Keg and Case and Stilettos

This past Saturday was the first MN T-Girls event of the year! This November we will be celebrating our ten year anniversary and my goal for 2023 is to have as many new events for the group as possible. I mean, we’ll still have many of our normal adventures like attending Pride and our holiday parties but I am hoping to strut around new locations and have new experiences.

For our January event we met up at Keg and Case Market a food hall/indoor market in Saint Paul. It’s a little hard to explain but there are small pop-up retailers and a coffee ship and a brewery and tiny restaurants.

We got together for girl talk and coffees and cocktails and just enjoyed a quiet afternoon after the chaos of the recent holidays.

It was a fun day and we all looked amazing.

Love, Hannah

Her Own World

When we are en femme, I believe we become a different person.

This person is not necessarily a NEW person, though. She is different than who, well, we normally are. When Hannah is in the world she is a different person from the person that I normally present as. She is a different person than most people in the world know when it comes to ME.

For some of us, this person is their true self. They are no longer hiding, no longer wearing a mask or a disguise. Still, this person is different than the one most of the world knows.

When we realize that she is a different person, it’s at this point when she creates her own world. I mean, Hannah has her own wardrobe and email address, why is it so odd to accept that what she has and who she is extends to life, to the world?

Hannah interacts with the world in a different way than HE does. She impacts someone in a different way than he does. When he goes to a cafe and orders a coffee it likely is a very forgettable moment for the barista.

When Hannah struts into the same cafe, well, she’ll likely cause a few ripples. Not because she is OMG SO BEAUTIFUL but, well, it’s not every day a t-girl in vampy makeup and stilettos orders a latte.

We, whether we want to or not, create an impression on the people around us. Some people may hate us or be indifferent towards us. But what if we INSPIRE people? What if we help a closeted trans person feel less alone? Visibility is important, girls.

We, like a stiletto heel in wet cement, are making our mark in the world.

And yes! That sounds a little… well, extreme but that doesn’t make it less true.

We are creating her life. Her world.

Hannah has her own friends and life and well, job, I suppose. There’s little overlap between her life and HIS life. Very few people in the world have met both of US, if you follow.

It’s true the absence of some of the people HE knows in Hannah’s life can sting a little. HE has friends that Hannah would love to hit the mall with but for one reason or another that it’s not likely going to happen.

It was a complex thing when Hannah started to venture out into the real world. On one hand it was… AMAZING. Magical. On the other… well, it was lonely.

As much fun as it was, and is, to wander around the mall, having a coffee, shopping for a new outfit, I couldn’t help but think about how much more fun it would be to do these things with certain people from my boy life. I keep both of my lives pretty separate from each other but it would be nice if there was a TINY bit of overlap with some people.

But it’s not likely going to happen. And that acceptance took a long time for me. At times I was hurt or took it personally if I thought that someone in HIS life wouldn’t be comfortable going out with Hannah.

I have more or less accepted that I can’t have it both ways. And I’ve also, for the most part, stopped taking it personally.

But it can still be a lonely life, or at least, a lonely afternoon out en femme.

So! What can be done?

You create a new life. For her.

I’m not talking about transitioning or anything like that. What I mean is if friends in HIS life can’t (or won’t) be friends with Hannah, well, Hannah can have her own friends.

Her own world.

Her own friends.

Her own life.

This desire, and later I realized how essential it was for Hannah to have friends, led to starting the MN T-Girls. She has a lot of friends to shop with, to meet for coffee, to experience life and the world.

Her world.

Love, Hannah

Our Place in the Alphabet

So many of us want to chat with others like us.

We want FRIENDS. We want someone to talk to, we want someone to understand us, we want someone to hit the mall with. I get it. I mean, that need to connect with others like myself was a huge part of starting the MN T-Girls.

When we come out to others we have to start at the beginning. The Whys and the Whens and the Whats and the Hows. And then of course there is the potential fallout from the conversation or the risk of the relationship going badly. We are confiding in them and we pray they in turn don’t out us to someone else.

Knowing others like ourselves circumvents all of that. Other t-girls get it. Other crossdressers get it. We can relate because we also live outside of the binary.

Our partners want this, too. How many of us have heard our wives tell us that they feel so alone in all of this? They can’t talk about this aspect of their marriage or this side of their husband with anyone in their life. They also know that it’s unlikely that someone in their world will get it or will be able to relate to their husband wanting to dress up.

We need support, we need friends, we need others to confide in.

And that support is out there.

