Ask Hannah!

Hi Hannah, I was wondering if you know of any transgender friendly hair salons that do wig styling in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area?

Hi! There are several places I would look into. All three of these businesses sell wigs.

Creative Hair Design
Merle Norman

Rita Ambourn

Anyone in the Twin Cities know of anywhere else?

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

Ask Hannah!

I am looking for a place that will dress me up as a girl. I would like to be waxed or shaved before they make me over, is there a place like that? I have tried to buy stuff but it never fits. 


Transformation studios offer a variety of services.  Some offer wigs, clothes, makeup, and/or photography.  However, waxing is a complicated process that requires licensing in many (if not all) states.  I suppose it’s not unlikely that a transformation studio may offer waxing as one of their services but I am not aware of any. 

The easiest way to find a transformation studio is googling ‘transformation studio’ and the city you’re looking for, such as “transformation studio Minneapolis”.  You may need to vary the search terms a bit, such as googling “crossdressing services (city name)”, for example.  Services like the one you’re looking for aren’t super common but they are out there.  The bigger the city, the more likely you’ll find one.


Alternatively you can make an appointment at a waxing salon (such as Waxing the City or European Wax Center) before you visit a transformation studio, too.


If you are having trouble finding clothes, the best thing to do is take your measurements.  Girl clothes use a different sizing method than boy clothes and you have to take into consideration your hips AND waist.  And! A size 12 isn’t the same from one designer to the next.  Once you have your measurements and compare them to the sizing charts you see online (if you’re shopping online), you’ll have an easier time.

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

Amazing and Puzzling (but Beautiful)

The always fabulous MN T-Girls had our monthly event yesterday and what a beautiful day we had for it. We spent the day at the Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis and it was a perfect place to visit on an early autumn day.

We wandered around taking pictures of the art. Some of the art was amazing, some of it was just puzzling. But that’s okay! Sometimes I am amazing,, other times I am puzzling.

As the year winds down in Minnesota perfect weather days become more and more rare, so I am thankful for the beautiful day we had yesterday.

Love, Hannah

New En Femme Blog!

My new blog for En Femme has been posted!

The latest from blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available in our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her life as a self-described T-girl. 

In her newest article, “The Five People You Meet at the Mall,” Hannah talks about the types of people and reactions one encounters when en femme in a public place.  Read it now>>

Love, Hannah

Hi, My Name Is…

Depending on where you are on your journey of gender identity and your wardrobe collection, you might have a femme name.  It’s obvious why we have femme names.  It’s a little weird to wear a cute dress and spend an hour on our makeup and introducing ourselves as Frank.  I mean, you do you obviously but I was at a point in my life when it simply felt weird to look at myself and have a boy name when I was wearing my wig and makeup.  The wig and makeup were the breaking point, if you will.  I could call myself by my boy name when I was wearing panties or lingerie, but once I strutted across the line of makeup and wigs my reflection screamed GIRL and anything, especially my boy name seemed… well, it wasn’t a good fit.  


My name comes from the Japanese word ‘onnagata’ which means “woman role”.  At one point in Japanese theater women were not allowed to be on stage so the roles were played by men. 

Essentially the word is essentially a female impersonator.  Early on in my social media days I needed a last name to register for forums and websites.  I used “Hannah Gotta” which more or less rhymed with ‘onnagata’.  “Gotta” was never meant to be my “last name” but it was just something to type in that field.  It was a few years until I adopted ‘McKnight’ as my last name.  There’s no real story for McKnight other than it’s the name of a street in Saint Paul and I thought “Hannah McKnight” sounded good.  


Our names can be a variation of our boy names.  Some of us go by the name our parents were considering if they had a daughter instead of a son (but they did anyway).  Some of us have names that we simply liked and thought were beautiful.  We all have stories for our names, but at what point did you realize you needed and wanted a femme name?

Love, Hannah

Crossdressing is an Open Door

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently from people asking what does their crossdressing mean.
What they want to know is WHY they crossdress and what their crossdressing means about their sexuality.


No one, especially someone like us, can be neatly or satisfactorily explained or described in a sentence or two.  Human beings are complex, multi-faceted people and there are rarely words that accurately explain who we are and why we are.  


But let’s give it a try.


