Do you ever worry that you are spending or want to spend too much time en femme?
I dress about twice a month, at least I have over the last few months. When I moved from simply underdressing to fully dressing en femme from wig to makeup to heels I was in the early stages of getting to know my gender identity, seeing what I liked, what felt right, and in many ways doing and wearing everything I have wanted to for years. I was dressing en femme every week.
This wasn’t a worry for me, but I think it was for my wife. When we were dating it was a shock to learn her boyfriend wore panties. When we got married it was an adjustment (to say the least) to watch her husband learn makeup and to help him zip up a dress. Like many of our partners she wondered and worried where this was going. I went from panties to a very complete wardrobe in what seemed to be a very short time.
Despite my best attempts at reassuring her she still worried. It took years for her to mostly stop wondering if I would want to start living full-time, start hormones, or make a drastic change in my life.
In the early days I was lost in the pink fog. When you are lost in the fog you usually don’t worry about spending too much money on clothes or worrying about spending too much time en femme or wanting to be en femme. I mean, that’s the whole definition of the pink fog.
Over the years I became more comfortable with my gender identities and felt the most comfortable identifying as bi-gender. I am happy with both genders I present as. I don’t need to choose which gender to present as for the rest of my life. It can change daily and even throughout the day. The key in life is finding balance in life, whether between work and family, and for girls like us, balancing gender identities. Denying my femme side isn’t healthy, and spending too much time as Hannah may cause me to neglect my responsibilities and my wife’s feelings. My wife likes Hannah, she knows that Hannah is part of who I am, but she would miss her husband if Hannah visited too long and too often.
I was out for a run the other day and usually a run allows me to lose myself in my thoughts and to let my mind wander. Being outside, getting exercise, is a great way to gain some perspective. It helps me work out problems and occasionally have a brilliant, random idea. On this particular run I thought to myself “we need to take responsibility for our gender identity”. And I was like yes! We do! And then I thought “what in the world does that mean?”
As my run continued, I started to break down this thought. My core belief is that this is who we are, we can’t change that. Call it nature, call it being born this way, we are who we are. We do not have a choice. The choice lies in how we respond to who we are. We can deny it (good luck), we can ignore it, we can accept it, we can embrace it. And we can act on it. Or not.
Our choice also lies in how we respond to those around us. When en femme I get a lot of looks. That’s not to say people are just fawning over me and they’re like OMG look at the pretty girl. No. Most of the looks are people seeing me and processing me. It’s not common to see a girl as tall as me, so I am given a second look. Not every girl is wearing heels and a beautiful dress at the store, so I am a little out of place. And of course, I am trans and there’s really not enough of us (but more than you think) where we are so common that we kind of blend in and are unremarkable. I am aware of the impact I have on people. That is not to say that I am enchanting everyone around me and everyone thinks I am beautiful or whatever. No. I am fully aware that I am a t-girl, I am wearing a cute outfit, heels, amazing eyeliner, and regardless of if someone thinks I am attractive or not, I am noticed and I am likely causing some sort of reaction. Reactions can include anything from “cute dress!” to “hey, a transgirl, cool” to “this chick is in my way” to “goddamn tranny”.
Regardless of the gender I present as, I take responsibility for everything I do. If I make a mistake at work, I own up to it. If I am too sarcastic and hurt someone’s feelings, I apologize. If Hannah makes you feel uncomfortable well, too bad. I don’t care. Get over it. BUT! I am aware that gender identity can be a complicated discussion and something some parents want to have with their children when it’s the right time and when both parent and child are ready to have the conversation. In my experience if I see a kid with a parent they will usually stare at me as they are processing what they see. Someone who is pretty clearly masculine wearing a pretty dress. I fully accept (and expect) that they may wonder, often out loud, why that man is wearing a dress. This is probably not a conversation many parents want to have while they are out running errands, even if the parents are extremely accepting and supportive of the trans community. So, because of this, I become hyperaware when I am out in public and there a lot of kids around. I don’t feel I am damaging them, but I feel I am presenting a perspective on gender that is likely outside of the experience they have had up until now.
This, I feel, is taking responsibility for my gender identity.
But for grown-ups, I really, really don’t care if I challenge your opinion and perspective and concept of gender. Grow the hell up. Let others live their best life. I don’t care what you think or feel. Lalalalala I can’t hear you.
