The best beauty tip you’ll ever get Friday, Apr 12 2013 

This was the reply to someone’s post in a group I follow. She was asking for tips to look more passable, and she ended her post with “I feel unpretty.”

The last sentence is the root of your problem. If you don’t feel you’re pretty, who else will think so?

Here’s what you don’t want to hear. You’ll never pass. Go sit in a mall for an hour and watch “real” women go by. How many of them would “pass” according to the so-called rules?

Now, here’s what you need to do. Become the best you you can be. Be the girl you see in the mirror, not the one you think you’re supposed to be. Know that you’re fabulous, that you belong, and you can go anywhere you want. Walk out the door and keep your head up. When someone looks at you, smile. Talk to the strangers, laugh at the jokes, and be better than they are.

You can learn how to do makeup. You can learn how to dress for the occasion. You can learn how to walk in heels, to practice more feminine traits, to speak with a more feminine voice. But as RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are others gonna love you?”


Come fly with me Saturday, Jan 5 2013 

Ah, flying! Remember when it was special, not like today when it’s just a step up from taking a bus? And didn’t we all think stewardesses just looked fabulous? Or was I the only little boy who used to design stewardess uniforms…

So anyway, one of the most common desires I’ve heard from girls is to fly en femme. But it’s also one of the biggest fears. Post 9/11, flying has become a mental and physical test. Getting to the airport early enough, checking in, getting into long, snaking lines for security…And then there’s the worries about getting a TSA agent that is having a bad day, or a ticket agent who is a bit transphobic, or…

It does happen. Recently an incident at Dallas’ Love Field had a transwoman detained by local police. There is some question regarding the circumstances of her being removed from the flight (she had been drinking before getting on the plane) but her treatment after being detained is highly questionable. So, yes there are legitimate reasons to have some fears.

But this is a very rare thing. Most of the time, traveling is more like what happened to JoAnn Donaldson, who flew from Washington, D.C. to Dallas over the holidays:

I left on Dec 22, 2012 and flew back to Dallas, TX to meet the wife and have Christmas with our son. I did something really different. I flew as a female. This was the first time I have ever done this and it was a gas. I did have a little problem going thru the first stage of TSA where they check your ID and ticket. The TSA agent was having a problem with my looks and my picture on my DL. I smiled and quietly suggested he call his supervisor over. He did and showed his supervisor my ID. The supervisor looked at my DL and then at me. All of a sudden he said, “Are you a..” and I quickly answered, “Yes”. He then pulled the agent away from the post and and quietly informed him of the situation. He then handed my ID and ticket back to me and said, “Thank you Mam”. I then did the next stuff. Taking my boots off, coat off, put everything on the conveyer and walk into the scanner. I exit the scanner and they want to do a pat down. I said, “OK” and this nice female TSA agent did the pat down. As I turned around I could see the scanner screen and it showed two big yellow objects at chest height. I chuckled that they were where my forms were. After the pat down, I was cleared. I got my stuff, moved out of the way, put my boots on, my coat, grabbed my carry on and continued to the gate. All in all, really no problem at all. I also traveled back to DC as a female. I had the same problems coming back. Same problem with my looks and my ID and again I tripped the scanner but this time it was because my top has metal threads. The scanners don’t like metal threads in garments. LOL So if your out to the public and plan on traveling by air as a female, it is really a no-brainer. Just be aware that not all agents has had experience with TG people, but nothing that will prevent you from traveling as a female. The only reason I asked for the supervisor was to help educate the agent that was checking tickets and ID. If your day-to-day looks has really changed compare to your picture on you DL, then it may be time to see about getting a new one. Back in Texas, you can get both a DL and a State ID card. Many girls will get a State ID card with their female picture on it and use it when they travel. I never got one because until I came to DC I wore a wig. When I got here to DC, I started letting my hair grow out and recently got it fem styled, so my looks and my Texas DL are at odds. I don’t plan on changing my DL because at present my perm residence is still Dallas, TX. Once the house sells and wife and cats move here then I will get a new VA DL and my picture will then match my looks.


