As regular readers of Notes from the Underground will have already observed – and as I Threatened to do in the last newsletter — I have made some changes to NFTU. While the look is different, all of the regular columns that were successful in the past and which you’ve praised so profusely (sarcasm, I’m sorry) remain intact. What you see is probably not yet the final version as I’m still an unbelievable klutz with computers and so didn’t have the time to complete the project.- I’m planning a few new items for when I become more adept at moving around in this program and I hope the result is a bigger and better NFTU. These changes were effected for a number of reasons. Aside from simply wanting to keep things fresh, I felt that with our organization taking a turn in an exciting new direction, the newsletter should do the same. I haven’t been completely satisfied with the issues we’ve put out lately. There was always something missing or something hurried that didn’t turn out right. (Frankly, I think it possible the same will be said about this issue, but I’ll leave that to you.) Despite my other duties, Notes from the Underground is still my chief interest and I know we can do so much better. This is especially important now that we’ve established our fee structure for annual memberships. NFTU being one of the benefits of membership. it’s important to keep on top of things so that people feel they’ve received their money’s worth.
Similarly, we hope our subscribers won’t dump us when I tell them that the price has gone up to ten dollars per year. Postage and the GST alone have made a seven dollar subscription unrealistic, but we hope that ten dollars is still a reasonable price for supporting us through the newsletter. Please note that we welcome original submissions from individuals and news from the other cross dressing organizations to whom we send our newsletter. We’ve recently received a letter from the Toronto Crossdressers Club inviting a newsletter exchange with their group and we’re happy to see them join the ever expanding list of organizations in the country. I note also from their newsletter that another group is forming to serve the Kenora and Winnipeg area Mean while, Jenny is working to revive the group in Montreal. Things are happening? Here at Gender Mosaic, we are ready to proceed with our much delayed pamphlet and advertisement. The problems we have had co-ordinating the cover art, the content and the formatting for the pamphlet are too bewildering to mention, but it seems we’re finally set to go. The advertisement is ready and should be in place in early March. Personally I expect a big response and I hope we’re ready for it. I know that the recent surge in membership we’ve had has made me think about the practicality of our social meeting as it currently stands. For this reason, I welcome Niki-Ross’ plan to hold an alternative meeting where people will be better able to discuss their personal views with more honesty than is possible in a large social set ting. She also plans to invite members of the community from time to time to meet with us.
This type of diversity in what we do will, l think, appeal to a broader range of people, and will have the beneficial side effect of taking some of the pressure off our very successful social meetings. I should also mention the good work Belinda is putting into our Crossdressers’ Survival Guide. This is one of the many benefits of our annual $35 membership and to judge by the rough draft, it should be a smashing success. Lastly, I have to thank Leigh for the technical assistance I’ve received in putting out the newsletter. If I’m a computer klutz now, you should have seen me earlier.
The Magazines, Again
While I don‘t wish to bore people with a never ending dialogue on the subject of TV magazines, there are a few points about Be1inda’s discussion of them, and in particular Belinda’s interpretation of my opinion, that I couldn’t let go. For one thing, I never set out to enforce a “standard of uniformity”. On the contrary, in my perusal of crossd ressing publications I don’t see much of the diversity that Belinda is celebrating. The magazines are boring, that was my one and only point. Almost all TV publications are inward looking: they’re either autoerotic or outright fantasy. They are not about people doing something about their situation or creating art from their experiences. ‘I’hey’re about people fantasizing. Fantasy, of course, is a healthy component of life, but only if you’re rooted in the real world. Cross dressers are so fearful of people’s opinions and so isolated that their world is limited to almost complete fantasy. I don’t think that’s healthy at all.
Please note that I did not say “Cross dressing is not about sex at all”, but rather that “Cross dressing is not really about sex.” That one word makes a big difference. It implies that fundamentally sex is not the motivation for cross dressing. There are some who might argue that opinion does not hold for everyone, but that’s an argument for another day.
Undoubtedly TV sex magazines will always exist, but as Belinda says, their sole purpose “is to stimulate sexual arousal” They may say something about sexual diversity, but l can find that in non-cross dressing publications. The point I was making is cross dressing publications are boring. They’re boring because they’re limited and they’re limited because they reflect a repressed and tearful culture. To quote George Orwell: “We know that imagination, like certain wild animals, will not breed in captivity”
MSC Gender Mosaic Joint Meeting
Karen and I are both looking forward to getting the Monarch Social Club (MSC) and Gender Mosaic together on the fourth of May. Our property is almost 100 acres with several kilometers of good walking trails. The house is spacious, about 200 feet off the road and out of sight of any neighbors. With luck the- weather be good and May 4th will be before the black flies so we can spend some time indoors and out, on the deck and walking around. We’ll keep the fireplace crackling and get the barbecue going for dinner. The possibility exists for potluck salads and desserts if anyone is interested. The plumbing is fine, although only one washroom. I’m sure we’ll manage. I’m going to put a notice in the March MSC Newsletter. I will forward a copy to you when it is available. If you’ve got any ideas or questions, give us a call in T.O.
