Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween 2020


Let your costume be the real you. 
Then wear it for the rest of the year!

Friday, October 30, 2020

What Halloween Means to Me as a Transgender Person


Addison Rose Vincent
By: Addison Rose Vincent

Halloween reminds me that safe spaces are not confined to people or places, that it can instead be based on time. It’s an annual event that gives people like myself permission to be who we are, even if it only lasts a few hours before needing to lock it away for another year. It’s a time when you can finally see yourself reflected back in a world with broken, distorted mirrors. I will always love, appreciate, and celebrate Halloween, as well as every person who uses that night to embrace their magic.

In Fall 2010, I had just moved from Michigan to California to attend college and finally come out publicly as gay. I gave myself permission to gender bend and cross dress for Halloween, deciding to go as a cliché sexy witch with black and red stalkings, a black dress, a red feather boa, and curly black wig. My friends did my makeup, and when I saw myself in the mirror it all clicked. The person I saw in the reflection took my breath away, I felt I was seeing myself for the first time. But the moment faded as my friends laughed, thinking I was in on a joke I was supposedly telling. We went out, the night ended. I felt magical but that it was too much, that I needed to tone it down and lock it away.

Read Addison's story here.

Read my Halloween story

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Asymmetrical Fashion

Asymmetrical design - clothes in which one side is not the same as the other. 

Supposedly, humans  have strong preference for symmetry, but no one has figured out why.  It was once thought to be a sign of health, but there is much debate about that theory.

Perhaps the reason is simply that symmetry is just so familiar. Think about it; How many time have you arranged a shelf so so that items on the right balance with items on the right.  Yes, symmetry. 

According to science asymmetry get your attention; it’s edgy, bold, and says one thing loud and clear; “I don’t need to be like everyone else.”. 

I love the look.

Amazon - LACOZY Women's Waffle
 Knit Off The Shoulder Tops
 Knot Batwing Shirt Tunic Blouse

The photo above is a Lauren Ralph Lauren
Off-The-Shoulder Top that I wore to my Mercedes club dinner event last Sunday.  It has one side that falls off the shoulder, one sleeve is longer than the other and the hem falls on the diagonal. Lots of stuff going on. 

Recently I have purchased several sweater from Amazon that have done the same with off-the-shoulder and full arm opening on one side.  

Here are 5 reason from Fasionnia on "Why does Fashion Love  asymmetry?"   

1. Asymmetry is unexpected, and great style is never boring.  Off-center buttons make this chambray shirt so much more interesting.  

2. Uneven hemlines are perfect for covering your assets.

3. Asymmetry can be bold and dramatic.  One shoulder dresses are perfect for making a grand entrance whether for daytime or for the evening.

4. An asymmetric cut-out elevates basic style.  

5. Asymmetrical style is subtly sexy.  As popular as it is with celebrities on the red carpet, I find the “nude” dress trend to be tasteless.  For most of us, a little shoulder exposure or a discreet cut-out is a sensuous enough.  

Fun Fashion play - What do you think?

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

I Love A Success Story - Ruth Rose


Carri-Ann Taylor
2 Sep 2018, 23:04
Updated: 3 Sep 2018, 16:07

Ruth Rose

Oldest person in Britain to have reassignment surgery shares her joy at becoming a woman thanks to the NHS. Ruth Rose, 85, had the surgery four years ago after her doctor told her she could be considered for the full procedure.

She has defended the £4,000 cost of the surgery by sitting on an NHS advisory board and volunteering for charities that support old people.

Ruth told the BBC: “It is only in the past 15 years that this has become acceptable. Before that people thought it was just for freaks.”

Ruth had the surgery after living as a woman for several years.

She had been known as James Rose, an ex-RAF navigator, mechanical engineer and financial consultant.

She married but kept her secret until 1973 when her wife found pictures of her dressed as a woman. They finally divorced in 2003.

Ruth - 1973

Ruth waited until retirement to come out as a woman but first realized she wanted to be female aged nine.

