Time, Money, and Patience

If I have a philosophy, it’s “crossdressing takes time, money, and patience”.


This side of us takes time because we learn over time.  We get better at makeup the more often we put makeup on.  None of us are born with a steady hand and are able to do a perfect cat-eye every time we wear eyeliner.  Time is also essential when it comes to embracing this side of us.  I fully believe we are born this way, even if this side of us doesn’t “wake up” until later in life.  I was always this way but when I was very young and I saw the mannequins at JC Penney wearing beautiful lingerie… well, something just clicked.  Like a butterfly pushing its way out of a cocoon.  It took time to acknowledge this side of me, to accept it wasn’t a phase, and to embrace who I was.  Each stage took time, it took a long time to get to where I am today.


Crossdressing or presenting en femme isn’t cheap, at least it isn’t for me.  Sure, I can put panties or a nightgown on and I am crossdressing.  It’s about as inexpensive as crossdressing gets.  But being en femme is another story altogether.  Before I even get dressed or put on makeup, I am wearing my breast forms, thigh pads, and corset.  All of these things give me the figure I want when I am en femme and these things are not cheap.  For me, they’re worth the cost as I look at them as an investment and I see the return on my investment every time I am dressed up.  It sounds silly but when I see a curvy figure in my shadow I get a little thrill.  Clothes aren’t cheap, makeup isn’t cheap.  I had a makeup lesson a few years ago which wasn’t free but again, it was an investment.  Photo shoots, which I acknowledge are not something every t-girl does, take a lot of work and money from booking the studio, getting outfits, paying my photographer, and a professional makeover.  We learn a lot when we build our wardrobe and buy makeup.  If we don’t know how to find our measurements we likely will waste a lot of money on clothes that don’t fit.  You (for the most part) get what you pay for when it comes to makeup.  Sure, foundation from Walgreens might be 5-6 dollars, but that won’t work when it comes to what I need foundation to do.  I need my foundation to mix well with color correcting and to cover my facial hair and to act as a good base for more foundation for contouring.  The foundation I need runs about $40.  


And finally, patience.  This is the hardest part for me.  It was very disheartening to see how I looked the first time I did my own makeup.  The first time I wore a wig.  I expected to be totally transformed but I looked like the boy me in bad makeup and a cheap wig.  I mean, that’s not unfair to say.  The wig was cheap (there’s the money part again), and my makeup was rushed (oh, and here’s the time thing again).  I expected to look AMAZING the first time I did my own makeup but I was… well, I didn’t look amazing.  It was a little discouraging and I COULD have given up on all of this (I mean, not really, I can’t quit being trans no more than I can quit being tall or being right-handed) but I tried again the next weekend after my wife showed me a little more technique when it came to my foundation and reading more about color correcting.  I looked a little better, at at least, a little less terrible.  Patience was also key when it came to wearing a proper corset.  Corsets require seasoning (essentially breaking them in) and the first time I wore my current corset I thought I would DIE after a half hour.  It was painful and I couldn’t see how on earth I could get used to it.  But I kept at it followed the instructions and took my training seriously.  These days I can wear my corset for ten hours without even noticing it.  Thank god I invested my time and was patient with it.


I got to thinking about all of this a couple weeks ago when I was getting dressed.  In the early days my wife and I would have a girls night on Saturdays and I would get dolled up.  It took about thirty minutes to get dressed and do my makeup.  These days it takes that same amount of time to just put on my corset, stockings, pads, and forms.  Being en femme takes more prep work and planning than it used to.  For example, for the longest time I wore nylons or tights and I could wear a short dress or skirt without thinking about it.  These days I prefer stockings held up by garters attached to my corset.  A short skirt can show my garters and stocking tops and I don’t want to do that.  I mean, it’s kind of sexy to do that (if that’s the effect I am going for) but it’s not appropriate for a day at the mall.  So my outfit is planned around my corset, in a way but usually my outfits are built around the heels I am wearing that day, and my heels are planned on what I am doing.  If there’s a lot of walking or standing I’ll wear certain heels compared to my six inch platform stilettos.  Once I have my heels chosen then my outfit comes next.  My makeup is usually done to watch my outfit, not only in terms of colors and shades, but also in terms of, well, intensity and drama.  If I am wearing a bright flowery dress than my makeup is more colorful and cute.  Leather or a little black dress?  Vamp me up.


I have come a long way, even in the last five years, and it’s all due to these three things.  I get asked a lot about how does one crossdress and yes, I can be bitchy and tell them to wear panties or lipstick and ta-da, you’re crossdressing.  But that’s not helpful.  Crossdressing requires a wardrobe of course, no matter how big or small it is.  I mean, you can’t crossdress without SOMETHING, but once you start thinking about this other than about clothes, you need to know that this is a side of yourself that you need to invest your time in, spend your money on, and be kind to yourself while you are being patient.

