Happy Hannah-ween!

Hi girls!  I am excited to show off some of the pictures from the MN T-Girls recent photo shoot!  I wanted to vamp it up a little in the spirit of Halloween.

Photography by Shannonlee.

Makeup by Ana at Rita Ambourne.

Dress from Bondesque.

I hope you like them!

Love, Hannah

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Trans Visibility Event

If you are in the Twin Cities area, I encourage you to participate in a trans visibility even this weekend.  Details below!

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Trans folks & allies, does anyone else just want to stand out in public with each other, in a never ending line and be seen? Not a protest, per se but a trans visibility event.
We could hold signs simply saying something like:
“I’m trans and I exist” 
Allies can hold signs saying something like:
“Someone I love is trans and they/she/he/ze exist”
Let’s do it on Sunday, October 28th at 12:00 noon! Starting at Chicago Ave & Lake Street in Minneapolis, shoulder to shoulder, standing on the curbs, not blocking traffic, with our signs. Let’s see how far we can stretch this line. Can we make it all the way down Lake Street, over the bridge and down Marshall Ave into St. Paul? Let’s try!
Bring your own signs, warm clothes, a chair if you need it and ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY! It’s a time to stand together and be visible. Please invite all your local friends, families, contacts. Please post on your profiles, pages, groups. Let’s do this!
Love, Hannah

Justice Department Says Businesses Can Discriminate Against Transgender Employees

After the news from earlier this week, I don’t know if we can take much more of this…

From The Hill:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it is lawful to discriminate against transgender employees based on their gender identity, according to Bloomberg Law. 

In a brief to the Supreme Court, the DOJ wrote that federal civil rights law banning sex discrimination in the workplace does not extend to transgender people.

Please vote on November 6th.

Love, Hannah

Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence

People protest U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military, in Times Square, in New York City

If anyone still doubts that the current administration is trying to erase our community, then this news should confirm that.  It’s the latest in a series of destroying rights that the transgender community deserves.

Almost a year ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed a three-year-old Justice Department policy that protected transgender workers from discrimination under federal law.  This was just a few months after the president said that the transgender community should be barred from serving in the military.

According to The New York Times, the Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.

This is a terrifying development.  The article goes on the explain the impact that this would have on our community:

The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.

According to HRC.org, the administration’s decision could have severe consequences for LGBTQ people across the federal government. For example:

  • Same-sex couples and their families could be turned away from emergency shelters
  • A transgender person could have their insurance deny them coverage for transition related care
  • A gay man could be harassed about being gay at a job skills training
  • An elderly same-sex couple could be denied in home meal service
  • A transgender woman could be turned away from a hospital for a broken ankle

Is there really anyone left who identifies as transgender but will still vote Republican?

Yes?  You in the back?  You had a comment?

“Um, the economy is doing well.  There are more issues than just human rights, you know.”

You can shut the hell up and stay home on November 6th, thanks.

Love, Hannah

 

Super Model T-Girls!

I love the fall season.  Fall means cute outfits, wonderful weather and the annual MN T-Girls photo shoot with the amazing Shannonlee, superstar photographer!

I have worked with Shannonlee for about a half dozen photo shoots and this was the fourth photo shoot she did for the MN T-Girls.  You can read about the last two shoots here and here.

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We started doing these shoots because for so many of us the only photos we have of our femme side are selfies and let’s face it, nothing beats a professional photo.  Some of us are nervous and have a hard time relaxing and having fun when it comes to professional pictures and it takes a patient person to bring someone out of their shell sometimes.  Not only is Shannonlee a talented photographer, she’s super fun to work with and helps us all feel like supermodels.

I had a lot of fun picking out my outfits for the day and got into the Halloween spirit a little, too.  I can’t wait to share the final pictures with you all!

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Love, Hannah

 

Coming Out As Transgender

National Coming Out Day was earlier this week and it always makes me feel…a little left out.

Coming out is a life-changing experience.  It forever alters the relationship you have with those you come out to.   Sometimes its a weight off your shoulders, sometimes they admit they already knew, or at least it’s not a surprise.  Sometimes it goes horribly wrong.  Sometimes it’s all of them.  It’s a huge risk as we will never really know how someone will react until we do it.  I am sensitive to those we come out to as it will forever change how they see us and a certain level of care and consideration needs to be kept in mind when we do.

I think at this point in my life I have come out to everyone that I ultimately will.  I don’t feel the need to come out to anyone else.  A few years ago I felt that I should tell my mom and siblings.  I felt that this was big enough, and important enough, that they should know.  I also wanted to come out to them because, well, this is big enough and important enough to me.

My immediate family are kind, loving people.  Fiercely liberal, supportive and allies to everyone in the LGBTQIA spectrum.  I wish I could say that coming out to them “accomplished” what I wanted to.  I had hoped that my mom and siblings would have a cup of coffee or hit the mall with Hannah.  That hasn’t happened (well, except for that one time) and I doubt it will.

Please understand that I don’t think negatively of them because of this.  Coming out to someone is tricky.  It can be hard on those we come out to, and it’s hard for us to get it right.  We only have one chance to come out to someone the first time and how we do it will set the tone going forward.  I’m sure coming out as any part of the LGBTQIA spectrum is hard for different reasons and I don’t know what it’s like to come out as anything other than transgender.

In my experience, coming out as transgender is very hard. Being trans means different things to different people.  Me being trans is different than Caitlyn Jenner or Chaz Bono being transgender.  I think most people think of someone being transgender as one who has, or will, permanently change how they present themselves to the world.  I think most people think that being transgender means they have, or will, or are going through hormone therapy and surgery.

And for some trans people, yes, that’s exactly what being transgender means.  But as I’ve written before, gender is a spectrum.  I don’t want to transition.  I never have.  Being trans to me means not committing to presenting as only one gender for the rest of my life.  I have to explain what being transgender means and what it means to me and what it means to the person I come out to.

As anyone who has come out before, you know this can be exhausting.

I honestly think I would come out to more people if it was easier to explain and to understand.  But it is what it is and I have accepted it.

National Coming Out Day creates a bit of a pang of regret.  I read stories all day from others who came out and had amazing experiences with their family and friends.  I was happy to read so many wonderful stories.  I was happy for those that came out and proud of how supportive the people they came out to were.  I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous and sadness when I thought of own coming out.

We can come out to everyone in our lives and receive endless support from them, but sometimes the really important people in our lives are the ones we need the most love and acceptance from.

As I’ve said I have accepted things and I am luckier beyond any hopes and dreams I ever had.  I have the love and understanding and help from my patient and amazing wife.  I have a wardrobe that exceeds any fantasy I ever had.  I couldn’t ask for more.  And I won’t.

I hope everyone has love and support and understanding from at least one person in their life.  I hope everyone has at least one fabulous dress in their closet that makes them happy, I hope everyone has at least one killer pair of heels that they never thought they would have.

We all have our own stories and experiences when it comes to coming out.  If you would like to share them in the comments I would love to read them.

Love, Hannah

 

 

PFLAG Events for October

PFLAG’s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive, and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

Please join them for their October support group meeting.
Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Love, Hannah