HommeMystere Review: Beautiful Bras

I think that many of us have a special relationship and fascination with clothes.  I can go through my closet and tell you where I purchased a specific dress or what occasion (or which mall, at least) I wore a pair of heels to.  We love what we wear for many reasons.  Sometimes we love what we love because of what it represents.  There a dresses I own that will never get rid of because I was finally able to wear them after losing weight.  They represent an accomplishment.  I still own the little black dress that I bought when I started to build my wardrobe (for real this time) after decades of purging.

Lingerie was my gateway drug, if you will, into a bigger world.  I would see mannequins in department stores modeling the most beautiful underwear I had ever seen.  Seeing a delicate bra with matching panties and stockings mesmerized me.  Lingerie wasn’t necessarily practical, it existed for the sheer purpose of being beautiful.

I own a lot of lingerie.  It’s a fun little secret to have on in male mode.  It can be as elaborate as a corset with stockings or as simple as a lacy bodysuit.  There’s always something to suit my mood.  As my lingerie wardrobe expanded, I started to realize that lingerie was more practical than I thought.

I have certain bras that I wear depending on my outfit.  A yellow dress and a black bra is not a good idea.  If the neckline of my dress is cut a certain way perhaps I need to wear a strapless bra.  If my dress is a little more form-fitting, then I skip the textured bra if I want a smoother look.  Some bras are better suited for my breast forms than others.

Most of my bras are of the push-up type (I need all the help I can get) but there are times I want to stay a little more connected to my femme side when I am in male mode.  Sometimes I wear a matching set and I want to be as discreet as possible.  After wearing HommeMystere‘s bras and panties all week, I am happy to say that I have found lingerie that accomplishes just that.

HommeMytstere generously sent over a beautiful selection of their bras, panties, and lingerie.  I’ll be breaking up my review into three shorter ones and I will follow up with panties and lingerie next week.  This review is all about bras.  🙂

Image result for homme mystere KRYSTAL BBRA

I wore their Violet Bra and Krystal Bra (pictured above) this week and my first impression was how beautiful they were.  I own a lot of bras including ones by other designers who make lingerie for men but they tend to be made out of one fabric and one solid color.  As you can see from the picture, the Krystal Bra is mesh with white lacy accents and a delicate floral pattern on the mesh itself.  A small white flower finishes this look.  The Violet Bra also features duo fabric with a subtle silver highlight on the black lace.

The Krystal Bra has two hooks and the Violet Bra has three in the back which helps the strap lay flat against your skin. The shoulder straps are also fully adjustable.  The attention to detail is exquisite and I am impressed with the quality with both of these bras.  In my experience, bras designed for men tend to be a little on the cheaper side but as I put them on I couldn’t help thinking that these felt as high quality as women’s bras.

The fit is good and I recommend using a measuring tape to find your correct measurement.  The band has enough stretch to be a little forgiving, though.

When I wear a bra (regardless of what gender I am presenting as) I will either forget I have it on or it feels uncomfortable.  Sometimes you have to wear the uncomfortable one depending on the outfit, you know?  I was always aware I was wearing these bras, though.  But this was not an uncomfortable feeling.  I like the small tugging around my chest, I like the reminder I am wearing one.  The straps stayed in place and moved with me.  I didn’t need to adjust them throughout the day.

The tugging reminded me I was wearing a bra, but so did looking in the mirror.  I wore these bras with a t-shirt and I could clearly see that I had… something on under my clothes.  The bra straps were noticeable and I could see the imprint of the bra against my shirt.  But that is to be expected.  Yes, they lay flat against my skin but they are not invisible.  If you wear a bra, more than likely people will notice.  However, a layered look will minimize the look almost completely.

These are easily the most comfortable bras I own, however they are not going to be my go-to when I dress up.  The cups on these bras are not designed to be practical and I would not wear these bras with breast forms.  The cups are simply not large enough and there isn’t a lot of stretch for them to fit.

But that is okay.  I have other bras for my forms.  As I said earlier, bras and lingerie are more practical and versatile than I originally thought.  I love that I have bras for strapless dresses, bras for white blouses, bras to match a cute pair of panties, and bras for my breast forms.  These two bras are perfect for male mode.

