Tuesday, August 31, 2021

National Beach Day


Venus - Blouson Tankini
My latest addition to the collection 

Apart from celebrating our favorite beaches, the goal of National Beach Day is to encourage beach lovers to clean up trash left behind by others on the beach. Thousands of sea birds, seals, pelicans and other beach/sea animals are killed and injured every day by discarded fishing line, plastic bags, aluminum cans, oil spills and other debris. These items poison animals and get tangled in wings, beaks and intestines, causing pain, starvation and the slow painful death of these innocent animals. 

Help keep your beach beautiful and safe for everyone...including the animals.


Sue's news and views blog a few weeks ago did a wonderful piece on swimwear for TGirls. There is very little I can add to her wonderful advice. 

It's the height of the holiday season and beachwear is the norm here on the coast. Here life is relaxed and quite family-oriented and it's acceptable to walk in town or shops in your swimwear with just a light top or wrap. Fundamentally, though, it's a choice between bikini or a swimsuit for us women. These are the kinds of garments that epitomise femininity... 

Read Sue's Post


From The "Retiring Not Shy" Site 

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Art of Being a Lady

10 Ways to Feel More Feminine

BY Oksana

We can no longer avoid the dreaded f-word. 
I’m talking about femininity

Let’s start at the beginning (what a novel idea!).

Without delving too far into gender roles and religion (although I’d be delighted to discuss these topics in a different medium), we need to understand what femininity means. Originally, the word referred to (drumroll, please…) the female sex. That’s it; no hidden, convoluted meaning, no negative connotation, no backhand insult.

Now, when the modern age demands that girls behave like their fathers and boys dress like their mothers, it’s safe to say that we have lost touch of what it means to be feminine and, essentially, what it means to be a lady.

Growing up, I was not feminine by any stretch of the imagination. Oh sure, I was the 4-year-old orchestrating runway shows in the living room, teetering in my mother’s highest heels and most luxurious robes, with an obnoxious plastic crown atop my mess of curls (to fully clear up any confusion as to who was in charge).

In high school, there was a time I may have serendipitously grasped at the idea of femininity, having never truly succumbed to peer pressure in spite of being the epitome of a bully target (think bush eyebrows, glasses, zero social skills). By the time I entered the university, I was THAT girl. Oh, you know the kind – strutting into my seven-thirty-in-the-morning class wearing heels and my warrior mask (otherwise known as a full face of makeup). [Sound familiar

Much more interesting than a walk down memory lane, however, is the fact that while I was oh-so-busy prancing around in frou-frou dresses, I didn’t even notice that something was missing from the masterpiece that is called my life. While I may have looked the part of a lady (besides a few awkward fashion phases here and there, which we won’t talk about) I was too focused on looking like one to realize that I also needed to act like one.

And how does a lady act? So glad you asked!

I like this quote from Megan Gahan, a fellow blogger, who says:

[Women] were created to be strong and powerful and formidable, not in spite of your sex, but because of it.” (Amen, sister!)

The source of true feminine beauty comes from deep inside a woman’s being and is manifested when our thoughts, words, actions and emotions are in perfect harmony with our purpose as a woman.

And now, without further ado, I present to you 10 ways to feel more feminine.

Here are the 10 with out explanation See the blog post for more information on each

No. 1   | Be present
No. 2   | Relax
No  3   | Deliberately enjoy every moment - (My Favorite)
No. 4   | Declutter your life, both physical and mental
No. 5   | Refine your speech
No. 6   | Wear more silk
No. 7   | Turn on the positive energy
No. 9   | Spend time with your man (Partner)
No. 10 | Spread the love

These are great and suggestion we all can apply - Read more and enjoy the art of being a lady.


