National Lipstick Day!

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I love these quasi-holidays, like Pink Day last month.  Today is National Lipstick Day and I thought it’d be fun to learn about your favorite lipstick.

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I fell in love with MAC’s Liptensity Lipstick recently, particularly the BRIGHT RED Mulling Spices shade.  I pair it with their Kiss Me Quick lipliner for a really bold look.

What do you like?

Love, Hannah

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Transgender Ban in the Military

I am sure you all heard the news regarding our president’s tweet regarding how transgender individuals are banned from serving in the military.

Thankfully tweets are not executive orders and according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Joseph Dunford, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance”.

Why this president does anything is beyond my comprehension, but the reasoning behind this statement relates to the financial burden that a transgender soldier would put on the American people.

First of all, this statement is not accurate.  According to The Atlantic, “The military has not historically covered gender-transition surgeries”.  The article cited goes on to explain that if the military did cover such operations, “That cost would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually for transition-related costs, according to a RAND analysis commissioned by the Department of Defense. The group estimated there are between 1,320 and 6,630 active-duty transgender servicepeople currently. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 put the number at 12,800 people and $4.2 million to $5.6 million, concluding that “doctors agree that such care is medically necessary.”

This would be a military health-care spending increase of 0.04 to 0.13 percent. Even in the most extreme case, it is one tenth of the annual $84 million that the military spends on medication for erectile dysfunction.

Having a world leader make such inaccurate and damaging statements is scary enough, but this perpetuates the belief that transgender people are a burden of any sort, as well as the belief that all transgender people want to transition and undergo surgery.

This is disheartening, especially when it seems to me that we have made such large strides in the last few years and a statement like this just knocks us back. There’s not much we can do to stop people with a Twitter account making such inaccurate and misleading statements, but there’s always something we can to fight back against stereotypes and hatred.

We can sign many of the petitions online demanding that any such bad would be reversed.

Although signing a petition may seem like it has little impact it is encouraging to see so many people supporting our community.

We can donate to Outserve.  OutServe-SLDN is the association for actively serving LGBT military personnel and veterans. We are a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America’s military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

I am not making being transgender political.  Politicans are.  We just want to live our lives and not have our basic human rights diminished.  Being transgender, I believe, means being obligated to fighting back against hatred and stereotypes.  How anyone can be transgender and Republican in this political climate is beyond me.  How one can stand by an organization that, intentionally or not, makes such damaging statements is beyond my comprehension.  I know that standing by a political party is more than just its opinion on one issue, but this statement was damaging, wildly inaccurate and hurtful.

Being trans is a huge part of who I am.  I make decisions on where to eat and shop based on their stance on the LGBTQ community.  I will never eat at Chick-fil-A, for example.  Supporting an organization that has such a low opinion of who I am is not deserving of my money, my time or my vote.

Your perspective may vary.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask Hannah!

I have been crossdressing for about 5 years, but I want to take it to the next level, going out in public dressed as a women.  I have been out as a women but only to gay bars or other places like that.  I wear a wig, padded bra, dress , nylons, high heel shoes, necklaces, and clip on earrings.  My problem is that I do not know how to apply makeup, so I need to meet other crossdressers to get some tips or do a makeover.  my question is, how do I meet other crossdressers?  Thank you for your time in answering this.

Hi!  Talking to other t-girls and crossdressers is certainly an option when it comes to makeup, however I have learned more about makeup by talking to makeup artists and having makeovers.

Facial shape and facial structures are wildly different from person to person.  Talking to a makeup artist will be beneficial as they are trained to contour, highlight and reduce certain facial features (if you want) and to help you do your own makeup.  No two people do their makeup the same way.  Learn what is right for you.   There are some tricks I learned from other t-girls, specifically when it comes to color correcting and beard cover but I learned so much more by meeting with makeup artists and being taught which makeup is right for my skin, tone and color.  My advice is to schedule a makeover and ask a lot of questions.  I have some suggestions where you can go on my blog.

As for meeting other girls, I would recommend creating a profile and chatting online at various forums, such as crossdresssers.com and urnotalone.  When I wanted to meet others like myself I started the MN T-Girls, so you may want to consider starting your own group.

