Xdress!

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I am excited to announce that I am now a blogger for Xdress.com!

Xdress designs dresses, shoes and lingerie for girls like us.  Xdress was one of the first companies to make pretty clothes that were made for our bodies in mind.  Dresses with a little more room in the chest to account for our shoulders and heels that are a little wider, for example.  I remember seeing my first Xdress catalog almost twenty years ago and amazed that something like this existed.  Seeing pages and pages of lingerie and dresses for our community was incredible.  I also remember ordering a lot of their items.

What I like about Xdress is their effort to make crossdressing less of a taboo and more fun and…normal.

My first article posted earlier today.  Please click over and comment if you can!

Love, Hannah

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Get GORGEOUS with Corrie!

I’ve written a lot about Corrie Dupay and her business Midwest Makeup Supply on my blog.  If you’re looking for an amazing makeover from a huge advocate for the trans community, you cannot do better than Corrie.

Corrie has recently revamped her gender transformation studio for her business ‘Femme Makeovers‘.  I’ve had a chance to visit her new studio at the Vandalia Building in Saint Paul and she has everything you need for an amazing experience…heels, clothes, makeup, wigs….anything a t-girl could want.

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Corrie also offers lessons, makeovers, outings and consultations.

I cannot recommend Corrie enough.  If you go, let me know how much fun you had!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

New to cross dressing. Do you know any great studios in NYC to start me on my journey.

Thks so much.

-Samantha

Sometimes I wish I could relive those early days of transforming, at least temporarily, my gender.  I have been transgender even before I knew the word existed.

But I digress.

I have never been to New York but I would love to go.  A quick Google search of the terms ‘gender transformation services NYC’ provides quite a few options.  Here’s a few:

Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to be Girls

Monica Prata

Fairplay Imaging

I wrote a small article on Miss Vera not too long ago which you can read here.

Your journey will be your own, and all of our journeys are different from each other and end at different places.  Transforming your gender is about creating yourself.  This is something you learn.  This is something you learn by doing.  It can be a humbling, frustrating experience.  I have no doubt that you’ll have an amazing time at any studio you visit.  Just be prepared that professional work is not free.

My only caution is that your first (or one of your first) experience with makeup is with a professional makeup artist.  You will look amazing, you’ll feel even more amazing-er.  I know that’s not a word.

However, depending on how often you dress up, it may not be realistic to be able to visit a professional each time you want to get glammed up.  Eventually you’ll have to learn to do your own makeup.  If you’re like most of us, your first few attempts at makeup will be disappointing.  It took a long time for me to be happy with doing my own makeup.  But the more I did it, the more I learned and the happier I was…my skill and confidence grew.

It was a few years of doing my own makeup before I had a professional makeover, and a few years after that until I had a makeover with someone who had specifically trained in the art of gender transformation.  I am still amazed at the magic Corrie at Midwest Makeup Supply can do.   I’m glad I had been doing my own makeup for years before I had these experiences.  Had I visited with Corrie or another professional that early in my journey I would have been incredibly discouraged when I did my own makeup after that.

 

The photo on the left was one of my first attempts, probably taken about six years ago.  The one on the right is from earlier this month.  If I had started with a professional makeover my heart would have sunk as I would not (nor will I ever) be able to duplicate what Corrie did, but these days I am happy with my makeup.  But it took some time.

Working on your look has a lot to do with keeping your expectations realistic and always, always practicing.  I’ve said it many times before and it will likely be etched onto my neon pink tombstone, but crossdressing takes time, practice and money.

Don’t get discouraged when it’s time to do your own makeup after visiting with a professional.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Don’t give up.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Pinup T-Girl!

Yesterday I had the incredible honor of visiting Christi Williams, the makeup artist and photographer of one of Minneapolis’ most incredible boudoir and pinup studios.  If you’ve known me for more than two minutes you know that I love modeling and having my photo taken.  I’ve been lucky in many parts of my life and working with my friend and photographer Shannonlee from studio Fotofida as been one of the best things that has happened to me.

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I’m always looking for a fun experience and this opportunity seemed too fun to pass up.  I’m waaay too shy to do anything in a boudoir style, but who can resist the fun, flirty dresses of a pinup girl?

Before the visit, I had a makeover with the incredibly talented Corrie Dupay of Midwest Makeup Supply.  I’ve been blessed to know Corrie for a little more than a year now and even had a makeup lesson with her recently.  She always does *amazing* work, but this makeover was dynamite.

