Dina’s Diner 1/10/22

| Jan 10, 2022
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Haley Feldman

The online magazine The Daily Beast had an article about the suicide of a trans teen in North Dakota, Haley Feldman. It was headlined This Trans Teen’s Obituary Went Viral. Her Family Reflects on Their Love, Grief, and Anger. It appeared on December 23, 2021.

Haley Feldman was just a few days shy of her 19th birthday when she unexpectedly took her own life at home in November 2021. Her family looks back now at the time leading up to her fateful decision. Some things come into focus, questions persist, and outside factors seem to loom larger for the Feldmans.

Haley’s father David told the reporter, “The memory I have is that she was so at peace that evening. Even though it definitely wasn’t normal for her to give someone a hug, she’d been wanting more [hugs] lately. You just never knew when they’d be coming. I wasn’t caught off-guard when she did it, but it was different, and now it is absolutely the most special memory I will ever have.”

The obituary that was posted upon her death (link in the Beast article) was both a tribute to her spirit and also a denunciation of the way society deals with transgenderism. In the obituary, the Feldmans talk about how Haley “retreated” from the world after coming out because she couldn’t handle being different in a conformist, conservative North Dakota community and high school. “She had grown weary of the knowledge of her reality, knowing this country and this world would never stop trying to force her to submit to its ignorance, and her family rages for her.”

Although the immediate focus was on her local and state anti-trans sentiments, the family expands the warning out to a much wider audience. North Dakota, like many “red” states had anti-trans legislation which was vetoed by the governor–but the psychic damage to trans people in the state had been done. They rightly point out that the almost continual attack on trans persons–especially school age trans persons–is a demoralizing force for anyone struggling to simply live their lives.

Her mother, Christina, said, “She should have been able to be comfortable in her day-to-day existence with the knowledge that society found anyone, and any laws, that shunned or rejected her existence to be distasteful and unacceptable. Instead, she felt the opposite of that to be true and it is shameful that our country continues to promote the stripping of hope from people simply because those people make them uncomfortable.” A trans activist who commented for the article mentioned the cumulative effect of all anti-trans initiatives–even in places far away from an individual’s location–as detrimental to the mental health of trans persons

The Feldmans make an interesting point for all of us to consider and remember. The Beast reports, “Finally, Christina returns to ‘the silent people’ who say they support LGBTQ or trans people and their civil rights, but don’t speak or act volubly enough in their support—and even vote for those who undermine LGBTQ equality. “If the quiet people were louder, they would drown all those shitty people out.”


The Huffington Post had an interesting first person essay headlined I Came Out as Nonbinary and Changed My Name. Then I Changed My Mind. The author was Camille Beredjick and the essay appeared on December 18, 2021

Camille Beredjick

Camille is a cis-woman who is married to another woman. She came out as nonbinary during her marriage. Her story deals with a mix of issues that is probably relatable for many people who have some gender ambivalence but aren’t quite sure how to reconcile the competing forces. Camille recounts her predicament, “For years, my attempts to fit in as a cisgender woman felt like a long drag performance like wearing a series of costumes and hoping they’d convince everyone around me. I didn’t feel like a man, but I didn’t always feel like a woman, either; my sense of my gender ebbs and flows almost day to day. But identifying as anything other than a woman felt like a responsibility I hadn’t earned; I wasn’t planning on physically transitioning, and I didn’t want to announce an identity that didn’t belong to me.”

Her experience trying to navigate through personal feelings, relationships with loved ones and friends, and (not unimportantly) how to dress the part as a nonbinary person pointed out some practical difficulties.

Camille told folks they could call her Camille or Cam or use she/her or they/them pronouns. Her wife and personal network took to her new identity well. As she tells it, maybe a bit too well. “Everyone in my life immediately switched to calling me Cam, a name that previously only my closest friends had used as a nickname. The change caught me off-guard. I was surprised to find that I missed being called Camille, especially when coming from people closest to me, like my parents and my wife.”

In an effort to fully adopt her nonbinary status, she bought gender neutral t-shirt and casual slacks combinations. But she soon realized she didn’t want to completely abandon the occasional pretty dress. Her essay recounts trying on a new dress for a wedding she would attend. “When I first came out as nonbinary, I thought it meant an end to dresses and makeup, to anything that could be coded as too womanly. I didn’t think they could ever feel like me again. Now I’m realizing that this identity isn’t about banning anything from my name or my wardrobe; it’s about creating space for an abundance of queer possibilities. It’s about letting myself be whatever I want to be.”

It made me question why we need to “come out” as anything. I think perhaps Camille felt a bit like that herself afterwards. And if clothing–rather than some more vital part of our beings–is the only way to convey an inner self, perhaps that’s a signal that it might not matter as much as you thought.


