Thank-you Elaine ~ She described part of a makeup session, with me!

Hello Everyone, this is Denae of FemImage. By accident, I found this clients (Elaine) account of a session she had with me several years ago (2002). This describes, the details I arranged during one of my “learning” sessions. Now, the wonderful makeup artist, she describes, is no longer at Capitola Mall, in Santa Cruz, CA. But, I AM HERE (smiles) to TEACH YOU EACH STEP YOU NEED IN all feminine areas important for any TG woman…such as: how to apply your makeup, and help you find supplies. In addition, in a consultation, we study VOICE which is so important for any serious TG woman…I use a computer software program which allows you to SEE and HEAR your Pitch and Resonance scores, Wardrobe colors and styles, how to move in a feminine, sensual photo poses, to moving in a feminine way with a few simple tips on feminine movement or sexy sways …to my favorite subject… SENSUAL MOVEMENT IN ALL AREAS…FROM WALKING AND STANDING TO GETTING IN AND OUT OF CARS, TO PUTTING A COAT ON AND OFF, TO GOING UP AND DOWN STAIRS GRACEFULLY. Please don’t hesistate to call me, at 831 479-1252, or email me at to discuss your private consult with me (Santa Cruz is about 1 hour 15 min South of the San Francisco airport.
We can put together a consult which will include everything you need, and discuss a fee depending on how many hours you feel–you will need.

So, herewith a clients story, of how feminine she felt, during her day with me. Again, I just found this article on the Internet today!

I Love Chanel Cosmetics And My Consult With Denae Doyle!

A lot of us girls (Trannie, like me, or Genetic) have questions about makeup. Colors, brands, how to apply.. my goodness, there is a lot to learn. The best thing I ever did was to go the Chanel counter and let the professionals show me. It wasn’t cheap, but it was certainly worth it to me. Let me tell you about it.

Like many of you, I learned about makeup through various resources. There are great web sites like Detailed instruction and examples can be found in books like Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson (which Denae recommended and is such an eye opener to what colors to wear, Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces, and Jane Campsie’s Hair & Make-Up. And of course there’s Oprah–I happened to catch a great segment on eyebrow waxing one afternoon, for example. These resources are wonderful for explaining it all and showing beautifully made-up faces that I would die for, but they don’t talk about my particular face. (An egregious oversight on their part!) I thought I was doing pretty good with a look for clubbing etc., but when I decided to transition to living as a woman full time, I began to worry about achieving a more natural look for everyday wear. My color sense just isn’t very good, so I needed help.

Fortunately, I knew where I could get that help. I had recently spent a gloriously fun afternoon with Denae Doyle of FemImage, working on my feminine poise and deportment. I remembered that Denae had mentioned a makeup expert she worked with from time to time, and that I might consider consulting her when I was ready. Now I was ready! I gave Denae a call. She told me she was thinking of Debi at the Chanel counter at Gottschalks in the Capitola Mall near Santa Cruz, where Denae’s business is headquartered. I thanked her and said I would go there and see Debi, but Denae generously offered to accompany me and oversee the process. We arranged to meet at the mall the following Saturday. (Denae called ahead to be sure that Debi would be available.)

We planned to meet at Chili’s restaurant at the mall’s main entrance for lunch. I arrived a little early and did not see Denae, so I took a quick tour around the mall. Quick is right! Compared to the fabulous Silicon Valley malls like Westfield and Standford where I usually shop, this seemed like a toy mall, just a little playpen of a mall. It only took 10 minutes to walk the length and breadth of the criss-cross layout, ducking my head into a few shops, but moving along quickly so I wouldn’t miss Denae. We eventually linked up, and it turned out we must have just missed each other several times. But all’s well that ends well, and we had a nice relaxing lunch at Chili’s, with lots of girly chit-chat.

After finishing with our lunch, we sauntered down to the Gottschalks end of the mall, window shopping along the way. We got to the Chanel counter in the department store, and Debi and her young porcelain-skinned comrade-in-cosmetics Linse greeted us with big smiles. At this point I began to understand the wisdom of trekking all the way down to Santa Cruz for this venture. I’m sure charming and talented makeup pros can be found at Chanel counters everywhere, but here in this little mall I received the undivided attention of these two lovely ladies all afternoon. At Westfield Macy’s, it’s an effort just to get enough attention to replenish my foundation.

Denae introduced me to Debi and Linse and they seemed genuinely happy to meet me. Other T-girls have reported similar warm welcomes at other cosmetics counters as well. I suspect the clerks spend so much time helping little old ladies select just the right shade of blue eye shadow, that they’re sincerely glad to work with a fresh new face, especially one that is eager to drink deeply from the fountain of their expertise.

Denae and the ladies got caught up on their gossip a little bit, and then the focus turned to me me me! Debi sat me in the tall makeup chair in the aisle and used some potions to clean off the light cosmetics I had applied that morning. She applied some magic “restructuring” creams and moisturizing lotions which use the most modern chemical technologies to extract huge sums of money from my pocketbook, and may possibly help me achieve softer, more youthful skin. (On the serious side, I figure that if good skin care delays the need for a face lift some number of years, it will be a worthwhile return on my investment.)