I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and that’s okay!  The internet is filled with different experiences, opinions, and perspectives.  I try to break complex things down (such as gender identity and wardrobe preferences) to something simple.  My explanations can often be oversimplified and usually lead to more challenging and soul-searching introspection.  I can also only offer perspectives on my own life with the hope that it might help someone else.


That being said, I don’t know WHY someone crossdresses.  I know why I do.  I wear “girl clothes” because I am transgender, or, more specifically, bi-gender.  I identify as transgender because of my broad definition of what being trans means (at least to me).  My definition of being transgender is something that is typically associated with a gender that is different than they one they were assigned to at birth.  I admit my definition of transgender covers a LOT of territory and I don’t expect all of us to agree with it.  And that’s okay, I am not trying to convince anyone here.  I believe people should wear what they want, no matter which gender the clothes are designed for.  This…., well, it’s not enlightened exactly, but this perspective de-genderizes clothes.  Why should only girls wear leggings and nightgowns and cute panties?  Anyone should be able to wear what they want, and anyone CAN.


Being transgender doesn’t mean surgery or hormones or transitioning.  At least not to me.  I acknowledge that being transgender might mean that to someone else and that’s okay!  I am not here to tell anyone that their perspective and opinion is wrong.  


So why does someone crossdress?  Because, well, they want to.  There’s something about dresses or stilettos or makeup that simply draws their attention or curiosity.  There is something alluring and enchanting about lingerie or a little black dress.  A man might be attracted to a girl because they are wearing a leather miniskirt and fishnets, but for someone like us, we might also want to WEAR the leather miniskirt and fishnets.  I know I do, and I do.  Let’s think of this as a door, in a way.  This new door is open to someone like us, the door that connects noticing the girl in the skirt and (opens the door) wanting to wear what she is wearing.


I think (and again, I understand that we all have different opinions on this) that crossdressing is a facet of being transgender.  Wearing “girl clothes” might have something to do with your gender identity, it might not.  I think for me it has EVERYTHING to do with my gender identity.  I am ALWAYS wearing “girl clothes”, even in boy mode.  I sleep in a nightgown, when I wake up in the morning I wear panties and leggings.  I wear “girl clothes” in boy mode.  I wear nighties, panties, femme jeans, and leggings because they are comfortable.  I don’t care (but I love that they are) that they are “for girls”.  You could invent the most comfortable, softest pair of leggings in the world and some men would still refuse to wear them, even in private, because they are “for girls”.  Not someone like us.  We don’t care that they are for girls.  In fact, since they are for girls some of us want to wear them even more.


Wearing girl clothes and identifying as a crossdresser has NOTHING to do with your sexuality.  Wearing a dress doesn’t make you gay.  Just because you sleep in a nightgown it doesn’t mean you want to sleep with a man.  That being said, some crossdressers like to be with a man when they are dressed in lingerie or anything else.  And that’s cool.  You do you.  What I wear has a lot to do with my gender identity, but it has nothing to do with my sexual identity.  Clothes do not turn someone gay or bisexual.  If you want to be with a man when you are dressed, it (in my opinion) likely means you also want the same thing when you are not dressed.  


Let’s go back to the door metaphor.  For some men the idea of being intimate with another man is not appealing to them at all.  But when they dress, their inhibitions fall, we are more in touch with what we want… and that door opens a little.  Suddenly being with a man is a little more… attractive when someone is dressed in stockings and lingerie.  But the lingerie didn’t magically change their sexuality, they are just more in tune with their desire.  


Again, I don’t expect anyone else to agree with me.  These are broad perspectives and of course, strictly my own opinion.  Like I said earlier, people are complex and what might describe one person can’t necessarily describe someone else.  My point in all of this is to express that wanting to wear girl clothes doesn’t necessarily mean that one wants to BE a girl.  I don’t want to be a girl full-time.  I like going back and forth between genders.  I like wearing girl clothes in boy mode.  I have no desire to be with a man, regardless of the gender I am presenting as.  So just in case you need to hear it. wearing a dress or a bra or painting your nails doesn’t mean your gay or bi.  I mean, you MIGHT be and that’s okay!  But wearing panties or boxers (ick) doesn’t change your sexuality.  

Related reading

Sex

The T Word

Love, Hannah

It’s Not Okay

I looked good on Saturday.  


