Thursday, July 23, 2015

At Work Enfemme Again

Two weeks before Halloween, Human Resources announced that there would be Halloween festivities at work including a costume contest. Naturally, I was overjoyed at the opportunity to dress at work as my gender of choice again. I say “again” because three years ago, the company-sponsored Halloween festivities included a costume contest. I dressed in fairly convincing office-girl drag and won the contest hands down.

After this year’s announcement, a few people who were familiar with my award-winning costume asked me if I was getting dressed again this Halloween. The women who asked actually were encouraging me to do so. I played coy saying that it didn’t seem that anyone else in our building was dressing; I didn’t want to be the only one in costume. In reality, I did not care if I was the only one in the state in costume; if the company said it was ok to appear in costume, then I was not going to miss the opportunity to do so.

I started shopping for a new outfit and found something darling on the Jessica London web site. It was described as a “Helen Blake mock two-piece dress. White collar, long sleeves and three rhinestone buttons. Polyester. Dry clean. Made in USA from imported fabric.” It had no waist, so I thought I would be able to wear it without foundation garments and not have folks wondering if I was wearing foundation garments. The dress was on clearance, so I ordered it and it arrived four days before Halloween.

The Mrs. said it looked like “a schoolmarm dress.” I didn’t mind that, but when I tried it on, it was too big. Not only did I look like a schoolmarm, but I looked like a schoolmarm in a muumuu.

I should have ordered it one size smaller, but it was too late to send it back and get a smaller size in time for Halloween. So, three nights before Halloween, I had to find an outfit to wear that would fit the office-girl drag category. Note that in addition to spending the day at work en femme, I planned to go to the mall during lunch, so I did not want something too outrageous and that would eliminate my real short skirt outfits.

After trying on a half-dozen outfits, I decided to wear my navy blue pinstriped suit. I always looked good in it and even though its skirt is short, the outfit is so office girl drag that I could get away with it. With the suit, I planned to wear a black lace blouse, black 3.5-inch stiletto pumps, black pantyhose, and my blue faux pearl necklace, earrings, and bracelet set.

Halloween eve, I Naired my legs, arms, and chest, packed my purse, and organized everything I needed Halloween morning so that I could get ready as fast as possible and get to work between 7:30 and 8 AM.

Halloween morning, I was up at 4:45 AM. I showered and shaved with a brand new razor blade and then began doing my makeup. It takes me about an hour to do my makeup and Halloween was typical.

I was dressed by 6:30 AM. I took the dog out to do her morning duty and retrieved the newspaper. Back in the house, I fed the cats and the puppy and did my nails. I used Revlon’s self-adhesive nails. They are pricey, but they are great. No glue, no sticky tabs, and they stay on tight. I have never lost one.

I was just about ready to go, when a minor disaster occurred. As I was adjusting the pantyhose on my left leg, I caught a point of my faux gem ring on the pantyhose on my right leg and it started to run. The run was on my upper inner thigh, so I figured it would not be noticeable and I used the old trick of applying some clear nail polish to the run to make it stop running.

I grabbed my purse, got in my car, and drove to work with Shania singing Man, I Feel Like A Woman blasting on the CD player (to put me in the mood). Thirty minutes later, I parked my car in my usual parking spot at work and got ready to exit my car. I noticed that a fellow who sits three cubicles from me was just getting out of his car and heading my way to get inside the building (my car was parked near the entrance).

I said to myself, “Well, here goes,” and I got out of my car just as he was passing. I said hello in my normal voice and he returned a hello without any sign of recognition.

I know he knows my car. We are usually among the first people at work and just the day before, he mentioned something about my car, but he had no clue who I was. I thought, “This was going to be good” and it was.

People who saw my costume three years earlier, recognized me right away, but the folks who had not seen me en femme before had no clue. It was very humorous when they learned who I was. The majority had to be told who I was; very few figured out whom I was.

The costume contest was a flop. Only three other people showed up in costume. Morale has been poor for a while. We have had some lay-offs and the folks in the factory were working three- and four-day weeks for a while, so there are not a lot of happy campers around that felt like participating in a company-sponsored costume contest.

Despite the low participation, the contest went on. We each received numbers to wear and we were escorted around the company for all to view. After folks saw us, they were supposed to vote using the numbers we wore. The categories were scariest, funniest, and most original, so there were four contestants vying for three prizes.

After we began our tour, one of the other contestants suggested that I say “hello” in a butch voice as we walked around because she thought the folks might think I was just another girl from HR escorting the contestants. And so I did.

