To Be Beautiful


I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from girls worrying about something “giving them away”.  Basically the concern is something about them, a fashion choice, the size of their hands, giving away their transness.  A typical concern could be a t-girl not wanting to wear heels because she’s worried about her height giving it away that she’s trans.  Or a girl worrying about her the thin straps on her dress reveling too much of what her shoulders which she thinks are too masculine to be femme.  I can only relate and sympathize, I used to avoid showing my shoulders, too.

But these concerns got me thinking about two things in particular.  First of all, there are no standards or expectations one must meet to be feminine.  There are tall cis-girls, and I mean like really tall.  Taller than me.  Are they too tall to be femme?  Of course not.  Are you too tall to be femme?  Of course not.  

But I get it.  I promise.  There are parts of us that we don’t look like when it comes to being in girl mode.  Sometimes this can be hypocritical and unnecessarily hard on ourselves.  For example, you may find a cis-girl with nicely toned, muscular arms attractive, but we cringe at our own nicely toned, muscular arms when we’re en femme.  A tall cis-girl might be a goddess, but we might think that we ourselves are too tall to be femme.  No girl, cis or trans, is too tall, too… ANYTHING to be femme.  I doubt any of us looks at a cis-girl and thinks that she is too tall to be pretty, or too tall to wear stilettos.    

Secondly, I am not trying to pass.  I don’t think passing is a standard we should hold ourselves too, primarily for the reasons above.  I am not trying to conceal my transness.  I highly, HIGHLY doubt anyone thinks I am cis when I am en femme.  There are too many parts of me that “give me away”.  My adam’s apple, my voice, my “man hands”… the list goes on.  Of course, cis-women can have deep voices, large hands and all of the same characteristics that I have, but I know all of this, ah, adds up when Hannah is out in the real world.  And that’s fine.  Really!  I don’t care at all if someone knows I am trans.  I AM trans!  And I am proud of who I am.  I am amazing and beautiful and you are amazing and beautiful too.  So what if someone knows you’re trans?  Does it matter?  

Well…. yes, to SOME people it matters.  Let’s face it, some people HATE transpeople and aren’t shy in showing it.  If you spend time online reading the comments section of any news story about the transcommunity it’s easy to think that everyone in the world hates us and would prefer we simply not exist.  But it’s a lot easier to type a mean comment than it is to say something to someone’s face.  I have been out for years, YEARS, and have been to lingerie shops, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, malls, museums, gas stations, department stores, thrift shops, hotels, salons, and even churches.  The negative experiences are shockingly low considering how many different places I have been and the number of people I have interacted with.  Most encounters are uneventful, some are incredibly affirming, and yes, some people have been rude, but for the most part most people simply do not care that I am trans (at least to my face).  What someone THINKS is irrelevant.  I don’t know what they THINK of me, or what they might say to their co-worker after I leave, but that is none of my business.  Besides I’ll never know.  

It’s so easy to overthink this side of ourselves.  We scrutinize and overanalyze everything about our gender identity and gender presentation.  We think about what others will think about us.  And it’s normal to do that, but really, how often do you think about the dozens of encounters you have with people everyday?  The cashier at the gas station, the Starbucks barista, someone you pass by at Target?  Sure, you might notice them, but after a couple of seconds they no longer exist.  And yes, a t-girl like myself will usually stand out and turn a head or two more than a cis-girl, but we will also fade from someone’s memory and thoughts too.  We overthink the outfit we wear and if we can pull it off.  I used to think my shoulders were too broad to wear thin straps or halter tops but guess what!  I was wrong.  I look amazing in halter tops and so do you. 

Wear what you want. Be who are you. Go where you please. No one is too anything to be a girl.

Related reading

Why Passing Isn’t Important

Impossible Things

The Power of Pink

Love, Hannah

11 thoughts on “To Be Beautiful

  1. I couldn’t agree more, I love my time in girl mode & when I’m out & about. I know I don’t pass completely, but I don’t care & I don’t care if people stare or talk about me. I have every right to be out en femme as they do, so as long as I feel beautiful I don’t care what they think. I actually think it’s amusing to watch people’s reactions & see them talking & wondering weather I’m a man or a woman.
    I look for your post’s everyday & I’m always sad on the days there’s nothing, but I understand that you’re a busy girl! I’m so glad I found you ❤️



  2. I know I have plenty of “tellls” and yet like you, I have had almost no negative experiences. If people have had any problems with me, they have kept them to themselves.

    I do have a question, though. I agree that its not necessary to obsess about passing, At the same time, I do make my best effort to blend in…dressing in a manner that I deem age and situation appropriate. (Granted, I probably allow myself a little more latitude on the age appropriateness than the situation).


  3. Yes, I love this be proud of be trans it’s who we are and just as you say Hannah it’s ok and we have just as much right to be out there as anyone
    Like you I’ve never had anyone get in my face and told to leave or say negative things to me.
    I know I don’t pass but I do my best to blend as you say Kim
    Thanks for all you do Hannah to let the world know trans folks are just people


  4. There may be tells but, as you said, there is diversity. Below is a link about a friend of mine put out by Sephora. Sarah is a GG who besides being one of their best artists and a trans ally, is an Olympic hopeful in the discus. Sarah has muscular shoulders and she looks great in a gown! As an aside, she has been the point person in bringing Sephora to the First Event conference with up to a dozen artists to help our community not only with demonstrations and free makeovers but also free stuff!



  5. My personal happiness quotient increased noticeably when I accepted myself for who and what I am. It bumped up again when I decided that it did not matter what nameless strangers might think of me, and that “friends” who cannot accept me are not my friends. It is now time for the Popeye quote: “I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam”.


  6. i myself i am far from very confisent in going out en femme . recently i heard a qoute from a sis of us: – i dare to do it and you don’t
    – be confident as tht you own the place and ground you walk on.


  7. You got it exactly right, Hannah. “No one is too anything to be a girl.” Couldn’t be said any better. Thanks.


  8. I, too, just assume everyone that I meet knows I’m trans. But I don’t let that stop me. I go out with confidence, purpose, poise (as much as I can, anyway 🙂 ), and enthusiasm. I’ve rarely ever had anything remotely “bad” occur, and have had numerous great interactions with folks.


  9. When I’m out, I assume people know I’m a guy in a dress, but I want to make sure it’s a pretty dress.

    I just hope for the benefit of the doubt.

    In 4 plus years of going out, I’ve NEVER had a bad experience. OTOH, I’ve had several wonderful interactions, gotten compliments, and made four GG friends.

    If we worry constantly about what we perceive other people will think about us, we give control of our lives to all those unknown people out there.

    It took me a long time to take that control over my life back, but I did, and it’s made my life more interesting and enjoyable since I did.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. While I do love presenting with a pretty hairstyle, a full face of makeup, a shaved body and all the lovely foundation garments, this 100 degree heat has me out and about in summer frocks with none of the above.
    Yes, that’s a little chest hair peeking out over the ruffled neckline on my maxi dress. There is no reason I need to accept this ridiculous convention that people with penises don’t wear pretty dresses. Women have fought long and hard for the right to choose how femme or butch they present themselves every day. Their fight isn’t over yet, but taking charge of my own right to do the same helps their cause in the end.


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