Sunday, March 31, 2024

Political Week In Review 3-31-2024

Happy Easter

My mother always had a new dress for Easter.
  I have good reason to continue the tradition.  



When Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, communications director for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, saw Trump’s Bible endorsement, he said he saw a politician using fears rooted in racism and prejudice to promote a specific Christian ideology.

“When I hear ‘Make America Pray Again,’ I hear Christian nationalist promises that we are going to somehow ‘restore’ Christianity in this country. And if authoritarianism does come to the United States, it’s all but guaranteed it will be done in the name of Christianity, which is a very scary thought.”

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Friday, March 29, 2024

Gender Inclusive Sneakers?

Superga, Gender Inclusive, 2790 Platform Sneaker

What is gender inclusive clothing?

It is a slightly older term that indicates that a garment or clothing line is intended to be worn by anyone across the gender spectrum. Unisex clothing is frequently described as gender inclusive. It often indicates a fit that is accommodating for different body types due to the clothes' shapes. Katherine Plumhoff - PowerToFly

My Note: Yes, Nordstrom's advertised these as "Gender Inclusive". If you are looking for permission to wear and enjoy these cute shoes, permission granted. Thank you Nordstrom.  What will be next; 3"  Gender Inclusive high heels? 

I own these and love the look and comfort. Getting the right size is important. Otherwise they will slip at the heel.  Several reviews pointed this out.  


"Give your footwear collection a head-turning boost with this versatile platform sneaker featuring a textured toe bumper and a durable rubber sole. Unisex: Built on a unisex shoe construction; signature full fit. Packaging reflects women's & men's shoe sizes. 1 1/2 heel."



See also Nordstrom's: Gender Inclusive Lucille Raw Ruffle Strapless Gown ($5,990.00)
"A fitted bodice balances the voluminous skirt of this strapless gown lined with columns of raw-edge ruffles that will fray over time to create a unique look."

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Stick Shift

 The long overdue death of the stick shift car

CNN: Opinion by Paul Hockenos

For old-school connoisseurs of the automobile — usually men — driving means operating a beloved vehicle by touch, with three pedals underfoot and a shift stick at hand.

Take for example the German automotive writer for the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung who waxed melancholy in a heartfelt “homage to the good old days of the clutch and gear stick.”

What could be a greater pleasure… than tooling along winding roads in a sports car at high speeds? Accelerate, downshift before the bend, turn in, roll, upshift again, and ‘fly away,’” he wrote.

He affectionately describes the stick shift’s smooth knob nestled in his palm. (Sigmund Freud would have had no trouble deducing the grounds for this allure.)



The whole article is a super read and I do lament the death of the stick shift, although I have not owned one for over 30 years. My last, a C4 Corvette Collector's Edition, 6 speed, silver.

I learned how to use a clutch and stick on farm tractors and trucks long before I could legally drive. There was a community baseball / softball field next door to my home and I was paid 25 cents to take my grandfather's farm tractor and "drag" the dirt infield before games. On Saturdays for a double-header, I got to do it twice.        .  

My first car was a '65 Chevy Impala with three-on-the-column that I quickly converted to three-on-the-floor using a Hurst Shifter.  I loved that car and put well over 100,000 miles on it dating and driving to college. There was even a road trip from Virginia to Montreal to see the '67 World's Fair (EXPO).  

Many automatics followed as the family-man status settled in. That collection even included a Ford station-wagon with fake wood vinyl on the sides.  

My next fun car was an AMC Gremlin X (typically designated a top ten ugliest). It was a "Levi's Edition" - denim seats, big tires, mag wheels, simple 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8, and I was back to a beloved Hurst Shifter. It was touted to be "the  poor-man's Corvette", able to spin its rear tires at will and outrun some larger, more expensive pony cars. (Wikipedia) What a fun drive it was.

My next foray into shifting were Corvettes (3). Why would you have a Corvette with an automatic?  All glorious 6 speeds. GM installed a, hated by all Corvette drivers, module that forced a 1 to 4 shift to help with fuel economy. Fact - Fuel economy was not why you bought a Corvette! Almost immediately there was an after-market fix for that mistake.

