Lingerie Review!

Of course black is the color of sexiness, red is the color of romance, and nothing is more feminine than pink.

But white? White is innocence, purity, virginal.

And I love it.

I was sent some lovely lingerie from The Breast Form Store a few weeks ago that I wore for last month’s lingerie shoot. When I opened the box I was greeted with rose petals and the most beautiful, innocent white bra and panty set.

The most eye-catching part of any piece of lingerie for me is the tiny attention to details and this set has tiny little bows, delicate lace, and beautiful edging. And the panty has soft mesh on the sides! The bra has underwire and is absolutely perfect for the girls ūüôā

This has a very romantic, almost vintage look to it. It’s alluring, sexy, and beautiful.

The panty fits girls like us and is comfortable to wear all day. I know this because I wear this set a LOT.

When I had my last photo shoot, this was the bra and panty set I wore for pictures we took in a dress because I loved how my bust looked in it. The panty also covered up the gaff I wore for the dress pictures.

Love, love, love this set.

Thank you to The Breast Form Store for this beautiful lingerie.

Love, Hannah

Impossible When Beautiful

The world isn’t EVER going to give you permission to wear panties, or paint your nails, or strut in stilettos.¬† The world isn’t ever going to give you permission to do a goddamn thing.

If you want to do something, you just need to do it and the world will have to (eventually) accept it (or the world won’t).


That’s how progress is made.  


Women didn’t wait for the world to give them permission to wear pants.  They just freaking did it and although it wasn’t easy eventually women were “allowed” to wear pants.  Women fought for the right to vote, to own property.  Gays and lesbians fought for the right to marry whoever they wanted to.  


When I schedule a makeover and wander around town I’m doing it without the permission of ANYONE.  I just do it and to hell with people who wish I wasn’t alive.


The only person who “lets” you be who you are, the only person who “lets” you wear lingerie or makeup is your damn self.


Kind of.


Many of us are married, or have significant others.  Many of us were married.  We all know that crossdressing, being bi-gender, identifying as transgender doesn’t make life any easier.  Relationships aren’t easy either, but when you bring this side into one, well, it creates a whole new series of unique, difficult, and confusing conversations.  I fully believe in being honest with your significant other, although I do understand that it’s not easy, and it’s not always possible.  I know I am oversimplifying and speaking in very broad terms here.   If coming out will 100000% end your relationship, then coming out isn’t that simple.  For some of us we have to make a decision between Who We Are and Staying Married. 

And that’s… well, it’s heartbreaking.  We fall in love and commit to someone because we love them, we want to spend our lives with them.  AND we know how important it is to be true to ourselves.  When these two worlds collide it creates a lot of questions, tension, and stress.  We don’t want to cause our significant others stress in any way, regardless if it has to do with crossdressing or financial issues or anything else.


It’s not easy to come out to someone primarily because we don’t know how they will react.  Once you come out to ANYONE your relationship will change.  Even if you never speak of it again, you’ll always have THIS lingering out there.  They know this about you, you know that they know this about you and you both are always thinking about it.  It’s not uncommon for us to think of the worst-case scenario and that the relationship will end.  Or perhaps it won’t but maybe this revelation will make things so unpleasant between the two of you that you wish the relationship was over.  No one is a crossdresser because they think it will simplify their lives.  


If this revelation doesn’t end a relationship, our partners will process this in different ways.  Of course, we all hope and pray that our spouse, the person we love more than anyone else in existence, will love us anyway.  In our wildest dreams perhaps they will help us shop, show us how to contour our faces, maybe even hit the town as girlfriends.  I have a fulfilling, healthy, and happy relationship with my wife.  Although the first few years of us adapting to this side of myself weren’t always easy, we got through it.  I wasn’t always easy to live with, to understand.  In the early days it seemed like EVERYTHING was about Hannah, about clothes, about makeup, about being beautiful.  Every conversation was about Hannah and it got overwhelming for my wife, and for myself.  The pink fog hit me hard and I was impossible to live with.


But we got through it.  I settled into who I am, and found a balance between my gender identities.  I stopped drinking and became more considerate and aware of how my wife felt.  


Divorce and 100000% acceptance and participation are both extreme responses to coming out.  I think most of our relationships fall somewhere between these two.  Some of us have a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ agreement, some of us have relationships with “rules”, such as not leaving the house en femme or posting pictures online.  Regardless of how our significant others react and adapt to this side of us, it’s not easy on them, especially emotionally.  This side of us brings up a myriad of emotions and thoughts in our own heads and hearts, and it does the same thing with our significant others.  As much as we thrill to see ourselves in a dress, it can break our wives’ hearts to see their husbands in a skirt.


If coming out to our partners doesn’t end a relationship, then we have someone in our lives who does indeed “let” us be who we are, even if there are limits.  Even if it’s not discussed.  Even if your panties are hidden in a drawer.  The point is that if coming out doesn’t end your relationship, you have someone in your life who “lets” you do this.  They may turn the other way, they may not be comfortable in discussing it, they may buy you nightgowns for your birthday.  On some level they understand there is this side of you that is permanent, it’s not going away, and you have to be who you are.  Of course, you may not be able to be completely who you are, such as wanting to get dolled up and go out to dinner, but being allowed to dress at home, or underdress… well, that’s something.  