So far my experience with HommeMystere is nothing but positive.  They are dedicated to making lingerie for men, but to be honest, it doesn’t feel like lingerie for men.  It feels like authentic lingerie.  It feels like… girl lingerie and that is the highest compliment I can pay.

Thank you to HommeMystere for providing these beautiful bras.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

HommeMystere

I had always been fascinated by lingerie.  Growing up I knew everyone had to wear underwear, but I was mesmerized by how beautiful it could be.  I was in love with the different styles, the different fabrics, and how… elaborate it could be.  Matching bras and panties?  Perhaps pairing it with a garter belt and stockings?  Lingerie was your secret.  What you wore was for you.

This fascination never went away.  When I first started buying my own clothes, panties were the first thing I purchased.  Underdressing helps me stay connected to the beautiful side of me when I am in male mode.

Wearing lingerie isn’t always easy, though.  It is very much designed for someone with different… ah, anatomy than I have.  Sometimes it fits like a dream, sometimes it’s tighter or looser on me than I would like.

There are companies that specifically design and make lingerie for people who have the body shape and body parts that I do.  Again, this can be very hit or miss.  Not only can the quality be inconsistent, but the fit just isn’t quite right.

If I am wearing panties designed for men, it just… misses the point, I think, in a way I can’t quite put my finger on.  I think it’s because some panties feel like they simply made men’s underwear and dyed in pink or sewed a tiny rose onto the front.  They don’t… feel like panties.  Take the rose off and they are simply pink briefs.  Sometimes there is a added… pouch, I guess, sewn into them to accommodate my “feminine flaw” that just looks awkward and too much like boy underwear.

Bras for men can be disappointing, too.  I know that they are not meant to be practical and I have nothing that needs support, but the bras just… look too flimsy and boring.  This is a personal opinion and not meant to be a slight on any company at all.  I am thankful that there are so many options these days for those of us looking for lingerie.   I have gorgeous lingerie from many companies that I love to wear that helps me feel beautiful.

That being said, I am always looking for new companies that understand how to make bras and panties (and everything else!) for people with bodies like mine.  Google ‘lingerie for men’ and you will be provided with an array of options that fifteen year old me would have never dreamed possible.  I wear panties from some of these designers, but I mostly wear “girl panties”.

HommeMystere

Until now.  I have been aware of HommeMystere for some time and I was always impressed by their selection and variety of panties and bras.  I have always wanted to add their lingerie into my wardrobe and thanks to their generosity, I have some new beautiful items to wear.

Over the next week or so I will be reviewing the items they sent.  Sorry, no photo shoot 😉 but I am excited to share with you my thoughts and impressions!

Love, Hannah

PFLAG Events for June

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.

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This month PFLAG’s meeting program will be held from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm and will be followed by support groups from 7:30 pm until 8:30 pm.
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 Please join PFLAG for their May program and support groups.
Tuesday, June 18th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
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PFLAG will have their informational booth at Pride in the Park during Minneapolis Gay Pride.  Please visit their booth, #30 in the Yellow section of Loring Park on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23.
Every other month PFLAG will be holding special programs they feel may be of interest to you, along with our regular Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender support groups.  In the alternate months, PFLAG will meet and hold support groups only.
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Love, Hannah

In-Between!

mock book cover

Hi girls!

I fully believe that life is not about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.  I think that statement is more true for a t-girl than almost anyone else.  When we have more than one gender identity we spend time getting to know that side of us.  We spend energy creating a look for them based on what feels right.  We create a place for this side of us in our lives.  Most importantly, we strive to create a balance for our gender identities.

This is not easy.  We get lost in the pink fog, we struggle to accept this side of us, we share (or hide) this secret with our significant others, we yearn to leave the confines of our living rooms to interact with the real world.

I strive to find that balance between my gender identities.  It takes a lot of time, patience, and mistakes.  Writing about who I am, and who we are, helps me sort out my thoughts.  I have been doing a lot of writing over the last year or so about accepting ourselves, the stress this aspect of us has on our partners, and how to live in a world that doesn’t understand us.