And I think it’s okay to say we look good when we do.  For some reason it’s more… ah, acceptable to point out our flaws and shortcomings (especially for a girl like us) but I think if we feel good, if we think we look good, then we should say so.


And I looked good on Saturday.


I had one of my favorite dresses on, paired with one of the cutest pairs of heels I have, and my makeup was fire.  I knew I looked good when my wife said so, and that really made my day.  I was on cloud nine.  


I was meeting up with the MN T-Girls for dinner that evening and I set aside the day for a makeover, shopping, and some quiet time at a coffee shop to read my new book.  It was partial retail therapy, partial self-care.  It was needed.  I had planned a day where I would be very visible to the rest of the world and I knew I’d be interacting with a lot of people from baristas to cashiers to people just going about their day.  As a t-girl I am aware of the possibility that someone will stare (POSSIBLY because I am sitting at a Starbucks in a killer dress and stilettos), that someone will laugh and point, or will harass me.  It, unfortunately, comes with the territory…. and it’s not okay.


One thing I don’t really anticipate is getting hit on.  I do get hit on online through Flickr comments, tweets, and emails (this is not bragging, I wish it would stop), but getting hit on in the real world is, well, it’s uncomfortable and not something I ever feel ready for.

And it’s NOT affirming.  Not to me.  I don’t feel validated, I don’t feel cuter, I don’t feel more feminine, nothing like that.  

But some men of the world don’t care what we feel or think when they hit on us.  They might think we will be flattered or charmed or whatever, but I think most girls just want to be left alone.


And yes, I know, NOT ALL MEN.  


I had arrived at the restaurant about 30 minutes before the reservation time and I checked in with the hostess.  As she stepped away to make sure our table was ready, a man from the bar made his way over to me.  He put his hand on my shoulder (please don’t ever do this) to get my attention.  Instinctively I turned around and before I could react he said I looked beautiful.  Stunned by his boldness (again, don’t touch girls), I turned away after quickly saying thank you, hoping he’d get the message that I didn’t want to speak with him.  He pushed the “conversation” and commented on my heels and other small talk.  I was getting annoyed, like really annoyed.  My lack of interest in continuing the conversation was pretty apparent and he was either not taking the hint or choosing to ignore my body language. 


Thankfully the hostess returned and I approached her, but not before the man sidestepped his way in front of me (again, don’t do this) and asked if he could do anything for me.  I told him that I was just here for my reservations and the hostess spirited me to my table.  


Once there was a little distance between the hostess and I and the man, she asked if he was bothering me.  I said he was and then added “but it’s okay”.  And then I corrected myself and added “no, it’s not okay”.  I meant it was okay in the sense that it was over, but what he did, touching me, stepping in front of me, ignoring my body language, was not. We got to chatting about men like him, and she shared with me the things that have been said to her and like me, she added “but it’s okay”.  I had the feeling that she was used to men behaving in this way and she was, sadly, used to it.  As if it came with the territory.  After a moment she also said “well, it’s not okay” and we just stood there for a moment in our thoughts thinking about our experiences. 


We flashed each other a brave little smile and she told me to enjoy my dinner.  I thanked her for rescuing me and we both went about our evening.

I’d like to add that her, and the entire staff, could not have been more welcoming and pleasant to our group.


The world can be your mirror and sometimes we see other people doing things that we might have done in the past, or might do everyday.  Sometimes this reflection, their behavior causes us to pause and re-examine what we do, or did.  As someone who is bi-gender I experience the world in two very different, distinct ways.  That evening I saw what some men do, and how uncomfortable it made me, and how uncomfortable it made the hostess.  It was a reminder that I must always be a gentleman when I am a boy.  I like to think that I am.  I don’t do the things that he did, nor do I recall ever doing so in my life. 


It’s easy to ignore an email email or scroll past a Twitter comment that is too flirty or sexual for my liking.  But having it happen in real life is harder to deal with.  I don’t want that kind of attention. 


Stay safe, girls.


Love, Hannah

Dining out with the T-Girls!

Last night was the monthly event for the MN T-Girls. Because of the pandemic, we haven’t been out to dinner for quite a while so I felt it was time to return to the Wilde Cafe and Spirits in Minneapolis. It’s been a favorite of ours for years so it was fun to go back.

We caught up with each other and planned out our events for the rest of the year while we enjoyed yummy food.

And we all looked beautiful.

Love, Hannah