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Friday, August 27, 2021

Meetup Group - Martin County Art Gallery

Wine & Song Meetup

The group Meetup details as written by 
Priscilla our meetup host:

The Martin County Arts Council is a dynamic organization that hosts and supports artists of all kinds in our area. Their building is located at 80 SE Ocean Blvd. and houses a lovely art gallery, currently featuring an exhibit showcasing the works of Jim Houser and Dan Mackin titled, “Horizons”. On Aug. 24th, you’re invited to come and tour the Arts Council building and property, and browse the Art Gallery. You’ll be treated to a Welcome Beverage (wine, rum punch, or lemonade) served outside on the front patio, weather permitting (otherwise inside). We’ll hear from a staff member giving us a brief description of the Arts Council and the wonderful things they are doing! After the Gallery visit, you're invited (optional) to come to the "Sneaki Tiki" on Colorado Ave (Stuart). for a drink or a bite.

This was a fun meetup with the ladies above.  Martin county is the next county north of Palm Beach County and borders on the town of Jupiter, where I live. Our meetup host was Priscilla (second form the right). I have been a member of this group for over two years and never found the time (covid) to attend. 

Tuesday evening was my first time with this group and I got to meet such a fun group of ladies. Especially Linda in the middle in the green dress above. The Gallery was small but had two rooms full of beautiful Florida-centric art.

The "Sneaki Tiki" is a real hole between two walls. It can best be described as Florida rustic.  At the bar that evening was a genuine "Florida Man", with his dog. He has a kayak  / paddle board business here in Jupiter and invited the Meetup group for a kayaking adventure.   

This was a such a worthwhile example of getting out (Escape). It takes a lot of effort to be courageous going to places you have never been and meeting new people.  At the end of the evening, it was all worth it. I love meetups.  

Evening at the Gallery 


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Ditch the SAT — Permanently

On the site Politico a good point is made in an opinion post by SHERYLL CASHIN.  Bear with me and I will explain my brush with the SAT many years ago. Here is the lead for the opinion piece:

Colleges today face relentless legal challenges to affirmative action, pressuring them to keep refining policies to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses. The norm-shattering Covid-19 pandemic did something unexpected: It turned higher education, for a year or more, into a national experiment in admissions reform.

Its conclusion: Still, for all the immensely challenging disruptions the Covid pandemic brought to American education, colleges’ decreased dependence on standardized test scores offers a glimmer of hope for a fairer, more inclusive system. Now it is up to schools to accelerate this progress, rather than returning to the old norms of exclusion.

 Read the whole post...


Over 50 years ago I took the SAT and to say my scores were abysmal, would be complimentary. With my scores, I was going to be fortunate to get accepted for a job at the car wash. Gratefully, several teachers in high school saw a bright light that I had not come to discern yet. 

Dyslexia was not my friend and this was in a time that I did not know that this learning complication had a name. Understanding dyslexia with its linguistic demands, plus accepting being transgender, came much later in life. 

Please note that I do not call dyslexia a learning disability; many do - I refuse.  It is a complication that can be worked with but never completely overcome. Workarounds abound and in many ways it enhances other areas of performance. I highly recommend the book "The Gift of Dyslexia".  Coincidentally, many of the world's great minds and innovators are and have been dyslexic. 

From the Learning Disabilities Foundation:
Sir Richard Branson is an extraordinary individual who has dyslexia.  As a dyslexic individual, his life story is empowering and awe-inspiring. Sir Richard Branson was a high school dropout at the age of 15. He went on to become a world-renowned billionaire investor, business magnate, author and philanthropist."

Dyslexia, as I describe it, is like being "word-blind". Just a color-blind person cannot distinguish color differentials, a dyslexic person sees the word they are thinking and not necessarily the word they have written. Although spell checkers are a lifeline, the wrong word, spelled correctly, can go uncaught.     

I am ever so thankful for the teaches that saw me as more than a spelling challenged student. Papers returned many times looked like someone had bled-out with all the red marks. One teacher went to bat for me with his former college roommate, at the time Dean of an Engineering School. My teacher asked that I be given a chance. My high school principal also wrote a letter of recommendation and stated that I was more than a SAT score.  Also, my state win in a creative electronics project helped.  

The issue is: Whenever you put a dyslexic person under pressure (timed test), reading mistakes happen. My oldest daughter who has about the same level of dyslexia, got into college with a sports scholarship. We had similar SAT scores. To her credit, while in college, she formed a dyslexic support group and lobbied for untimed tests. I am so proud of her.  