I can only write based on my experiences and this helps me gain perspective on my own life.  We spend so much time in our own heads because not all of us have someone to talk to about this part of us.  I am humbled and happy when I get emails and comments about these writings.  So many of us have had the same experiences and thoughts and it’s amazing at how much we all have in common.  It’s not easy to be who we are.  I mean, not only do we need to learn to walk in heels and how to do winged eyeliner, we also have the challenges of talking to our partners about who we are and the struggle to find a balance in our lives with our gender identities.

Some of you have suggested I write a book.  I never thought about writing one but after the positive feedback and personal emails from other t-girls I thought I might have something to say.

I am happy and terrified to finally announce that I am going to give writing a book a shot.

In-Between: Balancing Life Between Genders‘ will consist of some of the writings from my blog, my background and journey, and serve as an introduction to the part of the transgender community that goes between genders.  The book is about finding balance between our gender identities, communicating with others, and living in a world that doesn’t always know how to react to us.

Before you start looking for this book on Amazon, please know that the book is still being written.  I think I am about 75% done and I think it’ll be finished this fall.  I also need to find either a literary agent or a publisher.  So, even if I typed the final word of the book today, it’s still a long (and almost impossible) process to get a book published.  But, I am excited and staying optimistic.

The picture above is a cover mock-up and if the book were to find a publisher there would likely be a different image.  Shannonlee and I had some fun on our recent photo shoot taking these pictures and I think it helps to have a visual representation of what kind of book I am writing to share with editors and agents.

I really want to thank you all for encouraging me to do this, and for sharing your stories and experiences.  You letting me know that we all have the same thoughts, fears, struggles, and challenges convinced me that a book like this might be helpful to our community and informative to a world that doesn’t know what to think of us.

I am hard at work finishing this project and if anyone out there has any connections in the publishing world, please let me know!  🙂

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Let it Go

We cannot change who we are.

No matter how many times we purge our closet, we are still crossdressers, t-girls, and however else you choose to identify as.

You can toss out your wardrobe but you cannot walk away from who you are.

And why should you?  You’re perfect the way you are.

Once you give yourself the gift of accepting yourself (yes, that sounds a little corny but it truly is a gift), you will feel a huge weight off your shoulders.  You are no longer fighting yourself.  You are no longer putting the time and energy into denying who you are.  You are no longer consumed with wondering why you want the things you want.

And it’s wonderful.

Since you’ve accepted this side of you, you may as well embrace it.  You are no longer hating yourself for who you are.  It’s time to do the opposite.  Love who you are.  Love yourself by buying that dress, wearing those panties, waking up in a nightgown, getting a manicure.  How long have you been wanting to do that?  How many trips to the mall have you walked past that cute dress shop wanting to go in?  Probably a million times.  Or at least it feels that way.

Going from accepting who you are to full on embracing yourself can be a slow process, but it can also go very quickly.  Every step of our journey (ugh, that word) is likely going to be overthought and analyzed to death.  It’s true we can overthink this part of us.  We can spend years wondering why we are who we are, why we want to wear those patent red heels.  But really, there is no why.  This is who we are.

Of course, not thinking things through is risky.  Remember the Pink Fog?

Being lost in the fog can very quickly lead to making decisions that might not be the best choice to make at that time.  Sure, we might go a little crazy with shopping online and our credit card bill takes a hit from building our shoe collection, but hey, a t-girl needs shoes.

The biggest risk when we are lost in the fog is outing ourselves to others when it might not be the best time.  Yes, we can overthink and over-analyze ourselves to death, but we need to be very clear and comfortable about who we are before we out ourselves to someone.  Sometimes this takes time, sometimes it takes the help of a support group or a therapist.

When coming out to someone, one should be prepared to discuss their sexuality (because you will very likely be asked if you are attracted to men) as well as if you want to transition.  We might have very quick responses to these questions, but… are you sure?  I don’t think there is much of a connection between gender identity/gender presentation and sexuality, but I think for many of us, especially at first, we are pretty sure this is all about clothes.

