Fast Fashion

It’s amazing how fast a fashion cycle can go.

Some things are popular for what seems to be a short period of time, and some things seem to be around forever or constantly making a return. I am not a fan of (most) high-low dresses or maxi dresses but they always seem to be fashionable. I have always love peplum dresses and tops but those seem to be out of favor.

Of course, everything is in fashion if you honestly don’t care about what others think. 🙂

Last summer I noticed a trend of dresses that had a mesh or pattern overlay over a simple black dress. I loved this look and I was surprised and a little disappointed that it was super popular for what seemed to be a very short time and then like many trends, went away. I picked out a dress that fit this style but I never wore it until recently. I decided to wear it at my last photo shoot and I’m glad I did, it’s super cute.

What do you think?

Love, Hannah

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Body

Once I stopped fretting about my shoulders, I happily went shopping for a few dresses that I had always wanted to wear but never had the courage to do so. I took my new dresses and confidence to my photo shoot from July and had an amazing day.

I love this dress, and I love these photos, but I am wondering if this girl needs some cleavage? 😉 I wear forms and I like the shape they give me but it might be fun to have a little more… oomph 🙂

Love, Hannah

From Concealing to Revealing

When I first started to fully dress I looked for clothes that would minimize some of my features. I found a new appreciation for layering and how contouring could downplay some of my more masculine facial features. When I started to go out of the house, I did my best to blend in instead of standing out.

But somewhere along the way in my (sigh) journey I stopped caring. I cared less about blending in and embraced my height and the fact that I am transgender and everyone who sees me or interacts with me knows I am transgender. I am going to stand out, so I may as well wear the stilettos and the bright pink dress.

But as confident as I was, I still avoided certain styles, namely dresses that revealed more of my shoulders than I was comfortable with. Spaghetti straps were a no-no. But a few months ago I had an epiphany. Global pandemics can do that to you. I decided that I was holding myself back, and I was tired of it.

So I bought the dresses I wanted to wear and I have never looked back. I wore the dress that kind of inspired this whole new way of thinking for a photo shoot in June and I wore several more of them for a shoot last month.

I have been doing more shopping online than I normally do. Again, a global pandemic can do that to you, but a dress kept popping up as a suggestion. I thought the dress was super cute but I thought I couldn’t pull it off as it was a little more revealing than what I normally wore.

But then I thought the hell with it and clicked “add to cart”.

A couple weeks later I wore it for a photo shoot and I would love to share some of the photos from that day. I hope you like them and I hope we all can overcome these invisible barriers in our lives.

Love, Hannah

Impossible Things

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” 

Lewis Carroll

When the pandemic hit and the little things and the big things were impacted, I looked at a lot of aspects to my life. I was reminded how important it as to support small, independent businesses that were affected by the shutdown. I realized I took meeting friends for dinner for granted. And of course, I realized just how important Hannah is to me.

I mean, I AM Hannah, and obviously we should be important to ourselves, but without having the option to get a makeover and spending the day en femme I was reminded how crucial it is to be me, to be all of me.

Being alive, being who we are, is a reason to celebrate. If you have accepted and embraced your gender identity you have accomplished something incredibly significant and special.

As restrictions started to lift and it was possible (and just a little safer) to get a makeover, I reevaluated my life. Both of my lives. We only live once, and life is too short not to wear that dress.

Yesterday I had a photo shoot with my friend and photographer of five years Shannonlee. There was no reason for the shoot. It wasn’t to review a dress or a shoe, it wasn’t for En Femme, it was just for fun (not to say shoots for reviews or for En Femme aren’t fun, they are, but you know what I mean). The theme of the shoot, if you will, was to wear a few dresses I have always wanted to wear. The location was the Stone Arch Bridge, one of my favorite places in the world.

I think many of us have at least one thing about their body they wish they could change. For me, I wish I didn’t have such broad and muscular (i.e. masculine) shoulders. But I had a moment of clarity earlier this year and I decided to just wear whatever I wanted, shoulders be damned.

So I did.

Yesterday’s shoot featured several dresses that I never thought I would wear. Two of them had halter straps and one had straps about as thin as dental floss. The point is that my shoulders were as exposed as they could possibly be. A year ago I would have thought this would be impossible.

And I never felt more beautiful, confident, and powerful.

Here’s a bit of a preview of yesterday’s shoot. I hope you like them and I hope you all cast away your doubts and fears about what holds you back, in all aspects of your lives.

Love, Hannah

Ice Cream Social Distancing

Yesterday was the monthly outing for The MN T-Girls. During the pandemic our events have been pretty small and low-key, and July’s event was very much in that spirit.

A small group of us met up for some ice cream at Nelson’s Ice Cream in Saint Paul because really, what’s better than ice cream on a hot summer night?

