Published for the Most Beautiful Girls In The World. A publication of the Pretty T Girls Yahoo Group. November 2017

The Pretty T Girls Magazine 1 Published for the Most Beautiful Girls In The World A publication of the Pretty T Girls Yahoo Group November 2017 2...
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The Pretty T Girls Magazine


Published for the Most Beautiful Girls In The World A publication of the Pretty T Girls Yahoo Group

November 2017


In This Issue PAGE

Editorial Concerning the Las Vegas Shooting. Becoming A Woman by: Breanna Austin Aging by: Jan Marie ‘A Fantastic Woman’ Could Lead to a Day At the Oscars Is the Concept of Passing Problematic? 25 Hair Styling Hacks Every Girl Should Know Everything You Need To Know About Hair Extensions How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster Bluestocking Blue The Adventures of Judy Sometimes Humor Angels In The Centerfold Mellissa’s Tips Diana Sikes How To Keep Your Sweater Looking New Tasi’s Fashion News The Worst Shoes For Your Feet Lucille Sorella From The Kitchen How To Deep Fry Food Without Making a Mess The Gossip Fence Shop Till You Drop Calendar

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Concerning the Shooting in Las Vegas An Editorial by: Barbara Jean

First I guess I should say that this editorial does and does not have anything to do with our being transgender. It does have everything to do with our being human beings though. As many of you may be aware I live in Las Vegas and on October 1st. our famous strip became the site of the worst mass shooting in America. 59 dead and some 514 injured. In June of 2016 49 people were killed at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida. In 2012 20 little children were killed at Sandy Hooks elementary school. It seems common today to read of another mass shooting someplace here in the United States. But also on a daily basis it seems people are being killed by some form of violence. Every year on November 20th we have the Transgender Day of Remembrance because sadly for us every years a number of our transgender brothers and sisters are murdered simply because they were transgender. While I am an advocate of common sense gun control, that is not what this editorial is about. Don’t matter if it is a mass shooting or the killing of an individual I have to wonder what has made our society so violent. While some may say our country has a violent history, I did read awhile ago where in 1910 there were only 230 murders in the entire country. I have to wonder what has changed? What has made us so violent of a society? Some people will put the blame on television and others on video games, yet the violence was going on even before either of these were invented. Greed, perhaps to an extent. Yes since the birth of our nation we have been rather greedy. Rather than sharing the land with the Native Americans we just took it from them. Is that the cause? I really don’t think so. Religion, so many wars have been started in the name of religion, and yet no religion teaches hate. So many places that we may want to point our finger at, yet I don’t think there is any one particular cause. So rather than pointing fingers and trying to figure out the cause, perhaps we should work harder on the cure. As Jesus said “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”. It does not matter if a person has a different skin color than yours, if he/she is in this country legally or not, or what their religion, sexual orientation or gender identity is, they are all our neighbors and we need to learn to accept their difference and learn to get along with each other much better. And the amazing thing, as we make friends with the person who skin is a different color than ours, the person who is an immigrant, who is part of a different religion, or has a different sexual orientation or gender identity than us, we learn new things, we destroy myths and we make our world a better place not just for ourselves, but for everybod y. Let us start working on getting along with everybody.



Becoming A Woman From Essays by Briana Austin Do you dream of life as a woman 24/7? Is it reality or fantasy that drives you? Many of us have fantasized about becoming a woman; waking everyda y with silky smooth legs & curvaceous bodies. Gliding in high heels, wearing makeup, garter-belts, and stockings and blending in. Enjoying our feminine self without any hecklers or unwanted remarks. For some this is more than fantasy, it is a life long objective just within reach. There are so many t-sisters out there searching for happiness convinced that they would find it in womanhood. For a very few, some who are truly transsexuals – woman trapped in a man’s body — they do find happiness. For too many others it was but an empty illusion. Cross dressers often experience such joy in the female role that some seek that joy all the time. But one must recognize the illusion they experience. When one dresses up and steps out in our high heels (or stay in), the enjoy is in the magic of that moment. But it is just that – a moment; a fleeting utopian second. Can the experience really be sustained? First off, many crossdresserss don’t dress because they’re displaced women in a man’s body. Dressing provides an escape from something; whether it is an over bearing mother, father or wife, a release of the pressures of ones job, an ability to express a part of one’s self more comfortably through a female persona, sexual gratification or any of dozens of other descriptions. What am I saying? I am saying that it is great in a limited space of time, but to do it everyday may not be the dream one imagines. When many men dress they leave the problems of life with their male identity and escape into the wonderful carefree life of womanhood, and it can be delicious. It’s delicious however because they don’t have any of the problems of LIVING as a women associated with it. When you seek to be a woman all the time however, you re-enter back into the real world. Your previous problems, from which you were trying to escape, are no longer inescapable as a fulltime woman. Moreover, the problems are still there except your have to now deal with them as a woman, which is not an easy task. I have had so many men say to me “I am so relaxed as a woman.” Perhaps they are relaxed because they have escaped the day to day grind and pressure of life. Many CD’s when they are in their “I have to dress” frame of mind, can’t think of anything else. They will put off important issues until they are done in an hour – a day or a week later, knowing that they will return to the issues at hand when they are fulfilled. Many times they return feeling renewed and refreshed. But if you were living as a woman you could not put these things off; they would be part of your life and have to be dealt with timely.

7 Not only does transition mean dealing with life “as a woman”; it means experiencing life “not” as a man. Many of the benefits of being a man will disappear, and there are many benefits in this society to being a man I assure you. I am not trying to derail anyone’s desires of pursuing their dream of transition or full time dressing. I’m infusing some hard reality to consider before leaping: make sure you’ve thought it through, weighed the realities against the fantasies, and are driven by the core of who you are and not by the person you like to be, sometimes. Moreover, a woman has been practicing her assimilation into society all her life – from childhood through the teenage years right into adulthood. She has been prepared to live in society as a woman, learning about her strengths and weaknesses, the advantages and setbacks. You have not. A man who was used to certain access, attention and respect may be very frustrated by the new lack of it. Many trans-girls say to me “I get so much attention as a girl, more than I ever did as a man.” Honey that is sideshow attention, you are the spectacle, the organ grinder monkey. The monkey gets lots of attention – what does that really mean? Would you get more attention and respect at work, in applying for a loan, making a business deal, or is it only at the tranny bar? Give that some real honest thought. Choosing to transition is not about convenience either. Because it may be a hard road doesn’t make it the wrong road. It’s a decision however that does require taking all things into account. Nolte with Chrysis In 1985 I had a dear friend known as International Chrysis (see photo right). She was tall, feminine and beautiful — ala Rita Hayworth. She was a bombshell who was very comfortable in her gay sexual orientation, unlike many crossdressers who have internal struggles over whether they’re gay, BI or heterosexual. She had started hormones at the age of 16 and in her 30s — with an hourglass figure and 38-C breasts — at times would question her decision. I spent many nights with her as she cried saying “what have I done, I am a monster.” When I asked what she Nolte with Chrysis meant she said, “I should have just been a gay man.” I was stunned. How could this be? She was beautiful, feminine and had no question about her sexuality. She was a natural candidate to be TS, yet still had internal conflicts. People assume that everybody fits into a clear mold based on certain factors, I certainly did. Chrysis struggled with life as a woman spending most of her time androgynous in her hairstyle and clothing. Only during a night out, or doing a show did portray the illusion of a woman, yet always referred to her makeup and wig as drag. “Let me get out of this drag” she would say at the end of the night. It was only a year or so before her death that she let her hair grow and began to accept and portray the role of a woman. She even landed a speaking part in the movie Q & A with Nick Nolte shortly before her untimely death, and was the subject of the documentary Split. (She

8 is greatly missed!) A current friend is on a fast track to transition; the hormones are flowing, breasts are growing, skin softening and surgery is being planned. When she is complete – does that make her a woman? She still reacts like a man, has the temperament of a man, thinks like a man and has the lib ido of a man. So with the body of a woman what is she? On the contrary, my very dear friend Teryl-Lynn Fox (the former Miss Gay Louisiana and countless other titles), never even dressed up the first time until she in her late teens, and within a few years started living fulltime. She said is best: “Womanhood is something you have to grow into, it is not something you just become. It is a journey that e volves – changing continually.” Many of my other friends struggle for a sense of understanding. Is my current friend a gay man looking for validation? Does she think in her mind that to be with a man would be O.K. if she were a woman? Sexuality plays a huge underlying role in the lives of many crossdressers. Another friend once told me “I am not gay, I am only with men when I am dressed up.” “Does the dress make a difference” I asked? To her it apparently does. This is not to portray that all cross dressers are confused about their sexual orientation, because there are many that are very comfortable in their heterosexual — or homosexual — orientation. But if they were heterosexual then that would make them lesbians wouldn’t it? On second thought, that is another article all together. “Your body is the taxi that carries YOU around” I once wrote. Who you are is what this article is all about, inside you, your heart, your spirit and your soul. Don’t rush off in hope that transition will make your life better; find out who you are first. When you get in touch with that, then, and only then are you ready to deal with a life-altering decision. If you have the spirit of a woman and really want to bring your body in line with “you”, which you believe in your very bones should have been a woman, then transition makes sense, but absolutely anything less is a tempting but empty fantasy. As always, be happy, be safe, and think pretty.


Ageing By Jan Marie A CD friend of mine just had a bad hair day. She assessed where she was in life and decided it was time to stop dressing. She feels old, (she is in her 60's) and not as sexy as she once was. She sees other CD's also as .older and masculine. I just want to make a few comments to help others reason out where we want to go at this point of our life.. Women, like men get old. It is a fact of life. Some age better than others. The fact remains, however, that they do, at some point , stop looking young and sexy. If we had been born female we would have faced the same fate. Recently we had our 50th High School Reunion. What surprised me most is how the most beautiful girls now look old and aged. Very few look sexy and exciting. Actually none did ! I look better when dressed. It is not that they let themselves go. They just gave into the aging process. We want to be women. If we were granted our wish, we would probably be the same, at this point, as the gals at my reunion. Is that so bad? I think not. The idea is to be female. Not young and sexy female. Just female. We need the clothes, make up, wig and accessories to play the part. When we put all of this on, we are the best we can be. So what if we are not centerfold material. We are, however, women. Look around you. How many women in our age range look svelt and sexy. Very few. How many look masculine at our age. A lot. You will probably have a bad hair day. So what ? You can still go out en femme, and mix with others. You will probably fit in better. We also know that the urge to dress always returns. If we are going to dress we should not worry. We will probably fit in better now than in our young and sexy da ys. What do you gals think ? Hugs and xxxx


'A Fantastic Woman' Could Lead to Trans History at Oscars Associated Press TORONTO — A transgender Chilean actress has turned in one of the m ost buzzed-about performances of the year and som e are hoping she could be the first trans actor to land an Oscar nom ination.

[Photo: Chilean trans actress Danie la Ve ga, a cast me mbe r in the film "A Fantastic Woman," poses for a portrait at the The Ade laide Hote l during the Toronto International Film Fe stival in Toronto, Se pt. 9, 2017 .]

Daniela Vega, 28, stars in Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman. She plays Marina, a transgender woman whose partner (Francisco Reyes) dies, after which Marina is subjected to harsh treatment by the family of her deceased lov er and by police investing the death.

Chile has selected the film as its Academy Awards submission this year. But the bigger spotlight may be on whether Vega's breakout performance — one of stirring strength and com passion — could make Oscar history. Rev iewing the m ovie at its Berlin Film Festival premiere, Variety called her performance "a multi-layered, em otionally polymorphous feat of acting," that deserves "so much m ore than political praise." While several transgender musicians have been Oscar-nominated, no trans performer has ever earnedan acting nod. "It's too early to talk about that, to think about it. I have lots of festivals to attend, lots of dresses to wear," Vega saidwith a grin in an interview. "The Oscars are a little bit beyond the timeline I'm thinking about right now. We'll cross that bridge when we com e to it." Vega and A Fantastic Woman will not have an easy road to the Oscars. Performances in foreign -language film srarely break into the acting categories, and this year, like m ost, the field of potential contenders boasts plenty of heavyweight, bigger-nam e perform ers like Meryl Streep (The Post) and Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game). But Vega has two things going for her: the depth of her performance and the possibility of a long-awaited Oscar landmark. Such a result could have great meaning for a trans community that President Donald Trump recently banned from entering the military. "If we broaden our gaze, it will be m ore interesting, m ore beautiful. If we can make m ore diverse colors, people, stories, it will be interesting," Vega said. "Uniforms are for the military and the police, not for our thinking."

11 Hollywood has far from shied away from telling transgender stories, but the industry has com e under increasing criticism for not casting them in high-profile parts. Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) have taken home awards, and m ovies like 2015's The Danish Girl, with Eddie Redmayne, and2 005's Transamerica, with Felicity Huffman, have garnered nominations. While those films and the Amazon series Transparent have been widely applauded, pressure has m ounted urging producers to cast trans actors for trans parts. Progress has instead com e in smaller, offbeat productions like Sean Baker's Tangerine, the much-lauded2 015 film Baker shot with iPhones. It starred a pair of transgender perform ers, Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. Taylor last year won an Independent Spirit Award for her performance. "There is very beautiful transgender talent," Taylor said, accepting the supporting actress award. "You better get out there and put it in y our m ovie." Transgender people have been nom inated in other Oscar categories. The com poser Angela Morley received two nods, for 1974's The Little Prince and 1976 's The Slipper and the Rose. Most recently, singer Anohni, formerly known as Antony of Antony and the Johnsons, becam e the first transgendered performer ever nom inated. She collaborated with J. Ralph on the nom inated song Manta Ray for the documentary Racing Extinction. But when the category 's other nom inees — Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, the Weeknd — were given performing slots during the 2016 broadcast, Anohni was not, and she opted to boycott the cerem ony. In a fiery essay announcing her refusal to attend, Anohni declared: "They are going to try to convince us that they have our best interests at heart by waving flags for identity politics and fake m oral issues." Whether Vega — and Oscar voters — can change history won't be decided for m onths. Sony Picture Classics, which has guided perform ers to dozens of Academy Award nominations, will release the film on Nov. 17. For now, Vega is soaking up her m oment. "It's like living a dream," said Vega. "It's like a film in a film."


Is the Very Concept of “Passing” Problematic? If you hang out in trans circles long enough you start to realize the controversy surrounding the concept of “passing”. First off, what is “passing”? Typically, for a trans woman to “pass” is for strangers to not realize they were assigned male at birth. In other words, for a trans woman to “pass” is for the random passerby to think she’s cisgender i.e. not trans. For this reason, some theorists talk about “cis-passing” because that’s exactly what it is: passing for a cis person when in fact you are not cis. And therein lies the controversy: why should cis people be the standard through which we define and understand the appearance of trans folks? To say that cis people are the ultimate standard is to buy into the whole concept of cis-normativity, which is the idea that cis people’s genders are more valid and real than the genders of trans people. Furthermore, the concept of passing implies that we are trying to “pass ourselves off” as something we are not. Thus, to “pass” can imply that we are being deceptive. A trans woman walks into a woman’s restroom and “passes” – does this mean she was pretending to be cis to enter the bathroom? But that’s false: trans people are not being deceptive simply in virtue of walking down the street. How could we be deceptive when we are just trying to be ourselves? When I go to the grocery store I am not “pretending” to be cis and have zero intention of deceiving anybody. This is the dilemma that trans people face when we have to “come out” to people. Cis people often view this in terms of duplicity but that places trans people in a double-bind. Should we be expected to wear a sign on our heads? There is no way to be “non-duplicitous” in virtue of just being ourselves. I am not constantly lying with every footstep I take in public. I’m just being myself. But there’s a conundrum here which is that trans people, including myself, go out of our way to “pass more” or “pass better” in many circumstances. When I go to the drive-through I try to pitch my voice up higher than normal in order to get gendered female over the intercom. Does this mean I was “faking it” in order to pass myself off as something I’m not? If you look at forums like reddit’s /r/transpassing it’s very clear that the vast majority of trans people, if not ALL trans people, care about passing to some extent. If they pass already, that’s great – they’re happy. And if they don’t pass, that’s a reason for much consternation. The belief that one will never pass can actually be a reason for some trans people to decide to not transition at all. And there are very good reasons for trans people to care about passing. First and foremost, it’s about our safety. If you pass you are said to be able to “blend into society”. If you don’t pass, you stick out and are at greater risk for transphobic violence or harassment. This is especially true for trans women. Sex workers who are “found out” to be trans are often at risk of extreme violence from men. To pass as cis to be safe. To be visibly trans is to be less safe. So it’s quite

