Time to get out and about. No Excuses!

Exciting news! We are planning not one but two outings in September. One midweek and one on a Saturday, so there are no excuses.

Firstly, time for something completely new. A book launch! Priscilla’s Services assisted an author (Maire Fisher) with ideas on how to represent a non-binary character in her new novel (The Enumerations) earlier this year. The book is being launched in Johannesburg in September and we have been invited to the book launch. We thought it would be a fun evening for you all to come with and as there is a transgender character (non-binary people fall on the transgender spectrum) the theme kind of works. Here are the details:
When: Thursday 13 September
Time: To be advised, probably around 6 pm or so
Where: Love Books The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville
Entrance is free but it would be a good idea to support the South African publishing industry, so why not buy a book, or two?

We know this is a little early but don’t despair, we can always go somewhere else for a meal, a drink and a natter afterwards. There are plenty of options in Melville or we are always welcome at Amuse.

We would love to see you there, whether you can come en femme or en homme or whatever…

Secondly, it is time for Slutwalk again. As usual we will be there to add our voices as a protest against sexual assault. It is absolutely a safe space for you to be. There are always a few gender non-conforming people around and your safety is assured. So please join us on the march. We then plan on going somewhere nice for lunch after the march. We haven’t quite decided where yet, but we are thinking of a pizzeria in Northcliff or perhaps a nice restaurant/cafe in Parkhurst or Linden. We are open to suggestions… So why not join us on the march, it would be fantastic to see you all, and then we can have a lovely lunch and a chat afterwards.
When: Saturday 29 September
Time: 10 am
Where:Pirates Sports Club, Greenside
Entrance is free but a donation towards rape survivors would be appreciated

Hope to see you at one, or both, of these fantastic opportunities to socialise. Please contact us should you need more information and please remember you are more than welcome to come dressed however you like.
Irene will be available to help you if required.

Priscillas-Services-ban2

 

Irene at Work: Melissa

As noted previously, a number of our clients prefer to remain as discrete and private as possible. We totally understand and ‘get’ that. It does however make ‘advertising’ our service a bit tricky. Melissa came to one our social events last year and got her makeup done by Irene. She has very kindly agreed to share her pictures from that wintry night with us all. Doesn’t she look great?

Irene always does the kind of style and ‘look’ you want. I think Melissa looks lovely and naturally feminine here. A great look for her. Nothing over the top, nothing too extreme. Just a woman looking her best for an evening out.

If you are interested, you can always book a session and see just how amazing and beautiful a good makeover can make you feel!

Crossdressing and the Quest for Privacy

Many crossdressers have a lot to lose. Many of us have a marriage, children, careers and a standing in the community that we want to protect. We are very concerned (given society’s general lack of knowledge and understanding about crossdressing and transgender issues) that if we are discovered, we stand to lose some or all of these things. Often we fear losing our families and careers most and are concerned that if our spouses or bosses discover that we are crossdressers we will almost certainly lose these things that we value the most.

For this reason we keep things as private as possible. Sometimes this means we end up keeping secrets from those that we love the most. Sometimes we may end up lying to those people. This can be a very difficult experience and one that adds pressure, strain and stress to our already hard lives.

I am of the opinion that it is better to be honest with people. However I also appreciate that when it comes to something like crossdressing it is very hard to predict how people will react, especially when it relates to a spouse or other close family member (I have heard of otherwise very open and liberal people freaking out when discovering this about their spouse and I have also heard of very conservative and otherwise ‘straight’ people being very accepting). Additionally it is true that once you have ‘rung the bell’ you absolutely cannot ‘un-ring’ it. Once you tell someone you have reached the point of no return. Either they will accept you or they will not. If they do not, they will almost certainly look at you in a different light… This can place intolerable strain on us and our relationships.

