Tuesday, May 31, 2022

I Love A Success Story - Katherine Boone

The New Girl in School: Transgender Surgery at 18

By Anemona Hartocollis
June 16, 2015

Kat Boon 
Now 18, she will start college as a woman
In a cozy cottage decorated with butterflies to symbolize transformation, Katherine Boone was recovering in April from the operation that had changed her, in the most intimate part of her body, from a biological male into a female.

It was not easy. She retched for days afterward. She could hardly eat. She did not seem empowered; she seemed regressed.

“I just want to hold Emma,” she said in her darkened room at the bed-and-breakfast in New Hope, Pa., run by the doctor who performed the operation in a hospital nearby. Emma is her black and white cat, at her home outside Syracuse in central New York State, 250 miles away.

Her childlike reaction was, perhaps, not surprising. Kat, whose side-parted hair was dyed a sassy red, is just 18, and about to graduate from high school.

It is a transgender moment. President Obama was hailed just for saying the word “transgender” in his State of the Union address this year, in a list of people who should not be discriminated against. They are characters in popular television shows. Bruce Jenner’s transition from male sex symbol to a comely female named Caitlyn has elevated her back to her public profile as a gold-medal decathlete at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

A Teenager’s Pain

Kat Boone did not fit the stereotype of a girl trapped in a boy’s body.

As a child, she dressed in jeans and shirts, like all the other boys, and her best friend was a boy. She liked to play with cars and slash bad guys in the Legend of Zelda video games. She still shuns dresses, preferring skinny jeans and band T-shirts.

But as a freshman in high school in Cazenovia, N.Y., she became depressed and withdrawn. “I knew that the changes going on with puberty were not me,” Kat said. “I started to really hate my life, myself. I was uncomfortable with my body, my voice, and I just felt like I was really a girl.”

Six weeks after the operation, she was still so weak that she had to take the elevator at school instead of the stairs.

At her two-month checkup, she had gained back half the weight she had lost, but still looked frail and self-conscious. She treated herself to a new hair color — strawberry blond — for graduation.

Kat said she had “zero regrets.”

But it was clear to all of them that the operation was not a quick fix.

It is not a “yippie, jump up and down fireworks situation,” Mr. Boone said. “It’s a grand relief that something that’s been such a bother to her is finally gone.”

Monday, May 30, 2022

Consumerism vs Inflation

It is not about who has the biggest sale -  it is about remembering (Rhonda)

Thank You.

We now return to our regularly scheduled rant.

We are all acutely aware of how inflation is wreaking havoc with our paychecks and discretionary spending. The blame lies in many areas:  Covid-related pent-up demand, unnecessary regressive tariffs, supply chain disruptions, and baby-boomers enjoying our last hoorah; after all, you can’t take it with you. There may even be a shot of Biden inadequacy that is currently conspicuous. 

Whatever the reason, we have not seen the likes of this in decades.  For those that can afford it, an annoyance.  For those at the lower-income threshold, devastation resulting in many difficult decisions. 

The available tools are simple economics 101 - Again, affecting the least able to cope.  

Short-term there may be one simple thing we can collectively do.  

No one loves shopping and new fashion better than I. There are times I am powerless when seeing and desiring a new top, skirt dress, and ___________; you fill in the blank for your obsession. It is part of being transgender to see a beautiful, well-put-together woman at the mall and think how that outfit would look if we were wearing it. Thus, the obsession to find and own it (outfit not her).

Just last week I went into the Tommy Bahama store in my local mall. Their fashions fit my new casual style and the tropical-look that is so prevalent here in South Florida.  I have several dresses for there. That day's purchase, the top shown below:  The linen top I liked is described this way

Our lightweight Linnea linen drapes beautifully, creating a sophisticated silhouette complemented by a chic tie front that brings your entire outfit together. 100% linen”. 

There is no question it is cute and the small fit me well in all the right places. (vanity sizing)  It looks great and impulsively, I bought it. 

The price $84.50. When I returned home a severe case of “buyers remorse” set it.  Can I afford it - yes.  However, that price for something so casual, and basic is unjustifiable.  So, I am returning it. 

There was one other experience I had that very same morning that drives home my rant. I love to have a cup of hot tea in the morning (my coffee alternative). While waiting for the mall stores to open, I ordered a small hot tea at Starbucks. I was given a small cup of hot water and a teabag.  $3.18. Even taking into account their enormous overhead, still three dollars for a teabag?  Buying a box of 100 or more at my local grocery runs about that same price or $4.04 Amazon.  Will I purchase hot tea at Starbucks again? Unjustifiable!

