february 2015 issue



february 2015 issue
Pretty T Girls
February 2015
The Magazine for the most beautiful girls in the world
A publication of Pretty T Girls Yahoo group
In This Issue
Editorial By: Barbara Jean
The Crossdressers Wife-The First Time
10 Beautiful Women Who Were Born Men
Shaving Tips By: FemmeFever
Coming Next Month
8 Beauty Mistakes and How to Fix Them
7 Tips for Perfect Brows
How to Use an Eyeshadow Quad
A Lesson In Tightliner: Eyeliner That Makes Your Eyes Look Bigger
The Adventures of Judy Sometimes
Módhnóirí by: Barbara Marie
Tasi’s Musings
Angels In The Centerfold
Mellissa’s Tips
5 Outfits That Hide Love Handles
Tasi’s Fashion
How to Walk in High Heels Without Pain
Golden Rule of Fashion
Lucille Sorella
The Occasional Woman - Footwear
11 Timeless Style Tips Everyone Should Follow
How Does a Transsexual Woman Shop for Clothes In Stores
The Gossip Fence
Shop Till You Drop
An Editorial by: Barbara Jean
Dysphoria, a feeling of ill at ease, an extreme unhappiness. For someone who is an alcoholic, a drug
addict, it is a dysphoria that has caused them to turn to the drugs or alcohol in an attempt to relieve, or
escape the dysphoria, a dysphoria that may be due to family life or job, or some other reason.
Gender dysphoria, it is said to be an ill at ease or unhappiness over one’s gender, but is it really over our
gender, or is it because of the situation we have been put into because of our gender?
For the pre-transition transsexual the dysphoria is really not of their gender but being forced to live as a
member of the opposite gender. For the one who is in transition the dysphoria might be the inability to
obtain the desired surgery, or inability to get a good job because they are transgender. Even for the
crossdresser it may be that they are forced to remain in the closet due to job or family. Many of us are
dysphoric because we feel we do not pass as a woman.
Many of us have suffered immense loss because we are transgender. Divorce because the wife could not
accept, I know one who was told she would never be able to see her son unless she was dressed as a
man. Others have loss the jobs because they were transgender.
No doubt dysphoria has caused us many problems. I think most of us at one time or more in our lives
have attempted to purge ourselves of our feminine side. Throw away clothes, go into some macho job,
all in an attempt to be who others say we should be rather than being true to ourselves.
Euphoria, so many of us become euphoric when we step out of the closet into the public for the first
time, to hear someone call us Miss or Mamm, to step into a ladies room, to try on a dress at a clothing
store. All of these can be situations where we feel extremely happy, happy to be able to outwardly
express our inner self.
For years gays have had pride celebrations, showing the world that they are proud to be different from
what society deems the norm, to be gay. In recent years we have started to see transgender pride also.
Yes, we as crossdresser and transsexuals have good reason to be proud. Not pride in bucking the social
norm, but pride in displaying our true person.
Our true person, one of the things I have said for some time is that we do not rid ourselves of our
masculine side, but we have come to express our feminine side.
In her book “How To Be A Woman Though Male” Virginia Prince had a list of masculine and feminine
characteristics. OK, yes the book and the list are 50 years old, but I think there is much to be said about
her list. To both the masculine and the feminine there are both good and bad qualities or characteristics.
We have come to recognize, accept and retain the good qualities of the masculine, things like being
strong, determined, practical, being a leader. But we have also learned to express not hide our feminine
side. Things like being emotional and showing our feelings, having compassion and caring for others,
being kind and loving, expressing a like for beauty, being more gentle.
Pride, why shouldn’t we be proud, we have gone not from being a man to being a woman, but on to
being a whole and complete person, a combining of both the masculine and the feminine. It is
something that I think we should be proud of.
It is said that those who are most homophobic are hiding their gayness, that they really wish they were
gay, but are fearful of repercussions. I think the same can be said for those who are transphobic, they
really wish they could express themselves as we do, and yet are fearful of repercussions.
The Crossdressers’ Wife — The First Time
(reprinted from TG Forum)
So many crossdressers wives have no clue that this is a life long condition that begins at 7-10 years of
age. Those crucial years when little boys begin their pre-pubescent stage. However, there is that tiny
percentage, approximately 1% of the population that grows up a bit different from the norm and crossdressing is a case in point. It is abnormal, unusual and most often so difficult to explain.
How many of you have gone back in time to the first time you ever crossdressed? When was the first
time you had a desire to dress up in women’s/girl clothing? What were you feeling? Was it all pleasure?
Any fears? What was that like? How much do you recall? The silk? Was it your mother’s clothing or
your sister’s? Did you ever tell anyone then? Did you get caught? How did you feel after the first time?
How long did it take you to crossdress again?
I pose these questions for a multitude of reasons. Your wives want to know! They sent me to seek out
answers. Knowing that 70% of CDs do NOT tell their wives the truth about themselves before marriage
— when we do find out — we have questions and a lot of our husbands are still withholding the truth.
Time is up for many . . .
Why is it important to do an autopsy on this condition? The more we know, the more empowered we
will all be — especially CDs and their wives/partners. Please do this exercise. Revisit in your mind the
first time you ever thought about crossdressing or did crossdress.
So many scared CD husbands have contacted me over the years, asking for advice. How do I tell my
wife of 20 years that I am crossdressing? Answer: Tell her everything — from the genesis of your
condition to your current stage. Tell her what that little boy was feeling and fearing. It is so important for
your partner to understand that this is something that has been with you for life — and the feelings are
not changing — they escalate. Let her see that confused young boy inside of you (this will help her to
have more compassion and understanding).
When many crossdressers wives discover that their husbands were boys when they began crossdressing,
for many of us it is a relief in some ways. This means your wife and your marriage has NOTHING to do
with you being a crossdresser. Some crossdresser husbands try to blame their condition on their wives. “I
wouldn’t be doing this if you blah blah blah. “? BS. Of course you would still be crossdressing — do not
blame this on your wife. It is not her fault — nor is it yours. EXCEPT for the honesty factor — that is
your responsibility. And I would start with the whole truth and do not forget to say, I AM SO SORRY
FOR LYING TO YOU. Some never even have the decency to say they are sorry for pulling the rug out
from under their wives — the ones they are supposed to love, adore and protect.
How many of you have ever been in therapy? For those of you who did tell their wives, how did you tell
her? Can you offer others, who want to save their marriage, advice on what worked for you when you
told your wife/partner that you are a crossdresser? Did any of you bring your wife to a therapist to tell
What happened to those who were caught crossdressing? Have you ever told your wife the whole truth
about your first time? If so, what was her reaction?
The majority of the population has no idea about what causes crossdressing, when it starts, how it starts,
and of course the wives are often the most clueless ones. And they are also the ones who are so often
hurt by the lies that often accompany most crossdressers.
Some free advice — if you have not told your wife yet — time is ticking. She will find out. It is a matter
of time. How you handle this situation could determine the trajection of your marriage. If anyone is interested in a consultation, please contact me at [email protected]
Dee A Levy
10 Gorgeous Women Who Were Born As Men
Many people don’t realize that transsexual models are popping up in magazines and on runways
everywhere. These gorgeous women who were born as men have changed the face of transexual and
transgender, bending all the rules, true rebels. And when you’re looking at the photos remember that
these 10 gorgeous women were born as men!
Which one of these women could you tell were once men? Which one was your favorite?
Serbian Australian model Andrej Pejic is androgynous and
famous for his ability to model both male and female
clothing. In January 2011's Paris fashion shows he walked
both the men's and women's shows for Jean-Paul Gaultier
and the men's shows for Marc Jacobs. He has also ranked
#18 on the models.com Top 50 Male Models list while
simultaneously being ranked #98 in FHM's "100 Sexiest
Women in the World 2011."
Brazilian model Roberta Close was the first pre-operative
transsexual model to pose for the Brazilian edition of
Playboy magazine. After undergoing gender reassignment
surgery in 1989, Close posed nude for a Brazilian men's
magazine called Sexy and was then voted "Most Beautiful
Woman in Brazil."
Hard to believe that Claudia Charriez was born a man, right? Her
transsexuality has not stopped her from becoming an international model.
Charriez was kicked off of America's Next Top Model and The Janice
Dickinson Modeling Agency TV shows in 2008, but went on to win the
America's Next Top Transsexual Model contest on The Tyra Banks Show
later that year
Brazilian Lea T. was born Leandro Cerezo in 1981, but that didn't stop her
from becoming one of the most famous transsexual fashion models in the
industry today. Lea has been called the muse of high fashion design house
Born Darrell Walls in 1985,
American model Isis King gained
notoriety when she became the first
transgender contestant ever to
appear on the modeling reality
show America's Next Top Model.
King competed on two seasons of
the show.
Thailand's own Sirapassorn
(AKA Sammy) Atthayakorn
was named Miss International
Queen in 2011's pageant.
India's Malika is a trans woman who has undergone four surgeries and
countless other medical procedures to become the woman she feels
she was meant to be at birth. In 2011 she became the first Indian to be
chosen to compete in the annual Miss International Queen competition
in Thailand, a beauty pageant for transgendered people.
Argentinian Florencia De La V began life in 1976 as
Roberto Carlos Trinidad, but she has since gone on to
be one of the most recognizable transgendered
actresses in the world. De La V has appeared on soap
operas, in magazines, in clubs, and was once the editor
of a magazine. She is currently married to a man and
the mother to twin babies conceived via surrogate.
Sri Lankan model Chamila (AKA Chami) Asanka is an up-andcomer in the world fashion industry. She was also a 2011
contestant in the Miss International Queen pageant.
Caroline "Tula" Cossey (nee Barry Kenneth Cossey) is an
English model who is one of the best-known trans women
in the world. Cossey had a small role in the James Bond
movie The Living Daylights, posed for Playboy, and wrote
an autobiography about her experiences as a transsexual
model and actress called "I Am A Woman."
Shaving Tips: Closest & Smoothest Shave
By: FemmeFever
(Girls meet our newest contributor to Pretty T Girls Magazine. Karen of FemmeFever.)
Karen is a genetic female who began FemmeFever fourteen years ago. After
exploring the community and seeing the need for a noncommercial, very caring
and helpful resource, she ventured into the transformation and support end of
the spectrum.
Her background is in social work and cosmetology -- a perfect blend for the
community. She also has runway/ modeling experience from "back in the day"
also helps her to share deportment information and guidance for picture posing
as well as enhanced knowledge of the camera.
Her goal is to help all who reach out to realize they can accept and have FUN
with their femme self.
FemmeFever is based out of Long Island, New York. The gals are welcome here to meet, chat, obtain
my services in private and BE THEMSELVES. You can find her website at http://femmefever.com
Check it out for all your needs.
For the closest shave – wait to shave for as many days as possible before planning to go out – More
growth will give you a closer shave.
standard razor blade usuallytouches your skin, so it is able to get closer to the bottom of the hair
follicle. This typicallyresults in a closer and more accurate shave than an electric razor shave.
Use a Quality Razor and Change the Blades
; Always use a good quality sharp razor blade. Be
sure the blade is sharp. You're not just cutting off hair, you're also scraping off up to two layers
of surface skin when you shave. A dull blade is more traumatic to the skin, making your face feel
scratchy and look blotchy - a dull razor is one of the contributing factors to razor burn and
shaving rash. Depending on the toughness of your beard, change the blade somewhere between
every three and every ten shaves, if you shave every day. Two weeks is too long to go without
changing blades. Regardless of the number of shaves, if the blade becomes dull, ditch it.
Always shave after a warm bath or shower. The warm water will open your pores and soften
the hairs. Consequently the hairs are easier to cut. Make Sure Your Beard is Thoroughly Wet
One of the keys to a great close shave without irritation or razor burn is to make sure your beard
is thoroughly wet. Facial hair will absorb moisture up to 30% of its volume. Hair swollen with
water becomes quite weak and therefore easier to cut. Showering before shaving is the ideal way
to ensure you beard is properly moistened. If a shower is not possible, rinse your face and then
apply a warm moistened towel to your face for at least a couple of minutes. This is the technique
that barbers use. Never shave cold or apply shaving products to a dry face - this is one of the
leading causes of razor burn and shaving rash.
Use a shaving cream that has a high concentration of lubricants (eg silicones) and moisturizers.
The best shaving creams create a rich creamy lather and do not foam up like the cheaper drug
store brands. The less "foaming" in the shave cream the better, as it is what is in contact with the
skin and beard that matters - all else is wasted. Less resistance, less irritation and less nicks also
mean a longer lasting blade! While the primary function of the shaving cream is to lubricate your
face so that the razor will glide smoothly and effortlessly across the surface, it also serves to lock
the moisture into the whiskers, keeping them soft and upright, primed for the cut. The ideal
scenario is to leave the shaving cream on your face for at least a minute before you begin cutting,
so that the beard is as soft and wet as possible.
Shave in you hair-growth direction. Use short, light strokes until you cover the entire area.
Rinse with cold water pat dry with a soft towel. The cold water will close your pores and tighten
your skin.
More Tips:
A Shaving Brush is One of the Best Tools
One of the best tools you can use to achieve the optimum
shave is a shaving brush (as top barbers do). A shaving brush does a couple of things. First, it helps
raise the hair so that a closer cut is possible. Second, it helps create a rich creamy lather with the shaving
cream that stays close to the skin. And, finally, it helps remove dead skin cells (exfoliation) which
reduces the chance of blemishes, razor bumps and also helps the skin look and feel smooth and healthy.
Always look for a shaving brush with bristles that have the right balance between softness (to create a
rich creamy lather that stays close to the skin) and resistance to raise the beard (making a closer cut
1. Apply the shaving cream using the brush in a circular motion ending in an upward stroke to help lift
the beard up and away from the face.
2. As to which brand of razor to use - we think you can't go wrong with any of the Gillette Mach series.
Of course there are very high quality and expensive razors available at specialty retailers that you may
want to try.