When the votes were totaled, I received the most votes, but HR decided to give all four of us prizes, which was real nice of them to do. One of the women who encouraged me to dress joked that I probably won the “scariest” category. I asked why and she said that although the women thought it was great that I dressed like a woman, a lot of guys probably thought it was scary because they found me attractive. I never thought of it that way!

I had a great experience. I got a few “you look too good” comments, but I just took them in stride. The most attractive woman in our company, a tall “to die for” blond, visited my cubicle and wanted to check out my makeup job. She was surprised that I did my own makeup.

For some reason, I mentioned the run in my stocking and how I stopped it with the nail polish trick. She asked me how I knew to do that and I told her the truth, that is, I had read it somewhere. As soon as I said that I realized she would wonder what I was reading, obviously not Mechanics Illustrated! She just said, “Uh huh,” and then she said I looked “hot!” I think she suspects I do this a lot. A couple of other women mentioned that I had “great legs.”

During lunch, I drove to the mall. As I sat in the car fixing my makeup, I noticed all the women entering and exiting Filene’s. What a bunch of slobs! Most of them looked liked they were doing the laundry at home and suddenly discovered that they had to go to Filene’s and buy some detergent! I could not believe how poorly most of them were dressed. I did not see one skirt or dress. I did see some women dressed nicely in slacks or pants, but they were in the minority.

I was way overdressed, but I said, “what the heck” and entered Filene’s. By now, the balls of my feet were screaming because of the high heels I had worn all morning, so I switched to a different pair of shoes with a lower chunky heel. They were a lot more comfortable, but were actually a little loose and the right shoe slipped off my foot a couple of times while I walked around Filene’s. That sure makes it difficult to walk gracefully!

A lot of people read me, but no one confronted me. I ended up at the Mac makeup counter. The saleswoman was very helpful and I bought two items that I needed. Then, I left the store and went back to work.

It was an interesting day, but I don’t think I will do it again. One of the female contestants suggested we attend next year as bride and groom (her the groom and me the bride), but I think I will pass. If I showed up in drag again, I think people will really start to wonder about how I dress on weekends, so next year, I think I will attend dressed in a male costume. Something macho like a hairdresser or fashion designer!
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Men Who Might Like MTFs

Today I’d like to talk about men, or at least the men that we t-ladies come across. Just like there tends to be two types of trans ladies, there tends to be two types of gentlemen we might attract: trans admirers and straight men.

This is what I’ve learned from my, and my friends’, and my patients’ experiences—but I’d also like to encourage all of you to share what you’ve discovered, on the Internet and out in the world, with me by email. First and foremost, I’ve re-acquainted myself with that classic lesson from Out and About 101: gay clubs are the best, and gay men even better but not the least interested in us. What can make a gay club interesting for t-gal like me who’s in touch with the softer side of her sexuality, however, is the incidental appearance of one of the other two types of men: straight men and admirers—and it’s often very hard to tell the difference.

Of course, it’s a whole lot easier to find straight men at a straight club, but even there, there’s always that tense question of “Does he or doesn’t he know?” and what that says about me as a woman and him as a man. Ah, the difficulty of distinguishing the pass from the play-along, especially the well-oiled play-along of the experienced trans-fan. I have a hetero cross-dresser friend who cheerfully skips right over it and always assumes she’s passing and that the men hitting on her are straight. Though it “works for she,” making this distinction and coming out—at the right place and time—might really start to matter if she ever hoped her flirtation might lead to something more.

Is there truly a difference between straight men and trans admirers, when most of them and many of us would deny it emphatically? Well, like the distinction between love-to-be-femme and act-femme TGs, the distinction between straight men and admirers is one of those things that “seems to be” even if it doesn’t always “work for you and me.” So, you man hunters out there must by now be hungry to know why admirers are different, how to tell them apart from regular straight men, which kind to go for, and what you need to know if you do.

“But aren’t all admirers really gay?” the most naive among us ask. “Certainly not,” I say. The word gay, at least according to gay people, describes something very specific: men attracted men—in male form. It does not describe any man who does anything non-straight, no matter how much your angry ex-wife might say so.

The more informed among us know that admirers almost always come from the straight world, Studio City rather than West Hollywood as we might say around here. I must admit I had a ball the first night I spent at the Mangy Moose, a rockin’ dance joint for older singles in Studio City. I’ve never been so whirled and twirled in my entire life. But I wasn’t nearly so popular the next time and soon learned that I’d been read and word had spread. Where before I’d been courted by twenty, now there seemed to be none. But with a little patience and a comfortable bar stool, I was pleased to discover there was still somebody looking to get up my skirt. And after talking for a little while, I could tell he’d read me or been tipped off, when there were too many references to my height or the “great shape” I was in.