I would like to think that some of the inflation is caused by retailers having to pay covid returning retail workers a living wage. I know personally for my part-time retail job, this is not the case. Also Starbucks workers are seeking union representation to have better working condition and pay. (In the past eight months... close to 250 other Starbucks stores have followed, driving a surge in union election petitions not seen since 2015.)

There are many consumables we have few options other than shopping for the best price. Our only collective, short-term, option is just say “NO” to nonessentials when a price is unjustifiable. Maybe the merchants / corporations will get the message?  

Over simplistic I know. Your comments please.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Political Week In Review 5-29-2022

Texas Governor
 Gov. Greg Abbott 
And the "Hypocrite of the Week" award goes to Texas Gov. Abbott.  On June 17, 2021 he signs 7 gun bills into law, including ‘constitutional carry'. Vanity Fair - TEXAS [did] PASS AN INSANE LAW LETTING PEOPLE CARRY GUNS WITHOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS, LICENSES, OR TRAINING

Abbott was also joined at Alamo Plaza by Wayne LaPierre, an executive for the National Rifle Association.

See the Texas Tribune article: Texas has had eight mass shootings in the past 13 years, while lawmakers have steadily loosened restrictions on carrying firearms.

Texas has some of the most gun-friendly laws in the nation and has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. over the past five years.


Read: Britain ended the horror of school shootings after one single massacre [in 1996]

It’s a triumph for a country that understood immediately that a society that allows children to be shot in its schools is a society that is failing. Britain didn’t merely pay lip service to the idea that life— particularly the youngest of lives—matters. It did its best to make it so. [Ahmen] 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Friday, May 27, 2022

An Elegant Lunch at a Tea Room

Friend's Friday

12 Lovely Ladies - Girlfriends in Hobe Sound

The Hobe Sound Art Village &Tea Room is located in the heart of downtown Hobe Sound, FL.  This past Saturday my Meetup group "Girlfriends in Hobe Sound" had a wonderful, fun lunch and dessert there.

This was an afternoon lunch event where we had the whole place to ourselves. After, we all enjoyed browsing the art gallery / tea room. There was jewelry, chocolates, and Hobe Sound local art ocean-scapes to see / buy.

Just a few doors down from our tea room there were several beautiful boutiques featuring Florida casual wear.  Hobe Sound, a hidden treasure of cute. shops, galleries and restaurants; plus beach.  See Five things to do in Hobe Sound.

I have enjoyed this group on multiple occasions. I highly encourage you to seek out Meetup group in your area.  A great way to get out in the real world. 

What could be more elegant than a ladies' afternoon tea? 

Meetup - A great way to find new friends, get all dressed up, and ESCAPE. 


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Katie & Laura's Fancy Satin Panties...

Guide for Men Wearing Women’s Panties 

Did I mess the formal announcement - Is this going mainstream?

We get lots of FAQs from men and women about choosing Women’s Panties for men to wear. We hope this helps!"

About our Panty Shop: We adore the retro style of the '90s-00s classic stretch satin panties! What happened to the Second Skin Satin & Liquid Satin Panties? We've brought them back! Better than Ever! Katie & Laura's Second Skin Satin® fabric is exclusive to our Fancy Satin Panty Collection!

Katie & Laura

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Does Anyone Wear Pantyhose Anymore?


Feb. 26, 2021 Vanessa Friedman, fashion director of The New York Times, takes a reader question. 

My daughter is getting married this spring. It will be a small daytime wedding in a park. I bought a knee-length wrap dress and neutral-colored low heels to wear, and though I have not bought or worn stockings in decades, I feel as if I should wear them with this outfit. My daughter is horrified and plans to go barelegged under her knee-length wedding dress. Is there a general “rule” about stockings? Some guidance, please. — Judith, Washington, D.C.

Pantyhose — or stockings or nylons or tights, which are not exactly the same things but are often used interchangeably — are one of those items of dress that seems innocuous and unimportant, but is actually a giant generational, occupational and cultural lightning rod. For women of a certain age, they are simply a part of girding yourself for the world; for others, they are a symbol of old-fashioned female repression and outmoded gender rules.