Rinse your blade under hot water before you begin to shave and after every few
swipes. This removes the accumulated shaving cream, whiskers, and skin gunk. The use of hot
water here is to help lubricate
3. Use the Razor Properly ; Ideally shave in the direction of the beard growth. Start with the sides,
then the moustache area and last the chin. The chin hairs are the toughest, so this allows them the most
time to soften under the shave cream.
Shaving against the direction of hair growth gives a closer shave,
but has two drawbacks: A. It's a good way to donate blood, and You run a high risk of cutting off a hair
below skin level, causing an ingrown hair (razor bumps) - the whisker grows into the surrounding tissue
instead of out of the pore, resulting in inflammation and possible infection.
4. ….
To avoid these shaving problems, again, shave "with the grain" (that is, in the direction your hair
grows). Each person's facial hair has its own growth pattern. If you are unsure of the direction of your
beard, let it grow for a day or two and you'll see it.
5. You also need to let the razor do the work - do not press too hard or it will cause razor bumps
(ingrown hair)and razor burn. By the way, you do NOT need special razor bump products - 99% of the
razor bump problem will be solved by not pressing too hard, shaving with the grain and using a good
shaving cream.
6. If you want an even Closer Shave
If you wish to achieve an even closer shave (as many barbers do)
apply some more lather from your brush (add more cream if necessary) to the areas you wish to shave
again. Keep everything moist. This is one of the extra advantages of using a brush. For most guys,
re-shaving certain areas with the grain should do the job. Professional barbers, by the way, usually first
shave with the grain, and then re-shave going sideways - but they're trained professionals!
Rinse the
blade thoroughly before you put it away. (The water temperature isn't going to have any impact on
bacteria; you're rinsing the blade to get rid of hairs, shaving cream, oils, and gunk, not to kill bacteria.
You'd need to boil the razor for that or rinse it in alcohol, which is not necessary.) After rinsing, shake
the razor, but do not wipe the blade with a towel or tissue - that will just make it dull faster.
7. Cleanse and Soothe After Shaving
After shaving, when the skin is most vulnerable, rinse the face
with warm water and use a facial wash that has a high concentration of tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic
that is ideal to help cleanse and protect from spots and shaving rash) and witch hazel (for its soothing,
healing and astringent properties).
8. Rinse with the coolest water that is comfortable and pat dry with a clean towel. (Don't rub! Just
Coming Next Month
Wigs, Wigs, Wigs.. How much do you know about wigs? Many of us are not blessed with that beautiful
head of crowning glory and so we must depend on the wig to compensate for what we naturally do not
have. Some, even though they have a beautiful head of hair will still on occasion wear a wig to make a
quick change of color or style.
Girls I want you all to give a special thanks to Karen of FemmeFever as she is going to supply us with a
five part series on wigs. How do you choose a wig, what is the difference in synthetic and human hair
wigs and which should you get, how to care for your wig, how long will it last, how do you store it if
you can’t put it up on a block? These and many more will be answered by her in this series.
Do you have a question that you would like for her to answer in this series? Drop her a line at
[email protected]
Karen is a genetic female who started femmefever 15 years ago. After exploring the
community and seeing the need for a noncommercial, very caring and helpful
resource, she ventured into the transformation and support end of the spectrum. The
first year she created FemmeFever, she kept it part time, but after seeing first hand
how many people she could help and after developing a true love and
understanding of the community, she went full time with my services and
incorporated many needed avenues into it to better service the community. This is
the 15th year she have been running FemmeFever full time and exclusively for the
Crossdressing, Transgender Community and their loved ones.
Her background is in social work and cosmetology -- a perfect blend for the community. She has
runway/ modeling experience from"back in the day" also helps her to share deportment information and
guidance for picture posing as well as enhanced knowledge of the camera. Her goal is to help all who
reach out to realize they can accept and have FUN with their femme self. I do this through both paid and
free support and by sharing the information one needs to get started in their journey and by providing
places to go in order to meet others like themselves.
FemmeFever is based out of Long Island, New York. The gals are welcome here to meet, chat, obtain
her services in private and BE THEMSELVES.
Check out Her website at http://femmefever.com
8 Beauty Mistakes You're Probably Making (and
How to Fix Them)
By Real Simple Magazine By Stephanie Abramson
Look and feel your best with these easy ways to head off everyday beauty blunders.
Common Mistake: Using Conditioner All Over Your Hair
Most people apply conditioner as they do shampoo: starting at the top of
the head and working it all through the hair. But the hair closest to the
roots is healthy new growth; it's the ends that are older and more likely to
be damaged. Apart from wasting product, conditioning the roots can
weigh your hair down and make it look greasy, says Gina Lees, a stylist
with the Adolf Biecker Spa, in Philadelphia.
A better way: Starting at your ears, apply conditioner all the way to the
ends. You will gain volume and won't have to wash your hair as often.
Common Mistake: Applying Foundation Without Giving Moisturizer Time to Dry
The creaminess of a moisturizer can cause makeup to thin out if the moisturizer hasn't had enough time
to soak into the skin. "This can result in blotchiness and ultimately limit the amount of coverage your
foundation can offer throughout the day," says Laura Geller, a makeup artist in New York City.
A better way: Wait 60 seconds, until the moisturizer is absorbed. Or, if you're short on time, blot your
face with a tissue after moisturizing, then apply foundation.
Common Mistake: Spraying on Perfume After You Are Dressed
Perfume can stain fabric, and fabric fibers can make perfume smell
unpleasant. "Fragrance is formulated to be applied to the skin, where it
interacts with the heat of the body," says Terry Molnar, executive director
of the Sense of Smell Institute, in New York City.
A better way: Before dressing, lightly dab or spray it onto the skin at one
or two of the "pulse points"―knees, wrists, base of the throat, and behind
the earlobes. And don't rub your wrists together. This breaks down a perfume's molecular structure.
Common Mistake: Plucking Eyebrows Too Close to the Mirror
When you're focused on every little hair, you don't keep track of the shape of the entire eyebrow. The
result? Thin or uneven brows.
A better way: Find a large mirror near a window, then step back a few feet to survey your face, says
Ramy Gafni, owner of RamySpa, in New York City. Brows should be in proportion to your face shape
and the placement and size of your features. Move closer to the mirror and begin tweezing. Step back
after every few hairs to check the symmetry of your brows.
Common Mistake: Neglecting Your Neck
When you take care of your face, don't stop at the chin: The skin on your neck can be thinner and more
sensitive than the skin on your face and just as prone to changes in pigment, elasticity, and texture―and,
yes, to wrinkles.
A better way: When applying sunscreen to your face, keep going, covering your neck and even your
chest. (Spread some on the backs of your hands, too―another vulnerable area.) "A separate neck cream
is not necessary―these are marketing ploys," says Ole Henriksen, owner of the Ole Henriksen Face/
Body Spa, in West Hollywood, California. Your day and night face moisturizers, as well as most treatment creams, should work just as well on your neck. But if you use products containing alpha hydroxy
acids or retinols, do a spot-test first.
Common Mistake: Using Moisturizer to Reduce Puffiness
Around the Eyes
A salty diet, among other things, can cause fluid retention around
the eyes. Step away from the eye cream! Hydrating ingredients
hold water in the skin, so moisturizers and eye creams may make
your eyes look even puffier, says Heidi Waldorf, the director of
laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in
New York City.
A better way: If the skin around your eyes is puffy but not red,
irritated, or itchy, apply a cold compress or an ice pack for 10 to 15
minutes. You could also follow up with a lightweight eye gel containing caffeine, says Waldorf. If your eye area is puffy, red,
irritated, or itchy, see a dermatologist. You may have an allergic
Common Mistake: Using Moisturizer to Reduce Puffiness Around the Eyes
A salty diet, among other things, can cause fluid retention around the eyes. Step away from the eye
cream! Hydrating ingredients hold water in the skin, so moisturizers and eye creams may make your
eyes look even puffier, says Heidi Waldorf, the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount
Sinai Medical Center, in New York City.
A better way: If the skin around your eyes is puffy but not red, irritated, or itchy, apply a cold compress
or an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes. You could also follow up with a lightweight eye gel containing
caffeine, says Waldorf. If your eye area is puffy, red, irritated, or itchy, see a dermatologist. You may
have an allergic rash.
Common Mistake: Overmedicating Blemishes
Ack! You have a breakout. So you blast it with a spot cream. Then, for good measure, you douse it
again. "Most of these treatments contain acids that penetrate the skin for hours after they are applied,"
says Ciraldo. "Overuse can result in a burn that causes redness, peeling, and irritation."
A better way: Follow the directions on the medication's package; most say to use it once or twice a day.
Avoid drying out your skin.
You're Doing Your Brows Wrong: 7 Expert Tips For
Perfect Brows
Rule number one: don't over-pluck.
By Amy Marturana
To paraphrase the Millionaire Matchmaker: "perfect eyebrows — everyone wants them, but not
everyone has them." It is well worth striving for perfection, though, because good brows set a good
foundation for your whole face.To help the over-tweezed amongst us, we turned to Anastasia Soare, a
celebrity brow expert and founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, for tips on grooming and maintaining our
To start with a good base, Soare recommends getting a professional wax — as in, not from your local
nail salon. Most women should get waxed every six to eight weeks, depending on how fast their hair
grows. But if you maintain your brows correctly, you could be able to stretch out that time even further.
If you've got low-maintenance brows, these at-home tips may be all you need.
1. Get the right brow equipment.
Soare recommends to keep these essentials in your makeup bag:
• Tweezers: "A good pair of tweezers will last you a lifetime if you take care of them," she explained.
Get a pair with a slanted tip to you can really get in there are pull out even the finest hairs.
• A brow pencil: If you don't have super full, luscious brows, you'll also need a good pencil or pen.
• A brow powder or wax: because if you're a little sparse, the powder will have nothing to hold onto.
The pomade is waterproof and smudge-proof so it will last all day. "It goes on like a cream but dries
with a powder finish for an extremely natural look."
• A brow brush: You’ll also need a great, stiff brush with a spooley (i.e. the tip of a mascaara wand) at
the end to blend the product to keep it from looking harsh.
A brow gel: Whether it’s clear or tinted, it will keep brows in place all day long and set the look. If you
have light hair, a tinted brow gel can create an extra bold look. Or, you can use a clear brow gel — or
even clear mascara — as a top coat to set your brows.
2. Follow your natural brow shape.
"One of the biggest mistakes I see women making is creating the wrong shape for her face by creating a
brow that is either over or under-arched," Soare explained. To nail the perfect shape, she recommends
following your bone structure for your most complementary brows.
3. Trim the longer hairs occassionally.
Keep a pair of nail scissors handy for this very reason. It's actually an easy way to fake a brow shaping
— just don't go overboard. Trim just the tips of the hair—1-2 millimeters maximum. Then, style with a
pencil as normal.
4. Stop over-tweezing — please!
You might think that when it comes to brows that less is more. But remember, ladies, full brows are always in. "When tweezing your brows, the tendency is to take a hair from one side and try to match it by
taking a hair from the other side. Soon you have over-tweezed brows that take months to grow back,"
Soare warned. To avoid going overboard, start by drawing an outline of your desired shape with your
brow pencil. After creating the blueprint, only tweeze hairs that fall outside the area.
5. Use the right color.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but Soare says she sees women come into her salon every day with
brows that are either way off compared to their hair color. The best way to create balance and definition
(without overpowering your face) is to go about one shade away from your hair color. "If you have very
light hair, you go one to two shades darker. If you have dark hair, choose a shade that is one to two
shades lighter," Soare explained.
6. Conceal stray hairs.
If you have small dark hairs showing through before it's time for your next appointment, pluck them with
your tweezers. Soare also recommended using an opaque highlighter or concealer to highlight the brow
bone and bring definition. It'll also help hide the hairs and tide you over until your next appointment.
7. Ditch the magnifying mirror.
Are you an overplucker? Soare recommended a step away from the magnifying mirror: "It will give you
a false perspective of how your brows actually look." Use your regular old bathroom mirror so you can
see your brows in the greater scheme of things. Seeing them as part of your entire face will help you find
the best shape and know when to stop plucking.
How to Use An Eye Shadow Quad in Real Life
Alexandra Perron
Let’s take a minute to talk about eye shadow quads.
You’ve probably purchased one in the past because,
well, they are really pretty—like little packages of
candy. It’s hard to resist the vibrant colors pressed
into ladylike compacts, let alone the idea of creating
dozens of groundbreaking looks with your new allneon palette.
Unfortunately reality hits pretty soon after you make
the purchase. You’re only using one shade and once
it’s down to a few flecks of powder you’re left with
three tropical shades and no clue how or where to
use them. Now what?
Rule number one? Make sure you like at least two of the colors before you buy a quad says makeup
artist Kristin Hilton (she’s the woman behind Uma Thurman and Allison Williams’ killer red carpet
“If you find yourself looking at those bold colors in your quad thinking you may never wear them, try
using them with an angled brush and apply the color as a liner,” Hilton says. She suggests lightly dusting
any bright pink or peach shades on the apples of your cheeks for a hint of color, or any very dark brown
shades to fill in your brows. But you can use the whole thing on your eye: “I often use the lightest shade
to illuminate the inner corners of the eye, the medium shade blended into the crease or on the lid and the
darkest shade as an eyeliner,” Hilton says.
If it’s a smoky eye you’re after, a quad is your new best friend. Hilton says to start by lining your eye
with a dark brown or black pencil and blend the color upwards and outwards using a smudge brush.
“Next, take your darkest shade and apply it over the dark pencil, blending the color out. The best way to
soften the look is to take your medium shade and blend everything using that. It should go from darkest
to light; focus on bringing the shape outwards to elongate the eye.”
Many of the colors available in quads are limited edition and not always available as a single shadow—
which is what makes them so tempting—but if you’re having trouble finding a quad that works for you,
brands like M.A.C. and Urban Decay let you build your own.
“A quad is going to give you options, and it might also open you up to experimenting with colors you
wouldn’t normally work with,” Hilton points out. “You might actually discover that your favorite color
is the one you would have least expected.”
