Dina’s Diner 5/2/22

| May 2, 2022
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I saw an interesting article headlined Florida Teen Goes Viral Educating History Teacher About Stonewall. Now the School Is Investigating. It appeared on the Queerty.com website on April 7, 2022.

The article explained the controversy thusly: “When 17-year-old Florida high school student Will Larkins [Larkins uses they/them pronouns for clarification] asked their teacher if the Stonewall riots would be included in an upcoming curriculum on U.S. history of the ’60s and ’70s, the response they got was less than inspiring. The history teacher was unfamiliar with the events, which are widely considered to be the spark that ignited the modern LGBTQ rights movement. So Larkins took matters into their own hands, delivering a PowerPoint presentation about Stonewall’s significance to their U.S. history class (and teacher). “LGBTQ American history is not taught in Florida’s public schools, so I took it upon myself to explain the events of the Stonewall Uprising to my 4th period US history class,” Larkins explained later.”

First of all, I know the Stonewall Riots were over 52 years ago (occurring in 1969) but how can a teacher of U.S. history not be familiar with a fairly significant cultural/political event – even if you disagree with the resultant gay rights movement? Apparently, now that the videoed presentation went viral, the teacher is not happy, likewise the school administration. But how was Will Larkins able to make the classroom presentation in the first place without the teacher’s consent? It seems like Mr. or Ms. Teacher is trying to rewrite history (pardon the pun) by objecting to the presentation now that it’s kicked up a lot of attention.

Will Larkins

Since it’s Florida, it got even more attention because of the state’s recently enacted “Don’t Say Gay” policy for schools. The policy only applies to grades K thru 3 “but also includes ambiguous language that could allow for parents of older students to sue over perceived violations.” Will Larkins who is the co-founder and president of the high school’s Queer Student Alliance, testified against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill at its final Senate hearing and organized a student walkout in protest before it passed.” Larkins also made their presentation while wearing a dress and a long looping strand of pearls.

One of the things that amazes me about the growing number of LGBTQ teens being open and out in their high schools is the courage it takes to do that at a very vulnerable age in an institution that isn’t known for embracing social outliers in a welcoming manner. (We all went through high school, so you know this). The people who are so concerned about the dilution of traditional masculinity would be enlightened if they considered how much intestinal fortitude – balls, if you will – it takes for a teen boy to walk into a high school wearing a dress and pearls.

On their Twitter page, where Larkins posted about the presentation, they wrote: “A lot of people in the comments are asking why I ‘had to wear a dress.’ The answer is because I wanted to.” Bravo and touchè.


Generation Drag contestant.

What is the hottest political/cultural hot button right now? Transgender children, right? Well, the Discovery+ cable network just announced a new show called Generation Drag featuring young drag queens with former model and TV host Tyra Banks. I saw it on The Daily Beast website on April 26, 2022.

According to the article, “Generation Drag focuses on five kids—Noah, Jameson, Vinny, Bailey, and Nabela—and their families. It traces the lead-up to the most important performance of these teens’ young lives at Dragutante, a nonprofit event that allows LGBTQ+ youth to connect with each other, meet mentors in the drag community, and, at the end of the day, stomp the runway in their own performances.”

The trailer for the show has glimpses of the contestants who appear to be pretty young, barely in their teens. The article makes a reference to ninth graders which would put them about 13 years old. Some of the kids affect a bizarre drag look while some seem to go with more traditional glamour looks. I’ve written before about these very young drag queens and I find it a little unsettling. If a thirteen-year-old girl put on heavy makeup and a platinum wig, high heels and an evening gown it would be criticized as sexualizing young girls. This, I am guessing, will be heralded as empowering self-expression. The weird thing is that the liberal folks who look down on kiddie beauty pageants for young girls will cheer the teen drag contestants – and vice versa for the conservatives who no doubt will see the teen drag kids as decadent.

The Daily Beast article seems to think the controversy about the show is because Tyra Banks’ last production, America’s Next Top Model, has come under fire as a toxic environment for the contestants. They seem to have glossed over the idea of kids in drag queening around on television during a period when trans children are under attack from adults and legislators all over the country.

