Ask Hannah!

I would like to start a group similar to the MN T-girls but I am having trouble finding other CD’s that might join the group. Could you share some of the steps you took when starting the MN T-girls? Particularly how did you contact a community of people that is typically in the “closet”.

 

Congratulations on starting your group!  It will be one of the most rewarding and occasionally frustrating things that you’ll ever do.  I knew it would be difficult to meet others like me, especially those who were brave and confident and ready enough to go out.  Luckily I had a blog and had a lot of people who visited it each day.  I blogged about the group and invited t-girls in the area to email me.  Being a little web savvy, I knew the most searched term people used to find my blog was “crossdressing in Minnesota”.  I knew people were looking for others like me in Minnesota so I started to tag Minnesota on my blog so Google would start directing people to my site.  So, setting up a blog that is updated frequently is a good start.  Of course, starting a blog is a challenge in it of itself, but WordPress is very user friendly option.  You might want to start blogging about LGBTQIA issues in your home state, share your thoughts and experiences and write about resources for our community in your area like I have here.  A blog is a great way for people to get to know you so others feel comfortable reaching out to you.

The next thing I did was posting a thread on crossdressers.com.  There is a section there titled ‘Places to Go, Places to Meet’.  Crossdressers.com is probably the biggest social group for girls like us.  T-girls constantly discover my group through this forum.   You may also want to visit a local PFLAG meeting and invite members to your group.

Creating, organizing and, maintaining a group like this is a challenge and can be frustrating at times.  But it is also very rewarding and fun.  It takes a lot of patience and professionalism and dedication.  It takes commitment.  It is a lot of hard work.  It takes a lot of my time.  However, through the group I’ve been able to do many amazing things and I am constantly looking for new adventures for us.

I will say if you are going to create a group then it really is something you need to commit to. You’ll need to stay in contact with the members, keep them updated about outings and listen to requests. You’ll need to be reliable and consistent. You need to be social and outgoing and friendly and confident. The group really brings me out of my comfort zone in terms of being social, and I really need to be organized and plan ahead. You’ll also need to be able to not take things personally. There have been many events where ten T-Girls say they’ll be there…but two show up. There are times when I get frustrated when not as many girls show up as I expected because the events can take a lot of time to plan. Most outings take a few weeks, or sometimes even months to plan. The last outing was in the works for three months, for example.

I wish you the best of luck! I hope it goes well and thank you for creating a group!  Let me know when you group is up and running and I’ll writ a post about it.

Love, Hannah

 

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MN T-Girls Uprising

Some people think that the Twin Cities are a frozen tundra that is completely uninhabitable.  Since yesterday was our first 60 degree day since November, sometimes I agree with them.  This has been an unusual spring for us.  Last week was supposed to be the MN T-Girls monthly outing, but a very powerful blizzard caused me to cancel our plans.  I was disappointed as it sounded like a fun event, but the event itself was cancelled, too.  However I’m happy we were able to do something that was just as fun.  Yesterday the sun shone, the snow melted, and people were out enjoying the day.  I spent the afternoon shopping and getting a makeover by Corrie at Midwest Makeup.

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Last year we went to a play at the Phoenix Theater that was put on by the Uprising Theater group.  I was excited to see that they were doing a production titled ‘Twisted Death’.  The description for the production reads:

Pam and Ryan couldn’t be more different. He is a young transgender man and she is an older conservative woman but when they are both diagnosed with cancer their lives intersect in ways that neither of them could have ever imagined.

This world premiere of a new work explores questions of identity, relationships, our health care system, and who has control over your body and life.

 

It sounds rather dark and serious and it does take on some pretty heavy themes however there are some genuine moments of brevity and tenderness.  It was a wonderful evening.

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It was just a trio since the event was planned at kind of the last minute but I was glad to see another play en femme.

Love, Hannah

T-Girls and Queens

Last night was the monthly MN T-Girls outing and we were invited to a preview of an upcoming documentary ‘The Queens’.  The showing was held at Lush, a fabulous LGBTQ nightclub in Northeast Minneapolis.