She did not expect the NHS to fund the surgery due to her age. She added: “I was surprised to be given the chance for a medical transition. It’s like starting my life all over.”

See - It Is Never Too Late...

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Someone Had To Invent it...


United States Patent Drawings 

The engineer in me loves these.

These prints are available on ETSY. (fun decorating)

Monday, October 26, 2020

The New Feminine Differential?


How to Wear Ankle Boots With Skinny Jeans

If you are still living in the alternate reality of skirts and dresses think again. So much has changed since we were going out as groups to restaurants, clubs and the office just a few months ago. Working from home and even outing to Starbucks has change the way we think style. YS Weekender described it this way when discussing future style:

The COVID-19 pandemic has been truly a “black swan” event all across the globe and ushered in major changes to different aspects of life. While some of these changes may or may not be permanent, certain tectonic shifts in industries like fashion are inevitable. If ever there was a time for fashion to reinvent itself, it is now.

With blending in and still keeping the feminine differential in mind, I will attempt to post suggestions that will give us options and suggestions. Today on the blog, Hi Sugarplum, I found an enlightening discussion on a style that is seen everywhere especially in fall/winter; ankle boots with skinny jeans.

Here are Cassie's suggestions:

And while there are no right or wrong ways for cuffing, some are definitely more flattering than others! When it comes to ankle boots (basically any boot but knee-high or over-the-knee) and skinny jeans, I am not a fan of tucking your jeans in the boots, or pulling them over the top of the boot. Leave those looks to tall boots and boot-cut jeans.


I personally like this look.  The jeans are distinctively feminine and the boots provide some gate changing heel effect.

I am sad to see dresses and skits passing and those of us of the boomer generation will always have several for dressy events. One of my daughter has a recruiting business and even the job interview outfit has changed especially when the interview and job both may be virtual.  

Females have been moving away for dresses and skits preferring pants for a number of years. The practically is obvious. As one Q&A blog stated: "Nobody wants to look like someone from the 1950's".  Oh, that hurt!   

How are you adapting to this new Feminine Differential?


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Saturday, October 24, 2020



ESCAPE one step at a time!

Friday, October 23, 2020

LGBTQ People Fear 'Relentless' Attacks...


Uncertain future amid Trump's re-election campaign

ASBURY PARK, N.J. – Rebekah Bruesehoff is tired, and she’s scared.

Rebekah Bruesehoff 
Rebekah, a 13-year-old transgender girl, has spent nearly a third of her life living in President Donald Trump’s America, with near-weekly attacks on the LGBTQ community by the administration.

“To be honest, it’s exhausting,” said Rebekah, who lives in Camden County. “Every time I go on social media, I see another attack. And it’s also really scary because I know that at some point this could mean that I can’t be who I am.”

The last four years have been particularly grueling for members of America's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and their allies.

GLAAD, via its Trump Accountability Project, has reported more than 181 attacks — averaging nearly one a week by mid-October 2020 — on the LGBTQ community, either in actions or in statements, from the Trump administration since the president took office.

Any time an LGBTQ issue comes up, "they take the anti-LGBTQ position," said Diana Flynn, litigation director for Lambda Legal, a national nonprofit organization working for the civil rights of the LGBT community and those living with HIV. "It seems like they are seeking out opportunities to try to undermine the community’s status in the law.”

Rebekah said she was first moved to activism following the Trump administration's February 2017 rollback of Obama-era protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use school restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

 Rebekah said:

It was really upsetting and pretty infuriating. I was 10 years old and it was the beginning of four years of attacks on LGBTQ people.

The diminishment of LGBTQ rights and protections has been felt on many fronts, from the rolling back of protections for transgender patients under the Affordable Care Act, a proposed rule allowing federally funded homeless shelters to deny services to transgender people and largely not enforcing the Supreme Court's June ruling that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ people from employment discrimination.


“People need to vote, that’s the gist of it," Rebekah said. "People need to vote for kids like me who can’t vote yet, for so many others and really because my future and my life as the person who I know I am depends on them voting.”