I recently compared notes over lunch with a beautiful, bright, little Filipino non-op TS, and what she’d gathered was so different, but really so much the same. “I get a lot of guys hitting on me,” she explained, “but when I tell them I’m T, they all back away, or at least 95%. I’d have to be post-op and stealthy to keep ’em interested.”

But if a man stays interested despite learning her secret or realizing mine, is he just common Joe tempted to walk on the wild side or a simple Simon smitten by the singular charms of one Alice Novic (or Teresa Teruel), whatever she may be? Whoever such men are, they seem to emerge mysteriously from the straight world, even for me still at forty-four years old, and I thank heavens for them. Who needs to think it through any further than that? No one! Okay, end of article . . .

Just kidding. I do. Maybe it’s the former math/science geek in me—now trapped in the body of a transvestite, or simply the fact that I’m a psychiatrist. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t like surprises down the pike. But I have to ask questions and learn as much as I can from what people say and especially what they do.

So what about that magic 5% of straight men who stay interested? Are they the same as the other guys? If the mood strikes, might any straight man consider a walk on the wild side? First of all, dear readers, don’t answer this question based on your own experience as men. Because, whether CD or TS, you are not and never were a pure straight man, you’re trans—and because of that you see and have always seen the world differently. To avoid this pitfall I surveyed three really good straight friends who had already shared all kinds of secrets with me—if any of them had been trans or trans-admiring they would have long ago let me know.

And, alas, all said they’d lose interest and have to bow out as best they could, if they learned they were getting involved with a transwoman. It seems that these three, at least, were just plain not oriented to us. “If I was already in love with her,” one, who happened to be a doctor, said, “then it would be a bitter pill to swallow, like learning she had herpes or diabetes, but we all have our issues.” That, my friends, is type one of the men who might be interested, an open-minded, yet regular, straight man.

Fortunately there are those strangers who come out of the woodwork for a readable gal like me or stay interested in a right-up-front girl like Teresa, and they seem to resemble the men we’re more familiar with from our tranny clubs. For them we’re not some kind of icky imbetween, but the best of both worlds. Bless their hearts. Regardless of where they’re found, these men are best thought of as a second and distinct type of the men who might like us, trans admirers, because they seek us out and fall in love with us because we’re trans, not despite it. Who are they? Simply some small renegade percentage of otherwise regular straight men? Many insist that they are, and I’d like to think that’s true. They explain their attraction to us with “You’re like women but with a little something extra,” and “You’re all so much more appreciative and care about being feminine.”

That sounds pretty convincing except for the fact that I’ve been out on the tranny and chaser scene since 1994, and many men have offered me—and themselves—such explanations only to admit one on one that yes they’re aroused by lingerie or to come out years later as a cross-dresser or even transsexual. That’s why I’ve personally come to believe that Deep inside every chaser beats the heart of a tranny. Can’t many of you ladies remember such a phase? Many admirers may be passing through it now. And perhaps there, many are happy to stay. Nonetheless, maybe some admirers are simply who they say are, so we might sum up the kinds of men who might like us into 1) straight men who can tolerate our being trans, 2a) admirers who perceive us as women with some sort of advantage 2b) admirers drawn to us because they are trans at heart. Regardless of which kind you are, thank you for being there. And if you’re an over six-foot-tall Southern Californian who knows how treat a lady, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Conditions in the Field

If so many admirers are tranny at heart, why don’t they just dress up and hit the town like we do? Why settle for soaking up someone else’s satisfaction? And why are they so often a less impressive bunch than gay men and even regular straight men? Gosh, that’s an appalling thing to say about our guys—and thank god for the many exceptions—but anyone with any real heels-on-ground experience is aware of this unfortunate fact.

Why oh why, I’ve asked myself, until thinking back on the innumerable men I’ve met over the years at the Queen Mary and the Lodge (may they rest in peace) and realizing that one simple explanation solves both of these puzzles. But like most of the mysteries of the TG world, we can see it only if we take off our blinders and rein in our sensitivities.

Each admirer is a bird unable to fly. Maybe he’s flown before? Maybe he’ll develop tail feathers of his own and shake them around in style in the future? But for now he’s limited by something. And that same thing that keeps him from being a terribly happening woman may be what’s keeping him from being an especially happening man.

That’s why admirers tend to be a heavier and older bunch of men. It would make sense if they were also taller, though I haven’t seen that near as much as I’d like. Some may have their wings clipped by lack of a steady job, car, or apartment. Many are married and unable to get out except under the rarest of circumstances. Some may be constrained by psychological baggage, religious guilt, or macho ethnic tradition.

