Oh Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

This is just how I’m wired.  I was born this way.  


The point is I don’t think there is a reason I am who I am.  I am not who I am because of some unaddressed childhood trauma, my gender identity has nothing to do with my relationship with either of my parents.  I have reflected on who I am, and why I am, ever since I wanted to wear lipstick and heels.  There’s no answer beyond this is just who I am.  I know it’s not an exact comparison, there’s probably no reason why I like pop music instead of country, either.  


About ten years ago I started to see a psychiatrist.  I was in a very dark place in my life and I had made a career move that I felt was the wrong choice after I made the change.  I went from one career that I was doing well in, to another that I struggled with a long time.  The change in careers more or less spiraled into depression and anxiety.  This was around the time I had started to really move beyond simply lingerie and into who I am today.  So, there was a lot going on in my head.  Over the year or so that I saw her, I started to feel better. Slowly and gradually.  My new job was turning around and my confidence went up, my anxiety went down (at least a little), and I had become more secure in my gender identities.  Of course, it would take much longer for me to balance my gender identities but I think I do a good job with that these days.


When I started to see my psychiatrist, I knew that THIS would come up.  It would have to.  In fact, I wanted to.  I wanted to discuss this side of me with someone who was smarter than I was, someone with a different perspective and experience when it came to gender and crossdressing.  I didn’t think I was repressing anything, I didn’t think I was in denial about anything, I didn’t think I needed help understanding who I was.  But that was the point of discussing it, in a way.  What if I was wrong?


As I made progress with my depression and anxiety, I brought all of this up with her.  It didn’t faze her, she had no visible reaction to it, but that’s kind of the point of a psychiatrist, to not freak out.  Her job is to make people safe in opening up and talking about what was on their mind.  Of course, she had no personal connection to me.  My crossdressing and gender identity impacts my wife and family, but had no impact on her so of course she will have a somewhat detached response.  I looked forward to discussing this because although I didn’t think there was a reason I was who I was, I wanted to see if perhaps I was wrong.  


I wasn’t!


We discussed this a lot and in depth.  I was not the first boy who wore girl clothes that she worked with, and I wasn’t the last, either.  She said there really isn’t any reason why someone dresses or is who they are.  It is what it is, she said. She asked a few key questions, she challenged me on a few things.  We discussed my wife’s reaction to this, how it impacted our relationship, and how it made me feel and how it made my wife feel.  In the end, there was no new revelation or answers and this actually comforted me.  It meant that I was correct in how I felt and how some things just don’t have a reason.  Yay for not having unaddressed trauma and for not being in denial!


Although I haven’t stopped permanently wondering why I am who I am, I think about it less often.  I mean, there is no answer.  If I, as the crossdresser, don’t know why I am who I am, and if psychology doesn’t have a reason, then it is what it is.  As important it is for us to be understood, we need to accept that there’s only so far this side of us can go when it comes to understanding.  My wife understands that this is who I am, she understands I wear what I wear, but she doesn’t understand it.  And that’s not on her, I feel the same way.  Perhaps it’s more accurate to say she and I accept it (it is what it is) but neither of us really understand it.  And that’s just fine.


Although understanding this side of us isn’t possible, what is possible is to make sure people don’t misunderstand who we are.  It’s easier for me to tell you who I am not instead of who I am.  I am not a drag queen, I am not a fetishist, I am not aroused by this side of myself.  This is not a kink, this is not a sexual thing.  


It might be for you, and if it is, you go girl, but it’s not for me.  And no judgement, promise.
I am on Twitter, Flickr, and of course my own website.  I know it’s a lot, sometimes I am tired of myself, too.  Regardless, posting photos and being on social media can open oneself up to comments and opinions.  The majority of comments are generally positive, complimentary, and “harmless”.  Some are more sexual than I am comfortable with, however.  


And look, I understand that this is a fetish for some of us (in terms of wearing what we wear).  And I understand that someone like us IS a fetish for others.  Some men aren’t attracted to other men, but if that man is wearing stockings and panties, well, then it’s a different story.  


