I’ve written a lot about how the pandemic has impacted, well, EVERYTHING and how it’s caused a lot of self-reflection.
Reflection? Get it? Sorry, it’s still early.
Anyway, the CDC has modified their mask mandate, most people I know are vaccinated, and the end as they say, is in sight. Although I don’t think we’re out of the woods by a long shot and the mask mandate reversal seems a little premature , it’s obvious that we will be returning back to pre-COVID life sooner rather than later.
With that said, doing some of the things we’ve wanted to do “when this is all over” seems possible and if we’re going to do them, now is a good time to at least make plans. If I was reminded of anything over the last thirteen months it’s that life is short, experiences are important, and things can change quickly so if there’s something we want to do (or wear), then perhaps you should.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is fly pretty (traveling en femme) and go somewhere. It’s too early to strut onto a plane at the moment, but perhaps this fall we can travel without a mask. The question is where to go. I suppose going to a different city and spending the day shopping or sightseeing would be fun, but I also think it would be fun to go to one of the many conventions for the transcommunity. I’ve also thought it’d be fun to do a workshop or apply to speak at one, too.
So! Any recommendations or suggestions on where a girl like us would have fun?
Mother’s Day was just a few days ago and judging by the greeting card companies, mothers equal flowers. Almost every card I looked at had flowers on it. And that’s fine, some moms like flowers. My mom does. I suppose it’s hard to summarize exactly what a mom is and what a mom does. My dad was always an alcoholic and lost his job when I was in high school. He never found another one.
He eventually left our home when I was 18 and I think I’ve seen him twice since then. It’s better this way. I suspect he’s still alive but I really am not sure. My point is that my mom raised me and my siblings pretty much on her own. Not only did she do all the things two parents typically share the responsibilities in, she also had to do all of that under the threat of an abusive spouse. It wasn’t easy living in our family for a long time.
As I get older I realize how hard life was for my mom, especially under those circumstances. She was, and still is, very strong. Despite how complex my relationship is with her (in both of my genders) I have nothing but love and respect for her. Knowing all this, and after experiencing everything she went through, a card and a bouquet of flowers doesn’t seem sufficient for everything she is, and for everything she did. As we move from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day I have similar thoughts when it comes to how men are portrayed and thought of. The greeting cards are already out and judging by what is on them, you’d think that fathers love nothing except grilling, fishing, and beer. And that’s fine, people can like those things. Father’s Day, as you can imagine, was a complicated day for me and my siblings. How (and why) would you “celebrate” such an abusive person? There’s not a greeting card for that. Well, unless you picked up one of the beer-themed ones.
I haven’t had to purchase a Father’s Day card or present in decades and again, it’s better this way. Greeting cards and suggested gifts are a window into how much of the world sees someone in a particular role. It’s almost a stereotype, an extreme exaggeration. In looking at anniversary cards you’d think the most romantic thing a husband can do for his wife is letting her have the remote control for the day.
Some t-girls are parents. For those of us who identify as anything besides cisgender, we may have clearly defined lines between our gender identities, our wardrobes, and our lives. I love my femme life, and I love my boy life. There is very little overlap. You also may be a parent, a dad, in your boy life. And yes, perhaps the greeting card companies are right, maybe you DO like to fish while having a beer. Maybe you are handy and a master steak griller or whatever. Please know I am not trivializing anyone’s hobbies, interests, or talents. I wish I were handy and could repair stuff. I can fix my eyeliner but I can’t fix a leaky faucet.
For those like us, we are more complex than any greeting card could ever guess. There are countless dads out there that would prefer a necklace over a necktie on Father’s Day. They love their kids AND they love a cute skirt. They love being a dad and they love strutting in stilettos. I can’t imagine Hallmark having a card for someone like us.
My point is that there is more to everyone than you could possibly imagine. My mom is stronger than any flower, some of Hannah’s friends are dads who are beautiful. Some of us have come out to others in our lives and have completely stunned them. So many of us keep this side of us a secret because it’s the last thing anyone would ever guess about them. If you are reading this, there’s likely a side of you that seemingly contradicts with how much of the world sees you. You might drive a big truck on your way to work at the construction site, but no one would imagine you have pink nails under your steel-toed work boots.