According to the documentary’s website, The Queens takes viewers out of the politics and onto the stage with an exclusive look inside the first beauty pageant to ever allow transgender female impersonators to participate. Born out of discrimination, the Miss Continental Pageant is now one of the longest running and most prestigious contests of its kind in the United States, attracting competitors from around the globe.

The Queens humanizes and demystifies this group of often-misunderstood individuals; they’re fiercely determined, strikingly imaginative and possess jaw-dropping talent. The Queens will have you cheering for the creative spirit that lives within us all!

You can watch the first few minutes of the documentary here!

In attendance was director Mark Saxenmeyer and Tiffany T. Hunter, one of the featured girls in the movie.

After the showing Mark and Tiffany took questions from the audience and Tiffany performed for the crowd.

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It was a very fun night and it’s always interesting to see a part of the transgender spectrum that I am not too familiar with.  Thank you to Mark, Tiffany, Lush and to the MN T-Girls for coming!  Unfortunately it was too dark to take photos of the group, but rest assured we all looked fabulous. Oh, and thank you to Corrie of Midwest Makeup Supply for the amazing makeover before the night started.

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Love, Hannah

 

 

Lights, Camera, MAKEUP!

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Yesterday was the monthly MN T-Girls adventure and it was an unforgettable afternoon!

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The girls visited Midwest Makeup Supply in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis for a day of beauty, makeup lessons and shopping.  Midwest Makeup Supply is owned and ran by Corrie, a rockstar in the Twin Cities makeup world.  She does everything from bridal to special effect makeup to drag makeovers.  She also does complete gender transformations and will soon have a new photography studio in the Saint Paul area.

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This was our second visit as a group to Midwest Makeup Supply and it was just as incredible as the first.  Corrie started the afternoon with three different makeup demonstrations showing us everything from color correcting/beard cover, highlighting, and contouring.

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Corrie then moved onto teaching us how to have fuller lips using liner and lipstick and some tricks for our eyebrows.  I learned so much about everything from finishing sprays, foundation to primer to bronzer.

After the demonstrations were over, it was time to shop!  Corrie and Nico helped us all pick out the right foundations, powders, eye shadow, makeup brushes and everything else.

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After we all maxed out our credit cards we went across the street for dinner at ‘It’s Greek to Me’.  In addition to amazing food we were also treated to incredible hospitality and were made to feel very welcome.

Huge thanks for Corrie and Nico and to all the t-girls who came to the event.  I can’t wait to play with my new makeup!

Love, Hannah

Baby, it’s, Like, Really Cold Outside

It was a very, very cold evening last night, but that didn’t stop the MN T-Girls from our monthly adventure!

I had spent the afternoon doing some shopping and meeting a friend for coffee, and by the time I met up with the other t-girls temperatures were a few degrees below zero.  Did sub-zero temperatures and icy sidewalks stop me from wearing a dress with a hemline above the knee and four inch stilettos?

I think you know the answer to that.

For our first outing of 2018, we met at The Townhouse, Saint Paul’s oldest GLBTQA nightclub.  There were about two dozen of us who braved weather that was actively trying to kill us.  We had some drinks, some food, chatted about the holidays, met new friends and a lot of girl talk.  It was a nice way to start the year.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any good photos of the girls but everyone looked fabulous and was dressed a lot more practical than I was.

As the MN T-Girls enters our fifth year, I’ve been thinking a lot about how far the group has progressed and what the future holds for us.  I am constantly thinking about what we’ll do next, whether it’s shopping and makeup lessons or events built around activism.  I try to balance our events that appeal to all members of the group, whether it’s an event at The Townhouse, which tends to be one of the first places a t-girl goes when we leave the house for the first time to something bigger and more public to appeal to those of us who have been out in the real world for years and are comfortable anywhere.

Most of the events for 2018 are already planned out and they range from attending Pride events around the state to makeup demonstrations to photo shoots to holiday parties, but I am always thinking about what we can do.

It is a lot of work planning and coordinating these events and I tell the girls I will always continue to do so as long as the girls show up.

I look forward to what the year brings!

Love, Hannah

 

Fab-Yule-Ous!

