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Contact Mizeta at mizetasworld@live.com, or Howard at fhschneider@comcast.net

Shaved Legs and All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Oh Goddy!! The Bus Is Coming.

You’re asking yourself what on earth the bus could have to do with cross dressing. Everything, if you don’t own a car. I don’t, so Tri-Met is my passport to every destination. When you can walk out your door, jump into a rolling isolation chamber, and then step out at your destination, you never have to test your confidence around strangers. Most likely, you’ll be with people who accept you, or in places that can be considered a comfort zone. Not so when you have to hop into the stew pot of public transportation and swim in what can often turn into an unsavory mix of human ingredients. At times, you find yourself surrounded by people, smells, and cell phone conversations you could easily live without. But! Not only does the experience help build patience and character, you get where you need to go.

Arguably, Portland has one of the best transportation systems in the country. Like all systems, it has its flaws and successes, supporters and detractors. The point of today’s entry is not to deal with Tri-Met as an agency, but to praise those people who have the stamina and perseverance required to provide millions of folks a lift.

When I first started riding the bus, I encountered a lot of problems and was constantly being verbally harassed by other riders. As a way of stopping the abuse, I began to sit in the first seat behind the driver, so they could hear and observe any overt acts committed against me. I wanted to be sure they could testify that I was not provoking, sassing or threatening anyone. If a fight were to start at the back of the bus, they might not have been privy to the opening salvos, and thereby unable to say who did what to whom. By continuing to stay where they could protect me, I not only conditioned the other riders to the fact I was going to be there every day, like it or not, I got to know a lot of drivers. There have been many occasions where they defused situations that could have gotten out of hand without their intervention.

That is not a robot sitting behind the wheel (So far). It is a person who gets sick, has aches and pains, and their own personal problems. They suffer enormous amounts of job-related stress by dealing with crazy drivers, traffic, trying to stick to a schedule, company regulations, and the constant negativity of riders who think that as a representative of the agency they should be a target for abuse. They get spit on, yelled at, threatened, and assaulted on a regular basis. One thing I have come to admire is how well the majority of them deal with these issues, and despite all the crap thrown at them, manage to provide excellent customer service. They are faced with cheaters who don’t want to pay for the ride. Drunks that puke on the seats. Teenagers who think that every other word should be a cuss word spoken loudly. There are thousands of whiners, chronic complainers, and just plain jerks.

Because I am someone who stands out in a crowd and gets remembered, I have made it my goal to be kind, friendly and respectful to all service people, so that they will enjoy our interactions instead of wishing I would crawl under a rock and die. I believe that the only way public perception of persons such as me will change, is to be a positive force, instead of someone who evokes further hatred and derision for all transvestites by acting in ways that reinforce preconceived ideas. The media has portrayed us as objects to be ridiculed for so long that it takes a while for people to understand that you are simply another person on the bus, trying to get to work, just like them. By not subjecting the drivers to any grief, most of them have a big smile and a welcoming word for me when I board. For many of them, it is a relief to talk to someone who has something intelligent to say, instead of sharing misery, tales of  failed marriages, parole violations and medical problems. I guess what I’m saying is that the bus shouldn’t be a format for group therapy, nor should the operator be expected to care that your life is a bust. Their job is to get you to your destination safely, and in a timely manner. Barring all outside intervention, they do so extremely well.

Over the years, hassles have died down and people who used to stand instead of sitting next to me have come to realize that I am one of the least bothersome riders on the bus. I’ll sit quietly and let you do the same. There are a few MAX platforms that are gathering places for hoodlums who are more than willing to hurt me, but I use them infrequently and am always on the alert for trouble. If too many gangbangers get on the train, I will wait for the next one if time allows, rather than get locked inside a moving car with armed, drug-crazed fools who place no value on human life. If, like me, you need to ride the bus, be sure and thank that person who got up in the middle of the night to make sure you had a ride to work or your dental appointment. They aren’t allowed cash tips, but a cookie for their break might be a great way to show your appreciation for the wonderful job they do. Mizeta Moon

Shaved Legs and All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Fight Or Flight?

Personal safety is a subject on the minds of women throughout the world during every day of their existence. Predators are everywhere, and unless one is highly trained in combat skills, just walking down the street requires vigilance and caution. Not fear!!! Caution creates an aura that says, “I am not easily lured into traps and am watching you.” Fear says, “You can hurt me and I know it,” which works like a magnet attracting those inclined to do so.  As a cross dresser, the penalty for lack of vigilance might not be rape, but being beaten and robbed are distinct possibilities with life-changing consequences.