Marriage and relationships have some give and take, some compromise.  It can be how household chores are divided, how financial matters are resolved, or the limits of how crossdressing is brought into a relationship.  
I know many people who visit this site are girls like me, and I know that the significant others of girls like me visit this site as well.  This little rambling post is, in a way, a thank you to our partners and our spouses and significant others.  I know, WE know that this side of us isn’t easy to live with, to understand, to talk about, to accept.  It’s not easy for us, and we understand the stress and the unlimited emotions that this side of us creates.  Some of us would apologize, even though we love this side of us.  Some of us would lose our voices in thanking you for letting us have this side of us, and letting us have you as well. 


To our significant others, thank you, and we’re sorry.  Not necessarily sorry for who we are, but for the stress, the tension, the heartache, that this side of us can bring.


We love you.  


Love, Hannah

*Please know that this post is not a result of any difficulties in my own marriage.  Everything is lovely.  I was inspired to write this after I ordered some lingerie yesterday and I just reflected on how fortunate I am that I don’t have to hide this side of me.  

Double Genders, Double Standards

Hi! 


I write a lot about coming out and the wildly differing¬†responses¬†and reactions this revelation can result in.¬† Deciding who we come out to, why we do so, and how we have this conversation are different decisions for all of us.¬† I do feel we are obligated to come out to our partners and our significant others, but like everything there may be some caveats to that.¬† But beyond that, I don’t think we have an obligation to come out to anyone else we know.¬† Of course, there is a difference between telling someone that you like to wear panties and telling someone you plan on living full time.¬† One revelation is a personal preference when it comes to undies, the other is a major lifestyle change.¬† I don’t think your best friend needs (or wants) to know what you wear under your boy clothes, but if you are going to present and identify as a gender other than the one most people know you as, perhaps it’s time to have that conversation.


How we come out is different for each of us as identifying as trans (or bi-gender, or as a crossdresser, or genderfluid…) means something different for all of us.¬† Yes, I am trans and were I to come out to someone today (not planning on coming out to anyone today, but the day is young) I would explain that identifying as trans doesn’t mean transitioning or hormones.¬† When I came out as a crossdresser to my mom and siblings years ago it didn’t quite explain who I was as accurately as perhaps a different term would.¬†¬†


Why we come out is also different for each of us.  I feel we need to come out to our partners because I think it is important (and fair) to let them know who we are, in case our gender identity (or wardrobe) is a deal-breaker for them.  Beyond that, we come out to others in our lives for different reasons.  I have considered coming out to my two best male friends because sometimes I feel I am being dishonest and I would hope they would feel it would be safe to have a similar discussion about themselves with me.  I came out to a roommate because I was tired of not being able to wear what I wanted in my own home.  


Why we come out to someone is tied to who we come out to.¬† Sometimes we come out to someone because we feel strongly they would be an ally.¬† A friend, a confident.¬† Someone who can help us with makeup.¬† But I think it’s fair that for some people in our lives we have more reasons to NOT come out to them than there are reasons to do so.¬† For example, I would never, ever come out to my homophobic relatives that post anti-queer statements on Facebook.¬† Do you think they care or understand the little nuances of being non-cis?¬† Coming out to them would absolutely ruin my life.¬† It’s true you can cut out toxic people in your life, but let’s face it, some people, especially relatives, can never go away.¬†¬†


I have come out to a very select number of friends in my life.¬† Coming out to someone that I am not in a romantic relationship with has, in a way, very few repercussions.¬† You are friends, not dating, so coming out doesn’t impact your relationship as significantly.¬† Coming out to a girlfriend brings up a lot of questions.¬† They may ask themselves if they want to date someone who wears lingerie.¬† They may wonder if committing to someone who is on a journey (uuuuuurgh) of gender identity and all the twists and detours this adventure can have.¬† They may wonder (or worry) that in a few years their boyfriend (or husband) might want to transition.¬† Who we are is hard enough on ourselves, but sharing this secret (if it is a secret) is a lot to ask of someone else.¬† As much as we worry about “getting caught” our partners wonder about the implications on their own life if our secret was revealed.¬†


Have I come out to every girlfriend?¬† God, no.¬† When I was twenty I dated a girl who came from a very religious family.¬† I can’t say she was completely committed to Christ but her family’s influence (and her need of their approval) was a big reason for everything she said and did and said she believed.¬† She would openly mock anyone from the LGBTQ+ community, she would smugly say lesbians were going to hell.¬† Coming out to her would be The Worst Idea ever.


And yes, some people might wonder if perhaps she realized that someone important in her life was non-cis perhaps she would become more enlightened.¬† And yes!¬† That is a fair point and not unrealistic, but even if she was accepting her family would not be, and that would be enough for her to condemn me.¬†¬†They didn’t like me anyway, lol.