Other than blocking or going in stealth mode or having a private account, there isn’t much one can do to isolate themselves on social media.  Unwanted comments and followers will always come through.  And I don’t need anyone else to understand who I am or why I am who I am, but it’s important to me that people know that this is not a kink for me.  My gender identity is not a fetish.  Yes, I wear leather or other clothes that ARE fetishy, but it’s not because being en femme is a kink.  If someone is aroused by my gender identity, well, I really can’t do anything about that.  If someone sends me a message saying they love t-girls, well, it comes with the

territory unfortunately.  I wish I wasn’t fetishized but I know girls like us are.  People can think and feel and be turned on by whatever they want but I hope that although I don’t expect someone else to understand me, I hope they at least acknowledge that my gender identity isn’t my fetish.  It might be yours, but who I am is nothing as trivial.  


At the same time, I don’t lose any sleep worrying about how others see me, or think about me.  


I know it’s grandiose to call one’s identity sacred, but it is.  I mean, it’s all we have.

Carmen Liu Lingerie Review

HI!  Some of us don’t like tucking.  I get it.  It’s not easy to do properly and if not done correctly it can hurt.

Pain and feeling uncomfortable is your body’s way of saying STOP DOING THIS.  If your heels hurt your feet (I mean, they probably will after a few hours, I’m talking about immediately and with every step) or if your gaff is paining you, you should probably wear something else.  


I wear gaffs and I love them. They took some time getting used to and I have a few recommendations, especially a new style from The Breast Form Store (proper review coming later) but I wanted to bring to your attention a panty that I recently bought that I think those of us who don’t tuck might be interested in. 


I wear tight dresses, but our, ah, feminine flaw can be visible no matter how tight or loose the dress or skirt or pants are.  If tucking isn’t for you, I would recommend looking into the White Lace Classy Thong, part of the Carmen Liu line of lingerie sold through En Femme.


This panty is not a gaff, but it does flatten and smoooooth things.  Like, really flattens and smooth things.  Like, really, REALLY flattens and smooths things.


It takes a little getting used to, and it moves comfortably with your body, and it is tight.  Of course, not everyone likes thongs so there is that as well.  The sizing chart is very true to form so make sure you know your measurements before purchasing.  


Love, Hannah

The World isn’t Ready

Hi girls!

Let’s start this week with the cheerful realization that the world will never be ready for us.


AND!  Since the world will never be ready for us than the world will never let us know it’s okay to be who we are.  Some of us are waiting for the day for the world to accept us.  We are waiting to come out to someone, to step out into the real en femme, to so SOMETHING.  We are waiting for a sign that the world doesn’t hate us, that the world is, well, READY for us.


BUT!  That day is NEVER COMING.


I know!  It sucks!  


And right now you are saying DAMN GIRL you are SO pessimistic.  And you know what I am NOT pessimistic.  I am RIGHT.  And It SUCKS that I AM RIGHT.


BUT!  How do I know that the day is never coming?  Can I see into the future?  NO I CAN’T.  
Just as those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, you can see the future by looking at what is happening NOW.


SO!  What is happening now?  


Well, for one, the world lost its mind last week when some company decided that a potato toy didn’t need to have a gender.  The fallout was predictable.  POTATOES and TOYS are BOYS OR GIRLS was the opinion, the rallying crime, the hill people are going to die on.  


Unless you know what I am talking about you are probably thinking that I have lost my mind.  Okay, here’s the story:
From Forbes.com:

Toymaking giant Hasbro engendered (ahem) controversy this week by announcing at its investor day that it was dropping the “Mr.” moniker from its Mr. Potato Head line of toys, and would be offering a gender-neutral version of the toy alongside the traditional Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.   

Basically this new potato head will come with a “boy” accessories AND “girl” accessories and children can play with a toy however they wish.


This made a lot of people upset.  Potatoes and toys must have a gender.  DOLLS are girls, TRUCKS are boys, VOLLEYBALLS are girls, HOCKEY PUCKS are boys. POTATOES are boys OR girls.


Which is really, silly.  I mean, I remember letting my Mr. Potato Head carry a purse when I was younger and look how I turned out and OMG maybe THEY are right.    


These days we are inundated with information and there are some sentences I never thought I would type such as “last week we learned that the world isn’t ready for a potato that is gender non-conforming”. This incredibly stupid reaction is a sign that if the world isn’t ready for a gender neutral plastic potato, than it is not likely the world will ever be ready for someone like me.  Someone who chooses their gender presentation however they please.  Someone who is both, someone who is neither a boy or a girl.


