Ask Hannah!

How important to you is it to have a femme surname? I have always felt that there was something missing when I am dressed to the 9s. You are Hannah McKnight and I can only assume that this so far removed from your real name. I went back through our family history and found a really lovely lady, again her name is far removed from my male name I feel safe to use it. Since then I feel so much more of a real woman when dressed????

My femme name, like my presentation, came more or less organically. It also came out of necessity. When I started to interact on social media, particularly on forums like crossdressers.com, I needed to register under a name and also have an email address tied to my account.

For obvious reasons I didn’t want to have ANYTHING related to my girl life associated with my boy life, not even an email address. So, I created a separate email address for my pink side of my world which I used for social media stuff. In what I felt was a very clever moment of inspiration, I choose the name Hannah Gotta.

My femme last name wasn’t ever really ‘Gotta’. I liked the name Hannah but I needed to have SOMETHING to put in the “last name” field when I created an email account. I chose “Hannah Gotta” as it (sort of) rhymed with “onnagata” the Japanese word for male actors who play women’s roles in Japanese Kabuki theatre. Eventually I felt I needed a proper last name and I decided on McKnight.

Having a femme first and last name does make me feel… hm, a little more real, if you know what I mean. I like getting emails addressing me as Ms. McKnight. I am bi-gender so I have two very distinct worlds in terms of clothes, friends, and everything else. It just makes sense for this duality to extend to a name.

Love, Hannah

Related reading

Hi, My Name is…

What’s in a Name?

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Ask Hannah!

I read your article on corsets and was wondering how to go about purchasing one. Not sure if I want a corset or a waist cincher.

Like a lot of clothes and heels that we shop for, we need to purchase what FITS, not what we WANT to fit. I would love to be a size 8 stiletto but no matter what it’s 11.5 for me.

Corsets are very much the same. Of all the items you can add to your closet, corsets are the trickiest. This is where measurements are key. I might be a size 12 in a dress and a size 8 in a skirt, but this means absolutely nothing when it comes to a corset or a waist cincher. Yes, I might WANT a 24 inch waist and a corset will help with reducing my waist size, but I don’t think there’s a corset on the planet that could do reduce my waist that much without damaging my organs. Corsets are not to be be messed with.

Get your measuring tape out and order accordingly. Glamorous Corset has a very helpful guide when it comes to how and what to measure for with different body types.

I have two corsets from Glamorous Corset and before I ordered each one I took my measurements and then contacted them with my sizes and asked for a recommendation. I disclosed I was a transgirl and had a “boy” body. They suggested a style and a size after seasoning them both corsets are a perfect fit and I can’t imagine presenting en femme without them.

It does take a little work to find the right size and style, but remember, *this* side of us takes time, patience, and money. Spending twenty dollars on a skirt that may or may not fit is one thing. A quality corset is a little more of an investment. You can likely return a dress that doesn’t fit, but probably not a corset.

Have fun!

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

Hi Hannah. I’ve been following your blog for a long time and was asking for advice. I identify as a transgender woman. I was wondering how you came out to your family that you are transgender. I could really use the advice.

I’ve come out to maaaaaybe a dozen people in my life. Siblings, a parent, friends, girlfriends, and a roommate. Every time I’ve come out to someone it’s been a very different conversation from person to person. I have and have had different relationships and different dynamics with each person. I’ve come out to people for different reasons and there’s never been, not there ever will be, a conversation that works for every person in your life.

I came out to two different girlfriends because they HAD to know. I came out to a roommate in case she wondered why there was a nightgown hanging in the bathroom we shared. Both of these conversations were very different. Coming out to my girlfriend was complicated, my roommate? Not so much. She was very accepting and really didn’t care what I wore, just as long as I paid my share of the rent. I didn’t come out to every roommate I’ve ever had, but at the time I was just… tired of hiding this side of myself and I wanted to be able to wear what I wanted to in my own home.

My gender identity, like every non-cisgender person on the planet, has been a journey. I learn more about myself all the time and this was especially true in my youth. In grade school I was a boy who wore girl clothes. In junior high I learned the word ‘crossdresser’ and identified as such. In college I learned the term ‘transgender’ but it would be about twenty years before I identified as such. A few years ago I felt, and still feel, that ‘bi-gender’ is the six-inch patent black stiletto that fits best.

As I mentioned, every person I’ve had The Talk with has been different. But the commonality is that when I came out I came out as a crossdresser, not as someone who is transgender. These conversations were, if I want to oversimplify it, me revealing that I was a boy who wore girl clothes. These talks were alllll about clothes and nothing to do with gender identity. It was about what I DID and what I WORE and not about who I AM. If that makes sense.

