“Semi-out” gatherings seem ever more popular these days. The Internet provides almost total secrecy for those too shy, but more and more girls and their admirers seek something a little less virtual. Gatherings like the seasonal parties hosted by John Warrener, founder of Glamour Boutique, have seen attendance mushroom lately. In 2012 John’s spring and Halloween events attracted 50 to 100 of us. So far this year participation has more than doubled. March’s “Spring Bling” party attendance was a surprising 135. John added a new “Summer Sizzler” party June 14 and numbers approached 200. Tiffany Club is helping sponsor John’s parties this year after seeing its own First Event transgender winter conference grow double-digit percentages the last few years. Is it just Boston or are more of us ready to get out as long as “out” is safe and not too public?
There were a number of partners this time and spouse support in the transgender community appears to be growing too. One lucky couple even publicly renewed their vows in a special ceremony that evening, trans white wedding dress and bouquet included! But most were without their mates. As usual lots of the conversation was about what wives did and did not know and how good or bad things were at home.
The trans women were pretty diverse too. I met at least one girl out dressed for the very first time, and she looked amazing! Others are have been around for decades. Many danced, usually with the other girls, to music provided by DJ Paula Howard, president of Tiffany Club. Others surrounded the dance floor, possibly scared to join the fun. Even more sat around the numerous tables and chatted.
Lots of effort obviously goes into planning outfits for big events like these and everyone looked great. Twenty lucky souls looked even better after getting Glamour Boutique makeovers, which John had running most of the day, both at his Auburn store and at the party, held at the Indian Meadows Country Club, well off the main road in Westborough, shielded from public view.
John’s parties usually include a voluntary “beauty” contest where attendees can vote for the girls choosing to compete. This time it was for “Miss Summer Sizzler”. Voting criteria are necessarily pretty vague and the contest often seems more about lobbying and popularity than looks. Which is probably just as well given the egos many of us have invested in our appearance. There was even some out-and-out vote buying, with one contestant offering me a little vial of perfume, “good stuff” she said. The winners were Miss Cha Cha, Miss Summer Sizzler 2013, Tina, first runner up, and Vanessa, that amazing first timer, second runner up who apparently went home early because she was missing when the awards were announced.
John Warrener is an icon in the transgender world, at least the MTF part. In 1995 he founded Glamour Boutique as an Internet mail order business supplying breast forms, corsets, clothing and accessories nationwide. Many of us purchased our first “girl things” from John. When the business outgrew his home, he opened a Glamour Boutique store near the Mass Pike, 850 Southbridge Street, Auburn, and eventually a couple of others out west too. Five years ago, John sold the online business, which is now run out of New Jersey. But he kept the Auburn store and has started a second online site, TGFashions.com, which competes with his old GlamourBoutique.com now that the two business are fully separate. By the way, John is the best source of inexpensive jewelry I’ve found, with a big selection of clip-on earrings and some hoop bracelets that fit over your hands! John often appears at his parties as Chrissy, but not this summer. Who has time to dress when business is booming?
John’s next private party is scheduled for October 18th as a Halloween Bash. Jodi Jolt and her Ghoulish Girls will be playing live. Krissy Bee will be back to get the girls onto the dance floor. A psychic will also be there to tell the futures of those who are brave enough to get a reading. Rumor also has it that a few scary monsters may be attending to liven up the night. Visit tgfashions.com for more information.