Nine Years and Counting

The MN T-Girls have our final event of 2022 this weekend.

I am in the beginning stages of planning events for the upcoming year and it’s not always easy. Some monthly events are a given, such as the annual Halloween party in October (obviously) and Pride in June. We have an annual photo shoot and a holiday party in December (also obviously), too. That covers four out of the twelve monthly adventures.

It’s a balancing act planning events, to be honest. I have let go of trying to make sure sure EVERY event is appealing to EVERY t-girl. That’s not to say that I ever want or intend to exclude ANYONE. What I mean is that every girl in the group has a different degree of what they are comfortable in doing, and what sounds fun.

For some girls they are only ready to go to an LGBTQ+ café or nightclub. For some the bar scene is not for them and would rather spend the day shopping. Knowing this I try to plan events throughout the year that offer both extremes.

Cost is also a factor. The photo shoot we did last month is out of the price range for many since there is the fee for the studio rental as well as for our photographer’s time and talent. I know that money makes some events prohibitive which is why we also will meet up for for coffee and girl talk.

Some events are super memorable such as private makeup lessons or going to a play. Some were a lot of fun, like the yoga class we did earlier this year, but weren’t really appealing to many in the group. The girls who went really enjoyed it, however.

I encourage feedback from the group about events as it helps me plan future adventures. Sometimes I am told that an event isn’t for them, whether it’s because of cost or it’s not something they are comfortable doing en femme. I appreciate hearing this. If we have something planned and it’s not for them, hopefully a future event is perfect for them.

That being said, November of 2023 will mark ten years of the MN T-Girls.

TEN YEARS.

Honestly I never thought I’d still be doing this for this long.

Our community is something to celebrate, and it would feel like a missed opportunity to not acknowledge this milestone.

To be clear this is not an acknowledgment of something I DID that is worth celebrating. It’s a celebration for every t-girl in the group. Whether it’s a girl who comes to almost every event or someone who joined but isn’t ready to attend, the group exists for t-girls looking for support and friends. I plan on continuing the group as long as girls keep showing up.

Although I can come across as shallow, please believe me that I am so excited and I am sincere in my enthusiasm whenever a t-girl joins us for their first event. Many times it’s their first time out en femme. How amazing is that?? If that’s not something to celebrate I don’t know what is.

Even though I have no plans to stop the group, I also know that nothing lasts forever. Life happens. I could move out of state for a job. I could develop a medical condition. Presenting as a gender that is different than the one you were assigned to at birth could be made illegal.

As of right now I have no plans to move, I (think) I am healthy, and I am not aware of any laws the state of Minnesota is considering that could make me illegal, although who knows what may happen in the next week or within the next year?

Knowing this, I want to really celebrate our ten year anniversary.

I have a few ideas and I have gotten a lot of great suggestions from the girls in the group, but I thought it would be fun to open it up to ya’ll.

Honestly one idea is to invite EVERYONE. A HUGE weekend celebration at a hotel or event center. Live in Illinois? Come on up. Live in Canada? Come on down. I would love to book an event space at a hotel and we all dress up in beautiful gowns and celebrate all of us.

Another idea is an all day event at the Mall of America. An entire day of girl talk and shopping and dining and roller coasters. The mall is a very short Uber ride from the airport after all…

Like… for at least a day everyone could be a MN T-Girl.

I don’t know how feasible any of this would be and would take a lot of money and planning but if any celebration is worth putting in this effort it’s one that honors the courage and beauty of every t-girl in the world.

Love, Hannah

The Click

Hi!

I need your help!

I get a lot of emails from girls like me, from people like you, from crossdressers AND from partners, spouses, and significant others about relationships with a non-cis gender person.

Most of these emails are about two people trying to understand or trying to explain this side of us to their partner.

It’s not uncommon to hear about how someone came out to their partner. I don’t know if there’s a right way to come out to someone (besides being gentle and honest) but goodness I’ve heard of a lot of wrong ways to reveal this side of ourselves. Well, maybe not WRONG but it certainly didn’t go as well as intended despite someone’s best and most sincere efforts.

Helping someone understand this side of us is very very very difficult. It’s complex and simple and abstract all at the same time. I mean, I am at peace with who I am, I know who I am, I know what I want out of life. I also know who I am not and what isn’t right for myself. But could I succinctly and clearly relay this to someone else? No. I mean, I think it would take someone a long time of reading every meandering post on this site to “get” me. Not to say I am a baffling mystery but we are all very nuanced and every transperson is different from another transperson.

Someone was explaining lightyears to me the other day and how light travels and how super powerful telescopes display images of things that happened a zillion years ago and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. It seemed to contradict every law of reality, like looking into something that happened in the past. He did a very good job patiently explaining it but I just couldn’t process it.

Gender identity is probably similar. How does one explain the physics of interstellar light in a couple of sentences? How does one explain why someone with a penis wants to wear a dress?

On a side note, the last thing I expected to write about this morning was comparing crossdressing to lightyears but here we are.

I have come out to three romantic partners in my life. One didn’t understand and avoided discussing it, another was accepting, and then there’s my amazing wife. Each time I came out there was also the need to explain who I wasn’t and what this didn’t mean.

No, I am not gay. No, I am not doing drag. No, this isn’t a sex thing. No, I am not in denial. No, I don’t feel I was born in the wrong body. No, I am not going to transition.