Father’s Day is a somewhat uncomfortable and awkward reminder of how much of the world sees MEN and what they think a MAN is and should be. I hate the world’s assumption that just because I present as a man most of the time that there’s nothing more to me than what they think a man IS and what a man SHOULD be. I have a much more interesting wardrobe than the shirt and tie my co-workers see me wear. So for the dads out there that are reading this, please know that although you may be getting a a new fishing pole or a greeting card with a grill on it next month, there are many like you who would also love a gift certificate for a manicure.
I have always loved lingerie. It was my first introduction to this beautiful world and today it helps me stay connected to my femme side when I am in boy mode. Growing up I had the occasional chance to try on a bra, nylons, and panties. I was fascinated with and in love with the pairing of stockings and a garter belt and for a long time I had dreamed of wearing such beautiful lingerie. The mannequins at department stores always drew my eye when they modeled such amazing lingerie. When I was in my teens and started to drive I finally had the courage and the ability to purchase a garter belt and it was everything I had dreamed of.
As time passed I started to buy and wear matching bras, panties, and garter belts under my boy clothes. There was, and still is, something so irresistible about matching lingerie. For me, it’s a requirement. As I became more emboldened and braver I started to add corsets and other lingerie to my closet (but would quickly be purged, sadly). Lingerie options always seemed endless and they still are.
When I moved towards actual clothes, it was an entirely new world. Again the choices and the potential were limitless. There’s everything from cute skirts paired with a comfy cardigan to evening gowns. Little black dresses to flirty dresses. Leather, silk, satin, PVC, lace… I wanted to (and do) wear it all. It was an amazing feeling to look for, and add to my wardrobe, new styles, new clothes, new… everything.
It was the same feeling, and the same excitement, when it came to shoes. Stilettos, pumps, thigh-high PVC boots… There’s a thrill knowing that there’s a perfect shoe for any outfit you can think of, and vice-versa.
Oh! And makeup is the same. There are as many looks as there are outfits and occasions. Sultry, vampy, everyday, glam, goth…
I loved the thrill of newness. Wearing something I had always dreamed of. Looking like I always fantasized about. Photo shoots give me an opportunity to wear anything I have always wanted… from lingerie to evening wear, to casual, to fantasy. There is an outfit, a shoe, a look for any feeling or event. Feeling cute? Wear a cute dress. Feeling invincible? Slip into your stilettos. Going to a wedding reception or the mall? You get the idea.
But eventually one might feel that they have done it all. If there’s something I wanted to wear more than likely it’s hanging up in my closet or in a drawer. The newness kind of wears off a little. It’s true that fashion is always changing so there is always going to be a new look, a new style that catches our eyelinered eye so that’s fun, but for me my excitement is turning towards experiences and what I could wear on a new adventure. Now that COVID restrictions are easing (Minnesota’s mask mandate is scheduled to end on July 1st!) I am starting to let myself fantasize about potential experiences. Where can I go? What can I do? What will I wear?
I think of everything I dream of doing, getting ready for a wedding or even a formal event, such as a gala, are at the top of the list. How fun would it be to spend hours at the mall looking for the perfect dress? It could be a prom dress, perhaps a bridesmaid dress, or even a head-turning floor-length ball gown. How glamorous would it be to spend the evening dressed in a breathtaking dress?
Prior to the pandemic I traveled for my job. And I did it a lot. It became something I was used to. But flying pretty? Oh my. It’s like when I first went out en femme to simply get a cup of coffee. Getting a coffee was something I did everyday but it was a new experience doing it in a skirt and heels. I think about flying pretty a lot… what I would wear, where I would go, what I would do. How amazing would that be?
I’m always looking for a new style to wear, and always thinking about a new adventure. What are you dreaming about these days?
