All We Have Is Who We Are

This is all going to sound a little fatalistic and dark, but I assure you, it is coming from the most enlightened part of my heart.

With shelter-in-place orders all throughout the world, we see our routines, our days, and our lives change.  Things we took for granted, such as a completely stocked grocery store, are gone.  Our favorite restaurants are only doing take-out, movies we looked forward to have been rescheduled, and countless other little things (and big things) have changed.

As a t-girl, I am used to being a little on guard when I go out, but this is a new level of fear and cautiousness.  If someone coughs at the store our thoughts and fears jump to thinking they have COVID-19.  We think twice before putting our hands on a shopping cart.

Many aspects of our lives are on indefinite hold.  It used to be easier to look forward to the next time we could hit the town en femme because we knew when that day was coming, whether it was that afternoon or next Saturday night.  But these days it’s a lot more up in the air as to when we can paint the town red.  Or pink, in our case.

Most days I find myself daydreaming what Hannah will do once things get less scary.  I want to do photo shoots, see the MN T-Girls, go shopping, and a million other things.  But I also think about the things that I didn’t do, or make time for before all of this happened.

Here’s where it gets dark, I suppose.

The last thing anyone wants to do is look back on their life with any regret.  I do not want to be on my deathbed and think about all the things I wanted to do, but didn’t.  Either because I didn’t make time for it or because I was afraid to do so.  There are things I wish I said (or didn’t say) to people I have known, and I would have made things right if I had known it was the last time I would ever see them.  We think we have time to do all the things we want to do, or the things we should do.

But life, of course, has other plans.  Time doesn’t really care what we want to do.  We are not going to be given more days or more opportunities to do the things we want to do that we keep putting off.  And of course, none of us know how much time we have.

Today we all get the same 24 hours.  What will we do with it?  There are things I must do, things I want to do, and things that I would like to do.  I have plans.  A to-do list.  But at the end of the day (literally, in this case), I will be in bed, about to fall asleep, as I look back on the day.  What went well?  What didn’t?  What didn’t I get to do that I had planned to do, or wanted to do?  What will I hope to make time for tomorrow?

Laying in bed at the end of the day, when all the screens are off, when the world is quiet, is when we realize that despite everything happening outside, that is the moment when we remember that our world is completely rooted in who we are.  All we have at the end of the day is ourselves and what we do and who we are.

The world isn’t an uncaring place (for the most part), but the world doesn’t care about what we want or what we want to do.  The world expects us to do these things for ourselves.  We are not going to be given more time to do what we want.  We either do it or we don’t.  Sure, your boss may give you one more day to finish your quarterly report but the world isn’t going to give you another week to do the things you keep putting off.

CaptureI went to Target last week to get some essentials (I promise) and I walked by the dress display (of course I did) and I saw a really cute dress.  It’s not uncommon for me to look at a dress or an outfit and fall in love with it and decide that I could never wear it, for a variety of reasons.

This dress in particular had thin spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline.  I usually avoid dresses with thin straps like this as they show more of my shoulders than I would like.  I have pretty broad shoulders and I think I look very… male in dresses like this.

As I picked up a few groceries I thought about the dress (of course I did) and I wished I had the body for a dress like it.  And then I realized it’s not about my body, it’s about my thinking.  There’s no reason I can’t wear this.  I don’t care what anyone thinks about how I look, and if I feel and look amazing in it, that’s all that matters.  If a dress fits, you can wear it.

My thoughts drifted into the days before this pandemic.  I thought about the things I had planned before those plans needed to be put on hold.  I thought about the things I wanted to do.  I realized that I was looking back on those days with a little regret that I didn’t do them.

I don’t want to hold myself back.  If there’s something I want to do, if there is something I want to wear, then I need to do it.  Who knows how much time we have?  Who knows when something like this happens again?  I don’t want to look back on the day, a lifetime, and wish I had done something.  I can do it now.

Well, not NOW, but you know what I mean.

I bought the dress.

And you should too.  But maybe it’s not this dress, it might be another dress, it might be that makeover you’ve been dreaming about, the stilettos that you can’t stop thinking of, the conversations you want to have.

No matter what happens in 24 hours, at the end of the day all we have is who we are.  We have our dreams, our fears, our deepest desires.

I have these things too.  But now I have these things, plus a leopard print dress.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

Should one dress their age?

Not necessarily.  I wear what I want to wear, however, I do take fashion cues from women that are around my age.  There are a lot of really cute styles that girls that are twenty years younger than I am wear, but as cute as they are, they are clearly meant for someone that is not my age.

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The outfit above is the cutest, girliest outfit I own.  I heart it.  Every time I see photos of it or it hanging in my closet I want to wear it.  The outfit below looks like someone a girl in early twenties would wear.  It’s cute, and I think I pull it off.

