Butterflies

The monarch butterfly can be found around milkweed plants, if you wanted to find one.

As beautiful as we are, girls like us are not like butterflies.

What I mean is that there is not a specific place to find us. One of the most common questions I am asked is where does someone go to meet a crossdresser or a t-girl? If I am asked this question by a chaser, I ignore them. We are not your goddamn fetish. If this question is asked by a girl like me, then it’s a little different.

It’s so important to have support and to know others like us. It’s pretty normal to feel alone and to think that there is no one on the planet that is like us, but that is simply not the case.

But where do you find others like us? If you are looking for support, I encourage you to find a local chapter of PFLAG. Crossdresser Heaven also has a pretty impressive list of resources. An LGBTQI+ nightclub or bar is also a pretty typical place to meet a girl like us.

But if the bar scene isn’t for you (and it’s not my scene), then what are your options? To be honest, it’s not like we all hang out at designated places. There are places I go to but I don’t necessarily shop there because of my gender identity. I go to Starbucks and Target because I need coffee and I need… Target stuff, but I don’t go to these places because I expect to see other t-girls. I go to museums and book stores, but to be honest, I rarely see other girls like me.

And even if I did, I would never approach someone that I thought was trans. You probably shouldn’t either.

If you are looking to make friends, then the internet is going to be your best bet. Transgender Heaven and Crossdressers.com are two of the best and most active forums out there.

Girls like us are everywhere… but we are probably in boy mode. When I go grocery shopping it’s not likely the cashier knows about my gender identity, just like I don’t know theirs.

Be safe.

Love, Hannah

Saturday in the Garden

Yesterday was a gorgeous, hot summer day. Not the best type of day to wear pads, forms, stockings, a wig, a gaff, and foundation, but this girl is happy to make some sacrifices to look cute. And I’m glad I wasn’t the only one since yesterday was the monthly MN T-Girl outing.

In these days of social distancing, our recent events have been primarily outside where we can…uh, distance ourselves socially. Thankfully it’s been a little easier to meet as a group since the weather has been cooperating.

Our monthly event for August was a visit to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The Sculpture Garden is one of the most iconic places in the state and it was a beautiful way to spend a summer afternoon.

There were a total of ten of us and we wandered around the garden, looked at some amazing art, had some girl talk, took some great selfies, and just enjoyed being together.

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

TransRefuge

We all need support and friendship, especially when it comes to this part of our lives. Let’s be clear, we need to talk about this side of us with others. It can be overwhelming and lonely to keep this a secret.

Unfortunately talking about this is not as simple as we would like it to be. Before we can talk about it, we have to come out to someone. And when we come out, we have to explain the unexplainable. It’s exhausting to come out to someone. I believe I would be out to more people if I didn’t have to dissect who I am in a million different ways to someone who doesn’t understand and can’t relate to identifying as anything other than cisgender.

T-girls need other t-girls. When I spend time with other girls like myself, we can talk about trans-related feelings and thoughts without having to explain every little nuance or aspect of our identity. We know. We can relate. We don’t have to say a word.

The more support and resources we have the better. I recently became aware of a new forum called TransRefuge. According to their site, TransRefuge is a social and support community for transgender and intersex people, and a resource center for those who support us. We exist to connect transgender people, intersex people, and allies with friends and resources.

The site offers a lot of resources, advice, and friendship for our community. If you are looking for a way to connect with girls like us, please visit TransRefuge.

Love, Hannah

This Too Will Pass

Hi girls,

As many states have shelter in place guidelines and we are all doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19, most of us are spending a lot more time at home.  For some of us, this gives us more opportunities to dress and work from home en femme.  For others, it means a lot less time to dress.

Being who we are is essential, and I personally know that these past two months have really shown how vital it is for me to be me.  Yes, I can dress at home, but it’s not the same.

Still, I am thankful that I have at least that much.

We all know how we feel when we cannot express ourselves.  It’s not uncommon for us to feel depressed, anxious, and frustrated.  I know how you feel.  We all know how you feel.

I recently wrote an article for En Femme about how this point in history can impact this side of us as well as what we can do to still stay in touch with our femme side.  I shared some ideas about everything from practicing walking in stilettos to watching makeup tutorials.