They’re not exactly a girdle or a crinoline, but they are a descendant of that genetic line: undergarments foisted on women to cover their bodies and make them “acceptable” to outsiders. They also, of course, help keep your legs warm and maybe prevent skirts from clinging, but that’s the trade-off.

Indeed, if you ever want to start a lively discussion during a lull in a dinner party, bring up the question of pantyhose. Even when they are invisible or skin-tone, no one is neutral on the subject.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in 2018
Wearing white hosiery.
Simply consider, if you will, the case of Megan Markle. Just after her wedding, when she was still a sign of change within the royal family and hopes were high for modernization, she appeared with her new in-laws at Prince Charles’s 70th birthday party in an ivory dress, matching hat and pale hose! The internet freaked out, with numerous viewers seeing in the tights a sign that she was being stifled, just as her legs were stifled.

Indeed, there were lots of rumors that tights were royal protocol, in part because the Duchess of Cambridge, like her grandmother-in-law, always wears them. Yet a few months after the tights appearance, Ms. Markle put an end to the talk, attending a charity performance in a tuxedo minidress and … no hose! Revolution, cheered the watching hordes.

Whatever the truth of the royal issue, the import was pretty clear: Stockings are not modern.

But then, many Gen X and Boomers stopped wearing pantyhose years ago, dismissing them as uncomfortable and easily ruined by runs. Most Millennial women have never even worn them, and thanks to more casual office wear, they don't need to in most offices. 

This fall into disrepute has probably been hastened by the pandemic, since pantyhose are not exactly a necessary part of one’s wardrobe when working from home. And indeed, even before remote work became a reality for many of us, most offices had abandoned the requirement (spoken or not) for pantyhose at work.

The exception being flight attendants. For many of them, pantyhose are still part of the uniform — see Kaley Cuoco in “The Flight Attendant” on HBO Max — in part because the compression in some pairs helps with circulation at altitude.

That said, designers love to reinvent and reassess previously rejected garments, so right on cue stockings have been on the rise in a variety of collections. Virginie Viard put sheer polka-dot versions on her runway for fall 2020; they were there at Saint Laurent in lace; and this week Kim Jones showed a sheer black pair at his Fendi show.

And know this: The sheer nylons and tights segment of the global hosiery market is predicted to grow by 2.1 percent over the next seven years. So whatever the politics, pantyhose are not going away. 

My Note: I am not sure that I agree.  Here in Florida, I almost never see Pantyhose. What do you think?   

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Monday, May 23, 2022

I Love A Success Story - Aurora Higgs

Aurora Higgs
Aurora Higgs is a queer Black trans visionary from Richmond, Virginia. She’s a speaker, performer, and media producer who uses her platform to promote equity and elevate queer BIPOC voices.

As the founder of Borealis Consulting, LLC and Board Member of the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood, Aurora helps shape medical practice guidelines and protocols to better ensure that transgender policies are appropriate, progressive, and compassionate.

Aurora is a speaker and facilitator focusing on social justice, gender and sexuality studies, education, and DEI work. She has facilitated queer-affirming programming and training for state agencies like the Virginia Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services. She has spoken on panels of national and international organizations like She the People and Unite UK. Currently, Aurora is pursuing a doctorate in interdisciplinary media studies. Her research centers on the representation of trans people of color within digital media.

Aurora is an activist in her own community; she has worked with Delegate Danica Roem to pass trans-affirming legislation at the state level. She has also been featured in publications like Richmond Times-Dispatch and was named one of Richmond's Top 40 Under 40, by the Richmond Style Weekly.

As a Black transgender woman, taboo has always surrounded my identity. The intersections between taboo and radical queer identity are socially and politically linked. Technically, just being visible in normative spaces (e.g. at grocery stores, in public restrooms, and through media) is a taboo in a heteronormative White supremacist society. I leverage and re-conceptualize the nature of “the taboo” to foster generative and afro-futuristic/afro-surrealist discourse about identity, sexuality, gender, performance, and new epistemologies.



This is believed to be the first trans woman represented in a mural in Richmond. “As a Black trans femme in the South, my community is hyper vulnerable to institutional and cultural oppression, erasure, violence, and death. So to have a long-standing imprint on the city that I’ve given so much to feels invulnerable,” Higgs said. “I want other trans/NB people of color to see this and feel seen.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Friday, May 20, 2022

A Live Fashion Layout - Evening ESCAPE

 Friend's Friday 

CeCe Dress and Floral Pumps - Photo taken at the Colony Hotel, Palm Beach 

There are times when all the stars align perfectly for a wonderful evening escape. I had worked at the lingerie shop earlier in the day and was not sure I was up to an evening out.  