But the problem for a man-loving TG like me is that once one of these fellows shakes off his shackles and sheds some pounds he may not emerge as a hot, happening man on the scene; he may just show up next week in a dress. “Darn,” I’ve often complained, “the best men here tonight are women.”

So, with all that being said, maybe it’s better to leave your local tranny night behind and look for straight men at a nearby singles bar. That’s all well and good but unless you’re 5’ 6” and Filipino or a slender white girl with amazing FFS, you’re not going to fool anybody. And if you think the men you reel in are pure, straight men with no clue, then you’re only fooling yourself—pleasant as that may be.

But let’s assume you can reel in the swordfish like some of my tinier TS patients and friends, then what do you need to know moving forward. I’d advise dating for a while before ultimately revealing your secret. That way he can get to know and love all the great things about you before he learns about this not-so-great (to him) thing. Don’t wait too long, because you don’t want him to feel deceived and definitely tell him before making any long-term commitments. Also, whether pre-op or even post, be prepared for your new beau to struggle a bit with the notion of seeming gay to himself and to anyone else in the know. And he probably won’t be interested in hearing too much about TG life, so you’d best be happy living year after year as an ordinary woman.

Now if you reel in one of our t-admirers, on the other hand, you can be pretty sure that he’ll be interested in who you are where you come from as a trans-person. But be forewarned, you represent a forbidden pleasure that might light all kind of fires inside him. Because of that he might be all over you like there’s no tomorrow one night—only for you to discover next morning that there really was no tomorrow as far as he was concerned. But let’s say you find an admirer interested in on ongoing thing. Then you’ll want to watch out for him trying to make you a secret playmate that he never has to take out, or him paying too much attention to your original equipment and losing interest if you go for GRS. And then there’s the final risk of him being around a joyful, self-actualizing trans-person: he may want to blossom himself someday. Would you want him to dress up with you? Maybe you’d be okay if he did it quietly when you’re not around? I’ve often asked men to observe my special version of the Golden Rule, “Do unto me, everything you’d like done unto you—and for God’s sake, and don’t talk about it too much.”

Life’s rich, complex, and full of possibilities. Be careful and enjoy!

Alice Novic, M.D.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

13 famous transgender celebrities

DC Comics made history last year when they introduced the American comic worlds first openly transgender character, Alysia Yeoh, in the pages of Batgirl.
Yeoh’s “coming out” story marks the latest point of progress in the rising prominence of transgender figures in the public spotlight and may pave the way for other fictional, transgender characters and real-life transgender people to be recognized and accepted in everyday life.
Check out some other famous transgender celebs below. – nicholas robinson

 Isis King

Isis King
Isis King made history as the first transgender model to compete on the 11th cycle of America’s Next Top Model and she later appeared on the all-star edition as well. She’s since become a superstar of the LGBT and reality TV world. She recently launched her own fashion line.

Alexis Arquette

Alexis Arquette
Actor and musician, Alexis Arquette has been a prominent transgender activist in Hollywood for years.

Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono
Chaz Bono, the son of Cher and Sonny Bono, was already a gay rights figure but in 2009 he became an even bigger activist when he revealed that he is a transgender man.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera
Carmen Carrera rose to fame after competing as a drag queen on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. After her season wrapped, she came out as transgender and began physically and hormonally transitioning.

Lana Wachowski
Lana Wachowski
Lana Wachowski, of the famous Wachowski siblings, became the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender in July 2012.

Lea T

Lea T
Brazilian model Lea T became a household name after Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci hired her as his fit model-personal assistant. He then used her in his 2010 ad campaign. She has since been featured in Vogue Paris and Interview.

Janet Mock

Janet Mock editor Janet Mock, turned heads last year when she came out as transgender last year.

Amanda Lepore

Amanda Lepore
NYC entertainer Amanda Lepore is one of the world’s biggest transgender icons and is the muse of David LaChappelle.

Thomas Beatie

Thomas Beatie
Thomas Beatie rose to fame in 2008 when he and his wife Nancy, revealed that he was pregnant with his first child. The couple has since had two other children carried by Thomas.

Marci Bowers

Marci Bowers, M.D.
Dr. Marci Powers is a pioneering surgeon in the field of transgender transitional surgery. She’s the first transgender woman to also perform the surgeries. She also performed Isis King’s surgery.

Candis Cayne

Candis Cayne
Candis Cayne became the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in prime time TV when she landed a role on Dirty Sexy Money. Candis has also appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nip/Tuck and Necessary Roughness.