A Lesson in Tightliner: Eyeliner that Actually Makes Your
Eyes Look Bigger
By Allure Daily Beauty Reporter
by Kayleigh Donahue
Kyle Ericksen/WWD
Raise your hand if you've been here before: You stand in front
of the mirror in the morning, liner in hand, ready to make your
eyes look as dazzling as possible. You use a light touch and a
steady hand--you're an Allure reader, after all--but when you
step back, you realize the skinny rings have somehow managed
to make your eyes look smaller. The good news: If you shift
those very same lines a few millimeters, you'll create the
illusion of big, open eyes without a trace of any obvious
makeup. It's just a matter of nestling the eyeliner pencil
between the roots of your lashes as well as carefully tracing it
along your upper waterline (the rim where your eyelid meets
your eye). Makeup artists call this tightliner or invisible
eyeliner. With a bit of practice and the right pencil
(mechanical, not wood), it's almost impossible to screw up.
How's that for eye-opening?
1. Choose the right tools for the job. If you don't want your line to disappear in the blink of an eye, opt
for a waterproof formula.
2. Line your top waterline. Raise your chin and place your nondominant index finger above the outer
corner of your eye, lifting upward. Then, holding the pencil vertically in your other hand, trace back and
forth under your lashes. Go over it a few times, and stop before you reach the inner corners to prevent
eyes from looking beady.
3. Darken the roots of your top lashes. Gently pull your top lid taut by pressing one finger on the outer
corner. Bury the tip of the pencil deep into your lashes at the outer corner of your eye, wiggling it back
and forth as you move inward. Take your time and don't be afraid to really mash the tip into your lashes.
4. Accentuate your bottom lashes. Holding the pencil just below your inner rim--but not at the
waterline--lightly dash the pencil right at the base of your lashes. For intense color at the root, use a
creamy liner in a pot, like Rimmel London ScandalEyes Gel Eyeliner. It creates the richest, inkiest
color--the best option if you want dense-looking lashes.
5. Clean it up. Run a pointy cotton swab (like Muji Thin Cotton Swabs) dipped in makeup remover
along your top and bottom lids to erase any mess.
6. Curl your lashes. It will solidify the wide-eyed effect you're going for. Then swipe on some black
volumizing mascara, top and bottom.
The Adventures of Judy Sometimes
By: Judy Danials
A surreal moment or two.
A couple weeks back it was decided rather than to fight the crowds on New Years Eve a few of us would
go out to a nice place for dinner and drinks dressed to the nines. After all, what girl can resist a night out
on the town in a pretty dress...not me.
Our choice of venue was a place called Basies, located in our local Ramada Inn. This place holds fond
memories for me as its one of the places I "cut my teeth" on so to speak. My dear friend Careen used to
be a bartender/server in the restaurant and kindly held my hand threw many of my first public bar
experiences oh so many years ago.
As you recall in an earlier post my wife and I had went out shopping for new dresses for this occasion a
couple weeks ago and I was really excited to show off my choice, a sleeveless, deep v with a full skirt
and bolero style jacket in black.
I started my transformation process about for 4:00 and my wife arrived home soon after. Here's where
the first surreal moment takes place. Let me tell you ladies, there is nothing more special than getting
ready for a night out on the town with your wife, especially when you’re going out as two women.
Our plan was to meet up at our favorite watering hole for a drink before heading to the restaurant. My
wife and I were the first to arrive and believe me, (surreal moment #2) it was definitely a weird feeling
walking into a blue collar bar in an evening dress.
Around 7:40 we headed to Basies and our special evening was about to begin. As we entered the lobby
area it was decided that we all needed to freshen up a bit so we headed to the ladies room. All the rest of
the ladies needed to tinkle so I proceeded to just powder my nose and reapply a fresh coat of lipstick. As
I waited off to the side I began watching all of my lady friends primping in the mirror as I had just done
(surreal moment #3). A warm glow suddenly came over me knowing just what a special moment this
had been.
As we entered the restaurant we received quite a surprise, there was a band playing...a country band to
be exact (Basies is known for their Jazz music). Now, it’s been quite some time since I had been here
and the place has been completely remodeled. Basies is definitely known for their fine dining experience
in the past and don't get me wrong, it still is, but being dressed to the nines while listening to a country
band was a little weird to say the least (surreal moment #4).
Basies is also known for their steaks and specialty rubs and tonight was certainly no disappointment as
we all chose a plate full of red meat along with a bottle of wine and a couple of desserts to share. The
best part of the meal was our 50% off coupon; we saved $120 on our total bill.
Of course there’s always room for more so we headed back downtown to have a nightcap and ended up
at the Empire, yet another blue collar bar. After all, in our hearts, we are all Dive Bar girls.
Judy (The party dress season has began) sometimes
INSERVICE (part 1)
This is just a fancy new terminology for “Making A Difference In The Classroom”. November 6th found
a total of four members from Sigma Epsilon, which is the Atlanta chapter of Tri Ess, giving our
presentation to Psychology Students at Georgia Southern. It was a busy day as Phoebe and Valerie
(current President) left Atlanta early Thursday morning and arrived in Statesboro about 1215. I met
them at Gnat’s Landing and we joined Dr Theresa Yancey (the Professor) and her sister for a quick
lunch. We arrived at the classroom a little before 2 p[m as the class was from 2 pm to 315. We had yet
another class to follow after this one (Part 2 – next issue of the PTG Magazine).
Per our routine, Phoebe led off the presentation by talking about the TG line/umbrella and brought out
the tern – Gender Non Conforming. She then mentioned about being transgendered and what it means to
some folks.. Then she told a little about herself after which she gave Valerie the floor (this was
Valerie’s first presentation) After a short “Bio” of her self, she turned the floor over to me. When I was
done, I opened the floor to Questions from the students, no hold barred when it came to answering the
questions. At the end of the class a few of the students stayed behind to have pictures taken with us,
however, Dr Yancey had to leave thus we failed to get a photo with her for this article. We had a short
break after this class of about 1 hour before we were preparing for the second class (part 2)
IN the section below are comments from Dr Yancey’s students concerning feed back about the class.
Thresa Yancey’s Class – Student Comments
One thing I disliked was Valerie’s comment about ladies not wanting to go to the “projects.” I thought it
was highly offensive, because in my opinion it was a “nicer” way of saying black men. Otherwise it was
very nice.
It was definitely an eye-opening experience from beginning to end. It challenged my preconceived
notions I had about the topic and was educational in the process. While the topic still makes me
I really enjoyed the guest speakers. I enjoyed
learning about their lives and the things they do.
The information they shared educated me. I did
not have any knowledge about cross dressers
before they came. I think it is awesome that they
felt comfortable enough to come talk to our class.
The presentation was helpful because they did
shine the light on the cross-gender subject. The
guys who presented spoke very freely and openly
about their experiences and what their motives
are because I often think guys who cross dress
have feminine tendencies and are homosexual in
the sexual orientation. They beat a lot of the
stereotypes and answered my questions
effectively. I appreciated their visit.
I liked how comfortable the cross dressers were about talking about their experience. I also liked how
honest they were with the questions they were being asked.
Very well presented. Very informational. Each person had a very unique story. My first interaction with
a transsexual. Thanks for taking a pic with us J.
I think they did an amazing job speaking to our class. I have so much respect for them for being so
willing to talk with us! I have zero negative thoughts about Thursday. Keep it going!
I wish they had a more planned discussion as far as topics of questions they are normally asked to take
the pressure off of asking a question and risk looking like an asshole.
I thought it was very honest and I appreciated that they felt comfortable enough not to answer questions
that make them feel uncomfortable, such as disclosing names. It made me feel good to ask those
questions I’ve never had answered before because my dad periodically cross dresses but neither of us
feel comfortable enough to discuss it with one another, unfortunately.
It was nice to be able to ask all questions we wanted, and them not hesitate to answer. Thought they gave
good backgrounds. Should designate one person to answer questions to avoid talking over each other.
The presentation with the transgender panel was awesome. I thought it was very informative and great to
be able to hear it from people who actually have lived this lifestyle. I would’ve liked to have heard more
about how it has affected them personally and emotionally, to get a better idea of what they have been
I loved it. They were very informative and funny. I felt like they were thorough when answering
everyone’s questions.
I thought it was very interesting. I liked how they gave background information on their lives. Phoebe
did a good job of first explaining what transgender means.
I loved the presentation Phoebe, I know you said your wife knew the entire time you guys were married.
I don’t remember you explaining how you told or how she reacted. We appreciate you ladies taking time
out of your schedules to meet with us and your honesty in responding to our questions.
It was an awesome presentation. They were very open and I liked that. It must’ve been hard to share.
I liked how open they were about the lifestyles. It answered many questions I never even knew I had
about the cross-dressing culture. Outfits were on point!
It was very helpful in understanding why they like cross-dressing. Very helpful on how to approach
friends/family if they want to cross-dress. They were awesome.
I really liked hearing how each of the ladies viewed cross-dressing—I never thought of it as something
they felt they HAD to do, I thought they did it just because they wanted to dress differently. I like that
none of the ladies said they did it for the attention or the reactions, like some people think. Instead, they
were firm in saying they did it for themselves. Barbara was very sweet when I talked to her before and
after class J
The presentation was wonderful. Most of the questions I thought about asking were answered during
each individual introduction. I enjoyed the enthusiasm and honesty that was shown.
The presentation changed my views on people who cross dress. I never knew the difference between
drag queens and cross dressers until last week.
I liked the way questions were addressed. Overall, it was very informative, while at the same time sharing your experienced made me understand more about the topic, so thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the
Thank you for sharing with us your own experiences with how others, especially your family deals or
dealt with your decision to come out of the closet and express your desire to be a cross dresser in public.
It was nice to get perspectives from both men and women. Barbara, Valeria, and Phoebe were very nice
to answer all of our questions about their lifestyle that they live. Although I don’t agree with it, it was
nice to get a glimpse of their lives as wanting or having to be someone else than their biological sex.
I liked the way they explained the difference between cross dressing and transgender. I wanted to hear
more about why they felt the need to cross dress and what they felt when they dressed as a man.
I LOVED the presentation in class this past Thursday. It was very neat to hear your stories and to have a
better understanding of cross dressing. I thought that you were all very fun and open. I also liked your
sense of humor with some of the questions; it definitely made the situation more relaxed. There is one
thing I would change. I wanted to hear more from you about your experiences and everything and less
time for questions.
I thought the presentation was helpful to understand some of the typical stereotypes that are given to
cross dressers. It helped me realize and understand it is not what most people think it is. I am more open
to the choices of individuals who choose to participate because I know some of the reasons.
I thought the presentation was very insightful and helpful. I would actually like to see this being a bigger
discussion, not limited to the classroom, but maybe in a ballroom on campus. I think it would definitely
be helpful for close-minded individuals. It helped me and my understanding.
Tasi’s Musings, February, 2015
Greetings from Merida
Is it hot?
Wilbur Scoville created a method to measure every chili pepper "hotness" there is
in the world. Author Enrique Vela created a book called " El picor del Chile
Mexicano" where he graphically classified over 60 kinds of Mexican Chiles. You
luckily do not have to go too far to face the hottest one, "The Habanero pepper" a
yucatecan pride, is served daily in our local cuisine. If you have lived here long
enough and you mingle with locals you know that Mexicans require a daily chili
dosage of endorphins to face their difficult lives. Before you embrace completely
this Mexican tradition and want to try all kinds of peppers at your rhythm and
little by little the photo brings some samples of gradual hotness of the most
traditional Mexican varieties. Be careful with the degree of hotness because
testing only the initial bite is not enough for they didn't mention the degree of
hotness in the aftermath.
In the News
11 Ways 2014 Was the Biggest Year in Transgender History. Transgender people are already
everywhere, even if their lives go unnoticed. But in 2014, transgender people truly were everywhere—
from the red carpet to the runway, from TV to D.C., and from the cover of Time magazine to the pages
of a New York Times bestselling memoir. Visibility is no substitute for change, but 2014 bore witness to
plenty of the latter as well, with a series of legal victories that will make it easier for transgender people
to find employment, update their legal documents and receive healthcare. Although there's still a long
way to go before anti-transgender violence becomes a thing of the past, 2014 is likely to be remembered
as an important step toward a more inclusive future.
Morocco's transgender dancer courts acceptance. It was a slow
night on the red carpet at the opening of the Marrakech film
festival for the photographers and everyone was complaining over
the lack of celebrities. Then a car pulled up and out stepped Noor
Talbi, Morocco's most famous belly dancer. The photographers
went wild. Darling of the jet set and a fixture for any society party
or hotel opening, Noor's statuesque six feet frame was clothed in a
spangled, off-the-shoulder ball gown slit up the side to reveal her
long legs.
In this conservative Muslim country where homosexuality is illegal
and punishable by up to three years in jail, a transgender woman
like Noor is not only accepted but is a celebrity. Her ability to
seemingly transcend the restrictions of her culture speaks both to
her star power and to a certain kind of tolerance toward sexual
minorities in this North African nation — and even in the wider
Middle East
Dr. Rachel Levine could become the highest-ranked transgender woman in
Pennsylvania state government history. Levine, who transitioned from
male to female about five years ago, was announced as Wolf's physician
general on Saturday. The physician general position, which was created
under former Gov Tom Ridge, must be confirmed by the Pennsylvania
HRC Takes Action Against Saks Fifth Avenue for Undermining LGBT
Equality. Today HRC took the rare step of suspending Saks Fifth Avenue’s Corporate Equality Index
(CEI) score. The action was taken following Saks’ claims in response to a lawsuit that Title VII protections don’t apply to transgender employees and that the company is not legally bound by its own LGBT
equality policies.
The death of Leelah Alcorn, the transgender teen from Ohio, has made major news around the world.
Here’s one such apology that I thought was particularly poignant. An Apology Letter to Leelah Alcorn
Gender-bending fairy doll sparks outrage in Argentina. A fairy doll
that has a female body with male genitalia has sparked outrage in
Argentina. The toy came to note after a mother shared pictures of it
on Facebook, after her three-year-old was playing with it.
