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!

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  Having said that, it is my opinion that terms like ‘transvestite’ and ‘transsexual’ are a little outdated.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!

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

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

Ask Hannah!

I decided I wanted to try wearing makeup and wearing women’s clothing. I am married and so far my wife is very supportive and even did my makeup last weekend! I ordered a few clothes on En Femme ( thanks for advice) and may get a wig soon. My question is how long did it take you to “like” how you look as a woman? I fear it’s going to take forever and I feel so old!!

Hi!  It sounds like you have a wonderful wife.  
Being en femme is a humbling and empowering experience.  I think some of us feel that when we have all the “right” items (wig, clothes, makeup) everything will magically come together and our reflection will show the side of us that we have been yearning to see for countless years.  Our first glance into a mirror can create a number of different feelings.  Sometimes we can be amazed at the beautiful girl in our mirrors, sometimes we are crushed with disappointment.


And sometimes we see the potential.  Not quite how we want to look, not quite how we imagined, but…  it’s a start.


When our reflections are not everything we hoped it would be, then we need to make a decision.  We COULD give up, but let’s face it, that’s not easy or likely.  This is not a side of us that goes away.  But I do get it.  It might seem hopeless, our worst fears are realized because we look exactly what we were afraid of: a man in a dress.  Crossdressing takes time, it takes money, it takes patience.  Don’t like how you look in makeup?  Pay for a makeup lesson.  Try a different foundation.  Watch more tutorials.  Your dress doesn’t fit?  Get your measurements and get an outfit that is in your size, not the size you’d like to be.  Stumble in heels?  Strap on those stilettos and practice, practice, practice.


The first time I was completely en femme, which was about ten years ago, I was enraptured.  I didn’t look like a man in a dress and a wig, I was unrecognizable.  At least that’s how I thought and how I felt.  Of all the things I was thinking in those first moments I think the thing that was the loudest was that I could see something I could work with, if you will.  I was on cloud nine the whole evening.  


I quickly learned that dressing up is a different experience and comes with different feelings every single time.  There are times when I will start dressing and feel blah about how I look but then when I do my makeup my attitude improves and turns things around.  The opposite is also true.  I might have a killer dress but sometimes my makeup just doesn’t come together and kills my excitement for my outfit.  These experiences and fluctuating feelings do not stop.  So many small things impact how we feel about ourselves and when I am en femme I am filled with many small things.  My forms, my pads, my outfit, accessories, makeup, hair, my body shape…  It all needs to come together.  It’s like baking a cake, I suppose.  If you don’t have the right ingredients it’s just not going to work.  

The photo on the left is me feeling cute, but not looking cute. The photo on the right is me looking cute, but not feeling cute


AND!  Sometimes everything can go right but sometimes we just don’t feel it.  We might look cute, but we don’t feel that way.  How we feel will win out (for good and for bad) EVERY SINGLE TIME.  I have dresses that I feel are just kind of… meh but if I am in the right mood it becomes the cutest dress in the world.  Of course the opposite is true, too.


So, to answer your question, I more or less liked how I looked right away, but that doesn’t mean I always like how I look.  I still have plenty of times where I feel I look like a man in a wig.  

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

I wondered if you had ever traveled on a plane en femme? If so how was the experience? I am both terrified and thrilled in equal measure about the idea of sitting down next to a random person for six or seven hours dressed as a lady and seeing how I react. I guess what worries me most is the obvious question of whether I’d get hauled out of the line at security. I am in the UK where attitudes are OK but I still don’t know what they’d do if the scanner picks up a bra wire and breastforms as well as my male tackle. I’m not sure I’ve the courage to risk having down to go down to my bra and pants in a side room to prove I’m not concealing drugs in my breast forms or in some sort of disguise. Any help or experiences much appreciated!

I have yet to fly pretty but it is definitely one of my goals. I had hoped to do that this year but it’s not looking likely. Once masks are no longer necessary then I will start planning a trip.

On a positive note, flying pretty, from what my friends tell me, is actually a lot less stressful and problematic than what we are afraid it will be. The TSA is also well trained for girls like us:

TSA recognizes the concerns that some members of the transgender community may have with certain security screening procedures at the nation’s security checkpoints. TSA is committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy. Screening is conducted without regard to a person’s race, color, sex, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability.