Looking back I can’t believe I dated someone like her, but I was young, emotionally fragile, and had just gotten out of a rather traumatic relationship.¬† I needed love, I think.¬† And in my defense she was not “gays are bad” when we started to date.¬† She was primarily like that when she was around her family.¬†¬†


But that relationship is a perfect example of what is on my mind this morning.¬† She said she was a Christian and although it’s been a while since I’ve been to church I am pretty certain that Jesus’ whole thing was to love others and that only God can judge.¬† “Whatever you do so to the least of people, you do unto Me” and all of that.¬† To know someone who proudly declared themselves a follower of Christ but had so much hate and contempt for anyone who wasn’t cis or straight was baffling to me.¬† It was hypocritical.¬†¬†


The first girlfriend that I came out to, and the first person I came out to EVER was as enthusiastic and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community as you could imagine.¬† She identified as bi and said her last boyfriend did drag.¬† I came out to her for two reasons.¬† Firstly, we were dating and I had wanted us to, you know, keep dating.¬† That meant putting my cards on the table.¬† But I also came out to her because I thought it was safe to do so.¬† Based on her sexual identity and her previous relationship I didn’t think she would freak out that her boyfriend loved wearing lingerie.


I was WRONG.


She listened but kindly asked for reassurance that I wouldn’t do it anymore.¬† That I had outgrown it.¬† That I wouldn’t mention it ever again.¬† I was stunned and heartbroken.¬† Heartbroken because I had let someone in, I had shared my secret with someone for the first time and it went BADLY.¬† But more so I was stunned.¬† After all, she talked about her support for the LGBTQ+ community but when it came to supporting her LGBTQ+ boyfriend, well, then it was different.¬† At the time I felt it was hypocritical.¬† Why did she brag about her ex doing drag but her current boyfriend wasn’t “allowed” to wear panties?¬† Why was it okay for her to be bi but I couldn’t be a crossdresser?


To be fair, ‘crossdresser’ was (and probably still is) primarily considered a fetish and being viewed as kinky is not necessarily the same as simply wanting to wear lingerie.¬† In her defense she might have had a different reaction were I to have come out using terms that more¬†accurately described who I was, and who I am.¬†¬†


But my point is that her reaction surprised me.¬† I had felt that coming out to someone who identified as a member of the LGBTQ+ community would be “safe”.¬† I was wrong.¬† One’s identity does not obligate them to be supportive of everyone else’s identity.¬†


Even if someone identifies as straight/cis they may still be an ally and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.  My mom and siblings are Good People.  I am glad to be related to them.  One would imagine that coming out to them would be a positive experience.  I mean, my brother is gay so I feel there is so precedent there.  My mom had a yard sign for marriage equality on her lawn, we all have friends who are gay, so I felt coming out to them would be safe.  


I was WRONG.


Again, I take some responsibility as to HOW I came out.¬† I came out as a crossdresser.¬† Again, there may have been some lingering… ah, prejudice against the term and it’s association with fetishism/kink/sex but I wish I had explained myself better.¬† Overall the reaction was more or less “that’s nice but let’s not talk about.¬† Ever”.¬† And we really haven’t.¬† At least not on purpose.


I suppose I could come out again, but to be honest after the less than welcoming reaction I feel it would be pointless and would be setting myself up for another disappointment and rejection.  
My reaction at the time (and is still my reaction) is (and was) wondering if their response was hypocritical.¬† Why was it okay for our brother to be gay but wasn’t okay for me to be who I was?¬† Why are you supporting transgender equality but won’t talk to your trans family member?¬†¬†


In their defense I will acknowledge that if I came out as trans (or bi-gender) or explained myself better their reaction might have been different, but that ship has sailed.  I know I could have come out in a more descriptive way.  It is important to be gentle when we come out.  As overwhelming and as complicated it is to understand ourselves, it is ever more so for our loved ones.


Labeling someone as hypocritical is a pretty big brush to paint them as.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but in my experience these are just reminders as to why coming out is as complicated, risky, and as nerve-wracking as it is.  

Related reading

Identity and Responsibility

Meeting Your Heroes

Sharing the Secret

Love, Hannah

Boys Don’t Cry

Not counting my brother, I have not come out to any of the men in my life, despite the fact that my male friends are all decent, good people.  They have the same social views that I do, they are friendly, interesting people and they enrich my life.  You know, as friends ought to.  


When I have come out to my girlfriends, my sisters, and a few female friends, the reactions have ranged from “OMG that is so awesome” to “Okay, but please never, ever talk about this ever again”.¬† Of course, these reactions are very different from each other, and obviously one was a lot more fun than the other.¬† When you come out to someone you really, really don’t know how they will react.¬†

The first girlfriend that I had that I came out to was (and still is, as far as I know) very liberal, very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community and identified as bi when I dated her.¬† She talked about how her ex did drag and how they would borrow clothes from each other.¬† After¬†a few months of dating¬†I knew I had to come out to her because I feel when you are in a relationship and you would like it to be a long-term relationship you really need to put your cards on the table.¬† They need to know who you are.¬† I had girlfriends before her but I was convinced I could, you know, STOP being who I was.¬† After three relationships I realized that I was who I was and I couldn’t, and honesty, I didn’t WANT to change.¬† I liked wearing panties and I didn’t want to stop.