For this reason discretion is an absolute necessity. You need to have a very good idea of how your revelation will be received and you need to be comfortable with the consequences of that revelation, whatever they may be. If you are not prepared to accept the worst case scenario, it is probably better to keep quiet. This in turn leads to a serious problem. How do you live your life as you want and need to live it, without causing distress. Additionally how do you live a life of integrity and how do you avoid deception?

If you cannot afford to get caught crossdressing, do not get caught. Make sure you only dress in a safe and secure environment. Always make sure that you pack away all evidence and crucially make sure that all traces are removed. If a spouse finds lingerie, traces of makeup and stray hairs she will certainly think you are having an affair before she thinks you are crossdressing. This will just make life worse.

You therefore need to make sure that all your clothes are stored in a safe and secure place. I would suggest off site storage is best. I know a number of people store their clothes in their offices. This is an idea but remember your office is not yours, it belongs to your employer, so there can be very little expectation of privacy. An employer is entitled to enter a cupboard looking for documents, files etc and in so doing they may discover your stash. It is not unreasonable for them to ask questions. This could result in difficulties at work. Given that a salary is your greatest asset as it enables you to meet all your other goals (financial and otherwise) you really do not want to lose your job. I would therefore advise against storing clothes at work. A better off site solution is a self storage unit of some sorts. However these are often expensive as you end up paying for far more space than you need.

You will then need a place to dress. More often than not the opening and closing times of self storage units may not suit you, especially if you are dressing at night and you then need to find somewhere to store your clothes for a few hours before and after you dress. This complicates your life. You will also need a place to dress and undress and wash. Even if you can dress in your storage unit, finding somewhere to wash will be difficult. Entering and exiting the unit may also be difficult as the staff may not be as tolerant as we would like. You may be able to use your home but you will then be constrained by the movements of the rest of your family and you run the risk of being discovered due to someone returning unexpectedly or you may leave something incriminating out. A better solution is to find a hotel or similar establishment where you can dress, wash etc. But obviously this will add costs and can be tricky as you will need to pay by credit card, register your name etc. And again if your spouse does discover a receipt or credit card bill with a local hotel listed her assumption is not going to be the truth. She will believe you are cheating on her.

I have also heard of people dressing in their cars, driving around late at night, taking risks and not being safe. Not only are you risking your life and safety but you are also risking exposure by doing this. Sadly violent crime, hijacking and other concerns are a very real part of life in South Africa and transgender people are statistically at a greater risk of being victims of these crimes. Not only are you risking harm, you are also risking discovery. I would caution against this approach. It is just not worth becoming a statistic and having your wife find you in the emergency room wearing your stilettos and leather mini skirt!

This is why we have established Priscilla’s Services. We believe our establishment offers you the ability to live your life as you need to, without risking all those things you hold dear. Our core service offering includes storage for your clothes and a safe and well appointed place to dress and wash. All at very reasonable prices. For those of you who cannot risk telling those that you love, please be safe, please keep your privacy and trust us to be discreet. Our facilities have been developed with you in mind. We are here to help.

February Newsletter

Hi Everyone

Wow, what a fantastic month January was. Our best ever! So a BIG Priscilla’s WELCOME to all our new clients. We are very happy to have you on board. We hope that we will have many hours of fun together. We are particularly happy to see that so many of you are using our package options. These are fantastic as not only do they give you great value for money, they also allow you to sample the various services (makeup, photography, shopping services etc) that we offer. If you are interested in these packages, please check out our pricing page for details. I am sure you will all be having a lot of fun exploring with us.

This past month I was reminded of just how gratified I feel when meeting new clients. It is wonderful to see the very real impact we have on people’s lives. We try to meet all our clients in person and when people, who have never before been able to speak freely to anybody about their crossdressing/gender identity, are suddenly confronted by a friendly face, and an accepting mind you can see the relief come over them as years of emotional baggage literally drop off them. It is these moments that make me feel so privileged to know all of you. Thank you for sharing these moments with us.