Have fun and safe travels!

Related reading

Flying Pretty

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Any advice on a first night out en femme?

Going out for the first time is a life-changing experience.  And I don’t say that lightly.  
I felt so many things my first real time out en femme.  I was scared beyond belief.  My nerves were a wreck, my legs trembled, I was jumpy, I was excited. 


Whenever I go out en femme, the first interaction with someone else really kind of sets the tone for the day.  It’s a positive experience it really starts me off in a good mood.  Luckily most times I go out en femme my first visit is for my makeover.  The two artists I see on a regular basis also make me feel welcome and beautiful. 

My first interaction on that crucial day couldn’t have gone better.  The cashier at the coffee shop was smiley and I felt a huge wave of relief.  I accomplished something!  I did it en femme!  I took my coffee and I felt like I was walking on air.  It was wonderful.  I spent the rest of the morning shopping and just soaking up the day.  


As wonderful as the day was, it almost skewed my expectations for the next time I went out.  My second outing was at a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon.  Most people were nice or at least indifferent, but I also noticed more…  confused looks, more stares, more suppressed smiles.  It was depressing, especially after my first time out.


When you go out for the first time, or the hundredth, you should prepare for everything.  This includes practical things, such as what you should have in your purse.

Before I go out, I always make sure my purse has:

-Eyeliner

-Lipstick

-Finishing powder

-Mascara

That’s the fun stuff.  The reality is that I have a lot more in my purse than makeup.  I recommend every t-girl have the following in their purse:

-Cash.  This is pretty obvious but I use cash for everything when I go out.  If I want to get a coffee or need to pay for parking, I use cash.  I like cash because I don’t run the risk of turning over my credit card (with my male name) to a cashier.  I also bring my debit and credit card just in case.

-Proof of car insurance.  If you get into an accident or get pulled over, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance.  Simple enough but plan for the worst.

-Fully charged cell phone.  Pretty self-explanatory.  You’ll need it in case of emergency.  Any emergency.

-Roadside assistance information.  You need to know who to contact if you get a flat tire.  Sure, I can change a tire myself, but no way I am doing that in a dress or heels.

-Driver’s license.  Again, if you get pulled over…

-Spare car key.  If you’re not used to carrying a purse, you might forget to place your keys in it.  A spare key tucked in your purse saves a call to a locksmith.

-Medical insurance card.  Again, plan for the worst.

-A friend.  I don’t mean bring a friend with you, though shopping is a lot more fun if you do, but if you’re out to anyone in your life, drop them a message to let them know you’re stepping out.  It’s good to let someone know you’re out on the town in case you need help.

-I would also recommend downloading the Uber or Lyft app.  If you run into car troubles and need help, having this on your phone can be a lifesaver.  I have an app on my phone and I have multiple accounts associated with it.  One for my male life, one for Hannah.  I’ve used Uber as both genders and I’ve never had an issue.

There is a practical side to being who we are, such as the things listed above, but we can’t ignore the emotional and mental side either.  We can look amazing, but if we don’t feel amazing, then our confidence is shot, no matter how beautiful we are.  If we are so hung up on passing or blending in, then we may never feel ready to go out en femme.  It’s important to remember that not everyone likes us and not everyone will treat us with respect.  It will happen.  You’ll have moments and experiences that range from wonderful and affirming to humbling and humiliating.  Don’t let it dull your sparkle.


And above all, be safe.

Related reading

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to go

Just a Small Town T-Girl, Living in a Lonely World

It Will Never be Okay

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

I’ve been crossdressing for years and love each time I get all dolled up. I have been finding it hard to go out and meet other CD’s. Are there places to go in the Twin Cites where a t-girl can meet another t-girl without going to a bar?

The short answer is no. T-girls don’t tend to frequent a place BECAUSE we are a t-girl. I don’t go to specific places because I am trans.

Well, not really. Whether I am en femme or not, I like to shop at certain places because I know they are supportive and welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.

Besides that, I pretty much go anywhere I wish. In all the years I’ve been going out en femme, I have only seen one other girl that I thought was trans and that was at a dress shop (of course it was a dress shop).

Another thing to consider is that I don’t recommend just walking up to another girl like us and striking up a conversation BECAUSE you are trans. I would hate to be clocked, you know?

