Ask Hannah!

You have talked a fair bit about the Jolie Thigh Pads you got from The Breast Form Store. I was just wondering if you had any advice or experience with more inexpensive options to help enhance the appearance of curves, particularly in the hips and booty?  

I heart my thigh pads. I heart my Nikki Bum Pads, as well.

And yes, they are not cheap. But! They are not cheaply made, either. I have had mine for almost two years and despite a lot of wear, they have never torn or lost their shape. They warm naturally to my body and move with me very comfortably.

Although there is no right or wrong way to be a girl and there are no standards one must meet to be femme, I believe that crossdressing take time, money, and patience.

It takes time to learn to walk in stilettos, it takes patience to learn makeup, and it costs money or quality. Crossdressing is one of those things that, for the most part, your investment will pay off. You’ll get better at liquid eyeliner the more time that you practice, you’ll strut for hours after you invest a lot of time in heels.

Let me add that you don’t need a curvy body to be femme. But if you want a curvy shape I think you’d be happy with what The Breast Form Store has.

As far as I know, The Breast Form store does not have any other options with the exception of padded panties, but they are not quite the same.

Glamour Boutique does carry a few options that seem to be a little easier on your purse than The Breast Form Store, but I don’t know. If you’re going to invest in something like this, it my be worth to invest a little more for the Jolie and Nikki forms.

On a related note, I just got a pair of proper breast forms from The Breast Form Store and my goodness, I am in love. For years I’ve worn a pair of forms that just added a little boost to my bust, but these new forms… its a game changer.

A review is coming. 🙂

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

I am thinking of starting breast enhance pills. What can you tell me about them. Do they really work?

To be honest, I have no experience with any sort of bust/booty/body modifying creams and pills so I am probably not a qualified person to ask.

However, that has never stop me from adding in my perspective before and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. 🙂

For starters, I would never, ever take anything or apply anything to my body without the consultation of a doctor. Who knows what is in the “medication” that is marketed towards our community? Call me cynical, but I doubt any of it works. In addition to that, it may even harm or damage you.

I fully acknowledge that my opinion means nothing when it comes to this, but it takes hormones and other prescribed procedures to give one the femme body one may want. I’ll stick with thigh pads and breast forms.

Also! Be careful of the pink fog. We may be so in love with this side of us that it could cloud your judgement. Yes, as Hannah I would love a nice, perky bust, but I also have to consider the parts of my life when I need to present as male and it’s hard to do that with a C cup.


Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

I consider myself to be transgender. I have no intention of pursuing any surgical procedures. Would I be considered a fraud in the LGBTQ community because I haven’t had surgery?  


I would absolutely consider you transgender.


It’s true that some people in as well as out of the LGBTQ+ community may think otherwise.  Being who we are almost demands that we do what we please, what we feel is right for us, without caring what other people think.  


I mean, a transwoman can legally change their name, their legal gender, their birth certificate, and every inch of their anatomy inside and out and there will also be those who will still say she is a man.  


My definition of transgender is pretty broad and you can agree with it or not, but the essential thing is that you need to live your life without caring what other people think.

Related reading

The T Word

Why Passing isn’t Important


Love, Hannah

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

Thank You

Feedspot recently listed a lot of lists for top blogs for the year. The lists are for different categories and I am thrilled that I am on several of them:

Number 49 on the Top 100 Transgender Blogs in 2021

Number 29 on the Top 50 Trans Woman Blogs in 2021

Number 30 on the Top 70 Crossdressing Blogs in 2021

I am humbled and gracious for any influence I have on anyone. I am aware of the seriousness of what I write about and the potential consequences there are when it comes to this life we live. It’s not easy to be who we are. It’s confusing, frightening, and difficult. There are a million things that we think about ranging from how to walk in heels to how we talk about this with our partners. I know that what I write may lead someone to making drastic life changes. Some of the changes are good, some of them… not so much.

I have written about being responsible for our gender identity, and I feel a lot of responsibility for what I write about. I don’t take this side of us lightly. I think very carefully (for the most part) about what I post. I am cautious because I know the decisions we face could forever alter our lives, particularly our relationships.