In a more sane world, no one would care about what wardrobe a toy had.  In a more enlightened world, no one would care what kind of a wardrobe I had.


Okay, but here’s the thing.  The headlines, the soundbites, the outrage…  I don’t think it’s as reflective of most people’s opinions as we might think it is.  LOUD doesn’t mean the majority.  Truthfully, I really, really don’t think most parents care about the gender identity of a potato toy.  But goodness, it makes for a eye-catching headline that entertains people for a couple hours before we move onto to the next news item.  


We as a community, whether you are bi-gender, a crossdresser, a drag queen, whoever you are, the front page of the newspaper will never say IT IS OKAY TO BE TRANSGENDER.  That day is not coming.  


BUT!  And this is my point, just as most of the world probably doesn’t care about gender and potato related issues, I really don’t think most people are concerned about someone else’s gender identity or presentation.  If I spend the day paying attention to every trans-related headline and news story, I would be convinced that the world hated us.  That the world was trying to stop us, to make us go away.  I mean, some of the world is working on this, but I don’t think the majority of people want this.  I don’t mean for this to be pessimistic, but I really don’t think the majority of people care.


And that’s a good thing!  I don’t care about what anyone else is wearing, I don’t care who sleeps with or the pronouns they use or what sports teams someone else likes.  NONE of that impacts me.  And I think most of the world is too wrapped up in their own lives to really care about anyone else’s.


Sometimes it feels like the world is a cold, dark place.  BUT! when I step out of the house en femme I realize that most people don’t care.  Most people are really nice.  Sure, there are some that are concerned about gender presentation when it comes to people AND potatoes, but those people aren’t as common as we might think they are.
So the WORLD might not be ready for us, but I think PEOPLE are.

Love, Hannah

Digital art by Marci Ansen

Related reading

It Will Never Be Okay

Shattering the Hourglass Figure

I work hard to stay in shape.  It gets harder as I get older and it’s not always easy to work out early in the mornings or pass up dessert, but these simple(?) things are really how I stay a size 12.  I mean, it SOUNDS simple but it’s so easy to tell myself that I’ll go to the gym tomorrow or one cookie can’t hurt.  


I also like to wear tight dresses that show off my figure and my legs.  Leather isn’t forgiving and I wear it often so my figure, for good or for bad, is on full display.  


I am asked about how I stay in shape, and really, diet and exercise.  That’s really it.  It sounds simple and it pretty much is, but the hard part is sticking to diet and exercise.  I don’t drink soda or alcohol and I am not a big candy girl, but I do looove bread and chocolate.  I see comments saying that I have a girlish/femme figure.  Although I don’t think a girl needs to have a certain kind of body and there’s no such thing as a femme/non-femme body, but I know what you mean.  And I am flattered.  I am trying to present a certain shape, whether or not it’s considered femme or not.  Comments like that tell me that what I’m doing is working.  


But I really don’t have a “femme” body (if we are think of a femme body as one with a defined waist and some curves).  I don’t take hormones and I never will.  I have a very “male” body and I am about as rectangular as it gets.  


Clothes can cover your body, minimize things, enhance others.  Designs, colors, all of that can create an illusion of a body shape.  For example, look at these two dresses.  The first has a bias line and gives the illusion of an hourglass figure.  The other is a peplum dress and that cute little flare around my middle gives the illusion of hips.  I don’t have a hourglass figure, I don’t have hips but goodness these dresses make it look like I do. 

 

Compare these next two photos.  Both are me, one is all dolled up, and the other is about as naked as I am going to get for you all.    The first is very shapely, the other is… well, very boxy.

The key differences lay in what the dress is covering.  My dress is covering up my VERY tightly cinched corset.  My stockings are covering up my thigh pads.  My gaff and breast forms complete my look.  In my lingerie photo I am not wearing my corset.  I took my thigh pads off.  Not sexy.  Not femme.  


Again, I am not suggesting that curves=femme.  Hips do not make a girl a girl.