If you are looking to make friends with a girl like us, then going online is probably the best way to do so. Transgender Heaven and Crossdressers.com are two of the best and most active forums out there.

Other than that, since you are in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area, have you heard of this little group? 🙂

Related reading

Butterflies

Ask Hannah!

Girls Like Us

Ask Hannah!

Look at my Beautiful Outfit, but Ignore me at the Same Time

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

I have hairy legs, when I shave should I us ordinary shaving soap or something else. What do you recommend please?

The first time I shaved my legs was… well, it took forever. Years and years of hair growth took a long time to reverse. Were I to go back and shave for the first time I would visit a waxing salon and have my legs waxed. If that is not an option, the first thing you’ll want to do is use an electric clipper to remove as much leg hair as possible.  You don’t want to get toooo close to your skin but you likely have years of growth and a clipper will make your life easier the first time you shave your legs. 

Once you have clipped, you’re ready to get shaving.  The right razor and shaving cream is essential.  However, this is also a matter of preference.  Like makeup, this is learning by doing, in a way.  Some girls use “girl’s” razors, some use “boy’s” razors.  The argument is that boy’s razors are cheaper and get a closer feel.  Some argue that girl’s razors are better suited for the curves of a leg.  It’s up to you but try multiple options.  But whatever you use, for hygiene reasons use a different razor for your legs than you use for your face and rinse your razor often as you shave.

I would also recommend taking a bath the first time you shave your legs.  Shaving a leg might look easier than shaving your face but your legs have different curves and harder to reach places than you’d think.  It’s difficult to get every hair on the back of your thigh and around your ankle, for example.  Being in a bath will give you time to sit, to relax and learn your legs.  Also, the warm water will help you open your pores and help you get a closer and smoother shave.  After I got used to shaving my legs I started to shave standing up in the shower.  Again, the first time you do it this way will also take time (and likely the hot water will run out before you are done) and you’ll learn that your body can twist and bend in many new ways as you shave.  You’ll find yourself holding onto the shower bar for balance and stability as you twist and rotate to get every hair.

Patience is key here.  The first time you shave your legs will take FOREVER.  Don’t rush.  As you shave any part of yourself you’ll get better as time passes.  So take your time and savor this experience.

In terms of technique, I start with my upper front thigh.  I use shaving cream (again, try different kinds) and slowly and carefully shave this part of my leg.  Shaving your leg is a little similar to say, shaving your neck and face.  Slow and smooth is key here.  I tend to use long strokes on the longer parts of my leg, and quick, short strokes around my knees and ankles.  But again, whatever works for you.  This is learning by doing.  I then move to the back of my thigh.  The backs of my legs are tricky.  Since I have dark hair and prefer nude stockings, I need to have a close shave in order to look my best.  Before I step into the shower, I do cover the backs of my thighs and lower leg with Nair.  This is extra work but it helps with a smoother and cleaner leg.  Shaving the back of your thigh will have you thinking that you should’ve stretched before getting into the shower as you’ll be bending, twisting and trying to get every hair.  Please hold onto something for balance.

Once my thigh is done, I move onto my knee and lower leg.  Knees are trickier than you think.  The lower leg is pretty straight forward though but the back is also tricky.  I finish the leg with my feet and toes (groooosssss) and then move onto my other leg.

Once I am done, I shut off the water and give my legs another look and then touch up any spots I missed.  The first few times you shave you’ll likely get a few cuts, so prepare for that.  Once you have a smooth and clean leg, you’ll definitely want to use a moisturizer.

Again, the first time you shave your legs might be discouraging and frustrating but like applying eyeliner, it’s something you’ll get better at with time, patience and practice.

If you want to shave your bikini area, you’ll want to use baby oil instead of shaving cream.  Baby oil will leave your skin less irritated and will help you avoid the little red bump thing.    Using baby oil will require you to rinse your razor a LOT more often than using shaving cream, though, but your skin will thank you.  Shaving this area, as you might imagine, takes a lot more patience and time.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Do you have any insights/precautions about people like us making friends in the online community? The obvious is to be careful about identifiable information about our male side and location of where we live, are there more to this?

Like so many parts of our lives, it’s important we don’t get lost in the pink fog. It is easy for us to make decisions without thinking things through or considering the consequences. This can take on a few different forms, such as buying a dress instead of groceries, but in this case we may be so excited to connect with another girl like us that we disregard common sense when it comes to what we share online.

