Ask Hannah!

Hi Hannah.  Really have enjoyed reading your advice.  I love to dress, but have to keep it an absolute secret.  How do you approach that?  Try to just ignore feelings, or do things like wearing panties under clothes?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

If there is one thing that over thirty years of crossdressing has taught me, its that this…desire, need, urge, call it what you will, will never go away.  This is who you are.  You cannot outgrow this, you cannot quit this,  you cannot deny this is who you are and what you want to wear.

I don’t think ignoring this part of us is useful.  Nor do I think it is effective.  I  believe if this is who you are, then you should let yourself be yourself.  I understand that this needs to be kept a secret.  I keep this a secret from almost everyone in my life but I still feel I can be myself.  I know some t-girls who dress up just a few times a year.  Sometimes they take a vacation and spend time as their other selves in a different city.  I know some girls who just check into a hotel for the weekend and dress up and never leave their room.  You just have to find a way to make it work.  It depends on how far you want to go.  For some, wearing a skirt while watching television is all they want.  There are those who just want to underdress.  For some, they want everything from the tips of their false eyelashes to the point of their stiletto.

Of course, you’ll want to consider who you are keeping this a secret from.  If you are married or in a committed relationship, I don’t think you should be deceptive.  I hope you can find a way to tell your significant other about this part of you.  It will, of course, likely come as a shock, but you will inevitably get caught, regardless of how careful you are, or think you are.  I hear stories on a fairly regular basis from crossdressers who were caught by their significant other and not only did they have the discussion about crossdressing itself, there was the additional issue of their partner being lied to.  If you told her you were on a business trip when you really spent the week visiting a different city and trying on heels, she will likely feel betrayed and deceived…because, quite honestly, you lied to her.  It will takes years for a relationship to recover from feeling deceived, if it recovers at all.  I think many partners are hurt more about being deceived than about the dressing itself.  I may have made a lot of mistakes in my life, but one thing I did right was telling my wife about myself after only a few months of dating.  I had to.  This is who I was and she deserved the truth.

I hope this helps!  Be safe and be honest.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

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Ask Hannah!

Hello I am a 24 year old who crossdresses. I am passable and I have a female friend (We grew up next door to each other and are only children) so she is like a sister to me. She has asked to be maid of honor in her wedding next summer. However she wants me to begin immediately living full time as a female so I am prepared for all the wedding stuff. She has offered a place to live and a job what do I do. Thanks.

I receive a lot of emails and from time to time I get a message along the lines of “…my wife’s best friend moved away and she misses having someone to go shopping with.  Now my wife wants me to live as a woman so she has a girlfriend again.  What should I do?”  My suspicion is that many of those messages are fake.  I think there are some crossdressers who are…intrigued, let’s call it, at the idea of someone else taking charge of their gender identity.  Perhaps there are those who want to dress/transition but taking comfort in the idea that it was the idea of someone else.  I am not sure, I cannot answer that question.  When I was in my teens I read anything I could about crossdressing and for a few of us, this is a fetish, fantasy or a sexual turn on.  There is a lot of fiction written about someone being crossdressed by someone else.  “I don’t want to be a girl but my aunt is making me dress up” or “I lost a bet and now I have to be a cheerleader” are popular themes.

I never was a fan of not being able to make your own decisions about who you are or what you wear.  For some, the above question is the ultimate fantasy.  Someone supportive in our lives, the chance of being a maid of honor and the offer of living full time as a woman.  I’m not one to say what fantasies one is allowed to have.  That’s the point, they are YOUR fantasies.  I am also not questioning the legitimacy of this email, either.

My point is that your gender identity is YOUR gender identity.  It is your decision and not one that can be maid by anyone else.  It is entirely up to you if you want to transition, dress up for a day, a month, a year or forever.  Please don’t let anyone make this decision for you.  Living full-time is a drastic life change and not a choice one should make at someone’s else request, nor should it be made lightly.

I would encourage you to seek out a gender counselor or therapist, join a support group, talk with your doctor and loved ones to determine if this is truly the direction you wish to go.

