Ask Hannah!

Can you tell me where to get fake press on fingernails for very large hands?

You know, I don’t paint my nails or wear press-ons as much as I would like (or probably should) so I am afraid I don’t have a go-to place for nail designed for girls like us.

Any readers out there with ideas? Please comment below!

Love, Hannah

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

I Wish I Was Fun

I wish I was fun.

Well, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that others wish I was fun.

I get a lot of messages, whether it’s a direct message on Twitter, an email, comments on posts and photos, as well as Ask Hannah questions.  I respond to almost every email, and I post about half of the Ask Hannah questions I receive.  The half I don’t post are usually just shorter responses, perhaps a link to where one can buy a gaff, for example.  If it’s a question I get asked a lot, such as what to do with your voice, then I’ll reply with a link to a previous Ask Hannah question or article.  

Sometimes I don’t post a question because, well, the answer isn’t fun.  Oftentimes I have a feeling it’s not what the writer is hoping I respond with.  For example, a common question I get is along the lines of “I just bought a pair of panties and I love them!  Now I want to take hormones.  What do you think??”  Obviously I love panties and will never have enough lingerie, but going from panties to transitioning is… well, a little rash.  Transitioning doesn’t simply mean you’ll be able to wear what you want whenever you want (I mean, you can do that anyway), it is a serious, life-changing process and it’s one that shouldn’t be taken lightly or without a lot of soul-searching.  My typical response to questions like this is me trying to be supportive but realistic.  I will usually recommend that the writer seeks out a gender therapist and speak with their doctor.  I know, I’m not fun.  Perhaps the writer is hoping I provide them with a link to buy estrogen or simply telling them to go for it.  

Most emails I get are asking about coming out to their wife.  I could write on and on and on and on about this, and I have and will continue to do.  Coming out in it of itself is a GIANT, irreversible moment.  It will FOREVER change your life and the person you come out to.  Coming out to your spouse??  This will forever change your MARRIAGE.  In EVERY single aspect.  The person you may own a home with.  The person who you may be raising children with.  It is probably the most serious, relationship-impacting conversation you will EVER have.  There’s absolutely no way this revelation can be summarized with a paragraph.  Instead I refer the writer to my previous writings about this very thing.  I write a lot about the complexities and the potential aftermath of coming out, but I also write about how this will probably make one’s spouse FEEL.  I think most writers are hoping and expecting I can provide them with a few key things to say to help make their coming out as easy (and successful?) as possible.  It’s not that easy.  Most of what I write about when it comes to coming out to your spouse has to do with respecting their feelings, what they may be thinking and feeling, and being prepared for possibly breaking their heart.  I know!  Not fun at all. 

Real life isn’t fun.  A lot of what I write about when it comes to this side of us and our gender identity focuses on being realistic about decisions and expectations.  It is not realistic to come out to your wife of fifteen years and then expect to jump into the car and head to the mall to go shopping for heels together.  But… that’s what some people are thinking that’s what will happen.  I mean, I totally get HOPING that’s what will happen, but again, it’s not likely.  What will probably happen is tears, confusion, stunned silence.  Perhaps anger.  Likely a zillion questions.  Perhaps never talking about this ever again.  Days and weeks of tension.  Perhaps even counseling.  I wish I could tell people that this talk will be easy-peasy but for those who have come out to their partners know that this (usually) isn’t simple.

And while we’re on the subject, I know how many different emotions and thoughts we can have when it comes to coming out.  Excitement, fear, anxiousness, uncertainty, optimism… the list goes on.  Sometimes we are blinded by the Pink Fog and we’re not thinking things through.  Sometimes we think how coming out to one person went means it will go in a similar direction to another person we come out to.  It’s not the case.  I know from personal experience.  Every relationship and person is different.  Coming out to your spouse is not the same thing as coming out to a coworker.  Most of my coworkers wouldn’t care how I identify, they just care if I am getting my share of the work done.  But my spouse?  Yes, my spouse cares about my gender identity because what impacts my life affects hers.  When you date someone, you are probably thinking about what you want or need out of a relationship and if this person is the right person for you.  As time passes and as relationships (and your own gender identity) evolve, it’s normal to still think about that.  What one wants or needs from a relationship can absolutely change over the years.  Coming out to your partner will probably cause them to think about whether or not they want *this* in their marriage.  It’s a hard realization to accept, but again, real life isn’t always easy.  Relationships are sometimes hard.  

I think it’s easy for us to forget how our coming out will be processed by our partners.  WE may love who we are and we may love wearing lingerie, but this side of us rarely thrills our partners (and yes, I know there are wives out there who DO love this side of us).  It’s also hard for us to equate what this revelation can mean to our partners.  Us wanting to wear a skirt is not the same thing as our wives wanting to wear pants.  In today’s world, it’s normal for a girl to wear pants (this wasn’t always the case but that’s another topic for another time).  It’s not (and it won’t be for a billion years) normal for a guy to put on a pencil skirt.  Unfortunately, clothes, for the most part, are genderized.  Yes, a dress and a boy shirt are both pieces of fabric stitched together, but on the other hand, I would rather wear femme jeans than boy jeans.  Not necessarily because femme jeans are softer, but sometimes I want to wear femme jeans BECAUSE they are femme jeans.  