Good luck, have fun, be safe!

Love, Hannah

 

Trans Health and Punk Rock!

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From City Pages:

Looking for the loudest possible way to support transgender health issues in Minnesota? 

Head to Triple Rock Social Club any Tuesday this August. That’s where Surly Brewing Co. is sponsoring “The Gay Agenda,” a free punk-rock residency to benefit Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition. Pints of Surly — Furious, Hell, and Xtra-Citra — will be discounted to $3.50, and a percentage of those sales will go to MTHC. You can also expect ticket giveaways for future T-Rock gigs. 

Musically, here’s what’s on tap during “The Gay Agenda”: 

  • August 1: Fucking Cowards/Dirty Junk
  • August 8: New Primals/Moodie Black
  • August 15: Starchild/Nugazi: That Fugazi Cover Band Experience
  • August 22: Former Worlds/Speedweed
  • August 29: Kitten Forever/Royal Brat

The month-long “Gay Agenda” residency kicks off each Tuesday at 9 p.m. Click here to RSVP on Facebook. 

Love, Hannah

Long Tall T-Girls

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We have all experienced challenges with shopping at one point in our lives.  Whether it was selecting accessories that best complimented a dress, putting an outfit together, determining our correct size(s) or simply working up the courage to set a foot (high-heeled or otherwise) into a store.

I cannot tell you how much money I’ve spent over the course of my life in purchasing the wrong size of something.  Working up the courage to talk to a salesperson in a store has changed my life, not only in expanding my wardrobe but also in overall change in my confidence.  In my experience salesclerks have been extraordinary helpful and have gone out of their way to help.

However, I have to say I have never had an experience like the shopping experience I had yesterday.  Last night the MN T-Girls had our monthly outing and we were treated to a private shopping event by the wonderful staff at Long Tall Sally in the Mall of America.  Long Tall Sally is a clothing boutique that carries clothes designed for women 5’8” and taller (up to size 20) and sells shoes that range from 10 – 15.  Basically, it’s a haven for girls like myself.

Shopping can be an intimidating event as we’ve all needed to work up our courage to simply start building a wardrobe but also in navigating a new world of sizing.  However Wanda, Cindy and Kiersten couldn’t have been more amazing.  The event started after the store closed to regular shoppers and for the next two hours they helped us find clothes, put outfits together and helping a few of us buy their very first pair of heels.

The event was a success on so many levels  There were about 15 of us and we all had an amazing time shopping, talking, trying on clothes and meeting new friends.  I fell in love with two dresses, one of which is perfect for Saturday night, the other perfect for Sunday morning.  I will let you decide which is which.

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I really want to thank the members of the MN T-Girls who come to shop and have fun, and I really want to extend my thanks and appreciation to Long Tall Sally and their incredible staff.  It was such an amazing night and the staff provided incomparable service and an unforgettable experience.

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Love, Hannah

Meeting Our Other Halves

Everyone is different.  We all know that.  Even if we’re the same, there’s things about the things that make us the same that make us different.  You and I may both identify as transgender, but we are different in our trans-ness.

Are you still with me?  🙂

Some of you are on a journey.  Perhaps a year ago you were working up the courage to try on a pair of heels, but these days you are on hormones and working on your name change documents.  I don’t think I am on a journey anymore.  I think I am at the end of my journey and have arrived at who I am and will be for the rest of my life.  I enjoy being able to go between genders when I feel like it.  I don’t want to commit to one gender.  I don’t want to transition.  I never wanted to.

That being said, when we come out to others in our life, who we come out to may have a flood of emotions and thoughts.  The internet is a wonderful tool and we all turn to it when we need something.  It’s entirely likely who we come out to will google terms like ‘transgender’ and ‘crossdress’ and receive a lot of information.  Not all of it is helpful, of course.  Looking up information on crossdressers online can easily give someone the impression that it’s a fetish or a sexual turn-on.  And it very well may be for some of us, but it’s not the case for everyone.

