May 2018 be a year of health, happiness, and much fun.
I wish you a very Happy New Year!
May 2018 be a year of health, happiness, and much fun.
I wish you a very Happy New Year!
Not much to say these days but I’m having fun.
Hope you are too!
For the first time in the history of my country, our despicable Prime Minister Trudeau will not be in the country to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
He may have forget but we will remember and we will NOT “take a knee.”
Please pause for a moment at 11:00 am this morning to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
After doing this website thing for 13-ish years …
I’ve decided to take a break from posting photos here on my site. I’ll try to explain why in another post in the near future but, for now, expect continued quick replies to email and social network messages.
I hope to write more, so also expect more blog posts going forward.
And you .. you keep having fun!
I’m always looking to get involved, to stay engaged. And for the longest time, I’ve wondered if this is an area where I can actually help others in some small way.
You see, while moving around the ‘trans web’ .. blogs, websites, chat rooms .. I see a lot of pain, a lot of carnage, a lot of well intended bad advice. We come out to spouses, kids, friends and work associates just as we’re told by our peers and things get ugly.
Yes, the rabbit hole is there but I honestly believe there’s a way around it for many of us without falling down the hole in exactly the same way as so many before us.
I have no experience with how therapists recommend we tell others about our deep dark secret because, it would appear, we only see a therapist after the damage is done, to help us pick up the pieces. In fact, I have no training in this area at all and bring nothing more to the topic than open-minded experience watching other’s pain and being a good listener and shoulder to cry on. .
In my opinion, the biggest lie propagated within the trans community is “If they love you, they’ll understand” ~ me
So what I’m proposing is to create a resource .. a website maybe .. with ‘best practices’ based on emotionless common sense and feedback from others. And ideally a section for blindsided spouses and family members to get practical info on why it happened and what to expect. Something for us to read .. to consider .. before we tell, and something for them to read .. to consider .. after they hear.
So as I mull this over in my head, email me your thoughts or comment here. Or better yet, send me YOUR advice .. the “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” from your angle. And if you know a therapist who might be interested in contributing, please let me know that too.
When it feels so right, it’s easy to become delusional about the way the world perceives us. This is often known as The Pink Fog, and doesn’t give us much of a chance to make it work. – me, again
The progressive uprising of the last 8 or 9 years has made us bold and demanding and has created fictitious monsters for us to blame for our pain but it hasn’t offered a path to happiness.
I’d love to be able to help with that.
The Toronto Police Service has long been a supporter and participant in the Toronto Pride festivities and parade. They even have a parade float.
But this year, they’ve been banned from participating. It appears the Black Live Matters folks felt that allowing the police to continue participating was contrary to their cause.
And the festival organizers agreed.
But there’s backlash. Several groups are backing out too in support of the police.
Pride Festival runs from June 1st to June 25th this year. And although my Pride festival attendance has been spotty at best recently, I will not be attending as long as BLM is in and the police are out.
I’ve long been a fan of t-girl chat. I met several people who have become real-life friends in trans-themed chat rooms. And they seem to be a good way to spend some quiet time, while keeping the “irons in the fire”, if you know what I mean, associated with somewhat like-minded people and those who appreciate girls with a difference. But that was then and this is now, and the world of trans chat has really changed. And it’s sad.
The Gender Exchange chat room on Alt.com is totally deadsville. I once considered this the pinnacle of chat but it’s barely limping along now.
The chat room at Urnotalone seems to have become just a shadow of it’s former self too. There was a time in the recent past when one out of every three people in the chatroom was a room moderator, and most of them needed moderating themselves. Now it appears, to me at least, that most of the “regulars” and persistent moderators are gone. But to where? These are people who, like me, seemed to “need” chatroom stimulation on a regular basis.
The chatroom that still seems to be surviving is TGTalk (or TGGuide, depending on the portal you use to get there) but it’s changing too. I’ve been using that one on and off for several since 2011 but only recently got any notice and seemed to be accepted into the clique.
It’s a heavily moderated chat room (and they just keep adding new moderators), which could be good, but sadly, the moderators are becoming less and less about actually helping to enhance the experience of the chatroom visitors and are more about the hard-ons they get from being authority figures. The rules are often silly and pretty extreme though well-intended, but for mods looking to flex their muscles, perfect.
I’ve recently gone to several of them privately for help coming to terms with negligent behavior of some of the other mods there, and I did it intentionally in a slight immature, childlike manner, yet they did nothing to put my mind at ease. The impact of breaking a rule seems to more that a mod was angered than it is about making another chatter feel bad. And the trans hierarchy that I’ve bitched about in so many other blog posts seems very much in effect when the mods determine who to reprimand and how strongly. “Trannier than thou”? Sad.
I even tried a pantyhose chatroom, Pantyhose Share Club, but found it difficult to stay since they seem okay posting photos sexualizing 10 year old girls wearing pantyhose as long as the photos didn’t violate child porn laws.
So, I need your help. Can you recommend a chatroom that isn’t slipping away and isn’t ‘run’ by a bunch of authoritarian ego trippers? Either posting a comment in this thread or contacting me in private with your suggestions will work.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to write here, and decided against it.
What’s going on the the US is so extreme I’m scared to death and don’t know what to say.
The only thing that I can offer is the thought that an election was held in a democratic country, someone won that election based on how elections have been decided since forever and a lot of people are unwilling to accept the results, even though around the same number of people voted for that result.
I’m heading to the US for an extended weekend but I have to tell you, it’s unnerving. Y’all are moving dangerously close to a civil war. And if that happens, everybody loses.
People on the left, Democrats, ‘progressives’, grow the fuck up. You had the last 8 years and now it’s their turn. And people on the right, don’t make things worse than they already are.
You’ve all got so much to lose.
Me? It appears I was a finalist in Glamour Boutique’s most recent Sexy Legs Contest.
Here’s a link to the winners and all finalists. I’m honored to be that group.
After being in “shush” mode for several months, and at the prompting of several people (“never shush, Seleena, ever!”) I’m now feeling like it’s safe to “speak” again. And, strangely, the US Presidential election is the catalyst.
No, I’m not a Donald J. Trump fan … quite the contrary … but, since the US election, I feel exonerated to some degree for my feelings about the hateful left. I now realize that I’m not alone in my disdain for them, or rather that my feelings might very well be shared by the majority, many of whom I respect immensely.
In my opinion, hatred and divisive feelings have grown exponentially in the last 8 years to a point worse than at any time my life and it weighs heavily on me.
I cherish nothing more than democracy, and the behaviors we’ve been seeing from the so-called “progressives”, especially post-election, indicate that a great many feel that democracy only works if their views rule supreme. Not exactly progressive at all.
It will take some time to undo the “thought police”, politically correct. my-way-or-the-highway society they were able to build in 8 years but the ‘undo’ has begun.
Even Oprah Winfrey gets it. (‘Gave Me Hope’ – ‘Everybody Can Take a Deep Breath Now’)
As I travel through life, disagreeing with more of my “sisters” than I agree with, please know that I would never want to change how you feel. I respect free thought too much to ever do that.
But in expressing how you feel, and hearing my feelings, it could very well indicate that we have little in common. And that’s okay too!
So Brexit has happened, a bit of a revolution has started in the US, and there are enough-is-enough rumblings along this line in France and Italy too. So in the near future, it just might be okay to come out of the repressed shadows with our own personal feelings without being labelled a hater. Though labelled I was.
I don’t need a community to hide behind. Millions have spoken .. the vast majority aren’t radical monsters or religious right extremists at all .. and my feelings of love and hatred have been validated. I will no longer be judged … for my age, my ethnicity, my nationality, my political views, how far down this path I plan to go, for how much of my time I spend in girl mode, nor where (and how often) I’m out in public, or how I choose to dress when I’m out there.
And a silly man in the US made it happen for me. Yikes!
So, have a nice life and I will too. And avoid my blog if it offends you.
It’s that time of the year again.
Tomorrow, on the 11th hour of the 11th day or the 11th month, I will pause to remember those who served this great country to keep us free.
Here is a touching video commemorating that sacrifice from a Canadian perspective.
Good advice .. from me to me. Just wish I would have heard that advice a little sooner. But avoiding the politics of life is just not easy these days.
So on that note, I haven’t had much to say here lately. But I think that’s okay.
Other that the upcoming visit from sweeties D and C (which I’m really, really looking forward to), I’m still laying low and staying in a world where smiling is easy.
Because smiling is important, isn’t it?
If this seems like the type of event that you might enjoy, plan now to attend and let me know you’ll be there.
This year’s event is September 14-18 2016 in Ogunquit Maine – “a beautiful place by the sea”.
I’m home from yet another fun Keystone Conference and thought I’d share my feelings on this one.
The Good: The weather in Harrisburg PA was almost summer-like. The drive, both ways, was nice and it was great to go out each night with just a light jacket or sweater.
Once again, the nice people at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel treated us very well. I booked a room on the Club Floor, as I always do, because of the little perks available up there and it was fabulous as always.
Friends! Got to hang with my best event friend Dianne. She’s made a marvelous recovery from back surgery and was rocking the heels once again.
My Kim and I got to spend a lot of time with our newest friends, D and C! Wanted to bring them home with us and keep them forever .. haha! … but instead we’ll just look forward to seeing them again soon. (I’d love to post a pic of Dea and I here but will seek her permission before doing so. Update: ‘Permission Granted”!! Photo below)
And that hot chick from Kentucky was there. It was a pleasure, and fun, to hang with Barbara Ann again.
I got to see Scarlett, from Scarlett’s Makeovers, again. Should have had her do my makeup but I didn’t. But I got the word that Scarlett’s Maine Event is on again this September. But more on that in another post.
The conference lunches in the ballrooms each day were fabulous. They just get better every year.
The dinner restaurant selection was excellent and the transportation to and from the various restaurants was wonderful. Carrabbas Italian Grill in Mechanicsburg, watchng the thoroughbred’s race while dining at Mountainview Restaurant at Hollywood Racetrack and Casino, and gourmet pizza at Bricco … enjoyed them all.
The Not So Good; Keynote speakers each day were almost intolerable for someone like me. Who do they think they’re talking to?
US politics was on everyone’s mind and discussing it was unavoidable. I understand the passion, but not the presumption that everyone there is bend in the same direction.
That feminization lady from New York (I won’t mention her name), who I had spoke so highly of in the past, was snotty to me. It appears we’ve gone from being on a first name basis to completely voiding eye contact. I can only assume it’s because I’m not viewed as a potential revenue source. Oh well. Everyone comes out of her makeup sessions looking like clones anyway. haha!
In Conclusion: I’ll very likely go again next year, but I suppose it depends on if my friends will be there. As much as I love this conference, I’m starting to feel as though this event, like most of the others, needs to work harder for someone like me if they hope to continue receiving my registration fees.
I need a keynote speaker to stand up there and tell us, without being patronizing, that it’s okay … no, more than okay .. it’s fabulous to NOT go full time and to NOT have surgery. To thank us for keeping our shit together while the few try to push their way into society via legislation.
But I’m going off on a tangent, aren’t I?
Keystone is a wonderful event. And, in my opinion, one of the best of the big ones. You should go!
Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. But it appears that I have little to say if I’m not bitching about someone or something.
A close friend (I’m not sure if I should mention by name here or not) recently sent me a her “memoirs”. The story of how her trans life began and how it progressed, and it was wonderful to read.
I had written something similar for an old version of my website but there’s really nothing here anymore to tell my story, and I think it’s more than a little unique. Maybe I should go down that path.
Or more about this beautiful/ugly transgender community …. the one that I’ve stopped trying to fit into.
Or sex! But that’s kinda hard to write about without making my darling or old playmates uncomfortable.
I’ll put some serious thought into blog topics while trying my best to avoid religion and politics, but in the meantime, if you can think of something I should babble about, please email me at the address on my Contact page.
As 2015 draws to a close, I thought I should comment briefly on a few things happening on my website as I close in my 9th year.
I’ve managed to stay on track through 4 versions of the site software without changing course too much. But what has changed is the amount of on-site interaction I get from you, as well as the amount of effort I have to put into things to keep the site away from the hackers.
I don’t know why I get the vast majority of feedback and comments via email instead of on the site directly but I’m appreciative for every comment, no matter how it gets to me. I mention this because I see a change. And yes, I know … blogs, in general, have moved from cool to boring. I get that.
But the hackers … dammit .. visit me way more than you all do! hehe! I have nothing financial on my site any more, and don’t require members to provide personal info beyond a username and email address. Yet the reason they want my site, and so many others, is so that they can use it as a spam host.
