Ask Hannah!

I have been married since 1988 and am 69 years old. I have been trans since I first started paying with makeup and clothes around the age of 5. When I met my wife, I suppressed all of my desires and my inner-self for fear of rejection and loss of the love of my life. For 32 years I’ve suffered migraines and back pain due to the suppression. During the quarantine, I couldn’t take it anymore and came out to my wife. Surprisingly, the migraines and back pain went away immediately. Much more to my surprise is my wife’s complete acceptance. She helps me pick out makeup, earrings for my newly pierced ears, dresses, blouses, and heels and hose. She even has me going to a salon every 2 weeks for a pedicure and a manicure complete with Gel-X coffin nails. She gave me my t-girl name “Marli”. She totally accepts me as a woman except for those few times I need to be a man, such as with yard work and household repairs. In your experience and travels is this kind of total acceptance usual? It’s more than welcome, but also kind of scary. She says she just wants me to be totally happy.

The stress of withholding this side of us can cause an unhealthy amount of stress and tension.  Not being honest with our significant others can create tension and distance as well as guilt.  When my wife and I were dating I had a lot of guilt about who I am and I felt I was being dishonest.  Our partners need to know who we are, especially when this is who we are.
So, in a way, I am not surprised your pain went away.  I can imagine you were carrying that stress and tension for decades.  


And congratulations on being honest with yourself and for being honest with her.  I am very happy that your wife has accepted, and from what it sounds like, has embraced this side of you.  It doesn’t matter if she understands this part of us (because honestly, I don’t understand this part of myself) but it sounds like she knows how important your gender identity is.
Is the usual?  What relationship is?  The dynamics between two people in a committed relationship can be very different from couple to couple.  There is always a secret side of a relationship between people that most of the world doesn’t see.  I can imagine the surprise my friends would have if they knew about Hannah and the conversations my wife and I have about eyeliner and foundation and fashion. 

Don’t worry about how common your relationship is compared to others.  It sounds wonderful.  


But something to keep in mind that you revealed something very big and significant about yourself.  You have introduced a new dynamic into your lives and it can be easy to overwhelm your wife.  It is possible she may have conflicting feelings from time to time.  She may feel that Marli is around too much and that she misses her husband.  Listen to her.  Especially about this.  If she would like Marli to take some time off, it doesn’t mean that she is less supportive or she doesn’t love you (or her).  This is a new thing for you and for her.


Love, Hannah

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

Blue Monday

This was one of those dresses that caught my eye and I wasn’t really sure why I liked it. I don’t have a lot of blue dresses so I thought it would be fun to add to my wardrobe and for my August photo shoot.

I don’t know why I was so drawn to it but I’m glad I bought it because I love it. I love how it looks and it feels very flattering, especially with my Jolie Thigh Pads.

And it has pockets.

Love, Hannah

Tuning it Out

We are not who we are because we choose to be.

We are who we are. I have said many times that this is not a phase, this is not something we will grow out of.

We can decide to listen to our hearts and accept who we are, however. This is the choice we make.

We choose who to listen to, we choose who we respond to, we choose what we pay attention to.

When a girl like us decides to do anything in public, whether it is shopping for lingerie in boy mode or going out en femme, we make even more choices. Not only are we choosing which heels to buy or what mall to go to, we are choosing what we pay attention to around us.

Of course, a girl like us needs to pay attention to EVERYTHING around us. Is there anyone in the store that we know? Is there someone looking at us in a creepy way? Where is the nearest exit, if it comes to that?

Although most people don’t care a girl like us is shopping for a cute dress or spending an afternoon at a museum, we will nevertheless likely turn some heads. I know I do. Not because I think I am sooooo petty or anything, but let’s face it, I am super tall and the heels, the makeover, the cute dress is certainly not helping me blend in.

People give me a quick double-take because I am trans. I know that. It comes with the territory. 99% of the time it’s a more cursory look and I have had very few negative experiences living while trans. When I went out en femme for the first time I was super paranoid and super on edge with every step I took and with every person I passed by. I wondered what they were thinking, how I appeared to them, and a million other things.

