Multitudes

People talk about my image
Like I come in two dimensions
Like lipstick is a sign of my declining mind
Like what I happen to be wearing
The day that someone takes a picture
Is my new statement for all womankind

-Ani DiFranco

One of the aspects that I love about having a femme gender identity are the wardrobe options. I love that I have an outfit for any conceivable event or occasion no matter how nuanced.

Of course, you don’t have to have any sort of binary gender identity to wear whatever you wish. You can identify as masculine AND wear a chiffon gown if you please.

I love how an outfit can completely change how I feel and what I project. A dress can communicate, if you know what I mean. I love the versatility, I love the variety, I love the potential of a dress.

But at the same time, it doesn’t always reflect who I am.

I’ve been modeling and reviewing clothes for a few years now and I’ve worn clothes that are perfect for who I am but also clothes that aren’t really “me”. It’s part of the job, if you follow. I’ve modeled pants! I am not a pants girl! But those pictures are out there.

I can, well, shut off the part of myself that associates a look with who I am at my core. I can wear an outfit like this…

..but I assure you that I do not have the intention (or the budget required) to be a domme.

This is true for any look or outfit that, well, I wouldn’t wear to the mall. I have a rhinestone studded collar with “SISSY” bejeweled on it that I’m wearing for this weekend’s photo shoot but the sissy lifestyle isn’t for me.

Although my gender identity can’t be trivialized as “playing dress up”, I absolutely love playing dress up.

I don’t ever intend a look or an outfit to definitively represent ME. A rubber dress doesn’t signify that I am a dominant mistress. Photo shoots are an opportunity to play around with a look or a style that I wouldn’t wear out in the real world.

Sometimes I tweet an outfit and some people react to it in a very extreme way. Begging me to not wear it. Telling me that the outfit is not who I am.

I have two thoughts when this happens. The first is that I wear a LOT of different outfits and they’ve ranged from lingerie to a ballgown to leather to polka dot. I suppose my thinking is that an outfit is just, well, another outfit. Part of modeling is wearing a lot of different clothes. Having this variety in my, ah, portfolio has caught the attention of others and has opened up other opportunities for other partnerships. I’ve had designers of sissy clothes ask me to review an item because they saw this picture:

…and I’ve had designers who make tucking/smoothing underwear contact me because they saw my lingerie pictures.

I suppose I don’t get too hung up on my physical body. It is what it is. Skin and fat and bones and blood. When I model I am essentially a clothes rack, lol. I liken trying on different clothes and different looks to trying different food. Trying Thai food doesn’t mean that it’s all I will eat for the rest of my life. I mean, it might be but I’ll never know what’s right for me until I try it.

My second thought is that someone MIGHT have an idea of who I am and gets… hm, upset if I wear something that contradicts who they think I am, or who they want me to be.

I don’t like being pigeonholed into something. I am not one-dimensional. I contain multitudes. We all do.

I suppose this thought has something to do with feeling an uncomfortableness that someone might have an idealized perspective of who I am, and who I should be. An ownership, in the most extreme circumstances.

But I can relate. There are bands that I’ve always liked that tried a different genre or music for a bit, whether it was a band who mostly played acoustic music but then recording a kind of techno record or when Taylor Swift made the shift from country to pop music. When a musician or an author tried something new part of me felt that this new genre, this new project wasn’t what I expected or wanted from them.

If you’re not familiar when Bob Dylan “plugged in”, you might want to check that out to get an idea about what I mean how fans or an audience perceive a change that their hero makes. These feelings can be anything from confusion to feeling betrayed.

Please know that I am absolutely not comparing myself to Taylor Swift or Bob Dylan. They are just two examples of someone trying something new or different that might be a bit of a departure in the eyes of their fans.

People try different things. They may not be the right decision but oftentimes they are incredibly fascinating projects. As someone said, make interesting mistakes.

Wearing an outfit for thirty minutes isn’t the same thing as wearing an outfit as I go about my day-to-day life. Yes, I might wear a black pvc minidress for a shoot at a studio, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to wear it to the mall.

So, I suppose my point is that if you don’t like what I’m wearing, like the weather, give it a few minutes and it’ll change.

