Ask Hannah!

What’s your advice on hair removal? I love being smooth, although I can’t be completely smooth due to circumstance. I usually shave, then sometimes exfoliate, but I have used hair removal cream, which gave a really smooth feel, but I felt didn’t remove 100% of the hair (it was a cheap version from a thrift shop!). Also, not sure where it’s safe to use!

It depends on what you can afford.  Laser is the most effective and it’s permanent but I certainly can’t afford that, so I have a pretty lengthy shaving process.

I start with Nair but I used to use Veet.  I think Nair is more effective but Veet is a little more gentle on my skin.  Like any product you should absolutely read and adhere to the instructions.  There are parts of your body that you really shouldn’t use creams like this, and you should always test the product on a small area of your body before covering your skin with it.  If the instructions say to leave it on your skin for a maximum of ten minutes, believe them.  There’s a reason for that.  I do hair removal once a week because it’s easier to maintain as opposed to completely starting over.  I also like being smooth and hair regrowth can be itchy.  

Once I have covered my skin with Nair, I wait ten minutes before showering it off.  I don’t let water simply rinse it off, I use a loofah to gently scrub off the hair, too.  This process removes most of my body hair.  I then use shaving cream and a razor over my legs, chest, arms, and well, everywhere.  Nair is effective (for me) but it isn’t perfect.  It’s not uncommon for me to find a strip of arm hair that I missed when I applied Nair, so shaving is essential.  

All in all it takes about 45 minutes if I want to be completely smooth (and who doesn’t want to be completely smooth??).  Exfoliating is important as it helps keep your skin clean and clear, especially your face.  Like most things in the world of en femme, you get what you pay for.  I wouldn’t trust a cheap version of anything when it comes to something I put on my skin.

Love, Hannah

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

Wish List

If we are all on a journey (and that word annoys me less than it used to for some reason) then our journeys are marked by milestones.  

I think we all have pretty common milestones, significant moments and small accomplishments that show our progress.  Some of the standout moments in my life include the first time I wore a bra, the first time I tried on stilettos at a store, the first time I left the house en femme, my first makeover… the list continues.  

Of course, no one HAS to have these moments but I think (depending on where you are on your journey) many of us can recall similar first times.  Do you remember the first time you woke up in a nightgown?  I absolutely do.  

Since so much of my gender identity is tied to clothes I mark much of my journey by what I wear.  I used to wonder if I was transgender because I wore “girl clothes” or if I wore “girl clothes” because I was trans but I’ve decided that I was born this way and I just simply and absolutely love clothes.  I love how a dress can boost my self-esteem, my confidence, and shape my whole day.  

Many of these milestones are tied to what I want to, and what I want to wear.  I had always wanted to go to dinner or see a play en femme and I’ve done those things.  Crossed them off my girly “to-do” list.  Clothes are not any different in that sense to me.  When I was a kid I looked longingly, almost achingly, at the beautiful lingerie that the models in catalogs were wearing.  I dreamt about how amazing it would be to wear stockings and a garter belt, along with matching bra and panties.  There was (and still is) something so sensual, beautiful, feminine, and almost innocent in that elaborate lingerie.  

I am at a point where I feel I have worn almost everything that I want to.  If there’s something I want to wear, whether it is an evening gown or a corset, I shop for what I am looking for and usually end up wearing it for a photo shoot.  As the list shrinks I find it to be a little… bittersweet.  On one hand, I am beyond fortunate and blessed to have worn so many things on my wish list.  On the other hand, clothes make me insanely happy and I love wearing something that I have always wanted to wear.  It’s getting harder to think of new and fun outfits to wear for photo shoots.  The list isn’t finished yet, but goodness it’s getting close.  

Whether you identify as a crossdresser, t-girl, gender non-conforming, non-binary, or something else, there is a part of your journey where we can go from accepting (yes, THIS is who I am) this side of us to EMBRACING (yes, THIS is who I am and I LOVE it) this side of us.  In my opinion the real fun begins once we make this step.  Once I embraced who I was (and this was at twenty years old) then I let my imagination run wild.  I let my inhibitions go.  I started to buy and wear what I wanted.  I mean, this was all done discreetly and in secret, but it was thrilling to shop for stockings after wanting to wear them all my life.  

It’s not uncommon for there to be a link between this side of us (and what we want to wear) with eroticism.  I am not talking about crossdressing as a fetish, that’s another subject altogether, I’m referring to wearing clothes that are, well, SEXY.  

Of course there is a difference between a sexy dress and a dress that you would wear to Sunday brunch.  I mean, that’s one of the reasons I am so enamored by clothes.  There’s SO much to wear for literally any occasion.  Yes, lingerie is SEXY but I don’t wear lingerie because I am turned on by it.  I wear sexy dresses because they make me feel confident and attractive, but they don’t, ah, arouse me.  

Am I making sense?  I mean, I know what I mean and I hope you do too.  🙂

I want to wear (and I do) what I think is beautiful, cute, and sexy.  Little black dresses look amazing on anyone and I love wearing them.  I think a cute skirt and boots look very cute so I wear them. 

