Rebel, Sweetheart

Goodness this website has had some heavy topics lately, hasn’t it?

When I started my first website alllll those years ago I wanted to celebrate this side of us. I wanted to talk about how amazing and fun crossdressing and presenting en femme is. I love reading about the lives and journeys of other t-girls. I can relate and empathize when they often talk about their fears and doubts and frustrations. And I’m glad for this. I think it’s healthy for someone to have an outlet, a place they can turn to pour their heart out and find support. God knows I use my website to sort out my own thoughts and feelings.

Not only can we relate to fear and sadness and isolation and dysphoria being anything but non-cisgender brings, I think we can all relate to the absolute sheer joy of a dress that fits. The elation that we feel when we see a reflection of who we are in a mirror.

And yes, it might be a little shallow but that is okay. You are allowed to be happy when you add a new pair of stilettos to your wardrobe. You don’t need permission to daydream about the lingerie that you ordered.

If life isn’t about celebrating beauty or acknowledging what makes you happy, what is it about?

Celebrate this side of you. Embrace this side of you.

I admit I feel guilty when I tweet a photo of myself that I like and then scroll through my timeline and see tweets from my friends about anti-trans laws being passed across the country or stories of girls like us being harassed or worse.

It makes me feel shallow. Like I should be using my voice for a greater good.

But I also feel that it’s acceptable to say “yes, it’s okay if you love clothes, if you love feeling beautiful.” The world is a difficult place for a lot of us. It’s okay and it’s important to bring beauty to it.

In a world that hates us, loving yourself is the most rebellious thing you can do. In a world that wants us to go away, strutting through the mall en femme is an act of defiance.

Be you. Love yourself. Buy that dress.

Love, Hannah

The Click

Hi!

I need your help!

I get a lot of emails from girls like me, from people like you, from crossdressers AND from partners, spouses, and significant others about relationships with a non-cis gender person.

Most of these emails are about two people trying to understand or trying to explain this side of us to their partner.

It’s not uncommon to hear about how someone came out to their partner. I don’t know if there’s a right way to come out to someone (besides being gentle and honest) but goodness I’ve heard of a lot of wrong ways to reveal this side of ourselves. Well, maybe not WRONG but it certainly didn’t go as well as intended despite someone’s best and most sincere efforts.

Helping someone understand this side of us is very very very difficult. It’s complex and simple and abstract all at the same time. I mean, I am at peace with who I am, I know who I am, I know what I want out of life. I also know who I am not and what isn’t right for myself. But could I succinctly and clearly relay this to someone else? No. I mean, I think it would take someone a long time of reading every meandering post on this site to “get” me. Not to say I am a baffling mystery but we are all very nuanced and every transperson is different from another transperson.

Someone was explaining lightyears to me the other day and how light travels and how super powerful telescopes display images of things that happened a zillion years ago and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. It seemed to contradict every law of reality, like looking into something that happened in the past. He did a very good job patiently explaining it but I just couldn’t process it.

Gender identity is probably similar. How does one explain the physics of interstellar light in a couple of sentences? How does one explain why someone with a penis wants to wear a dress?

On a side note, the last thing I expected to write about this morning was comparing crossdressing to lightyears but here we are.

I have come out to three romantic partners in my life. One didn’t understand and avoided discussing it, another was accepting, and then there’s my amazing wife. Each time I came out there was also the need to explain who I wasn’t and what this didn’t mean.

No, I am not gay. No, I am not doing drag. No, this isn’t a sex thing. No, I am not in denial. No, I don’t feel I was born in the wrong body. No, I am not going to transition.

Each of those sentences was their own conversation, often over the course of several weeks. An exhausting conversation for both of us. These conversations rarely led to them being resolved. Resolution would come in time. What I mean is that no matter how many times I told my wife I didn’t want to transition, she wasn’t convinced or at least was very skeptical. It took years until she was at peace and had moved on from that fear.

The first thing that needs to happen when it comes to our partners understanding this side of us is them going in the right direction.

What I mean is them learning what this side of us IS, and them moving away from what this side of us ISN’T.

Our partners first have to come to terms with who are are NOT before learning who are really are, what we really want.

To put it a different way (and bear with me, I am not a mechanic), if you are fixing a car that is making a weird noise, you probably start with what is the most likely reason the car is making that noise. If that is indeed the reason, then you know how to approach it. If it’s not the reason, you go to the second likely reason and so on.

This side of us isn’t that different.

And here we are comparing crossdressing to auto maintenance. I mean, we already compared crossdressing to interstellar travel so we may as well roll it with.

The moment we realize that we want to wear panties or makeup or look feminine we likely immediately wonder WHY we want this. We probably ask ourselves the same questions. Am I gay? Is this a fetish? Am I repressing something I am feeling? Was I born with the wrong genitalia? Is transitioning right for me?

Thus begins a lifetime of introspection and overthinking.

When we come out to our partners, they process who we are in a very similar manner. Is their husband gay? Is their husband wanting to do drag? Is this a fetish? Is he in denial? Does he feel he was born in the wrong body? Does he want to transition?

I mean, to be fair, these are very common reasons why someone like us are who we are. Of course, there are just as many of us where these reasons are nothing to do with who we are. Myself included.

Our partners will likely need to come to peace with each of these questions (and this usually takes a loooong time) before they can start to see for themselves who we really are and what this is all about.

