Category Archives: Dress up day
To venture out once more that is. Now that Fall has finally arrived in the south, I can finally continue working on the progress I had made at the end of Spring earlier this year. This past Winter and Spring was full of several fun events to get me out of the house and enjoy the company of great friends and continue working on my goals. But once Summer hit, it was time to pack away the wigs, heels, and take it easy for a while. Needlessly to say this Summer was longer and hotter than usual and I’m happy to see the changing of the seasons upon us, and as with many women out there, this season is my favorite. Yay Fall!
Since last Spring I had made a good friend, Shari, on Facebook who happened to live 30 min away from me and we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet face-to-face and get to know each other. It definitely feels like the trans/genderfluid community in Memphis is smaller than what it looks like in other larger cities, but it’s a community I hope continues to grows over time. Last weekend my wife and I had a chance to meet up with Shari over drinks and dinner in the hip Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis and spend some quality time together. We started off by enjoying a couple of rounds of beer at my favorite pub, which I frequent quite often but this was the first time as Katie, and then we enjoyed some great food at a restaurant next door.
This particular meet up was a bit different than my other times out because it was a casual evening with my wife and a friend, and not a big event at night, like I’ve posted in the past. This meant I needed to tone down my makeup look and try to wear something a bit more casual and appropriate for the occasion. I tend to do a lot of bold makeup looks, which are more appropriate for a special event or a night out, not so much for something laid back during the afternoon. So I kept the false lashes at home, toned down the eye makeup, and went with a subtler lip shade. As for the outfit, I had found this Fall look on Pinterest and was obsessed with it, so I knew I had to wear this out before it got too cold to have bare legs, and with flats it was appropriate for the occasion.
It was a great evening with Shari, catching up, sharing stories, thoughts, and making some fun plans. Towards the end of the night we made plans for our next outing and the possibility of another local trans woman venturing out with us. The idea is to try and meet up once a month, or whenever our schedules work out. Being more visible out in public and doing normal everyday things is the kind of activism I can get behind with; one encounter, one interaction, one conversation, and one drink at a time, and all in the company of great family and friends.
Much love to all,
As someone who is a natural introvert, the last couple of weeks have been quite a nice and healthy change to my normal routine. My wife and I (as Katie) went to visit some good friends in Mississippi while also making some new ones, and we also went out to see a local theater group putting on a drag variety show, which was so much fun.
I usually get a chance to dress up as Katie 2-3 times a month, and over the last couple of years I’ve only been out on the town just a hand full of times. I usually like going out as Katie with a group of close friends, as I like having that comfort and support of a group. This of course is not always easy to schedule, especially when so many friends around us are nurses, who have all kinds of crazy schedules.
When we made the plan to visit our good friend MP in Mississippi, someone who I came out to early on and has shown so much love and support, I brought up the idea of Katie making the road trip down, since it had been a long time since she had see her. This trip would also give me a chance to meet MP’s boyfriend, N, who would be meeting Katie for the first time. I was a little concerned about N’s reaction, even though MP had told her boyfriend about Katie, and he was totally cool with it. Even still, I was a little worried. My concerns melted away as N and I had an awesome and deep conversation, talking about Katie and gender before the conversation moved to friendships, and finally food (since he’s a chef, yum!!). This experience again instills the idea that when you talk to someone one-to-one, great things can happen, and new friendships can develop.
At this event, there was another good friend MM, who was new to Katie as well, but was completely supportive and lovely. About 5 min away from arriving to the event, MP texted me saying that MM was bringing a guy to the party who no one had met before. In the past this simple thing would have twisted my stomach up. What would happen? What’s he going to think of me? But I didn’t mind, and told her that it was all good. I was confident in myself (getting my makeup and outfit down pat really helps with that) and I was amongst good friends.
When MM arrived with this new guy, I was again a little concerned. When this guy introduced himself around the room, he came up to me and asked “what’s your name?”. In the past, I would have said they could call me by my male or female name, I didn’t mind. But this time I told this guy “you can call me Katie”. It was quite an empowering experience actually, asserting myself like that. After the introductions and the conversation with N we had a great time playing some Card Against Humanity, a great game for people who don’t mind being inappropriate. 😉
Before long, it was time to drive back home, but before we left we made plans with MP and MM to go to a drag variety show the following weekend. We had plans to make an epic girl’s night out, with the idea of wearing my new red dress and favorite jacket.