Over time I realized I will never know what they are thinking. It could be a zillion things from them wondering what to make for dinner or admiring my dress or literally anything else. And even if I knew what they were thinking did it really matter? I can’t let someone’s thoughts or feelings stop me from living my life.

So, I chose to stop paying attention to other people. I mean, I notice everything and I am aware of who is around me, but that is for safety reasons. I don’t know what you’re thinking, and I don’t care.

I am very public, not only online but in the real world. I go where I want. I get asked a lot where to go when en femme and I really don’t know what to say. I go where I wish, I go to the same places en femme that I do when I am a boy. Modeling has required me to be even more public. Not because I am famous or anything, but a photo shoot requires me to be in public spaces, whether downtown or in a mall or someplace else.

A t-girl is going to draw some attention. Someone doing a photo shoot will do the same. A photographer shooting pictures of a girl like us at the mall will get more than a few lingering glances.

I did a shoot a few weeks ago at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It’s a very popular place to visit, especially on a summery Saturday. Basically, it was filled with people. The type of place ten years ago I would have been too paralyzed with fear to leave my car. But look at me now. Shannonlee wandered around the art taking pictures and mingling among the other visitors. And there a lot of visitors.

And I tuned every one of them out. Of course, we had to be aware and considerate of other people looking at the art while we taking photos, but if anyone looked at me in a less than friendly or curious way, I didn’t see it. That was my choice, and I as happier for it.

Is the world becoming more tolerant of girls like us? Probably not. Sorry. Am I getting better at living my life and not concerning myself with what other people might be thinking? Yes.

This attitude, this thinking, this enlightenment takes time and experience. I hope you all can live the life you wish. I hope you all can spend at least one afternoon en femme. I hope you all stay safe. I hope the world gets to a point where a girl like us only turns heads because of a cute outfit we’re wearing.

Love, Hannah

I am Not

I think identifying as anything beyond cisgender will probably create a very complicated life.

Perhaps complicated isn’t the most accurate word, but multi-faceted is the more accurate term. For example, yes, I am transgender, but being trans isn’t the same level of trans-ness as say, Laverne Cox. Some of us feel that hormones, surgery, and legal changes are what feels right. For others, underdressing is all we want.

Identifying as transgender means different things to different people and we are all valid.

On one hand it’s wonderful that there is a term that we can identify as (if you want to identify as anything). On the other hand, this can also complicate things. When I look at my followers on Twitter, I see people who are, from what I can tell, completely cisgender. I see girls like me, I see drag queens, I see activists, I see those who have transitioned, I see fetishists, I see those who are very much in the closet, and many others.

My website allows me to see the terms that people google to find me. In the last 24 hours my website has been discovered using a wide variety of terms such as:

-crossdressing mtf how to tell your family

-how to get into crossdressing

-feminized husband

-male to female makeover services

I write a lot about coming out and things to keep in mind when if and when we have these conversations. I write about marriage, though not about being a feminized husband (that crosses into the fetish category, though I am not kink-shaming anyone). I write about different resources, including makeover services.

Although these terms are not necessarily what I write about (and there are some very specific fetishy ones that I did not include here), it’s not too surprising to see them. Those like us will look for help and support. Those like us look for makeup artists who know how to color-correct and contour a face like ours. I have seen the search term for “trans girls with purse fetish”, so um, here you go:

We all are who we are or what we wear for different reasons. It could be because wearing a dress just aligns better with our gender identity. It could be because wearing a nightie is just more comfortable when we sleep. Same with panties or leggings. We might wear what we wear because we like the fact that they are “girl clothes”. We might wear what we wear because, well, we get a sexual thrill from it.

You do you, girl.

Coming out or identifying as trans often puts a lot of caveats on our gender identity. It’s important to be understood, but this part of us is hard to explain,and it’s hard for someone else to understand. It’s even hard for us to understand it.