Each of those sentences was their own conversation, often over the course of several weeks. An exhausting conversation for both of us. These conversations rarely led to them being resolved. Resolution would come in time. What I mean is that no matter how many times I told my wife I didn’t want to transition, she wasn’t convinced or at least was very skeptical. It took years until she was at peace and had moved on from that fear.

The first thing that needs to happen when it comes to our partners understanding this side of us is them going in the right direction.

What I mean is them learning what this side of us IS, and them moving away from what this side of us ISN’T.

Our partners first have to come to terms with who are are NOT before learning who are really are, what we really want.

To put it a different way (and bear with me, I am not a mechanic), if you are fixing a car that is making a weird noise, you probably start with what is the most likely reason the car is making that noise. If that is indeed the reason, then you know how to approach it. If it’s not the reason, you go to the second likely reason and so on.

This side of us isn’t that different.

And here we are comparing crossdressing to auto maintenance. I mean, we already compared crossdressing to interstellar travel so we may as well roll it with.

The moment we realize that we want to wear panties or makeup or look feminine we likely immediately wonder WHY we want this. We probably ask ourselves the same questions. Am I gay? Is this a fetish? Am I repressing something I am feeling? Was I born with the wrong genitalia? Is transitioning right for me?

Thus begins a lifetime of introspection and overthinking.

When we come out to our partners, they process who we are in a very similar manner. Is their husband gay? Is their husband wanting to do drag? Is this a fetish? Is he in denial? Does he feel he was born in the wrong body? Does he want to transition?

I mean, to be fair, these are very common reasons why someone like us are who we are. Of course, there are just as many of us where these reasons are nothing to do with who we are. Myself included.

Our partners will likely need to come to peace with each of these questions (and this usually takes a loooong time) before they can start to see for themselves who we really are and what this is all about.

Going back to the car analogy, a mechanic will look at every likely reason an automobile is making a weird noise. If the noise isn’t caused by the most likely reasons they start to look at the situation with fresh eyes and realize it’s a different scenario, one they hadn’t considered. A new thing to understand.

Once my wife came to terms with who I wasn’t, it was only them she could begin the bewildering journey of learning exactly who her husband was.

Like lightspeed, she had to understand who I am in a context that she could relate to, that she could understand.

Something had to click.

And one night, it did.

This click was like a light switch. All of a sudden she could view something with new eyes, in a new perspective. To belabor the metaphor, she was no longer in the dark. She could start to see.

Of course, not everything was easy after this. It was like seeing a very messy basement that needed to be organized. You can finally see what something is and the real work is about to begin.

This click was realizing something about myself that she could relate to.

“You just want to feel beautiful.”

She nailed it. I did want this. I will always want this.

This is an universal desire. I think we all want to feel attractive…. or handsome or beautiful.

Everyone can relate to wanting to feel attractive.. and we all have different perspectives on what this means to someone. For some, it’s a floor-length ballgown. Others feel their best in yoga pants and flipflops. For some a three piece suit is what it takes.

I think her realizing that beauty doesn’t have gender norms and we are all wired in certain ways stripped the essence of who I am down to my core. She had to ignore every societal expectations and traditions when it comes to clothes and feelings and emotions. Black and white became gray, blue and pink become purple.

It was only then she could look at who I was in an objective way. She eliminated common reasons why someone with a penis wants to wear lingerie and could see things differently and she could see me for who I was.

In a new light.

Of course, not everything was sunshine and butterflies from there. We still had difficult conversations, she still had fears, complex feelings, and doubts. Much of this was two steps forward, one step back.

My point is that it took years for she and I to be more or less on the same page with all of this. It took years of going in the right direction, if you will, in any journey that was made, whether it was mine or hers. But it took that aforementioned click for her to see the first step in the direction that took her, that took us, to arrive where we are today.

So, what was your click?

What did you say, what did your partner say that helped to put this in a new light?

I would love to hear your comments.

Love, Hannah

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I get messages through my website and from time to time I see that the provided address to receive a reply is very likely fake. But I usually respond and in almost every instance my instinct was correct and the email is bounced back. It’s possible the address had a typo in it but my suspicion is that someone had something to say but didn’t want me to reply to them directly. Cowards.

Most messages like this are almost always snarky or rude. My guess is that they wanted to tell me something to trigger a certain emotion but not have to face any sort of confrontation. Again, cowards.

I think the reason for some of these messages are intended to… well, wound me. I suppose that’s a little dramatic. The internet can provide a way to say something, be it a compliment or an insult, that you might not have the courage or nerve to say in real life.

Instead of being able to reply to these emails, I will sometime respond to the question or address the inquiry here. Some of my postings are meant to, in a way, set the record straight about something. I know I shouldn’t “feed the trolls” but there are times when I feel defensive. I am often impulsive but I’ve recognized this over the years and have learned to (mostly) control this. Lately my boss has been an absolute jerk and sends incredibly nitpicky accusatory emails.

I don’t know, but I feel that there’s probably a more constructive, kinder way to manage, inspire, and lead people.

But this is a website that is mostly about femme presenting transgender people, not a place to air workplace grievances.

My point is that when I get a snarky email, either from my boss or in Hannah’s inbox I fire off a really bitchy response and then I go back and edit it to something waaaaaaaay less confrontational. And then I edit it again. And again. And again. I deescalate my reply to the point it almost comes off as objectively weak. It’s impossible to disagree with certain people and I’ve learned to pick my battles. I stand by the work I do and the actions I take in both sides of my life but I also know when it’s constructive or beneficial or pointless to present my perspective with certain people in the world.