It takes time to be able to walk in public with confidence and not swagger like John Wayne in a dress. Besides not being very lady-like, the vibe you throw off can easily be construed as a challenge to someone looking for a fight. Believe me, you will encounter more of them than you think. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t have something crappy to say to me. My best protective device is the deaf, dumb and blind defense.

When a bunch of idiots in a pickup truck start whistling and calling me names, I don’t look up. I pretend to hear nothing and continue on my way. By not reacting, they usually move on with the flow of traffic and nothing comes out of that few seconds that could have turned into a brawl if I flipped them the finger. Most often, they are cowards who will not attack unless they can use the “I was provoked” justification for venting hatred based in ignorance. I am not willing to wind up in a hospital just for the satisfaction of saying to myself “I sure told them.” Wherever I go, whatever comments are made, I ignore them completely and have learned not to allow them to hurt my feelings or stick around in my mind. Life is too short to concern myself with bigotry.

On public walkways I try not to look men in the eye. By not recognizing their existence I do not open the door for confrontation when they misinterpret simple courtesy as flirting. In places where they are serving my needs, (stores etc.) I do just the opposite and show them I am simply another customer they should be nice to. Moving through crowds, I throw off an aura of busily pursuing a destination instead of providing access from street beggars, loiterers and the like, by dawdling. I also don’t wiggle my hips and walk like a hooker so that men chase me down and ask “how much?”  Should you want that type of attention it is easy enough to find.

The hardest thing to learn is how to keep your mouth shut, no matter how angry those rude comments make you. There’s an old saying about when a wise man argues with a fool it is hard to tell them apart. Once in a while someone gets right in my face and forces me to speak. When that happens, I make it clear that I am not afraid of them and will defend myself if attacked. Otherwise, I try not to lower myself to hurling insults back and forth with people insensitive enough to do so in the first place. The only time I get outside these parameters is when someone puts their hands on me, be it man or woman. At that point, I will either roar loud enough to back them off, or strike first if I sense they truly plan to harm me. Several men have found out how much it hurts to have a person they thought was a pushover, rake their face with long fingernails or kick them in the balls. So far I have been lucky enough to avoid being jumped by a posse of saggy pants Gangstas, due to the fact I refuse to provide them an opening. When they bug me I confront the biggest one and remind him that if a man in a dress kicks his ass he’ll never hear the end of being laughed at by his home boys. At that point, when they see I won’t go down easy they “let me off”  with a warning to stay off their turf and thus save face, while continuing to trash talk me as the crew wanders on in search of easier prey.

Don’t be a victim. Don’t walk down dark streets alone if it isn’t necessary. Keep your purse in sight in clubs and bars, or clutched tightly to your person. Keep in mind that your health and welfare are more important than your pride. A little bit of attention to your surroundings will go a long way to staying safe and having fun. Most importantly….remember that you are beautiful and that no matter what anyone says, you have the right to exist in this world. So far, air is free for everyone to breathe. Mizeta Moon

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Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): Wigs Are Wonderful

So what if you are going bald? This is one area where a cross dresser can be on equal footing with a biological woman. After a lifetime of listening to their complaints, I have learned that their hair, and what to do with it, are ongoing concerns for many females. Unlike men, most of them don’t lose their locks, but lankness, frizzing, oiliness and the like, are common problems that can cause emotional dilemmas when a special occasion arises. Changing color, style, etc. can be expensive and consume a lot of time one might not have to spare. As a result, many women cut it short as they age and enter the world of wash-and-wear easy maintenance. You, on the other hand, can cover up that shiny old dome with an entire spectrum of hair choices by visiting the local wig store.

Unless you are fortunate enough to pass as a woman, everyone will know that is not your real hair. Once again, so what? The only limitation you will encounter in this arena is your income. Human hair wigs last a long time and can be restyled, dyed and cut as your desire for a different image evolves, but are generally expensive. Having been a low income person my entire life, I have learned to make do with synthetics. As it turns out, that became a blessing in disguise. I love to wear a different wig each day. By having a dozen or so inexpensive ones I can coordinate them with either my outfit or mood. My complexion doesn’t work well for blonde (although I have one that sees infrequent use), so I usually gravitate to being a redhead or dark brunette. If you see yourself as a platinum blonde and want to imitate Dolly Parton, you’ll need to be on the pale side or you could look like you are going trick or treating.

