Aug 17

Life As a Fashion Model

My life as a fashion model came later in life. As a life-long MtF crossdresser, I’ve longed for public acceptance in my female form. That must be a dream common among us. Given this circumstance, wouldn’t you agree that being selected to model women’s fashions by a national brand might be among the highest levels of acceptance? 

I sure would!

That’s why I was both shocked and delighted to be selected to do so. Specifically, in 2016 I was selected to represent a line of custom women’s clothing by Perfectly.Me. Seeking to expand its range of customers to include “all” women, including millions of trans-women and cross-dressers, this company needed a new brand spokesmodel.

My association with Sister House.net gave me an advantage over others. The website gave me important public visibility and credentials. The editor, Tasi, and other contributors provided important encouragement and more.

That initial assignment has led to a side career today. I now model woman’s fashion and accessories for an expanding list of sponsors. Believe me, being a fashion model is not something I planned – it just happened!

After a few years’, the benefit of this initial experience has largely been what I had hoped for: higher confidence in my female presentation, new exciting friends, a first-hand education in the previously thought mysterious profession of a fashion model, and often some great fun.

This article highlights my recent experience as a fashion model.

My Starting Niche

At 183 pounds (on a low gravity day) distributed over a six-foot athletic frame, my classic male athletic body was not close to what most consider wispy female proportions. However, my shape was exactly what my first sponsor sought. You see, few customers look like gorgeous slender female supermodels. So, the logic in selecting me was that their model needed to look like their target customers – a real person. In this case, their target was a mature man who wished to present a female image.

In other words, as unlikely as it seemed, I was considered an ideal representative. A model non-model specimen. It’s highly unlikely I’d have ever gotten a start otherwise.

Preparation was Critical

Today I understand that professional modeling is hard work.  When starting out years ago, it was obvious, I was simply not prepared mentally nor physically for this work. I was also surprised at home much time needed to be invested in getting a few great shots.

Mental adjustments were essential for survival. Having made independent decisions and actions for decades, my career centered on me being in charge. BTW – I am great in that role.  As a fashion model however, things were quite different. I was simply a live mannequin – taking orders (i.e. criticism) from impatient strangers. Mentally, not getting frustrated/angry in return was a huge adjustment. It helped my motivation, of course, to see great photos being collected. It also helped to eventually learn my “best” angles and poses for certain effects. If it helps readers, I refer you to my article on how to pose (see  How To Pose For The Camera) which I still use as a refresher guide. Believe me, whatever I learned, was learned the hard way.

Physically, it was clear that years of men’s sports and work activities made my body less flexible than ideal. Some poses were initially just not possible! My ability to do the classic “casual look over my shoulder” pose was a sad joke! Yoga and dance classes helped bit but this required an unexpected large additional time commitment with only small benefit. My obviously less than graceful movements and deep voice in promotional videos and runway walks make me cringe inside – even today. However, my sponsor thought my presentation was acceptable because the assignment was to realistically represent their target market. Whew!

Wardrobe selection was an artform – For Perfectly.Me, a fashion consultant selected pieces to create a coordinated ensemble. This required an expert color and shape analysis. (Note: These valuable results have guided my personal wardrobe selection ever since. Every cross-dresser should do this!) My high heel shoes and flats were custom made in size and color to complete the overall image. Three-way discussions with the fashion consultant and Perfectly.Me management were quite detailed. Sometimes these discussions got quite animated because of differing opinions. In these cases, I was very pleased to be left out of the mix. I was just the model after all!

Shooting

My initial client, Perfectly.Me, wanted studio and life style still images, and video as well as runway coverage. This required cross-country travel which again was an unplanned time commitment. Some images from these shoots are presented for illustration. They demonstrate the range of settings used.

