New En Femme Blog!

There was a lot of comments and emails after I posted “Meeting your Heroes” not long ago.  Support, or lack of it, from our family was still on my mind as I wrote this article for En Femme.  The holidays can be a tense time for everyone, especially when they know about this side of us.  This thinking helped inspire this article and I hope you like it.

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The latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available on our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her journey as a self-described T-girl.
 
In previous articles for the Learning Center, Hannah has discussed the potential positive and negative consequences of coming out to one’s significant other. In her latest article – “Surviving the Holidays” – Hannah talks about coming out to one’s family members and shares her advice for getting through stressful family gatherings during the holiday season. Read it here>>

As Hannah says, keep your “chin up and heels high!”

Love, Hannah

Fighting the Fabulous Fight

When I first underdressing, there was a certain… thrill with getting dressed each day.  I love panties, I love lingerie, and the brighter the pink and the more adorned with bows and trimmed with delicate lace the better.  Much of the thrill was that I was wearing girl’s clothes. 

I have wanted to wear girl’s clothes all my life.  Having the courage to actually do it was amazing, even if (or especially if) I was the only one who knew about it.  I knew that each item was a stepping stone to something else.  If I could wear panties, I could probably wear a bra, and then stockings.  Perhaps soon I’d be wearing a nightie to bed… and then…

And here I am, decades later, typing away on a laptop wearing a very festive pair of panties with a snowflake pattern and my femme jeans.  My closet is filled with dresses, my shelves lined with heels, and my drawers overflowing with lingerie.  It’s my dream come true.

I’ve been asked if the excitement goes away over time.  I never thought that this side of me, whether I am in heels at a museum or picking out my panties for the day or getting a makeover would ever get mundane or, well, not fun.  But it’s true that something is lost over time.

Or so I thought.  I realize that it’s not that something is lost.  And its nothing as mundane as me getting used to it.  No, what it is is a new, evolved perspective.  Years ago I would be giddy with excitement just thinking about wearing girl’s clothes.  Today they are just my clothes.  They are not dresses for women, they are my dresses.  Clothes have lost any sort of gender specificity and distinction.  I am not wearing my femme jeans, I am wearing my jeans.  I did not wake up in a woman’s nightgown this morning, I woke up in my nightgown this morning.

I think girls like us roll our eyes a little when people freak out about boys doing “girl things”.  We don’t think it’s a big deal if a boy wants to play with dolls or whatever because we were that boy once.  The doll is a toy.  A toy anyone can play with.  We are confident and comfortable in our gender identities.  We are secure with ourselves.  We  are enlightened, if you will, when it comes to what is for a boy and what is for a girl.  Everything is for anyone who wants it.

These jeans are a perfect example.  They fit perfectly and I can’t think of any reason why they are “for girls”.  They fit me, don’t they?  I wear these jeans in male mode.  When I started to wear femme jeans in male mode that thrill of wearing girl jeans was there… but this morning, and yesterday morning, and tomorrow morning they are and will be just my jeans.

I wear these jeans because they are comfortable, they are softer, and they feel better to move around in.  Same with my femme t-shirts.  Years ago I would have trembled with excitement wearing a femme t-shirt and femme jeans while running errands.  Today these items are in my normal rotation in male mode.

I have long gotten over the thinking that some things are for boys and some things are for girls.  Whether it is a color, a musician (I love Taylor Swift regardless of what gender I am presenting as), or clothes.  Skirts, dresses, leggings, bodysuits, and nightgowns feel amazing.  Why should we deny wearing what we want to wear?  We shouldn’t.

…But if this is what I believe, what’s stopping me?  If anyone can wear a skirt, why stop at femme jeans when I run errands?  Why not wear a maxi skirt instead?   If I truly believe that clothes are for anyone, and I don’t care what others think, and if I want to wear a skirt and paint my nails and wear eyeliner in male mode, why don’t I?

Is it hypocritical that I don’t?

Why do I have the courage to spend the day en femme in a wig, a $70 makeover, a dress, and heels but not wear leggings in male mode?  Much of it has to do with being seen.  Sure, I don’t care what other people think of Hannah, and I am not worried about being recognized when I am en femme, but in male mode… well, that’s a gender I present as most of the time to most of the people in my life.  I would be more recognizable in male mode in a skirt than I would be en femme.  As misunderstood and complicated our lives are as t-girls, it’s even harder for some to understand why a guy wants to wear a skirt.  I think I would be harassed more in male mode wearing a skirt than I am when I am en femme.