Going back to the car analogy, a mechanic will look at every likely reason an automobile is making a weird noise. If the noise isn’t caused by the most likely reasons they start to look at the situation with fresh eyes and realize it’s a different scenario, one they hadn’t considered. A new thing to understand.

Once my wife came to terms with who I wasn’t, it was only them she could begin the bewildering journey of learning exactly who her husband was.

Like lightspeed, she had to understand who I am in a context that she could relate to, that she could understand.

Something had to click.

And one night, it did.

This click was like a light switch. All of a sudden she could view something with new eyes, in a new perspective. To belabor the metaphor, she was no longer in the dark. She could start to see.

Of course, not everything was easy after this. It was like seeing a very messy basement that needed to be organized. You can finally see what something is and the real work is about to begin.

This click was realizing something about myself that she could relate to.

“You just want to feel beautiful.”

She nailed it. I did want this. I will always want this.

This is an universal desire. I think we all want to feel attractive…. or handsome or beautiful.

Everyone can relate to wanting to feel attractive.. and we all have different perspectives on what this means to someone. For some, it’s a floor-length ballgown. Others feel their best in yoga pants and flipflops. For some a three piece suit is what it takes.

I think her realizing that beauty doesn’t have gender norms and we are all wired in certain ways stripped the essence of who I am down to my core. She had to ignore every societal expectations and traditions when it comes to clothes and feelings and emotions. Black and white became gray, blue and pink become purple.

It was only then she could look at who I was in an objective way. She eliminated common reasons why someone with a penis wants to wear lingerie and could see things differently and she could see me for who I was.

In a new light.

Of course, not everything was sunshine and butterflies from there. We still had difficult conversations, she still had fears, complex feelings, and doubts. Much of this was two steps forward, one step back.

My point is that it took years for she and I to be more or less on the same page with all of this. It took years of going in the right direction, if you will, in any journey that was made, whether it was mine or hers. But it took that aforementioned click for her to see the first step in the direction that took her, that took us, to arrive where we are today.

So, what was your click?

What did you say, what did your partner say that helped to put this in a new light?

I would love to hear your comments.

Love, Hannah

The Pink Rule

Hi girls!

Thanksgiving week is always weird. For most of us it’s a short work week. Additionally most of us are also likely traveling or preparing a meal or dreading seeing certain family members. Whatever you are doing, or whatever you had to do, I hope it went by as well as it could!

In addition to all the normal holiday related activity, whether for family or work, I spent a lot of this week exchanging emails with ya’ll. And your significant others. Goodness that sounds questionable, doesn’t it? This was a busy week for some of you.

Most of the emails I get are from people who have questions about crossdressing plus marriage. Or emails from partners of crossdressers. Or people who are looking for guidance, support, and reassurance.

Some emails are partners who are venting their frustrations or pouring their hearts out. No matter how many emails like these I get they still move me. It’s also amazing how similar they usually are.

Not to generalize but most of the emails I get from partners of crossdressers are along the lines of:

  1. I don’t really understand why my husband wears lingerie but it makes him happy and I just roll with it
  2. ….but he keeps going behind my back and lying about this side of him. He tells me he doesn’t want to transition but it’s hard to believe him when I accidentally found his wig and he admitted he goes out en femme when I am not around

Please know this. Not every person who has a penis who wears “girl clothes” secretly wants to transition or is in denial about it. I have a penis and more stilettos than anyone I know and I have no desire to transition. They are more people like myself than one would think.

It’s very very difficult to explain who we are and why we are and what we want to someone else. WE get it. We know who we are. Helping someone else understand this side of us isn’t easy. My wife has seen my progression and journey over the last fifteen years and she will never REALLY understand who I am in the exact way I understand who I am, but she gets me.

It’s not unlike how I don’t understand how she can unwind after a very long day with a murder documentary but I get that this how she likes to relax. I don’t need to get it. I don’t need to relate. I just know that this is how she is wired.

We all know this side of us will cause varying levels of fear for our partners. We know that this side of us will cause tension and stress in our relationships.

And this isn’t fair to our partners. This is not something our partners ever guessed that they would live with.

When we commit to someone we make a promise to be honest and open to them. Doing anything less than this is, in my opinion, disrespecting them.

Lying about this side of us, refusing to answer questions about this side of us, getting defensive and angry about this side of us, gaslighting our partners makes our gender identity (which is already confusing and stressful to our partners) even more confusing and stressful.

Again, it’s usually not the crossdressing itself, it’s the behavior that our crossdressing can cause. What I mean it’s not wearing panties that is usually the issue, it’s LYING about wearing panties.

Bob Dylan once wrote “to live outside the law, you must be honest”. If we tweak that a little we could say “to live outside the gender norms, you must be honest”. I think that’s good guidance.

IF this side of you is more than panties, tell her.

IF you want to go out en femme, tell her.

IF you want or feel or think anything that is different than what you have said, tell her.

And yes, this is waaaaay easier said than done. I promise that I get it. I promise that it’s not this simple.

We are driving our partners to the brink of emotional breakdowns when we are constantly lying about this side of us. We tell them that this side of us is all about lingerie BUT then they learn that we have boxes and boxes or wigs and high heels. We tell our partners we don’t want to transition BUT our search history contradicts this. We tell our partners so many things to reassure them, to help them understand, to minimize their fears BUT our behavior, our actions, our secrets cause us to lose all credibility.