As I gathered the courage to come out to her I was encouraged by the things she said, the things she believed in, and her enthusiasm for the LGBTQ+ community.¬† Sparing you the details, she was not excited about this side of myself.¬† She asked me to stop doing it, she asked we not discuss again.¬† She was glad I came out, but didn’t want to talk about it further or ever again.


This, obviously, crushed me.¬† She was the first person I¬†came out to and it went differently than I had hoped and honestly, different than I had expected based on how she identified and her previous relationship.¬† Given everything she believed and spoken about, I was taken aback.¬† However time has given me a different perspective.¬† When someone in your life comes out to you, it impacts you in a different way than you might expect.¬† My mom and siblings fight for LGBTQ+ rights and support every person that identifies as a letter of that acronym, but when your own brother (or son) comes out, well, it becomes a little more complicated.¬† ¬†It shouldn’t, but it does.


I do want to make it clear that I am not criticizing her, or my family, however.  This was almost twenty-five years ago and the world has, somewhat, evolved in respect to gender and gender identity.  I came out as a crossdresser and I have written about before, the word was usually associated with sex and fetishism. She was young, I was naive, and I would come out differently now than I did all those years ago. 


The other girls I have come out to have had a variety of reactions and often the relationship status impacted the response.¬† Friends are supportive, girlfriends are a little more wary.¬† I mean, when two people are in a relationship they consider everything because you’re dating someone and thinking if this person is someone you want to spend time with and energy on.¬† If you dated a musician you would consider if you wanted to be in a relationship with someone who traveled a lot.¬† If you date a crossdresser you will also wonder if that is a deal-breaker or not.¬† Seeing your partner in a nightgown is a little weird for some.¬†


One of the commonalities that girls I have come out to have had is that on some level they “get” it.¬† In a small way.¬† My wife said it best years ago.¬† “You just like feeling beautiful”.¬† And she was right.¬† She’s still right.¬† I don’t think anyone doesn’t like feeling beautiful (or attractive, handsome, sexy, cute, or whatever).¬† Not to say we are all vain, but most people have something that they wear that they feel they look good in.¬† And that’s wonderful!¬† If an outfit or a t-shirt or a pair of jeans boosts your self-esteem and confidence then by all means, wear it.¬† My point is that although the girls I have come out to don’t really understand why I like to wear lingerie or makeup (and to be fair, I don’t understand it either), they have identified with the happiness that a cute outfit can bring.¬† They related to wanting to look cute (or sexy or beautiful).¬† This doesn’t make them (or myself) shallow, but I do feel that most of us like to look and feel good.¬†¬†


Before I continue, I do want to acknowledge that I am not painting all women with a broad brush and stating that GIRLS LIKE PRETTY.¬† Everyone is different, everyone has different ideas and perspectives of beauty.¬† Whether a girl feels cute in a leggings and a t-shirt or a corset and stockings or a ballgown, it’s important that we acknowledge that we shouldn’t judge what someone wears, just as we don’t want anyone to judge (or care) what a girl (or a boy) like us wears.¬†¬†


Based on my experiences, I get a lot less anxiety when I think about coming out to the girls in my life than the men in my life.  To be clear, I am not considering coming out to anyone else in my life.  I do feel that I am out to the important people in my life and I came out to them for different reasons.  I came out to my girlfriend (now my wife) because as I mentioned before, you need to put your cards on the table in a relationship.  I came out to my sisters and mom because I had hoped they would want to know Hannah.  Regardless of that outcome, I am still convinced I made the right choice although I would come out differently now than I did.  


The idea of coming out to A MAN is, well, it’s…¬† it feels complicated.¬† “Society” (whatever that is) tells us that gender, clothes, colors, interests are either for BOYS or GIRLS.¬† I think a lot of men get uncomfortable when it comes to men doing things that “are for girls” or at the very least, things that contradict what a man is “supposed” to be.¬†¬†


Again, I am speaking very broadly here.  


Men don’t cry, men don’t have emotions, men stir their whiskey with a rusty nail while they watch wrestling.

And yes, I know, NOT ALL MEN.


I think some men get weirded out when another man shows emotions, or put in some effort in their personal appearance, or order a glass of wine instead of a beer.¬† Of course, you could argue that some men feel that they need to BE A MAN 24/7 and do MAN THINGS and have MAN OPINIONS because society (those bitches again) told them that men HAVE to do these things.¬† When another man does anything that “only girls do” they may wonder why on earth another dude wants to do/wear something that is “for girls”.¬† They may associate anything that isn’t 100000% MANLY as feminine and possibly weak and inferior.¬† Why would a man want to wear or do or think or feel anything that is “for girls”?¬†¬†


When I was in grade school boys made fun of other boys if they cried, or were friends with girls, or jumped rope or played volleyball or did ANYTHING that girls did.¬† Boys would gang up and ridicule other boys if they ANYTHING that didn’t involve BOY things.¬† This social dynamic hasn’t changed much.¬† I think part of that dynamic is meant to change behavior that contradicts what a MAN is SUPPOSED to be.¬† These gender roles are taught at a very young and very impressionable age and they can mess us up for the rest of our lives.¬† I had a co-worker¬†once who said that there weren’t any transgender kids he knew growing up.¬† He said if a boy was acting like a girl he and his friends would beat them up until he stopped acting like a girl.¬† Just as we are taught these gender roles growing up, we are also taught to enforce them.¬†¬†


