Transliving my Best Life!

transliving

I am thrilled beyond words to be featured in and on the cover of the upcoming issue of Transliving magazine!  Transliving is a UK published magazine that is available in both print and PDF formats.  The upcoming issue will print an excerpt from my upcoming (but still without a publisher) book, In-Between.

From their website:

Transliving International is the magazine that amplifies the voice of all Gender Diverse and Trans people. It doesn’t matter whether you think of yourself as MtF, FtM, Non-Binary (NB), Gender Fluid, TS, TG or TV or CD, or something else, or simply “me”. Transliving is published for and welcomes everyone on the transgender (Trans) spectrum.

Each quarter, Transliving magazine delivers you 100 full-colour pages featuring interviews and high-quality photo shoots. You’ll also find plenty of articles to keep you up-to-date on issues affecting the gender diverse and trans community with hard-hitting comment and opinion. Along with features covering real-life stories, event reports & listings, readers’ contacts, fashion, make-up & beauty features, partners’ & family features. Information, support & advice and so much more…

You can pre-order issue 66 here!

Love, Hannah

 

 

PFLAG Twin Cities Chapter Closing

I’ve been hearing rumors for a while that the Twin Cities chapter of PFLAG is closing.  Unfortunately this news has been confirmed and the below email was sent out:
PFLAG Twin Cities wishes to inform you of our closing, effective December 31, 2019. We have mixed feelings about this announcement. While we are sad to inform you of our closing, we also feel joy in the accomplishments and the impact we have had on our community.
Please join us in one last PFLAG Twin Cities gathering, to see old friends, relive our rich history of struggles, defeats, and victories, and to say goodbye.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019. 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Park Tavern, 3401 Louisiana Ave S, St Louis Park, MN 55426
light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar provided
PFLAG Twin Cities has been a part of the LGBTQ+ community for nearly 40 years and while our membership and directors may have changed many times over, our core mission has not. We have never wavered in our fight to make Minnesota, and the world, a better place for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. The number of families who were healed and the individual lives that were saved through our support groups cannot be known, but the social changes through our education and activism can. PFLAG Twin Cities has helped make equal rights for LGBTQ+ people a reality; we helped bring legislation for safer schools for LGBTQ+ youth into law; and we helped bring Minnesota the honor of being the first state to vote down a “traditional marriage only” amendment and to make marriage equality a reality.
The rights of the LGBTQ+ community have come a long way and while we acknowledge that there is still much work to be done, especially in the area of Transgender rights, we seem to have achieved many of our goals. Mirroring a shift in public interest and support, our donations from the general public have been in steady decline over the past 10 years. With this decline in support, along with the loss of our last corporate sponsor, we find that we can no longer be a viable organization and believe it is the right time to close.
Our founders looked forward to achieving their dreams of LGBTQ+ equality through working to make social change happen and to bring about the public acceptance we now enjoy. They had looked forward to our closing, to a time when PFLAG Twin Cities would no longer be needed, with this announcement we are making that dream a reality.
Sincerely,
Beth Johnson
Claire Todd
Shawn Jarvis
PFLAG Board of Directors
PFLAG will continue to exist and there are still chapters all over the country.  I’m sad to see the Twin Cities chapter close, but there are support groups and resources  all around Minnesota.
Love, Hannah

Who Am I?

photo

There’s no question that clothes transform me.  I move differently in heels than I do in boy shoes, not only because, well, I have to, but there’s something about a stiletto, and a dress, and… anything else in my closet that creates a change in me.  I zip up my dress and I wiggle my hips a little.  I apply my lipstick and smile.

I feel happy, I glow.  I feel the tension of my boy life fade away.  I transition into Hannah’s world.

This is not to say that it’s a relief to leave my male life behind for a while.  I am happy in both of my gender identities and I would miss either of them if I was ever required to chose one gender to present as for the rest of my life.

As we enter the real word and interact with others, we begin to get to know our femme selves.  Perhaps we are shy in our male lives, but become social butterflies when we are in a skirt.

cropped-butterfly-3.jpg

These changes can surprise us.  I have a pretty healthy self-esteem in both of my genders, but I am always a little taken aback at how confident Hannah is.  Not only when it comes to how I feel about myself, but the things I do.  If you had told me ten years ago I would be walking confidently through the Mall of America, modeling, writing for blogs, running a transgender support group, or public speaking I would have told you that your gaff was too tight.

But here I am.

It’s exciting to meet this side of us.   It can be surprising to discover or create who our femme selves are.  This discovery needs to happen naturally, organically.  Not by force.  It’s kind of like building a wardrobe.  I used to think I was all little black dresses and evening gowns, but I was surprised that I fell in love with bright colors and pattern dresses.

yellow dress 14

I do a lot of introspection about who I am and what I do and what I want.  This is something I have done all my life.  This self-analysis, and often over-analysis, has helped me come to terms with who I am and where I am on my “journey”.  I don’t want to transition, I love who I am, I love all my genders.  All both of them. 🙂

Having a online presence also can require a little discovery.  Like most of us, I have a social media life and I am active there, but Hannah’s online life is a zillion times busier than my male side.  I write differently depending on who is posting, not only in terms of content but also in how I write.  These styles are in sync with how I present in real life.  Hannah, both online and in the real world, is chattier, more social, and sassier than the boy.