On a lighter note work is progressing on our apartment. The plastering is done, the tiles are in, we have bought some furniture already and we are hoping to have it ‘habitable’ in the next week or so. We still need to do some work: blinds need to be put in and a few finishing touches will be required but we are getting there. The exterior will only be completed in a few weeks time as we need to paint the exterior walls and landscape the private garden area. But we are getting there and we are expecting you all to start booking the venue for your dressing needs. Keep an eye on the web page as we will be posting some pictures soon.

We have had some good responses to the request for a Priscilla’s social outing to Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Thank you for that. Irene will be sorting out more details shortly and we will let you know what can be done, what the costs are etc shortly.

On that note we have been reviewing our socials. We believe that they are just not working out. We do see that there is a need for some sort of social activity and we certainly want to play our role in the community but we want to have meaningful events that are well attended and FUN. We are thinking that less is more. We would love to get your feedback on what sort of events you want in addition to our accompanied outing service. Some of you have already suggested more intimate socials, perhaps at a private home and we are working on such an event. Are there any other ideas? Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts and ideas.

In other news that you may want to hear, we were told on Monday night that our sister site, Daniella’s Ramblings has been awarded ‘Best LGBT Blog 2016’ in the SA Blog Awards. Thank you to everyone who supported Daniella’s Ramblings. The award is as much yours as it is ours. You may want to take a look at the blog as it has some useful information on it.

As always, please let us know if we can do anything to assist you and we look forward to seeing more of you in the future.

Regards

The Priscilla’s Team

January Newsletter

Hi Everyone

Happy new Year! We hope that your holidays were restful and not too eventful (ours were eventful enough with snakebites and monkey attacks), we also trust that 2016 ended well and that 2017 is being kind to you all.
If it is, then a celebration is in order. You should treat yourself to an experience at Priscilla’s Services?
If things are not going as well as you would like, then you should have a little holiday from your problems. Book yourself a Priscilla’s Experience! You will find yourself recharged, exhilarated and ready to deal with life’s little tribulations.

The big news is that we started renovating the venue in December. Work stopped for the Christmas break but has now resumed and the venue is well on its way to being ready and we hope to be ready for you by some time in February.

The venue consists of a dressing room, which can also double as a lounge area, an en suite bathroom (shower, toilet basin) and a small kitchenette where you can make a pot of coffee, enjoy a light meal etc. The venue is therefore perfect for all your needs. You can dress and go out, dress and stay in or even do a bit of both if you like.
We have moved some of the doors and windows around so you will have privacy.
The venue also has WiFi and cell phone coverage.Irene is busy selecting the fittings and we are already considering the decorations. So things are moving along swiftly.

Due to the Christmas exodus from Gauteng, we did not organise any socials in December. January is already nearly half way through, so I doubt we will be able to get anything ready for January, but I am sure we could get something happening in February. Please let us know what you would be interested in doing? Maybe a visit to a restaurant for a meal? A trip to the movies? A Saturday night party  at Trouble? Taking in some local music at Amuse or maybe an evening of wine and song at one of Trouble’s karaoke nights? Or maybe something entirely different? Please let us know.

At the end of last year we thought it would be a good idea to have a ball. No, literally a ball as in ball gowns, canapes, dancing… You know a ball! Other countries have some pretty amazing, big annual ‘events’ for the transgender community. In the UK there is the Sparkle weekend and the Sparkle ball. The USA has many different events, conventions, balls and other social occasions for the transgender community. The Detroit Invasion which is organised by my Good friend Samantha is one such event. In South Africa we lack these big national level events. Our socials tend to be small scale, local affairs. It would be fabulous to meet people from all over South Africa, form relationships with people beyond our little world and also start increasing the profile of our sometimes fractured community. What do you all think? Would a big ball be something you would be interested in?
We are aiming for September/October. We could arrange for a block hotel booking, arrange transport etc for out-of-towners (and any locals who want to make use of that as well). The venue we choose will depend on the up take, but I think this could be quite an exciting event, glamorous gowns, fabulous decor, delicious eats, gorgeous cocktails. I am getting excited. It would be especially cool if we could make it an annual event! Please let us know what you think.