Love, Hannah

P.S. This is another post that sounds waaaaaay bitchier than I mean it to. ๐Ÿ™‚

So. Many. Wardrobe. Changes

Last weekend Shannonlee and I filmed the next videos for En Femme‘s Help Me Hannah series. Each video was more or less about my fave topic: clothes. So, each video required outfit changes that went with whatever I was rambling on and on about.

I tend to exaggerate but if I did my math correctly (and there’s a good chance I didn’t), I wore ten different outfits in about three hours.

As I quickly changed from a bodycon dress to a skirt or into leggings, I couldn’t help but think back to when I was younger and I learned how to change quickly out of girl clothes whenever I heard the garage door open signifying my mom returning from work.

We didn’t have time to do photos properly as we were busy filming and re-filming whenever I forgot to turn my microphone back on. We did manage to find a couple of moments to do some quick pictures with my phone, though.

It was a shame we didn’t have more time as the studio was incredible. I loved the space and I absolutely plan on going back for a proper shoot.

Here’s a few of the outfits I wore and I hope you like them!

Love, Hannah

Fridays and Feminine Flaws

I don’t want anyone to think I am a professional model. And I don’t want anyone to think that I myself think that I am a professional model. I’m not and I don’t.

Annnd I don’t want to be.

Well, maybe I do… but only when I am stuck in a meeting or staring at a spreadsheet for hours and hours. Daydreams aside, it’s not something that I think is remotely possible and it’s not something I am even pursuing. Over the last few years I have, more or less, forged a path in my femme life of, well, doing what I want.

Which sounds incredibly arrogant but I don’t mean it to be. I have said no to plenty of opportunities that I felt contradicted my whole “thing” if you will. I’ve turned down partnerships with some brands that I didn’t think were for me.

I have a small belief that once you make a decision and you are truly committed to it AND you work hard towards making it happen, the universe, more or less, gets out of your way. There are always barriers that will impede our goals but that’s when you continue to work hard and you recommit (again and again) to somehow making it work.

I mean, things don’t always work out but it’s Friday and with Fridays there is always that built-in optimism so let’s focus on when things do work out.

When the MN T-Girls had our first of what became our annual professional photo shoot, it opened up a friendship with Shannonlee, our photographer. Since then she and I have had dozens of shoots over the last five and a half years. We have done shoots in various places around the Twin Cities and in a variety of studios. It’s been so much fun. Most of that fun comes from working with Shannonlee. I like collaborating with creative and talented people.

These professional photos built up my confidence and that confidence led to… ah, hubris, which led to me contacting various designers who created clothes for girls like us. I started doing reviews and modeling which brought me to partnering with En Femme.

These reviews and modeling have consisted of everything from lingerie to leggings to dresses to stilettos to pants to jewelry. The photos have been included in advertisements, websites, and email marketing campaigns. It’s fun to see a photo used in this way but I also feel strangely detached when I do. It’s like, oh, there I am.

This type of exposure has led me to becoming, in a way, a public figure in our little community. My website had more traffic, my Twitter followers grew… that kind of stuff. More people became aware of me and more people started to comment on photos or send emails.

Some comments and messages are a little explicit and some are sweet and some overstep a boundary. Some hyper focus on something in a picture, like the guys who really like when I am carrying my purse in a picture for some reason.

Through all of this attention to, well, my body, I have learned to just roll with it.

And again, all of this all sounds incredibly arrogant. I don’t have the greatest body in the world and I don’t think I do. I don’t think I am Cindy Crawford or Heidi Phox.

As I mentioned before I am a little disconnected when I see a photo of myself on a platform other than my own website or my own social media. If these instances, my picture is likely being used to advertise or market something. Which is fine. I mean, that’s what the photo was meant to be used for. It is flattering, though. It’s fun. It’s affirming.

As I get older and as I continue to model clothes I have started to become a little… hm, detached (there’s that word again) from my body, even in real life. It’s like, yep, that’s my thigh. That’s my tummy. That’s my, ah, feminine flaw in that panty.

We are all just skin and blood and bones and muscles.

The final straw, I suppose, was starting to model lingerie. It was a humbling and weird experience. I felt exposed and arrogant and shy and silly. When I saw the photos I didn’t look at them so much as thinking I looked amazing, it was more like, yes, that is me. That is my body with all it’s flaws and power. It was like… being at peace with it.