But on a more serious note, I wanted to advise caution when it comes to having “the talk” with your significant other in times like this.  Yes, you and your partner are likely having a lot more time together, and it might seem like a good opportunity to share this side of you if you haven’t already.

When we come out, we need to be aware and respectful of how our partner is feeling, or anticipating and being prepared for how they may react.  This revelation will forever change your relationship and will likely cause stress and tension and a lot of questions.

With the world the way it is currently, things are stressful and scary enough.  Adding something like this revelation into the mix is going to make things even more stressful than they already are.

I understand wanting to have this talk right now.  If you are feeling stressed and tense because you can’t dress,  it’s natural to want to have the talk to have the chance to be en femme.  We always need to be aware of the pink fog and how this side of us can cloud or judgement and we may make decisions that might seem like a good idea at the time, but we are not thinking about the impact these choices will create.

If you need support, and we all do, please seek it out.  This is a good time to remind us all of Trans Lifeline.

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Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Our vision is to fight the epidemic of trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid. 

Need to talk? Call! Our peer support hotline is run by and for trans people. We’re available 7am-1am PST / 9am-3am CST / 10am-4am EST. Volunteers may be available during off hours.

Take care of yourselves, girls.  This too will pass.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask me (almost) Anything

With everything going, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely, especially when it comes to this side of us.  I know I miss my MN T-Girls.  This side of us needs to be taken care of, she needs to be attended to and she needs to be acknowledged.  Between working from home and almost everything being closed, it’s hard to be who we are.

I try to be accessible and I do my best to reply to every email and message I get.  I do love hearing from you all (unless it’s a photo of…uh, your anatomy).  I know how important it is for all of us to be able to talk to someone who understands this side of us.  I know I need that, too.

Since we are feeling out of sorts, and for some of us our ability to meet up and connect with our friends and our support may be cut off, I thought it might be fun to do some sort of Google Chat or an AMA (Ask me Anything) on Reddit later this week.

Would you be interested in that?

Love, Hannah

Be Careful About Who You Hate…

I am far from perfect but occasionally I do nice things for people.  With how difficult it is to find certain essential items these days I had been keeping an eye out for some Target-y things that someone I knew needed.  I was able to find these supplies yesterday while out running errands and I picked them up for the person who needed them.

Again, nothing heroic, just doing something that they would do for me.

I couldn’t help but reflect on how people need people.  But I also thought about how this person is very Republican and is very anti-trans.

BUT HANNAH NOT EVERY REPUBLICAN HATES TRANSPEOPLE.

God, I know.  However, I can’t think of a single anti-LGBTQ+ piece of legislation that has been introduced that wasn’t authored by a Republican.  Additionally the person I am referring to has said very hurtful things towards our community in private (and not so private) conversations with me.  And for me personally the way you vote and the party you affiliate yourself says a lot about your values.

Sure, some people vote Republican because of what they claim to be for economical reasons.  Okay.  But when that same party also pushes laws that hurt the LGBTQ+ community, to me that says you support the party that support these laws, or at the very least that you tolerate these perspectives.

But this post is not meant to be political.  I promise.  What I am trying to say is this person, although they do kind things and we are friendly towards each other, we are about as different as it gets when it comes to values and perspectives on… everything, especially gender.  I do know this person thinks highly of me, but I feel that opinion would change drastically if they knew me.  Like, really knew me.

I feel that who we are is absolutely tied to, well, who we are.  Sure, someone might like me as a person, but if they are anti-trans, then their opinion of me doesn’t matter.  If someone knows ALL OF ME, then they need to support ALL OF ME.

That is not to say that someone has to like every aspect of someone else.  I can like a co-worker but hate how they interrupt me whenever I am talking.  I can like a friend but get annoyed at how they are always late when we meet for dinner.

But gender identity, race, nationality, sexual, and romantic preferences are more than personality traits or habits.  This is who someone is.  This is who I am.

The person who I am referring to is affiliated with a political party and has perspectives that contradict everything I am and everything I stand for.  What would they think if they knew who I was?

Well, probably one of three scenarios.

1) They cut me out of their life completely

2) They ignore this part of me

3) They realize that perhaps that their perspectives on gender are not as black and white as they thought and try to understand people like me better and how their actions and words hurt someone they now

In the end, it doesn’t matter and it’s impossible and pointless to speculate.  They will never know this side of me.

