Apr 30

The Wives Speak Out

Wives speak outAll the stories here are real and expressed in the first person by the authors. It’s important to understand that these feelings and expressions are genuine and personal whether you agree with them or not.

Let’s begin with this all too typical story of a wife who learns of her husband’s crossdressing after many years of what she considers a successful marriage and how she feels her life is now torn apart. Diana Matthews talks to The private anguish of having a spouse in transition

and then an (unfortunately)  anonymous letter to the Guardian titled  A letter…to my transgender husband: why did it have to be all about you?

Then, as a counterpoint, we have these stories from the transitioning or crossdressing spouse which hopefully explains that we do understand and are sorry for the pain and disruption in their lives. This is important to provide perspective on the wives comments.

My Transgender Life An Open Letter to the Partners of Those in Transition

Crossdressing and Sex…What’s a Matter of 20, 40 or 60 Years

Our hearts notwithstanding, the reality of the situation is that not all wives find our predilection as amusing or acceptable. From my experience (and I have a tolerant, but barely accepting wife), wives generally fall into three general categories. One:  those that are not accepting – basically don’t’ want to see or hear about the cross-dressing and if it becomes visible; well! Woo is me – a very obvious NMH (not my husband) symptom. It may end in divorce or obvious difficulties.Next is the tolerant wife, probably the largest group, but tolerant runs from barely tolerant to well OK, but here are the limits. Wives may help in the feminization process and even attend support group meetings but only on the most tolerant end of scale.The third category is the accepting wife who will often participate more or less in the crossdressers activity and may even encourage it for whatever personal reasons she has. My observation is that there is no way to project how your wife may feel and often she will change her position on crossdressing behavior over time. Hub Pages published an excellent article on “Why Women Leave Men Who Wear Women’s Clothing” which delves into their reasoning in more depth and possible solutions – always worth considering. Then we’ll listen to the women themselves.

Closely related to this subject are the insecurities of our wives and this recently published article by Trisha Anne on Crossdresser Heaven on the Insecurities of Loving a Crossdresser is most insightful.

Some may think that crossdressing is a major cause of divorce, and yes, divorce is an outcome, but not as much as you may think. Nadine from the Unordinary Style blog has researched the literature and found that 84% of spouses did not leave the marriage after the truth was revealed in this Truth of Partner’s Acceptance.

Next, the Wives Support Section of the National Transgender Education and Support Systems has published an excellent article on Helping the wife, loved ones, and friends understand crossdressing that is both comprehensive and emotionally heart-wrenching, but also all too true. It’s a balanced view that could be a lifesaver

It’s the Lying

Dee Levy is the former spouse of a crossdresser. She has a BA in Women Studies and MA in Social Sciences and Comparative Education. She is the author of The Crossdresser’s Wife – Our Secret Lives, the owner of the worldwide forum Crossdressers Wives and a columnist for TG Forum. Her story is one of pain and deception. In her words:

The Crossdressers Wife - Our Secret LivesI was married to a cross dresser for 20 years, a secret I kept hidden from everyone in my life. For the first ten years of my marriage, I was a clueless cross dresser’s wife. My closeted crossdresser husband misrepresented himself when he chose not to disclose his lifelong condition prior to our marriage. He finally did “come out” to me ten years into our marriage, saying he had something he wanted to tell me but couldn’t. He had to show me. So, as the clocked ticked ever closer to midnight, he went upstairs, dressed up in my lingerie, and returned to our intimate New Year’s picnic before the fire to give me the shock of my life.

I felt betrayed, lied to, and absolutely devastated. I loved my husband with all my heart but felt I did not know who he was anymore. Where was the trust? Had I ever truly known him? I felt I had no reason to believe anything that came out of his mouth. However, I did stay with him for another decade — until our only child left for college. I sprinted out of there two weeks later, two days before our twentieth anniversary. I was not going to celebrate a marriage comprised of so many lies.

Read more of Dee’s story here.

Not all lying is intentional. Many young crossdressers believe that it will go away with marriage. Of course, it doesn’t, but for the young wife it could still feel like betrayal when she finds out. Listen to this excerpt from “She’s a Boy I knew“, “How Could You

It’s Not the Lying

An interesting note in the discussion is the general feelings from husbands and wives that “honesty is always the best policy no matter what”  is not necessarily workable nor agreed with by all  husbands and wives. See the story below:

As a GG I have a very different perspective than you. You make it seem that the only thing that upsets us women is being lied to and not the dressing. “It’s the dressing, stupid” to paraphrase the comment Bill Clinton made about economics being the determining factor in the election process.

 It is more than just the dressing however. If a man dressed as a woman for Halloween or just a masquerade event, and wasnt doing it for the thrill and satisfaction he received from being perceived as a woman then most women would consider that just an entertaining episode. But when a man gets a thrill from seeing himself dressed as a woman and enjoys playing the role of a woman, most women would be turned off by that – at least when it concerns a man with whom she has a close personal relationship.

For many of us women we have  an image of a man that we don’t consciously focus on but is always there. It is an image of our man as our protector, and when that image is lost or diminished the relationship almost invariably suffers. Some woman are more accommodating of a man’s dressing than others, but even the most accepting feels that she has lost something special and wishes it would go away.

There are many reasons that a woman chooses to stay with her husband after the revelation – economic and social, but dont ever think that she is going to welcome the news with open arms and embrace it with enthusiasm.

 I cant speak for all women, but I think I can speak for many.  Seeing a man in lacy indies, nylons and heels is not a turn on for most women. and going out with a man and seeing him secretly thrilled when he gets attention from straight men who think he is really a she, is something that would, in my opinion make most women feel quite uncomfortable.

 So please give serious thought before you reveal your secret to the woman in your life. You may be unburden yourself, but you are burdening her with news that may well change her feelings for you and affect her life in ways you cant imagine.

You have every right to dress, express your innermost feelings and satisfy your needs to either just dress or enjoy playing the role of a woman with others. And although some here encourage you to “be honest” with your wives, sometimes honesty is not always the best policy.

I hope that you understand that I’m not judging you, simply giving you something serious to think about.

Beth

TRUST is Important

There’s an organization in central Pennsylvania called T.R.U.S.T. (Truth, Respect, Understanding and Support for Life’s Transitions) Their mission is to help spouses and significant others begin to understand that living with a cross-dresser or transitioning spouse is complex and requires the components of the group’s name in order to navigate your life with that person. The group is affiliated with the TransCentralPA TG support group in Harrisburg. This article from co-founder Lorri, wife of a cross-dresser, (reprinted from TG Forum) provides yet more insight on the role of love and trust in a relationship

Finding out that your spouse is a crossdresser or is transgender, can be a difficult and confusing thing. It is normal to feel lied to or betrayed at first. You may even feel like the life you created with your spouse was all a lie, that it wasn’t real. Yet, I need you to open your mind to another thought. Maybe your spouse telling you was them actually showing their ultimate love for you.

Many crossdressers spend a lifetime in a cycle of buying clothes, dressing, going out, them purging (getting rid of everything, in an attempt to stop dressing). For many transgender  MtF’s they have often spent  their whole lives fighting against the feelings they have of being in the wrong gender body. They may have chosen very manly careers, been active in sports, or even joined the military in an attempt to be the men that they were told and expected to be. In both cases, many have been involved in prior marriages or had prior long term relationships that probably ended due to a lack of honesty or communication that they experienced with their partners, all due to fear.

Try to understand for a moment a fear so big that you can not face it. A fear that they have had since they were young and got punished for playing in their mom’s makeup. Maybe they were ridiculed for playing with their cousin’s dolls or even beaten for dressing up in mother’s closet. A fear of not only being disowned by society, but by their very own parents and families. So what they learned at a young age is to hide. Hide from everyone, especially the people they loved the most. Then, they hid from themselves, living in a constant world of denial.

If your spouse or partner has finally come out to you about their crossdressing or told you they are transgender, it is not to hurt you (even though I know it does). They have told you because they love you so much that they need to be honest with you. They trust and respect you and your relationship so much, that they can’t continue to fight inside themselves. They need you to understand them.