My current sports car
A 9-speed automatic with steering wheel paddle shifting
Not the same

Fast forward, the new C8 Corvette is the first generation of the Corvette that will be automatic-only. Car-and-Driver: The Real Reason the New C8 Corvette Isn't Available with a Manual Transmission  

So, as we look forward to EVs, shifting of any sort will not be required; instant torque.

 "Four-in-the-floor" to the next driving generation will be "What did I just drop?"
Oh well, at least my motorcycle still has a clutch for now. 


According to the CNN article:  "In the US, less than 1% of new models have stick shifts (compared to 35% in 1980), according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s really only [exotic] sports cars, off-road truck SUVs and a handful of small pickups that still have clutches." 



Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Feminine Differential - Chic Jeans

 A dress is not always required.

I know that many of us, especially early in our crossdressing days, felt that a dress / skit was the epitome of our feminine presentation. 

A 1984 Early Pants Look
Although my legs are short they do have an athletic feminine look especially when I add heels. "Oh my, you must spend hours at the gym working your legs"; not. 

In spite of my athletic legs I have always enjoyed dresses / skirts, even sometimes receiving completes. However, after trying dressy white pants, I understood the appeal.  

One big advantage; with dresses / skirts I wore hose and I skipping this step with pants is enjoyable especially during the Florida summers.  

I also noticed that blending-in was little easier. I observed that dresses were starting to be more formal (event-wear) and skirts were becoming business formal (meetings). I believe "Business Casual" is what hastened the demise of dresses and skirts.

Above are two jeans / pants looks: Enjoy.  


Amazon - Women's Camisole Soft Tank Top with Adjustable Spaghetti Strap

Amazon - Women's 3/4 Sleeve Crop Top Tie Front Denim Shirt Cardigan

Amazon - Toms Women's Valencia Platform Espadrille Sneakers Loafer Flat

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Feminine Differential = Drop Shoulder

Cold shoulder,  drop shoulder, bat wind, cap sleeve; this satin top has so much going for it. I can see it being dressy for an evening out with pumps or worn with jeans for a contrasting dressy / casual outfit.  I know, I am showing it with pants and it will look equally elegant with a black pencil skirt, jacket optional, for the a professional look. Don't overlook the fact that pants and pumps elongate the legs for that "just off the runway look".  

The top: Amazon's "MIROL Women's Cap Sleeve Silk Tops 2024 Batwing Off Shoulder Satin Blouse Solid Tanks Elegant Tunic Shirt" at $19.99; not bad for a silk top.  I ordered it a little larger than normal because I wanted the drape loose look.  I will keep you posted on the fit.  .

I am such a fan of off-the-shoulder, even though I may have  broader shoulders than a typical female. Many times playing to our weaknesses can actually draw less attention, especially when strengths are highlighted. Like a smaller waist or long legs with high heels.   

The feminine differential has so many options; enjoy.      

Monday, March 25, 2024

'Why Can't I Wear A Dress?'

What schools can learn from preschools about supporting trans children

BY: Cris Townley
Postdoctoral research fellow,
Western Sydney Universit

A  new group of young children has just started school for the first time, with many excited about new friends, uniforms and being at "big school."

n daycare centres children are free to experiment
 with identity in their play. Klem Mitch/Shutterstock

But for trans kids, starting school can be a much more daunting process.

They have likely gone from preschools and daycare where they had the freedom to wear what they want and play what they want, whether that was dinosaurs, dolls or dress ups. The boy who likes to be Rapunzel was probably viewed as "cute" and the girl always playing pirates was encouraged to do so.

But school culture is much more cisnormative. This means schools tend to assume children can be sorted into boys and girls and everyone is comfortable in what category they are in.

You can see this in formal ways, with boys' and girls' uniforms and toilets and in informal ways, with boys and girls making different friendship groups and playing different games at lunch.

This makes it difficult for trans children to feel as though they belong at school. Trans students often have lower levels of well-being and lower educational outcomes than non-trans students.

My research looks at what schools can learn from preschools and other early learning settings such as daycare centers about how to support trans students.

