Dina’s Diner 3/7/22

| Mar 7, 2022
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I tried to do some research into crossdressing and trans issues in Ukraine after the Russian invasion. I was surprised that there was little to be found except for several articles that told a dismal story of cultural repression and unsympathetic governmental policies.

I searched through Google and Reddit postings, and a couple of CD/TG sites looking for Ukrainian crossdressers in better times but mostly came up empty. The same with Russian crossdressers. In countries of their size, there are undoubtedly tens of thousands of practicing crossdressers but perhaps because of cultural, governmental, and economic strictures, not much evidence exists online.

Zi Faámelu

A recent article on the UK-based GayTimes.co.uk reported, Trans People in Ukraine Left Stuck in Kyiv Following Russia’s Invasion. The undated article appeared during the recent refugee crisis in Ukraine.

This is from the piece: “Zi Faámelu is a 31-year-old trans woman currently living in Kyiv. Speaking to CBS News, she described the difficulties she has faced since the capital city has come under siege. “Sometimes we think it’s just all a dream, that we’re stuck inside some kind of a video game. Because you just live in a quiet society, and then you hear bombings and you wake up to the sound of bombings,” she told the news outlet. “A few hours ago I heard bombings and my windows were shaking. I’m literally scared for my life.” A singer and former TV contestant for a popular Ukrainian talent show, Faámelu is also concerned for her safety as a transgender woman and is unable to leave the city. “Like hundreds of trans people in Ukraine, I am a woman, but I have ‘male’ in my passport and on all my ID, so this is a war within a war. Ukrainian trans people were already fighting for their lives.””

According to the article, Ukraine doesn’t have great resources for trans people. Russia is even worse with codified anti-LGBTQ policies. A National Public Radio report pointed out that Poland and Hungary – two countries where refugees may end up – also have repressive LGBTQ policies in place. As one commentator mentioned, marginalized communities become even more at risk during massive upheavals as we are seeing in Ukraine.

So maybe it’s understandable not to have found any smiling Ukrainian crossdresser profiles online during these times. Remember that line from Life During Wartime: “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.”


I was binge-watching the second season of Netflix’s Space Force that came out in February. Space Force is a pretty funny satire with a good cast of stars and supporting players. During the second season episodes, I was immediately drawn to a new cast member who appeared without introduction or explanation.

JayR Tinaco

Without beating around the bush, the new cast member was beautiful but led me to ask “what’s the deal?” with the new scientist on the show. The actor was androgynous with boyish hair, carefully made-up face and eyes, but dressed in gender neutral lab coat and slacks. I had to go onto the IMDB.com website to find out that the new cast member was JayR Tinaco, a Filipino-Australian actor with a short acting resume.

According to some interviews and biographical sketches I found online, JayR identifies as nonbinary and uses he/him or they/them pronouns (but doesn’t mind if others use she/her pronouns either). The show does not make any mention of JayR’s character (Dr. Xyler) in any gender specific way. Dr. Xyler is just a scientist on the team – his physical appearance is never mentioned in any way. Even nicer was that it was never used as a place for a joke or funny looks in the script. In another interview about his part on Another Life (a different sci fi space adventure), the nonbinary aspect of JayR’s character is also handled matter-of-factly.

Having grown up in a small town in coastal Australia, JayR admits he was bullied for being different although “I wasn’t beaten up thankfully, and it was more verbal abuse than anything.” He credits his mother’s support and girlfriends who accepted him as he was. It’s quite amazing to think of the physical and mental fortitude it takes for young people like JayR (and millions of others) to be themselves and keep on in the face of ignorance, intimidation, and physical threats.

JayR got his start in his native Australia in some television dramas and small films. He told an interviewer that a casting agent told him he needed to do “more straight acting” to get ahead. “When you’re an actor starting out and you have an agent telling you this, you want to listen because you want to make it and you want to work” he said. He was fortunate to have landed these parts that allow him to be true to his own nature. He told an interviewer that he doesn’t go out for parts that are specifically written as trans because that isn’t who he is and he believes those parts should be reserved for trans actors.

I finished and re-watched the Space Force episodes. I might take a look at Another Life, although I’m not a sci fi space opera fan. But I think I’ll watch a movie called Always Be My Maybe in which JayR has a small role. I hope I see more of him because it’s hard to look away when he’s on screen.


I came across a fascinating article in the New York Post online site. It was headlined Woman Unrecognizable After Stunning ‘Catfish’ Makeup Transformation. The article appeared on February 9, 2022.

Sarah Andres before and after.

The subject of the story is Canadian makeup artist Sarah Andres and (as the before and after photos here attest) her cosmetic transformation is pure magic. Or as one commenter put it: “witchcraft.” For her part, Sarah is okay letting people see her before images to appreciate the after version which is nothing less than amazing.