But although there are more transgender specific resources available than ever before, it’s not always easy to find something that fits or a support group that is close to where we live.

It’s easier to find support if we broaden what we search for. Googling “transgender support” will yield some options but again, they may not be what we need or even in the same state that we live in.

I get many emails from girls like me and emails for partners looking for support, for help, for someone to talk to. Knowing that transgender specific groups aren’t very common, I always recommend seeking out a therapist, counseling, as well as PFLAG and GLAAD.

PFLAG’s name started as an acronym for ‘Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays’ but is simply referred to as PFLAG these days. GLAAD stands for ‘Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’.

Some of us (and some of our partners) bristle a little at these two suggestions. Primarily because there is no T (or CD) in those acronyms.

And it’s true! There’s not. But you can find the T in LGBTQIA+.

And yes! So many acronyms.

On a related note I get emails telling me how frustrated they are with how long the LGBTQIA+ acronym is getting. I mean, I get it, but I think it’s wonderful how inclusive it has become.

The resistance to PLFAG and GLAAD that can come from girls like us (and our partners) is that this side of us has zero to do with their sexuality. It’s about what we wear TO bed, not who we go to bed WITH.

And yes! I can relate. When I am en femme or wearing leggings or a nightgown it doesn’t change who I am attracted to. My gender identity and sexual preference are on completely different planets.

So, why point others to PFLAG and GLAAD? For starters they are both nationwide organizations with resources all throughout the United States. While it’s true there may not be a support group that meets in your small town, it’s likely there is a support group that is relatively close to you.

But these organizations are experienced when it comes to helping those of us (and are our partners) who are, in their heart, soul, and mind, not what most people in the world think they are. Almost everyone in the world looks at me when I present as male and likely would never in a million years even begin to guess what I wore to bed last night or what I am wearing under my boy clothes.

A therapist can be amazing when it comes to leading us through any sort of confusion that we feel in our lives. Whether it’s about our gender identity or trauma or relationship concerns they know what to ask. Their questions and guidance may not be completely laser-focused on gender expression but rather more broad and then they will, more or less, get to the root of who we are.

I mean, I like to think that my wardrobe has nothing to do with anything and that I am who I am. BUT if I dig a little deeper there’s a lot to it. There’s a lot to me. That’s not to say that my gender identity is rooted in any sort of trauma or anything. Not at all. My gender identity is intwined with me wanting to be as happy as I can be.

PFLAG and GLAAD are here for anyone that is something other, something more than cisgender and straight. We all are looking for our place in an acronym and are looking for our place in the world.

Love, Hannah

Taking Care

As many of you know, I am a huge advocate when it comes to seeking help from professionals.

Want to learn makeup? Schedule a lesson with a makeup artist.

Need to know your cup and band size? Get a bra fitting.

Asking for help in ANYTHING isn’t easy as it usually requires us to move out of our comfort zone. Getting professional counseling also is intimidating as we fear it may require us to confront and address parts of us that feel overwhelming or uncomfortable.

But it’s very important. I have been in therapy for much of the last twenty years with different counselors and professionals. Over the years I have received help with BIG issues but over the last decade or so it’s more about helping me maintain my mental health and managing the everyday stuff.

When I talk about… THINGS on my website I try to make it clear that my writing is mostly based on my perspective and experiences. That is to say I have no idea if I am close to the mark regarding, well, anything. When I get an email from someone saying that yes, this is how they feel too, I feel that maybe I am helping someone, somewhere.

I get emails from mental health professionals on occasion letting me know of resources that our community might find helpful. Sometimes I am told that they refer their patients to the MN T-Girls. This makes me happy and helps me think that what I write about or do is constructive.


Based on emails I get from ya’ll it sounds like many of you feel talking to a therapist would be incredibly beneficial. Sometimes a girl wants to get some guidance on whether or not transitioning is right for them, or help when it comes to talking about this side of us to their wives, or just looking for someone to confide in. But the hesitation may come from the fear of being outed or not being able to find someone that can indeed help.

I get it. It’s easy to feel hopeless when it comes to this side of us. When I came out to my first girlfriend and it went… not so well I thought it was hopeless to be able to find someone in my life that would accept this side of me. Thank God I never gave up. At one point (actually, at many points) I thought it would be impossible to feel happy with how I looked en femme. But I never quit and I couldn’t be happier with the girl in my reflection.

Don’t give up. Don’t give up on anything. Especially not yourself.

I am honored to share with you a guest post from Jinger Thomas, an LPC (licensed professional counselor). Licensed professional counselors are licensed to work as mental health professionals. The LPC license allows them to render professional counseling services in private practice, hospitals, mental health clinics, and other counseling or a related mental health field.

