Ask Hannah!

Your skin always looks fabulous. What’s your routine, specifically, what’s your nighttime routine? Do you use a serum? Eye cream, retinol? I’m trying to establish a night skin care routine to help keep my (rapidly aging) skin nice as I can, and would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

Thank you! Please keep in mind that my photos are taken by a professional photographer and touch-ups are almost always used.

Having said that, my routine is pretty minimal. I wash my face thoroughly each morning and before I go to bed. I use a exfoliating scrub (St. Ives) and that is really about it. I have a pretty healthy diet and get a lot of exercise, time outside, and I drink a lot of water. I avoid candy and fast food and these are all contributing factors to a healthy diet, weight, and skin.

Oh! Makeup itself is a godsend. Concealer and contouring can really help reduce eye puffiness and dark circles, too.

Love, Hannah

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

Trans Day of Visibility

Happy Trans Day of Visibility!


This is a, well, I don’t want to say complicated day for those who are bi-gender and who identify as crossdressers, but it’s a reminder of how inclusive the term ‘transgender’ is.  I think when most cis people think of the term they think of people like Elliot Page and Laverne Cox, two outstanding advocates of our community.  They are as visible as it gets.  Thank god for them.


Being as visible as they are can lead people to thinking that transgender means hormones, estrogen, legal name changes, surgery, and transitioning.  And there’s nothing wrong with those things.  God knows if I had the money I would have laser hair removal EVERYWHERE.  But being trans doesn’t mean taking those steps.    


This is my definition of the term, but being trans is any sort of behavior, thinking, and, uh, wardrobe that contrasts with what “society” associates with the gender you were assigned at birth.  Also!  Anything outside the gender binary.


Visibility of the transcommunity is important.  Visibility of ALL the transcommunity is important.  When I am en femme and at the mall, I am VISIBLE as a member of the transcommunity.  When I am in boy mode at work I am still a member of the transcommunity, just not visible.  But that’s the bi-gender life, isn’t it?  Some know, some see, others don’t have a clue.


This is a day that reminds us that representation is so important.  The world may not know there are those who happily bounce back and forth between gender identity and gender presentation, but I exist.  You exist.  


This is a day for all who live, even if only for a little bit, outside the expectations of what a boy “should” wear, do, feel, think.  


Love, Hannah

Because I am Not Busy Enough

The most read articles on my website have to do with shopping, to some degree. It could be anything from finding one’s measurements, to how to try on clothes, how to determine your bra size, or simply feeling comfortable and welcomed when it comes to being in a store.

My emails reflect this activity as well. Much of the questions I get are everything from practical (such as the conversion ratio of man shoes to stilettos) to more emotional (like working up the courage to ask the makeup artist about what foundation shade is right for you).

From wigs to nails to makeup to heels to lingerie to skirts to jewelry, shopping for a girl like us can be intimidating, overwhelming, and expensive.

I am considering a new project, in a way. But I need your help.

For those of us who are not ready to hit the mall quite yet, and even for those who do, what kind of store or shopping is the top of your wish list? Is it your dream to get a bra fitting? Or getting help shopping for makeup?

Please let me know in the comments, thank you!

Love, Hannah

What’s Next?

I am getting my second COVID vaccination shot this week.

And my God, I can’t wait.


It feels like the end of a very traumatic moment.  A very long moment.  And I know that me getting the vaccine doesn’t really change the world.  There are still countless people that are still waiting their turn.  I also hesitate to use the word ‘traumatic’.  Considering that there have over two and a half million COVID related deaths in the United States alone, and people have lost loved ones, their jobs, their savings, or their businesses, I have been very, very fortunate compared to others.


As we as a world start to turn the page on the last year or so, it’s not unusual to assess our lives and look back, and look forward.  I know I have changed because of the last twelve months.  I know I will not live forever and I know that life can change in an instant but if learned anything recently is that something from out of nowhere can impact our lives and our worlds in ways we can’t really fathom.  When I first heard of COVID, before there were cases reported outside of Asia, I assumed someone in the United Stares would likely contract it but I never imagined that impact it would have on schools, restaurants, shopping it would have.  