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Once a t-girl (or crossdresser or someone who is bi-gender, gender-fluid, or… a human) has accepted and embraced who they are, a whole world of clothes and fashion and style has opened up to them.  They will wear whatever they want, thank you very much, regardless of which gender it is “supposed to be for”.

The two outfits above, granted, are not typical of what a girl my age would wear.  But I don’t think dressing your age is necessary.  That concept seems vague and arbitrary.  Instead I dress for the occasion.  I use what I am doing or where I am going as my guideline.

The two outfits above are perfect for an anime convention or shopping, or example.  Not necessarily a good fit for the office or a wedding.  Of the two outfits below, one is perfect for brunch, the other is, well, appropriate for, well, I’ll let you decide.

Clothes make a statement.  Both of these dresses do exactly that.  One dress is saying she would love a mimosa, the other says… again, you make that call.

Think about what you are doing, and where you are going.  Think about what others will likely be wearing.  Using this as your guide will help immensely.  When in doubt, I prefer to take a chance on dressing up rather than dressing down.  I tend to be the most overdressed girl at the mall, and that’s fine with me.

I hope this helps!

Love, Hannah

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

 

 

Ask Hannah!

I have that “guy” shape, almost cylindrical. I saw that you wear hip pads and on Amazon there are a gazillion types and prices. Do you have a type that you’d recommend to get a more feminine shape?

I also have that same shape as you and yes, I wear thigh pads from The Breast Form Store.

I didn’t think that I would ever be a forms/pads girl, but I am never, ever, going back.  Of course, a girl doesn’t need to have curves or a certain shape to be a girl, but my God, I love the way I look.

I didn’t think that pads would make that much of a difference but look at the two photos below.  Both dresses are form fitting but it’s obvious the changes thigh pads makes.  You could read my review of my Jolie Thigh Pads here.

In addition to my shape, clothes fit different.  In most cases they fit better.  Most dresses and skirts were designed for someone with hips and my thigh pads do the trick.  The only drawback, I suppose, is that tights and nylons have to work a little harder to fit as they need to accommodate the pads.

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As you said, there are many options from Amazon available.  Like makeup, you get what you pay for with pads and forms.  Speaking frankly, pads are not cheap, but they are meant to last a very, very long time.  I’ve had my thigh pads for over a year now and I wear them all the time and there’s been no sign of tearing or the adhesive diminishing.  I’m sure there are cheaper options out there, but I believe in paying for quality.  It goes back to one of my beliefs that creating your femme self takes money, patience, and time.

Love, Hannah

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

The Power of Pink

I was looking at my Flickr account the other day and I saw that this photo was one of my top pictures on my Showcase, which, I assume, is based of off view, likes, and comments.

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I love this photo.  My makeup was done by friend Corrie Dubay and it was from a photo shoot in January 2019 with my friend and photographer Shannonlee.  My legs looks amazing and it’s a cute outfit.  More pictures of this outfit can be seen here.

I love this photo.  I hate this photo.

And this is all going to sound very shallow and I own that.  I also know that my feelings and thoughts are very hypocritical to my core belief: that beauty and femininity has no guidelines, no rules.  There is no such thing as passing, it is impossible to be too “male” to be a girl.

But I’m only human.  I have my insecurities and I get depressed sometimes when I am en femme or see a certain photo.  For every glamorous picture I post, there are five similar shots that are just… ugh and will never be posted.  And that is not Shannonlee’s fault.  I’m the model, it’s my body, my face, my everything.

If you look at anything long or hard enough, you’ll start to notice little things you missed before.  Furthermore, it’s not healthy or recommended to over-analyze or to be super critical of pictures, or of anything, of our femme selves.

But here I am.

So, what do I hate about this picture?  Glad you asked.

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Let’s look at my face.  No matter what direction I am looking or how my head is positioned, my face is my face.  Contouring can only do so much.  I have a pretty strong jawline and it’s not going to be different no matter which gender I am presenting as.  My face looks very male here.  Pointing my head down slightly can usually minimizes my jawline, but I clearly didn’t do that here.  Perhaps I should hire a modeling coach.  🙂

Same with my shoulders.  I look like a linebacker (which is a part of a football team but that’s literally all I know about linebackers).  The pose I am (trying to) rock here contributes to how my shoulders look of course as I am supporting my body with my arm, but my God, my frame is huge.  I am thankful black is a slimming color and de-emphasizes my shape but this picture makes me wish there was a darker color than black.

Next on my list of self-loathing (not really) is my shape itself.  I work hard to stay a size 12 but I have virtually no shape here.  No curves at all.  Thank God for my thigh pads from the Breast Form Store and for my Dita Corset from Glamorous Corset.  Pads, forms, and a corset does amazing things for my shape.  I wish I had these essential items for the shoot the above photo is from.

