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Coming Out for Equality at Work

By Ann M.

I knew that if I didn’t take this opportunity, I would regret it for a long time.

I was in a training session with about 30 diversity and equal opportunity practitioners representing agencies from across the Federal government. I knew I had a unique opportunity to influence a key group to consider transgender people as they learn how to make their organizations more inclusive. After talking it over with the course developer, I decided to share my story as a transgender woman.

I am not yet out in most areas of my life, including at work. I knew that coming out would pose a risk of being outed before I am ready, however, I knew it would be worth the risk. The second to last day of the class, the instructor lead into my talk with a video and introduced me. I told the class a little about my struggles with gender dysphoria and the impact it has had on my life and on the lives of others and their families. Because of the focus of the class, I described some of the ways that I had held back in my career for fear of being outed, and the toxic effects of shame over my condition and fear of rejection and ridicule.

I received a standing ovation, and then hugs from literally everyone in the class. I knew I had reached them. The last day of class, I had announced, I would show up as Ann.

Since I might well be the first trans person some of the participants have met (at least knowingly), it was extremely important to me to make the best impression possible. I wanted to put everyone at ease that I am just another professional. Plus, we were going to be conducting some briefs to OPM executives, so I wanted to look sharp for that.

Fortunately, earlier in the week I had attended one of Beth’s makeup parties. She helped me find great colors for me, and I learned a lot of techniques and tips. She had a lot of products I needed in stock, and some I would need to order. She gave me a slip with everything marked off for easy ordering. Oh, and I had a lot of fun at the party and at one point was laughing so hard I thought I might sprain something.

I wasn’t going to be able to receive the products I had ordered online in time for my class, so I put in a frantic call to Beth. She happily provided me enough eye shadow, blush and bronzer to tide me over, and enthusiastically encouraged me to be fabulous.

I did my nails the night before, picked out a nice pink/purple tweed suit with a skirt, and selected my jewelry and accessories. As I began to get ready, I could hear Beth’s voice in my head guiding me through my makeup application. It was such a pleasure to be using high quality Younique products. Everything went on easily and looked great. It was so much faster than the cheap make up I had been using, because I didn’t have to spend a lot of time getting it to look right. The 3D mascara was amazing as I watched thick, full lashes materialize seemingly by magic. The Younique cream foundation evened everything out nicely without looking cakey and a finish with matching pressed powder gave my face a nice matte look.

After getting dressed and gathering everything I would need for my class, I drove into the city.

My classmates were stunned by my appearance. I received a multitude of compliments on how I looked, and one woman had even crocheted a scarf for me! I received several compliments specifically on my eye shadow and lipstick. I owe that to Beth’s expertise, as I would not have thought to choose the colors without her guidance.
Our briefing went well, and many people told me that my example inspired them. I received comments about how I seemed much more alive, happy and seemed like I had better energy, now that I was not hiding who I really am. I reveled in just being me and felt like I was floating on a cloud.

After the class concluded, I received many emails expressing appreciation for trusting the group and taking the risk of coming out to them. I have offered to serve as a resource for members of the class who might have questions regarding transgender inclusiveness, and I’m confident they will go back to their agencies with a much deeper appreciation of the strength of transgender people and some of the challenges we face.

Thank you Beth, for giving me the confidence boost I needed to take the risk.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2016 in Advocacy, Makeovers

 

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Giselle and Erica Show off their Pin-up Looks

Giselle and Erica enjoy a lazy afternoon of being in the spotlight.

Erica’s makeup by Elizabeth Anne Taylor. Giselle’s makeup by herself. Photography by Elizabeth Anne Taylor.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Images, Makeovers

 

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Ask Beth: I’m coming from out-of-state to see you. How can I make the most of my visit?

Question:

I have been following your work on Facebook and your website and absolutely love it! I would like to spend a whole day just being me. I’d love to get a makeover and take photos. Then I want to get out and do everyday things like shopping, browsing museums, dining and clubbing. Maybe we can throw in an outfit change or two and change over from daytime to evening makeup.

