The faculty at Miss Vera’s academy is of unparalleled excellence. Miss Deborah has transformed models
and movie stars. Miss Kate and Miss Mariette have achieved international recognition in the field of
transgenderism. Each dean is not only a glamorous expert in her field, but full of fun and compassion.
Since the academy’s founding others have clung to our skirts and tried to imitate our methods. For
this we are grateful because it means more opportunities for education and pleasure for you the student. But
the imitators cannot duplicate the artistry, knowledge and commitment of the deans of Miss Vera’s
Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls.
Dean of Students, Founder and Author
Veronica Vera quite simply made history when she opened
Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls
in New York City in 1992. The world’s first crossdressing academy has become
internationally famous since that day, offering a much needed service to the vast transgender
For every woman who burned her bra, there is a man ready to wear one, says Veronica Vera,
the former Wall Street trader, a sex-positive feminist/activist whose
academy is a resource for the estimated 3 to 5 percent of the adult male population who feel the
need, at least occasionally, to dress in women's clothing. For Veronica, her school began as a
way to finance a memoir about what she had learned as a sexual explorer, former porn star, and
journalist with a dozen years of columns based on her personal experience and hundreds of
interviews with the artists, denizens, and demimonde of pre-Disney New York. Instead, Miss Vera’s
Academy became a force unto itself, identifying Veronica Vera as a visionary. She had to put
aside her memoir to live a new chapter.
Hundreds of students have flocked to Miss Vera’s academy from across the country and
around the world to study with her and her faculty of expert hand-picked deans. Thousands more
have read the two books she wrote based on her school. Miss Vera’s academy provides a
haven for many of these conflicted and often closeted men and an outlet for them to learn how to
best accept, explore and enjoy their feminine urges, whether their desire is for an alternate
life or for a lifetime transition. She has served as both a window of understanding into this
a reliable resource for worldwide media outlets that have discovered it and wish to provide
their audiences a fascinating and insightful perspective into it. The lessons of her school are
popular with non-trans women too.
Miss Vera, a groundbreaking authority in the area of gender issues and sexuality in general, has
authored 2 books on the subject, has appeared on more than 50 television shows, and has been the
focus of countless radio interviews, magazine, newspaper, and online articles.
For Vera, freedom of expression is more than just a fashion statement. In 1984, she testified in
Washington D.C. regarding her experiences in adult media. Her passionate anti-censorship
testimony became part of the
Meese Commission Report
on pornography. She is on the executive board of
Feminists for Free Expression
(FFE). Veronica has lectured at Yale and Dartmouth on sex workers rights, helped to reorganize
P.O.N.Y. (Prostitutes of New York), and developed the
mission statement that advocates decriminalization. She is a member of Club 90, the first porn
star support group whose other members include Candida Royalle, Veronica Hart, Gloria Leonard
and Annie Sprinkle. Her collaborations with other artists include a long relationship with Annie
Sprinkle. Veronica authored the
Post Porn Modernist Manifesto
to accompany Sprinkle’s seminal performance. The
became a cornerstone of that art movement that
celebrates sex as the nourishing life-giving force
and a tenet of sex-positive feminism. She also collaborated with artist Robert Mapplethorpe
whose controversial work withstood the challenges of a landmark censorship trial in Cincinnati,
Ohio. Her video docu-diary
Portrait of A Sexual Evolutionary
was the focus of censorship at the University of Michigan Law School in 1993 in which she and
the other artists represented by the
emerged triumphant. Veronicas response to the
crisis was to marry her best friend when he was diagnosed, a wedding that made the front page of
the Wall Street Journal.
Partly because of her experience growing up with a sister who had Down Syndrome, Veronica has
always recognized the value to society of those who are considered different and been sensitive
to their needs, her positive response to help people in unique situations. As a result, she has
always made news, always been on the front lines, always been a champion of those who could not
always stand up for themselves, especially in shaky heels.
Today, Miss Vera has expanded her academy to include non-trans women and is available to bring
her philosophy of edutainment to college campuses and conferences throughout the year. Through
her advancement in awareness of gender issues and freedom of sexual expression Veronica Vera has
helped to change the perception and level of acceptance of trans people and the face and figure
of society. Miss Vera believes that since
life is art
, it’s best lived with tolerance, creativity and flair.