Happily I did.  Cait and I started the evening at our usual haunt, "The Colony Palm Beach" for cocktails and talked about how nice it is to be out. As the Thursday evening regulars started to wonders in about 6:30, it was great seeing new faces (not seen post covid) and catching up.

The Colony is renowned for it's Thursday evening "Gentlemen's Night" and Cait and I have slipped into the mascot role beautifully. There are always a few civilian women (hotel and dinner guest) and they seem to gravitate to us for conversation. Life is good. 

Caitlin Ann 
The Colony Hotel is a world renowned boutique hotel one block off Worth Avenue.  There are evenings we walk to Worth for restaurants, however, this evening after lobby photos, we went to the elegant Table 26 in West Palm. We have dined there before and are always welcomed. A table in the center, right next to a group of four young women, on the town. What a delicious dinner topped off with an ice cream sundae with hot chocolate sauce. Thank you Cait.

The above dress was purchased pre-covid and it did not fit well until I had lost some weight. I have lost a total of 30 pounds and feel so much better. Plus, I fit into clothes not worn in years. The dress is "CeCe: Cecil Dress" purchased at Macy's at least three years ago.  It can still be seen here although sold out. The shoes are  IVANKA TRUMP floral Pump and provided a great spring look for the dress. The fabric shoes, although beautiful, are not holding up well due to poor quality standards.    

The lesson learned this evening: Never pass up opportunities to escape. A beautiful evening.  

Thursday, May 19, 2022

What To Do When You Have Lemons...


Above is a super cute CANVAS A-LINE SKIRT - LEMON BLOSSOM skirt from Talbots.  It is currently on their site and I purchased it in petite several week ago. It is a canvas material, but not to heavy and they describe it as A-Line although I find it more straight than flared. Talbots' description:

Canvas A-Line Skirt. Our versatile A-line silhouette. Made from canvas with a smile-worthy lemon blossom print. Dress it up. Or dress it down.

I am amazed by the combination of tops and variety of looks that can be created with this skirt. A grey, yellow or blue top all wear well with it. As shown in the photo, a denim jacked would work great for those cool summer night "Escapes".

I was also drawn to the STRAW WOVEN DRAWSTRING BAG, also Talbots.  Can a girl have too many cute purses?  

Keep a watch on the Talbots site and store.  They have been having great sales over the last few weeks, so no need to pay full price.  

What to drink - Lemonade of course.

And, Velma suggest: The 20 Best Lemon Cocktails

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Arresting Dress

 A timeline of anti-cross-dressing laws in the United States

In November 2014, an appeals court in Malaysia overturned a state law that barred Muslim men from dressing as women in a historic victory for the country’s transgender women.

The court found the law unconstitutional, characterizing it as “degrading, oppressive and inhuman.” The verdict was heralded by human rights organizations worldwide as a step in recognition of modern human rights.

But some similar landmark rule changes in the United States were only a few years ahead.

In fact, a person perceived as male who dressed in clothing customarily designed for women could technically be arrested in New York for “impersonating a female” as recently as 2011 — the remnants of a 19th century statewide law prohibiting wearing “the dress of the opposite sex.”

In Columbus, Ohio, where one of the earliest ordinances was instituted, an 1848 law forbade a person from appearing in public “in a dress not belonging to his or her sex.” In the decades that followed, more than 40 U.S. cities created similar laws limiting the clothing people were allowed to wear in public.

The wave of laws in the 1850s represented a “new development specific to gender presentation,” according to Susan Stryker, an associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona.

Book By Susan Stryker
Available on Amazon 

In effect, the anti-cross-dressing laws became a flexible tool for police to enforce normative gender on multiple gender identities, including masculine women and people identifying as transgender or gender non-conforming.

But as time progressed and fashion evolved, it was increasingly difficult to even define what “cross-dressing” entailed from a law-enforcement perspective, Stryker told PBS NewsHour.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization defines cross-dressers specifically as heterosexual men who occasionally wear clothes, makeup and accessories culturally associated with women.