Read the whole article at Yahoo News.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Feminine Differential - Proportions

Ralph Lauren - Pattern Play
In classic navy and white, spring’s subtle designs easily mix and match 

Stana in one of her posts recently discussed receiving an advertisement email from ShopBAZAAR, which featured the image of a model of indeterminate gender.  I guess my radar went up as I noticed another prominent designer with a similar image, shown above. 

As to the gender-specific marketing, there is no question. Yes, the items are feminine.  E.g. a drawstring purse, flora skirt on the model to the right and feminine cut pantsuit on the model to the left. 

However, look closely at then model on the right. There are some very subtle not so feminine features. Yes, I know models are tall, thus many times producing larger overall features by comparison. Let face it, they are models because of their proportions and visual appeal. Many times specific (beautiful) male features do not become noticeable until seen alongside a genetic female. Thus the possible contrast in the above photo. 

I know, maybe just a silly observation. Likely completely wrong and misinterpreted. What is most encouraging, as Stana and I have discussed, is the blurring of the male/female gender lines. If this is the case, certainly not the first male model wearing feminine clothing and unlikely to be the last. We have come along way, baby.

Treasure our new found freedom - Escape!  

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Married father of 3 wears skirts, heels to work because he can


Mark Bryan, a 61-year-old engineer

By: Suzy Weiss

October 19, 2020

For one dad of three, getting dressed can be a real drag.

Mark Bryan, an American robotics engineer living in Germany, wears towering high heels and skirts every day to prove “clothes have no gender,” he told Bored Panda.

Bryan has shared his style shots on his now-viral Instagram, @MarkBryan911. There, his bio explains further: “I am just a straight, happily married guy,” he wrote to his 62,000 followers, “that loves Porsche’s, beautiful women and incorporating high heels and skirts into my daily wardrobe.”

His daily wardrobe includes red pumps, plaid miniskirts, and seasonally appropriate suede boots, which Bryan paired with a sensible mid-calf beige pencil skirt.

“I prefer skirts to dresses,” said Bryan, 61. “Dresses don’t allow me to mix the genders. I prefer a ‘masculine’ look above the waist and a non-gendered look below the waist.”

When it comes to footwear, Bryan, who also coaches football, prefers heels from the brand Lost Ink. He has pairs of strappy stilettos and open-toed sandals from the company, because they “are great for men as they offer a wide fit in most of their shoes,” according to his Instagram.

Bryan is happily married
and has a passion for high heels and skirts

Bryan insisted that his sartorial choices are for “non-sexual reasons.” The habit began in college with an old flame — the two would practice dancing together, both in high heels. Then it quickly became normal for him.

He compared the experience of teetering around in public to having green hair. “You look up and see this person, your mind tells you it’s a person with green hair, you think to yourself, ‘That’s odd or interesting,’ then you go back to do what you were doing and don’t give it another thought.”

His wife of 11 years helps him pick out clothes, and his daughter often wishes she could borrow his shoes.

At 6 feet tall without the heels, Bryan is quite the towering figure when he’s all gussied up. Even while working from home during the pandemic, when most former office-goers took the opportunity to dress down, Bryan wore business dress at his home desk.

His advice for men? “If you are asking about heels, then I would say to start with a low heel and work your way up as your confidence gets higher.”

Read the whole article and watch the video here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

I Love A Success Story - Capt. Jennifer Peace

Capt. Jennifer Peace on Being Transgender in the Military


As the Supreme Court allows the Trump administration’s military transgender ban to go into effect while a legal challenge plays out in lower courts, Captain Jennifer Peace, a transgender woman who joined the US army when she was 19, joins the program.

PBS Interview

Thank you for you service.


Monday, October 19, 2020

It's Leather Time


From one of the first times I ever wore a leather item I was hooked.  It is the richness of the texture, and the way it shapes to the body.  To my joy you see it year-after-year.  I typically try and find it on sale and many times it can be found in the spring when merchants are clearing fall/winter items.  

