Sunday, February 23, 2020

Political Cartoons 2-23

Draining the swamp - Trump Style

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Friday, February 21, 2020

Trip Photos - February '20

Casual travel day at Berry Hill Resort and walking around the VCU Campus. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

I Love A Success Story - Hari Nef

Harif Nef : a Day at fashion week with the transgender model - VOGUE PARIS

Hari Nef: ‘Identity is a dead end. It’s a snoozefest’

The transgender model and Transparent actor says she is an accidental activist. Her career has marked a shift in trans awareness – but she hates the thought of gender defining her.

Hari Nef 
Hari Nef is a 24-year-old American actor, model and activist, and is the first transgender model to be signed to a major modelling agency (IMG), and the first to land a glossy British cover (Elle).

“I was not the right girl. I was the lucky one in the right place at the right time. But people have been blazing this path for me for more than 50 years,” she says. She describes herself, and her peers, as the new generation – “because when we talk about previous generations, we’re referring to people only five or 10 years ago”.
Nef is not the first trans model (Barneys’ SS14 campaign cast 17 transgender models, and Andreja Pejić transitioned mid-career) but her signing has marked a cultural shift in trans-visibility. In 2014, when Nef was still in college, Laverne Cox became the first trans actor to be nominated for an Emmy for Orange is the New Black; the following year, Caitlyn Jenner came out.

Read more....

Monday, February 17, 2020

Speaking Engagement Tomorrow

Tuesday is my speaking engagement at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Va. I have been looking for the perfect professional look and finally choose the above. I am sure there will be a photographer and will post photos as soon. I am honored to be be recognized as an engineer, entrepreneur and woman in my chosen field.

I will keep everyone posted as to how it goes. Tuesday and Wednesday this week there will likely not be a post due to my travel schedule.  Wish me luck.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Political Cartoons 2-16

Two "Trials of the Century" with similar results.
I was surprised this connection took so long. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Child Being Raise Gender-Fluid

We’re Trying To Raise Our Child Gender-Fluid. Here’s What We’ve Learned In The Process.

Author and Her Child

BY: Mary Kearl Guest Writer
Date:  11/19/2019

As a woman who was raised decidedly in the “pink” side of the gender binary, with bows, ruffled socks, dresses, ballet classes and gymnastics, I know what I’m trying to do now as a mother is different than what my own parents did and what many others are still doing. Every parent’s journey in deciding how they want to raise their kids will be different and should be respected.

My parenting choice to attempt to raise my toddler free from the pink and blue gender binary wasn’t necessarily a result of one thing, but rather a conscious choice I’ve been trying to figure out over time. What I know today is that my husband and I want my child to have as many options in life as possible. 

The first conscious decision I made, along with my husband, was to wait to find out the biological sex, not gender—as one of my doctors reminded me, gender is an identity one adopts over time—until I gave birth. During my pregnancy this involved reminding several healthcare providers not to inform me. As a result, baby’s first nine months of existence inside my womb were full of those possibilities, and, as it was, after my 40+ hours of labor, my husband and I were in so much shock when our 8-pound newborn finally made an appearance that it took a few minutes to ask the midwife what the biological sex was when we realized that the umbilical cord was blocking the genital area.

Those first few minutes are probably the only my child will have free from any expectations of how to look, behave and feel. Because once the nurses found out the biological sex, they began saying things that reflect how our society treats biological females and males differently, even from day one. They’re the kind of things I have probably said in the past, without thinking. That’s how common it all is. “Oh, your girl is so beautiful.” “What a big, strong boy you have.” But now that it was my child, I wanted to start thinking about the words I (and others around me) use and all the other ways we create (or reinforce) gender norms without realizing it. 

The very first time I actively had a conversation about this newfound thinking was while I was still in the hospital. A nurse was assisting me with my catheter in the bathroom, while my husband and parents were in the delivery room, and I overheard my husband using gendered language to refer to our newborn. While still on pain meds and bleeding heavily enough that I was being monitored, I was experiencing a moment of clarity. 