Kimberly Huddle is a Austin-based support tech who flys often, usually en femme. She talks about her experiences in her blog, and it’s almost always positive.

I was wanting to fly en femme to Southern Comfort last year, but the fact that my flight left so early I’d be up at midnight getting ready just kinda killed it. And yeah, just a little bit of insecurity. Maybe this year?

Fly the friendly skies…

Ask Dita Sunday, Dec 30 2012 

Burlesque star and fashion icon Dita Von Teese started doing an advice column for on glamour. Dita’s personal style is very classic; forties/fifties vintage. She’s dressed this way most of her adult life, well before it became “cool.”

In her first column, Dita responds to a question:

Dear Dita,

I adore your glamour style! However, I personally feel sort of overdressed in high heels, stockings & dress while around people in jeans. Everybody is staring at me & asking “What’s the occasion for that?” Have you ever been in that kind of situation? How to be brave enough to go on with glamour style every day? How do you deal with unwanted attention?

Malina Kaa


Part of her response:

I recall a moment I had once that really cured me of feeling self-conscious. Two guys made fun of me in passing, who were both dressed in hideously ugly, stained and torn “University of Idiocy” T-shirts with mismatched shorts and some sort of offensive footwear.

I remember thinking, “Wait a minute, the fact that THESE guys think I look silly/crazy/unsexy is actually a compliment!”


It says much that a person who takes the time to dress nicely is considered weird, yet people who can’t be bothered to wear clean clothing are acceptable. The first time I saw a woman in pajama pants and slippers in a grocery store I just stared; now it seems like it’s acceptable to go out that way. Baseball caps with the sales stickers still on them; exercise pants with logos like “Juicy” and “Pink” on the ass; leggings worn as pants; flip-flops worn everywhere…

We accept tackiness and sloppiness as okay, but find a woman who takes time to chose her outfits, wears accessories that look right, wears makeup, has nice hair and nails, worthy of ridicule? Really?

I’ve said it time and time again. You can be a juicy, ripe peach and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches, so you can either submit to someone’s criticism of you, or you can get on with the business of being your own amazing self who attracts other like-minded people that appreciate you.


…I really think we just have to forgive them, because they just don’t know, and sometimes, they even fear what they don’t know, and we should have sympathy for them. And, I have to add, that if you are already feeling uncomfortable, it might not even be that they are being rude, but their words are magnified and mirroring what you are feeling, so maybe it’s more about finding ways to find your own comfort zone and working on self-confidence.

Sometimes, you do have to just do your own thing. And the people who are worth knowing will get it-and get you. Don’t let your own self-doubts be magnified by others; find your inner strength and let it show.

Many of us who go out en femme find ourselves faced with similar issues. Even among our peers we are sometimes criticized for “overdressing” when we just want to look the best we can. Maybe we want to be, as Dita puts it, stars in the amazing story of our own lives. It’s perfectly acceptable to leave the jeans and casual blouse at home when you really want to go shopping at the mall in something stylish, or even a bit retro. And it you get attention from it, bet it’ll be positive. Particularly if you are letting your own inner positiveness show.

Now, be fabulous, okay?

What’s the big deal? Thursday, Dec 6 2012 

A couple of things converged this week that forced me to go to Sephora. First was a Friends and Family $15 gift card; second, that I was $51 short to make their Very Important Beauty Insider program. So while out Christmas shopping yesterday I stopped in at the store in Northpark Center.

I picked up a few things and one of the SA’s offered me a basket to carry them in. He asked if there was anything I needed help finding. I then explain that no, I’d found what I needed to get (a new tube of Urban Decay Primer Potion) and was just kind of looking around for things I wanted so I could get up to my VIB status. That I had to also figure in my discount meant doing math in my head-which is kind of dangerous…

I did find things I wanted and went to the checkout counter. I gave her my gift card and my Beauty Insider card so she could give be credit. She asked if I was shopping for presents; I told her I was shopping for myself. Now it might help if I mentioned that I was in drab at the time, not very feminine looking at all. She just went, “Oh” and proceeded to check me out, remarking that she loved Primer Potion. I told her I did too-it keeps eye shadows in place.

