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Dina’s Diner March 8, 2009

| Mar 9, 2009
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Dina’s Diner serves up a healthy selection of organic vegatables, free range chicken and “green” grown coffee — along with interesting items from the news spiced up with Dina Amberle’s cutting commentary. This month she’s got several items on the menu and they’re all sure to please. Take a booth, order a cup of java and get set for Dina’s Diner.


There was an interesting report on a nationwide survey conducted by a Harvard University Business School professor, Benjamin Edelman. The study measured the consumption of online pornography in the United States for the two year period 2006-2008. The data was collected from anonymous credit card data provided by “a major online adult entertainment provider.”

Professor Edelman concluded that residents of so called “red states”, the Republican voting states, purchased more porn per capita than “blue states” where the more liberal Democrats prevail. For example, Utah consumes more porn per capita than any other state in the union. Eight of the top ten porn consuming states gave a majority of their vote to the Republican presidential candidate in 2008.

In the 27 states that enacted laws banning gay marriage, residents purchased 11% more porn than residents of states that do not ban gay marriage. In states where a majority of the respondents agreed with a survey statement “I have old fashioned values about family and marriage”, they purchased 3.6 per 1000 more porn than states whose residents disagreed with that statement.

Professor Edelman did not have a ready interpretation for the survey results except this: “If you’re told you can’t have something, then you want it more.”


The Philadelphia Freedom Blog is written by Mary Shaw, a “writer and activist” on human rights issues and a former area coordinator for Amnesty International. Her blog dated January 17, 2009 dealt with a story from New Jersey about a man who was dressed as a woman who was also impersonating a veterinarian. Ms. Shaw notes that the news story had generated tabloid-style gossip.

I saw this on a blog post and there weren’t a lot of details about the facts of the case. But the blog post headline was “Fake Vet News Hype is Unfair to Trannies.”

Daniel Tyce is the would-be veterinarian and it wasn’t clear in the news accounts that Mary Shaw read whether Tyce was a transsexual or “if it was just an elaborate disguise for his veterinary fraud.” But rather than being upset about the improper treatment of the animals entrusted to Tyce’s care, the focus of the coverage and people’s reaction was to the female impersonation aspect of the case.

Mary recounts this overheard exchange: “Did you hear about the pervert over in Jersey who was arrested for dressing up as a woman? He’s a veterinarian. I wouldn’t want him or her treating my dog.” Mary continues with this observation: “This person apparently didn’t even get the detail that Tyce isn’t really a vet. The sexual aspect gets all the attention, and it gets sensationalized.”

In other words, it is a micro-example of the public’s craving for irrelevant facts while bigger issues are ignored. If our economy was wrecked by guys who were impersonating women at the same time they were impersonating financial geniuses, which angle would have gotten the bigger play? Did any of the animals in Mr. Tyce’s care suffer health issues because he was impersonating a licensed veterinary professional? That fact seems to be left off the reports.


USA Today had an article about eyelashes in the February 23, 2009 edition. The FDA recently approved a new topical ointment called Latisse that promises to grow longer eyelashes for users.

The company that developed Latisse is Allergan, in Irvine, California. Allergan also developed Botox, the product that launched a thousand lips. Interestingly, both products became successful because of ancillary effects of their original therapeutic intent. Botox was originally approved to treat eye spasms when its ability to smooth wrinkles and puff lips was discovered. Latisse is an off-shoot of another drug, Lumigan, which was developed to treat glaucoma, an eye disease. One of the side effects of Lumigan was that it promoted eyelash growth in patients. Allergan took advantage of the happy accident and created the new product to appeal to women who suffer from hypotrichosis, a condition of thin and “balding” eyelash growth. The product can also be used to supplement normal eyelashes.

USA Today showed before and after photos of Liz Weber, a Latisse user. Weber has hypotrichosis and the photo showing her almost invisible eyelashes points out how much we take normal eyelash growth for granted. Ms. Weber had tried false eyelashes and disliked the extra work involved. The new product gives her lashes of normal length without the daily fussing.

I became interested in false eyelashes after my first few years of active crossdressing. I remember that the moment of inspiration was a waitress with very attractive lashes and I was tempted to ask her if they were real or fake. I bit my tongue but left determined to master the application of false eyelashes that had dumbfounded me before. Long eyelashes are one of the natural differences between (most) women and men. Artificial help with lashes can accent the eye and make a more dramatic look, even without resorting to drag queen length lashes.

Latisse may not be right for part-time crossdressers (sounding somewhat commercial-ish here) but for full-time transgenders it could be a nice addition for improving or accenting a more naturally feminine appearance.


A couple of columns ago, I had a piece about some crossdressed high-end jewelry thieves. In my commentary, I said it was a refreshing change of pace to see some upscale transgender-themed crime for change. While searching around for some new material I came across a couple of older items that more closely fit the downscale nature of most crossdressed crime.

In 2008, a crossdresser climbed through the takeout window of a Burger King in New Orleans. That in itself is a pretty neat trick because those windows are not that large and the security camera caught the girl climbing in like it was the front door. The cops later said that the thief appeared to be a genuine crossdresser. The officer said “Most of the time when people put on a wig they are just doing it to hide their identity. But he’s pretty.” Police also noticed that the suspect was driving a pickup and was unaccompanied because he got out of the driver’s side door.

They didn’t say how much loot the robber got away with but they did say that he exited via the same takeout window, into his truck and off into the night. He was reported to be 6’1” and 180 pounds. Police also though that the local crossdressing community might know the individual in question. You’ll never take me, copper!

Back in 2007, there was an article in the New York Post that told of a pair of thieves who victimized apartments for sale in Manhattan. One of the pair was reported to be a man dressed in drag accompanied by a female accomplice. Their M.O. was to have one distract the real estate agent while the other looted valuables. Diamond rings, a fur coat, Coach handbags, and a Tiffany clock are among their booty.

A real estate agent’s blog post about the pair got some feedback from other agents who believe their clients were also victimized. The police now believe that the duo hit three open houses in one afternoon on the Upper East Side. A surveillance video is believed to have captured the pair in the lobby of one of the buildings. It seems to show the crossdressed robber “adjusting a wig.” That sounds about right to me. Primp, girls, no matter the occasion, legal or otherwise.


On the news site, I saw a headline that read “Wife Pleads Guilty in Death-by-Exercise Case.” I had no idea it would have a transgender element to it. I must have a sixth sense for these things, like a Haley Joel Osment for the gender dysphoric scene.

According to the news report, a 41 year old Ohio woman was charged with reckless homicide in the death of her 73 year old husband. A surveillance camera (they are everywhere!) caught Christine Newton-John roughly pulling James Mason around the pool by his arms and ankles and not allowing him to leave the pool.

The local police chief testified that he counted 43 times when the wife prevented her aged husband from getting out of her grasp and the pool, where he was seen gasping for breath. Mr. Mason died from a heart attack on June 2, 2009 after the mistreatment.

The news report said this: “Mason was a long time friend of his wife’s family. He knew her as John Vanlandingham before he had gender reassignment surgery in 1993 and changed her name. They married in 2006.”

Christine Newton-John pleaded guilty and faces up to five years in prison.

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Category: Transgender Community News, 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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