Imagining a Better Boyhood

lead_720_405

Please read this wonderfully written article from The Atlantic titled “Imagining a Better Boyhood”.  This should be a familiar story to many of us that grew up wanting to wear dresses.

Who we are starts at a young age.  This is likely not something the boy in this article will outgrow.

This section had a profound impact on me:

“Boys can like beautiful things, too!”

But they can’t. Not without someone looking askance. To embrace anything feminine, if you’re not biologically female, causes discomfort and confusion, because throughout most of history and in most parts of the world, being a woman has been a disadvantage. Why would a boy, born into all the power of maleness, reach outside his privileged domain?

Read it.

Love, Hannah

Advertisements

Ask Hannah!

day 2 dressAs the weather warms I always worry about sweating while all dressed up. How do you tackle that issue? Personally I think it’s important for me to wear hosiery even on the warmest days, but I’m wondering if I could perfect my appearance without a wig. Have you ever presented as Hannah without wearing a wig? “Hot heads” everywhere would love to know.

Of course you can perfect your look without a wig.  Cis-women have a zillion different ways that they wear their hair.  Some cis-women have incredibly short hair and so can transwomen.  There is no standard your hair must meet in order to identify as one gender or another.

Personally I always wear a wig, but I don’t have to, and neither does anyone.

I also always wear stockings, nylons or tights.  I like how nude stockings even out my skin tone, for example.  Summer is not a t-girl’s friend as some of us wear padding breastforms, wigs and makeup.  Foundation and the heat do not get along.  Luckily Corrie from Midwest Makeup Supply and Femme Makeovers has some valuable advice for sweatprooofing our makeup.

Summer isn’t all bad.  You can’t wear a dress like this outside in January…at least not in Minnesota.

Love, Hannah

 

Trans Like Me

Lester_TransLikeMe_mech.inddAccording to publisher Seal PressTrans Like Me by CN Lester, is a personal and culture-driven exploration of the most pressing questions facing the transgender community today, from a leading activist, musician, and academic.

In Trans Like Me, CN Lester takes readers on a measured, thoughtful, intelligent yet approachable tour through the most important and high-profile narratives around the trans community, turning them inside out and examining where we really are in terms of progress. From the impact of the media’s wording in covering trans people and issues, to the way parenting gender variant children is portrayed, Lester brings their charged personal narrative to every topic and expertly lays out the work left to be done.

Trans Like Me explores the ways that we are all defined by ideas of gender–whether we live as he, she, or they–and how we can strive for authenticity in a world that forces limiting labels.

I was given the privilege of being sent an advance copy of this memoir.  I’ve read many books by transgender individuals and I was reminded how the term ‘transgender’ means something different for every transperson.  So yes, Trans Like Me is what being trans means to CN Lester, and if you or I were to write a biography with the same title it would be a very different book.

But this book is different than what I’ve read before.  The cover states that the book has ‘conversations for all of us’.  Although every transperson is different and has different experiences, our collective history is the same.  Chapter 11, titled ‘The Denial of History’ is particularly interesting as it covers the evolution of the different terminology, such as ‘transsexual’ and ‘transvestite’, that is, or was, associated with being transgender.  Lester also touches on how transgender people are portrayed in works of literature of film and cites The World According to Garp and The Danish Girl.

Speaking of how transgender people are portrayed in the media and viewed by the public, Lester has a very well written chapter on Caitlyn Jenner that eloquently summarizes the conflicted perspectives I have on who is arguably the world’s most famous transwoman.

Of course, the flip side of history is where we are going.  As the public becomes more…acquainted with transgender people, whether in entertainment, the public, or in the media, more people are becoming more familiar with how complex and varied gender is, and can be.  Of course, there’s no guarantee how people will react to us, but that’s another story.  The chapter ‘Beyond Binaries’ end on a what I read as an optimistic and realistic perspective.  Lester writes “Our steps toward equality are still tentative — this is not a done deal.  For every example of positive change I could provide, I could show multiple negatives.  But the changes I have seen, over my lifetime, at least show that change is possible.  What I have learned about our histories shows me that the gendered bars and limits placed around us need not be permanent”.

Trans Like Me is a well-written book that is a not only a very personal biography but is also very refreshing in how it’s not only about Lester and their life.  Lester discusses history, the media, the limits and potential of gender and the shared experiences that all trans and non-binary individuals have in a way that we can relate to.  However, I would say that the book’s true strength is Lester’s ability to tell our history and complexities in a friendly, direct, and approachable way to the non-transcommunity as well.

Thank you to Seal Press for the opportunity to read this book in advance.

Love, Hannah

Pride Nights!

https _cdn.evbuc.com_images_45624307_43511315978_1_original

The Minnesota Lynx, The Minnesota Twins and Minnesota United will all be hosting Pride nights over the next few weeks.  If you’re a sports fan, you should check them out!

Lynx: June 16, 2018

Twins: July 9 at 7:10 p.m

United: June 29th at 7pm

I’ve written before about how corporations declaring themselves as allies to the GLBTQIA community should be met with an attitude of ‘trust but verify’, but overall I am happy to see store displays such as the photo here.

Twins Pride Gear at Target Field

Love, Hannah

 

Photo Shoot at Vandalia Tower!

Earlier this year, I had a photo shoot with Christi Williams, the owner of Grinkie Girls, a boudoir and pinup photography studio.  Christi’s studio is located in Vandalia Tower, a former mattress factory that has been transformed into artist studios and local businesses.  Vandalia Tower is also the home of Corrie Dupay’s new gender transformation studio, Femme Makeovers.

I fell in love with the building.  It has amazing light, interesting art deco and a lot of fun little touches everywhere.  I thought the building itself would be perfect for a photo shoot and thanks to the talented Shannonlee McNeely, that dream became a reality!

IMG_1117IMG_1114

After an amazing makeover by Corrie, Shannonlee and I explored the building and took a zillion photos on every floor.  It was such a fun day and I can’t wait to see the pictures.  Until then, here are some behind the scenes shots of the fun.IMG_1108IMG_1109

IMG_1119

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

Could you give me the name of a good transformation studio in
Pennsylvania, please?

Usually whenever I google “gender transformation services in __________”, I get a few results.  Unfortunately I didn’t find much for Pennsylvania.  But I was able to find at least one option, TrueColors TG.  I have no idea if they are good or not but the photos look impressive.  There’s a photo gallery for brides…wouldn’t that be fun?  Yes, it would.  🙂

You may be able to find other resources on TransCentral PA, as well.

Have fun!

Love, Hannah