Starting with this fresh palette, the first and most important task was to select a foundation. This was the part that Denae had particularly wanted to watch over, as it so important to get this just right. She had confided to me that she had gone back and forth with Debi with some “slight” differences of opinion working on certain girls, and sometimes this process could be quite lengthy. As it happened I was easy, and Debi hit my color just right on the first try with Soft Bisque Intensity 3. Denae didn’t have to fight her a bit. We all agreed this shade looked very natural on me. Debi applied the foundation with a medium size brush, and I watched her technique closely as I had not been a brush-user up to this point. I was impressed with how smoothly the brush applied the foundation, and how it filled in all the pits and crevices that I deny having. I decided I would use a foundation brush from now on.

Debi dusted my face with a silky powder using a large puffy brush, just removing the shine from my skin. She used a little bit of concealer and highlighter to cover what remained of my upper lip stubble, most of my facial hair having been eradicated via laser at this point. I was amazed at how little concealer and powder she used, because I had been caking it on rather thickly. But I realized that I had developed this habit when I still had quite a bit of facial hair, and no longer needed to do that. The light application of makeup gave me a much more natural look. (The cost of Chanel’s liquid makeup has also encouraged me to go lighter and lighter on the foundation lately!)

Debi selected an auburn pencil to fill in and define my eyebrow arch, and she and Denae decided I definitely needed a waxing there. “Yes! yes!” I eagerly agreed, as this was something I had been longing to do but had not felt comfortable about as long as I was still doing guy-mode. Denae and I ran over to her manicure parlor and got this done right after we finished at Chanel that afternoon.

From a Tamises Trio eye shadow kit, Debi used a light, almost invisible shade over my whole eye-lid all the way up to the eyebrows to set off the arch. Then she added a dark blue–almost a gray–on the lower portion of the lid, just on the outside halves to make my eyes look a little wider apart. For eyeliner, a dark purple shade replaced the black that I had been using. Debi made a much thinner line than I had always done, and smudged it so that it was nothing more than a shadow. I thought this would not leave enough color to bring out my eyes sufficiently, but when she curled my eye-lashes and coated them with a dark brown-black mascara, I had to agree with the ladies that my baby blues looked plenty cute!

I think I mentioned to Debi that I had never been able to find a mascara I was completely pleased with. They never seemed to go on quite right, being too clumpy, or gluey, or too thin, or whatever. I was pleased to find out that I love the Chanel mascara. It seems extremely thick, yet it goes on very smoothly and looks quite natural. The Chanel foundation also strikes me as substantially richer and nicer looking and feeling than what the ladies disparagingly referred to several times as “drugstore cosmetics”. As for the rest of the products, I haven’t really formed an opinion as to whether they are or are not substantially better than less expensive alternatives.

Denae had previously cautioned me against red red lipstick, which had of course been my idea of “with it” up to that point. Debi chose a light sienna lip liner and lipstick for me. I noticed that the lipstick matched the liner exactly, and I recalled that Kevyn Aucoin claimed that the dark liner/lighter fill look was out of style. (Of course Kevyn also says there are no rules!) I also saw the control Debi was able to achieve using a tiny brush to apply the lipstick, and I resolved to become a brush gal in this also.

Debi finished me off with blush high on my cheekbones of a gold hue with peach undertones. She swept the blush up higher toward my temples than Denae thought prudent, but when we saw how subtle the shade was, we agreed it worked well. Finally a deeper plumb blush was used to sculpt in my cheeks just a bit. Debi blended the blush thoroughly with her fingers, so that it transitioned smoothly and looked simply like a trick of the light.

The girls all picked at my hair to fluff it up a bit, and declared I was a beauty. I wasn’t inclined to argue!

When I got home that evening I snapped a few photos to get a record of my make-over. Unfortunately I am lousy photographer, but the accompanying photo (the head shot with the rose jacket) can give you some idea of the results. I like all of the colors and products Debi helped me with that day, and that is what I continue to wear now, several months later. However I thought that Debi overdid me just a bit, for my tastes. A little too much blush, a little too much extension beyond my natural lip lines. So I tone things down somewhat in my daily wear, more like the photo of me in the gray suit. For clubbing, especially on Goth or fetish nights, I go back to the red red lipstick and black black eyeliner!