Montreal En Femme
For all you girls who could not make it to Montreal, we had a great time. We stayed at the Delta Montreal right downtown. Belinda and Sharon shared a room on a smoking floor, while Natalie and I shared a room on a non smoking floor. Jennifer, the editor of the Garter Press, had planned a full evening for us. We spent a little more time on dressing and make·up for the night ahead. On the elevator we got a few odd looks and in the lobby of the hotel we turned a few heads. We took a cab to a nice little Italian restaurant, Tony Du Sud, to meet Jenny. The food was delicious and the best thing was we were very welcome en femme. After dinner Jenny took t us to Cleopatra’s, a haven for ‘TSs, ‘I’Vs and gays dressed en femme. We blended right in. During the evening, we danced and watched two very good female impersonation shows. At the end of the night, or should I say the wee hours of next morning, we walked back about ten blocks to our hotel rooms. We needed the fresh air and to walk off some of the intoxicating liquids we’d consumed. When we awoke later that day, Belinda and Sharon went their own way, while Natalie and I went to Olympic Stadium for a few pictures. Then back to Ottawa to wind down. We all had a good time and plan to do it again. Thanks Jenny for being our hostess in Montreal and thanks Belinda for planning the Ottawa end of the trip.
Joanne Meets Her Daughter
One of the most exciting times in my cr0ss dressing life happened to me January ll, 1991. I met my daughter dressed as Joanne. Over the last couple of months, I had my daughter over for supper on several occasions and explained to her my new lifestyle. I have been separated for about six months now and living in a nice one bedroom apartment. I guess my wife did not accept it. We are still on friendly terms; we just realized things were not going to change. This was the turning point in my life. On that special day, I made an appointment with Sande for a facial and make-up session. I explained to Sande the reason for the appointment. I was her first appointment of the day and Sande pampered me for two and a half hours. Afterwards I put on my wig, which I had cleaned and set at Lady Jacqueline’s upstairs. When Sande let me look at myself in the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself. The image in the mirror was female. Sande did an incredible make over to make this day a memorable one. I gave her a hug and thanked her for the extra time she spent to make its a perfect illusion. I left for my rendezvous with my daughter at a shopping centre near to where she lives, as we had planned, so if she was nervous about meeting Joanne she could leave without upsetting anybody.
Well, everything turned out better than expected. The only thing that gave me away was the wig, which she had recognized in some of the photographs I had shown her. I was still very nervous about my daughter’s reaction to Joanne. but she followed me to my car as we planned. Out in the parking lot, I gave my daughter a big hug. I felt more love between us than I can remember. It felt good to have my daughter return that hug. She count not get over how feminine I looked. The tension was over after all these years; no more trying to hide my inner feelings. It will be awhile before everything sinks but she understands why I have been very unhappy in my marriage, and why Joanne had to go into her closet and turn on the lights. It was like I had met my daughter for the first time.
Gender Exploration Week
One man. one woman, one small dormitory room and two twin beds. And no hanky panky. Stanford University students called it “Gender Exploration Week.” Officials called it “a fun sociological experiment that has nothing to do with university policy.”
Forty-eight residents in Burbank dormitory · 24 men and24 women · traded in their same sex roommates for randomly assigned roomies. “We wanted to demystify the different: between the sexes,” said junior Valerie Paz Soldan, 21, who lived with a male sophomore from Feb. 10 through Feb. 15. “A lot of people found it very fun,” she said. “Some said, ’l could just stay with this roommate all quarter.’” as s ‘ s` The new roomies undressed in bathrooms down the hall or simply turned their heads. In the evenings, they went to gender workshops and heard a professor ask, “How do you know l’m male?“ They watched Wien Harry Mel and debated whether true platonic friendship was possible. The roommate swap caused little commotion on a campus that offers a “gender theme house” and a “gender studies” degree. One student co-op even has co-educational showers. Co-educational housing, on campus since 1966, means putting men and women in the same dorm but not the same room. Except for fraternities and one women only house, all student halls here are now coeducational. University officials, who normally do not allow unmarried roommates of opposite sexes, had no problem with Burbank’s one week trial, housing director Rodger Whitney said. A smaller group from Burbank did the same thing last year. Parents were another matter. Many learned about the swap after the fact. “A couple of parents thought it was amusing,“ Paz Soldan said. “A couple of parents didn’t think much of it. A couple of parents said, “Don’t ever do anything like that again.”