BUT! It’s different for our family. My racist, homophobic uncles do not know about me, and they never will. But if they did, they would HATE me. And I wouldn’t care. Really, that’s their problem. I haven’t spoken to most of my extended family in decades anyway, so why would I care what they think? Especially when it comes to something like gender identity? Really, if you are transphobic or homophobic, that is 100% on you. I am not going to change your mind and I am not going to spend any energy trying to do so. I don’t know how to explain to someone why gender identity or sexual preference are not things to judge someone by. BUT! Extended family is one thing, our siblings, parents, and especially our significant others, are another. My relationship with my mom has always been complicated and has rarely been easy. It’s gotten better as we have both gotten older, but i have accepted that she and Hannah will never go out for coffee. Accepting this is one thing, but I still hope for it. My mom’s opinion on one’s gender identity impacts me a little more. I love my mom, and her perspective on me, my gender, my choices, my life hits differently than my racist uncle. Who I am is important to me, and when people I love and care about have an opinion and perspective that differs from me about something as important as gender identity, well, it hurts, to be honest.
When I came out to my mom I knew this would have a huge impact on her. I didn’t know how it would go and I was nervous as to what our relationship would be like going forward. Let’s be real, most relationships can be divided between Before Coming Out and After Coming Out. I didn’t think she would disown me or anything, my mom is very liberal, my older brother is gay (not that being trans and gay at the same thing but there is some non-cis/non-hetereo precedent in our family). I came out to my mom on a Saturday night. The next day was a family gathering. The coming out conversation was planned this way on purpose. I wanted to open up to her in a way I never did before, and I wanted a family gathering the next day, just to re-establish a little more normality in her life and our dynamic and to kind of show her that although I was who I was, I was still who I’ve always been.
Of course, our talk the night before was all that she could think about. It was still sinking in. Even after all this time it’s probably still sinking in.
A few years ago my mom properly met Hannah. At the mall, of course. This, however, was not planned. Having a talk is one thing, seeing your son in a cute (well, I think it’s cute) pink dress, stilettos and makeup is another. I reopened the conversation completely unintentionally. Honestly I felt bad about that day. I knew she didn’t understand or even want to talk about this side of me, and then here I am 10000% en femme at JCPenney (hey they have cute dresses once in a while).
This had an impact on her in a different, more intense way than the chat we had at her dining room table a few years prior. Although my gender identity is mine and personal and is really no one’s business but my own, I was, and will always be, aware of how who I am can affect the people I love. I can’t, and won’t change who I am, but I certainly know how this side of me makes someone feel.
The most serious and sacred relationship one can have in their lives is the one they have with their spouse or significant other. You dedicated yourself to each other, you made a commitment. You invested your time, money, and energy to your relationship. Perhaps you have children, or own a home, or a business. You go through life’s challenges and successes and failures with each other. Everything either one of you does has an impact on the other. You owe it to them to consult with them on most of the decisions you will make in life. As your life goes on, individually as well as together, things change. Your children grow up, you change careers… and it’s possible your gender identity evolves as well. When things change you have an obligation to have honest and productive conversations with your partner. They may not understand, they may not accept, they may not like this part of you, but your gender identity will have a significant impact on your relationship and on your partner. It’s hard to come out. It’s so scary but I believe if this side of you affects you significantly then you probably should have the talk with them. And yes, it’s hard to go into a conversation where you don’t know the outcome will be. I get it, I promise I do.
As we keep our gender identity bottled up, the desire, our feelings only grow stronger. They may get to the point where we don’t care about anyone’s opinion about who we are. And that isn’t a bad thing. When I stopped caring about complete strangers might think about me it gave me the freedom to dress to the nines and go everywhere from the gas station to the theater to Pride. But we can’t think that way about our spouse. You may be at the point where you are willing to risk it all because you need to acknowledge who you are, you may be at the point where you don’t care what anyone thinks. You may be at a point where you feel if others have a problem with this, well, that’s their problem.
And yes, you are not wrong….
But you can’t think that this is only your partner’s problem. You don’t have the luxury to not care what your wife, your significant other, thinks about your gender identity.
When you start to acknowledge your gender identity has changed since you have gotten married or made a commitment to someone this isn’t “their problem”. You HAVE to care. This is now something the two of you need to work through and work out.