Love, Hannah

Secrets of MtF Crossdressing

Sybil Minnelli is a long time crossdresser, balancing her kink lifestyle with a vanilla family and work life. She’ll teach you her secrets of crossdressing, how she balances dual lives, and how she switches her presentation between casual, passable, and fetish themes. Ms. Sybil will share her advice on makeup, hair, clothes, shoes and how to get the look you desire. However, she does lead an interactive class and will encourage others to share their secrets as well. Attend as dressed up as you like and enjoy a very safe, friendly and comfortable environment. Be prepared for a lot of fun discussion about reaching your femme side!

This class is held at the Bondesque store at 707 West Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55408

T-Girl Survival Guide

Hi!

The most read part of this website is “A Beginner’s Guide to Crossdressing” and to be honest that makes me so happy.  The point of this site is to provide resources and help to girls like us.  I try to be helpful and offer advice when and where I can.  I think one of my strengths is offering a perspective on identifying as anything but cisgender when it comes to how we see ourselves and how we move through our lives and through the world.  For example, I can’t do anything about how tall some of us are, but I can remind us that no one is too tall to be femme.  


When it comes to stepping out en femme, I am only too happy to share my experiences in regards to facing the world.  I started to think the other day that most of my adventures have been, for the most part, either positive or at least uneventful.  And honestly, anyone can have a good experience en femme when the rest of the world (or the mall) doesn’t really care or notice a girl like us.  Most of the time things go right and we all move on with our lives.


For many of us this side of us is a secret.  We not only are scared that someone will recognize us, we are also terrified someone will see the panties hidden in our dresser drawer or our browser history.  We protect ourselves, or more accurately, we protect her at any cost.  


We are paranoid and terrified when it comes to the beautiful side of who we are. 


Again, almost all of my outings have been uneventful, but what happens when we are en femme and things don’t go smoothly?  What happens if someone accidentally sees our femme Facebook account?  What about getting a flat tire when we are out?  When I am in boy mode and things go wrong I just handle it.  If I have car problems I call a tow truck.  If I saw a friend of mine while dining out I would say hello.  But if these things happen when I am en femme then it’s completely different.  Things will go wrong and I feel mostly prepared for problems that likely won’t happen, but I am terrified about car problems when I am en femme.  The last thing I want to do is watch some tow truck driver hoist my car onto his truck and offer me a ride back to the shop.  I mean, I know it’s not much different than interacting with a barista or a salesclerk, but when I am en femme I choose how I spend my day and who I interact with, no one really plans on chatting up mechanics as they tell you that your alignment or whatever is messed up.


But these things happen, and they will happen.  Sure I can change a tire but I am not doing it in stilettos and a LBD.  Yes, I’ve gone to the emergency room but never after a makeover.  If these things happen to me you can be certain I will write about it, but they (knock on wood) haven’t. 

Really, the scariest thing that happened to me was at Pride a few years ago when the wind caused a tent to flip over which hit me on the head and I was treated by the EMTs.  I still have the scar, but thankfully it’s the only scar (physical, emotional, and mental) I have related to being out en femme.
But I’m sure things have happened to others.


I would like your help in putting together somewhat of a survival guide.  And I know that sounds a little extreme but it’s the best way I can describe it.  If you have had a negative (or frustrating or terrifying or even a funny) experience out en femme, how did you handle it?  How did others respond?  If you had something happen, something other than pleasant or uneventful, I would love to read (and post) your experience on this site.


Some of the things I have in mind:


-Car problems (or getting pulled over)

-Being recognized en femme

-Your social media page being discovered-Someone seeing your bra strap when you are in boy mode

-Flying pretty

-“Getting caught”

-Trying on heels at the mall in boy mode

-Anything else that you might helpful


Please send me an email (hannahgotta@gmail.com) with the subject line “T-Girl Survival Guide” and I’ll be happy to share it with others.


Thanks!

Love, Hannah

The Return of the MN T-Girls Again

Yesterday was the first MN T-Girls meeting since November. We took a pause due to COVID but now that the weather is warmer (for Minnesota in April, anyway) I felt it was safe(r) to resume our monthly adventures This was our second return as we took our first COVID pause last March and returned (for the first time) in May of last year.

This month wasn’t tooooo elaborate, just coffee and girl talk with the girls but it was good to see my friends again.

It was chilly, but at least I looked cute. Well, I thought I looked cute.

Love, Hannah

Secrets of MtF Cross-Dressing

My friend Sybil is hosting a crossdressing workshop at Bondesque in Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 20th!