Most large metropolitan areas contain several salons where one can go for consultation, fitting and purchasing a hair piece. If you can afford their services and the proprietor is professional and reinforcing instead of condescending and homophobic, their help can be valuable in creating the outer image your inner person desires. Many of these salons keep minimal stock on hand and quite often you will have to order something from a catalog, then return for a fitting when it arrives. Somewhat inconvenient for sure, but when you walk away feeling beautiful you will consider it money well spent. Be sure to purchase a stand or Styrofoam head so it stays in good shape. Stashing it in a drawer can lead to damage that might not lend itself to repair. (Especially with easily compressed synthetics).

Here in Portland I go to Wig Land (10th & N.E. Broadway) because everything they offer is on display warehouse style and I can try on anything I like the look of to make sure it works for me. They are extremely helpful and don’t make you feel uncomfortable by being judgmental. Hopefully, there is a similar store where you live. If not, make sure you choose wisely from the catalog because they seldom can be returned once they’ve touched your skin. I prefer long curly hair, but in winter, wearing coats causes my wigs to compress due to friction and static electricity, so they have to be brushed frequently or I end up wearing dreadlocks. In summer, when I have the freedom of skimpy clothes, the feeling of hair on my bare shoulders is a sensual thrill I relish. Looking in the mirror at a new wig atop a great outfit nearly compares to the joy of new shoes, but each of us has their own idea of happiness.

Whatever you do, don’t try to skimp by with cheap costume wigs and make yourself look like a fool. You will get laughed at plenty as it is, so making good choices in attire will allow you to have a better feeling about being the girl you are trying to liberate. All of us wish we had been given better components, whether it be different colored eyes, straighter teeth etc. These things can be changed as well, but one of the simplest ways to brighten your day is to put on different hair and get out there and dance. Mizeta Moon

This entry was posted on January 10, 2012. Leave a comment

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): What Size Am I?

Clothing manufacturers are constantly renaming their categories so that you can appear to be a size ten when you are really a fourteen. The only way to get around their skullduggery is to keep trying things on until you get a good sense of what works for you. At Ross, when I want a stretchy summer dress without sleeves I am a junior thirteen. With sleeves and a zipper I can be a women’s fifteen. The cut/shape of every garment is so different that there are no hard/fast rules to follow. This is where thrift stores can become your best friend. While you are still in the experimental stage, spending less on clothes that may not be comfortable in the long run can prevent a lot of headaches. Something might feel good at first, but as the day wears on, that might not be the case. Materials can itch, seams often bind, and arm holes can rip due to sudden motions.

Thankfully, I live in Oregon and don’t have to worry about being arrested because I want to try on a dress. Most large department stores have separate dressing rooms for men and women, but they are not open rooms where people disrobe in front of strangers. Each cubicle closes and gives one the privacy they require. I seldom shop for new clothes, and when I do, there is usually an attendant who observes how many garments go in and out. Changing on the men’s side seldom results in problems when such is the case, although attendants and shoppers alike have given me the stink eye for being where they think I don’t belong. Thrift stores usually only have one or two locking rooms where whoever is next can stand in front of a mirror to see if something fits. This simplifies the process and eliminates any form of gender discrimination. Feel free to grab a handful of things you think will work and jump right in there, but please don’t be a hog and keep everyone else waiting forever. You can engage in several short sessions and gain the respect of others in the process.

Due to the fact most thrift stores are operated by some type of charitable organization, they usually only concern themselves with whether I indeed possess coin of the realm. If I want to buy a mink coat they are happy to add to their coffers without concerning themselves with who will be wearing it. Most of their employees are volunteers and can be incredibly eager to advance the goals their group wishes to achieve. Here in Portland we have one called PACS that is not only very affordable for persons of low income, but they do a lot when it comes to helping families and the elderly. Better Bargains has a lot of inexpensive clothing as well, but only one tiny cubicle for changing, no bathroom and a facility that could really use a face lift. I keep thinking someone should donate some paint and a drum of Lysol. Shopping at Goodwill gets you a bathroom as well as changing rooms, but their prices can be at, or close to standard retail. Something on sale at Marshalls might be a better deal. Going to thrift stores can help build the confidence required to stand in line at Macy’s and wait your turn to try things on after you have a better idea of what usually works for you. Most of the places I shop have gotten so used to me by now that I can walk around the store and poke through the racks with a total lack of self- consciousness.