The Post article was fairly short so I will paste most of it here for you: “Using the power of makeup – plus clip-in veneers for four front teeth lost to a 2017 quad biking accident – 35-year-old Andres shares her makeup looks via social media. “I have even had people ask me how I managed to lose weight between the before and after images,” she said. “And when people that know me without make-up actually see me with make-up, they don’t even recognize me.” Her viral videos on TikTok garner thousands of views, with one racking up over a million. “This should be illegal,” wrote one astonished user. “That’s why I got trust issues,” joked another among a chorus of viewers telling Andres she “looks beautiful.””

We’ve seen a lot of cosmetic transformations from male makeup mavens and drag queens to celebrities denuded of makeup tricks in on-the-street photos. The use of glamour filters on some online photo sites can turn a 50-year-old Japanese man into a raving beauty (as I covered here a while back). There was another case where a middle-aged woman used filters to make her appear as a twenty-something beauty.

Maybe it’s because of the missing front teeth or the completely non-touched up appearance of her natural face but Sarah’s makeover is about as dramatic as anything I’ve ever seen. It’s a great testament to how some simple powders, liquids, brushes, glosses, some fake teeth, and a positive attitude can “fool us” into seeing what we want to see in the face of another. As crossdressers, we can thank our lucky stars for that simple illusion every day.


I saw an article that appeared on the UK-based Mirror newspaper online site headlined Hooters Waitress Baffles People by Revealing Chain’s Controversial Tights Rule. The article appeared on February 16, 2022.

The popular eatery chain Hooters has one of the most iconic uniforms since the Coldstream Guards put on large furry hats. Most folks focus on the low scoop neck of the Hooters white t-shirts. Others may be partial to the orange boy shorts into which thousands of lovely female derrieres are safely ensconced. Mostly overlooked are the sheer, glossy tights the servers wear on their exposed legs.

The Hooters tights machine.

The Mirror article pointed out that Hooters servers must buy their own company approved sheer tights from a wall mounted vending machine for $5 a pair. The server, who was identified only as Kenzjee, posted a TikTok video of how it works. The Mirror reported, “So people always ask me about our tights machine and I have to buy tights today, so I guess I’ll just make a video about it”. She then slipped a $5 bill into the machine, selecting the option ‘Suntan B’. As she explains, ‘Suntan B’ is the shortest pair of tights, while ‘Suntan D’ is the longest, but all of them are the same shade of tan. Her tights are then quickly dispensed, ready for her to pop on before her shift.”

Some people were surprised and miffed that the servers must buy the tights since it’s part of the company uniform.

Apparently, the company isn’t allowed to supply the tights because they are considered “undergarments” and I guess that would run afoul of some employment law. The approved Hooters tights are made by Peavey and usually retail for a few dollars more than $5 per pair. Some companies sell knock-off Hooters tights for less than $5. As crossdressing costumes go, Hooters uniforms are something of a staple. For authenticity sake I hope y’all are wearing Peavey Suntan tights with the rest of the outfit, ladies.

Hooters also came under fire late in 2021 when they began to roll out a new design for those orange boy shorts. Many of the servers complained that the new shorts rode too high on the derriere making them appear more like thongs than shorts. Ironically, some of the servers said the new shorts were more like “underwear” – which would be afoul of the rule mentioned above. News reports said the company backed off of that plan after the uproar.

It’s a shame that the Hooters girls must pay for their own tights. But I applaud the company’s efforts to maintain the standard of sheer tights on beautiful female legs. There are very few legs that can’t be improved by a sheer stocking of whatever denier. If you’re in a Hooters restaurant and you’re spending more time looking at the glossy tights than the cleavage on display, you may be a crossdresser.


Finnish crossdresser.

Having started this Diner with the war news, I was looking for a contrast to end on a happier note. I found some lists of the happiest countries on earth. The top three were Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. Other happiness lists also had Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, and even Canada in top spots. All northern hemisphere regions. What is up with the malcontents in Tahiti?

By way of illustration, I found this photo on some international crossdressing site. It was captioned simply “Gorgeous Helsinki (Finland) Crossdresser.” She looks pretty happy to me.

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Category: Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

I started crossdressing and going out publicly in 1988. I joined the Renaissance group in the Philadelphia area that year and later became chapter leader for two years in the '90s. I always enjoyed writing and wrote for the Renaissance newsletter and magazine throughout my membership years. I've been writing for TGForum for several years now. I also contributed items to LadyLike magazine and other TG publications before the advent of the internet. My hobby-within-a-hobby is singing live as my alter-ego Dina Sinatra and I have had the opportunity to do that with several accommodating performers and in a number of venues over the years since the mid-1990s. In the Diner column items here, I try to relate crossdressing or transgender themes (and my own pet peeves and fetishes) to the larger world -- and vice versa.

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