To book Miss Vera: email
Books by Veronica Vera:
Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls (Doubleday, 1997)
Miss Vera’s Crossdress for Success (Random House, 2002)
Miss Bridie was born to two trekkies who lived in Texas. Her early years were spent in various
Star Trek costumes, so it’s not surprising she majored in theater in pursuit of an acting
career. But it was the magic of make-up that captured her imagination. She wields her tools like
wands as she works with you to reveal the beauty you feel inside. Miss Bridie is an excellent
teacher, so if you goal is to be proficient yourself, she will make that happen. As a theater
major, Bridie learned the importance of make-up in creating a role and she understands the
creation of your femmeself is the role you were born to play. With her talent, her spirit of
play and her joy, Bridie as your muse is a marriage made in heaven.
Dean of High Heels
You will love following Miss Julia’s instructions as she delivers them in her delightful
Russian accent. A native of Moscow, Miss Julia trained at the Bolshoi School of Ballet. She
would have gone on to a professional career in dance had her teachers not decided her figure was
too curvaceous and not rail thin. She was graduated from the Russian Theatre Academy. We know
you will agree she is perfect, in every way. The sway of her hips will inspire you as you learn
to walk as a woman, shifting your weight from side to side. Miss Julia exudes grace and
refinement and will encourage you to do the same. She instructs our individual and group walking
classes and is available to teach movements for actors. Miss Julia is on her path to an advanced
degree in psychology. You will be a fascinated with her, as she with you. You will learn so much
from this beautiful muse.
Dean of Voice
Talk like a man? Miss Judy, Dean of Voice, can change that. Go from deep to delightful with a
few quick tips and lots of practice. As a licensed speech/language pathologist, Miss Judy brings
her experience and education to the art of teaching the feminine voice. “We begin by
having our student dress as a woman.” explains Miss Judy. “Once dressed up, our
student immediately begins to demonstrate feminine mannerisms that relate to the voice.”
The voice class begins with techniques in body language (the unspoken word) and word choice that
is considered feminine. The next step is teaching the production of “soft” sounds,
as in the substitution of the /s/ for the /z/ consonant. Our student is then taught to “lilt”
or stretch the vowels to produce a musical note while speaking. These and other techniques are
encouraged to be subtle so that the student sounds genuine and not theatrical. The voice class
gives the student the opportunity to express her thoughts/feelings in a positive environment.
Miss Judy, Dean of Voice, is an honors graduate from UCLA and Queens College. She is affiliated
with Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Dean of Photography
Mariette Pathy Allen was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and expected to spend her
life painting. But she says, “In 1978, I was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. By fluke, I
stayed in the same hotel as a group of crossdressers who invited me to join them for breakfast
on the last morning. When I took a group picture, I was moved by the experience of looking into
the eyes of one of the people in the group and feeling that I was looking at the essence of a
human being rather than a man or a woman.”
She was captivated. From 1978 through the ‘80s, Mariette photographed and interviewed
male-to-female crossdressers in relationships to spouses and children, in everyday life. This
work culminated in the publication of Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them,
and an exhibition at the Simon Lowinsky Gallery in 1990.
In the ‘90s, she expanded her work to include female-to-males and male-to-females who live
in the gender in which they identify.
Miss Mariette enjoys describing her portrait session with you as “leading you to the dance
of self-acceptance and self-creation” to help you realize you are a three dimensional
person who can present yourself in many ways. Along with exhibitions and books, Mariette gives
slide presentations on gender issues and consults for documentary films that include transgender
themes. In 1998 she worked with Kate Davis and David Heilbroner on a film for A&E: The
Transgender Revolution, the first documentary to emphasize political issues along with personal
stories. Southern Comfort, Kate DavisÕs next film, for which she also worked as consultant and
still photographer, has won 15 awards so far including GLAAD media nomination.
Miss Mariette’s latest book, The Gender Frontier offers images taken over many years of
the people featured in Southern Comfort, as well as other individuals and events.
