Friday, December 28, 2007

Big Sister is Watching!

First, a short disclaimer: I do have a piece of code through StatCounter that gives me a couple pieces of information about visitors to my blog. First, it tells me where your IP is located (except some that are blocked). Second, it tells me which website you came from to arrive here and which pages you click on while perusing this blog. It does *not* tell me your street address, phone number, credit card numbers, what you're wearing, what you're eating, or what you think of my blog. Whew... don't you feel better? I do this to get a general idea of how people are finding this blog and where they're from. I find this information both fascinating and useful as I find ways to reach more of the tg commuity and world at large.

One thing that also comes through on the click through links is the searches that are used to find this blog. Some are not surprising. "Crossdresser" and "tg/transgender" appear quite often. Many looking for the famous TG prom queen this past summer from Fresno, CA also found me. I didn't mean to steal her thunder as I thought she was fabulous!

However there are some searches where it's quite obvious they were not looking for a transgendered prom queen. One recent search was "special orders at poffie girls." Clearly someone was looking for information about Poffie Girls in Gastonia, NC where I had my wonderful debutante dress experience. I do know this person did not go to any other pages in the blog, but I wonder if she read some of the entry or quickly moved on? My curiosity will have to be just that. I hope she did the first, but who knows?

This is one of the reasons I keep my posts reasonably family friendly. I do like to make a good first impression particularly for those not familiar with our community. Anyone with no interest will indeed move on. However I hope that those with even a hint of interest will stick around a while. I hope my stories are compelling and positive enough to leave a good impression with them. That is just one more way we can continue to affect the hears and minds of the world at large. I hope that person found themselves a nice dress too!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Woman, Four Dress Show

... and I think two wigs! Saturday night at the Kappa Beta Christmas party was another fun night. For only the second time in my almost ten year association with the group, I provided what might pass as entertainment. I decided to offer my services as a budding historian in between all the music acts. I also had three dresses in mind I wanted to wear. So I split my monologues into three segments each in a different costume.

The two costumes on the left are both custom made Civil War era gowns. They were done for me by Heather, the Very Merry Seamstress. You have seen the green dress, but the brown dress (inspired by Captain Janeway on the Star Trek Voyager episode, "The Q and the Grey") was making its debut outing even though I have had it a couple years. The dress in the upper right is a replica of a skating dress from the 1890's (thank you Dyana Lea!). Of course, the dress I wore to the party in the lower right is circa 21st century. Thanks also goes to Swooz Glenn for styling my wigs. She is wonderful to work with and was a huge support backstage.

So what did I talk about? The first segment was a crash course history on 19th century women's fashion with emphasis on the invention of the hoop skirt. In the second segment, I highlighted a few famous crossdressers including Achilles, Joan of Arc, and Deborah Sampson. In the final segment, I retold my story of my dream dress and my time at Latta Plantation.

I received so many kind words and othe compliments. The consensus was the green Civil War gown was the favorite. I tend to agree. I ended by saying I hope I have more to share in Christmas 2008. Only time will tell!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Wonderful Holiday Weekend

Weekends just don't get much better than this. I spent Friday and Saturday night with a group of wonderful friends. Here is the picture from Friday night at a party graciously hosted by Rhonda. I dug up an old Christmas dress that still fits pretty well. The company was even better than the dress as I consider the group in the picture below some truly good people.

l-r, Trish Valentine, Diane, Pamela Jones, Stephanie Marie, Rhonda Whittington, Rose, Steffanie Carter; sitting, Donna Marie Hess

Monday, December 3, 2007

When I'm Not a Prom Queen

Admittedly I can't wear my long beautiful formal dresses or my big Civil War gowns all the time. I am up to 16 formal dresses with a recent purchase for the Kappa Beta Christmas party at Goodwill. So look out Yvonne! I'm catching up ;) Unfortunately her number of dresses hovers around triple digits. I have thought about planning a special ops mission to raid her closet. Volunteers are always being accepted. ;) Not that I'm jealous or anything. Someone might confuse me with Scrooge or the Grinch. But I digress...

The above picture is much more typical of my everyday dress. Notice it is still nicer than what the average American woman wears to go shopping, and that is part of my dilemma. A big reason that I dress up is that I am not fulltime as a woman. If I were fulltime, I'm sure that I would have my share of jeans and t-shirts in my closet. Going out is still an experience for me. It is something I have to plan most of my day around.

Let me say that I do not like to dress up when in guy mode. I am very much a jeans and t-shirt person then. It is easier plus I absolutely detest the coat and tie look. Yes I can tie a necktie properly. However it is so much work, and it makes me look like every other man in the office. It is the uniform, and you best not deviate from it if you wish to get ahead. I am fortunate to work in a field where I rarely have to dress up. I don't think I could stand myself after a week in a coat and tie. Truly dressing in drab fits the description!

In contrast, the above outfit is simple to put together. I am not saying it is the height of good fashion, but it feels and looks good. The blouse I got from eBay and the skirt from Goodwill. So it is possible to dress nice without blowing the bank account. With a blouse and skirt, I can also mix and match colors and styles. I love finding the right combination of outfit, makeup, jewelry, etc for a particular outing. In fact, I have no idea most times what I am going to wear before I go out. That is why I love finding those versatile pieces that I can wear over and over with other pieces and still have so many different outfits. I can scan my closet, see what strikes my mood at that moment, and put something together. The only time that rule changes is for the formal events. Believe me, I am thinking about the right dress weeks in advance.

That is part of the experience of being feminine... finding your style. Early on, I knew I loved prom dresses, but reality says I can only wear those on occasion. So the blouse and skirt look is the next best thing. It's not only that it makes me feel feminine, but I am completely comfortable wearing it. It just feels right. Find what you like. Don't be afraid to experiment. If you are lucky enough that your style fits the current trend, stock up on it. When the next fad comes along, you will have plenty of what *you* like.