Who we are is sacred. It is important we are honest with ourselves. It’s important we are honest with our partners. We made a commitment to them and yes, relationships change and sometimes they get to a point where two people are no longer happy, or in love, or the relationship has run its course. Our marriages require a lot of communication and mutual respect. Our actions impact them, and we must take responsibility for what we do, how we feel, or how we identify.
When my wife and I were learning more about my gender identity, we would have these amazing, vulnerable conversations late at night (and often early into the morning) about how I felt, how she felt, and, well, about clothes and makeup. These talks were often accompanied by a bottle or two of wine. My wife was the first person who I really opened up to. I came out to others previously but my wife and I really dug deep into how I felt and what I wanted. Her questions and patience and honesty really helped me to feel safe when it came to discussing what it is simple and complicated at the same time.
But that’s my wife. She makes everyone feel safe and important. After a lifetime of living with my feelings and desires I was tired of keeping this inside. I was tired of keeping secrets. It was a relief, and still is, to talk with her. Wine can help, but I think what really allowed me to open up to her and challenge myself was having these conversations after a long day. As my day progresses, I lose my filter and tend to say what I am thinking or feeling. I don’t have the bandwidth (if you will) to blow off a difficult question. I lose my defenses and i just become really honest with myself and ultimately, became honest with her.
No, I never lied about this side of me. I came out to her while we were dating and talked about I loved lingerie, and told her that was where it ended. Of course, looking at who I am now it’s hard to believe that all of THIS was just about panties, but that is how I understood it. Besides those rare occasions I bought a dress (that would ultimately end up quickly getting purged) I never really wore anything beyond bras and panties and heels at that point.
Of course, these talks were not just about me. She had feelings and thoughts about this side of me as well. These late conversations were just as necessary for her as they were significant for me. We were honest with ourselves and with each other after midnight in a different way. I think we reveal what we want, how we feel, and who we are at the end of a long day. Again, the wine helped.
But these days I don’t drink and can barely stay awake after 10pm, but I digress.
I get a lot of emails at night. My website traffic is surprisingly high after I fall asleep. I get more comments on my Flickr page and DMs on Twitter than I expected. Whenever I read an email that was sent at three in the morning I am always surprised that anyone is still awake at that time. Again, I am not as young as I used to be and forget that I used to be able to stay up that late. A lot of the emails that I get at this time of night tend to be very very honest. They can be very long and it’s not uncommon for the spelling to get a little careless as the email goes on. I suspect the writer is probably having a drink which is fueling their courage to be honest about themselves or to help them send an email to someone they can relate to. The sender will talk about how they’ve always wanted to wear panties but never were brave enough. How they want to be honest with their wife but just are afraid of her reaction. I imagine these messages are being sent long after their partners are asleep and they are going online and looking at sites they normally wouldn’t during the day.
Again, wine helps. Well, maybe not help, but it can cause someone to act without thinking, without restraint, but that is not always a good thing.
I usually respond to these emails and offer resources if they ask, or answer questions, or send links that I think would be helpful, whether it is for a gender therapist or where to find size 14 stilettos. Sometimes I get a reply but if I do, it’s not uncommon for them to tell me to never contact them again and they have purged and they are no longer a crossdresser. Good luck with that. My guess is that they immediately regretted sending the email and want to pretend it never happened.
And that’s fine. You do you.
If you are reading this post on your phone while your wife is sleeping soundly next to you, I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you. This is who you are, this is who we are. You can’t change what you want, this will not go away. That might help you feel better, it might not. You can choose to listen to this side of you, and what you decide to do is your choice. But whether you accept this side of you, or pretend it doesn’t exist, please know that it is okay to be who you are. It is a complicated life, your gender identity may or may not make anything easier, it is what it is.
On a similar but possibly lighter note, I am surprised at how many DMs I get on Twitter with a photo of a dude’s penis asking “u up?”.
I’m probably not awake, but even if I was, my god, go away.
We can’t wait for “them” to let us know that crossdressing or wanting to wear a dress or lipstick or whatever we have tucked away in our dresser drawers or hidden in our closets is okay.