If successful, they will send out a guzillion spam emails before the web host realizes and shuts them down. And they’re not even interested in email addresses stored here; yours and mine. They have their own list and just need a previously-honourable server to send from.
So, your passwords now must be big ugly long things in hopes of making them unguessable. Your computer’s IP address is compared to a “ban list” before you’re able to log in and I manually compare the country new users claim to be from with the country where they’re logging in from to ensure a match or else I delete them.
Lots of work, really.
But I think my best options are:
I won’t ask for your opinion on this because .. well, you know. But I thought I’d mention this here to ask you for your patience when logging in, and ask that you report any issues you encounter to me in case I made a mistake while trying to repel the hackers.
On a personal note, my circle of friends is holding it’s own. Not growing, not shrinking. Some acquaintances, it seems, are not impressed by the way I present myself in a casual setting and it’s been mentioned to me twice in the past month. Both times it felt very judgmental. I have a couple genetic women friends who are also judged regularly when in public because they’re just not sloppy or plain enough for the no makeup, sweat pants and flip-flop crowd. Oh well. My real friends like me as I am.
Silly as it may sound, I’m okay being judged by the uninformed, or the religious, or up-tight public at large but I just can’t deal with it coming from within the community. So I wish them well but I disengage.
I’m going to miss the First Event conference in Boston in January because of a family commitment which I’m really, really looking forward to. But I’ll be at Keystone again this year in March. I don’t do casual well enough (lol) for the Spring Fling crowd so I’ll probably skip their May event. Yet Scarlett’s Maine Event in Ogunquit Maine will be a definite ‘yes!’.
My darling and I just might do another mega roadtrip across the US again. If I do, I’ll try to visit with a few of you along the way.
And finally, I looking forward to spending more time with my friends Pauline, Dianne and Dea. Let’s all put on our dancing shoes .. and not dance at all. hehe
2016 is looking like a fun year!
Happy New Year from my family to yours!
Once again, a tough year for the trans community.
But I’m unable to find the numbers to back this up as I have done in the past.
I had high expectations for increasingly accurate numbers going forward but the last tracking initiative’s website .. the one financed with Kickstarter dollars .. isn’t responding on the eve of TDOR.
Although my cynical nature tells me that many would rather hide the ugly numbers than publish results of a near devastating year for trans people, I have no proof of this. But GLAAD, who I personally believe has been the most honest and reasonable when reporting trans issues, has said that violent deaths of trans people in the US has risen 50 percent over 2014.
From the numbers I was able to find, Brazil is once again the leader in violent trans deaths. But it appears the US is next in the order. Mysteriously, Mexico, who was in the second spot, is not on the list at all this year
But as always, the 20-29 year old age range is the hardest hit group, and girls of colour were most at risk.
Some activists are stating that the number of trans murders hasn’t increased at all; it’s just that the reporting has improved. but what’s an activist going to say? That they suck at everything except patting themselves on the back? I honestly believe we take two steps backwards for every one step forward.
Jenner .. didn’t help.
The US Prez .. didn’t help.
Beck .. didn’t help.
Hollywood didn’t help.
Hate crime laws didn’t help.
Even Cox didn’t help.
And the LGB’s still want to disassociate themselves with the T. (I hope to discuss this further in a separate blog post)
Can’t blame them. We’re not very good at gaining acceptance. And when our sisters are dying at an increasing rate, we’re able to lay blame but are unable to feel remorse or responsibility.
Please take a moment today, to think about the transgender people who have lost their lives this year, often just because they were transgender.
UPDATE: 20th Nov 2015 11:45 am EDT
Better numbers are starting to appear for 2015. Here’s a table of what I was able to find. The good news is that Brazil is down to 96 from 154 in 2014 but sadly Mexico is up to 37 from 28 and the USA is up to 21 from 14.
As I do each year, I’ve once again chosen a video message for Remembrance Day 2015. Remembering those who fought for our freedom a century ago feels more important as the years go by, and as our society goes further down the dumper.
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. ~ Wikipedia
The videos is only 1:30. Please find a quiet time to watch it. And please consider joining me for a moment of silence at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
As many of you know, I’ve always enjoyed online chatrooms. It’s a way to keep a finger on the pulse of the trans community, can be relaxing, and unlocks opportunities to meet people from all over the planet.
It’s much more ‘immediate’ than email conversations yet not as invasive as one-on-one instant messaging. And for a wallflower like me, it’s often fun to ‘listen in’ on the conversations of others without feeling the need to become engaged.
So I thought I might provide you with a review on a few of the chatrooms out there. These are my feelings only, as of the fall of 2015, but are based on hours and hours of experience.
This is really where is all started for me. It’s where I found my ‘home’; the first place online where I felt truly comfortable. And back in the mid/late 2000’s it was a rockin’ room. I made several friends there that I’ve got together with in person and who I’ve stayed in touch with. Oh sure, there was drama .. many lost site of the fact that Alt dot com is a site for alternative lifestyles and would seem insulted or behave in a condescending way when kink was brought into discussions. But it was a hoot. Me, and several others, would live webcam while chatting. I met a fabulous couple from the desert southwest here and became friends for life! I also met the infamous “Man in Black” (from my video) there; we’ve dated, he’s visited me at Casa Seleena and we still stay in touch.
Sadly, the Gender Exchange room is but a shadow of it’s former self now. The interface is still crappy but the cohesive group is gone.
This was the first chatroom I ever experienced. Although it was fun to watch all the outgoing girls chat like they owned the world, I never really found a way into their clique. I deleted my profile and never returned for, like, a decade. And when I did, it felt much better.
But within a year of my return, the site was in peril and the founder announced it would be shut down. It was rescued in the 11th hour by someone who professed to have business experience but it’s been all downhill ever since.
It’s a shame because the Urnotalone name was known far and wide from retailers to surgeons and from newbies to the experienced to the working girls. But recently, discussion of URNA at trans events is met with scowls and frowns.
The chat interface on this site is one of the better ones but the user turnaround seems high and the ability to retain a core group of quality people seems elusive. Traffic moves between extremely slow and “I can barely keep up” busy. In my opinion, this one should have been allowed to die a dignified death instead of the slow, painful one it’s experiencing now.
A UK-based site where, unlike the others, it’s okay to be a non-full time, non-surgery seeking trans person. Overall, the girls here care more about their presentation, appearance wise, than many on the US-based sites where there’s a mindset that you can’t appear pretty and be a real trans woman. There’s only a handful on this site who are not from the UK and it seems we foreigners are all looking for an alternative to the aggressive, often mean-spirited demeanor common on “this side of the pond”.
My only complaint with ‘Chix” is the interface. Tiny text on my high rez screen and not easily resizable, eye strain is a problem for me. Oh, and time zones. I love chatting for a couple hours before bed at night and only the extreme night owls are still awake in the UK.
This is my current favourite. Although almost everyone seems to prefer conversing in private over publicly chatting in the chat room, and although the small screen text hurts my eyes, the kinder, gentler, sexier and the less judgmental UK crowd makes this one very cool. Side note: I need to attend a trans event in the UK in the near future. Maybe Sparkle.
My time on this one was very short-lived. The site that professes “We Are One” just felt so divisive, so wrong on many levels and the chatroom was Deadsville. The site is owned and managed by someone who, in their own reality, feels they’re a compassionate (“I’ve been there”) ally but who’s behavior and demeanor comes across as arrogant and controlling.
I had to laugh. At one point, she made a rule that no selfies would be allowed on her site. She found them to be low quality and low effort. But in all honesty, selfies are about the best many girls can come up with. Tight budgets and the need for discretion just makes it impossible for some to get elaborate or to hire a photographer.
The chat interface is nice, traffic is extremely low and, if you’re not into discussing surgery or hormones with a bunch of it’s-my-way-or-it’s-the-wrong-way geniuses, your time might be better spent elsewhere.
Wonderful people! Well, with an exception or two. Actually, someone there took an immediate dislike for me and it kept me from really becoming one of ‘the Sisters” but that’s okay. The sweetest personalities in the chat world might very well hang out in the ES chatroom .. lol.
I’ve had the opportunity to spend some in-person time with 4 or 5 girls, and a couple guys, who I met here and they’re as nice in person as they are online.
The chat interface is the standard Ning software and it works well. All in all, a low traffic chatroom that’s a great place to meet sweet girls and guys who are both fun and supportive.
This is Katie, from Frock magazine’s, website. Like the magazine, it’s slick, informative and geared towards a wide segment of the community. Good info, nice people, a great look but the chatroom is very underused. To the point where it’s almost not worth including here. With just a small handful of dedicated regular chatroom users who are mature, non-judgmental and reflect Katie’s classy philosophy, this one could be big, in my opinion.
But I continue to check in occasionally in hopes it comes to life but, so far, there has been no change.
Update March 1 2016: well I spoke too soon about that “classy philosophy”. I’ll tell you why I’m saying this.
I recently got an email from the website saying that someone had commented on one of my photos. The email contained a link to the comment. But when I clicked on the link, I was informed that only paid subscribers have access to that area. How can this be? It’s ~MY~ photo and I can’t see the comment? So I went over to their tech forums and asked the question. The forum moderator was very responsive and quickly explained that yes, only paid subscribers can see this. I understood what she was telling me but she proceeded, not once but twice, to try to make me feel like a cheapo for not paying the subscription fee. (I just can’t subscribe to every site and this one is definitely a low benefit proposition).
So I’ve deleted my account on Gender Society and have withdrawn my support for Frock magazine as well. The link to the current issue of Frock has been removed from my main menu. Sad, Katie. Very sad.
I’m not sure what exactly to call this one. I get to the chat site from TgTalk but I believe there are other front end sites too that all lead to the same place. So you may be familiar with this site by a different name. TGGuide is another way to get here, and there are others.
This one is actually a pretty good chat room. Lots of diversity and maybe a little less drama than average. The site rules, and the moderator’s who enforce them, are a little bit much for me but they’re trying to make the experience good for the majority so I won’t complain.
Average interface, average traffic flow and moderators who lurk invisibly while making sure that not only the person who committed the infraction is aware of their wrongdoing, but every user in every room sees a quoted rule flash across their screen.
All in all, a pretty cool site but, like tvchix, much of the chat goes on in private windows.
Added 12/30/15: I recently found this one. It’s technically not a trans site but since almost everyone there is into wearing pantyhose, it kinda fits the bill.
I struggle with this site. On one hand, the people are fabulous. Really nice, very non-judgmental and egos aren’t out of control. But the prevailing mindset is somewhat disturbing for me because the site is loaded with images that appear to be ‘borrowed’ from the web. I asked the site owner about this and she`s very unapologetic. She’s of the opinion that all images on the internet are fair game.
Although I go there often right now, I`m guessing I won`t pay or stay forever because of this. I just can`t accept that “because it was posted on the internet, I`m entitled to use it” mentality. But the site is so sweet because it’s the only place I’ve found where guys can talk freely about their need to admire and wear pantyhose. And the trans girls and genetic women who frequent the site are very supportive.
If nylon is your passion, maybe consider checking this one out. And if I’m in the chatroom, please stop by to say hi.
I know of no tgirl who feels accepted in the general meat market world of Adult Friend Finder. A few have “stealthed” their way into a few months of chat room fun but, for the most part, when their cover is blown things get ugly, and rightly so. Deception is always a bad thing.
And Crossdresser Heaven is the first and only site that makes my skin crawl. No, it’s not a chatroom but I still feel the need to mention it. It appears to be the brainchild of all that is wrong within the transgender hierarchy. They’re obsessed with the word “crossdress” and feature way too many photos of genetic women as headers for articles about trans stuff. They’re just not capable of using the word “dress” without putting “cross” in front of it. “Learn how to crossdress like a pretty crossdresser for a crossdressed date with a non-crossdressed guy who loves crossdressers.” I exaggerate but you get the picture.
To the vast majority of of us, we feel that we dress for a date .. we don’t say we cross dress for our date.
Sadly out of touch.
Chat rooms certainly aren’t for everyone. But while the majority of you are sitting on the couch watching television shows, I’m one of those girls who prefers to casually interact with other girls.
Give a chat site a try. You might actually have fun! And please say hi if you see me there.
If you have a favorite chat site that I’ve missed, please let me know. I’d love to join and eventually add to this review. Also, if your feelings on anything I’ve mentioned differ from mine greatly, please let me know.