Jenna Talackova

Jenna Talackova
Jenna Talackova made headlines when she was booted from the Miss Universe Canadian pageant because she is transgender. Jenna, however, fought back and regained her spot in the competition and won worldwide fame.

Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox entered the public spotlight when she competed on Vh1’s I Wanna Work For Diddy, making her the first African-American transgender woman to be on a mainstream reality TV series. She now works as an LGBT activist.
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Monday, July 13, 2015

The Biggest Holiday in San Francisco

I’ve again failed to update this blog in far too long, and here we are at the end of June already! That means that I’ve now been on hormones for more than 16 months! June is also the month with San Francisco’s biggest holiday: Pride! So many things have happened since my last post: I went to Prague and Paris (I have lots of pictures and feelings to share about this!), I was a counselor at the first-ever Autostraddle A-Camp, I turned 25, I recorded a podcast with Bailey Jay, I filed my legal gender change paperwork (my court date is in July!), I had my belly button pierced, and I dyed my hair! I’m really excited to write about all the things but since Pride just happened, I’m going to start with that first. :)

before: light(er) hair!

after: dark hair!
Pride in San Francisco is a three-day event: Trans March on Friday, Dyke March on Saturday, and the main Pride parade on Sunday morning. Trans and Dyke March are both really powerful, intimate gatherings of beautiful queers in Dolores Park (the largest in SF’s Mission Neighborhood), followed by a march down Market Street to City Hall. The Sunday parade, by comparison, is really polished and commercial and caters to a much more mainstream audience. It’s an important part of San Francisco tradition, but it lacks the rawness and sense of community that make Trans and Dyke March so special. I actually didn’t end up going to the main parade this year, but the previous two days of Pride more than made up for it.

Trans March officially began at 3:30pm on Friday, but my girlfriend and I had to work so we didn’t make it to the park until 6. It had been cold and cloudy for most of the day, but the sun began to burn through the fog by the time we arrived. The event was started in 2004 as a response to the murder of a Latina trans woman (dozens of trans* people, nearly all of them women of color, are killed every year). It was a way for the trans* community and its allies to join together in the face of violence, discrimination, and indifference. Eight years later, the strong political edge remains, since trans* people are still fighting for the basic rights that others enjoy.

my gf and i at trans march!
One of the best parts about Trans March is the people watching. My friends and I spent the evening enjoying the many amazing bodies, outfits, and gender presentations on display in Dolores Park. For example, I saw a middle-aged trans woman dancing around in her underwear with the biggest smile on her face- this was probably one of the rare occasions when she could do this and feel safe.  I saw shirtless trans guys proudly showing their scars from top surgery, and another person who appeared to be presenting as male, except for their B-cup breasts protruding from their open jacket. Throughout the night, I recognized a lot of people, either through tumblr, Dimensions (the public health clinic for queer/trans* youth that I go to), or radical queer dance parties like Ships in The Night. My girlfriend, who interned at the Transgender Law Center last fall, also saw many familiar faces.That’s one really cool thing about the trans* community: it’s small enough that it feels like everyone knows each other.
After more than an hour in the park, we lined up to march on City Hall. As we walked, we passed by dozens of people cheering us on, as well as a number of confused-looking tourists looking on from nearby bus stops. Hopefully we helped fulfill their stereotype of San Francisco! A light rain had started to fall by the time we reached the end of the march, so we ducked into a nearby BART station and headed home for the night. I had a great time at Trans March, and it’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since my first one! Here’s short video of the evening:
I woke up earlier than I normally would on a Saturday morning, because it was time for day two of Pride: Dyke March! My girlfriend and I stopped by the farmers’ market near our apartment and loaded up on snacks before BARTing back to Dolores Park for an afternoon of queer ladies, sunshine, and celebration. Despite the day’s cold forecast, I wore my new polka dress because I’ve been kind of in love with it since I bought it earlier this month. And it turned out to be much hotter than predicted so my outfit choice was perfect! The park was packed; it was way more crowded than Friday’s march. My friends and I met up with a group of Autostraddlers and their friends and we all spent the day together. A number of the girls there were also at A-Camp in April so it was great to see them again! As the day went on, nearly everyone became half-naked and covered in glitter. It’s impossible to go to Dyke March and not have this happen! We all had a great time- so much fun, in fact, that we completely missed the start of the actual march! Sad times. By the time we realized what had happened, the majority of the marchers had already left and we decided to grab dinner at a nearby Salvadorian restaurant to drown our disappointment in pitchers of Sangria (which they were out of!). Oh well- I still had a great time :) Here are some of the highlights of the day:

my friend and i at dyke march!