Thing is, this happened last week, too. Not at the same Sephora; I was in the one in the Galleria looking for a concealer and the SA asked who it was for and I told her myself (again, in drab). I use Makeup Forever HD foundation, and she thought their HD concealer would be a good match. She used my foundation shade to pick out a couple of concealers; when we tried them on the foundation one was an obvious choice. And of course-she was out of that particular shade. They were getting more in this week, and she gave me a sample to try. I am waiting until I can try the sample, but if it works as well as it did in the store I will be back.

Now, I have been rambling on about makeup. But if you have been paying attention, you may have noticed something. Both of these encounters were in mainstream stores where I was not only in drab, I did not hide the fact that the products were for me. I suppose I could have made up something, but you know what? Why bother? They don’t care-it’s another sale. And if I had been too shy or too worried to say it, I wouldn’t have found a new concealer.

Sometimes we worry too much about what people will think. A retailer that is successful is not going to do something to make you not want to shop at their store. A good salesperson wants you to spend your money, and if you’re pleasant and reasonable they will go out of their way for you. Because our money is as green as anyone elses…

So, go shopping. And don’t worry about what people thing. Worry about your credit card and the damage you’re doing.

How to be a FEARLESS Female – Transgender Feminization Secrets Blog Thursday, Nov 15 2012 

Nice article from Lucille Sorella’s blog on overcoming the fear and doubt: How to be a FEARLESS Female – Transgender Feminization Secrets Blog.

Femulate: Eye Contact Saturday, Apr 28 2012 

Femulate has a great article on the importance of making eye contact-even when it’s uncomfortable for you. It’s one of those things you need to learn as you become more comfortable with yourself…

Learning to swim Friday, Sep 30 2011 

This was a reply to someone on the SCCLounge about their difficulties meeting people at the convention. I think it also applies to people getting out in general…

I’m not a “Big Sister,” though I do seem to find the newbies and point them in the right directions all the time. Not just at SCC, but in my own city. And this is going to sound harsh, but I mean it in the most sincere, most caring way…
If you’re upset about not making connections, it’s your fault. You’re at the largest gathering of transpeople in the world, surrounded by hundreds of people like yourself. The most understanding group you’ll ever meet, because they know exactly how you feel.
Did you go to any of the meals? You could have talked to the people you were sitting with. Did you go to any of the seminars? You had lots of opportunities to ask questions or talk to someone. What about just going to the lobby or the bar?
Need a topic? I tell people I love what they’re wearing-that’s how I found one of by best friends! Trust me, we all love a compliment and say they like our style. Or, if I’m in a seminar and someone asks a good question, I tell them afterward. I’ve met people over dinner, listening to their conversations and asking questions.
Okay, yes, I’m THAT Zelda so people are always walking up to me. But I wasn’t so well known when I first came to SCC. What I was was a shy, insecure girl. I could have stayed in my room, but I didn’t. Because I would rather get out there and fail than die by inches alone…
And yes, I really am shy. Horribly so. I am insecure about how I look, I worry about that I’ll say something stupid, or I’ll have someone scream “It’s a dude!” at me from across a room.
But I eventually look at myself in the mirror and I’m the best looking Zelda I can be. I’ll say stupid things, then laugh at myself and people think it’s just me being me. And people don’t scream at you, unless they’re drunk and on Bourbon Street.
I guess what I’m trying to tell you is, you have to do it. You have to look at yourself and love yourself and realize that you’re the person who has to push you out there. You have to push yourself, because this is important. Every one of us faced what you did-feeling alone and unwanted. But we also decided that we weren’t going to stay that way.
Courtney, I do wish I’d seen you at SCC. Because I’d have told you to step up to the diving board, and jump.
Because you can swim, dear. And you’ll swim just fine.
Zelda Rose

Pass GO, collect your life Thursday, Apr 23 2009 

There is a discussion on passing on the SCCLounge, which I moderate. One of the questions was about people who don’t care if they do or do not pass, and I wrote:

I do not know if I represent “the other side” but do know I’m not overly concerned with being “passable” or “blending” when I go out. But I do think I make a pretty good Zelda.