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Lastly, my hands.  There are many things one can do when it comes to changing the shape or appearance of our bodies.  We can contour our faces, we can wear black, we can wear hip/butt/thigh pads (and I do), we can avoid certain patterns on a dress… but I am very self-conscious about my hands.  I wear rings in an effort to lessen the manly appearance of them and I suppose I could paint my nails more often than I do, but I try not to draw attention to my hands in my shoots but this photo, due to my pose, make it hard to do that here.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I feel beautiful, I love how I look, I love this picture.  Everyday I get emails from girls like us who try so hard to be beautiful.  Their heart is aching so much as they yearn to be pretty.  I understand.   I relate.  I am very secure with how I look and who I am, but I have days just like anyone where the dysphoria is killing me and I just want to go back to presenting as male and hide under a rock forever.

As much as makeup, a pretty dress, and killer heels can make us feel feminine, they can also make us feel very… male.  As I move from one gender presentation to another, I can see signs of my male self peeking through the cracks of my femme self.  My eyeliner might look amazing, but I also see the bags under my eyes.  My lips might be the reddest shade in the world, but I also see my male jawline.

Makeup and clothes can only do so much.  It’s our attitude that must do the heavy lifting.  Our hearts must also work hand-in-hand with our clothes.  Yes, a pink dress makes me feel more femme than my suit, but if I am constantly nit-picking at every aspect of my face and body (and hands and…. everything else), the pinkest dress in the world is powerless.

And pink is NOT powerless.  And neither are you.  Block out the parts of your brain (and society) that tell you that you are not pretty.  That you are not beautiful.  That you are too male.  At the end of the day, there’s only so much we can do when it comes to our bodies.  Red nail polish is not going to suddenly give our hands the slim, tapered look we may wish for.  Accept it.  Own it.   Move on.  Focus on what you love about yourself.  I may have the manliest hands in the world, but my legs are to die for.

If t-girls had a team color, there’s no question it would be pink.  Pink is considered to be the most feminine hue of the spectrum.  Even “boy clothes” like a dress shirt is commonly looked at as femme.  I don’t support or agree with the genderization of anything, whether it is a color or something to wear, but pink is pretty aggressively feminine.  And thank God for that.

But pink is more than a color for me.  It’s a state of mind.  It’s an attitude.  I wish I knew how to eliminate dysphoria for good, but it’s not possible.  There’s always going to be days, photo shoots, makeovers, pictures… where I feel and look more masculine than I would like.  I acknowledge it, and fight it as best as I can.  It’s not always going to be a fight I win, but if I think pink, in attitude as well as what color I wear, I can hold my head high (even if my head has the squarest jawline in all of humanity) and love who I am.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Look At This Stuff, Isn’t It Neat? Wouldn’t You Think My Collection’s Complete?

IMG_0570A girl like us knows the purge.  We also know beginning again.  And again.  We accumulate heels, panties, dresses, lipsticks… the list is endless and the list is beautiful.

Once we stop purging, our wardrobe really gets serious and… well, huge.  Over the past twelve years or so, my lingerie drawer, my stiletto collection, everything grew and grew.  Every once in a while I’ll search through my drawers looking for a specific panty or the matching heel and I’ll start to marvel at how many dresses, skirts, and jewelry I own.  And I am so lucky to have what I have.

 

But rarely do I fully take stock of how much I have.  I recently got a new dresser and I was excited to reorganize all of my clothes.  The dresser is huge with a lot of drawers. My lingerie, bras, panties, stockings were all out of control, so I was happy that I could sort things a little better.

The dresser has six drawers and I put what I still have for boy socks and other boy stuff in one of them.  The other drawers were for panties, bras, stockings, lingerie, and leggings/camis.

Even with as many drawers as the dresser had, and as big and deep they were, it was still a tight fit.  But after all of this work, I came to a realization.

I have too many boy clothes.

🙂

Love, Hannah

 

Super Femme

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Until things start shifting, we will always live in a binary world when it comes to gender.  This is for boys, that is for girls, boys wear blue, girls wear pink.

I hate it.

Even for a community such as ours (and I like to think of the LGBTQ+ community as enlightened when it comes to gender roles), it’s not uncommon for us to also think in the binary, even if it’s unintentionally.  Yes, we wear what we want.  We wear panties, skirts, eyeliner… whatever we want.  Many of us have moved beyond the collective thought that makeup or cute undies are for girls and that boys can’t wear nail polish.

But many of us, myself included, want to, or have wanted desperately to pass.  We want to look so femme that we want others to think we are “real” women.  We want the slim hands, the heart-shaped face, or any feature that we think that a “real” girl has.  We fret over our size 13 shoe size, our square jaw, our deep voice.

Of course, I don’t believe in passing anymore.  I do not think there is a standard we must meet in order to be a girl, to be feminine, to be beautiful.

But I get it.  I really, really do.

