Beautiful Vulnerability

I absolutely believe that t-girls and non-binary people EVOLVE. I have a love/hate relationship with the term JOURNEY… it’s cliched and makes it sound the challenges and bliss that we experience are almost trivial and naïve. I suppose it’s probably one of the more appropriate terms for our lives, though.. But like a stiletto that is a half-inch too small, it doesn’t quite fit right.

Maybe evolution is a better term? I mean, we start with this longing in our heart for pretty clothes or we become aware that the gender everyone says we are isn’t quite right. As time passes and as we experience, uh, experiences we start to realize that the world is bigger than black and white… and pink and blue.

We go from wondering what it would be like to wear a dress to being conflicted by this desire… and then we go from looking at them at the store or online to plucking up the courage to buying it… sooner or later we are wearing it… perhaps in our living room with the curtains pulled… and then maybe one day we are rocking it at the mall.

Evolution, baby.

I was thinking about this as I was looking at pictures from my most recent photo shoot. A girl needs outfits for a shoot and although it sounded impossible at one point in my life I chose a little lingerie for the shoot.

Evolution, baby.

I heart lingerie and I’ve gotten past any reservation and shyness when it comes to showing off my, ah, intimate apparel (as the department stores call it). A big part of why I love lingerie shots is because of what they represent to me.

Not only are they a reflection of confidence (I mean, I think it’s pretty brave to do this) but it’s also (at least to me), the ultimate final strut of my personal journey/evolution when it comes to how I feel about my body.

Dysphoria is a bitch and over the years I have hid my shoulders or have been too terrified to leave the house because I didn’t “pass”. I went through (and still do) periods where I believed that certain parts of me were too masculine to wear ANYTHING, especially if it was a dress with thin straps.

But thankfully I have moved past that. Of all the things I’ve accomplished or will accomplish in my life, getting over the invalid thoughts that held me back will always be my biggest victory.

Someone dressed in lingerie is showing the WORLD (or just their partner) their body. Every beautiful “flaw” and every beautiful imperfection.

Complete vulnerability. Letting your guard down is intimate and courageous.

When I was growing up it was the scariest and bravest thing in the world to let my eyes linger a little tooooo long at the pretty dress the mannequin at the department store was modeling. Over time I found the courage to follow my heart when it came to beautiful clothes, especially when it comes to what we wear that only we ourselves see. Eventually I found myself (trembling all the while) wandering around the lingerie sections feeling completely giddy and overwhelmed and terrified. It felt like it took forever to take the step when it came to buying panties. And then a bra. And then stockings. And then everything else.

It was braver still to wear them, even in the quiet privacy of my own apartment. It felt like conquering a mountain the first time I underdressed outside my home or slept in a nightgown.

But I did these things. I did more than these things.

Everything about me had to evolve. How I felt about crossdressing itself to how I felt about my body to finding the courage to learn my measurements and how sizing in femme clothes worked.

But I did it! And everyone reading this evolved in some way. Whether you are wearing panties under your boy clothes or you strut out the door en femme every day or have simply and quietly acknowledged that you WANT to explore this side of you… you’ve made progress.

I hope you can relate to these words.

And I hope you like these photos!

Love, Hannah

3 thoughts on “Beautiful Vulnerability

  1. re: “Journey” vs. “Evolution”

    Sorry, Hannah, but I must add my 2c even as I hope this doesn’t spur a religious debate over the language.

    To me, I want to add “natural” to get to “natural evolution,” like, as we all know, got us to where we are now. I suppose it was evolutionary when I timidly faced my fears over the years. (I well remember similar feelings of looking at mannequins, furtive glances at the lingerie departments, and so much more.)

    For me, Hero’s Journey really feels better. Like Luke Skywalker dreamed of leaving his life on the dreary farm, and then had to confront his fears and eventually, let go of his fears to bomb the Death Star. We did similar things, from timidly shopping for clothes (that all too often didn’t fit when I got home. Did I return them for an exchange? Heck no!) to stepping out in a dress to the many myriad fears and challenges I confronted in my transition.

    I sat across from Senator Patty Murray in her conference room several years ago and explained how and why trans people need US legislation that makes equality a reality. She responded, “You’re so courageous.” Okay sure, each step required an amount of courage but overall, no, my transition and travel to Washington DC wasn’t a single act of bravery. It’s more like the arc of a story where for me now, ‘trans’ is just another adjective in the long list that describes me.

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