I came out to my mom and siblings as a crossdresser about ten years ago. If I had that conversation today I would come out as transgender. Although I consider a crossdresser as someone who is indeed transgender, I’ve never come out in real life as a t-girl.

Essentially I have ZERO experience in coming out as transgender, ironically.

When someone is preparing to come out, there are a few things I would recommend keeping in mind:

Every person you come out to will react differently. If they respond positively and supportive it doesn’t mean the next person you go out to will react the same way… the opposite is also true.

Every time you come to someone, no matter how many times you do so, will be a new and different conversation.

Prepare for the worst.

Be gentle. This conversation will likely forever change your relationship with them and will, in a sense, rock their world.

Don’t come out if you feel it will be unsafe. If you are living at home and you think there’s a chance your parent will, well, react badly and you think you may find yourself thrown out of your home or that your life will be a living hell, then coming out MIGHT not be a good idea. If this is your situation, rest assured it will get better in time.

Talk to a gender therapist or if you are a student, a school counselor if you feel it is safe. Some states require school counselors to report to the parents of a student that comes out to them as anything other than cisgender or heterosexual. Know your state’s laws.

Don’t get your hopes up. This, of all the advice I’ve ever given, is what I wish I had kept in check for me personally. I love my sisters and I wanted nothing more for them to see Hannah as their sister. I dreamed of days shopping and getting a coffee with them but that hasn’t happened, annnnnd it probably won’t. My sisters are fine people and are supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community, but it can take some… getting used to when a family member comes out.

Know WHO you are, as best as you can. When I came out (again, as a crossdresser) I was asked a lot of the same questions from everyone I came out to. I imagine I would be asked the same questions if I were to come out as transgender. Be prepared for the normal questions about sexual identity and transitioning. It’s okay if you don’t know the answers to questions like these, but be prepared for them.

I hope this is helpful. There’s no roadmap to coming out but you can prepare.

Be safe and good luck.

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

i want to learn how to be a woman

I get this Ask Hannah! question, is, or variations of it, from time to time (well, ALL the time).

And to be honest I have no idea how to answer them.

Essentially it comes to what you feel you need to do in order for your whole BEING to align with your gender identity.

For some of us, we NEED a vagina to be a woman. For some of us, we need to LEGALLY be a woman. For some of us our legal status or our anatomy have nothing to do with our gender identity.

If you feel your gender identity is different than the one you were assigned to at birth, then your magical journey of hard work and dysphoria will begin. It is up to YOU to decide what your gender identity means to you and what you feel needs to be done in order for you to be at peace with your gender.

Depending on the steps you feel you need to take, you may need to schedule an appointment with your doctor and/or a therapist specializing in gender.

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

 i am a long time closet cross dreser, my wife knows of me cross dressing, she has seen me dressing up and tells me when i can dress up. she has given me a dress that does not fit her or her friend, so she gave it to me thinking it would fit. yes, it does and i told her. she will not let me sit in same room as her and talk like 2 females. i under dress a lot and have more female cloths and make up and perfume then she does and even dress up like a female should. not pants and shirt look. she cross dresses like a man so why can not i dress like a female. i only dress up when our last adult child is at work. when i dress up i feel great about my self and look pretty. foundation and cover up i don’t know how to apply them just yet. how can i get my wife to under stand the cross dressing world? she seen me dressing up but will not be more excepting to my cross dressing. she know and lets me dress up, but will not let me sit in same room is what i don’t understand. thanks for your time

Okay, let’s jump in.

It’s not a surprise you have more clothes than your wife. I know I do and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true for many crossdressers. Please remember that femininity is not a competition. You are not in a contest with your wife when it comes to your wardrobe, makeup, or perfume.

Women can dress however they damn well please.

and

There’s no such thing as a woman dressing like a woman should.

We good?

There’s nothing you can do or say to get your wife to understand your crossdressing besides communication but even that isn’t a guarantee. This is not the same thing as acceptance. Crossdressing is hard to understand, it’s hard to put into words. I don’t even understand why I crossdress and I have been doing it since I was in kindergarten.

It sounds like have your wife’s acceptance and I would rather have my wife ACCEPT my crossdressing than UNDERSTAND my crossdressing.

She may be aware you crossdress but this side of us is a lot to ask and she likely struggles with this side of you. It may be difficult for her to see you dressed up, even if she knows that you do. Be patient with her, be gentle with her, be kind to her. Be worth it.

And listen to her.

And accept that she may never be comfortable with seeing you dressed.

Almost all of us want MORE from our significant others when it comes to this side of us. In all honesty you have more than most crossdressers have when it comes to your relationship. I mean, your wife KNOWS you crossdress. It doesn’t sound like she is trying to STOP you from crossdressing. And goodness, she GAVE YOU A DRESS. So many crossdressers would love for their wife to give them a dress. If she doesn’t want to see you dressed, then perhaps you need to drop the idea and be thankful and grateful for what you have.