Please, educate yourself on the topics of crossdressing and what it means to be transgender. I’m not denying the struggle that we as wives and spouses go through when we are told. I myself am the wife of a transgender spouse. But, I would like to open your eyes to the idea that maybe they loved you so much that for the first time in their lives they felt they could be themselves.

Although it has been a difficult journey for me, I do believe wholeheartedly that my spouse’s gender identity has nothing to do with his/her ability to love me. Just as I wouldn’t turn my back on my child, my parent, or my best friend; I refuse to turn my back on my spouse, especially at a time when they need my care and support most of all. Its not about saying this is the long term life you want or promising your partner forever, it’s about showing love, caring, compassion, and understanding to someone who has left themselves so vulnerable in your presence. It’s about love, not betrayal.

Another Perspective

Dee, Beth, and Lorrie, as wives, certainly tell their stories from first-hand experience, but let’s listen to two other well-respected women, Abigail Van Buren and Eppie Lederer, known to you as “Dear Abby” and “Dear Ann Landers” who are perhaps the most respected advice columnists in the world and although both ladies are no longer with us, their advice is still well remembered.

More Wives, Helen Boyd, Peggy Rudd, Debbie McCloskey, and Terri Lee Ryan

Helen Boyd

Helen Boyd

Helen Boyd, author of My Husband, Betty is perhaps the best know author of a story of a crossdresser and his wife. This documentary by this now famous couple helps explain their feelings about their relationship. Peggy’s book, My Husband Wears My Clothes, is also a best seller. In May, 2006 WE television presented Secret Lives of Women Married to Crossdressers.So this is the story of Melanie, a married, heterosexual crossdresser and Peggy, his wife.

And then Brian and Debbie McCloskey discuss their unconventional marriage with Ricki Lake on the Ricki Lake Show, June 7, 2013

Terri Lee Ryan, a lifestyle editor and wife of a crossdresser, gives us her take on Why Do Straight Men Cross-dress. Terri has her own blog at Chicago Now called Shades of Gender.

Jen H wrote this piece for Crossdresser Heaven called A Perspective From The Other Side, a typical story of discovery and why it’s OK to have those strange feelings, even many years after discovery. It reinforces Pandora’s story below

Rachel Rollins has  a You Tube video channel where she discusses a wide range of subjects relating to crossdressing (she is a crossdresser). Rachel interviewed a number of spouses that she met at various social and support group meetings and she relates the responses to her four questions below


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My Husband Wears My Clothes

A 1995 Leeza Gibbons shows with crossdressers and their wives. the pros and cons. This show best demonstrates that not all wives are equal. You’ll also want to read Pandora’s article on How Your Crossdressing Changes Your Wife’s Opinion On You.

Transvestite Wives (Panties on Men)

Transvestite Wives looks at three crossdressing relationships, as seen through the eyes of their wives and partners. These videos are based on a BBC documentary. The term ‘Transvestite’ is commonly used for crossdressers in the United Kingdom and most other parts of the world.

More on Women’s Attitude Towards Crossdressing

Mums Net is a parent to parent talk forum with advice on all sides of family life. They have a thread on crossdressing that when last checked had 796 replies with husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, and others all participating. Needless to say, there are some very interesting comments. You can read many of them here.

Laura Ann Stuart owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. She has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than fifteen years. She responds to this question from one crossdresser’s wife in SEXPress.

Leeza Gibbons, a talk show host, did a show in 1995 on “My Husband Wears My Clothes” and crossdresser wives played a prominent role in the show. This video of the show is well worth watching.

Even More resources.

The River City Gems, a Sacramento-based TG support group has collected  extensive writings on crossdressing spousal relationships which you can access here

Apr 25

Coming Out to Wives, Family, and At Work

Facets with coming out informationComing Out as transgender to wives, family and at work can and is emotional. The River City Gems. a Sacramento Support Group, had a monthly newsletter called Facets (all the past newsletters can be found on the lower left column of the news section of the website) ..  the October 2009 edition was all about “Coming Out” as transgender

Decisions about how, where, and when to come out to others are highly personal; there is no single path that is right for everyone. But by sharing our stories, experiences, and resources, we can all help to make the coming out process easier for those who are preparing to undertake it.

In this issue, Rebecca H. gives solid advice on transitioning at work; Ellie O. shares how she came out to her family; and Dani D. reflects on the importance of finding balance in your life. There’s advice on talking to your partner about crossdressing, and a thoughtful piece by Rachel M. explaining her decision not to come out to her parents and brother. Plus, Calie Alexandra reviews the classic book True Selves, an essential guide for those seeking to understand what it means to be transgender.

coming out quoteWhile there are benefits, there can also be serious risks and consequences involved in coming out. The decision is yours and yours alone. It’s important to weigh both risks and benefits before making a choice to tell others.

Some Benefits of Coming Out:

  • Living an open and whole life
  • Developing closer, more genuine relationships
  • Building self-esteem from being known and loved for who we really are
  • Reducing the stress of hiding our identity
  • Having authentic and open friendships with other transgender people
  • Helping to dispel myths and fears about transgender people
  • Becoming a role model for others
  • Making it easier for younger transgender people who will follow in our footsteps

Some Risks/Consequences of Coming Out:

  • Not everyone will be understanding or accepting
  • Family, friends and co-workers may be shocked, confused or even hostile
  • Some relationships may permanently change
  • You may experience harassment, discrimination or violence
  • You may be thrown out of your home
  • You may lose your job
  • Some young people may lose financial support from their parents

Weighing these pros and cons is not necessarily a logical approach but more likely an emotional one. Let’s look at the stories of these people below and perhaps their experience will help you in your path to fulfillment. Here are nine “Coming Out” stories that may help you

Note from Tasi: Most of the RCG articles are no longer available. We are in the process of replacing them with other resources.

 

Apr 24

Guide to Choosing the Best Handbags for You

Handbags run a close second to shoes as a woman’s favorite accessory and like shoes, your handbag says a lot about you. I admit to some confusion in knowing just how to choose that perfect handbag, but these guidelines below  may be helpful to you.

A brief history of handbags from the Middle Ages to the 21st century

Since most women always keep their eyes on hot styles and designs of handbags, they became more focused on following these latest fashion trends without considering if the handbags will suit their figure. Perhaps, this is one of the most common mistakes that they make. Instead of buying the right handbag that matches their body type, they go after with its brand, styles and designs just to be in step with the hottest trend in fashion.

We all know that trendy styles of handbags, most especially if these are designer handbags are very tempting to buy even though they don’t suit your figure. But this attitude is not an ideal way to make your outfit looks stand out. Keeping up on the latest fashion is not just enough to make you shine. Always remember that anything you wear must have some coordination and balance with your body. For some women who are fashion enthusiasts, choosing and matching handbags are just simple but for others who are not, it’s not just as easy.

Here are some basic guide lines to help you out in choosing the best handbag for you:

Select the Right Size of Handbag

Knowing the right size of a handbag for your body type should be the first thing to consider before buying it. This will help you find the most appropriate handbag that would look best for you. Just keep in mind that no matter how stylish and elegant a handbag that you carry, it will be unfashionable if it doesn’t set off with your figure.

Most fashion experts suggest that if you’re short and petite, it’s best to choose small handbags to work well with your outfit. This is because selecting big handbags will make you look smaller. On the other hand, if you’re tall and slim, you must avoid these small bags. You can rely to use for some mid size, bulky and large handbags because these sizes will be best suit for your stature.

Pick out the suitable shape of Handbag

Choosing the best shape of handbag for your figure is another preference before purchasing it. Always bear in mind that carrying a handbag that is proportioned with your body shape is the best way to look stylish and fashionable because it really helps to change and enhance your overall look.

The best tip to achieve this is to make sure that your choice of handbag shape is the opposite of your body type. So if you’re slim and tall, you should choose rounded bag to best match your look. However, if you have a shorter physique, tall and rectangular bag is suitable for you to make you look elevated.

