Thursday, November 30, 2017

Never Too Late For a Happy Childhood

"The problem is, everyone knows I am jealous because you look prettier (in my dress)
 than I do."

NewsRadio television show 1996

More photos here on Femulate

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Best of Times - Oregon

My Photos - Oregon - Cannon Beach and Mt. Hood on approach  

I love Portland Oregon. I had an installation/training there two years ago and another the first two week of in November. I spent the weekend kicking around the area again and relaxing. It is beautiful and is such a sharp contrast to Florida. In a way, diagonally across the US. I love the terrain and watching the clouds drift across the nearby hills/mountains is so relaxing. Deep green with muted grays were everywhere. This mixed with and the fall colors made everything enchanted.  

Last time there I had concerts planned and theater events. This trip I had two installations planned, cut with a weekend stay. Earlier that week, I had a dinner planned with a blog friend (photos in this post). Weekend plans did not workout so I planned time to see some of the places I missed last time and chill - literally. 

Almost no makeup
Previously I had my hair done and much to my surprise the stylist was still at the same salon when I called. I booked a shampoo and blow-out for Friday afternoon. Having finished at the client, I did rush a bit to get to the saloon and had on very little makeup at the time. Niki, did a lovely job (photo here). She works at the Firefly Salon just across the bridge in Vancouver Washington. With the glow of my beautiful hair style, I had a quiet dinner in the hotel restaurant alone that evening. 

Saturday, I traveled to Cannon Beach taking the "over the mountain" drive from Portland. Wow, Haystack Rock and the surrounding coastline is a beautiful sight. You cannot fully appreciate the Haystack Rock's size without referencing the people in the foreground walking on the beach. Lunch was hot and delicious clam chowder, at the Wayfarer Restaurant overlooking the rock. I spent over two chilly hours walking this scenic Pacific Beach - So different from Florida and so beautiful. 

After, my drive back, I dressed nicely and went down to the restaurant area and listened to a band playing dance music for about an hour and a half - A big crowd. Sunday morning I had a relaxing breakfast in the hotel's restaurant overlooking the Columbia River. Later a movie across the river in Vancouver. Sunday evening was dinner again with Marcia and after, getting ready for my next client/repacking. An early morning drive down to Salem to start my second installation.
Best of all, was the fact that from the time, mid-Friday to Sunday night, I was myself. I have done this many times before, however actually having no plans and enjoyed the moments away from home was the best escape. No one seemed to notice or care and that made for "The best of times is now".  

La Cage - The Best of Times Is Now (2010)

Where will your next escape be?  

Monday, November 27, 2017

David Cassidy’s Heartbreaking Last Words

David Cassidy, a teen idol of the 1970s, died in Florida on Tuesday, days after being hospitalized and experiencing organ failure. He was 67.

Actress Katie Cassidy, daughter of the late David Cassidy, spoke out about her father’s death in an emotional tweet on Friday.

In her note, Cassidy shed light on her father’s final moments and revealed his heartbreaking last words. 

“Words can’t express the solace our family’s received from all the love & support during this trying time,” said (Katie) Cassidy, who stars on The CW’s superhero series “Arrow.”

She wrote:

My father’s last words were 'So much wasted time.

This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute.

Cherish - David Cassidy


While we have our health, facilities, and means let us all work to make sure that these are not our last words.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Political Cartoons 11-26

Programming Note: This Sunday (today) at 10 pm CNN's, This is Life with Lisa Ling has the subject "Transbeauty".  Here is the preview.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friend's Friday - Marcia

Two dinners while in Portland OR, November 2017

Marcia was my very first "Friend's Friday".  Much has changed in the two years. It was wonderful catching up and seeing the progress that Marcia has made moving to live as her authentic self. Thank you Marcia for two lovely evenings and great stimulating conversations.

I still travel for business so watch the Sunday post for upcoming trips.  I would love to meet loyal readers and followers while in your city. Just send a note.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dinner At The Yacht Club

Ralph Lauren is one of my favorite designers.  I found this blue Cap-Sleeve Sweater on sale with an additional 30% off this past weekend ($41.99). I quickly went searching for items to pair it with before purchasing and found many. My go to white knit pants with either heels or flats make a great combination. (two pair with different hemmed leg length).  