13 rational to care about passing from a pragmatic safety perspective, especially if you are on the trans femme spectrum. Not passing is also the source of much of gender dysphoria. If you’re a non-passing trans women , i.e. everyone can tell you’re trans by looking at you or talking to you, this can be a source of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Why? Well it’s simple. First off, if you don’t pass you’re more likely to get misgendered, which is painful for trans people. Second, if you don’t pass then that means people in society are less likely to see you as your true gender. Third, if you don’t pass, then your body does not align with your desires with respect to having the characteristics of the “opposite sex”, which leads to dysphoria aka suffering. BUT WAIT. Weren’t we just saying before that cis people should not be the standard by which the appearance of trans people should be judged? Why are cis people the standard? Why can’t trans people be judged with respect to their own standard? One of the deepest symptoms of transphobia is to think that more you pass the more valid your gender is and the less you pass the less valid or real your gender is. When we see a non-passing trans woman transphobic people are likely to think “that’s a man” because she does not pass. It requires a great deal of internal mental work to correctly internally gender trans people who do not pass because it is ingrained in our minds that men and women are “supposed” to look a certain way. A 6’5 300 lbs broad shouldered trans woman with a deep voice is automatically thought to be “less valid” than a petite attractive passing trans woman. And therelin lies the problematic nature of the very concept of “passing”. The whole concept reduces gender to a certain set of physical traits. If you don’t meet some checklist of physical traits that are stereotypically associated with a certain gender, then your own gender is up for question. Why that is problematic should be obvious. The validity of anyone’s gender should never be reduced to the question of having certain physical traits. If a trans woman has a deep voice that does not make her less of a woman. Or at least that’s how things should work in an ideal world. But in the actual world cis people seem to have a problem properly internally gendering someone who does not pass. Sure, the good ones might gain a mastery of pronouns and be respectful but there’s always the lagging issue of what they “really” think – of how they are internally gendering someone. It’s quite possible for someone to use she/her pronouns for a trans woman but deep down see her as a man because she doesn’t pass perfectly. And if you think this is just a cisgender phenomenon then you are mistaken because trans people can also be deeply transphobic and harbor the same biases against nonpassing trans people. I’ve seen this in the community o ver and over, especially in the older generation of trans people who had to make it through the gatekeeping system in order to transition, a gatekeeping system that used to deny HRT/surgery to trans people who weren’t deemed passable enough or didn’t have enough passing potential. So is the concept of “passing” deeply problematic? Yes and no. Should we do away with the concept altogether? I don’t think so. Clearly passing is important to the trans community. Just looking on online communities should make it obvious that most if not all trans people care deeply about how well they pass to some extent. But on the flip side I think it is our imperative to spread the message that our validity does not depend on how well we pass. We need to also spread the message that non-passing trans people can still be happy, find jobs, be romantically loved, and live successful, fulfilling lives. Passing should not be the gold standard by which we judge someone’s success in transition. However, we cannot ignore the fact that

14 passing trans people have it much easier in our society than nonpassing trans people. If you watch the cis media, usually the trans people interviewed or recognized are highly passing trans people, which is unrepresentative of the whole trans community (this is especially true for the community of trans women, but less true for the trans male community which often has an easier time passing after years of testosterone). We need to do a better job to normalize nonpassing trans people as being “just as trans” as their passing counterparts. A holdover of the “true trans” era of medical gatekeeping is that “true transsexuals” were believed to be more passable than the people who are not “true transsexuals”. But the quest to define who is “truly trans” is a fool’s game – not one worth pursuing because you will inevitably exclude people based on arbitrary criteria such as your height or the deepness of your voice. Passing is important. And I don’t think using substitute terms like “blending” are really going to by-pass the importance of passing to the trans community. But as we’ve seen the concept is also deeply problematic insofar as it implies deception and reinforces cis-normativity. Many if not most trans people wish they were cis but that’s not true of all trans people. Many trans people are happy being trans and wouldn’t change it for the world. I kind of fall into the later camp. It’s beyond this post to explain in detail why I love being trans, but part of it comes from my intrinsic distaste for normality. I like being different and different I am – I am not your average woman. But many trans people crave normality. The y just want to be a normal man or woman in this society. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s also nothing intrinsically wrong with being trans. It’s not an intrinsically horrible life, even in you’re nonpassing. Sure, living in a transphobic society can make being trans horrible – violence, loss of friends, job, family, harassment, discrimination, lack of healthcare, etc. – all these things can make being trans a nightmare. But those things are not intrinsic to being trans – they are a product of the society we live in. If society was lurched forward hundreds of years and trans people became widely accepted in society then things would be much different. The suicide rate would surely go down. Because being trans is not an intrinsically horrible experience. There are many horrible aspects of being trans such as dealing with dysphoria. But in a perfect society, we would be able to use technology to deal with dysphoria such that it would be drastically reduced in most trans people, especially by letting trans kids get access to blockers and start HRT before becoming masculinized/feminized by puberty. Greater awareness of trans people would give trans kids role models through which to identify and the average age of transition would probably go down, making HRT more effective and increasing the chances of dysphoria reducing. So no, I don’t think the concept of passing is inherently problematic because it’s the only way to adequately deal with gender dysphoria. If passing made no sense conceptually then the concept of gender dysphoria would also be incoherent. But dysphoria is critical to understanding the trans experience and thus passing is critical as well. But we need to realize that passing is not the end-all-be-all of our identities. Nonpassing trans people deserve respect and deserve to have their genders recognized without emulating the cis-body perfectly. Trans people should not measure their intrinsic worth as people by how well they can pass as cisgender. I know plenty of nonpassing trans women who are happy being their authentic selves and go about their life like anyone else without too much concern for whether they pass perfectly. These women are role models on how to live successfully in a society that can be cruel and harsh to non-normative people. And furthermore, we need to spread the message in Laverne Cox’s hashtasg #transisbeautiful, which is that trans people are beautiful not just when they pass for cis, but rather, they are beautiful in virtue of not passing as cis.


25 hairstyling hacks every woman should know You don’t have to spend a fortune at beauty salons or hours in front of the mirror to get those perfect tresses. Click through for some cool DIY hacks to style and take care of your hair quickly, and with easily available items.

KNOW YOUR BRUSHES The basic hair care routine includes knowing the different kinds of hair brushes and their right usage – large round brushes to straighten, small round brushes to add curl and volume, and paddle brushes to smoothen.

FAST CURLING If you need to curl your hair fast, always start from the middle of the length of your hair. It will also make the curls last longer.

BRAID HAIR FOR CURLS If you want to avoid using a curler or a hair dryer, braid your hair after a shower at night and leave them that way when you sleep. In the morning, undo the braids, sprinkle a little texturizing spray on the waves and scrunch with hands.


HAIRBRUSHES FOR SHINE Use a hairbrush while blow-drying to give your hair some extra shine. The brush brings the natural oil from your scalp to the tips, taming your hair at the same time.

SUBSTITUTE A WASH WITH DRY SHAMPOO If you need a wash in the morning but are running short of time, apply some dry shampoo before you go to bed. The shampoo will work into your strands and make your hair look clean and healthy in the morning.

HAIR E XTENSIONS Extensions are the way to go for temporary added length and color. Be sure to use similar matching shades of extensions as your hair. They ideally shouldn’t be used permanently, but are a cheap and convenient option for having longer hair occasionally.

PREVENT BOBBY PINS FROM SLIPPING OUT If you have smooth, sleek hair that make it impossible for bobby pins to stay in, lay the pins out on a towel and spray them with either hairspray or dry shampoo. Shake them inside the towel to ensure even distribution of the powder.


ALUMINUM FOIL FOR CURLS If you have trouble curling your hair, divide it into segments, curl each of them with your finger and hold them in aluminum foil squares, the size of which will depend on the size of the wave needed. Heat the piece of foil for about 20-45 seconds, let it cool, then remove. Use hairspray if necessary, but in most cases, the curls will hold in place all day.

WARM AND COOL TO SET YOUR STYLE When using a blow-dryer, don’t just set it to warm. Alternate between warm and cool air to achieve the best set style.

DOUBLE PONYTAILS FOR LENGTH AND VOLUME Take the top part of your hair back and tie it it in a ponytail. Do the same with the lower half, with a separate ponytail. It will make your hair look fuller and longer.

PAT, DON’T RUB When getting out of the shower with wet hair, pat your hair dry with a towel to remove the excess moisture. Avoid rubbing - this results in frizz.


LEAVE THE LAST HALF INCH OF YOUR HAIR WHEN CURLING If you have straight hair, this will give you a more natural and stylish look.

VOLUMIZING YOUR HAIR Wash your hair the night before, apply a little volumizing gel on it, and twist it into a bun on the top of your head. In the morning, blow-dry the hair while still in the bun for 2-3 minutes to get bouncy hair.

FULLER PONYTA ILS Use a butterfly clip underneath your ponytail and over your hair tie to instantly achieve a fullerlooking ponytail.

USE BRAIDS TO KEEP YOUR HAIR OUT OF YOUR FACE Make a single braid toward the front of your hair, then bring it back and tuck it behind your ears. You can use bobby pins.


BOBBY PINS FOR STYLE If you are using bobby pins to hold your hair in place, pick a contrasting color and use three pins to make a triangle, thus making an instant hair ornament.

USE HANDS WHILE APPLYING HAIRSPRAY Instead of simply spraying your hair in an uncontrolled fashion, use your hands to apply the hairspray. Run your hands through your hair to tackle flyaways without getting a stiff look.

VOLUMIZE THIN HA IR If you have thin, straight, brittle hair, give it some more volume by flipping your hair upside down, and then blow-dry from the roots when wet.

CREATE A FAUX BOB If you have long hair and don’t want to part with it, but still want a bob, you can make a low, loose braid at the nape of your neck and secure it at its back. If your hair is straight, you might need to lightly curl the rest of the hair to make this work.


HALF-UP HAIRS TYLE If you're tired of having the same old boring look every day, give your hair a stylish appearance by pulling back the front part and either sticking it with a bobby pin or by tying the left and right parts together. There’s your half-up hairstyle.V

CURL WITH A HEADBAND You can even curl your hair without using a curler or heat. Wrap your wet hair in a handband before you go to sleep. You will have perfect curls when you take the band off in the morning.

FAKE BANGS Tie a ponytail, then bring it back over your head and tie the hair (now in front) in the same band as the ponytail. Make sure to leave some hair on your forehead to get your instant fake bangs.

FLAT-IRONING BANGS Divide your bangs into sections. Go straight down with a flat iron, with a little bend inwards at the end. After you finish, take the last section you ironed and back comb the base at the underside.


TAKING CARE OF STRAY HAIR Get a new toothbrush and sprinkle some hair spray on it. Use it to tackle all the hair that manages to escape when you are applying your hairspray.

HAIR SPRAY When making a chic, sleek hairdo, be generous with the hair spray and sprinkle enough to hold your hair in place.


Primp Tip: Everything You Need to Know About Hair Extensions by Lauren Conrad For the majority of my life I have always had long hair. Last year when I made the big decision to chop it off, I knew that I would eventually want to make the transition back into longer, fuller locks. Let me bring you in on a little secret of mine: I wear extensions more often than not, even when I have shorter hair. While I wish that my hair could grow five inches overnight, I’ve come to terms with the fact that extensions are the only way to make this dream a reality. Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing my hair natural too. But what I’m lacking in volume and length I make up for by wearing extensions. If you’ve never had extensions and are considering getting them, or if you’re looking for tips on how to manage the ones you currently have, this post is for you. Because I’ve been wearing extensions for quite some time, I thought it would be beneficial to compile all of my tips and tricks into one blog post. From the different techniques to how to apply and care for them, consider this your comprehensive guide to hair extensions. Let’s get started…

Techni que There are a few different techniques that are used to put extensions in. I am personally a fan of clip-in extensions but everyone has their own personal preference. Ifyou’re still deciding which technique will be right for you, here’s the low down on each one: Bonded hair extensions: This is where individual keratin strands are fused to your natural hair using heat. Tape-in hair extensions: This is where wefts, or small strips of hair, are attached to small sections ofyour natural hair using double-sided tape. Weave (or sew-in) hair extensions: Your natural hair is braided in rows across your scalp and wefts of hair are woven onto the braids using thread. Clip-in hair extensions: These are pretty self-explanatory. Clip-ins are easy to put in and take out at your convenience. I recommend using the silicon-covered clips to avoid unwanted hair damage.

Type of Hair Fun fact: not all hair extensions are made the same. There’s a huge difference between real human hair and synthetic hair. You’re going to pay more for human hair. I consider extensions an investment and you want the highest quality out there otherwise your locks won’t be fooling anyone. Extensions made from untreated human hair will give you natural results and will easily blend. You also have the ability to dye human hair extensions so that they match your current ‘do. Something else to consider: Match your hair density when

23 shopping for extensions. If they’re too heavy they could cause breakage at your roots. Yikes! You will also want to make sure your extensions come from ethical source. If you are working with a professional stylist, they should be able to advise you on this matter.

Hair Care First and foremost, always be gentle. Treat your extensions as you would your natural hair. For optimal longevity, try not to wash them too often or coat them with hair products. If you have to use product, keep oils away from the roots or else you could find yourself with your extensions slipping out. Avoid excessive tugging when brushing them and always detangle from the bottom up. If you have to blow dry your extensions, roughdry your hair withyour fingers before having to use a brush. Do not tease your hair before putting in your extensions! This will not only break your hair but also potentially cause hair loss. Lastly, if you have to sleep in them, loosely braid them so that they don’t get tangled.

Styling Tips The whole point of having extensions is to make them look like your natural hair. If you have stick straight hair or a blunt haircut, most likely your extensions will be pretty obvious. I recommend a layered haircut or getting used to curling your hair on a regular basis. That way you’re less likely to show the world your extension secrets! Be prepared to spend a little more time on your hair than usual if you want your extensions to look seamless. Tip: For extension longevity, go light on the hair products. And there you have it! This may be a mouthful, but I promise that if you follow these tips your extensions will look beautiful and last a long time. XO Lauren

Primp Tip: How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster by Ilana Saul We’ve all been there. You head to the salon confidently, ready to try out a chic new hairstyle, only to realize afterward that the bob or bangs you were so excited about aren’t what you thought they’d be. Whether you’re recovering from a bad cut or hoping for waist-length waves by your wedding day, waiting for your hair to grow can be a rather tedious process. Fortunately, I ha ve tresses that grow like a weed. (Here’s my hair last summer right after cutting it and just 11 months later.) I’ve been able to donate my hair to organizations like Locks of Love and Pantene Beautiful Lengths a total of five times (which requires chopping off 8 to 10 inches at a time). And since I’m often asked what my secret is, today I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve come across. The average person’s hair grows a quarter of an inch per month. And while there isn’t one miracle cure for faster hair growth, there are several steps you can take to help speed up the process. I can’t say for sure which one of these tricks is responsible for my quick-fire strands, but if you’re looking to add some length to your locks, trying them all can’t hurt…

24 Try prenatal vitamins. Most prenatal vitamins contain biotin (along with iron and folic acid), which is said to promote healthy hair growth. Biotin will not only help your hair grow longer faster, but your skin and nails will reap the benefits too. Of course, it is best to consult your doctor before taking a new type of vitamin supplement. Stick to healthy hair diet. As you might remember this from Lauren’s Foods for Heavenly Hair post, whole grains, along with foods rich in calcium and the amino acid cysteine all promote hair growth. Cysteine is found in foods including poultry, eggs, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels spouts, yogurt, oatmeal, and broccoli. And if you prefer to stay away from supplements like the ones mentioned above, you can get your biotin from nuts (especially almonds and peanuts) egg yolks, soybeans, and fish. Indulge in a scalp massage. According to, giving yourself an at-home scalp massage increases blood flow to the scalp, which helps nutrients get to your follicles more quickly. So when you’re shampooing or rinsing your hair, try massaging your head with your fingertips to stimulate hair growth. Time for a little myth busting… I’ve always heard that frequent trims make your hair grow faster. But the research I did for this post (along with my own personal experience—I tend to go longer than recommended between trims) revealed that tip to be completely false. Since hair grows out of the scalp, trimming the ends will not affect its growth. That said, split ends could lead to breakage, which makes maintaining your length difficult. To avoid split ends and breakage, keep heat styling and processing to a minimum, and use only non-damaging hair elastics. As I learned from Lauren’s Beauty book, if you tie your hair in the same place every da y you will notice a line of breakage where the hair tie hits.


