Ask Hannah!

Dear Hannah,

I came out to my wonderful, selfless near saintly wife of 18 years. She knows what transgender is just not who it is. What I know is that she loves me and that will not change :):):)
It can be delicate for a while. Both of us just letting it digest. This can take overnight or it could take years (this would be a mutual denial) This is my greatest fear. The girl wants out and she wants to be acknowledged. To just go into a holding pattern would be worse then internalizing it.
Support groups? Books? Therapist? ( OK, I have one)
Any advice?

-Valerie

Coming out to anyone, especially your significant other is probably one of the hardest things we will ever do.  I’m sure it wasn’t easy and I’m glad you did it.  It’s always better for us to come out as opposed to being caught.  I get at least one email a week from a significant other of a crossdresser or t-girl who pour their hearts out because they caught their boyfriend, fiance or husband or discovered their wardrobe.  Many times it’s not about the clothes, it’s about the lying and not being honest with them.

I know it’s not easy, but I urge you all to please, please tell your significant other about this side of you before get married or live with each other.  I know it’ll be hard, but you owe it to them.

But I digress.

When you come out to someone, especially a significant other, it’s easy to let things get out of hand.  For many of us we have kept this part of ourselves secret for so long that it’s a relief to talk to someone about it.  It’s possible we’ve never talked about this to anyone else and soon our experiences, desires and secrets just pour out.  This can be very overwhelming.  The person you came out to is still processing this information and when you add more to it, it can be a lot to take in.  Take it slow.

When it comes to what’s next, well, that’s up to you.  What do you want to do?  What do you currently do?  Do you dress at all?  With my wife I did not go from coming out to dressing completely in a couple days.  It took time for both of us to adjust.  It started with her seeing panties in my dresser and her getting used to that.  Then sleeping in a nightgown and so on.  It was about four years after I came out before I was in a dress, makeup and a wig.  I didn’t always make the right decisions during this time and I got lost in the pink fog a lot, but my wife is an incredible person and she was always honest and direct with me with what she was thinking, feeling as well as what she was and wasn’t comfortable with.

Don’t be surprised if this is two steps forward and one step back for a while.  Don’t fight her if she asks you to not dress up for a few days…or weeks or around her.  If she sets limits or boundaries, respect and honor them.  You mention you have a therapist, perhaps you may consider a couples session where the two of you attend to discuss this part of you.  She may also need someone to talk to independent of you and I would recommend PFLAG, a wonderful organization that provides, among other things, support groups for our friends and families.

Good luck!

Love, Hannah

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Flying Pretty

One of my goals is to “fly pretty”,  a term that refers to going on a flight dressed.  I have no fear of doing it, but I have no travel plans on the horizon.  Flying pretty does take a lot of planning and really, there’s no going back once you get to the airport.

If you’re thinking about doing this, please watch this video by the TSA, and if you’ve ever flown pretty share your experiences in the comments.

Love, Hannah

A Night at the Theatre!

The monthly MN T-Girls outing was yesterday and you couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.  It was a reminder why we are the MN T-Girls, and not, I don’t know, the FL T-Girls.  Days like yesterday are why I live here.

A few months ago, we were invited to attend a play put on by the Uprising Theatre Company for a production of ‘Sex in the Dark’, a play focusing on intimacy after transition, but unfortunately the timing did not work out.  Having always wanted to attend a play en femme, I was excited that we were able to attend a performance of their current production ‘Prometheus Bound’.

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It was a small group, just myself and two others but the three of us were treated to amazing performances, particularly by Shahd Elkhier.   The crew was wonderful and friendly.  I was really impressed with not only the play itself, but also by the social awareness of Uprising.  I really encourage you to see the causes they champion for.

Thank you to Uprising for the invitation, for the causes you support and for a wonderful evening!

Love, Hannah

Saying Yes to the Dress, the Heels, the Skirts…

Is there anyone on the planet that has a bigger, more emotional relationship with clothes than a crossdresser?

As far back as I can remember, I remember the pangs of seeing a beautiful dress and just yearning to wear it.  As I got older the feeling just grew.  There was always a longing in my heart when I heard of girls in high school shopping for a prom dress, and later, listening to my friends talk about wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses.

I think every one of us remembers the first time we wore a dress, the first time we walked in high heels, the first time we wore…anything and everything.

As I grew up and started to buy my own clothes, I remember the thrill of actually owning my own pair of panties, my first pair of heels.  Of course when I first moved out my wardrobe started to expand…and like many of us, the wardrobe ended up in the trash a short time later.  When we purged we all felt that this was it, we were never going to dress up again.  We could beat this, we could live without this.

Of course, we were all fooling ourselves.  It wasn’t long until we regretted the purge or until we were back at the mall, shopping all over again.  I purged more times than I would like to remember.  I have thrown away so many dresses and heels that I regret.

When I was in mid-20’s, I realized I was never going to change and I finally accepted that this is who I am.  My wardrobe started to steadily grow over the next few years and then I met the girl I married.  After a few months of dating, I told her about everything.  It was a shock to her but I was glad I was honest with her.  I knew I wanted to marry her and I knew I had to be upfront with her.  A few days before we moved in with each other, I purged for the last time.