It is good to see colleges and universities are considering that a person is more than a test score. Diversity matters - The whole-person approach is so much better.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

We Deserve The Spotlight Too

By Ashley Kenney

Nov. 24, 2020 

Harry Styles -  Vogue Photo
Harry Styles treads a fine line between pushing gender boundaries and erasing the narratives of artists of color and the LGBTQ+ community.

Clad in a Gucci gown, Styles’ appearance in December’s Vogue issue debuted Nov. 13, making him the first solo male to grace the magazine’s cover in the publication’s 128 year history. The images from the feature took the internet by storm – Styles’ Instagram post about the cover now has more than 6 million likes. But while his cover story is historic, his choice to wear skirts and dresses is not.

Styles is no stranger to pushing the gender binary of fashion. He regularly wears nail polish and suits designed for women, and he previously modeled a dress for a feature article in the Guardian. With pearl earrings and necklaces among his array of accessories, Styles is not performative or disingenuous about his gender-fluid style. Rather, his fashion choices emphasize his confidence and comfort in clothing over the stringent rules of the gender binary, and the pop star should be commended for his effort to challenge traditional ideas of masculinity.

However, Styles should neither be considered the face of gender-fluid clothing nor should he be labeled the revolutionary that Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele describes him as. Styles may push boundaries, but his Vogue cover overshadows the people of color and transgender individuals who broke gender norms long before he did.

As a white, cisgender man, Styles has an undeniable privilege to publicly wear dresses at his own discretion. While he is credited as progressive and innovative by pop culture, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals receive little praise for their everyday use of gender-fluid clothing. For much of history, anti-cross-dressing laws have targeted LGBTQ+ individuals for expressing their gender identity through clothing. Today, Styles is able to adopt gender fluidity in his personal style because of the work of the LGBTQ+ community to normalize unconventional gender aesthetics. Styles’ fashion sense is a step toward the normalization of gender-fluid clothing, but his place on the Vogue cover is a reminder of his privilege to safely and comfortably wear feminine clothing.

While Styles is being celebrated as a male artist who openly defies gender norms, he is yet again not the first to do so. Prince, Kurt Cobain and David Bowie broke down fashion barriers long before him with androgynous and often flamboyant outfits. Jared Leto, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams have all donned skirts at red carpet events, concerts and in magazine spreads, respectively. And even now, contemporaries like Bad Bunny and Lil Nas X are also reimagining the gender associations of clothing by wearing avant-garde pieces and drag ensembles.

Billy Porter
Among the numerous male celebrities experimenting with fashion, Billy Porter is one of the most notable pioneers of gender-fluid clothing. In the past decade, Porter has worn dresses and skirts to multiple red carpet events. Most recently at the 2019 Oscars, Porter played on the tropes of traditional menswear with a tuxedo ballgown by Christian Siriano. Over the course of his career, Porter’s daring fashion choices have garnered countless headlines and have opened conversations about society’s conformance to gendered clothing.

Similarly, Jaden Smith has received widespread media attention for his efforts to redefine gender norms. In 2016, Smith wore a skirt in a Louis Vuitton advertisement, garnering mixed reactions from the public. In response to critics, Smith defended his clothing choices in a Tweet stating, “If I Wanna Wear A Dress, Then I Will.” Smith has been defying conventional gender boundaries since his time in high school, having worn a skirt to his high school prom. Since then, he has also started his own gender-neutral clothing line, MSFTSrep, with the intention to destigmatize gender-fluid fashion.

Both Smith and Porter exhibit consistent efforts to normalize feminine clothing on men, even putting their reputations on the line to do so. But Vogue’s choice of Styles to represent the growing wave of gender-neutral and gender-fluid clothing reaffirms the popular trend of showering white male celebrities with praise while blatantly ignoring the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ celebrities who do the same. With trends like “Twitter’s white boy of the month,” white male celebrities are placed on a pedestal for merely being conventionally attractive. Meanwhile, there are no Twitter trends or widespread public idealization for male celebrities of color that parallel the appreciation white male celebrities receive.

