have more support then they thought they’d get, for there will be supportive avenues online and in their community.  It makes me thankful that I am visible enough to provide that support, and hopeful that when they are good and ready, they will live as their own, true selves… and become visible.

From myself to the countless fellow LGBT+ people around the world, specifically those in the broad transgender community and fellow crossdressers like myself, thank you for your own inspiring stories and displays of being yourselves.  Just as I may inspire future generations to be themselves, you’ve inspired me to be comfortable with both my male and female sides, and to express both sides to the supportive and accepting corners of Madison, Wisconsin, and the world.  Thank you for being visible, because you’ve inspired me to be visible as well.  Happy Transgender Day of Visibility to you all.


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Gingham trench coat

You may recall that earlier this month of March, I participated in another poetry reading as Allison.  That particular Friday night here in Madison wasn’t too chilly, meaning that the comfy winter coat I had just added to my closet would have been a little too much.  But then, it wasn’t anywhere near balmy, meaning a light jacket would leave me chattering my teeth on the walk from my car to Mother Fool’s.

But earlier that day, out of pure coincidence, I came across this College Fashionista article that gave a nice recommendation for the season:  Layers are a great way to combat the chilly air that always comes with late winter/early spring weather March forces upon us.  The article came with a couple of pictures of outfits featuring long coats.  Problem was, I didn’t have any long coat in my closet.

Luckily, I checked out of work a little early that Friday, giving me a little extra time to head down the road to Target to see if they had any long coats.  Thankfully, they did.

Who What Wear trench coat

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