Of course, it wasn’t long until I started buying panties again, but I was honest with her.  Soon I started to grow a wardrobe again and I never purged again.

Until tonight.

Kind of.

A little over two years ago, I decided it was time to make some changes and I cut back drastically on my drinking, started to exercise more and lost fifty pounds and I have kept it over since then.  I also dropped from a size 20 to a size 12.  I needed new clothes and my wardrobe started to grow again.

I cleared out my closet and I wondered what I should do with the clothes that didn’t fit anymore.  I finally found a perfect home for the clothes and I am excited it will help other t-girls.  More on this later.

Tonight I sorted the clothes that were going to be donated and it was very emotional.  I found the first dress that I bought years ago when I started my wardrobe for the final time, I found the dress I wore the first night I went out, the skirt I wore when I went out for the first time I went out during the day, the first dress my wife bought for me…

I am lucky to have the life, the wife and the clothes I have.  I am glad these clothes will go to other t-girls that will love them as much as I do.   I wanted to take a look back on some of these outfits and reflect on how important they were in helping me become…ME.  These clothes are a part of me and I truly loved them.

Love, Hannah

A Visit to Midwest Makeup

9Last month the MN T-Girls visited Midwest Makeup in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis.  Owned by the fabulous Corrie, she not only runs an amazing store, she also does male to female transformations as part of her Femme Makeovers service.

I was fortunate to get a makeover by her when I visited her store and wanted to share my experience.  I’ve had a lot of makeovers over the last few years but I have to say I was blown away by Corrie and her techniques.  I’ve been using color correcting  to cover up my beard line, but the foundation and concealing technique she used was amazing.

What I loved about the makeover was watching her work.  Most of the makeovers I’ve had I faced the artist and didn’t see my face until my makeover was completed, but with Corrie I was in front of a mirror the entire time and was able to see her work.  I was able to see my face transform into someone beautiful and it was amazing.

Corrie is set up to do makeovers not only in her store but also in a private room should you so wish.  Corrie understands that many of us have a need for privacy and she is more than able to accommodate.

After the makeover, I did some shopping and purchased the concealer and eyeliner she used for my makeover.  I also picked up some custom made lip gloss for my wife.

I had an amazing afternoon and I cannot recommend Corrie and her store enough.  I know you’ll have an amazing time.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

For background, I am a straight, closeted crossdresser. I identify as a “sissy” meaning I tend to prefer frilly, innocent outfits (think baby dolls and Alice in wonderland) … dressing is arousing for me … and I am not interested in really being female in public.

Here is where I could use some advice. I have three outfits but I always feel intimidated to put them on (they are a bit over the top in terms of frills and lace so not really public appropriate). And when I do, I put them on and don’t really know what to do with myself. I’ll curtsy a few times in the mirror and then put everything away.  I think about dressing a lot but I don’t understand why I only allow myself a few minutes to feel pretty and then pack “Ashleigh” away. Do you have any advice as to why I might feel this way or ways to explore my dressing in more fulfilling ways?

Thanks!

Ashleigh

I like to think that the term ‘transgender’ covers a lot of different forms of gender identity.  Someone explained to me that the term covers any form of identification that is outside of the normal cultural norms that are associated with the gender that is assigned to someone at birth.  So, by that definition I believe transgender can cover everything from drag to transitioning.

As a lifelong crossdresser/t-girl, the world of sissy dressing is not new to me, although it’s not something I’ve ever explored.  However, I think part of us feel that there is a bit of a shift in personality as we go from one gender to another.  I certainly don’t feel that there is a lot of overlap in both of my lives/genders.  As I get ready and do my makeup, I definitely feel myself…crossing over.  It’s a strange feeling and not easy to explain, but I think many of us can relate.

I used to feel a bit of a blend between both sides of me, regardless of which gender I am presenting as.  But over the last few years, I feel the separation of my two sides are more defined than ever.  As Hannah, I almost completely withdraw from my male life.  I don’t do the things I would normally do as a male.  The same is true when I am in male mode.  When I am out running errands, I won’t drop by Sephora for eyeliner.  I’ll wait until Hannah is out.  It feels a little odd to me to do things as one gender for the other.

I think you need to let yourself slip into your other self.  You need to mentally shift into your other gender.  It’s easy to feel a little self-conscience as you dress and when you first see yourself in the mirror.  But let go of your male side and enjoy you are.

You may also consider exploring your female side in other ways.  You obviously love frilly dresses, but perhaps considering wearing clothes that are less “dress up” and more casual.  I think for some (not all) that dress up as a sissy do it as a fetish or a sexual thrill and for many of us, that’s where our gender exploration began.  It’s certainly where I began.  But I evolved, I tried other clothes that were less fetish-y and more appropriate for a night out or an afternoon at the mall.  Perhaps if you dressed in a way that would allow you to blend in, you may feel more comfortable leaving the house.

The clothes you wear can have a direct impact on how you feel.  I have a beautiful floor length ballgown that I absolutely love but I feel a little silly when I where it my living room.   I feel much more comfortable in a casual dress.  And killer heels.

I hope that helps!

Love, Hannah