Nora Simone fashion model First Event runway shoot

Photos by Cassandra Storm Photography

Nora Simone fashion model First Event runway shoot

Photos by Cassandra Storm Photography

Nora Simone fashion model on Perfectly Me postcard

Some special notes on professional shoots from all my experience I’d like to share are that:

  • Walking a runway (catwalk) with a live audience of hundreds and on camera is a life changing experience. Practicing the walk so you can do it with your eyes closed is recommended because the stage lights are blinding. Having had the courage to do this, I now feel it is possible to do anything!
  • Unless otherwise instructed, it’s important to be constantly moving for still camera photo shoots. Modeling was not a matter of “holding still.” Photographers seek position differences, some subtle, in each shot. So constant adjustments, in accordance with photographer instructions, are best.
  • It’s important to constantly be mindful of wellness and safety. As a model I was expected to take care of myself, show up in healthy picture-perfect condition, and especially in the size expected. I therefore initiated a more rigorous skin care, diet, and fitness routine. I also took added precautions in work and play to avoid injury and bruising.
  • Versatility in appearance added interest. Being open to different hair style and colors for example gave added value dimension to my character. As a model, I didn’t insist on a signature look. Instead, I tried to look the part as directed. Professional makeup and costuming made this possible and I have a collection of over 20 wigs.
  • Being my real-self was surprisingly valuable. I don’t easily flash a big toothy smile and that was OK. Its not me. However, showing genuine emotion was appreciated; smiles, pouts, and perplexing looks added interest and were welcome. It was useful to practice these.
  • Each photographer is a unique personality and each client has a unique “style”. I needed to establish a relationship with the photographer and understand motivation before getting down to business. Its like dancing. The more you do it together, the better. Yes, I do have my favorites!
  • Photographers, stylists, and clients, talked about my body and/or touched me as if I were not a real person. I found it quite strange to not be part of those conversations. See my comment about being a mannequin above.
  • There were unique educational opportunities. For most photo shoots, I was the only cross-dresser on the set. Sometimes, I was the first cross-dresser the crew ever met. Even though I know I do not represent others, this situation provided me with an opportunity to help others understand. Mostly, they did not seem to care (there were exceptions!) as I was “just the model.”
  • After my first project with Perfectly.Me, most modeling opportunities presented to me have had nothing to do with cross-dressing. I’m positioned in the mainstream and have not been offered a modeling opportunity for cross-dressing products for example.
  • Shooting in public can draw a crowd. It’s very helpful to have extra crew to keep interlopers away. The photographer, light person, and MUA can help but they are also busy working.
  • Being selective and super careful about assignments is necessary. For example, I turned down my largest fee to model lingerie in an out-of-town abandoned industrial warehouse. I just did not feel comfortable with the people and situation.
  • A typical preshoot makeup and hair preparation appointment required at least two hours and usually more. Again, it was necessary to take direction from strangers to get it right. If the photo shoot lasted over about 30 minutes; required costume and/or hair changes; or was on location; a makeup/hair artist provided touch-ups as needed. I will always remember and appreciate the impressive attention to detail these photographers and artists were committed to. They were quite proud of their work. Some of them had experience with household-name actors in movies or on television you’ve probably seen!

Growing Engagement

In the past few years, my images and video clips have been featured on magazine covers, and used to promote services, training, products (e.g. makeup, clothing, accessories) and destinations (e.g. makeover studios, stores, restaurants). My appearance changes so dramatically, viewers might not know its still me inside.

Featured cover girl fashion model rachels place nov 2001

nora simone demonstrating accessories as fashion model

Photos by Cassandra Storm Photography

Most of my assignments have come by referral. However, if I care about a product or cause, I volunteer my image to help the cause. My offers are not always accepted. However, a cool jewelry line is a current volunteer project.

My modeling experience has allowed me to feel confident ad be better prepared socially. When there is no camera, I still know how to pose and carry myself. When a camera is available, I no longer shy away from photo opportunities with my friends. When posing with professionals (or naturals) I feel I can hold my own. Again, I feel confident.

Nora Simone fashion model with hat

In return for modeling, I have been paid in a variety of ways: professional photos, clothing, products, and cash. There is not enough to make a living in modeling, so for me it’s just a hobby. This seems to be true for most of the models I have met. In appreciation for having had this opportunity I donate 100% of my net profit from modeling to trans-related charity. Most importantly, modeling is a source of confidence building experience I’ll always treasure.