fun times in dolores park

Event though I didn’t make it into the city for the last day of Pride today, I don’t feel like I missed much. I went last year- and I think it’s really cool that parade is such a popular and family-friendly event, but it doesn’t really speak to my experience as a young queer trans girl in 2014. Oakland Pride, which is happening in September, is much more fun in my opinion :)
I have a long day at work tomorrow so I should probably wrap this up, but hopefully many other posts will be on their way soon! I have a lot of things that I’ve been meaning to share on this blog, so if I haven’t posted here in over two weeks, shoot me a tumblr ask and tell me to get writing!  (Also, as a sidenote, I update my tumblr way more frequently.)
In honor of Pride, I’ve chosen music by one of the queerest bands around: The Magnetic Fields. My girlfriend has been a huge fan for years and while it took me a while to warm up to them (maybe I needed to come out of the closet first), I absolutely love these songs:

Amanda Lepore, Thomas Beatie, Marci Bowers

(Source : annikapenelope.tumblr)
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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tara Emory: “Fantasy Pin-Up Girl!!!” Interview

“I'm really quite shy and an introvert, and I guess I use my many personas to be more outgoing.”
-Tara Emory
Tara Emory is easily one of the most unique and imaginative pinups on the t-girl scene. We all delve into the area of fantasy every time we slip on our heels, but Tara has taken feminization (and pinup porn) to a whole new level. In her shoots, she’s portrayed everyone from bellhops to butterflies, mermaids to matadors. She’s even done a sexy Sarah Pallin. (Look out Tina Fey!) I’ve been a fan of Tara’s for years, so it was a thrill to talk with her, and to ask about the process she goes through to create her amazing images. For me, it was a little like peeking behind the curtain in Oz… and seeing that the Wizard is actually a sexy transsexual with a flair for the wild and the wicked, as well as the wonderful.

CiCi: How long have you been doing this? When did Tara Emory -- the fetish transsexual pinup -- come to be?
Tara: Oh, I guess I've been doing this close to 9 years now. I dabbled in the fetish scene in the mid 90's but at that time I was going out to fetish clubs maybe twice, three times a year. Around ‘98 or ‘99, it all pretty much came out with going full time, and being a fixture on the Boston fetish scene (when there sorta was one), and starting up my website at the same time. My very first 
corset I think I made in like 1997 or so. It was green satin with white marabou trim. Back then I was definitely more into the fetish dressing than the day to day dressing. And I suppose that was the doorway into learning that I was transsexual/trans gendered. I think by about 2000 or so, I was pretty much full time and very comfortable with being me.

CiCi: How was your transition to girl life? Was it tough on you? Was it tough on your family and friends?
Tara: I sorta went through all this 10 years ago with my family and don't really recall what it was like, but generally I think it went down ok. I seem to remember one family member meeting "Tara" for the first time and saying that it wasn't much different from me as a boy. When you're in "boy mode" and you're constantly mistaken for a girl, people aren't really surprised to learn that you're TG. It's like, "Oh yeah… that's what a trans gendered person is like. That makes sense." Most of us meet people every day where something in your brain says, "What gender are they?" And some of them are either trying really hard to fit in the gender role that society wants them to be in, or they just go with the gender ambiguity and let people guess.

CiCi: You really were a pioneer. One of the first girls to start her own website. Back then, did you ever dream you would take it this far and basically become world famous?
Tara: Am I world famous? I'm not so certain of that, but if others say it's so, then I guess it is! I don't know. You don't really think of how far it will go. If I sorta stay at the same level I'm at now, then that's great, and if it becomes sort of a viral success, then wonderful. I've had various smooth talkers/would-be "agents" come into my life promising they could make me really famous -- or saying that I had to change the way I live -- or "you've got to move to L.A." I've ducked away from that because I either thought I was going to be taken advantage of, or that they were talking b.s.

“Some people are offended by the word "shemale" but I think it has a fantasy aspect to it, like it's a mythical creature. Actually, I have been called a "unicorn" before, which was probably the greatest compliment I've ever gotten…”
-Tara Emory

CiCi: And they probably were! But was it hard getting the website started? The web was still in its early stages. Did you build the site yourself? And how long did it take before you really started to see a lot of hits?
Tara: I think my very first website was some sort of "geocities" page, but that was so long ago I probably only have a version of it on like a Zip disk or something! It was also pretty bad trying to do dirty pictures back then, because digital cameras weren't that common yet, and you'd have to take the "questionable" film to get developed. I had more than one time where they either refused to process the prints, or they mysteriously stole some of the double prints I ordered. Probably around 1998 or ‘99 I got my first digital camera and had my first pay website.