I suppose the closest thing I can think of, from an earth-shattering emotional perspective, is learning your partner has been secretly texting an old boyfriend.  I have been in relationships before where this happened and it’s thrown my world off its axis.  It changed everything.  What were they talking about?  Is she going to leave me for him?  Was she meeting up with him when she told me she was visiting her family?  It puts EVERYTHING into question.  When I came out to girlfriends in the past, they had similar fears and thoughts.  Again, it may not be a perfect comparison but I think you know where I am coming from.

HOW one comes also comes up a lot.  Most of these questions are people looking for the right words to say and when to have this talk.  To be honest, I don’t think there ARE the right words for every relationship.  Again, what “works” for one relationship isn’t necessarily going to work for another.  Timing is also subjective.  Honestly the best time to have this conversation is BEFORE you get married.  BEFORE you get engaged.  BEFORE you live with each other.  And yes, I know all of this is easier said than done (and may be too late for some relationships), but two people need to have ALL the difficult conversations before the relationship gets too serious.  Divorced?  Have children from previous relationships?  Financial trouble?  Gender identity?  Struggle with addiction?  Spent time in jail?  Ya’ll need to TALK about this stuff, even if it’s hard.  ESPECIALLY if it’s hard.  Again, not a direct similarity but if I was married to someone for a year and THEN I found out they were $75,000 in credit card debt.. well, let’s just say I would have preferred to know that before we walked down the aisle and tried to buy a house together.  Your spouse likely will feel a similar way when it comes to the clothes you want to wear.  

Although there’s no universal right way or right time to come out, there are a LOT of wrong ways to come out.  And this is where I am Not Fun.  I get emails from girls like us telling me that they want to come out to their wives by surprising them.  Trust me, no matter how or when you come out, this WILL be a surprise.  Some ideas others have had and have run by me (ya’ll don’t need my approval, but I am flattered by someone asking my perspective) include going to a drag show and then telling their wives on the way that they want to do drag.  Other ideas have included surprising their wives in the bedroom by wearing lingerie or “letting” their wives find their panties in their sock drawer.  Although I can understand why one would entertain these ideas, I don’t think these methods are thought out… at all.  Coming out is going to throw your partner off-guard anyway, and adding to the surprise in such a way isn’t going to help.  Sexy, intimate time is probably not the best moment to come out.  See??  I am SO not fun.

Of course it’s possible you may have come out to your partners by doing these things and perhaps it worked out so it’s entirely possible that I have no idea what I’m talking about.  

My point in this, as with ANY conversation about this side of you with your partner about your gender identity MUST be taken seriously.  Keeping their feelings in mind should be the priority.  Doing what you can to make them feel loved and listened to is THEEEE most important aspect to your coming out and every day after that.  

And YES! again, I know this is easier said than done.  And YES! I know I have a supportive wife which makes THIS side of me in our relationship a little easier.  BUT!!! I have had relationships before where this side of me WAS an issue and absolutely made things more difficult and likely contributed to the relationship ending.  I’m sure the girls I was dating had reservations about being in a relationship with someone who wore lingerie.  I get it.  At the same time, I myself had thoughts about whether or not I wanted to date someone where I couldn’t be ME, you know?  Relationships have to come with full disclosure.  Two people need to put all their cards on the table and show the other what they’re getting into (for lack of a better word).  And! doing this also lets your partner know what you need from the relationship.  The first girlfriend I had that I came out to didn’t react well to my coming out.  So I told her I would “stop”.  By the time I came out to the girl I married, I had accepted who I was and knew that this side of me wasn’t ever going to go away.  My future wife needed to know that.  

I have a lot of fun being who I am.  I DO have fun outings and love fun dresses.  I LIKE fun.  I don’t take life or myself tooooo seriously, but I take my relationships, and my identity, seriously.  I have fun identifying as two gender identities, but I also feel that my life/lives come with some responsibility and repercussions which are totally the opposite of fun.   I do love reading emails and comments, and I ultimately believe in being true to oneself,  but BIG steps, whether estrogen or coming out, must be taken seriously with a lot of things to consider.  

Love, Hannah

Thoughts From the Dressing Room

The world is filled with exciting and fascinating places, but is there anywhere more thrilling (and humbling) than a dressing room?  Most of us know the fear and excitement that bringing a dress into a changing room can bring.  Within a few minutes either your mood is ruined or you feel like a princess.  And yes I know this is a little superficial and extreme but there you have it.  Before I was ready to leave my home en femme, I did my shopping in boy mode.  After a while, with an extreme amount of courage, I started to take a few dresses into a changing room.  When I was ready to shop en femme, using a changing room was easier mainly because I didn’t look like a man in a necktie stepping into the changing room to try on a dress.  This also got easier because I was brave enough to step out into the real world as Hannah, so using a changing room was a breeze.  

Trying on clothes is a wonderful and super fun thing to do, but it can also be frustrating.  I can try on two dresses that are the same size and one can fit like a dream and the other I can’t zip up.  How one presents can also change how a dress fits.  In male mode a dress might fit me but I don’t get the full effect until I have my curves, courtesy of my corset, breast forms, and thigh pads.  But this can also work against me.  Foundation garments can add a tiny bit to my waist and bust and all of a sudden a dress that fits perfectly in male mode can’t be zipped up.  

As I mentioned, this can be a humbling experience.  Some dresses look super cute on the rack but when we try them on we realize it’s not quite the dress for us.  If we can’t zip up a dress we might feel fat.  We might feel not-cute.  Or feminine.  We might feel foolish that we ever thought we could be pretty.  As often as a dress makes me feel like a queen, there are just as many, if not more, outfits that make me feel ugly, fat, and MALE.  None of these feelings are kind and I don’t like feeling these things.  No one does.  We need to remember that we can’t let a dress or a skirt or anything to have that much negative power over us.  And yes, this is waaaaay easier said than done.  