All this expertise, attention, and love did come with a price tag. Actually you are not obligated to buy anything when you have a makeover at the cosmetics counter. But the ladies work on commission, so it would be rather rude to take up their time and not compensate them. In my case I had deliberately let my makeup supply run down in anticipation of this event, and I let Debi know that as we got started. When we finished, lovely Linse presented me with a big drawing of a face which she had annotated with the exact descriptions of all the products which we had used as we went along. Debi asked me what, if anything, I wished to purchase. I told her, “I need everything. Load me up!” In this, I was not to be disappointed! I had been forewarned by a girlfriend that this could be a pricey experience. She told me she had spent $300 at the cosmetics counter on one of her initial trips. So I thought I was prepared. I asked Debi to ring me up but don’t even show me the bottom line–I just signed off the credit card slip. So it was not until I got home that I saw the damage. Are you ready for this? It was several hundred dollars–but it did reach that by the time I picked up a couple of things that they had not had in stock just at that time! I was glad that I had not seen this bottom line in the store, because it did rather shock me! But I decided that I do not regret a nickel of it. Let me explain that this included not just cosmetics, but a complete set of brushes, and the complete line-up of those very pricey high-tech skin care products. Also Chanel is no doubt the top of the line, most expensive cosmetics you can get and Denae Doyle and the girls at Chanel are the best and I am fortunately in a position where I can afford it, so why not the best? I figure it is like cooking–use the very best ingredients, until you get good enough that you can achieve the same results with more economical ones. I would encourage other girls to take advantage of their local make-up counters, Chanel or others, and don’t be put off by the money. You don’t have to spend anything like what I spent–but do buy at least a few things to compensate your gals (or guys) for their time. What color “foundation” is difficult, so getting help in what shade, would be my suggestion.

This little adventure took place over Christmas break last season. If I had any regrets about the money I spent, they would have disappeared once and for all at 8 am on January 2. That was the moment when I walked into the lobby of my new job, working for the first time as a woman, and told the receptionist, “Good morning, I’m Elaine!” Because whatever other doubts and uncertainties were facing me that morning, at least I had confidence that my makeup was fine.


My Boudoir Photoshoot – Lights, Camera, Action!


This is Robin and this is the latest update on my boudoir photo shoot.

After over two months of thinking, planning, worrying, excitement, fear, it was finally time for the photo shoot. I had driven like mad from San Francisco to the Concord Hilton Hotel where Denise was waiting. I carried my garment bag and pulled my suitcase into the lobby where I met Denise and her young (~3 years) son, Billy. I had a momentary sense of panic since the thought of doing the boudoir shoot with a young boy being in the room was really uncomfortable for me.  I quickly relaxed when Denise said that her husband was going to come by the hotel and pick up Billy.

Between Denise with all her photo gear and me with my dress bag and suitcase, we had a lot of things to get to the room. Fortunately a bellman with a cart was there to help and we were quickly in the room. I unpacked my dress bag and showed Denise the different outfits. She agreed to go with the blue skirt suit and silver/blue formal. I hung them up in the closet and sat down to wait for the hair stylist and makeup artist to arrive. The stylist, Cassandra, was the first to arrive and so we started with the hair.  I had worn a slightly longer wig than I normally wear since she could do more with a longer wig. Before starting to work Cassandra asked me about my wig since she was concerned that if it was made with synthetic hair then styling with her curling iron could damage it. I assured her it was all human hair and so she could do anything she wanted with it. She put wrap around me and went to work on my hair. She mostly curled it and fluffed it out a lot. It was fuller than I normally wear but quite suitable for the occasion.

The makeup artist, Natalia, arrived soon and they were both working on me at once. It was quite  a nice experience, Denise has a picture of it on her Facebook page (, scroll down to “lucky lady”).  I wanted my makeup to be relatively natural and so Natalia’s  job was easier. I was already wearing my own makeup and so she mostly touched up the foundation to even things out. The eye makeup was likewise pretty simple, just a little color. The new thing (at least to me) was the false eyelashes. In all my years of dressing in the closet and in public, I had never used false eye lashes (I rarely even use mascara!). They mostly seemed like too much work and so hence violate my “20 minutes to get dressed” rule. I was also slightly worried that they would not come off.. (I know it is a silly thing to worry about). Anyway Natalia trimmed them, glued them on, and then applied the mascara. I was surprised how good they looked. I may even try them again sometime.

During this whole process Billy was lying on the bed watching the TV (you can see him on Denise’s Facebook page). At one point he asked his mother what was going on. Denise told him that girls liked to get pretty and Cassandra and Natalia were helping Robin get pretty. He was satisfied with that and returned to the TV. It was really cute. Soon after that Denise’s husband arrived and picked up Billy.

My hair and makeup were nearly complete when I remembered I was wearing a t-shirt that needed to come off before I could put any of my other clothes on. Cassandra said to just take it off and then she would touch up my hair. “Boudoir time” was about to start and after a moment’s hesitation, my t-shirt came off and I was standing there in my bra in the presence of 3 young women, two of which I had just met. To my pleasant surprise none of them missed a beat and continued on as if it was the most natural thing in the world. They were soon touching up my makeup and hair as Denise continued to setup her photo lights and other things.

It was now time to get ready for the first scene. I picked up the skirt suit, underwear, and shoes and went into the bathroom to change. Somehow it seemed safer to change in private even though I was about to take most of it off again. Don’t ask me to explain… I quickly changed into the suit, checked in the mirror that everything looked good, and was ready to go.

I had asked Natalia and Cassandra to leave while the photo shoot went on and so they soon left. I thought I would have a hard enough time relaxing with just Denise without adding two more people I had just met. Denise said they often like to watch the shoot so they can fix up hair and makeup as thing progress. In retrospect it was a silly thing to worry about but at the time it seemed important.