Best of luck!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

If I sent you my pic would you give me your honest opinion if I would be passable to walk out?

I would never tell someone if they did or did not pass. I don’t believe in passing.
I believe in confidence.  I believe in loving how you look.  “Passing” and loving how you look and feel are two completely different things. When I walk through a mall wearing my favorite dress and heels I feel *amazing*.  I don’t care what anyone else thinks. What do I care if someone thinks that I am not beautiful? What do I care if someone knows that I am transgender?  It doesn’t affect me in the slightest.

Who decides if you pass or not? Who has the right to decide if you look feminine enough? What does that even mean? Women, whether trans or cis, all look different. Some cis-women are tall, have broad shoulders, hands of all sizes and have different facial features. Holding ourselves to a certain standard means that we have expectations as to what a cis-woman “should” look like. Here’s the reality: Some cis-women have large hands. Some are taller than men. Some have deep voices. Some have facial hair. Does this mean they don’t “pass”? Of course not. All cis-women are women (if they choose to identify that way, of course), all transwomen are women, no matter how anyone looks.

You are beautiful.

Love, Hannah

Capturing Confidence

75I think we all remember our first photograph.  Although we likely stared in the mirror for a long time after we dressed or wore makeup in the early days, seeing a photograph is an entirely different experience.  Sometimes the photos make your jaw drop as they capture a side of us we always wanted to see…but sometimes the photos are humbling and can trigger a downward spiral as we realize we don’t look quite as how we imagined, or hoped.

But what we do takes time.  It takes patience.  It takes practice.  We often need a mentor.  Creating ourselves and being comfortable with who we are can take a lot of effort.  The picture of me in the white dress was taken about six years ago.  I remember how happy it made me when it was taken, but as time passed, I realized how far I had come whenever I looked at the early photos.

If you’ve spent even just ten seconds on this blog, you’ll see that I obviously love having my photograph taken.  I was fortunate enough to partner with an amazing photographer, Shannonlee, a few years ago and she is so much fun to work with.  In addition to working with such a fun and talented artist, the photos are a reminder of how far I’ve come…as a result of hard work, patience, exercise and building confidence and how it can pay off.  To me, the photos are less about how I look, but more of a reminder of how I feel about myself.  I feel happy, confident and assured.  I have come a long way from needing validation in the early days.  The girl in white dress looks insecure, guarded and although she’s smiling, she’s unsure of herself.  She has the heels, but missing confidence.

Confidence is everything.  Whether you are a t-girl or not, it’s confidence that gets us through the day, helps keeps our head held high as we strut through the mall or make eye contact with those who stare at us.  Confidence helps us ask the makeup artist to recommend a foundation for our skin tone, confidence helps us ask the sales clerk if they have that cute red pump in a size 12 in the backroom.

I recently had a photoshoot with Shannonlee and I am thrilled to post the first of the pictures.  These photos are of me in a dress I purchased earlier this summer from Long Tall Sally.  It’s a little short and the slit makes it even more risque, but I don’t spend two hours a week on the Stairmaster to cover up my legs.  😉

I hope you like these photos!  I’ll post more throughout the week.

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Ask Hannah!

I am a beginner crossdresser.  Please tell me how to chose my dresses.

Creating your wardrobe is one of the most fun and expensive things you’ll ever do.  It will be even more expensive if you don’t purchase clothing that is the right size.  It’s important that you know your measurements and understand that the size on the tag doesn’t mean very much as each designer and store can have a different meaning of what a size is.

So, how do you find your measurements?

Find a measuring tape (not the tool kit kind, the ribbon kind) and take your measurements for different parts of your body:
-Waist measured at your belly button
-Bust measured at nipple height with or without forms/padding
-Chest measurement taken just under pectoral muscle (2 to 3 inches below nipple)

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I have a section on my blog that goes into more detail about shopping and sizing.  Read that section here.