We have not had any feedback regarding the idea of a mass outing to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert when it comes to Johannesburg in April. Is this perhaps just too public an event for everyone? Please let us know.

As previously noted, storage/rental fees have increased from R250 per month to R350 per month. and we are now offering membership packages in addition to the ad hoc services we offer. These packages offer considerable value. We are pleased to offer an ‘early bird’ special. If you sign up and pay in advance for a package before 31 January 2017 you will get your first month’s membership free. Please see below a selection of membership packages on offer:
Package: Meryl Streep
Benefits
1 x photography session every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered and
1 x shopping service every second month or
1 x makeover every second month
Value: R787.50
Monthly Fee: R335.00
You Save: R452.50

Package: Sharon Stone
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered and
1 x shopping service every second month or
1 x makeover every second month
Value: R1 137.50
Monthly Fee: R480.00
You Save: R657.50

Package: Julia Roberts
Benefits:
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 150.00
Monthly Fee: R490.00
You Save: R660.00

Package: Sophia Loren
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
7% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 500.00
Monthly Fee: R645.00
You Save: R855.00

Package: Marilyn Monroe
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
1 x shopping service every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
10% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 875.00
Monthly Fee: R800.00
You Save: R1 075.00

Package: Grace Kelly
Benefits:
2 x lockers per month for storage and
2 x photography sessions every month and
1 x makeover every month and
1 x shopping service every month and
100% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
12% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R3 850.00
Monthly Fee: R1 650.00
You Save: R2 200.00

Please check the pricing page on the website for more details.

Now that Irene is at your full disposal, it should be easier to arrange bookings. Especially once our venue is fully operational, but don’t let that stop you, we have contingency plans in place and can assist you with your needs at any time. On that note, we have received a lot of feedback at how excited everyone is about our service and that is wonderful, but now that Irene is full time at Priscilla’s Services, we really would appreciate a little more revenue (we have bills to pay), so please do not hesitate to make some bookings!

We value your support and want to help you in any way we can.

All the best,

Priscilla’s Services

 

December Newsletter

What the… ? How did this happen? It is December already!

I would like to welcome all our new clients to the Priscilla’s fold and of course thank our existing clients for their ongoing support. It is our pleasure and our privilege to serve such an amazing group of people. It is especially nice to meet you all face to face from time to time and get to know you all a little bit better each time.

 

Exciting news! Irene has resigned her job as a teacher and will be devoting her time to Priscilla’s! That means that she will have more flexibility when it comes to makeovers, accompanied outings and other Priscilla’s work that you need from her. Sadly, the education system is losing a phenomenal teacher, but their loss is our gain!

 

As I am sure you all know we had a karaoke Party at the end of November. Thanks to Hilton and his staff. It was as ever a great evening, thank you for your hospitality. It was great to see a few new faces as well as the regulars. It was especially nice to meet some Facebook friends in person and of course catch up with all our friends and clients. Unfortunately, the massive thunderstorm kept some people away and a few confirmed guests decided not to come, but those who braved the elements seemed to have a good time.

The party was held at Trouble which has just recently moved venue. The venue is quite pleasant with an outside area where you can chill and relax. The inside area has space for a few pool tables and a dance floor. There is also apparently a private bar that is nearly ready for use. The ladies’ toilets are very nice. Far better than the previous venues toilets. They were clean and well-appointed which is not always the case when dealing with bars and pubs. The mirror was good and made doing one’s makeup touch ups easy. Some of the previous establishment’s ‘regulars’ were there and it was nice to see straight people, gay people, transgender people all intermingling and accepting each other’s basic humanity. A few brave souls sang but I think most of us were happy to ‘just be’, chat, socialise and enjoy the opportunity of being our authentic selves in a safe and accepting place.