My research

In 2023 I partnered with P-TYE, an advocacy network for parents of trans children. The study, which is currently in peer review, looked at how we can integrate support for trans children across a range of services including education, medical and mental health.

Through P-TYE and wider networks, we recruited 12 families with trans children. The children had an average age of 13 and had been recognized as trans between two and ten years.

What should schools do differently?

Schools should take the lead from early learning environments and stop “sorting” students based on gender.

This could mean:

  • having a range of uniform items children can select from as some schools already do

  • more all-gender toilet facilities, where privacy is protected for all students

  • preferred names and pronouns should be easy to change in school systems and teachers should use these.

Teachers also need access to resources and information so they can confidently have conversations about gender. This needs to be part of a whole-of-school approach to supporting trans students and their families.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Friday, March 22, 2024

Trace Lysette on 'Monica

 A New Era for Trans Actors in Film

What's up, everybody?! Scott here. Watch my heart-warming chat with my good friend  @tracelysette  from my own backyard! We dived deep into her latest film, 'Monica,' where Trace delivers an incredibly raw and standout performance that you absolutely need to see.

We talked about everything - from the emotional depth Trace brought to her character, to the powerful story of identity and family. Trace also shared her journey of bringing Monica to life, the intense audition process, and the amazing on-set dynamics with Patricia Clarkson.

With the buzz of award season around us, we also touched on the importance of films like 'Monica' getting the recognition they deserve. It's not just about the awards; it's about bringing these groundbreaking stories to the forefront.

This film is a game-changer, and Trace's performance is nothing short of phenomenal. You'll be moved, you'll be inspired, and you'll see why 'Monica' is a film that everyone needs to watch.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

I Love A Success Story - Trace Lysette

 She makes history with film 'Monica'

PUBLISHED 6:00 AM ET JUN. 08, 2023

Trace Lysette is an actress and producer best known for her recurring role as Shea in all 5 seasons of Amazon's critically acclaimed series Transparent and for the feature film Hustlers alongside Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Constance Wu. IMDb

Tracy Lysette

It’s a full-circle moment for actress Trace Lysette.

She’s back in the West Village to celebrate the premiere of “Monica,” a new film in which she stars.

“I would describe it as a family story that centers on a trans woman. And that’s extremely rare. But we don’t really drive home the trans of it all that much. It’s more about the fact that this woman who has lived this full life, she’s this fully formed, well lived in trans woman who is trying to make the most of what time she has left with her birth parent,” said Lysette.

“Monica” tells the story of a trans woman who returns home after decades of estrangement from her dying mother, played by Patricia Clarkson.

“Monica” is making history. It’s the first-ever film led by a transgender actor to debut at the Venice Film Festival in its nearly 80-year history.

It received an 11-and-a-half minute standing ovation.

“The praise has been amazing. It kind of feels like a dream. Like I’m like, is this all real? Am I living in a simulation or is this really happening this time? You know, cause I’ve been acting for a while, but this is the first time I’ve led a film,” she said.

Lysette grew up in Dayton, Ohio and moved to New York with dreams of making it to the silver screen.

She says being a trans woman in the West Village 20 years ago was anything but easy.

Lysette sat down with “On Stage” host Frank DiLella to talk more.

NY Times - Trace Lysette hopes
 her trans role in ‘Monica’ opens doors -- and eyes

Frank DiLella: “I was so moved by your New York premiere. You got up on that stage, you said ‘it’s interesting to have this premiere in the West Village. This is a place where you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into. I think you said you worked the streets here.”

Trace Lysette: “I did. It was an emotional premiere. What are the odds that of all the places that we could show this movie, that it would premiere there in the Village? There’s something liberating talking about that now, knowing that it was a long time ago. It’s like a reclamation for me. It’s like leading a film, being the star of a movie that is now, that is now playing in the West Village in the place that I felt most unsafe in my life. But it had to be there.”

DiLella: “You also said something else. Your friends were in the audience. You said, this film is for my girls. What do you mean by that?”

Lysette: “Trans people as a whole are just going through so much right now. And when I think about our journey, my journey, our collective journey, and the gatekeeping that goes on with telling our stories, I just, I really, I wanted my girlfriends in the audience to know this is for them. This is for every trans girl that just didn’t get the shot, that never got her story told.”