Miss Shannon Harrington has always found her way to the center of gender-bending culture. Not
long after her arrival in New York she joined the troop of fabulous queens who performed at the
legendary Boy Bar in the East Village. To earn her keep and pay for those high heels she’s
been addicted to since childhood, she twirled her comb over wigs at Patricia Field’s
trendy Boutique - the same Pat Field who later costumed Sex In The City. We met Shannon when she
worked with our dear friend the activist and drag pioneer Mr. Lee Brewster at Lee’s Mardi
Gras Boutique, the transvestite’s paradise. Shannon is a professional wigmaster with films
such as Savages, Broadway shows such as Hairspray and even Shakespeare to her credit. She’s
the best friend you can have when picking out your “party hat”. She’ll lace up
your corset good and tight, and has been known to wear two at a time herself. When at work she’s
in her “gender neutral” mode. But her diva mode is a cross between Elvira and Dolly
Parton. Shannon knows all the tricks of the trade and she generously shares them with you.
Assistant Headmistress and Dean of Home Economics
Miss Viqui is often the first person a student will encounter when telephoning the academy for
information. Her lovely, polite voice, sets the tone for your future encounters. Miss Viqui
you to be a gentleman and a lady and will settle for nothing less. She helps to plan the student’s
curriculum with Miss Vera. Miss Viqui was taught by her mom how to cook and to sew and she can
you to do the same. She grew up in a household where the ladies always stopped for their
tea break. She teaches tea party etiquette. Miss Viqui is also a graphic artist who was
from Parsons School of Design and has studied in Italy. Along with Miss Vera, Miss Viqui
the academy crest and she designs many other academy visuals. Her first book is called, “Absolutely
Angels”. She helps to make your experience heavenly.
Dean of Cosmetology
Licensed Cosmetologist and Professional Make-Up Artist. Miss Deborah applies make-up with the
lightest stroke, as if a feather brushed over the face. “You can always add more”,
Miss Deborah as she instructs our girls. Miss Deborah is “the queen of tweeze” in
crusade to remove stray brow hairs. “Just a few and no one will know the difference, You
just look well-rested.” Miss Deborah is also a fashion maven who knows how to pull an
together. She is a woman of great taste and style. She knows how to accessorize...the perfect
jewelry, scarf, etc. She loves to go on shopping sprees with you girls and help you to find that
perfect accessory that might be missing or outfit you from head to toe. Miss Deborah can walk
the ladies’ department and within minutes zoom in on the outfits that will be just right
Dean of Hearts
Miss Kate, our Dean of Hearts, lives another life outside the Academy as Kate Bornstein: author,
performance artist, columnist, actress, and girl about town right here in New York City. Due to
popularity of her three books, Gender Outlaw, My Gender Workbook, and the novel she wrote with
Caitlin Sullivan, Nearly Roadkill, Kate tours North American campuses with an edutainment
slam poetry, monologues, and strange theories on gender. As a matter of fact, Miss Kate and Miss
Barbara tour together in a piece they call, “Two Tall Blondes Do Sex, Death and Gender”.
Here at Miss Vera’s, our Dean of Hearts teaches basic and advanced classes in Wardrobe and
Voice. Miss Kate is a post-operative transsexual, so she can also answer any questions you might
have regarding that kind of girl. She also teaches advanced courses in “Opening Your Girl
Heart”, “Discovering Cute”, and “Finding Fabulous”. Miss Kate’s
specialty, however is as your teacher/companion either out on the town or within the Academy
where her gentle conversation and companionship make your experience here truly rewarding.
Dean Of High Heels
Miss Maryanne brings her experience in ballroom dancing to the art of walking in high heels.
receiving an M.A. in Dance Education from Columbia University Teachers College, Miss Maryanne
decided that the world of ballroom dancing-rhinestones, sequins, feather boas, romantic music,
moving in the arms of a partner-sounded more fun than teaching modern dance at a college. The
opportunities have been many and varied. Participation in competitions around the country for
several years brought rewards and trophies but teaching has been Miss Maryanne’s primary
focus. She has been affiliated with many studios in the city, teaching both social and
style ballroom to large groups, couples and individuals; taught social dance for credit at
College; currently teaches social dance and swing at the New School; briefly taught dancing and
etiquette to children in private schools in Bronxville, NY and Southport, Ct.; does a regular
the Yale Club; was invited by her undergraduate alma mater, Skidmore College in Saratoga
teach mambo at the reunion weekend; and has produced many dance teachers currently working in
field. All of this is background for learning how to move with confidence and grace in high
Sometimes the technique of rumba will create just the right walk for the right situation.
