Transgender Day of Visibility 2020

15Today is not only the final day in what has become the longest month in history, but it is also the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

International Transgender Day of Visibility is honored every year on March 31 and is a time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face. 

-Human Rights Campaign

Being visible can mean a lot of different things to people in our community.  Sometimes it is being out in public, sometimes it is looking at our reflection and acknowledging and accepting that there is more to our gender identity than what most of the world sees.

I have been going out in public since 2013.  At least during the day.  I went a couple times before that, but that was at night and only to LGBTQ+ bars.  But one spring day seven  years ago was a new beginning for me.  I woke up early, bought a coffee, wandered around two malls, a book store, a department store, and a grocery store.  I was as visible as I could be.  I did boring, mundane things, but for Hannah, every step was an epic adventure, a quest where I was braver and more confident and more terrified than I had ever been before.  I have no photos of myself from that day, but the picture above is exactly what I was wearing.

I wondered how many cashiers, baristas, store clerks, and others were seeing me and realizing they were seeing a transperson for the first time other than on television.  I smiled at everyone I saw, and most people smiled back.  If I were indeed the first transperson they would meet, I wanted it to be a good impression.  It dawned on me that I, along with every non cis-gender person in the world, was a representative for our community.

If we want to be accepted, tolerated, understood or simply not hated, then we need to be visible.  But my god, that is not easy.  The real world can be terrifying.  Not at all of us are able, or ready, to be visible or step out in public.  I understand.  I was there, too.  There are things that I wonder if I will ever be ready to do.

If you don’t feel you can be visible to the rest of the world, I hope you are visible to yourself.  Many of us go through periods where we deny this side of us, we ignore, or suppress, or even hate this side of us.  Don’t.

Even if you aren’t able to look into your reflection and see her looking back at you, let yourself look beyond the person in the mirror, look beyond the person the rest of the world sees.  Look for the real you.  Acknowledge her.

Love her.  She’s not going away.  She shouldn’t.  She’s lovely, and you are perfect.

You may not be able to hit the mall en femme.  You may not be able to go beyond panties under your boy clothes.  You may not even have that.  But that doesn’t mean she is not there.

Wearing a bra, a dress, lipstick, six-inch stilettos, doesn’t make one a girl.  Clothes make a statement, but there’s a side of us that is always there, even when we wearing a suit, or boxers, a beard, or work boots.

You may not be able to be out to everyone.  You may not be out to anyone.  But you can be out to you.

Be visible, even if it is only to yourself.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask me (almost) Anything

With everything going, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely, especially when it comes to this side of us.  I know I miss my MN T-Girls.  This side of us needs to be taken care of, she needs to be attended to and she needs to be acknowledged.  Between working from home and almost everything being closed, it’s hard to be who we are.

I try to be accessible and I do my best to reply to every email and message I get.  I do love hearing from you all (unless it’s a photo of…uh, your anatomy).  I know how important it is for all of us to be able to talk to someone who understands this side of us.  I know I need that, too.

Since we are feeling out of sorts, and for some of us our ability to meet up and connect with our friends and our support may be cut off, I thought it might be fun to do some sort of Google Chat or an AMA (Ask me Anything) on Reddit later this week.

Would you be interested in that?

Love, Hannah

…Until it’s Gone

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 Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Til its gone

-Joni Mitchell

Today is the first day of Minnesota’s house arrest. Or shelter in place, I guess is the correct description.

I do agree with this mandate, and I hope it is effective and does indeed lift in two weeks.  We all want to virus to stop spreading and we all want our routines back.  This has changed all of our lives in uncountable ways.  Some are trivial in retrospect and some are beyond our worst fears.

Life has a way of showing us of how lucky we are, and how much we have, and this reminder usually comes from us losing what we took for granted.

As a t-girl, I often feel restricted from what I am “allowed” to wear, and I often feel that I must fit within societal gender norms.  I am used to being held back.  But at the same time, these days I am reflecting on how much I have, and how much I took for granted.  I may not be able to go out en femme whenever I want, but I always was able to find time to get my eyebrows done or go shopping for a new dress.  Even the MN T-Girls had our monthly outing canceled for March.

I hope you all are staring safe and staying sane.

What’s the first thing you are going to do once this passes?  I think I am hitting the mall and buying every dress I can find.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask Hannah!

Should one dress their age?

Not necessarily.  I wear what I want to wear, however, I do take fashion cues from women that are around my age.  There are a lot of really cute styles that girls that are twenty years younger than I am wear, but as cute as they are, they are clearly meant for someone that is not my age.

pink skirt 5

The outfit above is the cutest, girliest outfit I own.  I heart it.  Every time I see photos of it or it hanging in my closet I want to wear it.  The outfit below looks like someone a girl in early twenties would wear.  It’s cute, and I think I pull it off.

