Two Sides, One Coin

The unique… experience when it comes to having two gender identities is that one will (likely) have two gender presentations.  The tricky thing is that both of my gender identities and presentations will forever be linked to each other.  What I do for one gender affects the others.  I shave Hannah’s legs, but that means the boy’s legs are shaved.  Same with my eyebrows and anything else I do.  I don’t do anything for Hannah that I do want done for the boy, if that makes sense.  Regardless of the gender I am presenting as, I hate body hair so smooth legs (and anything else) is definitely okay.  


I think I am going to have a hard time getting older.  I don’t look *that* much different in my forties than I did when I was in my thirties.  In my boy life I am aging, well, on pace.  I have friends who seemingly went gray overnight (if they have hair at all).  I didn’t start presenting completely en femme until about ten years ago.  Hannah doesn’t look *that” much different these days than when she first strutted her way into the world.  But I do think about the future.  There will come a time when I can’t walk in stilettos anymore, or when a skirt that’s too short simply becomes, well, inappropriate.  There may come a time when I wear a wig with a little gray in it, or have a style that’s a better look for someone older.  


Of course, age is a number and I don’t HAVE to do anything or wear anything (or not wear anything) and if I can still pull off a leather dress in fifteen years, well, who’s going to stop me?  
I can’t stop aging.  Today I can accept that, but in the future I may not be able to accept that as gracefully.


I suppose that’s why I try to do what I want now because I know this time of my life is short (or at least it will seem that way as I get older).


About six years ago I quit drinking and lost a lot of weight.  LIke, a lot of weight.  Even today it’s one of my biggest accomplishments.  I looked great in a size 12 dress and since my gender presentations live in the same body, I looked (and felt) better in male mode.  Everything was great.  


And then COVID hit.  Gyms were closed and things were/are stressful.  I wasn’t working out as much and I let my diet slip a bit.  Inevitably I gained weight.  Some of the weight gain is muscle, however.  I started to run outside since going to the gym wasn’t an option and I worked my legs more than I usually did.  But the scale doesn’t lie.  


And yes, like age, weight is, one some level, just a number.  But the weight gain is noticeable.  It takes a little more effort to zip up some dresses compared to before.  My face is a little rounder. 

 
I would be lying if I said this weight gain didn’t break my heart a little.  I worked so hard to quit drinking and lose the weight in the first place, so seeing some of it return is really, really hard for me.  I hate the scale, and I hate the mirror.  I am frustrated with myself and I wish I had taken better care of myself.  But I am trying to remain positive.  If I lost it once, I can lose it again.  Unfortunately I don’t have the “magic bullet” of quitting drinking like I did before.  I don’t have ONE BIG dietary habit that I can cut out to help.  It’s just going to take more working out and better eating.  Basically the weight loss will be slooooower and harder.  And likely more frustrating.


But I can do it.  As I said earlier, what my body looks like impacts both of my gender identities and it sounds really shallow but looking great in a dress is motivation for me.  


Anyway I got to thinking about this (well, I’ve been thinking about all this for a few months now) but I decided to write about this after seeing some shots from a photo shoot I did last week.  I was asked to review some stockings (review going soon) so I scheduled a shoot with Shannonlee to take some pictures.  When I am asked to review something other than a dress (such as heels, breastforms, or a wig) I select an outfit around that.  These particular stockings were fishnets(!) and it takes a certain outfit and heels to really match the sexiness of them.  I had been looking for an excuse to wear my new vegan leather dress from En Femme for a while and I thought the dress and fishnets would look *amazing* together.  Paired with red patent stilettos from The Breast Form Store my look was fire, as the kids say.


And I think I pulled it off.  But I have to admit I cringed a bit when I saw the preview pictures.  Leather isn’t forgiving, especially vegan leather which has almost a latex vibe to it.  I just look… bigger than I would like, than I am used to.  My corset helps but goodness it’s working hard.  


This post isn’t to gain encouragement or sympathy or kind comments.  Honest.  I think it’s easier for me to write about some feelings than talk about them.  It’s easier to share some feelings with the internet than it is to bare one’s soul to one person.  The point (if there is one) to this post (and my website) is to discuss things that are unique to girls like us.  A lot of us have two gender identities and I think we can all relate to each other in terms of how we feel and what we think about.  Age, body changes, weight… anything that affects our bodies impacts our gender presentations.  In male mode, I shrug off the weight gain.  But Hannah has a very hard time with it.  My boy clothes still fit fine, but goodness my corset needs to be cinched TIGHT for certain dresses.  