Appreciation

I now know professional models who’ve committed their lives to the career. They have taken expensive classes, paid photographers for a top-notch portfolio, auditioned for shoots and overcome frequent rejection. It’s a grueling path. Having walked in their shoes for a short while, I now appreciate these people in ways not understandable otherwise. I am extremely grateful for having had the initial experience Perfectly.Me provided and hope readers understand that if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

About Nora

Nora Simone is a gender-fluid MtF crossdresser who asks readers “What real man wouldn’t like to know what its like to be a beautiful woman?” She can be reached at norasimone@yahoo.com.

Photos provided with permission of the photographers. See photo captions for details.

Jul 04

A Very Pleasant Seven Hours

marie green seven hours

It was to be a very pleasant seven hours which stated with dropping the dog off at the kennel the previous evening, then selecting several outfits and essentials and packing all in the car allowing an early start on the four-hour drive to the big city. Weather was clear, traffic was light and almost no eighteen-wheelers.  Easy trip cut 30 minutes off normal time.  This provided sufficient time to don the flowing black slacks and a new silky white blouse with black trimmed neck line and folded back three-quarter sleeves, complimentary three-inch Wedges and matching jewelry including bracelet, necklace and earrings.

All together a very comfort, feminine and summer cool outfit and exuded a total well put together woman as I strolled from the parking lot to the “Make-Over” studio shop where my favorite magician performed miracles.  We always have a great time with a steady flow of GIRL talk with her ALWAYS adding something new to my facial image.  She always does a fantastic job, however this time she excelled creating a glorious pallet, the best to-date.

I knew it was pleasing, but it was not until I entered an adjacent dress store and began a three-way dialog with the two-person staff about a stunning one-piece yellow pants-suit that I had spotted in the window.  I had been searching for this style of a summer treasure without any luck and suffering at least two previous disappointments in the process.  Hoped my luck had changed.  It was not to be. There were two hanging on the rack-sizes were 2x and 3x.  Too large for this girl which both of sales staff concurred with and offered to remove the window display piece, a 1X and so I could try it on.  I was momentarily stunned by the offer which I considered not only a credit to my tasteful outfit but more so to the magnificent Make-Over that my Cosmetic Guru had accomplished.

This was a first and although delightfully tempting, gracefully declined as had noticed the Dressing Room area was only screened by a drape and envisioned being half way through the changing process and one of SLs poking her head in asking if I needed any help.  Although my bra and panties fit well and overall presentation was a nicely turned out womanly profile, choose not to run the risk of creating an embarrassing situation.  With my decline said thank you to the ladies for the suggestion but doubted if my size 8-10 would do the 1x adequate justice and exited after a brief chorus of “Thank You-s for dropping by and do come back.” which I responded with a cheerful “Definitely”. Left there with warm contented feeling of my femininity as strolled to the car.

Left there with another notch in my confidence factor and drove to my long-time friend and Girl Guide’ studio.  We greeted each other with a long hug and she immediately gushed about how “gorgeous” I looked and what a wonderful job the Make-Over lady had done. She commented several times during the next four hours on how well this girl looked.  Beginning to think I had achieved another plateau in my feminine presentation.

We spent the next two hours or so the usual fashion show mode with me modelling some of my new acquisitions and receiving constructive critics, actually a host of compliments and suggestions. After the twirling, walking and posing with a range of smiles for the camera, my Girl Guide being an accomplished photographer decided it was time to grab a bite to eat.  Another quick change and light touch up of face and dash of perfume and off we went to a rather upscale restaurant to celebrate the day.  As we entered were immediately greeted “Welcome ladies – Party of two, table or booth? by a male baritone voice.  I chirped a response “Yes, a booth please”. Then we were escorted to a small roundish banquette.  As we slid in the well-padded red leather, baritone issued a dual compliment – May I say you both look particularly charming this evening. Please enjoy your meal. Your waitress “Maria” will be with you momentarily”.

marie Green seven hours

When our young but very professional waitress arrived my table mate, claiming exhaustion ordered black coffee, whereas I who was on very pleasant cloud nine requested a split of Italian Prosecco.

Our dinner selections were both well presented, and delicious, and the iced water glasses never neglected. Maria provided very pleasant and attentive service and we commented on similarity of our names and thanked her for her gracious service and we would ask for her on our next visit.  Paid the check, gather our purses, detoured to the Ladies Room, which was very tastefully decorated with three make up stations plus a comfy settee. 

