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. 🙂

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

Jazzin’ it Up

Oh, hi!

I’ve had a lot of wordy posts lately and I think we’re overdue for some pictures to jazz things up.

So, here is a preview of the pictures from the recent photo shoot with the MN T-Girls. The first three outfits are from En Femme and the fourth outfit I found on Amazon. I bought that dress after I wrote a post about, well, living in the moment, I suppose.

I can’t wait to share more pictures and I really hope you like these.

Love, Hannah

Love, Hannah

Announcing the Hannah!

This side of us has dreams and desires that are wildly different than what many people in our male lives (if we have one) would ever guess.

I mean, I can’t imagine my coworkers would ever even begin to speculate that one of my life goals is to be a bridesmaid.

A while ago I realized I had a dream of, well… I mean, it sounds kind of silly but I think many of you will understand.

HommeMystere makes beautiful lingerie for girls like us. I have quite a few of their bras and panties in my wardrobe and I love wearing their matching camisole and panty sets or teddies to bed. It’s not uncommon for their designers to create a cute set with a name, such as Charlotte or Juliette.

I’m sure you can see where this going.

I thought it would be amazing to have a bra and panty set named after me.

A few months ago I received an email from HommeMystere and like magic, my dream was real.

They sent a beautiful tartan bra and panty (and a flirty little skirt) and like everything else they design, it fit perfectly. Modeling it at a recent photo shoot was an unreal experience.

I am thrilled to show you this beautiful set. I hope you like the pictures and I hope you like the lingerie.

The Hannah will be available in early 2023!


Love, Hannah

Unwrapping

It’s my birthday!

And what do we do on birthdays (besides reflecting on another year passed or dreading what is to come or having an existential crisis)? Well, if you’re lucky you can unwrap a present!

In celebration of my birthday I would like to post the last set of pictures from my most recent photo shoot. And yes! They are lingerie shots to go along with the unwrapping metaphor.

Unwrapping? Undressing? Let’s just go with it.

And yes! Not very introspective but I’m working on a lot of thoughtful entries at the moment so I am giving my brain a little break from serious thinking and just indulging in my love for pretty lingerie.

Love, Hannah

It’s Not the Weather…

I could just pretend that you love me
The night would lose all sense of fear
But why do I need you to love me
When you can’t hold what I hold dear

Oh God could it be the weather
Oh God why am I here
If love isn’t forever
And its not the weather
Hand me my leather

-Tori Amos

Love, Hannah

Overdressed and Overthinking

Okay girls, three outfits left to show you from my most recent photo shoot.

Of the the several that remain, this little number is the… hm, most modest of them but when you see the last two, that’s not saying much.

Whenever I have a shoot I choose a dress to wear to the studio. This dress is the one I will wear to my makeover appointment, getting coffee, or doing a little shopping if I have time. It’s not uncommon to have sexy outfits picked out for the shoot itself, like leather or something more revealing. Sometimes I’ll have an evening gown.

What I mean is that not every outfit I’ve selected is not really appropriate for running errands before the photo shoot.

So, I have to make sure I have a dress picked out for a little running around before the shoot. I don’t try to blend in, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will try to stand out. I will, by default, stand out.

To clarify, I will stand out because I am a Very Tall Transgirl. Not because I am OMG I AM SO GORGEOUS LIKE WHY WOULDN’T I STAND OUT.

When I am just popping into a few stories I want to make wear something that is appropriate. I am, more than likely overdressed but being overdressed isn’t the same thing as wearing something that is out of place.

After all, Oscar Wilde said you can never be overdressed or overeducated.

Likewise, if I am going out after the shoot, I need to make sure I have an outfit that is appropriate for whatever I am up to next. If I am not going out, then I just drive home (and praying I don’t get pulled over) in whatever leather dress or evening gown that I wore as the final outfit for the shoot.

This recent photo shoot had it’s share of cute dresses but only two would work for errands before the shoot and for meeting the T-Girls after the shoot. I chose a red dress and sparkly heels for after, and below is the dress I wore for running around before I had to be at the studio.

It wasn’t a hard decision. It was kind of by default. My other choices was a tight leather dress, a very pink dress which would look a little out of place at a coffee shop, and a dress that would work but the heels I wanted to pair with it tend to hurt after a little bit and weren’t a good fit for shopping.

This dress is cute and I like it a lot, but what prompted me to buy it was that it was perfect for a pair of heels that I own that I don’t wear as much as I would like.

My only reservation about this outfit is that it MIGHT be a LITTLE too matchy-matchy. I mean, both the dress and heels are black AND white so it may be a little too much. Adding a pink belt might have brought a needed pop of color to this outfit.

But life is short. Wear what you want. Wherever you want.

Love, Hannah