CiCi: I imagine you've always been theatrical. Always had a flair for the dramatic. Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Were you a creative kid?
Tara: As a kid? Not so much a flair for the dramatic. In fact, I wasn't any sort of "drama club” extrovert at all. (In other words, I would NOT have been in any sort of “High School Musical.”) *rolls eyes* I'm really quite shy and an introvert, and I guess I use my many personas to be more outgoing. As a kid I wasn't into Halloween, and to be truthful, I’m still not. The only time I got heavily into Halloween was at the tail end of college when I was entering costume contests and winning some money here and there. But I wasn't making fetish costumes, I was making bizarre funny outfits out of cardboard boxes like gas pumps or ATMs. There was also one year where I dressed up as the Russian space station Mir, and won a trip to London. But theatre? Nah. But maybe now, I might. I've actually been sort of thinking of doing some real acting if the right role came around. But I think I'd have to be one of those actors who doesn't really act -- they just hire him or her to act like they normally do. I'll gladly take some roles for people to have me act like they expect me to! I could really relish doing something like an Amelie or a Holly Golightly sort of role.

CiCi: Holly Golightly? Excuse me while I imagine a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” shoot done Tara-style. (pause) Okay, I’m back now. : ) Tell us about college. I understand you went to art school. Does your school know what a success you've become?
Tara: Yes, I did, and it was a pretty conservative school in the *ahem* Bible Belt. They seemed to pride themselves on being a pretty "wholesome" environment, which isn't really the best atmosphere for an art school. So... I think if my alma mater knew what I did now, they'd probably NOT be interviewing me for their alumni newsletter any time soon, which is fine, because I don't really need them for anything anyway.

I guess I sorta blame my years at a Southern art school with delaying my whole figuring-out-that-I-was-trans gendered process. I might've had an alternative life if I went to like New York, which would have put me there right at the tail end of the whole Limelight Club Kid era (mid 90's I think). On the other hand, maybe I would have become a junkie or something. In a way, I'm kind of glad I decided to be a pornstar/ fetish model at the age of 25, AFTER I reached a certain maturity, rather than falling into the potentially seedy adult industry at an earlier age. I've seen 18 year old strippers who are already jaded by the business, and it's not a pretty sight.

CiCi: If it’s not too personal, would you mind talking about doing porn? Did you spend a lot of time pondering that decision? Or did it just seem like a natural expression of your fetish side?
Tara: I fell into porn in my mid-20's, and I think that was the right time for me. If you had told the 18 year old version of me what I would have been doing in 10 years, I would have called you crazy. I think I had to reach a certain amount of maturity -- or at least harmony with myself. (I’d been an ashamed teenager drawing pictures of crazy kinky sex scenes.) It took me until about my mid 20's to come to embrace my inner pervert, so doing porn was a natural progression and expression of that.

I might have had an initial hesitation though. Sort of like, "what if this comes back to bite me in the ass." Eventually, I made the rationalization that 6 dirty pictures of myself floating around on the internet was just as damaging as 60,000 dirty pictures. Someone could try to use those 6 pictures to discredit me, but at least with 60,000 I can say that I "owned" my career. Plus it opened up a whole world of opportunities in other fields that are related to the business end of the "adult business."

Some people do porn as a means to an end -- as a way just to make money. And you see them all the time. They're the girls who if they changed their hair color you'd think they were a totally different girl. They all look the same, and they slip in and out of the business and hope it doesn't come back to haunt them (and often it does), when they try to work either in "real" Hollywood, or something that is the opposite of porn (like becoming a school teacher).

I'm the opposite. I actually want to make porn movies that people are still talking about 10 years later. What that will lead to I don't know, but I do know that the porn stars that get a cult status do end up getting roles in real films, write 
books, do the talk show circuit… all that.

CiCi: I can def see you on the talk show circuit… chatting with Tyra. So tell me about your photo sets? Do you struggle to come up with new ideas... or are you one of those people who has ideas stacked up for the next several years?
Tara: Ideas stacked up for years, and I occasionally dig into the pile and see what ones I should develop further. Sometimes an idea splits off into a few ideas (right now "Bubblegum Broadway" is splitting off into "Lion Tamer" and "Magician's Assistant," which are two I've designed but haven't started on yet.) If I really got my stuff together, I could technically try to do 50 shoots in like 2 months, and then dole them out one every week and be all finished with work until like 2014.