Although no one really can predict how coming out to someone will go, I don’t think the men in my life would end their friendship with me or ridicule me were I to do so.¬† And honestly that is one reason I am still friends with them.¬† It would be difficult for me to have a friendship with someone that is transphobic/racist/sexist.¬†¬†


I spend waaaay too much time and energy pondering things that have no answer.¬† Things that don’t need an answer.¬† Wondering why men (and yes, I know, not all men) think of women as weak.¬† Why is there an association and link between femininity and weakness?¬† Is it because women tend to show their emotions more?¬† Based on my own experiences it is way harder for me to let down my guard and allow myself to show my vulnerabilities than it is for me to pretend to be strong.¬† Although my dad was “around” until I was 18, my mom raised me.¬† An alcoholic abuser doesn’t do much when it comes to raising a child, after all.¬† ¬†At least not in a positive, healthy, supportive way.


For the most part, men rule the world.¬† Men set the narrative.¬† Men tell other men how men should be.¬† And how women should be.¬† Television and movie producers have always been predominantly¬†men.¬† But just think how different the transcommunity¬†could be viewed if movies and television never portrayed us as people to be laughed at or ridiculed.¬† How much easier would our lives be if men wearing “girl clothes” weren’t written as fetishists?¬† What was likely meant as a joke has stained people like us for generations.¬†¬†


Men can, and should, do better.  As someone who is bi-gender I am aware of how I represent the transcommunity, but in my male life I know I also have a responsibility when it comes to being a better man.  


Love, Hannah

Related reading

Just One of the Guys

Slowly Back to Life, Slowly Back to Reality

This week I received my first shot of the COVID vaccine.  


I was in a (virtual, of course) meeting and I was sent an email saying I was eligible to schedule my appointment.¬† I couldn’t believe¬†how excited I was.¬† I left my meeting and completed my registration.¬† I drove to downtown Saint Paul in the rain and waited in line.¬† I was amazed at how efficient¬†and orderly it was, to be honest.¬† I was in and out in less than an hour.¬† It was a very emotional day for me and I was a little taken aback by how I reacted.¬† To me, it was the first step towards returning to real life.¬† Cases are down, restrictions are being eased, but this was a very real sign that perhaps I can start hitting the town without a mask smudging my lipstick soon.¬†¬†


And “soon” is relative.¬† I am hoping “soon” is by the end of the year.


Over the past twelve months I have reflected a lot on life and what I want to do.  I have thought a lot about adventures, both big and small, I want to have.  Overall I have decided that life is short and if there is a dress I want to wear or a photo shoot I want to do, then I should just do it.  And I did!  I rocked that dress and I showed the internet my lingerie. 

Other things that I want to do, such as traveling en femme, are getting closer than ever.¬† Not only because flying without a mask is likely “soon” but also because, well, life is short and I am ready.


Most of us have moments where we are lost in the fog and make rash decisions, or at the very least, we make choices without thinking them through when it comes to our femme side.¬† Sometimes this is a small thing and we spend more money on heels than we should and skip paying a utility bill.¬† I totes get it, stilettos are way more fun than, well, almost anything.¬† But being enveloped in the fog can cause us to make BIG and irreversible decisions as well.¬† Genies that can’t be put back in a bottle, bells that can’t be unrung.¬† Perhaps after a glass of wine we’ve come out to someone without considering possible consequences.¬† Perhaps we went somewhere en femme that we really, really shouldn’t.¬† Perhaps you posted a full face photo when our partners requested we don’t.¬†¬†


My point is that in a way, I feel a sense of newness, a sense of rebirth.¬† Reincarnation, if you will.¬† It’s a combination of spring and the final stages (hopefully) of the pandemic.¬† It’s an opportunity to do the things we’ve wanted to do, the things we didn’t know we wanted to, the things we didn’t think we COULD do.


I am feeling optimistic, energized, and empowered in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.¬† My confidence, my ambitions are at a new high.¬† And that’s good!¬† Yay!¬† BUT I have a history (in both of my genders) of thinking and planning and doing things that are fueled by momentum of optimism unrestrained by thinking it through.¬†¬†


So this is a reminder (mostly to myself) that the fog can impact us in different ways and be influenced by things that aren’t on our radar.¬† We need to acknowledge who we are, and we need to acknowledge that sometimes the pink fog can make us to do things that probably need a little more time to percolate.

Love, Hannah

New En Femme Blog!

My new blog for En Femme is live!

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

Hannah’s newest article is the first part in a series about starting out crossdressing and exploring gender, identity and labels: “Crossdressing 101.” In this installment, Hannah talks about the evolution of what the term “crossdresser” has meant to her over the years.¬†¬†Read it now>>

Love, Hannah

You Can’t Spell “Email Anxiety” Without ME

Hi!