One part of my life that I will always defend is my wife.

I received an anonymous message a while ago where the sender questioned how supportive my wife really is. It wasn’t someone looking for… clarification or had a genuine query it came off as more… competitive?

The sender told me alllll about how they and their wife would go shopping together, to the movies together, to dinner, together to, ah, the bedroom together…

It was all very smug. There’s a difference between “my wife is amazing. She goes out for coffee with me and helps me shop” and “I know my wife is supportive because she isn’t ashamed to go out with me. I guess it’s because I look like a “real” girl and she truly loves and accepts me”.

If someone has a supportive partner I am just as happy for them as they are. But you don’t ever need to throw shade at someone to make yourself feel better or to prove something or go out of your way to make someone feel bad.

It’s not a contest. None of *this* is.

The sender wondered how supportive my wife could be if she’s never gone shopping with Hannah. The sender wondered how supportive my wife could be if part of the reason I am not our to everyone in my life is out of respect for her.

Oh girl. This got my blood racing.

I think it’s natural for someone wanting to defend their partner and their choices so that part of me kicked in. My reply was… well, I am not sure how to describe it. But like an email to my boss I edited it, softened it, and reread and rewrote it several times. I hit “send” annnnnd it bounced back. All that effort for a junk email address.

Now I SUPPOSE I could have ignored it and not let it get to me, but again, it’s not unusual to want to defend your partner, their actions, their decisions, their character.

Listen.

This side of us is a LOT to ask of our partners. None of who we are is what our partners signed up for or expected.

Every gender non-conforming person is different.

Every relationship is different.

And of course it goes without saying that every relationship that involves a gender non-conforming person is different.

How two people express affection and love is different than another couple. People have different “love languages”. My wife and I express our love with very gentle teasing and doing small things for each other. Other couples show their emotions in different ways.

Our partners show their acceptance for this side of us in different ways as well.

True, my wife has never gone out with Hannah. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t accept her or doesn’t accept me. The truth is that neither one of us really like leaving the house at all, lol. Our ideal weekend is staying in and ordering food and reading or catching up on a show or taking care of our new home. The idea of going out, no matter my presentation, isn’t as appealing as it was ten years ago.

Unless I am running an errand, I am probably not doing much in the real world unless it’s Hannah enjoying a day out.

And if there are other reasons my wife isn’t hitting the town with Hannah then they are her own and do not invite anyone’s approval or opinion.

…and here they are.

Essentially if she or I were to be seen in public by someone she knows, then it will very likely open up THAT talk. The endless discussion of gender and identity and transgenderness.

The conversation that is exhausting to simply think about.

This side of me is my journey. And it’s also my wife’s journey. One that she never planned on taking.

And honestly? Neither of us have that energy to have that talk. We are both relatively private people and… letting someone into the uniqueness and nuances and intimacy and dynamics of who we are and who I am and who Hannah is is not something we want to do.

It’s like trying to explain a show that has gone on for ten seasons. It would take too long for you to be brought up to speed.

We’re content and at peace and happy.

And if you’re wondering, IF I wanted to transition (and I really don’t) then it’s likely our relationship would respond to that.

But since we’re both, well, settled into who I am, the “what-if’s” are not something we discuss and probably never will.

Support when it comes to this side of us adapts and changes, like any aspect in a relationship. When I came out to my wife as a crossdresser she didn’t understand. When I started wearing a wig and presenting en femme things shifted to fear and confusion. These days it’s “I love you and I love that this makes you happy and I don’t understand it and I hope you have fun and stay safe!”

And it’s perfect for us.

Years ago I wanted more than anything for us to go out together however she wasn’t comfortable. But I never saw her hesitation or reluctance as a lack of love or support.

Because I knew her.

Because she shows her love and support and acceptance in different ways.

She sends links to a hair removal device or other products that she thought I might want to try.

She compliments a specific picture I post.

She calls my outfit for the day cute or describes my heels as WHOA.

These are just examples into how I know how she feels. And it wouldn’t surprise me to hear how your partner supports and accepts you in different or even similar ways.

We bought a new house this past summer and she spent an afternoon looking for some new furniture. She sent over a photo of a cute dresser and asked “Would Hannah want this?”

And yes, Hannah did want that.

I love our new home but it lacks the closet space that our previous house had.

A few hours later the dresser appeared in our room and I spent a Saturday afternoon organizing my lingerie. It was wonderful. An entire drawer dedicated to my bras with their matching panties. A drawer for my camis and yes, their matching panties. Another drawer for basques and bodysuits.

I couldn’t help but think how fortunate I am. To be comfortable with who I am, to have all this beautiful lingerie. To have my wife.

My wife is genuine and sincere. She doesn’t say something unless she means it. She’s diplomatic and polite and gentle and direct in her relationships and because of this I have every reason to believe her when it comes to my gender identity.

Most of the emails I get discuss marriage and relationships. The majority are from other t-girls and crossdressers asking about how to make THIS work. I tell them that every relationship is different and that I don’t know their partner as well as they do and I can’t offer specific advice for them. All I can really do is encourage them to try to look at things from their partner’s perspective and to be honest.

And this isn’t easy to do when we are clouded by the fog.

It’s not uncommon for someone to share their experiences or what their relationship is like when it comes to their gender identity. Some of the common dynamics range from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to going completely behind their partner’s back. Others have a partner that struts through the mall with them or enjoy a girls night in.

It’s normal for us to want more, though.