What I mean by power is that I am blessed to have my body. I can walk and run and use my hands. I am able-bodied and I am fortunate. I am getting older each day but I will never be as young as I am now.

Lately I feel that, ah, enriching my soul and taking care of my body and mind and heart and my relationships have become more important than ever. I am becoming less self-conscious of my body and how it may or may not help me looking feminine. It’s like, yes, those are my broad shoulders and giant hands… pretty masculine, right? And then not caring at all.

After my first lingerie shoot I decided it would be my last. But then a few months went by and it was like, screw it, let’s do it again. These days standing around in a corset and stockings in a studio while Shannonlee sets up the next shot is pretty normal. I don’t feel sexy or shy or anything. It’s just skin, right? Who cares.

It’s this spirit that leads to empowerment. Becoming detached, whether intentionally or naturally, to one’s physical body is, well, freeing. I have become less interested in beauty standards and gender norms. Less interested in passing, less interested in minimizing or hiding characteristics and physical features that are less than traditionally feminine.

Of course, this doesn’t mean nude or sexually explicit photos. I do have SOME modesty. I do think some mystery is sexier than a full reveal.

As Shannonlee and I create videos for ‘Help Me Hannah’ we do multiple takes and send them off to see what the editor chooses to use. We did some lingerie segments at the first video shoot and we shot more material than what will be used. This is an outtake that will not be used but wanted to show you what these videos may look like. Of course, this is before any sort of editing/sound enhancement/magic is utilized so please don’t be toooo critical of the quality of the clip itself.

Here I am, in all my feminine flaws and awkwardness.

The quality of the video itself is a little raw. Of course, these videos will have editing and… ah, all that magic once they are posted on En Femme’s site.

Love, Hannah

Hello, I’m Hannah McKnight

How many times on this website have I written the words “life is about_______”. Life is about a LOT of things so I suppose it’s not surprising that I use (and overuse) this phrase a lot.

Anyway, part of being ALIVE is knowing that you’ll probably be humbled at different points of your life in a few different ways. It is not always a bad thing to be taken down a peg or two. Speaking for myself I know I definitely need this to happen on occasion.

And although when this occurs I tend to get defensive or bitchy and it brings out the worst in me, I am usually and reluctantly in agreement of being reminded that I although I might excel at something on occasion that I am not flawless.

A few years ago in therapy I worked on the extreme swings of feeling like I was queen (or king) of the world and feeling like I was the worst person alive. These feelings were prevalent in all aspects of my life/lives… whether it was my femme world or my career or hobbies or relationship.

Therapy, perspective, medication, and time helped modulate this. And I am thankful for this. Keeping my ego in check is healthy AND being able to bounce back from a bad day or a disappointment has helped me with everything.

Sometimes a reality check can stem from being humbled. Falling flat on one’s face (whether metaphorically or otherwise) can be humiliating but sometimes it pushes your ego down a few notches.

Of course, sometimes a fall is just a fall and not a life lesson but sometimes you’re reminded that God or life has a sense of humor.

How many times have I strut through a mall thinking I was The Most Beautiful Girl in the World only to catch my reflection and see HIM staring back at me? How many times have I prided myself on my skill in stilettos only to trip?

On my best days I laugh and tell my ego to calm down a little when these things happen.

You can’t live a life without mistakes. The more you do, the more new things you attempt, the more often you go out of your comfort zone the more likely you will stumble. It happens. It is inevitable. They could be big mistakes or a zillion small ones, but try not to expect flawless results when you do anything… whether it’s something new or something you’ve done countless times.

Every person reading this knows the challenges with this side of us. How many times have we thrown down a makeup brush in frustration when we just couldn’t blend our foundation the right way? How many stockings have we run? How many times have we screamed because our eyeshadow and eyeliner is perfection on one eye but a complete disaster with the other?

Oh I could go on.

The only way to avoid these moments is to never pick up makeup or pretty clothes. Ever. No matter how much time passes I know I will struggle with some aspect of my transformation. I might have a day where I just can’t hook my bra for some reason or I run three stockings or my hand shakes when I apply my lipstick.

We’re going to have off days. And we’re going to have days when we soar.

I have to remind myself of all of this whenever I do ANYTHING… whether it’s something new or something I’ve done every day for years… or something that I do en femme that I can do blindfolded or without a second thought in boy mode.

