Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

If there's anything that comes close to a true cross-dresser's holiday it's Halloween. It's the one time of year you can dress basically however you want and it's perfectly ok. Granted if you're in the closet and dress as the opposite gender every year friends might start to wonder but aside from that all bets are off and all looks are welcome. I have to admit that before coming out I wasn't one to use Halloween as a cross-dress day but I know plenty of other dressers who did. For myself I use Halloween as an excuse to break out the costume items that just don't get much use. Let's be honest unless I have a performance number making use of it I don't have much opportunity for things like nurse outfits, maid uniforms, or saloon dancer dresses. Yet I own all of these things. So I have to wear them sometime!

Let's be honest, costumes are just fun! For me I've always been partial to the darker side of things. Not necessarily gory, just macabre. Dark colors, images of death, etc, etc. I guess it's when my inner goth comes out to play. I suppose that's why when I actually did do a Halloween number as a nurse it had to be horrific and twisted BDSM version of a nurse.

This year I went for something a bit more home-made. I ordered a new shirt and a "utility" belt of sorts" but the rest is all stuff I already had. The results: instant Vampire Slayer! It had been my original hope to make use of my chain-mail shirt (yes I own a real chain-mail shirt) but it made me look like a line-backer. Definitely not what I was going for. It did mean though that I got to make use of my weapon's collection which definitely deserves a bit more play that it gets.

Photo by Laura. More picture of this outfit can be seen here.

Hope everybody has a great Halloween and gets to dress up as something fun. Even if only for yourself.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Not About Sex

This is something that I feel the need to clarify. Everywhere I've made my presence known (myspace, facebook, flickr, and even in real life) there are men (and it's always men) who approach me like some piece of fuckable meat. I don't mind being flirted with, however I despise being hit on. Yes there is a difference, hitting on a girl is what guys who don't know how to flirt do. I've even been propositioned a few times, which is at first oddly flattering (especially when the offer is high) and then deeply insulting. I know for many dressers out there putting on the closes of the opposite gender is a deeply sexual and sensual experience, a fetish even. I pass no judgement on dressers like that, but it's not me.

Photo by Laura

To be clear I certainly can feel sexy when I'm dressed, and I usually do. I'm deeply narcissistic and I know that, I'd totally do me. That said I'm capable of feeling sexy as a man as well. I do have to admit that feeling sexy as a man and feeling sexy as a woman are distinctly different experiences. But feeling sexy about something doesn't automatically make it a sexual act. I don't dress for the purposes of getting off. And I certainly don't do it to try to get other people off.

I dress because there's a feminine side of my personality that is not properly expressed in my day to day life. I don't consider Vera to be my "true self" and I'm somehow repressing that. That's why I don't consider myself a transexual. I'm perfectly at home in both my male and female personas. I dress as a form of personal, even spiritual, release. I dress so I can take center stage and wow a crowd. I dress for pictures that I can look at later and feel a sense of pride that I can look that good. In short I dress for me. Not for horny men who think I'm some fetishistic ideal.

Photo by Laura

All of this is a rather long winded way of basically saying "No, I have no interest in your penis" to any and all men who send me countless crude messages. I'll take your admiration gladly, even your lust if you can be respectful about it. But keep your body parts and any mention of them to yourself.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Take Me Back to Manhattan (Well.... Brooklyn Actually)

I had known that I'd get back to New York City at some point to see friends and maybe do a show, and this past weekend that's just what happened. Through a bit of serendipity a wedding in CT that Laura and I were going to was the same weekend as Switch N Play's Open Drag Night. As a former member of the group I was eager for the chance to not only perform but see them and some of the regulars again. It was a perfect opportunity that we couldn't pass up.

From left to right Melina Malice, myself, Max Satisfaction, Manny Mango and K. James. Photo by Laura.

Visiting New York City was a rather surreal experience. I suppose part of what made it weird is that Laura and I haven't really been gone all that long (though it feels like forever.) Driving through our old neighborhood almost nothing had changed... except the supermarket we used to shop at was gone and there was a new liquor story next door to our old apartment building. Guess we dodged a bullet on that one. Overall though driving through the city again was a bit like seeing an old friend... and realizing you never really liked them all that much.

Not to say it wasn't worth it, because it totally was. But that's because of the friends that we got to see again, and had nothing to do with the city itself. We got to have dinner with Syd London and catch up (damn that girl is busy as hell!) After that we had to get all done up to hit Outpost Lounge in Brooklyn for the show. I resurrected my take on Aretha Franklin's "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" that I'd done for VT Pride (seriously is there a song more custom made for cross-dressers?) Much more exciting though was a brand new number that I did with Laura's drag king persona Vaughn Amore. We'd done a number together before we left the city and it was great to come back and bring down the house again as a team.