Bluestocking Blue By: Vivienne

A Tale of Two Boxes Back in 2014 I wrote a post called Frightening the Horses, which largely discussed a 2002 article by American writer and psychotherapist Amy Bloom, entitled Conservative Men in Conservative Dresses, which was published in Atlantic Monthly. The first line of the article is this one: Bloom: Heterosexual cross-dressers bother almost everyone. When I first read that line, I found myself agreeing with it. In fact, some of them even bother me, and I am one! If you missed Bloom's article, it's well worth a read in its entirety. I think it's also worth having a read of my post; it certainly generated a lot of discussion. I've been thinking about why it is that crossdressing bothers us so much. As Bloom says, drag queens don't bother us. Nor do female impersonators (she cites several American examples; instead I point you to Danny la Rue, and Hinge and Bracket as popular British examples). She even points to those women in history who have had to adopt the male persona in order to succeed. And transsexuals don't bother us. I cross-dress whenever I can, which is not as often as I would like. The rest of the time I live my life as if I were an ordinary man. But my whole life I have been different from other boys and men. I am sensitive. I cry easily. I loathe many of the trappings of “traditional” masculinity (field sports, big rugged vehicles, hunting and fishing, weapons, coarse behaviour, I don't speak his language macho posturing, or the objectification of women). I especially loathe it when other people (men or women) ascribe those things to me, or assume I must have some affinity with them, just because I was born a boy. You might say that I should just learn to be a sensitive man and to find ways to explore and express my sensitive, caring, nurturing side in the world of men (and stick two fingers up to the knuckle-dragging bottom-feeders who would persecute me for it). But I don't: instead I choose to express those aspects of myself by attempting to experience the world of women. It's not just the clothes and the lipstick: those are merely the external manifestations of something which goes right down to my core identity as a human b eing. I feel much more comfortable in

26 the company of women. I espouse feminist principles very openly. I suspect (but cannot, of course, be sure) that I have been imprinted(at a young age) to associate femininity with the aspects of my personality I cannot easily express as a man. In other words, it’s too late to change. “Crossdressing makes you comfortable,” I am sometimes told. No. Slippers make me comfortable. Crossdressing (using that as a convenient shortcut for the whole package of stepping out of the male role and embracing the female one) is a necessity for my psychological wellbeing. So it's a simplification (and a hurtful one) to say I just “like to dress up” or “it's all just a bit of fun”, or I am just “getting in touch with my feminine side”. It goes much deeper than that. I have powerful and irrepressible yearnings to dress, and when I do, it feels right on a level which is difficult to fully articulate. It isn't an act. It isn't a pretence. It doesn't feel like a sham. I can see why some people need that feeling all the time. In other words, I think what separates me from them is not some huge gulf (“a cross dresser is only pretending to be a woman, while a trans woman is a woman”), but actually a considerable degree of overlap. I have found that suggesting this makes some trans women uncomfortable: men who crossKept apart: male and female dress in our society (and don't I know it!) are treated as figures of scorn or ridicule (or worse, sexual perversity), and I can completely see why trans women would want to distance themselves from that. But from my perspective, it is the truth. As a male-to-female crossdresser, I do feel that some fully-transitioned people look down on me. They seem to be saying "We are nothing alike, since you are 'only' a crossdresser. Our motivations are not the same. Our behaviour is not the same. The reasons why we do what we do are not the same". The difficulty I ha ve is that none of these things is demonstrably true (and I admit I am a lumper, not a splitter). When I ask those people to explain their viewpoint (or occasionally challenge them) I get three basic responses: Because I don't automatically accept their word, I must be transphobic, just like all those others. I haven't done enough reading, and if only I would read this book or that blog it would all become clear; or I can't possibly understand because I am "only" a crossdresser. I stress that these people are the minority, and that most trans people I know are lovely, welcoming and inclusive.

27 But here is what I think: society has a story we tell ourselves. That story is that there are two genders, male and female. The most "acceptable" people are those who start off on one side and stay there. But most people are (I think) comfortable with people who start off on one side and go all the way across to the other, because that just about fits the story. I think it’s easier for cisgendered people to accept a person who “was” once a man but “is” now a woman, and it’s harder for them The story we tell ourselves to accept that, actually, there are a lot of us somewhere in the middle zone (perhaps the rainbow zone?) between those two boxes (including some people who might identify or “qualify” as cis-gendered). (Likewise, it's acceptable to be a drag queen, who is male in his normal life. Putting on a dress is only an act, right?) But society is very uncomfortable with people in that middle zone, because they don't fit the story: it might be people who choose to be neither one nor the other gender, intersex people, or people (like me) who trespass across the middle zone from time to time. (I think that explains why there is tremendous pressure on intersex people to align themselves to one or other gender).

Which one do you think I am?

Of course, the story is wrong, at all levels from the cell, to the person, to society as a whole. But that is still the story we tell; even some trans people tell it. I think a lot of trans people overtly, or subconsciously, reinforcethat gender binary. I think it helps them to feel more comfortable about themselves, and I think it helps cisgendered people to feel more comfortable about them.

I don’t identify as an ordinary man. I don’t identify as a woman either. I am not quite sure what I identify with! I sometimes describe myself on Quora as a "part-time woman". And I want to say to those people who think they are so different: we have more that unites us than divides us, and we should concentrate on our commonalities, not our differences. As for the stereotypes of men and women, they are created by society. But I am a member of society. I cannot simply step aside from its conventions, nor ignore its rules (whether they please me or not). Even though there are many, many people who don't fit the stereotypes, the stereotypes persist. It does seem, though, that society is changing: it is becoming more acceptable to not fit the binary. Come and join me in the middle zone. There are plenty of comfortable seats, and the wine has just been opened! Addendum 28th August 2016 My thanks to Patricia for sending me a link to this article by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper. It's articulate, forthright and powerful, and adds another perspective to the idea of the "spectrum of gender" .


The Adventures of Judy Sometimes By: Judy Daniels

Time Spent Dressing

After yesterday's meatloaf contest we met of with friends Brittney and Brittney. My crossdressing friend Brittney confided in me that there was trouble brewing at home with the wife. Now, for the most part her wife is very good about her dressing and knew full well about it before they married a little over 10 years ago. Brittney was adamant about the fact that she dressed and if she couldn't handle it, run now. I've known Brittney for about 12 years and she is 6 years younger than I am and often wondered when/if the full time thing would ever kick in as it had for me. Brittney has always been good at balancing her dressing and family life as they have 3 children between them and she has been very acti ve in her wife's son's life since the beginning. Her children are 22 and 19, while the youngest just turned 16. She has always told me that she needs to keep things in check until the youngest one is out of high school. About a year ago her wife took a new job and has started traveling quite a bit so she finds herself with a lot of dressing time with her being away. The youngest son has know about her dressing since he was about 6 and is very supportive of his "dad". Being a sophomore in high school he is always busy with friends or his part time job so Brittney no longer has to provide that fatherly connection she once did. An yway, her wife has been out of town quite a bit lately, including this weekend having left Wednesday night. Of course she has taken advantage of this time to dress as much as possible. Her wife happened to call and ask what she had planned for the weekend and she said that she would probably dress and go out. She then asked if she always dresses the whole time she was gone. She said that she had lately. She then said, don't you have better things to do with your time ? She said, would you rather I take up hunting or fishing and spend tons of money every weekend like a lot of our friend's husbands do, which lead into a bit of an argument. My point in all of this is that I ran into this same problem. My wife traveled a lot which left me with an over abundance of time to dress, often taking a day here and there off from work so I could extend the time even more. Well, we all know my story and what happened to me and my wife deciding to stick beside me through the coming out process and intertwining my dressing into our everyday lives to the point we now socialize as two women exclusively. My fear is that Brittney's wife, even though she accompanies her out every now and then, probably isn't going to put up with an everyday dresser. I guess only time well tell how things will shake out. I'm sure many of you are in the exact same situation and you've had to make a choice between staying married rather than letting the "girl" have her way. Thoughts ?



Embarrassing medical moments, A man comes into the ER and yells .. My wife's going to have her baby in the cab. I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress and began to take off her underwear Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs - - - and I was in the wrong one. Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald , San Francisco . Baby's First Doctor Visit A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for the doctor to come in for the baby's first exam. The doctor arrived, and examined the baby, checked his weight, and being a little concerned, asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed. 'Breast-fed,' she replied.. 'Well, strip down to your waist,' the doctor ordered. She did He pinched her nipples, pressed, kneaded, and rubbed both breasts for a while in a very professional and detailed examination. Motioning to her to get dressed, the doctor said, 'No wonder this baby is underweight. You don't have any milk.' I know,' she said, 'I'm his Grandma, But I'm glad I came.


Angels In The Centerfold Ginger

Suzanne W. Jeffries


Angels In The Centerfold


Mandi Gunter


Angels In The Centerfold Tammy Trueheart



Mellissalynn’s Tips & Tricks What has happened to you, 2017? It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming you; now we're on the verge of ushering you out into the past. But! We still have two months left to celebrate you, and this is the first of those two months. So welcome to November, ladies, and celebrate it! One reason for me to celebrate November is that it's the month of my birthday! Yes, once again November 6th comes around, letting me appreciate another year of being on the right side of the grass. It's a M onday this year, and I have a class going, so I'll be working. I'll enjoy the evening, or the weekend prior, though. And of course it's also Thanksgiving here in the US; Turkey Day! One thing I won't be enjoying is the Cubs winning this year's World Series. Alas, my Cubbies just didn't have enough left in the tank to beat the Dodgers, who were probably the best team in baseball this year. I can accept this, but I'm not watching the games... Another sad thing for me arrives this month as well: this will be the fifth year marking the passage of my father, at the age of 65. He left us in 2015, and the world is poorer for it. I do have the small consolation that he actually met me, his daughter, before he passed. I finally gathered the courage, roughly a year before he became so ill that he had to be in hospice, and was still walking and driving and everything, of telling him about me. He already knew he had the cancer, of course, and maybe this is why he was more understanding than he might have been before. He insisted on meeting me en femme, which was a stunner. I made sure I looked like a stunner when we went out for a lunch. I will forever cherish the memory of him telling me that I was beautiful, and that he was proud that I had the courage to be his daughter. It was an amazing afternoon; sadly, it was the only one such that we shared; not long after, the cancer took his ability to drive, and then to walk, and ultimately took him. I put two things in his coffin to be with him forever: the flag I received from the USS Constitution when I retired from the Navy, and tucked in side that flag, the photo of the two of us as father and daughter. Goodbye again, Daddy, I miss you forever and I love you. I'm sorry if that got a little sad, ladies; thank you for allowing me the space to speak. Now, tell me about your month, or your favorite sports team, or your birthday stories, or a great outing en femme, or share other news in general. You’re ALWA YS welcome to share tips and tricks, of course! Write to me at [email protected] You can hit me up on Facebook; my username there is M ellissa Lynn. I ALWAYS answer any and all mail I get, so feel free to tell me about anything you want to chat about, be it a salon visit or transgender news, or whatever you like. And, as many of you know, if you send me a question or a tip or trick, you'll see your name in print in this column. I love hearing from you all, so send me that mail, girls!

34 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ We're going to kick this column off this month with some talk about one of the hottest things in beauty right now; hyaluronic acid. I'm going to share some tips for cleansing your face and brightening your skin. To begin with, we all know by now that the sun is the enemy of our skin, right? We're also aware that sweating can leave oils and bacteria on the skin that aren't necessarily the best thing for us. Smoking, of course, is bad for us all around; did you know that the residue from smoking gets into the pores of your skin and cause you to lose that healthy glow? It's true! And, lastly, not sleeping or not sleeping well can be devastating to our skin. This is a three-step method to correcting some of the damage these (and other) factors can cause. We'll begin with a good exfoliation. When we exfoliate, we are removing dead skin, bacteria, and other elements from the skin, uncovering the healthier, younger skin beneath. This can be accomplished with a gentle glycolic peel. This will come in the form of medicated pads that you swipe your face with once daily. The second step is to do some collagen rebuilding. Collagen (as per Wikipedia) is the main structural protein in the extracellular space in the various connective tissues in animal bodies. In other words, it's the substance that plumps up the skin so it isn't saggy and wrinkly. As we age, and do damage to the skin, the collagen fades. This can be fought! There are many creams out there that contain retinol. By applying once a day (usually in the morning), the collagen levels can be rebuilt, and the skin looks plump and shiny. Our third actual step is to apply hyaluronic acid to the skin to rehydrate it. This miracle substance, when applied, acts like a sponge in the skin, absorbing moisture and trapping it. This is a great thing for the skin; we'll get more radiant-looking skin because of this. Hyaluronic acid can be found in many of the moisturizing face creams out there. There are two other things we can do to assist in the treatment of our skin, ladies. Both of these are inexpensive, but can be long-term fixes. First of all, swap out your cotton pillowcases for silk or satin. This will let your skin glide across it without being grabbed the way that cotton does. The second is even less expensive; we own everything we need for this. Ready? A self-delivered face massage! This will take about a minute to perform. Place the middle and ring finger of each hand at the tip of the chin Gently but rapidly tap your way along the jawline to the ears, then reverse until meeting again at the chin. M ove the fingers up and keep the motion going. Continue doing this everywhere but the eye area. In combination, these tips will help to keep the skin soft, plump, and wrinkle-free. M any celebrities endorse these steps, and live by them. I recommend, when you start this regimen, taking a before photo to remember what your skin looked like in the beginning. This way, you can see how much progress has been made! @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Ladies, I've been studying the Farmers' Almanac for this winter; they're predicting a colder winter than last year, with some decent winds. Why, you ask, is M ellissa delivering a weather report in her tips & tricks? Because, dear readers, cold, dry, windy weather means more potential for chapped and abraded

35 skin, especially the lips. So please remember the lip exfolients, moisturizers, plumpers, so that your pucker remains plump and kissable! @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Let's talk about the brows for just a moment, all right, girls? If you're a faithful reader of this column, you know that I (and many others) consider the eyes the window to the soul, and the brows are the window frame. With that in mind, let me share this small tip for keeping your window frame nice and neat. I think you'll like it. I recently came into possession of a bag of unused mascara wands; never been in mascara or anything else, just clean wands. I've put some to good use as lash separators (and there was an embarrassing moment perpetrated by one of my children regarding an ear cleaner that we shan't discuss here!), but my main use for them has been in regards to my brows. I find that I truly like my brows to be neat and orderly-looking. What do we use on our hair to get that effect? Hairspray, of course. And by spritzing the clean mascara wand with a bit of hairspray, I can get the same effect on my brows. And so can you! You can get clean wands online for fairly inexpensive prices. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Is there a more feminine image than a woman relaxing in a bathtub full of bubbles, with a drink to her side, soft music playing, and candles burning? I'm hard-pressed to think of one. I recently had an opportunity to experience this joy for myself; I had to stay over in a hotel for a night that had, wonder of wonders, a tub large enough for me to actually do this in! I nearly overdid it; I very nearly fell asleep, I was so relaxed. Girls, if you can enjoy this luxury, I beg you, TAKE IT! Get yourself a wonderful-smelling scent of bubble bath, turn off the cell phone and the TV and any other distractions you don't need, lock your bathroom (if you aren't alone), start the water running, play some music to relax to, get some candles going (if you don't want to actually bun candles, get the soft electric tea lights that the dollar store sells), and pamper yourself! If you like, take this opportunity to give yourself a good shave; that was part of my ritual as well. I hope you find the same kind of tranquility that I did in this... @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ So. Winter is just around the corner. The open toes look is just about to hibernate (actually, it's already gone to sleep in my wardrobe!) Does that mean we can take time off from pampering our toes? Of course not; it means we have to be even more diligent in our care, so that when the spring comes along (it's only four months, it's only four months, it's only four months...), we're ready to poke those pretty tootsies out there in some cute sandals. In the meantime, get a good pedicure! If you feel the urge, strip the polish off for a while and let the hidden toenails breathe. If you're a barefoot kind of girl when you're inside at home, then get those nails painted! But remember to moisturize and exfoliate all through the winter. Duty now to the future...