My birth certificate was checked MALE when I was born because of my anatomy.  And I still have all the parts I was born with.  As I grew my body developed the way bodies for most cis male do.  I’m tall, I have broad shoulders, and no curves.  I am a rectangle.  When I present as male I don’t give my shape or body a second thought.  But when I am en femme or trying on a dress then I put myself under a microscope.  I do my best to not be tooooo critical in a changing room.  I try to resist any thoughts about being too male, too fat, too anything for a dress.  I try to be objective and not let a dress hurt my feelings, if you will.  When I try on a dress I try to look at it as if it’s right for my style, right for my body, and just… right for me.

Recently I visited Blackbird, a cute boutique in Mankato and I found SO many cute things and since I overthink I had a lot of thoughts when I was in the dressing room and I thought I would share them here!

The first dress I tried on was this cute sparkly dress.  It was stretchy and super cute.  The zipper glided up and fit like it was made for me.  Since I look at my body under a microscope when I try on a dress, I checked myself out from a few different angles and thankfully still liked how I looked.  The only thing I didn’t care for was the shoulder pads (my shoulders don’t need the help) but thankfully they can be removed.  I unzipped the dress, put it back on the hanger, and hung it on my “keep” peg.

Next up is this super sexy green party dress.  I walked past this dress a few times and with a little encouragement from the salesclerk I let her put it into the changing room.  As much as I adore plunging necklines and high slits, I had a feeling this dress wasn’t going to end up in my closet.  It fit and had I tried it on in male mode I probably would have bought it.  BUT! since I was wearing stockings and breast forms I quickly realized that this dress wasn’t for me.  For starters, the neckline was waaaay too plungly.  The bra I like to wear with my breast forms was showing too much and that’s sometimes not a problem because I can just tug the dress up a bit.  BUT! the high slit just got higher when I did that.  The top of my stockings were showing (as you can see in the photo) and between showing off waaaaaaaay too much leg and flashing everyone my bra, I decided that this dress was a better fit for someone else’s body.  I know I could skip the stockings but I love how they smooth out my leg and even out my skin color.  Nylons and pantyhose could do the trick, but they can make using the ladies room a little trickier especially when I was wearing a tightly cinched corset.  AND! I prefer stockings for a very practical reason.  If they get a run I can replace one stocking as opposed to tossing out a pair of nylons or tights.  And! I prefer stockings for a very superficial reason.  They are sexy.

As a t-girl, I have a love/hate relationship with dresses that have sleeves. Sometimes the sleeves are too tight, sometimes there is not enough accommodation for my broad shoulders (which can lead to split seams), and sometimes the sleeves simply aren’t long enough. I wasn’t expecting to love this dress as much as I did because of the sleeves, but I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with it. The dress also has a nice cut which compliments my bust without it being toooooo plungy. The dress is short which, if I am being honest, I have no issues with. ūüôā This cute dress is hanging in my closet and I’ll probably wear it on my next time out.

Finally we have a vegan leather dress.  I love love love leather, and I particularly love vegan leather.  It has more of a stretch, it’s shinier, and it usually tends to be more affordable than real leather.  This was the first dress I picked out when I started shopping and as long as it fit, it was a definite buy.  Ironically enough, this dress also caused the most uncertainty of everything I tried on.  Although vegan leather tends to be stretchier, I am never super confident how well it will fit.  I picked the same dress in two different sizes to try on.  I am happy that both fit (especially the smaller of the two, lol) but therein lies the dilemma.  I liked the smaller size because it fit better.  Leather is supposed to be somewhat form fitting and I like to show off my curves (again, thanks to my corset, thigh pads, and breast forms).  BUT! the larger of the two was a LITTLE baggy.  I looked, to be honest, a little frumpy.  Can’t have that.  The smaller size was sexier and hugged my body more… but it was shorter and hung on my body differently.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted the tighter dress or the slightly more modest one.  This might be a surprise but there are some dresses in the world that even I think are tooooo short.  In the end I picked the smaller size.  I actually picked two colors (one black and the other white) of this dress.  I can never have enough black leather dresses but I didn’t have a white one.  Although the dress is short, I reminded myself that some dresses are meant to be worn while I am sitting, and some, like this one, should only be worn when I am standing.  

I am happy with what I picked out.  I hope my thoughts, my insecurities, my circular decision process was insightful if not relatable.  You are more than a dress size.  Not every dress will fit you.  Not every dress is designed for every single body.  Don’t let an ill-fitting dress ruin your day or dull your sparkle.