However, Styles himself should not be blamed for Vogue’s oversight. Rather, the misogyny, transphobia and racism within the fashion industry and pop culture at large are at fault for the glorification of white creators and the continual neglect of minority groups. Backlash from Styles’ cover by conservative commentators like Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro underscore the stigma against gender-fluid clothing and effeminate styles on men, both of which are still often perceived by critics as an attack on traditional notions of masculinity. Styles’ clothing choices challenge the ideas of conformity and the gender binary – and he deserves recognition for his efforts.

But even so, the December issue of Vogue underlines the disregard for celebrities of color as well as the transgender and gender-nonconforming community who established the gender-fluid clothing trend. So when a high-profile celebrity like Styles is praised for his courageousness in how he dresses, it is important to highlight the minority groups that paved the way for him. Styles’ Vogue cover marks an important step in the right direction, but future publications must strive to achieve greater representation of gender nonconformity.

Styles may be a sign of changing times, but celebrities of color and the LGBTQ+ community deserve the spotlight too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

I Love A Success Story - Professional, and Unafraid

Why I’m Genderqueer, Professional, and Unafraid -  Jacob Tobia seeks gender empowerment in the professional world

MARCH 7, 2016
Jacob Tobia,
 professional genderqueer

I looked myself up and down in the full-length mirror. Blouse tucked in? Check. Pearl earrings on? Check. Lipstick flawless? Check. After a few minutes of primping, posing and deep breathing, I was off to my first day at a new job.

When I start a new job, I struggle with all of the typical trepidations and hesitations. Will my coworkers like me? Will I fit in with the office culture? Am I formatting this report the right way?

But one question loomed above all others as I started my job last week: what should I wear to work?

In many ways, it’s a concern everyone faces. On the first day, everyone wants to get their outfit just right. The morning before a new job, most of us spend an extra ten, twenty or thirty minutes making sure that our hair is properly coiffed, our deodorant is both effective and unobtrusive and our outfit is on point.

But for transgender and gender nonconforming people like myself, the question of what to wear to work becomes an exhausting question of identity and of survival. For us, the question changes from “how do I present my best self at work?” to “can I present my best self at work?”

As an undergraduate at Duke, I spent four years learning to love and appreciate myself as a gender nonconforming person. Going into college, I thought that my desire to dress androgynously and adopt a feminine gender expression was shameful; and for the first few months of college, I hid it from others and from myself. But after years of work unearthing internalized oppression and masculine shame, I finally learned to keep my head high as I stomped by the frat boys in my five-inch heels. I made a name for myself at Duke, and by the end of four years I wore pencil skirts and pant-suits to meetings with the Board of Trustees. During undergrad, I became fully empowered and comfortable in my gender.

Or so I thought.

I thought back to all of this, took a deep breath and walked through the front door of my new office, heels click-clacking on the concrete floor.

As transgender, genderqueer and gender nonconforming people, we deserve better. We deserve to have our work ethic and intellect respected regardless of how we choose to express our gender identities. We deserve to be able to wear clothing and behave in ways that affirm our gender. We deserve to be treated fairly in the workplace.

While people may try to discriminate against me and tell me that I’m dressing “inappropriately” for work, I will hold on to my gender identity and sense of self. In the workplace, I will stick up for those who, like me, find that their gender does not match a prefabricated box. I will wear my heels, pearls and skirts to work until, hopefully, the world can learn to respect people like me.

So to all of the discriminatory employers out there, you better watch out, because I am genderqueer, professional and unafraid.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Meetup Lunch U-Tiki

 Lunch on the Water at U-tiki in Jupiter

Above is my Meetup, "Ladies Cultural", lunch. Sue, the organizer, setup a wonderful lunch at the u-Tiki Beach Restaurant overlooking the beautiful Jupiter Inlet. Oh, what a view looking out onto the Jupiter inlet with boats going by with the Jupiter Lighthouse in the background. I knew two of the ladies from a previous meetup of the same group. A wonderful lunch and friendly group of ladies. A super Saturday afternoon Escape.

Getting out and meeting new people is wonderful. 

See my note on the green top here. 

