It is with great pleasure that I now interview my next “Difference Maker”. If you are reading this, then you have probably also read (probably before you read this, clicking over) Femulate. The absolute gold standard in blogs for those of us girls that weren’t born girls. Stana for me “normalized” all of this. Made it feel okay. Showed me a way and gave me the inspiration for this place. So let’s put on our sun dresses, grab a table on the patio, order pinot grigios and talk!
Stana Chorzempa, BA, JD, is a married with child, male-to-female transgender, who began crossdressing at age 12. In her late teens, she took baby steps out of the closet on Halloween and over the years, got further out of the closet by honing the skills necessary to allow her to live as a woman in society (without hormones or surgery). Today, Stana speaks at colleges and universities evangelizing the normality of cross-living, authors the popular transgender blog (Femulate.org) and has written a book titled Fantasia Fair Diaries.
I have been a great admirer of yours and how you present yourself in written form on your blog, which is the gold standard for girls like ourselves.
How did it start?
I am a professional writer who loves to crossdress, so writing about crossdressing was a perfect match and provided an escape from my technical writing day-job. Plus, a blog permitted me to crossdress vicariously on those days that I could not crossdress, which are most days. I had a few false starts with other blogs. When I decided to try blogging again, I wanted to make the new blog different, so I created a unique name for the blog, Femulate, a word that has since become part of the transgender lexicon.
How important is it to you both in its history and taking it forward?
Femulate.org is my baby and I am very proud of her. I nourished her through her infancy, when 70 hits per day were considered a good day, to maturity 14 years later, when 7,000 hits per day is not atypical. Needless to say, it is a lot of work, the pay stinks and some days I feel like chucking it all, but I don’t want to let down my readers and most of the time, I enjoy the creative process.
Amen, sister! The pay is atrocious but the creative outlet and feedback from ladies we touch are the juice that keeps me going. That all said, it is work, but a labor of love.
I certainly know how difficult it is to not continually repeat yourself. What do you do to keep it current for the reader and fresh for you?
To stay current, I subscribe to email lists and visit other blogs and websites that keep me informed. Also, my readers email me regularly with information that I can use in the blog.
I apologize for possibly treading old ground here, but how often do you get out en femme (knowing the pandemic has certainly changed that for all of us)?
Under normal non-pandemic conditions, I get out en femme about twice a month. Connecticut, where I live, was conservative regarding precautions against COVID-19 and things are just now getting back to normal and I am starting to stick my high-heeled foot out the door. I just received news that one of my favorite places to go en femme (a monthly cocktail party at an art museum) will be back in operation next month and I am looking forward to attending.
I am going to ask a pointed question here. I go out all the time, closing in on a thousand such opportunities. I have never and will never pass, and I have yet to have one single overtly negative experience. You often seem surprised in posts (at least that has been my read on them) about outings that you passed or were complemented. Why? For me, that is exactly what should happen and if it didn’t, then I would be surprised. When presenting one’s self in an appropriate fashion (as you do) in a safe environment (as you do), why would you expect anything less?
I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
For most of my life, I was absolutely convinced that due to my size, I could never pass. And some of my early outings confirmed that belief, so much so that I was very hesitant about going out.
Older and wiser, I realized that passing was not the be-all and end-all of being transgender and that it should not prevent me from going out and enjoying myself as a woman. My attitude changed, but I am still a large woman and the thought of not passing is so ingrained in my persona that it still surprises me when I receive feedback that I pass.
Another thing… The primary goal of my blog is to help get closeted girls out of the closet so they can experience the world as women. By mentioning that I pass, I hope it encourages the closeted. If a 6-foot-2, 190 pound “woman” can pass, you can pass, too.
Please understand there would be no Kandi’s Land without you. I am sure I am not the only blogger who can say that. How does that make you feel? I am sure you are proud of the lives you have touched, the ladies you have inspired.
It makes me feel wonderful that I was able to inspire other girls to get out of the closet and to write about their outings, which may inspire even more girls to do the same.
Once upon a time, I wrote that if more of us go out there, it will result in even more of us going out there. We are seeing those results today – crossdressing in public today is more common than we ever dreamed and it is just going to get better despite the efforts of some to put us down.
This made me happy! I’ll go back with a few more questions. If you want to know something, let me know!
Check out the entire Difference Makers series!