A few weeks ago I was getting a ton of Ask Hannah questions.¬† I think for a bit I was posting a question (and a rambling answer) once a day for like two weeks.¬† I love getting questions (I really do!) so please don’t stop (in fact, why not send one today?), but I also get overwhelmed when I have a lot of emails to reply to and website writing to do.¬† I like to reply and address tasks as they happen as I get stressed out when I have things to do.¬† I mean, we all have things to do, and I know my feelings are a little silly but when I get an email I like to reply to it as soon as I can, if I am able.¬† When I wake up and I have work emails that came in overnight it’s not uncommon for me to reply to them as I have my morning coffee before I officially start working.


And when I say I get overwhelmed¬†by email, it doesn’t take many to push me from thinking “I have some emails to take care of” to “OMG I have so much to do and it is stressing me out”.¬† Three emails can do it, to be honest, even if my reply¬†is only a sentence or two.¬† I do understand that this is not a healthy or reasonable response to something as silly and as everyday as email, but it’s just how I am wired.¬† And I do hate it.¬† I’ve written before about anxiety and social situations and stuff, this is just another peek inside my psyche.

That being said, as these Ask Hannah questions were coming in on a more regular basis than they usually do (again, please don’t let my issues deter you for contacting me), I started to reply to some of them directly as opposed to posting the question on my website.¬† If I did this it wasn’t because a question wasn’t worth posting, it was just how I could keep sane (and yes, I know that sounds stupid, email shouldn’t trigger this sort of reaction).¬† It was better for my mental health to reply directly instead of having another email sit in my inbox before I could post it on my website.¬† On a related note, thank God I am not famous and have to deal with more than I can handle.¬†¬†


Anyway!¬† As the Ask Hannah questions have settled down, I have been thinking about a few of them that I didn’t post on my website.¬† One question I received is if I ever thought about doing more videos.¬† I have always been hesitant to do video for a few reasons, and when I did a few short ones for En Femme last year I was even more hesitant to do more.¬† I have been asked about doing videos for Youtube or whatever and I couldn’t really think of anything that really captured my interest.¬† Makeup tutorials are very popular for girls like us, but I don’t think I am good enough with makeup and I don’t think I could do anything different or better than what others were doing.¬†¬†


But I have thought about a short series of short videos about things that girls like us want to do.¬† Practical videos, I suppose, but also showing girls what it’s actually like.¬† I think crossdressing is as much mental as it is practical.¬† The practical side of shopping for a dress begins with your measurements and going from there.¬† But the other side of buying a dress is more mental and more difficult.¬† If you are in denial or you are scared of this side of you, you have to address those feelings first.¬† No¬†matter how good you are walking in stilettos, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t ready to embrace this side of you.¬†¬†


One of the things that holds girls like us back is that we can’t picture how things will play out if we do something.¬† We don’t come out to others (partially) because we don’t know how someone will react.¬† We don’t go out en femme because we don’t know how others will respond to us.¬† We don’t schedule that makeover because we don’t know if the artist will understand.¬† These unknowns are new to us.¬† We are entering into a new world with new situations that are things we do as boys but are different because we are en femme.¬† Since I travel for work (when we are not in a pandemic) I have checked into hotel rooms a zillion times, but Hannah checking into a hotel for a photo shoot is different.


That being said, I thought it would be interesting to do a short series about what it’s like to get a makeover and what that conversation with my makeup artist looks like.¬† What it’s like to get a bra fitting, or go to the mall.¬† I get a lot of questions from girls asking how to go out en femme.¬† And the answer can be very simple.¬† You do your makeup, put your wig on, slip on your heels, pick out a dress, and drive to the mall.¬†¬†


But that isn’t helpful!¬† But it IS the practical answer.


What girls are really asking is “how do I overcome my fear?”¬† “What will people do when they see me?”¬† “What do I do if someone stares at me or says something mean?”¬† These are the emotional questions.¬†¬†


The video series would be me showing what happens in situations like these.¬† I think it would be helpful and a new fun project to do.¬† The problem is that I have no experience when it comes to editing or any of the tech-y stuff.¬† Nor do I have any desire to learn.¬† The things I do are pretty much a one-girl show aside from the photo shoots that wouldn’t be possible without Shannonlee.¬† If I were to do video I would need someone to film me when I do these things, then edit it and do whatever computery magic that would need to be done.¬† And yes, I COULD hire someone but I don’t have the money for that.


So, long story short, I do think it would be fun and I do see the potential to do videos, but I am afraid I don’t have the resources.

Related reading

Something in the Way She Moves

Uncomfortably Numb

Love, Hannah

The Lucky Ones

How lucky are we?  How fortunate, how blessed are we to be who we are?


Yes, I know this side of us can, and usually does, create a lot of anxiety, tension, loss, sadness, confusion, and anger.¬† Some of us HATE this side of us.¬† Some of us have wished this side of us would go away, that it truly was a phase, something to grow out of.¬† But it’s not.¬† It’s who we are.