Perhaps it is easier to explain what we are not. I am not a sissy, I am not a drag queen, I am not a fetish. Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course. I was not assigned the wrong gender at birth, I am not a woman trapped in a man’s body. I am not unhappy in my male life.

Of course, we are under no obligation to be understood but the world, our families, almost require us to explain who we are and who we’re not. These conversations will likely happen. The are often intrusive, they will often cross boundaries of what is polite and can often be too nosy or personal. But they will probably happen and we should be prepared for them.

Who are you?
Who are you not?

Love, Hannah

Butterflies

The monarch butterfly can be found around milkweed plants, if you wanted to find one.

As beautiful as we are, girls like us are not like butterflies.

What I mean is that there is not a specific place to find us. One of the most common questions I am asked is where does someone go to meet a crossdresser or a t-girl? If I am asked this question by a chaser, I ignore them. We are not your goddamn fetish. If this question is asked by a girl like me, then it’s a little different.

It’s so important to have support and to know others like us. It’s pretty normal to feel alone and to think that there is no one on the planet that is like us, but that is simply not the case.

But where do you find others like us? If you are looking for support, I encourage you to find a local chapter of PFLAG. Crossdresser Heaven also has a pretty impressive list of resources. An LGBTQI+ nightclub or bar is also a pretty typical place to meet a girl like us.

But if the bar scene isn’t for you (and it’s not my scene), then what are your options? To be honest, it’s not like we all hang out at designated places. There are places I go to but I don’t necessarily shop there because of my gender identity. I go to Starbucks and Target because I need coffee and I need… Target stuff, but I don’t go to these places because I expect to see other t-girls. I go to museums and book stores, but to be honest, I rarely see other girls like me.

And even if I did, I would never approach someone that I thought was trans. You probably shouldn’t either.

If you are looking to make friends, then the internet is going to be your best bet. Transgender Heaven and Crossdressers.com are two of the best and most active forums out there.

Girls like us are everywhere… but we are probably in boy mode. When I go grocery shopping it’s not likely the cashier knows about my gender identity, just like I don’t know theirs.

Be safe.

Love, Hannah

August Photo Shoot Preview!

This past weekend Shannonlee did a photo shoot in the beautiful Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis. I have always wanted to do a shoot there and thankfully the weather cooperated, but not much else did 🙂

Shannonlee’s camera was being silly so most of the pictures we took were on an iPhone. My allergies decided to kick in and my eyes watered and smudged my makeup. The sun shone right into my eyes and the squinting spoiled a few shots.

But despite all these small things, it was a wonderful day. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and I need some perspective that my life is really a blessing. I was thankful for the reminder that I am fortunate in many ways, in both of my genders, and I should be more grateful.

I’d like to share a few pictures from that day before Shannonlee works her magic and adjusts things like lighting and cropping. I can’t wait to see the final pictures.

Love, Hannah

Saturday in the Garden

Yesterday was a gorgeous, hot summer day. Not the best type of day to wear pads, forms, stockings, a wig, a gaff, and foundation, but this girl is happy to make some sacrifices to look cute. And I’m glad I wasn’t the only one since yesterday was the monthly MN T-Girl outing.

In these days of social distancing, our recent events have been primarily outside where we can…uh, distance ourselves socially. Thankfully it’s been a little easier to meet as a group since the weather has been cooperating.

Our monthly event for August was a visit to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The Sculpture Garden is one of the most iconic places in the state and it was a beautiful way to spend a summer afternoon.

There were a total of ten of us and we wandered around the garden, looked at some amazing art, had some girl talk, took some great selfies, and just enjoyed being together.

Love, Hannah

The Unbearable Lightness of Being a T-Girl

So…. I know this is all going to sound shallow. I know this. I own this.

I also want to stress that I am not fishing for compliments or reassurance. This is not some veiled post about wanting to be told I am cute or anything.