“By the time the counterculture was in full bloom, cross-dressing arrests were routinely getting thrown out of court,” she said. “Arresting cross-dressing people was mainly just a form of police harassment.”

MY Note - Could these laws return under the current Republican transgender madness? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

At Work Shoes, The Bane of My Existence


To say that something or someone is “the bane of my existence” means that the person or thing is a constant irritant or source of misery.  The shoes I wear at the lingerie shop (Soma) can make-or-break my day.  

On my first day I wore my most comfortable 3" heels. The ones I previously bragged that I can wear all day - NOT.  I was going to make a statement that I am a "Shop Girl see me walk".  At the end of that day I was doing the end-of-day store cleaning, barefoot; near tears. 

That was a lesson learned.

Tory Burch Flats 

Next I tried ballet flats; no support.  Although the ballet flats did not cause excessive pain while standing /walking all day, they did cause leg fatigue lasting even past the work shift. 

Next, sneakers, which are a success story.  My every day shoes are a platform sneaker that provides a little feminine differential and all-day comfort. Luckily, retail has become super casual with few dress code requirements enforced. This is likely fueled by the readiness to fill positions with any willing worker that has a pulse. My part-time self included in that last statement.  

I am so happy that my existence does not depend on working retail. It is thankless, hard work and seldom provides a living wage. Did I mention hard work. Always be kind / understanding to the retail associates that serve you. A smile and a thank you go a long way in making their day bearable.   

My mall Coach store is having a buyback promotion and will give store vouchers  for older leather "vintage" bags. Legacy purses are being sought-after items that  Coach reconditions for resale. I had one that fit that criteria and took it by the store. 

Yes, a worth while amount was negociated. To use my store voucher, I purchased a pair of  their "Citysole Platform Lace-Up Logo Sneakers".  The fit was super and were so comfortable I choose to size down. Below are my new Coach platform sneakers and the "no name", internet platform sneakers that are my everyday shoes.  Similar here at Bloomingdales

I will keep you posted on the long term wearability of the Coach sneakers. So far so good.  


Monday, May 16, 2022

Let There be Censorship

“[The “Don’t Say Gay” bill] is oppressing students, and it has not even gone into effect yet,” says Zander Moricz, his high school’s first openly gay class president

Zander Moricz 
This post is from
NBC News and the Rollingstone.

Florida high school senior Zander Moricz was called into his principal’s office last week. As class president his whole high school career — and his school’s first openly LGBTQ student to hold the title — this was a fairly routine request. But once he entered the administrator’s office, he said, he immediately knew “this wasn’t a typical meeting.”

His principal — Stephen Covert of Pine View School in Osprey, Florida, roughly 70 miles south of Tampa — warned Moricz that if his graduation speech referenced his LGBTQ activism, school officials would cut off his microphone, end his speech and halt the ceremony, Moricz alleged. 

I am the youngest public plaintiff in the “Don’t Say Gay” lawsuit. I am my Florida high school’s first openly-gay Class President. I am being silenced, and I need your help. — zander moricz (@zandermoricz) May 9, 2022

“He said that he just ‘wanted families to have a good day’ and that if I was to discuss who I am and the fight to be who I am, that would ‘sour the celebration,’” Moricz, 18, recalled. “It was incredibly dehumanizing.”

Covert did not reply to NBC News’ questions concerning his alleged warning to Moricz. However, he released a statement through his employer, Sarasota County Schools, saying he and other school officials “champion the uniqueness of every single student on their personal and educational journey.”

In a statement, Sarasota County Schools confirmed Covert and Moricz’s meeting, adding that graduation speeches are routinely reviewed to ensure they are “appropriate to the tone of the ceremony.”


Moricz plans to give his speech as anticipated, and hopes to use his voice to speak up for other LGBTQ students like himself, especially after growing up in a community where he didn’t necessarily feel welcome to come out.

“Sarasota, as a community, has been a hateful environment to grow up in. Since my role in the lawsuit went public, we have had people run into my parents’ place of work screaming about me,” he says. “I’ve received death threats, both in person and online. I don’t go to the grocery store alone, because I typically get someone trying to debate or trying to threaten me and it’s really wild.”

Sunday, May 15, 2022

I Love A Success Story - Erica Fernandes

Erica Fernandes

A Story With A Twist!

The coveted list of The Times 20 Most Desirable Women on TV 2020 is out.