I wanted to chat about this because I hope this encourages you.  Many times I see another girl like us and my heart just sinks because I can never be as cute as they are.  When I hear them talk about their dysphoria, or what they do to look like how they look, well, I feel a little better.  I mean, their dysphoria does not cheer me up, but it reminds me that we all have anxiety and insecurities about how we look.  If you look at my photos and are jealous or whatever of my femme figure, don’t be.  I don’t have one.  I have a corset and pads and forms.  My femme figure is in my closet.  If you want a femme figure, you can get one, it just might cost a lot of money.  Remember, crossdressing takes time, patience, and money.  

Love, Hannah

Speechless

Hi!

I try to post something at least every other day. When I let a day go by without updating this site I start to think about what to write about. A lot of times I wonder if I have run out of things to say. I mean, I can only ramble about labels and terminology and nuances about gender identity for so long.

Thankfully new experiences open up a lot of potential for things to write about. New things lead to new perspectives and I am so happy that we all often feel the same way about things.

I was sent some preview shots from my recent lingerie shoot last night. I was speechless, to be honest. And to clarify, I wasn’t OMG I AM SO BEAUTIFUL THAT WORDS CAN’T DESCRIBE HOW I LOOK. No. I was speechless because, well, I didn’t hate them.

I wanted to share a couple of my favorites ahead of a proper post.

Love, Hannah

Inevitable

Have you ever felt like something was both inevitable and not going to happen in a million years?

Have you ever done something that felt the complete opposite than you expected?

That was this past Saturday in a nutshell.


A few weeks ago The Breast Form Store sent over a few items for me to sample and review.  Some new forms (more on those later but OMG), a new gaff, and some lingerie.  Usually when I am sent clothes to review I will have professional photos taken by my friend Shannonlee.  When I have done reviews for gaffs, lingerie, or a corset I have used product pictures from the designer’s website to illustrate my review.  But this time…  I couldn’t stop thinking about if I wanted to do a lingerie shoot for the review.  I am not sure what changed my mind from something I didn’t think, or want to happen in a million years to something I sorta kinda maybe wanted to do, but honestly I think it’s the past year that has really shaped my perspective on life.  


A funny thing happened around my last birthday.  I noticed I started to think about, well, the end of my life.  Not to sound dramatic and I know I have a lot of time left (fingers crossed), but I spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life.  Some of my thoughts were practical, such as making sure my wife and I were financially stable, some of it was more fun, like planning a vacation.  These thoughts, combined with how COVID has really impacted the world and has limited what we can and should do, I thought about life is short and things we want to do could stop being an option very suddenly.  Sure, I want to go on a trip and yes I want to go to the mall without a mask but it’s not smart to do either of these things right now.  A year and a half ago no one would have thought that life would be like this.  But it is, and could be for a long time.


The idea of a lingerie shoot terrified me and at the same time the fear wasn’t stopping me from thinking about it.  I talked to my wife about what I was thinking and we had a good conversation about everything from what I was feeling about life and time running out and fears of someone we know stumbling across the pictures (because let’s face it, if I am going to do it I am likely posting the photos) to what I wanted, and didn’t want if I did the shoot.  After our talk, I felt lighter.  I didn’t realize how crushing my feelings of life running out were impacting me.  Honestly?  I realized I was scared of getting old, getting sick, not being able to do things I wanted to do, whether it was a boudoir shoot or going for a run.  I know the day will come when I shouldn’t be driving (and yes I know that day is decades away) or or doing things that I take for granted.  I don’t want to regret things I could have done.  Things that I want to do but kept putting off, whether it was a lingerie shoot or visiting Italy.


So I did it.  


The shoot, not the trip.  At least not yet.


The shoot happened almost 48 hours from me writing this and I am still processing it.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was surprised at how…  nervous and awkward I felt.  I’ve done a lot of shoots over the last five years.  Some for fun, some for reviews, some for En Femme.  I’ve worn everything from wrap dresses to PVC skirts to pants so I am accustomed to being photographed in a lot of different outfits.  But stockings and bras?  Good god.  Lingerie is something one wears for themselves, for intimate moments, for sleeping.  Lingerie is personal, private, and a secret.  Wearing lingerie when someone other than my wife is in the room is a… well, I felt as uncomfortable and as awkward as you can imagine.  I felt silly.  Although I wasn’t expecting it to be…  I don’t know, erotic, I didn’t expect it to be a big deal considering my previous shoots and outfits.  I felt exposed and nervous.  Not exactly strutting out of a comfort zone.