 

For those who are interested, Mantopia are organising an LGBT party on 17 December. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending but Irene is available (by appointment) to help anyone with makeup and or dressing should you need her services. As usual, please contact us for details and to make the appointment. For details about the event itself, please contact Mantopia directly.

We are still looking at the possibility of organising a block booking to go and see the stage production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert which is coming to Johannesburg in April 2017. Please let us know if this is something you would be interested in doing.

 

Please remember that with effect from 1 January 2017 storage/rental fees will be increasing from R250 per month to R350 per month.

As noted last month, we are now offering membership packages in addition to the ad hoc services we offer. These packages offer considerable value to you and allow you to budget more easily than in the past. We will be launching them officially in 2017 as soon as the venue becomes available, but we are pleased to offer all existing contacts an ‘early bird’ special. If you sign up and pay in advance for a package before 31 January 2017 you will get your first month’s membership free. We have already had a few people take advantage of this offer.Please see below a selection of membership packages on offer:
Package: Meryl Streep
Benefits
1 x photography session every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered and
1 x shopping service every second month or
1 x makeover every second month
Value: R787.50
Monthly Fee: R335.00
You Save: R452.50

Package: Sharon Stone
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered and
1 x shopping service every second month or
1 x makeover every second month
Value: R1 137.50
Monthly Fee: R480.00
You Save: R657.50

Package: Julia Roberts
Benefits:
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 150.00
Monthly Fee: R490.00
You Save: R660.00

Package: Sophia Loren
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
7% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 500.00
Monthly Fee: R645.00
You Save: R855.00

Package: Marilyn Monroe
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
1 x shopping service every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
10% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 875.00
Monthly Fee: R800.00
You Save: R1 075.00

Package: Grace Kelly
Benefits:
2 x lockers per month for storage and
2 x photography sessions every month and
1 x makeover every month and
1 x shopping service every month and
100% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
12% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R3 850.00
Monthly Fee: R1 650.00
You Save: R2 200.00

 

We are off on holiday from 8 December 2016 and we will be returning on 19 December. Should you need anything please feel free to contact us, but please be advised that we may take a little longer to reply and please note that we will only be able to offer services to you after 19 December. We will also not be available on public holidays in December and January, sorry!

 

We wish you all a very safe and happy festive season. Please take care, the roads are a nightmare at this time of year and we need you all looking fabulous and beautiful in 2017. Crutches, scars and broken bones are very hard to accessorize. Once again thank you for all your support and enthusiasm we are committed to bringing you more of what you want and the very best in service in 2017.
We look forward to seeing you all at our functions in 2017. As always please do not hesitate to contact us if you need anything. We are here to help.

 

September/October Newsletter

Wow, where has the time gone? It seems September has flown by in a flash of blusher, lipstick, stilettos, lingerie and jewelry. I am very sorry, but it seems in the excitement I missed the September newsletter, so I have decided to combine the September and October newsletters in one.

As always I would like to thank all our clients for their ongoing support. Meeting with and making some real connections with you makes this endeavour so much more rewarding. I would also like to extend a hearty welcome to our new clients who continue to join us at a healthy rate. And of course to all of you who are on our mailing list, but who are not yet clients, thanks for your interest, I know it is just a matter of time before we will be seeing you.

I invite all of you all to let us know if there is anything we can do to help or improve: are we providing the services you need? What else can we do to help you? Is there anything we can do to improve? Is there anything we should stop doing? It is only through interacting with you that we can make sure we meet your needs and we welcome all feedback.

We had a very successful outing/get together in August. I was sorry to be unable to attend but I am assured everyone had a great time. You can read all about it here. Unfortunately, September has come and gone without a formal Priscilla’s event. We did try and get some people interested in attending Slut Walk 2016 with me but I think the lead time was a bit short for some of you also I fully realise that walking the streets of Greenside in a dress may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially as there was quite a lot of press there (photographers, television crews etc) and it was the epitome of an ‘open’ event. Nonetheless, I was there with some friends and it was a good experience for me (more about that on my personal blog in the coming week or so).

