The latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available on our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her life as a self-described T-girl. In her latest article, Hannah talks about gender identity vs sexual identity and debunks common misconceptions perpetuated by the media. Read it now>>
I am 52 and have been cross dressing since I was 11. I have been married for a while and have never come out to my wife, do you have any tips or advice on me telling her about my feminine side? I’m tired of sneaking around and would like to finally let her know. Thanks
I would really think twice about dropping such a bombshell on your wife during a pandemic. I know you’re tired of concealing this side of you and our partners are never prepared to have this conversation and there truly is never a good time to have this conversation, but we need to read the room, if you follow. We are all stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted and this conversation might be more than your wife can handle at the moment.
That being said, I have written a lot about coming out and everything that can come with it. This is not a conversation that you will have once or even fifty times. There’s going to be a shift in your relationship that will be forever be impacted by this.
There’s really no right way to have this conversation. Every relationship is different, every marriage is different. How I came out to my wife will be different than how you might do it.
Take some time and read what I have written about this over the years:
On this date in 2019 I was getting ready for a business trip. I woke up early on the first day of 2020 and I spent New Year’s Day in airports and a hotel. I thought about what the next twelve months would bring and there was the typical optimism and planning and dreaming about what lay ahead. I knew there would be frustrations and disappointments and unexpected events, but no one really could have predicted what this year was going to be like. There are so many things we do now, whether it is wearing a mask while we hope the store has some toilet paper left, video calls with our parents, and staying six feet apart if we have to run errands. Each of these things would have seemed bizarre 52 weeks ago but this is our reality now.
In some ways it shows how fragile our lives are, and how quickly and how much a life can change. It also shows how resilient we can be. It’s not easy but we are clinging and dreaming of a better day. The vaccine, new leadership, seeing family, resuming our precious little lives.
Optimism and the start of a new year go together like a cute panty and matching bra.
This morning I am thinking about dreams deferred and the hope of tomorrow. Chances to take, opportunities to seek out, and yes, outfits to wear. I never said I wasn’t shallow. 🙂
I bought a dress to wear for the MN T-Girls Halloween party. It looked like a fairy dress and I thought it would look cute with wings. As the party approached my enthusiasm for the event started to dwindle. Weather was getting colder, confirmed COVID cases began to rise, and it was time to face the inevitability of a worsening winter. The early days of the virus were scary and hard, but soon warmer weather gave us more options. We could be outside! We could see a friend (distanced socially, of course) at a park, we could leave our homes. But the colder weather meant these days were over for the moment. I didn’t put the effort or energy into my costume that I had planned but I still had a cute dress (and tiara) to wear for the party. The party was fun but for me there was a gloominess that hung over me. Many of the girls who came to last year’s party weren’t there because of COVID and I knew that I had to suspend future events for a while.
This dress looked cute online, and to my delight was even cuter in real life. I loved it, it’s fun to wear (especially with a petticoat to give it that extra floof), and it shows off my legs lol. It’s a beautiful party dress. Looking at this dress is a little bittersweet. This is not a time for parties, not when it’s not safe to gather. It’s not a time to celebrate when so many people have lost their lives, their family members, their jobs.
November’s MN T-Girls event was the annual photo shoot. I knew it was likely the last time I would see my friends for a while. I look forward to all of our events, especially the photo shoot but knowing I wouldn’t see the girls for a while made me sad. I picked my outfits for the day, and at the last minute I took this dress.
I thought about how it was a party dress, and I thought about fun it would be to wear for a New Year’s Eve party, a party that wouldn’t be happening this year. I suppose it was like wearing a gown for a prom I wouldn’t be going to. As Shannonlee clicked away with her camera, my smile, my posing, my thoughts all seemed to shift a little. T-Girls have a special relationship with clothes, they are a representation of our gender identity, they symbolize who we are. Like a t-shirt of a favorite band reminding us of a concert from a long time ago, a dress can bring up memories. I thought about this dress, I thought about the Halloween party and how it was tinged with sadness for that night. I thought about wearing it to parties that were not going to happen for a while. I closed my eyes as Shannonlee took photos and I let these feelings take over. I thought about the losses from the year, the uncertainty of tomorrow. I thought about my friends, I thought about the holiday party that wouldn’t happen, I thought about everything. I stopped posing and just stood there and remained very still until I came out a weird trance-like state.