As the shoot progressed I felt a little less nervous and self-conscious.  Shannonlee always helps me come out of my shell a bit and she was as professional as it gets.  She is also my friend.  I can’t imagine letting anyone else photograph me for a shoot like this.


I’ll (probably) post the finished shots, but I wanted to share some pictures from that day.  These were taken with an iPhone (please excuse the quality) and haven’t been touched up with lighting and whatever magic Shannonlee does.  They are also in black and white because, well, black and white is… forgiving.  Let’s leave it at that.


As I write this I can honestly say I am glad I did this, even with all the nervousness and anxiety the day brought.  I can’t say I will ever do this again, but I think this is one less thing I will have on my list of regrets when things like this aren’t an option anymore.


Be gentle.


Related reading

Strutting Out of a Comfort Zone

All We Have is Who We Are

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I have been a Transvestite all my life and dress as a woman on a regular basis with full make up breast forms and an ever expanding wardrobe. I have now reached the stage where I am more content dressed as a woman and it feels more natural for me to be this way. I am beginning to wonder if I am becoming Transsexual and how fine is the dividing line between TV and TS?

The risk of asking for someone’s opinion is, well, getting their opinion.  Sometimes another opinion isn’t the same as our own and it can sting a little.  Having said that, it is my opinion that terms like ‘transvestite’ and ‘transsexual’ are a little outdated.  You may define these terms differently but the prevailing perspective is that ‘transvestite’ is another word from crossdresser.  Fun fact!  The word’s origins are German with the original word being ‘transvestit’ which has its roots in Latin.  ‘Trans’ is a Latin word for ‘across’ and ‘vestire’ means ‘clothes’. This website is very educational.  ‘Transsexual’ usually means someone who has made changes to their body (physically or legally or with hormones) and presents as a gender different than the one they were assigned to at birth.


The dividing line is different from everyone.  I admit I am not helpful with this question, unfortunately.  I don’t feel that transitioning/living full time is the right step for me.  I am happy in both of my genders and I don’t feel that choosing one over the other for the rest of my life is right for me.  I like options.  I think most of us feel calm and contentment when we are en femme.  Many of us feel more relaxed when we are dressed.  I feel that way too!  But I realized it’s because I do relaxing things when I am en femme.  When I am in boy mode I am go go go go and I work like a million hours a week.  When I am en femme I am spending the day at a museum, dinner with friends, seeing a play, or shopping.  These things are relaxing.  Hannah does not work, the boy does.  Hannah relaxes, the boy does not.  

So yes, I am calm and relaxed en femme, but it’s not necessarily because I am en femme.  It’s also because I am doing relaxing things en femme that I usually do not do in boy mode.  When I am en femme I feel natutral.  I feel the same way in boy mode.  This is expected, however.  I am content in both genders so of course I feem natural.  I am bi-gender after all.   


It sounds like you are wondering if perhaps transition is the right step for you.  I can’t answer that.  It might be!  I would recommend you meet with a therapist specializing in gender identity and speaking with your doctor.   

Love, Hannah

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

Strutting out of a Comfort Zone

The life of a crossdresser is all about going out of our comfort zone in an attempt to be happy.

Let’s face it, for many of us “girl clothes” make us happy.  We (and yes, I know I am generalizing and not speaking for all non-cis people) love panties, heels, skirts, dresses, nail polish, eyeliner…The first time we wear anything that isn’t purchased in the boy’s section of a department store is a thrilling, frightening, experience. 

The first time (and possibly the fiftieth time) is a terrifying event.  All of the normal thoughts and fears run through our head.  What if someone sees us?  What if the cashier laughs at us?  When I am shopping for MAN clothes in MAN mode, I never worry about seeing someone I know.  I don’t consider what the cashier might think for even a second.  But buying foundation or a skirt in male mode?  That’s a different story. 

Although I have been shopping in any department I wish to for decades, the same paranoia creeps into my heart and mind. Buying lingerie or makeup or heels is a step (or a strut) outside of our comfort zone.  We are shopping for beautiful clothes with a baffling set of measurements and sizes.  What on earth is my bra size?  34B?  What does that even mean?  What is the size conversion of boy shoes to high heels? Is my foundation color beige or sand? 

