Saturdays are for Coffee, Errands, and Yoga

Yesterday was the April MN T-Girls event and after almost ten years of monthly adventures it’s not always easy to plan something unique.

It was time for something fresh. I’m always thinking of new things for the group to do and I often get inspired by things that I would like to do en femme.

I enjoy staying active so I thought a yoga class might be a fun thing to do. We booked a private class at Blue Dog Studios and spent an hour stretching, breathing, and trying to balance on one foot. After years of walking on icy sidewalks in stilettos it was easier than I thought it would be.

Was this a perfect way to relax after a busy week? Yes.

Was this a perfect excuse to wear pink leggings? Also yes.

Love, Hannah

La Femme Mystique Returns!

Specialty and dedicated services for girls like us are few and far between. I frequent salons allllll the time that generally cater to cis-women. I have had many makeovers from Ulta, MAC, and Sephora and while it’s true I may be the only t-girl in a chair getting her makeup done at any given time, I am not the first, nor will I ever be the last trans woman in that salon.

For some of us we aren’t ready to visit a place like these. We worry if the makeup artist has experience when it comes to the common makeup needs a girl like us has. I need more color correcting and contouring than my wife does, for example. We also want to work with an artist that is comfortable with a trans woman.

Most of the emails I get are from t-girls and crossdressers asking where to shop and find clothes that fit. But I also get a lot of emails asking where a girl like us can get their makeup done or if there’s a transformation studio in their area.

And honestly? There probably isn’t one. Studios and salons like that are not very common and they cater to a very niche cliental. If you live in an area that is fortunate enough to have one, you are indeed lucky.

Since I live in the Twin Cities (the collective term for Minneapolis and Saint Paul) I often get asked if there’s a transformation studio in the area. Most of these inquiries are from t-girls and crossdressers already living here or from those who are visiting the area.

Due to COVID many businesses paused some of their services but as we make our way out of the woods of the pandemic we are seeing many of them return. I am thrilled that makeup artist and photographer Rebecca has reopened La Femme Mystique!

I visited Rebecca a few years ago and had a lovely afternoon. She did my makeup, had a lot of girltalk, and took amazing photos.

I’m so happy she’s back and I know she would love to help you look your best.

Love, Hannah

Coffee with the Girls!

Coffee! Girl talk! Looking cute! Is there a better way to spend a Saturday? No, there isn’t.

Yesterday was the monthly MN T-Girls event and after two back-to-back private shopping adventures it was time to slow down and catch up over coffee. Considering how stressful the last few years have been, having coffee at Creators Cup in Saint Paul was the perfect afternoon.

There were about a dozen of us enjoying girl talk over coffee and it… you know? It was just really nice. I needed that. I think a lot of us did.

Love, Hannah

It Can’t Happen Here

Okay, one more post about *THIS* and I’ll lay off for a bit.

Maybe.

Despite what this looks like, this is not meant to be a Republican vs Democrat post, so please refrain from that type of rhetoric in the comments.

Here are the facts:

The “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in Florida was proposed by Republicans.

The horrifying legislation in Texas was proposed by Republicans.

The military transgender ban from 2017 was proposed by Republicans.

I suppose I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.

There are many, many things that Democrats completely drop the ball on. This post is about the facts about these proposals, as well as who in the government is writing and supporting laws like these. My point is that it seems that all the recent legislation that impacts the LGBTQIA+ community in a negative way has all been proposed and supported by Republicans (and yes, not all Republicans).

And again, the Democrats are not anyone’s saviors. There are instances of Democrats supporting legislation that does hurt the trans community, but I think I’ve made my point when it comes to recent proposals.

The purpose of this post is to not attack Republicans or praise Democrats, so please keep that in mind if you feel you need to comment to defend or condemn a political party. I am not giving credit to Democrats by any means, I am simply pointing out which party wrote the three policies that I cited at the top of this post. Those are facts.

In this day and age of the 24 hour news cycle with countless ways to stay informed of, well, anything and everything that happens on the planet, it’s easy to be aware of every little thing and every big thing that happens, whether it is celebrity gossip or whatever our political leaders are doing.

I live in Minnesota and we have a Democratic governor. I don’t agree with everything he does, but as a t-girl I feel a LITTLE safer, from a track record point of view, having a Democrat leading the state. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the Florida and Texas laws were proposed by Republicans and with those states having Republican governors it increases the likelihood of those laws passing (but I THINK the Florida one already did??).