I just got home from the first annual Scarlett’s Maine Event, and it was everything I dreamed it would be and more.
Centered at the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit Maine, the September 9-13 event is the brainchild of Scarlett from Scarlett’s Makeovers in Thompson CT. If you’ve been to any of the major transgender event in the US in the last several years, you’ve probably run into Scarlett. Okay, I may be overstating her attendance but she goes to lots of events. She’s a very talented, hard working makeup artist with a deep and personal understanding of the trans community and is an absolute pleasure to be around. She’s also gorgeous and can rock a fab pairs of heels.
This event is unlike many of the others because of it’s totally a la cart pricing. It was only $35 to register (goodie bag included with lots of helpful info, stuff and a very cool event pendant) and registrants pick from the list of add-ons according to their preferences and budgets. There are no bundled activities like so many other events where we invariably end up paying for things that don’t interest us.
The Meadowmere Resort is one of the largest resorts in the beautiful town of Ogunquit Maine. It’s a sprawling property with several interconnected buildings, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, bar and beautifully landscaped grounds. And the hotel was quite busy during our stay .. unusually busy, it appears, for that time of the year.
Dinner each night, for those who chose to dine with the group, were served at Jonathan’s; the fine dining restaurant on an adjoining property was not only conveniently close for those of us who like to drink and not drive but the food was fabulous! Salads, entrees and desserts were all totally yummy. A wonderful dinner for just a $40 add-on per night.
Efficient, attentive and personable wait staff too. I was able to chat briefly with Larry, the manager. (I hope my memory isn’t failing me regarding his name!) A classy guy, soft spoken, generous (he paid for our drinks the first night!) , very professional and quite happy to have us there.
Some of the add-on activities were:
Scarlett also brilliantly provided a hospitality suite at the Meadowmere complete with water, soft drinks, coffee and snacks so there was always a place to hang out.
Value related to the cost: Excellent. The complementary large continental breakfast buffet was great and meant most of us didn’t need lunch. And the event cost, with add-ons, was totally reasonable.
The Venue: Very good. The Meadowmere Resort is a wonderful hotel. Every staff contact I had was fabulous. My room and room rate was fine; the hotel property was meticulously maintained.
The City: Ogunquit is a very cool, artsy seaside resort. Think Provincetown but more elegant, less hilly, less expensive and less ‘in your face” LGBT friendly. Typical Maine architecture with lots of boutique shops and very few national chain stores. For $2, several trolleys on a circuit will take you to most of the cool places in town and bring
you back as well. Lobsters, fishing, boating, beaches. Everything you’d expect by the sea. Oh, and the Marginal Way .. a very cool hiking path at the edge of the cliffs along the seashore .. very picturesque and an easy walk on a paved path. (I did the entire walk in ballet slippers while carrying a heavy camera bag.) Ogunquit did seem like a very trans friendly town. No rude or even inquisitive comments at all for this girl, even though I rarely dress totally age or venue appropriate.
I felt like I’d been misplaced in the cosmos and I belonged in Maine.
– Terry Goodkind
The Attendees: Not as many attention whores, egomaniacs, party animals, shy newbies and seasoned veterans as one would expect. Yes, the ‘dance club girls” seemed to keep to themselves but everyone else was very easy to be with. And there was a relatively high percentage of spouses in attendance too. Always a good thing when Kim comes with me. But to be totally honest, this was one of the nicest groups of people I’m ever spent time with. I think it all stems from Scarlett herself. You know that old “birds of a feather” idiom? Well, sweet gravitates toward sweet.
Speaking of sweet, my sweetie and I felt lucky to have met (and fell in love with) a couple couples (lol) who we look forward to spending more time with in the future. But to be totally honest, good friends from Canada were there too so it would have been fine if we hadn’t connected with anyone.
Dining: The included continental breakfast at the hotel was very good while dinner each night at Jonathan’s was fabulous. I can’t say enough about the restaurant; it’s decor, the food and the service.
The Event: Very good. The day I arrived, it was very hot … mid 90° temps but it cooled off lots and the rest of the week was very comfortable. But honestly, this event was about the people.
From the keepsake pendant in the goodie bag to the Farewell Brunch, everything was nicely done. The Nubble Lighthouse Boat Cruise was a highlight for me as were the dinners. Did I mention Jonathan’s? haha!!
I regret not signing up for the Million Dollar Quartet at the Playhouse .. it’s a live theater musical about the night Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash all came together at a recording studio in Memphis for one of the most iconic jam sessions ever. Everyone who attended said it was fabulous!
Will I return to Scarlett’s Maine Event? Absolutely. Indications from Scarlett is that she plans to do it again next year and I’ll be there. I’ll also do my best to help spread the word once a date is confirmed. It’s the type of event many would appreciate.
I predict good things for this event and wouldn’t be surprised if attendance grows exponentially next year, as it should.
Scarlett’s Maine Event was that good!
I’m very excited today. After waiting a couple months, I was finally able to see the TED Talk that a friend in Los Angeles did back in April.
CiCi and I go back quite a few years. We’ve only been together once in the flesh but we used to spend lots of time together in a trans chatroom, back in the days when I webcammed lots in that chatroom.
CiCi and I can argue all day long about who was an inspiration to whom, and we did a little of that today when I messaged her online to congratulate her on the wonderful job she did with the TED Talk.
Anyway, she’s always been special to me, and if you’ll take a few minutes to watch her TED Talk, you’ll understand why.
A couple things have been on my mind so I thought I should write them down. Because, god forbid, I should forget them and be unable to rehash them over and over in my head ad nauseum.
First off, congrats to all the same sex couples pondering marriage in the US.! Finally! It’s unfortunate that this came down the way it did but it’s still a good thing .. kinda. Your country is even further divided now but as long as we’re on the side that “won”, we’re happy, yes?
I know many of you don’t see things this way but using the hashtag #LoveWins implies that someone lost. And, honestly, that’s not a good way to look at this. Celebrate, but don’t construct a loser.
Another thing I’ve been seeing lots lately in tgirl monologues; an increasing number of girls in my circle are once again referring to themselves in the third person. You know, “I went out as Jennifer“. Or “… it’s all about being Stephanie“. Or “they finally met Lisa“.
Seriously, unless you consider this a costume, you didn’t go out AS anyone. You are you, even though many of you sometimes present in girl mode or guy mode.
But I once went out as Batman. And no one took me seriously either.
And lastly, the whole Caitlyn Jenner thing continues to go down the path I predicted. Her net worth is increasing dramatically while she continues to make fluff transgender statements in her lingerie.
A few in the trans community have caught on, but the rest continue to ride her bandwagon. So I’m going to make another prediction. Emotional instability, or even worse, for Ms Jenner in the near future.
She still seems very uncomfortable with her new reality. It’s time for her to leave the public eye to internalize and reflect under the watchful eye of a good therapist.
But if you’re going to stay out there, please don’t speak on my behalf.
This is the coolest thing to happen in a long time. Not just what happened but how it happened is what makes it so perfect.
As you might remember, I’ve been a huge fan of Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss, the Irish drag queen who made that very passionate speech at the national theater of Ireland, the Abbey, that went viral. I wrote about that speech here in 2014.
My point at the time was that she seemed to have captured the hearts of both sides of the gay/same sex issues at a time when the Irish government was struggling.
She captured those hearts because she was eloquent, articulate, spoke from the heart, all while looking her prettiest. (Yes, appearance DOES matter.)
Legalization of same sex marriage became her mission and the end game played out via a referendum vote in Ireland on Friday May 22, 2015. It seemed she was making progress at the time but it wasn’t possible to know just how much progress she was making.
Oh sure, there are many heroes in Ireland right now as everyone celebrates but Ms Bliss ranks at the top of the list, in my opinion.
The Irish movement did it with charm. With personality. With poise. By sincerely allowing everyone a peek into the heart and soul of nice people in an oppressive culture.
And they did it with humility and without demonizing those who didn’t understand.
When the referendum results were announced, it brought a tear to my eye to see Ireland join my country (and others) in acknowledging that love knows no gender.
Here’s Panti’s speech again:
America could learn from this. Calling out the ‘other side’ as monsters, and trying to hide behind the same constitution so many are willing to trash just isn’t working, and y’all know it.
Charm often works better than muscle in changing societal perceptions. It’s not about intelligence, university degrees, high priced lawyers or a heroic past life.
In my opinion, if I can get you to like me, you’re very likely to support me. And being liked by those who already support the cause is of little value in moving things forward. Being perceived as likeable to those who don’t support is paramount to getting things done. Keisling, Boylan, Beck, Jenner, et al. need to understand this.
Bravo Ireland! As I’ve always said, first we change societal opinion; then we create the laws to protect those changes. It just doesn’t work the other way.
A recent comment from a friend got me thinking. I know .. I shouldn’t do that.
She was bewildered about how she’s treated when visiting a particular city. You know, the “sinful” city in the US desert southwest. I’ll paraphrase her comment. “I get all dressed up, makeup, hair and they refer to me as “sir”. Back home, I do much less appearance prep and am most often referred to as “ma’am”.
I’ll separate out the part of her comment that related to “dignity and respect” because I find that particularly troublesome, and will address it later.
But for now, I think most of you would agree that gender perception is a basic human function and doesn’t change when entering a particular city limits. Yes, some people will “make” us and will address us as the ‘wrong’ gender to be insulting or to show disapproval but, for the most part, I don’t think people put that much effort into a casual, public encounter.
I wanted to tell her to just look in the mirror. When moving outside our normal circle, it’s not uncommon that we do things differently. Behavior and appearance often change to suit what we determine are the circumstances. Look .. in .. the .. mirror. It’s all there.
But what do I know? I learn by observation and work hard to be addressed as the gender I appear but have no delusions that I’m fooling anyone, and am okay with being referred to by the wrong pronoun. And frankly, being “ma’am’d” when I’m in guy mode would just never happen to me.
And to her comment that being called “sir” failed to treat her with “dignity and respect”, this attitude, in a nutshell, it’s why we continue to struggle for acceptance. We need to “get real” if we expect others to take us seriously.
People are visual creatures but their abilities are not so well honed that they can see the gender we feel in our hearts. For that, we need to provide some solid visual clues. And accept responsibility when we fail to do that.
I think I’ve been a Facebook person since 2007 or 2008, and although very little surprises me in life, my own reaction to Facebook continues to confuse me. I know what I should do, yet I find it so difficult.
First off, social media has evolved into a place where seeking ego massages or “preaching to the choir” is the reason most belong.
I suppose, in life, we all tend to congregate with those who’s view we share but if you’re looking for support for your cause, only a coward would ask for support from those we already know support us. Does that make sense?
For example, let’s say I’m an advocate for the better treatment of animals. Would it not make sense that I should plead my case to a group who might be known for poor treatment of animals? Let’s face it, pleading my case to the SPCA is a waste of time, since they already share my feelings. And continually showing the SPCA folks how badly animals are sometimes treated serves no purpose (they already know) except to possibly throw their views of life out of balance.
Likewise, if it’s about politics, go to the other side to try to obtain support; to possibly convert someone from an opposing ideology instead of whining continually to those who already share your views.
If you feel that a particular politician is an idiot, tell him! Tell his followers! Discuss! Argue! But telling those of us who already feel that way just adds a ton of negativity with no chance for meaningful discussion that could possible change opinions.
PREACH TO THE CONVERTED (THE CHOIR) – Propound an argument to people who already support it. ~ phrases.org
So why am I telling you this? Well, social media, in general, and Facebook, in particular, has become a bit of a downer for me, mainly for the reason I just mentioned. I just ran out of tolerance for hearing the same cowardly complaints, over and over again, directed at the wrong audience.
So I started looking at my Friends list and found that I had almost never “unfriended” anyone but rather kept them as friends yet “unfollowed” them, thereby not seeing anything they post unless it’s in direct response to something I, or another “followed” friend had posted. Quite cowardly, isn’t it?
Because those who continually make your day unpleasant are really unlikely to be someone you’d want to spend time with .. online or in person.
Maybe I’m just too pragmatic. But your need to vent doesn’t trump my need to smile. Unless you’re a close friend.
Then I’m here for you.
Yep, there are more than a few metaphors that warn of the same hazard. My grandma used to say that “if you play with the bull, you’ll get the horns”. And there’s lots of truth in that.
I’ve blogged in the past about how “indifference” is our friend, and how backing someone into a corner to where they’re forced to take a side is rarely a good idea. But feel compelled to rehash the same old story.