We committed to a person because we (presumably and hopefully) love and cherish them. We share a life with them and want to do things with them because they are our best friends. Going grocery shopping is boring but it’s (hopefully) a lot more fun with your partner.

Same thing with our gender identity. We want to do things en femme AND we want to do something we love, something that is important to us with the person we love more than anything in the world.

When it comes to this side of us, if we want more it might be for specific reasons.

I want to go out en femme with my wife because I think it will show that she isn’t embarrassed by me

I want my wife to do my makeup for me

I want to come out to my family but my wife isn’t ready for that

I want to be “the girl” in bed

And yes, I get it. I can relate to many of the things we want or think we want.

Sometimes I am given a glimpse into the dynamics between themselves and their partners when it comes to this side of them.

My wife and I go out as girls but she is only comfortable with me en femme at LGBTQ+ nightclubs

My wife buys me lingerie but doesn’t like it when I wear panties during sex

My wife lets me go out of the house but has requested I not frequent certain parts of town to avoid running into people we know

I mean… these all sound wonderful, to be honest. How many t-girls and crossdressers would absolutely die to have a wife that buys them panties?

Sometimes I’m told these things (and other examples) and it’s followed up by I WANT MORE.

I want to go to church en femme, not just gay bars

I want to wear lingerie when we have sex

I want to go to a mall that my wife said is “off-limits”

Again, I get wanting more. And again, this side of us is a lot to ask. It’s normal to want more. Sometimes what we have is never enough. That’s the fog clouding our heart and mind. And our perspective.

The key to life is loving and appreciating what you have. I mean, yes, there are aspects of our lives that could be better. It would be nice to have a boss that is not completely unhinged and to find a foundation shade that will never be discontinued but, well, life is going to happen.

If you have a wife that buys you dresses or helps you shop or picks up your lipstick for you… well, you have more than most of us could even dare to dream.

Yes, you might want more but appreciate what you have. Acknowledge the stress and feelings and fear and loneliness that this side of us may cause in your partner.

Our partners sacrifice a lot when it comes to this side of us. How many of our wives have stayed up all night stressed or worried about this side of us? How many of our wives have had to share the burden of our secret from others?

I know these things about my wife. And honestly I don’t feel I could ever be a good enough partner to show my appreciation for her.

I try to minimize the inconveniences this side of me creates. I plan my adventures or MN T-Girl events with my wife’s schedule in mind. It’s not much but it’s… something. It’s probably not enough. I feel so grateful for the life I have and my wife helps make… HER happen. Whether it’s shared closet space or teaching me about makeup or encouraging me to start the MN T-Girls and just being patient and firm and trying to understand me and who I am… I don’t know if I could ever be worth it enough.

Getting emails from partners of others like us are pretty frequent. One thing I’m asked, and this breaks my heart a little, is why what they do isn’t, well, enough? Our partners struggle to understand us as much as we can be understood and try to accommodate us to the extent of their comfort level. Not all of us have supportive and/or accepting spouses but there are many partners out there who are doing what they can, what they feel comfortable with, for our femme side.

But again, sometimes we want more.

I let my husband wear panties but he gets angry when I ask him not to wear lingerie when we are intimate

I accept my husband’s feminine side… but SHE is always around. I miss my husband

My husband keeps coming out to friends and family without talking with me first

These are examples of partners who have a level of acceptance but (in my opinion), reasonable boundaries. Boundaries that perhaps at one point their spouses were more than happy to respect. But as time passed… they wanted more.

Which is normal. I get it. I can relate.

But there’s a difference between accepting our partner saying “I’m not ready for that” and, well, us being a bitch when we don’t get what we want. Being passive-aggressive when we are not given permission or the blessing to… go to a different level is really not mature. This side of us has the potential to drive a wedge between us and our partners and when this side of us makes a stressful situation even more so? That’s even more stressful. It’s an example of how crossdressing ITSELF isn’t the problem, it’s the problem that behavior when it comes to crossdressing CREATES. Being bitchy, going behind our partner’s back, overstepping agreed upon boundaries… this causes problems.

This can lead to a good thing, maybe not an ideal thing in our mind, but a good thing turning bad.

I get many emails about asking how to make crossdressing and a relationship work. The short answer is that I worked a LOT on my partnership with my wife. I tried very hard to see EVERYTHING from her point of view, I listened to her the first time she said something, and I stopped (although it took longer than it should have) making THIS the center of everything I did and everything I talked about. I stopped making crossdressing more important than her.

Of course, this is easier said than done. We need a way to express ourselves AND we need to share who we are and what we’re feeling and thinking with our partners. BUT we can do this without overwhelming our partners. Sometimes I want to talk and talk and talk about gender so I turn to blogging. Sometimes I want to go shopping en femme so I hit the mall with another t-girl. Making friends with girls like us is very helpful.

I’ve used this comparison in the past but I have a friend who loves football. Like, LOVES football. Lives, eats, breathes, sleeps football. AND it’s alllllllll he talks about. His wife also loves football but not to the extent of him. For her, going to a game off and on is fine but he is down at the stadium every Sunday tailgating. Then he goes to the game. Then he goes home and watches other games. Then he talks about the game.

He’s a nice guy but not really good at picking up on someone’s vibe, you know?

Instead of driving his wife up the wall with endless and constant talk about football he turned to other ways to share his enthusiasm. He has a lot of other football friends. He made friends to tailgate with. He has directed his love and excitement for something towards others who share his passion. HIs wife is always invited to come along and sometimes she does, but the point is that their entire relationship doesn’t revolve around a sport.