If I have any “golden rule” about crossdressing and relationships it’s that our partners WANT, and NEED, and DESERVE the truth. Oooh, maybe we should call it The Pink Rule?

And I know this side of us isn’t easy to talk about. To put into words. I know. I get it. I relate. Even after all this time I still feel a little silly and awkward when my wife teases me about how many dresses I own or the extensiveness of my lingerie drawer. Well, drawers. Well, entire dresser.

Please know that the extent of my conversations with my wife about my gender identity are not only about clothes. These days they are, but it took years of intimate and difficult and stressful and frightening talks about this side of me before she found peace with who I am.

Trust is fragile. It can take years to build on it but one small thing can destroy that trust and make it impossible to ever create it again.

“But it only happened once!” is something many people say. This can be about someone not being faithful in their marriage but this is often mentioned when it comes to this side of us.

What I mean is that I get emails from crossdressers who tell me that they have a supportive wife but one of the agreed upon boundaries is them not leaving the house. And guess what? They left the house. And were caught. All the love and support and patience their partner put into this is just… gone.

“But it only happened once!” they say.

Well, yes, but you blew it.

You may be forgiven for this adventure but your partner probably won’t forget. It’s not carrying a grudge, it’s not refusing to let something go… it happened and has fundamentally changed the situaion.

Years and years and years ago, I dated a girl who cheated on me with one of her exes. She was friends with him after the breakup and would still hang out. This was awkward for me but I did my best to not let my fear and insecurity get the best of me.

And then I found out she cheated on me.

“But it only happened once!” she said.

I forgave her, we moved on. But I never stopped being afraid it would happen again. Every time she hung out with him my mind drifted back to that time.

Our partners may have a similar reaction. The same fear. And they would be absolutely right and justified.

Listen. We feel guilt about this side of us when it comes to our relationships. Our partners sometimes feel guilt too. But it’s different.

“My husband promises this side of him is all about lingerie but I just feel he is not being honest and I feel guilty about not believing him”

“My husband wears dresses and I feel guilty for not being as accepting as he’d like me to be”

“I love my LGBTQ+ friends but I feel guilty about being uncomfortable when my husband dresses up”

For many of us, this side of us is the best thing ever. It’s sometimes the complete opposite for our partners. It’s like having a favorite restaurant that our significant others don’t care for but you still eat there every single day. This side of us might be fun and the perfect way to spend the day but it can cause so much stress and tension for our spouses.

To all my crossdresser and t-girl siblings out there, please be honest. Please tell the truth.

I encourage partners of crossdressers to look into counseling. Our partners need someone to talk to. This side of us is very, very lonely for them.

But I also encourage people like myself to do the same thing. I have been going to counseling for over ten years. Not because I am trying to find myself or understand myself or whatever, but getting help with communicating with my wife and getting someone else’s perspective has been enormously beneficial to my marriage and to my own peace.

Okay, I’m done lecturing. But please know many of our partners are more accepting that you might think, and more accepting that we dreamed, and more accepting that we deserve. It’s the lying about this side of us that becomes the problem.

Love, Hannah

P.S. I tend to speak in absolutes such as “tell the truth” and “be honest” and use words like “always” and “never”. I am aware that the truth may put someone in a very difficult or dangerous situation. I understand that not everything is black and white or pink or blue. Always make the decisions for yourself that you feel is the right choice… especially when it comes to personal safety.

Bye Bye Birdie

I am fascinated by sinking ships.

Not real, literal, actual sinking ships, but the period of time watching… something fall apart. Something slowing sinking below the waves, never to be the same again. The end days of something.

I’ve had jobs where the office was going to be relocated halfway across the country and the staff was given a 90 notice that we would be losing our jobs. That 90 day period was fascinating. I mean, yes, it’s sad to see people lose a job and it’s stressful looking for a new job, but watching the drama unfold, the shift in attitude, the “it’s the end of the world as we know (and I feel fine)” vibe is really interesting to me. People stop caring, people get angry…

In a way, it’s a peek into how the world might collectively respond to an approaching asteroid and knowing that in a few days life on earth would be annihilated. Watching people react to an approaching doom, an inevitable result is very interesting. I mean, I have no idea what I would do if we only had a week to live. Would I tell my boss exactly what I thought of him? Would I start drinking again? Would I ignore the threat? I have absolutely no idea.

Is this weird that I think about this? I mean, yes, it probably is.

Last week Twitter was having somewhat of a crisis. Rumors and speculation were rampant that the site, also known as “the bird app” due to the bird logo, might be disappearing any day now due to the erratic whims of a billionaire.

People were tweeting like crazy. Some were saying goodbye, some were venting, some were saying thank you to their followers, some people were just angry, some were apathetic, some people found the humor in it all.

I am probably trivializing things in my comparison, but it was kind of like seeing how people would react if the actual world was really ending.

And yes, I know that a website going offline is not the same thing as all life vanishing. I know this.

My point is that people will likely react in a certain way if they know this is their last chance to say something, to do something, to express an emotion. We usually don’t know when a goodbye is the final goodbye and there is something beautiful about being able to say a proper farewell, a proper thank you to someone knowing it’s the last one.

Anyway, the Twitter Apocalypse was last week. It didn’t happen. Due to the speed of how rapidly things happen online, last week feels like a year ago. I mean, the site could disappear literally at any moment but it doesn’t seem as likely as it did last week.

I LIKE Twitter. I use it in my boy life for quick information regarding current events (this is especially helpful when I am traveling) but I also like having an account for Hannah.

