How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dresses (and lingerie and leggings and…)

The majority of emails I receive ask me “how do I crossdress?”.

The most read feature on my website is “A Beginner’s Guide to Crossdressing”.

The phrase that is most commonly googled to find my website is some variation of someone asking how to become a crossdresser.

By my personal definition of what crossdressing is, crossdressing is probably one of the easiest things in the world.  Put on a pair of panties and you, you gorgeous creature, you are crossdressing.

But I know it’s more complex than that.

Instead of asking how do you crossdress, it’s more helpful to think about what your goals are.  Are you looking to get better at makeup?  Are you looking to learn how to walk in stilettos?  Are you looking for your dress size?  Are you looking to accept yourself?

Each of these goals are different from each other, and I could (and probably already have) written about them.

For some of us, we identify as men who like to wear lingerie.  For others, this is our first step to identifying as bi-gender or gender fluid or as transgender or as a girl.  Clothes can have everything… and nothing to do with one’s gender identity.  When I was younger I used to wonder why I wanted to wear panties and lipstick, but I quickly got over that.

In my opinion, the first step in crossdressing is getting over the thinking that some clothes are for boys and some clothes are for girls.  I know some of us wear certain clothes BECAUSE they are “girl clothes”, but I don’t wear a dress or a bra because I want to BE a girl.  Yes, I want to be a “her” when I am en femme, but I have no desire to transition or live full time.

Although I feel a deep sense of connection and… well, intimacy towards certain clothes, I know that they are just pieces of fabric. A t-shirt with a v-neck is supposed to be for girls but a t-shirt with a scoop neck is for boys?  Ridiculous.  But clothes (and even nail polish) can be a lightening rod for controversy and panic.  After years of going out en femme with very little unpleasant moments and interactions, I have little trepidation when it comes to going (almost) anywhere.  But leaving the house in boy mode wearing leggings or a little eyeliner would terrify me.   Then again, the idea of walking through the mall or downtown en femme used to be unthinkable.

I’ve been wanting to wear (and have been wearing) “girls clothes” for my entire life.  Even now as I type this I am in “boy mode” but wearing my favorite black leggings, a cami, a femme t-shirt, and cardigan.  It’s probably the most comfortable outfit in the world.  Perfect for working at home or doing chores or having a coffee.

Anyone who has worn a nightgown or leggings would tell you how comfortable it is to dress like this.  Yes, I suppose I am crossdressing, but really, I am just wearing clothes.  I don’t genderize clothes.  Or colors.  Or careers.  Or hobbies.  Or bodies.  I wear what I want.  At home, anyway.

If you want to learn how to crossdress, you must first think of what your goals are.  But your first step is getting over the thinking that boys don’t wear ___________.  Wear the leggings, wing that eyeliner, rock those heels.  So much of what we want to do begins with changing our thinking.

They are just clothes.  But at the same time, they are more than clothes.

If you know what I mean.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

Tell us what herbs you take to increase estrogen levels, and improve your femme  figure.  I have struggled with being bi-gender all my life. I am happily married with children and grandchildren, so my time as my femme self is limited, but I enjoy the body changes that certain herbs I take have. What are your secrets to maintaining your feminine features?

I don’t take anything like that.  I would advise anyone to be very careful of taking anything like that unless prescribed by a doctor.

Everything I am is pure McKnight.  Well, except for my breast forms, my gaff, my thigh pads, and contouring.  🙂

pads

I had an epiphany a while ago when I realized that thinking of our bodies, our heights, our features as either masculine or feminine was holding me back.  I used to think that it was important, essential, and possible to “pass”.  But one day I wondered… what is the height limit for a girl?  How tall is too tall to be feminine?  Thinking in terms like that, I realized how silly it was to assign arbitrary gender standards to someone.  Once I had this thought, I realized that there really isn’t such a thing as passing.   This freedom led to me finally being ready to leave the house en femme and I’ve never looked back.

Love, Hannah

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

Hannah Asks…

There’s no question that we are complex and unique.

And at the same time we are… uncomplicated.

I identify as transgender, but more specifically I suppose I bi-gender would be accurate.  I am either HIM or HER.  I do not live as one gender, I go back and forth.
I suppose to some that would sound like I can’t decide on WHO I am, or I am conflicted or confused about my gender, but it’s not for someone else to understand.

Although my gender identity is sacred and personal and important to me, I also view it as no different than other aspects of my life.  I like both Mexican and Italian cuisine.  I like sleeping in and waking up early.  I am introverted and social.  I am more than one thing, and I don’t see why I can’t be more than one gender.

This perspective is taking something as potentially complex and baffling to others to a very simplification.  Of course I know that gender identity and a favorite food are not on the same level, but when I order pasta at a restaurant no one tries to psychoanalyze why I am getting it.