In addition to having long hair, a dress, make-up and fairy wings,
peeking under its clothes reveals a bulge in the shape of male
genitalia. It is not known whether the extra feature of the doll –
which was made in China and sold in a discount shop – was
intentional, or whether it is a manufacturing defect.
The doll has found unlikely support from transgender people in the country – with some hailing it for
helping to break down gender boundaries, whether deliberate or not.
Books, Movies, and Television
Amazon, ‘Transparent’ Make History at Golden Globes. Amazon proved itself a major player in the
television field when its original program “Transparent” won the Golden Globe for best TV series,
musical or comedy and star Jeffrey Tambor won best actor.
Not only was it Amazon’s first-ever Golden Globe award, “Transparent” also became the first online
series to ever win a best series award, comedy or drama, at the annual awards show.
The Boy in a Dress. Here's a cute British comedy about a boy in a dress. Just what you need for a down
day or any day. Enjoy
The former Prime Minister of Japan has debuted as a drag queen.
Yukio Hatoyama, who served as Prime Minister of Japan from
September 2009 to June 2010, appeared this week in Tokyo
musical ‘Waist Size Story’
The former leader played the role of Rosario, a fictional US
President who served as the country’s first female Head of
State. Move over Hilliary.
The Art of Being Normal. David Fickling is a publisher with a knack for spotting talented voices for the
YA market, and his most recent discovery is actor turned writer Lisa Williamson. Her debut novel,
The Art of Being Normal, deserves to attract attention not only for its sensitive portrayal of life as
a transgender teenager but for the author’s aptitude for crafting vivid, engaging and convincing
characters who keep you rooting for them through the many testing obstacles she puts in their way.
Want to know what TG films were shown in 2014. Well GLAAD Media Awards has announced their
nominations. GLAAD is an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,
and the awards will be presented during a ceremony held March 21 at the Beverly Hilton. Films
including “The Imitation Game,” “Pride” and “Tammy,” along with television shows such as “The
Fosters,” “Transparent” and “Pretty Little Liars,” were among those nominated today for the 26th annual
GLAAD Media Awards, honoring portrayals of the LGBT community and issues affecting their lives.
You can preview the 10 Best LGBT Documentaries of 2014 here
Discovery Life Channel explores lives in transition with transgender series ‘New Girls On The Block’
premiering April 2. The series follows a group of highly inspirational and entertaining women from
Kansas City, Mo. – all friends, some couples – who just happen to be transgender.
Target Is Launching a Plus-Size Fashion Line Women Actually Might Want to Wear.
This is actually an interesting story. Last August, blogger Chastity Garner wrote a
compelling takedown of Target — announcing her decision to boycott the retailer for
failing to offer its popular designer collections in plus sizes.
That boycott is coming to an end. On Wednesday Target announced Ava & Viv, a new
fashion brand designed specifically for “the plus-size woman who loves fashion.” The
line, designed by Target’s in-house team, offers clothing in sizes 14W to 26W and X
to 4X and will be available online and in stores come mid-February. Click the link to
watch the video.
Fashion Tip:
As for strap slippage, here's what Heidi has to say, "Many women with narrow or
downward-sloping shoulders have issues with slipping straps. If you are one of
these ladies, you should choose a U-back style bra. The straps are set narrower,
and the U-shape back connects the straps so that they won't slip." A general rule of
thumb to keep in mind when shopping for bras is the more coverage a cup has, the
less straps will slip because as the cup comes up higher on the body, the strap sits
away from the edge of the shoulder.
So until next month,
The National Institutes of Health has
just released the results of a $20 million
research study completed under a grant
to Johns Hopkins. The new study has
found that women who carry a little
extra weight live longer than the men
who mention it.
Angels In The Centerfold
Tammy Trueheart
Mellissalynn’s Tips & Tricks
Al right, ladies, it’s February. All the fun and newness of the New Year is past now, and it’s time to get
serious about thinking about spring. In other words, it’s time to start thinking about getting our bodies
ready to see the sun again! Time to bust out the exfoliation tools as well as the defoliation tools! Pretty
soon we’ll be baring legs and feet again…and there’s no better time than the present to get ready for
January was an interesting, but not a bad,
month for me. I picked up a couple of new
clients in the salon, got to teach a few new
classes at school, and celebrated my
daughter’s 18th birthday. The CUI meeting
was a good one; I drove to Springfield for
myself for a change and did a little bit of
shopping prior to the meeting. I visited a
Torrid for the first time and found some great
stuff! I’ll be back there again. I also found
the most amazing dress at Dress Barn, which
you’ll see pictures of.
Now I have to be a little bit careful on money,
as next month is the America’s Beauty Show
in Chicago. This is the big hair show I’ve
gone to the last two years. This year, I have
definite goals to accomplish there! Items I
want, items I need…and just the fun of
roaming around and maybe even picking up
some techniques. It’s been fun every time
I’ve went so far, and I expect next month to
be the same.
So tell me about your January, ladies! Was it wonderful to you? Are you enjoying the weird weather
2015 is throwing at us? I love the fact that I had dresses drying on the clothesline yesterday, in the heart
of January!
Anyway, tell me all about it! Write me at [email protected]! I answer any and all mail I get,
so feel free to tell me about anything you want to chat about…and in the meantime, let’s get to the tips &
I’ve been reading about products that will give you a quick facial pick-me-up, and by quick I mean instantly. They’re called instant-fix wrinkle and pore vanishing formulas. Look for one that contains
some silicone, to fill in the wrinkles, and small light-reflecting particles. The reflected light will soften
the area and create a flattering effect. The product can be used alone, but for our purposes, it’s best to
use it under foundation, much like a concealer.
I’m getting into Mellissa’s Germ-phobic Corner early in this article, and it’s a subject that’s painful to
me as a cosmetologist to even bring up. What I’m about to say has the potential to take money out of
my purse, but I’m more concerned for your safety, ladies!
Recently, the national news ran a story regarding the use of artificial lashes and how they can be
dangerous to your eyes. I personally enjoy using the fake lashes, as they add serious dynamic to my
eyes! Here is what the news says, though: “Normal-length lashes protect the eyes by creating a zone of
stagnant air just in front of our precious orbs, researchers say. But when lashes are longer, they actually
funnel air to the eye’s surface, and that can make them vulnerable to dryness and dirt.”
The optimal lash length for protection? One-third the width of the eyes, is what the experts determined
with various measurements. The study was performed across different species and this number was a
constant in most species.
Another issue with artificial lashes is the glue used. “has high levels of formaldehyde and benzoic acid,
both of which are harmful to the cornea. On top of that, as the eyelashes grow out, the extensions tend to
point towards the cornea and you can get corneal abrasions.”
If anyone wants to read the entire article, it’s on the NBC Today show website. Here’s the link: http://
cid=eml_tes_20150110 . I’m interested in hearing your opinions on this, girls!
I want to talk about some camera tricks to help bring out your best in photos. I’m one of those
(obsessive) girls who will take a shot twenty times if I’m working on photos of my own, and then fiddle
massively with the photo editing software, just to get that perfect shot. Here are a few things I’ve found
that help with achieving photo Nirvana.
1. To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck and push your face forward a bit. Think of sticking out
your forehead and tipping your chin slightly down. It might feel awkward, but it will look great!
2. Make sure your makeup is a perfect match. When a foundation is too pale for your skin tone, it
becomes very obvious when the flash hits the skin. Match your skin to your chest and add a thin layer to
your neck if your neck is paler (as seems the case for most people). And please, ladies, remember to
blend your foundation at the hairline and the sides of your face! The camera will pick that up in a
3. Curled lashes and mascara are absolute musts! Both open up your eyes, and the eyes are the focal
point of any picture. You want to draw people into a picture, so you want to maximize the impact of the
eyes. They more open they are, the more the light will hit them.
4. This is one that I find to be very important. Take a look at your favorite selfies and try to spot a
pattern. Do you like the way you look from a certain angle? When you smile a specific way? Try to
recreate your best poses the next time you have your photo taken.
5. Look toward a light right before someone snaps your photo. Doing so will shrink your pupils and
help you avoid red eye.
6. I mentioned photo-editing software. I don’t normally recommend products int his column in any
way, but a GREAT free photo editor is theGIMP! This is an extremely powerful editing program, in
many ways an equal to Photoshop itself, and of course far superior to Photoshop in pricing. I did
mention it’s free? I’m not going to link it on here, but you can find the program for download very
easily online.
Do you shake your nail polish before you start applying it? That’s a bad idea! You can actually create
air bubbles in your polish by doing this. Air bubbles can cause a less-flawless application. Instead, roll
the bottle between your palms.
Also, when you finish (and I think I’ve shared this tip before, but it bears repeating), remember to wipe
down the threads on the bottle top with a bit of polish remover before you put the lid on. This will make
it easier to open the next time you want to use your polish, and can also prevent leaving gaps that air can
enter the bottle through.
Here’s a nifty way to apply your lipstick to give it almost an ombre effect. Use a fluffy eyeshadow
brush to apply your lip color! It will give your lips a diffused effect around the edges. You can
intensify the color in the center of your lips and give them the I-just-ate-a-popsicle finish by using a flat
brush to swipe lipstick onto the middle of your mouth only.
Check out this nifty DIY homemade nail polish remover jar! All you need is a sponge, a jar, and polish
remover. Stuff the sponge into the jar, soak it in polish remover acetone, and there it is! This will work
well for gel shellac polishes or glitter polishes that are very difficult to get off. In this instance, use
acetone and let your nails soak in it for a bit. Be careful not to leave your nails in pure acetone for too
long, however; it can weaken the nails and isn’t great for the skin either.
This is a small makeup pro tip I learned recently at the bridal exposition
I attended in January. I have to stop a second and gush about this, girls!
The dresses were to DIE for! It so saddened me that I had to attend in
boring boy mode, as many of the girls from the school were invited to try
some of the dresses on.
But I digress! This tip involves your black eye liner. When applying black eyeliner to your entire eye,
don't connect the top and bottom lines. This will give the eye a closed-off look. Where the lashes begin
and end is where the liner should start and stop.
How are you at parting your hair? It looks so easy to
do, but as any budding cosmetologist can tell you, it’s a
tricky thing to get right. Here's a quick way to part your
hair perfectly in the center. Run your pinky finger up
the bridge of your nose and create the part exactly in
line with it. Even if your nose is a little crooked, the
part will be centered for you.
I want to talk a moment about facials. For those of you
who have never had a full facial, they’re an experience
that simply can’t be enjoyed enough. Here’s a quick
way to get some of the benefits of a facial at home,
using baking soda and water. Take about a teaspoon of
baking soda, add it to water and mix it into a thin paste.
Massage this paste over your face and rinse with warm
water. This will give you the exfoliation you receive in
a proper facial. Follow this with a splash of witch hazel
or a good skin toner (available at most drugstores).
After doing this, to continue the DIY theme, follow up
with some plain yogurt. Apply about a tablespoon of
yogurt over the clean skin you just created, relax with
this on your face for about ten minutes or so, then rinse
it off and pat your face dry. The yogurt is full of good
stuff for the skin, stuff like vitamins and minerals that
will heal, moisturize, and help regenerate your skin
cells. Many people aren’t aware that as we age, our skin slows down the cell reproduction.
Additionally, for smokers, this will help clear some of the residue from smoking from your skin. And it
feels so good!
Is the cold air outside making your skin dry and itchy? Look for a lotion that contains eucalyptus oil.
There is a fatty acid in the skin called ceramide that gets depleted in the winter months, due to the cold
air. Ceramide gets replenished by the eucalyptus oil, leading to softer smoother, and less itchy skin in
less than a week.
A little-known fact that we discussed in the makeup class I was teaching last week at school came to my
attention. Some women have lips that aren’t the same shade. To balance those out, fill in the lightercolored lip with a lip color matching the darker lip. Afterward, apply your lipstick as normal for
perfectly matched lips.
A quick blemish-concealing tip: stipple your concealer over the problem area instead of sweeping or
brushing it on. More concealer hits the area this way and will better conceal the issue.
Let’s discuss drying your hair, girls. When you dry your hair, do you use a dryer? If so, are you using a
heat protectant on your hair? How about when you flat iron or curl your hair? If not, you’re damaging
your hair every time you do this. Heat protectants are designed to help deflect some of the heat from
styling tools, yet still let the tool do its job. Sadly, there are women (and men) out there who aren’t
using this vital stuff. Don’t be a statistic!
If you have naturally curly hair, you may get frizzy as your hair dries. There's a simple solution to this
issue: don't touch it! Wait until your hair is at least 90% dry (either let it air dry or use a diffuser on your
dryer) before touching it. Once you’ve reached this point, you can give it a tousle with your fingers to
One of the more annoying things I see clients asking for is to have color put in their hair right after
shampooing it. Don't wash your hair immediately before applying color! Your hair needs the natural oils
to protect your scalp from the dye, and it also helps the hair shaft absorb the color more easily. By
shampooing first, you’re actually making it harder for the color to do its job!
Do you have trouble matching your natural lip color? Here’s a handy tip to do so. Use the color of the
middle of your lower lip as a guide when shopping for your perfect lip shade. The most flattering one for
you is just a bit brighter than that spot.
Red lipstick can look good on anyone. It’s all about finding the right red. If you have red or pinkish
undertones, you’ll want to go with a cool red with a pinkish or bluish undertone, or even a pure red.
Skip the orange based reds; those, or peach-toned reds, are for skin with yellow undertones. If you have
olive skin, you should look for a pure red. Any skin tone is complemented by brown-based reds.
And with that bit of knowledge, darlings, I bring the
column to a close. I’m off to get some beauty sleep
before a long day in my salon. Two haircuts, an all-over
color, and a permanent; such is the life of a stylist who’s
making some money! I love my job…!
Can you all believe that it’s almost spring? Next month
is the month, girls, so start picking out those sundresses
and sandals! I’m very excited about this myself. I have
new dresses that I’m just so excited to wear!
If you have a dress to tell me about for spring, or you
want to know what I charge for an all-over color, or you
have a tip or trick to share, please, please, please share!