Love, Hannah 

The Crossdressing Life

Although the term is probably outdated, when I first heard the word¬†‘crossdresser’ I immediately associated myself with it.¬† By definition, I was indeed a boy who liked to wear women’s clothes.¬† I was around¬†twelve years old when I started to secretly identify as a crossdresser and although later in life I learned how sexually charged and fetishy the majority of the world thought of the term, I was still a crossdresser with a few caveats.¬† By and large it felt that the world viewed crossdressing as a kink.¬† For me, crossdresser didn’t FEEL like a kink.¬† Yes, I was a crossdresser but it wasn’t really a sexual thing.¬† I didn’t want to dress up in lingerie and have sex, I wanted to dress up in lingerie and read a book.¬†¬†

As time passed the word still had it’s complicated meaning (at least to most people) but I started to feel that although I was a boy that liked to wear women’s clothes, it didn’t seem to fit.  I started to de-genderize a lot of things such as clothes and even myself.  A dress wasn’t a piece of cloth (or leather!) that a girl wore, it was a piece of cloth that anyone could wear.  Yes I had “boy parts” and traditionally boy features, but really, did we have to label people as men OR women?  Why not both?  Why not neither?  What difference did it really make?  My journey (ugh) took me from panties to skirts to makeup to wigs to finally a femme name.  The word ‘crossdresser’ simply didn’t feel right anymore.  It didn’t feel… big enough, if you know what I mean.  I was more than a boy that liked to wear women’s clothes.  I was a different person, or at least a different aspect of myself when I was en femme.

I’ve identified as transgender (using my own personal meaning of the word) for a while now.  If I want to get more specific I identify as bi-gender.  I am happy and content in both of my gender presentations.  I don’t feel conflicted about my identity regardless of the pronouns I am using or the shoes I am wearing.  But if we take the words ‘transgender’, ‘non-binary’, and ‘bi-gender’ off the table, and we look at EVERYTHING, whether it is a person or a piece of clothing through a binary lens, then yes, I am a boy who likes to wear women’s clothes.

So!  Let’s talk about that.  I think many of you who are reading my website (based on the comments and emails I get) are like me.  We love panties and lipstick and pretty clothes but part, or even most of our lives, have a stiletto in the boy world.  I know that’s how my life is.  Being bi-gender means I have more than one gender identity and wardrobe.  Having an identity, gender or otherwise, means that identity may come with obligations and responsibilities as well as friends and relationships.  Hannah has friends that my male self does not.  If Hannah’s “job” can be considered blogging and working for En Femme, then her career is different from the career I have in my male identity.  

My point is that both of my lives are very different from each other, as I imagine both of your lives are as well (if identifying as bi-gender is appropriate for you).  BUT! even in my boy life I am always connected to my femme side.  I am connected to Hannah’s world through clothes, whether I am awake and wearing leggings or sleeping in a nightie.  When I am in boy mode (either because that’s the gender I choose to present as for the day or because I have to attend to obligations that my male life has) I am, by definition, crossdressing.  

Of course, what one DOES leads to who one IS.  I believe in nuances and since I separate my life and gender identity (and closet) into two halves, If you wanted to get into the weeks and get specific, I suppose the male me is a crossdresser whereas Hannah is transgender.  Together “we” are bi-gender.  Does that make sense?  It does to me and I think many of you reading this understands and likely can relate.  I do think that I personally put too much time and energy into terms and it’s rather unnecessary but there you have it.

Even when I am presenting as male, I am never 100% “boy”.  Even now I am wearing a femme cardigan, panties, and leggings.  I am also wearing a boy t-shirt and two days worth of facial stubble.  I am a boy wearing women’s clothes (if we insist on genderizing clothes).  As soon as I finish this cup of coffee I am off to the gym where I will wear a pair of black leggings that look like boy workout pants but I know the truth.  Afterwards I will put on boy clothes (and panties, of course) for a doctor appointment.  When the day is over, I will pick out a nightie and go to bed.  And tomorrow the in-betweening begins all over again.  Since so much of my life and day are punctuated by clothes, and since Hannah is always thinking about what outfit to wear on her next adventure, it’s easy to think that *this* is all about clothes and wearing what I want as opposed to gender identity.  But I know it’s not.  It’s more than that.  When I am en femme I am in a different mindset and a part of me emerges that, although is there in male mode, it is more easily revealed.    

I write about my life and my day from a transgender perspective, but since I believe in nuances, I don’t think I write about being a crossdresser (if we are splitting hairs) very often.  When I am en femme part of my mind is in survival mode.  This manifests in a few ways.  Is there anyone I know in this store?  Is anyone following me in this mall?  Is the sidewalk too icy for these heels?  In male mode I am far less paranoid but still aware.  When I choose my panties for the day I need to make sure I am careful if I need to kneel down to tie my shoe if the panties have a high, pink, lacy waist band.  If I am wearing a bra I am very cautious whether or not the strap or band is visible.  I am very aware of who may be around if I am in the lingerie department of a store.

Aaaaand that’s really about it.  But it’s enough.  Yes, Hannah is looking out for a million little things when she is out, but she is not protecting or trying to hide that she is transgender.  I am read very easily and I am fine with that.  I have no problem with people knowing Hannah is transgender.  I know she is transgender.  I am not trying to blend in.  Although there’s no standard as to what a cis women looks like, between my square jaw, height, boy voice, broad shoulders, it’s not surprising that people think that I was identified as male when I was born.  But in male mode, I am fiercely protective of the fact that I am a crossdresser.  No matter which pronoun I am using at any given moment, I am on guard (is it any wonder I have anxiety, lol).  It’s just a different kind of paranoia but I do believe paranoia protects us, even if it drives us crazy.

Being a crossdresser isn’t easy.  It’s exhausting hiding this side of us.  I think on some level it’s harder to explain why a man likes to wear lingerie than it is to explain why someone’s gender identity is different than the one they were assigned to at birth.  But as hard as it can be, it IS wonderful.  I love having my femme life, AND I am also really happy crossdressing.  I love wearing panties every day, I love wearing a nightgown every night.  Clothes make me so happy.  And yes, I know that this is shallow and superficial but I wouldn’t change a thing about me.  