My gender identity is just who I am.  I can’t explain it, nor do I think it needs (or there is) an explanation.  There is no deep-rooted trauma, no childhood event that is associated with why I do what I do or why I am who I am.  Like writing with my right hand as opposed to my left, both of my genders just feels right.

I get a lot of emails from men and women and those who aren’t sure of who they are, or those who don’t feel there is a name how they identify.  Most of us don’t wonder why we are who we are.  But there is a level of frustration when it comes to others not understanding or accepting who we are.  Many times this frustration can prevent us from coming out.  In some cases it’s because we know that others can’t look at gender as either THIS or THAT, but in others (such as myself), coming out is exhausting and requires a lot conversation and questions (which is normal and understandable, I suppose) but it’s overwhelming to discuss something endlessly when there really is no reason as to why I am who I am.

So, my question to you today is what do you wish others knew about you?  For those of you who have come out, how did you talk about it?

Love, Hannah

Photo Shoot – Red PVC Dress

This is the final set of photos from November’s photo shoot.

Besides working with my friend and photographer Shannonlee, one of the reasons I love doing photos is having a chance to show off another side of my wardrobe.  Most of the time when I go out en femme, I dress for what I’m doing that day, whether it is shopping or going to dinner.

But there is a side of me that loves to look… sexy.  A girl wearing leather or PVC looks a little out of place at the mall, so photo shoots give me a chance to let this side of me out for a little bit.

Of course sexy is subjective and this look isn’t for everyone, but it’s still a part of me.

What do you think?
Love, Hannah

02250242023702220245

Carmen Liu Lingerie at En Femme!

I heart lingerie.  It was the first piece of clothing that I fell in love with when I was young.  Panties, a garter belt, and stockings were the first things I bought that were truly mine.  I underdress each day, and every morning I wake up in a nightie.

Lingerie is a part of each day and each evening.  But as a t-girl, lingerie can be tricky.  Not every panty is going to fit, and without forms the effect of a push-up bra is lost.  I am very happy that there are options out there for girls like us, and even happier that there are businesses that embrace our community.

But of course, I want MORE.

A few years ago I wrote about Carmen Liu, a transwoman who designed a line of lingerie for girls like us.   I am happy to hear that En Femme will now be carrying Ms. Liu’s beautiful lingerie.

unnamed

I’m really happy that we have another option to fill our lingerie drawer with beautiful panties and bras.  A girl can never have too many options.

And yes, I do model and blog for En Femme, but rest assured that I would be just as enthusiastic about this even if I wasn’t partnering with them 🙂

Love, Hannah

Daydreaming…

Each year I look forward to the new opportunities that the next 12 months can offer.  It sounds like (and it is) a cliche to be optimistic about what the new year will bring.  I think about what I want to accomplish, and I get excited about working towards my new goals.

However, January was one of those months that seemed to last forever.

As someone who travels for my day job, I worry about the coronavirus.  As a transperson, my heart breaks (and is enraged) about the laws that South Dakota recently passed.

I could go on.

Life is wonderful and life is hard.  But I believe that the secret to happiness is having something to look forward to.  Whether it is a vacation or a new novel or your birthday, being excited about something keeps you going.

For myself, accomplishing my goals helps keeps me motivated and positive. Some of my goals for the year include submitting my book to publishers and doing more modeling.

But dreams help keep me positive.

I love hearing people’s dreams.  They can be huge and epic and impossible.  They can be small and intimate.  What causes someone to smile is fascinating to me.  I love that people have something secret that they daydream about.

I look back at the last ten years or so I have done so many things en femme that I never dreamed I would have the courage to do.  So many dreams and fantasies and wishes have come true.  I am blessed and grateful for every moment.  Whether it is a photo shoot, having an amazing wife, or just being thankful for not getting beaten up when I go out in public.

When life is heartbreaking and it feels (and looks like) the world hates us, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to get out of bed and face the day.  I have mornings like that.  But we can’t do what we want to do, and we can’t do what needs to be done by laying in bed.  So I get up and face the day.  It’s not always easy.

My hopes and dreams for the world are impossible but frustratingly simple at the same time.  I wish people tried to understand us, I wish people accepted us.  Or at the very least stopped trying to hurt us.

But I have other hopes and dreams, too.  I will be the first to admit some of my daydreams are as shallow and superficial as they can get.  But they make me smile, so there you have it.

So what is my dream?

I have written from time to time about being a bridesmaid.  When I hear about friends of mine who are getting married or being in a wedding I start daydreaming (enviously, of course) about how much fun that sounds.  I would love to spend an afternoon with other girls trying on beautiful gowns.  Going from shop to shop looking for the perfect dress, the perfect heels.  The photos, the ceremony, everything.

0007

Whether or not I ever have this opportunity is beside the point.  It makes me smile.

As I said, I love hearing what keeps other people going.  I would love it if you shared your daydream, your fantasy, in the comments.  January was a tough month.  Let’s give ourselves a moment to smile.

Love, Hannah