My next Meetup is with The Wine & Song group of Stuart this Tuesday - "Art Gallery Mingler - Patio Drinks at the Arts Council of Martin County".  This is my first time attending this Meetup group, so all new acquaintances. This should be interesting. I will keep you posted.   

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Rhonda's Political Week In Review 8-22-2021


DeSantis top donor invests in COVID drug governor promotes

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who has been criticized for opposing mask mandates and vaccine passports — is now touting a COVID-19 antibody treatment in which a top donor’s company has invested millions of dollars.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Boys Sometimes Dress Like Girls

Is it OK for Four and Five-Year-Old Boys?


A worried mother sent me an email question about her five-year-old son who likes dolls that look like princesses and, on occasion, likes to wear girl’s clothes. She has two older sons and never encountered this before.

Young children love to play the roles they see their parents and other adults playing. For some children, this includes boys sometimes wanting to wear girls’ clothes. After all, that is what mom does. Also, girl’s clothes seem so much more colorful and fun than the ones that boys wear. In fact some boys want to play with dolls and doll houses. [YES!]

Many parents become fearful that these boys are on the way to becoming homosexuals or transvestites. In point of fact, youngsters between the ages of approximately two and seven to ten years have a very fluid sense of sexual roles, something that becomes hardened from about age seven onward. Many believe that we are hard wired to become strongly male or female. That is why there is nothing to worry about if a four- year-old wants to be a princess at Halloween or even to buy a toy associated with girls.

Most mental health experts would agree that the most important factor in a child’s development is that he is happy. In addition, many would agree that raising alarm bells will only frighten the child.

I really like this comment I found from a reader who responded to another mother with the same concern about her six year old boy:

“This child is 6. If what a 6-year-old does is a proper testament to who they will become as an adult, we’d have a lot more crayon-eating bed-wetting running-into-traffic adults than we do as of now. Relax.”

No one can predict whether or not a child will become gay. The fact that they love to play with the toys or dress in the clothes, of the opposite sex has nothing to do with the future. Parents need to be understanding and tolerant of a normal behavior type of play that some kids find entering. I would go so far as to say that a negative, hostile and judgmental attitude toward the child sends the wrong message. This message is that there is something bad about the opposite sex. Particularly for boys, what they can take away from this negative parent reaction is that males are better than females.

It is fairly safe to say that many friends and family will be critical of this attitude, especially if they see that your son dresses in girl’s clothes or plays with girl’s toys. The best tactic to use in this situation is to calmly explain that this is normal child’s play and that you are not bothered by it.

If you are worried about your child, speak to your pediatrician. If he or she thinks there is something wrong, a referral can be made to a psychiatrist or child psychologist for an evaluation.


My Note: As an only child, I played dress up and still do. I have so many wonderful childhood memories of how I entertained myself. How about you; stores, memories? Please share... 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Feminine Differential - Embellished Jeans


I remember wearing embroidered jeans in the 70's.  The jeans were tan and the  was something round one ankle like the Boston Proper Jeans above.  Even back then, I would dare to wear just an ever so slight feminine differential.  And you guessed it, they were called "bell bottom" or as described today "flair".  I think the above two items have a wonderful feminine differential and I love off-the-shoulder tops for my tan. 

Both are from Boston Proper*. 



In case you have forgotten about 70's embroided jeans, there is a line in Dr. Hook's song "Cover of the Rolling Stone".  I know, before your time!

  I got a freaky ole lady name a Cocaine Katy Who embroiders on my jeans 

*Purchase Review: The off-the-shoulder top is wonderful and will look great with many white skirts / skinny white jeans.  Great price and look.  The the jeans are a different story.  The embellishment on the jean is cute but a little over powering.  With super long and skinny legs they would look great. However the overall quality of the jeans is not there. They are cheaply made and the embellishment cannot make up for that.  I will be returning the jeans.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Menswear Is Looking A Lot More Feminine




In the wake of September’s various fashion weeks (2020)  – and also just the upcoming change in the weather – I’ve done a review of various Spring 2020 menswear collections. I’ve come to one conclusion: menswear is soft now.

