Ask Hannah!

I am in the process of opening up an online store for crossdressers. What products would you recommend me to sell?  What do crossdressers need the most?

Congratulations on taking this step!  If there’s one thing I love, it’s more options when it comes to shopping.

Years ago the idea of a store specializing in clothes for girls like us was inconceivable but I am amazed at how many options are available these days.  Even though there’s quite a few options, each one is different from each other and can all happily coexist.

Every t-girl/crossdresser is different and we all need and want different things.  Thankfully there are quite a few options out there.  When it comes to retailers that design for and market to our community, I shop online with En Femme, Xdress, Homme Mystere, Glamour Boutique, and the Breast Form Store the most.

I like Xdress and Homme Mystere for their beautiful, feminine lingerie. I like the Breast Form Store for their practical stuff, like forms, pads, and gaffsI like Glamour Boutique if I want something on the sexy side, and En Femme is a wonderful place for day to day clothes.

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Dress from En Femme
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Dress from Glamour Boutique
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Thigh pads from the Breast Form Store

What you want to be known for?  What are you most passionate about?  There are a lot of options out there, but I always love finding a new place to buy heels and lingerie 🙂

I am not sure if this helps but I did write a little about what I think are “must-haves” for a girl like us.  Of course, we all have different perspectives on what we think are essentials.

What do you girls think are essentials?  What should a new store sell?  Please comment below!

Love, Hannah

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

 

Oh, Twitter

When I first searched for ‘crossdressers’ online all those years ago, I was dismayed and a little shocked at how prevalent crossdressing was associated with fetishism.  There didn’t seem to be a lot of connection to wanting to feel and look beautiful, just a lot of people dressing up for, well, sexual reasons.

Of course, I didn’t feel like my wearing lingerie was anything sexual.  Yes, I felt beautiful in a sexy bra and panty set, but I didn’t dress because it aroused me.

Over time I learned more about myself and started to meet other girls like me, girls who wanted to feel beautiful and they helped remind me that perhaps those who fetishize this are perhaps not as representative of us as I initially thought.

And then came Twitter.

I get likes, comments, and followers from a lot of wonderful and beautiful girls.  Some of my followers are “chasers” (men who like girls like me because they fetishize or are attracted to a girl like me), and, well, that’s fine.  As long as someone is polite (or at least leaves me alone) I don’t mind who follows or comments.

But I also have a lot of, well, sissies.  People who identify as a sissy tend to get aroused by being humiliated for wanting to or dressing like a girl.  Ultra femme and revealing clothing is pretty typical and seems to be a huge part of this fantasy or kink.

Don’t get me wrong, wearing a super femme outfit is fun, and I have a couple of dresses like this, but I don’t feel aroused or embarrassed.

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I will never criticize someone’s sexual fantasy or kink (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and is 100% consensual).  But when I see someone online who dresses because they seem to think that dressing as a girl is humiliating which in turn arouses them, it makes me reflect that in no way do I feel that presenting as female is demeaning.  At all.

Perhaps Iggy Pop said it best.

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Of course, I could be totally wrong about this fantasy, so if I am, please let me know in the comments.

Love, Hannah

Overthinking in Lingerie

xI don’t think it’s uncommon for us to modify how we identify throughout our lives.  As soon as I heard the word, I privately considered myself a crossdresser.  About ten years ago, I knew this was more than just finding joy and comfort in clothes that are typically associated with the gender different than the one I was assigned to at birth and I felt that identifying as transgender was a better fit.

If I wanted to put a finer point on myself, bi-gender is probably the best word for me, as I am happy and comfortable and secure presenting and living as either a boy or a girl. However, since transgender covers a lot of territory, I primarily stick with that.

Whether I am a crossdresser or transgender, I would never be so bold to claim to be brilliant, but I can have brilliant thoughts.  I’ve been a bit of a shopping spree lately and yesterday I received a super cute cami and panty set from Xdress.  Yesterday was a long day and it was a late night, so falling asleep in cute lingerie was the perfect way to end the day.

If you’re not familiar with Xdress, they make lingerie for men.  The models on their website are men wearing their beautiful bras and panties.  From what I gather, their target market is men who love to wear cute, feminine undies.  Their models are very male, no makeup or wigs, they are not presenting as a girl.  This lingerie is different than En Femme and their new Carmen Liu line of lingerie.  This lingerie is beautiful but also practical as it is designed to hold breast forms and to tuck our feminine flaw.

As I woke up this morning, I realized that my lingerie wardrobe is divided between bras and panties that I wear en femme and bras and panties that I wear in male mode.  Although this new set from Xdress is beautiful, it’s not something Hannah would wear.  When I am dressed, I have different needs from my lingerie.  I need my gaff from the Breast Form Store, for example.