Acceptance of who we are comes from ourselves. Some of us accept who we are with giddy excitement. They embrace this side of themselves. They have denied this side of themselves for too long until finally, finally they accept that they are who they are, that they love to wear lingerie or nail polish or the countless, wonderful things that they have dreamed of wearing. For others, this acceptance comes with resigned reluctance. They have fought this side of themselves for their entire lifetimes, thinking, hoping, and perhaps praying it would go away. But it didn’t, and it won’t. Some of us just stop fighting ourselves, they stop denying that this is a phase and this is who they are.
We want this acceptance of ourselves. Conflict, tension, denial can be very exhausting. Thinking that there is something wrong with us is very depressing but this is who we are. This is how we are wired, this is how we were born. I cannot change my gender identity no more than I can change my age.
We know that accepting this side of us is essential for survival. Denying any part of ourselves can wear on us, it exhausts us, it consumes us. Acceptance of oneself usually feels *AMAZING*. A weight has been lifted, the missing piece of our identity falls into place, and a serene peace envelops us. Hopefully we are happier. I think most of us are.
Of course, not everyone wants to accept this side of themselves. They are terrified that this is who they are, that this is not a phase. The fear is that if they accept that there is something to their gender identity other than BEING A MAN, it may mean other things. Does it mean we were born in the wrong body? Does it mean you are gay? Does it mean we are going to transition? Well, maybe, but not necessarily. It’s normal to jump to the conclusion that because there is a side of you that is typically seen as feminine that perhaps you do not fit the societal view of heterosexuality. But really…? Wanting to wear a nightgown does not mean that you are unknowingly attracted to men.
I do understand the need, the hope that society accepts us. For many of us, there was a stigma with being anything that wasn’t masculine. It’s quite silly. There was a boy in my first grade who was really good at jumping rope. It didn’t take long for some boys to decide that jumping rope was for girls and he was mocked all throughout grade school for being a sissy, for being a girl. This, of course, is silly and harmful, the kid was just really good at jumping. As I watched that kid get tormented for years, I learned that this side of me needs to stay a secret. I never thought there was something wrong with me, but my life was hard enough as it was and I didn’t need to be ostracized because of what I wanted to wear. It would be nice to live in a world where a boy could jump rope or wear nail polish without getting beat up. At some point we understand that society doesn’t, and never will accept us. Sure, they many tolerate or even love drag queens or take sensitivity training at work about gender identity, but for those of us who simply like to wear lingerie that level of acceptance is never coming. And it doesn’t need to. What I wear to bed and under my clothes is no one’s business. No one needs to know what kind of underwear I am wearing, whether it is boxers or panties. Spoiler alert: it’s panties.
But our partners need to know. Our partners need to know who we are. All of who we are. But this is not about that. I have written a lot of the importance of being honest with our significant others in the past, but this is about why we crave that acceptance. We want someone other than ourselves to tell us that it’s okay. Even after we accept this side of us we will still go back and forth about it. We may go from loving this side of us to wishing it would go away. We have accepted this is who we are, but some of us may still wish that this side of us would vanish. Spoiler alert: it won’t.
Our partners accepting this side of us… and liking this side of us are two different things. Like us, our partners may come to the point where they have accepted that this is who we are. “My husband likes to wear panties and he’s not going to change” is not an easy thing for our wives to say. We want our partners to like this side of because most of us like who we are. We know it’s a lot to ask, we know it’s a lot to take in. We know that their man wearing panties (or whatever) is a big change. We know how hard it is to be who we are, to accept who we are, and we must remember our partners are going to go through that agony, that confusion as well. Putting someone we love through the same thing we put ourselves through is going to cause a lot of guilt. It’s a lot to ask. Even now I want to constantly tell my wife thank you for all she puts up with.
We can accept ourselves, but liking, embracing this side of ourselves are not the same thing. The same goes with our partners. We want our partners to LIKE this side of us because it makes it easier. We feel less guilt when we wear a nightie because our wives like it when we do. Does my wife like this side of me? She has long accepted that this is who I am. It doesn’t phase her the way it did when I came out to her before we got married. I think she is used to it which is not the same as resigning herself to it. I think she likes we talk about makeup or styles or cute clothes. I think she likes that I can give my thoughts on an outfit she’s wearing and knowing my perspective and opinion is coming from somewhere a little different because of my gender identity.
But does she ever think “oh boy, I’m so glad my husband crossdresses and wears panties!” No, I don’t think so. I think she likes that this side of me makes me happy, and really, that’s enough. It’s not much different than a wife being happy that her husband likes to play video games, watch football or something. I don’t think there’s a lot of wives who are thrilled because their husband likes to fish. They may be happy that their spouse has something, and does something, that makes them happy, though.