As we exited spotted Maria and waved and blew her air kisses. With that “Baritone” materialized and escorted us to the lobby and opened the doors for us.  We both thanked him, commenting that was very gracious gesture.  He responded nothing but the best.  We were floating as we gained the car and drove back to the studio.  Twenty minutes of Girl Talk and sleep land was calling.  Quick warm hugs and this adventure was concluded.  Wonderful close to a wonderful and extremely pleasant seven hour memory.

Oct 19

River City Gems Sparkle Gala-Marvelous Event

Hi Girls. This month I’m going to talk about the River City Gems Sparkle Gala I attended on October 8th.  The event is held by the Sacramento Gems every year and is definitely one you want to attend if able. They are friendly and plan their events extremely well.  A lot of volunteer work and love goes into it and you can tell when you’re there.

I arrived early on Wednesday prior to the Saturday event and attended a dinner planned by one of the Gems at El Torito in Sacramento, approx. 25 girls were present and all had a fabulous evening.  Friday we had a luncheon at Buca Di Beppos, also in Sacramento attended by 20 girls.  Friday evening, we went to Mangos which is a planned dinner for Sparkle attendees who wish to mingle prior to the gala.

These are pictures from El Torito, Buca Di Beppo and Mangos…all in Sacramento and all events held before Sparkle. The first photo id Diana Baker, DonnaKelli and Cindy Shelton, my dress with print skirt is from Venus and Jewelry is from Chico’s. Next picture at Mango’s taken with Kelli Perry (She’s a doll), my dress is from Dressbarn…yes Dressbarn and I got it on sale, my jewelry is Silver from Brighton’s, heels are 9 West platforms

pictures from River City Gems Sparkle event

A group picture from Buca Di Beppo luncheon , my dress is from Venus.com and the Jewelry is Silver from Brighton’s.   Next picture is the night of the Gala ready to leave my Hotel room.

pictures from River City Gems Sparkle event

Ladies at River City Gems Sparkle event

A picture seated next to one of the hotel grounds many beautiful fountains, a picture of Stephanie Wardlow, DonnaKelli and Diane Grace at the Sparkle gala.   Next is Diane Grace and myself posing on stage at Sparkle, we had many photo ops and too many to post here in my column…. many of the photos can be seen on my Facebook page (DonnaKelli), or on the River City Gems webpage

The week end was better than I could have hoped for, the Hotel staff was outstanding the Gems membership are friendly and gorgeous they make this a party to remember.  Many girls I met were out for the first time and you could see the exhilaration and genuine excitement on their faces they were glowing.

These pics are at the Gala having a little fun on the dance floor toward the end of the evening. We even did an impromptu “Charlies Angels” pose…. We may have to call it Sparkle Angels.

Ladies at River City Gems Sparkle event

Ladies at River City Gems Sparkle event

The last picture is Diane Grace, DonnaKelli, Stephanie Wardlow and seated is a very special lady Rita Doyle.  Rita is an icon for many of the younger girls and has helped many girls who otherwise would never have got out into the world.  It was an honor to meet her.

Sparkle was attended by 110 girls and offered the opportunity to meet many at the Hotel lounge in the days prior to the Gala ball.

I attended with several girlfriends and all said repeatedly that they will attend again, it is sad that this was the last year the event will be held at the Red Lion hotel it has so much character and ambience with the lake, fountains and park like grounds.  I hope and am certain the Gems will find another location for this event and we girls will make it special by attending in even bigger numbers   next year.

I intended to have a Tgirl friend of the month but my column is late and long, I also wanted to talk about girls getting out for the first time and not being prisoners of our own inner feelings.

Ironically the Sparkle event was themed about that this year…the Theme was “It’s about time” and their President Marla spoke about getting out in the world in her address to the attendees.  Girls it is our time and if you’re afraid or need help go to one of these events you’ll find many girls willing to help, we are all sisters.

I was given the idea of helping a girl who has not been out very long and doing a shopping trip and make over with her, sort of a before and after.  I’ll try and get that into my next column and she will be the Tgirl friend of the month.

If you like this column let me or Sister House know and always give your ideas or suggestions.  I want to help as many girls as possible and hope this column in some way is making it easier for new girls to find their way.