The exciting news for October is that we are co-hosting an event with Mantopia! For those of you who do not know, Mantopia specialises in hosting parties for gay and bisexual men*. They want to reach out to the crossdresser/transgender community in Gauteng. They have identified the need for a regular and private social gathering place for our community. They have a fantastic venue in Midrand that is easily accessible and above all is private. That means that we can all socialise in perfect safety knowing that nobody other than other crossdressers/TG people will be there. The venue comes with a fully licensed cash bar as well as all the usual facilities (dance floor, DJ booth etc) needed for a great time. Additionally (and perhaps crucially for us) there are private rooms that will allow you to dress in peace and privacy. There are also showers on site if needed.

The first get together is a cocktail evening and will be taking place on 22 October from 8 pm until 3 am. The venue will open at 7 pm and Priscilla’s Services staff will be on hand to help you dress, do your makeup etc. Please note that booking for the event and for the dressing and makeup services is essential. Of course we can also help those who want to arrive at the club en femme by providing dressing and makeup services at our usual venue, but this will need to be done quite early in the evening to give us time to get to the venue by 7 pm.

We will also be happy to provide you with clothing, wigs and shoes for hire (size permitting) and we would also love to shop for you (seriously, we love shopping). Please do not hesitate to contact us for a quote or further information in this regard.

This event differs from our usual events in that it is being hosted together with Mantopia. Booking is thus necessary and there is a cover charge of R250 per person (this includes your snacks). The good news is that if you use the booking code ‘PS Mantopia’ you will get 10% off the price provided you book and pay before 15 October.

Although Mantopia usually operates for gay and bisexual men they realise that our community is a little different. Therefore all transgender people (crossdressers, transexuals, gender fluid, gender queer etc) and their partners are welcome to attend.

This is an ideal opportunity for those of you who are a little shy to get out and about and meet other people with similar interests. The venue is private and ‘closed’ we will be the only people on site therefore you will not bump into anyone you know unless they too are a crossdresser/transgender etc. Your privacy and safety is thus guaranteed. This is also a good opportunity for you to get out and about with your significant others and they will have an opportunity to meet other partners, spouses etc of crossdressers/transgender people. This is could be a wonderful opportunity for them to network, get some support and share experiences.

Oh and of course there will be music so bring your dancing shoes, your fabulous selves and have FUN!

In other news I can confirm that we will start work on our venue on 19 December and we are hopeful that it will be available from late January 2017. The venue will have a private entrance, a dressing room, a small kitchen and an en suite bathroom. Complimentary WiFi is provided and you will be able to dress and lounge around for a few hours or go out (either alone or accompanied by us) and have a  fabulous time. We will keep you updated on progress.

We have acquired some more storage space, but we are running out of space fast. If you are interested in storage I suggest that you book space with us soon to avoid disappointment.

We will be placing an overseas order for some specialist stock  in the next few weeks. Please let us know if you are interested in ordering anything as we would be very happy to assist you with high end breast forms, larger shoes, gaffes, corsets, lingerie and anything else you may want but cannot get in South Africa.

Looking forward to seeing you all on 22 October. Please remember to book!

*  Please note that whilst the usual Mantopia parties are ‘sexual’ in nature and whilst the venue is usually used as a swinger/lifestyle/BDSM party venue and is set up with such activities in mind this evening is primarily about us all just meeting up with fellow transgender people. It is not envisaged as a ‘hookup’ event and there is absolutely no expectation of that from anyone. It just so happens that this venue is perfect for our needs and the people running the venue ‘get’ what we are looking for, so please do not worry about that side of things. Of course what consenting adults decide to do in their own time is entirely up to them! 😉