Saturday, October 11, 2014

No Big Deal

My daughter started high school last month.  

The other night she told my wife and me that there's a transgender girl in her homeroom.  During the summer orientation session, this student attended as "Gabe" and now identifies as "Heather."

I was fascinated by this.  She told us about Heather in a very matter of fact way. 

I asked if people were nice to Heather.  Our daughter said her homeroom is fairly large and she doesn't know Heather very well but it seemed like people were nice to her. 

I don't think she wanted to talk about Heather too much because 1) my daughter is 14 and doesn't want to talk to us about anything too much (except, of course, when she really, really wants to talk to us - often at about 10 PM on a Tuesday night) 2) she and her group are very aware of treating people as people and it would be incredibly uncool for someone to tease or make fun of someone who's transgender.

My daughter and I were in the car the next day.  I told her I thought it was great that people were nice to Heather because life is often difficult for transgender kids.  She said it was no big deal.

I hope people really are nice to Heather and respect her for who she is and that things are changing.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Trans, um, something

I have a rare opportunity for some Linda time today.

I'm wearing jeans, a really pretty sleeveless purple blouse with ruffles and red high heels.    It's the kind of outfit a young woman in her 20s or 30s might wear if she were meeting friends for dinner or drinks.  It's fun to see my red pumps peeking out from the hem of my jeans.  I feel great.

I'm also feeling a little jealous because I know if people saw me, they would think I look ridiculous.  I'm 60, I'm chubby, I don't have cute feminine features, and even if I shave closely and slather on the foundation, my 5 o'clock shadow comes out quickly.  I'm wearing an outfit that a "mature" (dowdy) crossdresser of a certain age should not wear to blend in if she were leaving the house.

Of course, one of the consolations of being pretty much in the closet is that I can wear clothes that are wildly inappropriate for public adventures and pretend that the clothes I'm wearing are what I would be wearing if I were a 20something woman.

I admire those in our club who have come to terms with being mature ladies.  Stana is a lovely mature woman, who dresses appropriately for her age and looks wonderful.  She's beautiful and stylish.  If I were a 60 year old woman (even if I were a 50 year old woman), I'd love to look like Stana.

But I don't want to look like a 60 year old woman.  I want to be 26 and pretty and wear cute clothes.

So for now, I'll enjoy my time to dress cute and fantasize about what I would do if things were different.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jacob's New Dress

While at the library yesterday, I came across Jacob's New Dress, a cute picture story for preschool to early primary school kids.  It's about Jacob, a boy who likes to wear dresses.  Except for one friend who insists that "boys don't wear dresses" everyone else in the story, including mom, dad and teacher, is understanding and supportive.  Of course, the story is simple and optimistic but it's also very sweet.  It's a "message book" but very well done.

Amazon's description: Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can't wear "girl" clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don't identify with traditional gender roles.

I loved reading the reader reviews on Amazon, too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CASA VALENTINA Opens on Broadway Tonight

CASA VALENTINA, the new Harvey Fierstein musical based on Casa Susanna, the 60s Catskills resort and oasis for crossdressers, opens on Broadway tonight.

The show features an amazing cast including
  • Drama Desk Award winner Reed Birney (Taking Care of Baby at MTC, Blasted)
  • Tony Award winner John Cullum (The Scottsboro Boys, "ER", "Northern Exposure")
  • Tony Award winner Gabriel Ebert (Matilda, 4000 Miles)
  • Obie Award winner Lisa Emery (Lonely, I'm Not; Iron at MTC)
  • Tony Award nominee Tom McGowan (Wicked, "Everybody Loves Raymond", Kenny from "Frasier")
  • Drama Desk Award nominee Patrick Page (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Cyrano de Bergerac)
  • Larry Pine (The Royal Family, "House of Cards")
  • Drama Desk Award winner Nick Westrate (Loot, Tribes)
  • Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee Mare Winningham (Picnic, "Hatfields & McCoys")

Stana has posted several articles about Casa Valentina (including a great post yesterday) and Casa Susanna.   Wonderful stuff from Stana, as always.

I also found an excellent New York Times article about the play.  Excerpt:

Boas, corsets and high heels are fun, familiar staples of theater. But “Casa Valentina” is about a subculture rarely seen onstage — cross-dressers — and mixes masculinity and femininity in ways that daunted the actors at first, and may do the same to audiences. The play, now in previews, is based on a real Catskills resort where husbands and fathers went in the 1960s to dress and act as women. These were white-collar professionals hobbling in heels, not drag queens sashaying in stilettos; men expressing their femininity without compromising their maleness.

I'm excited to hear about reactions to the play.  Even with the Fierstein's track record, a great cast and what sounds like a top-notch production in every way, there are so many ways for this to go wrong.  I hope they get it right.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I Want Her Outfit

I've been browsing through fashion blogs.  Not the professional ones with impossibly thin models wearing outlandish runway fashions, but the amateur and semi-professional blogs where women show off their every day style and post pictures of other women looking great in outfits that you could see on real people.

That's how I stumbled on to  I Want Her Outfit.   I love most of the posts on this site (although there is a post of a woman wearing pajamas and a headscarf on the street that mystifies me - I know how to look dowdy - I don't need help there - maybe it's a joke, but I don't get it).  I would love to wear those clothes and, of course, look even half as pretty as the women in the pictures.

Although I Want Her Outfit hasn't been updated since last May and only has four months of updates, there are enough fun posts to make a visit worthwhile.

Maybe my favorite thing about I Want Her Outfit is the logo.

I'd love to look and dress like one of the women pictured, at least for a little while.  How amazing to be so pretty.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Brian and Debbie McCloskey

This week LA Weekly published a profile titled Brian and Debbie McCloskey: He Wears a Dress. She's Fine With That

It's a great story about two people who are very much in love with each other.

I've been Facebook friends with Brian for over a year.  He's smart, funny and crazy about Debbie.  I always enjoy seeing a new post from him.  It was so nice to see this warm, respectful article about this very special couple.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pink Heels

This has been an unusually cold, snowy winter in Chicago.  Winter here is often difficult, but this one has been especially challenging.

Chicago winters are gray.  Trees are bare, snow turns from white to gray quickly, days are short and often cloudy.  Many of us dress in gray and black.

When I travel to warmer places during the winter, one of the first things that strikes me is that there are places where there's color in February, red flowers and green trees.

Yesterday, one of the young women in my office wore pink high heels.  The rest of her outfit was very professional, black pants, white blouse, dark blazer, but the pink heels were unexpected and wonderful.  I think it was her way of having fun and reminding herself that spring (and the return of color) is coming.  I was grateful for her reminder and a little jealous, too.