In male mode I do wear lingerie “for girls” and lingerie from Xdress and Homme Mystere.  I underdress each day and my panties are either panties “for boys” or panties “for girls”.  I am always wearing something.

My revelation this morning was that we can shift our gender identity throughout our lives, but we can also shift our gender identity throughout the day.  I decided that when I am in male mode, I could be considered a crossdresser.  But Hannah is not a crossdresser, she is transgender.  I could wake up in cute lingerie like I did this morning, wear a matching bra and panty under my boy clothes, and I would be crossdressing all day.  But as the day progresses and I am preparing to go out, my gender identity shifts to being transgender.

I suppose that labeling ourselves is rather pointless and I doubt anyone else thinks about this as much as I do, especially before they have had their coffee, but this was going through my mind as I lay in bed.  Never let it be said that I don’t overthink.

At any rate, I am now awake, having my coffee, and sharing these perhaps not as brilliant thoughts I had imagined they were with you.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Pumping the Brakes

As I’m sure you’ve seen, there’s been a lot of ‘Ask Hannah‘ questions lately.  I love getting them and I hope you enjoy reading them.

It’s pretty clear we are all doing some soul-searching and deep thinking and reflection these days.  I know I am.  For some of us we are thinking about our gender identity and what this side of us means to us.  It’s clear this side means a lot to us all.

Reflection is a good thing.  It’s good to reexamine our lives from time to time and evaluate what we want.  I urge caution when it comes to making major decisions when it comes to our gender identity during a pandemic.  Some of us are spending more time en femme as we shelter in place.  Some of us are spending less time.  When we have experiences with something, we realize how important those experiences are.  If we have more of them, we may realize we want even more.  When we have less, we may realize that we actually need them.

Regardless if we are spending more time or less time en femme or even underdressing, we are probably thinking about what this side of us means and how we want this side of us to be present in our lives.  Again, this is good, but it’s also important we are aware of being influenced by the pink fog.

Essentially, the pink fog is when we make decisions influenced by our love and connection to our femme selves that we may not have thought through.  Since we are under a lot of stress and change, fear and uncertainty, this is probably not the time to make any permanent changes.  This is probably not the time to start hormones, now is probably not the time to transition.  Before we make any decisions, whether or not we are under a global pandemic, it’s essential we do these things under the guidance of a gender therapist or a doctor.

And I get it.  I am itching to get back in touch with my femme life.  I miss Hannah.  I’ve been spending a lot more than usual ondresses and lingerie and shoes, so I am not immune to the pink fog, either.  I’m wanting to have “the talk” with friends in my life about all of this, but I have to tell myself to slow down, pump the brakes, and wait until things calm down a little before I make any choices.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

This might be a weird question, but I just passed the anniversary of my biggest milestone, so I wanted to ask you:

In your “journey” (I know you hate that word) as Hannah, what would you say have been your biggest milestones? I have a few that I would happily share in a comment, but I’ll keep this brief… so what are some of the key moments that have defined who Hannah is today?

Congratulations on your milestone!

This is a really good question.  Thank you for asking it.

I thought about this for a while and I think this comes down to four key instances.

If I look at who I am as a journey (and yes, I totes hate that word but dammit if it isn’t an appropriate one), then my journey started when I was very young with trying on my mom’s heels, being fascinated my lipstick, dying to try on lingerie, buying my first dress, and so on.  I remember progressively going from underdressing to sleeping in a nightgown to learning makeup.  All this time I was discovering who I am, and how I wanted to look and what felt right.  As we learn makeup and build our wardrobe, we learn what we like and what looks suit us.  In many ways, my first real wig was the end of one part of my journey but also the start of another.  It was the final part of moving on from identifying as a crossdresser to realizing that all of this was more than just clothes.  It was about identity.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I should have realized at that moment that I was transgender.

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I remember looking into the mirror for who knows how long the first time I was in full makeup, a dress, and a wig.  I didn’t look like me, and I was a far cry for what I look l like today, but at that moment I had never felt more beautiful.  I realized I had wanted to look and feel beautiful for my entire life.  It was one of the happiest moments I can remember.

The second instance was about a year after that.  After dressing fully at home and plucking up the courage to go out at night, I was ready to step out during the day.  I planned a day where I would wake up early and go into Minneapolis to buy a coffee at a cafe.  That was the plan.  That was the dream.  It was something I did almost every day in male mode, but this, this was something new.

This was significant in many ways as it was the first time I was interacting with the “real world”.  I had been out at night a few times to a LGBTQ+ nightclub, but this was my first time at a normal, everyday place and being seen by others outside of the LGBTQ+ community.  I had fears of people laughing at me, pointing at me, being harassed, and worse.  Thankfully nothing like that happened.  I was so ecstatic from the non-eventful reactions from others that my confidence shot way up.  No one cared.  Sure, they knew I was trans, but I don’t think anyone really gave me a second thought and if they did, I didn’t notice.  Although I had planned on only getting a coffee, I ended up going to two malls, a few other stores, and out to lunch.  This experience gave me the confidence to go out again.  And again.  And again.