CiCi: That’d be a pretty amazing two months! So how long does it usually take... from conception to design to creating the outfit to creating the set?
Tara: It depends. I'm working on a lot of stuff for my sci-fi porn film "Uranus Needs Shemales," which is taking a lot longer than I had expected. And even with that, I've got conceptual sketches that go as far back as like 2003. But that's what the best ideas are; they're the ones you've been working on for years. I've also had ideas that went from concept to creation in like 3 days. There are a lot of factors that drive what shoots I do next. Sometimes it's things like the "time of year." Last year in mid-November I was like, "Ooh, I'll do a pilgrim shoot for Thanksgiving," and then I didn't figure out what that would be, but now that it's almost a year later, I can revisit that and I've got some time to do it properly.

CiCi: Do you have a personal fave? One particular outfit or photo that made even you go, "Whoa!"
Tara: As for a favorite? I don't know… I'll poke around my website and hover on an old shoot and appreciate different photos or poses that I used to. And then I'll look back at some outfits that I feel I over-did. And some that came out really, really good. I keep coming back to "Cocktoberfest," which even though the outfit is really traditional, non-fetish materials (nothing shiny at all), all the stars were in alignment that day. And at the time I made it, I really enjoyed hand-painting all the little details. The proportions of the sleeves, to the corset to the skirt, work really well, and I put in that extra effort to out-do any sexy German barmaid outfit I'd ever seen. It's one of the few outfits I've made that's actually comfortable, and fits like a glove. I could totally walk around the house all day wearing it, with the skirt that has a poofy-ness to it, while showing enough below to be very naughty. And this is coming from someone who really doesn't get into all that cliché, submissive "sissy" stuff.

CiCi: So tell us about your movie. What's it about? And what made you decide to take on this kind of challenge?
Tara: Yes, It's a bit of a challenge writing and directing my own film when I'm in front of the camera most of the time. It's called "Uranus Needs Shemales." It's about my character, Cummander Asstra Galasstica, and well, large sex-robots called "TestosTRobots" and her ship called "The Viberator." It's all made to look a lot like it was made a while ago, since it takes place in the future, in the year 1997. That's all I can say right now, and though it's all coming along pretty slowly, it is progressing. I'm also working on other films, and it may even be that some of them come out before "Uranus." I can imagine that there will be like 5 months of post-production and editing for a (cheezy) FX laden extravaganza such as that.

CiCi: I can’t wait to see it. Tell me something about Tara that would surprise most people? (Other than the fact that you’re shy and introverted. That one definitely shocked me.)
Tara: Probably what would surprise people is that my life isn't really a fantasyland. There may be a carefully crafted image that I portray, but when one speaks to me, they realize that I'd be the first to tear down the myth. And yes, there seem to be myths out there and all sorts of things said about me where I have no idea where people get that idea. I think people would also be surprised as to how dull my life really is. Not that I'm bored with life quite the contrary, I'm happy. It's just that it's full of menial tasks, and really doesn't have the sort of drama that people expect. I've been thinking of writing my autobiography, but I’ve been having a hard time because it isn't full of juicy pay dirt like tales of rejection, drug abuse, working the streets, etc. I’ve had a pretty well-adjusted life, which unfortunately makes for "bad television"!

CiCi: Tara, thank you so much for giving us a little glimpse at the girl “behind the curtain.” So, just one final question. I ask all my interview subjects this question: “Hey T-Girl, what does your T stand for?”
Tara: Well… hmmm… good question… I don't really often use many of the "T" words, and I really, really, really don't like it when people say "Gurl" with a "u." Some people are offended by the word "shemale" but I think it has a fantasy aspect to it, like it's a mythical creature. Actually, I have been called a "unicorn" before, which was probably the greatest compliment I've ever gotten from someone who met me and really "got" me. So, I'm not a T-girl, I'm a hybrid creature, a mermaid or a unicorn or a centaur. Let's go with that!

A mythical creature indeed. According to the dictionary, the word, “fantastic” has two meanings. It can either mean something associated with fantasy, or it can mean something that is exceptionally good. Tara Emory’s work is both. You can see more of Tara and experience her imaginative and erotic photos at
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Anna Kronis (an aspiring crossgender model)

My name is Anna Kronis, and I am an aspiring crossgender model based in Los Angeles. I am of Northeast European descent; my parents were both from the Baltic country of Latvia. My look has been all over the gender spectrum the last few years, but I have settled into a predominately feminine style with some unmistakable masculine traits showing through. My passion is the piano; and I enjoy music, wine, and fashion. My goal is to refine my unique ethnic look and explore gender fluidity in a changing fashion world.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gay marriage Celebrations in New York (US)

The US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states

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