So now fast forward a week and the preparations for the big night. Unfortunately, our friend MP was really under the weather and couldn’t make the drive to Memphis. Now it was just going to be my wife and I going to the show, which started to stress me out as worry started to settle in again; going out in public, just the two of us, not in the best part of town, at night, wearing a dress and hells. I just hope that with the more I do go out, the easier it will be and the less stress I put on myself. I worked myself up so much I had to make repeated trips to the bathroom.
In previous years, doubt might have gotten the best of me and I would have thought about either not going or not going as Katie, but this time doubt only got a piece of me. I wasn’t going to wear that dress, I was going to wear something that I felt comfortable in. At least I’m making some progress I guess…. Anyways, we made it to the theater, taking a moment to take a picture in front of a popular Memphis sign, and then heading into the show. The lady taking the tickets said with a smile “how are you, gorgeous?”, which just made my day. It was at this point that the worry melted away and I began to ask myself “why did I work myself up so much?”. I really need to stop doubting myself so often and realize that there is nothing to worry about.
The show was amazing, with many beautify, talented, and hilarious local performers. We really do have some amazing theater groups here in Memphis, many more than in other cities, and we were more than happy to support these groups. After the show, we had to walk a couple of block back to the car, which again wasn’t without worry given the neighborhood, especially as we walked by a random guy walking down the sidewalk while loudly talking to himself. Yikes! We made it home safe and happy that we had watched a very entertaining show.
So, while I had a great time out to a friend’s house, and out to a show, I still have some work to do for myself. I have to work on not doubting myself so much, and work on not always relying on the comfort of a large group, as it’s not something that we can often plan. As a good friend would say, people with pitchforks aren’t going to hunt you down, and that was certainty not the case the last couple of weeks. Instead of pitchforks, it was love.
Much love to you all,
As many of you know I have a love of beer, which leads to my wife and I enjoying ourselves whenever we go to a beer festival. During our last beer-tasting event I was reminded of how sharp the contrast between the two ends of my identity can be sometimes, swinging from one end to another in no time flat.
We visited our favorite local brewery, which was hosting their first beer-tasting event and got to make a new friend. There we were, getting something to eat at an awesome food truck that parked for the event, when my wife sparked up a conversation with a stranger wearing a gay pride shirt. She said how we’re big allies of the LGBT community, which is when I stepped in to say that I was more than an ally, I was part of the T in LGBT, and told him all about Katie, only moments after getting his name. Afterwards, I found it so interesting how a simple shirt got me to open up to a complete stranger. I guess it’s part of me being much more comfortable with who I am.
It was just a few minutes after talking to our new friend when things swung sharply. One of my ice hockey teammates (I play on a local recreational adult team) walked up to say hi, which is when we stopped talking about our favorite drag queens in town, and started talking about beer and hockey. As you could imagine, a locker room environment filled with guys doesn’t make for the most reassuring environment, so needlessly to say, I don’t see myself coming out to any of my hockey pals. Once my hockey friend left to browse the options, we resumed to talk about the local LGBT community, drag, and gender. To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t get whiplash, LOL.
Looking back on this day, I’m happy that I took the opportunity to make a new friend in the local community, which in the end was one of the goals I wanted to work on for the year. This day also makes me think, why have such abrupt swings? I guess it’s a necessity for the moment. I have for a long time felt that my gender views are a private matter, not secret in that no one should know, but a private matter that a select few are privy to. In a perfect world it would be nice to speak on these matters open to everyone, but we’re still working our way there.
Anyways, it’s almost time for the World Cup, and it’s going to be a month full of excitement. Excitement for my home county and excitement for my adopted county.
Much love to all,
I’m happy that I have a couple of nice wigs in my closet, one old Jon Renau Zara wig, which I wear around the apartment, and my new Zara wig, which is brand new and shinny for when I go out, but of course, with double the wigs comes double the work in maintaining them. When I first started buying wigs, I had no clue how to take care of them, and my old Zara wig shows the wear and tare from the initial neglect. I bought some cheap synthetic wig shampoo and conditioner from a big company and after washing the wig in cold water, taking my time to untangle all the fibers, and applying the conditioner, I wasn’t completely happy with the end result. It wasn’t like new.
When I bought my new Zara wig late last year, I bought some new shampoo and conditioner from the company that makes the wig (Jon Renau), and boy does it make a difference. It does take quite some time to go through the wig, piece by piece to untangle the fibers, but the end result is silky and smooth, especially after applying the conditioner. It’s so nice to be able to run your fingers through the hair and not have them get caught up. With regular washing and proper care, I’m sure I’ll be keeping my hair in good shape for quite some time, and save some $$$.
I hope you all had a great weekend,
Spring is finally coming around and along with the warm sunshine, the negative baggage is starting to melt away, and replaced with some much needed confidence and positivity. Since coming out to my mom last Christmas, we really haven’t talked about the issue much, we’ve dealt with it as if nothing ever happen, which I’m sure is not a healthy thing. However, the last time we talked about my gender views a couple of months ago, in context of whether or not to tell my dad, things didn’t go quite well. It just takes a simple sentence to throw you off for a month or two. She told me that after much thought, it would be better to keep this information from my dad because it could be the last thing to kill him. Not literally of course, but after about 15 years of some heavy family drama all around us, this might just be too much to handle, especially since I’m seen as the one who has worked hard to do all the right “normal” things in life. The way she said it was almost factual, with no malice or negative intent, after taking her time to really analyze the situation.
After those words reached my ears I really wasn’t sure how to react, so I didn’t, and agreed that we would keep this information under wraps. It was only after our conversation that those words started to affect me. I unplugged. I didn’t write anything for nearly two months. I didn’t check-in with friends online. I started to ask, “what’s the point”? Why try to feel happy, or beautiful? I once spend a couple of hours getting all glammed up, only to take it all off because I just wasn’t feeling it. I know that this is just the process of how I deal with negative emotions. I go through the process of felling these emotions until I turn the corner and move past it. Also, having a supportive wife and some close friends helped me re-realize that I am beautiful, and that there is no shame in loving myself again.
This all culminated with last night’s event. I haven’t been out in public for a long time, and I had been looking for some good opportunities to go out and enjoy a night with my wife and friends. A burlesque show hosted by a local LGBT group was that opportunity. I felt that confidence grow once again, and we had an amazing night, watching some talented performers, and enjoying a martini or two, all in a friendly and supportive environment. I even got to spend some time talking to a local drag queen, Iris Le’Fluer, who besides looking amazing in her outfits, was asking me if I ever thought about performing, which I was very flattered by.
I did learn some random things last night: lighting really sucks in bars/clubs, which no flash can help in taking a good picture; and I really need to learn how to do some styling on my wig to make it look more interesting. New things to learn and do, what life’s all about I guess!
Happy spring and much love to all!
Wow, it’s been three weeks since my last post. I’ve been a bit out of the loop when it comes to the blogging world. To be honest, I’ve been busy with some other things, mostly catching up on some awesome video games, which I’ve fallen way behind on over the years, and binging on episode after episode of Dr. Who. On top of that, I’ve lost some motivation to do some writing on my thoughts and feelings, as I haven’t had a chance to spend time as Katie for a few weeks.
I love summer for all the activities in the city, but I don’t like the summer when it comes time to don that wig. Besides the heat, I have a separate issue when it comes to being comfortable. I would love to be able to wear a dress and enjoy a nice summer evening out. The issue has to do with my hair, all that body hair. Now, I know every guy has body hair, so you may say “Katie, why don’t you just shave it off”? That sounds easy, but you must understand that when I say I have body hair, I mean I have a ridiculous amount of body hair (head to toe, and from front to back). It’s been something I’ve had to deal with since middle school (I’m serious, I remember starting to shave in 7th grade). I avoid the pools, the beeches, and the water parks, anything where I have to take off my shirt.
This all means that when I do dress up, I wear jeans (or thick opaque tights), long sleeve tops, or jackets to help cover up the hair. So far it has worked out just fine, at least when it’s not 100 degrees out. I’m always looking for ways to improving myself, and trying to achieve my goals, whether it is coming out to friends and family, or practicing on my skills. Recently my friend, Nadine, wrote a nice post on waxing. After reading her article and watching some YouTube videos, I thought that waxing might be a worth a try. I ordered everything I need and will have to try it out in the following weeks.
I’ll take it slow and see how it goes. It might be a while before I work up to waxing the whole body, and I’ll have to see how my wife reacts to it. She’s mentioned in the past that she likes all that body hair, and I have to think about the balance. Is it fair to take away something she likes about me? If I were hairless, I might love going to the pool, or the beach. We’ll just have to wait and see how it works out.
I hope you all had a great weekend,
As many of you know, I love makeup. I love the transformative properties it provides along with the artistic creativity it affords me. I’ve been working on my skills with makeup for nearly three years now and it seems to be getting me noticed. I’ll be the first one to tell you that I am by far not a professional makeup artist, and will admit to the fact that I think I’m quite average when it comes to makeup. With that being said I’ve received many compliments from people all over the place, and recently my friend Hanna has suggested that I give a little rundown on my routine. So here we go…
Before we get too deep into the post, let me talk a little about the tools of the trade. If you’re just starting out with makeup, it’s probably a good idea to stick with cheap options, such as using swabs or cheap brushes for applying eyeshadows, and using drugstore brands of makeup. As you get the hang of it, you can then move up and invest in a nice set of brushes and makeup. Another basic tip, YouTube!!! I learned almost everything I know from it, and so can you!
After getting a close shave and finding a confortable place to sit, I usually start of first with my eyes (I usually make a mess with eyeshadows). I start with a primer base (Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion), and then I start my work with the Urban Decay Naked palette (around $50, a heck of a deal for what you get), for a bold natural eye makeup look.
I usually start with a white eyeshadow and brush that up from the inner corner up to the brow for a highlight color. Then I take a light gold color for the inner eye, and gradually change to darker shades as I work myself to the outer eye. Then I take a dark color, and with a blending brush, blend that color from the outside corner towards the inner corner along the crease of the eye.
I use a MAC Kohl pencil (in Feline) to line the bottom and smudge the line with a pencil brush. I then use the same pencil to color in my bottom and top waterline (the top is not necessary and tough to do), followed by MAC blacktrack gel liner for the inner eye (I get the pointy thin line in the inner corner by using a thin brush I bought at a crafts store, cheap way to go, oh…and a ton of practice).
After applying some lotion, and a base primer (MAC Perp+Prime), it’s time for the foundation (MAC studio fix fluid). Since I am quite pale, I have a noticeable line of foundation at the bottom of my neck, which I blend out into my upper chest with the lightest shade of foundation I could find. This gives me a nice transition from the face, to the neck, and to the body. I follow this up with Dermablend along my beard area, which does wonders to coverup the noticeable beard shadow. I finish up the foundation with a translucent powder to set the foundation.
Next up: contouring. This is most dramatically used by drag queens to shape their faces, but I tone it down quite a bit for an everyday look. You can search for YouTube videos to explain how to contour the face. I use a MAC blush palette to help shape the face, the nose, and the cheeks, using a light color for the highlight, and some shades of brown to create depth.
Have a great week everyone! Love,
Summer may technically be only a few days old, but here in Memphis, it’s been summer for a month now. It’s a time when I don’t dress up as much, and when I do, I stay close to a fan and enjoy a cold beverage, which of course brings me to one of my favorite hobbies, home brewing. We recently wrapped up our summer line of brews, perfect for the summer time heat, and classy enough for any girl.
First up, our “I Hope It’s Kölsch” brew (a beer typical of Cologne, Germany). A beer light in color, malty sweet, refreshing, and with enough complexity to enjoy slowly. Next is one of my all time favorites, our “El Hefe Muerto”, a blood orange hefewizen (a German style wheat beer). The yeast used gives the beer plenty of fruity notes, and the added blood oranges (which we usually find in the stores in January, then store for the spring) give it the sweetness to help with the relentless sun. The last brew is a classic American pale ale, made popular by brewers like Sierra Nevada. It has some sweetness from the malt, and the heavier hop dose gives it its bitterness and hop aroma. Soon, it’ll be time to plan the fall beer lineup. All in all, a hobby I would recommend to anyone interested in what goes into making beer.
At least with the cool down, I have a chance to try out some new clothes I got from the Express end of season sale. K and I got some insane deals, including 60% off this pink blazer I love, and some other tops we can share in our collective wardrobe. I’m really looking forward to going out in these new outfits, once fall arrives that is. Until then, stay cool my fiends!
Over the last few weeks I haven’t had much of a chance to sit down and do some writing. The major reason is that Memphis in springtime is a perfect time to get out of the apartment and enjoy the best that the city has to offer. It’s a perfect time to stroll down Beale Street with some friends and unwind from all of life’s usual stressors. We’ve also been working on brewing our summer beers, getting them ready for the Memphis heat.
Today we got to enjoy one of the numerous crawfish festivals in the area, and got to enjoy our first time sucking on some spicy heads. My wife was able to relax and let the stress of school melt away, even if it was for a short time.
The highlight of the weekend was our visit to Jack Magoo’s sports bar for a drag show, featuring Alexis Mateo! Alexis is one of my all time favorite RuPaul Drag Race contestants and I couldn’t pass up the possibility to dress up and go out for my second drag show. We got to the bar an hour before the show started and was able to meet Alexis as she arrived. We cheered as she arrived and she headed straight to our table. I was in a surreal state when she gave my wife and I a hug. I was able to talk to her, introducing myself as Katie, cheering her on as a fellow Latina, and blushed as she complimented me on my look. I couldn’t believe that just happened.
While we were waiting for the show to start, some guy, who had been at the bar for a while drinking, joined our table. He was pleasant, not rude or obnoxious, but it was the first time I had an extended conversation with a complete stranger as Katie. It took him a while to figure out I was a guy, dressed up as a woman, but then again, he had had a few drinks. Thankfully he didn’t stay long, and I didn’t feel uncomfortable at any time. We then got to enjoy the performance of many local drag kings and drag queens, some of whom recognized me from previous visits, and I got a chance to know them a bit further.
The feature attraction worked her way to the stage and just rocked it. I love how Alexis does her makeup and I loved the performance she gave. Alexis Mateo was a class act and so kind, taking pictures with her adoring fans (myself included). Needlessly to say, I generously tipped all performers for their excellent performances.
At the end of the night (or should I say early morning), I left the show feeling rejuvenated. I felt much more comfortable going out, talking to strangers, and getting to know some of the local drag queens a bit further. It is a community I feel I want to know further. I also left feeling like there might me a wonderful opportunity here for me. I have never performed in front of a crowd, and never “just let loose”. Could I do drag? This is the question I asked myself after the show. Could I learn to let loose and perform? I’ll have to think about it and see if there are any amateur nights I could check out. At least it might be something to try once…
Till the next drag show,
As a guy, being 6’1″ has its advantages at times. I help out around the apartment and at stores, reaching for things out of reach of my 5-foot-even wife. At concerts I have no problem seeing the stage, peering above the heads if others. However, in the past couple of years I’ve realized there are some drawbacks of being tall, as a trans/crossdresser. I have a hard time finding shoes that fit, and when they do, I tower over everyone in my heels, helping draw a lot of attention when out and about. Jewelry is also a problem, having a hard time finding rings and bracelets that fit my finders and wrists.
The other day, while spending time on Pinterest looking for accessory ideas, I had the idea that I should make my own jewelry. I have often bought elastic rings, thinking that the elastic string would help to fit my larger fingers, only to find that they cut off the blood supply to my finger. Not my idea of a good time! So a stop to our local Michael’s was in order. I wasn’t sure what I would find, or how much they had for jewelry making, but I was surprised with the quantity of options available. I bought some adjustable ring blanks, large pendants, some silk flowers, and my first glue gun.
As you might guess, Glue Gun and I will be close friends. I absolutely love the rings I put together, and will be wearing them out soon. I also bought some elastic sting to fix my other rings, which were too tight. Now that I have these tools in hand, I keep coming up with other custom jewelry ideas!