You never know when you might show up in the
column. As always, you can reach me at
[email protected] ; the inbox is always open!
Talk to you all in March!
5 Outfits That Hide Love Handles
By Lesley Kennedy
Call it what you will: Muffin tops, love handles or spare tires.
If you have that un-fun extra flab around your waist, it could
likely use a little middle management. The good news is disguising the area is actually quite easy when you arm yourself
with the right clothing arsenal, such as stiffer fabrics, camouflaging prints, high-waisted bottoms, strategically placed
pleats and color-blocking. (And trying these muscle-sculpting
moves that specifically target the area doesn’t hurt either.)
Ready to get a handle on those love handles? Here are five
outfits to take your midsection from flab to fab in no time.
Dress for Success
Denim is a smart
fabric choice when you’re trying to disguise your waist. Material that’s too lightweight tends to cling, which is not what
you’re after when you’ve got a roll or two to hide. This dress
is loose, but not boxy, which can actually make you look larger, and the darker wash on the pockets offers an illusion effect, making that muffin top disappear altogether. Add a high
wedge sandal and a fun, bright clutch that draws attention
away from your middle to complete the look.
Prints Charming
When you have
love handles, reach
for a high-waisted pant; low-rise versions only emphasize
what you’re trying to minimize. Find a style with a wide leg,
which helps balance out your wider middle, and a print, like
this black and white Aztec, which provides a flattering distraction. On top, try a long, loose tank that drapes with some
added color-blocking to draw the eye up. Throw on a flat sandal and glamorous sunglasses, and head to brunch without
giving those waffles a second thought.
Skirt the Issue
Love handles will simply fade away when you don a full skirt
in a thicker fabric with pleating that helps flatten out your
tummy. Add a long cardigan and tank top—the double lining
helps hide bulges—in similar shades for that long, lean look,
and nude pumps to keep the whole ensemble sleek.
Short and Sweet
Again, a high waist helps cinch your love handles in, so a
denim short will keep your love handles in check while letting you show off those toned legs. On top, wear a loosefitting blouse in a pretty print—and if it’s a little longer, all
the better. For added flair and to draw eyes up to your face
and away from your waist, throw on a great floppy hat. Love
handles? Where? Not on you.
Maxi-mum Impact
There’s so much to love about a maxi dress—it’s
effortless, chic, comfortable, versatile—and when you choose one
with an empire waistline, it totally hides your love handles.
Whether you stick with a simple black or another solid color, or
go for an interesting or bright print, the style is just plain forgiving. Accessorize it for day by just adding flip-flops and a
tote, or night by pairing it with a great necklace (this one is attached!); a fun, quirky bangle; or a brightly colored clutch to
draw attention away from your middle.
Your Most Flattering Shoe Style
Tasi Zuriack
High heels are a guilty pleasure for most of us. Although they have been
blamed for a range of health problems from bunions to back pain – flats
are probably not your best friend either. So, let’s get straight to the point,
pointed-toe heels favor every woman’s body, whether you have a petite
figure or a curvier shape. In fact heels help give you that girly figure and
even work well for a tall girl. Why? The sharp toe extends the line of your
leg and gives the illusion of slimmer, longer gams.
It should not surprise you to hear that I regularly wear high heels (from my
favorite pair of red pumps to gladiator sandals and boots) and would
suggest that if the heel height is correct, you too can wear heels, from a
few hours a day to all day.
Every woman has her own perfect heel height, depending on the structure of her feet. If you
take this into account when buying shoes, you can improve overall foot comfort considerably.
Indeed, if you are a naturally high-heeled woman who keeps wearing flat shoes such as
trainers or ballet shoes, you will be going against your natural foot type and will cause your
feet no end of stress
The height of your heels can make or break an outfit. Properly worn, high heels can make
casual attire super-sexy in seconds and can make your legs appear to go on for miles.
However, sometimes the middle ground is best, and 1 or 2″ heels can emphasize calves in a
classy, professional manner when you are in the workplace. Finally, there are just some outfits
that need flats, and knowing how to identify these outfits is one of the critical skills that you
need to insure that your shoe selection does not make you appear silly or–worse — a bit
“trampy.” Follow these guidelines to determine what height heel suits you and your attire best.
The highs and lows…
For some women the recess of the sinus tarsi is moderate and a 1″
or 2″ heel will do the trick but others need a 3″ heel to elevate the
foot into an arched position. For them wearing heels will be more
comfortable than wearing flats — but beware a heel that is too
A heel of up to 4.5″ is fine; anything more than that is bad for your
posture as it makes your bottom jut out and overloads the toes and
balls of the feet. These heels can be worn for short periods only, and are made for limos, not
for walking.
Heels not only have to be the right height but in the right position: not too far back, but under
the center of the heel so they support your weight properly, following the natural line of your
The structure of the heel counter – the part of the shoe that holds your heel – is also very
important. If it is too squashy and unsupportive, it will not give enough support, and that can
cause heel pain. Cheaper ballet pumps are particularly prone to do this.
Emma’s guide to being well
To find your perfect heel height, take off your
shoes, sit on a chair and extend one leg straight
in front of you.
• Where would your heel touch the ground?
With your leg stretched out in front of you and
the knee supported, make an imaginary line from
the heel to the ground.
• If your foot is at a right angle to your outstretched leg and does not dangle, you have a
low ankle-joint axis and will be more comfortable
in flat shoes than in high heels. Kate Moss is the
standard-bearer for flats - they are obviously
what suit her feet best.
If your foot points down, you need to measure the distance between the top of your big toe
and an imaginary line from the bottom of your heel. This is the right heel height for you.
Measure it against your favourite shoes – the ones you swear you are most comfortable in,
no matter how high or low. I can almost guarantee the heel will match it.
So here are some possibilities for you. For more
information see the Lookbook on Sister House Link
for “Lookbook” is Outfit Ideas for the Transgender
Do you love the shoes? Who wouldn’t? But do you
know how to put them together with an outfit?
Here’s two examples taking that D’Orsay pump
from casual to dressy. When you travel, pick your
shoes first and build your outfits around them. The
possibilities are endless.
Guide to walking in high heels without pain
Carolyne Zinko, Chronicle Staff Writer
The difference between sultry stilettos and frumpy pumps is three-fourths of an inch, or so says Victor
Chu, a former shoe designer who has developed a cottage industry for himself— and perhaps increased
the libidos of thousands of men - by training women to walk properly and painlessly in high heels.
Chu says high heels and happy feet are not an oxymoron, if only women hold themselves correctly while
walking. Last week, he flew in from New York, bringing his prowess to Azalea boutique on Hayes
Street to give free lessons in the art of seductive walking - just in time for holiday parties, when even the
most practical among us can be tempted by a sparkly sling-back or metallic mule.
"Unsexy shoes are anything under 2.75 inches," Chu said. "A 2-inch heel is a little dowdy. Too
Plenty of people could benefit from lessons - everyone from the fictional Carrie Bradshaw, who took a
famously embarrassing catwalk spill in TV's "Sex and the City" to the real-life runway models for
Pucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana who fell during Milan Fashion Week earlier this year, and even Miss
U.S.A., Crystal Stewart, who took a tumble at the Miss Universe pageant in July - as did her predecessor
in 2007. (The YouTube clip has been viewed nearly 3 million times.)
Despite the potential hazards, stilettos may do wonders for your love life - if you believe the Italian
researcher who reported earlier this year that high heels might improve pelvic floor muscles, which are
integral to sexual satisfaction. Other researchers say high heels have something to do with the evolution
of primates, wiggling derrieres and signaling sexual availability. Of course, podiatrists have been known
to advise patients to stay away from them altogether.
Chu may not have walked a mile in another woman's Manolos, but his experience designing sport and
dress shoes as a consultant for the Tommy Hilfiger label from 2000 to 2004 gave him a different kind of
perspective. He decided he had a calling to share his know-how while chatting with a colleague, Cece
Chin, who has her own line called 80 20 shoes. As they sat on a park bench in New York, the
conversation turned to wondering why every woman they knew had a problem walking in high heels.
"There's only so much you can do to a shoe's heel to make it comfortable, before you make it unsexy,"
Chu recalled saying. "Then we said, 'Wait! How do the Rockettes do it?' "
It turned out that a friend of theirs danced for the Rockettes. She told them the key to wearing high heels
is in walking mechanics. Most women incorrectly shuffle their feet, placing their weight on the ball of
the foot and throwing their bodies off-balance, Chu learned.
It sounds simple, Chu says, but the three keys to wearing very high heels successfully are:
-- Standing up straight, as if you were pulling a string from the top of your head
-- Keeping your abdominal muscles taut by sucking your belly button in toward your spine, which pulls
your body weight back onto your heels
-- Walking heel to toe with a slightly exaggerated hip sway, rather than mincing around on the ball of
the foot.
Basically, it comes down to working your core - as Pilates, yoga and plank exercises do. To that end,
Chu and Chin developed a video called "Legworks" ($14.95; www.legworkdvd.com)
a 28-minute exercise program to limber and stretch your ankles, calves and thighs, as well as strengthen
your abdominal muscles to make it easier to maintain balance and posture while walking in high heels.
Heels not needed at gym
That's not to say that it's a good idea to exercise in high heels. Chu recommends against it, even though
there are Crunch gyms in New York that began offering "Stiletto Strength" classes in 2006, and other
gyms that offer classes in jazz, burlesque and pole dancing to women wearing high heels. Stiletto sprint
footraces have even occurred in Australia and New York in recent years.
The ever-increasing heel height, along with the high pitch that pushes the arch forward, is making stiletto
strutting trickier than ever. This year's platform trend ameliorated some of the difficulty - a 4-inch shoe
is really only a 3-inch heel on a 1-inch platform. (Thank goodness the Bay Area doesn't generally have
snow and ice in winter.)
"Swaying," says Chu, "transfers energy from the heel to the hip. A lot of women think they know how to
walk in high heels. But they have wobbly ankles and stiff knees from pitching forward, or they have a
sort of escalator-like look from leaning backward too much, in overcompensating."
Maybe it was because San Franciscans don't tend to wear ultra-high heels like our cosmopolitan cousins
in New York, or perhaps it was because fewer people are out shopping this holiday season, but
attendance at the Azalea workshop was light.
Among the handful of women who showed up for a lesson was Nicole Kaufman, 27, a designer for Old
Navy, a line that makes lots of fun clothing but is not known for sexy shoes.
Kaufman, who lives in San Francisco, says she has a dozen pairs of heels. She prefers shorter heels and
wedges for work, but stilettos for nighttime wear. She got her first pair of high heels in high school and
on her first outing, "struggled" with them. "I learned like everyone else to bear the pain and push
forward," she said.
Putting on a pair of black leather gladiator pumps in size 9, she glided around the floor while Chu
"She's got a natural hip movement and good posture," he said, comparing her with another attendee who
was a bit more reserved and mechanical in her walk.
"Here's an issue I have," Kaufman said. "I have short toes and I feel like I don't have stability in high
Chu recommended more core exercises, along with a special trick recommended in the video - sitting in
a chair in bare feet and grabbing a sock or a handkerchief with your toes.
"It strengthens your arches," he said. "It should help."
In February, an Italian study of 66 women younger than 50 by Dr. Maria Cerruto showed that those who
wore heels high enough to lift their feet at a 15-degree angle from the ground - at least 2 inches had as good posture as those who wore flats. The findings suggested that the pelvic muscles were "at an
optimum position, which could well improve their strength and ability to contract," according to an
article in the Feb. 25 Main Report Health and Wellness Letter.
"The pelvic floor muscles are an essential component of the female body. As well as ... sexual
performance and satisfaction, they provide vital support to the pelvic organs, which include the bladder,
bowels and uterus."
Role of evolution
A report on "The Evolution of Sex Differences in Language, Sexuality and Visual-Spatial Skills,"
published in the February 2000 issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, authored by Dr. Rahn Joseph of
the Brain Research Laboratory in San Jose, suggested that as primates' brains evolved and became
bigger, women's pelvises had to grow wider to accommodate the increased head size during childbirth.
This, in turn, forced her upper legs wider apart and her knees closer, "thus altering her gait and balance,
causing her to wiggle her derriere when walking."
"Presumably, this alteration, coupled with the evolution of new muscles to aid in the upright stance,
accentuated and drew attention to the female derriere and her sexual availability: a sexual-social signal
accentuated in modern women through high heels and tight clothes, in the last century via the bustle and
hoop skirts, and in previous centuries via dresses designed to exaggerate grossly the width of the hips."
Is fashion really pushing us into high heels for the sake of trendiness? We might be able to blame our
shoe fetishes on biology.
Your step-by-step guide to stepping out in stilettos
1 Stand tall, as if pulled by a string from the top of your head
2 Tighten abs by pulling belly button in toward spine, causing weight to shift back to your heels
3 Walk heel to toe, not on ball of foot,
4 Sway hips slightly to help shift weight to heels
Golden Rule of Fashion
It's All About Endings
By Cynthia Nellis
This capri length is a Don't. The golden rule of fashion will
explain why.
Once the weather gets warmer, women start to break out the
various-length pants. Which means that instead of jeans or full
-length pants — which are fairly easy for most women to pull
off — there's a wider margin of error between the bermudas,
capris and crops.
Now, in general, I'm not a huge fan of capri pants because I think either short or
ankle-length pants look more modern. But I still see them everywhere. If you're
going to wear them, at least wear them right.
So let me make pant lengths simple, by sharing the golden rule of fashion:
Never wear anything that hits you at your widest point.
Garments that "end" at your widest body part cause that body part to visually
widen. In short: you look fatter. And we don't want that.
Here's the rundown of the golden rule of fashion in action:
Capri pants (pants that have a hem that ends mid-calf) Capri pants stop in
exactly the widest part of the lower leg. To make it worse, many capris have a
relaxed or loose fit: it all makes you look frumpier and wider. A better choice: A
crop or ankle pant ends around the ankle (a slimmer part of the leg) and is
flattering on just about any woman. For athletic wear, try a fitted workout capri
that ends right under the knee and exposes your calf.