Based on their popularity on the small screen, votes cast in an online poll and an internal jury, these gorgeous women on Hindi television with tons of talent, style and sex appeal have found a spot on the list.

Erica Fernandes, who has topped the list, is well-known as Prerna from Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2. She not only impressed viewers with her performance, but has also won hearts for her style and vibrant personality.

“It feels like life has come full circle. I started my career by winning the Times Fresh Face contest in 2010, I was a finalist in the Miss India pageant two years later, and now I have topped the Times Most Desirable Woman on TV 2020 list. Honestly, it still feels a little unbelievable, but I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey with me,” said Erica, talking about winning the top spot.


There is more to this story: Calvin Klein Features Pregnant Trans Man For Mother's Day Ad Campaign

Roberto Bete, a female-to-male transgender reality TV show participant, was featured alongside his partner Erika Fernandes, a male-to-female transgender person, in Calvin Klein’s Mother’s Day ad campaign.  

The Phillips-Van Hausen Corporation (PVH) owns the American fashion house. PVH has pursued an aggressive social responsibility policy which they openly describe as a commitment to “bold and progressive ideals” to “define the future.”

Our Calvin Klein business has always rallied around bold and progressive ideals. Through our commitments, we’ll help reinvent what’s possible and create a future that defies the status quo. We will break free from the boundaries that put people in boxes and the ideas and attitudes that hold us back. We will build a business with zero tolerance for injustice, where fashion has nothing to hide. We will help change the climate for the better and make products that make fashion a force for good. Together, we will defy expectations and define the future.


Roberto Bete and Erika Fernandes

In the caption, “Today, in support of women and mothers all over the world, we’re spotlighting the realities of new families," the company wrote.

Rhonda's Political Week In Review 5-15-2022


And the award for "Hypocrite of the Week" goes to Justice Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas on SCOTUS decisions: People need to live with outcomes we don’t agree with. Thomas noted that as a society, “we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” Reuters reported.

His statements come after it was revealed in March that his wife, Ginni, sent several text messages to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urging him to find a way to keep former President Trump in office, leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Friday, May 13, 2022

How To Be More Feminine...

 Tips To Act More Ladylike

by Pearl Nash 
May 3, 2021

Being feminine can mean different things to different people because each culture has its own notion of what it means to be female.

In the west, the concept of femininity is tied heavily to gender norms.

Traditionally, being feminine or girly means being gentle, nurturing, sensitive, sweet, passive, empathetic, or devoted — to name a few traits.

As people continue to realize that gender norms are a little outdated, we now think that being feminine is more of a style choice (although positive feminine traits are still good to emulate).

So how do you become more feminine?

Achieving a girly “look”, adopting ladylike mannerisms, and getting in touch with the female mindset can help you take on a more feminine image.

In this article, you’ll learn how to embody the grace, politeness, and competence which define the female attitude.

My Note - Each of these is expanded in the article and I have listed the most relevant to us.  A good read:


1) Take care of your hygiene

2) Dress in a girly style

3) Wear makeup

4) Try “feminine” hairstyles

5) Embrace your sexy side

6) Practice proper posture

7) Cultivate good manners

8) Speak like a lady

9) Avoid masculine behaviors

10) Spend more time with women

11) Read women’s magazines

12) Own your confidence and unique charm

13) Empathize with others

14) Be more expressive

15) Be more carefree.

16) Learn how to compliment people

17) Receive compliments graciously

18) Compliment yourself

19) Work on your social skills

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The 'Coastal Grandmother' Trend

Here's how to capture the vibe — even if you don't live anywhere near the coast.

By Emma Stessman

When I first heard the term "coastal grandmother," I had no idea what it was — but I immediately knew that it sounded like a trend that I could get behind.

The phrase brings to mind images of relaxing days spent lounging on a chaise, crisp linen outfits and houses with expansive farmhouse-style kitchens. And, essentially, that's what it is. TikTok user @lexnicoleta, who has been credited with coining the term, said in a video that those who love coastal vibes, recipes and cooking, cozy interiors and more might fit the "coastal grandmother" aesthetic. And no, you don't have to be an actual grandmother to be a coastal one, "it's for anyone and everyone," she said.

For those not lucky enough to live in a beach house with a big garden, you can still capture the spirit of the aesthetic by simply dressing for the role. "I would describe it as very neutral, classic staples in light shades ... it's very crisp, very clean," said New York City-based personal stylist Samantha Brown. "It's sort of like a nod to this timeless, moneyed — but not flashy — coastal grandma."