Dean of Femmenergy
Barbara Carrellas is a sex educator, sex positivist and pleasure activist. She offers a
metaphysical, practical, humorous and entertaining approach to conscious sexuality. Miss Barbara’s
goals include helping students of the Academy to take the knowledge and energy inspired by her
instruction and integrate it into their daily lives, whether in the boardroom or the bedroom.
After a long and successful career in the New York theatre, Miss Barbara turned the focus of her
work and her art to sexual healing and sex as a spiritual path. She has facilitated countless
healing circles and support groups for women, men, transsexuals, artists, and people with
life-threatening illnesses. For four years she was a facilitator and on the Board of Directors
the New York Healing Circle, which was founded in response to the AIDS crisis and incorporated
principles of Louise Hay’s work. As her workshops grew in popularity and in attendance her
work expanded to include people from all walks of life and in all stages of their sexual
And she is a perfect guide to help you in yours.
Miss Barbara has combined her experiences in Tantra, Tao, Quodoushka, Reiki, rebirthing,
metaphysics, performance, ritual, herbal medicine, body work and erotic massage into unique and
pioneering workshops that create a vision of what conscious and sacred sexuality can bring to an
individual’s personal journey and to the healing of seuxal abuse and misuse on the planet.
will help you to soar to new heights of pleasure. Are you ready for the flight?
Miss Barbara has been featured in such sex positive videos as Selfloving, The Sluts &
Video Workshop, and in the film Sacred Sex. She has also appeared on HBO’s Real Sex,
Australian television’s Sex/Life and the documentary Sex In America. She collaborated with
Annie Sprinkle, the Academy’s honorary Ph.D. in Pleasure, to present Metamorphosex and
directed the Australian premiere of Annie’s renowned one woman show Post Porn Modernist.
Currently in the process of writing her own book, Miss Barbara has written numerous articles
sex and writes a monthly feature for the sex magazine, Over 40, highlighting the lives and
sexually mature women, including the stars of the “golden age” of porn. She has
and produced “The Pleasure Priniciple” a series of educational audio tapes. Miss
has lectured at colleges and together with her partner Kate Bornstein, the Academy’s
, performs their gender-bending lecture performance piece, “Two Tall Blondes”. And
are. Their advice column is featured in Transgender Tapestry magazine.
Miss Barbara was recently named the best Tantric Sex Seminar Leader in New York City by Time Out
Magazine. But here at the Academy you can luxuriate in her as your private tutor.
Ballet Mistress and Dean of Dance
Miss Tiger is a classically trained ballerina. Her talent and love of the dance have won her
professional placements and prizes. She’ll certainly keep you on your toes, Missy. While
living in Florida, she was a soloist with the Florida West Coast Ballet Company and later, in
Rico, ran her own studio. When on sabatical, she vacations at Noyes Rhythm Camp.
Miss Tiger has the training and the pointy stick that encourage you to stretch your limbs and
limits. You will emerge from her class ecstatic not simply because of the tutu placed perfectly
your hips but because Miss Tiger has released the grace you hoped and prayed was inside you, but
until her lesson, you did not discover.
Of all of our deans, Miss Tiger is the most knowledgeable New Yorker, among her many talents,
a licensed tour guide.
Dean of Nightlife
Miss Topaz is our newest faculty member, having worked for many years as a Legal Assistant for
American Civil Liberties Union, where she was very active in promoting the rights of all
women, people of color, gays and lesbians and the transgendered community. Today, she focuses
attention largely on working and playing with gender illusionists. She was recently in a serious
relationship with a cross-dresser for two years, and believes that she, herself, is a drag queen
trapped in woman’s body. She is also a cabaret singer and performance artist, and
appears as Marlene Dietrich in drag. She was recently interviewed by Annie Sprinkle about her
and diversified forays into sex, for the magazine Over 50. She also had a short story published
Prometheus, the magazine of The Eulenspiegel Society, which won Third Prize in their literary
contest. The title is Life is Stanger Than Fiction and was about a serendipitous blind date with
Her credentials for her work at the Acdemy are best described by a recent admirer, who wrote:
“Thank youSOmuch for -- for --YOU.
You are as sweet and understanding as a ‘real’ lady can be. I hope some of this true
womanliness rubs off on your students -- that’s the definition of a real gal: truth,