Report Back: Cocktail Party 22 October

Well, that was fun!
We held our first ever Saturday night event in collaboration with Mantopia on 22 October. After a frenzied final week where a number of people cancelled on us (all due to good reasons that we fully understand) and even more new bookings, we were expecting around 30 people to arrive on the night. Unfortunately a number of people had last minute emergencies and complications and we thus achieved a far lower attendance but it was still an acceptable turnout and we all had fun.

Mantopia is normally used as a venue for gay and bisexual men to get together and they share premises with a BDSM club as well. The venue thus has several rooms with lockable doors that we used as dressing rooms on the night giving our clients a place to get ready in private. You can thus arrive en homme and transform en site before the party, have a fantastic evening en femme and then re-transform before returning home. In many ways, it is ideal for many of us. Of course the venues ‘usual’ function is evident from the various ‘extra’s’ on offer and unfortunately the lighting is on the muted side making makeup application a bit of a challenge but we will be able to fix this going forward. There is a fabulous dance floor in the main ‘club’ section with a number of tables and chairs as well as an excellent bar with a number of very competent barmen. There is also a pool table although we did not use it on the night. The view of the Gauteng skyline from the club is phenomenal although it is not maximised. With some redesign you could really have a fantastic view of the panorama but I understand why they have kept things enclosed.

We had planned on arriving early but as always makeup and getting ready takes longer than expected and we arrived just after 7 pm. Fortunately, T (one of our co-hosts) was already there and showed us around. we set up in one of the rooms. Irene had helped with my make up at home and I was feeling fabulous and we took some photographs whilst we waited for people to arrive.

Irene looked fabulous in her brand new red corset.

After a short wait J and K arrived and then SJ and K arrived followed by N (who came alone) and then SQ and A arrived, having trekked from the West Rand. That was all our guests accounted for and I was glad that they were all there safe and sound. Finally,  J and F (not from Priscilla’s) arrived just after D (another co-host). J went and got changed and emerged in her blonde glory. It is always wonderful to see people transform and to see how much happier they seem when en femme.

It is worth noting that apart from N, T and myself all the other gurls were experiencing their first time out dressed. There was a great deal of nervousness and I am sure a little anxiety. This is to be expected. Your first time out dressed is a time filled with emotions and energies you have never experienced before. You are self-conscious and feel odd… You are simply not used to the clothes you are wearing and often wearing makeup, wigs, heels and unfamiliar fabrics leads to something of a sensory overload.

In any event, we did our very best to make everyone feel comfortable and at home. Irene, T, D and I circulated regularly throughout the evening and having a cash bar on hand helped people relax. It was good to talk to people and everyone realised that they were not alone. There were other people just like them on similar journeys and with similar experiences, expectations and concerns. It was nice to see so many partners out as well. It is always good to have the support of a close friend or romantic partner and as it turns out they had all had a lot of fun helping their other halves dress on the night: having a transgender significant other is certainly not without its benefits it seems.

We did not have a DJ on the night but T and D had a play list on hand and it was nice to be able to talk without too much competition from a DJ who thinks s/he is the most important person in the room and thus plays everything at the maximum volume. Irene and I were in the mood to dance, a little, and so we did, a little… But everyone else was a little shy so we didn’t push it. The dance floor is excellent in that it is a proper sprung wooden floor, not just a piece of concrete cleared of chairs, which is sadly so often the case in many a club these days.

D had provided some very yummy finger eats, including prawns, meat balls, samoosas and other nibbles. I enjoyed my snacks immensely and the bartender was very skilled managing to make a pink drink (I do love my pink drinks) out of entirely non-alcoholic ingredients (I am not able to drink alcohol any more due to my dodgy liver). So, the food and drink were not only delicious but plentiful as well.

We have received some wonderful feedback from various people so far and below are just two of the fantastic comments received:
‘I really enjoyed it and the time flew by so quickly.”
‘ I honestly had such a good time on Saturday, I can’t really see how that could be made better.  Safe environment with like-minded people, I really enjoyed being out.’
After a few drinks some good conversation and more than a few laughs everyone left feeling content and happy.