The internet makes it very convenient to purchase and ultimately return clothing if it doesn’t fit.   It’s important you refer to the size charts on the store’s site in order to choose the right items.  I found a really cute dress on Amazon recently, but I know from experience to look at the size chart.

Here’s a typical screenshot from Amazon:

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Under the price, you can choose the size you’d like, as well as view a size chart.  This is a standard Amazon size chart and is rarely relevant.

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I ignore this.  Usually on the left side of the screen, among the alternate views, you’ll see the manufacturer’s size chart and will vary from dress to dress.  This is usually more accurate.

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I also will scroll to the bottom of the page and read the customer questions and reviews to see other shopper’s opinions.  I normally wear a size 12 or a large (unless it’s stretchy, then I go down to a 10), but according to this chart I am a size XL.

Taking a few moments to do you research will save you time and money.

Happy shopping!

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

I have been crossdressing for about 5 years, but I want to take it to the next level, going out in public dressed as a women.  I have been out as a women but only to gay bars or other places like that.  I wear a wig, padded bra, dress , nylons, high heel shoes, necklaces, and clip on earrings.  My problem is that I do not know how to apply makeup, so I need to meet other crossdressers to get some tips or do a makeover.  my question is, how do I meet other crossdressers?  Thank you for your time in answering this.

Hi!  Talking to other t-girls and crossdressers is certainly an option when it comes to makeup, however I have learned more about makeup by talking to makeup artists and having makeovers.

Facial shape and facial structures are wildly different from person to person.  Talking to a makeup artist will be beneficial as they are trained to contour, highlight and reduce certain facial features (if you want) and to help you do your own makeup.  No two people do their makeup the same way.  Learn what is right for you.   There are some tricks I learned from other t-girls, specifically when it comes to color correcting and beard cover but I learned so much more by meeting with makeup artists and being taught which makeup is right for my skin, tone and color.  My advice is to schedule a makeover and ask a lot of questions.  I have some suggestions where you can go on my blog.

As for meeting other girls, I would recommend creating a profile and chatting online at various forums, such as crossdresssers.com and urnotalone.  When I wanted to meet others like myself I started the MN T-Girls, so you may want to consider starting your own group.

Good luck, have fun, be safe!

Love, Hannah

 

Long Tall T-Girls

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We have all experienced challenges with shopping at one point in our lives.  Whether it was selecting accessories that best complimented a dress, putting an outfit together, determining our correct size(s) or simply working up the courage to set a foot (high-heeled or otherwise) into a store.

I cannot tell you how much money I’ve spent over the course of my life in purchasing the wrong size of something.  Working up the courage to talk to a salesperson in a store has changed my life, not only in expanding my wardrobe but also in overall change in my confidence.  In my experience salesclerks have been extraordinary helpful and have gone out of their way to help.

However, I have to say I have never had an experience like the shopping experience I had yesterday.  Last night the MN T-Girls had our monthly outing and we were treated to a private shopping event by the wonderful staff at Long Tall Sally in the Mall of America.  Long Tall Sally is a clothing boutique that carries clothes designed for women 5’8” and taller (up to size 20) and sells shoes that range from 10 – 15.  Basically, it’s a haven for girls like myself.

Shopping can be an intimidating event as we’ve all needed to work up our courage to simply start building a wardrobe but also in navigating a new world of sizing.  However Wanda, Cindy and Kiersten couldn’t have been more amazing.  The event started after the store closed to regular shoppers and for the next two hours they helped us find clothes, put outfits together and helping a few of us buy their very first pair of heels.

The event was a success on so many levels  There were about 15 of us and we all had an amazing time shopping, talking, trying on clothes and meeting new friends.  I fell in love with two dresses, one of which is perfect for Saturday night, the other perfect for Sunday morning.  I will let you decide which is which.

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I really want to thank the members of the MN T-Girls who come to shop and have fun, and I really want to extend my thanks and appreciation to Long Tall Sally and their incredible staff.  It was such an amazing night and the staff provided incomparable service and an unforgettable experience.

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Love, Hannah