Any sort of state or federal law or school policy that stigmatizes the LGBTQIA+ community is heartbreaking and I can’t imagine how awful it is for parents of trans children in Texas or to be a non-cis gender and/or non-straight high school student in Florida at the moment.

It sounds selfish and cruel to think this and I certainly don’t mean it like this, but when I see laws like these I breathe a LITTLE sigh of relief that I live in a “blue” state. “It can’t happen here, at least not now”, I think to myself.

Oh but it can.

And it might. Probably will. If it doesn’t, it won’t be for lack of trying. Laws like the ones I cited earlier are cruel and create precedent. One state does something and soon another state will follow.

It hasn’t hit the news cycles yet but HF 3843 was recently introduced that states, in part, that “a person’s sex is either male or female as biologically defined.” The proposed legislation is the all too familiar law touching on restroom usage when it comes to gender identity.

Will this law pass? Again, I can sleep a LITTLE better knowing that we have a Democratic governor and because of that, from a historical perspective anyway, it seems unlikely it will, but no political party remains in power forever. An election could completely (and will likely) upend everything.

Regardless of whether or not a law that hurts the trans community actually passes, it’s exhausting to see laws like these proposed even in the first place. It’s depressing to see them get any sort of support.

You may wonder why I think about these laws. After all, I am not transitioning or planning to. Almost all of these laws focus on medical or legal aspects. But they do impact me. If I am out en femme and I need to use the ladies room, a law absolutely impacts me. Even if they didn’t, these laws are cruel and discriminating and for those reasons alone they should be opposed.

And yes, a family restroom is an option, but not every mall or restaurant has them. And that’s not the point. The law is stigmatizing trans people.

Here’s the thing:

WE as a COMMUNITY understand the nuances of gender identity. We know that there is a difference between a dude who wears panties as a kink and a trans woman who has transitioned. We know there are many, many differences among people who do, and can, identify as transgender.

But lawmakers don’t know this. Nor do they care.

It SOUNDS unlikely and I hope it is, but could there be a proposal to ban any sort of action that goes against “traditional” gender norms?

What I mean is that a state could absolutely block any sort of medical treatment relating to HRT. A state could prevent anyone from legally changing their gender. And yes, these laws impact those who are transitioning and may already be in place in certain states.

But let’s go further.

Some states (such as my own) are trying to prevent transgender people from using a changing room that aligns with their gender identity. If you are like me and have no plans to transition and simply like to go out en femme and try on dresses, I wouldn’t be able to do that under certain dressing room laws.

And yes, I suppose I could use the boy dressing room but again, the point is that laws like these stigmatize the trans community.

This law doesn’t care whether or not I am going to, or have transitioned. I am simply transgender so the law would apply to me.

Let’s go even further.

Could there be a law that prevents a man, in male mode, from buying panties? Could there be stores that prohibit someone from purchasing something that the state says is “for women”? This could potentially prevent me in male mode from buying stockings or even picking up tampons for my wife.

Could a state decide that ANYONE who identifies as transgender is potentially dangerous? Could there be a requirement to “register” as transgender? Could this prevent someone who is trans from being near children under the age of 18?

IF that happened, it would make my job in education impossible and I doubt I would ever be able to see my nieces again.

You might think that there’s no way this could happen, but let’s not forget about the internment camps during World War II.

Could businesses like En Femme and Xdress get shut down because a lawmaker might claim they make “girl clothes for boys”? Could Amazon be court ordered to report a man who orders high heels from them? Could Pride festivals and LGBTQIA+ nightclubs be made illegal?

You may be thinking that can’t happen, that this won’t happen. You may be thinking that this sounds alarmist. Does this sound unlikely? Maybe, but it’s sounding less unrealistic with each passing day. I used to think ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ was far-fetched…

The Democrats aren’t going to “save us”. At the most they might reverse a law that was passed or veto proposed anti-trans legislation but I don’t feel super confident that we as a community are completely safe in the short term or the long term, after all, mid-term elections are coming up…

We’re going backwards and I don’t know what we can do.

Part of me wants to stay calm and carry on. That feels naïve sometimes. Other times I think I should go completely back in the closet, erase (as much as one can) Hannah from social media. But that feels a little extreme.

I suppose that’s kind of the point of legislation like this. To push us back into the closet, to cause us to repress our gender identity. To erase us from the rest of the world.

This feels very scary and depressing and I am going to wrap this up.

Love, Hannah

Cute and Creative!