I don’t really care that much about it and will probably not watch it (as I never watched RuPaul’s Drag Race). And I hope the kid contestants don’t get vilified by the strident retrograde activists this show may spawn. But I wonder if this is the best idea for LGBTQ or drag interests at this stage of our culture war.


Miu Miu micro mini.

Did you know the micro-miniskirt is making a comeback? Oh, you didn’t realize it never went away? Short skirts have always been a staple of crossdressing wardrobes since their invention in the 1960s. But fashion designers have been raising and lowering hemlines to sell new trends the whole time.

I saw an article headlined Wearing the Micro-Miniskirts Trend In Real Life. It appeared on the Refinery29.com site on April 4, 2022 and was updated on April 29, 2022. The author discussed the trepidation of actually wearing a micro-miniskirt in public as opposed to watching models prancing down a catwalk in them. She wrote, “I knew it wouldn’t be an easy feat. (Even Refinery29’s fashion director seemed shocked when I pitched the story a few weeks ago.)” She gave it a go at a friend’s bachelorette party at a Las Vegas casino. “For the rest of the night, I wished [my earlier promise to wear it] had been a joke. Even though I wore sheer tights underneath, I kept tugging my skirt down, trying to cover my derriere, aware of the looks I got from the men at the casino.”

The renewed interest in the micro was spawned by the fashion line Miu Miu at a runway show in October. The Refinery29 site did a long article about how it had taken off in a February 2022 article. “With its ultra-low fit, imperfect pleats, raw hemline and exposed pockets, Miu Miu’s micro mini skirt has become fashion’s first viral moment of the year. Since its debut at Miu Miu’s shows last autumn, droves of celebs and models have been seen wearing this serviette of a skirt, including in editorials featuring Zendaya, Nicole Kidman, [and others].” You know a skirt is short when the bare pocket material hangs below the hemline à la the rough trimmed jeans shorts of a few years ago.

Of course it’s one thing for a long-legged runway model or the twentysomething Zendaya or the tall and toned Nicole Kidman to sport a tiny skirt. Women in normal circumstances are skeptical and concerned about the trend. The article reported, “A poll of our readers also found that 89% would not wear the skirt. Some notable replies: “I might wear it as a scarf,” and a succinct, “stop making it happen.”

Thankfully, crossdressers often have shapely legs and a micro-miniskirt is one of the few items we can wear that doesn’t require any falsification or enhancement to show off. So let’s see your lovely pins and your godly gams with a skirt that goes all the way up to there.


I have written about pantyhose a lot in my years at the Diner. And this is no time to stop now. I came across an older article about this beloved topic recently. It was headlined I Tried the Secret Behind Kate Middleton’s Flawless Legs. The article appeared in the Glamour magazine online edition in May 2016. Besides the slightly double entendre sounding headline (what IS the secret behind Duchess Kate’s legs?) the article was all about pantyhose.

The legs of Duchess Kate.

The author of the piece, Alison Syrett, begins by questioning when was the last time she even thought about pantyhose. “At a junior high band concert? My first homecoming dance? I’ve always filed that particular item of clothing away as something I only used before knowing better, an antiquated formality enforced by my mother.” This is why pantyhose displays in supermarkets and drugstores are a fraction of what they once were. Women have all but given up wearing pantyhose, certainly on a daily basis which was once commonplace. Ms. Syrett writes, “But faced with the shiny and resplendent effects of the duchess’s miracle-working nylons, I’m starting to wonder if I’m the one holding on to dated misconceptions.”
The article quotes a consultant for well-known hosiery maker Wolford who said, “Many American women shy away from nude hosiery but in European countries women wear it all year round for a flawless finish. I think it makes you a lot less self-conscious in short skirts. It’s like makeup for your legs!” It turns out that Wolford is the brand worn by Duchess Kate. The particular style is on the expensive side ($33 a pair in 2016 even). But as the author notes, it’s no different from a good bra or underwear that “works behind the scenes to create a smoother foundation.”

