Saturday, October 27, 2007

Latta Plantation Ghostwalk

Since I've been writing so much about my new adventure, I thought it only fair to give you a live update of sorts. My feet are about to fall off as we had a huge crowd at the Latta Plantation Ghostwalk. Everything went pretty well. I got lots of compliments on my dress along with a lot of questions. I'll write in more detail about those later. Karen had some nice things to say at the end to me, and I thanked her very much for the opportunity. More to come at a later time. Time for beauty sleep here. I'll rest well having lived and done something that has been a long time in coming.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fashion: Short vs Long

One of my frustrations in fashion for men and women is how we get stuck on certain trends. It is interesting to note in some of those old faded pictures from the 60's and 70's how everyone looks like they are dressed alike. Some of the styles would actually look fine for today. In fact, you can barely tell the era of the photo if not for the fading. Some styles look very dated and never return except for costume parties. I always wonder when fashion designers decide to put a certain style to death (pussy bow blouses for example).

There is a very telling scene early in the movie The Devil Wears Prada where Anne Hathaway's character Andera chuckled at the angst over the choice of a belt for a particular outfit. Merryl Streep's character Miranda then proceeds to figuratively undress Andrea by telling her the blue color of her now unstylish sweater was in reality chosen several years earlier as one of the "in" colors which then trickled its way into the less chic department stores. Miranda gave the very clear impression that they picked what we all would wear.

I many times feel the same way when entering a store. I have a pretty general idea of what I like... long flowing skirts, solid colors, not a lot of frill, no embroidery, and classic styles that will always match well with other outfits. When looking for formal dresses, I almost always go with long and poofy. I want the skirt to have some shape. If I don't find what I'm looking for, I usually will not buy anything. I have tried to get into the habit of trying on at least one piece each trip that I might not have considered. I am sometime surprised which makes it worth the effort.

This brings me to the title of the post. Friday I attended a high school football game that was also a homecoming. It was a great atmosphere with a full crowd and perfect weather. The home team is also having one of its best years ever and won this game as well. I have enjoyed homecomings to watch the styles of the dresses worn by the young ladies. I love the elegance of dresses, and they always look very pretty. I was disappointed this year though that all the ladies, freshman through senior classes, chose a very similar style as displayed above (from David's Bridal): v-neck, knee to tea length skirt. Not a single dress was longer than tea length. Now I know in recent years, some of the homecoming court would wear long ankle or even floor dresses. Not a single girl did this year. As lovely as they looked, I was still somewhat aghast at the sameness. Did everyone shop at the same store?

I even counted about four of the same dresses to the left. I usually don't get hung up if I see two or three women wearing the same dress, but four was a bit much. Even if another lady is wearing the same dress as me, I just think we both have great taste. However I know I am in the minority when it comes to liking the longer dresses. Shorter dresses are considered sexier not to mention easier to walk in. However the longer dresses are more fun to me. You can be sexy up top with a strapless or princess cut and still be a lady with the skirt. Of course, I love the rustle and swish of a skirt with a crinoline and the way it feels against smooth nyloned legs. It's an indescribable feeling. An even better feeling was knowing how unique I was with my favorite dress, and I was completely accepted for my uniqueness above and beyond the dress.

So here's to hoping that the longer dresses make a comeback in 2008. Even looking at the prom styles at websites, there may be hope for us yet.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Place to be Southern Belle With Picture

Here is the dress I'll be wearing the night of October 27th at Latta Plantation. I like to dress well when traveling in my time machine!

Friday, October 5, 2007

New Email

Just as the title says, I have a new email now! It is I felt fortunate to keep the promqueen name! I thought I'd wear white for the new marriage.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA)

I usually try to limit the discussion of politics on this blog. As the name of the blog suggests, I enjoy my prom dresses very much. I also am very thankful for the many friends I have in the community and the opportunities to get out. My belief is that the positive experiences we have in the mainstream world is what will change the hearts and minds of that world. However there are times when legislation written on a piece of paper is necessary to help pave that path. Such is the case with ENDA.

Many in the transgender community subscribe to any number of message boards and are aware of the events of the last eight days. In short, the ENDA legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federally protected classes. A person could not be denied employment or dismissed from a job based on the above. Such legislation was started way back in 1994 and was finally set to come to a vote in the Houuse of Representatives this month. The liklihood is any ENDA bill passed would be vetoed by President George Bush. However, it would set a precedent for a similar bill with a new president in 2009.

Eight days ago (September 26, 2007), rumors started circulating that the transgender provision in the bill had been removed after a polling indicated ENDA did not have sufficient votes to pass the House. The rumors quickly turned to hard news that Democratic Party leaders lead by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had indeed removed the transgender provision. This lead to a firestorm in which several GLBT groups and leaders crafted a letter strongly opposing ENDA without the transgender protections. The one group noticeably missing from the signees: Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

HRC in 2004 voted to support ENDA with a transgender clause. This has helped them draw from a huge well of transgender support lead by the amazing Donna Rose who was the only TG on the HRC Board of Directors. I along with many local TG sisters felt this unity just a few months ago at the North Carolina HRC Gala in February. I felt like we had found a group to align with that would fight for all of us. Even though HRC had a history of leaving out the T in GLBT, many in the community believed that HRC lead by Joe Solomonese would take care of the entire umbrella. My belief was strongly validated by Solomonese's speech at SCC 2007. Imagine how we all felt when HRC did not immediately jump on board to oppose the newly crafted ENDA. HRC waited until Monday, October 1 (five days later) to hold a board meeting and vote to reaffirm the position they had voted on in 2004. HRC did add its name to a new letter which unfortunately does not adamantly oppose the new ENDA. HRC essentially has said while they will not support ENDA, they will not actively oppose it either. To be fair, HRC has started a last ditch effort to rally support as Speaker Pelosi was convinced to delay the markup of the bill. I fear however it is too little too late.

This fence sitting stance by HRC has forced many in the community to make some difficult decisions. Donna Rose made her resignation letter public. She also has an excellent timeline from her perspective inside the beltway. I know of one friend who made a similar decision on a local level. All I can say is I am very disappointed. I know the decision to step away from HRC is an immensely painful one on many levels. Leaving friends you have worked closely with on key legislation is not easy.

I also believe that HRC is not on solid ground in terms of representing the GLBT community. The outpouring of support at the end of last week from so many groups indicate that the transgender community has earned the respect of ther gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. They understand that equal rights for some are not truly rights as stated so eloquently by Martin Luther King Jr. I wish the spirit felt at the HRC Gala in February could be transmitted to Washington, DC. We felt so genuinely loved and respected. The conversations were amazing. At some point, there is a disconnect between the real world and the "inside the beltway" world. If they would truly come down from their glass toweres, they would get an inkling of what we are about. They would then understand the mistake they have made.