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Once a t-girl (or crossdresser or someone who is bi-gender, gender-fluid, or… a human) has accepted and embraced who they are, a whole world of clothes and fashion and style has opened up to them.  They will wear whatever they want, thank you very much, regardless of which gender it is “supposed to be for”.

The two outfits above, granted, are not typical of what a girl my age would wear.  But I don’t think dressing your age is necessary.  That concept seems vague and arbitrary.  Instead I dress for the occasion.  I use what I am doing or where I am going as my guideline.

The two outfits above are perfect for an anime convention or shopping, or example.  Not necessarily a good fit for the office or a wedding.  Of the two outfits below, one is perfect for brunch, the other is, well, appropriate for, well, I’ll let you decide.

Clothes make a statement.  Both of these dresses do exactly that.  One dress is saying she would love a mimosa, the other says… again, you make that call.

Think about what you are doing, and where you are going.  Think about what others will likely be wearing.  Using this as your guide will help immensely.  When in doubt, I prefer to take a chance on dressing up rather than dressing down.  I tend to be the most overdressed girl at the mall, and that’s fine with me.

I hope this helps!

Love, Hannah

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

 

 

Ask Hannah!

I am married and basically quite straight in preferences, however, certain trans gender women I find just irresistible, so I flirt a lot on line….am I a cheating hubby?
I never meet anyone in person.

Every relationship is different and unique.  Every relationship has aspects of it that are hidden to the rest of the world.  Mine included.  If our friends and family knew about the conversations my wife and I have about eyeliner and fashion they would be very surprised.

Some relationships are not as monogamous as others.  Some marriages are open, some partners don’t mind if their spouses chat (or more) with others online.  I can’t say if you are cheating, but perhaps ask yourself how would your spouse react if they knew about your online chats.

It is not uncommon for girls like us to get lost in the pink fog and make decisions that are not typical of our normal routine.  Sometimes these decisions are relatively harmless, such as spending money that we shouldn’t on stilettos, but sometimes these choices are damaging and hurtful to our partner.

The fact that you are asking makes me wonder if you feel guilty about what you are doing, and if you are feeling guilty then you are probably doing something you know you shouldn’t.

Love, Hannah

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

New En Femme Blog!

My new article for En Femme has been posted!

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Capture

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 life as a self-described T-girl.

In “An Unraveled World” Hannah shares her advice for coping with the mental and emotional difficulties many of us are experiencing as we self-isolate during these trying times.

Please know that you are not alone right now and we are here to add style and happiness to your day.  Read it now>>

Love, Hannah

Holy Hannah

Because I have learned nothing from discussing topics that are very dear and personal to many of us, I wanted to chat a little about religion.

I received an email the other day asking about my beliefs in God and if I have or had struggled with my gender identity because of my faith.

Unfortunately I had inadvertently lost the email and I am unable to respond directly to her.  I likely moved it to a specific folder in my inbox and…. well, like the mate to a pair of earrings, it is lost forever.

So, I thought I’d share my thoughts here and hope that she sees this.

Do I believe in God?  Short answer, yes.  I identify as agnostic, and what that means to me is that I do not think that any religion is completely correct when it comes to God.  I do not think that God is anything we can fathom or put into words that we can comprehend.  But I am comforted by my belief that there is…. something out there to whom I can give thanks to for all I have been blessed with.  I also believe in science and evolution.

My relationship with God is very personal and I do not believe that I need to associate myself with an organized religion or attend church in order for me to have that relationship.

I was raised Catholic and spent all of my grade school and high school years going to Catholic schools and attending mass at least twice a week.  I learned about the Bible and the history of Christianity as well as other religions.  I learned about creationism as well as about evolution.  I learned about people’s deeply rooted core beliefs as well as about the science that contradicts them.

Even though I probably attended mass on occasion wearing a pair of panties under my church pants, I never thought I was doing something wrong.  If God made me, then I believed He made me the way He wanted.  I was a good, well-behaved kid, and I like to think I am a good, but flawed, adult.  I am not perfect, but who among us is?

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, then you have undoubtedly have been told or have heard that we are also sinners.  I am no theologian, but I am not sure where in the Bible Jesus this.  Sure, televangelists and others may say we are, and there may be passages in scripture that discuss this, but did Jesus discuss this specifically?

If you are a follower of Christ and base your morals and values around His teachings, then you must do so.  The Gospel of Matthew says “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”  The Gospel continues to say “Judge not lest ye be judged.”  Regardless of whether you are Catholic, Jewish, Hindu or an atheist, these are principals we could all stand to live by.

So, this is my perspective.  If you have felt guilt or conflicted about who you are because of your faith, I would love to hear how you have resolved this, or, why you feel that religion and your gender identity are at odds.

Just a side note: I do mean everything I have written here in the most sincere way possible.  I know that religion, like gender, is incredibly personal and intimate and important.  I do not think we can comprehend God, so it would be hypocritical for me to say that one’s beliefs are wrong, as long as your beliefs are based in tolerance, acceptance, and kindness and do not hurt others.

Love, Hannah