One thing I have learned is that one size fits all is a farce. Although most of us have two arms and legs, configurations of the human body vary in a multitude of ways. Big thighs, fat calves, skinny arms, no butt, you name it. Men often have a beer gut that will make something that fits around the waist sag at the top or ride up from the bottom. The choice of wearing a padded bra or acquiring breast implants can change what fits as well. I remember buying cheap panty hose that I could have stretched to encompass my entire body. I wear bras sometimes, but usually don’t as they can be quite uncomfortable. Ask any woman you know how many she has that are truly fun to wear. When it comes to buying hosiery and underwear, most companies provide height/weight charts on the packages, which makes it a lot easier to find something you’ll be able to live with.

We often make poor choices in color. What you find yourself attracted to might not look flattering with your body shape or coloration. If you have a friend with a good eye and an honest heart, it helps to have them tag along and keep you from looking ridiculous. What looks hot on a twenty year old probably won’t on a middle-aged man. That is not to say one should be dowdy. I can be flashy, but I try not to go out in the daytime wearing clothes more appropriate for an evening on the town. I try to be both stylish and comfortable, instead of cinching myself into something that will disintegrate if it rains or I make one false move. Shopping for clothes can make your inner girl glow with excitement when you look in the mirror and see the outer shell adorned with what seemed right to you all along. I spent years looking in the closet, wondering whose guy clothes those were and why I kept reaching for things that should have been there but weren’t. Now that I don’t own any guy clothes, that mystery has been solved. Hopefully, you too can become silky, smooth and colorful. And by taking the time to make sure things fit properly, gain the satisfaction your soul desires. Being beautiful becomes a habit that one has no desire to break. Mizeta Moon

Shaved Legs And All (Cross Dressing Made Easy): My, What Big Feet You Have!

Shoes! There are no words to express how much I love them. Even as a little boy I was fascinated by well-manicured shapely toes in a colorful pair of mules or nice ankles sheathed in nylons and high heels. Little did I know at the time how much agony many of those women were going through to be fashionable. Ah…the innocence of youth. Since then I have learned some painful lessons about human feet.

One of the most common body parts to be misshapen or troublesome compose the very foundation upon which we rest. Suffice to say, that bent toes, lumps, bumps, bunions, corns and the like are never factored in when designers create the latest look for the beautiful people. One of the greatest tortures one can endure is standing at a social event in a fabulous outfit and having a strap, snap or buckle providing excruciating pain as a reward for trying to look nice. Just because something looks great doesn’t mean it feels good. It is little wonder that modern women wear comfy shoes on a day to day basis and only tolerate the pain of high fashion for short periods of time at special events. Imagine what it must have been like when girls were expected to wear pumps throughout an entire school year.

Having been blessed with big old man feet, I am faced with even greater challenges when it comes to indulging my fetish for cool-ass shoes. First, there is the fact that stylishness starts to fade after size 10: to be replaced by purely functional footwear designed to further humiliate girls who dared to be born with water skis instead of dainty little tootsies. How I drool over those cute little rhinestone numbers that only come in size 6. Second is the awkwardness of sitting in a fancy shoe store while an unenthusiastic clerk reluctantly waits on someone they feel doesn’t belong there. An additional problem is that structurally most women’s shoes are not designed to accommodate a man’s weight and bulk, which leads to them rapidly deteriorating. These challenges are formidable, but with a little thought and lots of determination they can be resolved.

Nordstrom’s Rack carries pretty shoes in larger sizes and also offers the convenience of shopping from open displays where no snotty assistance is required. They can be pricey, but way cheaper than at the parent store and worth the money if you prefer not to suffer. You can grab a pair of foot shields and sit there with others who share your size issues and try on as many as you like without having to feel self-conscious. If you are lucky enough to have small feet your choices will be greater anywhere you go. Ross usually stops at size 10. Most other stores do as well, although Payless offers a few reasonable choices in 12 and sometimes 13. Even with them, the ones you want will probably only come in an 8. Aerosoles are usually not super sexy, but if comfort is what you want, they carry some cute styles in 11 or 12. Keep in mind that you’ll need a woman’s size approximately two sizes larger than your man shoes. Whatever you do, don’t lie to yourself. If they feel the least bit tight and uncomfortable in the store, then that feeling will be multiplied ten-fold when you walk a few blocks down unyielding concrete sidewalks.