I hope you take her words to heart and I hope that this helps those of us who need encouragement.

Love, Hannah


Hannah’s post “It is what it is but not what it seems” regarding mental health and her experience going to therapy really hit home with me. The first reason being that I am bigender. I have worked for years to better understand myself, and find ways to integrate my “two sides” into my life in a healthy way. The second reason being that I am a mental health therapist, technically a licensed professional counselor. I have worked in a community mental health agency, an inpatient hospital setting for over 6 years, and I currently have a private practice. Mental health and how it impacts all parts of our lives is just beginning to be understood. Despite continuing to make strides in societal acceptance of mental health issues, a stigma surrounding receiving mental health care remains. Because of this we often try to ignore our problems, refuse to acknowledge them or we end up mismanaging them which can result in many different self-sabotaging behaviors. It is in our best interest to try to find a way to handle them in a way that does not create further issues for ourselves.

I often tell my clients that while I am not a “one trick pony” as a therapist, I am probably a “six trick pony.” This list contains a few more than six tricks (ideas) but not too many. I wanted to create a condensed version of what are some very important ideas that we as gender non-conforming individuals may need to focus on from time to time. In a lot of ways these ideas are universal, and can be applied to anyone. The concepts on this list sees a significant amount of discussion and application in my practice, and not just with my gender variant clients. You have likely heard some or maybe even all of this previously. I’m not necessarily breaking new ground. Some of it will sound like a reiteration of parts of Hannah’s post. I am of the opinion that a gentle reminder never hurts.