Denise says on her web site that she will not leave you standing around waiting and she is right. From the time I stepped out of the bathroom, there was constant movement and posing. She poses each shot and you have to “hold” it while she positions herself and takes the picture. We started with a picture of me entering through the door, then another of the same scene, then I sat on the table while she snapped a couple more pictures, then to the closet holding up the formal for another shot, then  remove jacket, click, then unbutton blouse, click, then unzip skirt, click, click, click, click until finally I am lying on the bed in my bra, panties, and garter belt trying to look my sexy best. No time to think, to worry, or to be embarrassed. Before I knew it the first scene was over and it was time for the formal dress. I realized I had just undressed in front the camera and nothing bad had happened!! In fact I was feeling rather good about the whole situation.

I gathered up the skirt suit and set it aside and got the formal from the closet. The bra and panties were exchanged for the blue “merry widow” and the formal went over it. I had Denise help me zip the dress up and then the next sequence started. Stand by the closet, click, sit on the sofa, click, click, turn sideways, click, unzip dress click, drop dress to floor,  click, lay on sofa, click, move to bed, click, click, click. Before I knew it that scene was over. By this point I was much more relaxed about the whole process. It was lots of work but also lots of fun. I started to feel a little sad that it would all soon be over.

The Rene Faire scene took the longest to get ready, mostly because there was more to put on:  camisole, chemise, pantaloons, full skirt, and  lace up bodice (with lots of ribbon to lace up). There was also the rough fabric to lay on the bed to make it more “rustic” plus the candles plus some other props like a purse and flowers for my hair (very peasant looking)…

The scene went by quickly as well with Denise posing me for every shot. Sit here, click, lift skirt, click, unlace bodice, click, click, click (it takes a while), lift chemise over my head, click, click,… Before I knew it that scene was done. Only one scene left 😦

The construction worker scene was intended to start out as a very masculine image and then gradually become more feminine with the hard hat, work shirt, and jeans being left behind to reveal a red bra and panties, sort of the “woman within”. In talking about the scene later with Denae, I realized it was sort of a TG metaphor but I was not coImagensciously thinking about it that way. It just seemed like a really different kind of boudoir photo shoot.

I entered the door wearing my hard hat, tool belt, and work clothes, click, click. Then I sat down on the sofa and took off my boots, click, click. Then I laid back and “watched tv”, click, then opened my shirt, click, then I moved to bed with my shirt more open, revealing the red bra, click, click. Then ….the hotel room door opened…

It was Denise’s next appointment, my two hour photo time was nearly over! Cassandra and Natalia walked in the room along with young woman who was to shoot after me. In a typical hotel room, there is not a lot of room for 5 people, including one who is partially undressed! I briefly glanced at her and I suddenly felt very old and ugly. She was young, trim, beautiful, and had long brown hair. She was made for boudoir photos… She was doing the shoot as a gift to her husband on their first wedding anniversary. She and the stylists slipped into the bathroom to start work on her hair and makeup while Denise finished with me. We clicked a few more pictures but my time was done and so I had to pack up and leave. We sort of left the scene unfinished which was okay since I really wanted to get out of there. I  stuffed everything in my suitcase and garment bag  as quickly as I could. I put my shirt back on from the construction worker outfit.  I was ready to go in no time at all.

As I was packing Denise mentioned she had taken over 250 pictures in the 2 hours we were shooting. That works out to a picture nearly every 30 seconds or so and that does not count time spent changing outfits. No wonder I was tired. It is hard work being a model!!

I thanked Denise and slipped out of the room, down the elevator, and headed to my car. I spent the next 15 minutes in the parking lot repacking my clothes into a more orderly arrangement. Despite my rushed exit, I felt really good about the whole time. It was fun, it was relaxed, and I wondered what exactly I had been worried about. I was treated wonderfully by Denise, Natalia and Cassandra. All my fears and worries turned out to be completely groundless.

Next time, getting the pictures and some  final thoughts on the whole experience.

I have included a few more pictures from the shoot.


My Boudoir Photoshoot – Getting ready for the shoot and getting there (with pictures)


This is Robin with the third installment about my boudoir photoshoot session. When I finished the last installment I thought I would describe the events leading right up to the photoshoot itself (which will be in part four), but since I wrote it it occurred to me that there were a couple of things I wanted to mention first.

The biggest of these was may face to face pre-meeting with Denise Linley, the photographer. Part of the package I bought with the Groupon was a pre-shoot consultation in which I would meet with Denise to see some examples of her work, plan our session, and generally get to know one another before the shoot. I was looking forward to meeting Denise in person since by that point we had exchanged lots of emails and I had grown to really like her. I also wanted to see more of her work although she had posted a lot of it on her website. At the same time I was a little nervous about it since she had little experience with TG people and so I did not know what her reaction to me would be. Its one thing to be pleasant when exchange emails with someone and quite another to meet them in person. Again,  I asked myself what is the worst that could happen and  I realized it was not very bad (she decides not to do the shoot and gives me my money back).

