Mall of America Photo Shoot!

Yesterday my friend Shannonlee did a photo shoot for En Femme’s new fall/winter line.  We did the pictures at the Mall of America because we wanted to take holiday themed photos and the mall’s halls were decked and it gave us exactly the setting we wanted.

IMG_0222

Going out in public hasn’t been new for a long time, but the Mall of America is one of the biggest attractions in the country and it can be intimidating to go someplace with so many people.  Although most times I have gone out have been extremely boring and amazing, there have been a few annoyingly rude people.  One such person I encountered was at the Mall of America a few years ago and I couldn’t help but think of that person yesterday.

IMG_0225

But as I said, I have had more positive moments (by an overwhelming margin) than negative.  Yesterday was no different.  I had so many people come to me complimenting me on my dress or heels or just looking fabulous.  It was amazing.  Not because I need the compliments, but when someone goes out their way to compliment a t-girl, it shows that they support our community.  And these days a reminder of that is wonderful.

IMG_0248

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Six Years of the MN T-Girls!

This weekend marks the sixth anniversary of the MN T-Girls!

final updated logo lettering

Almost every month (one month was canceled due to… reasons) for the past six years t-girls from all over Minnesota, and often times from outside the state, have met for coffee, plays, shopping, makeup demonstrations, as well as for support and friendship.

IMG_0021

Having planned almost one hundred of these monthly events, I am still a little surprised at the success of these outings.

IMG_2064

I tell myself that I will keep planning these outings as long as others show up.  There have been outings where only two t-girls come, and there have been events with close to thirty.  Some events are hits, some are… well, not so much.  Each event and each t-girl teaches me about how to run a club (if you will), but I also learn so much about our community.

IMG_2137

So, in honor of the sixth anniversary of the MN T-Girls, I wanted to share six things about our community that I learned after meeting hundreds of girls like us.

You are not alone

I think the internet has made us realize that there are more people like us than we could have imagined.  However we identify, there are others like us.  Whether we live between genders or we live somewhere in the middle, or we are starting hormones or have transitioned, there are more like us than you ever knew.

We T-Girls can be anything

Although many of us are protective of any details that are associated with our male lives, there are equally others who are open about the other side of their closet.  We can be husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons, and brothers.  We can also be airline pilot, forklift drivers, realtors, retail managers and engineers.  You can never be sure who the male presenting individuals are in your life really are… or what they wear under their suit.

Different like you

One of the hardest things about coming out is explaining who we are.  Yes, I am transgender but identifying as transgender is different than Caitlin Jenner identifying as transgender.  I like to present as a girl, but I don’t always want to or need to.  I love feeling beautiful, I have no interest in men, I don’t feel I was born in the wrong body.  We understand each other.  We know who we are, we don’t need to explain it.

I’ll be there for you

We need each other.  We need to have friends who are like us.  Not only do we need people in our lives who understand us, but we often have complicated lives and having people around us who we can relate to is incredibly important.

No one cares

I have walked across malls, parking ramps, downtown, parks, auditoriums, and restaurants.

I have used the ladies room at coffee shops, Target, theaters, book stores, nightclubs, and grocery stores.

I have chatted with servers, baristas, lingerie clerks, gas station employees, makeup artists, and police officers.

I have been out in the real world for a long time and although there have been a couple unpleasant moments, I’ve realized that most people rarely give a girl like me a second look or a second thought.

The MN T-Girls have been all over the Twin Cities, and yes, it’s not every day you see a group of transgender women at a restaurant and we do get a few stares, but I am happy that each outing has been free of incidents and have always had positive interactions with others.  Safety is my number one priority with the group and I do what I can to make sure we are going somewhere safe and welcoming.

T-Girls just want to have fun

After six years of planning events it’s not always easy to come up with something for the group to do.  I like to get ideas from the girls about what they would like to do en femme.  The suggestions are always rather small.  Go out to dinner, go shopping, meet new friends.  T-girls aren’t necessarily looking to something HUGE and AMAZING, but doing something as normal as getting a cup of coffee en femme is an amazing experience many of us have dreamed of for years.  Something mundane that we do in male mode suddenly becomes super fun when dressed up.

IMG_2418

When I started the MN T-Girls, I did so with the goal of making friends with other t-girls.  Yes, going out en femme is fun, but after a while it gets lonely.  I wanted friends I could go to the mall or out to dinner with.  Beyond simply making friends, I wanted others to experience the real world.  Going out en femme is amazing, especially those first few times.  I understood why it’s scary, but it was more wonderful than I had hoped it could be.  Leaving the house is not easy, it’s a scary world for a girl, but going out in a group, or at least with a friend, makes it a lot safer and more fun.

