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Dina’s Diner 1/19/15

| Jan 19, 2015
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Not what we're talking about, admiral.

Not what we’re talking about, admiral.

When I was searching around for Diner topics a couple of months ago, I came across the term “trap” which was being used in certain circles to describe androgynously passable, young M-t-F transgenders. “Trap” sounded derogatory but I noticed that some of the people using the term were using it to describe themselves. I’ll plead to some ignorance about the topic and perhaps it is well-known by everyone and I’m a late arrival to it.

Trans-terminology in the community is a land-mine topic that is almost impossible to navigate through unscathed. It has always implied some kind of pecking order of seriousness or commitment. And that’s what I found interesting about the “trap” culture. It seems to fall somewhere in between crossdressing and true transgender identification. The self-identified traps on some of the Reddit or Tumblr websites (where I found them) do not seem as ideological about gender. In fact, many of them are focused almost entirely on sex or with a strong sexual aspect. In fact, the use of the word “trap” is said to derive from the idea that a feminine biological male could “trap” a lover before the biological secret is revealed. But that having been said, many traps seem very genuine in their identification with femininity.

A "trap" on Tumblr.

A “trap” on Tumblr.

The self-identified traps who post photos on the sites often do not use cosmetics. Or if they do, they take a natural approach to cosmetics more akin to natural women than, say, crossdressers. And even if the traps are posting sexually explicit or provocative photos, they rarely have the carefully coiffed hair, cosmetics and breast enhancements of the overtly sexual transgender “she-male” models. In fact, almost all traps forego breast enhancement. Some appear to be on hormonal programs with some natural development but few appear to use falsies.

It’s the renegade approach to gender that I find intriguing about the trap culture — if you can even call it that. In that sense, I liken it to the punk culture of the late 1970s or ’80s. They adopt a seemingly derogatory term to self-describe themselves and then let everyone else deal with it. The transgender community has made some serious breakthroughs into pop culture and consciousness these past couple years. If this endures (if it is not just an internet meme), it will be interesting to see if people will be ready to accept the more fluid, informal approach to gender that is part of the trap culture.


The website (yes, the retired persons website) had an interesting article about former Playboy bunnies that appeared in September 2014. I guess it shows how slow I’m getting in my own dotage that I only found out about it in January 2015. The feature is headlined “Playboy Bunnies: Then and Now.”

Former Bunny Cheryl Hill-Gallucci.

Former Bunny Cheryl Hill-Gallucci.

The article (pictures too, of course!) touched base with nine former Playboy bunnies who worked in the chain of Playboy Clubs that were around from the 1960s through part of the 1980s. These were not centerfold models but working women who had the courage and good genes to get a job at the Playboy clubs in the days when this was still somewhat scandalous.

If you’re of a certain age, the concept of the Playboy bunny (with the bunny ears, the fitted and battened showgirl suit, the cottontail, tights and high heels) was sexier than any of today’s more brazen female avatars. The original idea of the Playboy Club keyholder (membership) for men was the height of the “good life.” Being served by a bevy of beautiful young women in the bunny outfits was deliciously provocative.

So the folks at AARP found this group of former bunnies at a reunion gathering in Baltimore, Maryland and ran a photo gallery showing the women in their bunny days side be side with a current day snap. Needless to say, you would never imagine (if you saw the ladies on the street today) that they were a member of an elite crew of goddesses in their salad days. And that’s what makes the pictorial so interesting. And yes, some of the ladies — now in their late forties or fifties — still have a certain something going on

The whole thing seems kind of quaint now. The sexual revolution that Playboy helped popularize eventually swallowed up the concept. The clubs all closed down and I don’t even know if they still publish a magazine anymore. But I can still name some of my favorite centerfolds from the ’70s and the bunny costume still reigns as a popular symbol of feminine sexiness. The women found in the AARP article illustrate why it worked so damn well.