Not only I couldn’t predict how leaving the house would be affected, I also couldn’t predict how my outlook on my life would change.  


And I KNOW I am fortunate, I know it sounds dramatic (and potentially inappropriate) to think of my experience with COVID in this sense, but I imagine this is what one might feel when they have a second chance at life or recovering from what is a near-fatal disease.

  
We die a thousand deaths in our lives.  We go through a thousand moments where we feel life is going to change… but it doesn’t.  There have been times where I made a mistake at work and I thought for certain I was going to be fired and I lived in fear and died a thousand times before my boss let me off the hook and I kept my job with little or no consequences.  My “deaths” were fortunately for naught.


Over the past year I have had about a dozen COVID tests and I thanked God for every negative test.  I had myself tested out of precaution but also because I was afraid of a lingering cough or having a symptom.  While I waited for the test results I died a thousand deaths.  What if I did have COVID?  I started to think and plan for my real death, to be honest.  Conversations I would need to have with my wife, my friends, my family.  Conversations about money, legal issues, and other sensitive and difficult subjects.  I thought about what I would do if the test was positive, but I also thought about what I would do if the test was negative.  I believe this is the ‘bargaining’ part of grief.


When the tests came back as negative I always breathed a sigh of relief, and was thankful that my, ah, contingency plans would not have to be implemented.  As things with COVID continue to trend in the right direction (although it’s still rocky) I am starting to feel a mix of excitement that the end is in sight, but I am also introspective.  As in, what next?  


Between the negative tests and getting vaccinated, I truly feel I have dodged a bullet.  Multiple bullets.  Cannonballs.  In an overly dramatic way, I have been given a second chance, so to speak.  So, what do I do with my life now?  


About a year ago I started to think about what I would do “all we have is who we are”  , what I would wear when this was all over.  A year ago anything close to an end seemed impossible and so far away, yet here we (almost) are.  I decided that I wasn’t going to let the hang ups about my body stop me from wearing a dress if I wanted to.  And I did!  And then I wondered if I should do a lingerie shoot.  And I did!


But all shallowness aside, I made a promise to myself (there’s the bargaining part again) that I would do… MORE when this was over.  But what does MORE mean?  


I would love to know what the last twelve (or so) months have taught you.  What are you going to do?

Love, Hannah

Related reading

Speechless

All We Have is Who We Are

Impossible Things

The Allure of Lingerie

I buy my lingerie from a few different places online but the only lingerie boutique I frequent regularly (though not regularly enough) Is Allure. Allure has different locations throughout the country and are very accommodating to girls like us. In fact, I had a bra fitting there!

Allure hosts private shopping events and the MN T-Girls have had two wonderful nights shopping for lingerie.

I bought this set on my last visit and I knew I had to wear it for my lingerie shoot last month. I hope you like these pictures!

Love, Hannah

New En Femme Blog!

My new blog for En Femme is live!

The latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available in our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her life as a self-described T-girl. 

Hannah’s newest article is the second part in a series about starting out crossdressing and exploring gender, identity and labels: “Crossdressing 101.” In this installment, Hannah dives more into what crossdressing is and the stigma associated with the word. Read it now>>

Love, Hannah

Teeny Tiny

I’ve a friend who really likes cars.  Like, a LOT.  You can ask him anything about cars and he can recall parts, makes, models, uh, the shape of the tires, of any vehicle.  It’s impressive.  When I ask him why my car is making X noise, he asks me a few questions and he’s been right almost 100% of the time. 

As someone who doesn’t really know anything about cars, I find this fascinating.  He talks about what’s probably wrong, and why it is happening.  He explains that with a million teeny, tiny parts it’s inevitable something will not work as expected.  Some cars run flawlessly for a decade, some fall apart when it rains.  With so many variables it’s not surprising every car is different.