Since I would be doing the photoshoot in femme, it was a forgone conclusion that I would meet her the same way. We planned to meet in a Starbucks near her home in Walnut Creed around 6pm. I was coming from San Jose and given the traffic I allocated a couple of hours to drive up and get settled. I dressed in my “usual” outfit consisting of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and a patterned t-shirt (usually from Kohls). I picked my purple jeans with a purple and black long sleeve top. I added my favorite black ankle boots. I thought the outfit was suitably casual. I left work early, changed, and drove up to Walnut Creek. I arrived much earlier than I expected and so had over an hour to kill. I did some shopping (at Kohl’s – I know I am in rut) and got some food at a local gas station mini-mart. I arrived at the Starbucks about 10 minutes early, bought some water, and waited. Nobody there paid me much attention but I still sat there a little nervously waiting for Denise. A little sm28after 6, she walked in the front door and I waved at her.  She was easy to spot as she has beautiful long red hair and bright blue eyes. Her glasses were also quite distinctive. She greeted me warmly and we sat down to talk.

She had brought a book of containing photos of previous clients to show me more examples of her work. I really liked all the pictures. She asked me why I was doing it and I responded that it was mostly that I wanted some nice pictures of me. We talked about the shoot and how I wanted it to unfold. All my fears vanished.  She treated me just like any other client. The TG issue never came up. For someone who had never dealt with TGs, she was absolutely fantastic. I left our meeting trying to figure out what I had been worried about.  I had realized that Denise was someone I could trust in such an intimate setting and thus I could really do the photoshoot. I was feeling really good about it now.

At the meeting we had set a date in early May for the photoshoot and I was really starting to look forward to it. I put together a list of all the clothes I would need as well as some props we would need. For the Rene Faire scene, we agreed that the hotel bedspread would not look suitable and so I tracked down some really course  brown fabric (made from recycled soft drink bottles!!) that we could use to cover the bed. I found some candles that would give it some “mood”. For the construction worker I bought a tool belt and brought my “hard hat” that I had acquired years before. I arranged all the clothes in a garment bag and big suitcase. I ended up bringing way too much extra stuff (“is 3 extra sets of stockings too many?  How about 4 robes?” , you get the idea).

I also watched Denae’s video on “Photo Posing” to get ideas on posing (Denae is a former fashion model and so had lots of experience posing for the camera). The video gave me lots  of ideas.

Soon the date drew near, Friday May 5th. I often find that it takes me a little while to get my movement and voice into full “femme” mode and for the shoot I did not want to rush the transition.  I had some business travel that week and decided to the “extend” the trip so that I could spend at least 24 hours prior to the shoot in femme. When I returned from the trip I checked into a hotel near San Francisco airport and unpacked everything. It turned out there was a performance of the SF Symphony that night and, as readers of this blog know, going to the symphony and ballet are some of  my favorite things to do. They were performing pieces from “Early Beethoven” and given I like his work, I thought it was a great way to spend the evening. I had brought both a black and a blue skirt suit for the photo shoot and since I had already decided to wear the blue one for the photoshoot, I wore the black one for the Symphony. I added a cream silk blouse and some dressy sandals and was ready to go. I did not have time to buy a ticket on-line and so had to get one at the ticket window at Davis Hall. I stopped at the bar for a bottle of water and found my seat.

Overall I found the performance disappointing and was relieved when it was over. Evidently Beethoven’s skills developed a great deal over his career and his early works were simply not very inspiring to me. I left feeling like I should have just gone to a movie (it would have been cheaper).  I went back to my hotel and went to bed.

I awoke after a restless night and felt sort of tired. I was still sort of nervous about the shoot. I kept asking myself if I was really going to let Denise take pictures of me in my underwear but figured I was committed at this point. I also felt that it would really go okay and I had nothing to worry about.

The photoshoot was scheduled for 3pm and so I had much of the day free. I had wanted to wear a skirt that day and so brought along a nice brown corduroy one. I added another Kohl’s top and some flats. I checked out of the hotel and spent the morning shopping and having lunch. I needed to be in Walnut Creek (actually Concord since Denise changed hotels) by 3pm. I wanted a chance to shower before the shoot, change into fresh clothes, and redo my makeup . Unfortunately I could not use my hotel since it was after checkout time. I knew there was a shower facility at SF Airport and decided to try it out (in femme of course). I had a small suitcase and so looked like a typical weary traveler looking for a quick cleanup. The young woman at the shower greeted me warmly and showed me to my

private shower/changing area. It was only $15, a great deal for 30 minutes. I took a quick shower, put on clean clothes (crop pants with yet another Kohl’s top – I am truly in a rut), and was out the door. I decided that I was going to become a regular at that place, especially when going to SF for an evening event. It is much nice than changing in my car!!

I got on the freeway towards the Bay Bridge with an hour to spare. It was only 2pm and so I figured traffic would not be too bad….wrong.

I reached the bridge and stopped. I barely moved for 15 minutes. It was now 2:15, then 2:20 with little progress. We started moving a little faster and then stopped again. It was approaching 2:30 and I was barely on the bridge. I was starting to panic and felt all my femme composure slipping away. I figured it would take me at least 30 minutes to get to hotel from the bridge. I was almost ready to call Denise to let her know I would be late when things suddenly opened up and I got across the bridge. Driving slightly crazy I reached the hotel by about 2:55pm. I found a parking place, unloaded my stuff, and headed to the lobby to meet Denise. There was no turning back now…sm13

I have included a couple of pictures from the shoot. More will come in future posts.