I came across an Instagram page of a woman who is a vintage fashion enthusiast. Her name is Keri Burdette and she won a vintage fashion contest to be named Miss Throwback 2021. She also tied for 2nd place in a vintage fashion online photo contest.

Keri Burdette

I’m not a huge fan of vintage fashions. Keri favors outfits that are reminiscent of 1940s and 1950s time periods. She seems very into the authenticity of her creations (she sews some of them herself from vintage patterns). Many of her photos feature casual outfits you might see (now) in old movies or television shows. To her credit, she tries to depict realistic fashions, not elaborate Hollywood novelties.

Crossdressers of a certain age often have an affinity for the fashions of their youth. In my case, I always liked the styles of the 1960s and early 1970s, the decades in which I grew up and which predated my own crossdressing beginnings. Fitted dresses, pointy-toed stiletto pumps, girdles, stockings, and garter belts can all be found in the dusty attic of my mind.

There are Flickr.com photo groups for crossdressers into retro fashions and vintage hosiery. Some of the entries are interesting while others don’t quite hit the mark. As time marches on, “vintage” or “retro” fashions move up in time. The big shoulder bedazzled dresses or the Spandex® bodysuits and tights of the 1980s seem ripe for a rebirth now that we’re 35 years down the road from the Reagan years.

I have to admit that I am an inadvertent vintage dresser favoring the 1990s. That was my crossdressing heyday and I can’t get past the dresses and accessories I wore then. But I still look “forward” (retro or not) to wearing them when the opportunity presents itself.


In one of my news feeds I saw an item from Footwear News about “the Barbie Feet pose.” Well, you know I had to check that out.

It came from a FN (that’s how us regular readers refer to Footwear News, darlings) article about model Isabel Goulart that appeared on December 29, 2021. The article gushed about Isabel’s clothes and the yacht she was on but took particular notice that she was posing attractively using “the Barbie Feet pose.” Okay, what is it?

Another FN article dating back to 2018 describes it this way: “Leg forward, foot arched, toes pointed. The influencer-favorite pose has become an Instagram trend of sorts, with many swearing by its ability to elongate the legs and give off the appearance of supermodel-like height. It essentially involves the simple arching of the foot as if one was wearing heels and then pointing the toes like that of a Barbie doll.”

Barbie feet posing.

As with most things having to do with models and Instagram influencers. . . it ain’t rocket science. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen models from a very long time ago use this technique to add a little suggestiveness when posing barefoot instead of just being flatfoot on the floor. I’m not sure why it’s getting the big play now but “everything old is new again,” as the song says. It also harkens back to a Diner item I did about a year ago on the best posing techniques for taking selfies. One of those tips was to put one foot forward and lean back a little to create a longer, more pleasing silhouette.

Whoever did it first or wrote about it first aside, it is a good idea to keep in mind when posing for our own selfies. If you want to snap a seductive pose in your stocking feet or bare feet or even flats, use the “Barbie Feet” technique. You’ll look just like a supermodel. At least as far up as your ankle.



I stumbled onto an older post from NextShark.com, a Japanese pop culture site. NextShark has had a lot of crossdressing articles over the years and I’ve used several of them in past Diners. This is one I missed. It was headlined Crossdressing Japanese Boy Goes Viral After ‘Bro’ Blackmails Him for a Date. It appeared way back on November 27, 2017 but it’s too cute not to relate it

The Japanese teen boy was posting photos of himself en femme to a Twitter account Elmon0715 (which is set to ‘Private’ now). One of his friends came across the photos on Twitter and apparently recognized the background of the photos as that of his pal. Their Twitter exchange went this way according to screenshots provided in the NextShark article:

Friend: “Hey.” [Uploads image of Elmon crossdressed] “That’s you right?”
Elmon: “Huh? What’s this all of a sudden?”
Friend: “I mean if you look at the room, that’s your home.”
Elmon: “Are you serious?”
Friend: “I’m sorry.”
Elmon: “You find it revolting?”
Friend: “I’ll be honest.”
Elmon: “Okay, what is it?”
Friend: “If you go out with me, I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

A lot of the Twitter users who picked it up after the story went public were buzzing as if it were some online soap opera. “This took an interesting turn,” one wrote. A budding Manga artist drew some panels of the imagined date preparations while leaving the actual meeting as a cliffhanger.

Although Elmon0715 made his Twitter account private, someone captured many of his crossdressed photos and posted them to another site. As you can see, Elmon is a convincing teen girl even with only minimal effort. The storyline of a potential crossdressed meet-cute between schoolboy friends is perhaps too good to be believed. And no subsequent follow-ups were ever published to corroborate it. But let’s believe it. I do.

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Category: crossdressing, 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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