And I’d love to meet up with other trans-women during my stay and form friendships with other people like me. I don’t feel comfortable going out as a woman where I live, because I’m afraid I’ll be recognized and the trans-community is not well-established where I live. I’ll probably need to stay overnight since I’m coming from out-of-state. Where should I stay? What package do you suggest? Can you make this happen, Beth? (Adapted from several recent messages I received)

-I just want to be me

Answer:

Hi I just want to be me,

It sounds like you have quite the full itinerary in mind! To get in most of the fun you propose, I suggest the 12-hour Total Makeover with Full Day Immersion package. We’ll meet at my Northern Virginia makeover studio around noon. We’ll spend about 3 to 4 hrs on selecting your outfits for the day, makeup, and photos. Feel free to bring several outfits, wigs, shoes, accessories, etc. that we can choose from throughout the day for our photos and outings. We can always mix and match from your collection and mine. After that, we will start exploring the DC metro area based on your interests and desires.

Shopping: What are you interested in shopping for? If you’d like to shop for clothing or shoes, what sizes fit you best and what styles and pieces interest you? The Springfield Town Center and Pentagon City Mall and nearby shopping areas such as Pentagon Row have several great stores for a variety of sizes and styles. Old Town Alexandria is great for a combination of window and casual shopping, walking along the waterfront, and feeling like you stepped into a piece of history. Plus Old Town Alexandria has great photo opportunities for on-location pictures.

Museums: If you’re looking to visit the Smithsonian museums, most of them close at 5:30 p.m. while the Portrait Gallery closes at 7 p.m. and the National Gallery of Art closes at 5 p.m. So we may want to meet earlier than noon if that’s the case. We should allow about 30 minutes driving time from my studio to any of these museums plus 15 minutes for parking and walking to them.

Dining & Meeting up with other TG women: The Washington, DC Metro Area has lots of options for food from casual to fine dining and everything in-between. Some of my personal favorites include wine bars like Cheesetique and the LGBT karaoke bar, Freddie’s Beach Bar. Let me know what kind of food, atmosphere, and price range you’re looking for and I’ll propose some options. Dinner and drinks present a perfect opportunity to meet up with other TG women, whom I can invite via the DC Trans Ladies Meetup Group.

Clubbing: For lounges and clubs, I tend to prefer LGBT venues such as Freddie’s Beach Bar, Town DanceBoutique, Cobalt, and Ziegfeld’s/Secrets. Freddie’s is pretty casual and more karaoke lounge and bar than a club. Town has two levels of dancefloor, an outdoor patio, and a quiet indoor lounge. Cobalt has a lounge with an adjacent dance floor and a more intense dance scene on the top floor. Ziegfeld’s/Secrets offers drag shows on the first floor and male dancers and dancing on the second floor. The place(s) we choose totally depends on what you’re into. Fridays and Saturdays are the best nights for clubbing.

Wow! Now that’s a lot of fun to try to accomplish in one day, so we will have to prioritize your interests so you have the best time possible. If meeting other TG women is a priority for you, we can also invite TG women to join us for shopping, museums, photos, etc. in addition to dinner. Just let me know what kind of fun you want to have, and I will work to make it happen.

Now for some logistics:

Lodging: For lodging, I suggest staying pretty close to my studio so that it’s a short drive or cab ride back after a long day of fun. The closest place to me is Courtyard Alexandria Pentagon South. Nearby Leesburg Pike (Rt. 7) in Alexandria offers both the Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites. If you’re on a budget or prefer the old-style motel with room doors that open directly into the parking lot, try the Highlander Motor Inn. It’s quite basic but clean. If you’re looking to spend some time exploring your hotel destination the day before or after your makeover experience, then I recommend staying in Old Town Alexandria. Kimpton offers three hotels in Old Town and is my personal favorite chain for vacationing.

Transportation & Expenses: You’ll be responsible for any taxis, Ubers, and parking fees. I am happy to drive us once you’ve arrived at my studio until we return. You’ll be responsible for covering meals, drinks, and cover charges for the two of us.

Booking: To view my availability and book online, visit http://makeoverswithelizabethtaylor.fullslate.com .  For a 12-hour session, you will be my only client for the day, and we can adjust your start and end times to best reflect the activities that are important to you. If you aren’t seeing any 12-hour openings on my calendar, contact me with the dates you’re interested in so I can confirm availability.

Well, I hope that gives you something to think about. Let me know what questions you have for me.

To being fabulous!

Elizabeth Anne Taylor

elizabeth.taylor.makeover@gmail.com

Serving transgender women and crossdressers in the Washington, DC Metro Area

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Makeover Studio, Makeovers

 

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