“I just want to wear lingerie/dresses/whatever.  I don’t want to be a girl, I don’t want to wear makeup, I am not transgender.”  How many of us have said this to ourselves or someone else?  Sure, it’s impossible to predict or guess what we might want in six months or in ten years, but we need to give this side of a us a little time once we’ve accepted ourselves before we can make such statements.

Go into these conversations thinking about why you are coming out to them.  Do you need support?  Are you coming out because you are considering transitioning?  Are you simply tired of keeping a side of yourself a secret?

Before you come out to someone, I encourage you to live with this part of you for a bit.  Try different things.  See what feels right.  For some of us, this is absolutely about lingerie.  They might branch out into dresses or getting a makeover and realize that is not who they are.  For some, and this was my experience, I completely thought this was about underdressing.  Then I tried makeup.  And dresses.  And heels.  And a wig.  I kept going.  I stopped identifying as a crossdresser and started to identify as transgender.

And then I stopped.  There was no next step.  One would imagine I was probably heading towards hormones or living full time with the progression I had.  But the idea of hormones or anything “permanent” never appealed to me.  I love who I am, and I love being able to go back and forth between genders.  I am always comfortable and happy with however I present.  I like not having one gender.  I like having options.

I came out to my mom and sisters when I identified as a crossdresser.  For me, it was all about clothes at this time.  Yes, I had a femme name and went out, but I didn’t realize at the time how my gender identity had really changed.  And that’s really the key factor, isn’t it?  Identity.  These clothes weren’t just fabric, they meant something more.  They were as tied into my personality and identity as much as anything else that made me who I am.

When I came out to them, I felt like they just…they just didn’t get it.  There wasn’t much of a reaction after the initial shock.  There were some questions but that was really about it.  I was surprised by what I felt was a somewhat muted response.  I felt like I dropped  a bombshell but the fallout was unremarkable.

Of course, this is a favorable reaction to being disowned, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for.  When we want to come out to someone, I believe we need to think about what we want from them.  For some of us, we want someone to talk to.  We want support, we want someone to confide in, we want someone to get pedicures with.  I’ve come out to different people in my life for different reasons.  Years ago, I came out to a roommate of mine because I was tired of hiding my clothes in case she happened to see my laundry, or whatever.  I came out to my family is because I wanted them to know to know all of me, I wanted them to know Hannah.

But that didn’t happen.  It’s not their fault.  We need to be responsible for explaining our gender identity to others.  We need to be a thousand percent confident with who we are so we can help someone else understand this as best as possible.  I came out and talked about, essentially, dressing up.

Looking back, I wish I had come out in a much different way than I did.  I wish I had waited a little longer.  I could have explained myself so much better if I had given it a few more months.  I would have come out as transgender.  I would have spoken about gender identity instead of just makeup.  I feel I missed the chance for them to get to know me, for them to get to know her.  I could have explained why this side of me was important and the support I wanted to find from them.  You only get one chance to come out to someone and although there is no right way to do this, there are ways I could have done this better.  I should have discussed gender identity.  I think I avoided this because I didn’t want to overwhelm them.  I wanted to ease them into the conversation.  But that was the wrong choice.  I had one opportunity to come out and I should have gone all in.

I came out to them because although I had accepted myself decades ago, I had now fully embraced who I was.  I had moved from lingerie to…well, Hannah, and I knew I was finished with my…sigh, journey.  I thought it was a perfect time to come out.  I was happy with who I was and I wanted to share this side of me with others.  I wanted my family to meet Hannah.  To go to a movie with her.  To have coffee with her.  But after I came out, I didn’t see that happening.  Perhaps if I came out to them a few months later things would be different.

Yes, I could revisit the conversation, but truth be told, my family seems a little uncomfortable with discussing this.  Not that they are not good people, they are.  They love me, the care for me, they are allies of the LGBTQIA community, and are supportive of all gender and sexual identities.  But it is different when a family member comes out.  It’s normal to take a little time to process it and come to terms with it.  I absolutely understand this.