Have you done a blog post (or a couple) that describe how your wife and you first started down the trans path together? I know you told her early on. I’m interested in how she was at first, how you’ve grown together with this, and how she helps and related to you today. My wife knows I underdress (several drawers full) and has been great, but I’m leery of pushing too hard and causing an issue.
Oh, and on a lighter note, who sells the cutest floral panties now? 🙂
I think all I have to say (and it’s a LOT lol) on our relationship (and relationships in general) can be read here.
As for panties, I am in love with a pair from En Femme at the moment. I don’t normally like boyshort styles but their Satin Floral Hot Pant is cute and comfortable!
The most read part of this website is “A Beginner’s Guide to Crossdressing” and to be honest that makes me so happy. The point of this site is to provide resources and help to girls like us. I try to be helpful and offer advice when and where I can. I think one of my strengths is offering a perspective on identifying as anything but cisgender when it comes to how we see ourselves and how we move through our lives and through the world. For example, I can’t do anything about how tall some of us are, but I can remind us that no one is too tall to be femme.
When it comes to stepping out en femme, I am only too happy to share my experiences in regards to facing the world. I started to think the other day that most of my adventures have been, for the most part, either positive or at least uneventful. And honestly, anyone can have a good experience en femme when the rest of the world (or the mall) doesn’t really care or notice a girl like us. Most of the time things go right and we all move on with our lives.
For many of us this side of us is a secret. We not only are scared that someone will recognize us, we are also terrified someone will see the panties hidden in our dresser drawer or our browser history. We protect ourselves, or more accurately, we protect her at any cost.
We are paranoid and terrified when it comes to the beautiful side of who we are.
Again, almost all of my outings have been uneventful, but what happens when we are en femme and things don’t go smoothly? What happens if someone accidentally sees our femme Facebook account? What about getting a flat tire when we are out? When I am in boy mode and things go wrong I just handle it. If I have car problems I call a tow truck. If I saw a friend of mine while dining out I would say hello. But if these things happen when I am en femme then it’s completely different. Things will go wrong and I feel mostly prepared for problems that likely won’t happen, but I am terrified about car problems when I am en femme. The last thing I want to do is watch some tow truck driver hoist my car onto his truck and offer me a ride back to the shop. I mean, I know it’s not much different than interacting with a barista or a salesclerk, but when I am en femme I choose how I spend my day and who I interact with, no one really plans on chatting up mechanics as they tell you that your alignment or whatever is messed up.
But these things happen, and they will happen. Sure I can change a tire but I am not doing it in stilettos and a LBD. Yes, I’ve gone to the emergency room but never after a makeover. If these things happen to me you can be certain I will write about it, but they (knock on wood) haven’t.
Really, the scariest thing that happened to me was at Pride a few years ago when the wind caused a tent to flip over which hit me on the head and I was treated by the EMTs. I still have the scar, but thankfully it’s the only scar (physical, emotional, and mental) I have related to being out en femme. But I’m sure things have happened to others.
I would like your help in putting together somewhat of a survival guide. And I know that sounds a little extreme but it’s the best way I can describe it. If you have had a negative (or frustrating or terrifying or even a funny) experience out en femme, how did you handle it? How did others respond? If you had something happen, something other than pleasant or uneventful, I would love to read (and post) your experience on this site.
Some of the things I have in mind:
-Car problems (or getting pulled over)
-Being recognized en femme
-Your social media page being discovered-Someone seeing your bra strap when you are in boy mode
-Trying on heels at the mall in boy mode
-Anything else that you might helpful
Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line “T-Girl Survival Guide” and I’ll be happy to share it with others.
Class is in session! Welcome to Crossdressing 101, Part IV: the latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight – 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 fourth and last part in a series about starting out crossdressing and exploring gender, identity and labels: “Crossdressing 101.” In this installment, Hannah talks about her own personal experience identifying as bi-gender and transgender. Read it now>>
I was wondering if you ever came across a person that struggled with their CD life and something that is very personal to people and their faith. I am a person that has struggled with this conflict within myself. I deeply desire to live as a CD and maybe even Trans, but I also have this faith that I have grown up with that tells me that what I am doing is wrong. Have you talked with anyone else with problems like this?