 Sybil Minnelli is a long time cross-dresser, balancing her kink lifestyle with a vanilla family and work life. She’ll teach you her secrets of cross-dressing, how she balances dual lives, and how she switches her presentation between casual, passable, and fetish themes. Ms. Sybil will share her advice on makeup, hair, clothes, shoes and how to get the look you desire. However, she does lead an interactive class and will encourage others to share their secrets as well. Attend as dressed up as you like and enjoy a very safe, friendly and comfortable environment. Be prepared for a lot of fun discussion about reaching your fem side!

Tickets available here!

Love, Hannah

New En Femme Blog!

My new blog for En Femme is live!

The latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available in our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her life as a self-described T-girl. 

Hannah’s newest article is the third part in a series about starting out crossdressing and exploring gender, identity and labels: “Crossdressing 101.” In this installment, Hannah talks about where crossdressing falls on the transgender spectrum and about identifying as a bi-gender person.  Read it now>>

Love, Hannah

Impossible When Beautiful

The world isn’t EVER going to give you permission to wear panties, or paint your nails, or strut in stilettos.  The world isn’t ever going to give you permission to do a goddamn thing.

If you want to do something, you just need to do it and the world will have to (eventually) accept it (or the world won’t).


That’s how progress is made.  


Women didn’t wait for the world to give them permission to wear pants.  They just freaking did it and although it wasn’t easy eventually women were “allowed” to wear pants.  Women fought for the right to vote, to own property.  Gays and lesbians fought for the right to marry whoever they wanted to.  


When I schedule a makeover and wander around town I’m doing it without the permission of ANYONE.  I just do it and to hell with people who wish I wasn’t alive.


The only person who “lets” you be who you are, the only person who “lets” you wear lingerie or makeup is your damn self.


Kind of.


Many of us are married, or have significant others.  Many of us were married.  We all know that crossdressing, being bi-gender, identifying as transgender doesn’t make life any easier.  Relationships aren’t easy either, but when you bring this side into one, well, it creates a whole new series of unique, difficult, and confusing conversations.  I fully believe in being honest with your significant other, although I do understand that it’s not easy, and it’s not always possible.  I know I am oversimplifying and speaking in very broad terms here.   If coming out will 100000% end your relationship, then coming out isn’t that simple.  For some of us we have to make a decision between Who We Are and Staying Married. 

And that’s… well, it’s heartbreaking.  We fall in love and commit to someone because we love them, we want to spend our lives with them.  AND we know how important it is to be true to ourselves.  When these two worlds collide it creates a lot of questions, tension, and stress.  We don’t want to cause our significant others stress in any way, regardless if it has to do with crossdressing or financial issues or anything else.


It’s not easy to come out to someone primarily because we don’t know how they will react.  Once you come out to ANYONE your relationship will change.  Even if you never speak of it again, you’ll always have THIS lingering out there.  They know this about you, you know that they know this about you and you both are always thinking about it.  It’s not uncommon for us to think of the worst-case scenario and that the relationship will end.  Or perhaps it won’t but maybe this revelation will make things so unpleasant between the two of you that you wish the relationship was over.  No one is a crossdresser because they think it will simplify their lives.  


If this revelation doesn’t end a relationship, our partners will process this in different ways.  Of course, we all hope and pray that our spouse, the person we love more than anyone else in existence, will love us anyway.  In our wildest dreams perhaps they will help us shop, show us how to contour our faces, maybe even hit the town as girlfriends.  I have a fulfilling, healthy, and happy relationship with my wife.  Although the first few years of us adapting to this side of myself weren’t always easy, we got through it.  I wasn’t always easy to live with, to understand.  In the early days it seemed like EVERYTHING was about Hannah, about clothes, about makeup, about being beautiful.  Every conversation was about Hannah and it got overwhelming for my wife, and for myself.  The pink fog hit me hard and I was impossible to live with.


But we got through it.  I settled into who I am, and found a balance between my gender identities.  I stopped drinking and became more considerate and aware of how my wife felt.  


Divorce and 100000% acceptance and participation are both extreme responses to coming out.  I think most of our relationships fall somewhere between these two.  Some of us have a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ agreement, some of us have relationships with “rules”, such as not leaving the house en femme or posting pictures online.  Regardless of how our significant others react and adapt to this side of us, it’s not easy on them, especially emotionally.  This side of us brings up a myriad of emotions and thoughts in our own heads and hearts, and it does the same thing with our significant others.  As much as we thrill to see ourselves in a dress, it can break our wives’ hearts to see their husbands in a skirt.


If coming out to our partners doesn’t end a relationship, then we have someone in our lives who does indeed “let” us be who we are, even if there are limits.  Even if it’s not discussed.  Even if your panties are hidden in a drawer.  The point is that if coming out doesn’t end your relationship, you have someone in your life who “lets” you do this.  They may turn the other way, they may not be comfortable in discussing it, they may buy you nightgowns for your birthday.  On some level they understand there is this side of you that is permanent, it’s not going away, and you have to be who you are.  Of course, you may not be able to be completely who you are, such as wanting to get dolled up and go out to dinner, but being allowed to dress at home, or underdress… well, that’s something.  