And yes, this is shallow but it does a lot for my self-esteem. Make no mistake, this side of myself is an expression of who I am. And! I would be lying if I didn’t try to be as beautiful and as feminine as I possibly can be.

My gender identity and my gender presentation is for myself. And! I would be lying if I said that someone’s opinion of my appearance didn’t effect me. A compliment gives me a boost, and the opposite stings.

Tweeting a picture that gets a lot of positive interaction makes me happy. My self-esteem is not dependent on the internet’s response to a photo but it does impact me.

If I am having a rotten day or feeling very… MALE, tweeting a photo and reminding myself of my more feminine side makes me happy. If the photo gets likes or nice comments, well, even better.

I have more followers on Twitter than I had ever expected to have. I know I shouldn’t feel this way but it is very affirming. It helps me think that maybe I am achieving what I am trying to do.

But please know that social media is… it’s weird. Followers or lack of followers doesn’t mean anything sometimes. Hannah used to have an Instagram account and for the life of me she just couldn’t make a splash. No one cared. Twitter was a different story.

So, in honor of the potential disappearance of Twitter I thought I would take the time to reply to the messages I have sitting in my Twitter inbox.

I typically respond to an email in relatively quick fashion but messages through Flickr and Twitter tend to be from men who are looking to hook up. As you can imagine I don’t respond to them. I’ve written before how lazy and uninspiring these messages are but even if some guy wrote the most thoughtful, well-written message to me declaring their love I still probably wouldn’t respond in the way they would (presumably) like.

So, in matching the energy and effort that these dudes have put into their messages to me, I will reply with the same energy and effort that they used.

Hi.

Hi.

Hi.

Thank you!

Thank you! And yes.

Thank you!

Thank you! And no.

Thank you!

I try!

Thank you!

Thank you! I owe it all to the Stairmaster.

Thank you!

I’m good.

Thank you!

Hi.

No.

Thank you so much!

Hi.

Thank you! I try!

No.

No.

That does sound fun!

Thank you!

It takes a lot of time and money.

You’d be surprised.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Hi, thank you, I am not “your love”

Thank you!

Look. I know this might come off as bitchy and pretentious. I don’t mean to. I feel that most of the messages I get are from men who are trying to shoot their shot. Short messages that are usually “Hi” and “u r pretty”, hence the many responses above simply being “Hi” and “Thank you!”.

I wanted to post this mostly out of silliness, I suppose. I thought it might be funny to list responses without the corresponding question and let your imagination decide what the sender was actually asking.

On a more serious note, Twitter and to a larger extent, social media and the internet as a whole is a mixture of good and terrible. Twitter gives me a chance to connect with others and show support for LGBTQ+ businesses and people and resources. I hope it sticks around and things stabilizes.

Love, Hannah

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I get messages through my website and from time to time I see that the provided address to receive a reply is very likely fake. But I usually respond and in almost every instance my instinct was correct and the email is bounced back. It’s possible the address had a typo in it but my suspicion is that someone had something to say but didn’t want me to reply to them directly. Cowards.

Most messages like this are almost always snarky or rude. My guess is that they wanted to tell me something to trigger a certain emotion but not have to face any sort of confrontation. Again, cowards.

I think the reason for some of these messages are intended to… well, wound me. I suppose that’s a little dramatic. The internet can provide a way to say something, be it a compliment or an insult, that you might not have the courage or nerve to say in real life.

Instead of being able to reply to these emails, I will sometime respond to the question or address the inquiry here. Some of my postings are meant to, in a way, set the record straight about something. I know I shouldn’t “feed the trolls” but there are times when I feel defensive. I am often impulsive but I’ve recognized this over the years and have learned to (mostly) control this. Lately my boss has been an absolute jerk and sends incredibly nitpicky accusatory emails.

I don’t know, but I feel that there’s probably a more constructive, kinder way to manage, inspire, and lead people.

But this is a website that is mostly about femme presenting transgender people, not a place to air workplace grievances.

My point is that when I get a snarky email, either from my boss or in Hannah’s inbox I fire off a really bitchy response and then I go back and edit it to something waaaaaaaay less confrontational. And then I edit it again. And again. And again. I deescalate my reply to the point it almost comes off as objectively weak. It’s impossible to disagree with certain people and I’ve learned to pick my battles. I stand by the work I do and the actions I take in both sides of my life but I also know when it’s constructive or beneficial or pointless to present my perspective with certain people in the world.

One part of my life that I will always defend is my wife.

I received an anonymous message a while ago where the sender questioned how supportive my wife really is. It wasn’t someone looking for… clarification or had a genuine query it came off as more… competitive?

The sender told me alllll about how they and their wife would go shopping together, to the movies together, to dinner, together to, ah, the bedroom together…

It was all very smug. There’s a difference between “my wife is amazing. She goes out for coffee with me and helps me shop” and “I know my wife is supportive because she isn’t ashamed to go out with me. I guess it’s because I look like a “real” girl and she truly loves and accepts me”.

If someone has a supportive partner I am just as happy for them as they are. But you don’t ever need to throw shade at someone to make yourself feel better or to prove something or go out of your way to make someone feel bad.

It’s not a contest. None of *this* is.

The sender wondered how supportive my wife could be if she’s never gone shopping with Hannah. The sender wondered how supportive my wife could be if part of the reason I am not our to everyone in my life is out of respect for her.

