All We Have Is Who We Are

This is all going to sound a little fatalistic and dark, but I assure you, it is coming from the most enlightened part of my heart.

With shelter-in-place orders all throughout the world, we see our routines, our days, and our lives change.  Things we took for granted, such as a completely stocked grocery store, are gone.  Our favorite restaurants are only doing take-out, movies we looked forward to have been rescheduled, and countless other little things (and big things) have changed.

As a t-girl, I am used to being a little on guard when I go out, but this is a new level of fear and cautiousness.  If someone coughs at the store our thoughts and fears jump to thinking they have COVID-19.  We think twice before putting our hands on a shopping cart.

Many aspects of our lives are on indefinite hold.  It used to be easier to look forward to the next time we could hit the town en femme because we knew when that day was coming, whether it was that afternoon or next Saturday night.  But these days it’s a lot more up in the air as to when we can paint the town red.  Or pink, in our case.

Most days I find myself daydreaming what Hannah will do once things get less scary.  I want to do photo shoots, see the MN T-Girls, go shopping, and a million other things.  But I also think about the things that I didn’t do, or make time for before all of this happened.

Here’s where it gets dark, I suppose.

The last thing anyone wants to do is look back on their life with any regret.  I do not want to be on my deathbed and think about all the things I wanted to do, but didn’t.  Either because I didn’t make time for it or because I was afraid to do so.  There are things I wish I said (or didn’t say) to people I have known, and I would have made things right if I had known it was the last time I would ever see them.  We think we have time to do all the things we want to do, or the things we should do.

But life, of course, has other plans.  Time doesn’t really care what we want to do.  We are not going to be given more days or more opportunities to do the things we want to do that we keep putting off.  And of course, none of us know how much time we have.

Today we all get the same 24 hours.  What will we do with it?  There are things I must do, things I want to do, and things that I would like to do.  I have plans.  A to-do list.  But at the end of the day (literally, in this case), I will be in bed, about to fall asleep, as I look back on the day.  What went well?  What didn’t?  What didn’t I get to do that I had planned to do, or wanted to do?  What will I hope to make time for tomorrow?

Laying in bed at the end of the day, when all the screens are off, when the world is quiet, is when we realize that despite everything happening outside, that is the moment when we remember that our world is completely rooted in who we are.  All we have at the end of the day is ourselves and what we do and who we are.

The world isn’t an uncaring place (for the most part), but the world doesn’t care about what we want or what we want to do.  The world expects us to do these things for ourselves.  We are not going to be given more time to do what we want.  We either do it or we don’t.  Sure, your boss may give you one more day to finish your quarterly report but the world isn’t going to give you another week to do the things you keep putting off.

CaptureI went to Target last week to get some essentials (I promise) and I walked by the dress display (of course I did) and I saw a really cute dress.  It’s not uncommon for me to look at a dress or an outfit and fall in love with it and decide that I could never wear it, for a variety of reasons.

This dress in particular had thin spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline.  I usually avoid dresses with thin straps like this as they show more of my shoulders than I would like.  I have pretty broad shoulders and I think I look very… male in dresses like this.

As I picked up a few groceries I thought about the dress (of course I did) and I wished I had the body for a dress like it.  And then I realized it’s not about my body, it’s about my thinking.  There’s no reason I can’t wear this.  I don’t care what anyone thinks about how I look, and if I feel and look amazing in it, that’s all that matters.  If a dress fits, you can wear it.

My thoughts drifted into the days before this pandemic.  I thought about the things I had planned before those plans needed to be put on hold.  I thought about the things I wanted to do.  I realized that I was looking back on those days with a little regret that I didn’t do them.

I don’t want to hold myself back.  If there’s something I want to do, if there is something I want to wear, then I need to do it.  Who knows how much time we have?  Who knows when something like this happens again?  I don’t want to look back on the day, a lifetime, and wish I had done something.  I can do it now.

Well, not NOW, but you know what I mean.

I bought the dress.

And you should too.  But maybe it’s not this dress, it might be another dress, it might be that makeover you’ve been dreaming about, the stilettos that you can’t stop thinking of, the conversations you want to have.

No matter what happens in 24 hours, at the end of the day all we have is who we are.  We have our dreams, our fears, our deepest desires.

I have these things too.  But now I have these things, plus a leopard print dress.

Love, Hannah

 

A Little Bit of Everything

I may not have the most exciting life in the world, but I really do love it.  I may not be able to go out en femme as often as I like, but I always make time for Hannah and can look forward to stepping out at least once a month.  When my male life becomes boring, or stressful or… whatever, I always have Hannah’s next adventure planned and can look forward to that.