36 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Here is a tip I read recently regarding perfumes. According to this article, wearing a grapefruit-scented perfume will give an average perception of your age being roughly six years less than it actually is. I'm not much into grapefruit, but I'm willing to give it a try. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Girl Problem #147: the messy purse. Ladies, I love the time I get to spend as a woman. One of my favorite things about it is the ability to carry a purse. Why oh why is this something that socially only women are allowed to do? But I digress. The only thing I dislike about my purse is when I have to clean it out, whether I'm switching purses for a particular outfit or just in general. Recently, I had an outing with my granddaughter (she's just hitting ten months, so this is still something I can do en femme for a little while longer; my daughter-in-law knows and is cool with M ellissa) where I had some snacks for her in my purse. Well, the container the snacks were in broke, and the crumbly snacks got all over in my purse. As I said, girl problem #147. My daughter-in-law saw me cleaning out the purse and asked me what happened. I explained it to her, and she laughed for a moment, then handed me a lint roller. I shook the purse out a bit first, then used the roller. By the time I was finished, it was like it had never happened. Lint roller for the win! @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Do you get depressed easily? M aybe the season brings you down, or perhaps a touch of the gender dysphoria? Perhaps you're down due to thinking about a departed loved one. In any event, here is a biological fix to help with your depression. This is recommended by several clinical psychologists. Take 20 milligrams of zinc daily; your spirits will rise considerably within two months after starting this regimen. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Have I ever mentioned that I live in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere? This is a truth, and it also is a truth that I have to deal with well water. Because of this, I don't get the luxury of shampooing my hair at home; as a blonde, the well water would destroy my hair! I have the luxury of being a partner in a full-service salon, so this isn't such a big deal to me. However, my situation is unique in this regard. So why am I telling you all this? Because, dear ladies, I have

37 discovered a method of fixing this! If you have a similar situation, get yourself to a store and look for a shampoo that contains chelants. These are molecules that attach to the copper in well water instead of letting the copper stick to the hair shafts. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Here is my penny pinching tip of the month. Do you want brighter teeth, but you don't want to spend the money on expensive toothpaste or worse, strips? Well, hold onto your toothbrush, because I have the DIY ticket for you! Here's what you'll need: a tablespoon of coconut oil, a small bit of turmeric, and, optionally, a drop of peppermint oil. M ix these items in a dish. Dip your brush into this, then brush. Leave this on your teeth for two minutes, then rinse and brush again with regular toothpaste. Why does this work? Well, the turmeric is the key. It will reduce inflammation of the gums, as well as plaque. The coconut oil will whiten the teeth. The peppermint adds flavor. For best effectiveness, you should perform this at least three times per week. Also, please know that this mixture will stain your brush. You may want to use a separate brush for this mixture from your regular toothbrush. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Let's add some volume to your hair! A fellow stylist and former student turned me on to this trick. After shampooing your hair, towel dry it, then add some mousse from the roots to tthe tips. Blow dry your hair halfway dry. Next, spritz on a root-boosting spray at the scalp; this will add more lift a the base. Finish blow-drying. You'll get some seriously voluminous, gorgeous hair! @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ And here we are. One. M ore. M onth. December is all we have left of 2017. We'll say a proper goodbye to the year in the next column. In the meantime, I want to wish all of you in the US a happy Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy the feast! But remember the girlish figures too. Summer isn't THAT far away! Talk to me, lovely ladies! Share your fall stories, or how you've prepared for fall's approach, or a concert you've attended, or a great shopping trip, or any other story you'd like to share! In fact, if you want, you can write to tell me about your month, or about your funny rainy-day experiences, or share pictures or tips or tricks, or looks you've achieved! Sending me mail is the easiest thing in the world to do, girls, and I love hearing from you all. You can send it to my e-mail at

38 [email protected]; as you know, my inbox is always open! You can also hit me up on Facebook; my name there is M ellissa Lynn. I’ll talk to you all again next month, with a whole column of tips and tricks. Until then, be safe and be beautiful!


How to Create an Image That Turns Heads, Opens Doors, and Moves You to the Front of the Line This Image Secret Can Transform Your Life Overnight – Just as It Did Mine She first came to my attention in January, 2014. I'd never heard of her before and hadn't seen her movie. But by the end of the award season just two months later, Lupita Nyong'o had collected a slew of awards – including an Oscar – and had planted herself firmly on the Hollywood “A” List.

Lupita Nyong'o at the 201 4 Ac ademy Awar ds

With her very first movie. In a supporting role. No years of toil. No “paying her dues” until she got her big break. Nope. She walked in, did her job, and walked off with a career most actors would die for. The Star Wars franchise. Miu Miu ads. The cover of Vogue.

How did she do it? Great acting chops, of course. But there's something else - rarely seen in Hollywood, let alone anywhere else – that instantly sets her apart from the crowd: she's the “Total Package.” She has great skills and a great image. Combined, they make her unstoppable.

The Three Elements of Image Most people tend to think that image means how you dress. But that's only part of it. Image really consists of three elements: how you look, act, and speak. If all three are awesome, the sky's the limit. If not, you won't get very far. Who's the best and brightest?

40 Sadly, that describes most people. If you look around any crowd these days, you'd be hard pressed to find any one person with all three elements. They may look good or they may be polite or they may speak intelligently. But to have all three? Rare. That's because most people only focus on one or two elements – if any at all. Dress in particular has taken a hit in the last 25 years as we become more and more casual. Fifty years ago, you weren't considered properly dressed without a hat and gloves. Today, people leave the house in their pajamas and think dressing up means “the good jeans.” Manners and speech have become just as sloppy. Want to get ahead? Do the opposite. Go old school and dress, act, and speak with purpose. Not only will you stand out, you'll also leapfrog ahead of just about everyone else, because being the “Total Package” is about as rare as being a unicorn. And unicorns always get special treatment.

The Unicorn Club Lupita Nyong'o is a unicorn. So is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. So were Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Not surprisingly, all five have something in common: they were born into prominent families and/or had a good education. They understood the power of image and used it to skyrocket their careers.

41 But more that, they had a plan. They determined exactly which clothing styles suited them best, and then they honed their manners and speech. If something wasn't “up to snuff,” they worked on it. Tirelessly. Because they understood something so few do today: legacy. A commitment to excellence that opens doors and creates opportunities. The thing is, it's not all that hard to accomplish – once you know what to do. All you need are a few instructions and a game plan, and you'll be astonished by how quickly things come together. I know I was.

The Ugly Duckling My name's Diana Pemberton-Sikes, and I've been an image consultant for more than 20 years. My fashion story started decades ago when I was a teenager. Now earlier I said that image consists of three elements: how you look, act, and speak. By my 14th birthday, I'd only mastered how to speak well. Because I read constantly. My "Ugly Duckling" Days

I wasn't much of an athlete then nor was I very popular, so I'd travel the world through the pages of my books. It broadened my knowledge and sharpened my writing skills, which in turn improved my speaking skills. By the time I left grade school, I had the vocabulary of a college student. Other than that, I was a complete mess. Puberty hit me hard. Acne, braces, an extra 25 pounds – pictures from that time are truly cringe-worthy. So are the memories. Because I wasn't treated very well in those days. Overlooked. Ignored. Forgotten. On the outside looking in. When I happened to make the cheerleading squad at school, no one congratulated me. Instead, one of the popular girls who didn't make it demanded a recount, insisting it must have been rigged if I made it. Several people tried to get me to quit. They said “I didn't belong.” Things weren't much better at home. As the youngest of four, I had no credibility with my siblings.

42 Hand-me-downs. Leftovers. The middle seat in the car with the hump. I never got first choice on anything. I only got the lefto vers - what no one else wanted. In time, that kind of treatment takes a toll on your self-esteem. It certainly did on mine. By the time I went to high school, I just assumed that was my lot in life. I had resigned myself to the “D” list – at the grand old age of 14.

The Accidental Swan But then, something happened. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in high school. I was sitting around with my family after dinner one night, chatting, when I got up to put my dishes in the dishwasher. As I was standing by the sink, laughing, my older brother furrowed his brow, poked my flabby belly and said: “Geez, Diana! If I didn't know better, I'd think you were pregnant.” I just stared at him. I'd always been the skinny one, the one my mother used to say she'd have to wrap clothes around twice. To be called fat threw me for a loop. So I did what any fourteen year old girl would do: I went to the bathroom and cried. For twenty minutes. Then, I washed my face, took a deep breath, and turned sideways to look in the mirror. Good heavens! I did look pregnant. Like I was about to give birth at any minute. I resolved right then and there to do something about it. I was determined to prove my brother wrong. That was mid-June. By the time I went back to school in late August, those 25 pounds were gone. So was the acne. So were my braces. So was the unflattering hair style I'd worn since 7th grade. Then, magically, so was my “D” List status. Which came as a complete surprise.

From the “D” List to the “B” List Overnight A funny thing happens when you improve your appearance: people start noticing you. They smile. They hold open doors. They flirt. I didn't know that.

43 I was so used to being overlooked and ignored that when I initially started getting attention, I'd look over my shoulder to see who they were talking to. It took a few months to get used to. The difference in treatment was so dramatic, it was like flipping a switch. Like going from the “D” list to the “B” list overnight. I wasn't quite ready for the “A” list – that required a little more time and effort – but it was okay. For the first time in my life, I was on the inside, looking out. People were asking my opinion. They listened to my answers. They were curious about me. Senior Year - Lesson Learned

It was then I made a startling discovery:

People treat you how you treat yourself. When you care enough to look your best, people notice. When you don't, they don't. I was fortunate enough to learn that when I was a teenager. Sadly, most people go their entire lives never learning it – and they've got the battle scars to prove it.

Diana Pemberton Sikes is an image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic. Want to find the best clothes for your body, budget, and lifestyle? Wardrobe Magic can help. Her website is


How to Keep Your Sweater Looking Like New By Rebecca Daly Sweater season is upon us—and while that means all sorts of good things (fall festivities and cozy weekend wear among them), it also means a slight shift in the way we take care of our clothes. Read on for our favorite tips on how to handle your favorite knits.

While You’re Shopping… Think y ou’ve scored a great deal? Before you ring up that new sweater, check the weave (especially on wool and cashmere item s). It should feel close and tight—the looser the weave, the m ore the fabric will be prone to pilling.

Before You Wash… First things first: Check the care label! It will tell you whether it’s safe to toss y our sweater in the washing machine, or if it requires special care, like hand-washing or dry cleaning. If y our sweater can go in the washer, follow these easy tips: Skip the spin cycle: The rough m otion can stretch knits and ruin their shape. Just like jeans, knits and sweaters do best when you put them in the washer inside out. Also button any buttons and zip any zippers to help clothes maintain their shape and av oid any snags.

While You’re Washing… Always use the gentle cycle on knits, and use the “like with like” rule. Rougher fabrics like denim can create pilling on delicate knits. Include a fabric conditioner, like Downy, with knit loads to keep the fabrics soft. Conditioners also help keep the fibers in knitwear lubricated during washing, so they don’t becom e fuzzy. For extra protection, toss knits in a mesh lingerie bag to m inimize their surface contact with other clothing.

While You’re Drying… Ev en if the care label says y our garment is dryer-safe, it’s best to skip this step when it com es to sweaters. Instead, simply lay them out flat on a towel to air-dry—this will help av oid shrinkage and pilling.

45 Never hang knitwear to dry—this can stretch the weave (especially when the fibers are heavy with water) and destroy your garment's shape.

How to Rehab… If y our sweater has already hit the pilled stage, don’t worry, there’s hope. Battery-operated defuzzers, like this one from Conair, make short, easy work of safely rem oving the pilled layer from knitwear, without damaging the garment itself.

How To Instantly Look “Put Together” Tasi Zuriack

Is there a secret to looking “Put Together.” Yes, of course, but the answer is not mysterious even though few are able to master the techniques. It doesn’t take endless hours perusing fashion magazines or an expensive stylist to look effortlessly chic. Looking put together can be accomplished by having a few key pieces at your fingertips that you can grab in a moment of sheer sartorial panic. So here are a few items to own that will make you feel immediately put together. All would be included in any basic wardrobe list, but do study how they are incorporated into each outfit .

A PATTERNED SKIRT A bold print or pattern has the power to lift your spirits and your look. All over polka-dots, bright floral prints, and stripes, for example, are all good examples of mood-boosting prints. Paired with simp le basics (a whit e tee shirt, simple black pumps) and you’ve got a real look.

A FITTED DRESS PANT There are tons of trendy pant styles that I have embraced: track pants, bell bottoms, boyfriend jeans. But there’s nothing more tried and true and appropriate for any occasion than a well fitted dress pant. Yes, like the pair your parents bought you for your first job interview. Get them tailored.


STATEMENT EARRINGS On the days when you only have the wherewithal to throw on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt, a great pair of earrings can make it all feel elevated. It feels so good to have a little weight hanging from your earlobes. It makes me feel like an adult. With a job. Like that scene in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead when Christina Applegate runs down the stairs while putting on her studs.

A TWEED JACKET Fashion editors save money for an authentic tweed Chanel boucle jacket. Thanks to the chain found trailing the bottom inside seam, the piece is perfectly weighted, ensuring it’s flattering on every body type. Don’t want to shell out for the real thing? Go for something that achieves the same polished effect.

A TRENCH COAT There’s a reason Burberry has been producing trench coats since the late 1800s. They’re literally the only thing that can make you look put together when it’s disgusting outside.

A WALKABLE HIGH HEEL Heels give you confidence level like nothing else can. But careful not to invest In something you can’t walk in though — the worst is a heel too high or too blister-inducing, which winds up underneath your desk collecting dust. Opt for block heels, or something two-three inches high.


A GOLD CHAIN LINK NECKLACE Remember that thing we said earlier about feeling the weight of a good accessory? There are few pieces that accomplish that (and look as classic) as a gold chain. Find a dainty chain and wrap it around your neck multiple times or one that is heavier, and pair it wit h a classic white button down. Voila. Outfit made.

JEANS THAT FIT YOU I’d like to take a minute to pay homage to Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, the QUEEN of being put together without trying too hard. She also had maybe the best denim collection in history. What made her denim great wasn’t that it stuck to one type-sometimes she chose a kick flare, other times she opted for a traditional boot cut. It was that she chose jeans that were flattering and perfectly tailored. I know what you’re thinking: tailor my jeans? MADNESS! But if you find your brand, find your size, give them one wash, and run to your favorite tailor. You won’t be sorry.

A DOUBLE BREASTED BLAZER A blazer is a wardrobe staple. If you’re over 20 years old and don’t own a blazer, get off the internet now and go buy one. A double breasted blazer, however, is like the more advanced version of the standard blazer — like the AP version. If you want to have a 4.0 in looking put together, go double-breasted.

BRIGHT COLORED FLATS Wearing all black is an easy habit to fall into. And there’s nothing really wrong with doing that — it’s easy and chic. But what will make you feel a bit more sprightly is opting for a pop of color on your feet in the form of a happy, colorful flat. Extra points if you find a pair with a print, interesting strap situation, or toe cleavage.


A GROWN UP WATCH So you have a phone. Your phone does everything you want it to. It takes photos! It plays music! And yes, it even has a clock! But that clock does not replace the chic factor of having a grown up watch. Said watch doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Look for an affordable one with either a classic metal or authentic leather strap.

ANADULT TEE An adult tee can be just what you need to pull an otherwise stuffy outfit together. Choose one that has a little extra flare: a ribbed tee, a tee with an interesting back seam. . . the one rule: Your. Bra. Can’t. Show

A MOTO JACKET You don’t have to look like a groupie when wearing a leather moto — it’s all in how you style it. Pair it with a knee length dress, silk pant, or maxi skirt to offset the tough, rocker look and you’ll instantly feel buttoned up (but not too buttoned up!). Don’t go for a vintage option if your goal is to achieve a clean look. Go for authentic leather with clean lines.

A REAL LEATHER BAG Instead of carrying around a canvas tote, which undoubtedly has holes in all four bottom corners, or a faux leather hobo which is definitely scratched up or worn out, a real leather bag says I GOT THIS (why I love my Coach bag). And a top handle bag is extra ladylike, even when worn with boyfriend jeans and a tee.


SIGNATURE SUNGLASSES You can find a shape you’re comfortable wit h, stick to that, and still look snazzy. A signature sunglasses style that says something about your personality is a great way to make you feel confident in your look. A boring outfit suddenly becomes more you when paired with sunnies you’re known for.

Need more ideas. Read our many fine articles by ladies you know in “Putting It Together” in the Sister House Dressing Room. Then click on “Looks Women Love” and check out all of our “Stylish Crossdressers“. Lastly, take your time to browse our more than 100 Pinterest boards starting with Putting It Together Outfit s. There’s something for everyone. Original article from Harpers Bazaar. Please visit them. About Tasi Zuriack: Tasi is transgendered, married, and a lifelong crossdresser. She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger including fashion articles for Tri-Ess, TG Reporter, Repartee, and Pretty T-Girls magazine. Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House and her blog, the Fashionable TG Woman are dedicated to fashion and style for the transgendered woman. Please visit her. Tasi’s new book, "Top Ten Fashion Mistakes By Crossdressers and How To Fix Them" is available on Amazon or on her site free to subscribers.


The Worst Shoes for Your Feet WebM D Culprit: Ultra-High Heels "Heels are getting higher and higher," says Hillary Brenner, DPM. "We podiatrists like to call it shoe-icide." Brenner, a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association, says ultra -high heels can lead to everything from ankle sprains to chronic pain. Let's take a closer look at the heights, styles, and woes of today's footwear. Problem: Pump Bump Whether they're sky-high or mid-heel, this style is notorious for causing a painful knot on the back of the heel. The rigid material presses on a bony deformity some women have called a "pump bump." The pressure leads to blisters, swelling, bursitis, even pain in the Achilles tendon. Ice, orthotics, and heel pads may provide pain relief -- along with better shoes. The bony protrusion is permanent.

Problem: Unnatural Foot Position Ultra-high heels force the feet into a position that puts stress on the ball of the foot. At this critical joint, the long metatarsal bones meet the pea-shaped sesamoid bones, and the toe bones (phalanges). Too much pressure can inflame these bones or the nerves that surround them. Chronic stress to the foot bones can even lead to hairline fractures.

51 Solution: Go Low Switching to lower heels will help you avoid problems with the metatarsal bones. The lower you go, the more natural your foot position will be. Brenner recommends choosing heels that are no more than 2 inches high -- and even those should be worn in moderation.