Next time: the photoshoot.







 Southern Comfort Atlanta 2012 Featured



SCC Dance night SCC Dance night Danielle Rose


Many of us have certain events we like to go to and we look forward to them throughout the year. Southern hospitality is a part of Atlanta GA. So the name “Southern Comfort Conference” or just SCC fits really well.

This was to be the first year that I would be Danielle from the minute I left the house [in Florida] to my return five days later. I was drunk with anticipation. I had been driving quite a while when I needed fuel for my car — and a nature break. There was a light rain so I pulled into a gas station/restaurant. It seemed like a place the frequentd. With the ground wet and puddles of water by my door I minced my steps to navigate the wet weather.

One should realize I while I had visions in my head, in reality I wasn’t sure what I was going to get myself into. A nice gentleman opened the door for me as I approached, with a pleassent “Good afternoon Maam, try not to get those pretty little feet wet.” I felt a bit more encouraged as I thanked him!

The lady behind the counter also greeted me with “Good afternoon Maam,” and pointed me towards the ladies room. When I was leaving — yes you guessed it — I got another “Have a nice day Maam.”


Sometimes those preconceived momments of fear, though one should always be on guard and ready when they are: I was pleassed this was not one of those times. I received simple and respectful; that is something so hard to find these days. That was a good start after some heavy rain and white knuckle driving.

It was raining moderately as i arrrived at the hotel, where i promptly gave the valet my key and went in to register. When I returned, to my horror, he had inadvertantly hit the Vent mode, whiich opens not only the sunroof, but all the windows. my car was getting soaked with rain while he fumbled looking to undo what he did. Another valet wass a calmer head came to my rescue. It was only water after all, and I had a transgender week to look forward to.

Well I get to “my room” and the electronic key doesn’t work! The bellhop runs back to the desk and gets another key. Ten minutes later while I am waiting in the hallway he finally returns, gets the door open, only to find someone else’s stuff everywhere. I quickly exit and we head back to the desk.

The desk person made a simple dyslexic mistake. I am hoping that that is the end of this nonsense of errors. All I want to do now is freshen up and have a really stiff drink! I got my wish and all is better and I take the load off my feet. Fortunately the rest of the evening is meeting friends at the bar and attending the stuffing party for newcomers to receive on their first day.


Princess Day! This is the first real pre-conference event for first time attendees where anyone can go with the opportunity to have nails done, makeup and lunch in a controlled setting. I help wherever I am needed, at the welcome desk, offering assistance and being a hostess. The local mall and beauty salons all welcome those who might not otherwise attempt such a thing on their own.


Princess Day is a success. Joining with some 30 or more girls for lunch at Olive Garden, there is a buzz of discussions about the day. It makes me happy for the coordinator Randi that all her efforts pulled together for a great day.


The girls now have the beauty and confidence to proceed into the conference formal schedule on Thursday.

SCC_12_073SCC is one of the largest Transgender social, educational and entertainment conferences in the world. There are so many educational seminars that it is a bit difficult to choose one over another. I chose to Proctor (introduce) a few speakers that I thought might be fun. I was not disappointed; I learned so much I was surprised because these were simple things that I thought I knew. My schedule was not hectic; I planned it to be open at times so that I could socialize, sit at the new comer’s registration desk and of course have time for shopping at the beautiful Perimeter Mall; there is also a vendor area at the coonference. I met some wonderful ladies there selling beautiful Beijo handbags. And they were so sweet; I hadn’t brought any sort of bag that would match my red Satin gown or my Ballroom gown for Sunday. They offered to loan me a handbag for my photo shoot on Saturday, which touched me so that I bought it outright and hugged them for their offer.

The ballroom for lunch on Thursday is very beautiful. I met new friends and listened to opening speakers and enjoyed the food.

What I have noticed in the past and also this year that from the opening mements of the Conference on Thursday afternoon, the event gains momentum and the pace quickens. Thursday dinner is wonderful and after words the atmosphere is about going out to shows, wine tasting, even a rocky horror picture show. I freshen up and change into evening wear and socialize with friends, some from Florida. I decided to get my beauty rest before midnight in preparation for the next day.

Friday is busy with people running around following schedules. I had to attend the fun and beautiful Denae Doyle seminar on “Feminine movement & Gestures”. She makes it fun and really gets you going and makes you laugh. Lunch comes fast and soon after, Dinner. People are changing cloths for all different events, daywear, and dinner and of course my favorite — part dancing!


I had a photo session in the afternoon and stopped by the ladies with the handbags to show them how the purse was perfect with the SCC_12_089dress. They were smiles from ear to ear seeing me so happy.  This year was a night at Gilly’s bull riding, and the return of Christy the DJ spinning great dance music! Lots of picture taking and socializing into the night; the outfits are beautiful and everyone is having a good time, nearing the peak of the event.