But of course, everything has changed.  One of the most stressful parts to all of this is the uncertainty of when things will start going back to normal.  It doesn’t sound like it will be anytime soon.

To others outside of our community, they are likely baffled as to why many of us are dreaming of the next time when we are able to slip on a pair of five inch heels, pay $65 for a makeover and just wander through a mall or a museum.  But if you are reading this, I am guessing you are dreaming of this too.

My wife knows I am getting stressed.  I miss Hannah, I miss going out, I am scared of everything going on, I am wondering when things will go back to how they were.

Please know that I realize this sounds shallow.  I am not looking forward to this time passing just so I can go out, I want this virus under control, I want schools to reopen, I want to be able to go out to dinner (in both of my genders), and I want everyone to feel better.  I want our nurses and doctors to stop working 30 hour days.

When your life is upended and routine goes out the window, you realize how much your life means to you.  When my wife and I were talking the other day about how this was impacting Hannah, I realized it was a little bit of everything.  It was everything from not being able to get my eyebrows done, holding off on buying that dress in case that money would be better used for something else if this impacts my job, and of course, not going out en femme. Sure, I could, and I do, dress at home, but it’s not the same.

Although there are parts of my life that are on hold for the moment, there are still smaller moments I can look forward to.  I go to bed each night in a nightie, I put on panties each morning, I can wear leggings and a femme t-shirt at home.  As much as we want to dress head to heels and hit the town, we know that a cute bra and panty can soothe us a little.

These days I am realizing how lucky I am to have even this.  I am reminded how important and significant my gender identity is to me, and why I need to acknowledge who I am.  I see how suppressing this side of me can impact me.  At the same time, I am thinking about YOU.  I am thinking about anyone reading this blog who knows what I am talking about, who knows the yearning and stress the lack of gender expression can have on someone.  I am thinking of those who don’t even have slipping on a pair of panties to look forward to.

As stressed and bichy as I am these days, I know that eventually things will change.  But for those who aren’t out, and for those who can’t be, I am realizing that you must feel like this all the time.  And to be honest, that must be hell.  If I am having a terrible week, but I am planning on going out on Saturday, I have that to look forward to.  It’s not easy, but I can look forward to going out once all of this has passed, whenever that will be.

But for those of us who can’t acknowledge who you are, for those of us who are in denial, for those of us who are conflicted, for those of us who are afraid of who you are and are of scared of what you want…. I’m sorry.  I have nothing but compassion and sympathy for you.

Take care of yourself.

Love, Hannah

Transgender Day of Visibility 2020

15Today is not only the final day in what has become the longest month in history, but it is also the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

International Transgender Day of Visibility is honored every year on March 31 and is a time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face. 

-Human Rights Campaign

Being visible can mean a lot of different things to people in our community.  Sometimes it is being out in public, sometimes it is looking at our reflection and acknowledging and accepting that there is more to our gender identity than what most of the world sees.

I have been going out in public since 2013.  At least during the day.  I went a couple times before that, but that was at night and only to LGBTQ+ bars.  But one spring day seven  years ago was a new beginning for me.  I woke up early, bought a coffee, wandered around two malls, a book store, a department store, and a grocery store.  I was as visible as I could be.  I did boring, mundane things, but for Hannah, every step was an epic adventure, a quest where I was braver and more confident and more terrified than I had ever been before.  I have no photos of myself from that day, but the picture above is exactly what I was wearing.

I wondered how many cashiers, baristas, store clerks, and others were seeing me and realizing they were seeing a transperson for the first time other than on television.  I smiled at everyone I saw, and most people smiled back.  If I were indeed the first transperson they would meet, I wanted it to be a good impression.  It dawned on me that I, along with every non cis-gender person in the world, was a representative for our community.

If we want to be accepted, tolerated, understood or simply not hated, then we need to be visible.  But my god, that is not easy.  The real world can be terrifying.  Not at all of us are able, or ready, to be visible or step out in public.  I understand.  I was there, too.  There are things that I wonder if I will ever be ready to do.

If you don’t feel you can be visible to the rest of the world, I hope you are visible to yourself.  Many of us go through periods where we deny this side of us, we ignore, or suppress, or even hate this side of us.  Don’t.

Even if you aren’t able to look into your reflection and see her looking back at you, let yourself look beyond the person in the mirror, look beyond the person the rest of the world sees.  Look for the real you.  Acknowledge her.

Love her.  She’s not going away.  She shouldn’t.  She’s lovely, and you are perfect.

You may not be able to hit the mall en femme.  You may not be able to go beyond panties under your boy clothes.  You may not even have that.  But that doesn’t mean she is not there.

Wearing a bra, a dress, lipstick, six-inch stilettos, doesn’t make one a girl.  Clothes make a statement, but there’s a side of us that is always there, even when we wearing a suit, or boxers, a beard, or work boots.