Marriage and relationships have some give and take, some compromise.  It can be how household chores are divided, how financial matters are resolved, or the limits of how crossdressing is brought into a relationship.  
I know many people who visit this site are girls like me, and I know that the significant others of girls like me visit this site as well.  This little rambling post is, in a way, a thank you to our partners and our spouses and significant others.  I know, WE know that this side of us isn’t easy to live with, to understand, to talk about, to accept.  It’s not easy for us, and we understand the stress and the unlimited emotions that this side of us creates.  Some of us would apologize, even though we love this side of us.  Some of us would lose our voices in thanking you for letting us have this side of us, and letting us have you as well. 


To our significant others, thank you, and we’re sorry.  Not necessarily sorry for who we are, but for the stress, the tension, the heartache, that this side of us can bring.


We love you.  


Love, Hannah

*Please know that this post is not a result of any difficulties in my own marriage.  Everything is lovely.  I was inspired to write this after I ordered some lingerie yesterday and I just reflected on how fortunate I am that I don’t have to hide this side of me.  

New En Femme Blog!

My new blog for En Femme is live!

The latest article with blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available in our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her life as a self-described T-girl. 

Hannah’s newest article is the first part in a series about starting out crossdressing and exploring gender, identity and labels: “Crossdressing 101.” In this installment, Hannah talks about the evolution of what the term “crossdresser” has meant to her over the years.  Read it now>>

Love, Hannah

I Hear You

I do my best to help girls like us.  Sometimes it’s being asked about makeup or where to find heels in their size, but I get just as many questions and emails about the more difficult and emotional and serious side of who we are.


I try to be gentle and direct and honest.  Many of us are conflicted or confused or scared about who we are.  Many of us are in denial.  When I tell others like us that we are who we are, we can’t change (and there’s no reason to), I want that message to be comforting.  Yes, this side of us certainly doesn’t make life easier, but knowing that there’s nothing wrong with who you are is the first step towards accepting who you are.  It’s the first step we take when we stop resisting what we want (and what we want to wear).  Ending the fight against yourself is how you get to embracing and celebrating who we are.  


I understand and respect and am honored by the trust that people put into me and what I write.  I take every email seriously (except the ones from the guys who keep asking me to sissify them).  Sometimes questions come to me through email, sometimes they are submitted through the ‘Ask Hannah’ section.  And sometimes the questions come anonymously and really, that’s okay.  I understand the fear of being outed and how hard many of us try to not have any trail of our male identity to a website like mine.  In many, many ways, caution and paranoia protect us.  I totally get that.    


I respond to most emails I get with a few exceptions (seriously, stop asking me to sissify you) and most of the emails seem to be from one’s femme email account.  I don’t think it’s uncommon for many of us to have multiple email accounts.  I certainly do.  Some emails are from what is obviously “his” email account.  Rest assured your information is safe with me.  Some questions are sent to me from fake email addresses though but the questions and concerns are serious and personal.  Many messages like this are sent in the very late (or very early) hours of the day.  The time of the day when our thoughts are the loudest.  The time of the day when most of the world (or your family) is asleep.  The time when we reflect and think about… well, everything.  


When I get an email that I can’t respond to because it’s a fake email account, it does make me concerned.  It’s normal for me to get a message from someone who is pouring their heart out about this side of them.  They are truly worried, scared, lonely about who they are.  They want help, they want friends, they want someone to talk to.  I want to help, I want to offer support and resources but I can’t reply to an email that isn’t real.


Again, I do understand and can relate to not using an email address that can be traced to our male lives.  I totally get that so I understand why one would use a fake email.  


When I get those emails in the wee small hours of the morning I want to offer resources and ways to connect to girls like us.  We need friends like us.  


If you are reading this and you are lonely, afraid, or sad and need help I want to help you.  And I will, to the best that I am able.  If you write to me and don’t provide a way for me to respond then I can’t do anything.  And again, I get it.  If have written to me and needed help, but didn’t provide a way for me to respond, I would have replied with these resources and links:


-First of all, there’s nothing wrong with who you are and what you want to wear.  You are who you are and you are beautiful.  The world doesn’t understand us and that’s okay.  I don’t understand us either 🙂

-If you are looking to make friends with girls like us, then I recommend creating a profile and posting on the forums on crossdressers.com and transgenderheaven.com-If you need support please find a local chapter of PFLAG.


And the most serious resource I can point you towards is Trans Lifeline.


I hope this helps.  As much as I talk about eyeliner and stilettos and shamelessly post photos of myself, I understand and can relate to how our gender identity can cause a lot of pain, confusion, isolation, and fear.  


And thank you for trusting me and for reaching out.  I wish I could do more.
Love, Hannah