It’s been said that 80% of the world thinks similarly about the basics of life. Ten percent think on each of the extreme ends of the spectrum. And they’re, of course, the most vocal. I tend to believe the ratio is more like 90-5-5.
And we, as social creatures, tend to like to feel part of a group and therefore are easily coaxed onto a bandwagon. Push something … anything .. in our faces and we feel the need to react, and the bandwagon seems safe.
I’ll give an example. Many of us eat meat yet prefer to remain blind to how that meat is produced. To us, meat just magically appears at the grocery store and we’re happy with that. Yes, we have an distant idea how the animal was raised, how it was slaughtered, it’s “feelings” or lack thereof … and we’re content. Some choose to avoid animal products and others are content using or eating them, and this issue isn’t stressing society.
But force us spend some time on a ranch or at a slaughterhouse and our feelings will likely change. We’ll either be more appreciative of the meat on our plate or we’ll be repulsed by it. But we’ll almost certainly move from the comfortable 80 percent.
I think the same thing applies to sexual orientation and gender identity. And yes, I do know they’re not connected.
Should two guys be allowed to get married? The 80 percent would say “whatever works for them” but force someone to watch romantic displays of affection or that couple’s private sexual moments and most would fall out of the 80 percent. Some would say “it’s sexy and beautiful!” and would become proponents while others would find it repulsive.
In my opinion, the same is true with issues of race, religion and trans issues, to name a few.
But, contrary to the approach most of my activist friends are taking, I believe it’s important to keep that 80 percent right where they are .. in the zone of indifference. They don’t embrace but they are tolerant. Yet we get on the bandwagon at very opportunity to push our issues to the forefront. The latest move in this direction is the Planet Fitness story, and it’s damaging and further polarizing society.
It was an isolated incident at an isolated location, and was dealt with however that particular company chose to deal with it. It didn’t deserve a national spotlight. But pushing it there was like poking the bear. People who would have happily existed in the indifferent 80% are now referring to us as “freakazoids” and worse. And we are belittling them for it.
Can anyone suggest a single occasion where belittling an opponent has won a battle? Does this foster the “live and let live” atmosphere that’s so important to our safety?
But the biggest problem I have with this is that the bullshit that’s rampant in other parts of the world is now starting to infiltrate my beloved Canada. For many decades we have been very tolerant and forward-thinking, even though most of our US friends would never acknowledge this.
We have a reasonable,welcoming immigration policy, healthcare for all and have acknowledged same sex marriages federally for more than a decade. Our “red necks” are barely pink. Yet we now have a senator who has proposed an amendment to a non-discrimination bill (Bill C-279) that would, in fact, discriminate against trans women (not trans guys.. only trans women) as it relates to bathroom usage. And the proposed bill didn’t die immediately.
This would not be happening if we took better care of the 80 percent. Nor would it have happened ever 5 years ago.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. First you change the culture and then you introduce legislation to protect that culture.
Damn you, America, and damn you, activists! By attacking and belittling those who don’t yet understand, you’re setting us up for a battle we can’t possibly win, and you’re making the world a more hateful place by drawing a line in the sand.
Forget about changing society for a moment. Think small. Think about your own family and friends. You want and need their acceptance, yes? So how do you go about gaining that? Do you quote legislation? Do you impose new ules? Do you call them bigots? Do you belittle them? Do you call them intolerant?
One last quote from grandma .. “you’ll catch more bees with honey than you will with vinegar”. Yet y’all continue to spew vinegar and continue to poke the bear.
I just hope it bites your tranny ass and not mine.
Here I go again … seeing the world from a totally different angle than so many of my peers. Tell me you think I’m wrong but please don’t hate me for my opinion.
The bandwagon is once again overloaded. Since the news that Bruce Jenner might be transgender hit the tabloids several months ago, much of the trans community has been piling on. Wishful thinking, maybe, that having an all-American guy transition would be as good for the transgender movement as it was when a US Navy SEAL went public.
But this one is very, very different. Jenner is part of a group of attention whores who, unlike the Olympic Decathlon gold medal winner himself, have little reason to be in the spotlight at all.
Now, honestly, for most transitioning there is an awkward stage. It’s that time when the male existence has been left behind yet the female appearance, with help from hormone or surgery, just hasn’t kicked in yet.
Most who transition with dignity keep a low profile at that awkward time if they have the financial means to do so. Emotional transition may have occurred but appearance wise, we’re somewhat in between. And to be honest, it’s a time when we are least likely to gain the compassion of the uninformed..
So Jenner, who likely has access to funds and image management we could only dream of, takes the long road to transition. No disguising girly look. Just facial hair removal, a trachea shave and nail polish .. and the tabloids likely had a field day searching for, and publishing, only the weirdest photos they had access to.
Let’s face it. Bruce Jenner was handsome guy, and, post transition, you can be sure she will be an attractive woman, but that time in between is, dare I say this, unsettling to the mainstream eye.
In my opinion, by the way Jenner is handling things, I get the feeling that this is just as much about greed and money as it is about moving on with life as her true self. And here’s why:
But it all came off the tracks. The photos circulating are very unflattering and appear to be of a person who is not moving from male to female but who is struggling to find a place somewhere in the middle. And with a very uncomfortable scowl that reeks of tension; not someone who is happy to finally be true to themselves.
Those of us who have had friends transition know the “glow” that suddenly appears when the emotional bridge has been crossed.
The cruel, demeaning online comments about his “secret” situation are outnumbering the non-judgmental by 100 to 1 (my best estimate, of course).
So am I judging? I suppose I am, because in the world of Cox, Mock, Beck, Prakash, Pejic et al, this was the big one. The one that, if simply done with the respect and dignity almost all of us seek, could have not only opened the door but ripped the door of it’s hinges. And instead it will become a circus that will invariably make some wealthy person even lots wealthier, while the rest of us will appear to the general public to be even freakier than we are. *winks*
As I write this, news has just hit that Jenner has been involved in a motor vehicle crash that has taken someone’s life, quite possibly while being followed by trans-celeb-chasing paparazzi. OMG.
So, in closing, rumour has it that Bruce will be using the girl name Caitlyn or Kaitlyn. In the Kardashian world where every woman has a first name that starts with the letter “K” , would anyone like to bet that Ms. Jenner will choose the “K” version of that first name?
If you want to be supportive of Jenner in transition, I’m cool with that. But don’t give me any bullshit about it being good for the trans community. Because, in my opinion, it’s not.
Bruce Jenner was a Gold Medal Winner in the 1976 summer Olympics held in Montreal
Laverne Cox is an American actress, reality television star, television producer, and LGBT advocate
Janet Mock is an American writer, transgender rights activist, author
Kristin Beck is a former United States Navy SEAL who gained public attention in 2013 when she came out as a trans woman
Padmini Prakash has become India's first transgender to anchor a daily television news show
Andreja Pejic is a transgender Australian model of Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb ethnicity.
Just got home from First Event in Waltham MA and thought I’d share my thoughts on the event.
This year’s event, presented as always by the Tiffany Club of New England, was the 35th annual and was held on January 21-25 at a new venue – the Westin in Waltham MA on the western edge of Boston.
My darling Kim came with me to the event. We decided to leave home for Boston on Tuesday but stayed Tuesday night in Auburn since it wasn’t possible to get an extra day at the Westin. Some of you who have visited or ordered from the Glamour Boutique’s TG Fashions might be familiar with Auburn Massachusetts.
So we arrived at the event hotel early on Wednesday. The hotel was quite impressive and checkin was very professional and smooth. Undergound parking, very nice room, very elegant lobby and smiling staff.
Although parking and internet are usually at additional cost, both were free to those attending First Event.
On Thursday, after a rather pricey but fabulous breakfast in the hotel restaurant, I hit the event registration desk to get my name tag and event program before spending time socializing with friends in the hotel lobby area. Also had a wonderful chat and a couple glasses of Merlot with my friend Samantha in her hotel room.
Event registration wasn’t easy to find and was not exactly efficient but was relatively friendly.
On Thursday night, we were off to Club Cafe in downtown Boston using provided transportation. The trip to the club took us down Boylston Street and the site of the marathon bombing.
Buffet dinner and Merlot was good and the drag show, featuring Judy Garland and Bea Arthur impersonators was very well done but I’m not sure how well suited it was to our crowd. I stayed for the entire show but many left early. Community Service Awards were presented prior to Ms Garland to Jennifer Levi, the GLAD Transgender Rights Project and to John Warrener, the founder of The Glamour Boutique.
Back to the hotel .. drinks in the bar! And a rather late night.
Friday was a shopping day. After a quick breakfast and lots of coffee, I visited Hera at the Klymaxx Unlimited spot in the vendor area. I bought some fabulous bling and Kim bought a very cool handbag. I should have bought the glitter clutch purse.
Friday night dinner was an oriental buffet at the hotel in the ballroom. It was excellent, and was followed by the fashion show. Now, I’ve been to, and have participated in, fashion shows before but this one was the absolute best ever. Great music and dynamic commentary, an awesome runway, a fast pace and gorgeous models.
To the other events that do fashion shows, consider learning from this one. It was that good.
My friends Samantha, Stephanie and Lauren participated and all did a wonderful job.
After the fashion show, we went for drinks in my friend Pauline’s room. More vino and it was wonderful, and the conversation was a lot of fun!
After a late breakfast on Saturday, I did a little more shopping. Bought a very high quality, “gently used” pair of oxblood Italian heels from the Tiffany’s Closet fund raising shop for $15 .. my bargain of the year. Enzo Angiolini’s are typically sold at finer department stores and these have barely noticeable wear similar to a store demo pair. Not exactly sky-high stilettos .. they’re just under 4″ .. but they’ll be fabulous when I have to be on my feet all day.
Spent most of the day chatting with friends around the hotel. Finally got to meet a girl I’ve been chatting with on and off for a decade. Melissa is a sweetheart and I finally got to give her a hug in person.
I also got to meet someone I only recently started chatting with online. Sara is a stocking lover like me and is totally gorgeous.
Saturday evening was the gala. The ball. The big event. And it was wonderful! Hors d’ouvres, good wine, a nice dinner (I had the chicken and it was good. Sorry beef people .. lol), the best keynote address I’ve ever heard (you can read about Wayne Maines here) and the fab jazz group, Dale LePage and the Manhattans, were there after dinner for dancing or listening.
But what impressed me the most that night was how everyone looked and behaved. The evening was to be elegant and everyone looked elegant. It was the first time I ever felt that everyone made the effort to look they’re best. And it does something to the air. The vibe just feels so right, and it was a fitting way to conclude a wonderful conference.
In summary, I wish I had made the effort to attend this event in the past. In my opinion, it was one of the best events I’ve ever attended. A good value, the volunteers are efficient and nearly invisible, the organizers weren’t all about patting themselves on the back, the best keynote speaker ever, and all in a very, very nice hotel.
According to my friends who attended many seminars, the seminars were also very good.
From the comments made by organizers both online and in Waltham, there was 500+ in attendance over the 4 days although it seemed that just under 400 were at the gala. Huge growth over previous years.
And lastly, one more shout out to the Westin in Waltham MA. The hotel is beautiful, staff were excellent, no waiting for an elevator, great event room rate, wonderful restaurant. The bar was cool too but it was a little difficult to get a drink at times, especially on the final night.
They made us feel very welcome and even posted on the event Facebook page prior to the event, to tell us they were looking forward to our arrival as well as to thank us when the event was over. Very classy.
Grace, Andrea and crew … you ladies rock.
Well, I’ve done it again. Made more changes to my website.
Something happened several months ago that caused things to not work as designed so the best remedy seemed to be to just redesign from scratch.
I think the previous version looked a little better than this new one but this is more functional.
Hope you like.
When we meet or see someone we know someone in person, do we address them by name? I think so.
Yet online, so many don’t take the time. I get emails that start “Hello,” or “hi”. No “Hello Seleena” or “Hi Bimbo”.. hehe.
I paid good money for this name, and would like to get my money’s worth! ~Seleena K
I’m not a grammar snob or an etiquette freak but not calling me by name makes everything that follows seem very impersonal and insincere. Kinda like you have a whole bunch of template emails and instead of communicating with me specifically, you use copy-and-paste.
If I’m guilty of doing this and making you feel that way, please call me on it but I have a feeling you won’t find many examples.
Does anyone else feel this way?
I’m not a hateful person .. I’m really not. It’s just that as the years go by, things start to become a little clearer for me. As the clock continues to wind down on this bimbo, I realize that ideals are wonderful but they don’t count for much when the rubber hits the road.