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Met with another dresser at a restaurant and enjoyed the conversation En drab. Both of us are closeted dressers in a DADT relationships with our wives. Received a invitation to stop by for a tea at others home while his SO is working a 12-hour shift. Opportunity to dress in a relaxed manner presents itself, and wondered what your thoughts were on breaking new ground dressing with another?

I thought about this question for a few days and initially I didn’t have any thoughts beyond this really sounds lovely.  My thoughts haven’t changed THAT since that initial reaction but I do want to expand just a bit.

Friendship between t-girls/crossdressers are crucial, especially if one is still primarily in the closet.  Only someone like us understands (and can relate) to someone like us.  We don’t need to explain who we are or the nuances or the complexities or the joy that this side of us can bring.  So, yay!  I’m happy you have found a friend.

Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell arrangements¬†(for lack of a better word) are usually just that.¬† It’s an acknowledgment¬†from our partners that this is an important side of us and it’s not going away, but it’s not a part of our lives that they want any involvement¬†or knowledge about.¬† DADT agreements¬†are not ideal but let’s be honest, they are more than what most girls like us have.¬† Does going over to your friend’s home fall within the DADT they have established with their spouse?¬† Well, yes, I suppose it does.¬† But this MIGHT be crossing a line.¬† Although some DADT situations usually are accompanied by an understanding of never wanting to discuss THIS again after the DADT has been established, it MIGHT be a different scenario with inviting someone into a shared home that the other person doesn’t know, and doesn’t know is happening.¬† Although DADT can be the be all and end all when it comes to discussing how non-cis gender identity and a relationship coexist with each other, it should probably still come with a conversation about boundaries.¬† A spouse might not want to hear about their partner’s day en femme or what they are wearing under their boy clothes, but they may not want their partner posting photos online or visiting certain parts of their community lest they see someone they know.¬†¬†

Personally, if the stiletto was on the other foot and I was married to someone where we had a DADT arrangement, I don’t think I would want someone that I didn’t know in my home when I wasn’t there, especially if I didn’t know it was happening.   I don’t think you are doing anything wrong with accepting an invitation to visit your friend, but your friend MIGHT want to revisit the DADT conversation with their spouse when it comes to this.  

Relationships and crossdressing is not easy to navigate.  These situations often come with not being forthright with details, it can come with some lying, and deception.  And I totally get it.  I’ve been in relationships where the last thing I wanted was for them to discover who I was and what I wore when no one was around.  This side of us puts our partners through A LOT.  Adding in the possibility of going behind our partner’s backs BECAUSE of our crossdressing just makes things worse.  Try to think of it from our partner’s perspective.  On one hand they are in a relationship with someone who likes to wear lingerie and has a femme name which can trigger a LOT of anxiety and tension and stress and questions and fear… and on the other hand their partner is lying, or at least, not being completely upfront about this side of them.

Again, on a literal level and from a certain perspective, anything related to this side of us COULD very well fall under DADT, but out of courtesy and respect for one’s spouse, your friend MAY want to have a conversation with their wife about boundaries.  It’s commonly said it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission but that doesn’t necessarily apply to girls like us.

Love, Hannah

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

New Year, New Clothes!

This past weekend was the first MN T-Girls event of 2022 and THEEEE best way to kick off the year is by doing a little shopping. We were invited for a private shopping event at The Blackbird in Mankato.

The Blackbird sells clothing, accessories, and gifts and it’s probably the cutest boutique I have ever been to. And I found so many cute things! I strutted out of there with four new dresses, some accessories, and some jewelry. It was so fun.

I can’t wait to wear my new outfits and to return to the Blackbird for new clothes. Much thanks to Ali and Brie for hosting us and helping us pick out new items for our closets. Mankato is a BIT of a drive from the Twin Cities but absolutely worth it.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

It appears to me that when you venture out, you are always wearing a dress and heels. Now, I love dresses and heels as much as the next woman but if the objective is to “blend in”, well, most women in this country are somewhat overweight and belong to the jeans and sneakers crowd unless they’re quite young.

Here in Las Vegas, which has the highest per capita number of transwomen in the U.S., you rarely see dresses and heels unless going to one of the many dance clubs on The Strip.

My advice as a transwoman has always been to “blend in” and not stand out. Too many non-trans crossdressers tend to dress as how they would like a girlfriend or a wife to dress which is strictly a “garter belt, stockings and stilettos” fantasy.

Oh, well. That’s just my nickel’s worth. Not at all trying to be critical, just curious.

I will absolutely acknowledge that most femme-presenting and most cis women do not wear heels or dresses whenever they go out.  Of course, at the same time, most masculine presenting people and cis men aren’t wearing wingtip shoes and neckties each and every time they are out of the house either.  

And I totally get it.¬† Leggings, cardigans, hoodies… are comfy.¬† And they can be super cute.¬† When Hannah goes out, it’s because she is going to do something FUN.¬† Shopping, dinner with friends, going to a play… Hannah doesn’t run errands.¬† The boy run errands, gets the oil changed, goes to doctor appointments.¬† When I do these things I am looking to be comfortable and don’t invest toooo much time and energy into my appearance.¬† I might be in a t-shirt and haven’t shaved for a few days.¬† I don’t need to look my best when I pick up a prescription.¬† I am not a slob nor do I look disheveled, I just… look like someone who is running errands.¬†

Hannah dresses to the nines because it’s FUN.  Part of what makes it fun is that I don’t dress up (at least not completely) more than a couple of times a month.  It’s not uncommon for me to tighten my corset, attach my stockings, apply false eyelashes, and fasten my heels and think to myself that part of me is glad I don’t have to do this *everyday*.  Of course, a girl doesn’t NEED to wear a corset and stockings everyday but again, I dress the way I do because it’s fun.  If I were to transition or live full-time I can’t imagine I would wear heels and dresses every day.

