Passing Thoughts

There’s no question that we are people who evolve.

We evolve and grow and and change in many ways.  Ten years ago I identified as a crossdresser.  I mean, I still do, but transgender is definitely the word I use these days.  To me, all of… this is more than just about what clothes I like to wear.

Our looks evolve, too.  The more we do out makeup, the better we get at blending our foundation and applying eyeliner to our waterline.  The more we strut in stilettos, the more graceful we become.  The more we wear that dress that shows off our fabulous legs, the more confident we get.

If these two photos below do not represent my own personal evolution, I don’t what does.

 

Our perspective can change as well.  When we were in our teens perhaps we thought (or hoped) that this was a phase.  We were not comfortable with this side of us.  But as we get older, we learn that this is who we are.  Hopefully with this epiphany we soon learn to accept and embrace this part of us.

Lately I have been thinking about the eternal quest that many t-girls have.  Although I think ‘passing’ is arbitrary and there are no standards one must have or achieve to “look like a girl”, I understand and can relate to how looking a certain way is so appealing.  I love how I look, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I had smaller hands or shoulders that were a little less broad.

Holding yourself to a set of standards, or letting others hold a set a standards to you, should never prevent you from presenting in the real world as the gender you identify as.  If I waited to “pass” I’d still be in sitting in my living room waiting until my hands shrunk.  Letting go of these expectations will free you and you will never look back.

My core beliefs on passing are still unchanging, but there is another reason why some of us want to pass.

Survival.

That sounds fatalistic and dramatic, but it’s absolutely true. Transwomen who “look like” ciswomen have a lesser chance of being “clocked” as transgender.  We all know that being transgender opens us up to being laughed at, ridiculed, mocked, and worse.  When we go out into the real world, we may have certain goals in mind, such as finding a pair of heels, or wanting to go out to dinner en femme, but usually not being harassed is among those objectives.

I know I am transgender, and so does everyone I encounter when I leave the house.  I have friends who are also transgender who fit the expectations that many people think women “should look like”.  They aren’t six feet tall and they have softer features, for example.  The have different experiences than I do.  They blend in better.  Camouflage, in a way.

But I stand out.  I know I do.  Since I will never pass, I go the opposite direction.  I wear the brightly colored dress, I wear eye-catching floral patterns, and the heels I wear don’t do me in any favors in trying to blend in.  This is what I mean when I say I embrace who I am.

The hill I will die on is that we are all beautiful and none of us are too tall, too old, too… anything to be beautiful.  None of us are too masculine to be a girl.  Personally I want to be as pretty and as feminine as I can be, but these are expectations and standards that I have set for myself, not by anyone else.  I stopped letting any sort of expectations hold me back from doing anything I want, whether it is modeling or going out for coffee.  I hope you do the same.

It’s unfortunate and heartbreaking that we have to take into consideration the connection between our presentation and safety, but that is the world we live in.

Be safe, be gorgeous.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

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News Flash! En Femme!

I am thrilled to share that I am now partnering with En Femme, the premier clothing brand for the crossdresser and trans woman!

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I will be doing some modeling (remember that photo shoot earlier this month?) as well as some blogging.

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Our partnership was officially announced last night and I am excited to share the details below:

En Femme is thrilled to announce our latest partnership with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight! You may know Hannah from her blog where she discusses more in-depth her journey as a self-described T-girl! 

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Hannah will be a regular contributor to our Learning Center and social media, and we are excited to have her be part of the En Femme family!
 
Hannah’s Learning Center articles will focus on relationships – something most if not all of us are managing – and could use advice on from time to time! Hannah draws on her own experiences living between male and female identities – she shares inspiration, insight and ways to incorporate our full selves in a positive way whether we are crossdressers, transgender, non-binary or gender fluid.
 
Here is Hannah’s first article for the Learning Center – we hope you enjoy it, comment on it and look forward to seeing more from Hannah at En Femme.

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I hope you enjoy my contributions to their Learning Center, and I know you’ll love their clothes.  I am modeling the Sleek Body Contour Dress in Black and White and the Seamless Stripe Teddy Top paired with the Skater Style Swing Skirt.  The dress is gorgeous and incredibly flattering and the top has cap sleeves that fit my shoulders and arms.

Photos by Shannonlee and makeup by MAC.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Hannah vs VS

Last November a CEO from Victoria’s Secret made some hurtful and ignorant comments about the transgender community.

Hearing these comments stung, especially in the year 2018, but it was disappointing because this was a brand I loved and a place where I felt welcomed when I shopped en femme.

I decided to take my lingerie shopping elsewhere and I am glad I did.  Since then, I have added bras and panties from Glamorous Corset, ThirdLove, HommeMystere, and Allure   to my lingerie drawer(s).  🙂

Victoria’s Secret has been experiencing some changes recently including hiring their first openly transgender model as well as the resignation of the CEO I referenced earlier.

The company received significant backlash and calls for boycotts when these comments were made and I had hoped that the CEO would be punished in some way for what was said.  I do not think that the comments and this resignation were connected in any way, unfortunately.

I am happy that a transphobic person no longer has a say in what a major brand does, and I am glad that they have hired a transgender model, but are these changes enough to win back my business?

Maya Angelou wrote “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” and I think this is an appropriate quote in many instances.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t give someone a second chance or that one’s perspective and opinion can’t evolve, but I can’t quite get on board with shopping at Victoria’s Secret again.

For starters, there are many companies, particularly the brands I referred to above, who market to and design for our community.  ThirdLove specifically is very inclusive and HommeMystere designs the cutest panties for us.  I believe in supporting companies that are transinclusive and not giving my money to those who either just downright hate us or those that don’t see transgender women as women.

When a t-girl is ready to experience the world en femme, most of us will want to frequent places where we will be welcome.  I know I did, and I still do.  If we want more businesses to be accepting of us, then we need to financially support businesses that already support us.  I believe that this sends a message.  Of course, I am not so naive that I do not think me not shopping at Victoria’s Secret had any impact whatsoever on them, but spending my money with companies that do embrace us made an impact on them.

I’m glad whenever there is a leadership change or some progress made in any corporation that inches its way towards inclusivity, but I will continue to buy my lingerie from designers that support my values and embrace our community.

Love, Hannah

 

 

PFLAG Events for August

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.

This month their meeting program will be held from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
and be followed by support groups from 7:30 pm until 8:45 pm.
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 Please join PFLAG for their program and support groups.
Tuesday, August 20th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
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Love, Hannah