The third milestone was the first meeting of the MN T-Girls.  I had been attending a trans support group off and on for a few months and it was a wonderful group with incredible girls.  But I didn’t really fit in.  The group was mainly attended by girls who were or had transitioned and many of the meetings involved conversations about hormones, surgery, and the legal process of legally changing your name and gender.  It was an important and necessary group for our community and I am glad it existed.

But my journey (ugh) was something different.  I had no plan or wish to live full-time or transition.  The group wasn’t for me.  So at the suggestion of my wife, I started to create a group for girls like me who weren’t necessarily looking to transition, and girls who just wanted to make friends and hit the mall.  Yes, it’s a little shallow, but my thought was that I can’t be the only one who wants to look cute and wander around a mall looking for heels.

Thankfully and surprisingly, I learned that I wasn’t.  Not by a long shot.  Today the group has close to 300 members and has been going strong (well, on hiatus under the shelter-in-place orders) for over six years.  But the group had it’s humble beginnings.  Our first meeting was in a coffee shop with about a half-dozen attendees.  Having others show up was huge.  If they hadn’t, I probably would have ended it right there.   But that day was the start of something I am very proud of.

Finally, modeling for Glamour Boutique and En Femme has been incredibly significant to me.  Doing my makeup, finding the right wig, and creating my look has been a humbling process.  I cannot tell you how many times I looked in the mirror and wanted to give up.  There are countless days where I spend an hour doing my makeup and seeing a boy in the mirror.  I have felt fat, felt ugly, felt too tall, too… male.  There have been days, there are still days, and there will always be days where I feel this way.  It happens.

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But modeling has helped me feel beautiful.  I know it’s shallow.  I really know this.  But being considered pretty enough to model clothes and represent a business is incredibly affirming to me.  When I feel ugly or male, and I do a lot, it’s helpful to look at photos from a shoot or to look at the clothes I will be modeling next.

As I look back on all of these moments, I realize that all of them boosted my confidence in some way.  Whether it was how I looked or being able to create something.  Going out into the real world requires a lot of confidence, but a positive (or at least not a negative experience) can also boost your confidence.  I can do this.  I AM doing this.  I think when I present as male I take my confidence for granted.  I could look in the mirror and shrug and tell myself that this is just how I look.

But being en femme is a different story.  Looking male in a dress can crush my self-esteem.  A bad makeup day can be devastating.  Someone staring at me (in a rude way) can destroy me.  Although I can strut through hell with my head held high, I am faking it most of the time because I know that someone pointing at me or a bad wig day can reduce me to shambles.  It can often take an $80 makeover and a new dress to make me feel beautiful, but all it takes is a suppressed smile or a mean comment on Twitter to ruin my day.  Or week.

Anyway, that ended up getting depressing.  🙂

I loved this question and I would love to hear about everyone else’s milestones in the comments.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

Since we are all in this isolation together, I was wondering about your at home life. Does your wife care if you are dressed as Hannah everyday at home? Or does she want you dressed as a male at times?

At home I am always wearing… something.  It could be a nightie or underdressing or leggings and a femme t-shirt.  Being completely en femme is, to be honest, a lot of work.  It’s work I love and I enjoy every moment of it, but I usually do not fully dress if I am staying in.

Just as I enjoy having two genders, my wife also enjoys both sides of me, but in different ways.  If Hannah was always here, well, my wife would miss her husband and I never want Hannah to overstay her welcome.

My wife wrote a little about her thoughts, feelings, and experiences with this side of me and it’s well worth reading.

Love, Hannah

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

This Too Will Pass

Hi girls,

As many states have shelter in place guidelines and we are all doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19, most of us are spending a lot more time at home.  For some of us, this gives us more opportunities to dress and work from home en femme.  For others, it means a lot less time to dress.

Being who we are is essential, and I personally know that these past two months have really shown how vital it is for me to be me.  Yes, I can dress at home, but it’s not the same.

Still, I am thankful that I have at least that much.

We all know how we feel when we cannot express ourselves.  It’s not uncommon for us to feel depressed, anxious, and frustrated.  I know how you feel.  We all know how you feel.

I recently wrote an article for En Femme about how this point in history can impact this side of us as well as what we can do to still stay in touch with our femme side.  I shared some ideas about everything from practicing walking in stilettos to watching makeup tutorials.

But on a more serious note, I wanted to advise caution when it comes to having “the talk” with your significant other in times like this.  Yes, you and your partner are likely having a lot more time together, and it might seem like a good opportunity to share this side of you if you haven’t already.