Goodness this all sounds very supernatural and pretentious, doesn’t it?
I always look forward to getting my photos back and I was particularly curious as to how the photos of this dress would look. The pictures of this outfit started off fun, but as time passed I could see in the photos how my thoughts and emotions started to took over. I look at peace. I wasn’t.
I don’t want to start anything in the comments, but it’s obvious that I think that our current president is a complete disaster. But as I type this we will have a new president in a few weeks. I am not saying Biden is a savior or perfect or anything. He has his faults and again I don’t want to get inundated with messages or whatever. We have two vaccines. My job is starting to make plans for a return to normalcy. This year has been hell but we can see a new day ahead.
If this year taught me anything it’s that our lives can be upended quickly and in more ways than we can imagine. We needed to adapt and we did. We can change how we do things, whether it is how we work, how we support a local business, how we stay in touch with friends. Time and life is precious and we don’t need to adhere to the rules that we think we have. Yes, I miss not having a holiday party with friends this year, but why not throw a glamorous party in April? We don’t need a reason other than we are celebrating being alive, and surviving. Have a new costume party in June, wear a ballgown to Target.
I am excited to get vaccinated. I am excited to go out to dinner. I am excited to leave my mask at home. I am excited to hug my mom. I am excited rejoin my lives and have new adventures. New parties, new outfits, new celebrations, new opportunities.
–Whenever I wear hold ups they keep falling down do you know why ?
-I love nylons! I don’t wear thigh highs(they don’t stay up), I don’t wear pantyhose(too much fussing). I’m a stockings and garter belt girl who ALWAYS wears a midi length dress(no minis, and absolutely no maxis). Nylons complete/enhance your look. My question is, what is it with the GGs not wearing hosiery anymore? I do not get it.
I received these two emails a few days apart and since they are about the same subject I thought I’d chat about them both in one post.
If your thigh highs aren’t quite staying high enough it’s likely because of two reasons. Firstly, thigh highs are more effective when you have a shaved leg. The adhesive will simply stick to leg hair as opposed to skin so make sure your legs are smoooooth and sexy.
Secondly it could be because the stocking itself is of poor quality. A few months ago I was in a pinch and I had to settle for a pair of thigh highs from Walmart and I spent most of the evening pulling them up. The elastic became stretched and the adhesive just didn’t work.
So, what’s a girl to do? Of course, you could always wear pantyhose or tights. A garter belt is also a sexy option but sometimes we need to be practical instead of alluring (not that they are exclusive of one another). Many girls I know swear by Hold Up Body Adhesive. It’s a versatile roll-on body adhesive that is used to secure your forms, pads, and clothing. It can be used for wigs, straps, and stockings. You can find this at The Breast Form Store.
I love nylons, stockings, tights… and I agree that they complete and flatter someone’s look. I almost always wear nude stockings as they help with smoothing and balancing out my skin color.
As for why cis-women don’t wear hosiery we need to be careful to not generalize any girl in such a way.
I love love love wearing stockings but if I had to wear them every day… well the appeal would fade really quickly for me. It takes a lot of work to get dolled up and I don’t always have time to look how I look, especially if I “had” to do it more often. And stockings are expensive. I go through more nylons than you would think and a decent pair can cost up to $20. Getting a snag in them as I get dressed makes for a very expensive mistake.
Girls like us have a unique and special relationship with clothes. We tend to wear clothes because of how they make us feel as opposed to wearing them for a practical reason. A lot of people with breasts look forward to taking off their bra after a long day. Not because they don’t like wearing something cute, but because their bra is being worn for a practical reason whereas I’m wearing a bra because I think the bra itself is sexy and undressing is how I stay connected to my femme side.
When I first lived on my own I was thrilled at the idea of wearing beautiful lingerie to bed each night. Stockings, garter belt…. but after a while the appeal wore off. Not that I didn’t like lingerie, but it was just a lot of work if I had a long day. It was so much easier to slip on a nightgown or a cami and a pair of panties.
Once crossdressing feels like a chore (so to speak) it loses a lot of its appeal. I never wanted to wear lingerie (or anything) because I COULD. I wear what I want (for the most part) because I want to. I love being able to choose between leggings and a ball gown.