And I am tired of explaining.  I am tired of explaining something that really can’t be explained.  I like wearing skirts and really see no reason why boys can’t wear them.  But I really don’t think the world is ready for that.  The world will never be ready for that.  But as I’ve said before, the world will never be ready for us, and we can’t wait for that to happen.

So really, what’s stopping me?  Nothing.  Everything.  I suppose I don’t want a reputation for being that weird guy who wears a skirt.  We also can’t forget that who we are also affects others in our lives.  I don’t want my wife to be known as the girl who’s married to the weird guy who wears skirts.  My wife is amazing and is supportive, but if I wore leggings out of the house with her it would probably (and understandably) embarrass her.  I don’t want to do that to her.  She knows what is in my closet.  She picked out my favorite leggings.  But she sees the world the same way I do.  That gender is complicated and simple and pointless, gender roles are silly, and clothes are clothes.

But seeing the world the way I do also means she sees how the world reacts to girls like Hannah and how the world reacts to boys like me.

It’s important to live our truths.  To practice what we preach.  In my heart I believe anyone should wear or do whatever pleases them.  I believe we should shrug off any opinions from people who don’t matter to us.  We t-girls know this.  We live this.  We t-girls represent this.  We are brave, we are warriors in the fight for gender identity and gender expression.  By simply existing we humbly challenge the world’s ingrained binary perspective.  We are wonder women, we are supergirls.  It’s a fight I am proud to be a part of.

But the battle on who can wear certain clothes, clothes for God’s sake, is not something I can fight in male mode.  We pick our battles in life.  Hannah, and every t-girl in the world, represents the transgender community.  We show the world that we exist.  That we can be who we want to be, that we can be who we are.  In striving for breaking down how the world thinks about gender, I feel I do my part, both in public and online.

I often feel I wish I could do more for our community in male mode.  I feel I don’t do enough.  But I hope what Hannah does makes up for it.

Love, Hannah

 

 

What a T-Girl Wants

Shopping can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to creating a wardrobe, but I hope this guide I wrote for En Femme helps!

I’ve been meaning to write a guide like this for a while, and En Femme’s current Insider Sale was a perfect time to do so.

Insider Sale Alert: Take 25% Off*
Now through Sunday! Use Code: ENFHOLIDAY

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Featured, Must-Have Winter Fashions!

Want an extra opportunity to save before the holidays? Take 25% off your order (just for subscribers!) by using code ENFHOLIDAY and complete your holiday party look.  Looking for some inspiration as you put together your New Years Eve ensemble? Head over to our Learning Center and have a look at Hannah McKnight’s wish list – suggestions from our expert self-described T-girl!  Read it here>>

Love, Hannah

New En Femme Blog!

My newest blog for En Femme has been posted!

From the Learning Center:
Hannah on Coming Out – A Perfect World

 

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The latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available on our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her journey as a self-described T-girl.

In her previous article for the Learning Center, Hannah discussed the potential negative repercussions of coming out to one’s significant other. In her latest article – “A Perfect World” – Hannah talks about when ‘the Talk’ goes exactly the way we’d hoped or even better than we’d ever dared to dream. Read it here>>

I hope you like it

Love, Hannah

 

Let it Glow, Let it Glow, Let it Glow

Does anyone glow brighter than a t-girl at a holiday party?

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Last night was the annual MN T-Girls holiday party and we shone like stars in the night.  The evening was filled with sequins, glitter, and cheer as we celebrated the holidays and looked back on the year.

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It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone.  I’m so lucky to know so many fabulous girls and fortunate to have so many good friends.  The holiday party is one of the most popular events of the year and I can’t think of a better way to close out 2019 than by celebrating in a sparkly little black dress with my friends.

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Here’s to a fabulous 2020!

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

Meeting Your Heroes

A few years ago I went to a book release party for a writer I really liked for a long time.  The event was hosted by a local bookstore and the author would be there to sign copies of their newest novel.  Up to that point I had purchased every book they published and read every word they had written.  I was thrilled to meet one of my favorite authors.

