WORLD OF CROSSDRESSING: December 2014

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gallery men as Bride

 les hommes crossdress Épouse dans le mariage

hommes en vêtements de mariée


crossdress hommes dans le maquillage mariée
hombres vestidos de novia

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gallery B2G

Boy to girl transformation

Garçon à la transformation de fille





la transformation comme femme

transformation-comme-fille

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Our gallery snaps




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Monday, December 15, 2014

Crossdressing for christmas











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Saturday, December 13, 2014

crossdressing fantasia fair

Day 0:

Today, I will be busy packing and getting things done around the house in preparation for my departure Sunday morning. So I won't be doing much blogging today.

Fall is Here

The weather here turned very fall-like yesterday with the temperature getting down to 38 degrees overnight. I expect to see similar weather conditions this week in Provincetown, 150 miles to the east.

Provincetown Webcam

My friend Diana posted this item on The My Husband Betty Message Boards last night and I want to pass it along to you here:

"For those who want to watch the coming and goings in P'town during Fantasia Fair, here is the Webcam on the corner of Commercial Street and Lopes Square (the town pier)."


The Webcam is about two block from where I am staying, so if you are patient enough, you might see me live from Provincetown.

I finished packing at 12:30 PM and the car is loaded and ready to go. But, I have a stomach ache and feel anxious.

Hopefully, I will be able to relax the rest of the day.

Day 1: 

Trans New England
8 AM EDST: In about an hour, I should be on the road crossing Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts on my way to Provincetown for Fantasia Fair. My next blog entry should be from P-Town.

In P'Town

My trip to Provincetown took four hours and ten minutes.

I checked into my hotel and signed in at the Fantasia Fair registration desk.

At registration, I saw my friend Jamie, but she did not recognize me at first because she had never seen in me boy mode.

After registration, I returned to my hotel room to get en femme.

Hair removal was a lengthy process since I had not been out en femmein months. I used Veet for the first time and it worked as well as Nair, but I think I prefer Veet because it comes in a pump dispenser, which is neater to use than the Nair squeeze bottle.

After dealing with my body hair, I did my makeup and dressed, as you can see in the photo on the right.

I planned to attend the Fantasia Fair welcoming reception, but got lost finding the place, so I walked back to my hotel and asked for directions. I tried again, but I still could not find the place.

I must have looked lost because another transwoman walking by asked me if I was looking for the welcoming reception. She knew where it was, so I followed her.

I asked her name and it turns out she is Tobi, one of the regulars from the My Husband Betty Message Boards. Just a day or two ago, we exchanged "I hope to see you at Fantasia Fair" messages on the board!
I decided to wear my fake Kiss stick-on nails as long as I can. I have an ample supply, but why take them off if they are still sticking. I don't know if the glue will hold up during the shower I will take after writing this.
The thing is that I am getting very used to doing everything with the nails on. Even intricate stuff that I used to think would be impossible to do with long nails... maybe not impossible, but I was always amazed at how women with long nails managed to do such things. Now, I know! And it is actually fun learning.

I was surprised at the welcoming reception about how many young people were in attendance. Considering the cost of this event, I expected to see a room full of old white rich people. I did not see anyone of color, but there were both young and old in attendance.

I was also surprised at how few use a femme voice. In fact, I cannot recall one femulator using a femme voice last night... including myself. But I am going to correct that today, at least on a personal level.

I met a lot of new people last night, as well as some old friends and acquaintances. A bunch of us broke off from the reception and went to a pizza restaurant. I was not very hungry and only had one slice.

The streets of Provincetown really do a job on your feet, so I plan to wear something more comfortable today.

I leave you with a photo (above) of my collection of luggage that I brought to Provincetown. Now you know how much it takes to make Staci. (The fishing tackle box in the photo houses my makeup.)

Day 2: 

I slept about six hours last night and was tired when I got out of bed. Once I am up and it is daylight, I seldom can fall back to sleep, so I got an early start on the day.

My old makeup skills have come right back to me after a two-month hiatus and I was ready to go by 8 AM. That's me in the photo (right) ready to go out the door in what I call "real estate agent drag."

The first event of the day was not scheduled to start until 9:30 AM, so I had some time to kill and I planned to do that by finding a place where I could get some coffee. I thought I saw a coffee dispenser in the lobby, so I checked there first and not only did they have coffee, but they offered juice and pastry.

I attended the orientation and brunch. The food was good and the orientation was ok. It basically repeated the orientation information that Fantasia Fair has online. But it was nice to put faces to the names of the various people whose names I was familiar with and I met some more new people at the brunch.

After the brunch, there was a short walking tour of Provincetown. My tour was shorter than most because I was so tired that I dropped out of the tour and returned to my hotel room to rest.
At 1:30, I attended the keynote address "Let's Talk about Trans Youth" by Robin McHaelen. Robin runs True Colors in Connecticut. (I have participated in the annual True Colors Conference the past two years and again plan to have a workshop at the 2009 Conference.) Robin has also spoken at my support group's banquet, so I am familiar with her, but now I am even more familiar with her.

Sunday night, as I was roaming around Provincetown lost in the dark, I encountered a woman pulling her wheeled suitcase looking as lost as I was. I smiled at her and said I was lost and she said she was lost, too, and asked me the location of the town hall. I had no clue and wished her "good luck" and we parted ways. Two blocks later, I realized the woman was Robin, but when I turned around to look for her, she was gone.

I mentioned this to her at her presentation on Monday and we had a good laugh about it.

Her talk was excellent, informative and inspiring. There was a lot of interaction with the audience and near the end, she asked what we could do to make it easier in the world for the young and future trans generations.

