Some people who live outside of Minnesota think that we all commute atop the back of polar bears and live in igloos. Yes, Minnesota is cold but we also have very humid and long and gross summers.

But the idea that the state is a frozen tundra is a persistent and stubborn perception. If I am being honest sometimes these days I’m wondering if we will ever see grass again or be able to retrieve the mail without eight layers of clothes.

Why on earth do we live in a state where the weather is trying it’s best to kill us?

I asked myself that question again on Thursday morning when I slipped hard on the ice.

To be fair, if my fall was caught on video it probably would have looked hilarious. Bam! Bitch went down!*

What makes it funnier is that I was standing completely still. I was dragging our trash can to the street and had to carefully make my way down a very icy driveway. We live at the top of a hill so it was quite perilous. I managed to get to the street with my dignity intact but as soon as I positioned the bin I was quickly on the ground.

And goodness did it hurt. My left hand took the worst of the fall. After I dragged myself out of the street I wrapped two fingers and my palm in bandages. Skin was torn, I have a blood blister, and the edges of my fingernails were stained with blood.

I know! SO gross.

Anyway, I was changing my Band-Aids before going to sleep last night (not unlike an injured solider in the Civil War cutting off their limbs to avoid gangrene) and I was reminded how many… parts our body has.

If we look at a body part (other than our genitalia) it’s not unusual for our brains to categorize a foot, an arm, a shoulder, a jawline, as either masculine or feminine. Centuries of gender binary standards are engrained in our minds and our brains like to, well, classify things. THIS is THAT, for example.

I was reminded by how MANLY and MASCULINE my hands are. This is not a weird brag, mind you. I have never been (obviously) the type of person to gloat about how MANLY and MASCULINE I am. When I do think of masculinity and femininity in regards to my body its always about minimizing my masculine features and drawing attention (or creating) feminine features.

That’s not to say that I am ALWAYS trying to appear feminine. Most of my life I present as a man but I never think about how emphasizing my masculinity. Why? Because I don’t care. Some men want to look MANLY and STRONG and whatever. I don’t give much thought to what HE looks like. I get dressed and that’s it.

But Hannah agonizes over how she looks.

Well, perhaps agonizes isn’t the right word. I mean, she used to. She used to fret about her blockish shoulders or her squarish jawline but for the most part it doesn’t bother her as much as it used to. Spaghetti strap dress? Zip me up!

There are some things I can do to minimize certain features. My makeup artist contours my face to give it a more feminine appearance. Of course, she is not changing the bone structure of my face but foundation and highlighter are modern day potions. I can wear a corset to create a shapelier figure. I can wear a gaff to suppress my feminine flaw.

But my hands? I can’t do anything about them. I mean, I can wear rings or paint my nails to, well, feminize them, but really, those things can only do so much.

I mean, I have to shave my hands. How femme is that?? Gross.

As I looked at my hands I couldn’t help but think that they are incredibly, well, unfeminine. Not that there are standards as to what someone’s hand is supposed to look like to be femme, but you know what I mean. I couldn’t help but think that how could someone with THESE hands be feminine?

And then I realized how stupid that thought was.

To be fair, it’s easy to look at SOMETHING and just obsess over it and let it hold us back. Our hands are too masculine, our Adam’s Apple is too pronounced, we are too tall, our voice is too tall, our frame is too linebackerish…

Cis women aren’t immune to this. I can’t speak for anyone else but I think some cis women have something about themselves that they would prefer to be a little different.

Our gender identity and how we feel about ourselves shouldn’t be held back by one physical feature or even by a dozen physical features. I can’t do ANYTHING about my hands. I can wear a wig, I can wear pink heels, I can have a razer sharp cat eye… but my hands can still palm a basketball.

It took me too long to realize that femininity isn’t the size of my hands or the shape of my face or the color of my lips. Gender begins where it is hidden. It’s in our soul, our mind, our heart. My gender is more than my hands, more than my jawline, more than my shoulders.

