Minnesota Bans Conversion Therapy

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From Minnesota Public Radio

The Minnesota House has taken a stand against conversion therapy, a practice used to try to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Lawmakers voted 72-53 Thursday to include a statewide ban of the therapy on minors in a larger health and human services bill.

Under the measure, mental health professionals in Minnesota would be prohibited from engaging in conversion therapy with clients under age 18 or with vulnerable adults.

Here are some pictures from the rally held yesterday at the Minnesota capital.   Photos from Outfront MN’s Twitter page.

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Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen!

Love, Hannah

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It’s Not Political, It’s Activism

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemöller

I think about this poem a lot these days.

I believe that keeping us safe is the most important thing we can do.  This takes on many different aspects.  For some of us, this means keeping this part of us secret from our family, our friends, our employer.  Safety also means avoiding danger and harassment as we are out in public.

But on a broader scale, it also means protecting our health, the way the world sees us, and our rights.

Some of you hate it when I discuss what is sometimes perceived as politics.  Every time I write about potential legislation I get comments (which are deleted) and emails (which I ignore) that ask me to stick to posts about high heels and leave the politics to someone else.

I also get emails from t-girls who are afraid to leave the house for fear of being attacked.  I understand and sympathize with you.  I get it.  There are stories every day of someone from our community getting hurt or killed.  We are not understood.  We are demonized.  We are hated.

Public perception of the trans community is something I take very seriously.  I believe that when we strut out of the house we are representing every trans person out there.  The more often we are seen, the more often we can show the world we are just people.  Trying to live our own lives.  In a way, we are speaking up for those who are not ready to leave the house yet.  I am thankful for the generation that came before me.  At the risk of their safety they made the world a little safer for my generation.

But when we are labeled burdens and problematic by the president, it reverses all the good that we are trying to do.  This fear-mongering of our community creates hatred towards us and redefines us in an inaccurate and offensive light.  The president’s ban on transgender individuals in the military was created because of his insistence that we are a financial strain on the government and portrayed our community as people who all want to get surgeries and hormones.

We all know that not all trans-identifed individuals want, or need, that.

Being painted as a burden creates misunderstanding and prejudice against us.  This creates hostility toward us and emboldens those who already hate us.

The military ban is in effect and is a blow to our community whether or not you served our country.  Serving in the military is one less thing we can do because we are portrayed as a burden.  Add that to many states prohibiting us from adopting or being able to use the bathroom that matches our gender identity, we are seeing more and more things a transperson can’t do.  It used to seem far-fetched but I can see malls banning the transcommunity because of the financial impact we cause by stores needing to have an additional unisex bathroom.

There are two things our community needs to be aware, and afraid of, from this week.

From The Hill:

Trump poised to roll back transgender health protections

A proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expected in the coming days would make it easier for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to deny care or coverage to transgender patients, as well as women who have had abortions.

The proposal in question is likely to be a reworking of an anti-discrimination section of ObamaCare.  

The worry: Advocates fear the administration will eliminate the gains made in ensuring transgender people have equal access to care. Coming on the heels of the military transgender ban, there are fears the administration could go even further and use the proposal as an opportunity to narrow the definition of gender.

From NPR

Supreme Court Will Hear Cases On LGBTQ Discrimination Protections For Employees

The Supreme Court has accepted three cases that ask whether federal anti-discrimination laws should apply to sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, putting the court on track to consider high-profile LGBTQ issues after its next term begins this fall.

…Depending on how they are decided, the cases could be seen as either continuing a move toward greater rights and protections for LGBTQ people in the U.S. or representing a shift in momentum, four years after the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

You may be wondering that this has to do with you.  If you are not out or living full-time, you might think this doesn’t apply to you.

Well, for starters anything that impacts anyone who is transgender impacts all of us.  If you are a closeted crossdresser and hate how the world doesn’t understand or accept you, laws like this won’t help the public’s perception of you.  These laws will allow discrimination against our community.

Many of us fear we will be caught or outed.  I get that.  If you don’t identify as trans and just enjoying wearing panties, you are still at risk of getting fired.  Do you think your Human Resources understands (or cares) that you are a crossdresser, not transgender?

To paraphrase Niemöller’s poem, they are coming for the transgender community and we must all speak out.

We can speak out by voting.  Whether you vote for someone or vote against someone.  There are things we can do.  Things we must do.

Elections matter, elections have consequences.  Republican presidents nominate conservative judges.  Republican members of congress pass conservative laws.  These are things that do not help our community.

We’re all in this together.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Hi Hannah, I have a question about your workout routines. You’ve mentioned before how hard you’ve worked for your figure and legs (using the stairmaster), and it shows. What did/does a regular week look like? Thanks for all you do.

 

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Thank you!

I think that when we accept ourselves as transgender we begin creating, or perhaps reinventing ourselves, in a way.  We have stopped resisting our feelings and emotions and are no longer denying who we are or who we want to be.

When we come out, we often wonder what is next.  We have come to terms with our gender identity and we begin exploring and getting to know this side of us.  We may expand our wardrobe, come out to others in our life, and try new things.

Whenever anyone tries new things, mistakes are made.  If you decide you want to be a painter, you will create a thousand bad paintings before your masterpiece.  You learn how to paint by painting.  The paint will cost money, it will take time to improve, you will dedicate time to practice your technique…but through all this you are learning.  You are improving, although it may not feel like it.