I know some of you come here for makeup tips or shopping help, and some come here for guidance and advice. Regardless of why you put up with my rambling please know I am grateful for you. I keep a website for my own sanity, to write about the things I think about. I never imagined I would have any sort of influence on anyone. Thank you.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I’m a straight cis woman who has always loved crossdressed men. I don’t ‘really’ know why but I do know I like beautiful things and I am quite alternative. I am also fascinated by psychology and people.
I actually have lots of questions to ask you but one of the things I’ve always wondered when reading your blog is are you concerned that people in your life will find you online somehow and that they could tell other people, maybe a colleague at work?
I love reading your blog and think you’re doing a great job of representing transgender, queer and actually any alternative people.

No one really knows why we like what we like.  It’s frustrating and liberating at the same time.  Sometimes I really want to know why a song or a book really gets a hold of me.  The more I try to dissect the thing I like or I am obsessed with the more it becomes trying to understand WHY I like it as opposed to simply enjoying it.  I overthink a lot of things.

At the same time, it’s wonderful knowing it’s just how we’re wired.  Why am I right-handed?  Why do I wear panties?  I was born this way.


Am I afraid of being caught?  No.  I am terrified of being caught.


Although no one really knows how your friends and family will react to this side of us, I feel mostly confident that most people I know would “be cool” with who I am.  Being cool with who I am isn’t necessarily accepting this side of me, but for the most part I don’t think they would shut me out of their lives or gossip to other people.  Of course I don’t expect them to understand, but that’s okay, I don’t understand either.


However.


I could name a few people in my life who would absolutely use this against me.  This could come in the form of never speaking to me (or my wife) ever again, telling others, or slander.  Long story short, it would be very very bad.


I associate with people that think about the LGBTQ+ community the same way as I do.  I don’t want to be friends with a bigot.  I can choose my friends, but I can’t choose my family or my colleagues.  That’s who I am worried about.


As dangerous it would be were I to be discovered by certain people I know, I feel the chances of it happening are very very low.  As prolific as I am I have yet to be “caught” by someone I know.  I have never had someone I know from my male life find Hannah (as far as I know).  My website is not something one stumbles upon.  Most people find my website by googling ‘transgender’, ‘crossdress’, and phrases using those two terms.  Unless someone is specifically looking for websites related to crossdressing I don’t think it’s likely someone just happen upon me.


I go back and forth about coming out to more people but always talk myself out of it.  It’s just safer to limit who knows what, you know what I mean?

Related reading

Meeting Your Heroes

Love, Hannah

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

The Lying, the What-Ifs, and the Wardrobe

I remember the first pair of panties I had.  When I wasn’t wearing them I kept them hidden in a drawer.  I was fifteen.  I was terrified someone would find them.


Paranoia is often crippling but it can save our lives.  It holds us back from stepping out en femme.  What if someone sees us?  What if we run into someone we know?  We replay these scenarios over and over and over to the point where we become so frightened that it becomes easier to deny this side of us than to live with the anxiety that the endless “what ifs” bring.  
For some, the anxiety of living a denied life becomes greater than any risk that this side of us brings.  We accept that whatever happens, happens.  We dress, we drive to the mall, and…  no one cares.  It is this moment that the next part of our lives begin.


Of course, the paranoia we had becomes useful, in a way.  We likely replayed scenario after scenario of what we would do if we saw someone we knew.  Although we have stepped out of the house, we don’t let go of the thoughts that held us back for so long.  We look around everywhere we go, we avoid places that our friends, families, coworkers shop, we scan every store to see who is in there as we wander around in it.


We’re still living a secret life, but it’s also as public as it gets.


The more we do, the more we venture out, the more possible scenarios play out in our heads.  Despite how long and how often I’ve been going out, I still think about the “what ifs”.  Last summer I did a photo shoot where I stood on top of a narrow ledge next to a building.  I couldn’t help but think that were I to tumble to the ground… well, what then?  I pictured an ambulance, I wondered how I would explain to my friends that I fell because it’s hard to balance in stilettos on top of a wall.  Luckily I lived (and captured a few great pictures) and my worrying, my paranoia, was for nothing.


When I was fifteen and when I wore my panties I was as nervous as I could be that someone would see the lacy detail poking out of the top of my jeans.  When I wasn’t wearing them I was scared to death my mom would find them.  Basically I was a wreck all the time.  But this is a good example of choosing to live with the fear of being caught as opposed to the stress that denying who I am brings.


When I was nineteen I had my first apartment.  The panties tucked away in my dresser continued to multiply…  but so did my anxiety.  My girlfriend had a key to my apartment so I traded the fear of my mom finding out with the fear of my girlfriend finding out.  