Case in point:

I work in education and I’ve been put on the spot in meetings or whatever countless times to chat about something. I’ve been asked at the last minute to take over someone’s presentation at my college’s orientation or what have you. And sure, easy. I am somewhat comfortable with public speaking and I’ve done it pretty often.

But it’s a new world with Hannah.

With my website I can write and rewrite and replace words or edit something, even after it’s posted. In the real world Hannah’s interactions are either small talk with a cashier or chit-chat with a friend. Easy-peasy.

I knew doing videos wasn’t going to be like that. And it terrified me. I knew it would be humbling. A photo doesn’t show my movement, you can’t hear my voice, or how quickly I speak. I would need to be spontaneous and relaxed (which are not words ANYONE I know would use to describe me).

I was, and am, terrified I will disappoint or underwhelm En Femme, to be honest. I am excited for this new project in our partnership but I don’t want to let them down. These videos rely on the technology cooperating and my performance, I suppose. Everything needs to work, everything needs to click.

Thank God Shannonlee is there. Doing anything with a professional takes the pressure off. Doing anything with a friend keeps it fun.

Life is about (see? Here’s that phrase again) bouncing back from an error and being able to laugh at yourself. When I do stumble in heels I get embarrassed but I do think it’s a little funny and my ego goes back to normal.

I think it’s good for me to humble myself, to be honest. To put my feelings and thoughts out there that remind me that I am not perfect. Not that I think I am perfect, mind you. But I think it’s important to remind myself that I am human and I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. It’s okay to post a photo if I really like it, BUT it’s also okay to post something that is flawed or a disaster. I suppose it’s not unlike a peek behind the curtain of the creative process.

It’s not a bad thing (for me, anyway) to intentionally humble myself. Sometimes to prove a point I will post a picture that I feel is, well, not my best. Maybe it helps other? I get very nice emails saying very nice things about my picture or my presentation but I also have hundreds of photos on my laptop that are…horrendous. We all start somewhere and my early photos are examples of that. I am not a beauty queen and my presentation didn’t just happen… it took years. Time, patience, and money, remember?

When Shannonlee and I started filming last week I had no idea how these videos would turn out. Annnd I didn’t want to, lol. Sometimes creation is ugly. Sometimes you feel creating something decent is impossible when you are up to your neck in the process. During the shoot I would look at a clip that we shot and it was… well, humbling. Part of me wanted to scrap everything and rethink and redo it all. Part of me wanted to quit.

But we soldiered on.

Yesterday I uploaded most of what we shot and with a wish and a prayer I hoped that En Femme would be happy with what they have to work with. But honestly? If we do need to reshoot I am happy to do so. Shannonlee learned a ton from this shoot and I honestly think the next videos will be better. I am more excited than ever now that the first session is out of the way.

As I said, I need to intentionally put myself in situations where I know it’s not my best work OR I’m opening the door to criticism. So! Here’s a short clip of what we shot that day. I don’t think this will be used in the final video but it’s very much behind the scenes and one of the first things we filmed that day.

So that’s my voice and my constant fidgeting.

What do you think?

Love, Hannah

Live from Minneapolis, it’s Hannah McKnight

“Do something each day that scares you”.

Or something. I think that’s the maxim. It might be an actual quote that is attributed to someone or just something someone said and the person we can attribute it to has been lost to time.

Anyway.

I have been thinking about doing videos for a while. What held me back, at least initially, is my lack of technical prowess. I know there are editing programs and the like and I am sure googling “how to make videos” would tell me everything I need to know. But honestly? I think doing videos would take a lot of time… not something I have oodles of.

I had mentioned doing videos a few years here and someone emailed volunteering to edit and produce them. It was kind of them but as we communicated back and forth I had the impression that they were, well, a little flaky. I didn’t get the impression that the collaboration would work.

They also had, ah, a different idea as to what kind of videos they wanted me to create.

If I were to do anything, be it a video or another project, I need to make sure that the other person could, well, keep up with me. It’s also imperative that they are on the same page as me in terms of what we are creating. I am so fortunate to work with, and be friends with, my photographer Shannonlee. Not only do we have a lot of fun doing photo shoots but we also work really well with each other.

