Ask Hannah!

Have you ever seriously considered transitioning ? Give some of your pros and cons !

Of course I have. We all have.

To clarify, I have never considered transitioning, but I have considered if I wanted to, or if I needed do. If I felt that I wanted to, then I would consider doing it, but I don’t feel that transitioning is right for me. I am perfectly happy being who I am. I enjoy being bi-gender, I like going back and forth between my two gender identities.

I wish I could be more helpful and insightful with this question, but I am afraid that I have never considered whether or not I should transition, I just know it’s not right for me. I suppose (for me, anyway) it’s like wondering if I would like to move to New York. It’d be a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

If you are considering this step, I would recommend seeking a gender therapist who can help you with the pros and cons with this decision.

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

I’m looking for a place to help me turn from a man to a girl makeup wise. A place that would do my makeup for me. I want to look like a girl for Halloween, but don’t know how to use makeup. I live 2 hours west of the twin cities in Minnesota.

There are two ways you can go about this.

You could visit a transformation service, but unless I am mistaken there is only one in the Twin Cities: La Femme MystiqueI visited with Rebecca and had an amazing time.  Rebecca knows what you mean when you say “boy to girl”.

The other option is simply scheduling a makeover.  Don’t look at a makeover as a “boy to girl” transformation.  When you schedule a makeover, think of your goals.  If you simply say “I want to look like a girl”, well, that’s kind of vague.  Every girl looks different from one another, and you and your artist will likely have different ideas about what you want.  

When I get a makeover, I am usually asked these questions:

“What are we thinking today?”  

I let my artist know what kind of look I am going for.  Do I want something dramatic and intense and bold?  If so, I am looking for heavy eyeliner, probably a smokey eye or a cat’s eye look.  I usually want bright red lips and wear false eyelashes.

“What colors are you thinking?”

This question usually refers to what lipstick and eyeshadow shade I want.  Most of the time it will compliment whatever outfit I am wearing.  

“What are you doing today?”

This question is usually in regards to what I am planning on after my makeover.  I am going to the mall?  If so, perhaps something casual or an everyday look.  Do I have a photo shoot?  Some makeup looks better in photos than others.  Am I going to be outside?  If it’s hot out then a setting spray is essential.  

When I get a makeover, I think about what I want in specific terms.  What I ask for includes these things:

-Color correction (an orangey shade that covers my jawline and under my nose to counterbalance the blue-ish tint that facial hair creates) before my foundation).

Contouring -(my facial structure is pretty angular, so I like my facial features to appear a little more round)

-Eyebrow shaping and definition

-Overdrawn lips (a lip liner just outside of my normal lip shape and then filled in with lipstick to create fuller lips)/

There are a lot of places to get makeovers in the Twin Cities.  My go-to places are Rita Ambourne and CaJah Salon.  Of course, places like MAC, Ulta, and Sephora also are an option for girls and girls like us.

Have fun!

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

I was just wondering how you figured out your femme style? You always look so good in the clothes you pick out for your shoots. Was it a lot of trial and error or did it just come natural?

Also does your boy style have any influence on Hannah’s style?

We discover our style by trying a lot of different clothes.  Which is super fun (and expensive).  When I moved from simply underdressing to actual real clothes, I was drawn more to formal wear and little black dresses.  To me, there was nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous gown and nothing more classic than a little black dress.  The thought of getting dressed up, and I mean REALLY dressed up was so exciting for me.  A beautiful dress, amazing heels, perfect accessories, flawless makeup… the only thing missing was a place to go.  

The more I dressed and the more I left the house the more I became drawn to other styles.  I would never say I dressed casually, but going to the mall in an evening gown really doesn’t work.  I started to wear less formal dresses but dresses that were still cute and feminine.  A feminine dress might seem redundant but dresses that were cute and stylish.  I think you know what I mean.

Once I lost weight and became more comfortable going out, my wardrobe started to reflect my confidence.  Since I also stopped caring about “passing” and accepted that as a six foot tall t-girl I was never going to blend in, I decided to wear whatever I wanted.  These days I love bright dresses, I love eye-catching patterns, I love floral print dresses, I love clothes that show off the parts of me that I love, such as my legs.  

So yes, it was a bit of trial and error (we learn by doing) and a bit of coming naturally.  I started to look at what girls were wearing a little differently and I thought about WHY something was cute.  Sometimes it was the dress itself sometimes it was what she wore WITH dress.  A casual t-shirt and a jean skirt paired with stilettos is really sexy sometimes.  A tight black blouse with a hounds tooth skirt with knee high black boots is an amazing look.  
For me, it takes more than the clothes.  I have to feel comfortable in them, I have to feel confident in them.  Without comfort and confidence the outfit, no matter how cute, just doesn’t work.  For years I was drawn to dresses that had thin, spaghetti straps but I never felt comfortable showing that much skin, especially my shoulders. 