Oh girl. This got my blood racing.

I think it’s natural for someone wanting to defend their partner and their choices so that part of me kicked in. My reply was… well, I am not sure how to describe it. But like an email to my boss I edited it, softened it, and reread and rewrote it several times. I hit “send” annnnnd it bounced back. All that effort for a junk email address.

Now I SUPPOSE I could have ignored it and not let it get to me, but again, it’s not unusual to want to defend your partner, their actions, their decisions, their character.

Listen.

This side of us is a LOT to ask of our partners. None of who we are is what our partners signed up for or expected.

Every gender non-conforming person is different.

Every relationship is different.

And of course it goes without saying that every relationship that involves a gender non-conforming person is different.

How two people express affection and love is different than another couple. People have different “love languages”. My wife and I express our love with very gentle teasing and doing small things for each other. Other couples show their emotions in different ways.

Our partners show their acceptance for this side of us in different ways as well.

True, my wife has never gone out with Hannah. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t accept her or doesn’t accept me. The truth is that neither one of us really like leaving the house at all, lol. Our ideal weekend is staying in and ordering food and reading or catching up on a show or taking care of our new home. The idea of going out, no matter my presentation, isn’t as appealing as it was ten years ago.

Unless I am running an errand, I am probably not doing much in the real world unless it’s Hannah enjoying a day out.

And if there are other reasons my wife isn’t hitting the town with Hannah then they are her own and do not invite anyone’s approval or opinion.

…and here they are.

Essentially if she or I were to be seen in public by someone she knows, then it will very likely open up THAT talk. The endless discussion of gender and identity and transgenderness.

The conversation that is exhausting to simply think about.

This side of me is my journey. And it’s also my wife’s journey. One that she never planned on taking.

And honestly? Neither of us have that energy to have that talk. We are both relatively private people and… letting someone into the uniqueness and nuances and intimacy and dynamics of who we are and who I am and who Hannah is is not something we want to do.

It’s like trying to explain a show that has gone on for ten seasons. It would take too long for you to be brought up to speed.

We’re content and at peace and happy.

And if you’re wondering, IF I wanted to transition (and I really don’t) then it’s likely our relationship would respond to that.

But since we’re both, well, settled into who I am, the “what-if’s” are not something we discuss and probably never will.

Support when it comes to this side of us adapts and changes, like any aspect in a relationship. When I came out to my wife as a crossdresser she didn’t understand. When I started wearing a wig and presenting en femme things shifted to fear and confusion. These days it’s “I love you and I love that this makes you happy and I don’t understand it and I hope you have fun and stay safe!”

And it’s perfect for us.

Years ago I wanted more than anything for us to go out together however she wasn’t comfortable. But I never saw her hesitation or reluctance as a lack of love or support.

Because I knew her.

Because she shows her love and support and acceptance in different ways.

She sends links to a hair removal device or other products that she thought I might want to try.

She compliments a specific picture I post.

She calls my outfit for the day cute or describes my heels as WHOA.

These are just examples into how I know how she feels. And it wouldn’t surprise me to hear how your partner supports and accepts you in different or even similar ways.

We bought a new house this past summer and she spent an afternoon looking for some new furniture. She sent over a photo of a cute dresser and asked “Would Hannah want this?”

And yes, Hannah did want that.

I love our new home but it lacks the closet space that our previous house had.

A few hours later the dresser appeared in our room and I spent a Saturday afternoon organizing my lingerie. It was wonderful. An entire drawer dedicated to my bras with their matching panties. A drawer for my camis and yes, their matching panties. Another drawer for basques and bodysuits.

I couldn’t help but think how fortunate I am. To be comfortable with who I am, to have all this beautiful lingerie. To have my wife.

My wife is genuine and sincere. She doesn’t say something unless she means it. She’s diplomatic and polite and gentle and direct in her relationships and because of this I have every reason to believe her when it comes to my gender identity.

Most of the emails I get discuss marriage and relationships. The majority are from other t-girls and crossdressers asking about how to make THIS work. I tell them that every relationship is different and that I don’t know their partner as well as they do and I can’t offer specific advice for them. All I can really do is encourage them to try to look at things from their partner’s perspective and to be honest.

And this isn’t easy to do when we are clouded by the fog.

It’s not uncommon for someone to share their experiences or what their relationship is like when it comes to their gender identity. Some of the common dynamics range from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to going completely behind their partner’s back. Others have a partner that struts through the mall with them or enjoy a girls night in.

It’s normal for us to want more, though.

We committed to a person because we (presumably and hopefully) love and cherish them. We share a life with them and want to do things with them because they are our best friends. Going grocery shopping is boring but it’s (hopefully) a lot more fun with your partner.

Same thing with our gender identity. We want to do things en femme AND we want to do something we love, something that is important to us with the person we love more than anything in the world.

When it comes to this side of us, if we want more it might be for specific reasons.

I want to go out en femme with my wife because I think it will show that she isn’t embarrassed by me

I want my wife to do my makeup for me

I want to come out to my family but my wife isn’t ready for that

I want to be “the girl” in bed

And yes, I get it. I can relate to many of the things we want or think we want.

Sometimes I am given a glimpse into the dynamics between themselves and their partners when it comes to this side of them.