Choose Color that Complements most of your Outfit

After you have selected the right size and shape of a handbag that best suit to you, it’s now time to choose for its color. Matching up the color of handbag to your outfit and shoes is an ideal way to have a fashionable style. Try to buy a colorful handbag that has dominant colors that will match most of your clothes. But to be more practical, you can also go for a plain handbag with just one color. It’s most recommended to take neutral color handbags since they are popular choice. Black is a neutral color so you can never go wrong in selecting it because it always comes in style and fashion. You can also harmonize it with any color of your outfit. Brown and white colors are also advisable to use because you can also match them with most of your clothes.

Set off Handbag According to Occasion

And finally, it’s really important that you know what will be the purpose of a handbag. To be practical, you must put some considerations on its functions because every occasion, place and season calls for different styles and designs of handbags. Just be sure that you’re chosen handbag complements to a specific place or occasion and there’s no doubt that you’ll achieve the stylish outfit you most desire.

Now that you’re familiar with some basic tips in choosing a handbag that looks well with your figure, you can now enjoy your shopping in some handbag stores and boutiques. But if you’re a time savvy customer who doesn’t have enough time in going out to mall, you can find some online shopping sites for your convenience and visit their designer handbag section for your wider selections of different sizes, shapes and styles of handbags that will make you shine above the rest.

And then Imogen, my favorite Australian fashion blogger, gives us 6 Top Tips for Choosing a Handbag That’s Both Practical and Beautiful

Imogen Lamport choosing a purse

What Type of Handbag Is Best For You

“Fashions fade, style is eternal” said Yves Saint Laurent What better way to add a dash of style to your outfit than carry the perfect handbag? Here are the most popular forms of handbags carried by women around the world. All you really need are six essential bag types, one of each if you’re keeping it minimal, to have on hand for every occasion

Crossbody

crossbody bagThe crossbody bag is a must-have because it’s so damn wearable and comfortable. Hands-free shopping, train commuting, coffee-down-the-street-carrying, really, the possibilities are endless. If you expect to have your hands full on a certain day, you need one of these.

Weekender

weekenderThe weekender isn’t just for impromptu trips to the Cape, this large bag doubles in a pinch as other bag types you need in your daily life. For example, the gym bag, the grocery bag, the diaper bag, and of course, the carry-on bag that takes the place of your purse and allows you to haul more stuff with you under your seat on the plane.

Structured Day Tote Bag

day tote bagThis is the bag you need to take with you to work. Buy a large one if you have to carry tablets and laptops and files and papers. Buy a medium-sized one if you’ve got your basic cell, makeup, magazine stash, etc. Get it in classic colors and you’ll never have to worry your bag doesn’t match your look.

Day Clutch

day clutch bagI simply call this the brunch bag, for those days you’re only going to be out for a couple of hours and really don’t need to carry all that extra handbag. Of course, a sequined clutch could be cute, on occasion. But mostly you’ll just want something that says causal, simple to grab on-the-go.

Evening Clutch

evening clutchOne of our favorite categories just because it’s so pretty. You need only one or two of these in a neutral shade that goes with everything.

Just for Fun

just for funThe quirky bag. It can be any shape or structure you choose, really. But the most fun ones are usually in the evening category. Get something that really stands out for your LBDs.

Now there are a few women that resist carrying a handbag so you really need to understand why women carry handbags.

 

Apr 24

He’s A lady

He's a LadyHe’s a Lady is an American reality television show that aired on TBS from October to November 2004. The premise of the show involves eleven men crossdressing as women in order to win $250,000. The show’s name is a reference to Tom Jones’s 1971 hit song, “She’s a Lady“. The show takes the eleven men on a wild adventure as they walk a mile in their wives or girlfriends’ shoes when they undergo a complete feminine makeover. Whether a newbie or an experienced crossdresser, this show is a real treat as you learn what it is like to be a woman, if just for a short while.

As the show opens, eleven men temporarily leave behind their wives and girlfriends for a chance to win a quarter of a million dollars. The guys think they’re going to be on a show called “All American Man,” competing in grueling physical and mental challenges. But the catch is more than they ever imagined: The guys will actually be transformed and given the chance to see what life is like as a lady, with one man winning a huge prize in the end.

Each week, the competitors learn something new about what it’s like to live as a lady, from dealing with bras and jewelry to bonding with real women in typically all-female activities. They are then judged by a celebrity panel including: Morgan Fairchild (The Seduction), John Salley (The Best Damn Sports Show Period) and Debbie Matenopoulos (Good Day Live).

Weekly challenges for the competitors include learning how to walk, talk and dress like a lady, followed by going out in public to find out how convincing they are; learning to flaunt their new attitude with training from supermodel Frederique; planning a real wedding and then being asked to serve as the bridesmaids; and finally, completing a “lady of the house” challenge back in their hometowns, where the guys must remain in character in front of family and friends in the absence of their wives and girlfriends. During their hilarious and heartwarming quest, the competitors will live in “The Doll House,” a beautifully decorated dwelling designed to help them get in touch with their feminine sides.

The series climaxes with a beauty pageant, where the competition boils down to the quarter-million-dollar question: “What, as a lady, have you learned about being a man?” The judges will then select the best man in the group, based on a variety of criteria. Don’t skip ahead in the videos or you’ll ruin the surprise.

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Apr 19

Books on Beauty and Fashion

The following books are available in the Library to read or may be purchased by clicking on the link

Reinvent Yourself with Color Me Beautiful: Four Seasons of Color, Makeup, and Style

Color Me Beautiful_This handy guide provides a springboard to the concepts, colors, and regimens that can make you look your best. The Color Me Beautiful concepts have been refined and developed to give you more flexibility than ever before. The author has blended two all-new color concepts, warm and cool, with our tried-and-true Four Seasons color palettes: Winter, Summer, Autumn, and Spring, to help you better understand and choose the shades for you. Do you need to update your makeup? This is the place to learn how to do it. Do you need style advice.  We give you ideas on how to wear colors in ways you never have before. You will find our color analysis life-changing. Learn what generations of women have known about.

Makeup Makeovers Beauty Bible: Expert Secrets for Stunning Transformations

Makeup MakeoversRobert Jones, makeup artist extraordinaire, outlines step-by-step how even the ugliest duckling can become a swan—with makeup alone! In hundreds of awe-inspiring before-and-after photos, Robert makes it easy for any woman to achieve true beauty in this book, which has become the definitive encyclopedia on the subject. Unlike most makeup books that focus on celebrities or the already-glamorous, this book shows every woman how to be her most beautiful. No matter what your age, skin tone, or profile, Robert can show you simple techniques that camouflage flaws and highlight each woman’s unique beauty. Best of all, it’s EASY! Even if you’ve never worn makeup before, you can learn how to bring out your best in just a few minutes.

Face Forward

Face Forward“Makeup should be fun, not fascist,” celebrity makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin avers in Face Forward, his third book. Conceived as an exploration of the past, present, and future of beauty, Face Forward is an ingenious showcase of the transformative, creative possibilities of makeup, with portraits of everyone from Julia Roberts to Sharon Stone, and Martha Stewart to his mother, Thelma. One customer review: “Based on the same principles as Making Faces, Kevyn Aucoin created a reasonable sequel of his first book. However, making faces definitely had something in it that Face Forward is missing. If you liked Making Faces, I would recommend getting this book, too, but if you want to get one or the other, I would recommend Making Faces”.

Apr 14

General Resources and Organizations on Transgenderism

Support and Educational

Center for Gender Sanity – Provides consulting, education, and training services on TG issues, particularly those in the workplace. Publishes the extraordinary books on TG workplace issues, Transsexual Workers: An Employer’s Guide and Working with a Transsexual: A Guide for Coworkers. Center for Gender Sanity PO Box 451427 Westchester, CA 90045 310-670-2222.

Gender Education and Advocacy (GEA) – National educational resource on gender diversity, focused on the needs, issues and concerns of gender variant people. Also home of the renowned “Remembering Our Dead” pages.

Gender EvolveThey support the transgender community by providing an internet portal linking the best websites catering to crossdressers, transvestites, transsexuals, and all transgender people.