My so-called liberal-progressive friends grab on to the Transgender Day of Remembrance concept, turn up the drama and milk it for all it’s worth. And it makes me crazy.
For those of you who may not be aware, The Transgender Day of Remembrance is “celebrated” every year on November 20th. It’s a day to memorialize trans people who died violently in the previous year, simply for being trans.
But let me back up just a little. One death is too many deaths. This is indisputable. And, yes, memorializing those who’s lives were taken simply because they were trans might be an honorable thing to do. But in the ideological mind, there is no desire or need to understand the tragic data. To them, there’s a very high-level, abstract feeling in the concept, so they run with it.
My mind just doesn’t work that way. Partly because I’m analytical and partly because I feel responsible for my own safety. I need to understand the risks to me and to those close to me, and to do this, raising a flag and making a speech to raise awareness falls horribly short.
Were these murders committed on my street? I’m my town? In my country? And were the victims cautious folks who avoided dangerous areas and risky behavior? Who killed them? Friends? Family? Strangers? “Clients”? And why? I don’t need to know how they died. “Skinned alive”, “shot 3 times in the face”. Even the most humane termination of life for this reason is horrific to me. But for those so inclined, knowing how it happened does help feed the drama.
Maturity starts, when drama ends. ~ Melchor Lim
This is where I get accused of “victim blaming” but that’s not what I’m doing.
No one deserves to die! There are no actions or lifestyle choices that put the blame on the victim. I’m just trying to understand what went so horribly wrong so I can try to protect myself and do my best to guide others away from danger. Do I need to live in fear each and every day of my life or can I feel reasonably comfortable by knowing what places or behaviors to avoid and what the danger signs in others might be?
This year’s sad number is 268. 268 transgender murders were reported worldwide. One can only assume the number is higher since gathering numbers for the whole world is something even the WHO struggles with.
But let’s talk about the data. Or better still, let me explain the detail I was able to find.
My country, Canada, is usually not on the list at all but this year was the exception. Two trans women were murder in 2014 in the same city – Edmonton. Ironic side note here: One of the reported victims was described as a very prominent drag queen. Most of the trans community doesn’t normally consider drag queens as trans folk but when the opportunity presents itself to bump up the stats, drag queens suddenly become trans folk.
But does anyone care about the 154 Brazilian’s who died unnecessarily? “Of course! We care about everyone!” says the bandwagon, but posting an ‘in memoriam’ photo, attending a flag raising or expressing sadness (sniff, sniff) in the social media world does little to help the 150-ish Brazilian trans folks who will likely die before the next Day of Remembrance.
Please, bandwagon people, let’s work on real, substantial ways to end the bloodshed in Brazil, Mexico and the United States, for starters. I don’t want to be memorialized on November 20th and I’m guessing you don’t either.
As the years go by, our appearance changes. Sometimes the change is barely noticeable and sometimes it’s a little more dramatic.
I keep feeling like the years are not being kind to me but when I look back at photos that are 10 or 15 years old, I become aware that I really haven’t changed all that much.
I have a few age lines, very few actual wrinkles but the thing that has bothered me a little for the last few decades are my jowls. That droopiness in the cheeks beside my mouth.
I had read about how to minimize the look of jowls, had discussed it with a makeup professional and learned the basics of using the medical tape solution. But getting the effect “just right” was always a challenge.
So at a recent conference I attended, the topic came up in casual discussion. A friend (thanks Cynthia!) recommended a product called Secret Lift so I thought I’d give it a try. “Easy to use and very adjustable” she said.
Her suggested supplier was Cosmesearch. Upon investigating, I discovered they had two versions. The “original” and the “pro” version. I ordered the original, and in a shade for those of us with dark hair.
Secret Lift is basically two elasticized face-lifting bands with barbs on the ends and a hook to connect both sides and a bunch of adhesive tapes with a hole for the barbs. There is also a single lifting band for the neck.
While looking at yourself in a mirror, place your index fingers on your cheeks just in front of your ears and gently push your cheek back or up. Note the effect. Move your fingers up and down, forward or back and watch the changes to your overall face. This is basically what Secret Lift does.
I spent a minute or two trying to determine my sweet spot while looking in the mirror. That sweet spot is the spot on my cheek that will give me the most flattering look when pushed back a little.
Once I found that spot, I wiped the area with rubbing alcohol to remove any lotions or skin oil that might negatively affect the adhesive tapes. Before attaching the tapes, I pushed the barbed end of each of the two lifting bands through the small hold in the tab part of the tape. Next I peeled the backing off the tapes and pressed them to my face in the spot I had previously determined to work best. Getting the tapes in the right spot with the lifting band attachment tabs pointing in the right direction wasn’t easy for me and will likely become easier with practice. I think I was very close on my very first attempt.
As instructed, I pressed firmly and rubbed the tapes for 30 seconds. I didn’t connect the lifting bands together to attain the lift just yet. Instead I went ahead and did most of my makeup. When I was almost done, I pulled the lifting bands together at the top of my head and noted the effect it had on my face.
Pulling too tight looked gave my face a stretched look; not tight enough minimized the effect, but somewhere in between I found the right amount of tension.
Wig cap, wig over the lifting bands and a quick touch-up to my foundation and powder and I was all set.
How did I look? I looked marvelous! It really did knock a few years off my appearance!
The manufacturer’s short instructional video can be found here.
Now I didn’t go into great detail about the lifting band connection but suffice to say the bands are easy to connect and there’s a lot of adjustment.
The kit also contains a lifting band for a neck/jaw lift. I’ll try that at some point too and will report back to you on it’s benefit.
That first day, I wore Secret Lift for about 5 hours and was mostly indoors in a very controlled climate. The next time I used it was while attending an outdoor garden party. It was a very warm day and I was outside into the evening; about 9 hours in total, and the bands stayed where I put them and there was no issues with the adhesive.
I removed the adhesive tabs when I got home and they had been quite kind to my skin.
The cost of the kit was around $20 including shipping from their Amazon checkout. The kits included three lifting bands (two for the face and one for the neck) and 40 adhesive tapes. So that’s 20 wearings when using it for the face only. Tape refills are $12.95 for 40.
Although the product sheet shows women with their hair pulled back wearing Secret Lift, I can’t comment on how detectable the adhesive tapes would be. But for a shaggy, hair-in-the-face girl like me, no one would have ever suspected I was wearing it. And it’s comfortable. After 10 minutes, I really wasn’t aware it was there working it’s magic.
Just how perceptible was my overall change created by Secret Lift? When I came down from my makeup room, my darling spouse raised her eyebrows and gave me a “wow! You look fabulous!”
As you may already know, I truly believe that without the heroic efforts of those who fought and continue to fight, both then and now, we would not have the freedom that exists today.
And I know that many of you out there honestly think we’ve always gone to war chasing “the boogie man”.
But on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, I’ll put my right hand over my heart and observe a moment of silence. Because it’s Remembrance Day here in Canada. And I believe it’s important.
Here is a video tribute to those Canadians who gave so selflessly of themselves. Please take a few minutes to view it.
Thank you to Jonathan Wagner – WagnerMedia.ca for the beautiful piece.
And lastly, a small crowd spontaneously singing our National Anthem at the Canadian War Memorial where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot by a masked terrorist less than a month ago.
The last few years have brought about some changes in the world of transgender conferences. And it’s a little concerning to those of us who enjoy attending this type of event.
After 10 or 15 years of status quo, the first thing to shake the tree was the disappearance of the Be-All conference in Chicago. Although where were rumors of infighting and mismanagement, most of us will never know why the management team decided to call it quits.
Most recently, the Southern Comfort Conference organizers announced they’re moving the event from Atlanta to Weston Florida in the Fort Lauderdale area. It was no surprise, really, that changes were necessary but I always thought the location was the best thing about SCC. I loved that hotel!
When I was there in 2013, the only three ‘seminars’ that even remotely appealed to me were all cancelled on the ‘day of’, and it seemed we were in charge of making our own fun. Generally speaking, I came away wondering what exactly I had paid for. My response to a request for post-event comments was met with hostility because I had negative observations and no suggestions for improvement. Improvement, for me, is to stop giving them my money.
The organizing team are presenting positive attitude after announcing the change but we all know they must be concerned. In spite of some pretty decent media coverage, the move isn’t being very well received except by those who live in Florida.
Gal’s Spring Fling, here in Ontario, might also be on the chopping block. The organization of the event is in the hands of a single person who seems to have lost the energy to continue. Time will tell but I would expect an announcement in a few months.
From my observations, it appears that Keystone Conference, First Event, Colorado Gold Rush and Erie Sisters Gala are all doing well and growing. Although there are many other events, I can’t comment if I’m not aware of them.
Fantasia Fair is a big question mark for me. Although it appears to have very loyal attendees, the clique and attitude is best suited to the mature transgender to the extent that young trans folk might not feel welcome.
It appears they’re struggling to find a suitable location in Provincetown to accommodate current attendee numbers for their Saturday night gala so maybe growing the numbers isn’t desirable. But who will be there, in the not too distant future, when the small and aging crowd can no longer attend?
So, in summary, I have to wonder if large, all encompassing transgender events have run their course. Back in the days when most of us were forced to remain stealth, getting together occasionally with like-minded spirits was huge. And that enormity was a motivator for organizers. These days, with Girl’s Night Out’s and Pub Nights happening monthly in many areas, the need for large gatherings has lessened; similar, maybe, to the effect that small casinos have had on Las Vegas.
Please, Keystone organizers … don’t change a thing!
For those of you who are not aware, Fantasia Fair is an annual transgender event held in Provincetown Massachusetts. It’s the longest running trans event in the US, possibly the world, and it celebrated it’s 40th anniversary this year.
I attended the conference once again in 2014 (my 5th) and had a fabulous time as always. But reflecting on my time there, I have to admit that my enjoyment came more from the town and the time I spent with friends than it did from the actual event.
So what has changed? Did I change or did the event change? A little of both, I suspect.
I’ve changed in that I expect more for my event dollar than ever . Or more accurately, although I’ve always felt that financially supporting events like this is a good, honorable thing to do, I’m feeling like an outsider who’s enjoyment is on no one’s mind. The kumbaya stuff from years ago means little to me now and seeing a handful of new introverted girls “blossom” has lost it’s shine.
**** And due to the “wedge” that still seems to exist due to a persistent “I’m more trans than you” hierarchy, I’m just not comfortable financially supporting an hugely unbalanced itinerary. I felt this at Southern Comfort Conference and I felt it at Fantasia Fair. It cost me the same to attend zero seminars as it did the person who attended them “all”. ***
But the event has changed too. In my opinion, it’s gotten a little more cliquish than it was, and has lost a lot of it’s youthful vibe.
Side note in this regard: Online warnings prior to the event about the hazards of wearing heels in P-town felt excessive. No matter how good the intentions of the ‘flats-only’ preachers, the vast majority of the tgirls out there and potential attendees love their heels. Yet rather than provide advice on how to make high heel wearing work on the streets of Ptown, the official word was “don’t” – you’re foolish if you do (I paraphrase). Talk about scaring away potential newbies and making the heel-wearing crowd (me, included) feel self-conscious!
Fan Fair spends way too much time honoring someone (usually themselves) and not enough time with the peons who pay the bills and quietly attend looking for a fun time.
But on a positive note, the lunches were excellent and the (provided ) dinners were decent. The registration process was lightning fast and, although my “package” lacked a couple “coupons” for things I had paid to attend, hassle-free.
The welcome reception at the sushi restaurant, Saki’s, was a lot of fun but the “Town and Gown” event was good and not so good. Christine Howey’s one-woman play, “Exact Change” was fabulous! But the event was billed as a Town & Gown event. A handful of us did dress accordingly yet they served hamburgers and hotdogs, buffet style for dinner. Wasn’t expecting that .. lol. Did I not get the memo?
One thing that I did miss this year was the charm. Each year we’ve received a Fantasia Fair keepsake suitable for putting on a bracelet, yet this year, and on an anniversary year at that, there was none. I later learned that only those who attended the farewell brunch got one. No explanation offered and no apologies given if it was an oversight. Kinda makes heeding the”let’s all be there to celebrate our 40th” request seem a little one-sided.
But back to my thoughts on the planned activities. The Saturday night Gala was fun! Our friends at The Crown & Anchor did a wonderful job with the room and the food. Bravo to all involved. And seeing everyone looking so glamorous is always a treat.