Update: Macy's also has this sweater on sale as a Black Friday special for $38.39. 

I know white after labor day is a no-no, however this is Florida and colors are brighter. The whites paired with navy blue have a nautical look and perfect for dinners at the Yacht Club. There are two close by. OK - I don't have a yacht or a boat at this time, but I can still go to the club. All it takes is the right invitation - Anyone asking?

There is a Yacht Club dinner story but that is part two.  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Superwoman in Heels

No one appreciate a beautiful pair of shoes more than I. While traveling through Houston Texas Airport (IAH) last week I spotted the beauties above in the food court area. An attention grabber. I was about three gates from my connecting flight home. I had just hiked likely well over a mile plus from the end of one concourse to another (A-Terminal to E-Terminal) so was feeling the distance on my not, "high-heeled" feet. I was wearing comfortable shoes, having just left a client in Portland OR. 

We all know that high-heels, although beautiful and spirit elevating, are not that easy on the feet. I marveled at these beauties for not just the art but also from the fortitude of the wearer.

Much to my surprise she boarded my flight to Palm Beach although not sitting close by. When we arrived I shot the right photo in the baggage claim area. I was in awe of her grace and stamina.  Go Girl!

I have worn similar to an event or dinner, but have never dared to trek an airport. She was totally put together with what looked to be an expensive top and her Neverfull Louis Vuitton bag. She was grace in motion and the foot strength of superwoman. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2017

The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible -- it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.
 Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith

Remembering the transgender people killed in 2017

This is just the USA list (source Wikipedia and QNotes)

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow
Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, a 28-year-old Native American trans woman was found murdered in her apartment in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on 7 January, however, she is believed to have died at least several days prior.

Sean Ryan Hake, a 23-year-old transgender man was shot three times by police and killed in Sharon, Pennsylvania on January 6. The police were responding to a domestic call for which Hake had threatened their mother and cut his own throat. Hake's family has filed a lawsuit alleging the police violated Hake's civil rights.

Mesha Caldwell
Mesha Caldwell, a 41-year-old black trans woman, was found shot to death on a road near Canton, Mississippi on 4 January.

Jojo Striker, a 23-year-old trans woman of color, was found shot to death in a garage in Toledo, Ohio, on 8 February. She suffered one gunshot wound to her chest.

Jaquarrius Holland, an 18-year-old black trans woman, was shot during a verbal altercation in Monroe, Louisiana on 19 February.

Tiara Lashaytheboss Richmond, a 24-year-old black trans woman who was also known as Keke Collier, was shot on Chicago's south side on 23 February, by an unknown assailant while sharing a vehicle with them. She was found by police on the ground outside, and rushed to the hospital, where she died around 7:00 AM.

Chyna Dupree,
Chyna Doll Dupree, a black trans woman, also known as Chyna Gibson, was shot in New Orleans on 25 February, by an unknown assailant. She was found by police at 8:30 pm lying in a parking lot outside a shoppingmall. She had been shot several times, and died at the scene. Her aunt described her as "a very loving person [who] didn't do nothing to nobody".

Ciara McElveen, a 26-year-old black trans woman, was stabbed in New Orleans, LA, and left on the side of the road. She was transported to University Medical Center where she died on 27 February.

Alphonza Watson, a 38-year-old black trans woman, was shot in the stomach on 22 March in Baltimore, Maryland. She was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital where she died. Her mother described Watson as "the sunshine of our family," a "caring, passionate" person who loved cooking and gardening.

Chay Reed, a 28-year-old transgender woman of color, was shot and killed on 21 April in Miami, Florida. Reed’s longtime friend told Mic about their longtime friendship—describing her as someone who was full of life and beloved by many.

Kenneth Bostick, a 59-year-old black trans person identifying as male, was found with severe injuries on a Manhattan sidewalk, and later died of his injuries. Few details about Bostick's life have been reported; he may have been homeless at the time of the attack. Early reports also identified him under his previous name.