We can learn from them.

Heck, I learned from him. Not every conversation with my wife didn’t have to be about clothes and makeup.

But again, much, much easier said than done.

No one gets exactly what they want in life. Even a dream job has it’s negative aspects, a beautiful dress just might be a LITTLE too snug in some parts, and the dynamic with our partner might not be exactly what we want.

But like a lot of things, we might have it better than we realize. It’s at this moment we need to appreciate what we have and remember that what we have is what someone else would die for.

Listen.

This post is to encourage you to look at your relationship objectively when it comes to this side of you. I get that all of us might want more, but is it possible what you have, the support from your partner is actually… well, more than you thought you would ever have?

Mine is.

A decade ago I wanted nothing more than stepping out with her. It’s what I once wanted. What we have is different than what I thought I wanted, but like the song says, sometimes you get what you need.

Love, Hannah

The Opposite of the Pink Fog

Love and hate are both passionately motivated emotions, however they are not the exact opposite of one another. I was told that the counterpoint of love is indifference, apathy.

And do you know? That’s much worse than hate.

If you’re apathetic or indifferent towards something or someone it really means that you don’t give them (or it) a second thought. And if you do, it sparks no emotion. I mean, even hate is fueled by emotion. You mentally shrug as you realize that something or someone has zero impact on you.

It’s… kind of freeing. But it’s also a little odd. Something that perhaps took up a huge part of your soul or heart at one point is now something you are completely indifferent to.

The singer Regina Spektor compared falling out of love to forgetting the words to your favorite song and what a beautiful and sad comparison that is.

With so much that has happened over the last few years it’s not surprising to learn that so many of us are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. We’re just tired. We have to struggle to find the emotional or mental bandwidth to process an event or even take action.

The feeling of hopelessness creeps in.

We feel powerless to stop something, we feel powerless to reverse something. It’s tempting to cut our losses and just try to survive.

And yes! This is all very depressing and defeatist. Sorry.

I get questions on occasion asking why I post photos but specifically lingerie photos.

Like this one!

This is not to say that people are asking for any nefarious reason. It’s not like they’re saying “you look horrible, why are you posting this?” It’s just more of a curiosity question. Like, damn, those pictures are revealing. Why post something where you show so much skin?

I tried to answer why I post pictures a few days ago. It was, like many of my posts, a long and rambling and likely unsatisfying answer. But based on the emails I received in response to this was that a lot of t-girls “get” it. I said the short answer was vanity and it’s true, but other t-girls told me that it’s also about affirmation (and I totally agree) but it’s also because life is pretty short (although it doesn’t always feel that way).

So, I post lingerie photos because I love lingerie, I am (for the most part) confident in my body, and because one day I won’t be able to.

These all sound like very positive and inspiring reasons. BUT I could also take on a very different attitude in thinking that nothing really matters and I may as well do whatever I want because everything is going to hell and I really don’t have the energy or motivation to care.

And there’s the opposite of love. The apathy and indifference.

Not caring about what someone thinks can be a constant back and forth of “your opinion has no impact on me” and “nothing matters and who cares”. Swinging back and forth between inspiring and depressing.

When exhaustion and apathy and feeling overwhelmed cloud our heart and mind, it’s not uncommon to make choices that don’t align with our character or principles or weighing the potential fallout of an action.

This is not unlike the Pink Fog.

When we are lost in the fog we are so giddy with THIS that we make decisions that aren’t always the best or could have a consequential impact in the future.

Apathy does something similar. Like we KNOW we should complete that work assignment or pay that bill or schedule that doctor appointment… but we are feeling overwhelmed, we are spent, we are tired. We put it off, we ignore it, we hope it goes away. But it doesn’t and soon things are worse.

My wife and I moved back in August. The first weekend here we unpacked and organized and hung pictures and alllll that stuff. It was exhausting and overwhelming.

I had one box that needed to be sorted and it sat in my office for weeks. WEEKS. Everything else was organized except that one box. It sat in a corner for a very long time. I saw it several times throughout the day and instead of tackling it I just felt tired. And yes, this is a little silly.

And then one day I sorted it and finished the task. It took less than ten minutes and like many things I wondered why in the world I didn’t do this sooner considering how little time it took.

So, what does this feeling of hopeless and exhaustion has to do with this side of us?

When we are in the fog we are finally unshackled from the part of our soul that held this side of us back. We are more alive than ever before. We are happy, we are free, we are confident, we are excited. This can easily lead to spending money that we shouldn’t or coming out to someone without really considering the implications.

Although the days of being enveloped and influenced by the fog are mostly behind me, it’s not uncommon for me to feel apathetic about this side of myself when it comes to protecting my gender identity.

Simply put, I don’t want to have THE TALK with anyone else in my life anymore. Although it’d be nice for some of my friends to know Hannah, I am exhausted at the idea of coming out. Maybe I should do a Powerpoint and tell people I am not taking any further questions.

It’d be easy to have the attitude or perspective of just doing what I want (and presenting how I want) at any given time and to hell with the consequences or what someone else thinks.

I mean, that sounds inspiring but that wouldn’t be the motivation of wearing whatever I please.

As I write this I am wearing faux leather leggings and a femme top. I am, in my opinion, crossdressing. What I mean is that I am masculine presenting (no wig or makeup and with a few days worth of facial hair) but I am wearing “girl clothes”.

It’d be nice to leave the house wearing this outfit to run errands. I like these clothes, they’re comfortable, and well, I just like wearing “girl clothes”.