DiLella: “What do you think you would say to yourself, yourself who was here 20 years ago, trying to survive with all that, you know now?”

Lysette: “I would tell her it’s going to be all right.And that she’s stronger than she knows. I would tell her she’s talented more than she knows, more than, um, clearly more than the world knew. And that I would say that you are precious and beautiful and lovable.”

“Monica” is out now in select theaters.

Special thanks to Bell Book & Candle for hosting this interview.

Monica - Official Trailer | HD | IFC Films

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Monday, March 18, 2024

Feminine Differential - Why Do You Wear A Bra?

Shockingly Comfortable Bras That Reviewers Say They Sleep In

By Tessa Flores
Mar 15, 2024, 05:45 AM EDT

My Note: I was very please to see my Store's (Soma) Bralette was in the "Top 10 Comfortable Bras" selected by Huffpost. It Came in as #3.

As I wear a bra more plus fit / select bras for my customers, I have come to appreciate the comfort aspect. That is the number one request. The "Goldilocks effect; band not to tight, cups fit (girls not falling out / pinched) and straps not cutting into the shoulder.  The "Just right" fit is the goal. Somas has 70 styles (not sizes), so we can fit most request.

Why do you wear a bra? To feel feminine, or necessity.  In my case the latter with some of the first aspect still there as well. Do you wear a bra full time? Is a bra part of your everyday routine? Have you been caught wearing a bra under male clothes?   Tell us your story - Please comment!  

Coming up soon is another "Story from the Bra Store"; stay tuned. 


Saturday, March 16, 2024

Friday, March 15, 2024

LGBTQ+ Parents in Florida

More than half of LGBTQ+ parents in Florida are considering moving out of state

My Note: I already have two sets of friends that have left. 

Story by LGBTQNation

A report shows that more than half of LGBTQ+ parents who live in Florida are considering packing up their families and moving out of the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and state legislators have launched an unprecedented and vicious campaign against LGBTQ+ rights and basic accommodations. The state recently passed a law that forbids teachers from mentioning sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. Classroom libraries are being closed until they can be “evaluated” and textbooks are being rewritten to remove queer people.

The Williams Institute, a public policy research institute based at the UCLA of Law, and Clark University in Massachusetts, found that 56 percent of surveyed parents were considering fleeing. Another 17 percent said they have already taken steps to move away.

One respondent said:

I am terrified that I would need to make the decision to leave Florida and leave my parents, The idea of having to leave to protect my child and my partner is scary but one I am willing to do.”

DeSantis, widely expected to run for President in 2024, [did - now not] has used the demonization of people of color and queer folks as a cornerstone of his political career. He has gone to war with Disney, launched numerous blindsides attacking “woke indoctrination” in schools, and taken control of the state’s education system with handpicked administrators and the power of the bully pulpit. His staff has regularly smeared LGBTQ+ people and allies on social media with vile slurs and insinuations of sexual abuse.

“The Don’t Say Gay bill claims to be for parent rights, but my rights have been taken away since its passage,” one respondent said. “My right to send my daughter to school freely, my right to live without fear of who I am, my right to not be discriminated against based on my sexual orientation, and my daughter to not be discriminated against based on her parents’ sexual orientation.”

And the survey shows that LGBTQ+ families feel less safe after the law’s passage and DeSantis’ numerous attacks. Almost a quarter of respondents said they feared being harassed by their neighbors now and more than 20 percent said they had gone out in their community less often.


NBC News - Once the party of small government and big business, now the GOP [Fascist-Republican party] has turned itself upside down.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Way People View You.

Cody Bret
 - The way people view you. Sometimes I think ...

Cody Bret 

Sometimes I think about the different characters I play in everybody’s story.

