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

 

LGBTQ+ Resources in Oregon

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!

Project Unity at Crossdresser Heaven is also an amazing resource!

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The Rose City T-Girls

The Rose City T-Girls have been established since November, 2007. We pride ourselves on earning respect from the entire community around us through our actions.

We have had activities with over a 100 participants and many times 30 or more. Our activities range from golf tournaments to weekly outings and annual trips to the Diva Las Vegas get together.

We are a very diverse group that ranges from cross dressers to fully transitioned male to female girls. We have had multiple girls complete their transition from start to finish at the same time helping and supporting others transition along the way.

 We are confident we will continue to grow and support the community in all ways. It is exciting to see so many girls that have had the opportunity to find themselves as a result of the group.

 We are and always will be Proud to be Transgender.

LGBTQ+ Resources in California

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!

Project Unity at Crossdresser Heaven is also an amazing resource!

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River City Gems

From their website:

Our primary goal is to create opportunities for transgender women to get together and socialize in a personally affirming, safe, and supportive environment. We also strive to raise awareness and understanding of the transgender community through our online presence and our positive interactions with the public at our events. We’re all about changing lives and changing perceptions.

We’re a warm, caring, and fun-loving group of girlfriends who happen to be transgender! We range in age from our twenties through our eighties and come from a variety of backgrounds and professions. We may be married or single, and may describe ourselves as gay, straight, or bisexual. What we have in common is a desire to celebrate who we are and to support each other.

Our group is open to anyone who identifies as transgender, including crossdressers, transsexual women, and those who are questioning or exploring their gender identity. We also invite partners, family members, friends, and allies to join us. Our spirit of inclusiveness creates a welcoming space where all of our members can enjoy themselves, and most importantly, be themselves.

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Carla’s Social Club

For over 35 Years Carla’s – The Social Club has created a safe space to celebrate the Gender Spectrum, in both body and spirit, for the Transgender, cross-dressing, and Gender non-conforming communities. We are the only Transgender owned and operated boutique, makeup studio and social club on the west coast.

The Social Club is a Discreet, Safe and Private Space where you can spend the day en femme, make friends, become a Member or even rent a locker. The Social Club is a member-focused establishment, We do offer day passes and storage, as well as multi-day and monthly memberships to the club.

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The Crossdress Boutique

The Crosssdress Boutique is a brand new shop for transgender people, we launched in mid 2015, our one mission is to supply modern tgirls with great quality products including the latest wig styles, clothing, apparel, gaffs, lingerie, breast forms, corsets, shoes, boots, hosiery, cosmetics, books and essential feminization videos. Our shop is geared firmly at the crossdressing community and we currently have 3 amazing tgirls in our online team, a very small but friendly bunch of people, always willing to help and support our transgender community through this our brand new online venture to give you a fresh one stop shopping experience.

 

Love, Hannah

LGBTQ+ Resources in Wisconsin

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!

Project Unity at Crossdresser Heaven is also an amazing resource!

 

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Outreach – LGBT Community Center

From their website:

Our mission is a commitment to equity and quality of life for all LGBTQ+ people through community building, health and human services, and economic, social, and racial justice advocacy.

Our vision is to create a community where the presence and contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people are welcomed and celebrated; where intolerance is challenged and defeated; where justice prevails; and where civil rights of all people are valued and respected.

Outreach provides a lot of different social and support groups, as well as different events throughout the year.

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Milwaukee LGBT Community Center

From their website:

The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center is dedicated to serving the needs of LGBTQ people and to making the Greater Milwaukee area safer and more inclusive. We focus on anti-violence, healthy relationships, counseling, Youth & Elder Adult programming and more. Our Center’s resources include a lending library with over 2000 LGBT titles, meeting space for over 100 groups during the year, computer/internet access and referrals.

The MKE LGBT Community Center offers meeting spaces, a food pantry, and a clothing closet, among other resources.

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Courage MKE

From their website:

Brad and Nick Schlaikowski founded Courage MKE in 2015 with a mission to fuel a collaborative movement to provide the resources LGBTQ+ youth need to thrive.  After their family fostered teens and learned of their struggles. They made it their mission to build something better for our most vulnerable.

In 2019 Courage MKE opened Wisconsin’s first home for displaced LGBTQ+ youth. Courage MKE believes that in order for youth to work on themselves, they must be able to be themselves. The Courage House is a licensed group home on Milwaukee’s south side. Our Staff, Board and Volunteers are committed to creating an environment in which each resident feels like they are a part of the entire Courage MKE Family. At the Courage House, we assist residents with counseling, life skills, family reunification, and provide them the same experiences every child deserves in a family setting. 

 

Courage hosts different events and offers a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ youth.

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TG Miss

TG Miss was established in 2005 by Melisa Amy Ellis the owner. Melisa was to say at least ”fanatical” about taking great photos of herself. She invested a great deal of time and money into equipment, wardrobe, makeup and training.  As she flourished in her craft of male to female transformation, it became evident that she could help others. By helping others she was able perfect her craft while providing a revenue stream to invest in better equipment and more feminine treasures.

When Melisa invited the first visitor to the TG Miss studio, the original goal was and remains the same today; to give clients “the best girl day of your life”. The studio has been referred to as a “theme park for cross-dressers” by more than one client. Like any good theme park, the attractions keep getting better and better. We understand the difficulty many people have committing large portions of their income to their “special hobby”. To help with costs, the staff at TG Miss does not take a regular salary. The funds collected go to cover the considerable overhead that goes into maintaining and upgrading a studio of this size.

Love, Hannah