IMG_0694I am having a hard time believing that Christmas Eve is two weeks away.  The holiday season can be stressful and busy, which makes the annual MN T-Girls holiday party all the more fun!

Last night about fifteen of us gathered for drinks, food, holiday music, girl talk and fun.  It was a time to take a break from the busy holiday season, show off our new sparkly Christmas and look back on 2017.  In addition to using the night as an excuse to be fabulous, we also sponsored a family who has had a really hard year.  Because of the generosity of the group, we were able to give a family a hopefully brighter holiday by donating money and gift cards.  Seeing the T-Girls open their hearts and purses to this family who has been struck by tragedy made my heart soar.  Thank you to everyone who helped.

I had such a fun time and I spent a bit of the evening reflecting on all the amazing things we did this year as a group.  I made a lot of new friends and had a lot of new adventures.  We talked about what we want to do next year and I am excited and recharged for our next events.  Organizing and planning a group like this is exhausting but it’s also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.  Thank you to every MN T-Girl out there for making the group as successful as it is.

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I can’t wait for 2018!

Love, Hannah

Four More Years!`

31This month marks the four year anniversary of the MN T-Girls!

I remember the very first MN T-Girl meeting at Cafe Southside in Minneapolis.  I arrived a little early and wondered if anyone would show up.  But a few people did, and now, 4 years and a whole lot of eyeliner later, the group is still going strong with close to 200 members.  When I started the group, I had a goal of helping other t-girls find the courage to go out, have fun, make friends and experience life outside of their living room.  I also wanted to help us become visible to the rest of the world.  To show people that we are real and are more than how we are portrayed in movies.

I’d like to think that these goals are being accomplished.  At almost every monthly event, there is usually at least one t-girl out for the first time.  Almost all events are out in public, whether at the mall, in a restaurant or museum.  I am also seeing increased tolerance, acceptance and love from the real world.  Whether it is the group being invited for a private shopping event, a play or simply someone telling me that they love my dress.

IMG_0571I like looking back at how things have evolved, and I also like to celebrate!  Yesterday was the monthly MN T-Girls outing and it was truly special.  Yesterday’s event was actually comprised of three separate moments.  The first was an amazing combination of our history and of our future.  The University of Minnesota recently unveiled an exhibit documenting the history of the transgender and non-gender conforming community with a special emphasis on Minnesota’s role and community.  The exhibit, titled ‘In Their Own Words’: The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project  is an amazing collection of literature, newspaper articles, photographs and interviews.  I was excited to see the exhibit and thought it’d be interesting and important for the MN T-Girls to visit.  I think history is so important.  I have the freedom to walk through Target in heels but I can’t forget those activists who fought for this freedom.

Typically, the museum is not open on the weekends, but thanks to the U of M’s kindness, they opened for our group for a special weekend showing.  I cannot thank the U of M enough for their flexibility.  What made the visit extra-extra-extra special was our tour guide was Andrea Jenkins, the curator of the exhibit and the first out transgender person of color elected to public office in the United States!  Jenkins will represent Ward 8 on the Minneapolis City Council next year.

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I learned a lot about our history, such as when the term ‘transgender’ was first used, how different ethnic groups have had multiple genders for a very long time, and how the U of M was the second university in the United States to perform a gender reaffirmation surgery.  It was an amazing exhibit and I am still stunned by the courage of those who came before us.

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Again, special thanks to Ms. Jenkins and the U of M!

We had dinner reservations but there was a little time to kill before then.  A small group of us went to Midwest Makeup Supply in Minneapolis to do a little shopping.  The MN T-Girls had a private makeup event there earlier in the year and it’s always fun to visit.

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After the exhibit and shopping it was time to eat!  We had a wonderful meal at PUBLIC kitchen + bar in Saint Paul.  We had dined there two years ago and like last time, we had delicious food and wonderful service.  I can’t wait to go back!

It was a fun day and I cannot thank Andrea, the U of M, Public and Midwest Makeup enough for helping make the day special.  I also want to thank every member of the MN T-Girls for helping the group grow and making the group what it is.

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Onto the next four years!

Love, Hannah