Ask Hannah!

I read your post – the one in which you feature a photo of you on a couch – and I’m curious… and how to ask this? I’m curious to know what your goal or hopes where about taking that photo. I’m wondering what brought you to that decision.

Oh, you mean this one?

I love this picture and I’ll use any excuse to post it, lol.

I don’t think I had any goals or hopes. Sometimes I intend a photo to communicate a certain emotion or feeling but it usually falls up short. I realized that if I try to express… anything it comes off as insincere or forced unless it is a truly genuine emotion.

And honestly? It usually is forced. Trying to look like a badass or whatever is the opposite of what I am actually feeling during a shoot. I love shoots. Switching it up to a serious facial expression contradicts the fun I am having.

On a similar note, trying to come off as sensual or sexy is also a little forced. Despite what the photos suggest, these shoots are not, well, erotic. Modeling lingerie (at first) was nerve-wracking. I am usually cold, lol.

The pictures I like the most are the ones where I remember feeling something very strongly. For example, this photo:

This was taken in November of 2020. We were months into the pandemic and the holidays were approaching. The optimism that we would have COVID under control by the end of the year was quickly disappearing. The likelihood that holiday gatherings were going to need to be changed or canceled were increasing. It was, well, it was sad. The year had been stressful and had taken it’s toll on all of us. We were all tired. We were all mentally and emotionally exhausted.

I remember feeling very calm when this photo was taken. I don’t know why. Probably because the afternoon of this shoot was one of the few days of the year where I could… kind of pretend the frightening events of the year weren’t really happening.

And in that letting go I felt very connected to myself. The peace of the moment came over me. I closed my eyes and just breathed.

Shannonlee took the picture.

The click of her camera brought me out of whatever trance I was in and I was back in the real world.

I like to think that this picture captures the brief calm I felt. A rare moment of peace in a tumultuous year.

The photo of me on the couch was also a moment of feeling very connected to my emotions. As time passes I feel more and more grateful for the life I have. I’ve had enough experiences in my life to know how quickly things can change. I could lose my job today. A family member could have a life-alternating injury or medical emergency. I plan for a future that may never happen.

I’ve always hated the idea of living every day like it’s your last. I mean, if I did that, and I mean if I REALLY did that I would quit my job and my wife and I would hop a plane to Italy.

Aaaand of course if I did that and it WASN’T my last day of my life I would have no job and no savings… but I would be in Italy so there’s that, I suppose.

I was feeling very beautiful on this day. The key word is FEELING. Whether or not I THINK I was beautiful or whether or not I WAS beautiful isn’t important here. I am over six feet tall, I have man feet, I have countless physical masculine characteristics. No one would see my body and think it belongs to a cis girl.

The body belongs to me. And I am grateful for it. I am grateful for my legs which allow me to walk. I am grateful for my healthy heart which allows me to exercise and stay in shape. I am grateful for my stubborn mind which keeps me sober.

On the Saturday this was taken I had escaped another stressful week at work. We all have had days that end on a note that you just know will make the next day difficult. A lingering problem, an unexpected situation that comes out of nowhere that causes worry and stress. On those rare Friday afternoons when this doesn’t happen I am grateful to enjoy a weekend without the Sword of Damocles suspended over me.

The absence of work problems, combined with a surge of gratefulness and cute lingerie came together for a really fun photo shoot. I was having a really nice afternoon and honestly? I was just in a good mood.

Many of my photos from this shoot captured me just living in the moment and responding to the camera and the studio. Who knows how much longer any of us have? Who knows what could change? It’s not always possible to do so but my God, if I can taste the strawberry I will.

I am forever getting older, I am forever slowing down. I knew I would never be this young ever again. I may never feel this confident in lingerie ever again.

I sat on the couch, did a few poses and leaned back. Shannonlee knows me well enough when to take pictures and when not to. There are always moments when I am contemplating how to position myself or thinking if a pose would be a good picture. Of course, she is an excellent photographer and will always guide me as well. I mean, after all, I REALLY have no idea what I am doing. Any picture that is halfway decent should be credited to Shannonlee’s guidance and her talent (and my makeup artist and the clothes themselves).

I laid down, crossed my leg, and turned my head. In the same moment I was living in my skin like never before but also felt separated from any fear of whether or not I looked femme. It was HIS body, HER mind. OUR heart.

…That got a little deep, didn’t it?

As long as I can remember lingerie has had an enormous impact on my life. I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to wear stockings and corsets and bras and garter belts and all the wonderful, beautiful articles of clothing I saw mannequins and Victoria’s Secret models wearing.

Over time this pull never dissipated. This desire created courage. Courage led to purchasing my very own lingerie. It led to me wearing these beautiful clothes. I’m forever grateful to have gathered the bravery it took to nervously look for a bra and panty that would fit my body as I haunted the lingerie section of a store. The bravery it took to face the cashier.

It also took acceptance of who I was. I was someone who wanted to wear lingerie, no matter what body parts I had, regardless of what my birth certificate and drivers license said.

Wearing lingerie is a remembrance of the courage it took for me to be who I am. I am fortunate to have conquered any fear, any reluctance I had about my identity. I’m blessed to have overcome the thoughts and doubts that could have held me back.

Being who we are requires an enormous amount of self-love and courage. Whether you are trembling with fear as you browse the lingerie department for the first time or talking to a gender therapist or the million other things that we might do because of who we are, we should all be celebrated.

Love, Hannah

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

7 thoughts on “Ask Hannah!

  1. Thought about doing lingerie too never easy to hind your male area down there so get good pictures-talk to Christi at glikie girls see what she can do


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