  1. First and foremost: You are not broken. Broken implies that something needs to be fixed. Gender is one of the first things that we are taught, and it is how we are divided as small children. The majority of us have grown up with strict gender roles. People who did not behave within what was expected were often not accepted by others, and were told that they were weird, bad or wrong. Being told this, and even just witnessing others that we have found commonality with be mistreated adds to these feelings of being “broken.” Many of us may have been told so directly. Viewing ourselves as broken creates a strong sense of negative self worth. When you are told something repeatedly, or witness it enough in society it starts to seem factual. This then feeds our depression, anxiety and anger, and we can get sucked into an “emotional vortex of doom.” What we have to remember is that when someone says something to us or judges us, that is their opinion, not a fact. “Your opinion of me is none of my business.” is is a quote by clinical social worker and author Judy Ford. This statement is a two way street. We do not need to ask someone’s opinion of us, and they do not need to offer it. 
  1. We need to strive for authenticity. This is often problematic because we can’t always be open about what we are feeling or experiencing. However, attempting to behave in ways that do not feel natural or real creates an internal incongruence. Feelings of being unbalanced and unfulfilled can lead to increased anxiety and depression. When this occurs, the natural response is to try to make the negative feelings go away. Unfortunately this can lead to problematic behaviors in an attempt to “fill the void.” This can be things like eating or drinking too much, excessive shopping , or making poor personal choices that can negatively impact our relationships and our daily lives. Working to accept and incorporate your true self can alleviate a significant amount of the anxiety and depression we want to avoid. There are a number of ways that this can be achieved, but we have to be proactive by practicing some self-acceptance. When we are okay with who we are, it allows us to grow and change in the most authentic and organic way possible. On the wall in my office is a framed quote from Carl Rogers, the father of client-centered therapy. Rogers stated “What I am is already enough, if only I would allow myself to be it openly.” This idea is something that we all can work towards. There are times when we have to wear the mask, but when we are able to put it aside we will likely feel better and more connected to those around us. Authenticity and self acceptance can carry us through a lot of troubling times.
  2. It is absolutely okay if you don’t know exactly what label you want to fall under. It is important to allow yourself to explore where you feel you best fit. Humans are not able to be defined by just one thing, though there are times that we get lumped into categories by others and occasionally by ourselves. When we take stock of who we are and want to be it is unlikely that we are going to fit into a single category. This does not only apply to those of us that fall into  some variety of being transgender, but to people who are trying to find and understand their true self . We choose labels for ourselves because it is an attempt to understand the self and hopefully gain insight into why we operate the way we do. This translates to some labeling being beneficial. However, often when we label ourselves we may feel that we have to conform to the label, or that we have to fit into just one box. On a recent rare night out, I had a conversation with a young woman at the performance I attended. She originally thought that I was Jinger full time, but later in the conversation said “Oh, you’re more like gender fluid.” I told her that I typically use bigender, due to only spending about 5 percent of my time presenting as female. This interaction made me wonder why I feel the need to use any label at all. What I really want is to just be myself, whoever and whatever that is. This was a nice reminder to me that we do not need to put ourselves into any category. We can “just be.” This sounds great on paper, but it takes a significant amount of work to make it our reality. I see this as a life-long project.
  3. Feelings are not facts. They are moments, and moments change. That being said, we should try to listen to our feelings because they indicate what our immediate needs are. When these needs are not met, they will often turn to feelings of sadness and anger. By acknowledging what we feel we can hopefully learn to manage our feelings in a more appropriate manner. A concept that is important to understand and practice within this is distress tolerance. There are times that we have to just accept our situation and figure out how to live within it the best that we can. The other framed quote on my office wall is by Viktor Frankl, who you may know as the author of Man’s Search for Meaning (definitely worth the read). The quote is “When we are no longer able to change our situation we are challenged to change ourselves.” This takes time and it takes perseverance to make it happen. We have all heard sat some point “Just get over it!” From this therapist’s perspective, that advice is not helpful in the slightest. If it were truly that simple we would all hear it once and then do it from that point on, but that is not the way we work. To move past anything we first have to accept that this is our current reality and address how we feel about it. By doing that, we now have a platform from which we can grow and evolve. This helps us by allowing our negative feelings to run their course and eventually go away.
  4. Patience is not as much a virtue as it is an uphill battle. We live in a “right now” society. It can be difficult to be patient once you have opened up to others about your true self. The genie does not want to go back into the bottle once she has been out. We often try to force this side of ourselves into our relationships with our family and friends. When someone learns something new about us, they may need time to process this information. We have to be able to allow them the space they need, which means we need to be patient. Often when we end up in the dreaded “pink fog” we make choices that end up being detrimental for us. We want to go from 0 to 100 with our femme selves, and often expect those around us to be able to do so as well. I use this analogy in sessions quite often: If I sit on you and force feed you brussels sprouts, it is not likely you will ever learn to like brussels sprouts on your own. We need to give those around us time to understand and hopefully accept us when we have decided to disclose this side of ourselves. Work on patience, and allow the people we have confided in to figure out how they feel. Accepting unexpected change can be difficult. Remember that having open and honest communication will make things go easier, but it may not make them truly easy. Give it time.
  1. Learn to let go of guilt and shame. These terms are not interchangeable though we often use them as such. From some perspectives, guilt in the proper amounts and the proper circumstances can be helpful. We can learn what to do or what not to do based on our experiences. Once we have identified the root of our guilt we should address it to the best of our abilities (apologies, changing behaviors, making amends, reaching out to others etc). Doing so creates a space for us to move past the guilt. Shame on the other hand is something we need to try let go of as soon as we are capable. There are not a lot of good things that can be learned from shame. This is not to say that letting go of shame is an easy thing to do. Where guilt is a manifestation of negative feelings about something we did or did not do, shame is something that tells us “I am bad.” Many of us struggle with our self image due to experiencing shame. This is often because we internalize what others say to us and about us (obvious repeating theme here…). Take time to process these feelings and when you are ready, let them leave. 
  2. Self care is real, and it works. Many times people think of self care as going to get a massage or getting your nails done. While these things can definitely fall into the category of self care (I absolutely love getting a mani-pedi with my wife!), they are certainly not the only options. Self care can be anything that you do that you enjoy or provides feelings of fulfillment that does not negatively affect you or anyone else. It can be spending time with friends, exercise, reading, meditation, making sure you get enough sleep, watching a movie or any number of other positive things. I recommend to my clients that they do an internet search for self care and coping skills. There are innumerable things that we can do to practice self care, we just have to find which ones work for us. Much like getting a good night’s sleep prepares us for a challenging day, regularly practicing self care helps us be in a place where we can more easily handle problems or conflicts when they come our way.
  1. Do not be afraid to seek out a mental health professional. Everyone has problems that we need help with at times. I am lucky because I have seen the same therapist for a bit over a decade. We “clicked” immediately, partially because she is wonderful at her job, and partially because I was ready to make some serious personal changes. I allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to be open to being helped, and it definitely changed my life for the better. I have a number of clients who have shared feeling similarly about working with me. It is wonderful when you are able to connect with someone in that first session. Unfortunately the client-therapist relationship does not always go this well. Before I found my current therapist I saw three other therapists that were not a good fit for me. There were multiple reasons I felt this way including that two of them simply did not know much about gender non-conforming people, and did not seem too interested in learning more. This left me with a sour taste for the entire concept of therapy for many years. But it did not have to. I could have tried again, and I likely should have. If you decide to see someone keep in mind that they are not your only choice. If you feel that they are not a good fit for you or even if you just don’t like them, please do not give up on therapy. Find a different therapist. There are tens of thousands of practicing mental health professionals. You may have to kiss a few frogs along the way to find your prince or princess. There is someone out there who will be a good fit for you, but it may take some trial and error to find them. 
  2. There are more resources now than ever before that are focused on our community. If you or someone you know needs mental health help, please take the time to research what is available in your area. If you cannot find something available near you, there are national resources that can point you in the right direction. I have included some that may be a good place to start. 


