Boys Will Be Beautiful: Minneapolis High Schooler’s Art Project Tackles Toxic Masculinity

From City Pages:

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As a senior at Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis, Pa Nhia Moua was asked to choose a theme for her work in visual arts class. She chose “feminism.”

For a while, that meant a lot of drawing and painting the female form, focusing on the gender expectations placed on women. But for a project she tackled this winter, she decided to get out of her “comfort zone.”

First, she sent a Facebook message to some of her male friends and asked them if they would do her a favor by being her models. They were game – even if they didn’t really know yet what they’d signed up for.

 

Then, over a series of photoshoots in her parents’ basement, Moua set out to capture the feminine sides of six of her male classmates. She asked them to bring nice clothes, but eventually asked them if they’d be okay going shirtless. A lot of the women she painted were, she reasoned.

She colored and powdered their faces using techniques absorbed from countless makeup tutorial videos. She made their eyelids sparkle, their cheekbones pop, their skin glow in a rainbow of tints and shades. She gave them flowers to hold and caress and place behind their ears. She called each and every one of them “beautiful.”

And then, one by one, each of them began to feel beautiful, too. Model Jonah Beck says he and his fellow models looked at one another and confessed, laughing: “Man, I would date you.”

Click here to read the full article.

Love, Hannah

 

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Ask Hannah!

untitled-1So last week in MN must have been really cold, yet you went out in that short skirt! Do your nylons provide any sort of warmth?  I doubt it.  So how does a girl stay fashion forward in such cold temperatures?

It was cold.  It will be even colder this week.

I hate the cold and one of the primary reasons is that I don’t like letting the cold tell me what to wear, and therefore I am usually freezing.

No, the stockings do not provide any sort of warmth.  I suppose I could wear thermal tights or leggings, but to be honest, I work really hard to keep my figure and I am especially proud of my legs.  I like to show them off.

I admire girls who can pull off a really cute and stylish look when the weather turns nasty.  When I see a girl wearing leggings and a cute sweater I always wonder if I could make a look like that work for me.  It would certainly be more sensible than a skirt like that and matching it with four inch stilettos.

What’s amazing about women’s clothing (and I don’t think there is such a thing as “men’s” or “women’s” clothing, but you know what I mean) is how cute, fun, and how varied it can be.  In male mode it’s shirt and tie…every. single. day.  But on the other side of the closet, it’s hoodies and yoga pants, skinny jeans and tank tops, t-shirts and jean skirts, dress pants and blouses, summer dresses and sneakers.  The options change with the seasons.  Right now the weather is giving us an excuse to wear infinity scarfs, tights, boots, cute jackets… the options are endless.  I never feel more jealous than when the seasons shift from one to another.

I do tend to dress on the more…dress-uppy side of things.  I love heels, dresses, dramatic makeup… I tend to stand out.  Not because I am amazing or anything like that, but I am a six foot tall t-girl.  Taller in heels.  People tend to notice me anyway.  Some girls dress to blend in and I think that’s wonderful, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that.  So, if I can’t blend in, I may as well dress exactly how I want.

I do think about going a little more casual from time to time, but that hasn’t happened yet.

What are some of your favorite winter looks?  Comment below!

Love, Hannah

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

 

 

ForHer… and for Him

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Not too long ago I posted about a CEO from Victoria’s Secret saying some pretty hurtful and ignorant things about transwomen.  I have resolved to stop shopping there and many of you have asked for alternatives when it comes to lingerie and bra fittings.  I live to serve.

I posted about ThirdLove and will continue to highlight trans-friendly options when it comes to shopping.  A reader recently let me know about HerRoom and I was happy she did.  Not only do they have beautiful lingerie, but they also have a very comprehensive section dedicated to helping everyone find their perfect fit.

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If you go to their ‘fitting room’ tab, you’ll see they have guides for finding your measurement for lingerie for those of us who have a more… male shaped body.

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I hope this is helpful!  If you are aware of anywhere you like to shop, whether online or at the mall that goes out of their way to help our community, please let me know!

Love, Hannah

Incident at the Black Hart

The Townhouse Bar is probably one of the first places a t-girl in Minnesota visits.  It’s almost a rite of passage, in a way.  The bar changed owners recently and is now known as The Black Hart of Saint Paul and is meant to be a soccer bar since our new professional soccer team, The Minnesota United, will soon open their new stadium just a few blocks away from it.

A friend of mine recently visited the bar with her friend and as she was leaving, she was approached by someone who got their attention by telling them they looked gorgeous.  I’m sure they did, we ALL look gorgeous, but he came closer to them as they were trying to get into their cars.  He propositioned her and thankfully she was able to get away safely.

