Thursday, August 13, 2015

Transgender Issues more visible in the Media - surely a good thing?

Have you noticed what a 'glut' of programming there has been over the last year or two that focus on or include transgender characters and/or issues? There are those groundbreaking series like 'Orange is the New Black' starring Laverne Cox that have become incredibly popular series in their own right. Then there have been 'smaller' projects like 'Transparent' by Amazon Studios tucked away on their growing streaming service. Starring the great actor Jeffrey Tambor the programme deals with a family and their discovery that the person they have always known as their father is transgender. Tambor has won a Golden Globe in the role and the series won Golden Globe for best Television Series. It is now in it's third series and is required viewing for many who consider themselves mainstream.

Add to these critically acclaimed series other programmes like ABC's 'Dirty Sexy Money' that have recurring transgender characters and the plethora of reality programmes currently on view and there has never been a better time it would seem for the general populace to be educated about transgender folk. Most will have heard of 'I am Cait' tracing the follow on of Bruce Jenner from  Kardashian clan member to setting out on her own as Cait. But make sure to check out two more reality programmes 'Becoming Us' and 'I am Jazz' that we think will appeal especially to the younger generations and are being well received.

Is there too much too soon? Are studios and producers trying to jump on the next 'hot thing' in terms of issue-driven dramas, reality programmes and films or is any good publicity around these issues good publicity? I guess it depends on how the producers, writers and directors treat the subject matter. They need to do their research and not go for easy characatures when creating scripts and if shooting reality programmes not make the subjects look like freaks as often happened in the 70's and 80's with gay characters in the media.

Jill Soloway the creator of 'Transparent' was inspired by her own experience since her father is transgender. So not only is she writing from a truthful place but she is also an incredibly talented artist with past credits as a writer including 'Six Feet Under'. Furthermore, Soloway, after the initial series actively sought out trans-writers to ensure ongoing authenticity. This recipe where you seek out the truth and use the best talent will always work to produce intelligent, entertaining and issue-based viewing. 

I have been pleasantly surprised hearing conversations about these programmes in the general public. Of course most talk is about 'I am Cait' since many of the older generations remember Jenner winning his Olympic gold medal. Coupled with his re-emergence in recent years as part of the Kardashian family exploits and now transforming into Cait. This is a good thing and hopefully the people around Cait are mindful of their responsibility to Cait, the transgender community as a whole and the general viewing populace

Those in the media can make a great difference on how these issues are understood by us all and how society moves foward to be more understanding and less frightened of people and things who they perceive as 'different'. I have no fears for the younger generations since they appear to be so much more in tune with modern day life via social media and so much more 'chilled out' about differences, whether race, religion, gender or sexuality. A couple of months ago I attended a presentation ceremony for young 16 and 17 year old girls who had just completed a week long leadership programme at a university in NJ. One recipient that received the most applause was a boy - the only one on the course. It was explained to the audience that this person attended the course a year ago just prior to transitioning and that now this 'young man' was about to join the Marines. On the way home I asked my attendee daughter how everyone related to this situation to which she replied "Dad, we don't have the hang-ups and preconceptions your generation do. There were no issues at all since most of us just take people at face value and we actually like people and things that are 'different'; it's interesting".

It's estimated there are approximately 700,000 transgender individuals in the United States. In a recent GLAAD/Harris Interactive Poll 90% said they new or had known someone gay/lesbian or bisexual but that only 8% could say they new or had known a transgender person. This would seem to imply that for 92% of the American population, their only point of contact with the transgender community is via the media. If that doesn't concentrate the minds of the media to act in a responsible way then I'm not sure what will. So let's all watch to see how this plays out and hopefully the early signs of the past year or two will continue to present positive messaging. I for one feel confident that with the influx of transgender issues illuminated in the media and the younger generation coming on behind, the world will eventually be a better place.

For more articles dealing with transgender issues and crossdressing visit the learning/tip section of and/or follow our blog or sign up to the online Newsletter on the website.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Occasionally Ava- The Story of a Beautiful Cross Dresser

Every cross dresser has their own journey on what made them who they are today. Some dress all the time and enjoy going out in femme and others prefer to dress in the comfort of their own home. takes pride in being able to share each individual's story.

Our friend, Ava has been kind enough to take the time to let us in on her very humbling life. She is such a beautiful individual inside and out so we are so grateful we get to share this with all of you.