At one point this was a new world for us.  At one point we stepped out of our comfort zone to start a wardrobe that we wanted to, filled with beautiful clothes and heels and makeup that felt right, that made us happy.  Once we do this, it will lead to a life of continuously stepping out of our comfort zone.  Buying lingerie leads to wearing it, so there’s a new zone right there.  Lingerie may lead to heels, another zone.  We may go to a new zone with dresses, then makeup, a wig…  zone zone zone. 

As we make these steps what we think of as our comfort zone changes.  These days shopping is pretty routine, going out en femme was once waaaaaay out of my comfort zone at one point but again, it’s pretty normal to me.  


Going out of your comfort zone, for the most part, a good thing.  It expands your world, opens up new adventures, and enriches your life.  I mean, it’s as scary as it can be, but it’s usually worth it.  I can’t think of a time I regretted going out of my comfort zone, regardless of whether it is in regards to this part of my life, or in work, or in my boy life.  Even though I am happy and content, I still think about new adventures that are a step into a new comfort zone.  It could be flying pretty, it could be something else.


When we enter a new comfort zone, it can also be a humbling, almost traumatic experience.  And I don’t use that word lightly.  Although I talk about how the first and almost every time I have gone out en femme has been a positive or at the very least an uneventful outing, I know that it isn’t that way for all of us.  It breaks my heart to hear of a t-girl who worked up the courage for years to go out en femme only to be laughed at on their first time out.  It’s easy to understand why they went home and never went out again.  Wearing makeup for the first time (or the millionth) can also be humbling.  We spend so much time carefully selecting the right shade and watching tutorials and we imagine that we will be transformed into the girl of our dreams…  but the reflection tells us otherwise.  We hope the dress, the wig, the lingerie shows us a reflection of a cute girl, but sometimes the mirror (and our minds) are cruel and we see a man in a dress.  A humbling experience can push us right back into our old comfort zones, never to step outside of them again.


Sometimes.  We know, or soon learn, that this side of us isn’t going away.  The parts of our heart that want this don’t get quieter, they continue to sing.  Soon we are back pushing ourselves out of that comfort zone to try again.  


The humbling experiences don’t go away.  Last night I tried on a new outfit and…  well, I didn’t like how I looked.  But I kind of expected that.  Trying on a top and a mini skirt in male mode looks…  well, I look like a man in a top and a mini skirt.  Once I am shaved (everywhere), and have my pads, my corset, forms, and wig on, the mirror will (hopefully!) show a reflection I am happier with.


We know that when we go out of our comfort zones it will likely lead to a humbling experience.  That’s normal.  The first time you do anything you will probably fail.  Baseball players don’t hit home runs the first time they play baseball, the Beatles wrote a lot of songs before they wrote a good one.  My first time doing makeup was…  a disaster.  But I kept at it and took lessons, bought better products, watched tutorials and I am okay at makeup.  Same with walking in stilettos, wearing false eyelashes, seasoning a corset, and a zillion other things.


Why do we do this?  Why do we go out of our comfort zones when we know we will likely have a humbling experience when we do so?  Simply put, because we don’t have a choice.  Once we acknowledge and accept this part of us we begin the next step of our (ugh) journey of gender identity.  Every new part of this adventure will determine if where we are is where we’ll stay or if there’s another road ahead.  At one point I thought I was going to underdress for the rest of my life.  Then I moved into “real clothes”.  This was a new comfort zone.  Soon I realized that staying home en femme wasn’t where my journey ended.  I started going out en femme, started a social/support group, started modeling (modeling is a generous term here) and so on.  Everything was a new comfort zone.  Everything was a humbling experience.


Despite these humbling (and often crushing) experiences I still look to push boundaries, to test new levels of comfort to see if I want to go in that direction.  I feel I haven’t done anything new for a while.  I wouldn’t say I’m restless, no.  If this is where I stay for the rest of my life I will be happy and content and acknowledge how blessed and fortunate I am.  The pandemic has made me very reflective and has reminded me that life is short and the things I want to do, the things I take for granted, will someday not be an option.  I will someday be too old, or too, well, dead, to do what I want.  Life creeps slowly and cruelly towards our final days, but life can also change quickly.  I could slip on the ice today and crack my ankle and my days of strutting in five inch stilettos could be over.  