Video by Melina Malice

As much fun as performing was the best thing without a doubt was seeing old friends. So to Syd, Bianca, Max, Manny, Kel, Melina, Lola, Minnie, Colin, Maria and everybody else who came out: I miss you guys! And don't worry, I'll be back as soon as the next opportunity arrises. Sadly that probably won't be until next year, what with all the house buying madness and then the holidays baring down. Fear not, I'll make it worth the wait!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stifling the Youth

When I went to work I came in on the tail end of a story that a co-worker was telling some of the other people in her office. She was telling them that she had asked her young son (I never did catch his exact age) what he wanted to be for halloween. He had said he wanted to be a witch. His father had asked if he wanted to be a warlock, which is basically a boy who can do magic. The boy apparently made it very clear that he wanted to be a witch, not a warlock, but a witch.

It was a cute story, but it also underlined a problem: paranoid parents. After she'd finished the story she had made it clear that she wasn't going to let him go out as a witch. She didn't say this harshly or even that she was genuinely frightened, but it was still clear from her tone that she was praying this didn't point to something deeper about her son. She laughed it off with her co-workers but I still could sense the apprehension. I'm sure that cross dressing isn't the only area this happens in. I'm sure there are parents that have similar reactions to boys who want to take up ballet or girls who want to take shop class. It's an understandable one really, and it's certainly not meant to cause any harm but it's the kind of reaction that can lead to greater confusion down the line.

Wow... look at that a well adjusted cross dresser with a loving spouse. See parents? It can be ok.

First off, not every little boy who puts on a dress is going to grow up to be a crossdresser. Part of the beauty of children is their innocence and part of what's funny about them is how fickle they are. They can have an interest in something that will die out within a month. To put it another way, all people who live in New York also live in America. But not all people who live in America live in New York. Same thing here: nearly all dressers start dressing young (there are pictures of me at about three years old in a tutu,) but not all children who cross dress at young age continue to do so into adulthood. It's called playing dress up, and it's not only harmless it's also healthy.

I'm sure she meant well as a parent but she's planting the early seeds of shame and embarassment. The notion that what her son wants to do is somehow wrong. Even if she never puts it in those words that's still the intention and it's something that will be instilled for life. It's very important to let kids, especially young ones, dabble freely without judging them. Now if her son still wants to dress as a witch for Halloween at the age of 13 then yes it's time for a talk to better understand him. But until them just let the kid be a damn witch.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Looking Down the Barrel of a Very Packed Month

One of the things that was appealing about moving to Vermont was the thought of being able to slow down after having spent the last six years in busy cities (Boston and then New York.) Both Laura and I were looking forward to settling down into a more easy going existance in the place where we want to spend the rest of our lives. Well it might be relaxing a bit later but October is shaping up to be one hell of a busy month, though thankfully it's mostly for good reasons.

First off an update on the house hunting. The house we had made an offer on at the time I wrote about this before went to somebody else who made a higher bid. Ultimately both Laura and I feel this was for the best because we found a house we like even more and our offer was just accepted on it. Now it's just a matter of the inspection to make sure it won't fall down in a month and then we just have to close on it. This is extremely exciting, and while it's not ours until after closing this is still a big step. Once the seller accepts our offer they really can't back out and sell to somebody else unless we change our minds (which we're allowed to do based on what the inspection turns up.) We had to jump through even more hoops than I mentioned in my previous rant but it looks like it'll finally all be worth it.

Dressed as a Saloon Gal (one of my three Halloween outfits from last year)

Next up Laura and I will be going to a friend's wedding in CT next weekend. This puts us close enough to New York to be able to make an appearance at the Switch N Play's Octorber 8th Open Drag Night. Switch N Play is a drag troupe out of Brooklyn of which I was a memember while I was living in NYC. I was the only drag queen in the line up as all the other members were drag kings, and I have to say I really miss those guys! So anybody who's in the NYC area can catch me tearing up the stage for old time's sake at the Outpost Lounge in Brooklyn. You know you want to see it! Stopping in Brooklyn also means that Laura and I get to see Syd which is always a great time, plus she'll be shooting the show so expect some hot pictures in the future.

And let's not forget Halloween! Always been a favorite holiday, just because I love to get all dressed up (but you knew that already.) I have a costume that I'm working on getting the last few pieces for, and I'm hesitant to say what it's going to be for fear of jinxing it and not being able to delivery on my plans. Aw hell with it: I'm assembling a Vampire Hunter custome. Not any specific vampire slayer (I'm not trying to be Buffy,) just a more general killer of blood-suckers. I've got most of what I need I just need to fine tune it and pick up some prop items. So fingers crossed that I'm able to pull this off.

Now that we're in October I had to break out this picture! Photo by Art-i-ficial Photography.

Finally to wrap it all up October is also the month of Laura's birthday and our wedding anniversary! Four years of wedded bliss and counting. It may not seem like much but since most divorces happen within the first three years we've already beaten the odds. Not that there was ever any question! Now I just need to figure out what to do for her birthday... which frankly I kind of suck at. Well not totally suck (I've at least gotten better in the gift department) but she's so awesome at planning places to go or things to do and just generally making the whole thing special. Basically she's so much better at birthdays than I am so I kind of suck by comparison. We'll see how I do this time around... wish me luck!