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Dina’s Diner 9/28/15

| Sep 28, 2015
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Frank and Kellie MahoneyI saw an article about a transgender British boxing promoter who transitioned very publicly after a newspaper outing, a film documentary of her cosmetic and reassignment surgeries, and a stint on the U.K. version of the Big Brother TV show. Kellie Maloney (formerly Frank), now 62 years old, is making a move back into the sport where she originally made her name as a flamboyant promoter and former manager of champion Lennox Lewis.

If there is still any doubt about the prevalence and growing acceptance of transgenderism, one need only look at the number of people who have recently transitioned from stereotypically masculine lifestyles (Navy SEALs, professional athletes, law enforcement) to agree that something has broken free. I can’t think of any corollary on the female side where a stereotypically feminine figure transitioned to male — but I’m sure there must be some.

Kellie’s story is unique only in it’s tabloid unfolding. Even Caitlyn Jenner’s publicized transition was carefully stage-managed compared to Frank Maloney’s becoming Kellie. The Guardian newspaper featured Kellie in an October 2014 article in which they wrote, “Between the seismic Sunday Mirror interview that revealed her to the country and her departure from the Big Brother house in early September, Maloney was everywhere, as often ridiculed as treated with respect. She immediately became Britain’s best-known transgender person, and a repository for other people’s arguments; because she had been such an unreconstructed figure in such a relentlessly macho world, the news seemed like a particularly acute test of the maturity of our understanding of what it means to be trans -– and a revelation that would leave Maloney herself in the crucible.”

As a boxing figure, Frank was a showboat, pugnacious, and tough. He attributes some of that to her hidden transgenderism. In the interview, she says, “I was the way I was” — loud, combative, quick-tempered — “because I wasn’t really myself.” The article goes on to say, “Broadly, though, the public reaction to her appearance was positive. And, if she’s entertainingly skeptical about the good wishes of many of those in the boxing community — “I think a lot of that was PR … you’ve only got to look at the interviews and you can tell they’re biting their tongues” — she has, in general, been delighted by the response. This week, she moved house, and while walking her dogs bumped into a new neighbor who immediately recognized her and struck up a conversation. She’s used to this from the old days, of course, but, back then, “guys would stop me and say, ‘Hi, when’s so-and-so fighting’, something like that. Now people stop me and have conversations with me. It’s totally different … it’s mainly women.”

Another article from earlier in 2015 in the Independent newspaper revealed that Kellie is considering a return to the boxing world. While watching a fighter work out in a gym, the newspaper recounted, “Kellie’s eyes naturally followed the punching pattern. She bobbed her head: “Let the jab go.” Was that Frank or Kellie talking? “It’s in me, what can I say? I was just working out his jab. It’s the most important punch in boxing. That hasn’t changed.”


The New York Times Arts section had an article about a stage play based on the old Hee Haw TV comedy show titled Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical. The article appeared in the Times on September 15, 2015. The show is being produced in Dallas with music by a pair of Nashville songwriters, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally.

Moonshne Hee Haw MusicalThe article included a scene photo of the female cast members. If you remember Hee Haw, the “Honeys” as they were called, are reincarnated here by new, young starlets. It isn’t clear what the show is about exactly, except that it is set in the original show’s fictional Kornfield Kounty, includes some characters based on the original show and uses some of the regular features of the original in the new staging. But the thing that captured my interest and brought back a bit of nostalgia was the remembrance of “Honeys” past.

It was hard not to laugh at the pure corn of most of the original Hee Haw jokes and sight gags. Growing up in Philadelphia during the 1960s and ’70s, I was not a fan of most of the country music numbers. But the Hee Haw Honeys…now that was some hot stuff in the decades before cable TV and the Internet. As a future crossdresser — maybe even before I considered crossdressing — I loved the Honeys’ outfits. There was of course the big hair — some teased up, some luxuriously flowing. The tied-off, midriff-baring blouses, the scoop-necked knit tops showing generous cleavage. The miniskirts and short-shorts displaying long, lovely legs always sheathed in gleaming pantyhose.

Sure we had our Playboy mags back then with women showing much, much more but you didn’t need to hide the television set under your bed to watch the Hee Haw Honeys show some innocent sexiness while the corn grew tall.