I think, in part, the gentler masculinity of these brands is influenced by the more overtly queer designers that have gained prominence. The bohemian decadence of Palomo Spain and the party girl minimalism of Ludovic Saint Sernin spring to mind when I look at these collections.

These brands push against the limits of what is deemed normal for the male body by tailoring traditionally female styles to suit it. Loewe and Dior Homme wouldn’t be so bold as to run a custom made towel-skirt down the runway. But their recent work indicates that they want to take up some of the room made by the boundary pushers.

Even for the more conservative menswear lines, this year’s trends are soft silhouettes, a playful approach to styling, and the general sense that you will have to really force your male relatives to try any of it on.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

According to Vanity Fair - You Are Not Alone

On the Macy's site there are 815 reviews of the  Vanity Fair Illumination String Bikini Underwear 18108.  A huge portion of these are from men. If you ever thought you were alone, this is proof positive you are not.  I see no need for me to add my review other than to say, Sunday evening during one of Macy's "One-Day-Sales" (all weekend), I ordered 5 pair. Saying good bye to my thread-bare VS bikini panties will be hard, but they have served me well for many years.      

What is your favorite? Is one of your reviews include on the Macy's / Vanity Fair site?  Let's speak out and let the world know we are everywhere. 


Vanity Fair Illumination String Bikini Underwear 18108

Monday, August 16, 2021

Pejorative - If It Quacks Like A Duck...

Would You Wear It? 


A pejorative or slur is a word or grammatical form expressing a negative or a disrespectful connotation, a low opinion, or a lack of respect toward someone or something.The word pejorative is derived from a Late Latin past participle stem of peiorare, meaning "to make worse", from peior "worse". Wikipedia

When I was growing up, to be called a "sissy" for a boy was the worst.  It was like being smeared with tar. It did not wash off and stuck forever; especially when it was true.  

So there is no confusion, as long as we are doing definitions - according to Merriam-Webster a sissy is: "an effeminate man or boy". However, you already knew that. 

Growing up I was called "sissy" many times.  I did vow to change and did my best, playing football (co-captain) as a teen and hanging with the neighborhood boys. I learned to talk cars and rode a toy version of a motorcycle; Honda. I was always skinny and my physical size did very little to dispel the sissy characterization.  

What made it worse, deep inside I was a sissy.  I loved my mother's shoes. I would play dress-up. I studied the Sears Catalog for fashion secrets and dressing ideas. I played with dolls and had tea parties for my dolls. I wished I was a girl. More than wished...

Today, I still intuitively cringe a little when I hear the word sissy. However,  I have come full circle and do embraced my effeminate (transgender) nature. My small stature (petite) works well in choosing fashions. Certain aspects of my physicality never were super manly and now I am mistaken (not) for female more than male. The pronouns I hear most these days are female and I am way past correction their interpretation

How did you feel about being a sissy growing up? How do you feel today? It is interesting that the pejorative has gone mainstream with "Sissy Boy" branded products.  "If it quacks like a duck..."  


Vision Works "Sissy Boy" line of eye wear. (Sissy Boy Eyewear SB293/30)

Personal Note: Be sure to read Joanna's "MUSINGS FROM MY EVERYDAY LIFE...Manna Post.  

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Friday, August 13, 2021

Summer Beach Days


I have really enjoyed the beach and community pool this summer. The place at the beach and the completely new pool have become my new obsessions. I know all the warning about sun damage skin, thus sun screen (SPF70) has become my new best friend. Walks on the beach with a cool dip in the pool are soooo nice.

My new favorite swim suits are Tankini tops with matching bottoms.  They are easy to get on and have a good mix of nylon/spandex, tricot for a nice "hold everything in place" fit.  The mid-summer Florida sun has quite a punch and I have developed some very interesting tan lines from the above two  Venus Tankini swim suits. 

Jupiter Beach Walkover

The walkover to the beach is about 5 minutes from my door.  I wear a cover-up like the one above and sandals to cross the street.  After I take the sandals and cover-up off for my beach walk. I am attempting to make the daily beach walk of about two miles my morning routine with pool time after. If I can get this in by noon, I avoid the ever-present, summer (tropical) thunderstorms.  


Underwire Twist Tankini Top