I spoke up telling the group about how I do outreach at colleges and universities and that by doing so, I am educating the "civilians" that trans people are not the drag queens you see on Jerry Springer, but are real people just like they are. Educating the civilians in this way helps them to accept trans people more readily.

After the presentation, a couple from Pennsylvania stopped me and asked me a load of questions about doing outreach. I hope I was helpful.

The weather was brisk in the afternoon, but a big improvement over the morning, so I took a 20-minute walk to get a feel for the town. I got a few looks and gawks, but nothing untoward.

Next, I attended a short meeting to sign-up to model in the fashion show on Wednesday. This event is one of the highlights of the week and especially interested me because it is open to the public.

After the meeting, I returned to my room to freshen up and change for dinner. The photo above is how I turned out.

The weather has not been as pleasant as last week's forecast promised. It has been on the cool side and I am glad I brought my fake fur jacket. (I almost did not bring it because of the optimistic forecast.) So, I put on my fake fur jacket and walked a couple of blocks to the venue for the evening festivities.

Dinner was an excellent buffet and the entertainment was a murder mystery. I enjoyed the food, but did not pay much attention to the mystery. Instead, I spent the evening chatting with every new person I encountered and I had a great evening.

Speaking of chatting, I used my femme voice a lot yesterday, but many times, when I stopped thinking about it, I dropped back to my normal voice. But I have a lot more time to practice this week.

Day 3: 

One thing about Fantasia Fair that impresses me is all the new friends I have made here. Wow... it is a major effort trying to remember all their names!

I mentioned earlier that I have not seen a Fantasia Fair attendee of color. Well, I did encounter my first attendee of color at Robin McHaelen's presentation on Monday, and last night, she was seated at my table at the banquet and we hit it off swimmingly. So, here's to another new friend, Chantel from L.A!

Tuesday seemed like a Catholic Friday in my past. I had fish for lunch and dinner and both fish dishes were delicious: a scallop salad for lunch and a salmon steak for dinner.

Lunch was at a restaurant a few blocks up Commercial Street, so after attending my first workshop of the day (more about that later), I started hoofing it to the restaurant. By the way, yesterday was gorgeous: sunny with temps in the mid-60s.

Anyway, I am walking out the door of my hotel and I run into Miqqi Gilbert, who is the top girl at Fantasia Fair (I forget what her actual title is, but she is one of the brains behind the operation). She asked me if I was going to lunch, joined me on my walk to the restaurant, and we conversed. At the restaurant, she asked me to sit at her table. I don't often get a chance to eat lunch with the brains of any operation, so I accepted.

Since Miqqi is one of the brains of the operation, she attracted an interesting group of people at our table. Joining us were David Macfarlane and Nigel Dickson from Canada, who are writing and photographing a book about Fantasia Fair (David is the writer and Nigel, the photographer.) That combination naturally attracted Mariette Pathy Allen to join our table for lunch, and it was like dining at a trans version of the Algonquin Round Table. It was very interesting and I managed to get a few words in edgewise! (David was particularly interested in my reaction to Fantasia Fair from my perspective as a first-timer.)

The morning workshop I attended was learning how to move and walk like a woman. I think I do OK in that area, but I thought that there is always room for improvement.

I just did not get it! I understood the instructor's explanation why women and men walk differently, but I just did not understand her explanation on how a man can do certain things to emulate a woman's walk. I never was very good at physical things (like sports), so I guess I am not surprised by my failure to get this right, too!

After lunch, I attended the keynote speech of the day by Stephen Whittle, the UK trans rights advocate. He talked about his life, his struggles as a trans person and as an activist of trans people's rights. His speech was very interesting and inspiring; I could listen to him speak all day long!

Next, I attended a practice session for the fashion show. Yes, I am modeling in the annual Fantasia Fair fashion show before an audience of civilians and trans people alike and it should be the thrill of my lifetime (up to now).
The girls running the fashion show walked us through the routine of walking down the catwalk, etc. The first step from the stage to the catwalk is a doozy, so I plan to take it slow in my killer heels! The fashion show is tonight and it should be a lot of fun!

The Pioneer Awards Banquet ended my day and I had the privilege of collecting tickets along with a new friend, Joanna from Ontario. As a result, I got to meet everyone attending the banquet and got to drool over the fabulous outfits they were wearing. I must say that I have never seen so many beautiful transwomen than I have at Fantasia Fair. Wow!

Which reminds me... Monday night, a woman at dinner said to me that she thought I was "beautiful." That certainly made my day!

Except for making even more new friends and girl-talking with them, the banquet was a typical banquet (speeches, awards, door prizes, etc.). It was over after 10 PM and I was ready to turn into a pumpkin, so Cinderella ran back to her hotel room before the clock struck midnight.


The photo on the left shows me ready to go out this morning. The photo on the right shows me attending the Fantasia Fair Pioneer Awards Banquet this evening.

Regarding the photo on the right, I just want to note that my dress was not that short. The hem fell just above the knee; it rode up a bit during that pose, but that's OK because it allows you to see my black fishnets over my black pantyhose.

Day 4: 

This was a great day! But, it did not start out so good.

Wednesday's workshop schedule did not hold much interest for me. The only thing that was a must was the fashion show practice at 2:30 PM. I also had a lunch ticket for noon. So, I thought that it would be a good day to shop.

The weather was lousy: cold with a light rain, but that did not stop me. I grabbed my umbrella and began window shopping down Commercial Street. Problem was that most of the stores were closed.

I did find a women's clothing store that was open: Moda Fina. They had some beautiful coats and dresses and everything was 30% off. I started picking out things to try on and the saleswoman took them to "start" a dressing room for me.