As always be safe out there girls. I’ll be back in November with the make over and hopefully more out and about in Palm Springs, I have several friends visiting in the coming weeks.

Warm Hugs

DonnaKelli

Sisterhouse Style Columnist

Donnakelli

Oct 18

Visiting the Pink Punters Club in the United Kingdom

cocktails-headOur newest columnist, Michelle Popkov, delights us with this story of her recent and amazing visit to the Pink Punters club in the United Kingdom. The UK has a very substantial and visible trans population with some great clubs for us trans girls and there is much less discrimination there then we face in the U.S. So enjoy this delightful adventure.

“There are so many events to attend where girls can be girls, and I visit many of them.  And my hometown of Las Vegas is never lacking for places to go or things to do while projecting as a lady.  But there are some places and events over in the United Kingdom that attract literally thousands.  One of the most attended places is the Pink Punters Club in Fenny-Stratford, and I want to share a recent adventure I just took there in October..

The journey began on a Wednesday morning.  I flew from Las Vegas to Chicago where I boarded a 767 bound for Heathrow.  About 8 hours later, I landed on a picture perfect day in London.  The Customs line was not that bad, and it moved along.  I retrieved my suitcase (all 50# of it!), hit an ATM to get some British Pounds, and headed for the Underground.

The London Underground is a vast network of subways that can get you anyplace.  There are a lot of TG and alternate-lifestyle clubs in London, and a Tube ride will get you there with little fanfare.  But I was headed for the Euston train station.  After one connection at Green Park, I arrived at Euston.  (Oh take a memo!  There are not a lot of escalators in the Underground, so you are either going to do a bag drag up and down stairs or take advantage of a lift—a.k.a. elevator—as you make your connecting train.  Be in good shape, and work on stamina after your flight!)

At Euston, I got my train tickets.  Before the trip, I had checked the British Rail Journey Planners, and so I knew about what times I would board a train.  Turns our there were trains about every 30 minutes headed my way.  There was time for a snack, and then the track posting was issued.  I headed for Track 12 for the London Midland service, Northbound.  I jumped in a carriage that had a loo.  Good idea if you needed it.  But it was a place with room to sit with a huge suitcase as mine!  In short 45 minutes, I was in Bletchley (home of the famous Code Breakers in WWII), and I did the bag drag to the outside track for my connecting train.  This one was a single carriage shuttle, and it’s first stop was at Fenny-Stratford.  A mere 5-minute ride!

fenny-stratford

I disembarked and started a short walk to my hotel.  Fenny-Stratford is a quaint village with interesting little shops.  About 15 minutes from the train station, there was my hotel:  The Campanile, or “The Camp” in the vernacular.  This group is a chain all over Europe.  The rooms are a little Spartan, but you’d find this common in Europe.  Best of all, it’s right across the street from Pink Punters Club!  So if I got carried away, I’d just need to be carried away to my hotel in short order!

Note that I had been travelling for a long time, and I had to deal with an 8-hour time-zone change.  I got into the Camp at 2:30 PM, and I deployed some of my basic stuff and took a nap.  I set an alarm for 7 PM and went down to the restaurant/pub where I had a small meal and a draught beer.  I went back up to change.  I felt it was a good idea to work in the time changes by going to the club and getting on their schedule.  In the UK, nothing happens until 10 PM, so I had plenty of time.

pinks-composite

A little about Pink Punters. It is easily the largest LGBT club in the world.  They support the LGBT community with zest!  They are the ones leading the pack at Pride parades, and are always friendly. You can see they make it quite clear they are for us all.  They have a well-organized club with coat checking, many bars, and many dance floors, but most of all they have a friendly but able security force.  The venue itself is pre-WWII architecture.  And has undergone many builds and rebuilds over the decades.

Michelle's outfit on Thursday at pink puntersIt was not long before the regular Thursday night crowd rolled in.  Mostly, these were millennial women who made it a point to dress to kill!  It didn’t take long for these ladies to come talk to the Tall Blonde Yank from Vegas.  I was overwhelmed by their friendship.  They said that I “got it” when it came to projecting a feminine persona.  They were impressed by my figure (ass by Espy at Classic Curves, Intl!), my makeup, and hair.   I really loved the attention, and we entered the main bar and dance floor.  It was about 11 PM, and from then on, I did not have to pay for a drink!   These ladies were wonderful, and we danced or went back out to the patio for hanging out.  I started to crash and burn after 1 AM.  I had been up a while, and I felt my time-zone adjustment was sufficiently complete.