My wife and I go out as girls but she is only comfortable with me en femme at LGBTQ+ nightclubs

My wife buys me lingerie but doesn’t like it when I wear panties during sex

My wife lets me go out of the house but has requested I not frequent certain parts of town to avoid running into people we know

I mean… these all sound wonderful, to be honest. How many t-girls and crossdressers would absolutely die to have a wife that buys them panties?

Sometimes I’m told these things (and other examples) and it’s followed up by I WANT MORE.

I want to go to church en femme, not just gay bars

I want to wear lingerie when we have sex

I want to go to a mall that my wife said is “off-limits”

Again, I get wanting more. And again, this side of us is a lot to ask. It’s normal to want more. Sometimes what we have is never enough. That’s the fog clouding our heart and mind. And our perspective.

The key to life is loving and appreciating what you have. I mean, yes, there are aspects of our lives that could be better. It would be nice to have a boss that is not completely unhinged and to find a foundation shade that will never be discontinued but, well, life is going to happen.

If you have a wife that buys you dresses or helps you shop or picks up your lipstick for you… well, you have more than most of us could even dare to dream.

Yes, you might want more but appreciate what you have. Acknowledge the stress and feelings and fear and loneliness that this side of us may cause in your partner.

Our partners sacrifice a lot when it comes to this side of us. How many of our wives have stayed up all night stressed or worried about this side of us? How many of our wives have had to share the burden of our secret from others?

I know these things about my wife. And honestly I don’t feel I could ever be a good enough partner to show my appreciation for her.

I try to minimize the inconveniences this side of me creates. I plan my adventures or MN T-Girl events with my wife’s schedule in mind. It’s not much but it’s… something. It’s probably not enough. I feel so grateful for the life I have and my wife helps make… HER happen. Whether it’s shared closet space or teaching me about makeup or encouraging me to start the MN T-Girls and just being patient and firm and trying to understand me and who I am… I don’t know if I could ever be worth it enough.

Getting emails from partners of others like us are pretty frequent. One thing I’m asked, and this breaks my heart a little, is why what they do isn’t, well, enough? Our partners struggle to understand us as much as we can be understood and try to accommodate us to the extent of their comfort level. Not all of us have supportive and/or accepting spouses but there are many partners out there who are doing what they can, what they feel comfortable with, for our femme side.

But again, sometimes we want more.

I let my husband wear panties but he gets angry when I ask him not to wear lingerie when we are intimate

I accept my husband’s feminine side… but SHE is always around. I miss my husband

My husband keeps coming out to friends and family without talking with me first

These are examples of partners who have a level of acceptance but (in my opinion), reasonable boundaries. Boundaries that perhaps at one point their spouses were more than happy to respect. But as time passed… they wanted more.

Which is normal. I get it. I can relate.

But there’s a difference between accepting our partner saying “I’m not ready for that” and, well, us being a bitch when we don’t get what we want. Being passive-aggressive when we are not given permission or the blessing to… go to a different level is really not mature. This side of us has the potential to drive a wedge between us and our partners and when this side of us makes a stressful situation even more so? That’s even more stressful. It’s an example of how crossdressing ITSELF isn’t the problem, it’s the problem that behavior when it comes to crossdressing CREATES. Being bitchy, going behind our partner’s back, overstepping agreed upon boundaries… this causes problems.

This can lead to a good thing, maybe not an ideal thing in our mind, but a good thing turning bad.

I get many emails about asking how to make crossdressing and a relationship work. The short answer is that I worked a LOT on my partnership with my wife. I tried very hard to see EVERYTHING from her point of view, I listened to her the first time she said something, and I stopped (although it took longer than it should have) making THIS the center of everything I did and everything I talked about. I stopped making crossdressing more important than her.

Of course, this is easier said than done. We need a way to express ourselves AND we need to share who we are and what we’re feeling and thinking with our partners. BUT we can do this without overwhelming our partners. Sometimes I want to talk and talk and talk about gender so I turn to blogging. Sometimes I want to go shopping en femme so I hit the mall with another t-girl. Making friends with girls like us is very helpful.

I’ve used this comparison in the past but I have a friend who loves football. Like, LOVES football. Lives, eats, breathes, sleeps football. AND it’s alllllllll he talks about. His wife also loves football but not to the extent of him. For her, going to a game off and on is fine but he is down at the stadium every Sunday tailgating. Then he goes to the game. Then he goes home and watches other games. Then he talks about the game.

He’s a nice guy but not really good at picking up on someone’s vibe, you know?

Instead of driving his wife up the wall with endless and constant talk about football he turned to other ways to share his enthusiasm. He has a lot of other football friends. He made friends to tailgate with. He has directed his love and excitement for something towards others who share his passion. HIs wife is always invited to come along and sometimes she does, but the point is that their entire relationship doesn’t revolve around a sport.

We can learn from them.

Heck, I learned from him. Not every conversation with my wife didn’t have to be about clothes and makeup.

But again, much, much easier said than done.

No one gets exactly what they want in life. Even a dream job has it’s negative aspects, a beautiful dress just might be a LITTLE too snug in some parts, and the dynamic with our partner might not be exactly what we want.

But like a lot of things, we might have it better than we realize. It’s at this moment we need to appreciate what we have and remember that what we have is what someone else would die for.

Listen.

This post is to encourage you to look at your relationship objectively when it comes to this side of you. I get that all of us might want more, but is it possible what you have, the support from your partner is actually… well, more than you thought you would ever have?

Mine is.