The Wednesday evening fashion show was fun too but, to be totally honest, I miss hostesses Robyn and Liz terribly. (Their removal as hostesses smells political and seems quite unfair.) The current hostesses are wonderful individuals but the cohesion between them is still developing and is painfully missing. Please, can we have Robyn and Liz back?
Now the talent show, the Fantasia Fair Follies, was a train wreck, in my opinion. Far too much lip synch without a dynamic stage show to support it. Yes, there were a few lip synch performers that were a little fun to watch but they were the exception. I do understand how being supportive is a good thing and that participation in something like this can be a confidence booster for some but still .. townspeople, as well as the rest of us, pay money to attend and therefore a show with a slightly higher degree of entertainment value and professionalism seems only reasonable. The townsfolk seated in my general area spent more time looking at each other with a raised eyebrow than they did laughing or applauding. And I could totally sympathize with their feelings and felt embarrassed.
To further mess with my trannier-than-thou sensitivity, a post op girl did a comedy(?) bit about her vaginal dilation exercises after genital reconstruction surgery, complete with her collections of dilators/dildos. I’m no prude but found that performance pretty tasteless. Although I’m no stranger to dildo’s, the entire bit seemed to be a “look at me, I’ve had the surgery!” ego trip. My spouse, a genetic woman, was in attendance and found the entire piece quite disgusting.
As well, there was the “Fuck You” song. A song that repeatedly used to phrase “fuck you”, played to a slideshow of US Republican politicians and conservative public figures. Also, not funny and very tasteless, in my opinion. The phrase “Fuck you” is NOT offensive to me, in fact, I love CeeLo Green’s Fuck You song but this event is no place for silly US partisan politics. The song’s words a quite judgmental and more than a little hateful … not exactly appropriate for a group that pleads for tolerance. But then tolerance is a one-sided concept, isn’t it?
I know, I know. Why so negative? It’s because I spent almost $1200 USD for my Kim and I to attend an event that barely made me smile. And that’s the conference cost alone. Accommodations in P-town were way more than that.
But I still did have a great time! I shopped at Klymaxx Unliminited, Provincetown’s premier shop for bling, cosmetics, skin-care for both men and women, jewelry, drag accessories, wigs and handbags. I bought some fabulous bling and a new shoulder bag from Hera and Michele.
I also shopped at the Golden Horn where I found more great bling.
I stayed at the Brass Key Guesthouse again and was totally delighted as always. Thanks, Rick, for being so cool.
Away from the event, evening dining was fabulous at Jimmy’s Hideaway, Ross’s Grill and The Mews as were the Fantasia Fair lunches at Bayside Betsey’s, The Post Office Cabaret and Cafe and The Crown & Anchor.
So, in closing, I had a fabulous time! The best time ever in Provincetown but little of it had to do with the Fantasia Fair event. I’ll certainly return in the future but will be much more selective regarding how much money I give to the event. And no more donations to the scholarship fund for this girl.
Sadly, I have to wonder what the future holds for this event.
Move over, SCC, as you grasp at redefining yourself. You’ll have company soon.
Professionally, I understand outbreak/epidemic/pandemic. But in our current over-tolerant, politically correct world, we just might not be able to stop this one in time.
I have a fantasy.
Not a sexy one this time, although I do have many of those too. This one is about the trans folk I communicate with and the struggle many have being unable to work in their preferred gender presentation.
I don’t know how typical this is in the transgender world but the majority of those we associate with .. both tgirls and admirers .. seem to be high achievers. People who are very good at what they do, or have done, to earn a living. And the retired ones often came from exceptional careers too.
Professionals, leaders, creative people, entrepreneurs, salespeople, marketing folks, teachers, tradespeople; even those with less notable jobs have a spark that would burst into a four-alarm blaze given the opportunity.
If it were only possible to tap into this brilliance in some collaborative way.
We’re so connected these days that a ‘work from home’ situation is simple, thorough, efficient and cost effective, no matter where we’re located in the world, and I just know many might even consider a salary reduction until things got going.
There are also retired girls; some who left their day job way before they were ready to spend their days in a rocking chair just because the charade grew tiresome yet they’re now looking for something to sink their teeth into.
Do we all have any common marketable skill or knowledge? Probably not but what so many of us do have in common is talent and capability.
A collaboration could easily cross international borders too.
Imagine waking up on workdays, throwing on some lipstick and heels and digging in to the challenges of the day. I do this now to some degree but am well aware that a team can accomplish much more than the sum of it’s players. Even admirers might prefer to spend their days communication and collaborating with those they admire.
Are you ready for a change? Do we need to talk? Do we need to brainstorm this? Or is this a fantasy that should be filed next to the one with the two Victoria’s Secret models in nylons and heels and the guy with the huge bulge in his pants on the corporate jet headed for Paris?
I’ve been called a liar when I explain my childhood and my feelings about race. But it’s just the way it’s always been for me.
I grew up in a Canadian middle class neighborhood in a border town that was very ethnically, racially and culturally diverse. In almost all of the neighboring families, the parents were not born in Canada, like mine were, although I thought most of the kids were born here. Add to this mix, an endless stream of tourists from all over the world and you might have an idea what it was like.
Many of the parents either worked directly in the tourist industry or worked at something closely related.
Our neighborhood was made up of modest but relatively new homes. Behind us, lived a Japanese family; beside them, Bulgarians. Beside us were Irish on the right and Czechoslovakians on the left; and beside them, a black family, then a Scottish family. Across the street, Hungarian, Hispanic, German and Jewish. Oh, and there was a large Italian family with a son who was cool – older than me, so not in my circle of friends – but I always thought he spoke and acted like a girl.
It’s funny that as I write this, my point of reference is the wonderful food the families were able to make. You see, growing up in my world, the only difference I was aware of between families was the smells emanating from homes at meal time.
People were people; the nice one’s were nice and the nasty one’s were nasty. It was that simple to me and still is.
But the thing most unique about that one Italian family was that they seemed to always put ethnicity first. And maybe this is the reason they seemed to be somewhat isolated in the neighborhood.
The reason I’m telling you this now is to try to come to terms with my feelings today. These days, people seem more inclined that ever to want to isolated based on things like race, ethnicity or religion.
Recently, a fabulous blogger I follow on social media, shared a gorgeous photo of a very beautiful woman in fabulous lingerie. It was originally posted by a person or entity who calls themselves”Black Pin-up Models”.
Reading the word “Black” in front of Pin Up Models changed that photo from a beautiful pic of a gorgeous woman into something less.
BLACK Pinup Models? In 2014? Really. An account based on race that’s restricted to black stuff? This still makes me very uncomfortable. I just don’t see why this is necessary nor why it’s accepted and propagated, especially by those who profess to be so inclusive.
In the post-Pearl Harbor decade, I could only have imagined how things would have changed in the old ‘hood if our new Japanese neighbors had felt the need to start a “Japanese whatever Club”or if the black family felt the need to celebrate their race by starting a Black anything organization.
Yes, I’m naive, I suppose. And yes, I suppose many attended gatherings that only included others of the same ethnicity or racial group but in the big melting pot, we melted!
The US has always thought differently than the other cultural melting pot to it’s north. NAACP? Black Entertainment Television? Really?
No matter how much good these entities do, in my heart I honestly believe they isolate. They build a wall.
My childhood friend, Rosemary, was just my friend Rosemary. She was never my black friend Rosemary. Not to me. EVER. And my heart still struggles to go there today, even though society seems determined to draw lines.
And, sadly, the US seems determined, since 2008, the further divide – not only by skin color or ethnicity but by political ideology.
If someone asked me to describe my friend, I would have said she was about my height, pretty, solid build, dimples when she smiled, dark eyes and dark hair that she usually wore in a semi ‘fro and very dark skin.
I know … “bullshit, Seleena” but it’s true! “Very dark skin”.
In my neighborhood, the Japanese family wasn’t held responsible for Pearl Harbor. The German folks weren’t automatically Nazi’s and the Italian’s weren’t fascists. The Jews, the Catholics, the Baptists and the Buddhists were all buds. We went to different places to worship but so what? And we learned about, and helped to celebrate, each other’s holidays.
People are people, or at least they were.
This is why try so hard to avoid exclusionary advocacy groups and have never been able to jump on anyone’s bandwagon.
Black folks, if you need to build exclusionary walls, have fun but this girl can’t join you. Trans people, calling each other “sisters”, is a lame attempt to build a family but it really just advances exclusionary thinking, and this is why I so often struggle with those groups too. Calling me a “sister” probably distanced others within ear shot and sometimes my spouse is that person.
And to that young lady online, as long as you remain unable to understand that the black banner throws race into the face of us who’ve only ever thought of you as a woman, you’re correct – you will be nothing more than “that black girl”.
And please don’t use words like “demoralizing”,”micro-aggressions”, “undervalued” to someone who risks physical harm or worse whenever she steps outside in your country. You’re not making history, lady. Many of us would gladly accept those travesties if we felt it increased our chances of returning home safely.
You’ve tried to make me feel like a bad person and have talked down to me, simply because I struggle with your baggage, and that just doesn’t work.
Tonight, you lost a huge ally, whether you can understand it or not.
The news of Robin Williams’ sudden death has shocked much of the world. Tragic for us, certainly, but it brings peace now to a tormented soul.
I can say that I wasn’t surprised, but you probably wouldn’t believe me. Yet those of us non-medical folks who study human nature know the signs all to well.
Being the constant buffoon, the life of the party, a party animal .. is almost always the sign of a spirit in distress. John Belushi, Freddy Prinze, Lenny Bruce, Chris Farley .. all led troubled lives on the inside, (in my opinion) even though they appeared to be having way too much fun.
Although I feel absolutely terrible for everyone close to him, I don’t pity Robin Williams at all. I’m a firm believer that for some, suicide is a reasonable solution. And I trust that it was the right solution for him.
I’m sorry if that offends you or if you think less of me for saying this but pain just can’t continue, for anyone, indefinitely. It’s just not fair.
And to the old cliche that “suicide is the coward’s way out”, I say bullshit. I think it takes a huge amount of commitment and resolve to do the deed, knowing painfully well how negatively impacted close friends and family will be.
Let’s respect his fateful decision, forget how he left us and remember only the joy he brought to all of us.
Thank you, Mr Williams, for brightening the world of so many others, and for so many years.
I’ve been looking for one of these bras for a long, long time – I just wasn’t willing to pay the UK price (converted to $US and then to $CDN), plus shipping, plus import tariffs without knowing if it would work for me. But I recently found a listing on eBay and it was in my (rather small) size too!
These bras are designed to provide maximum cleavage (hence the name OMG!) and add up to 2 full cup sizes. They would typically sell in the UK for the equivalent of around $50 USD. So I was thrilled, and quite surprised, to find a listing that included, not one but two, new (with tags) 34AA’s in black. I bought them both for $9.95 USD plus shipping from New England. Not that England, this one!
After examining the bra and trying one on, the reason they work became very obvious. First off, there is no stretch to the band. If you’ve ever worn a vintage bullet bra, you’ll know what I mean. It fits tight enough that it will remain exactly where you position it and no flesh can escape past the band. Had I known this, I would have probably looked for a 36 but by adding one of those bra band extenders, it became quite comfortable.
The cups contain quite a lot of liquidy gel and, although it can move around in the cup freely, gravity tends to cause it to fill the lower part of the cup. The gel feels cool at first but warms to body temperature quickly.
When I tried the bra on, the third brilliant feature becomes obvious. The cups are attached quite close together compared to most other bras. In my case, this pushes a little of the fleshiness that’s just in front of my underarm into the cup.
Update: It appears Ultimo has discontinued the liquid filled gel bras in favour of an OMG version with regular padding so the discontinued gel bras are on sale!
I’ve never been one to use tape or any type of banding to create cleavage and this bra does a wonderful job creating cleavage all by itself. So I’m able to wear it with no added “enhancement” at all.
Does it add two cup sizes in my case? I would say it does not, but it does create ‘plus two cup’ cleavage. Not ideal when a busty profile is desirable but for the small-boob low cut top look, it’s perfect.
Emma Clark’s MaxCleavage.com‘s “Oomph Guide” rates this bra a “3 – Maximum Cleavage Boosting Power” and I agree.
My breast tissue has only recently grown to the point where I could even consider wearing just a bra so this is my first experience with this type of bra; I’m sure there are other mega cleavage styles out there that work on the same principle.
The OMG is heavy compare to a standard padded bra; in my case, 255 grams compared to 60 grams for one of my standard padded bras.
