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transforming yourself

Adrian Acosta is a drag artist, photographer and website creator. Here is a nice piece he wrote this year about his service which performs male to female transformations on heterosexual men. I thought I would post it in its entirety.

“Think of all the crazy things people pay money to do. Some people spend their money on skydiving, skiing, bungee jumping, paragliding, workout classes and the list goes on. Many of these things are downright dangerous. Think of attending the opera. I know, it's not dangerous but really think about it; sitting in a darkened room with strangers listening to fat ladies scream is downright ridiculous, yet people pay lots and lots of money for a two-plus hour front row seat.

When people express how crazy they find the idea of me doing Boy-to-Girl Transformations on my clients is, I ask them: "Is it as crazy as skydiving?"

There are many ways to get your thrills in life, and a Boy-to-Girl Transformation is one of them.

What is a Boy-to-Girl Transformation? A Boy-to-Girl Transformation is simply taking a man, giving him a makeover from head to toe, transforming him into a woman and documenting it with photographs.

There are many things I love about doing makeover transformations. I love my client's faces gleaming with delight as they see their femme selves in the mirror. It's like a child's face on Christmas morning. It's the kind of happiness that is contagious. I love that they are emotionally transported to an alternate universe where they are a beautiful, sensual female: The female inside they have suppressed for years. To tell you the truth, by the time I'm done transforming them, I have a hard time believing that they had been males just a few hours before they arrived in my studio. To me they are a beautiful female standing in front of me; I respect them and treat them as such.

On a deeper level, I love the fact that while out in the world there are men robbing, stealing, raping, killing, etc. -- in my Transformation Studio, it's just me and my client; two men relaxing, having fun, chatting, laughing, creating sensual art. Imagine how peaceful and fun the world would be if more men allowed themselves to get a Boy-to-Girl Transformation, to literally walk in women's shoes?

I've been transforming myself since 1996. In 1997 I won my high school's drag pageant. That's where my alter-ego, Amnesia Sparkles, was born. In 2002 I went national with Amnesia when she appeared in the first season of American Idol.

That was my first taste of society's resistance to a man dressing up like a woman. The online forums at the time were a battle ground of conversations on whether I was a decent person. I didn't mention my sexual orientation on national TV, yet I was deemed a "sinner" for simply being a man who dressed up as a woman. In 2009, I started a website,, focused on gender and sexuality, and in 2013 I started offering Boy to Girl Transformations to the public.

"We are all half man, half women," I've been saying that for years. This is a nature and nurture truth. We live in a society divided by masculinity and femininity. We live in a time where women are still second class citizens making less than their male counterparts for the same jobs, and where men are looked down upon if they decide to dress as women, yet as in the intro of Madonna's song, "What it Feels like for a Girl":

Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short,
Wear shirts and boots,
'Cause it's OK to be a boy,
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading,
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading,
But secretly you'd love to know what it's like,
Wouldn't you?
What it feels like for a girl.

Grindr is infested with profiles that state: "Masc for Masc," which makes me questions if gays today are using their "masc" as a mask.

Why are you so afraid of putting on some heels and showing your softer side?

Many gay men feel like there is only two ways of being: gay or straight. They ignore or simply reject the notion that anyone can be somewhere in the middle. How could someone enjoy penises AND vaginas? How could someone be masc by day and femme by night?

All of the men I've transformed enjoy having sex with biological women very much. Some have had sex with trans women, as well as had sex with men; sexual labels do not bind them. Many are rugged guys and have girlfriends, but simply enjoy a femme vacation from their masc selves from time to time.

I can't tell you the numerous times I've gotten asked by gay men if my clients are gay.

Gay Guy: "So was your client gay?"
Me: "You mean, does he identify as a gay man, or has he had gay experiences?"
Gay Guy: "What's the difference?"
Me: "Well, you can have gay experiences and not consider yourself 'gay."'
Gay Guy: "Do they have sex with women too?"
Me: "Yes."
Gay Guy: "So, they're bi?"
Me: "To the outside world they are bi, but most gender-benders I've met don't care to label their sexual orientation. They are very open and attracted to men, women and pre and post-op trans individuals."
Gay Guy: "That's weird. Whatever, they are so totally GAY."

I've encountered this level of ignorance from gay men time and time again. For a group of individuals that is fighting for equality and understanding, "The Gays" don't seem to think outside the box. They don't seem to extend the understanding, acceptance and respect they very much desire from society.

An individual's gender and sexual orientation may fall anywhere on those spectrums. Simply think of how much more persuasive the gay liberation movement would be if we understood this fact, and we had an open and honest conversations about where we fall on the gender and sexual orientation spectrums, and about how our experiences make us feel.

The fact is, I love my clients. I love their courage to try new things and come out of the closet (at least to me), their willingness to listen to their hearts and their ability to let their hair down. They inspire me to do a better job every time. To me they are dancers of life, artists with their bodies, and spiritual beings manifested in fabulous physical form.

And let's not forget that they are sexy as hell! "

Adrian Acosta as Amnesia Sparkles


  1. Excellent comments.
    Most of my outings are to LGBT friendly bars and clubs. What Adrian says is quite true. While I feel safe going to such places and feel that my secret life as a CD will not be compromised it has become evident to me that most of the gay people, men and women, do not grasp the concept of a CD. I have several conversations and more than a few raised eyebrows when I tell them I am a very happily married husband and father.

  2. Fabulous article, thanks for posting.

    I haven't had the public exposure Pat has enjoyed, so I can't comment on acceptance levels from personal experience. But I've seen other articles which lead me to believe that her comments, and Adrian's, are accurate.

    But I can confirm that I had a beautiful time with my makeover from was very definitely worth doing. And I'll be doing it again at some point in the future...


  3. I thought you would like the article. I thought it was spot on!

  4. Thanks, Joanna, for reposting this excellent article. I saw it when it was first published and it was well worth reading again. Spot on, indeed.


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