Yesterday the MN T-Girls had our monthly event and it was so much fun! We spent the afternoon at Creative Hair Design in Roseville, Minnesota. Creative Hair Design sells wigs, toppers, hair pieces, and hair extensions. The timing was perfect as I am waaaay overdue for a new ‘do.

We were treated to a private shopping event where we all had the opportunity to try on new wigs and pick out a new look. Before the shopping got started we learned a lot about different types of wigs, whether they are heat defiant, lace front, or hand tied. I was surprised at how much I didn’t know about wigs. Their website has a nice comparison between the different types if you’re curious.

After trying on a few different wigs I ordered a new style and I am excited for my new look.

Thank you to Creative Hair Design for a fun afternoon!

Love, Hannah

Thoughts From the Dressing Room

The world is filled with exciting and fascinating places, but is there anywhere more thrilling (and humbling) than a dressing room?  Most of us know the fear and excitement that bringing a dress into a changing room can bring.  Within a few minutes either your mood is ruined or you feel like a princess.  And yes I know this is a little superficial and extreme but there you have it.  Before I was ready to leave my home en femme, I did my shopping in boy mode.  After a while, with an extreme amount of courage, I started to take a few dresses into a changing room.  When I was ready to shop en femme, using a changing room was easier mainly because I didn’t look like a man in a necktie stepping into the changing room to try on a dress.  This also got easier because I was brave enough to step out into the real world as Hannah, so using a changing room was a breeze.  

Trying on clothes is a wonderful and super fun thing to do, but it can also be frustrating.  I can try on two dresses that are the same size and one can fit like a dream and the other I can’t zip up.  How one presents can also change how a dress fits.  In male mode a dress might fit me but I don’t get the full effect until I have my curves, courtesy of my corset, breast forms, and thigh pads.  But this can also work against me.  Foundation garments can add a tiny bit to my waist and bust and all of a sudden a dress that fits perfectly in male mode can’t be zipped up.  

As I mentioned, this can be a humbling experience.  Some dresses look super cute on the rack but when we try them on we realize it’s not quite the dress for us.  If we can’t zip up a dress we might feel fat.  We might feel not-cute.  Or feminine.  We might feel foolish that we ever thought we could be pretty.  As often as a dress makes me feel like a queen, there are just as many, if not more, outfits that make me feel ugly, fat, and MALE.  None of these feelings are kind and I don’t like feeling these things.  No one does.  We need to remember that we can’t let a dress or a skirt or anything to have that much negative power over us.  And yes, this is waaaaay easier said than done.  

My birth certificate was checked MALE when I was born because of my anatomy.  And I still have all the parts I was born with.  As I grew my body developed the way bodies for most cis male do.  I’m tall, I have broad shoulders, and no curves.  I am a rectangle.  When I present as male I don’t give my shape or body a second thought.  But when I am en femme or trying on a dress then I put myself under a microscope.  I do my best to not be tooooo critical in a changing room.  I try to resist any thoughts about being too male, too fat, too anything for a dress.  I try to be objective and not let a dress hurt my feelings, if you will.  When I try on a dress I try to look at it as if it’s right for my style, right for my body, and just… right for me.

Recently I visited Blackbird, a cute boutique in Mankato and I found SO many cute things and since I overthink I had a lot of thoughts when I was in the dressing room and I thought I would share them here!

The first dress I tried on was this cute sparkly dress.  It was stretchy and super cute.  The zipper glided up and fit like it was made for me.  Since I look at my body under a microscope when I try on a dress, I checked myself out from a few different angles and thankfully still liked how I looked.  The only thing I didn’t care for was the shoulder pads (my shoulders don’t need the help) but thankfully they can be removed.  I unzipped the dress, put it back on the hanger, and hung it on my “keep” peg.

Next up is this super sexy green party dress.  I walked past this dress a few times and with a little encouragement from the salesclerk I let her put it into the changing room.  As much as I adore plunging necklines and high slits, I had a feeling this dress wasn’t going to end up in my closet.  It fit and had I tried it on in male mode I probably would have bought it.  BUT! since I was wearing stockings and breast forms I quickly realized that this dress wasn’t for me.  For starters, the neckline was waaaay too plungly.  The bra I like to wear with my breast forms was showing too much and that’s sometimes not a problem because I can just tug the dress up a bit.  BUT! the high slit just got higher when I did that.  The top of my stockings were showing (as you can see in the photo) and between showing off waaaaaaaay too much leg and flashing everyone my bra, I decided that this dress was a better fit for someone else’s body.  I know I could skip the stockings but I love how they smooth out my leg and even out my skin color.  Nylons and pantyhose could do the trick, but they can make using the ladies room a little trickier especially when I was wearing a tightly cinched corset.  AND! I prefer stockings for a very practical reason.  If they get a run I can replace one stocking as opposed to tossing out a pair of nylons or tights.  And! I prefer stockings for a very superficial reason.  They are sexy.