You may not be able to be out to everyone.  You may not be out to anyone.  But you can be out to you.

Be visible, even if it is only to yourself.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask me (almost) Anything

With everything going, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely, especially when it comes to this side of us.  I know I miss my MN T-Girls.  This side of us needs to be taken care of, she needs to be attended to and she needs to be acknowledged.  Between working from home and almost everything being closed, it’s hard to be who we are.

I try to be accessible and I do my best to reply to every email and message I get.  I do love hearing from you all (unless it’s a photo of…uh, your anatomy).  I know how important it is for all of us to be able to talk to someone who understands this side of us.  I know I need that, too.

Since we are feeling out of sorts, and for some of us our ability to meet up and connect with our friends and our support may be cut off, I thought it might be fun to do some sort of Google Chat or an AMA (Ask me Anything) on Reddit later this week.

Would you be interested in that?

Love, Hannah

…Until it’s Gone

093

 Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Til its gone

-Joni Mitchell

Today is the first day of Minnesota’s house arrest. Or shelter in place, I guess is the correct description.

I do agree with this mandate, and I hope it is effective and does indeed lift in two weeks.  We all want to virus to stop spreading and we all want our routines back.  This has changed all of our lives in uncountable ways.  Some are trivial in retrospect and some are beyond our worst fears.

Life has a way of showing us of how lucky we are, and how much we have, and this reminder usually comes from us losing what we took for granted.

As a t-girl, I often feel restricted from what I am “allowed” to wear, and I often feel that I must fit within societal gender norms.  I am used to being held back.  But at the same time, these days I am reflecting on how much I have, and how much I took for granted.  I may not be able to go out en femme whenever I want, but I always was able to find time to get my eyebrows done or go shopping for a new dress.  Even the MN T-Girls had our monthly outing canceled for March.

I hope you all are staring safe and staying sane.

What’s the first thing you are going to do once this passes?  I think I am hitting the mall and buying every dress I can find.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask Hannah!

Should one dress their age?

Not necessarily.  I wear what I want to wear, however, I do take fashion cues from women that are around my age.  There are a lot of really cute styles that girls that are twenty years younger than I am wear, but as cute as they are, they are clearly meant for someone that is not my age.

pink skirt 5

The outfit above is the cutest, girliest outfit I own.  I heart it.  Every time I see photos of it or it hanging in my closet I want to wear it.  The outfit below looks like someone a girl in early twenties would wear.  It’s cute, and I think I pull it off.

065

Once a t-girl (or crossdresser or someone who is bi-gender, gender-fluid, or… a human) has accepted and embraced who they are, a whole world of clothes and fashion and style has opened up to them.  They will wear whatever they want, thank you very much, regardless of which gender it is “supposed to be for”.

The two outfits above, granted, are not typical of what a girl my age would wear.  But I don’t think dressing your age is necessary.  That concept seems vague and arbitrary.  Instead I dress for the occasion.  I use what I am doing or where I am going as my guideline.

The two outfits above are perfect for an anime convention or shopping, or example.  Not necessarily a good fit for the office or a wedding.  Of the two outfits below, one is perfect for brunch, the other is, well, appropriate for, well, I’ll let you decide.

Clothes make a statement.  Both of these dresses do exactly that.  One dress is saying she would love a mimosa, the other says… again, you make that call.

Think about what you are doing, and where you are going.  Think about what others will likely be wearing.  Using this as your guide will help immensely.  When in doubt, I prefer to take a chance on dressing up rather than dressing down.  I tend to be the most overdressed girl at the mall, and that’s fine with me.

I hope this helps!

Love, Hannah

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

 

 

Ask Hannah!

I am married and basically quite straight in preferences, however, certain trans gender women I find just irresistible, so I flirt a lot on line….am I a cheating hubby?
I never meet anyone in person.

Every relationship is different and unique.  Every relationship has aspects of it that are hidden to the rest of the world.  Mine included.  If our friends and family knew about the conversations my wife and I have about eyeliner and fashion they would be very surprised.

Some relationships are not as monogamous as others.  Some marriages are open, some partners don’t mind if their spouses chat (or more) with others online.  I can’t say if you are cheating, but perhaps ask yourself how would your spouse react if they knew about your online chats.

It is not uncommon for girls like us to get lost in the pink fog and make decisions that are not typical of our normal routine.  Sometimes these decisions are relatively harmless, such as spending money that we shouldn’t on stilettos, but sometimes these choices are damaging and hurtful to our partner.

The fact that you are asking makes me wonder if you feel guilty about what you are doing, and if you are feeling guilty then you are probably doing something you know you shouldn’t.

Love, Hannah

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