But what I know is they hate me.  They would prefer that I didn’t exist.  Sure, they like and respect me, but my God, they would do anything in the world to remove transpeople from society.

We are used to people like this.  It would be hard to live our lives and not have to interact with people with this perspective.  But we as a community have done so for our entire lives and will continue to do so.

I read that you need to be careful about who you hate, because it might be someone you love.  Nothing has ever been more true.

Love, Hannah

Hannah Asks…

Last month the MN T-Girls attended a play which told the story of Susan Kimberly, a transgender woman who served as deputy mayor of Saint Paul years ago.  Outside of the theater were these giant reproductions of newspaper articles from around the time the play was set.  The articles had quotes from people that Ms. Kimberly worked with before, during, and after her transition.

One of the quotes really stood out to me, for some reason.  Someone who Ms. Kimberly knew before she came out said something along the lines of how you think really know someone but it turns out that you don’t.

Of course, I am not sure of the context or what the person was feeling, but it felt as if the person who said was… kind of sad.  He could have been making a lighthearted observation or perhaps he was bitter, but it struck me as if he was hurt because he didn’t know something about his friend that was obviously very important to them.

Considering how active my life is en femme, I have come out to what I consider a remarkably few people in my life.  I have come out to roommates, girlfriends, friends, and a small number of family members.  With the exception of my brother, everyone I have come out to is a girl.

I don’t like gender stereotypes and I avoid generalizing people based on the gender they identify with or the gender that they present as, but I find women are easier to talk to.  When I came out to my girlfriend who later became my wife, she summed up who I am perfectly.  “You just like to feel beautiful”.  She could relate to wanting to be pretty.  Although this whole… thing is complicated and hard to explain and hard to understand, she could relate to how I wanted to look and how I wanted to feel.  She understood my frustration when my makeup wasn’t cooperating as well as the power and confidence that comes from a cute outfit.

From time to time I consider coming out to my two best male friends, but each time I decide against it.  I am never sure (but no one is ever sure how anyone will) react to this revelation.  It’s easy to talk to my sister about a new eyeliner, but I doubt my guy friends could understand why a little black dress and stilettos are THE best things in life.

Again, I don’t mean to generalize but… well, I guess I am doing it.

After seeing that quote, I started to think that although my gender identity and wardrobe is not something that they could relate to, who I am, who I REALLY am, might be something that they would want to know.  Not because they would understand or accept, but because they are my friends, and I am theirs.

Although they wear work boots and cleats and I wear pink high heels, if I put myself in their shoes, would I want to know something that is this personal, and important to them?  And I would.  I love my friends and it would hurt if there was something about them that was this significant that they felt they couldn’t share with me.

Coming out is never easy, and everyone reacts differently to this truth.  Often the reaction is influenced by the relationship.  Coming out to your sister is different than coming out to your roommate, for example.

What I am curious about is if you have come out to a guy, whether a brother or a close friend, how did it go?  Do you think coming out was different because they were a dude?

Please comment below, thank you!

Love, Hannah

 

 

The New World

We are all living in a very different and frightening world compared to a few months ago.  What did we even talk about or think about before COVID-19?

Schools, restaurants, businesses are closed, sporting events and concerts are canceled… this is all very surreal, scary, and bizarre.

Many of us are working from home, our normal routines which we took for granted are upended, we can’t purchase essential items from Target, we are isolated, and in some ways, feeling a little trapped.

Girls like us count on each other for friendship, support, encouragement, makeup tips, and just knowing we are not alone.  Being able to connect is essential, but it’s more crucial than ever.

How are you all doing?  How are you keeping it together?  Please comment below.

Stay safe.

Love, Hannah

LGBTQ+ Resources in New York

If you know of a social/support group, a transformation service, or an organization in your state that would be of interest to our community, please drop me a line with that information and links and I will be happy to post it!

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Buffalo Belles

‘The Buffalo Belles’ is a social support group for transgendered persons in the Buffalo, NY area. We are a group dedicated to sharing our thoughts, feelings, and hopes in life. We are strongly dedicated in creating a peaceful, private, and safe environment in which we can communicate, understand one another, and in doing so better understand ourselves.

Love, Hannah