When I stepped out into the room, I asked him to examine the words he’d said, what feeling or emotion was he trying to communicate? After all, aren’t phrases like “my beautiful princess” or “my handsome little man” placeholders for expressing love and pride? From that moment on, he’s used “mi vida” (“my life”) to convey that same feeling of pure joy and unconditional love that he felt in those first moments of holding our baby. Once we had that conversation, it opened up many more honest ones since, where we’ve discussed how to handle everything from the words others use to the (sometimes gendered) gifts they offer our baby.

... (read More at Huffpost)

When I see my child dart off ahead of me, stepping with purpose down the dirt road outside the home where we’re staying, I don’t see a girl or boy running, I see a small person so full of life — possibility. And I hope that always stays the same.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Serious Name Dropping

Sorry about the shameless name dropping.  There are two takeaways from this fashion layout. The jeans continue my love affair with this season's straight leg jeans.  These are Levi's 501 and fit beautifully with the button fly front. My legs are not by any view thin, but the straight leg do provide a trim look. They also add some leg length to my short frame. The longer your legs the better they are going to look.   Tall girls - count you blessings. 

We The Free /  FreePeople Tag 
Also Macy's had the super cute FreePeople t-shirt shown on sale last week. Freepeople is a label found at many stores and overall the quality/fit is OK. This knit t-shirt, mostly sold out, was available in several colors and with some effort can still be found. A note on fit - FreePeople tops runs small. There is some irony with the brand "FreePeople"; made in China.  Oh well...

Irony abounds also with New Hampshire's License plate motto; "Live Free or Die" They are hand-stamped by inmates serving time in New Hampshire's prisons. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Men Are Wearing Stilettos—If They Can Find Their Size

BY: Alaina Demopoulos
Style Write

Shaobo Han put on his first pair of heels at age 11. The pair wasn’t Han’s, exactly—he’d stolen them from his mother, to practice “prancing around the house when no one was around.” Han thought that boys weren’t supposed to wear heels, so he made sure to play with them in private.

“I have other male-presenting friends who have the same memory of trying on their mother’s clothes,” Han told The Daily Beast. “It’s fascinating that a collective memory exists. Even though nobody taught us how to wear heels, we all tried on our own.”

Years later, Han went to Forever21 to buy his first real pair of heels for $40. “I was lucky that my shoe size is a men’s eight, which is a women’s 10,” said Han. “Other people aren’t as fortunate. If they have larger feet than mine, it’s almost impossible to find something that fits.”

If a boy had larger feet, he could find stilettos at a drag store, but that resource would drastically limit any say he’d have in his own style. “Those shops cater to performers, so the shoes are much more outrageous,” Han said. At drag outlets you can find studded stilettos, leopard print pumps—but no subdued, day-to-day heels.


Women with larger feet have long been crafty when it comes to finding spike heels that fit. Regardless of their figure, they might shop a plus-size store such as Lane Bryant or Torrid, both of which carry up to a women’s size 13.

Last week, luxury Italian designer Francesco Russo launched a genderless line of stilettos available in Italian size 35 to 45. “It’s not a polemic, it’s not a political,” the designer told Vogue. “It’s simply how society is moving forward. I think it’s in our duty as people to produce product to respond to the world.”

Read the whole article at the Daily Beast

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

I love a success Story - The Wachowskis

Lilly Wachowski Talks Trans Visibility in Rare Public Appearance: "We Have to Break the F***ing Door Down"

 From The Hollywood Reporter
AUGUST 02, 2019 by Chris Gardner

Lilly Wachowski

“My sister Lana and I have largely avoided the press,” Wachowski explained in the essay, referencing her transgender sibling and longtime creative collaborator on such films as the Matrix trilogy, Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending and the series Sense8. “I find talking about my art frustratingly tedious and talking about myself a wholly mortifying experience. I knew at some point I would have to come out publicly. You know, when you’re living as a transgender person it’s...kind of difficult to hide. I just wanted — needed some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable.”

A month later, on April 2, 2016, Wachowski walked the blue carpet at the 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, and though it was a quick run-up to the occasion — she told The Hollywood Reporter at the time it felt like a Band-Aid had been ripped off — she made the decision to be there in part to support Sense8’s nomination (and eventual win) but also out of service. “I wanted to do it in such a way that I could help as many people as I could.”