But earlier this year I stopped caring and I bought a few dresses in this style.  Dresses that I never thought I would a year ago suddenly became empowering to me.  The dresses didn’t change, but what did?  I did.  

As a boy I would never say (and no one would say this either) that I have any sense of style.  Most of the time it’s a t-shirt and a pair of jeans.  I work from home (even when we’re not in a global pandemic) so I rarely have to dress nicer than that.  But men’s fashion isn’t that exciting to me.  It never really changes.  There’s really never anything that men wear that I am drawn to.  Men’s fashion is boring and overly practical.  Hannah’s style is in many ways the opposite of what boy me wears.  When I do go into the office, it’s khakis and a dress shirt which is about as boring as you can get.  If Hannah went to the office it would be, well, something like this.  

After a week of boring clothes, it is liberating and exciting to wear something bright, something pink, something fun, something sexy.  I don’t think too much about it, but you bring up a good point.  Hannah’s style might be a reaction or response to days and days and days of boring boy clothes.  When I did go into an office everyday it was always the same shirts and the same three pairs of dress pants.  The options as to what Hannah could wear to work, or anywhere, is endless.

Dress from En Femme

Perhaps Hannah dresses the way she does is because wearing a dress and heels doesn’t happen every day.  If I lived full-time or transitioned would I still wear super cute dresses and heels each day?  Honestly?  Probably not.  I imagine I would have more casual dresses and skirts and more leggings in my wardrobe than I currently do.  As much as I love love love looking super cute it’s a lot of work.  🙂

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

Hi, Hannah. I just read your post about your thigh pads. Congratulations on your weight loss!
Can you share how you lost the weight? I imagine I’m a 16/18 (I don’t really have a wardrobe – I’m very much in the closet and DADT after my wife found a matching bra/panty set). I’m currently around 225# and would love to get to at least 200. TBH, I’d like to get back to like 172, but that was nearly 40 years ago!

I lost weight by a few small things, but the biggest change was that I stopped drinking.  I am almost four years sober and I am so happy I stopped.  It wasn’t easy and it’s still not easy but my quality of life is better than ever.  Once I stopped drinking I started to lose weight simply by not drinking wine every night.  I started to sleep better and I had more energy during the day, which made my workouts more effective.  I did (and still do) a lot of cardio so I was burning fat as opposed to building muscle.  

Once COVID hit, I wasn’t able to go to the gym, so I started to run outside.  I hated the idea but after a few days I really started to like it.  I run about five miles almost every day and I even did two half marathons this summer. 

Losing weight is one thing, keeping it off is another.  

Of course, everyone’s body is different and reacts to diet and exercise change differently.  Before you make any decisions please seek out guidance from your doctor.

Love, Hannah

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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

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Ask Hannah!

How are you able to keep your real identity confidential? I have gone out with my wife en femme a couple of times in the last month (I’m very blessed to have a willing spouse) on girl friend dates and wonder what would happen if someone needs to see my license (show my ID) or need to use a rest room and a family restroom is not near by?

When I am out en femme, I always make sure I have enough cash for what I will be doing that day. Very rarely has Hannah needed to use “his” credit card. When I have needed to do so in the past, I have usually swiped it myself but I have needed to hand it to the salesclerk as well. This used to cause me a great deal of anxiety but I don’t think about it too much. For starters, anyone who sees me in the real world knows I am trans, so me handing them a credit card with a boy name on it isn’t that surprising to them. Salesclerks and cashiers also see a hundreds of customers a day, so it’s unlikely they will remember the name on a credit card that one customer used.

Also, I am not anyone famous or well-known or… anything in my male life. If I told you my boy name it’s incredibly unlikely you’ve heard of me. And why would you? My male life (as wonderful as it is) is unremarkable and boring. Basically, no on cares about who I am and that’s just fine with me 🙂

On a related note, you can usually ask your bank or credit card company for a duplicate card with a different name on it. Some t-girls have a credit card for her and one for him.

As for my ID, I have only needed to show my ID twice when out en femme and that was to enter a bar. Since I rarely go to bars this isn’t an issue but like using my credit card, no one is going to remember my name… or care who I really am. Superman is Superman, no one cares about Clark Kent, you know?

As for using the restroom, if there is a family restroom available I will use that, but if not, I will use the ladies room. This has never been an issue for me.

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

I’m curious; do you ever wear perfume? If so, what perfumes would you recommend for a t-girl? I’m thinking of giving perfume a try, and would love your thoughts.