Love, Hannah

Related reading

Marriage

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Ask Hannah!

I am planning a short trip to Las Vegas and I was wondering if you know of any hotels which a lot of t-girls stay?

Sounds super fun!

But I have no idea. I’ve only been to Las Vegas once and that was in male mode. I don’t know if there is a specific hotel that t-girls stay in.

Are there any t-girls out there who can give suggestions (about hotels or other attractions) where a girl like us can go in Vegas? Please leave a comment!

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

Do you cover your rather distinctive forearm tattoo in public since you have stated before you think about the possibility of running into someone from work when out en femme?

I tried to cover it but it wasn’t really practical. I have a foundation that is designed to cover tattoos but it wasn’t really meant for everyday use. If I brushed my arm against my body it would smudge not only the foundation but also get on my outfit. I also used to attempt to Photoshop it out but my digital art skills aren’t very impressive so I stopped doing that as well.

If anything I will position my arm in photos so it’s not as visible.

I do these things, or used to do them for the reason you stated, to be less recognizable in either gender presentation. But I stopped when I realized two things:

I rarely, if ever, post photos of myself in male mode online. I don’t think there are many pictures of HIM where you can see my tattoo. In real life I don’t think most people in HIS life know that I have it. When my co-workers see me it’s because I am at work and I am wearing a long sleeve shirt which covers my tattoo. At this point I should be more concerned that my tattoo is more synonymous with HER than with HIM, if that makes sense.

Secondly, if anyone from his life sees Hannah, whether in photos or when I am out en femme, I don’t think it’s my tattoo that will “give me away”. If people from his life see Hannah and realize that SHE is HE, I would more than likely be recognized from my face or something along those lines.

I am less concerned about being “caught”, for lack of a better word. I have been venturing out en femme and posting photos (a LOT of photos) for around ten years now and yes, it’s possible I could still be outed in the future but I take comfort in knowing that it hasn’t happened so far which makes me think (and hope) it’s unlikely it will. HIS life, his social circle, his leaving the house is very, very different than Hannah’s so I think (perhaps naively so) that the risk is pretty minimal.

And on a related note, there are always people in my life that I would prefer them not to know about who I am. I am not casual or careless about my identities. Yes, my website and allll the photos seem to contradict my feeling that I am indeed cautious, but I doubt someone will… stumble (if you will) across my website unless they are specifically looking for transgender/crossdresser related content. If one of his friends found a photo of Hannah and asked me about it, it would, in a sense, “out” them just as much as it would “out” me.

That being said, I do wonder if anyone from his life does indeed know about Hannah but are reluctant to mention it to me for that very reason.

Love, Hannah

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Ask Hannah!

Today, for the first time and with my wife being home due to Covid, I actually wore my favourite fitted bra under my t shirt which did show that I was wearing a bra. If my wife asks tomorrow if I was, shall I just tell her that I am a crossdresser or what?

I am hesitant to give advice on anything that will likely impact a marriage or any relationship.

To be clear, I am not a marriage counselor. I am not a gender therapist.

Basically, I may not know what the hell I am talking about.

Listen.

Every relationship is different. Two people interact with each other in different ways compared to other relationships. There are aspects in your marriage that are unique and different than another marriage. There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” piece of advice that works for every relationship. You know your spouse better than I do.

If your wife noticed you were wearing a bra but didn’t say anything about it it doesn’t mean approval. She may have been too shocked to say anything. She may be processing it and considering what to say. Again, you know your spouse better than I do.

Before you consider anything I write about, I will absolutely, one hundred percent encourage you to get the perspective of a therapist or of a marriage counselor. They know what they are talking about, I probably don’t.

That being said, if you still want my perspective…

Short answer is yes, probably.

Long answer is… well, it’s going to come off as preachy and perhaps bitchy, I suppose, but here goes. You can’t turn back time but you probably should have disclosed this side of you before you two were married. Our significant others need to know as much about us as possible before a real commitment is made. The conversations about whether or not you want children or an open marriage are pretty important. Conversations about religion, politics, future goals, career dreams, sexual history, sexual identity, and gender identity are also crucial.

I do not think crossdressing is a phase or something someone can stop doing. This is who someone IS.

If you are mature enough to make a decision about marriage, you probably are self-aware enough to know that this is a part of you that you won’t grow out of.

On a somewhat related note, whenever I write something along the lines of “I do not think crossdressing is a phase or something someone can stop doing” I usually get at least one email from someone that says they used to crossdress but they grew out of it and don’t do it anymore. I’m like… good for you? Also, if you’re no longer interested in crossdressing how did you find my website, a website about crossdressing?

