Love Your Dress!

MOA 5I step out at least once a month, and almost every time I go out I am told by a cashier, a barista, another shopper, or someone simply passing by in the mall that they love my dress.  These compliments have all been from women.

This makes my day, obviously.  Everyone loves a compliment and I am flattered by not only the kind words but also touched by the fact she went out of their way to say so.

I started to wonder if this was a common exchange, though.  Do women normally compliment complete strangers on their outfit?  I started to listen to conversations at the store, the checkout lane…anywhere I could to see if women offered compliments out of the blue to other women.  I would hear the occasional “I love your blouse” or “cute haircut”, but these exchanges were not very common.

Now, I am not saying that my sense of fashion is better than anyone else.  That’s not the point.  I do not think I receive, or deserve, compliments any more often than anyone else.

I started to wonder if “I love your dress” was…well, if it was code in a way.  If it’s a way of saying “I support the transcommunity” and “You are welcome here”.  The more I hear this, the more certain I am correct.  I believe that in the current climate where the transgender community is more out than ever, more politicized, more scrutinized and more visible than ever, that this is a way of saying they are an ally.

I hope I’m right.  I would rather have someone identify themselves as an ally rather than complimenting me on my outfit.

Of course, they can do both.  🙂
Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

I am a beginner crossdresser.  Please tell me how to chose my dresses.

Creating your wardrobe is one of the most fun and expensive things you’ll ever do.  It will be even more expensive if you don’t purchase clothing that is the right size.  It’s important that you know your measurements and understand that the size on the tag doesn’t mean very much as each designer and store can have a different meaning of what a size is.

So, how do you find your measurements?

Find a measuring tape (not the tool kit kind, the ribbon kind) and take your measurements for different parts of your body:
-Waist measured at your belly button
-Bust measured at nipple height with or without forms/padding
-Chest measurement taken just under pectoral muscle (2 to 3 inches below nipple)

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I have a section on my blog that goes into more detail about shopping and sizing.  Read that section here.

The internet makes it very convenient to purchase and ultimately return clothing if it doesn’t fit.   It’s important you refer to the size charts on the store’s site in order to choose the right items.  I found a really cute dress on Amazon recently, but I know from experience to look at the size chart.

Here’s a typical screenshot from Amazon:

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Under the price, you can choose the size you’d like, as well as view a size chart.  This is a standard Amazon size chart and is rarely relevant.

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I ignore this.  Usually on the left side of the screen, among the alternate views, you’ll see the manufacturer’s size chart and will vary from dress to dress.  This is usually more accurate.

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I also will scroll to the bottom of the page and read the customer questions and reviews to see other shopper’s opinions.  I normally wear a size 12 or a large (unless it’s stretchy, then I go down to a 10), but according to this chart I am a size XL.

Taking a few moments to do you research will save you time and money.

Happy shopping!

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

Hey Hannah, 
How accepting is your family?   Are they accepting and you can be Hannah around them?   Or do they not want to see it.
Coming out as transgender can be challenging to our loved ones.  My family is accepting, supportive and are definitely advocates of the LGBTQ community.  However, regardless of how much of an ally you are, it can be difficult when someone you love comes out.
Identifying as transgender can add additional questions to our loved ones.  I’ve written before how being transgender can mean something different from individual to individual.  Some of us have transitioned, or want to transition, and for some of us it’s never crossed our mind.  Accepting a family member as transgender isn’t easy, but there is also the additional question of what it means to them and possibly what’s next for them.
My family knows they can go shopping or have a cup of coffee with Hannah whenever they’d like, but I don’t press anyone with this part of me.  I have also written previously about how I  think it’s important we try to be conscious of who we are to our loved ones and be gentle and considerate when we come out.
Of course, if we waited for everyone we know to be “ready” to meet us, we may never get to be ourselves.  I also am speaking as someone who does not want to live full-time, so it’s easier for me to accommodate my dual genders and the rest of my life.  I realize everyone’s needs and lives our different, and can only speak for myself.
Love, Hannah

Still Smiling for the Camera

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I have been very lucky to have met an incredibly talented photographer two years ago.  Shannonlee, of Fotofida has taken more photographs of me than I could count.  She’s done my modeling photography, photo shoots for the MN T-Girls, as well as those times when I just wanted some new photos taken.

Last week was one of those times.

I booked a photo shoot with Shannonlee and spent a wonderful four hours with her taking pictures at Casket Arts, a beautiful building in Northeast Minneapolis.  I packed some outfits and high heels, and after an outstanding makeover at Rita Ambourn, I was ready for my photo shoot.

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I had a wonderful time.  My face hurt from smiling and I cannot wait to see the photos.  I wanted to share some pictures from the day  I hope you like them!

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Love, Hannah

Transgender Ban in the Military

I am sure you all heard the news regarding our president’s tweet regarding how transgender individuals are banned from serving in the military.

Thankfully tweets are not executive orders and according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Joseph Dunford, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance”.

Why this president does anything is beyond my comprehension, but the reasoning behind this statement relates to the financial burden that a transgender soldier would put on the American people.

First of all, this statement is not accurate.  According to The Atlantic, “The military has not historically covered gender-transition surgeries”.  The article cited goes on to explain that if the military did cover such operations, “That cost would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually for transition-related costs, according to a RAND analysis commissioned by the Department of Defense. The group estimated there are between 1,320 and 6,630 active-duty transgender servicepeople currently. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 put the number at 12,800 people and $4.2 million to $5.6 million, concluding that “doctors agree that such care is medically necessary.”

This would be a military health-care spending increase of 0.04 to 0.13 percent. Even in the most extreme case, it is one tenth of the annual $84 million that the military spends on medication for erectile dysfunction.

Having a world leader make such inaccurate and damaging statements is scary enough, but this perpetuates the belief that transgender people are a burden of any sort, as well as the belief that all transgender people want to transition and undergo surgery.

This is disheartening, especially when it seems to me that we have made such large strides in the last few years and a statement like this just knocks us back. There’s not much we can do to stop people with a Twitter account making such inaccurate and misleading statements, but there’s always something we can to fight back against stereotypes and hatred.

We can sign many of the petitions online demanding that any such bad would be reversed.

Although signing a petition may seem like it has little impact it is encouraging to see so many people supporting our community.

We can donate to Outserve.  OutServe-SLDN is the association for actively serving LGBT military personnel and veterans. We are a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America’s military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

I am not making being transgender political.  Politicans are.  We just want to live our lives and not have our basic human rights diminished.  Being transgender, I believe, means being obligated to fighting back against hatred and stereotypes.  How anyone can be transgender and Republican in this political climate is beyond me.  How one can stand by an organization that, intentionally or not, makes such damaging statements is beyond my comprehension.  I know that standing by a political party is more than just its opinion on one issue, but this statement was damaging, wildly inaccurate and hurtful.

Being trans is a huge part of who I am.  I make decisions on where to eat and shop based on their stance on the LGBTQ community.  I will never eat at Chick-fil-A, for example.  Supporting an organization that has such a low opinion of who I am is not deserving of my money, my time or my vote.

Your perspective may vary.

Love, Hannah