Problem: Ankle Sprains All high heels boost the risk of an ankle sprain. The most common problem is a lateral sprain, which happens when you roll onto the outside of the foot. This stretches the ankle ligaments beyond their normal length. A severe sprain may tear the ligaments. A sprained ankle should be immobilized and may need physical therapy to heal properly. The risk of developing osteoarthritis rises with a severe sprain or fracture of the ankle. Culprit: Stilettos Although all high heels can cause problems, the ultra narrow heels of stilettos are particularly risky. "The weight is pinpointed on one area," Brenner tells WebMD. "That makes you wobble like you're walking on stilts." The result is that you're more likely to trip and sprain your ankle. Solution: Chunky Heels A chunky heel has more surface area and distributes your weight more evenly. This makes the feet much more stable when compared to stilettos or spindle heels. Although thick high heels can still put stress on the ball of the foot, they may reduce the tripping hazard by minimizing unsteadiness.

52 Culprit: Ballet Flats Brenner compares these dainty shoes to walking on cardboard. "There's no arch support whatsoever," she tells WebMD. That keeps the feet from functioning optimally and can lead to knee, hip, and back problems. Poor arch support is also associated with a painful foot condition called plantar fasciitis. Solution: Orthotic Inserts If you love the look of ballet flats, over-thecounter inserts (shown here) may help prevent mild foot pain. Heel pads can provide extra cushioning for achy heels. And custom orthotics can ease a whole range of foot pains and problems. Podiatrists prescribe these inserts to provide arch support and reduce pressure on sensitive areas. Prescription orthotics can be pricey, but are sometimes covered by insurance. Culprit: Flip-Flops Flip-flops offer very little protection. The risk of getting splinters or other foot injuries is higher when the feet are so exposed. People with diabetes should not wear flip-flops, because simple cuts and scrapes can lead to serious complications. In addition, many flip-flops provide no arch support. Like ballet flats, they can aggravate plantar fasciitis and cause problems with the knees, hips, or back.

53 Problem: Plantar Fasciitis A band of tissue called the plantar fascia runs along the bottom of the foot. It pulls on the heel when you walk -- and it works best with the proper arch in your foot. Walking barefoot, or in flimsy shoes without sufficient arch support, can overstretch, tear, or inflame the plantar fascia. This common condition can cause intense heel pain, and resting the feet only provides temporary relief. Better: 'Fitted' Flops Sporty, fitted sandals and other "toning shoes" are designed for a more intense workout while walking. The American Council on Exercise says there's no evidence to support that claim, but they may have other benefits. The thick sole keeps your foot off the ground and away from debris. And Brenner points out, "they do have really good arch support." Several have a seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association. Culprit: Platform Shoes Platform shoes and wedges tend to have rigid foot beds. "That throws off the biomechanics of walking," Brenner says. "Your foot is trying to bend a certain way, but the shoe is fighting you because it's so rigid." If the heel of the platform is much higher than the toe area, the shoe also puts pressure on the metatarsal bones.

54 Better: Flatter Platforms Although still not recommended, a flatter platform shoe may put less strain on your feet than its peers. Look for a wide wedge or platform that is nearly parallel with the ground. This will lessen the pressure on the ball of the foot. However, the rigid sole remains a barrier to the natural walking motion. Culprit: Pointy Toes They might be stylish, but shoes with pointy toes squeeze the entire front of your foot together. After time, this can cause nerve pain, bunions, blisters, and hammertoes. Some women even develop bruises under their toenails from the constant pressure.

Problem: Bunions A bunion is a painful lump at the base of the big toe, which may cause the toe to bend unnaturally. It forms when the t issue or bone at the base joint gets displaced. This may happen after years of abnormal pressure and movement. Pointy -toed shoes are a common factor, which explains the prevalence of bunions among women.

55 Problem: Toe Deformities High heeled shoes push too much body weight toward the toes and then squeeze them together. Over time, the result can be hammertoe (early stage, lower right), abnormal bends in the toe joints that can gradually become rigid. Surgery is sometimes needed to relieve the pain of severe hammertoe. Crowding can cause other toe deformities, along with continuous shoe friction, leading to painful corns and calluses. Solution: Wide Toe Box You can avoid the pointy toe perils by selecting boxier shoes. If that style doesn't appeal to you, look for shoes that slope to a point beyond the edge of your toes. A healthy style won't pinch the tips or sides of the toes. Brenner also suggests choosing a softer material, rather than stiff leather.

Culprit: Celebrity Trendsetters Lady Gaga is known for her eccentric style, but you may want to think twice before stepping into the heel-less shoes she favors. The 12-inch mega-heels seen in her "Bad Romance" video are equally risky. As we've seen, putting so much stress on the ball of your foot can cause bone and nerve damage and pain.

56 Solution: Performance Pumps Many women are unwilling to trade style for comfort, but you may not have to choose between the two. Performance pumps offer a sound compromise, taking both fashion and your health into consideration. They are typically made with reinforced heels, athletic shoe construction, and more wiggle room for your toes. Culprit: Wrong Size Shoes Nine out of 10 women are wearing shoes that are too small. The consequences aren't pretty – calluses, blisters, bunions, corns, and other problems. The constant rubbing can irritate the joints in the foot and lead to arthritis. Research suggests many kids are also wearing the wrong shoe size, which puts them at risk for foot deformities as they grow. Solution: Measure Your Feet Before buying new shoes, have a professional measure the length and width of your feet at the end of the day, while you're standing. For unusually flat feet or high arches, an exam by a podiatrist may be warranted. These conditions can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Early treatment and use of proper footwear may help to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the joints of the foot.

57 Men's Trends Pointy-toed shoes have crossed the gender line. This footwear fad carries the same risk in men as in women – including hammertoes, bunions, and pain. To avoid these problems, stick with a boxier toe. At the office, a classic pair of oxfords or oafers may not turn heads, but your feet will thank you. Fitness Trends: Minimalist Shoe Newer additions to the shoe scene are minimalist shoes. They aim to mimic the natural feel and mechanics of walking barefoot. Brenner is not impressed. "There's no support for your heel or arch and no shock absorption," she says. In addition, in some brands, the "fingers" separate the toes, interfering with the natural walking position. Fitness Trends: Rocker Bottoms Rocker bottom shoes facilitate the push-off motion as you walk. This style can help with joint pain, according to Brenner. It's also good for people with mild foot deformities. However, she does not recommend the shoe for older people or people with medical conditions that affect balance or muscle strength.

58 3 Tips for Better Shoes If you're ready to do right by your feet, Brenner offers these three tips: Make sure the shoe bends at the toe box, but is not too flexible. Make sure there is a sufficient arch support. Choose a chunky heel that is less than 2 inches high.

The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing a Bra 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 index1.html

Being a girl comes with some pretty great perks… high heels, lipstick, lingerie – and bras in particular. Bras offer endless options for expressing your femininity. And that’s where things get tricky! With so many sizes and styles available (and “rules” for bra wear and care), it’s easy to go wrong. Do you know what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to bras? Read on for 6 dos and don’ts of wearing a bra!


1. DO wear the right size Did you know that there’s an 80% chance you’re wearing the wrong size bra? A bra that doesn’t fit right is uncomfortable and unflattering. Who needs that? Bra sizing is complicated, so it’s best to be professional fitted. (Most shops are happy to provide this service to their crossdressing and transgender clientele.) Otherwise, check out my previous article on how to find your bra size.

2. DON’T let back bulge ruin your look One of the dreaded side effects of wearing a bra is back bulge. This is especially common if you carry extra weight in your upper body. Here are 3 tips for beating back bulge: Wear a larger band size. A band that’s too tight will cause bulging, so go up a size. For example, from a size 42 to a size 44 band. Look for a bra with extra stretch. Bras made with smooth, stretchy fabrics don’t dig in as much as stiffer bras. Try a longline bra. Longline bras have a wider band that extends down the torso to help eliminate back bulge.

3. DO choose the right style While choosing right size bra is important, so too is the style. The options are nearly endless! Some of the style details to consider include: Padded vs. unpadded Underwire vs. wireless Cut of the bra cups (low cut, full cut, balconette, etc.) Front clasp vs. back clasp Straps (strapless, racerback, convertible, etc.) Fabric (cotton, satin, lace, etc.) Color

60 Which style is best depends on what you’ll be wearing – as well as your natural breast shape and body type. For a breakdown of suitable styles, see my article on the Top 5 Bra Styles Every Crossdresser and MTF Transgender Woman Should Own.

4. DON’T be boring While you should definitely own some basic bras, why stop there? Bras offer endless options for expressing your style, so have fun and experiment with different colors, fabrics, and trimmings! Just be sure these details don’t show through your clothes.

5. DON’T ruin your bra in the wash Bras are delicate object, so they need to be properly cared for. You can’t simply toss your bra in the wash with the rest of your clothes! Here are some tips to ensure your bra stays in good shape for as long as possible: Handwash your bra if possible. This is the best way to extend the life of your bra. Use a bra wash bag. This keeps the hooks from snagging and prevents your bra from getting tangled in the washing machine. Air dry your bra. Bras should never be put in the dryer, so hang them to dry instead.

6. DO replace your bra when it’s time If you take care of your bra, it should last a good while. However, keep in mind that bras do have a limited life span. (An average of 612 months if you wear it regularly.) Here are signs your bra needs to be replaced:

61 The bra straps are stretched out. The bra no longer fits properly. (Remember that your breast and chest size can fluctuate with hormones or weight loss/gain.) The bra has lost its shape. The bra feels uncomfortable. Bras! We just can’t get enough Now that’s we’ve got the dos and don’ts worked out, the only thing left to do is enjoy your beautiful bra… And maybe go out buy some news ones! Shoes, lipstick, and bras are 3 things I can’t get enough of! What about you? How many bras do you own? Are you a basic one-bra kinda gal? Or do you have a bra to match your every mood?


From The Kitchen Whipped Maple S weet Potatoes

Amish Onion Patties

Ingredients Maple syrup sweetens these velvety mashed sweet potatoes. Pass a pitcher of warm syrup to drizzle over the top.

Ingredients 3 pounds red garnet sweet potatoes or yams 2 tablespoons maple-flavored syrup 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened ½ teaspoon salt Ground cinnamon or nutmeg Additional maple-fl avored syrup, if desired Steps

3/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon cornmeal 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons salt ( adjust the salt to your family's taste I only use 1 teaspoon) 3/4 cup milk 2 and 1/2 cups chopped onions about 2 small onions oil for frying

How to make it Mix together dry ingredients add milk and stir batter will be thick

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork. Place potatoes in square pan, 9x9x2 inches. Cover and bake about 1 hour 15 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife.

add onions and mix throughly heat 1/2 inch oil in skillet over medium high heat drop batter by tablespoons in hot oil flatten slightly brown on both sides until nice and crisp drain on paper towels

63 Cajun Shrimp and S ausage Casserole

Individual Harissa Turkey Meatloaves

This creamy Cajun-inspired casserole gets its irresistible fl avor from smoky Andouille sausage, shrimp and fresh okra.

Put an gl obal twist on m eatl oaf wi th these harissaseason ed minis. A pickl ed cucumber and av ocado relish balances th e h eat of th e harissa an d giv es y our m eal a fresh twist.

Ingredients 6 oz andouille sausage, chopped 2 lb uncooked large shrimp, thawed if frozen, peel ed and deveined 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 bag (10 oz) frozen diced celery, onion, and red and green bell peppers, thawed 3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic 2 cups sliced fresh okra 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of shrimp soup ½ cup dry white wine ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) 3 cups cooked long-grain rice Chopped fresh parsley, if desired Steps 1 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. 2 In nonstick 4-quart Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium-high heat 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until shrimp are pink. Remove sausage and shrimp to bowl; set aside. 3 In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add thawed vegetabl es, garlic and okra; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until okra begins to soften. Reduce heat to low. Stir in soup, wine, black pepper, red pepper and rice. Stir in sausage mixture. Spoon into baking dish. 4 Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Garnish with parsley.

I ngre dients

Meatl oaf 1 tabl espoon oliv e oil 1 small oni on , fin ely ch opped 2 carrots, peel ed an d di ced 1¼ lb groun d turkey breast ½ cu p plain 2% Greek y ogurt ¼ cu p ketchup 1 cu p Progresso™ pl ain panko crispy bread crumbs 2 tabl espoons harissa chili paste ½ teaspoon ground corian der ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 2 cl ov es garlic, fin ely ch opped, or 1/4 teaspoon garli c powder 1 egg, sligh tly beaten Topping ½ 2 1

cu p ketchup teaspoons harissa chili paste tabl espoon packed brown sugar

Pi ckl ed Cucum ber Relish ½ En glish (h oth ou se) cucum ber, very thinly sli ced (abou t 1 cu p) 1 m edium av ocado, pi tted, peel ed an d ch opped ¼ cu p fresh parsl ey , ch opped 2 tabl espoons white vin egar ¼ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons h on ey

64 8 fl our tortillas (8 to 10 inch ), warm ed* Sour cream, if desired

Directions 1 Heat ov en to 375°F. Lin e baking pan with sides wi th foil. In 10-inch skill et, h eat oil ov er m edium-high heat. Add oni on and carrots; cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequen tly, un til crisp-tender. 2 In l arge bowl , mix all Meatl oaf ingredi ents, in cluding carrot mixture, until just com bined (do n ot ov ermix). Shape mixture into 6 small l oaves. Place in pan. 3 In small bowl , mix Topping ingredi ents; spread ov er tops of m eatl oav es. 4 Bake uncov ered 35 to 40 minutes or until m eat therm om eter inserted in center of l oav es reads 170°F. Meanwhil e, in m edium bowl, mix Pi ckl ed Cu cumber Relish ingredi ents. Let stan d 10 minutes. After m eatl oav es are don e, l et stand 5 minutes; drain. Rem ov e from pan. 5 Spoon reli sh on tops of m eatl oav es before serving. Expe rt Tips Don't hav e ground turk ey on hand? Use lean ground beef instead.

Turkey Soft Tacos

Wrap up y our dinn er soluti on with easy Mexi can tacostyle turkey san dwich es - ready in just 20minutes!

I ngre dients ½ cu p chicken broth 1 medium oni on , ch opped (1/2 cup) 1 small red or green bell pepper, di ced (1/2 cu p) ½ cu p frozen wh ol e kernel corn (from 1-lb bag) ½ lb groun d turkey breast 4 cl ov es garlic, fin ely ch opped ½ cu p salsa ¼ cu p ch opped fresh cilantro

Directions 1 In 10-in ch n on stick skillet, h eat broth to boiling ov er high h eat. Cook on i on , bell pepper an d corn in broth 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasi onally, un til v egetables are crisp-tender. Reduce h eat to m edium-high. 2 Stir in turkey an d garli c. Cook 2 minu tes, stirring occasi onally . Stir in salsa. Cook abou t 5 minu tes, stirring occasi onally, until turkey is n ol onger pink. Stir in ci lantro. 3 Spoon slightly l ess than 1/2 cu p turkey mixture down cen ter of each tortilla;roll up tortilla. Serve wi th sour cream. Expe rt Tips Speed preparation time by using already-chopped garlic in jars, and look for bags of frozen chopped onions-no tears! To warm tortillas, heat them in a hot ungreased sk illet or griddle for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Or wrap desired number of tortillas tightly in foil and heat in 250°F ov en for 15 minutes. Or place 2 tortillas at a time between dampened microwav able paper towels or sheets of microwav able plastic wrap and microwav e on High for 15 to 20 seconds until warm.

Ultimate Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Ingredients Serves: 8 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Sage, Rubbed 16 dinner rolls 1 pound sliced roast turkey 1 cup prepared stuffing 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce 1 cup baby spinach leaves Directions 20 minsPrep time Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice and sage in small bowl.

65 Spread dinner rolls with mayonnaise mixture. Divide turkey among rolls. Top with stuffing, cranberry sauce and spinach.

Homemade Turkey Soup

key. Simmer uncovered 20 to 25 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and barley are tender. Stir in parsley. Expert Tips Turn this into Homemade Turkey-Vegetable Soup by adding up to 3 cups raw or cooked vegetables, such as whole kernel corn, green peas, diced potatoes, sliced zucchini, sliced mushrooms or any combination, along with the carrots, onion and celery. An easy way to add layers of flavor is to use poultry seasoning. A blend of sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper and nutmeg, this seasoning lends a subtle savory note to chicken and turkey dishes.

Leftover Turkey Chowder Use your leftover holiday turkey to make from-s crat ch soup packed with barley and veget ables.

Ingredients Carcass 3 1 ½ ¼ 1 ½ 3 1 2 3 2

from cooked 10- to 12-lb turkey quarts (12 cups) water teaspoon salt teaspoon pepper teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried sage leaves dried bay leaf cup uncooked pearl barley medium carrots, sliced (1 1/2 cups) SAVE $ large onion, chopped (1 cup) SAVE $ medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup) SAVE $ cups cut-up cooked turkey tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, i f desired

Steps 1Break up turkey carcass to fit 6-quart Dutch oven. Add water, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and bay leaf. Heat to boiling over high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 1 hour 30 minutes. 2 Skim off any residue that rises to the surface. Remove bones, meat and bay leaf from broth; cool. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into bitesize pieces; set aside. Discard bones and bay leaf. 3 Skim fat from broth; discard. Add turkey meat cut from bones to broth; stir in barley. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4

Stir in carrots, onion, celery and 3 cups cooked tur-

This hearty chowder is chock full of chunky potatoes, turkey and corn in a creamy broth. Ingredients Serves: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup 4 slices bacon, chopped 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 cups water 4 medium red potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups) 1 package McCormick® Turkey Gravy Mix 1/4 cup flour 2 cups half-and-half 2 cups cubed cooked turkey 1 can (8 3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, undrained 1 teaspoon McCormick® Sage, Rubbed

Directions 10 minsPrep time30 minsCook time Cook bacon in large saucepan on medium heat until

66 crisp. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add water and potatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir Gravy Mix and flour in medium bowl. Stir in halfand-half with wire whisk until smooth. Stir mixture into saucepan. Add turkey, corn and sage. Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cooking tip Substitution Tip: Use 4 teaspoons cornstarch in place of the flour. Continue as directed.