I’m a terrible person in some people's narratives and a Godsend in others.
And none of it has anything to do with the person I truly am.
The lens that others view you through is coloured by their upbringing, beliefs, and individual experiences.
Some people see your bright personality as endearing and others see it as annoying.
Some people think you’re weak and emotional and others feel safe to be themselves around you.
Some people think you’re rude and selfish and others respect the way you stand up for yourself.
Some people admire the way you take pride in the way you look and others think you’re conceited.
And none of it has to do with who you truly are as a person.
What you have to understand is that you have no authority over how people view you so never try to control the way others see you because the only thing that truly matters when the dust settles down at the end of the day is what you genuinely see in yourself.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

We Warrened You - Follow-up


Nonbinary Teen Nex Benedict Died By Suicide, Medical Examiner Finds

Huffpost:Benedict died a day after they were assaulted in a school bathroom. Reports of their case fueled outrage among LGBTQ groups and advocates.

Nex Benedict

Medical examiners ruled on Wednesday that Nex Benedict, a nonbinary Oklahoma student assaulted in a school bathroom, died by suicide last month.

The state medical examiner’s report found the 16-year-old died from toxicity of two drugs, an antihistamine and an antidepressant, according to multiple media outlets.

On Feb. 7, Benedict was assaulted by their peers in an Owasso High School bathroom. All of the students involved in the fight “walked under their own power” to see the school nurse and assistant principal, according to police. Benedict, who received a suspension, was treated at a hospital. The next day, they collapsed in their living room and were rushed to the hospital, where they later died.

Owasso police claimed in February that Benedict did not die from the trauma sustained in the Feb. 7 attack. But the student’s family said that they would conduct their own independent investigation into the death.

Benedict’s family, the Owasso Police Department and the state’s medical examiner’s office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Benedict, who was nonbinary, had been bullied for a year, the Independent reported. The bullying began shortly after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a law requiring students to use bathrooms that align with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

Benedict’s death sparked outrage from LGBTQ activists and organizations, as conservative lawmakers continue to introduce anti-LGBTQ bills in states nationwide. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 478 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this legislative session so far, following the over 500 bills that were introduced in 2023.

I love A Success Story - Audrey Mason-Hyde

 How non-binary teenager Audrey Mason-Hyde is breaking down gender identity stereotypes, one label at a time


In many respects, Audrey Mason-Hyde is a typical 13-year-old: bubbly, excitable, whip-smart and funny – her conversation is littered with “likes” and her face lights up when talking about her favorite YouTube stars or a poetry slam contest she’s to perform at.

But halfway through lunch, Audrey needs to go to the bathroom. Her eyes dart over to the cafe’s toilets and a nervous hesitation crosses her face, all confidence drained in an instant. She watches the women’s door for a minute, wondering if there is anyone inside.

For when it comes to going to the bathroom in public, Audrey is no typical teenager. Audrey was born biologically female, but doesn’t typically identify as one, nor does she identify as a boy. Non-binary, gender fluid, gender neutral, gender queer – label it what you will –Audrey shrugs her shoulders when asked what moniker she prefers: “I guess I identify as non-binary, or just Audrey, you know?”

Just Audrey. Just Audrey is just right – after all, as she says, “why is it your business whether I’m a boy or a girl?” It was this exact question Audrey posited at a TED Talk in her home town of Adelaide last year –the extraordinary child (she was 12 at the time) bravely standing solo on stage in front of hundreds of people discussing “toilets, bow-ties, gender and me”.

Toilets, bowties, gender and me | Audrey Mason-Hyde | TEDxAdelaide

Audrey is one of many atypical teens coming to terms with their identity in this modern era of fluid gender and sexuality. It is an era in which we’ve finally seen gay rights being widely accepted, and recently witnessed transgender becoming publicly acknowledged – thanks to the high profiles of Caitlin Jenner, Laverne Cox and our own Andreja Pejić (who made history as the first transgender model to grace the cover of Vogue Australia last April). And it is now a time in which the term ‘gender fluid’ has also entered the vernacular, thanks to celebrities such as Ruby Rose and YouTube vloggers such as Miles McKenna [of Miles Chronicles] openly discussing their struggles with not conforming to either standard gender, in turn becoming important role models for LGBTQI teenagers coming to terms with their own identities.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Feminine Differential = Oscar Gowns

Did Margot Robbie, America Ferrera and Greta Gerwig’s Oscar gowns have a hidden ‘Barbie’ meaning?


