Mixed Feelings

I think I am fairly prolific. I mean, God knows I tirelessly promote myself and I have no restraint when it comes to posting on social media. But aside from that, I have been running a website for almost ten years and the MN T-Girls is coming up on seven years. I’ve written for En Femme, Frock, and Xdress, modeled for Glamour Boutique, and have done reviews for The Breast Form Store. This girl works.

I know, I get a little tired of myself as well. 🙂

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.

However.

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.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

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 coupl’s counseling. Good luck. 🙂

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

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.

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 am married and basically quite straight in preferences, however, certain trans gender women I find just irresistible, so I flirt a lot on line….am I a cheating hubby?
I never meet anyone in person.

Every relationship is different and unique.  Every relationship has aspects of it that are hidden to the rest of the world.  Mine included.  If our friends and family knew about the conversations my wife and I have about eyeliner and fashion they would be very surprised.

Some relationships are not as monogamous as others.  Some marriages are open, some partners don’t mind if their spouses chat (or more) with others online.  I can’t say if you are cheating, but perhaps ask yourself how would your spouse react if they knew about your online chats.

It is not uncommon for girls like us to get lost in the pink fog and make decisions that are not typical of our normal routine.  Sometimes these decisions are relatively harmless, such as spending money that we shouldn’t on stilettos, but sometimes these choices are damaging and hurtful to our partner.

The fact that you are asking makes me wonder if you feel guilty about what you are doing, and if you are feeling guilty then you are probably doing something you know you shouldn’t.

Love, Hannah

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

Ask Hannah!

I am in the process of transitioning from male to female and I am wondering whether I should present myself to my friends and relatives in female attire or male attire. No one knows about my decision except my wife. Our daughter is somewhat suspicious but she has not approached either one of us. What is your opinion ?? I will soon need to live as a woman for an entire year before I start the entire process. I am already on hormones and some body changes have already started (subtle). My wife is very supportive and is looking forward to us being best girlfriends. Your help will we greatly appreciated.

Coming out is one of the biggest steps you will ever take in life, and it will have ripple effects impacting everyone you know.  Some relationships may change and may become strained or strengthened.

To almost every one of us, identifying as transgender means something different.  Your transition is a moment in your life that is different than anything I have experienced, and your journey and gender identity is different than my own.  Our situations are very different, so although I can’t speak from experience, I hope I can be helpful.

As I mentioned before, coming out impacts everyone in your life… especially our partners.  Not only does this affect our relationships with our families, friends, neighbors and anyone else, it will also affect our partner’s relationships too.  It sounds like you are doing the right thing and taking each step alongside your wife.  Keep doing that.  When I have come out to others previously it was always after discussing it with my wife.  She’s very good at helping me sort my thoughts and helping me prepare for anything in my life, whether it is a talk like this or everything else.  It’s also a matter of courtesy to give her a heads up about who knows about this part of my life.

If you are working with a therapist, particularly a gender therapist, I would absolutely heed their advice.  They’re more qualified to guide you through this, especially as it pertains to your family.

That being said, if I were to come out to anyone else in my life, I would have a conversation with them first in male mode.  This revelation is a lot to take in, and the talk before them seeing Hannah would be a little less overwhelming.  If the person I came out to wanted to meet Hannah, then I would show them a photo before meeting them en femme.  The photo would also prepare them for what Hannah looks like. Meeting someone as a different gender identity and presenting as a different gender is a lot to process, and a photo first may help.

Plus I look better in photos than in real life.  🙂

Come out to people as you and your wife feel it is appropriate.  If you are already showing changes in your physical appearance you may want to do it sooner rather than later as people will start noticing (and likely talking and speculating about) what they are seeing.  It’s good to be able to control the narrative.  If I had a strong suspicion that someone knew about Hannah, or saw panties peeping out under my jeans, I would have a conversation with them to get ahead of it.  I would want to make sure that they would keep what they noticed, or suspected, a private matter.  Basically I would want to stop them before they started to gossip.

I hope this is helpful and I wish you the best of luck.

Love, Hannah

New En Femme Blog!

My newest blog for En Femme has been posted!

From the Learning Center:
Hannah on Coming Out – A Perfect World

 

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

In her previous article for the Learning Center, Hannah discussed the potential negative repercussions of coming out to one’s significant other. In her latest article – “A Perfect World” – Hannah talks about when ‘the Talk’ goes exactly the way we’d hoped or even better than we’d ever dared to dream. Read it here>>

I hope you like it

Love, Hannah