Gender Identity Center of Colorado – Provides support and educational resources to people who cross-dress, are transsexual, or are nontraditional in their gender identity or expression. 1401 Saulsbury St. #G-9 Lakewood, CO 80214-4755. (303) 202-6466. info@gicofcolo.org

Gender SocietyThis website is run by Katie Glover in England, but the members are from all over the globe. You’ll find discussion forums, chat rooms, news articles, and other transgender resources

GenderTalk – the leading radio program on issues of gender and transgenderism. Hosted and produced by transgender people, GenderTalk broadcasts locally out of the Boston, MA area on WMBR, 88.1 FM and has an online archive of over 180 programs.

Gender Trust – UKThis is the only Registered Charity in the United Kingdom which specifically helps adults who are Transsexual, Gender Dysphoric or Trangender i.e. those who seek to adjust their lives to live as women or men, or to come to terms with their situation despite their genetic background.

International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) The IFGE is a non-profit advocacy organization founded in 1987. Its purpose is overcoming the intolerance of transvestitism and transsexualism brought about by widespread ignorance. Since then, as our own consciousness evolves, we have rededicated ourselves to outreach through education for the emancipation of all people from restrictive gender norms

International Journal of Transgenderism (IJT)This is an electronic journal of scholarly work in the area of transgenderism, which publishes peer-reviewed, original articles on a quarterly basis.

Intersex Society of North America – Provides education, advocacy, and peer support organization which works to create a world free of shame, secrecy, and unwanted surgery for intersex people. P.O. Box 3070, Ann Arbor MI, 48106-3070.

Passing Glances“A primer on passing and successful transition for the early-stage transwoman.” This is a free on-line book Passing Glances that Melinda Green published as her gift to the TG community.

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) – Provides support and resources to the parents, families, and friends of GLBT people. Has chapters in most states and cities. 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 467-8180.

Transgender Day of RemembranceThe Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities across the world.

Transgender ExpressionsInternational Transgender Peer Support

Trans FMTrans FM is a network of talk shows that deal with the subject of gender, transgender, and intersex issues

Transgender Forum – Predominately MTF resources and information. Has both paid and free content. 3D Communications, Inc. PO Box 80588, Valley Forge PA 19484-0588.

TransGender San Francisco – Initially formed as ETVC, or Educational TV Channel, in 1982, TGSF was established to provide support services for transgender people and educational materials to the TG community and to the general public in the bay area and beyond. Excellent website and resources. PO Box 426486, San Francisco, CA 94142-64861. (415) 564-3246.

Transsexual Roadmap – Probably the best guide book around for those that are transitioning or thinking about transitioning. Transsexual Road Map is a travel guide to set priorities and choose your route. It’s about making informed purchasing decisions and setting realistic, achievable transition goals.

Transsexual Women’s ResourcesThis web site is designed to empower transsexual women by providing factual information, informed opinion, and personal narrative. This site is maintained by Anne Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D.

Tri-ess (The Society For The Second Self) An international social and support group for heterosexual crossdressers, their partners, the spouses of married crossdressers, and their families.

Female to Male Organizations

American Boyz – A support and social group for people who were born female but who feel that is not a complete or accurate assessment of who they are (FTM’s) and our significant others, friends, families and allies (SOFFAS). Also organizer of the annual True Spirit FTM conference. 212A South Bridge Street, PMB 131, Elkton, MD, 21921. (410) 392-3640.

FTM International – One of the best FTM resources around, this group publishes a wonderful newsletter that is well worth the subscription price. Also sponsors several Bay-area support groups and assists others in presenting conferences or developing programs. 1360 Mission St., Ste. 200, San Francisco CA 94103. (415) 553-5987

Spousal Support

TransGender Partners – Stimulate social conversation and raise the awareness of the effect that gender transitioning has on Significant Others, Friends, Families, and Allies (SOFFAs) of transgender persons — especially in the early stages of transition.

Health and Surgery

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) The national professional society represents naturopathic physicians who are licensed or eligible for licensing as primary care providers. Founded upon a holistic philosophy, naturopathic medicine combines safe and effective traditional therapies with the most current advances in modern medicine. Naturopathic physicians (N.D.s) are the highest trained practitioners in the broadest scope of naturopathic medical modalities.

American Society of Health-system Pharmacists (ASHP) The mission of the ASHP is to advance and support the professional practice of pharmacists in hospitals and health systems and serve as their collective voice on issues related to medication use and public health.

Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, Inc. (HBIGDA) – Professional organization devoted to the understanding and treatment of gender identity disorders. Developer of The Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders. The Program in Human Sexuality. 1300 S. 2nd St. – Suite 180, Minneapolis, MN 55454. (612) 625-1500.

QuackwatchQuackwatch, Inc., (founded by Dr. Stephen Barrett in 1969) which was a member of Consumer Federation of America from 1973 through 2003, is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies. Its primary focus is on quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere.

Trans-healthTrans-health.com is a volunteer-run website providing information on health and fitness for trans persons.

Legal and Political

Human Rights Campaign (HRC)Founded in 1980, HRC is America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization. It provides a national voice on GLBT issues, effectively lobbies Congress, mobilizes grassroots action in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect a fair-minded Congress, and increases public understanding through innovative education and communication strategies. HRC is a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality based on sexual orientation, gender expression, and sexual/gender identity to ensure that GLBT Americans can be open, honest, and safe; at home, at work, and in the community.

 International Conference On Transgender Law And Employment Policy -Deals with legal aspects of gender identity, generally on the national level. P.O. Drawer 1010, Cooperstown, NY 13326. (607) 547-4118.
National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) The NCTE is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force – The national progressive organization working for the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. NGLTF’s vision and commitment to social change is building a powerful political movement in the fifty states and the District of Columbia. 1700 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20009-2624. (202) 332-6483.

National Transgendered Advocacy Coalition – NTAC works for the advancement of understanding and the attainment of full civil rights for all transgendered, intersexed and gender variant people in every aspect of society and actively opposes discriminatory acts by all means legally available. The only national transgender civil rights organization. P.O. Box 123 Free Union, VA 22940.

Transgender Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) The TLPI a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for transgender people in our society. The TLPI brings experts and advocates together to work on law and policy initiatives designed to advance transgender equality.

Apr 14

Essays on Transgenderism

TransgenderismSound uninteresting, it’s not. The basics on TG/TS information below from Lynn Conway is without a doubt the most  comprehensive and interesting writings on the subjects of transgender and transsexual men and women that I have found. It’s not just written from experience, but in an easily readable manner. It’s like an exciting adventure story. And if you ever wondered why we are what we are, she definitely supports the evidence in “Brain Sex” about the causes of transgenderism

The fact is, transgenderism, in one form or another, is obviously nothing new. It’s a biological fact of life that can be traced as far back as 7000 B.C. Buried in the Altai Mountains, central Asia, archaeologists and anthropologists say this woman was a part of a warrior tribe who died over 2,500 years ago. New DNA analysis has discovered the skeleton was genetically male but it had been buried with all the adornments of a young woman, potentially the earliest proof of a trans woman not only existing but being accepted and cherished as well.

2500 yr old transwomanJust a few years ago, very few people knew anyone that was transgender (less than 10%). How that has changed. The latest from PEW Research indicates that two of every five people know someone that is transgender. This is significant as it impacts on our acceptance by the general public.

how many people know someone that is transgender

We are fortunate that this decade has seen progress in the acceptance of transgender people thanks to celebrities like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner. So, if you so inclined, here are links to some of our history: You will find that our early history predating Christianity has many examples of societies that accept or embrace transsexualism.

•  History of Transgender (part 1: 7000 BC-1895 AD)
• Examiner – History of Transgender (part 2: 1900-1968)
• Examiner – History of Transgender (part 3: 1970-1989)
• Examiner – History of Transgender (part 4: 1990-1999)
• Examiner – History of Transgender (part 5: 2000-2005)
• Examiner – History of Transgender (part 6: 2006-2009)

However, to really understand transgenderism, we need to look into  the Foundations of LGBT Normalcy and this essay by E.S.Carpenter talks about LGBT from a Historical, Psychological, Biological and Religious Perspective. It’s a long piece (9600 words), but it provides all the evidence and argument needed to refute the hateful detractors of the LGBT community

Gender Core Theory….there just may be a little bit more to it.  I don’t know if you have already seen this but it does present very solid scientific explanations to why we are the way we are. It basically says that in terms of brain, hormones and chromosomes you cannot rely 100% for any of these to determine if you are male or female.