Friday was the day of the Big Night Out (BNO).  (BNO is held every second Friday at Pink Punters).  The day started with breakfast and then I went back to bed!  I slept most of the day, which was consistent with my Las Vegas body clock.  About 6, I started to clean up and doll up.  Normally the Camp sells out the place with BNO attendees.  The plan is to meet downstairs at the pub for cocktails.  I wore a smart Michelle having cocktails at pink puntersdress from Venus.com.  While my American “speech impediment” gave me away, the ladies were very friendly and welcoming.  They wanted to know about Las Vegas and how the TG scene was.  I told them about the major conferences I had attended and what goes on there.  It was not unusual to meet gentlemen “admirers” there at the Camp.  One or two of the ladies had been to Wild Side before.  I assured them that the most dangerous place in Las Vegas was standing between me and the newest Venus.com catalog!  It got on to about 9:30 and we knew it was time to change.

It seems like a ritual, but between 8:30 and 9:30 girls repair to their rooms to change into their club attire.  Some even were known to change twice once they saw what the others had changed in to.  It was back to the bar around 10 to strut our stuff and become club girls.  Some of the smokers were outside, and about 10:30 it was like a Le Mans start of heels clicking across the road to Pink Punters.  I did the trek over with the ladies whom I had met earlier.  We were all in great spirits.

After checking into the Club, the cameras came out and we used the patio area for photo ops.  That’s also where the pool tables are, and a girl can’t resist doing a pool table photo!The patio bar was packed, and the drink prices were up too!  The crowd was checking each other out, and we knew it was going to be party time!

michelle-on-friday at pink punters

The basement dance floor was open.  That was basically a place to rave!  You learned the meaning of “decibels”, but it was cool!  You could climb a staircase that looked like something out of the House of Usher!  That would take you to the attic lounge.  While that sat right over the main dance floor, it was a little more civil, and you could chat and hang out.  All three floors were rocking with 1000 of your closest TG friends.  It was amazing.

Michelle posing on couchRight off the attic lounge was the Pink Room.  It was a cozy place for ladies to fix their makeup and hair.  But it was also a legendary place to pose for pictures.  There were a lot of props with which to do glamour shots and get a great remembrance of your time at Pinks.  There were many photos of legendary starlets from classic movies.  Madonna and Bette Midler also graced the walls.  So you have a great mix of glamour and hot outfits all about the club.

Downstairs next to the dance floor was The Diner.  You could order a sandwich and chips if you like.  Since I didn’t have any dinner, I enjoyed a burger and fries.  Very American!  Next to the dinner were the loos.

I wanted to discuss this with you for a moment since it is quite in the American news lately.  At Punters (and I am sure at other clubs), all the loos are unisex.  Each compartment is a water closet (rather than a stall), in that you have total privacy and security.   No one will ever notice what direction your feet are pointing.  There were plenty all about the club, and no one had any problems or misgivings.

Next to the attic lounge were the security headquarters.   There were cameras all over the property and panic buttons on the walls if you had an issue.  Even if you spilled a drink, someone was quick to clean it up so dancing could safely continue.  The security team was very vigilant in checking purses upon entry and watching out for all of us.  They were ever present, and in the occasional instance of one getting rowdy, they had humane techniques in escorting brigands out of the place.  One felt totally safe to continue merry-making.

My jet lag was starting to kick in, so about 3 AM I headed back to the Camp.  (For the BNO, they close at 6:30 AM!  So I guess that makes me a short hitter!)  I cleaned up and got my kit ready for the next day.  I decided to keep my nails on, as they had survived this far and still looked terrific!  I fell asleep about 4 AM.

Saturday was very nice, so I took a walk around Fenny-Stratford.  It is a quaint little place, and it would charm your heart.  I met up with more friends whom I had known for years.  These were my regular buds that came to the Camp so we could join up.  We had dinner, and then we went to the rooms to get party-ready. I wore another hot club dress: Faux leather mini with shiny stockings.  I wore the lightest, boldest blonde hair I had for the occasion.  The contrast with the makeup and the black dress was perfect.