That spirit of visibility and selfless generosity for the sake of a greater good brought Wachowski back into the spotlight Thursday evening, albeit one with a softer glow, on the second floor of the TV Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood. The event: a panel discussion titled “The Power of TV: Trans Visibility in Storytelling” presented by the TV Academy Foundation and Walt Disney Television. (In 2017, the TV Academy Foundation introduced a new series of public programs titled "The Power of TV" to examine TV's ability to shape culture and create positive social change.)

Read the whole article...

From left: Alex Blue Davis, Lilly Wachowski, Steven Canals, Brian Michael Smith, Disney's David Ambroz, executive director of corporate citizenship and social responsibility, TV Academy's Madeline Di Nonno, Alexandra Billings, and GLAAD's Nick Adams pose together ahead of the panel "The Power of TV: Trans Visibility in Storytelling," presented by the TV Academy Foundation and Walt Disney Television at the Academy's Saban Media Center on Aug. 1, 2019, in North Hollywood, Calif.

Monday, February 10, 2020


To make normal.

Billy Porter's Oscars ensemble makes golden statement on red carpet

Billy Porter certainly delivered on his promise of a bold outfit for the 2020 Oscars.

The “Pose” star and fashion favorite, 50, hit the red carpet at Sunday’s awards show at LA’s Dolby Theatre in a custom Giles Deacon Couture look consisting of a gold feathered top and graphic printed ball skirt. Matching gilded lace-up heels by Jimmy Choo and Atelier Swarovski jewelry completed his outfit.

Last week, Porter was overheard teasing the look at a party, saying, “I have something cooking for the Oscars. It’s a surprise. I can’t tell any of you. Just you wait.” 

This seemingly phoenix-inspired ensemble comes exactly one year after the actor made his Oscars debut in a now-iconic black velvet tuxedo gown by Christian Siriano. He recently announced his plan to bring back the dress for his upcoming appearance on “Sesame Street,” prompting a few critics to clutch their pearls.

Porter clapped back, telling Page Six, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. The really interesting thing for me is that that’s what it’s all about when it comes to LGBTQ people — the first thing everyone wants to talk about is how we having sex.”

Although 2019 was the year the “Kinky Boots” star rocketed to style superstardom, he’s been making headlines with his sartorial choices in 2020 so far, too; he swanned into January’s Golden Globes wearing a white feathered suit by Alex Vinash, and captivated the crowd with a sparkly remote-controlled hat on the Grammys red carpet.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Catch Of The Day - Coral Sweater

Coral seems to be a big color for spring.  I love the color because it makes my grey hair pop. This is an open weave and the slouched look on the shoulders hangs just right down the body. This will pair perfectly with any jeans - blue denim or white. It could easily be dressy with a white pair of slacks and heels.  The Coral heels are the Coach (Waverly) with a few sizes left on sale. 

Dinner at Cafe Via Flora
Palm Beach on my Birthday

The sweater is Venus and is new, listed as simply " OPEN KNIT SWEATER".  The current non-discount price is $39.00 (still very reasonable).  Perhaps wait for the sale, however, recently their super great look tops have been selling out. 

I know I am getting a head-start on a spring look, but let's plan ahead for those casual escapes coming up. I am also thinking of how great this will look with white shorts.  Enjoy...  

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

This Is How It Always Is: A Novel

A Novel by Laurie Frankel

Inspired By Author's Transgender Child

Before discussing a wonderful book that I just finished, I would like for you to play out a scenario.  What would it be like to declare at the age of 4 or 5 you were different from your birth gender? Then being blessed with nurturing parents you grew up loved and supported. To the extent that you and your whole family move half-way across the country to ensure an understanding environment. You grew up nurtured and supported in your gender exploration.

Writer Laurie Frankel has written a novel about a family with five boys in which the youngest feels he's something entirely different — a girl. It's called This Is How It Always Is, and it's a story that's close to Frankel's heart because she's living it: Her own child was born a boy and now identifies as a girl.

In an interview with NPR's Rachel Martin, Ms Frankel said this on how she reacted when her child first expressed an interest in being a girl:

She wanted to wear a dress — and she was a he at the time — and we said OK. It didn't inspire panic. It didn't seem to be anything to be worried about or alarmed about. It seemed like pretend... She was 6, she had just turned 6, and it seemed like she was just playing and having fun. And she was just playing and having fun and trying things on. It's just that it stuck.