Alison wore the Duchess Kate pantyhose for a week and recounted her experiences and was photographed in her various everyday outfits with the hosiery. The photos show that she has nicely shaped legs but it’s not a cheesecake article and she pairs the hose with flats, short boots and even sneakers in a series of appealing looks. After going for so long without hosiery, she thought everyone would be noticing and looking at her sheer covered legs. But no, they didn’t. Even when she told some of her coworkers and friends she was wearing pantyhose many could not detect them. Some even wanted to feel her legs because the effect was so smooth and invisible.

Crossdressers have always been on board with pantyhose, stockings, or tights. It is often the starting point for nascent crossdressers giving it a go. Even a lot of non-crossdressing male fetishists love to wear pantyhose – and nothing else. C’mon, you’ve seen the photos. The shimmery feel of sheer material clinging to the freshly shaven leg is one of the elevating sensations of crossdressing. I’m glad Duchess Kate and the good folks at Wolford made a convert because we do love pantyhose but you’re preaching to the choir here, sister.


Charo in 1967 with Xavier Cugat.

The New York Times had a profile of Charo in the March 31, 2022 edition. It was headlined The Brilliance of Charo. If you’re younger than fifty, you might not know who Charo is but if you are of a certain age you will recall her as the “cuchi-cuchi” girl, the legendarily silly talk show guest, occasional television actor, and classical guitarist. More about the guitar later.

Her career started in a way that likely wouldn’t fly today. In the mid 1960s she was the much younger paramour of sixty-something Cuban bandleader (itself a quaint term nowadays) Xavier Cugat. Charo would come on talk shows with “Cugie” and talk about “cuchi-cuchi” which sounded faintly naughty but everyone was usually laughing too hard at her effervescence and broken English that nobody questioned it too much. Charo was always dressed to the nines in colorful cleavage-baring dresses, high heels, massive blonde hair and lots of makeup.

In the golden years of late night and daytime entertainment talk shows, Charo was a regular guest on the circuit. She also made numerous guest appearances on sitcoms of the 1970s. The Times article made an interesting observation about the star: “And yet there was always something sneaky about Charo’s performances, even as the culture labored to box her in. Her double-entendre malapropisms — “don’t misconscrewme” — suggested a sophisticated command of the English language, and as she worked to build her own career, she resisted assimilating to American expectations.” If you remember Goldie Hawn’s early days on Laugh-In only to see her become one of Hollywood’s biggest female stars for a long while, you know that you have to be pretty smart to play that dumb.

In those years before the internet and even cable television, a woman like Charo could inspire crossdressers with her elaborate outfits and larger than life persona. Dolly Parton once said something like, if she was a guy she would probably be a drag queen. Charo gave that same vibe. Although I haven’t seen her in years, the Times article makes it sound as though that vibe is still strong. In fact, she has guested on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Charo in a recent photo.

Then there was Charo and the guitar. As a girl in Spain, she developed her talent in a school led by virtuoso Andres Segovia. Even when she was being interviewed as the daffy cuchi-cuchi girl by wisecracking talk show hosts, her background in classical and flamenco guitar was always mentioned. She now devotes the second half of her nightclub act to her mastery of the guitar. The Times article makes clear that it isn’t some kind of show biz baloney. It reported, “Though Segovia’s classical influence is often proffered to explain her skill, Charo has a highly original style that weds intimate, lyrical classical melodies with the rhythmic flourishes of the flamenco tradition and spikes it all with a pop sensibility. “She is a great guitar player,” said Kim Perlak, the chair of the guitar department at the Berklee College of Music. Citing her command of techniques like classical tremolo and flamenco scales, she added, “You have to practice that all the time to get to be that fluent, especially if you want it to be intuitive the way she does it.”

I hadn’t thought about Charo in years until this profile appeared in the Times. But in my pantheon of adolescent femme dreams, she is right there with Annette Funicello, Morticia Addams, Lee Meriwether as Catwoman, and Deanna Lund, the hot chick on Land of the Giants. But none of them — I’m sure — can play classical guitar.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment, 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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