Saturday, July 30, 2011

Early Feminine Influences

I've talked a little bit about influences before but that was in relation to performance not in terms of my dressing in general. As I've said before there wasn't any sudden revelation about wanting to dress as a woman, however there is a moment I can pin-point where I took notice of femininity in a way I hadn't before. Many dressers can name a movie or tv show or singer who sparked somthing in them. Well I have a movie moment that in hindsight did have an impact on me, though I'm not sure I realized much about it at the time.

The film is "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," and the moment is the introduction of Jessica Rabbit. Anybody who's seen the film no doubt knows exactly what I'm talking about. But to be sure we're on the same page here's the scene:

Now this movie came out before I'd hit puberty so the sexual overtones of the scene were somewhat lost on me for a few years. However there are things about Jessica that did strike me even at the time. The character is obviously an exaggeration in terms of a woman's body, namely the size of the bust and those insane hips. However there's one thing that keeps this moment from being exploitive, and that is fact that she holds all the power. From the instant she steps out from behind that curtain she not only has everybody's attention but she is completely dominating the room. The men may hoot and hollar but there's never any question that she is in control of everything going on, she can lure and man in and then cut him down with just a glance. Seeing the power of femininity in that moment is something that has stuck with me... plus I'll admit that I tried to emulate that hip swivel at an young age just trying to figure out the logistics of it (somewhat to my mother's dismay at the time.)
It's funny the moments that make up how I've chosen to express myself as a woman. They're things that I have to really think about to uncover, but now looking back I can see and appreciated how much these moments shaped the woman I try to be. I would never say that moment suddenly made me want to dress as a woman, but when I started to develope that part of myself moments like this did influence my perceptions and choices. You never know what's going to shape you until years later. Funny how that plays out.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

VT Pride Video Diary

Well this was a first for me, but I took a shot at recording video of not only my own performance numbers but also VT Pride in general. This is my first attempt at one of these videos but I'm rather happy with. I think it also gives you the feel of what it was like at VT pride much better than me writing about it could do. So enjoy:

I may put up isolated video of my full performance numbers if there's interest. Otherwise I think this works as a highlight reel.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Time for Pride Again!

I'm not really sure why I had thought I'd get back down to NYC every few months to see friends and do a show. I think it was just the little lie I told myself to make leaving the city a little easier, since friends and performing were the only things I was going to miss. I've come to terms with the fact that isn't really in the cards, and I'll be lucky to get down there once a year. The point being that my excitement at being able to perform in VT Pride is extremely high.

Image taken from a video my wife Laura took from last year's Pride.

Details for the Pride Festival are here but the short version is that performances start at 1pm at Battery Park in Burlington. Yes it's suppused to be blazing hot but it's right by the lake so there might be a nice breeze coming off the water... god I hope so. I'll be doing two numbers, one of my old favorites and also a brand new one. Hope to see anybody in the area come out for the fun!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I'm going to warn people up front, this one is going to get ranty. Prostitution is a bit of an odd topic for me to tackle as it's not something I've ever engaged in, nor do I ever plan to. However I've known enough people who have and seen enough news stories about transgendered prostitutes being abused or killed that I've formed some pretty strong opinions all the same. I'll get to the punchline first: legalize it already!

The image of the prostitute is poor, drug addicted abuse victims and I'm aware that does happen. However not all those who engage in the practice do so out of desperation or are forced into it. I've known more than a few who are prostitutes completely by choice because at the end of the day they enjoy it. I'm not trying to belittle those who are abused and forced because I understand that does happen. But part of the reason that happens is because it's illegal. Most of the terrible things about being a prostitute (drugs, rape, etc) either happen because it's an illegal act or are at least made worse by that fact. The reason prostitutes are such easy targets for those who abuse them is that they can't go to the police without incriminating themselves as prostitutes. This means that they won't report if they are beated or raped and their abusers know this.

Despite appearances I'm not working the street corner. Photo by Banafsheh Ehtemam.

In addition to that issue there's simply no logical reason why it is illegal. It is the perfect embodiment of a victimless crime. Some may say that the prostitutes themselves are the victims, but as stated that's a situation caused by and made worse by its illegality. What logical sense does it make for a person to be legally forbidden to do something for money that they can do for free with no reprocussions. Sex is perfectly legal, only the money changing hands makes it a crime. Yet there's nothing illegal about the act in question itself, how does that make sense?

It makes even less sense if you take porn into account. Think about it: if a man meets a woman (or dresser, transwoman, what have you,) takes her back to his place, has sex with her and gives her money for it then it's a crime. But if that same man takes that same woman back to his place, gives her money to have sex, video tapes it, gets her to sign a release and then sells that video it's just business. How does the involvement of a camera and additional commerce suddenly take the curse off it? Again it just makes no sense.

So come folks, can we get off our outdated moral high horse and just legalize it already? Regulate it, liscence it (clean bill of health being the main prequisite,) prosicute those who don't get a liscence, then tax the heck out of it. It's called "the world's oldest profession" for a reason and it's not going away. If somebody of their own free will wants to use their own body and god given talents to make a living who are we to tell them no?

Ok, rant's over. Move along now.