Cap sleeves. Cap sleeves are often touted as a viable option to sleeveless; but
because they end at precisely the widest part of the upper arm it's a very
unflattering look on women who are concerned about their upper arms. A better
choice: An elbow-length sleeve (which has a hem at the slimmest part of the
Hip-length jacket. If you think suits make you look boxy, it may just be the type
of jacket you are wearing. If you have wider hips, as many women do, and choose
a jacket hem that stops right at the widest point, you'll create a strong
visual horizontal line at your heftiest point. A better choice: You can actually
correct this problem by creating a waist for the jacket if it's softer construction by
adding a belt (the eye then travels to the small waist instead of the hem.) You can
also opt for jackets that are either cropped to end at a small waist or slightly
longer than you widest part of the hip.
• Longer skirts. The mid-calf skirt is still a favorite of mature women
everywhere, but unfortunately it also adds to a frumpier appearance because the
hemline stops at exactly the widest point of the calf leaving your legs look
stumpier. A better option: A hemline that ends at or right below the knee.
• Short shorts. A mid-thigh short -- unless you have slim thighs -- is a tough
look to pull off because it stops right in the middle of your thigh. A better option: A
short that's a bit longer and has a hem at a slimmer part of your body.
Hair. Did you know that even your hair length can make you look frumpier if it
stops at an unflattering length? If you have things you'd like to conceal – like a
double chin or neck wrinkles – consider hair styles that are either longer or shorter
than the problem area.
7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Appearance
(MTF Transgender / Crossdressing Tips)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lucille Sorella is a GG (genetic girl) who
teaches crossdressers, transsexuals, and transgender females how
to look, act, and feel like real women. Her goal is to help T-women
express their inner and outer femininity and increase their confidence
as women. She has a professional background in fashion, beauty,
dance, and natural healing and has been working with the transgender community for the past 12 years. Her website is loaded with
useful information and is located at
http://www.flat2fem.com/index1.html .
Do you think that looking your best means you need a head-to-toe makeover – or
even feminizing surgery?
It doesn’t!
Looking beautiful often comes down to a few simple changes.
Of course, the basics are important. Nice hair and makeup, flattering clothes, and
a reasonably fit body are a great starting point.
But beyond that, it’s the details that make or break your feminine image.
Want to look better right now?
Here are 7 simple ways to improve your appearance:
1. Reshape your eyebrows
Your eyebrows literally create the frame for your
face. For better or for worse, they have the power
to transform your entire look.
The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to
shape and feminize your eyebrows – even if you
can’t pluck.
2. Invest in a great bag
I’ll let you in on a secret you may not have noticed:
Women often judge each other based on their
handbags. Why do you think women in certain
circles pay thousands of dollars for the latest “it”
I’m not saying you need to buy a Gucci purse, but
investing in a quality handbag will add polish and style to your appearance –
AND give you instant fashionista status.
3. Get rid of excess body hair
The truth is, physical attractiveness often comes
down to good grooming. One of the keys to good
grooming – and a feminine appearance – is to get
rid of excess body hair.
You already know that your beard, chest hair, and hairy legs have to go. But don’t
forget about the less obvious spots, including your:
4. Wear the right shapewear
The right shapewear can have a dramatic
effect on your silhouette. It smooths out
excess flesh and helps to feminize your
The best shapewear for you depends on your
outfit and how much shaping you need.
Consider investing in the following garments:
Control top pantyhose. Perfect for smoothing out your trouble spots, they also
add polish and definition to the legs.
Waist cincher. Use this when you need extra shaping in the middle and want to
carve out an hourglass shape.
Shaping camisole. Wear one under your everyday clothes to smooth your belly
and love handles.
Control top pantyhose
Waist cincher
Shaping camisole
5. Find your best lipstick shade
You already know that lipstick is a must
for your feminine transformation.
A Manchester University study found that
women are perceived as more
attractive when they wear lipstick – even
if they have thin lips!
The secret is to wear the right shade of
lipstick. Here are two quick tips for
selecting your best shade:
For the most flattering look, your lips should be the same intensity as the
iris of your eye. (The iris is the colored part of your eye.) For example, if you
have light blue eyes, wear a light shade of lipstick. If you have dark brown eyes,
a deeper shade will be the most flattering.
To easily test lipstick shades, put different colors on your fingertips and
hold them against your mouth to see which looks best.
6. Whiten your teeth
Yellow teeth dull your appearance. Don’t
underestimate the impact of pretty white
teeth. A white smile brightens up your
entire face!
I suggest using a whitening toothpaste
daily and doing a whitening treatment
every six months. There are some great
at-home options, including:
Crest 3D Whitestrips
Dr. Song Home Professional Teeth
Whitening Kit
Rembrandt Intense Stain Dissolving Strips
7. Get enough sleep
They don’t call it beauty rest for
nothing. A lack of sleep shows up
on your face – no matter how
pretty and feminine you look.
Didn’t get enough sleep last night?
Try this free guided mediation and
take a 20 minute beauty nap!
Small changes add up to big improvements
The bottom line is that there are a LOT of ways to improve your appearance
without having to invest in a new wardrobe, hire a transformation service, or go
under the knife.
Little changes can have a big impact on your feminine image!
The Occasional Woman - Footwear
Lorraine Anderson |(reprinted from TG Forum)
Hey there, my little chickadees! I certainly hope you all are out there enjoying the lack of
snow, and reveling in the many opportunities we ladies have to saunter around in flirty dresses
and audacious sandals. And don’t forget sassy beach cover-ups, wicked water wear and
bloomin’ blouses. I know I am.
Did some one mention sandals? Oh, right, it was me. I would like to visit the subject of
summer (and other seasons) footwear. I am sure you know the importance of footwear when
accessorizing a successful and lovely outfit, but allow me to bring up a few potential problem
First, we all love us some sandals, don’t we! And we want to look super-bitchin’ in them all the
time. The perennially stylish sandal makes a sly show of our fee ties — and I ask you to put on
a sandal without stockings or hose of any kind. Then, take a goooood long look, both with
your eyes and the mirror: do you see nasty, ashy, cracked and dry feet? Really?
Foot care time! Get thee a pedicure – OR just use a
pumice stone (gently) in the bathtub and carefully scrub
that dry rhino-hide off! Then after careful drying, it’s
time to use some nice foot lotion. If you’re doing this
foot care at night then use something with lanolin in it,
but not a whole sheep’s worth. (Note: If you are diabetic or have some gross bunions or some rash/fungal
unhappiness, you know my motto — seek professional
The other thing about which I am strident is your ability to
adequately perambulate in heels – if you can’t walk in the shoes,
you can’t wear the shoes! I see womenfolk all the damn time
mincing and tottering in heels to which they are not accustomed,
and it ain’t pretty. Practice at home and do try to be realistic when
buying shoes – If you cannot safely master the art and skill of
walking easily in heels, and with a minimum of pain, don’t buy
them or wear them. You will be amazed at how much a good
podiatrist can cost if you torture your happy feet too much.
I hope you and your two (or one, as the case may be) footy friends have a swell rest of the
summer, and wish you love, peace and – shoes!
The Occasional Woman website and on Facebook.
About Lorraine Anderson: I am a native Californian who has been based in
the Philadelphia area since 1984. My first CD fashion creation was a gold lamé
dress for the now esteemed editor of this publication. Since then I have made
tons of fabulous frocks and other fashion apparel for the crossdressing and
transgender community. Visit my website, The Occasional Woman or my Facebook page.
11 Timeless Style Tips Everyone Should Follow
By Lesley Kennedy
Remember that old fashion rule about not
wearing white after Labor Day? So not true
anymore. And the notion that you can’t mix
patterns? Talk about outdated. But there are
plenty of style rules that not only continue to
hold true, but following them will also make
you look taller, leaner and—naturally—more
stylish in a snap.
Your tailor is your best friend.
Good tailoring makes all the difference when it comes to how flattering your clothes look on your body,
allowing you to play up your best assets and camouflage the parts you’d prefer to play down. “Learning
how to accentuate your best attributes is all about the cut of your clothes, so you need to be aware of
your silhouette and making sure things fit,” says celebrity stylist Erin Walsh, whose star clients include
Kerry Washington, Sarah Jessica Parker and Maggie Gyllenhaal. “Tailoring allows you to accentuate
that best version of yourself. Also, you won’t wear the things you buy if they don’t fit you right.”
Don’t sweat the size on the tag.
Cut them out if you have to, because tags are meaningless, Walsh says, as different designers work off
different sample sizing. “It’s about you, not the number, whether it’s on the scale or the tag,” she says.
“It’s about how you feel, the confidence you have and the kind of statement you want to make. It has
nothing to do with the tag—I can’t stress that enough.”
Hem your jeans to match your shoes.
Tailor the hem of each pair of jeans and pants to match the heels you want to wear them with, suggests
Walsh. In other words, the hem should work with either your flats or your stilettos—it can’t be both or
else your pants will look too long or too short.
Invest in good undergarments.
“Undergarments are as important as the lotion and deodorant you put on each morning,” Walsh says.
“When you start with a good base, the rest of you just feels more comfortable.” And your clothes fall
better on your body. The goal is to keep lines under wraps for a more streamlined look (read: no visible
panty lines). And make sure you have a bra that fits. “Get measured at a store,” Walsh says.
Balance out your top to bottom.
Rule of thumb: If you’re wearing something baggy on top, wear something fitted on the bottom, and vice
versa. “When it comes to proportion, if you’re wearing an oversize jacket, do a skinny pant,” says
Walsh. Her favorite look: a trapeze-style top worn with a slim capri pant—think 1960s Audrey Hepburn.
A statement necklace or scarf can transform any outfit.
Never underestimate the power of a statement necklace or a colorful scarf to elevate even the most basic
outfit, says Jacqui Stafford, YouBeauty Style Expert and author of “The Wow! Factor: Insider Style
Secrets for Every Body and Budget.” “The simplest, most boring T-shirt and jeans can be absolutely
transformed if you just add a necklace or scarf,” she says.
Just consider your neckline when choosing your accessory, Stafford notes. Wearing a turtleneck or a
style that’s cut close to the neck? Opt for a long necklace to add length.
Embrace your shape.
“Rather than worrying about dieting and trying to get into a certain size, when you dress for your body
shape you can look 10 pounds thinner tomorrow,” Stafford says. The key is to highlight the best parts of
your body and accept your unique shape, she says. “Women waste so much time wishing for what they
don’t have rather than making what they do have look spectacular,” Stafford says. “Focus on figuring
out what looks best on your body. Once you know what works on your body shape, you will look
younger and slimmer just by wearing the right clothes.”
Nude pumps go with everything.
“They’re genius,” Walsh says. “I love playing with different colors and patterns, with shoes in particular,
but in terms of elongating your leg, a nude pump works every time.” Just make sure your nude shoe
matches your skintone.
Splurge on two great bags.
For running around town, Walsh recommends reaching for a large framed bag, such as a doctor style
one, which is big enough to fit your newspaper, water bottle, snack, wallet, passport, etc. And while
clutches are great, Walsh says a cross-body bag can’t be beat when you can get away with something
smaller. “They’re very convenient and streamlined,” she says, “and you won’t leave it behind in the
Don't always get sold by sales.
We’ve all been there: Sure, those pants are snug, but they’re so cheap, you’ll surely drop a few pounds
and fit into them soon, right? Or, yeah, that bright orange top is a bit much for you, but it’s on clearance!
Remember, it's only a bargain if you wear it.
When in doubt, wear black.
It’s slimming and sexy and never goes out of style. And if you’re worried about smudging deodorant on
your black clothes as you slip them on, Walsh, who has teamed with Dove Advanced Care Deodorant,
recommends the brand’s invisible solid that won’t leave marks on your clothes. But if the white stuff
does make its way onto your LBD, Walsh suggests this trick: Simply rub the fabric together to erase it—
or wipe it away with a dry sponge.
How Does a Transgender Woman Shop for Clothes in
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Answer by Tamara Wiens, I am happy now:
Being transgender can present some particular challenges when shopping for clothes,
particularly when first starting. In general, I would say that, unless you are in a jurisdiction that
has laws and penalties for being in the "wrong" bathroom, change room, etc., just do it. If you
are in a situation where you are going to transition to full time, you need to start doing it sooner
or later, and as others have said, it can still be nerve-wracking after you are full time. And if you
plan on ever going out in public "en femme," even without transitioning, the same argument
The thing is this: In department stores in particular, there is very little scrutiny: Women come in
all shapes and sizes, and there are lots of men browsing through, either idly waiting for their
female companions or because they think that they can buy them something, or whatever.
More generally, in public, very few people actually "see" anyone else—the last time you were
in a store, can you recall more than a handful of faces that you encountered? Unless you are
blatantly not fitting in, most people won't notice you at all.
As for the change rooms, you have two strategies. The first is to take your selections to the
change rooms of whatever gender you are presenting as while you shop and show as little as
you need to of the items that you have (if you're at the men's) and try them on. The second is
to boldly go to the women's, where you can get an employee to get you another size of the
item when needed, if you are in a women's clothing store. If you get any grief from the change
room checker, ask to speak to the manager on duty—most managers realize that the satisfied
customer is a repeat customer and don't care what color, gender, or orientation your money is,
just that you spend it with that store. Some of them are stupid and don't think about the fact
that a satisfied TG who feels "safe" will spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on
clothes. (I've spent close to $10,000 in the last 18 months, building a professional woman's
wardrobe from scratch.) In that case, shake the dust off your shoes and politely let him or her
know that the store will get no more of your trade, ever, and that you will publicize its
intolerance. In one of the happy jurisdictions that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of
gender presentation, you can even sue or threaten to sue—but that's much more fraught, as
you will have to come out publicly to do so.
A few hints, learned expensively:
When buying clothes, don't buy anything if you don't love it on the rack and equally love it when
you try it on. We often fall out of love with an outfit that we used to like; we rarely fall into love
with an outfit that we didn't originally like.