Eventually we broke up but panties, bras, stockings, continued to have a place in my dresser.  Of course, my lingerie soon took up more room than my boy clothes and I soon had to get a storage bin.  And a second one.  When I was in my twenties I rented a room in my friend’s house.  I had my storage bins in my closet, behind other boxes.  It was unlikely he would find my collection, but still, the paranoia was there.


I had spent so much money over the years buying lingerie, purging, and then buying new lingerie.  I was tired of that.  I was tired of tossing out beautiful bras and panties.  I was tired of pretending that I could stop.  Acceptance leads to more “what ifs”, however.  Just as our thought process starts with “what if I see someone I know” to “what if they see me and tells everyone about me” to “what if everyone in my life thinks I’m a freak”, my thought process started to turn to “what will happen were I to die and my family found my lingerie and heels while they were attending to my belongings?”.


It’s not a comfortable topic and it sounds a little morbid but many of us think about what our family will think were they to find out about this side of us after we die.


On one hand (and I don’t mean to be glib or talk lightly of something so serious) some of us likely aren’t concerned about what people think of us now or what they may think of us after we have left this world.  I feel that way to a certain extent when it comes to some people in my life.  But for others I feel a little guilt that such an important part of me is a secret from some of the people I care about the most.  I would feel….  a lot of things were I to find out about something along these lines about one of my best friends and how they felt they couldn’t tell me about it.


As I let the “what ifs” play in my head, I usually wondered how I would explain something that really couldn’t be explained.  It can’t be summarized quickly, every t-girl and crossdresser is different when it comes to this side of us.  It can take countless conversations over the course of years for someone else to “get it” or at least come to terms with it.  Having an opportunity to answer questions, to talk about our feelings, our lives, can help someone, well maybe not understand this part of us, but perhaps helps make it a little easier to ease someone’s mind.  


But when we pass on, our family may find a beautiful wardrobe…  and a lot of unanswered questions.


If I am going to come out to some, I want to do it on my terms.  I want to portray who I am HOW I am.  If you come out as a crossdresser to someone and they google that same word…  well, they may get the wrong idea about who we are.  At least when I am alive I likely have an opportunity to talk about what crossdressing means to me.  But when I am gone unless Ouija boards work, then people will make assumptions without knowing this side of me.  


When someone finds out about this part of us, it will impact them, to put it lightly.  They may feel hurt that we kept a secret, they may be confused, they may be angry., they may feel obligated to continue to keep our secret.  When we come out to someone, it turns their world inside out.  When our world does this, regardless of why, we usually need to talk to someone, and it’s easiest to talk to someone that understands, someone who went through what we are going through.  But finding out our husband/son/brother/friend is a crossdresser isn’t something that most people don’t talk about.  With no one to talk to, we become lonely, frustrated, confused.  


I knew this could happen were I to pass away.  As complicated as my relationship is with my family (both before and after I came out to them), there is, and has always been, love there.  I didn’t want them to feel alone.  I wanted to, as best as I could, explain who I am… FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.  Again, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I am trying to keep this as light as I can.  So, I did the only thing I could think of.  I wrote a letter.


Perched atop panties, bras, garter belts, stockings, was an envelope.  Inside was a note where I acknowledged that finding these clothes was likely a shock.  I apologized for adding to what was likely already a stressful and emotional time.  Dealing with a family member’s passing is difficult (to put it lightly) but discovering a secret just adds to it.  I wrote, as best as I was able, about this side of me.  I provided a few websites where my family could turn to, such as PFLAG, if they needed someone to talk to.  I did this as sincerely as possible.  It wasn’t an easy letter to write, but I knew I had to do it.  I didn’t want them to feel I was keeping a secret from them, but really, that’s exactly what I was doing.  I didn’t want them to think I was lying about who I was, either.  Even on death, I wanted to come out on my own terms.


I tossed the letter, along with my lingerie, on my next, and what would be my final purge.
I still think about the “what ifs”.  But that’s just who I am, even outside of this side of me.  As I get older I think more about the future and making plans.  Plans for retirement, plans for my passing. 


I have quite a collection of books.  I also have a friend who shares the same passion for reading and books as I do.  I told him that when I pass, I need him to take care of my book collection.  It’s a huge collection and it’s not something I want to burden my wife with after I die.  I have similar requests of others in my life, such as my finances.  