Some of us have partners that will dress to the nines with them and hit the town. Some of us have partners who see our femme selves as their BFFs and go shopping with. But for most of us, our partners accepting this side of us is the most we can ask for, and the most we can hope for. I understand we want our partners to like this side of us, to be happy with this side of us. I understand, believe me. Accepting their partners as we are is not easy, and even if they do, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be difficult sometimes.
I have been married since 1988 and am 69 years old. I have been trans since I first started paying with makeup and clothes around the age of 5. When I met my wife, I suppressed all of my desires and my inner-self for fear of rejection and loss of the love of my life. For 32 years I’ve suffered migraines and back pain due to the suppression. During the quarantine, I couldn’t take it anymore and came out to my wife. Surprisingly, the migraines and back pain went away immediately. Much more to my surprise is my wife’s complete acceptance. She helps me pick out makeup, earrings for my newly pierced ears, dresses, blouses, and heels and hose. She even has me going to a salon every 2 weeks for a pedicure and a manicure complete with Gel-X coffin nails. She gave me my t-girl name “Marli”. She totally accepts me as a woman except for those few times I need to be a man, such as with yard work and household repairs. In your experience and travels is this kind of total acceptance usual? It’s more than welcome, but also kind of scary. She says she just wants me to be totally happy.
The stress of withholding this side of us can cause an unhealthy amount of stress and tension. Not being honest with our significant others can create tension and distance as well as guilt. When my wife and I were dating I had a lot of guilt about who I am and I felt I was being dishonest. Our partners need to know who we are, especially when this is who we are. So, in a way, I am not surprised your pain went away. I can imagine you were carrying that stress and tension for decades.
And congratulations on being honest with yourself and for being honest with her. I am very happy that your wife has accepted, and from what it sounds like, has embraced this side of you. It doesn’t matter if she understands this part of us (because honestly, I don’t understand this part of myself) but it sounds like she knows how important your gender identity is. Is the usual? What relationship is? The dynamics between two people in a committed relationship can be very different from couple to couple. There is always a secret side of a relationship between people that most of the world doesn’t see. I can imagine the surprise my friends would have if they knew about Hannah and the conversations my wife and I have about eyeliner and foundation and fashion.
Don’t worry about how common your relationship is compared to others. It sounds wonderful.
But something to keep in mind that you revealed something very big and significant about yourself. You have introduced a new dynamic into your lives and it can be easy to overwhelm your wife. It is possible she may have conflicting feelings from time to time. She may feel that Marli is around too much and that she misses her husband. Listen to her. Especially about this. If she would like Marli to take some time off, it doesn’t mean that she is less supportive or she doesn’t love you (or her). This is a new thing for you and for her.
Over the years I have received a lot of nice emails and messages. I have had my fair share of creepy and gross ones, too. I get asked questions and I do my best to answer them based on my experiences and thoughts. I don’t pretend I know everything. Some days I don’t feel I know anything at all.
The most terrifying thing someone can say to me is “I took your advice and I…”. This scares me like nothing else. If the advice is simply a recommendation on where to get a cute pair of heels that’s one thing, but almost anything else puts me on edge.
I get many emails about going out en femme and about relationships. Like I said, I do my best to chat about these things based on my experiences and I have rarely had a negative experience when going out. Based on my adventures and my observations, no one really cares. Yes, I’ve had stares and rude comments but these are rare and few and far between compared to the wonderful and mundane interactions I’ve had.
When I am asked about going out, for the most part I recommend it. Again, this is based on my experiences of no one seemingly caring and my ability to ignore everyone around me. Of course, it’s not as simple as getting dolled out and strutting to the mall. I know there are risks. I know we must be cautious for a number of reasons. Going out the first time or the fiftieth time takes planning and preparation.
That being said, it would crush me if anyone ever stepped out of the house based on my encouragement and had a really really bad and frightening experience. I don’t think I could ever get past that guilt.
This same fear comes along with relationship. In my heart of hearts, I believe we need to be honest with ourselves and with our significant others. I fully believe that coming out is the fair and moral decision.
I know that every relationship is different and unique. I know that this revelation could, and has, ended relationships. Whether it is the crossdressing itself, or a partner feeling they were lied to or deceived, being honest about one’s gender identity will significantly impact things.