These days it’s a lot more… hm, tempting to just do that. Or rather it’s not as easy to come up with reasons why I shouldn’t.

And it’s not because this side of me is growing stronger. It’s not because I WANT to present as non-binary or gender non-conforming. It’s not because my gender identity is evolving or shifting.

It’s because I just don’t care.

I am exhausted and don’t have the energy to care.

See? Apathy. Indifference.

So, what’s holding me back? It’s recognizing that this feeling is not much different than the Pink Fog. I might not see anyone I know at the store while I am wearing faux leather leggings and a femme top buuuuut a lot of people know my wife. I may not care about what others think of me, especially someone I’ve never met or will ever see again.

But I do care how others see my wife.

Specifically I don’t want people to think my wife is naïve or foolish. My wife understand me as much as someone can. She accepts me and is at peace with my identity. She gets it.

And! We both understand that it would take a lot of time and energy for someone other than ourselves to have that same level of clarity.

Time and energy we just don’t have.

It’s like being asked to run a dozen errands after a very, very long day at work and you just want to get home and sit on your couch. I don’t want to stop at Target, I don’t want to go to the store, I don’t want to clean the house. I just want to take a break from everything.

Many of you have had the same talks that I have had.

“I’m transgender but I don’t want to transition.”

“I wear lingerie but this isn’t a fetish.”

“I wear femme clothes but I am not into men.”

And so on.

It’s not uncommon for these statements to be met with a HUGE amount of skepticism. No matter how much we tell someone else about the delicate balance of who we are and who we are not, some people just think we are in denial and that time will tell.

The passing of time with either prove we are right or we are wrong or we are in denial. I’ve always told my wife that I have no desire to transition and so far (not that I expect it to change) this has been consistent. Of course, I have also known a lot of t-girls who said the same thing and fast forward a few years later and, well, things have changed.

My wife has always made it clear that she doesn’t want to be taken for a fool. Like, “oh your husband wears dresses but he doesn’t want to transition? Sure, whatever you say. But we’ll see”.

I mean, that’s understandable and relatable and completely fair. She’s not a fool and I don’t want THIS side of me to add any more stress than it already has. I mean, a transgender spouse is not something she signed up for.

Keep in mind I am not talking about outing myself as a t-girl. I am referring to outing myself as a crossdresser. I think less people would recognize me when I am presenting as Hannah compared to being recognized as my wife’s husband wearing femme clothes. In a sense, it’s… “safer” for Hannah to at the mall than my male side in leggings.

A lot of us have partners who accept us but have requested some boundaries such as refraining from posting photos or dressing outside of the home. My marriage also has boundaries when it comes to who I am and one of them is not intentionally being careless. Another is not letting my guard down. Essentially doing what I can to avoid outing myself. Not making the choices that the Pink Fog is notorious for.

I don’t think these requests are unreasonable. I want to respect my wife in every aspect, especially when it comes to my identity. I think a rule for relationships is to do what you can to make your partner’s life easier… or at the very least, avoid doing things that would make their lives harder.

And this side of us is not a walk in the park.

Although I feel overwhelmed and apathetic about much of the world, my wife has always tethered me to reality, to the positive aspects of life. Reminding me that there’s still good out there and reason to be optimistic. To not throw everything away.

She is the voice of reason and the smartest thing I do is listen to her.

If you’re feeling alone, tired, hopeless, please know there is hope. There is help. There is support. There is light.

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.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I’m a child counsellor and I’m working with a 15 year boy who is a ‘cross dresser’. He is desperate to find support, or support groups but when he goes online he ends up down rabbit holes and can often feel persecuted. I’ve tried to research this for him but end up on transgender pages. He says quite clearly he is a straight man who likes to dress as a woman when he can. He does not identify as transgender.

My question is, where can we find support that just focuses on the cross dressing element of him, without presuming there is a desire to transform any further than that?

Hope you can help guide us.

I hope I can help, too!

Before I dive into your question, I want to share my own personal thoughts and perspective on how I define “crossdressing” and “transgender“.

This is a HUGE oversimplification and I absolutely acknowledge that not everyone will relate or agree with me.

When I am in male mode and I am wearing panties, a nightgown, leggings, femme jeans, etc. then I am crossdressing (because I am masculine presenting and using male pronouns while wearing clothes that society tends to view as “for women”).

When I am in full makeup, a dress, my wig, wearing breast forms… then I am no longer crossdressing. I am presenting as feminine. I am a transgender girl. A gender that is not the same gender that most of the world sees me as (since I present as male to most of the people in my life). I am presenting as one of my gender identities.

My OPINION is that your client is transgender IF they are, in your words, dressing as a woman… as opposed to JUST wearing femme clothes. I think once we include a wig or using femme pronouns we have stepped over the boundary of “crossdressing”. Again, this is my OPINION.

BUT transgender does NOT mean they ARE, or WILL, or WANT to transition. I am 1000000% transgender but I have ZERO plans or desire to take hormones or legally change my gender.

I had a very hard time making the transition (no pun intended) from only identifying as a crossdresser to identifying as trans. What held me back from this was thinking that transgender ALWAYS meant, and HAD to mean transitioning. It doesn’t. It might for some, but it doesn’t for everyone.

It’s my opinion that if your client is wearing a wig, makeup, and wanting to present feminine than it MIGHT be more than crossdressing. If their interest was ONLY about the clothes as opposed to wanting to present as a girl, then it MIGHT be JUST crossdressing.