Besides, there are more parts of me that I can “feminize” than parts I can’t. I can contour my face so it appears more heart-shaped. I can wear thigh pads to have a curvier figure. I can wear a dress. I can wear stilettos. I can wear a wig. I can wear false eyelashes. I can trim my eyebrows.**

This list goes on.

From a physical appearance perspective, my gender presentation is a sum of it’s parts.

Are there “tells”? Oh hell yes. There are parts of me that broadcast to the universe that I am not cis. And I am 10000% fine with this. Why? Because I am not cis. It’s fine that everyone knows “the truth”, I suppose. I don’t care if anyone thinks I am cis or trans. I don’t give it a second thought. Their opinion has zero impact on me.

At any rate, it’s been a slippery winter. I have slipped hard on the ice three times in the last two weeks and landed on both of my knees on separate occasions. I just hope I can avoid any more unplanned trips to the concrete before my photo shoot on the 25th. Stilettos and leg braces are not a good look.

Stay safe, bitches.

Love, Hannah

*Ten points to anyone who knows what movie this is from

**Of course, NONE of this is required to be feminine. Again, femininity is in our souls, minds, and hearts.

9 thoughts on “Bam!

  1. Hi Hannah,

    Sorry to hear about your fall, unfortunately that is one of the risks of living here

    BUT Minnesota is the best place to live. We have so many varied options of things to do. In the outdoors during winter you have sking, snow shoeing, eagle watching in Wabasha and dog sledding in Ely.. Spring brings awesome waterfalls to the north shore. Our lakes give us wonderful activities throughout the summer. In the fall there is no more beautiful of a place than the St. Croix and Mississippi valleys. And year round the wildlife variety is spectacular. Last fall I was sitting on our dock with otters playing in front of me, an eagle soaring overhead and a pair of swans flying across the top of the water. I thought I was in heaven.

    Besides they like Transgender people here.

    As for large hands, spend some time observing females, there are plenty with “masculine” hands. Your hands do not look out of proportion in your pictures.
    You are as beautiful as our wonderful varied seasons



  2. Oh no… hopefully your hand and knees heal soon! I wasn’t so lucky this year, and fell, tearing the scapholunate ligament in my left wrist. Had surgery and a pin inserted, and after a 12 week recovery I am still working on regaining full motion. May the rest of your winter be fall-free.


  3. It’s from Scream, isn’t it?
    There are always flaws in people, but masculine/feminine isn’t a flaw, it just is. I have a cis female friend who has the build of a linebacker. She has giant shoulders and tapers down like a triangle to skinny hips with no roundness to speak of. From behind, when not dressed up, she really does look like a guy. It used to bother her, but she reached a point where she realized her body does what she needs it to do, so what how it’s shaped. As long as she can dance, she loves it. For me, I’d LOVE if my belly just said “ok, fine. I get it. You like junk food, I don’t have to remind you of that. I’ll be quiet and get skinny for you.” It’s life. I’d also love it if my legs were always less bruised than they are. Apparently, I’m still a toddler and smash into everything even if I don’t remember it. So don’t worry about your hands, they’re perfect. If you want an example of a cis woman with giant hands, Sarah Jessica Parker is a great example. Bette Midler also has fairly large hands but you rarely notice because they’re always gracefully utilized in pictures or video. As with most things, it’s not the size that matters, but how you use them.

    And your comments on the brutal weather made me think of a comedy skit that I’ve seen. I’ll attach it here:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have not fallen from ice because I shuffle my feet when I walk on ice and watch my footing real carefully. Yes, the weather sucks in MN, but what I really hate more than that is the ridiculous high taxes – and now our governor wants to raise them! Apparently, he never met a tax he didn’t like…


  5. All this time I though Minnesotains rode moose to work.
    I couldn’t believe how much of a difference shaving your hands and wrist can make.


  6. They had a documentary on Reelz last week about the Female Wrestler Chyna. She was given such a hard time over her masculine looks she had facial reconstruction and breast augmentation surgery.


  7. Chyna used male steroids – fact. This is what gave her that manly look. In fact, most body builders (male and female ) and wrestlers use male steroids.


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