I am over six feet tall and am not in the WNBA. I can’t shop at Bebe or Forever 21-I’m a Lane Bryant and Torrid girl. I’ve got a few miles on the clock, which I am reminded of daily. And my personal style varies from Goth girl to casual funk to damned near soccer mom.

Okay, this one time, at SCC I went to the mall with a really nice, very cute and feminine tgirl. It was a Saturday afternoon, with lots of people shopping. We spent about an hour and a half in the mall, shopping and talking and in general enjoying ourselves. As we were leaving, this girl asked me “How do you stand it?”

“Stand what?” I said, wondering what had happened.

“The stares,” she replied with a slightly concerned look on her face.

“What stares?” I replied. Which took her by surprise. After all, I *had* to be worried about having been “clocked” as a tgirls! Right?

Well, no. I had not paid attention to other people’s reactions to me. I had not been looking around to see who had or had not been looking at me. Because it did not matter. I wasn’t looking for other people’s valitation, or for their acceptance or lack of it. I just was there, another person shopping in the mall.

I do know that the vast majority of people tend not to really say or do anything when they see me. Either I register as another woman in their mind, or they know something is different about me but they don’t care enough to stop and take another look, or they know exactly what I am but it is not an issue for them. A handfull will take a second or longer look at me. They may say something to the person they are with, or not. They may smile at me, smirk knowingly, giggle, frown, or something else. And once in a blue moon, someone will actually make a remark to me or at me.

And I accept that those are all possibilities. But I do not let them discourage me. What I *do* is to go out and be myself. Because I have the choice of staying at home, woried that I am not going to blend or pass and trap myself in my own closet. Or, I accept who I am and just, well, do it.

I do feel comfortable with who I am-and that make a lot of difference. It’s far more likely that you’ll blend into the crowd if you feel like you belong there rather than feel like you’re an outsider. Passing? That’s good genes and/or medicine, and the ablilty to totally get rid of everything stereotypically male you can.

But for me, I’ll just be the best Zelda I can be.

Kids say the darndest things Thursday, Feb 26 2009 

Seven year old Jazz’s thoughts on being transgendered:

Somehow she says far more in a few seconds that makes sense than a lot of us ever do.

Fear is the mindkiller. And it looks terrible in pumps. Thursday, Oct 9 2008 

An SCC post soon, but for now…

Someone on a local mailing wrote about going to an event at the Galleria and having a great time. And then some little kid “clocked*” her. She felt very bad afterward, so wrote:

Zelda came of age in New Orleans, in the French Quarter. The locals are great people; they don’t care about your eccentricities; they do care about the kind of person you are. If you don’t bother them…

Tourists, however.

Ever notice how some people leave home and decide that the rules of decorum and manners aren’t important anymore? Exactly. I have had people scream “It’s a guy in a dress” at me. I had a lit cigarette tossed at me (it missed). I have been treated rudely, stared at, pointed at, whispered about.

I should have run back to the hotel, crying, tearing off my dress and wiping the makeup off, promising I will never do this again. I didn’t. It just pissed me off at first. Then, I realized that I really did not CARE what they thought of me. I was happy with myself, and that was what mattered.

Since then, I have been all over the country. I have had people make remarks, but that has gotten rarer. I went to the mall last year with a tgirl, and when we were leaving she asked me how I could stand the staring. I had not even noticed…

Do I look better now than I used to? Yes. Am I more “passable?” Whatever that means. Do I have a lot more confidence in myself, feel like I belong anyplace I reasonably want to be, not give a f**k what the tourists think? Oh, yes!

So, one kid clocking you is just little thing. You just go on with the day…

Sometimes you really just need to get on with it. Because when you let others limit you, it’s putting you back into another closet.

And I’m no closet queen anymore.

* Clocked-Having someone notice that you’re not a cisgendered female. They may just stare, or do something else that makes you know that they know.