To save time and avoid buying something that just won't ever look good, take the time to figure
out what styles work for your body type and what don't. If you are carrying extra weight, formfitting styles have a tendency to emphasize all the wrong bulges. If you have broad shoulders,
then square-cut shoulders make them look broader. If you have big feet, then wide-bottomed
legs on slacks make them look smaller, and so on. There are online sites and in-person
courses for all women on buying to suit your body shapes.
Buy styles appropriate to your apparent age. This is important. I look 10 to 20 years younger
than I actually am, so I can get away with clothes that would look somewhat silly on another
woman who looked my actual age. One thing that too many of us do is try to be "sexy" by
wearing miniskirts and crop tops, or by wearing the fashions of our own teen years. While that
is a fashion statement of sorts, it will likely get you the kinds of attention that you don't want.
Discreetly look at the clothes that women your age are wearing and buy similar fashions, and
you'll blend in just fine (if that's what you're looking for).
Bottom line: If you want to do it, eventually you have to do it, and there is no way around
having a "first time" shopping for your preferred clothing, or en femme, or what have you. And,
as with any first experience, it will be scary and exciting and embarrassing and fun and so
jumbled up that you will likely only remember bits and pieces of the experience. Have fun, and
good luck!
The Gossip Fence
Transgender In The News
10 Transgender Trends for 2015
(Bala Cynwyd, PA) Dr. Sherman Leis, founder of The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, has identified 10
important trends that will affect America and its transgender community in 2015.
"Although society has made a great deal of progress for the transgender community this past year, we still have a long way to
go," said Dr. Leis. "Having recently observed Transgender Remembrance Day (November 20), it's sad to see that there are
still too many victims of transgender violence," he said.
Dr. Leis' annual list of trends include:
1) More children and teenagers are coming out identifying as transgender. Thanks to expanding transgender education,
supportive institutions and societal acceptance, transgender children will be able to reach balance with gender dysphoria at an
earlier age, resulting in an improved quality of life.
2) More mainstream health institutions are recognizing a need for specialized transgender care. Major children's hospitals in
Philadelphia and Boston, for example, have opened separate departments for transgender health and care for children.
3) More insurance companies are covering transgender surgery and health care because a growing majority of Fortune 500
companies request it, influencing the entire business community.
4) Transgender surgery is more accessible now as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare are more available to
everyone. This is a big step but a limited solution because most independent doctors do not accept Medicare because their
fees don't begin to cover their costs.
5) New transgender surgery techniques and equipment result in better outcomes and safer surgeries. Patient care is also
improved as more training courses are being offered for medical professionals.
6) Global standards are being set. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) has implemented a
certification process for mental health professionals internationally. Mental health is a critical step in the transitioning
7) Dramatic breakthroughs in medical science will change the transgender world. For example, a recent uterine transplant at
the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, resulted in the birth of a healthy and developed child. Although still in the testing
phase, this could mean that transgender women who have transitioned from male to female, may be able to receive a uterine
transplant from which they could give birth to their own biological child.
8) Improving care from the medical community - unfortunately today, there are still too many physicians, urologists and
gynecologists for example, who draw a line when it comes to treating transgender patients for common health issues, saying
that this is not their area of expertise. We see a trend towards wider acceptance of transgender people as regular patients from
health care providers overall.
9) The fact that more states are voting for same sex marriage indicates that more politicians, representing their own
communities, are becoming more understanding and accepting of LGBTTI rights.
10) There has been a significant increase in media interest in transgender news and issues this year. As well, in the
entertainment industry, there has been an increase in the number of transgender characters included in mainstream plays and
television shows, such as "Orange is the New Black," on Netflix.
Gender identity all in the head
Are you male or female, or something in between? A new study from the MedUni of Vienna reveals that brain structure is
significantly different between males and females - and that trans-gender individuals are something different too. Whether
we are defined as a male or female is an important part of our identity. For most but not all people, their gender identity and
physical characteristics match. For those people that do not match, their identity is referred to as trans-identity or transsexual.
In a new study, brain researcher Georg Kanz of the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the MedUni
Vienna has found that gender identity of each human is present in the links between brain regions, reports Science Daily.
For the study, the researchers compared 23 female-to-male and 21 male-to-female transsexuals with female and male control
participants using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) imaging. The researchers found significant differences in the
structure of the brain connections between male and female control participants. They also found that the transsexual
participant's brain connections were different than the male and female control participants.
The researchers discovered a strong correlation between the structural connections in the brain networks with the testosterone
levels measured in blood plasma.
The research demonstrates that gender cannot always be identified by physical appearance. Gender identity can also be
influenced by biological sex, sex hormones and sexual orientation. If gender is established by the psyche, the brain is
responsible for human thoughts and feelings which provide a neural representation of gender identity.
"These results suggest that the gender identity is reflected in the structure of brain networks which form under the modulating
influence of sex hormones in the course of the development of the nervous system," said Rupert Lanzenberger of the
University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the MedUni Vienna.
The study was conducted by the Dutch Institute for Neurosciences in Amsterdam with cooperation between clinics of the
MedUni Vienna.
Inside A Finishing School for Transwomen
Situated in a ranch house within the leafy suburb of Piscataway, N.J., the Le Femme Finishing School aims to teach
transgender women and cross dressers the finer points of how to be a lady, from the best makeup to clothes for each body
type and also feminine etiquette and how to walk in heels.
Owned and operated by Ellen Weirich, known professionally as Lady Ellen, the school has had countless clients since she
first started the business in 2005. Much of her students are from the New York City area and work a range of jobs such as
waiters, computer scientists, and even one who works in international diplomacy. She has had clients from all over the world,
including Ireland and India, who are drawn to her via word of mouth and her website. Average age ranges from 45 to 65, with
her youngest client at 18 and the oldest in her 80s.
Past the living room and into Weirich’s sunroom, stacks of clothes from evening gowns to business wear hang from hooks
while wigs of soft hair, in colors such as strawberry blonde and jet black, grace a corner. Storage containers hold a treasure
trove of mascara, lipstick, blush, and other makeup. Another holds corsets, girdles, waist cinchers, hip pads for a more
womanly shape, and realistic-looking breast forms for every size. Shoes are neatly stored in a rack.
The business, a part-time endeavor, is a labor for love for Weirich, who only started making a small profit in the school’s
seventh year.
“It grew very slowly. Each year, we have had more clients,” she said. “At times, I ask myself why am I putting all this time
and effort. But then, I would look at the letters that people have sent. They were able to move forward, accomplish goals, and
meet friends. Yes, this is why I do it.”
Weirich started the business after meeting a woman who considered herself genderqueer but was born a man. She had a side
business where she rented out an apartment and taught cross dressers and transgender women how to put on makeup and
“That sounded so much fun. I want to do that,” said Weirich.
Her services include a makeup session for a night out for $50. Women can also pick and choose a menu that includes image
consultation, shopping assistance, photoshoots, feminine movement classes, full transformation, and pre-party makeovers.
With many of these services topping at $200.
Her daughter, Elaina, 24, a trained costume designer and makeup artist, helps out by sewing clothes.
Transgender crisis line launches in Canada
A crisis hotline for transgender people has expanded to Canada, offering counselling from transgender volunteers. Trans
Lifeline was launched in San Francisco by Greta Martela, who is a transgender woman.
The hotline had a soft launch in the U.S. in September, with its official launch on the Transgender Day of Remembrance on
November 20. Martela was approached by Toronto-based transgender activist Sophia Banks, who asked what it would take
for the service to expand to Canada.
"We looked into it, and it didn't look like it would require much, so we went ahead and did it." The Canadian number has
been active for about two weeks, and in that time Martela said it has received more than 100 calls.
The service is run by volunteers, all of whom are trans-identified. "It's hard for somebody who is not trans to understand all
of the things that transgender people go through," said Martela.
She said the nature of the calls are different from those that would normally be received on another crisis line.
"One of the things that's different about what trans people are having is that a lot of times they're external," she said.
In the month of December operators talked to people calling both the Canadian and U.S. lines for a total of 672 hours.
Martela says there has been no shortage of volunteers. "We're having the opposite problem. We can't train our volunteers as
quickly as they're volunteering. We've got at the moment about 70 trained operators, but we have something like 400 operators waiting to be trained," Martela said.
"2014 was a wonderful year for trans rights, but it's still pretty hard to be a trans person really no matter where you are. It
seems like societal acceptance is slowly coming, but it's slow."
To reach the Trans Lifeline toll-free from anywhere in Canada, dial 1-877-330-6366.
Fla newspaper calls Pam Bondi a ‘modern-day Anita Bryant,’ names her ‘loser of the year’
TAMPA, Fla. — Calling her a modern-day Anita Bryant, The Tampa Bay Times has named Florida Attorney General
Pam Bondi its “Loser” of the year, citing her “relentless defense” of the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which has been
declared unconstitutional by a federal judge and four state judges.
Pam Bondi. It’s hard to imagine how someone who won re-election so handily (rival George Sheldon could not afford a
single TV ad) could emerge from 2014 more wounded and diminished as our Republican attorney general. Put aside the
unseemly junkets funded by groups seeking to influence her. Bondi’s clumsy communication skills and relentless
defense of Florida’s gay marriage ban have made her a modern-day Anita Bryant. Antagonizing Florida’s gay voters
over same-sex marriage and Hispanic voters over immigration reform ensures Bondi has a bright political future ahead
of her — if she moves to Mississippi.
Bryant is an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights who in 1977 In 1977 led a highly publicized campaign to repeal an ordinance passed in Dade County, Fla., that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation..
The Midterms Were Worse Than You Think
If there’s one thing the 2014 midterms demonstrated, it’s that the LGBT movement is in political trouble. No, not simply
because Republicans swept the nation. It’s worse. We were virtually nowhere in the discourse.
Some analysts took this as a welcome turn of events. “It’s the end of the wedge!” they proclaimed. True. But it also meant
that our political agenda — whatever that might be — got exactly zero airtime. Perhaps that’s because, aside from winning
marriage equality, no one really knows what our political agenda is anymore.
At the outset of the 2008 election, the battle lines on LGBT issues were already clearly drawn: hate crimes, employment
protections, repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, and eventually seeking marriage
equality. Those goals have now been gutted either because they’ve been accomplished or are on their way to success — or, in
the case of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, have simply lost unified support within the movement. What’s left to rally
around? Not much at the moment.
Politically speaking, there’s still plenty of work to be done to achieve equality for LGBT Americans outside marriage. Slowly
but surely, the mainstream media are starting to catch on to the fact that same-sex couples can now legally marry in some
states where they can also be legally fired or denied housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a message
that increasingly needs to be pushed to the forefront as our legal eagles blaze a path toward providing the freedom to marry in
all 50 states.
But we need a new bill — or bills — because ENDA has lost the confidence of many people in the community. (It seemed
unlikely to pass during the lame duck session at the time of this writing.)
Perhaps a bill will have surfaced by the time this article publishes. Last July, HRC President Chad Griffin endorsed a
comprehensive LGBT civil rights bill that would ensure equity in employment, education, housing, public accommodations,
and credit. But we need an all-hands-on-deck effort to get behind such an effort and raise its profile. That includes leadership
from groups, hard questions from activists, a constant push to get the attention of mainstream journalists, and campaign
pledges from the 2016 candidates. Even if the groups can’t agree on a bill, we should still be asking politicians how they plan
to equalize treatment for all LGBT Americans. Supporting marriage equality is not enough.
Most important, the legislative landscape in which the next president will maneuver is being created right now. And the
LGBT movement has already fallen behind the curve.
Children’s transgender clinic offers support to teens and their families
CINCINNATI -- The suicide of Kings Mills teenager Leelah Alcorn put the spotlight on issues facing transgender teenagers
and raised questions for some parents.
The Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center is gaining attention as one place with possible answers. For almost a
year-and-a-half the Transgender Health Clinic at Children’s has helped hundreds in the transgender community.
“Transgender people have been around a long time, so it's really nothing new, but I think today more and more kids are
actually coming out and disclosing their gender identity,” said Sarah Painer, a social worker with the clinic. “Like Leelah,
though, the effect on the family dynamic can be very difficult . . . so Children's offers help to parents too.”
In a suicide note Alcorn set to publish online after she placed herself in front of a semi-truck Sunday, Dec. 28 on Interstate 71
in Warren County, the 17-year-old described feelings of despair with her parents for not supporting her.
Painer said Children's clinic has seen patients from 5 to 24 with a wide emotional range, some of whom felt like Leelah felt.
“I've seen patients feeling very empowered and encouraged,” she said. “I've also seen patients sort of dealing with their own
sadness and their own distress.”
Medical staff, counselors, and social workers such as Painer are part of the clinic’s approach to helping transgender people
and loved ones. That includes approaching religious beliefs, some of which Alcorn mentioned in her note, and gender
“Instead of saying (to family), ‘Ok, great, just accept this,’ and force this on families there's a lot of religious communities in
our area who are able and willing to work with families and help them figure out how does this contradict with their value
system and how can they work to try to find that middle ground to still love and care for your child while you're working on
understanding,” Painer said.
Anyone looking for support, or resources can call 513-636-4681 for information.
And click on the link below for a list of other support resources.
Oregon Starts Insurance For Transgender Medical Procedures
This January, the Oregon Health Plan starts covering the cost of reassignment surgery for transgender people. It also
helps cover the cost of hormone therapy and puberty suppression. Some politicians question the use of tax payer
money, but people in the transgender community call it ground breaking.
Oregon joins California, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and Vermont as jurisdictions where Medicaid covers medical
treatments for gender dysphoria.
By looking at medical billing data, the state estimates at least 175 people will use the new coverage this year.
“People with gender dysphoria that did not receive treatment had a much higher rate of hospitalizations or ER visits or
doctor visits for depression and anxiety,” said commission director, Dr. Ariel Smits.
“And they had a pretty significantly high suicide attempt rate — some studies found about 30 percent. But folks when
they received the treatment that they felt was adequate for their gender dysphoria, had an almost normal rate of
depression and anxiety compared to the general population.”
Their suicide rate also dropped significantly.
While the coverage begins this month, Basic Rights Oregon says it may take the state a while to line up services.