I dress for myself.  I believe most women do as well which is why I think most girls are wearing whatever they damn well want when they go to the mall.  I mean, isn’t that why it’s fun to be a girl?  At least part of it?  Crossdressers, t-girls, non-binary people all want (and should be allowed) to wear whatever they please.  

I know I could dress down a little to blend in.¬† I know a girl, any girl, wearing stilettos and a cute dress and knock-them-dead eyeliner is going to stand out.¬† But I dress for myself.¬† I am not tying to blend in.¬† I don’t think I can.¬† Sure, wearing flats (ew) and jeans would HELP me blend in, but as a six foot tall trans girl I am always going to stand out.¬† Since I know I will never truly blend in I may as well dress how I want.¬† I’ll wear the stilettos, I’ll wear the leather skirt, I’ll wear the bright pink dress as I wait in line at the coffee shop.¬†¬†

Love, Hannah

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

A Hopeful Heart

As time passes I learn more about myself and how to, well, LIVE.¬† I’m not perfect and I never will be and sometimes mistakes can be helpful… IF you learn from them.¬† Whatever doesn’t kill you, after all.

I used to be more impulsive and spontaneous.  Those traits rarely lead to a positive or productive result.  Sometimes responding to someone without taking a moment to consider my words or their feelings damaged or even ended a relationship.  As a t-girl I am also subject of the Pink Fog hitting me and yes, I might end up with several new outfits buuuuuut there goes my car payment.  

One thing that I have learned is when to NOT make a decision.¬† If I can avoid it, I don’t make any decisions when I am tired, hungry, angry, or even giddy.¬† Most decisions can’t be reversed.¬† Again, t-girls are in a unique position when we sometimes have to be on guard (so to speak) when it comes to who we are.¬† There have been times when I am having a conversation with a friend or colleague and I think it would be a perfect opportunity to come out to them.¬† BUT!¬† While it might be a great time to do so, do I want to let that genie out of the bottle?¬† You can’t unring a bell.¬† And although it might be an appropriate time to do so, ultimately I probably DON’T want to come out to them.¬† Coming out (for me, anyway) is exhausting and forever changes a dynamic between two people.¬† I am not going to transition or start living full-time so in a sense, I don’t need to come out to anyone.¬† No one needs to know.¬† Yes, it would be nice (for various reasons) if some of my friends knew Hannah but at this time in my life I don’t have the energy or need to rock the boat.¬†¬†

I like to make plans, I like to set goals and work towards them.¬† I do these things in my boy life, and I do these things in Hannah’s as well.¬† It could be something I want the MN T-Girls to do, it could be a fun photo shoot, it could be any number of things.¬† Sometimes these plans are motivated by ego, if I am being honest.¬† Last year’s lingerie photo shoot is an example of that.¬† Of course, the world is a very unstable place at the moment.¬† It’s difficult to make plans because of COVID.¬† I am scheduled to travel in a few weeks for work but that is up in the air.¬† I have a doctor’s appointment in a few days and really, who knows if it will still be in-person or on Zoom?¬† Making plans, even if the plans are a few days out, must be done with the caveat of them being canceled or modified.¬† If you can’t be (reasonably) confident your plans in the next week will go as intended, it’s impossible to count on anything two months from now.

Even though life feels bleak these days, I am still stubbornly optimistic.  Part of me wants to go ahead and plan something AMAZING for a few months from now because surely things will be better by then.  But really things haven’t gotten better in a while.  So I need to take my stiletto off the gas pedal for a little longer.  I mentioned before that I don’t make decisions when I am tired or whatever.  The same thing is true in a global pandemic.  If I can help it, I don’t want to make any significant decisions or plans until brighter days are ahead.

I got to thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when the calendar flipped from 2021 to 2022.  A new year sounds exciting and hopeful and I believe in going into SOMETHING (whether a dressing room with a new dress that MIGHT not fit or a new year) with a hopeful heart.  I woke up in a hotel room on the first day of the year.  I was in the middle of a work trip that wasn’t going very well.  Our new COVID variant was spreading across the planet.  Long story short, it wasn’t easy to be positive.  I was cranky and cynical.  It was easy to understand why.  Justifiable, even.  Since the first day of the year was a milestone, I thought I should blog about the previous year and what I was thinking about for the new one.  In the end I chose not.  I was feeling very negative and similar to not making a decision when I am angry or tired, I didn’t want to write about something that I was feeling bitchy about.  

And I know it’s important to be true to yourself and I try to be sincere when I write.  Let’s face it, being bitchy is often part of life.  Not everything is pink lingerie.  Sometimes life is a snapped heel and torn stockings and smudged eyeliner.    

When I try really hard and really… dissect how I am feeling, the two biggest things I feel are exhaustion and hopefulness.  I have to be hopeful, I have to live my life thinking things will work out and that things will get better.  If I didn’t feel that way I would never get out of bed.  Being hopeful is who I am at my core.  Being excited for others is a big part of what makes me happy.  I am touched when others are happy for me.  I get annoyed and hurt when people try to bring me down.  