Sherrell Faulkner
Sherrell Faulkner, 46, died on May 16 in Charlotte, N.C. from injuries sustained from an attack in November of 2016. Faulkner was found beside a dumpster, and police are investigating the death as a homicide. “We are asking leaders and community members at every level to consider both the overt and underlying reasons for these killings,” Ames Simmons, Equality North Carolina’s director of transgender policy said. “We must address the root causes of violence against our community, and we cannot rest until the violence stops.” Friends and family also remembered and memorialized her with posts on social media. Police have asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or visit their website, at charlottecrimestoppers.com.

Kenne McFadden, a 27-year old black trans woman, was found in the San Antonio River on 9 April. Police believe she was pushed into the river, which runs through downtown San Antonio. A high-school friend of McFadden described her to local media as assertive, charismatic and lovable. No arrests have been made, but police said they have a person of interest in custody. Due to media misgendering McFadden, her identity as a trans woman was not corrected in news stories until June.

Ally Steinfeld
Ally Steinfeld, 17, was murdered in early September, and her remains were discovered on Sept. 21, in Cabool, Mo. Steinfeld’s sister Ashleigh Boswell described her as “a very loving, outgoing person.” Actress Patricia Arquette, who had a transgender sister, Alexis, who passed away last year, was one of the donors to a GoFundMe to cover funeral expenses. “This donation is in honor of Ally,” Arquette wrote. “Who was brave enough to live her truth in a very ignorant world.”

Kendra Marie Adams, a 28-year old trans woman of color, was found in a building that was under construction and had burns on her body on 13 June, in Ithaca, New York. Police have charged Michael Davis, 45, with Adams' murder. Adams also went by Josie Berrios, the name used in initial media reports on her death.

Ava Le’Ray Barrin, a 17-year old trans woman, was shot and killed in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday, 25 June. She was killed by a person she knew after an altercation in a parking lot. She has been remembered as a "social butterfly" and an "amazing girl".

Ebony Morgan, a 28-year-old trans woman of color, was found shot in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Sunday 2 July. After being found shot in a residence, she was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. The local police report uses her previous name but confirmed that she goes by Ebony.

TeeTee Dangerfield, a 32-year-old transgender woman was found shot multiple times by her vehicle in Atlanta, Georgia, early morning Monday, 31 July. She was taken to the hospital and later died of her injuries.

Gwynevere River Song
Gwynevere River Song, 26, was shot and killed in Waxahachie, Texas on Aug. 12 after an altercation with an individual in their home. They identified as “femandrogyne,” as well as bisexual. “I love you so much, you are missed so much I can’t figure out how I’m going to go on,” Song’s mother, Marcy Mosher, wrote on Facebook. “I promise you I will carry out your wishes.”

Kiwi Herring, a 30-year-old transwoman of color was shot by police following an altercation in St. Louis, Missouri on 22 August.

Pepper K, aka Phoenix, a 33-year-old trans person was killed by another inmate while incarcerated in the Mansfield Correctional Institution. Phoenix was taken to an area hospital and died of their injuries on 25 August. They had participated in the Black and Pink LGBTQ prisoner online pen pal program.

Josie Barrios
Josie Barrios, 28, was discovered deceased at a construction site in Ithaca, N.Y. A can of gasoline was found next to her body, and a man was arrested for her murder, as well as arson. Barrios also went by the names Kendra Adams and Kimbella Rosé. “She would take everything negative thing that people brought about her and every aspect of her personality that could be degraded and blow it back at everyone,” a friend said.

Kashmire Redd 28-year-old transgender man was stabbed to death in Gates, New York, early on 4 September.

Derricka Banner 26-year-old trans woman of color was shot and killed in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early morning of 12 September.

Scout Schultz
Scout Schultz 21 year-old non binary intersex student at Georgia Tech was shot and killed by police on September 16th after experiencing a mental break down on campus. Video was taken of Schultz carrying a small pocket knife while yelling "shoot me!" at police while walking towards them. Upon investigation it was revealed they had written three suicide notes in their dorm room.