I know it sounds odd, but if I have to explain it to you then you wouldn’t understand it.

When I first joined social media, it was all about posting photos of myself.  I was excited about a new dress and I wanted compliments.  I wanted validation.  I wanted to be told I was pretty.  Yes, I know that is pretty shallow but I was incredibly insecure those days (and even today dysphoria still hits) and any kind and flattering words were (and still are) appreciated.

Social media in it of itself allows us to create another persona, in a way.  For girls like us, this is doubly so.  As I got to know my femme self, I also got to know my online femme self.  I started a website about seven years ago writing about common experiences girls in our community have.  People started to relate to what I wrote and I enjoyed what I what I was doing.

After four years I shut down that site and started this one.  As I started to do more introspective writing and blogging about bigger issues, I felt it was a good time to start a new site.  Over the past few years I have gotten more involved in modeling and product reviews than I had ever anticipated.  These days I feel that I have two sides to what I post.

On one side is my writing about activism, social justice, support, and just reflecting on who I am and how many different ways one can identify as transgender.

The other side is all about photos.  Whether I am in leather, lace, or a pleated pink skirt, the pictures show different sides of the same girl.

pink skirt 5rose dress 280103Lace Dress 4

I sometimes feel that these two sides are in such contrast to each other that they might as well be different people.  It’s not unrealistic to think that, I mean, I have two different genders after all.

As someone who lives their life in two genders, I understand how complex we can be.  Those in my life who I have come out to couldn’t be more surprised at who I am.

Sometimes I wonder what I want to do.  Do I want to be a voice in the community?  Do I want to model?  Do I want to be an influencer and do product reviews?  I feel there are different sides of me doing different things and they kind of conflict with each other.  The responses and interaction are also different depending on what I post.  There doesn’t seem to be much overlap, either.  Photos get likes and re-posts, writings get emails and comments.

I often wonder what my role is in our community.  The modeling I think can be helpful in terms of representation, the reviews highlight companies that make products designed for our girls like us, the writings hopefully show that we are not alone.

I suppose this is really nothing to worry about and I am probably overthinking all of this.  The important thing to me is that I come off as sincere in everything I do.  We can be fabulous, a voice for the community, and raise awareness for social issues.  Look at Laverne Cox, after all.  I’ll be be as beautiful or as an important of a voice as she is, but I do what I can.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting the HOT in Photography

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  No, not the holidays, but the annual MN T-Girls photo shoot!

IMG_0291

For the past few years, the MN T-Girls have booked a studio and had the pleasure of working with our friend and amazing photographer Shannonlee for professional portraits.  It is one of the highlights of the year and a day the group looks forward to each fall.

IMG_0306IMG_0308

Like previous years these photos were taken at the Casket Arts building in Minneapolis and I think it’s safe to say that these pictures are going to turn out to be some of the best photos we’ve ever taken.

IMG_0309

The girls all looked amazing and I can’t wait to show the finished pictures to you!

IMG_0296IMG_0301

Love, Hannah

 

Minneapolis Bans Conversion Therapy

After a statewide ban was defeated at the last minute, I am happy to see that the city of Minneapolis has banned conversion therapy for minors!

b3778c-20191011-conversion-therapy2

From Minnesota Public Radio:

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday passed a ban on so-called “conversion therapy” for minors.

The controversial practice aims to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight. But the LGBT community and others say it doesn’t work.

Council president Lisa Bender read a statement from council member Phillipe Cunningham urging other members to support the ordinance.

“Conversion therapy, which is actually conversion abuse, is a blight on our country. It is tantamount to torture,” the statement read. “I believe that we should continue to push for this change at a state level. But also believe that where there is opportunity for us to save lives, we must.”

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Our Feminine Flaw

When I was young, I would think about the things I thought I would need to be beautiful.  A gorgeous wig, makeup, lingerie, a dress, and heels were always on the list.  As I grew older, I started to think about the things I needed to… ah, minimize or downplay.  Things like my adam’s apple, or my broad shoulders for example.  I thought if I ever had the courage to go out en femme, surely something like that would give me away.

Once I realized I would never pass, and that there was no such thing as passing anyway, I stopped worrying about things that would “give me away”.

Although I no longer am concerned about being clocked, I still strive to look as amazing as possible.  Over the last year I had added breast forms and Jolie Thigh Pads from The Breast Form Store to my closet.  For years I wanted to be as… authentic as possible, but seeing what forms and pads can do for my shape, I wonder why I waited so long.  I mean, look at my figure here.