IMG_1708

My final goal wasn’t necessarily for girls like us.  It was for the rest of the world.  I wanted the world to see girls like me out at restaurants, shopping, at a museum, or at a play.  I wanted the world to see us doing normal, boring, everyday things.  I wanted the world to see that girls like us are girls like other girls.  This goal was a little ambitious but a girl can dream.

IMG_0565

I am fortunate to be a part of this group.  I feel that the group is important and has achieved what I wanted it to achieve.  I am not sure what the group will do next but the membership keeps growing which makes me happy, but the simple fact that the group has existed for as long as it has is surprising to me.

2

To every t-girl out there, it is an honor to be a member of our community.

Love, Hannah

 

PFLAG Events in November

PFLAG’s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

November’s meeting will feature Minnesota author Ali Sands who wrote “Love Appears in Whatever Form It Chooses”.

unnamed

Ali Sands shares her experience in finding her own identity as her partner transitioned from female to male. Using humor, education and providing safe spaces for public listening, Ali creates an inclusive environment for learning about gender, identity and relationships

Please join them for their November meeting.
Tuesday, November 19th at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Hi there! So I’m planning a trip to Minnesota and plan to be out en femme during the trip – any suggestions on makeover places and shopping I could do that would be friendly?

I hope you have an amazing time!  I am happy to recommend a few places.  However, please take a look at something I wrote about looking for transfriendly places.

In terms of places that are unique to Minnesota, I really love getting my makeup done at Rita Ambourn in Saint Paul.  I have had a few makeovers there for photo shoots and have always loved the results.

gold dress 7.jpg

If you are looking for a makeover and photos, then you’ll have a wonderful time at La Femme Mystique.    I visited Ava last year and had an amazing time.

Yellow Bodycon 3

As for shopping, you’ll be spoiled by the Mall of America.  You can also check out some other options here.  You can also see what the MN T-Girls have done on our monthly events.

IMG_1640

Have a wonderful trip!  I think you’ll have amazing time!

As always, be safe and have fun!

Love, Hannah

 

T-Girls and T-Ghouls!

Yesterday was the very first MN T-Girls Halloween party!

I think for many of us Halloween was one of the first times we dressed up in public.  I grew up wanting to be a princess and I always thought Halloween would be a perfect opportunity to do so.  Even though I no longer need a holiday as an excuse to glam it up, I have always wanted the chance to wear a cute costume and go to a party.

IMG_0151
I had a super time 🙂

Last night was an amazing night as many of us finally had the opportunity so many of us have been dreaming about for years.  Although the MN T-Girls have existed for almost six years, we have never done a Halloween themed event.  But thanks to MN T-Girl Marcia who hosted the party, this finally became a reality.

The party was a big success with almost 30 girls attending.  It was a super fun night and we’re already dreaming about next year’s party.  Thanks to everyone who came and brought food and extra special thanks to our fabulous hostess, Marcia.

IMG_0154IMG_0164IMG_0163IMG_0161IMG_0160IMG_0159

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I’m wondering if you can share with me where girls like us hang out in the Twin Cities? Back in the day the Town House was good on Thursday nites & The Camp Bar on Sunday nights.

Many of us look for places where a member of our community can feel welcome and bars and nightclubs are a pretty common place to find that.  I think it’s important to support businesses that are inclusive and supportive for our community and to avoid businesses where we are not welcome.

For me personally I tend to frequent malls and museums and have never been much for the bar scene, but perhaps you’ll find something fun to do in Minneapolis/Saint Paul here.

I have gone to The Townhouse a few times, and it was the first place I went en femme.  Located in Saint Paul, The Townhouse was the Twin Cities’ oldest LGBTQ+ bar, but it was purchased in 2018 and has been renamed The Black Hart.  I have not been there since they have changed owners but they still feature drag shows and other events that The Townhouse was known for.  Despite the name and owner change, members of the MN T-Girls tell me they still frequent there.

Camp Bar is also in Saint Paul and has a theater which features cabaret style shows, music, and other types of performers.  From what I understand, Camp Bar used to be known as a LGBTQ+ bar, but their website doesn’t specifically indicate that.

I have gone to Lush a few times and I have always had fun there.  The MN T-Girls have gone here as a group several times for drag queen bingo and other events.  The food is good, too.

The Gay 90’s is also a popular place to go, but I haven’t been there in a very long time.

Love, Hannah

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

PFLAG Events for October

PFLAG’s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

Please join them for their October support group meeting.
Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Love, Hannah