How to Deep-Fry Food Without Making a Hot Mess By Carl Hanson

Biting into the perfect french fry is kind of a thrill. Golden brown, with a wonderfully crispy crust and a pillowy, tender center — yet it’s also surprisingly light, not greasy. Truth is, deep-frying food doesn’t have to be a heavy, greasy mess. Not when it’s done right. Here’s how to do it right! Deep-frying is a simple technique that nevertheless requires some attention to detail.

1) Use a deep, wide pot like a stockpot (or a dedicated deep-fryer) and enough oil to submerge the food you’ll be frying. But leave at least 4 inches between the top of the oil and the lip of the pot to avoid spillovers and reduce splatters. A wok with long sloping sides also works great for deep-frying. 2) Use a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoking point, like peanut, sunflower, safflower, or soybean oil. Vegetable shortening and lard also work well. Extra-virgin olive oil and butter have lower smoking points, which means they will scorch at a much lower temperature — making whatever you are frying taste burned and bitter. 3) Heat the pot of oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Be patient. Heating a large amount of oil can take a while. • Use a candy thermometer or large-dial thermometer that can hook onto the pot. Oils will begin to burn between 400 and 450 degrees F (200 and 225 degrees C) and will catch fire at around 500 degrees F (250 degrees C), so keep a close eye on the temperature. • Once the oil reaches 350 degrees F, reduce the heat to low. If you notice the temperature on the thermometer dropping, turn the heat up a small amount until the temperature has crawled back up to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). • • No thermometer? Not a deal-breaker. Stick the end of a wooden spoon into the center of the hot oil. When the temperature reaches about 350 degrees F, you’ll see tiny bubbles sizzling where hot oil meets wood. Other methods? Toss a pinch of flour into the oil. If it sizzles, you’re good; if it browns up immediately, too hot.

68 One Hot Second for Science: Hot oil keeps food from getting greasy because the hot, hot oil quickly evaporates water off the surface of the food, which keeps the oil on the surface, where it can work its crispy, crust-forming magic. 4) Carefully place food into the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs. To avoid splashing hot oil everywhere, don’t drop food into the oil (splash!). 5) Fr y in small batches without crowding. Crowding will cause the oil’s temperature to drop, and you’ll end up with greasy, stuck-together food. If you’re frying in batches, let the oil temperature return to 350 before adding another round. 6) Allow each piece some space. If your food clumps together, separate the pieces, and move them around in the hot oil — you’ll get crispier results and a more even fry if you keep the food in motion. Once the exterior of the food is golden brown, test to see if it has cooked all the way through. If it is golden brown on the outside but undercooked on the inside, reduce the oil’s heat to about 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and begin again. 7) Remove the food to paper towels when golden brown outside and perfectly cooked inside. Use a slotted metal spoon, spatula, or spider for this operation. Also, don’t put the hot, oily food on ink-covered newspapers. Getting fried food onto the paper towels quickly pulls the excess fat off the food and leaves a crispy, crunchy treat that isn’t greasy and weighty with oil. 8) Season it! While the food’s fresh from the fryer and piping hot, salt it. If you’re making doughnuts, it’s time to roll them in sugar. Deep-Frying Quick Tips • Cut food into pieces of similar size if possible. They’ll fry to a finish at the same rate. Smaller pieces will cook faster and more uniformly. • Pat the food dry with paper towels before placing in the hot oil. Never add wet food to hot oil — splatter! splatter! splatter! • Be Ready for the Worst Case Scenario: Grease Fire! Burning the tater tots is one thing; burning down the house another. Remember, don’t throw water on a grease fire! Suffocate the flames with a damp towel, a metal lid (if the fire’s in the pot), some baking soda, or a fire extinguisher. Reuse the Oil It takes a lot of oil to deep-fry. Luckily, you can reuse the oil — several times at least. After each use, skim the food bits from the oil or pour the — cooled — cooking oil through a strainer to remove impurities that can lower the smoke point and create funky flavors. Store the oil in

69 the fridge in a sealed container. And toss when it smells stinky or gets dark and foamy. But never dump it down the drain or in the toilet! Do You Need a Deep-Fat Fryer to Deep-Fry Properly? The short answer, no! You can make amazing deep-fried foods using the above method. However, a deep-fryer that’s dedicated exclusively to that task will have a few key advantages: • Programmable temperature settings make it easier to control the oil temperature. It stays nice and steady — no messing around with thermometers, no adjusting the flames on your stove-top. • With electric deep fryers, the heating element is contained within the fryer — no open flames or super-hot pots. • Fry buckets are convenient for lifting out hot food. • Some fryers have oil-filtering and storage functions built in. • Clean-up can be a little easier with dedicated deep-fryers. Outdoorsy? You can also find propane deep fryers and turkey deep fryers meant for outdoor frying.


The Gossip Fence Transgender In The News 114 Congressmembers call for proof that Trump was advised by Pentagon on trans military ban Virginia Rep. A. Donald McEachin is spearheading a call for all correspondence and documentation f rom the Pentagon to show the process that inf ormed President Trump’s directiv e to institute a ban on all transgender military service. In a letter to Defense Sec. Jim Mattis dated Oct. 10 and signed by 114 members of Congress, including many f rom Calif ornia, McEachin writes: “We request inf ormation about what discussions or correspondence between the White House and the Pentagon, if any, led President Trump to make his assertion. If senior military or Department of Defense personnel asked that the president ban transgender individuals f rom military serv ice, we request access to any letters, e-mails, telephone transcripts, meeting logs and minutes, or other materials that document such requests.” “We seek information to discover the proof of where and when the Pentagon advised the President that this was the best idea f or our country,” McEachin said in a press release. “If there is proof then we can evaluate that, if there is no proof then the President lied to the American people once again.” LA Blade’s sources indicate that much of the initial discussion for reinstating the trans military ban actually occurred in person and telephonically: Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter and Vicky Hartzler to Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and the Heritage Action to members of Vice President Mike Pence’s office and then from Pence to Trump aboard Air Force One. Since Hartzler got her erroneous information about the cost of healthcare f or transgender serv ice members from the Family Research Council and FRC’s Executiv e Vice President is retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, there is some speculation Trump’s generals and military experts could be f rom FRC, as well as the list of former military officers Heritage prov ided during Hartzler’s failed legislative attempt to prohibit healthcare for trans service members. Such exchanges may be between White House officials and anti-LGBT activ ists—to which the Pentagon did not receive access. Presumably, the signatories to the congressional letter will make the distinction between false inf ormation f rom anti-adv ocacy groups and the experience of the real Armed Forces. “If the Department has records of any other discussions that might have justified the president’s claim, we request to see those materials, as well,” the Congressional letter says. “We seek access to these materials in order to determine whether the president, his national security team, and military leaders are actively coordinating policy with one another, or whether the president’s transgender ban announcement ref lected a breakdown in communication.” “Decades ago senior military leadership and Members of Congress tried to say that a group of people, Af rican-Americans, were not f it to serv e and would run at the sight of a battle. I cannot believe that we are here today facing similar discrimination against transgender indiv iduals,” McEachin said in his press release. “Transgender indiv iduals are already brav ely serv ing our country and do not need this discriminatory distraction.” “Today , Representativ e McEachin is standing up f or both military personnel and the LGBT community by demanding accountability,” said Matthew Thorn, Executiv e Director of OutServe-SLDN. “We applaud Representative McEachin for continuing to pursue answers and details of the President’s actions. We too will not stop in our legal f ight and we look f orward to working with Rep. McEachin and all our congressional allies in preventing this ban f rom coming to f ruition.” There are currently four lawsuits against Trump, Mattis and the proposed ban. “The President’s abrupt decision to ov erride the military’s caref ully considered policy on transgender serv ice members showed a shocking disregard not only for the thousands of currently serving transgender troops, including those deployed overseas, but also f or the experience and expertise of military leaders,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter and GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennif er Lev i, who hav e f iled suit with Equality Calif ornia to stop the ban f rom mov ing f orward. “We commend the more than 100 Members of Congress who are demanding answers about why the President reversed military policy without input from military adv isers. The President’s blatant disregard for military judgment destabilizes military operations and weakens our Armed Forces.”

71 Bipartisan legislation introduced to protect trans servicemembers Calif ornia Reps. Jackie Speier and Susan Dav is joined f our other members of Congress on Friday to introduce a bipartisan bill intended to protect transgender military serv icemembers under siege by the Trump administration. H.R. 4041 prohibits the Department of Def ense from discharging trans members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has repeatedly said the current policy of trans open serv ice remains in effect until he has had a chance to dev elop a policy, under President Trump’s orders, based on recommendations from a panel of experts. Trans serv icemembers have been serving openly since June 2016 without incident. Howev er, in a sudden series of tweets last July 26, Trump issued a directive ordering Mattis and the Pentagon to rev erse the Obama-era policy and kick out all transgender indiv iduals working in any capacity and prevent any recruitment or promotion through the accessions policy. Trump gav e Mattis six months to come up with a new personnel policy, while Mattis is simultaneously preparing for the possibility of nuclear war. LGBT groups hav e urged Mattis to recruit trans people with military or national security experience to sit on that panel of experts. “Kicking out members of the United States Armed Serv ices solely based on their gender identity is hatef ul, discriminatory and on the wrong side of history,” Speier said in a statement. “News f lash, Mr. President — thousands of transgender troops already serve our country with pride and dignity. Our military should be focused on recruiting and retaining the best troops, not on rejecting qualif ied service members on the basis of discrimination.” Republican Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylv ania and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida are co-authors of the new House bill, along with Democratic Reps. Adam Smith of Washington and out bisexual Ky rsten Sinema of Arizona. Last month, the Senate, lead by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, introduced a similar bipartisan bill, S. 1820, co-authored by Sens. Jack Reed, Susan Collins and to the surprise of many, John McCain. According to a reliable source in the Pentagon, McCain was asked to join Gillibrand’s efforts by Def ense Sec. Mattis who really does not want to change to current pro-LGBT policy. Businesses Ask Supreme Court to Take Gay Rights Case Some of America's most well-known companies are urging the Supreme Court to rule that a federal employment discrimination law prohibits discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation, a position opposite of the one taken by the Trump administration. The 76 businesses and organizations - including American Airlines, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Starbucks and Microsoft - filed a brief Wednesday encouraging the high court to take up the issue. They want the court to take a case out of Georgia in which a gay woman who worked as a hospital security officer says she was harassed and punished f or dressing in a male uniform and wearing her hair short. Jameka Evans, who worked at Georgia Regional Hospital at Sav annah f rom 2012 to 2013, ultimately left her job and sued. The question in her case is whether a f ederal law barring workplace discrimination "because" cov ers discrimination against someone because of their sexual orientation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under President Barack Obama took the view that it does. But President Donald Trump's administration has argued that Title VII of the Civ il Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination based on gender but doesn't cover sexual orientation. The businesses' court filing says they and their employ ees would benefit if the court agreed to take the case and rule that Title VII cov ers sexual orientation discrimination. "Businesses' f irst-hand experiences - supported by extensiv e social-science research - confirm the significant costs f or employ ers and employ ees when sexual orientation discrimination is not f orbidden by a uniform law, even where other policies exist against such discrimination," the businesses wrote in their brief. The organizations that joined the brief also include two sports teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Heat. 17 States and DC Join Lambda Legal Supreme Court Push to End LGBT Employment Discrimination The attorneys general of 17 states and the District of Columbia joined Lambda Legal to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to decide once and for all whether Title VII of the Civ il Rights Act protects LGBT indiv iduals from discrimination on the job. The f riend-of-the-court brief f iled by New Y ork Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and joined by the attorneys general of Calif ornia, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Mary land, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsy lv ania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia argues that interpreting Title VII to protect employees f or sexual orientation discrimination is critical for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people f rom states without explicit protections from sexual orientation discrimination and f or indiv iduals not cov ered by state law in states with such protections. The brief is one of four friend-of -the-court briefs submitted in support of Lambda Legal's petition asking the Court to hear the case of Jameka Evans, a Sav annah security guard who was harassed at work and f orced from her job because she is a lesbian. The petition seeks a nationwide ruling that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII’s ban on sex

72 discrimination. “The unprecedented level of support f rom these 18 state attorneys general for the proposition that federal law already protects the right of LGBT people to be f rom employment discrimination demonstrates that the time is now for the Supreme Court to settle this question. Even as the Trump Administration works overtime to attack the rights and equal dignity of LGBT people in this country, we are gratef ul f or the record number of states, businesses, scholars and advocacy organizations that have said that employment discrimination is bad f or business and un-American,” said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar GonzalezPagan. Sev eral f ederal courts hav e affirmed the argument that Title VII, when properly understood, protects LGBT employees. Most notably , the f ull Sev enth Circuit overruled four of its precedents and ruled in April that Lambda Legal client Kimberly Hively could proceed under the Civ il Rights Act with her claim that Indiana-based Ivy Tech Community College discriminated against her because she is a lesbian. (More on that case here.) Advocates call Trump actions 'vicious' In a one-two-three punch, the Trump administration last week announced that it would not honor an Obama era memorandum that said Title VII prohibits "sex-based considerations" by employers and announced two actions that seek to increase the ability of employ ers to cite "religious" or "moral" reasons for gender-based discrimination. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee v oted October 5 to recommend the conf irmation of a man opposed by 60 national and regional LGBT groups to serve as the top Department of Justice official on civil rights. All f our actions have signif icant implications for the rights of LGBT people. "We have multiple indicators that the Jeff Sessions Department of Justice, and the Trump administration more broadly, intend to take ev ery opportunity to limit non-discrimination protections for LGBT people," said Jennif er Pizer, law and policy director f or Lambda Legal Def ense and Education Fund. The Title VII memo In a two-page memorandum dated October 4, Sessions immediately withdrew an Obama era interpretation of "sex" in federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination. "This administration's vicious attacks on transgender people continue to escalate dangerously – f irst the withdrawal of protections for transgender students, then the military ban, and now DOJ's archaic position that Title VII does not protect transgender people," said Minter. "At ev ery turn, the administration is stigmatizing transgender people and excluding them from basic civ il liberties. This administration has put a target on the back of ev ery transgender person in this country. Their goal seems to be to driv e transgender people out of public lif e-out of schools, the military, and now workplaces." Religious liberty memo The Religious Liberty Guidance, an eight-page October 6 memorandum with a 17-page appendix, also shows signs of the Trump administration expressing what it hopes the law will be, not necessarily what it is. The memo, also f rom Sessions, responds to an executive order President Donald Trump issued in May , when he asked Sessions to issue "guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in f ederal law." With that executiv e order, Trump also directed that his administration, "to the extent permitted by laws," respect and protect "religious and political speech," av oid "adv erse" tax action against "any indiv idual, house of worship, or other religious organization ... [that] ... speaks ... about moral or political issues f rom a religious perspective." When that executiv e order was issued, LGBT legal activists were concerned that it was a signal to Trump's many conserv ativ e agency heads to use every opportunity to turn back progress achieved by the LGBT community in the past decade. But other points misstate the law or present it as only some people would probably like it to read. For instance, point f our states that "individuals and organizations do not giv e up their religious-liberty protections by prov iding or receiv ing social serv ices ... by seeking to earn or earning a living ... or by otherwise interacting with federal, state, or local gov ernments." That reading of the law ignores v arious U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have identif ied instances in which limits can be placed on an indiv idual's exercise of religion. For instance, when Bob Jones Univ ersity claimed its whites-only admission policy was based on a "genuine belief," the Supreme Court in 1983 upheld the Internal Revenue Service's denial of the Christian university 's tax-exempt status. In 1990, in Employment Division v. Smith, it ruled, "the right of free exercise does not relieve an indiv idual of the obligation to comply with a v alid and neutral law of general applicability ..." In that case, plaintiffs sought exemption from laws banning the use of pey ote. Birth control policy shift Causing the most stir nationally last week was the announcement of new regulations, effectiv e immediately, that reverse a mandate under the Affordable Care Act that employ ers provide health insurance coverage for birth control. The new regulations say employers, by claiming a religious or moral objection, may refuse to cover birth control.