The New York Times Thursday Styles section had an interesting article about a designer who specializes in leather harnesses. The article appeared on December 11, 2014 with the headline “For Designer Zana Bayne, It’s All About Restraint.” At the tender age of 26 years, Ms. Bayne “has almost singlehandedly elevated the harness from the boudoir and bondage into fashion” according to the Times. The article mentions (perhaps not surprisingly) that entertainers like Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce have worn Bayne’s high-fashion harnesses.

Lady Gaga's harness.

Lady Gaga’s harness.

But Ms. Bayne sees her harnesses as accessories that can be mixed with many different outfits to create a striking look. Olivia Kim, the retailer Nordstrom’s director of creative projects, is herself a fan. “I wear mine over a boring white oxford shirt but they also look great over dresses. It’s the perfect example of what an accessory does: accentuate clothing,” she told the Times reporter. Some of the harnesses are fairly “tame,” appearing to be not much more than elaborate belting, while other designs are more apparent as full torso harnesses.

Zana Bayne told the Times, “It’s a layering piece to add to an outfit. The physical aspect of having something cinch you in makes you hold yourself higher. But I always warn people that if you’re going to wear it out, people are going to pull on you. It brings something out not just in the wearer but in those around her.” Perhaps if it becomes popular enough in the future, some women will say that “I’m wearing my come f@#k me harness.”

Zana’s harnesses have been used in fashion shoots for several magazine spreads and as accessories in designer runway shows. She makes the harnesses and other items in her shop in Manhattan with a small staff of assistants. She dresses and accessorizes herself in Goth fashion. “I’ve never aimed to shock,” she said. “My design comes from a naive place. I think ‘of course someone will wear this’ and then it comes out … maybe not harder but maybe not as innocent.”

The article about Zana Bayne’s harness designs is the third article I’ve covered about harnesses from The New York Times in the past few years. Either this is a true mini-trendlet in the fashion world or someone at the Times has a little kinkiness that keeps finding it’s way into the paper.


For those fans who follow Brazil’s Miss Bum Bum contest (and what better place to be in relation to the Miss Bum Bum contest than to be following?), there was news about past runner-up Andressa Urach.

An un-natural bum, bum?

An un-natural bum, bum?

“Andressa Urach won second place in the 2012 Miss Bum Bum competition, a beauty contest in which online voters pick the woman with the country’s top bottom” as reported by the website. But the other news picked up by many outlets was sad indeed.

The worldwide press reported out of Brazil in late 2014 that Andressa “was hospitalized in critical condition in the ICU of a Porto Alegre hospital due to a generalized infection that resulted from large quantities of silicone gel she had implanted in her thighs to make them thicker for show business appearances. On January 1st 2015 the Brazilian news site UOL reported she had been released from the hospital after a 25 day stay, and that she declared, on an interview given to the British tabloid Daily Mail, that she believed she had been punished for her “stupid vanity.””

The Huffington Post website picked up the unfortunate story (dated January 13, 2015) and also had some graphic photos of Andressa’s infected thighs showing open sores and post-surgery damage. The Huffington Post article said, “To accentuate her figure, Urach told the Daily Mail she had chemical filler injections for more full looking legs. But in 2013, the fillers started rotting her body tissue. The real trouble began during a procedure to remove the chemicals in November [2014]. She went into septic shock, probably because of an infection from an unclean medical instrument, Nigel Mercer, president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, told the Mail.”

There have been multiple reports over the past several years of transgender women (and some genetic females) who desperately try to enhance their figures with dangerous non-medical silicone injections in breasts, buttocks or hips. Miss Urach is not just an “ass model.” She is also a reality TV celebrity in Brazil so it is strange to see a woman who has resources fall prey to the quick and cheap injections. She had the same wake-up call as some less fortunate victims who perished for their “stupid vanity” as she put it.

As I mentioned at the top, and will again at the tail, let’s hope Andressa puts this episode behind her — in the rear view, where it belongs. And now that the story has been reported, it will remain forever in the can — where it belongs. Let’s face it, her plight was a bum — a very big bum – deal, no doubt. Meanwhile for the rest of her fans, we will continue to follow closely as her career rises from the bottom. For Andressa Urach, her end is only the beginning.

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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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