Madonna and Cross Dressing
Madonna has stayed in the public spotlight partly by constantly creating new trends. Now, her latest contribution to the continent’s pop culture could elevate cross dressing into a sweeping fad. Her millions of quick to imitate fans are about to learn that Tony Ward, her current lover, who also starred in her scandalous and widely banned video, Justify My Lam, likes to dress up in women’s clothing and is a popular item in oriented magazines. A growing wave of cross dressing could also benefit from two new star filled movies now being planned. In a remake of one of Hollywood’s classic films, the 1959 comedy Some Like it Hot Tom Cruise and Michael Keaton will appear in female clothes. The movie will also star Madonna in the role made famous by her idol Marilyn Monroe. As well. Muscle-bound hard-bodies Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarznegger will team up as police officers who go undercover to solve a crime while dressed in drag. Reported in Maclean’s Magazine (I doubt very much that cross dressing will “benefit” from a Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarznegzer movie. It sounds to me like the usual sniggering man in a dress routine. – Alison) .
More Bad News From the Movies
The latest Jodie Foster movie The Silence of the Lambs features yet another transvestite murderer. It joins the likes of Psycho, Dressed to Kill and what seems like a thousand other schlock movies with killer cross dressers. Buffoons and murderers, that’s the Hollywoodview of transvestites.
We’ve got a lot of work to do.
An Adventure in Leaving Home – En Femme
On the 29 Sep. 90, the group had its annual BBQ in Cottage Country. The Party was starting at 2:30 pm., therefore I had to leave my place around 2:00 pm. I had my exit scenario planned with my wife so nobody would see me getting into the van. The babysitters were my parents-in-law; they do not know about Natalie. The scenario was like this: I had to be ready before they arrived. I would get dressed in our bedroom, sneak down to the main floor bathroom without the kids seeing me and remain there until my in·laws arrived. When they did arrive, I would sneak in the garage by the side door and wait for my wife to leave. When the coast was clear, my wife was to open the garage door using the – remote control; back in the garage open the trunk of the van; I would get in; and, she would drive away, closing the garage door with the remote control. No problem! If her parents had asked her why she opened the garage door before leaving, she would tell them it was to pick up chairs for the party; they didn’t know what type of party we were going to, only where it was. Sounds simple… Hum! Everything went as planned, but only to the point when I went into the garage. My daughter almost foiled it. Seeing my in-laws arrive, I went into the garage by the side door. Thinking I should hide behind something when my wife opened the garage door, I used as a shield the 5-foot empty box that carried the hockey net I bought my son. This box, when opened, would hide me from view, one side facing the garage door and the other facing the access door to the garage. Perfect cover. Suddenly… The side door opened. I bent down behind the box. The light came on. Then a voice… my daughter: “Who is that behind the box”. I told her in a low voice to close the light and leave, but she wouldn’t listen. She continued repeating the same question. I told her again, angrily, to turn off the light and close the door. She finally closed the door and left. I hurried to turn off the light and returned to my hiding place. In the mean time, I was wondering, what my wife was doing; busy probably with my in- laws. Then, little steps were coming to the door. My daughter was back! She opened the door, turned on the lights and was calling over my mother in-law. I could hear my daughter tell her she wanted to show her something behind the big box in the garage. My mother-in-law was coming, I could hear her footsteps.
She stopped in the doorway. My daughter was telling her to go look behind the big box, somebody was there. I was just about to jump up and say: “Surprise”, when my wife suddenly realized what was going on. She came rushing to the door, told my daughter to stop nagging grandma. And closed the door. God, that was close! Luckily for me, grandma doesn’t have a good eyesight. The reason my daughter came to the garage was that she wanted to give a guided tour of the house to my in-laws. What a time to decide to do this, especially as this was not the first time my in-laws babysat the kids. I finally got in the car and we drove away. Even though you plan very well, there is always the unexpected. When we got back that night, I dropped my wife off at home, and drove away. I would then wait till my in-laws Were gone to return home. As it turned out, the rest of this true as planned. Definitely, dressings at home and trying to leave inconspicuous has its drawbacks, but when you have no other options, you have to plan ahead. Luckily for Natalie, her little secret is still intact, but only till the next time. This is another adventure in the Natalie Saga… For sure!