Being bi-gender is going back and forth between “I wish I could dress up every day” and “I’m glad I don’t have to do this every day”. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love being en femme. I love spending ten minutes on my foundation, choosing an outfit and everything that goes with it, but it’s a lot of work (and always worth it) but sometimes I’m lazy lol.
I worked with a girl many years ago who loved men with facial hair. She wondered why more men didn’t have more creative beads. She said if she was a guy she’d do something different with her facial hair whenever she could. When I heard her say this I thought of how annoying it is to shave and how I hate that I have facial hair. But it’s an example of how we can often think that something someone “can” do is amazing when in reality it isn’t as fun as we think it is.
I think many people expect women to have long hair, have their nails done, wear dresses…. and yes, when I am en femme this is how I dress. But I dress this because I WANT to dress this way. I would feel differently if I wore something because it was expected of me. Do I like wearing a tie to work? No. Do I wear one because “men are supposed to”? Yes. And that sucks.
I’ve been crossdressing for most of my life and am happily in the closet, but now I’m adventuring into the cyber world as Alicia. I decided about 5 months ago that I wanted to experience far more the experience of trying to dress and behave as a woman. it’s been a strong fantasy for me over the years. I have invested in some beautiful clothes, shoes and wigs so that I can dress and pass time in my home ~ I live by myself.
I’m thinking about taking some hormones in order to increase my hips and booty. Just a little so that I can rely less on padding in order to get the curves I desire. I found one cream that says it will increase booty and hip mass, but warned that the results were irreversible. To me such a cream sounds a bit like some kind of snake oil!! What do you think? Have you heard of such ‘miracle’ products?
I don’t mean to burst your bubble (or booty) but I think all of that stuff is a scam and potentially dangerous.
I wouldn’t take or use anything without the consultation of a doctor.
You do bring up a few points worth considering. For starters, anything we do for “her” will also impact our male lives. Whether taking hormones or shaving your legs, it will change “his” body as well. Keep that in mind. Very, very, very few people comment on my shaved legs and arms and my femme eyebrows but it does happen. I understand not wanting to rely on padding, but you may change your mind if you invest in a pair of quality thigh/hip pads and forms.
You mention that you wanted to start experiencing new things about five months ago. I want to be gentle here but you may be lost in the fog. It’s easy to do and it’s pretty common as you start a new part of our journey. You may be moving too fast and you may start making decisions without thinking things through. I understand the enthusiasm (believe me) but you might want to slow down.
Also, you may want to reflect on what all of this means to you. You said this is a fantasy. We all have fantasies about this side of us, I mean I want to be a princess lol, but is this a fantasy or your gender identity?
One more thought, there is no such thing as “behaving as a woman”. Women, cis or trans, do not need to behave, speak, dress, or… anything in any specific way. Once you realize this your life will be soooo much better because you will realize that there’s no such thing as passing. And I don’t think you mean it this way, but we can’t have expectations or standards as to how a woman behaves. Women can do and wear and say whatever they want and men need to know that.
WOW! I really sound bitchy and judgy here. I don’t mean to dull your sparkle at all. We all need to think things through and take responsibility for our gender identity.
It’s Christmas morning and the house is quiet. The coffee is hot and holiday music is playing from another room. The tree is lit and the leftover paper is scattered around the room from the presents my wife and I exchanged last night. A cat is purring on my lap and getting hair all over my black leggings.
It’s impossible to not be reflective right now. Normally I’d be finishing up my coffee and heading to the gym before I start working for the day. But today those things aren’t happening. Instead I am thinking about holidays past and I how I really haven’t changed. Growing up with sisters had a huge impact on my gender identity. Watching them wear pretty dresses when they were younger and later getting into makeup and different styles really drove home how badly I wanted to be a part of that world. Holidays were especially significant as they really glammed it up. My sisters would wear sparkly dresses, fix their hair just right, and I would just…. wish with all my might to be able to do that someday. Over the past few years I have been able to do that, whether it was a holiday party with the MN T-Girls or having a quiet Christmas Eve with my wife. The holiday wish I had when I was ten became a reality. It just took a few decades.
I don’t need to talk about how different everything is this year. Normally I’d be posting photos from the annual holiday party the T-Girls would throw every December but we didn’t have one this year. Although my home is quiet and cozy and peaceful right now, I would love to be getting dolled up for a holiday party.