73 Lesbian Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was the f irst state official to respond to Trump's new rules. Healey f iled suit October 6, the same day the administration released its rules. The lawsuit says, "Congress declined to include a 'conscience amendment' in the ACA that would hav e permitted employers, insurers, and others to deny cov erage based upon religious beliefs or moral convictions." "Signif icant numbers of Americans have religious-based objections to a range of medical serv ices and procedures, and to medical care in general," noted the lawsuit. But Trump's rules will cause "substantial harm" to women and v iolate the First Amendment establishment clause and other constitutional prov isions. Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee v oted 11-9 last week, along partisan lines, to recommend the confirmation of Eric Dreiband to serve as head of the DOJ's Civ il Rights Division. In an October 4 letter to the committee, the heads of 62 LGBT groups said Dreiband has an "overwhelmingly anti-civ il rights record" and that his "personal inv olvement in cases seeking to diminish the rights of LGBT people and other v ulnerable communities strongly suggests that he will continue to promote the anti-civ il rights agenda of this administration ..." Trump makes sure rainbow flag isn’t flying on federal land Donald Trump cy nically held up a rainbow flag with “L.G.B.T.s for Trump” scrawled on it during his campaign last y ear and has proceeded as president to roll back L.G.B.T.Q. rights and appoint v irulent bigots to cabinet posts and f ederal judgeships. So when the administration learned that the National Park Service was going to dedicate a rainbow f lag at the Stonewall National Monument on Oct. 11 — National Coming Out Day — the Park Serv ice was ordered to withdraw its sponsorship of the ceremony, certify that the flagpole within the monument commemorating the Stonewall Rebellion was technically not on f ederal land, take the N.P.S. f lag down, and cede the rainbow f lag to the New Y ork City Department of Parks and Recreation. What was intended as a happy celebration brought out the spirit of the Stonewall Rebellion as speakers at the dedication protested the anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bigotry of the administration in Washington. “We’re here to celebrate the f lying of the rainbow flag inside the Stonewall National Monument,” she said It had been billed as the f irst rainbow f lag to permanently wav e on f ederal property, but a Newsweek story previewing the ev ent caught the attention of someone higher up in the administration. It included a comment from Ken Kidd, who coordinated the ev ent, saying that the rainbow f lag will be “fly ing on this national monument during a time when we have a president who is not particularly kind or lov ing to the L.G.B.T. community.” Kidd’s comment cited some of Trump’s recent attacks. The Park Serv ice’s Barbara Applebaum, who had coordinated the ceremony f or the N.P.S. and was scheduled to speak, withdrew on Tuesday in the wake of the kerf uffle created by the administration, citing a schedule conflict. Joshua Laird, commissioner of the National Parks of New Y ork Harbor, ended up attending the ceremony and offered to speak or have Applebaum do so. Northrop said, “We told them we love the local Park Service people, but we’re f urious at the Trump administration,” and Laird’s offer was declined, though Appelbaum was acknowledged during the ceremony. Kiara St. James, director of the New Y ork Transgender Adv ocacy Group, led the crowd in a chant of “It is our duty to fight. It is our duty to win.” She inv oked the memory of transgender and Stonewall pioneers Marsha P. Johnson and Sylv ia Rivera, and warned, “If we work in our silos, we cannot bring down this system of white supremacy.” St. James added, “If y ou are silent, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it.” She called for a movement in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, say ing, “It is not enough to come out, be enraged, go back, and post on Facebook.” Activ ism inv olves stay ing in the streets, she said. The rainbow f lag has been up since September 28. But now it is owned by the city, and the Parks Department has indicated it would like to see a larger rainbow f lag up on the f lagpole. The Stonewall National Monument will continue, though it is on a hit list of national monuments that the ultra-right Family Research Council wants rescinded by Trump — just as energy companies and dev elopers want to see large tracts of preserv ed federal land lose monument status similarly granted by former President Obama under the Antiquities Act.

Experts confirm gender identity is biological and say insurers should cover trans health needs The Endocrine Society, an international organization of medical experts and biological researchers, has released a new set of guidelines f or caring f or transgender patients. Along with the guidelines, the organization has issued a position statement calling on federal and priv ate insurers to cover the costs of all medical interventions a physician might prescribe f or a transgender patient, including hormone replacement therapies and surgeries.

74 The updated guidelines and position statement ref lect the latest research on gender identity and the shift away from understanding gender dysphoria as a mental illness. “Considerable scientific ev idence has emerged demonstrating a durable biological element underlying gender identity,” the statement reads. “Individuals may make choices due to other factors in their liv es, but there do not seem to be external f orces that genuinely cause indiv iduals to change gender identity.” Research has not exhaustively explained “the specif ic mechanisms guiding the biological underpinnings of gender identity,” but the Endocrine Society joins the “ev olving consensus that being transgender is not a mental health disorder.” The statement notes the following f indings from scientific studies:

• Attempts to change an intersex person’s gender identity to match their anatomy are unsuccessf ul. • Identical twins are more likely to both be transgender than fraternal twins. • Indiv iduals with XX chromosomes exposed to higher levels of androgens in utero are more likely to identify as transgender men, while individuals with XY chromosomes and complete androgen insensitivity sy ndrome are more likely to identify as transgender women. • Brain scans hav e f ound patterns across gender identity despite differences in external genitalia or chromosomes.

According to the Endocrine Society’s new guidelines, hormone therapy, surgeries, and other procedures that help resolv e an indiv idual’s gender dysphoria are “medically necessary and should be cov ered by insurance.” In 2015, the Obama administration issued a new rule apply ing the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections to transgender patients nationwide. Last y ear, howev er, a group of states led by Texas challenged the rule and a notoriously antiLGBTQ f ederal judge ruled in December that the protections could not be enf orced. The Trump administration decided to pause that litigation — i.e. stopped fighting f or the Obama-era protections — and has reportedly been rewriting the rule so that it no longer applies to transgender people. President Trump, in def ending his ban on transgender people serving in the military, indicated that one of his primary motiv ations was that he didn’t want the f ederal gov ernment to pay f or their health care needs. His order, which is set to take effect next March, explicitly states that the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security will cease all funding f or transition-related surgical procedures. If the Trump administration proceeds with these plans to block transgender people from receiving the health care they require, it will be doing so against the direct recommendation of the experts and doctors tasked with providing that. How transitioning leads to better mental health – and job satisfaction In the EU and the US there is a growing number of trans people who are beginning to change their outward appearances to ref lect their gender identity. This physical change might, but does not always, inv olve medical treatment. Either way , the effects are ov erwhelmingly positiv e. Transitioning improves trans people’s mental health. New research I’v e carried out f ound that a positiv e attitude toward life, the ability to cope with stress and optimism about the future are all boosted by transitioning. These factors all shape one’s mental health status. What’s more, I also found that transitioning is related to greater job and lif e satisfaction. People’s happiness with their appearance, body shape and self -esteem were all increased when they transitioned. It led to better communication and negotiation skills, better self-organisation, and a more innov ativ e, constructiv e approach to problem-solv ing. These f actors all shape job satisfaction. Similarly , a review that looks at 38 international studies on trans people indicates that lev els of psychopathology and psy chiatric disorders reduce with transitioning and, in many cases, reach average levels. Unfortunately, howev er, myths about transition regrets proliferate. Misrepresentation of scientif ic results on transitioning creates a biased environment against trans people. Although the v ast majority of studies f ind that transitioning improv es quality of lif e, information is regularly fabricated adv ocating against transition-related care. This misrepresentation of research into transitioning can ev en enhance transphobia, where trans people f ace prejudice. At least 858 transphobic hate crimes were recorded by UK police during 2015-16. And between 2008 and 2016 the number of murders of trans people globally increased by 96%. Trans people also experience higher pov erty than the general population. Trans people often feel that they are citizens who are not allowed to be themselv es and practice their authentic identity. Work issues Not having to stress about hiding your true identity allows trans employ ees to focus and enjoy their work more. Traits such as optimism, happiness and self-esteem enhanced by transitioning can enable trans employees to ov ercome challenges at work and to perceiv e their job as more fulf illing and satisfying. A positive mood might induce trans people to spend more of their time

75 on more creative tasks, thereby improving their performance. There is also research suggesting that workplace colleagues report that their trans co-workers are more productiv e, more approachable and more gregarious after transition. As well as being good f or productiv ity, this may also promote more genuine and satisfactory relationships with colleagues, which is good f or the workplace. Nonetheless, trans people still face a number of issues in the world of work. EU surveys demonstrate that more than a third of trans people are discriminated against because of being trans when looking f or a job (37%), and a quarter (27%) reported discrimination at work. The biased climate in relation to trans people perv ades multiple f acets of life, including education, healthcare and access to credit. As a result, trans people’s integration and well-being suffer. In order for trans people to have better access to job v acancies, to cope smoothly in employment and to integrate into society, they should be able to change their sex on government ID documents without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery. This policy would minimise employment and societal exclusion f or those who are not keen, ready, or financially able to undergo such a surgical procedure. Bias against trans people could be prev ented if legal protections and inclusiv e workplace practices were in place. Firms should not ref use to hire and promote trans people. Nor should they ref use to step in if colleagues or customers are harassing an employ ee for being trans (as suggested by government guides on the issue), let alone fire trans people for being themselves. Firms should also make it clear that it is unacceptable f or managers, colleagues and customers to act in a biased manner, as this behaviour reflects on the company. As well as being an important issue of equality and f airness, an activ e trans population enjoy ing equal treatment in the labour market will better serv e their workplaces and help build the wider economy. AP Stylebook on transgender coverage: Don’t say trans person was ‘born a girl or boy’ In an #APSty leChat Twitter session Tuesday afternoon, The Associated Press’s official Stylebook account counseled journalists to not describe a transgender individual as having been “born” a certain sex. “Call people transgender only if relev ant; giv e the name they use publicly; avoid references to being born a boy or girl,” wrote @APStylebook during the interactive Twitter session. The wire agency then urged writers to “[a]v oid transgendered or transsexual; don’t call someone a transgender; trans is OK on second reference and in headlines.” In a subsequent tweet, the AP prescribed the terminology to be used to refer to an indiv idual’s medical procedures for transitioning: “For medical procedures often but not alway s used f or a transition, say sex reassignment or gender conf irmation.” The Associated Press initially announced its Stylebook changes regarding gender-identity issues in March. The entries were updated on Oct. 9, apparently prompting the new chat session on Twitter. For example, “[the] usage of gender confirmation is new to the gender entry on Sty lebook Online today,” the AP said in a tweet. One change the AP is still declining to make is the approv al of designer gender-pronouns such as xe or ze. But in Tuesday ’s chat, the wire service suggested it was possible the news agency would change its mind if the adoption of those nontraditional pronouns became more widespread. Asked by one reader, “Why are neutral pronouns like ze/zir not OK?”, @APStylebook answered that “For broad audiences, it’s best to use terms with which people are most familiar.” “We are open to rev isiting if usage increases.” Meanwhile, the intersection of gender politics and journalism has led another iconic news agency to name an editor assigned to the “gender” beat. Teen Vogue magazine reported Tuesday that Jessica Bennett, formerly of Newsweek, will soon join the New Y ork Times as its f irst ev er “gender editor.” “To me, what gender issues means is not simply coverage of feminism or issues related to women’s rights,” Ms. Bennett said, reported Teen Vogue. “Though of course that is important, and we’re committed to approaching those issues and approaching them from an instersectional lens. But I think for a place like the Times, this type of content needs to exist throughout ev ery section of the paper. “So whether that means stories about gender identity, or sexuality, or masculinity, or race and class and how that plays into gender identity, or simply the subjects that the Times already cov ers — politics, international affairs, science, health. But approaching these subjects through a lens of gender,” she added. “The reality is that institutions, and old-school media institutions, were primarily created by and for white men,” Ms. Bennett said, according to Teen Vogue. “But that has changed.”

76 In Historic Change, Boy Scouts to Let Girls in Some Programs Embracing a historic change, the Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday plans to admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and to establish a new program for older girls using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts. Under the plan, Cub Scout dens - the smallest unit - will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will hav e the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders. The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts board of directors, which approved the plan unanimously in a meeting at BSA headquarters in Texas, said the change was needed to prov ide more options for parents. "We believ e it is critical to ev olve how our programs meet the needs of f amilies interested in positive and lif elong experiences f or their children," said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA's chief scout executiv e. "The v alues of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpf ul, kind, brav e and reverent, for example - are important f or both y oung men and women," Surbaugh added. The Girl Scouts of the USA criticized the initiativ e, say ing it strained the century-old bond between the two organizations. Girl Scout officials hav e suggested the BSA's mov e was driven partly by f inancial problems and a need to boost rev enue. In August, the president of the Girl Scouts accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to cov ertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts' operations. "I f ormally request that y our organization stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not currently participating in Boy Scouts ... and not consider expanding to recruit girls," wrote GSUSA President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan in a letter to the BSA's president, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson. The Girl Scouts, f ounded in 1912, and the BSA, f ounded in 1910, are among several major youth organizations in the U.S. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent y ears. Reasons include competition from y outh sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-f ashioned and busy schedules that prompt some parents to despair of meeting all their children's obligations. For some families, scouting programs that welcome both boys and girls could be a welcome conv enience. Prince Harry thinks trans charity Mermaids are 'amazing' The Roy al Family today recognize a prominent trans rights campaigner f or their work on mental health. Susie Green is the CEO of Mermaids UK, a charity that supports transgender children and their families. She was honored at a reception hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry today. Though they only spoke brief ly, Green tells GSN that when she told Prince Harry what Mermaids does, he said ‘that’s amazing.’ Held on World Mental Health day, Both Prince William and Harry welcomed a number of mental health campaigners. In attendance were big names like Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax, Esther Rantzen and many of those involv ed in the Roy als mental health work and charity the Heads Together campaign. Speaking to Gay Star News, Green says it is an honor to get the invite to Buckingham Palace today. ‘What a fantastic evening, the Royals are clearly passionate… Kate, Will, and Harry hav e made their commitment to mental health v ery clear.’ Acclaimed author Stephen Fry was one of the speakers at the event at the palace, who Green said was amazing. Fry spoke about the stigma of mental health as well as the difficulties of those ‘left to spiral downward.’ Prince Harry who spoke alongside Fry, drew on his experience to talk about recov ery. When we spoke to Green before the event she said: ‘Although gender dy sphoria is not a mental illness, unf ortunately, due to massiv e prejudice and ignorance, discrimination is still rif e. Y oung people and their families are suffering because of this. ‘Our detractors try to play down the suicide attempt stats, the bully ing and the self -harm; which leaves me asking – why ?’ The statistics Green refers to are numerous – and globally, mirror each other. In Scotland, Stonewall’s school report suggests nearly all of trans students are self-harming. Correlating with similar f igures it also f ound more than two in f ive trans y oung people in Scotland attempt to take their own life. Elsewhere, a number of different studies from all parts of the world show nearly half of trans people try to take their life. Moreov er, in Calif ornia, when over 600,000 students took part in research; one trend shows trans students are two and half times more likely than cis students to use drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine too. With all of these statistics looming over the charities work, Green ref lects on today:

77 ‘For Mermaids, and f or me as CEO, this is recognition of the fact that we are making an impact. As the v oice for so many f amilies and young people unable to speak out f or f ear of repercussions against themselves and their children; we are thankful that our work on the behalf of gender v ariant and transgender children is of value.’ Iowa DOT Eases Driver’s License Changes for Transgender Iowans Transgender Iowans who want their sex designation changed on their driver’s licenses will now hav e clearer guidelines, under proposed rules at the Iowa Department of Transportation. Currently, a person born in Iowa who undergoes a sex change can present medical records to the Department of Public Health, get their birth certif icate updated, and then present that to the DOT. But some states don’t update birth certificates f or transgender people. Under the new rules, a driv er born in another state but seeking a driv ers license here can present the medical records directly to the DOT instead of to the Department of Public Health. “We will prov ide the same standards,” said DOT Director Mark Lowe. “Y ou just have to have your physician provide what y ou would prov ide if y ou were an Iowa resident seeking to change their birth record.” Lowe say s his agency worked with the Iowa Department of Public Health to make sure the requirements are consistent. When rules were originally drafted to accommodate transgender driv ers, Lowe says the department was surprised to f ind that not all health departments across the country provide updated birth certificates f or transgender people. “We thought that ev ery state had a similar process as Iowa did,” Lowe said. He says an earlier v ersion of the rules allowed a court to intervene for a driv er born out of state, but he says that created unanticipated legal problems. The proposed rules will be presented to the Iowa Transportation Commission at its meeting in Ames on Monday . The legislature’s Administrativ e Rules Rev iew Committee will review the proposed rules at its meeting on October 10. California legally recognizes third gender option For the f irst time in state history, Calif ornia will legally recognize a third gender option for residents who do not identify as male or f emale next year. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the “Gender Recognition Act” on Sunday to make it easier for people to change gender on state identification and birth certif icates, while establishing a “nonbinary” designation. The law def ines nonbinary as an “umbrella term for people with gender identities that fall somewhere outside of the traditional conceptions of strictly either female or male,” including but not limited to some transgender individuals and those born with intersex traits. Adv ocates say the measure expands rights for the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by wiping out the need f or a court order or proof of clinical treatment to apply for gender changes. Under the bill, the state registrar is required to issue a new birth certif icate to California nativ es to reflect a gender change if someone applies and submits an affidav it attesting that the request is not f or any f raudulent purpose. The measure, Senate Bill 179, also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to allow applicants f or a driver’s license or identification card to choose a gender category of female, male or nonbinary. New Mexico AG: Transgender people deserve equal protections SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says gender identity discrimination threatens millions of people living and working in the United States and that they deserve every protection under the law. Balderas, a Democrat, made the comment in a letter sent Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to a memo issued last week that said federal civ il rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work. Sessions called the interpretation a "conclusion of law, not policy," and said the move should not be construed to condone mistreatment of transgender people. Balderas argued that interpreting the Civ il Rights Act to the harmf ul exclusion of Americans who deserve equal protection is a policy decision that contradicts the spirit of a law that was created to prev ent discrimination. Regardless of federal changes, Oregon law still protects transgender people's civil rights On Thursday , Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo telling the Justice Department that civ il rights law banning

