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Dina’s Diner 11/24/14

| Nov 24, 2014
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Is that Johnny -- the kid next door?

Is that Johnny — the kid next door?


The news and culture website had an article that appeared on October 31, 2014 about Halloween’s scariest costume choice. In my last Diner offering before Halloween, I suggested that it wasn’t a good idea to surprise family, friends or co-workers crossdressed for Halloween. The Slate article by Kate Cohen pointed out that sometimes young boys want to dress as female characters for Halloween — and that freaks a lot of people out.

Ms. Cohen writes about her son announcing that he wanted to dress as Wonder Woman this year. The other adults in the room bashfully made some suggestions for more gender-matched costumes, like Spiderman or Batman. The author also mentioned blog posts on a site called in which commenters — some vehemently — condemned the idea of letting a young boy dress as a female character for Halloween.

All this made Kate reflect that the unmentioned assumption was that letting a boy dress as a girl would somehow “stick” and either confirm or make him gay. She funnily points out that no one thinks this about other costume choices. “No one appears concerned that, say, a child who dresses as a yellow crayon will be consigned to a life of monochromatic coloring. Or that a child in an alien costume will ultimately have to return to the home planet. There are no feverish blog posts along the lines of Should I let my son dress as a Martian? Children are regularly permitted — even encouraged — to dress as zombies, spiders, and Rubik’s cubes. Which means, I guess, that if you’re a boy, it’s worse to become a girl than … pretty much anything.”

I think Kate Cohen has hit the nail on the head. A boy dressing as a girl character, or a man dressing as a woman, seems to reveal something about the boy or man that no other costume choice ever could. “Remember the year Joe came dressed as a chick? Yeah, that was weird.” Don’t let that be your legacy.

Wei Sun Christianson

Wei Sun Christianson


The New York Times had an article about a London fashion exhibition that focuses on women in power and their clothing. The article appeared in the Thursday Styles section on October 30, 2014. The exhibition is installed at the Design Museum in London, U.K.

The exhibit surveys powerful women’s fashion choices from as far back as Hatshepsut of ancient Egypt to the very much present Hillary Clinton. As the Times points out, the exhibit is not looking at typical “power dressing” visible in pop culture. Now that women have attained some real power in politics and business, the choices focus on true leaders rather than fictional figures.

The Times article points out that although women have often felt defined by their clothing choices — not always to their advantage — it can also be a strong supporting element for their image and communication to others. Ironically, this isn’t as available to men who are constrained to classic suit combinations with only hairstyle and neckties offering means of differentiation.

Donna Loveday, the co-curator of the exhibit, said, “It felt like it was the right time to look at the rise of women in contemporary power roles and how they view and use fashion to facilitate their place in the world.” The Times reporter, Vanessa Friedman, points out that it is interesting to see that many powerful women agreed to contribute input to the show. Ms. Friedman tells a story of how powerful women in the past had declined to participate in any discussion of fashion because it seemed to reinforce the stereotype that women are more interested in fashion than their male counterparts. That some political and corporate women agreed this time around indicates that they are more comfortable in their places in the power hierarchy. Wei Sun Christianson, a high-ranking executive at Morgan Stanley, said, “I decided that while I was working in a man’s world, I was not going to suppress my femininity in order to fit in.”

Survey Says: Sexy.

Survey Says: Sexy.


Angela Gardner referred me to an article that appeared on the news and culture website on November 20, 2014 with the intriguing (and slightly mis-worded) headline “High Heels Have a Strange Effect on Men, and Here’s Proof.”

The body of the article recounted a behavioral science study from France that set out to prove that men like high heels better than flats on women they meet. The mis-wording of the headline prompted some HuffPost commenters to snark that they thought the article was going to reveal that men experience strange effects while wearing high heels. But enough of the grammatical controversy.

From the HuffPost article: “Women’s shoe heel [height] exerts a powerful effect on men’s behavior,” Dr. Nicolas Guéguen, a psychologist at the Université de Bretagne-Sud in Rennes, and the scientist behind the study, said in a written statement.” The study consisted of having women wear flats, two-inch heels and four-inch heels and ask men on the street to answer survey questions or retrieve a dropped glove. Men responded to women in flats about half as frequently as they did to women wearing four-inch heels. Women approached on the street did not have any difference in response rates to women in flats or high heels.

The reason for the male response is simple: men like high heels on women. Dr. Gueguen “…proved this hypothesis in a follow-up study, as yet unpublished, in which men shown the body profiles of women in flats or heels tended to think the heel-wearing women were more attractive.”

“High heels were associated with greater sexiness, overall physical attractiveness, breast attractiveness, beauty, attractiveness to other men, and willingness for a date,” he told The Huffington Post in an email.

Whew! I’m glad we have that settled now. Men dig high heels on women. Other studies on the docket include “Men Prefer Larger Breasts than Smaller Breasts” and “Water Has High Moisture Content.”

Kelly Lee DeKay

Kelly Lee DeKay


The website picked up a story with the intriguing headline “Fetish Model Kelly Lee Dekay has a 16-inch Waist.” The article appeared on October 28, 2014.

Ms.Dekay is 27 years old and was fascinated as a young tomboy by the wasp waists of comic book heroines. “Growing up I just loved the exaggeration of styles and the beautiful costumes that comic book characters would wear and that led to the aesthetic that led to tight-lacing.” She also said, “I like that they wore their personalities externally.” That’s a pretty neat quote that seems applicable to many crossdressers.

There is a timeless fascination with corsetry and even though it is looked on as a bit fetish-y, there are periodic articles about some woman and her fondness for tightly-laced corsets. Almost a year ago, I had an item about a decidedly “normal” young lady, Sarah Chrisman, who swore by extremely tight corsets. The reigning Guinness World Record holder for smallest waist at 15″ is Cathy Jung, a sixty-something corset enthusiast from Connecticut. The previous record holder was Ethel Granger, an Englishwoman who corseted her waist down to 13-inches between the 1920s and her death in 1982 at age 77. The female rock group The Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin is a corset enthusiast and has some photos of herself in corsets and latex posted on

But back to Kelly Lee Dekay. On top of being an otherwise zaftig young lady and enjoying a bit of tightlacing to bring her waist in dramatically, she is also a professional dominatrix. I discovered that while doing extra research on Miss Dekay for my loyal readers. It’s funny how mainstream news reports will leave out interesting tidbits like that.

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Category: Transgender Community News, 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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