Saks Fifth Avenue Shockingly Claims It Has A Right To Discriminate Against Transgender Employees
Saks Fifth Avenue received a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign's most recent Corporate Equality Index. But
attorneys for a former employee who's suing the department store chain say it isn't living up to that score.
Transgender woman Leyth O. Jamal a former sales associate for Saks Fifth Avenue at Houston's Galleria mall, filed a
lawsuit in September against the company, alleging wrongful termination based on sex in violation of Title VII of the
federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, in addition to a hostile work environment, retaliation and breach of contract.
In court filings responding to Jamal's lawsuit, attorneys for Saks shockingly allege that Jamal isn't protected against
discrimination under Title VII. The court filings also misgender Jamal and argue that Saks isn't bound by the
nondiscrimination policy in its employee handbook, which includes gender identity.
Attorney Jillian T. Weiss (right), co-counsel for Jamal, said in a statement that Saks is essentially claiming that
“transgender people shouldn’t have protection from discrimination in the workplace.”
“Saks is touting its high score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, including its gender identity
protections, and then arguing that its trans employees aren't entitled to expect it to deliver on that promise," Weiss said.
In July 2012, Jamal filed an EEOC complaint, alleging discrimination based on gender. Ten days later, she was fired,
prompting her to amend the complaint to include a charge of retaliation.
Several of Jamal's co-workers corroborated her claims, and the EECO concluded: “Based upon the evidence, the
Commission concludes that Charging Party was subjected to intimidation and harassment based on sex (male), and
because of failure to conform to stereotypical male behavior in the workplace, in violation of Title VII. Further, the
Commission concludes that Respondent has an unlawful policy or practice which denies employees access to restroom
facilities consistent with their gender identity, in violation of Title VII.”
In its response, Saks denies many of Jamal's allegations, but admits she was required to use the men's restroom.
Study Reveals Same-Sex Couples Divorcing Much Less Than Different-Sex Couples
Same-sex couples really like marriage. That's the news from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, which studied
the rate of marriage and divorce of same-sex couples in the year since the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA.
A major finding reveals that currently, same-sex couples are about half as likely to divorce as different-sex couples. And
same-sex couples married at a rate about double in 2013 versus in 2102. Married same-sex couples are divorcing at a 1.1
percent rate, compared to a 2 percent rate of different-sex couples, the Williams Institute notes.
"In early 2014, the Williams Institute collected administrative data on marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships of
same-sex couples in the 23 states that offered these statuses at the time data collection began," the study finds. "Two states
provided data on divorces: New Hampshire and Vermont. Six states provided data on civil union and domestic partnership
terminations: California, D.C, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Washington, and Wisconsin."
When the study was expanded to all legal relationships in eight states, like civil unions and domestic partnerships, the rate of
dissolution grew to 1.6 percent annually.
The Williams Institute also found differences in female same-sex couples versus male same-sex couples. "The first analysis
shows that female couples are more likely to formalize their relationships than male couples. Female couples account for just
over half (51%) of all same-sex couples in the U.S. However, data from the state agencies show that 64% of same-sex couples
who entered into legal statuses were female couples."
The study also finds that the SCOTUS decision last summer greatly impacted the decision to marry, even in couples who
lived in marriage equality states. Calling it "the Windsor effect," they note that the "data show that the number of same-sex
couples who married nearly doubled in marriage equality states from 2012 to 2013."
Different sides to the dating game: A look into the trials and tribulations of dating as a transperson
Dating can be a daunting prospect to many people, but entering the scene after recently changing one’s identity to align with
one’s gender is an even bigger challenge.
However, Emily Watson, who started her transition from a man to a woman in March 2013, said that the challenges she faced
were similar to what she faced when dating as a gay man in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community. She
said that while being in the community itself presents difficulties, especially when the extra challenges of being transgender
“pile on,” for the most part she has had experience dating in the gay culture and that her experiences were very similar.
“It’s mostly about finding like-minded individuals who are open to the sort of thing,” Watson said. “One thing I always faced
when I was dating when I identified as gay was that I had an issue with just knowing who is gay.”
Finding someone who is open to having a hetero-normative relationship isn’t easy, and Watson said that dating gay men or
lesbians isn’t an option because they aren’t interested in being in a relationship with a woman or a man. Alternatively, it’s
hard getting into relationships with straight men or women because they are more often than not uninterested in dating a
Watson said that she finds her dating pool very limited and “pretty much restricted to bisexual people, but I mean, there are
always exceptions.”
Watson, who identified as a gay male before transitioning, said that dating as a transgender requires being more cautious.
“Being a transperson dating, especially in areas that aren’t as progressive, you really kind of have to stay closeted,” she said.
“That’s just a huge obstacle to surmount, so honestly your dating pool is really limited to your friends.”
“A dude dating a dude is definitely different from a woman dating a dude, so it’s not just kind of a palette swap, as it were.”
“The other big issue is that if you start dating someone, and they think [you are] male and or female, at what point do [you]
say, well, I’m not fully male or I’m not fully female.” Undergoing hormones and reconstructive surgery can have a huge
impact on whether or not a person is interested in dating.
Oxenbury said that it changes how a person acts in a relationship, how they are with that person, how sexual they are with
that person, and if their partner is accepting of it. “Dating really goes quite a lot further than just ‘Do I get out there and see
somebody and meet somebody?’”
Watson is currently in a relationship with a ciswoman [a non-trans woman]. They met through a friend, and after meeting and
talking on Facebook, discovered they had a lot of common interests.
“That relationship has been going very well. I’ve been with her for a little over a year now.”
For people who aren’t interested in dating at the moment, Oxenbury said that they should still make contact with people who
are going through a similar experience to develop friendships and get advice. She encourages people to use open
communication and find support to work out their issues and emotions through the transition.
Watson said that her advice to transgender people looking to re-enter the dating scene is to find people with common
Laws Proposed to Protect Trans Youth As Leelah Alcorn's Death Rallies Thousands
She called herself Leelah Alcorn, and now people around the world who never knew the girl from Kings Mills, Ohio, have
turned her name into a rallying cry against transgender conversion therapy. Their goal is to make her final wish a reality: “Fix
Society. Please.” Hours after the 17-year old transgender teenager from suburban Cincinnati stepped in front of a tractor
trailer early Sunday, a new entry appeared as scheduled on her lazerprincess blog on tumblr, titled Suicide Note, followed by
another post topped with one word in all caps: SORRY.
In her suicide note, Alcorn explained how her parents punished her for coming out to them as trans at age 14, and how they
would only take her to “Christian therapists” to treat her depression.
At the bottom, she crossed out her birth name, yet her parents, school officials and local news media continue to refer to her
as Joshua Ryan Alcorn.
But once Leelah's scheduled post went live on tumblr, WCPO-TV reported Ohio Highway Patrol officials announced they are
investigating the 2:30 a.m. accident as a suicide.
Alcorn’s stated preference was to be remembered as Leelah: “I’m transgender… I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and
I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4… When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10
years of confusion I finally understood who I was.”
Alcorn wrote that her mom “reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl,
that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong.”
Transgender activist Jennifer Louise Lopez said research by her group, Everything Transgender in New York City (ETNYC),
found a 58 percent family rejection rate toward transgender people who come out of the closet and a 41 percent suicide rate.
"The suicide of Ms. Alcorn tells us that we will have a lot of work to do in the community to greatly reduce these statistics,"
Lopez said.
“The only way I will rest in peace,” Alcorn wrote, “is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re
treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better.
My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide
this year. I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s fucked up’ and fix it.”
There is now a change.org petition aimed at doing just that, by enacting what is being called Leelah’s Law. The Transgender
Human Rights Institute, based in Princeton, N.J., issued a news release on the transviolencetracker.org website: “We the
petitioners call upon the President of the United State Barack Obama, and the Leadership of the House and Senate to
immediately seek a pathway for banning the practice known as 'transgender conversion therapy'. We ask that you name the
bill in memory of Leelah as the Leelah's Alcorn Law and protect the lives of transgender youth.”
The organization cites several leading authorities who have taken a stand against conversion therapy, including the National
Association of Social Workers, who wrote that it “cannot and will not change sexual orientation.”
At presstime, the petition had more than 93,000 signatures. Another petition, calling for Alcorn's headstone to bear her chosen
name, has more than 36,000 names attached.
Holder paves way for transgenders in military
The Justice Department will now interpret the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as protecting transgender government employees
from discrimination, Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week. The decision is a reversal of the department’s prior
position on the matter.
Immediately after the announcement, an activist group called the American Military Partner Association immediately began
pushing for an end to the ban on transgenders serving in the military.
“The Supreme Court and the Attorney General have made it clear that workplace discrimination against transgender people is
not only wrong, but unlawful,” AMPA President Ashley Broadway said in a statement. “While the Defense Department
follows a different set of rules, there is no valid reason that our transgender troops should continue to be prohibited from
serving openly and honestly. The ban continues to harm our military families, military readiness and ultimately the mission.
The Secretary of Defense should do the right thing and immediately order the review of the current outdated regulations that
he said he was open to back in May.”
Retired U.S. Army Col. Bob Maginnis has been directly involved in the debate over “gays” in the military for more 20 years.
In 1993, he testified before the Pentagon’s 1993 Military Working Group that eventually adopted the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
approach to the ban on homosexuals in the military. Maginnis also served as a senior adviser to Lt. Gen. John Otjen, the
senior member of that working group. Maginnis told WND this policy would apply to people who have undergone surgery
and those simply in conflict over their gender.
“We’re talking about people called transsexuals. In other words, they’ve had sex-change surgery. Others are transvestites,
they’re cross-dressers. Others are drag queens and drag kings and people that just cross-dress for the entertainment,” said
Maginnis, who believes this is simply the latest item on the agenda for those who succeeded in overturning “Don’t Ask.”
It remains to be seen whether Holder’s shift in the interpretation of sex-discrimination laws is ignored, will require
congressional action to enact or whether the administration will try to change policy on its own.
Discovery Life Channel explores lives in transition with transgender series ‘New Girls On The Block’ premiering
April 2
PASADENA, Calif.—Discovery Life Channel has announce that New Girls On The Block, previously announced under the
working title Those Girls, will premiere April 2. New Girls On The Block follows a group of highly inspirational and entertaining women from Kansas City, Mo. – all friends, some couples – who just happen to be transgender. After years of struggling with their gender identities, they are finally finding themselves and learning what it means to be the women they always
knew they were. Confronting issues with their relationships, their femininity, their families and friendships, New Girls On
The Block is an authentic look at lives in transition. The six-part series will premiere on Discovery Life Channel Thursday,
April 2 at 10/9c.
As the first series to embed with a real group of friends within the transgender community, New Girls On The Block
offers a transformative look at these women’s lives as they navigate their daily struggles and successes. The series
profiles cast members such as: couple AiYana and Jaimie who, following Jaime’s departure from the military, face
opposition to her participation in competitive triathlons as a woman; best girlfriends Kassidy and Chloe, who are
navigating their transitions together and experiencing many firsts, including their first double date; married couple Macy and
Sharon, who are still in love and trying to understand what Macy’s recent transition means for their relationship; and Robyn
and Andrew, best friends who fell in love after Robyn’s transition and find themselves at odds over whether it’s time to get
“With New Girls On The Block, Discovery Life Channel looks to provide a bridge to a world of acceptance of the
transgender community through our honest portrayal – and entertaining look – at these women’s lives.”
DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights
While the American workplace is often notoriously inhospitable to transgender Americans, the federal government last
month moved decisively to change that. In a new memorandum, the Department of Justice explicitly clarified that
gender identity discrimination claims are covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This is another important step
forward in the ongoing fight for basic fairness and equal treatment under the law for transgender Americans.
As important as these protections are, they certainly do not negate the need for clear and explicit laws that protect
LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace as well as in other aspects of public life. Such laws leave no room
for ambiguity, and they also demonstrate a concrete commitment on the part of the U.S. government to eradicating
discrimination against individuals on the basis of both their sexual orientation and gender identity. The ACLU also
continues to work in courts across the country to ensure that Title VII and other existing laws against sex discrimination
are interpreted to include transgender people.
Judge Rules Against Florist Who Didn't Want to Serve Gays
RICHLAND, Wash. -- A judge has decided the state of Washington has the authority to bring a consumer protection lawsuit
against a florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding. Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom also
ruled Wednesday that the owner of the Richland, Washington, flower shop can be held personally liable for violating the
Consumer Protection Act.
Barronelle Stutzman and her shop, Arlene's Flowers, are being sued for refusing to sell flowers for a 2013 same-sex wedding.
The state attorney general is asking for a permanent injunction requiring Stutzman and her shop to comply with the consumer
protection law.
State lawyer’s ‘bullying’ of gay student not protected by 1st Amendment
DETROIT — A state attorney fired for an anti-gay campaign against a college student can’t collect unemployment benefits,
the Michigan appeals court says, rejecting claims that his off-hours activities were protected by the First Amendment.
The attorney general’s office was justified in firing Andrew Shirvell in 2010 because his posts on Facebook and an anti-gay
blog, as well as his campus visits and TV appearances, clearly had an adverse impact on the agency’s credibility, the court
said in a 3-0 decision released Friday.
“The department, as the chief law enforcement agency in the state, represents all of the citizens of Michigan irrespective of
race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or creed. … Shirvell’s conduct reasonably could have created the impression that
neither he nor the department enforced the law in a fair, even-handed manner without bias,” the court said.
There’s no dispute that Shirvell targeted Chris Armstrong, an openly gay student government president at the University of
Michigan. Shirvell appeared on local and national TV shows to defend his blog and criticize what he called Armstrong’s
“radical homosexual agenda.”
In a separate matter, a federal jury in 2012 ordered Shirvell to pay $4.5 million to Armstrong for defamation and emotional
distress. An appeal is pending.
“You cannot expect to behave in such an outrageous, illegal, harmful, menacing manner and think that your employer is
going to keep you on board as a government employee and it’s not going to affect how you’re perceived by the public,”
Gordon said.
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February 2015