78 discrimination based on sex in the workplace should not be extended to cover transgender people. In 2014, then-Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. told the Justice Department that the def inition of "sex" in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should include gender identity. In his memo, Sessions rev ersed that, say ing sex only means "biologically male or female," and so "discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status" is not banned. Howev er, at the state level in Oregon, transgender people are protected against discrimination by the Oregon Equality Act of 2007. That law explicitly bans unlawf ul discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Oregonians. "Our agency is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Oregonians," said Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian in a statement Thursday, "including transgender Oregonians -- so that people are not denied employment, housing or access to public places based on who they are or who they lov e." "Any transgender Oregonian may f ile a civ il rights complaint with our agency ," Av akian continued. "A complainant doesn't need an attorney to file nor does it cost money to submit a complaint." Av akian affirmed that his agency would continue to enf orce state and f ederal statutes "so that all Oregonians are treated f airly under law." ACLU Issues Statement on DOJ Rescinding Title VII Protections for Transgender Workers WASHINGTON - Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed a federal government policy y esterday that clarified that transgender people are protected f rom sex discrimination in the workplace under Title VII. James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT & HIV Project, issued the following statement: "Today marks another low point for a Department of Justice, which has been cruelly consistent in its hostility towards the LGBT community and in particular its inability to treat transgender people with basic dignity and respect. "This Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions has time and time again made it clear that its explicit agenda is to attack and undermine the civil rights of our most vulnerable communities, rather than standing up f or them as they should be doing. "Discrimination against transgender people is sex discrimination, just as DOJ recognized years ago. We are conf ident that the courts will continue to agree and will reject the politically driv en decision by Attorney General Sessions." No Hate Crime Charges in Transgender Teen's Grisly Killing Authorities say her ey es were gouged out and her genitals stabbed, but that the death of transgender teenager whose burned remains were found near the mobile home of one of her alleged killers in rural southern Missouri, her bones discarded in a chicken coop, was not a hate crime. The remains of Joseph Matthew Steinf eld Jr. - the birth name of the 17-y ear-old transgender girl who went by the name Ally Lee Steinf eld - were found last week in the town of Cabool. Twenty -four-y ear-old Briana Calderas and two 18-y ear-olds, Andrew Vrba and Isis Schauer, were charged with f irst-degree murder and other counts. A fourth suspect is charged with abandonment of a corpse and tampering with ev idence. All four are jailed without bond. Steinf eld had been missing for weeks, and initial news reports referred to her as a male, in part because missing-person posters distributed by the f amily used Steinfeld's birth name, as did police documents. Authorities aren't say ing what led to the killing. But both Sheriff James Sigman and prosecutor Parke Stev ens Jr. insist the crime was not motiv ated by Steinf eld's gender identity. "I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters," Stev ens said. "That is a hate crime in itself." Y et the killing has drawn the attention of transgender advocates and others across the U.S. who believ e Steinfeld was targeted for her gender identity, despite what the Texas County sheriff and prosecutor say. Chris Sgro, spokesman f or the Human Rights Campaign, said Steinf eld was the 21st transgender person killed this y ear in the U.S. "This v iolence, often motivated by hatred, must come to an end," Sgro said. "We will continue to mourn Ally and f ight back against transphobia and anti-trans v iolence." Vrba told investigators he initially tried to poison Steinf eld, then described how he stabbed Steinfeld in the liv ing room of Calderas' mobile home, Deputy Rowdy Douglas wrote in a probable cause statement. The f emale suspects said Vrba bragged to them about how he gouged Steinf eld's ey es and stabbed Steinf eld in the genitals, Douglas wrote. The probable cause statement does not offer any motive. Authorities say the three suspects burned Steinfeld's body, placed some of the bones into a garbage bag and put the bag in the chicken coop. Calderas admitted helping burn the body and led authorities to the knife used in the killing, Douglas wrote.

79 Sessions sending lawyer to prosecute transgender murder case The Justice Department is sending a federal hate crimes lawy er to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with f atally shooting a transgender teenager last year. LGBT adv ocates have long been skeptical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s pledge to prosecute acts of violence against transgender people. But the rare move, outlined in recently filed court papers, is a sign that he intends to do so ev en as the Trump administration has taken other steps to erode the rights of transgender people broadly. The New Y ork Times first reported the decision Sunday. The case involv es Jorge Sanders-Galv ez, 23, who is charged with killing Kedarie Johnson, 16, in Burlington, Iowa, in March 2016. Authorities hav e not disclosed a motive. But Johnson’s relatives told local news outlets that they think the shooting was a hate crime. Federal court finds sex discrimination laws protect transgender people Ky ler Prescott, who committed suicide, should hav e been protected from discrimination at the hands of hospital staff The court also ruled that Katharine Prescott, the mother of the deceased Kyler Prescott, is entitled to seek damages on behalf of her son, who had initially been held at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego f ollowing a prev ious attempt on his life. Ky ler, then 14, was admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital in early April 2015 for suicidal ideation and treatment of serious self -inf licted injuries f ollowing an incident of transphobic harassment by his peers. When Kyler was admitted, his mother tried to ensure that he would be treated by hospital staff according to his gender identity. Kyler’s gender markers on his v ital documents were even changed to male to align with his proper gender, but staff continued to address him as a girl in their interactions with him. The lawsuit alleges that after a day into what was supposed to be a 72-hour stay, and after several failed attempts by Prescott to ensure staff were not misgendering her son, the hospital’s psychiatrist decided to discharge Ky ler early rather than keeping him as a patient f or the remaining two days. Fiv e weeks later, Kyler committed suicide. The lawsuit also claims that Rady Children’s Hospital discriminated against Kyler based on his sex and gender identity, and based on disability. Prescott’s legal team argues that the hospital engaged in unf air and deceptive business practices by claiming that it was experienced in treating transgender patients, when in fact it discriminated against Kyler and made his condition worse. The court’s f inding regarding the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and the extent to which they protect transgender indiv iduals, contradicts the recent position adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice, which claims that statutes banning “sex discrimination” should only be interpreted as instances in which a person is mistreated based on their biological sex at birth. This position conflicts with findings by several federal courts. “The Court’s decision affirms the growing body of cases across the country recognizing that discrimination against transgender people is sex discrimination,” Amy Whelan, a senior staff attorney at the National Center f or Lesbian Rights, said in a statement. “We will continue to f ight for transgender kids and adults regardless of the U.S. Department of Justice’s reckless and legally indefensible abandonment of LGBT people.” In Small Towns, Planned Parenthood Fills A Need For Transgender Health Services For people seeking transgender health serv ices in Peoria, Illinois, chances are the f irst person they’ll talk to is Dana Garber. Garber is the transgender hormone intake coordinator at the Peoria Planned Parenthood, the only clinic in the area that offers hormone-replacement therapy f or people seeking gender transition. During a recent shift at the clinic, wearing a blue sunflower-print dress and a hot pink manicure, Garber explained that she began her own transition just a f ew years ago, at the age of 55. Now she helps other people work through the process. A year ago, this Planned Parenthood was the first place to start offering hormone replacement therapy in Peoria. When Garber transitioned, she had to driv e three hours to Chicago for her appointments. Now Garber said, she’s seeing her own patients trav el from neighboring states. “When y ou get a surrounding state like Missouri, they have nowhere to go,” she said. It’s still rare to f ind clinics outside of major cities that offer transition-related medical care. But Planned Parenthood has started offering these services at sev eral locations in Central Illinois. The organization now offers transgender services in 16 states. The av ailability of this care is not guaranteed. Planned Parenthood’s f unding is at risk from Republicans in Congress, said the media liaison at Planned Parenthood Illinois, Julie Lynn.

80 "Def unding efforts block people f rom getting care, either their preferred method of care, or because it's the only option they hav e," she said. Even with Planned Parenthood providing hormone therapy, Haley said there is more unmet need f or transition-related health care in the area. She said she knows of as many as 500 transgender or gender non-conforming patients f rom downstate Illinois who commute to Chicago for additional care, like surgeries or pediatric serv ices. Supportive Care That lack of support is one reason Dana Garber feels so passionate about her role at Planned Parenthood. The clinic, welcomes transgender patients and treats them with dignity. Garber said she doesn’t want f ear to be an obstacle to seeking medical care. “A lot of clients that’ll cancel, because they get scared. I’v e had to call some clients bef ore, they might cancel two or three times,” she said. Garber said at Planned Parenthood, she and other staff alway s use a patient’s preferred name and gender, instead of what may show up on legal documents. Garber says it can be traumatic to be misidentified, but it’s common in medical settings. Plattsburgh Planned Parenthood to Offer New Service for Transgender Patients Plattsburgh, NY - Planned Parenthood in Plattsburgh will offer Hormone Replace Therapy starting in Nov ember. Ashley Tracy is the Lead Clinician at the North Country Planned Parenthood. She said the goal of HRT is to giv e gender affirmation through a pill or injection of hormones associated with the gender the person identif ies with. Starting Nov ember 3rd, Planned Parenthood's Plattsburgh location will provide the treatment. In Watertown, the Planned Parenthood started offering HRT in April. Tracy said that the transformation she has seen in patients has been amazing. Howev er, HRT is still new to Planned Parenthood so she said the risks are unclear. "I'v e nev er read a study that said 'oh this patient has been on it f or 30 years' it's after fiv e y ears we're starting to see this or after one y ear we're starting to see this," Tracy said. "Clinically speaking that's not a great study that I would put a lot of trust in. It feels v ery new, but I imagine if y ou ask someone who identifies as transgender they would say 'no we'v e been doing this for y ears. Y ou just hav en't caught up y et.'" Tracy is excited to be a resource for the transgender community. "We're f inally offering services that we probably should hav e been off ering a long time ago," she said. "It's so exciting to say 'y es, now we can meet y our needs.'" Nat’l trans group launches political arm for impact on elections A leading national transgender group has launched a political arm aimed at electing candidates to advance transgender rights. The National Center f or Transgender Equality, which has existed since 2003 as 501(c)(3) lobby ing group, announced its new 501(c)(4) at ev ent Tuesday evening at the D.C.-based law firm of Squire, Patton, Boggs. Mara Keisling, executiv e director of the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund, said during the ev ent the new political arm will foster a new direction for the organization. “We’re really here to serv e to trans people, we’re here to take action, to get things done, hold people accountable and mov e the ball forward,” Keisling said. “Things are scary right now, trans people and our children are being attacked ev ery where, but I promise you we have not come this far to only come this far. We’re still mov ing f orward.” Already the organization has made three endorsements upon its debut. One is Danica Roem, a Virginia transgender journalist seeking to replace anti-LGBT Del. Bob Marshall in his seat representing the state 13th district in the House of Delegates. Roem could be the f irst openly transgender person to be elected and serve in a state legislature. The other two candidates are running for Minneapolis City Council. One is Andrea Jenkins, running to represent Ward 8 on the city council, and the other is Phillipe Cunningham, who’s running to represent Ward 4. Both candidates could be the f irst openly transgender people elected to city council in a major U.S. city and Cunningham would be the first openly transgender man to hold public office any where nationwide. Additionally , the organization launched two new initiativ es aimed enhancing the voices of transgender people. One is “Voices f or Trans Equality,” which seeks to train trans people to be better adv ocates for trans rights. The other is “Families f or Trans Equality ,” which seeks to works with f amilies with trans y outh. The organization also launched the National Council of Advisors, which seeks to solicit impact from local transgender leader across the nation. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, director of external relations f or the National Center f or Transgender Equality, said the new efforts will “amplify the voices of trans people.”

81 Deal would expand NC transgender protections RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina's governor launched a two-part strategy Wednesday that could end protracted litigation ov er the state's so-called bathroom bill and its replacement, while expanding LGBT protections lawmakers aren't inclined to endorse. Plaintiffs who had sued the state claiming discrimination asked a judge to approve a settlement with the governor that would ensure transgender people can use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity in f acilities run by executive branch agencies that ov ersee the environment, transportation and Medicaid, among others. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper also issued an executive order prohibiting Cabinet-lev el departments under his control, including their contractors, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Plaintiffs said that if the judge agrees with the consent decree's interpretation of the law, they would drop claims against the gov ernor and other defendants. But Republican legislative leaders are likely to oppose the consent decree that essentially rescinds a key part of a compromise law hammered out with Cooper in March. The legislative leaders and the state univ ersity system, also def endants in the case, didn't sign the proposed consent decree. The state took the "bathroom bill," also known as HB2, off the books in late March after a yearlong backlash that hurt North Carolina's reputation and caused businesses and sports leagues to back out of lucrativ e ev ents and projects. But in July , LGBT activ ists announced that they were revamping their lawsuit to target the replacement law, known as HB142, saying it continued the harms of its predecessor. HB142 eliminated the "bathroom bill" requirement that transgender people use restrooms in many public buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. But the new law makes clear that only the General Assembly - not local gov ernment or school officials - can make rules for public restrooms f rom now on. Local governments are also prohibited from enacting new nondiscrimination ordinances for workplaces, hotels and restaurants until December 2020. Aside f rom fighting the proposed consent decree in court, the General Assembly could pass a law canceling the executive order. Legislators left Raleigh on Tuesday and aren't scheduled to return for three months, howev er. It "may represent some narrow improvements f or LGBTQ North Carolinians, by no means does it offer f ull protections or rectify the tremendous harm caused by the previous laws," Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President JoDee Winterhof said. Meanwhile, the conserv ativ e North Carolina Values Coalition issued a statement slamming the gov ernor's moves as "a massive power grab, with sweeping changes that only the legislative branch has the authority to enact." Executiv e director Tami Fitzgerald said the actions would make restrooms across the state less safe. Gov. Brown Signs Bill Expanding Fair Employment and Housing Law to Help Transgender Workers Transgender workers throughout the state f acing employment barriers will soon be receiv ing help following Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of the Transgender Work Opportunity Act last Friday. Senate Bill 396, which was authored by state Sen. Ricardo Lara who represents a portion of Long Beach and is the v ice chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, makes California the first in the country to require training meant to help transgender workers overcome high unemployment and lack of inclusion. The new law amends the existing two-hour sexual harassment training requirement in the Fair Housing and Employment Act, according to Lara’s office, to include training on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation for superv isory employ ees at companies with more than 50 employ ees. Employ ers will also be required to display a poster dev eloped by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing with information on transgender rights in the workplace. Workf orce development boards that help people with employment barriers will be allowed, under the law, to target programs to help transgender workers and allow appointments to the statewide Workforce Development Board to include those who work

82 with the LGBT community, according to Lara’s office. “The Transgender Work Opportunity Act will make California the first state to mandate LGBTQ+ employment diversity training, thus promoting inclusiv e workplaces that aim to correct the economic inequities burdening transgender residents,” Chloe Hollett-Billingsley, J.D., president and CEO of Hollett-Billingsley Consulting and a Long Beach resident, said in a statement. “Absent the threat of harassment and discrimination, my underprivileged and underappreciated community can fully implement our skills to help strengthen California’s economy.” The bill had bipartisan support in the Legislature and the backing of LGBT groups and major employ ers including Southern Calif ornia Edison and TechNet, according to Lara’s office. Two states brace for public campaigns against transgender equality Giv en that North Carolina somewhat diluted its anti-transgender law and the Texas’ legislature recessed without passing similar legislation, it may seem as if the bathroom wars are on hiatus. On the contrary, two states — Massachusetts and Montana — will f ace ballot initiatives of their own next year, rolling back basic rights f or transgender people if they’re passed. Massachusetts’ fight is a novel attack on transgender rights, and equality proponents are trying to fight Montana’s initiativ e in court to keep it from being on the ballot at all. In both states, conserv ativ es are using the same smear tactics to demonize transgender people as a threat to others’ saf ety.














Mis Bre s N ove a m Wis nna H ber end h e s Tha e nks You a H rson givi ng appy


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Black Friday