Although a novel relating a story, I am sure much of it is based in Ms. Franlel's true experience. It rings true. I found it riveting and I could not stop reading. Poppy's feeling are strong and expressed so well in the book. Yes, this is a book about raising a transgender child. However, it is more a book about being in kind loving family that just happens to have a transgender girl.

I hope this book has staying power and becomes a model lesson for parents for generation to come. Well done Ms. Frankel.  A must read.  

Here is a quote from the book:
When he grew up, he said, he wanted to be a chef, a cat, a vet, a dinosaur, a train, a farmer, a recorder player, a scientist, an ice cream cone, a first baseman, or maybe the inventor of a new kind of food that tasted like chocolate ice cream but nourished like something his mother would say yes to for breakfast. When he grew up, he said, he wanted to be a girl.   

The NPR Morning Edition interview. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Feminine Differential - Choosing the Right Bra

What Bra Should I Wear With This Outfit?

By:Geneva Vanderzeil is the editor of Collective Gen. She is an author, stylist, maker and photographer.

Wardrobe tips from the site Collective Gen

And based on the comments and emails we get from you guys [interesting wording choice], that includes you too. Recently M&S invited me to go deep on the subject of bras, and being someone who’s worn their bras since living in London, I enlisted their help to answer that age old question: ‘What bra should I wear with this outfit?’

Are you in a bra rut? You’re not the only one. For years I pretty much wore the same style of bra day in and day out, meaning I was often presented with outfits I couldn’t wear because my bra arsenal didn’t have any versatility. I often found myself saying ‘I can’t wear that’ or spending hours in front of my wardrobe trying to find an outfit to suit the bra I had put on.

Are you like I was and have, say, two styles of bras you wear? Maybe it’s time to branch out… And I don’t mean you need to buy 200 bras, because obviously less is more and I’m all about quality over quantity. What I mean is that you need a few different styles that provide versatility and also support (excuse the pun!) your individual needs. Below we’ve put together an illustration for you so that you can understand more about all the different types of bras out there and their functions.

Continue reading with description of different type of bras and recommendations.  A great help.  Also see my previous post on "The Bra". 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Political Cartoons 2-2

It is a fool’s errand to stick with a guilty president when the guilt is clear,” said Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “And the election loss is accompanied by a stain on one’s character that is indelible.”

In 1974, Ornstein was teaching at Catholic University and friendly with the House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic chairman, New Jersey’s Peter Rodino. He said a major difference between then and now is that the GOP is no longer a true political party. “It is a cult,” he said, with members afraid and unwilling to criticize Trump.

Huffington Post 1/28/2020 - The last time Republicans did this, in 1974, they voted in a committee to protect Nixon just before the release of the Watergate tapes. It didn’t end well for them.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Escape - The Mannequin Challenges

This is a window display from The Palm Beach Saks Fifth Avenue store a few weeks back.

Answer the challenge! 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Being Transgender Today

Jennie Wood

From the Site INFOPLEASE
By Jennie Wood
Updated February 28, 2017

Years of Struggle

For years, transgender individuals have struggled for acceptance, protection, and visibility even among other minorities. With the list of states legalizing gay marriage growing and broad acceptance into pop culture, the gay and lesbian population has gained increased visibility and protection in recent years. However, transgender individuals have not been afforded the same rights. The numbers are one reason. In the United States, there are 8 million people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA's School of Law, there are 700,000 transgender people in the United States.

In 2011, one transgender person was killed every month because of their identity, according to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force surveyed 6,450 transgender individuals in the United States in 2011. Of those surveyed, 41 percent reported that they had attempted suicide compared to 1.6 percent in the general population. Also, 64 percent had been sexually assaulted, and 55 percent had lost a job due to their identity. Of those who had established their transgender identity as school-age students, over 78 percent reported they had been harassed and 35 percent had been physically assaulted. Nearly 15 percent left school because the harassment was so severe.

As of May 2015, 32 states still had no laws banning job discrimination against transgender individuals. Furthermore, in the first five months of 2015, seven transgender women were murdered in the United States.