I know many of us are on a (ugh) journey. We are all in different places with this compared to where we were three years ago. Even if our wardrobe hasn’t changed, our feelings and perspectives have. At the same time, our journey will lead us to new places in the future. For some of us, it is simply a new and enormous wardrobe. For some, it is stepping out for the first time. For others, it is hormones and living full time.
I have received emails from other girls thanking me or inspiring them to be honest with themselves and/or their partners. Although I am happy that more of us are living life how we wish (or getting closer), I can’t help but feel responsible for any sort of distress, anxiety, or worse when it comes to this revelation on the partners and families of girls like us. I know it is not easy to be in a relationship with someone who is not 100% cis-gender. As confusing as this side of us is for us, it’s even more so for the people in our lives.
I am always happy to listen and to share my perspective, opinion, and experiences with anyone who asks for it, but I am always terrified to do so. Being who we are is a reason to celebrate. I love love love love being bi-gender. I love being a t-girl. I am proud to be trans. But part of my experiences include difficult conversations with my wife and stress and confusion that came with who I am.
We all share victories. No one is more excited when a t-girl buys a new dress or leaves the house for the first time than another girl like us. We also all share your stress, frustrations, heartache, and sadness when it comes to this side of us.
Living our truths and being honest with ourselves and others is not always easy. This revelation will always come with a price. Of course, if you want your life to change you have to accept that the rest of your world will be impacted by the change. Sometimes this change can lead to a fabulous stiletto collection, sometimes it can lead to a significant change in your relationships.
I think what I am trying to say is that if your life or relationships have been made worse because of any advice or inspiration you have taken from me then I am truly sorry. I know what who we are is not easy. I honestly agonize for days when it comes to answering an Ask Hannah question or responding to an email. I try not to give completely direct advice, but instead offer some things to consider or be mindful of when it comes to this side of us.
I do think I am prolific, and I am honored and blessed to be a voice in our community. I take my role seriously and I do not take your trust lightly.
I am a size 16 and would love to get to a 12. What did you do? Weights/cardio/both?
I suffer from a lack of courage when it comes to dressing. Tried to tell my wife and she freaked. Now, as we know, it won’t go away and I feel I have to choose between my marriage and my gender fluidity and I love my wife sooo much. I have been closeted my whole life. You seem to be so courageous to me. Do you have any advice? I am in a predicament.
My weight loss was a combination of quitting drinking and cardio. I don’t drink soda or eat fast food, so changing my diet was pretty simple, but quitting drinking (almost four years sober!) was hard. Cardio was the Stairmaster and elliptical machine. These two photos were about five years apart. I was a size 18 an dropped to a 12.
Of course, any change to your diet and/or exercise routine should be discussed with your doctor.
Marriage and crossdressing/identifying as bi-gender/gender fluidity is not easy. Coming out to your spouse will almost always result in shock or a freak-out. That’s normal and expected.
I would really, really, really encourage you to seek out a gender therapist as well as couple’s counseling. Good luck. 🙂
I want to ask how I can tell my wife that I’m a cross dresser, I have been this way my whole life I’ve always known, I have tried to keep my desire a secret but the older I get it get harder to hide this . I tried to come out to my wife 3 years ago , I got myself worked up to tell her and I even said the words but it didn’t go well and after talking for 3 hours I basically back tracked and said it was just a phase I went through as a teen and hadn’t done it since which was a lie and after all that and her questions the next day it was ignored and we haven’t mentioned it since and I just want her to say something again but she hasn’t. Should I push the issue again?
I wouldn’t push the issue but that is different than bringing it up again.
Since you attempted to discuss it previously, you should know how she responded the first time. You said it didn’t go well, but this revelation rarely does. Why didn’t it go well? What were her concerns? Was she afraid you were gay? That you wanted to transition?
If you do decide to bring the topic up again, be prepared to discuss what her concerns were that she raised the first time you came out.
And although she hasn’t brought it up since you had the talk, rest assured she probably thinks about it everyday.
Keep in mind that we shouldn’t come out with the hope or expectation that our partners will “let” us wear panties or paint our nails or however we wish to express our gender identity. We should be open with our partners because it is the right thing to do, regardless of what we need to be open about.
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.
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.
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.
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.