But the final and definitive nail in the video coffin was, well, a video that Shannonlee and I shot a few years ago. We were doing a shoot for a review and we were asked to take some short clips of me walking in some of the outfits. Aaaand I HATED how they turned out.

So, that was that.

For a while, anyway.

When 2022 crawled it’s way to the finish line and the optimism and potential of a new year glowed in the distance, I felt a little… ambitious.

And a little restless.

I don’t normally take time off from my job but with the end of year holidays I was, well, forced to. So I had time to unwind and take a break from a my demanding career. The absence of stress allowed a feeling of ambition to grow and vibrate inside me. I was feeling like… well, doing something new.

Something that terrified me.

It was in this perfect storm of restlessness and ambition that En Femme asked me to film a series of videos for their website.

And I said YES.

They have asked in the past but I always said no. Although they will handle all of the technical stuff I resisted because I was super cringed out by the video I mentioned earlier.

But I said YES.

The video series will touch on different aspects of femme presentation. How to have a bra fitting, different tucking garments, things along those lines. We have quite a few ideas and plans but if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

We shoot our first videos tomorrow and I am terrified.

But isn’t that what I wanted? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Love, Hannah

A Need…

Someone told me that a need is a really strong want.

And I think that is mostly true.

But I didn’t want this dress. I needed it.

We all know the feeling of seeing a dress and thinking that it NEEDS to be in your closet even if you have no idea when you’ll wear it or what the occasion for it would be.

This dress from En Femme was exactly that.

Once it arrived I knew I would wear it for my then upcoming photo shoot as well as for the MN T-Girlsholiday party.

The dress is tight, shiny, and has a VERY high slit. Essentially the dress was made for me, lol.

This is the final set of photos from the November 2022 photo shoot. I have a shoot scheduled for later this month and another for the end of March. It’s going to be an interesting year. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love, Hannah

Shiny Things

Like a crow, I am drawn to shiny things.

I love PVC, vinyl, latex, and leather clothes. They are very much my weakness and when I see a shiny dress it will very likely find it’s way into my closet and into my suitcase when I choose outfits for a photo shoot.

When I saw this dress from En Femme I knew it was inevitable it would be mine. It would be silly to pretend otherwise. It fit perfectly and it has pockets for my forms which would circumvent a need to wear a bra. Some outfits are cut in a way where a bra isn’t always going to work and I need a bra to keep the girls in place.

And yes, I know there are adhesives to help with keeping things where they belong but when I have a photo shoot I sometimes go back and forth between outfits where I wear my forms and outfits when I don’t. It’s easier to just pop them into my bra as needed.

I was a little… reluctant to use the pockets for my forms. It sounds silly but it was strange for me to wear forms but not have them against my skin. Do you know what I mean? I slowly got over that with En Femme’s designs, starting with one of the bathing suits I reviewed for them.

I wore this dress for the most recent photo shoot the MN T-Girls did. I love the dress, I love how it looks, and how it feels. I hope you like it too!

Love, Hannah

Strike a (Juxta) Pose

I LIKE contrasts. I like seeing two things that seem to be polar opposites of one another together. This combination can be something amazing that one wouldn’t have possibly imagined working or an absolute disaster. Sometimes things that seemingly contradict each other just mesh perfectly.

For example!

A hardcore rapper recording a duet with a pop singer with a beautiful voice might create a really amazing, fascinating song. Two artists that are about as different as you can imagine… but somehow, it works.

A heavy metal band performing with an orchestra can sound AMAZING.

Chocolate covered cherries? Yes please. French fries and ranch? Yes please.

Of course, there is also the potential for a collaboration to be an abomination… like pineapple on pizza.

Being bi gender is an interesting and perfect example of contrast. Speaking for myself, of course. I own a beautiful gown and a three piece suit. At a wedding I could be the best man or the maid of honor.

I think a lot of you can relate.

For many of us, our male lives do not give off a hint of our femme selves. I mean, yes, it might make sense in retrospect. When I came out to my siblings, one sister was completely caught off guard, the other said it made sense when she thought about it and recalled certain moments growing up. Like, all of a sudden the pieces fell into place when she bumped into me in the women’s section at Target a few years ago.

If you saw me right now, like RIGHT NOW, I am pretty sure it would be hard to imagine that I am the person in this photo.