Many people still struggle with an exact definition of transgender, confusing it with other terms. Being transgender has nothing to do with sexual orientation, sex, or genitalia. Transgender is strictly about gender identity. Many transgender individuals do not have sexual reassignment surgery for various reasons. Some cannot afford it. Often health insurance doesn't cover the expensive surgeries. Some do not want to undergo procedures. For trans men, especially, the surgeries can be difficult.

The term transgender, first used in the 1980s, is an umbrella term that includes any person going against the social norms of their biological gender. This includes transsexuals, people who alter their bodies with surgery, hormones, or both. Intersex people, those born with ambiguous genitalia, are usually considered separate from transgender. Cross-dresser is a term often confused with transgender, but it simply refers to a person of one gender who wears the clothing of the opposite sex. Cross-dressers do not necessarily desire to be the opposite gender. Another term often confused with transgender is transvestite. Transvestite is a synonym for cross-dresser; however, cross-dresser is the preferred term. Finally, the term drag refers to a style of dress worn for entertaining. Drag queen generally refers to men in female attire while drag king describes women in male clothing, though both terms are sometimes expanded in meaning, and do not encompass the entirety of drag performance.

Lack of Protection and Support

Courts have struggled with how to protect and support the transgender community. The Equal Protection Clause and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow discrimination based on gender. The issue in courts is whether the protections apply to a person of one gender who was assigned another at birth.

In 2008, a Washington D.C. court ruled against the Library of Congress for retracting a job offer from a woman after she informed them that she was transitioning from male to female. However, in a 2005 case, Etsitty v. Utah Transit Authority, a court ruled that the bus company was allowed to fire a trans woman employee based on the liability to have someone with typically male sex organs using the women's bathroom.

Texas has a law requiring two opposite-gender birth certificates for a couple to legally marry. In May 2011, Tennessee passed a law that only protects a person from discrimination according to the gender on their birth certificate. The law does not protect transgender individuals because Tennessee does not allow changes to a birth certificate. In June 2011, a gender identity anti-discrimination bill in New York failed to pass.

However, on November 23, 2011, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick signed historic legislation that protects transgender individuals from discrimination in employment, education, housing, and credit. The law also provides additional protection against hate crimes. In doing so, Massachusetts became the 16th state to pass a law protecting transgender individuals. Of the new law, Attorney General Martha Coakley said, "For too long, transgender people have suffered in silence in seeking employment, safe housing, and educational opportunities. With the signing of this bill, Massachusetts has created a better, and fairer, future for all residents, regardless of their gender identity or expression."

Psychiatrists have debated over the years how to define and support transgender individuals. In 1973, the term "homosexuality" was removed from the second edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM). However, in 1980, the term "transsexualism" was added to the DSM. In a later DSM volume, the term "transsexualism" was included under the controversial "gender identity disorder." In 2013, a major change came with the fifth edition publication of the DSM. In that edition, "gender identity disorder," a term that had been considered by many to be stigmatizing, was replaced with "gender dysphoria," a term which refers to only those who feel anxious about their gender identity.

Born This Way

Lady Gaga
Even among other minorities, transgender individuals have been discriminated against at times. For example, an annual feminist music festival very popular with the lesbian community, the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, has a strict policy of only allowing women who were born women. The exclusion has inspired an annual protest called Camp Trans. Held across from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, Camp Trans works to educate attendees on the issue of transgender inclusion.

In 2015, the organizers of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival announced that this would be the festival's final year. Attendance for the festival has decreased in recent years. Perhaps it was another sign of a sea change towards an awareness of transgender issues and discrimination. While the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival held to their strict women who were born women policy, a new generation of musicians such as Lady Gaga rose to fame, championing inclusion through music, videos, and charity work. In the lyrics of her hit song, Born This Way, Lady Gaga includes transgender in a verse about survival: "No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgender life. I'm on the right track, baby. I was born to survive."

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, The National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Williams Institute at UCLA's School of Law, FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society by Aaron H. Devor.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

I Love A Success Story - Candis Cayne

Proud That We Are Recognized

Candis Cayne

What a jagged image we use for women who achieve greatly, defining accomplishment in terms of the barrier rather than the triumph. There she is up where the air is thin, where men still outnumber women, but where the altitude is awesome. Our goal with Firsts is for every woman and girl to find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to her that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular.