Posts Tagged ‘queer’

Club for crossdressers can’t open

January 16, 2008


image via Metro Times Detroit

“Tranny space,” Metro Times Detroit

But it’s not exactly business as usual, because the proposed club will be for cross-dressing men and transgender people. Club owner Janet Law (a self-described tranny who legally changed her name from Tom to Janet) and her lawyer say the case is more about dirty politics, the First Amendment right to assemble and discrimination against transgendered people.

Law owns a 15,000-square-foot building on Fort Street in the downriver community. National Engines, a garage and parts store for race cars, occupies about 12,000 square feet. Another part of the building is Janet’s Closet, a store selling wigs, makeup, clothing and accessories for cross-dressing men.

“We’re not an adult store. There’s no porn. There are no dildos. There’s no ass lube. There’s no butt plugs,” Law says. “This is an upscale store. It’s not a black room with one light bulb. This is a serious store for a cross-dresser or transgendered person.”

As her business grew, Law renovated the last 1,200 square feet of the building into the club. Men would be able to arrive in their “regular” clothes and use on-site locker rooms to apply makeup, do their hair and change into women’s apparel.

“There’s no sex here. There’s nothing like that,” Law says. “It’s a clean, discreet place for transgenders.”

“Officials keep club for cross-dressers shuttered,” The Detroit News

WYANDOTTE — Dressed for guests in heels and a short skirt, Janet Law sipped a drink alone in the private club she hopes to open for cross-dressing men.

She mailed invitations to city officials in hopes of making peace in a year-long feud over the club. None came Tuesday to Janet’s Place, the disco-lighted lounge and dance floor in the back of Law’s Fort Street speed shop and race car engine-building business, National Machined Engine.

“I was hopeful, but did I really think any of them would come and meet me and see what they fear? No,” said Law, 56, who was well-known in the car racing community as Edward “RJ” Law before getting breast implants four years ago and living as a cross-dresser.

City officials have refused to issue permits to allow Law to operate the club, insisting she lacks parking to accommodate customers. She and her lawyer say officials have ulterior motives and will make a final appeal Wednesday to the Zoning Board of Appeals before filing suit.

In a standoff that’s caught the attention of advocates in the transgender community, Law’s lawyer, Guy Conti, says Wyandotte is violating her constitutional rights because the 1,400-square-foot club otherwise meets zoning rules.

Fantasia Fair 2008!

January 12, 2008

The dates for this year’s Fantasia Fair have been announced: October 19-26. From their site:

Fantasia Fair is a week-long transgender event that attracts people from the entire range of the GLBTI community – crossdressers, transsexuals, intersex individuals, M2Fs, F2Ms, and their significant others are all welcome.

Fantasia Fair is a week-long transgender event held every October in the GLBT resort town of Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Fair is a “full immersion” experience, meaning that attendees can and usually do spend an entire week living 24/7 presenting their gender as the wish.

Started in 1975, “FanFair” is the oldest and longest-running gathering of transgender persons for mutual education, support, collaboration and socializing. Every year the Fair grows in its scope, character, and assistance to the gender explorer. FanFair continues to be the leading annual program promoting an individual’s ability to thrive in a real-life situation, and receive positive reinforcement and encouragement. This allows the cross dresser, MTF transsexual, FTM transsexual and all the gender diverse to experience life in an open and caring environment — something unique in a world that typically has difficulty understanding and accepting gender diversity.

Couples find support, friendship and caring, and enjoy the opportunity to share and partake of workshops and sessions that explore and recognize the ups and downs of a TG partnership.

Here’s a photo from Karen Wendy Fox’s 2007 Fantasia Fair Flickr set:

And here you’ll find many more Fantasia Fair photos, including crossdressing brides, the subject of an upcoming post right here, so stay tuned.

Drag queens fundraising

January 1, 2008

From Kevin Goebel, via Flickr – click here for a whole set of photos from a fundraiser for the POC AIDS Resource Center

Gender Offenders do Christmas in Iraq

December 8, 2007

Via New York Press comes word about Gender Offenders, who have a one-night only show., Christmas in Iraq, tomorrow, December 8th – the 8 pm show is sold out but you can get tix for the 10 pm showing.

Gender Offenders was formed in 2006 by a group of radical, queer artists seeking to break traditional ideas of gender and sexuality as well as address ideological constraints imposed onto individuals by mainstream society, government and religious dogma. Gender Offenders is dedicated to pushing the envelope and advancing live performance by creating politically and socially relevant work. Infusing burlesque, music, mixed-media and traditional theatrical conventions, GO desires to create visually stimulating works that ask questions and provide new ideas for all types of audiences.

All The Kings Men drag king troupe

December 3, 2007


Boston-based All The Kings Men

Anyone who read all of Crossdressing: Erotic Stories, or who snuck ahead to the end to read Melinda Johnson’s wonderful “Some Things Never Change,” got to vicariously experience the thrill of being a drag king. Here’s a snippet:

Writing is a lonely profession, so I break the monotony sometimes by doing a little drag. I’m not the world’s greatest drag king, but still, there’s nothing like the feeling you get from prancing around on stage, women whistling and screaming for you. But it’s more than that, really. I love the way a drag king or queen can be old, saggy, butt-ugly in either gender, but what counts is that they’re up there, doing it. The shows I do are very small, in an old, beat beat-up hall on the east side of town, but when I’m up there, I feel like I’m king of the world. I even throw a few Leo references into my act sometimes, just to amuse myself. No true drag artist can resist a pun. It’s that magic, the magic of the stage, that lets awkward, geeky me get a few girls now and then. Like Christine.

I can replay my first sight of her like a movie in my head. The MC, Mr. Dick Manly, resplendent in a blue sequined tux, had just announced me, “Put your hands together, ladies, for that stud muffin, Herman Leman!” My music started, and I strutted slowly on stage, keeping time to a slow, throbbing electronic beat. I don’t dance so much as pose, gesture languidly, and gradually peel off my outfit. I make a pretty convincing guy, as long as I strap down my generous chest and add a little judicial facial hair. I’ve been told I look a lot like a female James Dean, —the same cast of face, the same carriage. Well, maybe James Dean after a nice motherly type fed him up properly; I’ve always been stocky, and I capitalize on it by lifting weights.

I was dressed in black pants, black shirt, black leather jacket. I walked out on stage, hands on hips. The crowd whistled. And I saw her. They must have seen my tongue hit the floor from the back row. She was a small, slim woman dressed to kill in an acid-green sequined dress and a hot-pink feather boa. Both were Value Village specials, and showed some wear on closer inspection, but from my view on the stage, she shone like a scarlet rhododendron gleaming through the mists of a soft Vancouver rain. I stood open-mouthed, staring, missed my cue to start flexing.

(read the book for the rest!)

You can also catch real drag kings on stages across the country…such as Boston-based drag king troupe All The Kings Men. They describe themselves thusly:

ATKM is an all female performance troupe dedicated to pushing the boundaries and exploring the stereotypes of gender identity through comedic and dramatic story telling set to music.

And another hot description from their MySpage page:

“Sexy melt-in-your-mouth and through your seat theater with hilarious pee-your-pants-and-on-your-neighbor moments, lip-synched, choreographed and improvisationally personality-driven comedic, political, and purely entertaining homo/hetero/bi/a/pan-sexual snort-laughing costume fest.”

There’s a very interesting Bay Windows piece about a straight, married drag king:

But Ryan Stone, known in her daily life as Robin Maxfield, wasn’t like most of her competitors. A straight, married mom in her early 40s from Jamaica Plain, Maxfield works by day as a real estate agent, one of the co-owners of Prudential Unlimited, which has offices in the South End, Brookline, J.P. and Belmont. And she first dabbled in the world of drag a mere three weeks before blowing the competition away at Drag King Idol.

She said her friend David Elliott, owner of the Taylor House bed and breakfast in J.P., told her he was doing drag at Jacques Cabaret as Hazel Nutz, and she was immediately intrigued.

“I said, ’David, I want to be a drag queen. I am a drag queen. I want to do that.’ I have always made costumes, I’ve always liked acting out, but I’ve never really had the opportunities growing up. I didn’t have dance and theater and all that stuff. So I think it’s just been constantly there, but I’ve been living it through other people,” said Maxwell. “He said, ’Well, Robin, you can’t be a drag queen, but you can be a drag king.’ And I said, ’What’s a drag king?’”

Once Elliott explained the basics of drag king performance, Maxwell decided to give it a shot. At a birthday bash for Elliott’s partner, Maxwell and Elliott did a Barry Manilow/Bette Midler duet, “Slow Boat to China.” Maxwell was hooked. (read the rest here)

You can catch them December 6th (see flyer below) and check them out on MySpace.

Crossdressing book release party TONIGHT!

November 29, 2007

Erotic Stories cover

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29
6PM Crossdressing

6PM Reception, 7PM Program, $10. With Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel & authors Helen Boyd and Veronica Vera, respectively pictured below:

Caught reading by Anya Garrett

Veronica Vera, reading at True Sex Confessions Night April 18th

“Explore the erotic thrill of crossing the gender divide and mixing things up in these sultry stories about slipping into something more comfortable. From a femme who channels Marlene Dietrich in the sexiest of suits to a high-powered male executive whose tearoom trick is thrilled by his lingerie, these characters boldly indulge their fantasies of being a girl . . . or a guy . . . for a night,” according to Crossdressing. Rachel Kramer Bussel is senior editor at Penthouse Variations, host of the In The Flesh Erotic Reading Series, and wrote the popular “Lusty Lady” column for The Village Voice. Helen Boyd is the author of My Husband Betty, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary award, and the follow-up memoir, She’s Not the Man I Married. Veronica Vera (MissVera.com) is the author of Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls: Tips, Tales and Teachings from the Dean of the World’s First Crossdressing Academy and Miss Vera’s Crossdress for Success: A Resource Guide for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. Miss Vera’s Academy is in New York City.

The Kinsey Sicks

November 27, 2007

The Kinsey Sicks are a fabulous drag group who you should check out pronto, if you haven’t already. Here’s a clip of them performing at a university, and there’s much more of them on YouTube.

They’re performing right now, through December 2nd, in NYC, then are onto Los Angeles and beyond, and have a DVD out called I Wanna Be A Republican. Love it! Trailer below.

New book – Big Wigs: Stories of a Straight Girl in a Drag Queen’s World

November 20, 2007

Big Wigs: Stories of a Straight Girl in a Drag Queen’s World

Publisher description:

Author Heather Haneman has an obvious way with words. In her delightful debut book, she brings a smart, sassy style to the world of drag. Big Wigs: Stories of a Straight Girl in a Drag Queen’s World will entertain, enlighten and inform. For nearly twenty years, Heather has been a backup dancer in some of the most extraordinary revues imaginable. Not bad for a Missouri girl, an admitted “late bloomer” who thought that drag described the life of someone involved in professional auto racing. Then she arrived in Chicago. As a straight girl in a drag queen’s world, Heather has developed a saucy, street-smart attitude, along with an unblushingly provacative persona and an always energetic wit. She already had the breasts. Bigs Wigs is funny and flamboyant, but at its heart is an appreciation and respect for people, no matter what type of equipment that they’re packing. In the end, it’s an odyssey of humor and humanity. What a ride. What a read.

“In support of drag queens everywhere,” Chicago Sun-Times

The first time she was mistaken for a man — in a Dallas elevator during the Miss Gay U. S. of A. pageant — she was hooked. Soon she was dancing in competitions all over the country.