But I am.

As of this very sentence, I am slouched on the sofa, I have a few days of stubble on my face, and I look about as lazy as it gets. I look tired. I need a nap, I need coffee.

It’s strange knowing what I look like RIGHT NOW is also the same person in the above picture. That is the power of a dress, of makeup, of attitude.

My fascination with contrast, or perhaps in a more accurate term, the opposite of an assumption, is also reflected in the lives of other t-girls. I know beautiful t-girls who operate forklifts in their male lives. Truck drivers who wear stilettos on the weekend. Crossdressers who paint their nails while watching football.

Of course, none of these things HAVE to be exclusively for men OR women. People can wear whatever they want and people can pursue any career they please. I am writing this from the gender binary/social normality perspective.

Even when it comes to my femme presentation, I like the extremes (if you will) of my wardrobe. Whether it is a very pink dress or a leather look. Posting photos on Twitter can lead to people thinking I am either a bad ass dominatrix or a submissive sissy. I don’t like being… typecast, if you will.

Besides, neither look is representative of who I am. I just like the clothes.

Preparing for a photo shoot is an extension of contrast. A shoot can include anything from a dress perfect for brunch with your mother-in-law or, well, something completely inappropriate outside of a Hot Topic or the dungeon of a dominatrix.

But this contrast is more than just what is thrown into a suitcase for the shoot. It can also be the shoot itself.

A few years ago I really wanted to do a shoot in an abandoned warehouse, movie theatre, or SOMETHING like that. The idea of a girl in amazing makeup and a a beautiful dress in a lonely, dilapidated building really appealed to me. Shannonlee and I haven’t really done anything like that, but sometimes the location we’re shooting in as something that more or less works, like the picture below.

…you know, this photo gets creepier the longer I look at it.

And! To expand on the contrast thing, that photo was taken in the same building as this one:

I don’t know why I like the juxtaposition of beautiful clothes and dilapidation but there you have it.

Anyway.

This also extends to lingerie photos taken in places where it’s not… expected to see someone in lingerie.

Photos such as…

I also have a thing for staircases.

Now, to be clear none of these photos were taken in a public space. These pictures were taken in a rented studio or a hotel. I am not wearing a corset at an office while a meeting is taking place in the conference room down the hall. That would be… uncomfortable for everyone.

Photo shoots are a lot of fun but they can get really boring if I am being honest. What keeps them interesting is a combination of an outfit I am excited about, working with Shannonlee, and the location of the shoot. If every photo shoot was simply standing in front of a white backdrop it would be incredibly dull. Not only the shoot itself but also the pictures.

If lingerie pictures were only, well, sensual, such as lounging on a bed, then they would also get really boring. Not only to do, but to look at.

I like being able to interact with my surroundings. It’s fun to see… SOMETHING and respond to that. Whether it’s a piece of art, a tree, or some random object in the studio.

Goodness I look evil in that final picture. Well, perhaps crazed, not evil.

Sexy lingerie + professional settings and beautiful clothes + decaying buildings are visually interesting to me. It’s always fun to see the location that Shannonlee picks out for a shoot. She is also drawn to warehouse type settings and she always has an eye for a shot. Often she’ll direct me to a spot in a room and I don’t quite see what she sees but when I view the end result I realize that is right every time.

I’m always thinking about potential shoots and locations so if you have a suggestion I would love to hear it!

Love, Hannah

Showtime, Baby

I have a lot of clothes and I have a lot of pictures of me wearing clothes (and a lot of pictures of me NOT wearing a lot of clothes).

Sometimes there’s a photo of a dress that I don’t necessarily like but I love how the photo turned out and it changes my perspective on it. There are also outfits that I love that I can’t seem to get a good picture of. This isn’t the fault of my photographer, mind you. Shannonlee always does amazing work… especially considering her model.

I am not saying I am a hideous monster by any means, but I am not a model… not really. I mean, I do modeling but I can’t bring myself to calling myself a model. Does that make sense? I don’t know how to pose or, well, HOW to model. If a good picture is taken it’s a combination of Shannonlee guiding me, her talent, the outfit, and sometimes a bit of luck.