If you were to ask what a typical guy is like, what masculinity looks like, you might hear that a guy is anything from having a muscular build, to someone who drinks beer and watches football, someone who is quick to anger or doesn’t ask for directions when they are lost… just watch a few hours of sitcoms and you’ll get an idea as to what many people think a stereotypical guy (and in most cases, a girl) is like.

When I look in the mirror (in guy mode), I see a pretty strong jawline, wide shoulders, decent biceps, giant hands… and I’m tall.  I look “masculine”.  I check a lot of the boxes that people generally associate with being male.

And I like how I look.  I’m comfortable with who I am, I think I am in good shape for my age, and I see how the hours each week over the span of ten years at the gym have paid off.

I know I look masculine.  I know that I don’t look like someone who would identify as transgender or bi-gender.  I don’t have that David Bowie androgynous look.  I don’t look like a guy that has an amazing collection of fabulous heels.  Who I am surprises most people when I have come out to them.

When I step across the lines of gender binary, I begin the transformation from masculine to what I hope is femininity.  And sometimes (most of the time), it is a battle.  It’s a battle on two fronts.  One is the physical side.  How do I get my broad shoulders into this cute dress?  How can I contour enough to reshape this blocky chin into something more oval?
The real battle is the psychological one.  As I said, when I look in the mirror I see a masculine reflection.  I see a face that needs to shave, I see bags under my eyes from not getting enough sleep… and I wonder how on Earth am I going to make THIS into a cute girl?

I feel sorry for my makeup artists.  At least I tip well.

How we think and feel takes more effort than anything we need to do when it comes to “becoming her”.  When I am feeling, and looking, more masculine when I would like, I will respond (and in a way, fight back) by what I wear.  When I have plans to go out en femme, it’s not uncommon for me to have my outfit picked out days (weeks) in advance.  But it’s pretty normal for me to switch my outfit that day to something else depending on my mood.

Sometimes I change my outfit because of the weather, sometimes I change it because I picked up a new dress, sometimes I change it because I am in a really good mood and I want to wear something cuter or flirtier.

But if I change my outfit, it’s usually into something more… feminine than what I had planned.  A dress is pretty feminine in it of itself, but let’s face it, some dresses are more feminine than others.

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I love pink, I love floral patterns, I love little details of bows and lace.  Of course, I also love leather and looking badass, but that’s a topic for another day.

I had a revelation the other day that I like to look, and dress, as feminine as possible to be in equal contrast to my masculinity.  Whether I am wearing a dress shirt or a dress, my shoulders aren’t going anywhere.  I can wear thigh and hip pads, I can wear breast forms, I can contour my face, but I can’t do anything about my frame and hands.

At least not physically.

A pink dress makes me feel (and look) more femme than my shoulders make me feel masculine.  Polka dots, stilettos, bright, red glossy lipstick, winged eyeliner sharp enough to pop a balloon… femme me up, baby.  This same thinking carries over to my underdressing, too.  If I am feeling particularly “male” I’ll wear pink panties, or something with lace or bows… something more girly than what I might have normally picked out for the day.

This all sounds like I am…conflicted about my gender.  I am not.  I am not trying to suppress one gender identity with another.  What I do is I dress more femme when I want to feel femme, but in reality I am feeling more… male.

And it works.

I can’t tell you how many times I woke up excited about a day en femme but the first reflection of the morning is a tired man who needs a shave and several cups of coffee.  But as the morning goes by, my face becomes smoother, lips brighter, my outfit becomes waaay cuter… and my mood begins to slowly and gradually shifts.

Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it’s not.  What usually helps when I need a bit of a boost is a cuter outfit.  More colors, more flowers, more lace… more anything.  Like that cup of coffee I need in the morning, sometimes I need an espresso shot to give myself that extra kick.  When I am looking super femme, it’s probably because I was feeling super masculine that day.

At least at first.

What helps you feel femme?

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Faves

I fall in love with clothes.

I think we can all relate to having some sort of emotional connection to something we can wear.  I remember the first bra I ever tried on, the first pair of panties I could truly call my own, the first dress I bought with my wife.

It’s not uncommon to find something we love to wear and put it on every chance we get.  I thought it would be fun to share some of my most recent favorites.

I underdress every day and my current favorites are the Blossom Bodysuit and the Blossom Bra and Panty set from HommeMystere.

I heart matching lingerie and this set is peak feminine.  Pink, lace, bows, ruffles… what else could I wish for?

If I am lucky to work from home that day or actually have a day off, my go-to outfit includes a pair of leggings from Wild Fable.

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I layer with a white cami, femme t-shirt, and a black cardigan and I look and feel super cute and comfy all day whether I am on a conference call or doing laundry.

When it’s time for my bed, my current favorite nightie is from Stars Above, a line from Target.

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Cute, comfortable, lacy, and pink.  It was made for me.

What are your current favorites?

Love, Hannah