A decade ago I wanted nothing more than stepping out with her. It’s what I once wanted. What we have is different than what I thought I wanted, but like the song says, sometimes you get what you need.

Love, Hannah

Fuel

By now we have all heard of the horrific attack at Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado.

It’s absolutely shocking and frightening and it’s all too common. The reality that this happens at all is infuriating. Patrons of Q have said that it’s one of the few places someone who is queer can go in a conservative leaning city. Places like Q are crucial for our community.

The phrase “safe space” has gotten weirdly political in recent years and I wonder why. I mean, doesn’t every person want someplace they can go to feel part of a community? A place for others like themselves, regardless of their gender, sexual preference, or anything else one can identify with?

It’s important for girls like us to have places where we are welcome. It’s important that sport fans can watch the big game with other fans at a bar. It’s important that there are conventions for people who love science fiction.

When these spaces are invaded it’s hard not to feel someone is being… hunted.

As much as I would love for the world to love and support people like us, I know in my heart that this is not realistic in my lifetime. I would settle for being left alone. If you’re not going to be an ally then at least stop trying to hurt us.

Attacks like this impact everyone reading this website. It’s an all too deadly reminder that we’re are always at risk. When I am out en femme I know there’s the potential to be attacked, whether verbally or physically. And it could happen literally anywhere. I tend to go to very public places, such as malls or coffee shops but people who are prone to hurting us are potentially everywhere. While it’s true that the danger of being attacked in the middle of a crowded mall isn’t as high as walking down a dark alley there’s always the risk someone could follow me, watch the car I leave in, and follow me home.

And yes, even in this example the chances of this happening aren’t very high but the fact that this could happen at all because of my gender presentation and gender identity is terrifying.

I’ve written before how representation is more or less thrust upon those in the LGBTQ+ community. Even if I am not being interviewed on television or giving a presentation or whatever (not that I tend to do these things), I am still representing the trans community when I am wandering around the mall. What I do en femme and how I interact with the world will likely make an impression and influence someone’s opinion of girls like us.

Is this fair? No.

If I am rude to someone I am fully aware that the interaction could potentially cause someone to think that “transwomen are bitchy”.

I try to be pleasant and… well, non-threatening. I smile, I try to be chatty, and do what I can to hopefully appear… um, normal. Like it’s normal that a transperson is in line at Starbucks, just like you are.

In addition to simply, well, existing, I am also somewhat of a leader in the community but this was never my intention.

When I started blogging I didn’t think I would ever find an audience or have people tell me that I inspire them or that they could relate to what I write. I don’t mean to be an… um, an authority on anything. But regardless of my intentions, it kind of happened.

Because of this… influence I may have, I am very careful about what I write. If I have an opinion on something then I try very hard to stress that what I am writing about is my opinion and that if someone has a different perspective it doesn’t mean that either of us is wrong. It’s just different points of view. If someone asks about my thoughts on an issue in their relationship when it comes to this side of us, then I really emphasize that this is my opinion and I am not a therapist and that I will absolutely encourage someone to seek out counseling.

Please know this.

I am aware that someone saying things like “I am a leader” comes across as very egotistical or self-important. My ego or self-esteem are not emboldened by these words. I think any of us who posts on their website or hits the town en femme becomes, on some level, a representative of our community.

When I started the MN T-Girls almost ten years ago I knew the responsibility I was taking on. If I was going to start a support/social group for girls like me then I had to be reliable and consistent. Staying in contact with the group, organizing events, and endless planning.

An aspect that didn’t occur to me at the beginning was how responsible I would feel for the group and for every t-girl who joined.

This responsibility is wide-ranging. If a t-girl doesn’t like their food when we go out to dinner I feel disappointed with them and for them. If someone looks at one of the t-girls in a less than kind way, I feel sad with them and for them.

I feel responsible for every aspect of every event. I worry if the girls can find a place to park, if they feel safe when walking to their car, that they feel that it was a fun event.

But safety is the biggest one. It’s the one I think about all the time.

I honestly don’t know if in five years the world will be a safer place or a worse place for the LGBTQ+ community. We see more representation in entertainment which in a way, normalizes non-cis/non-het people but we’re also seeing our legal rights and access to medical care being taken away.

It’s not hard to feel that further violence is inevitable.

I worry so much about a member of the T-Girls being attacked. I worry so much about potential violence against us not only for our group but for the entire community.

I feel that any support group does good things. I feel that the MN T-Girls is a very good resource and club, if you will. But I also feel that any gathering has the potential for violence.

When I welcome a new t-girl to the group, I communicate the privacy and safety expectations to them. And for the most part these are respected. It truly takes all of us to ensure our safety. I am also fully aware that this isn’t 100000% without risk. If someone wanted to hurt us they could probably find a way.

Our group has attended Pride over the last few years. It’s the only MN T-Girl event where the details are made public before it happens. I am always very very very hesitant to do this. I don’t want this information out there because, well, letting some people know where a group of transgender women will be absolutely opens up the risk of something horrible happening.

Could our group be attacked at Pride? Of course. Violence at Pride events are not unheard of.

When violence occurs at LGBTQ+ friendly events or businesses it always leads me to thinking that perhaps I should close the book on the MN T-Girls. We have gotten very, very, very lucky in the almost ten years that the group has existed to have avoided any attack or threats.

So, if historically the group has been incident free, why stop? My reasoning is perhaps it’d be best to quit before an incident happens. I know that this is a fatalistic perspective but it’s hard not to feel that it’s inevitable.