I came across an Internet article about a female look-a-like for boy band One Direction singer Harry Styles. The interesting thing is that the young woman who was noted (and is now somewhat Internet-ly famous as a result) wasn’t trying to look like Mr. Styles. It’s just a natural cross-gender similarity in facial appearance.

Cecile and Harry

Cecile and Harry

The website had this article on September 24, 2015 which is copied almost in full: “Like any Directioner, twitter user @myhazbaz (real name Cecile) wants to meet Harry Styles. But unlike most of the boy band’s biggest fans, only Cecile can actually claim to be “#HarrysTwin.” One side-by-side look and the resemblance is uncanny. Of course, the pair aren’t twins (as far as we know) — especially since Cecile hails from Denmark and Styles from the United Kingdom. But if there’s ever a reason to believe that twins could be separated at birth, this is it. Naturally, when fans of the boy band found Cecile on twitter, they immediately began a push to unite Cecile and Styles, starting with the hashtag “#HarrysTwin.” [One tweet said…] PLEASE make #HarrysTwin trend, BECAUSE HELL YEAH SHE LOOKS LIKE HARRY @myhazbaz and i love her so much — julie (@juliebkrogh) September 24, 2015.”

The article continues, “The connection isn’t lost on Cecile, who has thanked her friends and recently acquired fans for the compliments and swell of notoriety.” Cecile tweeted out, “All of these sweet comments makes me so happy! I’m sorry if I don’t get to answer all of you, I’m kinda tired but I can’t sleep.” And “This hashtag is so nice! I really appreciate all the effort people do to make him notice me! It’s wonderful love you all #Harrystwin.”

We read a lot about people trying valiantly, sometimes expensively, to look like some favored celebrity. In most cases, it is women trying to copy a female celebrity, or Barbie, or some cosplay character. Occasionally, it’s a guy who dolls up as a female celeb. I recently wrote about a Paolo who transformed to imitate a dozen different famous women. But Cecile’s case is unusual both for it’s natural accuracy and its gender direction, in this case uh, One Direction, female to male.


The New York Times had two articles about a stage play about a female impersonator and his/her “drag mother.” The articles appeared in the Arts section on September 10 and 20, 2015. The play, The Legend of Georgia McBride tells the tale of an Elvis Presley impersonator who is forced into service as a drag performer when his career hits a pothole.

Legend-of-georgia-mcbride actorsThe interesting thing about the Times articles was that they both praised the performers’ work and the appeal of the characters in the show. The second article was a long profile of the actor Matt McGrath who plays the more experienced drag queen who shows the new girl (played by Dave Thomas Brown) how to deliver the goods en femme. There is a third actor portraying a smaller drag character who also gets a nod for a humorous turn. Mr. McGrath, who is an experienced musical theater actor, comes in for particular praise for making a drag character deep and human, going beyond the external flash and sass of the usual drag queen persona.

And the two leads look good as queens, believably dolled up as small town impersonators without looking comical or grotesque. And they both have good legs and facial prettiness.

The description of the play’s plot seemed a bit contrived and it was easy to imagine the usual portrayal of a brassy draq queen quipping across the boards but the review made it sound better than that. I wondered if the producers thought this was a good show to put on now in the midst of all the transgender attention. I was thinking it might be a risky undertaking because drag queens and gender-benders in general have been overexposed of late and throwing an Elvis impersonation angle into it might be eye-rolling to experienced theater-goers. But apparently the play (by Matthew Lopez) works and the actors overachieve in a time-tested format. There’s a reason that drag, female impersonation, gender-bending, call it what you will, are enduring concepts in the performing arts. It seems to be locked into human DNA.


The Right ThingI wasn’t planning to start an annual Diner tradition but it’s working out that way. Two Septembers ago, I wrote an item about the then-new reappearance of very short shorts on young college women. Then last September, I had an item about a stadium-bound coed’s peek-a-boo, ass-curve-baring denim shorts as she trekked ahead of my appreciative eyeballs.

So it was with a private smile that I encountered the September 2015 occurrence of “Race to the Bottom.” Out with some friends after work at a local bar, one friend gives the discreet head nod and stage whispers, “Check the waitress out.” But when I glanced toward our server, he said, “No, the other one.” And then I saw the frayed white denim hem with the quarter-inch of booty visible. Thanks for the heads-up, budddy. And thanks for the shorts-up, sweetheart.

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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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