Saturday morning is funny. The saying “if you are out with the owls all night you will not soar with the eagles in the morning.” I think that covered half the hotel. In the late morning there is a return to normalcy with a lot of wearied faces and yawning. It is Saturday, THE big day. A pool party, final seminars and a lot of primping are in order. In my case it is doing my own makeup, and laying out my gown for the evening and trying on different jewelry all with a mindful eye on the time. Three changes of cloths today; morning fun and lunch, formal gown for photos and dinner and Dance dress afterwards.

After lunch I visited the ladies with the fabulous handbags. This time I am with my formal gown. I needed a small clutch for the evening and for the photo shoot. We had discussed it the day before when I showed them a preview of my formal gown and what would be the best color for what they had. I had a cute little clutch bag in mind that they showed me and I was hoping they still had it.

SCC_12_060When I walked up to them they were noticeably happy and hugged me. I was driven to tears because the girls gave me the purse to match my outfit! Unbelievable! Now I’m really crying because my makeup is running and I am scheduled for a photo session within the hour. The moment was more important, and meant the world to me!

I was totally caught by surprise with such a wonderful thing. They knew how important it was to me before I asked. I love the female heart! This is what the human spirit is about. Sharing the love!

The photo session was wonderful, Scott my photographer is awesome. We click together I understand what works for me and make use of the beautiful garden. I would suggest a setting and he would make it happen. After the photo session it is time for cocktails and dinner! The pre-dinner cocktail party is amazing. My friend Michelle was over the top with her Ann Grogan ( corset outfit in powder blue. Everyone is at their best. You want to meet everyone; the outfits are what the girls consider their best. It is an exciting time, cocktail hour is over and then it is time for dinner.


I joined some friends and met some new ones again at our table. Interestingly two wonderful young ladies joined us from Transformation Publishing Inc. They purchased the Centurian line of magazines and are on a mission to turn it around into a profitable business again. Good luck ladies I hope you succeed!


Dinner is great and the entertainment begins! The music is awesome followed by dancing all over the place. This is a lot of what it is all about. A chance to connect be who you are and meet those who align with your path. The evening flies by and it ends with the sounds of carry over conversations echoing in the large areas with people not wanting to go to sleep but are on the downside of alcohol. It’s 3:00 AM and I don’t want it to stop.

It is now a blur, my cell phone rings with a friend saying; “you were going to meet me for breakfast at 7:00 AM to get an early start on the drive home” OMG ! Why did I say that? I throw on my face and an outfit and I’m there in 25 minutes.


Reality sets in the dream is over! I bid my final farewells and it is time to hit the road. See you all next year!   


Last modified on Saturday, 06 October 2012 11:43


Danielle Rose

Danielle Rose

I am a positive person. I love to associate with positive people and share that attitude with everyone I meet. It is an important part of my life. I am married and my wife accepts me as I am. It wasn’t always that way but now we are stronger than before. That strength comes out of respect for each other and communication. I write as a TG reporter to add a little humor and share with others what I have learned.



A Fun Evening at the Ballet

Hi Ladies

One of the regular readers of this blog sent me the following story of her evening at the ballet. It sounds like she had a great time. If any of you have similar stories, please send them to me.




I always enjoy your posts on girls going out for an evening and it was two years ago that one of Robin’s posts got me over the top to go out to the Performing Arts Center for the ballet. I had a wonderful time and have done it several times since then, but always by myself. I think we are all a bit self conscious when we are out alone and spend a fair amount of time wondering what other people are thinking. When you are out with someone, however, you are distracted by your interaction and don’t have time to speculate on what other people are thinking and are therefore more relaxed and natural. Anyway, I recently had an opportunity to go to the ballet again, but with someone and I thought I would tell you about it so you could post it on your blog if you think it worthwhile. I am also including a photo that you can also use if you like (Lisa is on the left, I am in the middle and Stacy is on the right).

I have developed a very close friendship with my hair stylist, Stacy, and since we both love ballet (I used to dance – but now have bad knees and she still takes class from time to time) we have been trying for over a year to get our schedules to synch up so we could go together to a performance.  All the stars finally lined up last week for the opening night of American Ballet Theater’s visit to Orange County.  To make it even more interesting, Stacy had a close friend, Lisa, who also loves ballet and who wanted to go as well. I had never met Lisa so this was a great opportunity for me to interact with someone new over an extended period of time.  We got our tickets and made dinner reservations at the restaurant right at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The day before, I was able to squeeze in a visit to Stacy in her professional capacity as my hair stylist.  I have had a tendency to have my hair done up as much as I can (it being a wig and all) but this time we decided to have it down with just soft waves (you can see in the photo).  We both thought it looked very soft and feminine so I will probably keep it this way for a while.  We arranged to meet in a shopping center about half way between our homes, leave one car and then go get Lisa who lived only about a block from our meeting place.  On Thursday afternoon, I managed to get off work in time to get home and change without being too time constrained.  I wore a dark red sheath dress under a black blazer (both were velvet plush material, fitted and much more conservative than they sound). With the outfit I wore a simple string of pearls and pearl earrings and a pair of black pumps with 2.5″ heels (there was some walking involved, but I have done it before with these shoes and can handle it without any problems).  Once I was all ready, I called Stacy and she was just leaving home, so I jumped in my car and headed to our rendezvous.  When I parked in the shopping center, I immediately realized the potential flaw in our plans – I am so 20th (or is it 19th) century – I do not have a cell phone. As soon as I leave home, I am out of contact with the world.  Fortunately, Stacy was right ontime and we decided to go in my car as she still had her surfboard in hers.  As we were driving over to pick up Lisa, we spotted her out walking her dog in her evening outfit.  Both Stacy and Lisa are soooo Laguna Beach.  Anyway, after she put the dog back inside her house, she hopped in and we were off.  Lisa turned out to be a very sweet and interesting companion.  On the way we talked about movies, vitamins, health, spirituality, pets and annoying adult children (Lisa’s and Stacy’s, not mine).  In all to me it sounded like an entirely normal conversation that three girlfriends out for a night on the town would have – nothing forced or awkward.  Lisa was a jewel and had no problems reacting to me as just another girl.  What a wonderful feeling and a great validation.