So, what do I want?  As I mentioned I want to fly pretty but that is not happening any time soon.  I have not worked up the courage to do that only to wear a stupid mask for the entire flight.  No, when I fly pretty I am going to fly drop-dead gorgeous and everyone can see my makeover.  At one point modeling and photoshoots were out of my comfort zones.  Sometimes they still are, such as if they are in a very public place.  It feels a little… weird to have my picture taken while some people curiously look on.  Sometimes an outfit is outside of my comfort zone.  I don’t want to go out of my comfort zone for the sake of going out of my comfort zone.  I want to do things that I want to do, and if I need to break out of that zone to do, so be it.


Today after this is posted I am going to start getting ready for a photoshoot.  This one is very much outside of anything I have done before and I am terrified and excited beyond belief..  I know this will be the most humbling experience in my life, but I am going to do it anyway.  I am nervous and proud of myself.


Wish me luck! And be gentle if I post photos!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Hi Hannah, First of all let me say that I love you and all your advice, it’s been very helpful to my wife & I. I recently went out en femme for the first time & with my wife, she was a little freaked out & worried someone we know might see us, but she was a trooper. My question is, does your wife go out with Hannah or do you go solo? I can go either way & respect that it’s hard for her, I loved being out en femme & can hardly wait to go out again

How wonderful she went out with you!  Her reaction and fears are pretty normal.  I mean, I have the same concerns when I go out en femme.  I am not toooooo worried about seeing someone I know as I tend to avoid many places that people in my boy life frequent, but Hannah looks very different than the boy does and I think that gives me a moment to leave the store (or wherever I am) before someone would grasp who I am.  
But our significant others don’t have that safety.  People may not recognize us at first glance, but people will recognize our partners.  


My adventures are solo unless I am out with the MN T-Girls.  This is not to say that my wife (or anyone’s partner) isn’t supportive because she doesn’t join me.  She shows her support in other ways. We chat about makeup and she buys me pink toothbrushes. My wife is amazing on a million levels and an ally to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community.  Were she to go out with Hannah there’s a better chance of her being recognized than myself.  And of course it wouldn’t take much for people to figure out who that really really really tall girl is that she is with.  


Most people in our lives are supportive of the transcommunity.  The risk is, of course, seeing someone we know that isn’t accepting and the potential fallout from that.  She also shares the same perspective as I do when it comes to coming out: it’s exhausting.  When I come out to others it takes countless conversations for someone else to come close to “getting it”.  This is one of the reasons I don’t come out to many people.  


Hannah’s life and all that comes with it isn’t, and wasn’t always easy for her.  I feel guilty for the added stress this side of me brings her.  I regret the times she was confused or angry or annoyed that this side of me brings or has brought.  It’s a lot for our partners to live with.  It’s a lot for us to ask of them.  I want to make Hannah’s life as stress free as it can be for her.  I try to be the best person I can be, I try to be worth all the stress Hannah creates and has created.


My wife knows that the invitation still stands for anytime she would like to hit the mall with Hannah.  That day may yet come and if it doesn’t, that’s okay.

Related reading

Be Worth It

Love, Hannah

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Different Sides of the Same Coin

As hard as it may be to believe, I have a very difficult time talking about myself. I am often embarrassed? Self conscience? about myself.  I am uncomfortable with praise and I struggle to receive compliments.  This could be anything from my boss telling me I did a good job with something or Hannah receiving an email about something I wrote or a photo I posted.


At least in real life.  If I get a nice email or a comment on social media I find it easier to respond to it, probably because I can take my time to process what I am reading and I can take as much time as I need to write and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite a reply.  I often agonize and over-analyze every word I write in a reply to make sure I come off exactly what I mean.  


But it’s not just compliments.  It’s everything.  I have had a website for a long time and I have written a lot about myself, my experiences, my opinions, thoughts, fears, and dreams.  I have bared my soul (not to sound tooooo dramatic) often.  It’s easy for me when I am writing something and then posting it for anyone in the world to read.  


I do feel… awkward when I write something and then someone mentions it when I see them in real life.  If Hannah sees her friends and one of them asks about something I posted on my website then I feel incredibly self-absorbed.  What I post online are not necessarily the same things I would talk about in real life, if that makes sense.  