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When I walked into Christie’s studio, I was blown away by how…cool it was.  It felt like I was stepping back in time as I was surrounded by vintage furniture and props.

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I was impressed with the wardrobe options, of course.  What t-girl wouldn’t be?

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The shoe selection was to die for.

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Christi is also ready to provide hair styling.

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After picking out a couple outfits, Christi and I got to work.  She helped me pose, showed me where to point my toes, how to position my hand and kept things light, fun and playful.  After we were done shooting, we sat down and looked over her work and picked out the best photos.

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Once the photos were picked, Christi and I sat and chatter about beauty, fashion and of course, the transcommunity.  Christi works with a lot of transgender clients and does some remarkable work.  She does gender transformations and I can absolutely testify to her talent and support.

I am dying to see the final photos and I will post them when I have them.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this preview.

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Thank you to Christi for an unforgettable shoot.  If you’d like to experience this yourself, drop her a line.

Love, Hannah

T-Girls – The Next Generation

I know I can only speak for myself, but in conversations with other t-girls, it seems one of the many things we have in common is that we have always been who we are, as far back as we can remember.   Who we are, what we want to wear and be only grows as we get older.

No one outgrows this side of us.  So many of us thought we would stop doing “this” when we hit certain milestones in our lives.  Whether it was becoming a teenager, becoming an adult or even getting married.  But the truth is that we will always be who we are.

Which is wonderful, actually, since there’s nothing wrong with who we are.

As I hit my teen years I grew bolder and more accepting and understanding (and forgiving) of who I was.  I started buying clothes for myself in my teens and purging them a few days or weeks later.  When I moved into my own apartment at age 20 I started to build my wardrobe.  I still purged but it took longer than it used to.  I didn’t purge because I thought I would or could outgrow this, rather I purged because I was terrified of being caught.

When I started the MN T-Girls almost five years ago, I really had no idea who would be members, but I expected t-girls from a variety of age groups.  Today the members of the group number in the hundreds and although I haven’t met everyone yet,  I would estimate that over 90% of the group are in their 40’s or older.  This surprises me.

Most members have discovered the group by googling “Minnesota” and “crossdresser”.  My site is the first option that pops up.  When I was in my teens and the internet was in the early days, the first thing I searched was the term ‘crossdresser’.  I was amazed at how many results the search provided.  It also affirmed my belief that I was far, far from the only one like me out there.  My thinking was that as others like us hit their late teens and early 20ths that they would want to reach out to others like themselves.

When I started the MN T-Girls, I had thought there would be many members in their early 20’s joining the group as that was the age that I had started to grow bolder and wanting to meet others like myself.  But that’s not really the case and I often wonder why.  I would have loved to have found a group like the many that exist today in the Twin Cities at that age.

I have two thought on this.

My first thought is that perhaps a support or social group is just not needed.  I started the group because I wanted to connect with others as Hannah.  I wanted to have friends as Hannah.  There are very, very few people in my life that know me as both of my genders.  I had wanted to expand this number but for various reasons I don’t see myself coming out to anyone else in my life.  In a recent survey, more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options.  This aligns with the thought that perhaps the younger generation does not feel the need to seek out support for others like them because they are finding the support within their own current social circles.  If their friends and peers are accepting of those who identify as transgender, then the need to find support may not be as strong.  I often think that if more people in my male life knew about Hannah, I may not have needed to start the T-Girls.  But I’m glad I did.

My second thought is that coming out as transgender is still terrifying for many of us and it’s still easy to think that no one would understand or accept who we are, regardless of a survey indicating that more youth are identifying as gender non-conforming.  Those in their late teens and early 20’s just simply many not be ready to reach out.  As much as I would have moved to have joined a group like the MN T-Girls or attend a PFLAG meeting when I was younger I probably would not have been ready to do so.  Although the support and acceptance from one’s peers may be there, there is also more media attention and laws that specifically target the transgender population than ever before.  Almost every day there is a news story about a high school and the issue of which bathroom a transgender teenager is allowed to use.  Far too often there are reports about a transperson getting ridiculed, hurt or worse for simply being who they are.  There may be more acceptance, but there is also more vocalized hate than ever before.  From that perspective, it’s not a surprise that more of us are not coming out.