But as I said, if I came out in a different way, perhaps we would be able to have a different conversation, a different relationship, than we do.

It’s safe to say I jumped the gun, a bit.  I was lost a little in the Pink Fog.  I was so happy with who I was and I wanted to share me with the people in my life.  I had a vision in mind with my sister having lunch with Hannah, I hoped for a day of shopping with my mom.  But those invitations did not come.  If I came out differently, if I waited a little longer, perhaps things would be different.

It is safe to say I was slowly devastated and heartbroken as I gradually accepted that Hannah would not have the relationships with my family that I had hoped for.  I held out for the chance for a long time but despite a few attempts at revisiting the conversation, it became pretty clear that who I am makes them uncomfortable.

And that’s okay.  Well, it’s not okay that someone’s gender identity makes someone uncomfortable, but I’ve accepted that this will happen.

You cannot expect someone to love you.  To love all of you.  We are a complicated community.  We are not easy to understand.  I mean, we don’t even understand ourselves and we are ourselves (not that we need to understand ourselves, we just need to know and accept ourselves).

It took a long time for me to be okay with this.  Sometimes I’m not, but for the most part I have accepted this and stopped hoping for a change.  Sometimes I get sad realizing that they didn’t even try to understand me.  That no one really wanted to meet Hannah.  That they didn’t want to know all of me.

It stung.

I mean, we know that not everyone in the world will love and accept us, whether we are trans or not.  But it stings when your family doesn’t.  It stings when they don’t even try to understand.  Isn’t your family supposed to at least try?

Again, my family is wonderful, and I shoulder some of the responsibility for how things happened.  I could have come out better.  But there’s nothing I can do about that now.

So, how do we handle not being accepted by the people we love?

How do we let it go?

I suppose there’s two ways.

One way is just telling yourself that it doesn’t matter, but I believe you have to work your way to that level of acceptance.  Pretending it doesn’t hurt just suppresses your feelings and well, that’s just not healthy.

The other way is the longer, harder way.  It’s the path I took and it wasn’t easy, but it helped me accept the situation.  I swung back and forth between emotions and thoughts.  I never thought there was anything wrong with who I was, but I felt different around them.  I suppose the thing I felt the most, and the strongest, was that I had one shot, I had one shot to tell my family about who I was and there was always this persistent feeling that I fell short in really explaining who I was.  I couldn’t go back and redo what I wanted to say.  I had to let it go.

Sometimes feelings would come unexpectedly.  I was at Target once and I saw a mom shopping with her transgender daughter.  Out of nowhere this feeling of sadness filled my heart realizing I would never have that.  I was down for the rest of the day and then I slowly let it go.

I have a friend who has sisters who absolutely love to go shopping with their new sister.  I’m happy for her, I am happy for them, but if I am being honest, I am also jealous.  I need to let it go.

Sometimes I am angry.  Or frustrated.  But that’s not really fair.  It’s not easy to understand who we are.  Who we are makes people uncomfortable.  I wish it weren’t the case, but that’s reality.  It shouldn’t be this way, but you can’t make someone understand you.  You can’t make someone accept you.  You can’t make your family love her.  You have to feel whatever you feel, and then you need to let it go.

I have always said that all of …this, is something you learn by doing.  Want to learn how to do your makeup?  Go buy eyeliner and practice.  Want to be able to walk in heels?  Buy a pair of pumps and walk around your house.  Make mistakes, learn from them, and try again.  Coming out is no different.  I learned from this experience.  I learned that although there is no right way to come out, you need to be careful, clear, and direct with who you are.

And be gentle.  This isn’t easy for them.

If there’s anything to be learned here is that how you come out matters, and that families can be challenging.  Every family is different.  Every t-girl is different.  How Hannah fits (or doesn’t fit) into my family’s life is likely different than how you might fit (or might not) into your family’s life.   We all want to be loved, accepted, and understood.  But no one owes us these things.  For many of us, this side of us creates tension, conflict, frustration, and sadness.  For many of us we turn to the people in our lives for love and support and understanding.  Unfortunately, we don’t always receive what we were hoping for.

Let it go.

Love, Hannah