There’s no right or wrong way to be whatever gender you identify as.  But when I came into who I am, I wanted to learn makeup, I wanted to look a certain way in a dress, I wanted to walk confidently in heels.

I had a long way to go.

Again, you do not have to be able to walk in stilettos or wear lipstick to identify as a woman.  These were things I wanted to do.

I believe that in order to achieve anything takes it will (probably) take time, practice, and money.  Like painting, my life is a result of those three things.  It took time to build up my confidence to leave the house.  Makeup took practice.  It cost money to build my wardrobe.

One of the hardest things I did was lose weight.  At one point I weighed 240 pounds and was a size 18.  But I gave up drinking and have been sober for almost three years.  I never drink soda and rarely eat fast food.  I work hard at the gym.  When I hit the point where I was embarrassed with my reflection I decided to lose weight and I resolved to keep it off.

I came up with a routine and stuck with it.  I used to hit the gym six times a week in order to lose weight.  Now that I am just maintaining my weight I am there only four times a week.  My routine now is the same as it was when I was trying to get in shape.  I do 30 minutes on the Straimaster four times a week and another 15-30 minutes on the elliptical machine after that.  In the summer I go on bike rides.  And that’s it.  My body responded pretty well to cardio and avoiding alcohol, soda and fast food.

The changes I made benefit all of me.  I feel I look better in a little black dress as well as a suit.  I feel better, look younger, and have more energy than I did ten years ago.  My self-esteem and confidence have never been better.  Notice I never said I wanted to feminize my body or look more female.  This is because there is no standard as to what a girl is “supposed” to look like.

Everyone’s body is different and reacts to exercise and diet in different ways.  What works for one person may not work for another.  I feel I should mention that before starting any diet or exercise routine one should check with your doctor.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

What is the best way for me to meet other girls that just want to hang out dressed up?  I’m not looking for hookups, just fun people like me

I know a lot of t-girls.  In our male lives we work in warehouses, banks, offices, and just about every profession you can imagine.  You never know if your colleague is called Amanda on the weekends.  This is, in my opinion, really amazing.  You never know who is a girl like us but it’s not something you can really ask someone.

That also makes it hard to make friends with girls like us.  Especially if you are looking for friendship instead of sex.  There are groups, communities, and apps out there for people who are looking for sex with others who share a particular…interest.  It’s easy to find a furry or a latex enthusiast and have sex, but friendship?  True friends are hard to find.

One of the main reasons I started the MN T-Girls was to make friends.  Its more fun, and safer, to hit the mall with a friend.  Having friends who are like us is important.  It’s not easy to explain who we are to others, but another t-girl gets it.

There are websites out there such as crossdressers.com and urnotalone.com where you can create a profile and message others in your area.  Of course, safety, safety, safety.  Meet in public places, not at someone’s house or hotel room.

Of course, you can also start a group like the MN T-Girls, as well.  It’s not easy but it can be done.

Good luck, stay safe!

Love, Hannah

 

 

Love, Hannah

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

Spring Photo Shoot!

Can you think of a more fun way to spend a Friday afternoon than getting a makeover from Corrie Dubay and then going to a photo shoot with Shannonlee?  Because I sure can’t!

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This was a little different than other shoots I’ve done in the past.  This session was all about photos for product reviews from The Breast Form Store and Glamour Boutique.

I’ll be posting photos and reviews for some items over the next few weeks.  I’m actually wearing one of the products in the photos above and I can honestly say it has changed my life.  And no, it’s not the dress.  🙂

In the meantime, if there are any products or clothes that you would like reviewed, please email or comment below!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

What are your views about carry letters?

When we present as a gender or have a preferred name and/or pronouns that are different than what our legal documents and drivers license indicate, the idea of getting pulled over or being asked to provide identification becomes a lot scarier.

It’s hard enough to explain who we are to our partners, even if we have hours (or days or months) to discuss, but having an unplanned conversation about gender identity with a police officer on the side of a highway is ever more challenging.  Luckily more cities are being educated about transgender and non-gender conforming people.

A carry letter can help in situations like these.  A carry letter is typically written by a doctor, counselor, or therapist.  They usually state that you are transgender and that you are presenting as a gender that is different than the one you were assigned to at birth.  A carry letter is not uncommon for people who are transitioning and haven’t changed their birth certificate or name yet.

A carry letter is also helpful for those who wish to board an airplane presenting as a gender that is different from the gender on their identification cards.  On a related note, you can also familiarize yourself with the TSA’s policy on transgender passengers.

An example of a carry letter could read something like this:

To whom it may concern:

RE: ___________________________, ______________ ______, ______ This individual is under my care for the diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria which would lead to Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS). As part of the necessary process, ______ is to live the real life experience and dress in the gender to which the assignment will be made. ______is also receiving hormone therapy as part of the procedure, therefore is to be considered _________ and to be treated as _________ in all instances. If you have need for additional information, or to speak to me personally, please contact me.

Sincerely,

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Health Care Provider

Personally I think this example is a little outdated as it assumes that a transgender person will be pursuing surgery or hormones, but this should give you an idea what a carry letter typically says.

Like matte or gloss lipstick, a carry letter is an individual choice.  If someone feels a carry letter would be a helpful document to have tucked in their purse, then I see no reason not to have one.

Love, Hannah

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