I purchased my book and waited in line for an hour to meet the writer.  I am not sure if they were having a bad day or what, but as I got closer to the front of the line I could hear the interactions between other fans and the author.  The writer was rude, irritable, and clearly did not want to be there.

I got my book signed, went home a little brokenhearted and put the book on my shelf.  I was devastated that one of my favorite writers wasn’t who I had hoped they would be.  Even today that book is still unread as it reminds me of that day.

I understand that everyone has a bad day and celebrities have no obligation to be friendly and I should get over it, but my point is that it’s a risk to meet your heroes as they may not turn out to be who you hoped they would be.

I think and I overthink a lot about almost everything, especially about gender and my gender identity.  I think about how genderized everything is, I think about how society can freak out when a boy wears fingernail polish, I think about how everything for girls is pink.

I think about how in the closet I am, despite how often I go out and how active I am online, not only with my website but with Twitter and Flickr as well.  I think about how much this side of me is a secret and how some of my closest friends have no idea (as far as I know) about Hannah.

I go back and forth with wanting to come out to people in my life and being content with who knows.  As much as I like shopping or running errands en femme, there are times when it would be nice to have dinner with an old friend.  On the other hand, coming out is exhausting and not without its risks.

When I have come out to people in my life, it has (mostly) been for a purpose.  I have come out to three significant others because they needed to know all of me.  As the relationships progressed and became more serious, it was important that they knew just in case this part of me was a deal-breaker.

When I came out to my sisters and mom, I came out because I had hoped that Hannah would be a part of the family sometimes.  Or at the very least be able to hit the mall with them.

Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way.  It is what it is.

Coming out is one of the most complicated, hardest things we will ever do.  It’s different than coming out as a gay, I think.  When I have come out to others the conversation is peppered with things like “I’m transgender but…” as well as “I identify as bi-gender and…”.  There are so many facets and nuances that make up who I am and my gender identity.

When my brother came out as gay, everyone knew what that meant. When I came out as transgender, it took (and still takes) a lot of clarification as to what being transgender means to me and who I am.

We all know it’s a risk to come out.  Relations could end, friendships could become strained, families could be changed.  We know this.  It’s frustrating because there is nothing wrong with who we are.  We should not be ashamed of our identities or what we like to wear.

If anything embracing who we are should be commended.  It’s so hard for some of us to accept that this is who we are, let alone come out to the people in our lives that we love.  We want to share this side of us, we don’t want to hide.

But coming out rarely goes the way we think it will go, let alone how we want it to go.  It was (and still is) naive to think that after coming out my sisters would enthusiastically plan a day out shopping and having coffee with their new sister.  I have come to terms with their reaction, but I still get a little sad that hitting the mall with my sisters will never happen.

I wish to stress that someone’s reaction to this side of us is not necessarily indicative of the person they are.  My brother is gay, my mom and sisters are liberal and we have all friends that identify in many ways.  However, it’s not uncommon to be a little… uncomfortable? Unsure? Weirded out? when your son or brother comes out.

Having said that, I was a little surprised that my coming out was not met with the… well, enthusiasm and support I was hoping for, especially considering my family’s embracing of the LGBTQ+ community.  Like meeting your heroes and seeing that they are not the person you thought they would be, it can be a blow to learn that the person you come out to does not react the way you hoped, or expected them to.

Having a positive experiencing when you come out to someone is absolutely amazing.  It’s not uncommon to want to do it again based on a supportive reaction.  But coming out is a different experience each time you do it, not only for the person you come to, but for you as well.

Besides being prepared and honest about yourself, there’s really no right way to come out to someone.  There are no magic words that work.  There is no perfect scenario to bring up this topic.  That being said, there are a lot of wrong ways to have this talk.

Expectations are a tricky thing.  Often they are based on what we hope the outcome will be.  It’s important to not have any preconceived notions of what this revelation will result in.  When we do, we put ourselves at risk of being letdown, disappointed, and brokenhearted.  It’s not unlike meeting someone we admire.  We hope that they are as wonderful as the books they write or the songs they sing and it can be difficult to discover otherwise.

Love, Hannah