Stephanie Montez 47-year-old trans woman was shot multiple times near Corpus Christi, Texas 21 October.

Candace Towns, 30, was found shot and killed on Oct. 31 in Macon, Georgia. She had been reported missing three days earlier. Her death is being investigated as a homicide. “If I needed anything she would give it to me. She would give me the clothes off her back,” Malaysa Monroe, her best friend remembered. Towns had been the victim of anti-trans violence in the past, having been shot in the ankle in 2009 just blocks from where her body was found.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Prove To Me You’re Really A Girl

Dawn Ennis

The “Me Too” tale of a transgender child model

Dawn Ennis 10/26/2017 06:51 am ET

I stood still under the bright lights on the big, curved white backdrop, my left foot pointed away from the camera, my torso twisted to face it, my head tilted just so, my hands at my hips. The breeze from a fan blew gently against my Dorothy Hamill bob and put the desired flounce in my soft pastel top. I resisted the natural urge to blink as if my very life depended on it.

Modeling for catalogs wasn’t every kid’s dream of how to spend an after-school afternoon, but I was living mine. At 13, my ninth year in “the business,” I earned $100 a day to pose for pictures wearing clothes I had only dreamed I could own.

It’s not that my parents couldn’t afford the velvet leggings or the flowery blue tunic. But given that I had been raised as a boy and lived as one outside this studio, I had accepted that my golden ticket to girlhood did not exist beyond my bookings, and feminine fashion was merely a work uniform.

Almost every boy my age would rebel at the idea that they dress as a girl, even briefly, even for money. To me, three decades before I would finally come out as transgender, this was my chance to help support my family and at the same time escape boyhood, even for just an afternoon. And nobody knew except my mother and me. 

Decades before I would finally come out as transgender, this was my chance to help support my family and at the same time escape boyhood...

But what happened that day has remained a secret I’ve kept from everyone, even from her, for 40 years.

The photographer called his fitting assistant Kevin to the set, to adjust the wrinkles appearing in my red leggings. In those pre-Photoshop days, wrinkles could only be banished from clothes worn by fashion models by cutting them open in the back, pinning them together and stuffing cardboard everywhere, and I do mean, everywhere.

As he moved his hands in and out of my leggings, Kevin adjusted the cardboard in such a way as to inadvertently unmask an attribute of mine, one that was rather unique in the world of teen girls fashion.

He knelt before me, smoothing and adjusting the cardboard every which way, when I felt his hands move across my bare skin, and then to my crotch, where he paused, looked me dead in the eyes — and stopped cold.

Without looking away, he removed his hand from my leggings, slowly stood and took me by my arm off the set.

“I’m going to adjust these in private,” Kevin called over his shoulder. “I’ll need a few minutes.”

By that look in his eyes and the grip with which he held my arm, I sensed immediately that I’d been discovered. My first thought was of my mother, sitting in the waiting room away from the set, unaware my secret was out and my career was suddenly at its end. Kevin hustled me into the dressing room, where he finally let go of me as he closed and even bolted the door, then leaned back up against it.

I froze, as if I were back under the studio lights instead of the hot spotlight of his green eyes.

“It’s okay,” he said quietly, perhaps sensing my fear. He started to move slowly toward me. “You can tell me the truth.”

But before I could, Kevin reached out and gently pulled down the leggings, carefully removing the cardboard as if peeling back the petals of a flower, and revealing what lay beneath, no longer concealed. I remained silent, frozen, paralyzed by fear and unsure what to do, other than stand still.

My underpants went next. A bra and panties were the one concession I had won at home, because it helped me maintain the illusion in the dressing rooms that I was just another one of the girls. That is, after all, how I felt. But the warm touch of Kevin’s hands had provoked an autonomous reaction that had utterly destroyed that illusion.

“You’re no girl,” Kevin stated the obvious, his voice dripping with disapproval, sounding exactly like one of the countless schoolyard bullies who mocked and ridiculed me. That scared me. I remember shuddering.

“Unless, of course… “ all at once, his voice seemed to soften again, perhaps in response to my quivering and what must have been a startled look on my face. “If you do want me to help you, then let me help you,” he said, whispering. “I can make this all go away.”