Then Thomas (Dana) Bevin’s recent book (published 2015), on the Psychobiology of Transsexualism and Transgenderism delves into the science of transgenderism. It’s a complex tomb so this review of the book by Pat is a good summary of its contents

There’s a strong push to accepting the biological explanation as scientific proof for trans identity, but there’s a downside to this reasoning as we see in this article on Biology is Not Destiny. . You need to be aware of all sides to thr argument.

Basic TG/TS/ Information This is an extensive compendium of writings bhe y Lynn Conway, a trans woman, on all aspects of transgender, transsexual, and intersexed people of both sexes.

The Forum in Crossdressing.com discusses Dr bevan’s new book on transgenderism and transsexualism with our favorite “Why” transgender questions.

Becoming a Woman by Brianna Austin deals with the realities of being a woman or perhaps the fantasies you have of becoming one. Being a woman is just not the magic of the moment and Brianna walks us through the different paths that we may take.

Feminists have created deep divisions and cutting controversy over what a woman is. This battle over what it means to be female is essential to protecting the rights of trans women and allowing them to access women’s spaces. It does not infringe on the rights of women. These fears are unreasonable and unfounded and are more about protecting the privilege of certain women than protecting the rights of all. This essay is an in depth look at this controversy

Rachel Williston helps us Understand T-Girls in a series of videos and articles by herself and others.

Transgender documentaries – a selection of videos about the everyday lives of transgender people

10 Common Myths About Transgender  People.  Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover has triggered widespread discussion about transgender issues in America, but there are still many misconceptions about transgender people. Debunking these myths is vital not just for getting Americans better acquainted with trans issues — but to actually solving them, as well.

Myth #1: Transgender people are confused or tricking others
Myth #2: Sexual orientation is linked to gender identity
Myth #3: Letting trans people use the bathroom matching their gender identity is dangerous
Myth #4: Transitioning is as simple as one surgery
Myth #5: All trans people medically transition
Myth #6: Transgender-inclusive health care is expensive
Myth #7: Children aren’t old enough to know their gender identity
Myth #8: Transgender people are mentally ill
Myth #9: Transgender people make up a third gender
Myth #10: Drag queens and kings are transgender

Gender Identity 101, a Transgender Primer. Some more basics that you should know.

Biological Underpinnings of Transvestism. A explanation of why we are the way we are

Our Social Construction of a Sex and Gender Binary: The XX & XY Lie

The Biological Differences in MTFs and Cisgender Males

I Was Transgender and Didn’t know it

Theory on Why So Many “T” People Seem to Pop from the Closet Later in Life

The Transgender Brain

Top 50 Myths About Being Transgender

Psychology of Crossdressing  Wanda Wilson is a psychologist with expertise in crossdressing and transvestism, who promotes acceptance and understanding of the transgendered community

Zinnia Jones is undoubtedly one of the most logical and intellectual woman  in the transgender world that I’ve read. Her recent video series on Gender Analysis is superb and her entire video series on the  transgender world will keep you enthralled for hours. Don’t miss her

Differences in the situations of TG and TS people in different countries around the world  Transgenderism have always been “international.” Girls from all around the world have often looked out beyond their own country’s borders when trying to escape the gender traps they’ve found themselves in. Every country has always put a different spin on how it treats TG/TS people. Find out what those differences are.
If ever there was a larger than life story about transgender people, then Christine Jorgensen is truly a pioneer and a transgender icon for all ages. Her story has been capsulized by Kristina Mayhem here and is a must read to understand the transgender movement.
The Transition Process. Only about 5% of the crossdressing community go on to transition but there are often many questions about the process Here’s is one brief summary of what to expect.

In the summer of 2015, hundreds of transgender women from around the world shared their most valuable insights, lessons and tips for the smoothest and most joyful transition possible.

Here’s what they said: What I Wish I Knew, A book about coming out and living life authentically.

Annika Penelope is a transgender blogger and activist who transitioned in 2011. Her observations explain some of the realities of transition that would be nice to know before starting transition so that you can be prepared for the process. The importance of this article on this site is to help those unsure of themselves to assess their own reality. It is not an assumption that crossdressing leads to transition although some do.

Finally, be sure and visit Transline Hollywood as Suzanne and Camille talk about Suzanne’s experiences in transitioning and the many amusing episodes that many of you will relate to

Apr 05

Fabric Teminology

A B C D E F I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X

A


Acetate
A manufactured fiber refined from cotton filaments and/or wood pulp, and acetic acid that has been extruded through a spinneret and then hardened.
AngoraYarn from the long, incredibly soft hair of an angora rabbit or goat.

Antron®
A type of nylon made by DuPont®.
Anti-pill Used to describe the wear resistance of a fabric. Fibers in low-quality fabrics tend to twist together, resulting in an uneven and worn look. Anti-pill fleece is specially woven to prevent this from happening.
Applique
Embellishment on a garment where decoration is made by cutting pieces of one fabric and applying them to the surface of another.
Argyle
A diamond-shaped plaid pattern on a knit fabric.

B


Balconet
This is another name for a demi cup bra. A balconette bra has more of a horizontal line going across the top of the bustline. Most of the time, the cups are seamed for an upward boost to give the breasts the look as if corseted. A balconette bra can also have push-up pads as well. The name balconet comes from men in the balcony of a theater looking down upon women. A balconet bra could not be seen from above.
Bamboo
Bamboo fabric is made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. It is light and strong, has excellent wicking properties, and is to some extent antibacterial. The use of bamboo fiber for clothing was a 20th century development, pioneered by several Chinese corporations.Bamboo is highly water absorbent, able to take up three times its weight in water. In bamboo fabric, this translates to an excellent wicking ability that will pull moisture away from the skin so that it can evaporate.Bamboo also has many antibacterial qualities which are retained through multiple washings. This helps to reduce bacteria that thrives on clothing and causes unpleasant odors. It can also kill odor causing bacteria that live on human skin, making the wearer and his or her clothing smell much less. In addition, bamboo fabric has insulating properties and will keep the wearer cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Blend
A term applied to a yarn or a fabric that is made up of more than one fiber. In blended yarns, two or more different types of staple fibers are twisted or spun together to form the yarn. Polyester/cotton is an example of a typical blended yarn or fabric.
Boarding
The process applied to hosiery to improve the final presentation. When the hosiery is still damp from dying it is pulled over a metal form and subject to pressure and heat. This sets the garment to its familiar leg and foot profile. (used only with non-stretch or polyamide products).
Bra
The shortened word for brassiere. A woman’s close-fitting undergarment which is worn to support and give contour to the breasts. View HerRoom’s bra department.
Bralet
A bralet is an unlined, soft cup bra. It resembles a very short crop top. Bralets are primarily used as a teen bra or sleep/lounge bra because they do not offer a significant amount of support. View HerRoom’s selection of bralets.
Breathability
The term breathability is associated with fabric and its ability to allow airflow. Generally, if a fabric has breathability, the garment will not hold in moisture. A simple test to see if a fabric has breathability is to hold it up to your mouth and see if air can pass through it. If it can, the fabric has breathability.

C


Carbon
A carbon fabrication blends carbon-infused fibers by the burning of bamboo, and blends them with poly-tech fiber to create a durable, tech fabrication that is beneficial to your body – anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, deodorizing, breathable, and moisture wicking.
Charmeuse
A lightweight silk or silk-like fabric.
Chenille
A soft fuzzy fabric developed in France. The name means caterpillar in French.
Chiffon
An extremely sheer, lightweight, soft fabric made of silk, polyester, rayon or other fibers. It is made of highly twisted filament yarns.
Circular Knit
Process in which modern seamless hosiery is made, which results in a tapered tube, which is then sewn closed at the toe.
Combed Cotton
Cotton in which a combing process removes the short fibers and any debris that may be with the fiber when it was in the field. This results in a cleaner, more uniform and lustrous yarn.
Coolmax
A polyester fiber designed to move moisture away from the body and out onto the surface of the garment for quick absorption. This leaves the wearer feeling cooler and dryer. Coolmax is also fast drying, resists fading, and doesn’t wrinkle or shrink. Because of the movement of moisture, wearing Coolmax indoors without airflow to properly evaporate can cause puddling, since Coolmax does not absorb. Coolmax works best outdoors where there is airflow to evaporate body moisture.
Cotton
A natural fiber that grows in the seedpod of the cotton plant. Fibers are typically 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. The longest staple fibers– longer than 1 1/2 inch, including the Pima and Egyptian varieties– produce the highest quality cotton fabrics.
Cotton Lisle
A hard-spun two ply cotton yarn made from long staple fibers and treated to remove all short fuzzy ends for a smooth finish. Lisle is a popular choice for fine men’s knitwear, including tops and socks.