I can have all the contingency plans (if you will) that you can imagine, but if I die suddenly I know my wife is going to inherit a huge wardrobe.  My wife and I have very few similar tastes when it comes to clothes and she’s going to need an evening gown or a PVC dress so it’s not like her wardrobe is going to expand in a way that she’ll necessarily benefit from.  I do wonder what will happen to…  everything.  I suppose the easiest thing would be for her to simply donate what could be donated.  I’m sure some nonprofit charity would be thrilled to receive a leather minidress.


As old as I feel these days (mentally, that is) I am not ready to make any decisions of course.  But again, we can’t stop thinking about the “what ifs”.

Love, Hannah

Related reading

Sharing the Secret

Identity and Responsibility

Meeting Your Heroes

Let it Go

Ask Hannah!

I would appreciate a “reading list” of books, articles, journals and blogs that you think may be helpful in my learning more about the gender continuum. As an academic I am very disturbed by several things that I have read about: violence against non-conforming individuals who have rejected the binary ideas about gender ( Most particularly this seems to related to transgender women who may or may not be involved as sex workers). I am, as a Christian and a retired hospital chaplain, concerned about the intolerance within many dominations of Christian churches. It is my strongly held belief that God did not create “through-away” people and that ALL OF US ARE CREATED IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS. I also believe that God ultimately, only requires (2) two things of us:

1. that we love Him/Her unconditionally

2. that we love others unconditionally ( or in more traditional language as we would love others as ourselves.


When I use Him/Her I realize that may be somewhat confusing to some particularly when we are told at death we will be the “bride of Christ”. It is important to realize that what God knows is much greater than we know in spite of the arrogance that we may bring to our understanding of God, the Bible or other common beliefs.


Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide in my quest to understand how to make Christianity much more inclusive than it often seems or is.

First of all, I am very happy when I hear from people of faith who are allies of the LGBTQ+ community.  I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, and attended church every Sunday for years and years.  The underlying message that I learned from Christ was that we are loved and that whatever we do to the least of his people we do undo Him.  The Gospel of Matthew is pretty clear when it was written “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”.  


It’s pretty straight-forward which is why I am always surprised and disappointed when someone who calls themselves a follower of Christ is a bigot.  To see people who call themselves Christians carrying signs that read “God hates______________” is not only hurtful but its wrong.  As you said we are created in His image and Jesus’ whole thing was that we should love one another.  He doesn’t hate anyone.


I’ll be honest, I am not aware of any books and websites that may be helpful in this regard, but this is where I am especially grateful for our community.

Anyone out there familiar with anything that could help? Please comment below.

Related reading

Holy Hannah

Love, Hannah

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

An Apology

There have been so many moments where I have felt…  what I do is trivial.  Perhaps almost inappropriate.


As world events unfold and I see history happening, writing about what I write about feels a little tone-deaf.  Like, why am I writing about lingerie when (insert current event) is happening?


It’s impossible to not feel something when something is happening.  Yesterday I woke up feeling exhausted and frustrated and I began to compose something to break up the Ask Hannah posts that I’ve been doing over the last few days.  


I meant to write about comfort.  Not necessarily comfort in the sense that flats are much more comfy than 4 inch stilettos (that’s not why 4 inch stilettos were invented), but what we turn to when the world feels dark.  The thing that unites our community, regardless of anything else, is that we have a side of us that needs to be taken care of.  


When I sat down to write I meant to talk about how there’s a favorite nightgown I wear when the day was a little rough.  A pair of panties that I wear when I know it’s going to be a long day.  A dress I wear when I am feeling too…. male and I want to feel cute.  I wanted to know what you turn to when the day is not going how we had hoped it would.


But it went out the window.  As I typed I let my frustration and sadness of current events overwhelm me.  I believe in what I said but after sleeping on it I have decided that it’s not what my website is about.  


I want to create an inviting space for all of us.  And what unites us?  Makeup.  Lingerie.  Heels.  Dresses.  The longing to belong.  


I have taken the post down as I don’t think it contributed to anything helpful.  I still stand by my feelings but I regret the harshness of it.  I regret and apologize for turning anyone off. 

Even if you agree with me, that’s not why you visit my site.  I’m sorry for letting those opinions and feelings take over.  I am honored and privileged to do what I do and I recognize that this side of us is a refuge from the world sometimes.  It’s ironic that I meant to write about what we turn to when the world isn’t cooperating and ended up writing about the very thing many of us want to take a break from.   


I want to thank you for your emails and comments of support, but also your honesty.  Some of you agreed with me, some of you didn’t, but the ones that were the most helpful and enlightening were the messages simply stating that you come to my site not for current events (that have nothing to do with being trans) but for what I normally post about.  I appreciate and agree with your perspective and I thank you for that. 