The group IS a good thing. But lately I’ve been thinking of a lyric from a song by Ani DiFranco:

Beneath everything I can think of to think about
Beneath it all
Beneath all get out
Beneath the good and the kind and the stupid and the cruel
There’s a fire that’s just waiting for fuel

Members of the LGBTQ+ community have a target on their backs. I think this is particularly true for those who are gender non-conforming. I mean, it’s obvious Hannah isn’t cis. If you hated trans people, well, I kind of broadcast my gender identity to the world.

After the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 there was a prevailing mentality of not letting the terrorists win. This thinking, this resolve was more or less a defiance of resolving not to let terror impact our lives. I am reminded of this when an attack on our community happens. People who hate us want us to go away but we have every right to exist. If we are not going to let the people who terrorize us “win” then we shouldn’t “go away”. I mean, that’s what the bad guys want.

But it’s hard to be strong and brave when things like Q happen. It’s hard not to want to dissolve the MN T-Girls out of fear or potential violence.

And again, that’s what the bad guys want.

So, I don’t know what to think. Or what to do. Or what is smart. Or brave. Or stupid. Or courting fate.

But I do know that the MN T-Girls will still exist at this time tomorrow. I know that we will still have our monthly event in December. I know that I am thinking of an over-the-top party to celebrate our ten year anniversary in 2023.

For members of the T-Girls who are reading this, please know your safety is at the front of every event I plan. Heavy is the head that wears the tiara, I suppose. I wish every LGBTQ+ person felt safe. I wish we all were safe.

Please look out for yourselves and for each other.

Love, Hannah

Announcing the Hannah!

This side of us has dreams and desires that are wildly different than what many people in our male lives (if we have one) would ever guess.

I mean, I can’t imagine my coworkers would ever even begin to speculate that one of my life goals is to be a bridesmaid.

A while ago I realized I had a dream of, well… I mean, it sounds kind of silly but I think many of you will understand.

HommeMystere makes beautiful lingerie for girls like us. I have quite a few of their bras and panties in my wardrobe and I love wearing their matching camisole and panty sets or teddies to bed. It’s not uncommon for their designers to create a cute set with a name, such as Charlotte or Juliette.

I’m sure you can see where this going.

I thought it would be amazing to have a bra and panty set named after me.

A few months ago I received an email from HommeMystere and like magic, my dream was real.

They sent a beautiful tartan bra and panty (and a flirty little skirt) and like everything else they design, it fit perfectly. Modeling it at a recent photo shoot was an unreal experience.

I am thrilled to show you this beautiful set. I hope you like the pictures and I hope you like the lingerie.

The Hannah will be available in early 2023!


Love, Hannah

Set Your Phasers to Stun…

…because yesterday’s MN T-Girl photo shoot will leave you speechless!

I recently wrote how the professional photo shoot we do each year is one of my favorite events because it’s a peek inside someone’s soul… and their closet. Yesterday absolutely proved that as the girls were princesses and beauty queens. It was wonderful.

Five t-girls spent a few hours getting glammed up and dolled up and wearing absolutely amazing dresses and outfits. It was inspiring and a little humbling to see so many beautiful t-girls.

I can’t wait to see what the photos look like and I’ll post them as soon as I can for you. In the meantime, here is a little peek at the fun we had.

Love, Hannah

Lights and Cameras and T-Girls!

Tomorrow the MN T-Girls have our monthly outing which will be our annual photo shoot.

I do several photo shoots throughout the year but the yearly shoot our little group does is always my favorite one.

The MN T-Girls are celebrating our ninth anniversary this month and I’ve been reflecting on what we have done while also thinking about the future. Some events have been a lot of fun and some have been very unique and some, well, weren’t as popular or as fun as I thought they would be.

No matter what we do, each month usually has “a first” for at least one girl attending. For some outings it’s a girl’s first time out en femme. When we go out to dinner there’s a good chance it’s someone’s first time dining in a dress. These milestones are significant and I am always so happy and proud of my new friends.

The photo shoots are, in a way, a glimpse into someone’s heart and their closet. What I wear for a shoot I feel is a reflection as to how I feel about my myself. Lingerie can project confidence, leather suggests fearlessness, a gown reveals that undeniable desire to be as beautiful as I can.

I absolutely love seeing what the girls choose to model for these shoots. It might be a costume, it might be a sundress, or a wedding gown. I think a lot of what is hanging in our closets has a story behind it. There’s a reason we bought it. Some of us have a gorgeous floor-length gown because we’ve always wanted to be a princess. A short and tight mini-dress radiates a confidence that the rest of the world might not see from their male life (if they have one).

My point is that our hearts have secrets and desires. We have yearnings and pangs of emotion. What we wear shows what we wish for. We may not be a princess in real life but for a few hours each year we can pretend.

Love, Hannah

Unwrapping

It’s my birthday!

And what do we do on birthdays (besides reflecting on another year passed or dreading what is to come or having an existential crisis)? Well, if you’re lucky you can unwrap a present!

In celebration of my birthday I would like to post the last set of pictures from my most recent photo shoot. And yes! They are lingerie shots to go along with the unwrapping metaphor.

Unwrapping? Undressing? Let’s just go with it.

And yes! Not very introspective but I’m working on a lot of thoughtful entries at the moment so I am giving my brain a little break from serious thinking and just indulging in my love for pretty lingerie.

Love, Hannah