But these are just my thoughts.  I would love to hear from others on this topic, especially from those in their teens or late 20’s.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask Hannah!

Hi there Hannah. Just wanted to start out and say thank you for all you do. I am 31 male but I am finally starting to embrace that I enjoy dressing and possibly being female/transgender. Still unsure of some things as I am finally starting to talk about this and I am seeing a great therapist to help work things out. My questions is I am starting to actually dress and not just fantasize about it and just wondering what some good resources are to help learn how to dress and look more feminine? YouTube is great for somethings but like buying a wig and all the styles and different kinds also knowing how to do make up for my face it’s hard for me to know what would be good for me as everyone is so different? The great thing is I am also from MN so I think your insight would be amazing. Again thank you for all you do and for any advice.

Coming into your look is all about trial and error.  Coming into your look takes time, practice, mistakes and money.  It’s about discovering yourself.  It’s about finding what you like, what you are comfortable wearing and uncovering that part of you that might not get out very much.  It takes time and patience.  No one expects the first time they paint something that it will be a masterpiece.  Be easy on yourself the first (or even the fiftieth) time you dress up or apply makeup.  You might not look as fabulous as you want, but you’re getting there.

This is something you learn by doing.

Everyone has a different perspective on what is and what is not feminine.  The best, and the only way for you to find out what you like to wear is to try on a lot of clothes.  Some things you’ll try and like, others you won’t.  Some dresses make me feel like the prettiest girl in the mall, some make me feel like a man in a dress.  The important thing is for you to wear what you like.

A wig is not much different.  I tried a lot of different styles before I found the style that I like.  I’ve tried wavy styles, longer styles, styles with and without bangs before I found a style that is *me*.  It’s true there are resources out there that will help suggest what style may be best for your face, but really, who cares?  All that matters is what you like.  So, like clothing, try on a lot of different styles and you’ll find what works for you and what you like.

Makeup, like hair and clothes, also takes trial and error.  It took YEARS until I was happy with my look.  It took a lot of practice.  I made a lot of mistakes.  I spent a lot of money. Again, you achieve your look by doing.

So, here’s how you learn makeup. You could watch YouTube videos and learn from them but like buying clothes, everyone is different.  Everyone has different skin, different color, different tone.  What works for me might not work for you.  The easiest way to learn makeup is to have someone teach you.

Makeup is hard to get right.  There are still times when my eyeliner doesn’t look straight or my color correcting is a little off.  The best way to learn makeup is to schedule a makeover.  I know that sounds like the scariest thing in the world, and it is, but it’s the best way to start mastering your look.  Go to the experts, they will show you which products to use, which tones are best for your skin color and they will teach you how to apply makeup.  I’ve been doing my makeup for years and I probably had ten makeovers in the last twelve months and I still learn something new each time.  Remember, you aren’t the first or last t-girl your makeup artist will ever have. They are trained to help girls like us.  Makeup artists are also trained with advanced techniques, like contouring, which totally changed my life.

I have written pretty extensively about getting started and you can read about it here.  I cover topics like shaving, finding your measurements and more.

Since you live in Minnesota, I highly recommend you making a trip to Midwest Makeup Supply in Minneapolis and scheduling a makeup lesson.  While you’re there, I also suggest crossing the street to visit Sunny’s Hair and Wigs.  Both stores are very t-girl friendly.  I have other resources in Minnesota here, and I’d also encourage you to join the MN T-Girls.

Have fun, be safe!

Love, Hannah

 

Fall Photo Shoot – Yellow Dress

I found this dress over a year ago and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.  I bought it without even trying it on, as I was confident it would fit as it was my size.  When I got home I was crushed because I couldn’t even zip it up.

I know what you’re thinking….that I need to drop a few pounds before I could wear it, but to be honest, I didn’t think that was it.  The zipper had this annoying little catch that didn’t allow the zipper to go up all the way, even if I wasn’t wearing it.

Determined to wear this dress, I actually had the zipper replaced…but it was still giving me trouble.  I looked into all sorts of tricks to help a zipper glide more smoothly but nothing worked.

I really wanted to wear this for my recent photo shoot, so I took the dress out of the closet, and zipped the zipper up and down about a million times and it seemed to have gotten the kinks or whatever out of it.  The first time I was able to get the zipper up while wearing it was a wonderful experience.

I love how these photo turned out and I can’t wait to wear this again!

Love, Hannah

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