Even I know what’s wrong with this car


What on earth does this have to do with this website?  I’m getting there.


Someone sent me an email the other day and mentioned how we all start our lives as women.


And it’s true!  I remember reading this when I was very young and my mind was just blown.  


There’s REALLY not as much of a difference between a clitoris and a penis as most men (yes, I know, NOT ALL MEN) would like to believe.  Why does everyone have nipples?  I mean, mine aren’t practical or functional.  Or cute.


Instead of blindly stumbling around trying to explain this, I have some help from the textbook ‘Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?’.

All human individuals—whether they have an XX, an XY, or an atypical sex chromosome combination—begin development from the same starting point. During early development the gonads of the fetus remain undifferentiated; that is, all fetal genitalia are the same and are phenotypically female. After approximately 6 to 7 weeks of gestation, however, the expression of a gene on the Y chromosome induces changes that result in the development of the testes. Thus, this gene is singularly important in inducing testis development. The production of testosterone at about 9 weeks of gestation results in the development of the reproductive tract and the masculinization (the normal development of male sex characteristics) of the brain and genitalia. In contrast to the role of the fetal testis in differentiation of a male genital tract and external genitalia in utero, fetal ovarian secretions are not required for female sex differentiation. As these details point out, the basic differences between the sexes begin in the womb, and this chapter examines how sex differences develop and change across the lifetime. The committee examined both normal and abnormal routes of development that lead individuals to become males and females and the changes during childhood, reproductive adulthood, and the later stages of life.


Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Understanding the Biology of Sex and Gender Differences; Wizemann TM, Pardue ML, editors. Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter? Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 3, Sex Begins in the Womb. 


Isn’t that neat?  I think it’s neat.  

I also think creation stories are fascinating, especially how different they can be from religion to religion, or from culture to culture.  I went to Catholic school for my entire life and we were always taught that God created Adam, and Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs.  I never took it for fact, I knew the tradition of storytelling and I knew that thunder was, well, thunder and not angels bowling.


Anyway, this little biology lesson is a reminder of how small the difference is between men and women biologically.  Is it any wonder that transgender people exist?  Or that people identify as bi-gender?  Or that some think that gender roles and gender societal norms are completely ridiculous?
It all starts with a teeny, tiny gene on a chromosome.  That gene influences what our bodies look like.  What our bodies look like determines what we are “allowed” to wear, think, feel. 


Understanding science, chemistry, and biology can help others understand how teeny, tiny the differences are between boys and girls.  It’s a nice thought to think that if people are educated, life might be easier for those who live outside of the gender binary.  But since we live on a planet with people who honestly think the earth is flat, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Love, Hannah

A Perfect Balance

I have always been fascinated and enamored with corsets. Sexy, beautiful, elaborate, little details… I’ve owned a few in my life but it wasn’t until I started to wear a proper one from Glamorous Corset.

I didn’t really understand or appreciate the difference a quality, real corset can make. How much work it takes to get used to a proper one, and the correct way to wear one. It requires discipline and patience. As I seasoned my corset I realized that as sexy as corsets are, they are also versatile. A perfect balance of beauty and practicality.

When I worked up the courage to do a lingerie shoot, I knew I had to wear my corset. I feel these shots capture beauty, power, and vulnerability.

I do hope you like them.

Love, Hannah

Moot Lingerie!

Did you know I love lingerie?

I think by now the entire internet knows that.

I also love businesses that specifically keep girls like us in mind when they design clothes, specifically lingerie.

When I find a designer like that, I do what I can to support them and bring some attention to what they do. I am happy to do this for Moot Lingerie!

From their website:

Moot is FOR EACH and every body who feels that Moot is for them

We stand in solidarity with humans, regardless of gender labels or sexuality. 

Moot will not discriminate on the grounds of anyone’s sexual or gender identity, everyone is equal and everyone is warmly welcomed to Moot

Here are some photos of their lingerie and where you can go to add it to your lingerie drawer!

Love, Hannah