When I started my first website years ago, I had a goal of, well, celebrating this side of us.¬† There are a lot of wonderful blogs out there by beautiful t-girls who write about their journey, the sadness, the frustration that this side of us brings.¬† Blogging is a way to write about our feelings, get thoughts out of our head, connect with others, and find support.¬† It’s therapeutic.¬† ¬†For some it’s a lifeline.¬† Although this side of myself hasn’t always been sunshine, pink glitter, and stilettos, one of the reasons I kept coming back to, well, all of this, no matter how many times I purged, is because this side of myself makes me incredibly happy.¬†¬†


That is what I wanted to write about.¬† The joy, the happiness, the comfort that this brings.¬† I get a lot of emails and messages about how much calmer, more relaxed one feels when they are en femme or even just wearing panties under boy clothes.¬† That’s the happiness I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate.¬†¬†


I am not naive and forgetting that being a part of the transgender community can scare us or others in our life.  What does it mean?  Where will this side of us lead?  I know we have, or have had those thoughts.  I know our partners did, and do as well.  


These days it’s hard to plan anything.¬† It’s hard to plan a vacation, even months in advance.¬† Will it be safe to travel?¬† Will I get the vaccine soon?¬† Am I going to a place where COVID could have another surge?¬† Even small things, like spending the day running errands is a lot less fun and safe.¬† In the Before Times I could plan a day en femme.¬† Schedule a makeover, wander around a mall or a museum and just enjoy the moment.¬† But all of that goes away when I think about having to wear a mask.¬†¬†


Being en femme makes me happy, it’s essential for me to take care of both of my gender identities.¬† ¬†But over the last year going out hasn’t been the same.¬† I’ve had fewer adventures and events and I hate that something that I love doing isn’t a (safe) option at the moment.¬† I mean, yes, I can be en femme at home, but it’s not the same.¬† The catch-22 is that there’s a been a lot of sadness, anxiety, fear, and frustration over the last year.¬† Normally when work is crazy I can plan a day en femme for a small vacation from my boy life and boy life stress.¬† It’s almost funny how the most stressful global event in our lifetime has made the very thing I turn to in moments like this isn’t really an option.¬†¬†


It’s times like this (when I stop feeling bitchy and when I stop feeling sorry for myself) that I am fortunate to have crossdressing in my life.¬†¬†


And before I go any further, I want to address what I mean (at least in this post) when I talk about being en femme v crossdressing.  En femme is when I am dressed to the nines, from wig to false eyelashes, to a killer makeover, cute accessories, a fabulous dress, and matching heels.  Crossdressing is when I am (mostly) in boy mode but wearing femme clothes.


It sounds shallow (and it probably is) but lately I think to myself that no matter what happens between the moments when I start and end my day, if I can begin the morning in panties and leggings while I work and wear a cute nightgown at night, well, it can’t have been THAT bad of a day.¬† If I have to live through a global pandemic at least I can wear some cute lingerie while the anxiety crushed my soul.¬† Again, I know this is shallow, but we need small things that make us happy.¬† Some people keep sane with hobbies, drinking (not a good idea), video games, cooking, hiking, uh, and other things, but a cute bra and panty set makes me happy.¬† It centers me.¬† A stressful work day gets a little more tolerable in leggings.¬† A long day ends on a better note if I can fall asleep in a cute cami and panty set.¬†¬†

A bra, thong, garter belt, seamed stockings, heels is the most comfortable outfit I can think of

I know they are just clothes, but they are a way to connect with myself. What I wear is intimate to me, regardless if its lingerie or a femme t-shirt. It’s what I wear (in boy mode) that is kept from (most of) the rest of the world. I am fortunate that something so small, but so full of meaning, makes me happy.

Love, Hannah

Oh Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

This is just how I’m wired.¬† I was born this way.¬†¬†


The point is I don’t think there is a reason I am who I am.¬† I am not who I am because of some unaddressed childhood trauma, my gender identity has nothing to do with my relationship with either of my parents.¬† I have reflected on who I am, and why I am, ever since I wanted to wear lipstick and heels.¬† There’s no answer beyond this is just who I am.¬† I know it’s not an exact¬†comparison,¬†there’s probably no reason why I like pop music instead of country, either.¬†¬†


About ten years ago I started to see a psychiatrist.  I was in a very dark place in my life and I had made a career move that I felt was the wrong choice after I made the change.  I went from one career that I was doing well in, to another that I struggled with a long time.  The change in careers more or less spiraled into depression and anxiety.  This was around the time I had started to really move beyond simply lingerie and into who I am today.  So, there was a lot going on in my head.  Over the year or so that I saw her, I started to feel better. Slowly and gradually.  My new job was turning around and my confidence went up, my anxiety went down (at least a little), and I had become more secure in my gender identities.  Of course, it would take much longer for me to balance my gender identities but I think I do a good job with that these days.


When I started to see my psychiatrist, I knew that THIS would come up.¬† It would have to.¬† In fact, I wanted to.¬† I wanted to discuss this side of me with someone who was smarter than I was, someone with a different perspective and experience when it came to gender and crossdressing.¬† I didn’t think I was repressing anything, I didn’t think I was in denial about anything, I didn’t think I needed help understanding who I was.¬† But that was the point of discussing it, in a way.¬† What if I was wrong?