Corsets are sexy so I wear them (I mean, aside from how functional and practical they are).  This thinking can also cover what I think is, and would be fun to wear.  Whenever the calendar is flipped to October I start to think (and dream) about what Hannah will be for Halloween.  There is a seemingly endless list of options and each year I dream about what I am going to dress as.  
I admit that some of the costumes are almost, well, cliches.  Television shows and movies that have costume parties almost always have a girl wearing a schoolgirl outfit.  Or a girl wearing lingerie and cat ears.  You get the idea.  French maids are also pretty common.  I had always wanted to wear a French maid outfit.  Like lingerie they always seemed so… elaborate.  The skirt floofed out with a white petticoat, fishnet stockings, a cute little apron, patent leather stilettos…  

Wearing a French maid outfit was on my wish list and I finally accomplished this milestone at my most recent photo shoot.  I love looking at these photos and I think I nailed the look I was going for.  

But as I mentioned before, my wish list is dwindling and it’s bittersweet crossing things off of the list.  Like finishing your reading list.  It’s like, well, what do I read (or wear) next?  I like setting goals and trying to accomplish them.  It all sounds so silly (and probably a little shallow) to think like this.  But like my gender identity, this is how I am wired.  I was born this way.  

It’s a little funny to see clothes in such two completely, almost contradictory, ways.  One one hand clothes are pieces of fabric sewn together to cover our skin.  On the other hand, clothes are EVERYTHING.  Wearing leggings keeps someone warm, but wearing leggings are OMG, comfortable and a way to connect to my femme side, my other gender identity.  Panties are not JUST underwear, they are a small and beautiful way for me to stay in touch with my femme self when I am in boy mode.  I think society gets waaaaay too worked up when it comes to who wears what.  The world (for the most part) loses its mind when a boy wears nail polish.  When the world’s collective mind has a meltdown about a boy wearing a skirt I think it’s a huge overreaction to someone wearing a piece of fabric.  But at the same time, clothes are MORE than a simple piece of fabric.  Clothes can, and do, shape our confidence and our perspective.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something in your closet or drawers that makes you feel cute, beautiful, or sexy.  

A French maid costume (or a skirt or a LBD or whatever) is sewn together with pieces of fabric and is nothing more than that.  But on the other side of the coin the clothes can be a milestone.  Wearing something you have dreamed about for years is, in a way, an accomplishment.  It’s crossing something off your wish list.  It’s kind of… well, funny that such a sexy costume can make me feel such a myriad of emotions.  I felt cute but also a little… well, bittersweet (goodness I am using this word a lot here but if the stiletto fits…).  In some ways the costume, like my lingerie shoot, signified getting near the end of my”to-wear” list.  

I’m not quite done yet with my list but if you have some ideas, I would LOVE to hear them, lol.

Love, Hannah

New En Femme Blog!

My new blog for En Femme is up!

The latest from 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. 

In her newest article, Hannah touches on her experience with coming out (or not) as transgender and – more specifically – bi-gender to people in her life.  Read it now>>

Shop Hannah’s Look!

A stunning one-piece with all-over control and just the right amount of sheer details! The interior compression panel will hold your tuck for swimming or sunning, and an integrated pocket bra means you can wear this style with or without breast forms or padding! Available in sizes S – 2X and also in solid black.  See it now>>

Pride and Passing

I started to think this morning about passing. I don’t believe in passing.  I do not think there is any sort of standards any girl (t-girl or cisgirl) needs to meet in order to be pretty or femme.  No one is too tall to be a girl, no one’s voice is too deep to be a girl… you get the point.

I got to thinking about this because I am going to Pride next weekend and naturally I started to think about my past experiences at Pride.  In previous years the MN T-Girls had a booth (and we will have one next year) but this year the group is going for our monthly event.  Having a booth pretty much invites anyone to come up to you and talk about, well, whatever they want, to be honest.  I’ve had guys come up to talk about anime for example.  Most people are interested in what the group is about, but the best visitors to the booth are the moms who ask if we need hugs.  🙂  

The conversations at Pride are broad and can get really personal, but not always in a bad way.  These talks can touch on gender identity and pronouns and our (ugh) journeys.  It’s not uncommon to chat with someone outside of the LGBTQ+ community who may not be familiar with what is polite to ask, however.  And that’s (usually) okay.  It gives us an opportunity to educate someone about gender. 

I’ve had people at Pride ask if I am a drag queen.  And although I would love to be as pretty as a drag queen I have to tell them that who I am is not drag and we have a conversation about the difference between someone who is transgender (and then usually the nuances of being non-binary or bi-gender) and someone who does drag (who is also transgender but in a different way than I am). 

They usually leave the conversation a little more enlightened and likely a little more confused or overwhelmed by the complexities and variance in gender identity.  And that’s good!  It’s good to open up the world of gender to someone who is cis.  