I tried on three dresses and a coat. The coat did not fit and neither did the dress I liked the most (a retro 1960's style floral print). Two dresses fit like a glove. The saleswoman said one looked better on me than the other, so I bought that one.

I was wearing gray leggings with my booties and she said that that dress went perfect with my outfit, so I decided that I would wear my new dress for the fashion show replacing the gray leggings with gray tights.

(In my hotel, I am in the first room next to the lobby where the continental breakfast is set up. I just took a break from blogging to get a second cup of coffee and exchanged chit-chat with Bruce, who works the desk during the day. Bruce is one of my biggest fans now and often calls me "beautiful" whenever I see him.)

As I left the hotel to start shopping, I ran into Ethan St. Pierreand his SO, Karen. We talked awhile and I mentioned how I missed his podcasts and he said that they had taken a little hiatus, but they are back on a regular schedule again.

I ran into Ethan again at lunch, but did not have an opportunity to lunch with him. Maybe another time.

Lunch was excellent. I have not had a bad meal yet. I lunched with a couple from the Philly area and some other new people, whose names I have forgotten (so many new faces and new names!)

I returned to my room and relaxed for an hour, then went to the fashion show practice with my highest high heels in tow. (We were supposed to bring the highest heels we planned to wear for the show to the practice.) I had not worn these shoes before (silver sequins platform sandals from Payless) and I was surprised how comfortable they were.

Everyone took a turn or two walking on stage and down the catwalk. After practice, I returned to my room to get ready for the show.

We were told to apply our makeup on the heavy side because the stage lights would wash out our faces if all we had on was a normal application of makeup. So I used black and dark grays to do my eyes, bright reds for my lips, and heavy on the blush. The photo above gives you a good idea of the results.

The dressing room for the fashion show models was not a dressing room per se; it was actually the room used for the keynote addresses and other presentations. As a result, the facilities were not very good for dressing. We had to drape our stuff over the chairs in the room.

Later, a clothing rack showed up, but by then, my stuff was in such a disarray that the arrival of the rack did not matter.

I wore the first outfit I planned to model to the show, so I was ready to go while other models were dressing.

A photographer working on The Gender Photo Project had a portable studio set up in the dressing room near where I had plopped my stuff.

The photographer asked me if I wanted to pose for a photo for the project and of course, I agreed. During the photoshoot, the photographer mentioned that I resemble Norway's most famous crossdresser, Espen "Esther Pirelli" Benestad. I never heard of Benestad, but I was familiar with a film she appeared in: Alt om min far, which is a true story about a transvestite, who seeks his son's acceptance.

Before I turned in for the night, I looked Benestad up on the Internet to see if I do resemble her. I'll let you be the judge; her photo appears above right.

Nigel Dickson had his photography equipment set up at the opposite end of the room. Nigel is the photographer working on the Fantasia Fair book I mentioned earlier and it turns out that he has taken photos of many famous people, for example, Michelle Obama. (Visit his Web site to see some of his work.)

While I was still enjoying the afterglow from my first photoshoot, Nigel came over and asked me if I would pose for him. I joked with some of the other models saying, "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."

Turns out I was the first subject that Nigel photographed! After he took a few shots, he thanked me and will e-mail me a copy of the photo later.

The actual fashion show was now becoming an afterthought!

I was the fifth model of 23 models to go up the catwalk and I was up on the stage very quickly. With floodlights shining in my face, loud music blaring, and the MCs making comments, the experience became a blur, but I do remember one of the MCs asking me if I was now ready for a New York City catwalk. I responded, "You betcha" in my best Alaskan accent and I got a big laugh from the audience.

Speaking of the audience, it was not a full house. I assume the lousy weather (cold and raining) kept down the crowd, but the audience that did show up was very enthusiastic and cheered each model loudly.

Wearing the black velvet evening gown from the Patty Collection, second time up was same as the first... a blur, but the MC asked me to walk the walk twice (something they only asked a few models to do), so I must have been doing something right.

There was a party after the fashion show, but the weather was so miserable, I did not want to walk to the party venue, so I skipped it and went to bed.

(Photos of me modeling at the fashion show this evening.)

Day 5: 

I was up and at 'em (or more like "up and Eve") and into my female morning routine (shower, shave, makeup, pick an outfit to wear, dress, continental breakfast, and make my plans for the day).

The morning talks did not interest me, so I decided to go shopping again. The weather was the nicest so far.

My goal was to visit a vintage clothing store. The store had some delicious vintage clothing on display in its windows, but it was closed when I was in the neighborhood on Wednesday.

I walked about a mile to the store, but it was closed even though its posted hours indicated that it should be open. I was disappointed.

I window-shopped my way back down Commercial Street and visited some of the stores of interest, but I did not find anything I wanted to buy.

Soon it was time for lunch. My lunch ticket for the day was for my own hotel, so I returned to my room to freshen up, then went downstairs to the dining room on the enclosed veranda.

Lunch that day was a disappointment. Despite the pleasant weather, it was not warm enough to be sitting on a veranda to eat a meal and I was uncomfortable. Also, the food was only so-so.
On a positive note, the luncheon conversation with the other girls was fun (I found the conversations over meals this week were always great fun and I tried to sit with new people as often as possible to make the conversations even more interesting.)

The keynote address at 1 PM was a panel discussion titled "State of the Trans Union." I especially wanted to hear the words of my favorite trans personality Ethan St. Pierre, but others on the panel spoke more than he did and I was a little disappointed. However, it was an excellent discussion (Stephen Whittle's words were worth the price of admission).
I hung around for the open discussion after the panel discussion ended, but I just listened and did not participate because I did not have anything to offer.

Most of the Fantasia Fair attendees from my support group made a date to dine together at the Lobster Pot, a restaurant with rave reviews from folks, who had dined there in the past.