As I thought about all this I couldn’t help but realize that what I want today is the same as what I wanted when I was younger. I do not believe that this side of us is something that will ever change, it will never go away. This is not a phase.
And thank God for that.
Who I am brings me so much joy. There’s really nothing like a new outfit, the click of heels on a sidewalk, the rush of wind through my long hair. The happiness an amazing makeover brings. It is a feeling that no one besides us knows. I mean, my wife knows how amazing a new haircut makes her feel, but for a girl like us who lives part of their lives as a boy we know how it feels to go from jeans and work boots and facial hair to a world of skirts, stilettos, and beauty.
I think of the people I know because of my femme side. The opportunities and experiences my femme life brings. I think of Hannah’s friends.
This side of me makes me so happy. It’s so fulfilling. It’s so rewarding.
Not all of us have the same lives. I know I am blessed. I know that others don’t have a supportive wife. But please be aware I know how fortunate I am and I don’t take anything I have for granted. And please know that so many of you have so many things I will never have. I would love for my mom to know Hannah. I would love for my sisters to go shopping with their sister.
But this is not about what I don’t have. It’s about what we all have. We all have HER inside of us. This side of us might be panties under our boy clothes, clear nail polish, living part-time, or in the process of transitioning. We are all on different journeys and at different points on them. We are on these paths because, well, we NEED to be. We need to acknowledge, accept, and embrace this side of us.
And thank God for that.
Being who we are is not easy. We lose friends, we agonize, we overthink, we cry, we want to give up, we might even pray that this side of us goes away. But it won’t. I’m glad this was never a phase. I’m glad I stopped pretending I would grow out of this side of myself. Like the first steps in heels, we have all stumbled with who we are.
I am proud of everyone reading this. Whether you are underdressing or glamming it up for a virtual holiday party, or just starting to come to terms with who you are, you have acknowledged that this part of you is something you need. It’s something that brings you joy. Gifts are a part of the holiday season for many of us. Your gender identity is something only you can give yourself. And I hope you do.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone about coming out to a close personal friend that has only ever known you in male mode? Does dealing with the current world situation mean that maybe now is not the time to even consider this?
This pandemic is impacting EVERYTHING and it is certainly impacting how we process information. I have days where I just want to get through and I don’t want any new information. This is not the time to have a giant conversation about something that will forever change EVERYTHING between you and the person you come out to.
As for advice… well, we are all different and have different relationships with the people in our lives. It’s impossible to come out to different people in the same way, at least in my experience. How you come out is likely going to be influenced by who you come out. When I came out to my gay brother I came out in a different way than I did to my now wife. There’s a few things I would consider before I came out to anyone.
-Have they ever said any disparaging or offensive things about someone who is LGBTQ+? If they make gay jokes or use slurs I probably would think twice (and thrice) before coming out -Are they trustworthy? If you are considering coming out to one person it’s probably because you are trying to control who knows and that’s fair. I do the same thing. If this is a person who tends to gossip or has told you anything that they shouldn’t have then they may do the same thing with what you tell them.
-Why are you telling them? I’ve come out to different people for different reasons. I came out to my girlfriends because they needed to know everything about the person they were in a long term relationship with. I came out to my roommate because there was a chance she would see my bra strap under my boy clothes (plus at that point in my life I was exhausted emotionally and was tired of keeping secrets). I came out to my sisters because I wanted Hannah to have sisters.
-How do you identify? Do you just like to underdress or do you plan to transition? Think about where you are on your (ugh) journey and be ready to explain and answer questions -Is it fair to come out to them? If you come out to them and want them to keep this information private is it fair to ask them to keep this a secret? What I mean is that if I were to come out to my best male friend, is it fair to ask him to keep it a secret to his wife? In many ways coming out is asking someone to share this secret as well and for me I do not like keeping secrets from my wife.
Again, there’s no right way to come out to someone. Just be kind and patient.
This year a million plans went out the window and for the most part I remained optimistic. It wasn’t easy. I still made plans and I knew there was always a likely chance they would be canceled or postponed.
I like looking forward to things and events and like every year I was excited about the MN T-Girls Holiday Party. As soon as the weather starts to turn colder I start looking for my dress. Most of the time it’s sparkly.