Does that make sense?

Over ten years ago I started a website where I wrote about my experiences and my perspective on my gender identity. I wanted to make it clear that who I am had absolutely nothing to do with wanting to transition. I wanted to see if there were others like me… people who loved femme clothes, people who loved makeup and had a femme name (even just on occasion) BUT didn’t feel that transitioning was the right decision for them.

Turns out there are a LOT of others like me.

When I meet others like myself, either in real life or online I sometimes need to clarify that YES, I am indeed trans but no, I’ve no plans or desire to be full time or transition. It might get a little repetitive but it goes with the territory. And YES there are people who don’t think that I am transgender because I am not, will not, and have not transitioned but I ignore them. What do I care what they think of me? They don’t make the rules about who is and who is not trans.

You can absolutely be trans but not make any physical or legal changes.

Resources and support SPECIFICALLY for crossdressers MIGHT be a challenge. Googling ‘crossdressers’ will likely return a lot of sexually explicit material which is both not helpful and not appropriate for a minor.

Could I suggest your client start their own website? There are quite a few options out there (such as WordPress, the site I use) that offer free blogging sites. This might be worth considering if they feel alone.

I mean, it’s what I did. It took a while to gain followers and to be noticed but by consistently writing and posting it eventually happened.

By writing about my own experiences and perspectives I am able to connect with countless others like me. I think your client will likely find that there are many others like themself. I mean, I relate to your client. I present en femme AND I have no desire to transition.

And gender identity has nothing to do with sexual identity. What we wear has nothing to do with who we are attracted to. Your client being straight doesn’t necessarily mean they are not transgender, does that make sense? I mean, I am married to a cis woman, I have no experience or desire to be physical with a man AND I have more panties than a typical Victoria’s Secret. My sexual identity has nothing to do with what clothes are in my closet.

I really hope this helps. I am not recommending THIS website or THAT website, but rather I want to offer a perspective that maybe your client can relate to.

Love, Hannah

Have a question for me?  Oh yes you do.  Ask me here!

God Bless the Wing Girls

According to the Urban Dictionary, a wing man is a friend that you can bring to a bar or party in order to find women more easily.

This past weekend at Pride I met a few wing girls. They didn’t visit the MN T-Girls booth with the intention of romance, though. But they all had similar stories.

I have a friend who is just now accepting that they are trans and she needs to meet others like her.

These girls are not much different than a wing man. Their goal is not to help their friend hook up, though. They are helping them find support and friends.

So we chat about the group and how our mission is to be a social and support group for other transfeminine people. Sometimes the wing girl was just scouting out different booths on behalf of her friend. Sometimes she would wave her friend over who was watching shyly further away.

Girls like us need girls like us.

But I think girls like us need cis friends, too.

Besides my brother, I’ve only come out directly to cis women. I say directly because when I came out to my siblings they in turn shared my revelation with their husbands. I knew that would likely happen and I suppose I could have asked them not to out me but from my perspective if I trusted them with my gender identity then I could also trust them to treat the information as confidential.

Aaand as far as I know they have.

My point is that, for the most part (and certainly not in all cases), cis women understand (as much as they can) us.

Buuut perhaps understanding isn’t the right word. Perhaps being able to relate is more appropriate. Many cis women can relate to wanting to look cute, wanting to feel beautiful. Being drawn to a pair of shoes.

Of course, this makes women sound very shallow and superficial and I don’t mean that at all. I mean, I have guy friends who are absolute fanatics about the newest Air Jordans or whatever and sleep outside of shoe stores so they can buy them on the first day.

Sometimes my wife playfully teases me and doesn’t understand why I choose to wear a bra and high heels when I don’t have to. Expectations and standards for men tend to be very low. Society, by and large, expects women to wear certain clothes and shoes and to present themselves in a certain way.

Don’t believe me? Look at the dress code standards that some corporations have for their employees and review the differences between men and women office attire. Of course, this has evolved and gotten more progressive over the years but not by much.

My sisters don’t really “get” this side of me (and that’s fine) but they can nod their head in agreement when we discuss how expensive foundation can be. Again, they don’t understand me, but they can relate to me.

I love talking to my t-girl friends for a lot of reasons, and one of the biggest reasons is that I don’t have to explain every nuance of who I am and why I wear what I choose to. They get it. I get them.

We accept each other unconditionally. Our conversations go beyond the whys and get right to the important stuff (like dresses and makeup, lol).

I love compliments by other t-girls because they can relate to how much work presenting en femme can be. And I love compliments from cis girls. Although they may not be able to specifically relate to how much work can go into contouring a traditionally masculine face to a face that appears to be more feminine, many can relate to just how much effort goes into looking like how one wishes to present.

So, to the cis girls out there who are looking for ways to support their new girlfriend, thank you.

Love, Hannah

Hello from Pride!

Yesterday the MN T-Girls made a fabulous return to Pride and it was a wonderful day. Organizing and preparing for Pride is a lot of work. I mean, we have to set up a tent! In heels! But we did it. Want to see?

Look at the beautiful t-girls and look. at. all. the. PINK.

And look at me!

Although preparing for Pride is a lot of work, once things are set up the fun really begins. It was a good day. The weather held, we chatted with a lot of people, and the T-Girls made me proud by talking with others about the group.

Every year as we struggle with driving metal stakes into the ground to secure the tent I promise myself that we are never doing this again but after a few minutes of being a part of the community I remember why we will be back.