I was raised Catholic and up until I was in my final days of high school I spent every Sunday in church. I was told how EVERYTHING you did, thought, and said mattered to God. Everything was being used to determine whether or not I would go to heaven or, uh, somewhere else when I died. If everything I did was noticed, then I’m sure God saw me trying on my sister’s clothes and knew I was longing at the dresses I saw girls wore. I’m sure what I was wearing (or wanting to wear) would be considered when it came to my afterlife. Of course confession is used to absolve those “sins” but I certainly was not going to tell the priest about what I tried on in secret.
God created the heavens and the earth and everything in the universe, we were told. God loves us. These were some of the things we were taught every single day growing up. It’s natural to question one’s faith, and for me I wondered if God was as powerful and as loving as we were told, did it really matter that I wore panties? Did God REALLY care? And if this was “wrong”, why was it wrong? Did the Bible say it was? I mean, they are just clothes, for heaven’s sake. My relationship with God has nothing to do with religion. I don’t base any of my life on what the Bible or the Vatican or whatever says.
Religion, faith, gender… these are all very personal things and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you what is right and what is wrong (even me).
I noticed that you are getting very comfortable wearing sleeveless dresses. You look great wearing them, besides that is what the women wear. So you are fitting in very nicely. I am wondering what advice can you give to t-girls on how to be confident wearing sleeveless tops and dresses?
I wasn’t always brave enough to wear dresses with thin straps. I used to think my shoulders and arms were toooooo masculine to wear spaghetti straps. But I started to take my own advice when I saw a really cute dress that I really wanted to wear. The hill that I will die on is there is no such thing as passing. No one has a body that is too tall, too wide, too muscular, too ANYTHING to be femme. I am a tall t-girl but there are cis-girls that are taller than me. Are they too tall to be beautiful? Of course not. Am I too tall to be beautiful? Of course not. Are you too tall to be beautiful? Of course not.
This is all easier said than done, obviously. It’s easy to believe something, it’s easy to say this, but doing something requires something else. For me, it required two things. I needed to stop caring (and wondering) what other people thought (and that included what I myself thought). I also needed a reminder that life is short. When the first weeks of COVID hit life was turned inside out. Things were falling apart, things were changing quickly. Things we took for granted, like going outside of the house, seeing friends, and shopping were all very different and weren’t the safest things to do. I started to think about all the things I still wanted to do and how I didn’t want to live my life with any regrets.
And yes, it’s shallow but I didn’t want to have a life where I didn’t wear a certain outfit that I loved. I found a dress that I loved but it would show off my shoulders in a way that I never did before. I didn’t think I could pull it off. But fueled by the new uncertainty of the world I bought the dress and I promised myself I would wear it out.
And I DID. And I looked amazing. And I know that’s egotistical.
I wish I had let myself wear dresses like this sooner. I wish I didn’t let myself stop myself. Now I have beautiful and fun dresses without sleeves, with halter ties, and thin straps. I also have a confidence that I didn’t think I would.
As for advice all I can say is to wear what you want. Stop caring what others think (because unless you specifically ask someone you won’t know what they think anyway). In terms of practical advice, have a strapless bra and a cover up. When I wore the animal print dress in the picture above I had a long cardigan with it. It was a little chilly that morning and it helped keep me warm, but I also looked at it as armor that I could put back on (or leave on) if I wasn’t quite ready to flaunt what I got.
Minnesota hasn’t seen too many days with blue skies lately so a day of sunshine and warmth was welcome indeed. It was perfect weather for my “Because I’m Alive” photo shoot.
Granted, the reason was pretty extreme but every once in a while I feel a combination of gratefulness and joy that I have the life I do. It’s not an extravagant life but it’s more than I thought I would ever have.
I dd this photo shoot because I am alive and because I could. And thank God for that.
Anyway, here’s some shots of some of the outfits I wore. It was a fun shoot.