As a t-girl, I have a love/hate relationship with dresses that have sleeves. Sometimes the sleeves are too tight, sometimes there is not enough accommodation for my broad shoulders (which can lead to split seams), and sometimes the sleeves simply aren’t long enough. I wasn’t expecting to love this dress as much as I did because of the sleeves, but I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with it. The dress also has a nice cut which compliments my bust without it being toooooo plungy. The dress is short which, if I am being honest, I have no issues with. 🙂 This cute dress is hanging in my closet and I’ll probably wear it on my next time out.

Finally we have a vegan leather dress.  I love love love leather, and I particularly love vegan leather.  It has more of a stretch, it’s shinier, and it usually tends to be more affordable than real leather.  This was the first dress I picked out when I started shopping and as long as it fit, it was a definite buy.  Ironically enough, this dress also caused the most uncertainty of everything I tried on.  Although vegan leather tends to be stretchier, I am never super confident how well it will fit.  I picked the same dress in two different sizes to try on.  I am happy that both fit (especially the smaller of the two, lol) but therein lies the dilemma.  I liked the smaller size because it fit better.  Leather is supposed to be somewhat form fitting and I like to show off my curves (again, thanks to my corset, thigh pads, and breast forms).  BUT! the larger of the two was a LITTLE baggy.  I looked, to be honest, a little frumpy.  Can’t have that.  The smaller size was sexier and hugged my body more… but it was shorter and hung on my body differently.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted the tighter dress or the slightly more modest one.  This might be a surprise but there are some dresses in the world that even I think are tooooo short.  In the end I picked the smaller size.  I actually picked two colors (one black and the other white) of this dress.  I can never have enough black leather dresses but I didn’t have a white one.  Although the dress is short, I reminded myself that some dresses are meant to be worn while I am sitting, and some, like this one, should only be worn when I am standing.  


I am happy with what I picked out.  I hope my thoughts, my insecurities, my circular decision process was insightful if not relatable.  You are more than a dress size.  Not every dress will fit you.  Not every dress is designed for every single body.  Don’t let an ill-fitting dress ruin your day or dull your sparkle.


Love, Hannah 

New Year, New Clothes!

This past weekend was the first MN T-Girls event of 2022 and THEEEE best way to kick off the year is by doing a little shopping. We were invited for a private shopping event at The Blackbird in Mankato.

The Blackbird sells clothing, accessories, and gifts and it’s probably the cutest boutique I have ever been to. And I found so many cute things! I strutted out of there with four new dresses, some accessories, and some jewelry. It was so fun.

I can’t wait to wear my new outfits and to return to the Blackbird for new clothes. Much thanks to Ali and Brie for hosting us and helping us pick out new items for our closets. Mankato is a BIT of a drive from the Twin Cities but absolutely worth it.

Love, Hannah

Merry and Bright and Glam!

This past weekend the MN T-Girls celebrated our annual holiday party and it was just… lovely. The holiday season is always packed with running around and feeling exhausted and overwhelmed so being able to spend a few hours with friends and eating yummy food and looking FABULOUS is a much needed break from everything.

This year’s party was especially nice because last year we weren’t able to celebrate the season together.

This was the final event of the year and it was wonderful to reflect on a busy and strange 2021. Hopefully 2022 will be more normal. 😉

Love, Hannah

Eight Years of the MN T-Girls!

This month marks the eighth anniversary of the MN T-Girls, the social/support group that I started for, well, t-girls in Minnesota.  Clever, isn’t it?  The ironic thing is that it took a loooong time to settle on a name.

Like most new things, the beginning of the group wasn’t without hiccups, and that is also true for even now.  At the start I was learning about what the group should be, and what the group needed to be.  The very first meeting of the MN T-Girls took place at a cafe in Minneapolis that was owned by a trans woman.  It was probably one of the safest places a group like this could begin.  I was happy that we had a place to go where a girl like us would be welcomed and at the same time support a LGBTQ+ business.  Sadly the cafe is no longer in business.  The first meeting was a success and by success I mean that people actually showed up.  I remember getting to the coffee shop very early (a tradition that still continues to this day, lol) and wondering if anyone would attend.  To my delight several others showed up.  That made me happy.  