IMG_0222

I have forms that boost my bust, pads that give my figure shape, but besides a tight pair of panties and stockings, nothing to really, uh, help with my feminine flaw.  I have gotten a few emails asking about tucking and gaffs but I never have tried a gaff before.

What is a gaff?  Basically it’s an undergarment that is designed to flatten out a penis and testicles to create a smooth appearance.  Usually a gaff is styled like a thong.

gold-seal-gaff-tucking-panty-white-nude-black

Thanks to the generosity of The Breast Form Store, I have been sent a variety of styles to review and over the past few days I have been trying them and I’d love to share my thoughts on them.

The Breast Form store has a good selection to choose from, and I’ll be reviewing the Divine Collection and the Gold Seal Collection.

We are likely going into TMI territory here, so proceed with caution.

Wearing a gaff is not a magic garment that will automatically flatten out your genitals.  You need to tuck.  Tucking is basically pushing your genitals between your legs, and usually reaching around to pull them back and then using a gaff to hold them there.

That sounds like it hurts.

But it doesn’t.  If it hurts then you are doing it wrong.  Is it uncomfortable?  Well, no, but you definitely feel it.  Both of these gaffs do a remarkably effective job of holding things in place.

I have worn these gaffs over the past four days doing normal everyday things.  Walking, going up and down stairs, sitting, you know, normal things.  The gaffs kept everything in place.  I got used to where things were.  Again, if you feel any sort of pain, then stop and readjust.

Most gaffs are thongs.  Thongs are amazing when it comes to reducing panty lines in skirts and dresses so when I dress I wear thongs exclusively.

gold-seal-gaff-tucking-panty-nude-back-view

I have thongs that are made for boys, things that are made for girls, and thongs made for boys that look like thongs that are made for girls.  These gaffs are a new thing altogether in terms of the front panel.  Thongs for boys have extra fabric in the front.  Thongs for girls tend to be narrower in the front.  These gaffs have a wide front panel to make sure that everything is secure.  No matter how much I moved, I never needed to readjust and not once did I fall out.

I also liked that the gusset was wide enough.  The gusset is the fabric of a panty that is between the front and the back, basically the part that goes between your legs.  Since this is where you would tuck your parts, the gusset needs to be able to secure everything in order to prevent you from sliding or falling out.  Most panties and thongs are not designed to tuck, so the gaffs have a huge advantage here.

So, they functioned well.  They were well designed and did the trick in terms of keeping things where I put them.  But how effective were they?

I love leggings and I thought that this was a perfect excuse to wear them for a few days in boy mode.  Normally my anatomy is noticeable when I wear them, but the gaffs, along with tucking, created a very smooth shape.  I was impressed with how effective they were.

I did notice a few differences between the styles.

 

Divine Collection

Divine

I was sent two styles of the Divine collection.  One style was the thong, the other a tanga.  A tanga panty is not a thong, but it does not cover as much in the back as a traditional panty does.  I found that both the thong and tanga style were pretty similar in terms of comfort and tucking.  Both were equally effective in terms of keeping everything in place.  The Divine’s front panel is longer than the Gold Seal which made tucking easier as there was more fabric to push things down.

The Divine style also has a small pocket should you wish to insert a silicone vagina.

Gold Seal

gold seal

The Gold Seal style has a shorter front panel compared to the Divine style, but a slightly wider gusset.  Overall the Gold Seal style is smaller and tighter than the Divine style.  It took a little longer to get used to this gaff compared to the Divine style.  Since the front panel is shorter, tucking required a little more effort, however since the gaff is smaller compared to the Divine, and the gusset is wider, I felt that the Gold Seal kept things in place better and provided a smoother effect.

Both gaffs are wonderful and I would recommend either one.  Ultimately I prefer the Gold Seal because it provides a smoother, flatter look, but the Divine is more comfortable.  As a girl who prefers stilettos to flats, I am more than happy to forgo comfort over style.

I used to think that I didn’t NEED a gaff.  And no one NEEDS a gaff.  I didn’t think a gaff could do what a pair of panties or tights could do, but I was very wrong.

Thank you to The Breast Form Store for providing these gaffs for review!  I am excited to include them in my wardrobe.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance

TDOR-20194

Repost from Glaad.org:

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

How can I get involved in the Transgender Day of Remembrance?

Participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance by attending and/or organizing a vigil on November 20 to honor all those transgender people whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence that year, and learning about the violence affecting the transgender community. Vigils are typically hosted by local transgender advocates or LGBTQ organizations, and held at community centers, parks, places of worship, and other venues. The vigil often involves reading a list of the names of those lost that year.

Please see resources below on how to write stories about transgender people who have been victimized by crime, and additional resources for writing about the violence that affects transgender people, especially transgender women of color.

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, GLAAD remembers the transgender people whose lives have been lost to anti-transgender violence this year and over the years.

Information for media:

Organizations and resources:

Reports on violence and discrimination:

More information:

As always, be safe.

Love, Hannah