One of my favorite things about being en femme are the small, subtle things. Those tiny details, like the color of your heels being the same shade of red as your necklace. Wearing a bright pink dress and standing out in the mall is one thing, a tiny detail that few notice is another.

Perfume is like that. It’s not as noticeable as a really intense shade of lipstick, but rather a small thing triggering a different sense.

But as much as I love being enveloped by small feminine touches, I rarely wear perfume. I do when I am out for the night, but if there’s a chance I have to be in male mode after spending part of the day en femme, then I usually skip it as I am paranoid about any lingering evidence, if you will.

As for recommendations, I usually just borrow something from my wife. I don’t pay attention to the labels, just the scent. It’s funny, I can tell you the exact name and shade of the foundation I wear or the designer of the stiletto I am wearing, but I couldn’t tell you what perfume I am wearing at any given moment. 🙂

I don’t know if department stores are doing perfume samples with COVID, but I would suggest visiting Macy’s (they are usually very transfriendly) and seeing (and smelling) what they have.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

A few questions…
1) How do you parents and siblings react to Hannah?
2) What were your sources and how did you manage being Hannah growing up?
3) Why did you change your last name from Gotta to McKnight?

My mom has only met Hannah once… and it was a little weird for both of us. I had hoped it would have been an opportunity for her to get to know me better, but it wasn’t met to be. I had hope for a long time that things could change, but I think that ship has sailed.

My sisters only met Hannah once or twice. My mom and sisters are wonderful, accepting people, but again, I think it’s a little weird for them. I don’t press it.

I didn’t identify as transgender until I as in my early 30’s. I didn’t see myself as bi-gender until around that same time. Thus, Hannah wasn’t around when I was growing up. If that makes sense… and I bet it does to a lot of you.

My femme last name wasn’t ever really ‘Gotta’. When I started posting online I needed a name of course, and I came up with “Hannah Gotta” as it rhymed with “onnagata” the Japanese word for male actors who play women’s roles in Japanese Kabuki theatre. Onnagata sort of rhymes with Hannah Gotta, so that’s the name I used when I was online. I think I was trying to be clever and I never meant for “gotta” to be a last name. Eventually I decided I needed a proper last name and I decided on McKnight.

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

I was wondering if you have any advice for clothing selection for very muscular legs? I am an avid cyclist and between genetics and cycling have massive leg muscles, especially my quadriceps. Even by male standards they are very large. What clothing choices would you suggest to minimize their impact on feminine appearance?

In male mode, I have very few criticisms or even opinions about my body. But on a bad day I could list a lot of things I wish I could change.

When it comes to our bodies, we have to think about whether or not it’s something we can change or if we are willing or able to change. I didn’t like my big manly eyebrows, so I thread them. This was something I COULD change, and something I was willing to change. Yes, we can all do whatever we want with our eyebrows, but some of us might be hesitant to do so if we present as male in our lives. Some things about us we are willing to change, but perhaps we can’t.

When it comes to something that we can’t change or don’t want to change, then we have a different set of choices. We can try to minimize it, or we can embrace it.

I can’t do anything about my height, and heels don’t help, but I have accepted that I am taller than most girls, and have also embraced this by wearing the stilettos I wish. I also bike and run (about six miles a day), so I have muscular legs as well, but like my height, I embrace them. Obviously. 😉

But if you don’t want to go this route, then go for all-forgiving and minimizing black. You could rock black stockings.

A longer dress (yes, I do own these too) could also work.

Leggings and black pants would also do the trick.

I hope this helps!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I am a size 16 and would love to get to a 12. What did you do? Weights/cardio/both?

I suffer from a lack of courage when it comes to dressing. Tried to tell my wife and she freaked. Now, as we know, it won’t go away and I feel I have to choose between my marriage and my gender fluidity and I love my wife sooo much. I have been closeted my whole life. You seem to be so courageous to me. Do you have any advice? I am in a predicament.

My weight loss was a combination of quitting drinking and cardio. I don’t drink soda or eat fast food, so changing my diet was pretty simple, but quitting drinking (almost four years sober!) was hard. Cardio was the Stairmaster and elliptical machine. These two photos were about five years apart. I was a size 18 an dropped to a 12.

Of course, any change to your diet and/or exercise routine should be discussed with your doctor.

Marriage and crossdressing/identifying as bi-gender/gender fluidity is not easy. Coming out to your spouse will almost always result in shock or a freak-out. That’s normal and expected.

I would really, really, really encourage you to seek out a gender therapist as well as couple’s counseling. Good luck. 🙂

Love, Hannah

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