It was a lovely night and I am glad we have been finding small ways to stay connected.

Love, Hannah

The MN T-Girls Return!

Yesterday was the first MN T-Girl outing since February.

It was wonderful.

I look at our group as a social and support group, but between the protests in Minneapolis and COVID-19, yesterday was more therapeutic than anything else.

It was a small group, and we just enjoyed catching up over coffees at Creators Space Coffee in Saint Paul.

Here’s a picture from the day showing our social distancing. 🙂

I look forward to our next outing in July.

Love, Hannah

Update

Hi, just a short update to let you know that I am okay.  The riots over the past few days have been terrifying and heartbreaking.  I am devastated over the killing of Mr. Floyd.  I am shaken to my core over the fires and looting of my city.  Neighborhoods I once lived in are destroyed.

What the news isn’t showing are the calm, peaceful demonstrations, the volunteers cleaning up broken glass and debris in the morning, and people taking care of each other.

I expect this weekend to be even more intense than what we have gone through over the last few nights.  I pray I am wrong.

Love, Hannah

Skyscrapers and Stilettos

I was chatting with my friend Marci recently about how we often feel that we are the tallest girls in the world, and wearing four inch stilettos isn’t helping.

But no one is too tall to be a girl.  And no one is too tall to wear heels.

I was blown away by her newest photo composition which perfectly portrays how I feel when I am out in the real world.  I feel tall, I feel as if everyone is looking at me, and I feel beautiful.

Minneapolis freeway

I hope you like this as much as I do and I really hope you follow her on Flickr.  You can see her other compositions here and here.

Love, Hannah

Minnesota Republicans Introduce Bill to Strip Funding from Libraries That Host ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’

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From Newsbreak.com:

A bill introduced Monday in the Minnesota House would pull public funding from libraries that host “drag queen story hour” performances for children. “For calendar year 2021 and later, a public library that hosts a drag queen story hour event shall have regional library system support aid from the Department of Education reduced by 100 percent,” states House File 4323.

More here.

If I might add, many people out there don’t know, or care, about the differences between someone who identifies as transgender, as a crossdresser, or as a drag queen.  You may identify as a crossdresser and think that laws like this don’t affect you.  You may be in the closet and you may feel safe.  You shouldn’t.

There have been a few laws passed recently, and even more in consideration that would strip away protections for the LGBTQ+ community.  The power for doctors to refuse treatment to someone who is trans, for example.  You might think laws don’t impact you as a closet crossdresser.  But if you were outed, I doubt a lawyer, a human resources manager, or many of your co-workers understands (or cares) about the differences between a crossdresser or someone who is transgender.  Legislative action against anyone, or any segment of the LGBTQ+ community is a threat to us all.

On a side note, I think these story hours are fabulous.  I have considered doing them myself.  I would have loved to see a girl like me doing something like this when I was younger.  Someone who is physically male, but is confident and comfortable as who they are.  Of course, who I am is not drag.  This would not be a Drag Queen Story Hour, but do you think this law cares about the nuances?

I don’t.

Love, Hannah

Watching Herstory

IMG_0532The MN T-Girls had our monthly adventure this past Saturday and we attended a wonderful performance of the play ‘Superman Becomes Lois Lane‘  put on by the History Theater in Saint Paul.

From their website, Superman Becomes Lois Lane tells the story of the gender transition of Bob Sylvester, a former President of the Saint Paul City Council and successful investment banker, to Susan Kimberly, the first transgender woman to become the deputy mayor of a major American city. This is Susan’s story written in her own words with passion and humor that has been a hallmark of this remarkable St. Paul figure. 

 

I love learning more about the brave women from our community who came before us and Ms. Kimberly is a remarkable woman.

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IMG_0534Before the play I was lucky to meet Freya Richman who plays Ms. Kimberly.  We chatted about the show, our community, representation, and Ms. Richman’s own experiences.  The play was written by Ms. Kimberly and tells the story of her career and her marriage.  It discussed gender identity in a clear, simple, but effective and powerful way.  It was moving and inspiring.  The play was set in the early 1980’s and it was fascinating to see how gender was perceived and portrayed back then.  In some ways society seemed more progressive and tolerant than it does today.

 

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IMG_0545Another highlight of the play was meeting Ms. Kimberly herself who attended the performance.  We talked about the play and her experiences.  Meeting such an important and inspirational member of our community and our state’s history (in this case herstory) was truly humbling.

As much as I love eyeliner, shopping, and fashion, I think it is vital for us to know as much about our history as we can.  If you would like to know more about Ms. Kimberly and the play, I encourage you to read these articles:

If you can, please catch a performance of this production before it closes on March 1st.

Thank you to the History Theater for putting on such a wonderful play!

Love, Hannah