America Ferrera, Margot Robbie and Barbie Director Greta Gerwig

My Note: I have always enjoyed the Oscar show of it's display of ultra feminine gowns.  Although Barbie was snubbed in several categories the primary players left their mark on the red carpet fashion and song.  Even Ryan Gosling rocks the Oscars stage with kenergetic ‘I’m Just Ken’ performance.  Many called it the highlight of the night. Here is CNN's take on the Barbie gowns of the evening.

CNN - The cast of “Barbie” will go down in red-carpet history for their dedication to method dressing, as stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling diligently showed up to press events, premieres and award shows in outfits that could have been borrowed straight from Barbie and Ken’s dollhouse closets.

But at the Academy Awards on Sunday, where the summer blockbuster was nominated for nine awards, including “Best Picture,” Robbie appeared to pass the pink torch to co-star America Ferrera, wearing a striking black (but decidedly non-Barbie-like) gown while Ferrera arrived in shimmering hot pink.

Still, it seemed as if the actors’ dresses were connected, and linked to that of “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig’s too. While Robbie and Ferrera’s dresses were polar opposite in color and mood, they were both courtesy of Versace and seemed to be made of the same chainmail material. (Robbie’s was fresh off the Fall-Winter 2024 runway, while Ferrera’s was custom-made.) Gerwig’s gown, meanwhile, was a sparkling Gucci number of crystal mesh that also had an armor-like feel.

The collection of feminine chainmail was a subtle play on power dressing — appropriate for the movie’s message of female empowerment. But they weren’t the only “Barbie” cast and team members to sparkle. With a touch of Ken’s flair for opulence, Gosling wore a custom Gucci black tuxedo suit lined with sparkling beading, while Simu Liu opted for a black jacket cinched with a glittering brooch clasp.

Ryan Gosling’s fan-favorite performance
 at the Oscars in a studded suit

Despite missing out to Oppenheimer’s Robert Downey Jr. for the best actor in a supporting role award, Gosling later channeled all his Kenergy during a delightful performance of the song “I’m Just Ken.” He was joined by a crew of Kens including Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa and Scott Evans, and a surprise appearance by guitarist Slash, and wore a hot pink studded suit with matching leather gloves — and shades of course.

Though Ferrera didn’t win Best Supporting Actress (the award went to Da’Vine Joy Randolph for “The Holdovers”), her outfit embodied the spirit of the four-minute feminist monologue that helped earn her the nomination, in which her character laments about the ways in which women have to weather impossible and contradictory societal standards.

“When I first read it, it just hit me as the truth,” she told the Los Angeles Times last July. “There’s no woman in my life who those words aren’t true for. Not a single one. So it felt like a gift.”

Monday, March 11, 2024

Palm Beach Chamber Music Season '24 - Part 2

 Flagler Museum 


The night's program included:

String Quartet in G major, Op. 33 No. 5 Hob.III:41, Joseph Haydn

Selected Contrapuncti, The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080, Johann Sebastian Bach

String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132, Ludwig van Beethoven

Wow - Haydn, Bach and Beethoven 
in one evening... 


The eclectic and highly polished Beo String Quartet, founded in 2015, has created a niche for itself as a daring, genre-defying ensemble. Rigorously trained in the classical tradition, violinists Jason Neukom and Andrew Giordano, violist Sean Neukom, and cellist Ryan Ash also know their way around contemporary expression, including the use of electronics, live sound processing, and spatial audio manipulation. Their performances of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, or Shostakovich have been compared to those of the best among 21st century international string quartets.

With an astonishing 65 world premieres to its credit and 140 concert works played throughout the United States, South America, and Europe, the iconoclastic Beo String Quartet does what it loves best: performing, teaching, outreaching, composing, recording, and having fun with music from the iconic (Beethoven) to today’s most exciting composers (Gabriela Ortiz, Missy Mazzoli) to popular styles. Beo has built its own recording studio and launched its own recording label, NeuKraft Records.

The name “Beo” derives from Latin, meaning “to make happy."

I was "Made Happy"