These conversations are also an opportunity to teach social graces and, well, manners.  A couple of years ago someone came up to me and asked (as polite as she could) if I was really a man.  OUCH.  Well, that stung.  When I am en femme it’s usually after spending a lot of time (and money) getting ready to be as cute as I can be.  I don’t like being reminded that I am (physically) someone with a “male” body wearing “girl clothes”.  I don’t think I pass (mainly because there’s no such thing) but I HATE being “clocked”.  

Before we chastise her too much, she seemed a little naive and a little new to the whole LGBTQ+ community.  I was probably the very first trans person she had ever spoken to and was likely trying to “process” who I was and who I am.  Social graces come in time, manners come in time.  I’m still learning about what is polite and what could be considered offensive.  For example, I’ve learned not to say “preferred pronouns” when talking to someone.  Whatever their pronouns are, they are their pronouns, not their preferred ones.     

We had a short conversation about what is acceptable when it comes to someone’s gender identity and presentation and I was as gentle as I could be.  If I truly was the first transperson this girl ever spoke with I didn’t want to come off as a bitch.  I wanted the experience to be a positive one, a learning one.  But goodness I was taken aback by the bluntness. 

Pride is an event where I can go and everyone just kind of… vibes with everyone else.  It’s an event attended by every letter of the LGBTQ+ acronym.  No one bats an eye at anyone at Pride.  It’s an event where a six foot t-girl with broad shoulders like myself can go and not stand out.  No one cares about my gender identity.  No one cares that I am not a cis-girl.  I love my gender identity(s) and I know about my boy life and my boy mode, I just don’t like being reminded of it when I am en femme.  

As for passing, I don’t care about that.  If we look at passing in the traditional (antiquated) sense, then no, I don’t pass and I never will.  And that’s fine.  I am not trying to.  What I am trying to is look as cute and as femme as possible.  And I think I accomplish that.  I think I look as pretty as I can.   

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I believe in the past, the MN T-girls had a booth at the Pride Festival. Will you have one this year?

The MN T-Girls have had booths at previous Pride Festivals.  I believe it’s important that if a support group is able to have representation at Pride, then by all means they should do what they can to be there, especially if the group fills a niche.  There are a lot of wonderful support groups for girls like us in Minnesota, such as PFLAG and Minnesota Transgender Alliance.  One aspect that I think helps the MN T-Girls differentiate itself is that I think of the group as a social group.  Each month we do something out in the community.  I think this is an important distinction.  As a t-girl there were, and will always be, things that I want to do en femme.  Go out to dinner, visit the museum, and of course, go shopping.  It’s intimidating to do these things for the first time, especially alone.  I thought a group that focused on doing everyday things like this would be helpful in terms of easing girls like me into experiencing all the things the world can offer en femme.      

But this year Pride kind of snuck up on me.  I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a festival this year and when it was announced I realized I didn’t have the time or the mental bandwidth to set up our booth registration and make other arrangements.  So, the MN T-Girls will not be there this year, at least not officially.  I will be there on the Saturday of the festival so if you see me, say hi!

Unless you’re a creep.
Creeps can stay the hell away from me.

Love, Hannah

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

The Swimsuit Issue

The list of clothes that I have always wanted to wear is getting as short as my skirts so yes, pretty short.

Something I’ve always wanted to wear was a swimsuit. But the issue is that, like most clothes that I want to wear, a swimsuit isn’t cut for my body. But fortunately, like a lifeguard, En Femme has come to the rescue.

En Femme has introduced a new line of swimsuits for girls like us and sent me a Sheer Illusion Swimsuit to review and to model. I’ll cut to the chase and admit that I totally heart this suit. I was worried that I would need a gaff but with the built in compression gaff I realized I didn’t need one. I also didn’t need to skip my breast forms thanks to the pockets the suit has. And! The suit is completely flattering thanks to the shirred fabric around the waist.

The suit is adorable and I felt so comfortable, confident, and cute in it. I was nervous as I could be when it came to wearing and modeling the suit but I was amazed at how much I loved this swimsuit. I SO want to hit the beach now.

I love this suit not only because of how it’s made, but it also accomplishes something that the best clothes do… it made me feel strong and sexy.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I was wondering what I could use to give me some hip shape. I know there are lots of things online to buy but is there something I could use and make them myself? 

I’m sorry, I won’t be too helpful here. I am not sure how you could make your own.  I know I say it a lot, but crossdressing takes time, money, and patience.  I feel that this side of me requires investing, whether it is time or money.  My corset, thigh pads and hip pads aren’t cheap, but they are absolutely an investment.  They give me the shape I want and the quality is A-MAZ-ING.  My pads stay on, they stay in place, they move with me.  I don’t even feel them when I wear them.  I can’t imagine there’s anything that someone could make themselves and still have even a fraction of the quality that my thigh pads have.  

But since we’re talking about it, I am much more likely to spend money on clothes than, well, accessories, if you will.  It’s much more fun to buy dresses than jewelry or foundation.  I would much rather buy a couple cute outfits, but makeup and necklaces are also essential.  A new dress might be more fun to wear than thigh pads, but no matter how the dress is designed, a dress can’t give me the figure I want, my thigh pads do that for me, and they’ll likely do that for you.

Love, Hannah

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