But I digress.

My whole thing is that a) crossdressing isn’t a phase and b) we should be upfront about this side of us with our significant others.

I guess that’s two things.

So, should you tell your wife you are a crossdresser? Yes, probably.

I qualify my “yes” with a “probably” because I know that coming out is going to very likely completely impact your relationship. It’s likely going to change EVERYTHING. Your partner will likely look at you and think of you in a completely new light and they may not like this revelation.

Could they have a positive reaction to this? Yes, anything is possible but it’s not something you should expect.

Could this conversation be swept under the rug? Yes, and if that’s the case they are communicating to you that they do not want to discuss this side of you any further.

Could this revelation end your marriage? Yes. And again, this sounds bitchy and scary but this is a possibility.

It’s not always the crossdressing ITSELF that causes a relationship to erode. It’s the “why didn’t you tell me this BEFORE we got married?” as well as the perceived (and typically accurate) dishonesty that this side of us can bring. Listen: If you ever told your wife you were on a business trip but instead took a couple of days to dress in a hotel room or visit a city en femme, well, that was a lie. Suddenly the connection between lying and crossdressing is linked.

Trust is gone, or at least has taken a hit that could take years to repair (if it ever repairs at all).

Marriage (or any committed relationship) likely has shared finances whether it is the two of you owning a home or shared debt. You may have children. These are parts of a life that will be impacted by the end of the relationship and will need to be sorted out.

Yes, I think you should have come out before you were married. But it’s too late for that now.

Yes, I think you should be honest with who you are.

BUT. I would hesitate to advise someone to come out to someone (whether it is your significant other or family member or anyone else) if you think it will do permanent damage to your life. If you think your crossdressing will end your marriage, then you may have a choice to make. It sounds completely simplified but it may come down to crossdressing or your marriage.

(Again, please seek out a counselor.)

Love, Hannah

Related reading

Marriage

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Ask Hannah!

I am a male who has been crossdressing in private for many years. I have regularly questioned myself about why I do it and always come back to the fact that I enjoy it and feel more alive and comfortable when I do. My partner does not want any involvement in that part of my life but I can’t give it up. However, as time goes by when I am dressed I am becoming more attracted to other men. I have had some sexual experiences with T-girls but wonder if I should go all the way with a guy while dressed to help understand what is really in my head and what I should do in the future. Any advise you have would be much appreciated.

If you’re asking if I think you should pursue sex outside of the relationship you have with your partner, then no, I do not think you should go all the way or do anything with a guy or with anyone else, regardless of how you are dressed or of their gender.

No matter your gender identity or your sexual identity, I do not think you should be intimate with anyone besides your partner. Ever. At all.

If you feel the need to be physical with anyone besides your partner, for whatever reason, the two of you need to have a very serious conversation about this perceived need.

Aaaand as long as I am on my soapbox (and on the subject) I don’t think that clothes “activate” one’s attraction to another gender. If you are attracted to men when you are dressed up, then you are probably attracted to men when you’re not dressed up.

Also, I don’t think having sex with a t-girl or being attracted to a t-girl means you’re gay. T-girls are girls, remember? It’s not gay to be sexually attracted to a girl, unless you are a girl, I suppose.

Some crossdressers tell me they are straight when they are presenting as a man, but identify as bisexual when they are dressed up. The reality is that their sexuality didn’t change when they changed their clothes. In my opinion they are feeling a little less inhibited when they are en femme compared to when they are dressed in boy clothes which makes someone feel a little more… open to something.

If crossdressing arouses you, it’s not surprising you want to have sex when dressed. When we are aroused we often are open to things that we didn’t think we would be. Again, we are less inhibited and our… decisions are being made by our desire, not our brain.

Love, Hannah

Related reading

SEX

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Ask Hannah!

Hannah, any Indian cd sites and girls that you follow? I am a Crossdresser and am living full time with my wife and kids. Yes they have accepted and supported me for the last 19 years. But in India at 5ft 11in, I am fairly tall while in male clothing, but en femme, I am almost a giant. The average Indian woman is about 5 ft 5 in tall. So heels are a joke on me 

How wonderful to be accepted and supported by your family!

I check in on Indian CD Novel from time to time so you may want to start there. Additionally, have you considered starting your own blog? Girls like us all have a story to tell and a journey to share. 🙂

And please don’t let height stop you from wearing heels. I am a tiny bit over six feet tall and in North America (according to a three second Google search) the average cis woman is five feet, four inches.

So, I absolutely tower over most cis women regardless of which gender I am presenting as. I wear heels when I am en femme and God willing I always will. I am going to stand out even in flats so I may as well REALLY stand out and wear what I want.

Love, Hannah

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