 
Tomorrow we return to our regularly scheduled program.


Thank you.
Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

What sort of bra do you recommend and how do you know what size to buy?


-Do you have actual breasts or do you use/wear forms? Just starting to explore and very confused about forms. What is the correct or proper shape to look for, teardrop, oval, triangle, round ? I have yet to find 2 articles supporting the same shape so I’m confused. The one thing I have found that seems to be standard is that silicone has the best feel, movement, bounce, fiber fill & foam don’t so now if I can understand the shape to look for or go with I have a starting point.  


Both of these questions bounced into my email within a day of each other and since they are similar I thought I’d tackle them in one post.


I have a LOT of bras.  I have bras that I wear en femme, and I have bras that I wear for underdressing.  Basically the bras that I wear under my boy clothes are ones without any sort of padding, shape, or push-uppiness.  That’s not a word but you know what I mean. Most of these bras come from Xdress and Homme Mystere.


The bras I wear en femme are more varied and more… uh, practical.  I have bras that are strapless, I have bras with an embroidered pattern, push up bras, and bras of many colors.


A girl needs a white or beige bra because some outfits and blouses are a LITTLE see through and a black or darker color will show through some tops.  I mean, if that’s the look you’re going for, then have at it.  


Strapless bras are for strapless dresses, or dresses and tops where the shoulders are see-through or mesh, for example.  


I don’t wear bras with a texture to the cup if I am wearing a tight blouse as the texture can show through.


See?  Lingerie can be practical.  


As for sizing, if you’re not comfortable meeting with a bra fitter, you can take your own measurements.  I wear a 34B bra.  The number refers to my chest measurement/band size, the letter refers to cup size.  A rule of thumb is your band size is your chest measurement and then add four (round up if needed).


Third Love has an EXCELLENT guide for determining your bra size and I would encourage you to take a look as they know more about this then I ever will.

I don’t have breasts but I wear forms.  They are not the best quality but they do the job.  They are silicone….ish.  Not as high quality as my thigh and hip pads from The Breast Form Store and I would agree with what you are reading in that silicone feels better than anything else.  My forms have a somewhat similar feel to my silicone pads but I don’t feel my forms are a part of me the same way my thigh pads do.


Shape comes down to personal preference, I think.  Breasts come in all shapes and sizes so I don’t think there is such a thing as the correct shape.  I would spend some time looking at The Breast Form Store‘s website and chatting with one of their fitters (Hi Eden!) for some guidance in finding forms that you feel are the right ones.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

The label maze can be daunting as we sort through our unique gender identity and try not to offend anyone by not using the right label or pronoun. Lately I have been referring to myself as a gender fluid crossdressing trans person. In general I also consider myself as part of the LGBTQ or LGBTQ+ community – falling under the broad trans umbrella label. However, increasingly as I read things I hear people use the labels LGBTQ and Queer interchangeably. One person I chatted with said it generally is older people who use the LGBTQ label and younger people who prefer the Queer label. I have great admiration and respect for your thoughts and wonder if you have any observations or suggestions on the use of these labels.  

I admit I haven’t noticed different generations using different labels or terms to describe how they identify, but I would suppose that “queer” can cover a lot of ground, similar to how “transgender” can do the same thing.  As you mentioned, “transgender” is very much an umbrella term that, in my opinion, covers anyone that isn’t cis.  More specific terms, such as crossdresser or drag, can also be part of the transgender spectrum.


Not to sound like a cliche, but younger generations are the future.  What is lacking in life experience is made up in progressive thinking and the rebellion against the status quo.
I mean, we were all there once.  We also fought against the generation that sired us.
I work for a college and I work with a lot of people who are (much) younger than I am and I have to say I love that generation.  They are smart, funny, and despite what a lot of people think, they work hard.  Juggling full-time college and a part-time job is not easy.  


Just like my generation was more progressive than my parents’ generation, they seem to be, for the most part, less interested in labels (whether it is gay, straight, Democrat, uh, country music fan).  Queer covers a lot of territory, whether it is gender presentation or sexual preference.  


I don’t necessarily identify as queer, even though trans is under the queer umbrella in a similar way that crossdresser is under the trans umbrella.  

Related reading:

The T Word

What is Crossdressing?

Trans, Drag, and Crossdressing

Love, Hannah

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