Wild thoughts ran through my mind: What does he mean? I can’t run, not like this. What will my mother say when she finds out? What could he do to ‘make this all go away?’

Nervous, feeling sick, I did not know how to respond. And so I dared to ask Kevin, “How?”

“With a kiss,” he cooed, lowering his head. “Right here. Prove to me you’re really a girl.”

The sodomy that followed has remained my deepest, darkest secret. I’ve never told anyone, not even my mother, my wife or counselors.

That afternoon in the dressing room, I concentrated on thinking it was the price of getting caught; a ransom I paid to work as a girl. Not only did I finish the shoot that day, I worked for another four years, until finally I decided I’d had enough. Then, I locked away my days as a girl model along with this singular incident of violence. They stayed buried in the past until the recent stories of “me, too,” led me to draw this awful experience from the shadows and finally address it as the woman I am.

Like many, I’ve had a male boss once tell me I was “being melodramatic,” compared to the supposedly more rational arguments of my male colleagues. I’ve suffered catcalls and felt unwelcome hands in crowded places. But luckily I have avoided another instance of sex abuse.

The recent stories of how brave and courageous women stood up to evil men made me stop to think “should I have spoken up before now?” I recognize I was not to blame or deserving of this victimization, but I realize had I come forward then, perhaps things would have been different for me, or others. Certainly for Kevin, whom I never saw again.

As a mom and as a woman who works with men who wield power, I impart what I’ve learned to both my daughter and to my sons: no adult should force you to do something out of fear, and no man should ever hold power over what a woman does with her body.

This applies to all women, even those of us who spent our girlhood as boys.


Dawn Ennis is a journalist and host of a talk show on YouTube and WHC-TV — “RiseUP With Dawn Ennis” — as well as a blogger at lifeafterdawn.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hate has a Champion

KKK Members burn a Cross - 1948
Whether you are a Trump supporter or not you cannot be happy with what is happening in our country. The KKK has become so bold it feels it can again hold public rallies. Under the veil of religious freedom, the Justice Department is sanctioning discrimination. Rational US Senators and Congressional Representatives are quitting rather than be berated by extremists. The news media is under attack and any desscent is labeled “fake news.”  Our political system is being hijacked by extremists.

Take a look at what the Jerusalem Post wrote May 15, 2017

THERE ARE SOME SCARY THINGS HAPPENING IN AMERICA RIGHT NOWThe 45th president of the United States has launched a series of aggressive assaults on some of the basic hallmarks of democracy: freedom of the press, an independent judiciary, and public education, to name a few. He has closed down media outlets he disagreed with, arrested journalists, fired the head of the FBI who was investigating his alleged illegal ties to Russia, surrounded himself with people who want to defund public schools, spent exorbitant public funds on his own leisure, lied about too many things to count, violated terms of White House transparency and worked toward removing healthcare for millions of Americans. This is on top of advancing backward policies based on fear, hate, racism and sexism – desperately trying to enact a Muslim ban, defunding Planned Parenthood and key programs that benefit women in America and around the world, and instilling terror in immigrants, LGBTs, people with disabilities, the poor, non-whites and anyone who can see the writing on the wall.

The meaning of "conservative" or "liberal" could be different depending on context - social, economic and political. Many could be socially liberal and economically conservative or vice versa. One's political leaning will likely follow. Extremes on either side upsets the delicate balance that is needed for civility, moderation and compromise.
I believe that most American fall in the center or lean slightly off center to one side or the other. Example; I know conservatives that agree that global warming is real. I know liberals who are religious and see their right to worship as a human right. 

This middle ground is being lost. if you are a Republican, are you comfortable with Steve Bannon taking over your party and propping up Trump? Hate is becoming the rallying cry for far too many ultra-conservatives. And now the Republican Party that many knew is gone. It is a thing of the past. There is no going back. The silence of the majority has eroded the moral fabric of the Republican Party. Source CNN - Kurt Bardella

The silence of the center and the establishment is the most disturbing. A leading expert on the Nazi party has said there are similarities between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler. Both men "bluffed" their way into power, confounding the establishment... Trump was not taken seriously, which allowed him to slip by the normal standards for a presidential candidate, according to author Ron Rosenbaum, the Adolf Hitler biographer. 