D


Double Knit
A knit fabric in which two layers of loops are formed that cannot be separated. A double knit machine, which has two complete sets of needles, is required for this construction.
DriLayer
DriLayer is a registered name of Moving Comfort. When stated, the garment has the ability to transfer moisture away from the skin to the outside of the fabric for quick evaporation.

E


Ecosil polyester
Ecosil means the polyester fibers are spun very compactly to give the fabric a clean appearance, and a resistance to pilling and abrasion.
Egyptian cotton
All cotton grown in Egypt is “Egyptian” but it is not all extra-long staple (ELS) cotton – the most desirable and softest. The description “Egyptian cotton” conjures in the mind of many consumers the image of the very finest and longest cottons in the world. Egypt does produce and sell some of the best ELS cotton in the world, but it amounts to less than 15% of annual global ELS cotton exports, and is approximately 40% of Egyptian cotton exports.
Elastane
Elastane is just another name for an old fiber: Spandex. The word “elastane” is used in Europe while “spandex” is used in the United States. Elastane/spandex trade names are Lycra and Dorlastan.
Embossing
A process that produces a raised design or pattern on fabrics by passing the cloth between hot, engraved rollers that press the design in.
Embroidery
An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.
European Heel
The European heel is similar to the Cuban heel but with a pointed design. It is also known as the French heel, or simply pointed heel.
Eyelet
A type of fabric with patterned cut-out designs, around which stitching or embroidery is applied in order to prevent the fabric from raveling.

F


Faille
A glossy, soft, finely-ribbed silk-like woven fabric made from cotton, silk, or manufactured fibers.
Fashion Tights
Sometimes called Fancy Tights or Fashion Pantyhose. Usually consisting of a heavier denier and unusual design or knit pattern. They come in a vast array of designs, texture, and colors. Much more costly than regular tights or panty hose they are more durable and unique in nature.
Fence net
A very large net design similar to that of a chain link fence and used for stockings, hold-ups, and pantyhose.
Fiberfill
Lightweight, synthetic fiber that can be used to line bra cups.
Finishing Hole
The small opening in the back of fully-fashioned stockings where the stocking was folded over and sewn together. This detail allows the top welt to stretch for a more comfortable fit on the thigh, and is the unmistakable mark of the true full-fashioned stocking.
Fishnet
A smaller net design, which is taken from the construction of a fisherman’s net, usually made of nylon or nylon-lycra blends. These come in seamless or seamed styles, with various designs of lace or silicone tops on the stockings and hold-ups. Also in tights or pantyhose which are very popular with dancers and for costumes.
Flat Knit
The process used in making full-fashioned stockings, where the yarn is knitted flat on the machine and literally sewn together to form the backseam. The tops of the stocking are then folded over and sewn, forming the familiar double top welt and finishing hole in the back of the full-fashioned stocking.
Frastaglio
Frastaglio is an antique type of Florentine workmanship. Flat stitched embroidery is trimmed to cord yarn on a veil of tulle which is attached by hand to silk or another fabric. The effect obtained is a refined inlay motif that seems to climb up the fabric. Frastaglio is primarily used in silk corsetry and nightwear.
French Heel
Original name for the pointed heel on seamed stockings, as opposed to the rectangular style of the Cuban Heel stocking. These have also become referred to as the European Heel or Pointed Heel.
French terry
A circular knit fabric with a looped pile back and smooth face.
freshFX
A product of Invista, and teamed with Lycra, freshFX technology creates “refreshing” fabric to be used in underwear and/or sleepwear to give it a great fit, feel, coolness and freshness all day long. FreshFX also has a fabulous soft hand and an excellent drape.

I


Interlock
A rib stitch variation, interlock resembles two separate 1 x 1 ribbed fabrics that are interknitted. Interlock stitch fabrics are thicker, heavier, and more stable than single knit constructions.
Italian Nylon
A very high quality knit fabric with 4-way stretch that comes from Italy. Italian nylon includes some lycra to give great stretch and recovery, good strength, abrasion resistance and long germ resistance to body acids.

J


Jacquard
Any fabric that has a pattern woven into the fabric rather than printed on it. The name comes from Joseph Marie Jacquard who designed a loom attachment capable of weaving patterns into fabric. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of jacquard woven fabrics.
Jacquard Knit
A double knit fabric in which a Jacquard type of mechanism is used. This device individually controls needles or small groups of needles, and allows very complex and highly patterned knits to be created.
Jersey
A generic term for a plain knit fabric without a distinct rib. Originally made of wool, jersey fabric was first manufactured on the island of Jersey.

K


Knit
Knit fabrics are made the same way a knitted scarf is made by someone at home with two needles and a ball of yarn. Knitting is a process that loops a piece of yarn in a row a few times, then links those loops with another row of loops and so on. Knit fabrics are naturally stretchy because of the loops in the fibers. Knit fabrics include jersey, mesh, toweling, felt and fleece.

L


Lamé
A woven fabric using flat silver or gold metal threads to create either the design or the background in the fabric.
Laser Cut
Rather than cutting fabric the traditional way, a laser is used, but only on synthetic fabrics – otherwise, a fabric could catch on fire. The advantages of laser cutting include no raveling, and a flat seamless edge.
Latex
Latex is made with rubber and thus has rubber-like qualities. Used in some elastics to provide greater elasticity. Breaks down easily when exposed to sun and body moisture. Many are allergic to direct contact of latex on their body, for whom spandex is an alternative.
Leavers Lace
The name “Leavers” derives from the loom used to create this lace. The Leavers machine introduced the production of intricate lace patterns similar to those created by hand. Leavers looms are the only machines capable of working with a high number of threads, reproducing the intricate work of hand made lace. The lace created is distinguished by high definition design. The length, width and the thinness may vary depending on the machine used.
Linen
A fabric made from linen fibers obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. Linen fibers are much stronger and more lustrous than cotton. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, but wrinkle very easily, unless blended with manufactured fibers. Linen is one of the world’s oldest textile fibers.
Lining
The name given to material sewn into the inside of a garment to make it more opaque or more comfortable against the skin. Frequently lining is used in a bra to add structure or provide a pretty background to sheer and/or lacy fabrics.
Lycra
A trademark of DuPont, Lycra is the spandex fiber produced by DuPont. It is lightweight and soft, but stronger and more durable than rubber. Lycra can be stretched over 500% without breaking, and can be stretched repeatedly and still recover to its original length. It provides lightweight freedom of movement in foundation garments. It is quick to dry and accepts dyes very well. Garments with lycra do not pill or hold static.
Lyocell
Lyocell is a cellulose fabric obtained by an organic solvent spinning process. This fabric is a sub-category of rayon. Tencel is the trademark name for lyocell.