Anyway, time for spin class.

Love, Hannah

11 thoughts on “Two Sides, One Coin

  1. Time is definitely not kind to us or anyone else. Dealing with aging skin is even more daunting than maintaining a healthy weight and muscle tone, especially once you get past 60.

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  2. Even before I turned 52 this week, I’ve noticed my own hair turning slightly gray in a spot or two. But more noticeable is the fact that my male and female clothing are tightening up again. It’s been a long time since I had gym access, and working from home leads to not thinking too much about what I eat. Part of me thinks Allison will forever be a size 8, but I have to remember that she and “Male Mode Me” share the same body. Hopefully, I can learn (again) to tone up and watch my diet.

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  3. Ms Hannah,
    Don’t worry too much as you still look great. But I do hope you are able to get in the habit of working hard to keep your body in shape, because it gets harder and harder as our muscles dwindle away.
    And what most people don’t know about aging is that time appears to be going faster. You never experience a decade as long as the last, when you are only a year old, it takes a lifetime to get to your next birthday, at forty it take a fourth of your lifetime to seethe next ten year anniversary. And at fifty, well that of course is a fifth of your lifetime to get to sixty. And while I have no experience of the next one, I feel confident it will have the fame shrinking experience before I am seventy! And we never know we will be there for that next one, so we must enjoy our lives and those we love!

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  4. Thanks to all you sweet ladies for your wistful thoughts and experiences. Maintaining taste and grace in appearance is not gender specific, but being a really pretty girl takes thought, courage, and careful planning. Smiling through it all while wearing the right lipstick helps. I wouldn’t be out in anything except Dior or sometimes Lancome, perfect shades of pink or fuchsia, applied with skill and panache. A pretty smile can DIVERT FROM A FEW EXRA POUNDS, but it won’t cover up 50+.

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  5. On the other hand, a few extra pounds can help the hips and butt look more womanly, and I have to say the slightly rounder face is pleasing, eliminating a bit of the masculine angularity.

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  6. Hannah, I feel for you. You are pretty and take care of yourself, and it’s hard to lose pieces of that. I’ve been going though keeping from feeling bad about not looking as good as I once did. And after 20 years I’m still working on it. My 2 cent’s worth: the higher the number of positive things you can think of yourself and others, the more likely you are to smile. It’s a strong signal about how you feel to and about both yourself and others. And the smile is pretty at all ages. All of them. Thanks for what you do. You’re making a difference. Rianna

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  7. Interesting subject Hannah. It seems to me that the feminine side of our nature, with part of its focus on beauty and presentation is both a great strength and our achilles heel.
    A lot of men take scant care of their health as they age, which shows in ballooning beer bellies, (associated with waning testosterone levels and poor diet), deteriorating posture and a range of poorly managed chronic diseases of ageing. Your focus on maintaining your size 12 figure, your skin condition, your poise and balance, protects you from a lot of such conditions. So, a win for both of your natures, both keeping you well and by implication, beautiful.
    But, if we define ourself by how beautiful (and that well becomes mixed up with how youthful we can look), then ageing becomes a major threat to our self image.
    So, the conundrum is to use our feminine nature to stay beautiful and healthy, but to see and measure our feminity far more broadly than just our dress size.
    And cut yourself a little bit of slack. You look stunning, even in vegan leather. But you intelligence and empathy are part of the feminine package. And will still be even in thirty years time.
    Geraldine

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  8. I guess I will never know that feeling as I went end femme at 65, there are days when I wish I looked just a bit better, but all in all I think I look pretty damn good for my age. I don’t really look 65, most people guess me at 55, so I guess that helps. I do wonder how good I would’ve looked when I was 30!
    I guess we just have to work with what we got, as long as you’re happy, that’s all that really matters.
    I think you’ll be fine & as I’ve said in the past, don’t be so hard on yourself!

    Fiane

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  9. Yes-The older we get, the easier it becomes to find a few pounds; and I need to lose a few now so skirts will fit better. I love cheese and crackers and peanuts, but if I control those, pounds slowly disappear. Good luck-you still look great!

    Bobi

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  10. But my bottom looks good with a few extra pounds ,especially when one of my work colleague enjoys giving it a squeeze !!

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