I suppose I forget sometimes that I have a social media presence and people read what I write and sometimes mention to me what I posted when they see me in the real world.  I think my website makes my life look more glamorous than it really is.  I don’t think of myself as famous, or as a celebrity.  Not at all.  God knows I am easily humbled when I see my reflection or see how many more followers another t-girl has on Twitter.  Yes, photo shoots look glamorous but please know that when I do shoots outside there’s a really good chance I changed outfits, such as in the picture below, in a port-a-potty.  


I know! Shattering so many illusions!

Although I don’t think of myself as famous, I am aware that what I write is read by others.  Whether it’s two people or five hundred, I am just grateful that someone finds what I write about worth spending time reading or commenting on.  


Just as I have a hard time being a (again, this sounds very egotistical) public figure or a voice in the transcommunity (I do believe that ALL t-girls are a voice in our community) I find that in my boy life I have a hard time discussing Hannah and her life.  It’s one thing to talk about a new eyeliner with my wife, it’s another thing to talk to her about an upcoming photo shoot for En Femme or about a big box I receive in the mail of clothes to review.  In my boy life I find it… well, a little embarrassing to talk about Hannah’s life and the things she does or is asked to do.  The lives that both of my gender identities have could not be more different.  I write something on Facebook and I may get a couple of likes.  Hannah posts a picture on Twitter and gets a hundred.  No one cares about the boy’s opinion, but companies send Hannah makeup and shoes to review.


I think I would feel just as awkward if I had the same… ah, status in my male life as Hannah does.  The boy will never be famous, that much I know.  And I’m totally fine with that.  As I get older I am relieved by that, not that the boy does anything that would lead to any sort of notoriety.  If I were to write a book in my male life I would feel just…  weird talking about it.  If I were to be asked to sign someone’s copy or go to a book signing or whatever I would feel really awkward about it.  The boy being in any sort of spotlight is not a comfortable idea for me.  The boy is not, nor does he want to be famous.  Thank god he’s not.  It’s strange enough that Hannah has some level of “celebrity”.  


I started thinking about this last night when talking with my wife about a photo shoot I have scheduled for Saturday.  Sometimes in boy mode I have a hard time talking about Hannah.  On some levels my lives couldn’t feel more different.  I can’t imagine scheduling a photo shoot for the boy, but it’s pretty normal for Hannah.  Sometimes that drastic difference hits me and I feel very self aware and, in a way, kind of silly.  To clarify I don’t feel silly being en femme.  Not at all.  But my god, scheduling a photo shoot?  It’s about as vain as it gets.  Who do I think I am doing something like that?  It’s pure hubris, pure ego.  


In my boy life I never think about  whether I look attractive.  I don’t think about my boy clothes.  I might wonder if my tie goes with my shirt but really that’s about it.  Hannah thinks about cute all the time.  Do I look cute?  Do I feel cute?  Is this dress cute?  


I am often struck by the huge contract in my closet.  A few dress shirts and pants, some ties…  on the other I have everything from gowns to skirts to PVC dresses to… well, the list goes on.  But every once in awhile I think about how different my lives are.  What I do in either of my genders, what I think about, and of course what I wear.  There is very little overlap between Hannah and the boy.  I think this side of me would surprise almost everyone I know in my male life, but photo shoots, writing a book, modeling, running a trans support/social group, having a website…  that would be even more of a surprise.  I know my male life is pretty mundane and predictable to most people and that’s fine.  It’s true!  I like routine, I like planning my day, I am a creature of habit.  But Hannah’s life is anything but.  


Sometimes I’ll be in a meeting at work and I’ll be daydreaming about a dress I ordered.  Sometimes during a makeover I am thinking about an upcoming work project.  I think it’s normal for us to think about other aspects of our lives, but sometimes I wonder what my colleagues would say if they knew if I was wondering if the stockings I ordered would arrive in time for my next photo shoot.  Fortunately that is something I will never know.


I like having two genders, and I enjoy the lives both the boy and Hannah have.  My two genders, my two lives, are a wonderful break from the other.  When the boy life is stressful I can look forward to a makeover and a photoshoot or shopping…   On the opposite side of the same coin, I love ending a hectic but wonderful day en femme unwinding with a book.