A good quality black or tan skirt is a must for those "make an entrance" evening out.  Do not be fooled by vegan-leather or faux-leather. Nothing looks cheaper and it will not hold up for more than one season. Think investment shopping when choosing any leather product. You are purchasing an item that will not go out of style and will last. The above leather skirt was purchased from Talbot's about 5 years ago.  

The sweater item of note is the Venus - Boat Neck Cable Knit Sweater.  it is currently on the Venus site and covers several of my favorite looks.  The peach color looks great with my white hair; the boat neck is flattering for short necks, and it has enough texture to the fabric to have style.  Best of all is the price - reasonable at $54.00. (on sale today @ 39.00)

The other item worth noting is the MCM  Berlin Visetos Coated Canvas Drawstring Handbag. It is currently offered at the Nortstrom site and is an investment item that I have been watching for several years.  MCM is a recognizable designer item by its coated canvas material and distinctive "MCM" logo.  Here is a product line description:

Founded in 1976 in Munich, MCM is a brand that's bold, irreverent and aspirational—with an eye toward revolutionizing classic design. MCM's vision is to transform luxury fashion accessories and travel goods by combining craftsmanship and value for today's modern generation of global nomads: dreamers, creatives and digital natives who are unconstrained by rules and boundaries.

I am still looking forward to time when getting out is not a "Do I really need to attend this event?" question.   




Sunday, October 18, 2020

Rhonda's Political Week In Review 10/18/2020


‘Worst American President’: New York Times Flames ‘Racist Demagogue’ Trump

The New York Times went scorched earth in a scathing editorial Friday, calling Donald Trump — with his “rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health” and incompetence — the “worst American president in modern history.”

“End our national crisis” the Times pleaded with voters to oust the president, adding that Trump’s reelection campaign “poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.”

Trump “cannot solve the nation’s pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem,” the newspaper flatly said. “He is a racist demagogue presiding over an increasingly diverse country; an isolationist in an interconnected world; a showman forever boasting about things he has never done, and promising to do things he never will.

The editorial is part of a special package in the Times’ Sunday Review section that also features a series of accompanying essays about Trump’s corruption, his COVID-19 “superspreader agenda,” his “fake populism,” his racism, and his attacks on the environment, immigration and on the rights of people of color, women and the LGBTQ community

Politico - Political cartoons from the desk of Matt Wuerker.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Friday, October 16, 2020

Friends Friday - Out with the Old, In with the New!

By Katy

That black leather mini…back in the day

I finally did some serious closet cleaning last week.  I think I’ve been putting this off for the last 30 years so you can imagine the task!  To be honest, it wasn’t my idea.  My spouse was right: “every 30 years you should clean things out whether they need it or not!”  I really, really needed to clean up and to get rid of some stuff.

I’ve been inspired by Marie Kondo and her “method.”  I’m an emotional person…surprise…who attaches memories to “things.”  My mind will say that throwing out the dress is like throwing out the memory of the great/sad/exciting/devestating/beautiful time I had wearing that dress.  Marie Kondo says that people like me should only own “things that spark joy in their lives.”  Wow.  So, beginning with the end in mind…only keeping things that spark joy inside me…we start by discarding things that are out of style, don’t really fit, are age inappropriate, and the like.  Marie recommends you hold up the candidate and let it talk to you. Really.   You should begin to feel the joy it brings.  If there is no sense of joy, you simply thank the garment for the role it played in your life, and then wish it well in its new life, being owned by someone else!  Then, out it goes.

I made good progress.  Some items just didn’t talk to me at all.  I looked dumbly at the garment saying out loud, “what was I thinking when I bought this?  Or, maybe, I liked it but it really never fit right so I never wore it.  Some of the items still had sales tags attached.  Geez.