Deliriously happy, I should add.  The first meeting actually happened!  I was emboldened by the (albeit small) turnout.  My imagination and ambition partnered with each other and I started to dream of future events.  At this point in my (ugh) journey I was still pretty new to leaving the house so I was also looking forward to new adventures as well.  I had visited a few malls by this time but the ultimate mall, the fabled Mall of America, was someplace I had never gone.  The Mall of America wasn’t just a mall to a t-girl like myself, it represented going to one of the most visited places in the country.  People from all over the world spend time shopping and dining and taking in the attractions.  Going to such a visible place was intimidating and thrilling at the same time.
Encouraged by the first meeting (and a LITTLE lost in the Pink Fog) I decided the second outing would be visiting the Mall of America.  I was still nervous about going but since the group was designed to provide a safe environment for a girl like us I thought it would be easier to go with friends, to go with others like me.  I thought wandering around the mall, decorated for the holiday season, listening to the click of my heels on the polished floor sounded heavenly.  I sent an email to the group, like I do each month, announcing the plans for the next event.

To my dismay, no one was able, or felt comfortable enough, to attend.  Like myself, many of the girls had reservations about going to such a public place.  It was, in a sense, a crushing defeat.  The second meeting of my ambitious group, wouldn’t happen.

I had wondered if perhaps the first meeting was a fluke and maybe there wasn’t a need for a group like the MN T-Girls.  After all, there were other support groups for the trans community that were more established and held regular meetings in actual meeting places.  But I’m stubborn.  I was convinced that there was a place, a need for a group that emphasized socializing and going out into the community.  At the very least, I needed a group like the T-Girls.  I was determined to plan another event and it would take place at the same cafe as the first meeting.  Not terribly original but I thought since others felt safe there, then perhaps that’s what the group needed.  

Fortunately other girls said they could come and they did!  Yay!  Over the next several months other events were planned at other LGBTQ+ places such as nightclubs and bars.  More girls started to attend and I continued to meet others like myself who were all on their own journey.  Some girls have been strutting out of their home for years, some girls were out of the house for the first time EVER.  I was happy and proud of every girl that comes to these events.  As I got to know other t-girls I would listen to their stories and to what they wanted to do.  It was touching how… simple (but HUGE) their dreams were.  Yes, there were big adventures they dreamed of such as flying pretty but most of the girls simply wanted to go out for dinner or for a coffee or wander around a mall.  Simple, small things that one might do on a daily basis in male mode but en femme it’s a whole new world.  

Every new MN T-Girl helps shape future events.  A t-girl wants a makeup lesson or a private shopping event?  I use those requests to plan the next few adventures.  Some members are only comfortable at LGBTQ+ places such as a bar or a nightclubs, others want to go to, well, anywhere.  Some girls are somewhere in between.  As the group continued and as the members fell into different levels of comfort (and dreams) I was able to start planning a wider variety of events.  Some took place in LGBTQ+ safe places, other places were more mainstream.  Different girls attended different events.  By planning a more mainstream event it gave t-girls a chance to do something that may have been, at one time, a little out of their comfort zone.  I know that certainly was the case for me.

The year is winding down and the last event of 2021 is coming up.  My attention will soon turn towards the next twelve events which is exciting and overwhelming at the same time.  So many different factors go into planning our adventures, whether it is what the group is comfortable with, the weather, my traveling for work plans, and now COVID.  2022 will have our annual events such as Pride, the yearly photo shoot, and the holiday party.  It’s been a while since we’ve done a makeup lesson so I would like to organize that, too.  I like getting new ideas for our little group so if you have suggestions I’d love to hear them!

Over the last eight years we have had many, many adventures.  I am in disbelief that the group has existed for as long as it has.  After the planned second event I had no idea how long the group would live and I am thankful for each and every MN T-Girl who comes to the events or dreams of being ready to join us.  The group was created for t-girls (no matter where they are in their journey) and I am so happy whenever someone comes, whether it is an old friend or a girl stepping out into the real world for the first time.  I recognize and I am humbled by the trust that is put into me.  I’m glad I didn’t give up.  I believe the group is needed, I think others need it.  

I need it, too.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Hi Hannah, I was wondering if you know of any transgender friendly hair salons that do wig styling in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area?

Hi! There are several places I would look into. All three of these businesses sell wigs.

Creative Hair Design
Merle Norman

Rita Ambourn

Anyone in the Twin Cities know of anywhere else?

Love, Hannah

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