When I post on my website, it’s either because I am, well, showing off (whether it’s a new photo set or recognition of some sort) or because I think my perspective is helpful to others like me.¬† Being negative or cynical is normal, but I don’t need to post writings like that.¬† So, long story short, that’s why I chose not to write on the first day of the year.¬† BUT! as the day went on, I couldn’t help but look ahead at the next twelve months.¬† Part of me HAD to because of work.¬† One reason I was on my little work trip was to plan stuff for 2022.¬† I wanted to make my own plans but like avoiding the influence of the Pink Fog, I decided to hold off on making specific plans for the year.¬† At least for now.¬†¬†

As I mentioned, I get excited by the positive things that others have going for them.  I know a lot of you have exciting things planned for the year.  Some of you are starting estrogen, some of you are going to fly pretty, some of you have resolved to come out to your family, some of you will finally buy that dress you’ve been eyeing since forever.  I think these things, no matter what they are, are so important.  Sure, for some crossdressers buying a pair of panties isn’t that big of a deal, but the first time it is.  It’s the bravest thing I have ever done.  

Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.  Ever.  Especially those who are cynical and bitchy about the new year.  If you have something wonderful planned for the new year, please comment on this post.  I would love to be excited for you.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I’ve been secretly crossdressing for about a year but always when I’m on my own. I have ventured outside a few times which I found quite a turn on. I even had a few men and ladies smile at me. I am married but she doesn’t know so how would I go about telling her what I do and how I want her to help me?

Besides being honest and¬†gentle and being prepared for the worst, there’s no right way to tell your partner about your crossdressing.¬† There are a million wrong ways to do this, but I’ve yet to find the perfect way to come out to someone.¬†¬†

I have written a LOT about marriage and crossdressing and if you’re looking for my perspective on “the talk”, please take a peek here.

Just remember, this revelation will likely shock her so please be kind, be respectful.¬† Most of us dream of our wives helping us, but please do not go into “the talk” with the goal¬†or expectation of her doing this.¬† Our partners can, and will have a lot of different reactions and feelings and thoughts about our coming out but being… thrilled about this is not a common response.¬† Most wives tend to (understandably) cry as opposed to helping you apply your eyeliner, at least at first.¬† I am trying not to be pessimistic or talk you out of coming out to her, but I think you need to be realistic about how the talk will go.¬†¬†

Good luck!

Love, Hannah

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

Tangled Up In Blue And Pink

When I think of my mental and physical health, I rarely consider being transgender as relevant.  

Physically it doesn’t really matter.  Of course, were I to break my ankle my biggest (and shallowest) concern would be whether or not I would ever be able to wear stilettos agan.  But my mental health is a different story.  Throughout my life I have met with therapists for various reasons.  My father was… horrible and it took some time in my early twenties to deal with that trauma and therapy was an enormous help when it came to resolving that.  At the time, I identified as a crossdresser and felt no need to share with my therapist that I was wearing panties.  I thought that *this* was all about clothes (and to be fair, from a certain perspective it is), and what I wore (and wanted to wear) had nothing to do with anything else.  On some levels that is, and will always be true.

When I was in my early thirties I started seeing a therapist again.  I had a new job that created a ton of stress and anxiety and I needed help coping with it.  My therapist helped A LOT.  As we neared the end of our visits I shared with her that I was a crossdresser.  I didn’t tell her because I was… confused about who I was or what this meant.  I have always been secure with my gender and my wardrobe preferences.  I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t in denial.  Was there something about this side of me that I hadn’t considered?  Was I being honest with myself?  She asked the normal questions that someone asks when you come out to them.  She also asked a few more nuanced questions.  I was honest with her (that’s what a therapist is for, after all) and after a little more discussion she shrugged and said “it is what it is”.  It felt like she and I were on the same page, meaning that this side of me didn’t stress me out, it didn’t cause anxiety, it didn’t torment me the way one’s gender identity can.  

It took about a year of seeing her before we had this discussion.  It took some time to unpack and process the things I was going through and I felt that was the priority.  As our sessions wound down (and we were running out of things to talk about, if I am being honest) we discussed gender and identity and, well, clothes.  I waited until we dealt with the bigger, more pressing concerns because I didn’t think my crossdressing was… relevant.  I’ve never felt like I was born in the wrong body or that being male felt wrong.  Nothing about this side of me or what I was wearing caused any sort of… well, anything.  If anything, it provided me with comfort and happiness.  BUT! not at the level where I felt that wearing femme clothes was “the real me”.  

After our sessions were concluded I felt more confident than ever that I was being honest with myself and I wasn’t in denial about who I was.  In terms of my “journey” it was around this time I had started to wear “real” clothes beyond just lingerie.  At this point I wasn’t Hannah, if you know what I mean.  

The stressful job that drove me to therapy is in the same field that I am in today.¬† Yes, you shouldn’t be in a career that causes an insane amount of stress, but I truly enjoy my job.¬† A few years ago I was tired of the anxiety that my job caused.¬† I knew the level of anxiety I lived with wasn’t normal, and it certainly wasn’t healthy.¬† None of my colleagues could relate to the level of stress I felt.¬† I realized I needed help.¬† I went back into therapy and discussed different medications that might help.¬† I was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed a form of Prozac.¬† Depression didn’t quite feel right, if you know what I mean, but the therapy and the medication helped tremendously¬†so I went with it.¬† I didn’t, and do not discuss Hannah with my therapist.

