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Dina’s Diner 9/24/18

| Sep 24, 2018
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A LAUDED LIVERPUDLIAN

I read about the latest controversy over gender-neutral restrooms in Massachusetts where opponents are airing a commercial implying scary men will be creeping into women’s rooms. (There’s an item about it in last week’s TWIT feature here.) As I was searching the internet for more information, I came across a very similar situation in Liverpool, England.

The BBC.com site had an item on September 20, 2018 about the Mayor of Liverpool responding to an anti-trans faction that has been very actively protesting changes to the Gender Recognition Act which would allow “self-identification” as trans which is the norm in some other European countries, including Ireland. The protest group calls themselves the Liverpool ReSisters and they were identified by PinkNews.co.uk as a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist group.” (TERFs.)

The ReSisters had been placing penis and scrotum shaped stickers with the words “Women Don’t Have Penises” in public places around Liverpool. They claim that this isn’t hate speech but a “biological fact.” One of their scare tactics is to say that “self-identification” will allow any man to claim he’s a woman and enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms indiscriminately. The same type of thing our stateside opponents claim in Massachusetts.

The BBC item I saw reported that Liverpool’s Mayor, Joe Anderson, received a strong show of support when he made a fiery speech condemning the ReSisters and standing up for trans inclusion in his city. The BBC article said, “The mayor said the [protest] campaign had resulted in a “torrent of abuse” being directed at “transgender groups… myself and other councillors”. He said their behavior was not about “having an open debate, it’s about bullying, it’s about intimidation and it’s about proposing hate against people that are different and that’s something that every single person in this council rejects. If you approached it in a different way and wanted to have a sensible discussion with us then we would have listened,” he added. “But we won’t tolerate abuse of members of this community that we respect, value and love.” The mayor was also quite upset at the defacing of public structures with the offensive penis stickers and got the police on the trail of the perpetrators. The update to the gender recognition provisions passed the council on September 19, 2018.

Mayor Anderson

The interesting thing about the article was that Liverpool was always portrayed as a very working class city (home of the Beatles in their leather-clad “teddy boy” years). Mr. Mayor Joe Anderson is a brawny, bald-headed fellow out of central casting as a union leader or henchman. Yet, the city already passed a liberal gender rights bill and was promoting further advancements this year under Anderson’s mayoralty. I wish some of the U.S.’ working class regions and cities were as liberal. Another interesting side note was that the national LGBT group in England is called Stonewall Equality Limited, named after New York’s Stonewall riot that began it all in 1969.

THE KICK IS UP…AND IT’S GOOD!

Many internet news outlets picked up a story from Mississippi in which a high school homecoming queen also kicked the winning point after touchdown to seal a one point win during the game where she was crowned.

Kaylee Foster

Here are some excerpts of The Washington Post’s report on September 10, 2018: “After a Mississippi high school football team tied the game in overtime on Friday, Kaylee Foster knew her team was going to win. Earlier in the night, Foster was named homecoming queen, an unexpected honor for the senior at Ocean Springs High School in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. But Foster was a different kind of homecoming queen. Once the announcements were made and photos were snapped, she proceeded to the football locker room. She had to go swap her tiara for the only Friday headwear she’s known for the last three years as part of the varsity team: a football helmet.”

“[In overtime after the opponent missed their extra point] the game was tied at 12, with the Greyhounds needing an extra point to seal the win. Now, with her team on the brink of victory against George County, Foster’s No. 15 was called. She was confident as she grabbed her helmet and stepped onto the field once more. The time had come for the homecoming queen of Ocean Springs, otherwise known as the team’s ace kicker, to take her throne. The snap was good and the hold was tight. And the kick? Well, it split the uprights without drama, clinching a 13-12 win and sending her teammates and home fans into a frenzy. Did that just happen? Did the homecoming queen just win the game? “And the next thing I know, everyone is like right there,” she recalled of her teammates mobbing her on the field. “Just a nice group hug.”

Female footballers.

I found a few other online articles about homecoming queens who also play football. Yet more girls are playing youth or high school football and aren’t homecoming queens. At least not yet. One unfortunate article noted that a girl was removed from her Christian school’s football team because the “boys might lust after her.” At least they didn’t accuse her of being a witch.

In 2014, there was a report of an Indiana high school girl who became the first female to be recruited to play at the collegiate level at a position other than kicker. Shelby Osborne was a 5-6, 140 pound cornerback for Campbellsville University, a small college in Kentucky.

So it’s not exactly news anymore although it is still out of the ordinary — especially when the young women combine homecoming queen popularity with on-field heroics. And it doesn’t seem that anyone is snickering about their being “gender-benders” or lesbians. Maybe — slowly — we’re coming around on some of these issues.

ROLLING THROUGH MY MIND

If you watched the recently concluded HBO series Sharp Objects you noticed that roller skating characters provided an unusual, somewhat sinister, backdrop to much of the series. After decades of seeing kids and young adults doing skateboarding stunts and turning that into a street sport and fodder for “fail” videos on YouTube, it was strangely exhilarating to see teen girls cruising through a sleepy town on old fashioned roller skates.