So if you’re a a small-breasted woman or t-girl (or even a large breast person, I suppose) looking for some serious cleavage enhancement, maybe give something like this a try.
Consider going up one band size if you usually wear your bras tight, but be prepared for something quite impressive.
I’ll add a couple more photos to this post when I can so you can see the profile effect but regardless how impressive it looks from out there, the view looking down from up here is fabulous! *giggle*
No, I’m not referring to transgender people. We are an even smaller group and we’re far from vocal.
Survey numbers are in the news this morning regarding the number of people in the USA who identify as gay, lesbian or bi-sexual and they’re surprisingly low. The latest data suggests that just under 2 percent of Americans identify as gay or lesbian.
We’ve been scammed again! Haha!!
The goal of activists in any tiny minority is to make themselves appear more significant that they really are and it appears the gay rights community has done a fabulous job in this area.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 report “Same-sex couples accounted for 0.8% of all couples in 2011.” ~ 2011 Census of Population: families, households, marital status, structural type of dwelling, collectives
While activists have been claiming, officially, that between 5 and 10 percent of Americans are gay/lesbian, they’ve somehow managed to get the public to exaggerate those numbers to the extreme. Back in 2011, a Gallup poll found that Americans believe that as many as 25 percent of their fellow citizens are homosexual. With all the attention same sex marriage has received in the last few years, I’m guessing that this percentage is even higher now.
It’s always been believed that the numbers of transgender people … from CD/TV’s to TS’s … has been small compared to gays/lesbians. So if the gay prevalence is really under 2 percent, the trans numbers are probably in the .2 range. And that makes me feel special 🙂
While I do believe the number of transsexual folk is really that low, I firmly believe that the number of people who dress up somewhat regularly, to varying degrees and in public or private, is very high. But we, as a group, often struggle with how to label ourselves when asked. And many of us evolve, making labeling quite difficult.
Old joke: Question: What the difference between a crossdresser and a transsexual? Answer: about 5 years
There’s also a large segment of “us” who are now, and will always, remain totally invisible. There’s just no way a big burly guy, totally masculine to the outside world, is going to tell Gallup or any government census about his affinity for wearing women’s panties.
So there ya go. A group who is so quick to demonize the financial one percent, mostly because they’re so small in number yet so large in relevance, has, in fact, acquired a whole lot of support and consideration, maybe not based on the notion that everyone deserves equal treatment but by making the demographic appear larger and more relevant than it is.
Success is success, I suppose.
I expressed disappointment to a close friend about the online behavior of a someone I would soon be meeting at an in-person event. “But he’s really a nice person. You’ll see when you meet him” she said.
Without having met him, I already know how wrong her observation is. When we’re out in public, we’re on our best behavior. For almost everyone, it’s something that’s easy to do for a relatively short period of time. We’re in the “make a good impression” mindset. We can guess at how long a time we’ll spend in the presence of others and therefore know how long we’ll have to “be nice”. We get mentally prepared.
But we rarely get mentally prepared for the time we spend online. We’re online doing email, chatting and posting when we’re happy, sad, wide awake, very sleepy, feeling great, feeling bad, and when we’re comfortably unprepared. And these varying states of mind allow the real “us” to appear.
Nice people shine and not-so-nice people are exposed. Me included.
So don’t give me any of that “it’s hard to know what someone is like without hearing their voice inflections and seeing their body language” nonsense.
Read the words and watch for repetitive behaviors. Ninety-nine percent of the time, your feeling will be correct. And you need to be able to write off the one percent because my imperfect theory had probably kept you safe .. physically and emotionally.
Trust your eyes and your brain. Rationalizing and wishful thinking will get you in trouble. And we, in the transgender world, are often the most susceptible; the most needy of attention and affection.
It’s often been said that they eyes, the heart, or the smile is a window into the soul. But I believe it’s really that plastic, electronics-filled box in front of you.
The online personality you see in there is a window into a person’s soul.
As I recall, I first became aware of Ms DeMilo back in the days of backseam dot com, a forum for nylon enthusiasts. Later, we both had clip stores on the now defunct clippette dot com. My earliest recollections of Jenny was that she was a very sensual woman, classy, articulate, intelligent, creative, strong and compassionate.
I also knew she did erotic hypnosis and that she was, and still is, at the top of the craft.
I was recently given the opportunity to select anything from Ms DeMilo’s catalog for review. This is my review of her Ass Bitch hypnosis session, but first, a little background.
I have had no prior experience with hypnosis nor do I even understand the concepts totally but maybe this is a good thing. It helped me enter this new world with a totally open mind.
I was concerned that my headspace .. the tgirl thing .. would clash with what Ms DeMilo offers and I found that it did to some extent, but only in selecting an appropriate session. Looking through her catalog, there are a number of titles related to the “sissy” experience and, of course, dressing in women’s clothing has no humiliation factor for me. I also can’t relate to being a gay man or forced bisexuality. But it seemed that most everything else was something I could get into.
Most of her work is in mp3 form but there are also “assignment” files in text form and short videos too. A lot of her hypnosis offerings include a sample audio file. The samples give an opportunity to hear her voice, her inflections and the background sounds.
She and I both felt that I would enjoy reviewing an audio hypnosis session. So on to my experience.
I selected a session called Ass Bitch based on the following description:
Listen, learn, be trained and turned into an anal whore, a real ass bitch. Be programed to be aroused by being trained to give up your ass and take what ever is dished out. Dished out to your soon to be stretched out ass. You cant stop yourself from the desire to be a fully trained, greedy, reedy ass bitch. Go deep into a trance, hear the triggers, the deepers, the subliminal back tracks and be programed and trained by powerful femdom hypnosis to need, crave and want to be transformed into an ass bitch, under my control. You wont be able to resist my hypnotic voice and implanted triggers.
I waited for a time when I had a clear head and was certain I would not be interrupted during my 18 minute session. With glass of wine in hand, I turned the lights down, put my best headphones on and sat down to enjoy the experience.
I never touched the wine.
The first thing that struck me was her voice. Oh. My. God. Total perfection in this context. Firm, sexy, trustworthy and really just a beautiful voice on any level. And she was speaking to me! Not to just anyone who bought this session but to me .. personally. That’s how it seemed.
Inside my calm exterior is a person that’s always wound up and her voice quickly helped me to relax. And relaxing made it easy to put myself into the place I think I was supposed to be.
Hypnosis equals real relaxation. I wasn’t aware of this. But for the balance of the 18 minutes, I listened to her speak to me. A strong yet soothing voice in a soundtrack that contained pulsation, echo and comforting sounds I couldn’t identify. I embraced her suggestions; found myself nodding subconsciously as she told me I would crave the feelings of having my ass filled with larger and larger objects. That I would crave being stretched and filled by huge cock. Although there was suggestion that I would get a huge erection thinking of large things in my ass, huge didn’t happen for me physically (the tgirl affect, I assume), although I did find my hand in my panties and I was quite content to leave it there, stroking. I was wet and my state of arousal was quite high.
I listened to the suggestions that I would have cravings, and that they would come to me at any time or place, and this just seemed so “alright” to me. At one point, I became aware that I was clenching to the pulsating rhythm but I don’t know how long I had been doing this and if it persisted until the end.
At the end of the session, she gently brought me back from where I was relaxing and, to some degree, I felt refreshed.
Will I listen to the session again? Absolutely. Would I do anything different to prep for the session? I don’t think so. Will I be looking for lasting effects from it? Yes, and I welcome them.
Will this turn me into an “Ass Bitch”. Probably not. I’ve been halfway there for years.
I recommend this experience for my tgirl friends who have submissive leanings and are sexually attracted to women and are either into strapon play or are curious about play with men. And to the open-minded guys out there … particularly the guys who admire trans girls like myself .. take your openmindedness to the next level.
Experience this! You just might find the final piece to your own personal puzzle.
Thanks for following along with me on this new experience. I do hope you enjoyed the little change of pace.
Now I’m off to explore that special shelf in the toy cupboard that’s home to my collection of huge dildos and butt plugs. *winks*
Jenny DeMilo’s website can be found by clicking the banner below. There is also a banner and link to her site on my Links page.
Gal’s Spring Fling is the premier transgender event in Canada. It’s primarily a Gender Mosaic (Ottawa ON) event, with assistance from Xpressions (Toronto ON). I’m a member of the latter. It’s more of a social event and less about support and education (which is perfect for this girl) than some of the other events.
It’s an annual event held late in May.
Gananoque (pronounced gan-a-NOK-way) Ontario, or “Gan” to the locals, is the host city for this event. Gan is known as the Canadian Gateway to the Thousand Islands, a scenic area where the Great Lakes, and more specifically Lake Ontario, empties into the St Lawrence River, which connects the lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.
Although this is closest trans event to where I live, the timing has always been difficult for me. But this year, the planets aligned and I was able to attend. And what a pleasant surprise it was!
What really set this one apart for me were the people .. the attendees. Around 60 of us were in attendance including a relatively large number of significant others. Friendly? Yes! This was, by far, the most approachable group I’ve encountered at a trans event.
Of those in attendance, a couple were friends, I had met a couple more and had chatted online with another two so it wasn’t like I was among strangers, even on the first day.
The town is just starting it’s tourist season so it was pretty quiet. I sensed almost everyone we encountered were locals, and they were quite welcoming. A couple of the girls mentioned hearing comments they didn’t exactly appreciate but none were humiliating or confrontational.
The Ramada Provincial Inn was quaint. Motor Inn style. Park outside the room; enter the room directly from outside. The rooms were on the small side of average size but were comfortable and clean. Not exactly SCC-luxurious but they were fine. The room rate was very good and a full breakfast was included. Grouping of fifteen or twenty attached rooms were scattered around the rather large property so depending where your room was, the walk to the restaurant or bar could be substantial, especially in heels and bad weather, but it certainly was not a problem for this girl.
The weather this year included mostly sunny, mild days with rain showers late in the afternoon or evening.
I arrived the day before the event started, got checked in, unpacked and met a small group of girls in the lobby area. We all went to dinner at an Italian restaurant in town called Riva. Although dinners were included in with the conference registration, Tuesday night’s dinner at Riva was not but it was fabulous! In my opinion, the nicest dinner I had all week. Classy, a wonderful menu with fabulous food and top notch service (although a gentleman a few tables from us suffered some type of medical emergency during dinner and required EMT’s and transport to the hospital. Hope he’s okay!)
The 1000 Islands boat tour was awesome. Dinner on the boat while traveling around a gorgeous part of Canada was great fun andtook up most of a sunny and warm afternoon. Just perfect!
Although I didn’t attend, the free makeup sessions in the cosmetic department at Shoppers Drug Mart were well received. And the fashion show girls had a great time selecting clothes and getting fitted at Sear in Kingston ON.
Side note about the fashion show; the organizers like to get first time attendees to participate in the fashion show. I was to be one of the eight but while talking with a girl I had just met, I sensed that, although she was on standby (the 9th girl in an 8 girl show), she seemed more keen than me to get involved. So I spoke to Amanda, the organizer, and opted out so the other girl could jump in. And it worked fantastically well. She did a great job and had a lot of fun.
Besides .. the event I really wanted to participate in was the Best Legs Contest. And guess what? I won! Quite an honor considering the other leggy entrants but my leather short shorts, Wolford hosiery and Santana stilettos surely helped. I get to keep the trophy at home until next year’s even when I’ll get my name engraved on it for posterity.
The other conference event that always gets a lot of attention is the evening at the Legion. Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92 puts on a big dinner and dancing evening for us every year. It’s our best opportunity to mingle with the locals. Dinner was good and so was the band but honestly, I can’t really get into an evening of dancing and drinking. And having to drive back to the hotel afterwards adds another challenge.
Finally, the Gala. The big dinner dance on the final night. This one was held at the host hotel and is was wonderful! Food was great and a wonderful slide show during dinner reminded us of the fun we had all week. And I was able to have a whole lot of adult beverages but again, didn’t dance much. And, of course, dance music makes it difficult to chat (Listen to me? Do I sound like an old lady? haha!)
But honestly, playing footsy under the table in a dark piano bar is more my speed these days. Did enough dancing when I was young and even survived the disco years so I‘m just not interested in that anymore.
To this event, I wore my long black skirt that’s “slit up to here”; a sheer black turtleneck under a purple satin bolero jacket and black sheer to waist pantyhose from Stockingirl.com. I know .. stockings and a garter belt are my usual legware but there would have been no way to hide my stocking tops with the rather extreme slit skirt and it just didn’t seem like the slutty look was right for this one.
GSF is a fun event! Relatively inexpensive; extremely friendly people, a nice laid back feel, a good motel and held in a beautiful little town. I came away from this event with more new friends than I ever have at any event in the past. Did I mention friendly people?
Yes, if transportation between events was provided I could have hit the wine a little harder. Yes, registration was a little confusing. And yes, me and a small handful of others would have preferred a little less dancing but, all in all, this event is a great time. Although attendance growth is usually a sign of success, I hope this one continues forever and never grows. This size was just perfect.
My spouse accompanied me to this event and she had a wonderful time too! So if you’re thinking of attending, and have a supportive spouse, please bring her or him along.
It appears that circumstances this year left a single girl with the responsibility of organizing and planning the entire show. Amanda Ryan, your selflessness and organizational skills were greatly appreciated. Not only did you do so much yourself, you were totally sweet during the whole event. I’ve never come away from an event in the past where I felt like I needed to hug an organizer (and never let go) but I did this time. You’re a special lady and I hope you have the energy to continue to do this forever.
And to my non-Canadian friends, come to Canada! You’ll have a great time.
They’re saying she “has emerged as the public leader of the trans movement”. Others are saying that any publicity is good publicity. But as you might expect, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.
Laverne Cox, star of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black, is a sweetie and a wonderful actress but she’s just a girl who happens to be transgender. Did she volunteer to become the “public leader” Time declares her to be? Does she even want the role? She has an acting career and a lifestyle that goes with it.
Her story is a story we’ve heard a million times .. always knew she was a girl, bullied and harassed as a child, yadda, yadda .. but it’s a story that much of the mainstream world will be hearing for the first time. And you know what they say about the importance of first impressions? They’re important!
Strategy. Make no moves without a strategy. This is a mantra that served me well in the corporate world as well as my personal life and I think it applies to our quest for acceptance. And with Ms Cox’s appearance in Time, we’re making a move, but if a strategy exists, it’s coming from a journalist.
“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. ~ author unverifiable
Her interview is nice but certainly not that of a leader … at least not in my opinion. Here are some partial quotes that sound Obama-like and lack the leadership qualities necessary to win over the uninformed world:
“I think what they need to understand is …”
“That’s what people need to understand … “
“People need to be willing to let go of what they think they know…”
“… they need to get to know us as human beings…”
“… you need to look at yourself ..”
Notice the word she uses over and over again? “Need“. I hate to inform Laverne but people don’t need to do anything. Their life and their world feels just fine to them without understanding and accepting us. Meet people face-to-face for the first time and tell them they need to know us as human beings and see how many friends you make.
We need. We need a spokesperson who comes at the world with a respectful attitude. A kind, likeable, attractive person, both in appearance and in spirit, who can get into the hearts of all she connects with. Logic doesn’t work. Rhetoric doesn’t work. Demanding rights doesn’t work. Helping the masses to want to accept us is the way to make things happen for us.
Tell me I’m naive and I’ll tell you the proof is in the pudding. The LGB’s have left us behind in a cloud of dust.
Once again, I long for a Panti Bliss type personality to move to the forefront and lead us into an accepting world. I love Laverne Cox but I’m afraid she is not that person.
It’s strange how this works. My girl side is much luckier than my guy side. She wins things – little things, but he never does. Let me tell you about my latest.
I’ve always been a big fan of businesses and personalities who actually use social media. It makes them interesting, approachable and more attractive to someone like me.
One of those personalities I’ve followed for along time on Twitter is Lady Sonia, the British MILF porn lady. Her “schtick” is the unfaithful wife fantasy. I’m not sure if she or her husband does the social media work but she’s quite entertaining. Sexy, interactive, fun and very real. She also posts some very hot “teaser” photos.
So a few days ago, she asked the question “Quick competition for a free 24 hour pass to lady-sonia.com what are the *BEST* sheer-to-waist pantyhose (gusset-less) of course?” I pounced with an answer “Cecilia de Raphael 320’s” and won! So I had tons of quality porn to watch for 24 hours.
Lady Sonia is a very sexy, well-spoken, charming woman with a pretty face, a fabulous body and very large boobs. She almost always wears hosiery and stilettos, her shoot location is fabulous, she plays with lots of gorgeous, extremely hung guys (some black, some white) and even some who are site members. She does some light fetish stuff and occasionally has other women join in but the core of her site is vagina sex, big cocks, blow jobs and hand jobs. Notably missing is anal and girl-girl.
My tastes are a little too pervy to be a member of her site but, I have to say, the action is hot. You can check her out here.
Now, back to my contest winning answer. If you’re a pantyhose fan, you have to check out Cecilia de Raphael. Italian-made and quite luxurious, they have many great styles. My personal favourite are the 320’a. They’re totally seamless, including the gusset area. Although that look is quite interesting on a girl like me, I think it works best on a genetic woman. And for those who are into oral sex through pantyhose, the 320’s are totally yummy. Not inexpensive but worth the price, in my opinion.
They also make what could be the shiniest pantyhose on the market for those of us into the ultra high-gloss leg look.
Do a web search or visit your fave retailer. Check them out!
The high end lingerie retailer La Perla got in trouble recently for using an extremely thin mannequin in a New York store. Both a customer and a Truth in Advertizing advocate complained, and within hours, the mannequin was removed and an apology issued.
Here’s an article about the drama in British Vogue called La Perla’s Mannequin Drama
Even a Facebook post by my favourite lingerie blogger asked the question “Do you find this mannequin offensive?”
Woah. Wait just a minute there. If this was a large body style mannequin, could we even ask that question? The world would freak.
And what about if you have a body type just like, or similar to, that of the thin mannequin? Vogue, a top lingerie blogger and a lingerie brand has either acknowledged or has entertained the concept that your body type is offensive? They just can’t do that.
Forum discussions included reader comments about the Holocaust, eating disorders and starvation. In my opinion, it’s no different that discussing a plus sized mannequin and making references to low self-esteem, junk food or lack of healthy lifestyle choices. Not true and fair!!
If you read my nonsense, you know I’m not a big fan of critical correctness but sheesh. When those who are super sensitive start getting hypocritical, I feel the need to speak up.
Truth in Advertizing dude, which body-type segment of the buying public are you trying to protect? Ye Who Is Addicted to Lingerie, your “No Body Snark” rule might have bend a little by the way the article and controversy was presented.
And La Perla, you’ve disappointed this girl. The body type you’ve allowed to be deemed offensive is the exact body type some of your customers possess.
Or did I totally miss the point?
Photo credit: Twitter/Michael Rudoy
So the US Pentagon is considering Bradley/Chelsea Manning’s move from a military prison to the Federal prison system where treatment for gender “issues” is available. The dilemma they’re facing is somewhat of a catch 22 in my opinion.
Transgenders are not allowed in the US military, and therefore the treatment for this “disorder” is expulsion from the military. But Manning can’t be discharged from the service until her sentence has been served. And since they acknowledge that Manning is transgender, they’re forced to provide treatment or be accused of “cruel and unusual punishment”. So they’re trying to work out an arrangement with the Federal Prison System (who has treatment methods) to accept and treat her without first discharging her.
Now to anger you with my feelings.
In my opinion, Manning is a criminal and a traitor first and foremost. She is “entitled” to nothing until her sentence has been served. Although the expectation by the court system that someone found guilty will survive within the penal system until their sentence is served, I believe a minimums of care to make that happen should apply.
Secondly, it’s not unreasonable to believe that Bradley, not Chelsea, committed the crimes and therefore Bradley, not Chelsea, should serve the time. Yes, you can claim that Bradley has always been Chelsea, and yes, that’s certainly true but Manning enlisted and existed as a male, and only when there was nothing left to lose, came forward as Chelsea.
Manning is a coward. She lacked the courage that so many trans folk are able to find that allows them to come out to the world while being fully aware of the potential consequences for doing so.
I understand desperation in a transgender world. I’ve seen the tragic side of it. I understand the degree of desperation so many feel. But I can’t help but wonder if Manning sold out her own country to get a government-sponsored gender transition. Laugh if you like but I know many who feel that thirty five years in prison is a small price to pay to have a body that aligns with the brain.
Integrity means everything and Manning has none. She needed to put on her big girl panties, get a job, save her money and pay for her own medical care like every other trans person must. Special consideration should be reserved for those who show they can be great citizens and wonderful people .. not those who show no integrity and exhibit criminal behavior.
I believe the military, if left alone, would handle Manning appropriately but once the Defense Secretary .. a civilian appointed by an insane regime .. get’s involved, things will quickly get silly.
I wish her a receding hairline *giggle*
Speaking of the inability to wear big girl panties, a Facebook “friend” is just over a month away from her genital reconstruction surgery date and claims to have less than 50 percent of the funds necessary to pay the bills associated with such surgery. And she’s gone the crowd-funding route to beg for help.
For those of you who are not aware, crowd-funding is a method of raising capital, usually a few dollars each from a lot of contributors, to fund a project. It started out as a means of bringing a product to market without conventional funding but now includes many “humanitarian” projects. It’s the 21st century equivalent to panhandling or street begging.
“Fund me!”? Not a chance. Within my means, I probably give more to others and to charity than most people but I’d be more likely to donate to save the Lyme-disease carrying deer tick foundation than I would to someone with that sense of entitlement.
So this is why transgender people shouldn’t be permitted in the military. In my opinion, we’re unstable. Because nature didn’t play by the rules when we wer assigned a gender and a brain, we’re incapable of understanding that, for a society to exist without anarchy, there must be rules .. and the rules won’t please everyone all the time.
We’ll stand behind those who’d sell out their country for estrogen, we book surgical facilities we can’t pay for and expect the world to “fund me”, and yet there are those like me who refuse to jump on anyone’s bandwagon, even when refusing to do so shows an extreme lack of compassion.
Until the world can figure out a reasonable way to deal with us, let’s all just increase our visibility while we play by the rules, okay? Because that is the only route to acceptance.
This is worth a few minutes of your time. The ending is quite unexpected.
An article came to my attention recently that’s been on my mind lots. It’s really a petition, not an article, and it’s written by a gentleman in the UK. He’s petitioning the FDA to acknowledge that hormone therapy during pregnancy can lead to intersex genital development or transgender babies.
You can read the entire petition here but since it’s rather long, I’ll try to summarize it for you.
Between 1940 and 1980 (1971 in the US) doctors around the world commonly prescribed Diethylstilbestrol (DES) to pregnant women at high risk of miscarriage. DES is a synthetic estrogen and the doses were huge .. some claimed them to have been the equivalent of a hundred birth control pills.
DES was sometimes prescribed in the first trimester but more often in the 2nd and 3rd.
I’m unable to verify this but the belief is that massive doses of “estrogen” in the 1st trimester – the time when physical genital development occurs – can lead to abnormalities; abnormalities we refer to as intersex .. often vagina/penis or ovary/testicle combinations in the same person.
I think it’s quite likely that the whole transgender phenomenon of recent times is largely being driven by people who were exposed to DES or other female hormone derivatives before birth. ~ petition creator Hugh Easton
Massive doses of DES in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy, when brain development occurs, can be responsible for gender dysphoria (the mind of one gender and the body of the other) as well as non gender related problems such as depression, ADHD and autism.
If this is all true, it would explain a lot to many of us and might finally answer the question so many of us ask … why?
I can immediately make an observation that could discredit this way of thinking. How do we explain transgenderism and the intersex condition before DES was used? Historians tell us that transgenderism and “hermaphrodites”, as they were known back then, have been around for centuries. And what about female-to-male transgenderism?
I suppose that if this were to be proven conclusively, an avalanche of lawsuits would follow and neither the pharmaceutical industry nor the medical community would like to see that. And within the transgender world, there would likely be as much anger as there would be peace.
Maybe the DES treatment was overkill but at that time in history, even if the transgender risks were understood, the alternative would have been a risky pregnancy and a likely miscarriage.
So maybe being trans and alive isn’t such a bad deal.
Maybe it’s time to have a conversation with your mom, if you’re still able. But wait until after Mother’s Day.
Note: I’ve created a survey here to try to gather some understanding from those who know about treatment their mother’s might have had while carrying them. Please take moment to complete the survey and share it with the trans people in your life, whether there was a DES connection in their life or not. In fact, no DES connection is equally important in helping us understand.
It’s a non-scientific survey, or course, but it just might give us some food for thought. And if doing a short survey is not your thing, you can check the live results here.