Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to be Girls, by Veronica Vera. A Main Street Book, Doubleday, 1997.

by Samantha P.

MissBookA cheerful look at the world of the closeted cross-dresser, this book describes Veronica Vera’s approach to offering cross-dressing services to men who have sufficient funds to be able to travel to her New York “Academy” for “lessons” of one sort or another.

Illustrated profusely with photos of students and staff, there are chapters covering everything from attitude, through body shaping and deportment, to finishing touches such as makeup, etiquette and outings. You can follow the adventures of students like Sally Sissyribbons as Ms Vera covers “studies” such as Home Ec, Fashion, Field Trips and Sex Education.

Yet, despite the sprightly, titillating approach to cross-dressing there are some very useful tips and tricks sprinkled throughout. More, Veronica Vera’s philosophy and some very timely words of wisdom can be found, strategically placed for maximum effect. For example, while covering the subject of what is referred to as “passing,” she says, “You can sell what you believe in, so believe in your right to be your femmeself and you will be empowered in all aspects of your life.”

Although the book provides the reader with lighthearted, humourous entertainment, if that is what you are after, I would not recommend it to the person who is seriously looking for advice or support on transgender issues.