I try to be content. I try to stay in that perfect and balanced spot of confidence, self-love, and humbleness. But some days I swing madly to the extremes. There are days where I feel so confident that I think I could… oh, I don’t know, expand my modeling or actually find a publisher for my book or any number of ambitious dreams.

There are days when I feel so… hopeless that I want to hide under a rock and stop trying.

It’s not dysphoria. It’s something a little different, something a little more soul-crushing.

Before I go further I want to mention that it is unhealthy and not wise to compare ourselves to anyone else. Especially if you’re a girl like me.

But sometimes I just can’t help it.

I look at my wife and I wish I could be as cute as she is. But I can usually get past this and I remind myself that I am, from a binary level and a chromosome level, that I am considered genetically male. Evolution has given me the body I have.

And I am thankful for it. I am strong and healthy. I am grateful for what I can do and what I have. I am also happy being bi-gender. I like presenting as male. I like my male life. I have no desire or need to live full-time as either gender. Why pick one?

Yesterday through the rabbit-hole that social media can often be, I came across a girl like me. And my god, she was absolutely gorgeous. She was so… perfect in her presentation, makeup, and… everything that it almost hurt. My jealousy was at a level I haven’t felt since the first time I saw (and every time I see) Heidi Phox.

And yes, the girl I am referring is very much a girl like me. As far as I can tell she isn’t on hormones or had any work done.

She was so flawless that I couldn’t stop scrolling through her videos and photos. She was so flawless that I wanted to bury my phone and makeup and never go online ever again.

I don’t know know why this girl affected me in the way she did. Maybe the pandemic, the stress of the election, the aftermath of a particularly hectic summer at work was adding up. I see cute t-girls all the time, but yesterday was rough.

I feel a little better today, but not much. After I finish posting this I am going to start getting ready. I have a makeover in a few hours and then meeting Shannonlee for some photos and then I have the monthly MN T-Girls outing.

A day en femme is usually the cure for anytime I feel kinda blah. But I am not sure how today will go, truthfully. After my makeover I will either look at my reflection and feel amazing and tell myself that I was overreacting and being silly, or my reflection will tell me to go home, wash off my lipstick and go back to bed.

I know this sounds extreme (and again, shallow) but it’s been that kind of week.

Stay tuned. 🙂

Love, Hannah

Genderless Beauty

The mission of Jecca Blac is a cause I wish all designers and companies had. From their website:

Jecca Blac’s mission is to be a brand that represents all beauty lovers: all expressions, genders, sexualities, abilities, pronouns, shapes and sizes. As well as providing beautiful makeup products we also help bring our beautiful community together.

Jecca Blac is a gender free makeup brand that celebrates all makeup wearers. We believe you should use beauty to express yourself and celebrate your uniqueness.

Jecca Blac was founded by Jessica Blackler who has a professional background doing makeup for television and film. She went on to teaching girls like us how to do makeup.

Jecca Blac sells cosmetics, such as beard cover and color correction, but also provides tutorials including videos about covering up beard shadow.

I am always happy to promote businesses that sincerely provide services and products to girls like us. Inclusion is so important. Every face is different and my makeup needs are different than my wife’s, so its wonderful to find products for me and others like us.

Love, Hannah

Patterns

When I was growing up, I was fascinated and intrigued by the vast options of girl clothes. It was all so exciting compared to the clothes that were in my closet and dresser. It seemed like there was an endless variety of shoes. Girls could wear Mary Janes, saddle shoes, pumps, heels, ballet flats, wedges, and of course, stilettos. Girls could wear thongs, tangas, boyshorts, bikinis… the list goes ever on.

I was stuck with such boring clothes. Many of us wonder why we are who we are, and although this isn’t a question that can really be answered I suspect this has a lot to do with who I am.

Patterns were another fascination to me. I had striped shirts… and that was about it. I always loved hounds tooth, polka dots, and gingham patterns. They have always seemed to feminine to me. For my last photo shoot I wore a super cute red gingham pattern dress that I absolutely love and I hope you like it too!

Love, Hannah