Because we left a bit early (for our dinner reservation time), when we got to the Performing Arts Center, the parking structure was still functioning as parking for the office buildings in the area.  This meant there was no event parking ticket sales person there to collect $10, so we just punched the machine and took a ticket.  The bottom line here was that we got free parking as there is no one to collect after the evening events are over.  Now we know – if you go early enough, parking is free!!  We walked over to the restaurant where we were about an hour early for our reservation.  They gave us our pick of any table and we chose one right up against the massive window wall that looks out over the quadrangle between the various arts venues (great for people watching – you can see it behind us in the picture).  Our waiter told us that it would be a relaxed evening as they would not be that crowded.  Boy was he wrong, as there were two perfomances going on that night and ours was an opening night that included a world premier.  An hour and a half later the place was packed and we barely made it out in time for our performance even though we started an hour early.  Of course part of that was our own fault – we spent about an hour tasting several wines before we selected the bottle of Willamet Valley Pinot Noir that our waiter had suggested at the beginning.  We must have been driving him nuts and I am sure he thought we were three very ditzy girls.  For dinner, Stacy had a large salad and we split a seared tuna appetizer.  Lisa and I had rissoto for our main course and then the three of us split a dessert of several sorbets.  We had a great time watching people arrive (including the ballet company in two large buses).  It appears that turquoise blue is the evening dress color of choice this year – we must have seen 6 or 7.  As we rushed to leave, I left my credit card and they had to chase me down to return it.  Nevertheless we made it in time to find our seats and make a quick visit to the ladies room.  Our seats were in the first balcony (tier) and were great. 

The program was a repertory one that included three ballets.  In the first half was a Merce Cunningham ballet – Duets – modern in style (no point), no stagework or lighting, only colorful costumes. The most interesting aspect of it was the music by John Cage. It was almost entirely percussion – very powerful and driving. By the end the whole audience was tired so much energy had been expended.  The next ballet was a more traditional non-story ballet called Thirteen Diversions.  It was very reminiscent of Balanchine and it featured some very dramatic lighting effects.  At the intermission we all rushed to the ladies room again and managed to beat the crowd.  Lisa then went off to wander around and people watch while Stacy and I went back to our seats.  We talked for a while with the lady sitting next to Stacy and then Stacy’s old dance instructor showed up and it turned out he had seats in our row so she went and talked to him and his wife until time for the curtain.  The second half of the evening was a world premier staging of Firebird.  It was beautiful and exceptionally well danced – I think ABT is at its best when they are doing the fully staged story ballets and this was no exception (though as a story, if you do not know the Russian Fairy tale that Firebird is based on, you will never figure it out from watching the ballet).  All in all it was a wonderfully enjoyable and entertaining evening with really great dancing.  We were all in such a good mood when we left that we promised each other that we would do this again as often as we could.  I would really like to have a small circle of girlfriends that I could do evenings out and shopping etc. with – kind of like Sex in the City without all the boyfriend issues and this seems like a very good start.  Anyway we will be keeping in touch and will see where this leads.  All in all it was a truly remarkable evening where I enjoyed just being me with two wonderful friends and I do not recall a single moment where I had any doubts or self consciousness.  What a great time! A great website, with articles and photos

Hello everyone. I have known Gina Lance for several years, and she and another lady, have put TG together. There is something there for everyone, some great products and fun photos. Check it out!

Blog Us About Your “Dressy” Outings ~ TG Stories

Hello everyone, so many of you have enjoyed reading about Robin’s outings in SF….as she blends. I asked for any of you who feel you can successfully go out, to blog and tell where you went, and what you wore, and what you think made it possible for you to blend in, enjoy the Ballet. What tips you would give others girls, who do want to take it up some. Of course, if you consider yourself a CD and it doesn’t matter, then you and probably 90% of all girls are in the category. Shellie wrote to us, and she will now begin blogging about her outings, as she is also near the Bay area and is going to the Ballet, art openings, etc. I will let her tell you her story! Shellie, tell us about your latest outing, and how it compared to the first time you went out dressed to a nice place!

I would love to hear about all your outings, and you can just say “A” for your name and your email will not be included, unless you want it. Just tell us to include it or not, and the same with photos!