From A WellStyle Life Blog
Brown said that while the "coastal grandmother" aesthetic may appeal to a slightly older generation, it's also great for those who have become accustomed to the cozy and fuss-free outfits that made up the majority of our wardrobes over the last couple of years, but still want to look put-together. "It's a step above wearing leggings and a sweater, but it's still very, very easy," Brown said. "It almost comes back to that capsule wardrobe feeling, like really nice basics in neutral colors that can be easily interchanged with each other."

According to personal stylist Christina Stein, to nail the trend, you want to stick to earthy tones, like blues, greens, creams, white, beige and light pinks. Essential pieces include cotton long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, cargo pants and hats. Brown added that things like white button-downs, jeans (but not the skinny versions), casual trousers and high-quality tees are other staples.

Works for me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Transgender Medication Banned in Alabama

Law Banning Transgender Medication For Alabama Kids Takes Effect

HuffPost - By Nina Golgowski

It's now a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for medical providers in Alabama to give puberty blockers or hormones to those under the age of 19.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

It's now illegal to provide gender-affirming care for transgender youth in Alabama after a federal judge failed to rule on a motion Friday that could have temporary halted the unprecedented law from going into effect.

As of Sunday, the new law makes it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for medical providers to give puberty blockers or hormones to those under the age of 19 to help affirm their gender identity.

This enforcement is a first for a state. The Arkansas Legislature passed a similar measure last year but a federal judge blocked it from going into effect while a lawsuit challenging the prohibition plays out.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed her state’s bill early last month, prompting lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice and from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Human Rights Campaign on behalf of local families.

U.S. District Judge Liles Burke last week considered a motion seeking to temporarily halt the ban while the lawsuit is pending but ultimately did not make a decision.

He did not indicate when he will rule on the motion, according to local outlets.

See my post "Gender-affirming Care, A "Crucial"' Process".  Why do you think that 19 year olds will be the stopping point?  

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

After Speech Stop


Unwinding after the commencement speech at the
  Graduate Hotel Roof-top bar and restaurant.  
What a beautiful after event evening watching the sunset over downtown Richmond.  Dinner with a friend followed in the lobby 
restaurant. A beautiful end to a beautiful day.  

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Lavender Celebration at Virginia Commonwealth University

The Lavender Celebration, celebrates the achievement of LGBTQIA+ undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral candidates. Lavender Celebration began in 1995 on the campus of the University of Michigan and has since expanded to universities around the country. Each graduate receives a commemorative rainbow cord to symbolize their academic achievement. (From the VCU Lavender Celebration page.) 

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Lavender Celebration took place Friday evening, April 29 on campus. I was the keynote speaker for the ceremony that evening. 

Speaking at the VCU Lavender Celebration
The Rainbow Chords are on the table to my right. 

That evening was special for all and I was treated wonderfully with a driver picking me up at my hotel. The day before, there were meeting with VCU's LGBTQIA+ campus leaders. And, after the ceremony, there was a reception where I got to talk with many of the graduates.  Beautiful kids!

The graduates got to wear their caps, gowns and had family / partners, walk and sit with them during the ceremony. Attendance was good; more than I expected.  

Each LGBTQIA+ graduate received a rainbow cord and pre-graduation certificate. What was most heartwarming - as the graduate's name was called, their parent / partner came forward and placed the rainbow cord around the graduate's neck. God bless supporting parents! 

Hugs, kisses, and tears were well on display with many in the audience tearing with emotion; me included. What an honor to speak before these graduates. This was a super special evening that I will never forget.  

Several have asked for the text of the speech so I have included it below.  If a video becomes available I will post a link. 


 My Lavender Celebration Speech

Congratulation – Your generation is part of one of the most successful non-commercial social media “projects” of its time; a global movement.  

Not Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  The “It gets better project”.

In 2010, LGBTQIA+ people and their allies all over the world uttered three words “It gets better”.  More than 70,000 people shared their stories to provide hope and encouragement to other young LGBTQ+ people around the world. 

Here is one of those stories:

This is part of what Janet Mock, a transgender woman, model, actress, writer, producer, director, and activist said:  

”I promise it gets better -  I know - because I am you. I love you and can’t wait to see you on the other side”

You are a part of the generation that has had the privilege of living “It Gets Better.”  