Thanks to the abundant information online, it’s not uncommon to think that everyone who identifies as transgender will eventually transition.  It can get exhausting coming out to someone as we have a need to not only explain who we are, but we also have the additional work of pushing back against some common misconceptions of who all trans people are.  “Yes, I am transgender.  No, I am not gay.  No, I don’t want to transition.”

Years ago, I came out to a friend who only knew me as a male.  She was supportive and happy for me and it was a relief to have that kind of response.  I wanted her to know Hannah as well.  It’s hard not to feel like I am a different person when my lips are bright red and wearing heels, you know?  A few weeks ago the two of us went out to dinner so she could meet me for the first time.

I wondered how dinner would go.  I was meeting my friend who I have known for twenty years as a male but this was a new experience for her.  There’s very, very few people who know me in both genders.  I am out to very few people in my life but very few of them have met Hannah.  I needn’t have worried.  Dinner went wonderfully.  She used my preferred pronouns and called me Hannah.

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It was embarrassing to be wearing the same colors as someone else at the same restaurant.

After dinner I drove home and thought about how important it is to be understood.  Yes, there are things that all people who identify as transgender have in common, but I felt that it only took an hour for her to understand who I am.  She knew more about me over one dinner than weeks of internet research could provide.   The internet will teach you about what being transgender means, but the internet can’t teach someone about who YOU are.

This is not meant to knock the internet, of course.  The web has some amazing resources for people like us, and for people who are in our lives.  I’ve written before about being considerate of those we come out to, but when others start getting to know us, really getting to know us, we must be considerate of what they are experiencing.  It can be a shock seeing someone they have known for decades wearing a dress.  Not all of us have people in our lives who want to meet our other halves.  If you’re lucky enough to have someone who wants to meet “her”, please be gentle and considerate.

Love, Hannah

 

The Weight of the World

Many of us feel we have this burden, this weight we carry around.  We have a secret about us that we don’t get to talk about.  When we do talk to someone, when we let someone in on our secret, many of us feel as if a weight has been lifted.  We feel free, the burden is lightened.  It’s like exhaling.  We have someone to confide in, we hopefully have found someone who is supportive, or at least, hopefully found someone who won’t think we’re…weird.

But the truth is, the weight may have been lifted from our shoulders, but the weight is still there.  We feel better, but the person we confide in carries that weight now.  We confide in others at the hope and trust that they will not tell others, but any secret can be a burden to someone.  Especially something like this.  The people we confide in will likely have questions, they may need someone to talk to about our reveal.  I know when I came out to my wife she often wished she had someone she could talk to about me.  Yes, I felt better when I came out, but she carried that weight.

Not only can the weight be transferred, it can often be shared.  If I am nervous about going out, whether is because of being seen by someone I don’t want to be seen by or possibly being hurt by someone else, those fears are now the fears of the person we confide in.

I write this because I want us to acknowledge the burden we can put on a person when we come out to them.  It’s easy to overwhelm someone with everything we have been thinking, feeling and even wearing for years.  If we have never spoken to someone about this, many emotions can come pouring out, like a dam breaking.  We have been discovering, and often times creating who we are for many years.  We have had a long time to come to terms with who we are.  When we come out to someone, it hits them all at once.

I don’t know if there is a right way to come out to someone.  I know there are plenty of wrong ways.  I feel it’s wrong to wait to come out to someone until after you’re married.  Many of us have tried or hoped this part of us would go away after we got married, but THIS NEVER GOES AWAY.  We are who we are and there’s nothing wrong with who we are.  But we need to be honest with ourselves and we need to be honest with our future spouses.

Before you come out to someone, I would recommend talking to someone who will understand, such as a gender therapist or joining a transgender support group.  Pflag is a wonderful place to start.  I would also recommend being prepared to offer some resources to the person you come out.  Again, Pflag is an excellent resource.

I wish I knew how to tell you how to come out to someone.  I have come out to a few people in my life and some have gone well, and some have not.  I realized that you cannot come out to everyone the same way.  I know we want to be accepted, I know we want to be understood.

I know we want to be loved.

Please, be gentle.

Love, Hannah