When we come out, we need to be aware and respectful of how our partner is feeling, or anticipating and being prepared for how they may react.  This revelation will forever change your relationship and will likely cause stress and tension and a lot of questions.

With the world the way it is currently, things are stressful and scary enough.  Adding something like this revelation into the mix is going to make things even more stressful than they already are.

I understand wanting to have this talk right now.  If you are feeling stressed and tense because you can’t dress,  it’s natural to want to have the talk to have the chance to be en femme.  We always need to be aware of the pink fog and how this side of us can cloud or judgement and we may make decisions that might seem like a good idea at the time, but we are not thinking about the impact these choices will create.

If you need support, and we all do, please seek it out.  This is a good time to remind us all of Trans Lifeline.

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Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Our vision is to fight the epidemic of trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid. 

Need to talk? Call! Our peer support hotline is run by and for trans people. We’re available 7am-1am PST / 9am-3am CST / 10am-4am EST. Volunteers may be available during off hours.

Take care of yourselves, girls.  This too will pass.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

I would like to ask you a question about wigs, specifically correct sizing.  I have owned several cheap wigs in the past and recently purchased a couple of good quality wigs. In purchasing them I think I have them sized correctly, they feel good and stay in place, my issue is if I wear a wig for any length of time, a couple of hours or more, they leave a mark on my forehead. Is this common? Have I once again listened to the website’s instructions and purchased a wig too small?

I look at size charts on websites as merely are as a suggestion.  I can take my measurements and order a dress size that lines up with the chart and still get a dress that is not the right size.  It can be frustrating, especially when you order something that can’t be returned, like lingerie, heels, or a wig.  If you are ordering from a website that has reviews from people who have purchased the same item, read them and see if others comment on whether or not the item runs large or small.

You can wear something that fits perfectly but still leaves impressions on your skin.  I had a bra fitting and I only purchase bras that are my correct size, but they still leave a mark.  Same with stockings or tights or clip-on earrings.

When it comes to wigs, and almost everything we wear, it comes down to whether or not it stays in place.  If your wig is too small, it will slowly creep up and not be secure on your head.  If it is too big, it will move around.  It sounds like your hair fits well, feels good, and stays in place.  The impressions on your skin might just be something that comes with the territory.  Sacrifice over comfort, if you will.

If you want to avoid impressions on your forehead, I would recommend buying a size larger than what you may need, and using other methods to secure it.  You may want to consider wearing a wig cap which would prevent your wig from moving around. They are available in both a mesh and a nylon style. Other girls use special wig tape, bobby pins, or hair clips to keep their hair in place.  Many wigs also are adjustable and you can modify the size of it to fit your head.

Love, Hannah

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

 

Ask Hannah!

I love your pictures and you seem so happy and feminine and having fun. I like that you said you no longer care about passing, and you just try to look your best all the time. My problem is I am tall and have big feet. I wonder if you would tell me your sizes and how you get around the biggest challenges of looking fashionable.

I am also tall.  Almost all of us have physical traits that we would like to change if we could.  Some traits are things we could change, some traits are out of our control.  There’s not much I can do about my man hands, for example.

This is probably a good time to remind us all that no one is too tall, too old, too… anything to be a girl.  There is no maximum height limit to be pretty.

There are parts of me that can be changed, other parts that can’t.  A few years ago I was tired of watching the scale go up.  I felt sluggish and unattractive in both of my genders.  Thanks to quitting drinking and hitting the gym harder, I was able to drop from a size 20 to a 12.  That was in my control.  My height?  I can’t do anything about that.

Again, no one is too tall to be pretty.  No one is too tall to be a girl.  But when I first started going out, I wanted to… well, maybe not blend in, but not stand out as much.  We are all nervous about being noticed, whether it is by someone we know in our male lives, or just drawing attention as a t-girl and potentially being harassed… or worse.  As a t-girl I am going to stand out anyway, and my height isn’t going to help.

If there is something about us that we can’t change, or don’t want to, the only thing we can do is own it.  Yes, I am tall, so instead of letting that stop me I embrace it.  I am six feet tall, most cis-women are not this tall.  Tall women stand out.  And we should, we’re fabulous.  🙂  But if I am going to stand out, I am REALLY gong to stand out.  Instead of trying to minimize this feature, I go in the opposite direction.  If I am going to be tall, then I am going to be REALLY tall.  I am going to wear the four inch heels.  I am going to turn heads because of my weight and my gender, so why not dress how I want?  Rock those heels, wear that bright top, wear that dress with the bold, floral print.

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Too tall for the mall?  No.

It’s all about attitude.  I embrace my height, it makes me feel powerful.  Instead of letting this part of me hold me back from going out, I use it.  A tall confident woman?  What’s sexier than that?

Love, Hannah

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