There are the big ones, of course. I would never, EVER give out my cell phone number. I would never tell anyone where I live. I would never go to someone’s home. I would never meet someone in their hotel room.

Sure, you think you can trust them, but again, we may be so lost in the fog and eager (or lonely) to meet someone like us that we do things we shouldn’t be doing.

I recommend setting up a femme email account. I have two email accounts for my boy life, one for my work email, and two email accounts for Hannah. This helps with keeping communication with my gender identities separate. It also keeps my boy name private.

If you are looking to friends do hit the mall with, make sure you spend a lot of time getting to know them before you agree to meet up.

I wrote a little about this for En Femme recently so I would recommend checking that out, too!

Related reading

The Pink Fog

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Have you ever been hit on( approached by ) a man while en femme in a serious manner for a date or just to buy you a drink? I know you don’t drink now, but someone may still ask. If so, how did you handle the situation? Have you ever flirted with a guy just in a friendly manner?

Yes, and it’s not been a pleasant experience.

Years ago I wondered what it would be like if a guy were to hit on me.  I decided that it would be weird, but in a way, validating.  But when it happened I was just uncomfortable, annoyed, and a little scared.


It was a few days before Christmas.  I had just gotten my first professional makeover.  I was wearing a red dress and I looked amazing.  Well, I probably felt more amazing than I looked, but that’s the important part.  You might look sexy but if you aren’t feeling sexy then it doesn’t matter.  Confidence is key.  I was meeting up with the MN T-Girls at a LGBTQ+ bar that evening and like everything I do, I was early.  I waited in the back near the pool tables and some guy walked over to me.  I had noticed him early stealing glances from the bar so he was on my radar.  Being en femme makes me feel vulnerable when it comes to my feelings and emotions and I let my guard down, but this was the first time I had felt… physically vulnerable.  I am not a fighter in either gender but if I had to, I feel I could defend myself long enough to run away from a confrontation if it came to that.  I know, really macho, eh?  


But I was wearing a tight dress and stilettos.  Not an outfit a sprinter would wear.  I was feeling and thinking that if I needed to escape a situation that I would be at a disadvantage.  
As he kept glancing over I felt more and more uncomfortable.  Would he approach me?  Would he try something?  Would he follow me to my car?  Paranoia is a survival tactic for a girl like us when it comes to living in fear that someone will find our panties in the back of our dresser drawer, but this was on a new level I had never experienced before.  And it terrified me.  I realized that this is what my wife, my sisters, my female friends, my female colleagues, must feel everywhere.  


I am not sure how much beer it took for him to work up the courage to stagger over to me but soon he had enough liquid courage to approach me.  Bear in mind this happened almost ten years ago but I still remember his words.  “I sure would like to date you.”  My first instinct is to be polite to someone and even then my first thought was to be gentle but firm (although it’s better to be safe than polite).  I let him know I wasn’t interested.  He didn’t flinch.  He kept staring at me, making small talk, offering to buy me a drink.  I turned my back to him, he circled me.  I backed up.  He said something else, and I ducked into the ladies room.  


I composed myself and processed what happened.  It wasn’t flattering, it wasn’t validating.  I didn’t feel more like a girl.  I felt violated, I felt angry.  Some of you may wonder why I reacted this way.  On one level it may feel like a compliment to be hit on,  But he kept at it.  He didn’t take no for an answer.  He turned to face me.  He didn’t respect my personal space.  My mind raced with what he would do if I didn’t remove myself from the situation.  Of course, he may not have done anything, but my feeling and fear was that he might, and he could.  


Soon my friends arrived and after I let them know what happened I left early.  I did ask the bouncer to escort me to my car which he did.  


Situations like this still happen and probably always will.  It’s not flattering to me, and I feel…  fetishized.  Sure, it’s possible that a guy sees me and is attracted to me regardless of him knowing I am trans, but it’s more likely (in my opinion) that he is attracted to me BECAUSE I am trans.  I am not his kink.  


Even if I wasn’t married I wouldn’t flirt.  I have zero interest in men.

Related reading

Sexy Monday

SEX

Being Safe, Not Polite

Love, Hannah

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