Thank you to all of the MN T-Girls who helped make the day a success. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi. It’s nice to know that we are helping others live their lives and find friendship and support.

Love, Hannah

Thoughts on Pride

So, Pride is this upcoming weekend. I mean, Pride is allll of June and many cities have Pride celebrations outside of the month but Minneapolis will have their Pride festival beginning later this week.

The MN T-Girls have had a booth/tent thing for a few years but last year due to COVID we skipped it but we went as festival goers to a scaled down event.

I love Pride. It’s amazing how… normal it feels to be there. When I am out en femme I feel comfortable but I also feel a little like an outsider. As far as I know, I am likely the only trans person in whichever boutique or coffee shop I am in but I am also usually the only girl in heels and a dress as well.

But Pride? Girl, I am underdressed at Pride. Between the drag queens and other fabulously dressed girls I feel I need to up my glam game.

I still feel a little on edge at Pride. In my boy life I have a lot of LGBTQIA+ friends and acquaintances that don’t know about Hannah and although I am certain they would be accepting and even enthusiastic about my gender identity I still would prefer not to go down that road.

Pride is about celebrating every letter in the LGBTQIA+ acronym but it’s also normal for cis and straight allies to come to festivals and cheer at the parade. Which is good. We need allies and we especially need allies who actually stand with us and go beyond simply saying they support us.

The edge I feel at Pride is mostly apprehension. Will I see someone at Pride that I don’t want to come out to? Maybe. Will a sudden strong gust of wind lift a tent off the ground again and cut me in the face leaving a scar that I still have? Maybe. Will this happen again? Maybe.

I’ve always been nervous and fearful about violence at Pride. It has happened and I think it will continue to happen. So far the worst of planned attacks have been prevented… so far.

I admit that stories like this give me pause and wonder if the MN T-Girls should even attend. The safety of girls like me at official T-Girl events is always my biggest concern, whether it’s about education about safely wearing a gaff or organizing events that will hopefully be without incident.

I suppose that’s the POINT of terror, to stop someone from living their lives. As a country we have the mentality of not giving into terroristic threats in all its forms, so there is that.

Pride is supposed to be a safe haven for all of us. Indeed, it’s sometimes the ONLY safe haven. It’s just a shame that even at Pride we have to be on edge.

Love, Hannah

MN T-Girls Return to Pride!

After two years of COVID, I am happy to announce that the MN T-Girls will be making an appearance at the Twin Cities Pride Festival!

As of this writing the festival organizers haven’t finalized their map as to where different booths will be placed, so please keep an eye on their website if you are interested in dropping by!

I would love to meet you!

Love, Hannah

It’s Pride Month In Case You Hadn’t Noticed

If you’ve poked around your social media today you may have seen a lot of businesses have changed their logo to incorporate the Pride flag. Like clockwork, many companies will do this to mark the start of Pride month.

I mean, that’s great and all. I think our community should absolutely be celebrated and supported. Perhaps I am being cynical and uncharitable but when a multi-billion dollar company says they support the LGBTQIA+ community, I ask myself HOW they do so.

Sure, they may have a diversity/inclusion committee on staff, but does their support extend beyond this? I am not asking for a parade or anything like that, I just want to know what they do to support us.

At the very least, I hope that a business isn’t hypocritical. It’s contradictory for a company to say they celebrate diversity but at the same time they donate money to politicians who support conversion therapy or those who vote to limit our basic rights.

Sure, it’s nice when Amazon has a “Support LGBTQIA+ voices” image on their website but the pessimistic part of me thinks that this is a thinly veiled attempt to just sell more stuff. A cursory, minimal gesture.

And YES, I KNOW a business has a goal of growing their business and they are trying to make as much as money as they can, but is Amazon, for lack of a better phrase, putting it’s money where it’s mouth is?

Well, let’s find out.

According to Business Insider:

At the same time, the company’s PAC split donations from 2019 to 2020, donating $659,000 to Democratic candidates and $648,500 to Republicans. More than $460,000 of those donations went to politicians who voted against the Equality Act.

Now, before you start blowing up my email and posting unhinged comments, the point of this little blurb is about donating money to people who voted against the Equality Act. It’s kind of hard to feel supported by a business that donates money to politicians who tried to stop this legislation.

The Equality Act was pretty straight-forward with its goals. According to congress.gov, the bill, in part, reads:

This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.

I don’t know, but to me donating money to people who want to stop something like this is the opposite of supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.

Amazon isn’t unique in this hypocrisy. If you did enough research into publicly disclosed corporate donations it would be hard to find almost any company that isn’t contradictory in the celebrate Pride/financial contributions paradox.

This makes it tricky for someone like myself who wants to support LGBTQIA+ businesses and avoid those that, well, aren’t. I won’t eat at certain restaurants buuuut I do order from Amazon on occasion. By definition, this also makes me a hypocrite.

It would be almost impossible to live a life that cuts all financial ties to companies that have this contradiction. I wouldn’t be surprised if my mortgage holder pays lip service about celebrating Pride but making political contributions to people that don’t align with my values. Sure, I can stop going to a certain store but changing who my mortgage is with is not as simple.

At the end of the day, we just do what we can. Almost everything has been commercialized whether it’s Pride month or Christmas. It’s easy to be cynical.

Don’t let a business tell you to feel pride about who you are. It’s easy to forget that visibility for those in the LGBTQIA+ community was started by people who just were tired of being vilified and being attacked for being who they were and loving who they loved.

Love, Hannah