As I made progress with my depression and anxiety, I brought all of this up with her.¬† It didn’t faze her, she had no visible reaction to it, but that’s kind of the point of a psychiatrist, to not freak out.¬† Her job is to make people safe in opening up and talking about what was on their mind.¬† Of course, she had no personal connection to me.¬† My crossdressing and gender identity impacts my wife and family, but had no impact on her so of course she will have a somewhat detached response.¬† I looked forward to discussing this because although I didn’t think there was a reason I was who I was, I wanted to see if perhaps I was wrong.¬†¬†


I wasn’t!


We discussed this a lot and in depth.¬† I was not the first boy who wore girl clothes that she worked with, and I wasn’t the last, either.¬† She said there really isn’t any reason why someone dresses or is who they are.¬† It is what it is, she said. She asked a few key questions, she challenged me on a few things.¬† We discussed my wife’s reaction to this, how it impacted our relationship, and how it made me feel and how it made my¬†wife feel.¬† In the end, there was no new revelation or answers and this actually comforted me.¬† It meant that I was correct in how I felt and how some things just don’t have a reason.¬† Yay for not having unaddressed trauma and for not being in denial!


Although I haven’t stopped permanently wondering why I am who I am, I think about it less often.¬† I mean, there is no answer.¬† If I, as the crossdresser, don’t know why I am who I am, and if psychology doesn’t have a reason, then it is what it is.¬† As important it is for us to be understood, we need to accept that there’s only so far this side of us can go when it comes to understanding.¬† My wife understands that this is who I am, she understands I wear what I wear, but she doesn’t understand it.¬† And that’s not on her, I feel the same way.¬† Perhaps it’s more accurate to say she and I accept it (it is what it is) but neither of us really understand it.¬† And that’s just fine.


Although understanding this side of us isn’t possible, what is possible is to make sure people don’t misunderstand who we are.¬† It’s easier for me to tell you who I am not instead of who I am.¬† I am not a drag queen, I am not a fetishist, I am not aroused by this side of myself.¬† This is not a kink, this is not a sexual thing.¬†¬†


It might be for you, and if it is, you go girl, but it’s not for me.¬† And no judgement, promise.
I am on Twitter, Flickr, and of course my own website.¬† I know it’s a lot, sometimes I am tired of myself, too.¬† Regardless, posting photos and being on social media can open oneself up to comments and opinions.¬† The majority of comments are generally positive, complimentary, and “harmless”.¬† Some are more sexual than I am comfortable with, however.¬†¬†


And look, I understand that this is a fetish for some of us (in terms of wearing what we wear).¬† And I understand that someone like us IS a fetish for others.¬† Some men aren’t attracted to other men, but if that man is wearing stockings and panties, well, then it’s a different story.¬†¬†


Other than blocking or going in stealth mode or having a private account, there isn’t much one can do to isolate themselves on social media.¬† Unwanted comments and followers will always come through.¬† And I don’t need anyone else to understand who I am or why I am who I am, but it’s important to me that people know that this is not a kink for me.¬† My gender identity is not a fetish.¬† Yes, I wear leather or other clothes that ARE fetishy, but it’s not because being en femme is a kink.¬† If someone is aroused by my gender identity, well, I really can’t do anything about that.¬† If someone sends me a message saying they love t-girls, well, it comes with the

territory unfortunately.¬† I wish I wasn’t fetishized but I know girls like us are.¬† People can think and feel and be turned on by whatever they want but I hope that although I don’t expect someone else to understand me, I hope they at least acknowledge that my gender identity isn’t my fetish.¬† It might be yours, but who I am is nothing as trivial.¬†¬†


At the same time, I don’t lose any sleep worrying about how others see me, or think about me.¬†¬†


I know it’s grandiose to call one’s identity sacred, but it is.¬† I mean, it’s all we have.

Carmen Liu Lingerie Review

HI!¬† Some of us don’t like tucking.¬† I get it.¬† It’s not easy to do properly and if not done correctly it can hurt.

Pain and feeling uncomfortable is your body’s way of saying STOP DOING THIS.¬† If your heels hurt your feet (I mean, they probably will after a few hours, I’m talking about immediately and with every step) or if your gaff is paining you, you should¬†probably¬†wear something else.¬†¬†


I wear gaffs and I love them. They took some time getting used to and I have a few recommendations, especially a new style from The Breast Form Store (proper review coming later) but I wanted to bring to your attention a panty that I recently bought that I think those of us who don’t tuck might be interested in.¬†


I wear tight dresses, but our, ah, feminine flaw can be visible no matter how tight or loose the dress or skirt or pants are.¬† If tucking isn’t for you, I would recommend looking into the¬†White Lace Classy Thong, part of the Carmen Liu line of lingerie sold through En Femme.


This panty is not a gaff, but it does flatten and smoooooth things.  Like, really flattens and smooth things.  Like, really, REALLY flattens and smooths things.


It takes a little getting used to, and it moves comfortably with your body, and it is tight.  Of course, not everyone likes thongs so there is that as well.  The sizing chart is very true to form so make sure you know your measurements before purchasing.  


Love, Hannah