M


Memory Foam
Memory foam is being used more an more in bras. The same foam you see in the mattress commercial where the girl is jumping but the water glass is not moving, when used in a bra cup this foam will shape more to your body, then return to its original shape once taken off. This advantage means that your bra cups will not develop creases that are hard or impossible to remove. Storage of memory foam bras is not as important because the shape will pop back if crushed.
Mercerized Cotton
Cotton that has been through a wet finishing process which swells the yarns of the fabric to give it a round smooth surface and stops the cotton from further shrinkage. This process results in a stronger and more lustrous yarn that is more easily dyed, producing brighter, deeper colors.
Merino Wool
Merino wool means the wool fiber is long and fine. The result is a fabric that is thin, soft and luxurious.
Mesh
An open-weave knitted or woven fabric that produces a net or sheer-like effect.
Micro Modal
Micro Modal® is a trademarked microfiber from an Austrian textile company, Lenzing. Micro Modal is a fabric made from spun beechwood cellulose. The fabric is delicate and light. The smooth surface of Micro Modal prevents deposits of lime and detergents. Even after numerous washings, fabrics made from Micro Modal remain soft and silky, the colors bright and shiny. Micro Modal is 50% more absorbent than cotton thus allowing the skin to breathe and provides incredible comfort.
Microfiber
Fabric made with microfiber means that the fabric’s filaments are extremely fine – much finer than silk. Microfiber fabrics are thus lightweight, and look and feel luxurious. Because microfiber filaments are packed so closely, they can prevent moisture from passing though, yet allow air flow. Usually a blend of polyester or polyamide (nylon) fibers, microfiber fabric is known for being very light, smooth, soft, hard wearing and breathable.
Microfleece
Microfleece is an ultra-soft synthetic wool-like fabric. It’s the fabric that teddy bears are made of.
Microfleece
Microfleece is an ultra-soft synthetic wool-like fabric. It’s the fabric that teddy bears are made of.
Modal
Modal is made with cellulose from beech trees and is essentially a variety of rayon. It is about 50% more water-absorbent than cotton. Modal fabric has softness, good drape and is said to breath even better than cotton. Garments made in modal have anti-crease properties and are relatively easy care.
Modulus
Amount of power for support a fabric would give in its most stretched or elongated state.
Moisture Wicking
Fabrics that have the moisture wicking feature are able to draw moisture away from the body and put it on the surface of the fabric for quick evaporation. Many sports bras and tops are made with moisture wicking fabrics.

N


Nylon
A completely synthetic fiber, nylon is known for its superior flexibility and excellent resilience. Quick-drying nylon fabric is naturally hydrophobic and resistant to shrinkage and wrinkling. Developed in the 1930s by scientists at Du Pont, nylon was the first truly synthetic fiber to be commercialized. Nylon fibers have the luster of silk and their tensile strength is higher than that of wool, silk, rayon or cotton. Nylon washes easily, dries quickly, needs little pressing, and holds its shape well since it neither shrinks nor stretches. Another name for nylon is now polyamide.

O


Opaque
When used in the lingerie industry, opaque means the body can not be seen through the garment.

P


Paisley
A swirled pattern characterized by a teardrop shape. Popularized in Paisley, Scotland, during the 1800s, this design was originally an adaptation of a spade pattern found on Indian shawls. Today, paisley decorates everything from sheetings to fine dresses and always makes a statement of rich elegance.
Panne
A velvet-like fabric that has been flattened to achieve a desired design or look.
Peau de Soie
A heavy twill-weave drape-able satin fabric, made of silk or a manufactured fiber.
Peruvian Pima Cotton
Pima cotton that is grown in Peru under excellent growing conditions. This cotton is harvested by hand which reduces the scratchy impurities and guarantees a more brilliant white shade that can be easily dyed.
Picot
A small, embroidered loop forming an ornamental edging on a ribbon or lace.
Pima Cotton
Pima cotton is a generic name for extra-long staple (ELS) cotton grown in the U.S., Australia, Peru and in very limited production in a few other locations around the world Pima was previously called American-Egyptian cotton but was renamed to honor the Pima Indians who were growing the cotton for the USDA in Sacaton, Arizona. Pima is from the gossypium barbadense species, compared to gossypium hirsutum to which upland cotton belongs. The primary differences between Pima (ELS growths) cotton and upland cotton are staple length and strength of the fiber. In the U.S., cotton is considered to be ELS or Pima if it is an inch and 3/8 or longer. Its strength and uniformity measurements are considerably higher than those of upland cotton. It has a silk-like hand and a very fine weave.
Piqué
A medium-weight fabric, either knit or woven, with raised dobby designs including cords, wales, waffles, or patterns. Woven versions have cords running lengthwise, or in the warp direction. Knitted versions are double-knit fabric constructions, created on multi-feed circular knitting machines.
Plaid
A fabric in which bands of color running horizontally and vertically intersect to form squares. Plaids date back to the 1500s and now come in many patterns from argyle and gingham to madras and windowpane.
Polyamide
The basic fiber-forming substance for nylon fiber. It is also the European term for nylon.
Polyester
This is both the name of a fabric and a fiber. A manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s, it is second only to cotton in worldwide use. Its ability to stretch and resist wrinkling makes it a popular fabric for lingerie. Polyester has high strength (although somewhat lower than nylon), excellent resiliency, and high abrasion resistance. Low absorbency allows the fiber to dry quickly.
Powernet
A two-way stretch nylon fabric that provides excellent support. Also used in high-end compression garments, powernet has high compression with low stretch qualities to give you outstanding support without stretching out and losing its strength. Bras with powernet will last longer and stretch out less than bras using other stretch fabrics.

R


Rayon
A silk-like fabric made from wood pulp, cotton linters, or other vegetable matter. It is a comfortable fabric against the skin and absorbs moisture. It is not a strong fabric.
Rib Knit
A knitted fabric with alternating raised and lowered rows. More elastic and durable than plain knits, they tend to fit the body and are used frequently in T-shirts as well as for the trims of socks, sleeves, waists and necklines.
Ringspun Cotton
The cotton fibers are tightly twisted together to make a stronger, smoother and finer thread. Ringspun cotton fabric is therefore softer and finer feeling than basic cotton fabric.

S


Sanforized
A process of preshrinking fabric. Patented by Cluett, Peabody and Co., Inc. the label means permanent fit – the fabric shrinkage is held to just 1%.
Satin
A woven type of fabric with the characteristic of being highly lustrous on one side, and matte on the other. Can be made in a variety of fibers. Typical examples of satin weave fabrics include: slipper satin, crepe-back satin, faille satin, bridal satin, moleskin, and antique satin.
Scallop
A decorative border on fabric or lace made up of a series of half circles.
Semi-opaque
This is a term to describe hosiery that is slightly translucent but not totally non transparent. It is usually of a lighter denier tight, or a heavier denier stocking of hold-up.
Serged
A serger machine sews, overcasts and trims a seam all in one step. Therefore this seam is called a serged seam. A serged seam usually is made with 3 to 4 threads.
Sheen
This is a term, sometimes called gossamer given to the shininess or glitter like appearance of the stockings. 100% nylon non-stretch stockings and nylon-lycra blends have a very high sheen, which is their trademark.
Sheer
A term used to describe garments that are transparent and allow the body to be seen.
Shirring
A decorative effect created by material being gathered into lines.
Silicone
A rubber like polymer, which maintains its elasticity over a wide range of temperatures. Used inside the lace top of hold-up stockings to cling to the skin and keep the stocking up without garters.
Silk
A natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Most silk is collected from cultivated caterpillars; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by caterpillars in their natural habitat. Most silk comes from Asia, primarily China.
Simplex
A type of knit fabric that is firm, yet can also be knit to give a little stretch. Simplex has a mechanical stretch meaning that it stretches evenly in all directions. However, like our skin, it can stretch, but wants to bounce back to it’s original state. Therefore, it’s a perfect “second skin” fabric.
Soutache
Soutache consists of loops similar to a ribbon, made of silk or other material, primarily attached by hand on fabric in an intricate pattern. Soutache is both used in lingerie and swimwear and represents one of the most sophisticated types of workmanships used by lingerie designers.
Soy
Soy fabric is made from the leftover dregs from soybean oil or tofu production. The protein is extracted and the fiber spun into cloth. It is an excellent recycle scenario that makes this fabric eco-friendly. Similar to natural silk, it is common for there to be occasional slubs in the soy fabric, which adds to its natural beauty.Soy is incredibly soft and silky and is otherwise known as vegetable cashmere. Soy is as easy to care for as any cotton t-shirt.
Spacer Foam
Spacer foam, also called spacer fabric, is a very expensive knit used as the cup fabric in molded bras. It is a knit that has both a top and bottom layer, with filaments between – similar to a corrugated box. This creates air pockets between the layers. All of this is knit as one piece of fabric. The advantage of spacer foam is that it is very light weight , breathes, can be thinner than traditional foam used in contour bra cups, won’t yellow, yet provides modesty like a contour cup bra.
Spandex
A synthetic fiber made from polyurethane. It is lightweight, highly elastic, strong, durable and non-absorbent to water and oils. A great alternative to people allergic to latex. In Europe, they call this elastane.
Spannette
A natural rubber latex/nylon stretch fabric with thousands of air holes for comfort and breathability.
Stabilizer
A rigid fabric interlining that restricts the stretch of selected areas of the garment to allow for better support.
Stabilizers
A rigid fabric interlining that restricts the stretch of selected areas of the garment to allow for better support.
Stay Ups
Stockings that stay up without the need for garters. True stay-ups usually consist of a decorative stretch lace top, with a silicone band inside of the lace to help grip the leg.
Supima Cotton
The name “Supima” is a licensed trademark owned by Supima and its members. It is used to promote textile and apparel products made of 100% American Pima cotton, but is strictly controlled by the grower organization. The name “Supima” is an abbreviation for Superior Pima.
Supplex
Supplex nylon is made by DuPont®. It is a cottony soft nylon that offers the performance benefits of a man-made fabric with the look of cotton. It is lightweight, quick drying and durable.