In the context of the series, the skates added a touch of throwback Americana to fictional Wind Gap, Missouri. But you also suspected that those slowly floating teen girls were up to something less wholesome, too, and the oddness of roller skates in contemporary culture provided the hint of darkness in the background.

When I was a teenager, the roller disco fad was in full vogue. Then, the wholesome skates of days gone by (think poodle skirts and Platters records) were being combined with shiny, stretchy bodysuits, designer jeans, sweatbands, and big hair beneath a glittering disco ball and the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever. No less than Hugh Hefner got into the craze by throwing roller disco parties at the Playboy Mansion in the late ‘70s. You can watch YouTube videos of the centerfolds, celebrities and who-knows-all grooving to AM radio top 10 hits while skating around the mansion’s tennis courts. And, yes, it looks absolutely ridiculous now.

The film Boogie Nights set in the 1970s world of pornography picked up the vibe with Heather Graham’s “Rollergir”l character. Ridiculous as the roller disco craze was, Heather Graham on roller skates was hot and so were the Playboy girls if you ignored the sleaziness of their celebrity eye-candy duties.

After all, roller skates are short boots, laced up tight, which most guys (and crossdressers, of course) find sexy. The idea of some beauty gliding over the scenery in white lace-up boots sounds hot just in the description, even more-so the reality of it. Combine that with a cute outfit (ice skaters have this territory covered in spades) and you have a fetish…that hasn’t really reached fetish status. Maybe Sharp“Objects” — or this Diner item — will popularize the sex appeal of the roller skate. Yeah, you’re probably right. I’m not holding my breath.

STREAM OF DRAG-ISHNESS

Edie Adams

People talk about “going down a rabbit hole” on the internet. Following link after link until you forget how you arrived at the site before your eyes. But it can happen in your own mind, too.

I was watching a broadcast of the movie, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World which is one of my old favorites. Besides the many funny scenes and situations in the movie, it has Edie Adams. If you’re old enough to know or remember Edie Adams, enough said. If you’re not, she was famous as the Muriel cigar girl in their 1960s commercials but also as a glamour girl and comic actress, married to the great Ernie Kovacs. In the movie, after a comically explosive escape from the basement of a hardware store, Edie emerges onto the sidewalk with her fitted pale blue dress torn up the side exposing a lovely length of thigh. She remains in the slit dress for much of the remainder of the movie.

Jayne Meadows

There is something about the look of Edie Adams and other glamour girls of that era — the early 1960s — that just goes right through me. I was just a little boy then but those women were appealing on the conscious level as desirable and on the unconscious level as inspirations (at that time unknown) for later crossdressing. I wrote about this not too long ago in relation to female stars in old Jerry Lewis movies.

Something in my Edie Adams ruminations made me think of Jayne Meadows. Jayne was an actress but was best known as the wife of talk show host and wit Steve Allen. Jayne often showed up with Steve on other talk shows and game shows in the 1960s and ‘70s. She was a talkative lady who always dolled up for her appearances with copious amounts of cosmetics and sported a large lacquered hairdo that seemed out-dated as the ’70s rolled on and more natural styles ruled. She flouted the current vogue and stayed true to her post-war version of glamour to her last days. Jayne Meadows sort of looked like a drag queen with all that hair and makeup in some of her later appearances but I liked that about her.

Ann Miller

The movie musical dancer-actress Ann Miller was another lady who maintained her elaborate pouf and flip hairdo as well as dresses that showcased her famous legs as she aged into her senior years before our eyes on talk show couches into the 1970s. There was something about those three broads (and I use the term affectionately) that always got my transvestite antenna tuned in and wanting to be just like them.

Trixie Mattel

There were plenty of women who fit into this category of my mind. Maybe you have your own set of inspirations that struck some chord in your subconscious. Around the same afternoon of my Mad, Mad, Mad movie viewing and stream of drag-ishness thoughts on Edie, Jayne and Ann, I read The New York Times magazine (September 2, 2018) Q&A feature with Drag Race queen Trixie Mattel. Trixie — like almost all of the reigning drag queens — relies on a lot of the foundations (excuse the pun) of that old style glamour: the pouffed wiggery, the over-cosmetized eyes and lashes, the shiny, leg-enhancing tights, the Bob-Mackie-esque gowns and outfits. Queens who weren’t even born before Edie, Jayne and Ann were in their dotage are still channeling some of those same glamour elements that got me going too. May it never fade away.

COTTONTAIL COMEBACK

Modern Bunnies.

Speaking of classic modes of glamour and crossdressing inspirations, The New York Times had a long article about the re-birth of the midtown Manhattan Playboy Club in the September 9, 2018 edition.

This is one of a few attempts to revive the Playboy Club concept. Most of the original clubs closed gradually with the last disappearing in 1989. Playboy tried to reincarnate the Manhattan club in 2006 and in some casinos and other outposts in the early 2000s with some still surviving.

The Times points out — if you were wondering yourself — it’s an odd time to open a Playboy Club given the ongoing examination of embedded sexism in today’s culture. But one report said over 200 applied and 54 women were accepted as new bunnies for the Manhattan club. An article in the New York Post reported they already sold some $2 million in memberships. But as one person quoted for the article said, “Everything old is new again. Who would have thought they’d bring back Hawaii Five-O?”

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment, Transgender Opinion

dina

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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