Michelle on Saturday at pink punters

We did the trek as usual about 10 PM.  We were relatively early, so it was time for more photo ops. Another pose on the pool table! The Saturday night crowd was much more diverse.  But it was packed!  A lot more gents and ladies.  There were some couples, a few of which were spouses with their Trans-women husbands.  Some were just learning the intricacies of being married to a TG, and one other was really supporting and together.  My friends and I chatted with this couple for the longest time.   I spoke of my many seminars I present to novices.  And this lady was very happy to meet me.  Looks like I could help her partner demythologize a lot about being Trans and be less fearful.

Along those lines, I want to relate another story.  A few years ago, I was at the BNO, and a correspondent on the UK board knew I was coming.  I had helped her techniques, so she gathered about 15 novices in front of the patio bar and called me over.  “This is Michelle from the States!  She can help you!”  Oh my!  I was faced with so many novices, some of whom where first time dressed/first time out!  So I held a clinic on posture, standing, sitting, etc.  I have never seen such a riveted audience, especially in the middle of the largest LGBT Club in the world.  One of those girls was Julie Anne.  This past Saturday, she saw me and came up to me.  She asked if I was Michelle, from the States, and I said yes.  She related her experiences as she had been at that impromptu clinic.  She did a quick pose for me, and all I saw was an adorable woman who had stunning beauty and class.  Her hair and makeup were perfect.  Show wore a lovely blue frock and classy heels.  Her mannerisms were the quill!  It was nice to get that kind of feedback for me, the eternally anxious one.

Michelle on SAturday

Naturally, we did the Pink Room. The five of us hung out in the attic bar and the patio area for the rest of the night.  The couple was so happy to have found some kind of femme energy that will make their relationship so much stronger.  There was more drinking and dancing, but at 3 AM it was time to crash again.  My adventure was over.

pink-punters-girls

Back to the hotel where I packed up most of my things and took off my nails.  Sunday morning, my friends joined me for breakfast, and they kindly drove me to the Bletchley train station.  I got back to the Heathrow area and took a night at an airport hotel before my flight today.  I am writing this adventure on my flight from Heathrow to San Francisco.  Home again soon.

On every trip over to Pink Punters, I meet the owner, Frank, who was the nicest man!  He was impressed that I would fly all the way over to England to visit his club.  It’s the ladies I meet and the friends I make.  Pink Punters is the biggest place for out community, and we need a place like that in Vegas!”

Love, Michelle

 

Mar 30

The Killer Dress

black empire-waist dress with a black and white polka-dot topHas anyone ever heard of a “killer-dress”, and I don’t mean this as a fashion statement? I unwittingly purchased one of these ‘lethal’ wardrobe items on a misguided therapeutic shopping visit to JC Penny at Seattle’s Winchester Mall. As I was perusing the overwhelming number of selections in the women’s dress department, a black empire-waist dress with a black and white polka-dot top drew me like a moth to a flame! Though the item was not from a familiar vendor, my standard size-12 did not seem an unreasonable size choice.

Once home, the unexpected torture began, it was the battle of the century as I attempted to slide the dress over my “non-size- 12 male upper torso. Ultimately, serious though not permanent physical damage was inflicted while attempting to remove this pectorally-challenged item-from-hell! It proved virtually un-removable, and I was home alone!

Finally after considerable perspiration, exhausting previously unused muscle groups, and verbalizing a seemingly inexhaustible profane vocabulary that would put a Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer to shame, I was free! Unfortunately, I seriously strained some neck and shoulder muscle groups in the process (as a medical person, I wonder if there is an ICD-10 code for this type of injury?) This item should at least be tried and found guilty of second degree manslaughter (wrong gender!) A necessary return trek to JCP resulted in what I thought would be a prudent, though ego-deflating swap to a non-lethal size-14 (ugh!)

I can only wonder which nth-world nation had manufactured this fabric-challenged garment, for although this thoroughly demoralizing size appeared to fit, my recovering upper body continued to suffer additional wardrobe-inflected damage. Is there a moral to this story (like maybe attempting to try on items while shopping!)