T


Tactel
Tactel nylon is made by DuPont. It is a silkier softer nylon with a crinkle finish. It is lightweight and quick drying.
Tencel
Tencel is the trademark name for lyocell. Lyocell is a cellulose fabric obtained by an organic solvent spinning process. This fabric is a sub-category of rayon.
Themastat
A state-of-the-art fiber with a hollow core to keep you warmer and drier by wicking moisture away.
Tricot
This word comes from the French word “tricoter” which means to knit. Tricot is a finely knit fabric that stretches in both the lengthwise and crosswise directions. It was developed especially for the underwear industry and can be made from nylon, wool, rayon, silk, cotton or other fibers.

U


Ulta Sheer
This term refers to the very light deniers which are very light transparency and high sheen. Usually made of 100% non-stretch nylon. Some lycra /nylon yarns of less than 8 denier can be ultra-sheer.

 

UPF
Ultra-violet Protection Factor – Ultra-violet Protection Factor – a rating system that measures the UV protection of which is provided by the fabric. Similar to the SPF rating system used in sunscreens. For example, a fabric rated UPF 30 means that if 30 units of UV rays fall on the fabric, only one unit will pass through.

V


Velour
Soft plush fabric with a close, dense pile.
Viscose
The European term for rayon.

W


Woven
Woven fabrics are made from two pieces of yarn that are stretched out over a loom and woven together in both horizontal and vertical directions. Woven fabrics do not stretch because their fibers run at 45-degree angles to one another. Woven fabrics include linen, denim, twill, satin, chiffon, corduroy, tweed and canvas.

X


X-Static Silver Fiber
X-Static-The sliver fiber, has a layer of pure silver permanently bonded to the surface of a textile fiber. The process is such that the fiber, with its sliver layer, retains traditional textile and tactile characteristics. It can be used in knits, wovens and non-wovens as either a filament or spun yarn. X-Static offers all of the benefits known to be inherent to pure silver, only in a new format-a textile fiber.
Apr 05

Shoes, Shoes, and More Shoes. What Should I Wear?

Transgender women are like all women, we love shoes, and more shoes. I don’t know a single item of dress that excites more attention or excitement than a good looking pair of shoes…they are an integral part of our overall personality. The shoes you choose to wear and the way you maintain them creates an astounding impression on others.

Lots of shoesEspecially for women, shoes have to really match the dressing and the occasion they are worn on. That is why there are so many different types of women’s shoes and they come in more various shapes, colors and sizes than is imaginable.

“The look he shot her was incredulous in the extreme. “You have a filing system for your shoes?”
Norah Wilson, Guarding Suzannah

This is my wife. Every shoe is in a labeled box. If she didn’t have a distaste for spreadsheets, I’d probably have a home database cross-referenced by type and occasion.

Glamour magazine, according to stylish insiders, tells us the kind of shoes that every women needs. How do you ever make a choice? But then why. Imelda Marcos is known to have said,” I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty”

Well as cross-dressers, we should be making some sensible choices keeping in view the current trends (shall I tell you how many trends there are), our dressing requirements, the occasion, and of course comfortableness. The pundits will tell you that comfort is paramount but then my favorite style icon, Clinton Kelly, said, “Sometimes comfort doesn’t matter. When a shoe is freakin’ fabulous, it may be worth a subsequent day of misery. Soak in Epsom salts and take comfort in the fact that you’re better than everyone else.”

wearing high heels

Now Ann Reinten, an Australian fashion guru with Pretastyler has done an amazing job in explaining everything we need to know about shoes as she tells us

How Shoes Can Transform Our World

shoes transform your world_opt

Justine Leconte has this very good primer on all the shoe types

Tricia Mann from About.com will tell us the ten must have shoes for women.  I am not a fan of flip-flops (part of the ten), but I do have some really great pink sneakers from Avon. Then the folks at Womenshoes.tv will tell us how to choose the right shoes for our body type and occasion. This is good to know so we can put the right one on for any event. Shoes need to be chosen carefully for that special look and fit.

And of course not all shoes are created equal, and not all are appropriate for each outfit. Pants and skirts of varying cuts and volumes look different with pointy-toed shoes than with round-toed ones, so how do you pick a pair each morning?

Have no fear, the Shoe Grid is here. Check out this handy guide from the New Professional blog to get the look you want.

shoegrid

And before we delve into all the types of shoes, here’s a brief primer on heel heights.

Imogen from Insideoutstyle blog has some interesting reflections on shoes. Because of foot pain, her doctor told her to wear a different pair of shoes every day. Now there’s an excuse to have a Imelda Marcus size collection. Of course, the only girl I know with a collection that size is Vikki laFontaine (happy face).

So if you are  an Imelda Marcus, then theses most beautiful shoes in the world will get your interest

Shoes can make (or break) an outfit too.  As shoes add:

They work on so many levels and are an integral part of any outfit, so having a range of shoes to choose from depending on what I’m doing (running errands versus giving a corporate presentation) means sometimes I can wear flats (actually, much of my life I’m in flats or near-flats), but other times, a heel just finishes off the outfit so much better.

I have a range of heels and I categorize them like this:

  • Car to the bar (aka sitting only)
  • 2 hours
  • 4 hours

Yes, 4 hours is mostly my limit these days for a heel (wedges are a different story if they are on the flatter side).  But of course, there are occasions when I want to wear a heel all day, for example to a wedding or special event (such as Christmas parties), where I may want to do a little dancing too along with some of the standing-around that tends to happen at such events.

Aleigha is perhaps my favorite fashionista as she knows fashion in a very earthy way. In this video, Aleigha talks about heels, heels, heels…the different types, and the tricks to find the right shoe that is comfortable on your foot (and looks great).

After watching the video, check out how to walk in high heels

And then a fun little clip  with pictures of high heels over the last century. Whether you like them or not, these iconic shoes have remained a fixture of women’s wardrobes for centuries. When wearing them, women feel taller, more powerful and elegant.

Lastly, a little on the formality of shoes

We all need a variety of shoes in our wardrobe. Shoes that work for different occasions or events. So even a shoe like a pump which is a naturally more formal shoe can vary from Refinement Level 1 down to Refinement Level 2.

formality of pumps

Elements of Pumps that Will Reduce the Formality (or Level of Refinement)

  • Pattern – multiple colors and patterns reduce formality
  • Fabric – matte fabrics, matte finish is always less formal than something with sheen or shine
  • Heel shape – the thicker and more sturdy the heel – the more it’s made for “running around” versus the slimmer and more refined the heel, the more formal (and made for sitting) it is.

Determining the Quality of  Your Shoe

Now Justine Leconte  tells us how to recognize good vs. bad quality shoes.

Finally in what we call High Heel Hacks, here are some tips for wearing those high heels all day and alleviating the pain it sometimes brings