We have already pencilled in the next Saturday night event (once again at Mantopia) for 17 December and we are also planning a mid-week outing for November (possibly a karaoke evening at Trouble. Anyone interested in Halloween parties should check out both Mantopia and Trouble as both are hosting parties on 29 October. These are not being done in conjunction with Priscilla’s Services but they do loom a lot of fun and there will certainly be a lot of crossdressers and other transgender folk at Trouble’s party. You can get excellent Halloween costumes from Lola Montez. She is very trans friendly, but if you are anxious we could also source something from her on your behalf (just give me a shout as soon as possible). I was there just a few weeks ago and she has a good selection of items in stock including a maid’s outfit, nurse’s outfits etc. We (Priscilla’s) also have a police woman’s outfit in stock (in addition to the usual selection of wigs, shoes etc) should anyone want to hire something and of course Irene is on hand to assist with makeup.

Thank you to everyone who came and who made it such a memorable evening for everyone who was there. We are looking forward to seeing more of you out there soon.



Hair today, gone tomorrow

We often get asked, ‘what can I do about my hair?’ Now obviously hair can be a tricky issue for the male to female transgender person. The best looking option is to grow your hair and have marvelous, natural hair that you can toss around and feel fabulous with. However, whilst there are some skilled stylists out there who can produce hair styles that can work in both en homme and en femme modes, these are often hard to find and even more importantly it is not always practical for all of us to follow this route. These hairstyles don’t always ‘work’ aesthetically for all people, many of us work in positions where such hairstyles would be considered unprofessional or just too unusual for our employers, many of us lack the patience to grow our hair and others simply are not able to get a decent head of hair: male pattern baldness is, sadly, real.

Therefore wigs are the go to option for most of us who want to achieve a more convincing look . The transgender person can skimp on costs in many areas: cheap nail polish is fine, cheap clothes are often perfect for us, we don’t need the best shoes and we can skimp on breast forms; but you should never skimp on your hair! A good quality wig makes all the difference. The best makeup can be ruined by a sub-standard wig and no matter how femme you look, no matter how fabulous your wardrobe is, if your hair is a mess you look awful. And of course for those of us venturing into the vanilla world, a bad wig is a dead giveaway, from a distance. So the best investment you can make is a good quality wig.

For most of us a good quality synthetic wig is preferable to a human hair wig. Synthetic hair doesn’t need to be styled, it can look almost as ‘natural’ as a human hair version (if you choose carefully), it is long lasting and relatively easy to care for. Having said that even the best wigs that have been well looked after, will eventually start to look a bit shabby. At this point many of us can be heard wailing ‘my hair, my hair what am I to do with my hair’.

At this point you will need to find a good hairdressing salon. It would be a good idea to make sure that your hairdresser is qualified to work on wigs. In many respects you need to be more careful with wigs than you do with a head of hair. For starters you can’t use heat to style a synthetic wig, heat destroys the fibres, secondly mistakes are costly. Unlike the hair on your head, the wig’s fibres will never grow back, mistakes do not fix themselves and once cut they remain cut. Forever. Also working with synthetic fibres can be trickier than working with hair. They behave differently and the hairdresser really needs to know what they are doing.

A good hairdresser can revive an old and tired wig, giving it a different style and revitalising it for you. They can deal with the inevitable ‘scraggly’ bits and ensure that you once again look your best. They can thus save you a lot of money. One good session at the salon and a wig that you may have been ready to throw out can be returned to regular use. We are very fortunate to know Dominic from Fiore Hair Design.


Fiore is an excellent salon in Northcliff, Johannesburg. They are very LGBT friendly (they have a rainbow flag sticker on the door of the salon), and they cater to all members of the community. Their clients range from 3 year old children to 93 year old pensioners and everyone is welcome. Dominic is an excellent hairdresser and is one of the few who are qualified to work on wigs. We have spoken to him and he would be more than happy to help people who need to have their wigs worked on. When you phone ahead or e-mail him to make your booking, you can make any arrangements with him that you would like. We heartily recommend making use of his services to deal with any wig related issues. Of course we would be happy to facilitate any interactions as well.

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