Nobody does “over the top” like a drag queen, says Haneman. “One minute we’re doing ‘Hairspray,’ now we’re doing ‘Evita,’ now we’re doing this crazy Cher medley. You kind of get lost in it. You forget it’s a female impersonator and you feel like you’re dancing with Cher, and that you’re this amazing celebrity.

“It’s so spectacular that it would be hard to give that up,” she says. “Another 10 years is probably it.”

Haneman, who grew up in a St. Louis suburb, has a daytime “nerd job” as a health club business director. She’s also graduating from Northeastern in December. She’s single, but she doesn’t fault the crowd she runs with.

“It’s a true test of people’s comfort and acceptance if you say, ‘I’m dancing in a drag show this weekend, wanna come?’ ” says Haneman. “At first, they’re a little confused by it. But if it’s a person of quality, they say, ‘OK, let’s check this out.’ ”

As for the book, she had assumed that gay men would be her target audience. But “the people who are most interested in it tend to be Midwest housewives and straight men,” says Haneman. “They have these misconceptions in their minds, that it’s seedy or X-rated.”

Sweatshop Sissy on Crossdressing

November 20, 2007

Blogger Sweatshop Sissy likes Crossdressing: Erotic Stories

For me, the desire to cross-dress is almost impossible to resist (I’m a full-time panty boy) and the sexual charge isn’t the only reason why I do it, but it’s a big part. For some reason I’d never even considered the hotness of cross-dressing from anybody elses point of view and  I’m really embarrassed to admit that I was really surprised by most of the stories in this collection.

I’ve always known that clothes (outer and under) can change how I feel about myself, can even change my persona and clothes certainly change how others see and react to me so it shouldn’t have been that surprising that lots of other people get off on it as well. From male, female, straight, gay, lesbian, transgender and any combination thereof, these stories were hot hot hot. There were stories of how clothing can blur the gender lines and shake up sexual orientation, if only for a night. There were stories of sexy secrets hidden beneath the outer shell and stories of how donning a different costume can reveal an inner passion, and not just in the cross-dresser.

You can read part one of my man in panties story “A Cute Idea” at Eros-Zine, here’s the first part:

It started out as a cute idea, inspired by my boyfriend Neil’s close-to-perfect ass. He was naked, his tall, slim body bending over our dresser, burrowing around to try to find the pair of boxers he was sure was buried deep inside, even though he hadn’t done his laundry in weeks, maybe months. We’d reached a détente where I left him alone about the state of his dirty clothes hamper as long as he eventually got, or bought, clothes that wouldn’t make me crinkle my nose in alarm. He’d done pretty well over the last few months, though he was nowhere near approximating my weekly clothes wash, and he simply laughed when he found my voluminous collection of sexy, lacy, very delicate, expensive panties, garters, stockings and bras drying in our bathroom.

As I looked at his ass, which is, inarguably, the sexiest part of his rock-hard body (though there was plenty of close competition from his solid chest, strong arms, which he uses to carry me when I’m too tired to walk to the car at night, and, of course, amazing cock), the part I loved to grab, fondle, squeeze, and sometimes spank, an idea came to me. I heard him muttering to himself and knew he was probably out of briefs and even out of boxers, which were a far second in his choice of intimate apparel. “Hey honey, I have an idea. Why don’t you put on a pair of my panties? Maybe those new pink ones, with the bows,” I said, remembering our devilishly fun time shopping for the sexy pair, which I’d modeled for him in the dressing room.

Erotic Stories cover

Who doesn’t love Murray Hill?

November 14, 2007

I’ll also be using this blog to give shout-outs to some of my favorite entertainers, and chief among them is Mr. Murray Hill. If you’ve never seen Murray MC or perform, watch the YouTube video below and go to his website. You can also check out this interview I did last year at Gothamist with Murray.