Ava's interest in femininity started way back to when she was in preschool. She finds comfort in dressing occasionally and talking to others like herself online.  Sharing her story and her beauty with the world is something really special, and although she cannot become an activist right now as she someday wishes, we hope her story will add some comfort to your life like others have done for her.

"The oldest of four brothers, I grew up in a middle class family on the Norwegian Atlantic Coast. My parents are loving, hard-working people, not rich but we had what´s important in life. Christian Faith was dominant in a way, although I have tried not to impose this on my own children, yet still I don’t think religion had any influence on my girly development.

My first transgenderish memories go back to preschool years. The girl next door wore dresses and pantyhose in the playground and I remember envying her. Through adolescence I read all I could find on girl stuff; my mother´s magazines on fashion and  makeup, interviews with beautiful celebrities and especially makeover pieces. Though I mostly identified as a boy, I never found interest in sports and spent much time alone making different stuff, sewing, drawing, doing woodwork, playing with mechanics. Socially I was kind of a hermit and I never revealed my inner feelings to anyone.   

Then came the army, college, university, marriage and family. I got busy doing typical young professional and father things and the girly urges were gone for twenty years. I thought I was cured, of course, finally settled as a MAN! Then everything came back in my late thirties, at my despair, and dealing with it took a lot of energy. I started showing signs of depression and my wife, who is an extraordinary woman, worried about me. One evening, in a restaurant, I told her I am a transvestite. This wasn´t planned, but I was exhausted from keeping secrets from her and it just slipped over the table. She freaked out and raised the expected “you are gay? You want to leave me?” questions, but we held it together and she relaxed gradually. She has come to terms with it now, but wants no part in it and does not want to see me en femme. 

Since then, I have found a sense of comfort in being an occasional cross dresser. I ponder less than before and find it relaxing but even more important, as a source of like-minded friends all over the world. From the girls I have met I feel us to be so similar in many ways; in acceptance, empathy and generally liberal attitudes to life and work. The feeling that I am one of thousands, maybe millions, is crucial to my self-esteem and sense of security in life.

I do not go out dressed. Clubbing has never attracted me as I am basically an introvert but still, I find great joy in being with other girls in safe and quiet settings. If I were to go out regularly, it would be with a dream of not drawing attention, just being accepted as a tall, good looking person. The aesthetics of human beauty are universal to me. I try not to see specific “female” and “masculine” forms, rather a distinction between rough/empowered and soft/sophisticated ones. 

Our culture assigns rough/empowered expressions to men with women gradually adopting them, while the soft/sophisticated ones remain women only. I hope this will change and if I were single, I might become an activist for the cause. Being a father of three in a small town though, I see this choice might expose my dearest ones in a way I cannot control. Thus, I will probably wait for my kids to grow up and leave the nest before I take my female passions to the next level. 

Thank you to Glamour Boutique for being a safe harbor and inspiration to us all, and for presenting our stories."



If you would like to share your story with please contact us at We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Cross Dresser's Quick Guide to Women's Shoes

Are you a 'shoe whore' with a closet full of wedges, stilettos, and even thigh length boots or do you have just a single pair of shoes that has to cover all dressing occasions? Are you new to dressing and bamboozled by all the choices before you. Well, if you don't know your Christian Louboutin's stiletto's from your Chanel pumps here's a quick breakdown of the most popular styles of ladies shoes. 

There are of course many more but these are the most common styles we are asked about. Do bear in mind that there are many variations within each different style; for example, a Mary Jane can be a flat, it can have a 3" block heel and it can even come in a platform version.

When shopping for shoes the quick terminology will help you find what you are looking for whether you are shopping in person at the local stores in your mall or online at your favorite crossdressing store when looking for those larger sizes.

If you are a novice to ladies shoes do yourself and your 'piggies' a favor and start with no more than a 3" heel. That way you will not only achieve some nice feminine calf definition with the elevated height but you will also be able to walk quite comfortably. If starting out there is a big difference between a 3 and a 4 inch heel. Remember also that if you do want to have high heels of 5" plus that if you find shoes with some platform on the sole it will make walking much easier than just a flat soled stiletto, for example.

Make sure you know your size in ladies shoes which will also save time and make sure you find the right fitting shoe every time.'s ladies shoes tend to run to the following conversion for men: for closed toe shoes go up 2 sizes from your male shoe and for open-toes go up 1.5 sizes from your male size to get the correct ladies shoe size.

If you need any assistance gauging fit or style for shoes or simply would like an opinion on what may be right for your outfit then feel free to contact us via the website. Go to our Learning Center for more articles on shoes, walking in high heels and other advice for crossdressers.