First I want to thank Archana Pathak for inviting me to speak today. Especially I want to thank my friend Joycelyn Mahone who has been a supporter of my becoming more involved with VCU. My history here goes back a while. I was part of the last graduating class of RPI; the next year you became VCU.  You may have seen the RPI historical market near Shaffer Court.  That was 1968 and I will save you doing the math, I am 74. 

I have done some pretty cool things, had some amazing experiences, and intend to carry on doing so for as long as I am able. I can wish, for you, the fun, amazing, special, challenging, ordinary life, I have enjoyed.    

Rainbow honor cords are used to honor the
 leadership of members of the LGBTQ+

Next congratulations to all of you for your academic achievements that earned you your seat in this audience tonight.  Your intelligence and bravery are on display.  You choose a wonderful University that I knew was special well over 50 years ago.  For a country gal that grew up on a farm, when I got to Richmond I was light-years away from my grandparent's general store. 

I was so encouraged to be in such a diverse culture; even then.   

Let’s get back to my theme – “It gets better”.  Let me assume as in my case, “it did get better”.  Many of you were confused in elementary and in middle /  high school were bullied/harassed.  I buried the ever-present, fact that I was transgender to blend in.  Denial ran deep for many years.   

Your “it gets better” experience began likely on your first day on campus.  Here was an LGBTQ, safe place where you could be with other members of our community.  A place to hang out, know you were accepted, and start to thrive.   A place to make friends.  For you, it had “GOTTEN BETTER”.  

However, I need to give you a challenge!  

The advancements we have all seen over the last 20-plus years plus are at risk.  According to the ACLU, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in America continue to face discrimination in their daily lives.  

Nationwide, Republican lawmakers have filed nearly 250 state bills this year (2022) that seek to erode protections for transgender and gay youth.  They have moved beyond bathroom issues. 

Today, at least 166 measures to restrict LGBTQ rights are still pending in state legislatures — nearly quadruple the number of similar bills introduced just three years ago, according to data from Freedom for All Americans, an LGBTQ advocacy group.  

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, last week, signed into law measures that prohibit any discussion on gay or gender subjects occurring in school through the third grade.  Children's books are being banned.  

Iowa put into law a discriminatory bill against transgender youth, who play sports preventing them from being a part of a team and socializing with their friends.  Although Iowa is known to have only three transgender athletes.

Here is a brief history that provides hope.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a seamstress,  became an advocate; called "the mother of the civil rights movement," Rosa Parks started the struggle for racial equality when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.   She was arrested. Her lonely act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America.

Blacks rallied around strong leaders and became advocates. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The Dixiecrats (now Republicans) lost the fight to keep blacks in the back of the bus. 

Gays become advocates. In the 1970s  Anita Bryant was the face of the "Save Our Children" campaign. A campaign to repeal a local ordinance that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in Dade County,  Florida. The initiative ultimately suffered a massive defeat at the polls. The Republicans lost the fight to send gays back to the closet.

Drag queens became advocates and staged a six-day riot / protest against police harassment.  The date, June 28, 1969, is a day now celebrated as “Pride day”.  The Stonewall Riots also called the Stonewall Uprising, began when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village.  (Fifty years later, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill admitted the police department enforced discriminatory laws and apologized  for targeting  gay people.)  

Do you see a pattern here?  Let's remember, that the purple / lavender stripe on the rainbow flag symbolizes the spirit of the LGBTQ community. 

We must become advocates. 

What can you do?

So we need to design innovative comprehensive strategies and work together in our alphabet soup community.  

This means: empowering and funding local LGBT groups

Talking to faith-based leaders

Pushing legal changes through the court system

Encouraging a more positive representation of LGBTQ in the media

Reminding companies of their responsibilities to LGBTQ employees

Carrying out public campaigns to challenge stereotypes

Building coalitions with other human-rights causes.  

Most important - VOTE!
             (not just for president; all local/state/national elections)

Be an activist

Let us make sure that “It gets better” continues for the next generation!


I would like to share a poem by Martin Niemöller written in May 1952.  He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in a concentration camp.  He was not Jewish.  He was not homosexual.  He was not a labor organizer nor a person with a disability. He was not Polish, Russian, or black -  all people Hitler considered worthy of eradication. 

He was a Lutheran pastor who dared speak up.  He penned this poem to remind us of our social responsibility:

"First, they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak out for me."