Not to get into the specifics of anything, but when I am doing a photo shoot for En Femme there’s an agreement that some pictures taken are for En Femme to publish and use for marketing and I don’t necessarily have the permission to post them on my website or social media. The publishing rights, if you will, are En Femme’s.

And that’s absolutely normal. That’s showbiz, baby.

Sometimes Shannonlee will take a photo for En Femme that I absolutely love… but I can’t post it. And that’s okay, it happens. There will be other photos that I like. Luckily we usually take so many pictures that even if I am not able to share that specific one there are others similar enough that I like that I can post.

BUT not always.

We did a shoot for En Femme in the summer of 2020 and one of the outfits I modeled was a cute top and skirt. Loved this look. We took our normal amount of pictures and when it came time to send them to En Femme I was a little crushed that there were only a handful that I liked.

Again, this isn’t the fault of Shannonlee. If my head was tilted in a certain way my jawline may have looked more masculine than I like. Perhaps the angle of the shot made my shoulders looked too blocky. And so on. Essentially the only photos of the outfit that I liked would be sent to En Femme and I wouldn’t have the right to share any of it. There were no leftovers, in a way.

Again, this is absolutely normal. I have written things for transgender magazines and websites that I am not able to share on my own site so it’s part of business, I suppose.

I’ve always meant to wear the outfit for another photo shoot so I could post it. So I did! This was one of my looks from the most recent MN T-Girl’s photo shoot. What I love about these photos is how much fun I am clearly having, especially in the last one where I am cackling like a loon.

Preparing for photo shoots is tiresome. The studio is booked in advance, settling on a date that works for Shannonlee, scheduling my makeover, deciding on outfits, and coordinating the details with the other girls who are coming is a lot of work. The day of the shoot is a lot of running around and preparing for things going wrong. By the time the shoot begins I am already exhausted.

But once it does begin I’ve kind of done everything that CAN be done. It’s showtime, baby. I may as well have some fun. I shook off the stress of the morning, I tried to push the hectic workweek behind me, I tapped into the fun and bliss that Hannah represents to me.

And I think you can see the joy in these pictures. I’m glad I have photos of this outfit that I can post… but I am also glad I have this happy moment captured.

Love, Hannah

Strawberry Girl

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in July I wrote a post about, essentially, living life to its fullest and acknowledging that we are on borrowed time.

And I don’t necessarily mean WE as t-girls or crossdressers of member of the LGBTQ+ community. Like, all of us. This borrowed time is not necessarily feeling that a asteroid could plummet to the earth tomorrow and wipe out humanity. This feeling of a ticking clock can also extend to not being able to do… something in the future.

I was reminded of this over the weekend. Although in some ways I feel young and strong I also can’t ignore that my body is approaching it’s fiftieth year slowly and stubbornly. Although I don’t see myself needing a walker anytime soon, I do recognize that I am not as quick or as nimble as I used to be. I don’t bounce back as easily, if you will.

I spent Saturday in heels. Every parking lot and sidewalk that I ventured on was covered in ice. Fortunately I made every perilous journey from my car to a store without incident. The next day I took my dog for a walk and I slipped on the ice and landed hard on my knee and wrist. I slowly and painfully picked myself up and was relieved I could walk and nothing seemed broken or sprained.

I tend to think a million thoughts at once and I couldn’t help but be reminded that the day is coming when five inch stilettos will not be an option. Of course, not everything is about Hannah. I was thankful my wrist was only bruised and I would still be able to pick up a paintbrush or type on a laptop.

My point is that the things that make up my life, the things that bring me joy, whether it’s strutting in heels, going on a hike with my dog, or painting, will eventually become impossible.

Who can say that I will be as fortunate the next time I slip on the ice? This is Minnesota, after all.

I rarely reread the things I post on my website but I do think about the post I mentioned earlier. Not because it’s a brilliant piece of writing or anything but because the koan I wrote about is, more or less, something I try to remember in many parts of my life. Strawberries have become a symbolic reminder about life being sweet and short.

And YES! I know this is all very cliched and corny and cringe. I make no apologies.

After I wrote that post last year I decided I needed to buy a dress with strawberries on it. So I did. And I decided I should wear it for a photo shoot. So I did.

I am finally getting around to posting the pictures from the November photo shoot the MN T-Girls did. I hope you like this dress.

Love, Hannah