There are online stores that specialize in fetish wear for men, as well as day to day shoes, but I shy away from them as each cut fits differently and I don’t want to return nine out of ten pairs before I get it right. Summer time is easier for me, because during open toed season the lack of binding on my toes makes for greater selection than when winter forces me into closed toes. I have spent way too much money on things that were way sexy, but wound up sitting in my closet awaiting that day when my feet miraculously shrunk to fit them. So far that hasn’t happened. This is one of those areas where you have to be fearless and willing to sit in a public place and work on it till you get what you want and need. If you don’t, your suffering will far outweigh the joy you feel wearing that killer dress and those darling little panties you picked up at Victoria’s Secret.

If you live in a little town in the middle of nowhere, the thrift store might be your only option other than mail order once you know which size works for you. I can do that here in Portland as well, but because most large stores have a reasonably relaxed attitude towards people like me, I don’t have to conform to the shapes other people’s feet have impressed into shoes they donated for whatever reason. In a small town, sitting at the local boutique might be more exposure than you can afford or tolerate. At the thrift store you can toss a pair into your basket along with some other stuff and it will usually pass without comment. You can always say they are for your sister.

Other than great sex, hardly anything compares to the joy of a new pair of sassy shoes. Once you have a good foundation and are ready to put your best foot forward a whole world of fashion awaits your arrival. Meanwhile, remember to shave those hairy toes and if possible, stop by your local spa for a pedicure before venturing forth in those cute little snake skin mules. Mizeta Moon

Man, I Have To Pee

Public restrooms are not only trading posts where everyone’s germs are freely passed around, they can be an excursion into dangerous waters. When I first started wearing dresses it took a while to find places where I felt safe when there was no avoiding the fact I had to go. Thankfully, stores like Trader Joe’s have installed single occupancy unisex facilities, and taken away the anxiety that can come when using separate sex toilets. Even though they haven’t removed the sexual demarcation signs, Panera Bread also has locking units and the staff will usually let you in whichever one is empty. Many places only have one restroom and it becomes first come, first served. Rite Aid etc.

At a bar, the restrooms are usually quite small and if you have to share it with a drunk that has a bad attitude, you can get punched out before anyone knows there is a problem. In such places I try to hold it or keep an eye on the door to determine when it is empty. Unfortunately, if you are drinking beer, or have a weak bladder, that might not be an option. In large department stores there is usually a little more elbow room, but even so, walking in will get you a lot of dirty looks. I often feel like saying “you don’t have to hide it. I don’t want it.” Instead, I move quickly to a closed stall and lock the door. Whatever comments are made get met with silence and seldom lead to confrontation. I never stand at a urinal and lift my dress with my back turned to the room. Over the years some of the scariest moments have come at malls where you have to open an outer door to get inside. If someone is reaching for the handle on the other side, the fact that they weren’t expecting you can make for an uncomfortable situation. I have had men try to block my passage and tell me I needed to use the other one if I wanted to dress like a fruit. I once had a WalMart janitor chase me inside and vehemently tell me I was in the wrong place. I took it as a compliment that he thought I was a woman.

Although my right to a sexual identity is protected by law, the guidelines for use of a restroom are governed by statutes that state when separate facilities are provided I must use the one designated for men. Out of respect for the privacy of women, I wouldn’t use theirs anyway unless it was a choice between soiling my panties or being impolite. When it comes to such things, women generally prefer a higher degree of privacy, although in Europe many countries have wide-open unisex bathrooms and women sit in plain sight to do their business. I doubt most Americans are ready for such a transition. The puritanical fixations our society has developed around something that is a simple fact of corporeal existence are sometimes quite amusing.

As in my other postings my message remains the same. Stay safe. Plan ahead if possible. Don’t walk into a shit-kicker bar, sashay to the toilet and expect to be treated kindly. Keep your wits about you so that your passage through life is as trouble free as possible. In a pinch you can pee next to a tree much more easily than a girl, although the person whose yard you used might not appreciate it very much. The time will come when simple persistence will make the presence of transvestites in our world such a commonplace occurrence that it will no longer elicit comment. Until then, keep your eyes forward when it’s time to pee. Unless of course you are in a cruise bar or a swing club. There, the only advice I can give you is to practice safe sex.   Mizeta Moon

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