Needless to say she was very disturbed and frightened by what had happened.  She asked me to post her experience here so those who frequent The Black Hart can be on guard in case he returns.  This is also a reminder that we can be harassed at any time, even someplace we may visit on a regular basis.  Thank goodness she left with a friend.

I have reached out to The Black Hart so they can be aware of what happened.  If you frequent The Black Hart and something like this happens to you, please let the management know.

Be safe.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

A Visit to Femme Makeovers!

The MN T-Girls have had a long and wonderful relationship with Corrie Dubay, the owner and artist of Femme Makeovers, an amazing gender transformation studio in Saint Paul.  The group has had makeup demonstrations and many of us have had individual makeup lessons with her as well.  I myself had one last year and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Up until last fall, Corrie ran a makeup store in Uptown, but she is now focusing on makeovers and gender transformations and yesterday the MN T-Girls visited her newly renovated studio space for a makeup demonstration.

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Corrie demonstrated different techniques such as beard cover, eye shadow and contouring as well as how to properly use lip liner, apply false eyelashes and how to make your eyebrows pop.

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There were close to twenty of us hanging onto Corrie’s every word as she answered our questions and recommended products.  We also talked about out our own experiences whether it was about manicures or shaving.

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It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  If you want to learn from the best, please visit Corrie’s website and book a private lesson with her.  Corrie also has a newsletter with different techniques and are archived here with her permission.  Thank you to Corrie for sending time with us!

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Ask Hannah!

Has Hannah affected your relationship with your wife?  Has your wife seen Hannah? Has she had “girls nights in” with Hannah? How does she feel about Hannah?  How has her relationship with Hannah evolved since your early  days of blogging?

I could probably write (and maybe I should) a book about the dynamics and evolution and impact that crossdressing/being transgender has on a relationship, but I will try to keep this concise.

Being who we are is likely hard on our partners.  This is not a part of us that will change or go away, so we will never “outgrow” this part of us, this is not a phase we are going through.  Too many of us try to suppress this part of us when we meet someone and start a relationship because we don’t want to scare this person away by revealing this part of us.

But of course no matter how hard we try to deny it, this is who we are and we shouldn’t try to do that.  What we should do is be honest with ourselves and be honest with our partners.  I get emails from people like us who tell me that they don’t plan on telling their partners about this side of them until after they’re married.  Their thinking is that it’s too late for them to go anywhere.  This is hurtful, cruel, unfair and dishonest.

I told my wife about this part of me after a few months of dating, once I knew I wanted to marry her.  I’ve come out to a few partners in my life when I felt the relationship was strong and serious enough.  At the time I came out to her, I felt that this was all about under-dressing and I didn’t have a “male mode” or a “female mode”.  I was just a man who wore panties.

But people change and evolve.

After we’d be married for a few years, she asked if I ever wore makeup or clothes other than lingerie.  I had, but never really to the point of a full makeover or head to toe with a wig and heels.  She did my makeup that night and helped me order a wig.  Up to that moment she didn’t really understand why I liked lingerie but she understood the feeling of wanting to be beautiful.

I started to buy dresses with her help.  My wardrobe grew and our relationship now had a new part of it.  We were both learning about Hannah and getting to know her.  We had constant and honest communication about what… all this meant.  There were times where she was concerned about me wanting to transition and where all this was leading to.  Those concerns faded over time.

It’s easy to understand her concern.  I went from wearing panties to doing my makeup and having a closet full of heels in a few months.  My evolution accelerated and it was like going from a nice leisurely drive to a million miles per hour.  But eventually I stopped my gender exploration and landed where I am today and her concerns about me wanting to transition subsided.

This part of me has allowed me to be more open, honest, vulnerable and transparent with my wife.  Not only as Hannah, but as in my male side as well.  This took a lot of patience on her part and a lot of effort to try to understand me.  It took a lot of time, sometimes difficult communication and open and honest conversations.

So yes, she has seen Hannah.  We both met her at the same time, in a way.  We’ve had many girls nights in, whether it was a nice quiet night in wearing leggings or me rocking an amazing gown with winged eyeliner.

My wife and I used to feel that Hannah and my male side were two very different people.  Of course, we have very different wardrobes but over time Hannah and I have kind of… well, balanced out.  Hannah would tend to be more relaxed and chatty whereas I was more preoccupied with whatever was going on or needed to be done.  I don’t relax much, but our girls nights in gave me a chance to dress up and slow down and watch a movie or sit and talk.  My wife and I don’t feel there’s as much of a difference between my two genders (besides physician appearance and presentation) as there used to be.

I make all of this sound very easy and idyllic, but as with any relationship things are always more complicated and nuanced than it sounds.  I am lucky to have my wife for many reasons, not only because of this.

Love, Hannah