A few months ago I thought it might be a good idea to revisit my diagnosis and my medication.  I tend to overthink and I wondered if there was something more to my mental health that I hadn’t considered.  Although the medication and therapy were helping, I thought that perhaps if I was being treated for anxiety (if that is what I am facing) as opposed to depression, then perhaps my medication and my coping methods could be changed and therefore be made more effective.  I spoke with my doctor who referred me to another doctor and after a few phone calls and Zoom meetings I had started to explore other diagnoses such as ADHD.  I filled out a lot of paperwork and was asked a lot of questions.  Some of the things that I was asked are helpful when it comes to identifying different treatments and coping methods.  The questions are designed to help pinpoint and even eliminate certain diagnoses.  Did I have anxiety?  Is it ADHD?  Could I possibly be on the autism spectrum?  

One of the things I was asked to consider was related to my interpreting social norms.  Since I tend to overthink, I wondered about my perspective about my crossdressing when I was growing up.  When I talk to other t-girls or read about their own journeys and experiences, this side of us is almost always acknowledged or realized when we are very young.  We often talk about the clothes we wore (and wanted to wear) but we also talk about the feelings and thoughts we had at the time.  It’s not uncommon we felt shame, guilt, fear, and confusion about this side of us.  After all, we have always been told that boys don’t wear pink or dresses or nail polish or makeup.  If that was true, then why were we trying on dresses whenever we had the chance?  Almost all of us kept this side of us private and lived in fear of being caught.  Most of the time this was because we were afraid something was “wrong” with us.  This was, after all, against societal norms.

Although I lived in fear of being caught, I never, ever felt that it was wrong for boys to wear dresses.  I felt a longing when I saw mannequins at department stores wearing pretty lingerie.  I felt jealous when my sisters would paint their nails.  I knew (because it is hammered into us when we are growing up) that boys didn’t wear pretty things, but I was confused as to why I wasn’t “allowed” to wear what I wanted to.  Was this related to me not “correctly” interpreting societal norms (even if the norms were outdated and wrong)?

Let me make it clear that I do not think any diagnoses “causes” me to be transgender.¬† Rather I wonder if my gender identity, specifically being so secure in it for my entire life, might be relevant when it comes to diagnosing something related to my mental health.¬† Does that make sense?¬† I am not saying that because I am transgender (or essentially anything other than cis gender) is related to a mental condition.¬† What I am saying is that my comfort, my acceptance, and my embracing of who I am (and who I have always been) is… well, it’s not typical.¬† Many t-girls and crossdressers felt confusion or stress or fear when it came to their own journey.¬† But I never did.¬† I loved, and still do, who I am.¬† That’s not to say I came out to everyone I’ve ever met.¬† My reluctance with coming out had more to do with not wanting to potentially rock the boat with anyone in my life.¬† But these days it has more to do with not having the emotional or mental bandwidth to have those conversations.¬†¬†

To be clear, I am not more self-aware than anyone else.  BUT I do think it’s a little atypical that I never felt that it was wrong to wear what I wore and wanted to wear.  If this “enlightenment” is related to how I interpret social cues and norms, then disclosing my gender identity becomes relevant in therapy.  Of course, I don’t feel I need therapy when it comes to my gender identity, but perhaps my gender identity, specifically never being vexed by it, would be useful when it comes to any sort of treatment or medication for my mental state.  BUT please don’t misunderstand.  I am not saying that me being trans NEEDS treatment.  That’s not what I am saying at all.  I love who I am and I won’t change even if I could.  What I mean is that I never went through the typical stage of “wearing dresses is wrong and there’s something wrong with me” when it came to who I am.  

It’s important to be honest with who you are, and it’s important to be honest with therapists and doctors… when you feel that certain information is relevant.  With my medical doctor I don’t think my gender identity is relevant AT ALL.  But with therapists it might be.  I identify as bi-gender.  I literally have a second gender identity.  Although most of the world doesn’t see it, I am pink as much as I am blue.  My gender identities are separate and overlap.  Things can impact and influence both sides of me.  I am often both Hannah and a boy at the same time, at least when it comes to how I think and feel.  You can’t untangle the two sides of who I am.  We are forever entwined.  

That being said, I am thinking a lot about how much I need to share as I am about to get started with an upcoming round of testing and therapist appointments.  Last week I had my first real appointment to determine what I am going to be evaluated for.  In the back of my mind I considered whether or not I should come out to my doctor but in the end I didn’t.  I didn’t feel it was super relevant (at least for now) and I also didn’t have the energy to go down that road just yet.  I may or may not bring Hannah up, so I guess we will see how it goes.  The point to allllll of this is that our identity (gender or otherwise) is WHO WE ARE.  And who we are is EVERYTHING.  Sometimes I don’t think my gender identity is relevant (and to be fair, sometimes it’s not), other times I think it’s absolutely important.  The tricky thing is determining when it is relevant.  It’s not important that my colleagues know about Hannah, but it is crucial our significant others know about our gender identity and about what is in our closets.  Like walking in stilettos, it’s not always easy to achieve that perfect balance of knowing WHO to come out to when it comes to our mental health.  

Love, Hannah

P.S. Of course there are some mental health “professionals” that may tell you that there’s something wrong with your gender identity, so if you are being told that you might want to see a different therapist.