It is time for the American center to say, enough. Enough hate, derision, lying, and fear mongering. This is a great country founded on wonderful and lofty principles. One madman with an off-balance philosophy cannot be allowed to destroy our society and world standing. Speak, act and prevent our political system from being hijacked by extremists.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Feminine Differential – Complexity

As we emulate being a woman, do we pick only the experiences that reinforce our closed perceptions?  Few of us pre-transition will ever know what it is like to be a woman, however to ignore the obvious is a disservice to the realm we enter.

Working and spending extended periods as Rhonda has given me insights I would have never known otherwise. Will I ever fully appreciate what womanhood entails – not likely because my mind-set does not go there.  

Listed below are some of the complexities I have felt and/or are acknowledged as the feminine reality. To know, is to appreciate this part of the feminine differential.

  • Womanhood is a constant struggle between your heart and mind.
  • Womanhood is a continuous shuffle between rigidity and fragility.
  • Womanhood is a frequent shift between sensibility and sensitivity.
  • Womanhood is alternating between stiffness and submissiveness.
  • Womanhood is being subject to cultural sexism and harassment.
  • Womanhood is balancing being attractive and being taken seriously.
  • Womanhood is being constantly aware of your physical appearance and surroundings. 
  • Womanhood is about competing with younger women, for jobs and attention on only appearance.
  • Womanhood is being afraid to express opinions for fear of being aggressive or not liked.
  • Womanhood is being paid 18% less than a man doing the same job.
  • Womanhood is about living these complexities and striking a balance.

As with the Starship Enterprise, let us "Explore strange new worlds... to boldly go where no man has gone before."  But most important - Let our exploration be with understanding, appreciation and awe.  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Breaking Down Barriers

Cross-dresser Dr Ciara Cremin 
She Has written a book about her experiences and how is breaking barriers.

By: Lee Umbers

Doctor's new book to break down barriers on cross-dressing

Dr Colin Cremin startled his sociology students at Auckland University when he turned up to his lecture in high heels, pantyhose, full makeup and jewellery.

Now two years later, as Ciara Cremin, she is releasing a book to the world to help break down barriers on cross-dressing and gender stereotyping.

The book, Man-Made Woman - The Dialectics of Cross-Dressing, tells how that day - July 27, 2015 - ended a lifetime of repressing his, now her, desire to dress as a woman.

"I'm hoping to break the taboo... on male-to-female cross-dressing," said Cremin, who travels to the United Kingdom next week to promote the book, released today.

Cremin said the book was a frank account of her desire to dress as a woman and the reality of doing so in the workplace and in public.

She said the desire is a common one among men but few are in a position to act on it, except in parody.

"It's extremely rare to see... any male dressed in women's clothes," Cremin said.

"I think that... tells us something about the kind of society we live in, where in this day and age it's still so rare for a man to cross that... kind of invisible boundary. It's not like you'd be arrested for dressing the way I do, but people obviously police their own behavior."

Cremin, 48, tells in her book how when she was a young boy she "dreamt of having my own Bat Cave... I would slide down a pole... and enter a space full of women's clothes, boots, makeup and so forth that I would put on and roam around in freely".

"That's something else I want to also draw attention to," she said. "That it's not that these desires... come somehow later in life, and that you think to yourself, oh it might be nice to wear women's clothes, I wonder what that's like?

"It's that these things happen at a very, very early age."...

Cremin said of 'cross-dressing': "All forms of dress are artifice. We're all cross-dressing in a certain way, it's just that I'm dressing in a way that's inconsistent with how people imagine men should dress."

•Man-Made Woman - The Dialectics of Cross-Dressing, by Ciara Cremin, is published by Pluto Press and available through Amazon.


Read the whole article "Doctor's new book to break down barriers on cross-dressing ",  and watch the video. Thanks Katy for the head-up on this.