But then I came to my row of skirts.  There were grouped “summer/spring” and “fall/winter” and then arranged by length (this was the most organized segment of my closet…ever.  There were maybe 20 skirts, total.  But the first one in the fall/winter department was a little black leather mini skirt.  I held it up.  “How did I ever get those hooks to catch?”  It was tiny.  But then the memories came flooding back:  I remember going to The Raven in New Hope around Halloween, wearing a short, platinum bob wig, black turtle-neck sweater with a little black knit belt, the leather mini skirt, black tights, and black leather pointy-toe boots with a kitten heel. 

All grown up
Two years ago at the Hyatt in Philadelphia

 Like it was yesterday, I remember the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling as I opened the door to the Oak Room which contained about 100 men, half of whom were singing a show tune to Russ Eiffert’s accompaniment on the baby grand in the center of the room.  To me, it was like the classic saloon scene in a western movie, where someone pushes through the swinging doors and the piano stops and every poker player and bar drinker turns to eyeball the “new cowboy in town.”  That’s how it felt when Russ recognized me entering and he looked me over from top to bottom, pretending the keys on the piano were suddenly too hot to touch and he gently blew on his fingers to cool them.  The whole room turned to check me out.  I was mortified but luckily recalled the advice of a friend who told me to enter a room “like you own the place!”  I smiled, I waved and found a seat near the piano where I could sit down and sort of disappear into the crowd.  Russel (RIP) behind the bar sent over a cosmo and we were off to a really fun night, singing and meeting new people..  That was a great night.  

So, I held up that little leather mini-skirt and I thanked it for that night and for the memories it brought back.  Then, I wished it safe travels and put it in the Goodwill bag.  

The skirt is gone but the memories are still there. It’s OK.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

No Men Allowed

Source: http://corpseruncomics.com/corpse-run-700-my-fair-lady/

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Oreo - Proud Parent


Oreo’s New Ad On LGBTQ Acceptance Is So Necessary

ProudParent Pack of Oreos

(Thanks Velma for sending this one along)

by Kristine Cannon October 9, 2020

Oreo and PFLAG’s year-long Proud Parent initiative is designed to, as Oreo puts it, “shine a spotlight on the powerful impact love and acceptance can have on LGBTQ+ youth.”

Not only did Oreo create a limited edition #ProudParent pack of Oreos that feature rainbow-colored creme, but they’re giving them away solely to the first 10,000 people who share a photo on Instagram or Twitter showing what allyship means to them. And so far, the tweets and posts are just beautiful.

"A loving world starts with a loving home’

Chug a glass of water and grab a tissue (or use your shirt like I did), because Oreo‘s new ad — just in time for LGBTQ History Month — will hit you square in the feels and bring you to tears.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Feminine Differential - The Necklace

But fear no more! Here is a "Necklace Cheat Sheet" just for you. Simply follow our guide on how to accessorize different necklines and you'll be walking out the door looking like a fashionista. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

I love A Success Story - Defied Her Mafia Upbringing

 Daniela Lourdes Falanga, her family's first male heir, was expected to follow the path of her mafia boss father. She overcame a brutal Naples childhood to become a prominent transgender rights activist.

Dedicated to the cause:

Daniela Lourdes Falanga, 42, is the first transgender woman to chair the Naples branch of Arcigay, the leading Italian organization for the protection of LGBT+ people and the fight against gender discrimination. She was the first son of a local mafia boss.

Daniela Lourdes Falanga
The narrow alleys stretching from the Obelisk of Saint Dominic are a popular image on Naples postcards. Here university students stroll along Spaccanapoli, the main street that cuts through the historic city, drinking espresso and nibbling ricotta pastries. Short, slender doors lead into the vasci, one-room, ground-floor apartments that used to be homes for the poor but are now more often shops, cellars or even restaurants. In one of them, Daniela Lourdes Falanga is taking a break after a series of hectic days.

Says the 42-year-old, surrounded by banners and posters from the annual Pride Parade: 

I've spent the whole night providing free HIV tests to everyone who asked for one. The stigma associated with HIV is still strong in the transsexual community, so many avoid taking the test.

These barriers to genuine acceptance condemned older generations to live as outcasts. "If your body did not fit into a binary representation of gender then you got expelled from the labor market.