I changed into my outfit for the evening and primped (see photo above right) for my night out. Then I walked the four or five blocks to the restaurant in my short bubble skirt, which attracted the attention of some of the passerbys.

Three of my friends were waiting outside the restaurant, including one of my biggest fans, Teresa Marie (aka TM), who jokingly pointed out that my skirt was too short for the weather. (I call TM "one of my biggest fans" because she tells everyone that in her opinion, I am pretty.)

After two other friends showed up, we went inside to join still other friends, who already were seated in the restaurant. As we girls entered the dining room, I noticed that we caught the attention of a table of six or eight civilians, who were gawking at us. Before I sat down, I waved at them using my girliest limp-wristed wave. They did not wave back.

Dinner was excellent. I had three crab and seafood cakes topped by hunks of lobster meat. It was so filling that I could only eat one and one-quarter of the cakes. And, as usual, the dinner conversation was wonderful.

After dinner, we went to Club Purgatoryfor karaoke. Fifty-seven years on the Planet Earth and I have never seen karaoke in person, much less participate in karaoke, but I was going to do karaoke this night.

I so wanted to do Wendy by the Beach Boys, but it was not one of the available karaoke tunes. As a long time Beach Boy fan, I know a lot of their songs by heart, but they had only two to choose from: Fun Fun Fun (one of my faves) and California Girls(one of my least favorite Beach Boy hits), so I signed up to karaoke the former and put my sign-up sheet in a fishbowl with the other sign-up sheets.

It was my lucky day... not! The DJ picked my name out of the fishbowl to be the first karaoke performance! No, not me! I was hoping to witness a few karaoke performances before my turn came up. Holey Shirt! I was so not prepared for this!

By the way, I did not get lubricated for this event. In fact, the only alcohol I drank all week was two glasses of wine at the welcoming reception Sunday night. In retrospect, I should have gotten well lubricated before my maiden karaoke performance, but so it went and I was called up by the MC, who was a professional drag performer.

Before I began, I mentioned to the MC that I was a novice and she announced that fact to the crowd. So I hoped that the crowd would be sympathetic if things did not go so well.

Things did not go so well. I lost my place after the first verse of the song and it took me another verse to catch up with the music. I also sang in falsetto and did not sound much like Brian Wilson... more like Minnie Mouse. Despite my awful performance, the crowd cheered me on and most people said I did OK (they were too kind).

I decided to try and redeem myself, so I signed up for another song: Shania Twain's Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under, which I kind of knew because I had practiced singing it when I was considering lipsyncing it for my support group's banquet entertainment.

Second time around, I did better than the first time. I sang in my natural voice and I kept up with the music most of the time. The crowd reacted well, just like the first time. (My guess is that they were well lubricated!)

In retrospect, I should have picked Man! I Feel Like a Woman, which I knew cold. I think the key to doing karaoke is to pick a song you know by heart and just sing your heart out to the music and avoid reading the lyrics appearing on the karaoke screen. Next time...

Around midnight, the crowd was thinning out and my friend, Denise from Plymouth offered to give me a ride back to my hotel, which I gladly accepted. (Even though Provincetown has a very open, liberal, and diverse population, I was still concerned about walking the streets alone late at night especially the way I was dressed!)

I had a wonderful day on Thursday and went to sleep with visions of female impersonators dancing in my head.


(Left is my daywear for Day 5 and right is my eveningwear for Night)

Day 6:

This turned out to be a very busy and full day! It was a very emotional and fun day, too!

After getting ready and having my continental breakfast, I attended a presentation by my friend Diana L titled "Building a Grassroots Coalition for Trans-Issues."
I helped Diana before and after her presentation, which was very good. Not many people showed up and I think that might be due to a last minute change in locations for Diana's presentation.

Lunch was at the same location as Diana's presentation, i.e., Napi's Restaurant. (By week's end, I ended up eating lunch at Napi's three times and each time, the meal was excellent and included delicious desserts.)

After lunch, I went back to my hotel for the keynote address du jour: "Transgender Victories and Challenges" by Mara Keisling. Ms. Keisling is a good speaker, her subject was interesting, and the time flew by.

Next, I attended a group session for trans people who are attending Fantasia Fair without their Significant Others (SOs). Titled "Cinderella - Alone in Paradise," the session was run by Sandra Cole, who is "is a sexologist, nationally AASECT Certified as a sex educator and sex counselor, and for thirty-eight years has been faculty in University academic medicine. For the past 25 years she has been friend and colleague with the transgender community, working with transgender individuals and their partners on topics of sexual health, intimacy and relationships. Over a period of 20 years she has conducted scores of important group discussions at Fantasia Fair, where she experiences many wonderful friendships, amazing programs and creative events." (from the Fantasia Fair Web site)

Six of us attended the session and we each poured our hearts out telling our stories about our relations with our SOs. I broke down near the end of my turn to speak.
I am not going into details except to say that Sandra was very supportive of me and said that considering my circumstances (which she said were "difficult"), there is nothing wrong in what I do in order to be the real me. She made me feel great about what I do and I am so glad that I decided at the last minute to attend her group session instead of attending the "Fierce Evening Makeup" presentation.

The session went 30 minutes over its two-hour allotment and I think we all would have been willing to stay and talk things out longer except that we all had other commitments, in my case, getting ready for the Fantasia Fair Follies and the Post Follies Fetish Party.

I did not pack for fetish. The only things I brought that I thought were remotely fetish were my black booties and my black fishnets, so I had to decide what to wear with my "fetish" leg and footwear.
I slipped on my Victoria's Secretblack sequins sweater tunic, but it is so low-cut that all the bras I brought with me would show. I tried a cami to hide my bra, but that looked lousy. Finally, I decided to go bra-less and after adding some bling and my short blond wig, I achieved a six-foot-two Joey-Heatherton-like look!

I thought I looked very hot and throughout the night, a lot of other people agreed with my personal assessment. (The photo above right shows me and TM before the Follies began.)

The Follies were downstairs in my hotel's theater, so I did not have far to go and when I showed up, I received the oohs and aahs of trans people and civilians alike. Wow... did I feel great! I wanted everyone to see me, so I kept getting up to walk around and talk with anyone I knew.

This year, the Follies was a fund-raiser for a local soup kitchen, so during intermission, Donna Marie, the head of the Fantasia Fair "volunteers," handed me a bucket to go around the hall to ask for donations. Perfect! I strutted my stuff throughout the crowd filling the bucket with greenbacks and filling my ears with compliments. ("You are so pretty," was my favorite compliment of the evening.)

By the way, the Follies were excellent and showcased a lot of talented people, some of professional caliber. The show seemed to fly by and the next stop was the Fetish Party at Club Purgatory.

Since we had not eaten since noon, Denise from Plymouth and I stopped for pizza slices on the way to the Fetish Party. Needless to say, we were way overdressed for a pizza palace and were gawked at by the help and customers alike.

Next stop was the Fetish Party. A few people dressed somewhat fetishly, but the majority were dressed more clubby than fetishly.

The music was loud and the beat was infectious at Club Purgatory; so much so that I decided to dance. Chantel from L.A. was nearby and she became my first victim. I danced my ass off for about ten minutes, then we quit for awhile. As I left the dance floor, a gay dude asked if I won the best evening gown costume. I said there was no such contest, but thank you for the compliment anyway.

Fifteen minutes later, I was ready to dance again and Glenda from Cocoa Beach was my next victim. I really got into it again, dancing as furiously and femininely as I could with the light show and the music molding me into a dancing queen. I reached a new level... I was no longer a femulator, I was a woman, at least in my mind. People at the bar were watching me and I continued to give them something worth watching. It was a fabulous moment, probably the highpoint of my week.

I didn't want to stop, but after 15 minutes or so, my thighs ached and needed a break. As I left the dance floor, the gay dude (I do not pay much attention to gay dudes, so I am not sure if he was the same dude who commented on my "evening gown") said I was the only one on the dance floor who knew how to dance. I thanked him and quickly scurried to a group of friends for protection in case he wanted to pursue me.

Wow! What a night! The crowd was thinning out as closing time approached, so I returned to my hotel walking on a cloud.


(Daywear and eveningwear on Fantasia Fair Day 6.)

Day 7:

After my wonderful Friday, I was so tired that I stayed in bed instead of immediately getting up when I awoke.

When I finally got out of bed, I packed everything I did not need for the day so that I would not have to pack later (or on Sunday) to facilitate a quick getaway the next morning. By the time I was ready to go out, it was 10:30 AM.

It was another beautiful day weather-wise and I didn't need any outerwear, but I was kind of tired and did not feel like window-shopping the length of Commercial Street again. So, I chose to go to Lezli Whitehouse's workshop on voice and movement, even though it was already in progress.

I missed the voice portion and came in near the beginning of the movement portion. An hour later, I felt that I was moving and presenting in a more feminine manner than I had been an hour earlier, so the workshop was a success for me.

By the way, after the "walking the walk" workshop earlier in the week, I made a concentrated effort to move my hips in a feminine manner when I walked. I started feeling a difference in my walk around Thursday and I think I am finally getting it!

Lunch was at Napi's again and was excellent again.

The keynote address followed lunch and was presented by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Titled "Growing up Haunted," Jennifer read excerpts from her last two books. She is a great story-teller and was very entertaining. I did notice a hole in the plot of her "hiding in the attic wearing her sister's wedding gown" story (what happened to the flashlight), but I enjoyed her presentation nonetheless.

The Fantasia Fair Awards Banquet was on tap for the evening, so I returned to my room to get ready. I touched up my face and bod with an electric razor, then applied a new layer of warpaint. My makeup was flawless, but there was a problem that would affect me all night long.
As soon as I made up my eyes, they started watering and all night long, I was wiping tears away. I had been fighting allergy symptoms the second half of the week and I think that was the cause (and not bad makeup or dirty makeup brushes) because I had the same watery eye problem all day yesterday without wearing makeup.

I slipped into the gown that I borrowed from my friend Patty's closet, added bling, and my strappy sequins sandals and I thought I looked fabulous! (The gown, not me, received a lot of compliments throughout the evening.)

Next, I had to decide which wig to wear. I had my long, curly auburn wig and I intended to wear it in an up-do using the silver combs that Patty lent me, but the wig would not cooperate and I gave up trying to tame that mane.

I liked the way my short blonde wig looked the previous night, so I decided to play with it a bit. Instead of shaking it out and finger combing it as I usually do, I combed it all out using my wig comb. Instead of a casual do, I ended up with a more formal do. Then, I started playing with height and managed to tease enough wisps of hair up to create a little crown. Then I applied mass quantities of hair spray to make sure that my do was not going anywhere.

I was happy with the results. (You can see them for yourself in the photo above right.) During the banquet, a pretty waitress said, "I love your hairdo," so I guess I did good.

The banquet was at a restaurant about ten minutes away by car and Diana gave me a lift. We arrived in plenty of time, found a table for four, and dug into the fabulous appetizers. (In my opinion, the appetizers were better than the main course.)

Denise and Glenda joined us and we had a great evening conversing, kibitzing, taking photos, and watching the awards presentation. No one at our table won anything.

The bash ended at 10 PM and Denise gave Jan from Poughkeepsie and I a ride back into town leaving us off in front of my hotel. Jan suggested we go to the piano bar in the hotel, so we entered the bar and walked its length, but there were no empty seats. However, we sure attracted a lot of attention as we passed through. So, we camped out on the veranda next to the bar and soon were joined by a contingent of trans girls and friends returning from the banquet.

Sue Nagel from Joy of Nailsin Waterbury sat next to me and we talked about the purpose of the Fair and the services she provides at her shop. Like the Fair, her shop gives closeted crossdressers an opportunity to dress in a friendly environment outside the closet. I told her that I might visit her shop for a makeover and she didn't think I needed one because I pass so well.

On that note, I excused myself, returned to my room, finished packing and went to bed.

I slept a few hours, rose at 4:30 AM, and was on the road at 5:30 AM.

My week en femme 24/7 was over and I was exhausted from it, but I think I have reached a new level.


(Daywear and eveningwear on Fantasia Fair Day 7.)
Final thoughts
Here is a shout-out to the new friends I made during Fantasia Fair:

* Andrea from Scandinavia
* Chantel from Los Angeles, CA
* Denise from Plymouth, MA
* Glenda from Cocoa Beach, FL
* Jan from Poughkeepsie, NY
* Joanne from Ontario, Canada
* Melissa from Hamden, CT

***

During my week en femmein Provincetown, I shopped, dined, and had many other encounters with civilians never had a problem. Everyone I encountered was friendly and treated me like a lady with one exception.
Twice, I bought items at Adams Pharmacy on Commercial Street. First time, I found what I wanted to buy and stepped up behind a dude talking to the pharmacist, who was standing at the cash register. The dude and pharmacist concluded their chat. I stepped up to the counter and the pharmacist turned his back on me and walked away instead of ringing up my purchase. I waited a minute or two for someone to ring me up. A middle-aged woman finally showed up to handle my purchase. She was very cold, avoided eye contact, and the only words out of her mouth was the amount of money I had to pay.

Second time, the same woman rang me up with the same level of frigidity.

In both cases, I was my charming self, but the only response I received were blank cold stares. I would not say that Adam Pharmacy was transphobic, but they certainly were not transfriendly and being the only pharmacy in the center of town, I am sure they made a lot of money off the trans folks visiting town last week. Go figure!

***

I improved and streamlined my makeup skills during the week. Doing my makeup twice a day for a week, I found shortcuts to get the job done more quickly. ("Practice makes perfect.") By week's end, I probably shaved 15 to 20 minutes off my normal 1-hour makeup routine. I also was able to experiment with different looks and colors, which was a lot of fun!

***

I learned a lot about woman's footwear during my week en femme. Downtown Provincetown uses cobblestones for many of its sidewalks and they are unforgiving when you wear high heels.
I quickly learned which shoes to wear when I had a lot of walking to do, that is, my booties and my mid-heel pumps with the chunky heel. If I wanted to wear heels at an event, I carried them with me while walking in my comfortable shoes, then change to heels when I arrived at the event. Luckily, many events were in my hotel, so I did not have to carry heels around town that often.

***

I had a lot of fun mixing and matching separates (tops, jackets, skirts, pants) to create outfits during the week.

***

I reached a new level at Fantasia Fair.
Femulating 24/7 for a solid week, you stop thinking about the fact you are femulating and begin living like a woman. All the techniques you use for femulation become second nature.; you no longer have to think about using those techniques because they are now natural. I believe that during Fantasia Fair, I came as close to being a natural woman as I can be and I hope that that second nature will stick with me forever.

***

Will I attend future Fantasia Fairs?

As my euphoria peaked at the end of the week, I told anyone who asked that I would be back next year and that I would begin saving money for the trip on Monday to make next year's trip possible.

After the banquet Saturday night, I began reconsidering my return next year or any year.

The civilians in Provincetown are aware that the circus is in town, which makes it impossible to pass. Every tall woman is a potential man, so the civilians check out every tall girl to see if that is the case.
I never experienced anything untoward in Provincetown, but being a very tall girl, I soon became annoyed by the inspection that I (and all the other tall girls) had to undergo every time we walked outside.

If you are a closeted femulator and want to get out of the closet in a safe way, I highly recommend Fantasia Fair to you, but I don't need that. I could take the money I saved to bankroll a trip to Fantasia Fair and have a wonderful time shopping for a new wardrobe in the malls and outlet stores of Connecticut.
Sure some people might gawk at me as I shopped, but most would not because (1) they would not be alerted beforehand that a crossdresser may be in their midst and (2) I often pass and do not attract attention to myself in a bad way, that is, in a way that gives away my birth gender.

I had a wonderful time at Fantasia Fair and I am sure I would have a good time if I attended again, but weighing the cost versus the potential of growing more as a woman, I think my money would be better invested elsewhere. However, I am sure I will attend the event again in the near future.

My friend Jamie hit the nail on the head. During one lunch, she distributed ballots to the Fantasia Fair attendees to vote for the Miss Cinderella Award. Another friend suggested that everyone vote for me, but Jamie remarked that the purpose of the award is to recognize the attendee who blossomed the most during the Fair and that Staci had blossomed before attending the Fair.

Nuf said!
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Tracie crossdress Story

This is something I had heard about at least a couple of years ago, when the story came out that Sean Bean, a British actor traditionally known for playing hard men and villains, was cast to play the part of a transvestite in an upcoming drama. (I wonder if they auditioned Vinnie Jones for the role?) You might know Bean from Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or even James Bond. So naturally I couldn't wait to see it. However, down here in the bottom right hand corner of the map it's just been screened for the first time on terrestrial TV.

The drama in question is part of a UK serial, Accused, created for the BBC by screenwriter Jimmy McGovern. More specifically, it is the first episode of season 2. I haven't seen any of the other episodes, but I was so taken with the subtlety and brilliance of this one that I will be sure to take a look.

Sean Bean as Tracie

Let me say right up front that I think this is one of the best pieces of television featuring a cross dressing character that I have ever seen. It is clever, fresh, compelling and sympathetic. The dialogue sizzles (every one of Tracie's one-liners is a gem), and the characters are rounded and complex. It tackles all the issues you would expect, head on, but in ways you wouldn't expect. I am not going to spoil it for you, because I think it's just too good, but there are some points which are worthy of comment.

Tony: You get that a lot, do you? Aggro?
Tracie: Unfortunately.
Tony: So why do it?
Tracie: Because it's who I am, darlin'!
We join the action as Bean's character, Tracie Tremarco, gets all dolled up for a night on the town (Manchester), in what I wincingly regard as over-the-top drag: the long blonde hair, the short skirt, the sparkly dress, the long nails. But then we see Tracie expertly (if a little wearily) deflect the critical and mocking abuse she gets from the taxi driver and from some drunken lads in the pub. Later she picks up an apparently straight man, Tony (Stephen Graham), and they go back to Tracie's flat where they have sex.
Tony: What do you do for a living?
Tracie: Nothing, doll. Tracie's a good time girl.
Tony: So who pays for this place?
Tracie: Simon, love. The most boring man in the world.
A crossdressing academic, you say? Whatever next?
By day, Tracie is Simon, a bored and lonely English teacher, plodding through his lacklustre life, trying to interest his disengaged students in poetry. The writer makes a reasonable effort to weave the poetry into the narrative, particularly the Lady of Shalott, Tennyson's romantic ballad of a lonely and beautiful lady who looks out of her tower window and falls in love with "bold Sir Lancelot".
Tracie is surprised and delighted when Tony turns up at her flat unexpectedly, and the two embark on a relationship, somewhat hesitantly at first. Gradually, Tracie begins to fall in love with Tony, and wants him to take her out:
Tony: I haven't got the balls to be seen out with you. But shall I tell you why? It's because you make no bleedin' effort to look like a woman. A real woman!
Tracie: I never claimed to be Cheryl bloody Cole!
Tony: I never expected you to turn into Cheryl Cole. But you're going to have to do a lot better than Old King fucking Cole if you want to be seen out in public with me. So just have a go. Eh?
Tracie: What, and you'll take me out?
As the relationship deepens, Simon gradually rediscovers his zest for life. His students look up in surprise as he reads the poetry with fire and passion. Later there is a powerful scene where Simon, walking along the street, sees Tony coming the other way, and realises Tony does not recognise him. Simon's distress is played out perfectly by Bean, without a word of dialogue being spoken.
Did anyone ever tell you you look a bit like Cheryl Cole?

Later still, Tracie visits a shopping mall for a makeover. A beautiful young woman leans in close to apply the makeup, and we follow Tracie's eyes looking at each feature of this young woman: her pearl earring, her eyes, her lips, her figure. Though we, the audience, know what's really going on in Tracie's mind, the expression on her face mirrors a recurring feeling I have often had when I compare myself to real women: how could I ever possibly hope to look half as good as that?

The theme of the series Accused is legal drama. In each episode, there is a different lead character, and we see scenes from their life as they become involved in something illegal, interspersed with tense courtroom scenes. So I am not letting any cats out of any bags by letting it slip that Bean's character ends up in court. But here is where my revelations end: if you want more, you will need to see it for yourself! It seems to be available on YouTube here. Trust me, though. You won't see all the subtlety on a single viewing.

Reviews have been extremely favourable. The Huffington Post said "Bean has rarely been better, showing a vulnerability and complexity many miles away from his usual tough-man". Metro said the show "could have played out like a cliché but thanks to a gritty, chip-on-the-shoulderpad turn from Bean, matched every uneasy flirt of the way by Stephen Graham as the tightly wound Tony, these characters worked their way under the skin. It was a little heavy on the melodrama but these emotional wounds were palpable".

Bean's performance is a triumph, especially given his background playing hard men and villains. The British tabloid press breathlessly reported that Bean had gone out dressed as a woman to research the role, as if this was somehow a surprise. However, the broadsheet press was a little more enlightened in its reporting. The Independent interviewed Bean and quoted him:
Bean: I got pretty good at [walking in high heels], walking on cobblestones and all sorts. I had a full body wax, the high heels, short skirts, bras – everything – it was proper full-on. I became totally absorbed: it was wonderful being involved in it, I just didn't want to leave it, the character. I became very close to Tracie. It's a brilliant script: very moving, very dark humour.
Who would have thought I'd have been dressing up as a woman and embracing that? It just came out of the blue and it was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done, one of the things I'm most proud of. I just think I could never have invented that.
I congratulate Bean on his courage taking on this role, and for his ability to bring it to life. He manages to avoid the obvious farcical elements and provides us with a character which is portrayed sensitively and with subtlety, but with moments of wry comedy nonetheless. His performance won him the title of Best Actor at the Royal Television Society Awards.
I mean, do I look like a man in a dress?
So finally, what do I think? First, this programme is seriously bleak. Manchester is dull and grey and hostile. The only places which have light, colour and warmth seem (perhaps deliberately) to feature cosmetics, clothing, or transvestites. The character of Simon-Tracie is sordid and pathetic: a transvestite who looks ridiculous and brings home a series of men for sex. In a very real sense, Tracie had to look grotesque: we, the audience, just wouldn't have bought it if they had cast a pretty man (or a less accomplished actor) in the part. It speaks tremendously of the production team that they were able to bring this off and make us sympathise with the characters.

Second, there are aspects to the character of Tracie which don't quite sit comfortably with me, though it is plain that the writer has tried extremely hard to do his homework on the subject (hitting several nails squarely on the head with powerful lines about married men who are "curious" about transvestites). There is an odd separation between Simon and Tracie: each talks of the other in the third person, as if they were separate people. For some cross dressers, this might indeed be how they compartmentalise their lives; for me, I know it isn't.

Thirdly, Simon dresses as Tracie because he is a gay man.
Tracie: Young Simon... realised he had to tell his parents he was gay, or kill himself. So he decided having a dead son was slightly worse than having a gay one, so that's why he told them.
One of the main themes of this blog is that cross dressers are not gay, and there is plenty of justification for this view. On the other hand, I have a DVD of a 2002 documentary filmed in Manchester's gay community called The Queen's Wedding. The crew interviews several gay cross dressers, some very attractive, and some very unattractive, and the documentary culminates in the wedding of two men, one of whom wears a bridal dress for the occasion. In any case, a theme of that documentary is that some gay men do cross dress for the purposes of amusement and sex. So Tracie certainly seems to fit into that mould.

Finally, by bringing the character of Tracie to a mainstream audience, the writers are belting out a powerful and welcome message: you might find them repellent, but transvestites are human beings too.
  (Source : bluestockingblue.blogspot.com)
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Gender change in crossdressing

The French language has this peculiar structure of attributing gender to just about everything. A simple apple is no longer just an apple, it's "une pomme" in the feminine sense rather than "un pomme" in a masculine form. Who ever decided that an apple should be feminine rather than masculine goes back to a time long ago and hold no logic whatsoever. Who are we to argue the roots of a language that has evolved for thousands of years like everything else, right?. When referring to some animal form like a dog, it usually take a specific gender name like "un chien" and "une chienne" for a male and female dog respectively. The same holds true for humans, "un homme" and "une femme" are grammatically correct in their gender assignment.

The same gender attribution is also found in Spanish, Italian, German and many other Indo-European languages. If you think the French have a hard language to learn with two genders, German, which has 3, is a bit more complex. Then, wait until you learn Swahili. They have 6 distinct gender distribution in their nouns (at this point it is more a "noun class" than a gender). If you really feel like you need a challenge, the Bantu family of languages (Africa) have a total of 22 distinct noun classes with some languages using as many as 16-18 on a daily basis. Have fun ladies. (
http://members.aol.com/sylvanz/gv7.htm)
(
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_gender)

The feminist community should also have a ball knowing that the words vagina, ovaries and breasts, in French "un vagin, un ovaire, un sein" respectively, are all masculine in the grammatical sense. Trans gendered people might even find it confusing that a beard, "une barbe", is feminine. I will not even comment on the need to change the gender of a noun, in special cases where it is used in its plural form or changing the ending of adjectives according to the gender of the noun they are referring to. All this may sound very confusing at first if you were never exposed to the French language either in school or in everyday life, but you get the hang of it I guess.

But the topic here is not to discuss the intricacies of French language or the genderless aspect of the English language, even after thinking that a word like "hung" has very little feminine attributes. For many years, the information age has eased the concept of people communicating in written form with one another. What used to be pen, paper, envelope, stamp and a week long travel to get to its intended recipient is now an electronic letter, a much easier and widely used form of communication. Being quick and easy, people write and exchange more.

Words alone are but the tip of the iceberg here. Everyone who has writing ability will exert a specific writing style, building phrases, paragraphs and text to convey the message they wish to deliver. The question I asked myself a while back was a bit troubling for me in a sense that, tossing aside the vocabulary a person may use, can gender identity come across the writing style used by a person? Do men write like men and woman write in a more feminine way?

Since my mother tongue is French, I often have to analyze phrase construct more than the average English speaking person and as a result often discerned how some people do represent their gender very well in their writings. Are the words that we use, the phrases, the thoughts we are expressing, capable of communicating some form of gender identity? Maybe, to some degree at least but that could be just my personal opinion at the lack of empirical data. Well, I rarely saw a female writing a phrase like : "Hey, I think u r cute, hit me up and w'll chat". Yeap, that's definitively a male identity. Case closed. Hummm…well, is it really? Are we analyzing the poor grammar or the message’s representation of a male trying to express his need to conquer? If it is about grammar alone, could a female with the same level of intellect write the same way? Frankly, I never was exposed to this dilemma before and found it quite intriguing.

What we have to say often reflect our moods too, blurring further more the distinction of what could be called a gender oriented writing style. I often saw genetic woman write in a manly authoritative form. Does it mean that the actual circumstances brought the masculinity out and affected their style?. And what about the female working her way through the ladder of male dominated corporate organizations. They do express a more direct, authoritative and logical line of thought that is, for the most part, more prevalent of male identity.

I have read from many sources that a genderless approach is always preferable for an author of fiction and novel. Trying to instanciate an opposite gender line of thought on certain characters can be an exceedingly difficult task.

Simply Googling "gender of words" will bring some fascinating topics of language and grammatical definitions, gender definition and even a set of interesting discussions on gender identity from very different backgrounds. (artistic, religious, psychology, etc…)

Are we to think that we all write in a rather genderless form dictated solely by our level of intellect and the context at hand, possibly superimposing emotions and inner feelings on top? If I had to speak only for myself, I can’t differentiate when the male or the female part writes specifically. My mind is only one deep inside, even if the physical manifestation of this transformation is temporal.

As you can see, I am asking lots of questions. Words and their use is obviously not my forte in life but I was astonished by the dichotomy in the evidence, and the lack of, gender identification in the way people express themselves in written form. I am but a student here.

Love and Hugz,

Arianne
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