–This is the national suicide hotline, and can be utilized by anyone in the United States to be connected with a mental health professional.

– Allows you to search for mental health professionals by area, specialties and insurance. This is a great place to start your search for a therapist.

– crisis intervention and counseling for LGBTQ+ youth.

– GLAAD has a really good list of resources for people somewhere on the transgender spectrum. It is a great place to start when looking for help, for connection to others and for connection to organizations.

These are just a starting point. There are many, many more out there. I truly hope this info will be beneficial for some of you. Times are hard right now. Remember that you genuinely matter!

Please take good care of yourself, and of those around you. 

-Jinger Thomas, LPC


The process of transforming this tired and overwhelmed middle-aged body into Hannah is, well, a process. After shaving (everywhere), I more or less start with a blank canvas. It’s like my appearance could go in any number of directions. I might be getting ready to spend the day en femme, I might be putting on his suit for a job interview, or anything in between.

The slate is clean.

When it’s a Hannah day, I start with my stockings. I rarely wear tights or pantyhose. I prefer stockings because:

a) they are sexy

b) accesibility

c) cost

There’s more practicality to this side of me than I would like to admit. If I spend $12 on a pair of pantyhose and they get a snag, well, that’s $12 lost. If I spend $12 on a pair of stockings and one gets a run, I can toss it and replace it from my overflowing basket of hosiery.

On a bad day I tear a stocking even before I put it on. If I can manage to delicately put my stockings on without incident I say a little prayer that I avoid any snags for the day. From there, on goes my gaff, my heels, my corset, bra, and forms.

Makeup comes next. Then my hair and jewelry. Finally I get dressed.

If I notice a snag in my stocking then I almost always have to go back a few steps and slip into a new one. This might be a process depending on what I am wearing. Obviously I have to either slip off my pumps OR unfasten my stiletto AND depending on my outfit putting on a new stocking might require undressing, replacing the torn stocking, and then getting dressed again.

In some cases, the snag might be TINY and not noticeable and I can spritz on a little hairspray to strengthen the fibers in it and hope the run doesn’t get worse.

BUT I never learn as the snag will probably get worse. I usually will spend the day dreading the likely disaster.

And YES this is all VERY dramatic and YES this is such a small and insignificant thing to dread AND it’s a silly thing to even bother writing or thinking about BUT I am doing it anyway.

For some of us, the approaching holidays are like this teeny tiny snag. We see the calendar ticking down to the holidays, we see the tear widening.

How’s THAT for a segueway?

I try so hard to use the holidays to recuperate and I try to do the bare minimum when it comes to leaving the house as the year winds down. It’s not always easy as family and friends return home and invitations to meeting up for a coffee or gatherings or requests to pop over to see the new house will inevitably start to trickle in.

On one hand I really DO want to see (some) people. On the other hand, well, I don’t. I mean, no one should take it personally. Well, some people should, lol, but I just want to slip away from the world for a few days.

As the years pass the holidays have become a LITTLE less stressful. Just a little, though. I have gotten better at declining invitations and setting boundaries. And my god that sounds bitchy but it’s not meant to.

One contributing factor to holiday stress was, well, my gender identity.

My immediate family, my mom and siblings, know of Hannah and most of have met her.

Well, in a way.

This might sound a little odd but when Hannah first made the scene I identified as a crossdresser and I wasn’t quite who I am, or who Hannah is, as WE are today. This side of me has evolved into an actual identity as opposed to just looking at this side of me as just about clothes and makeup.

Like many of us I started to identify as transgender. My family hasn’t met Hannah since I came out to them as a crossdresser. If I had waited a little longer then THE TALK would have gone differently.

A little over a dozen years ago I started to really open up when it came to who I was. I started to make the transition from lingerie and underdressing to everything I am, and everything Hannah is, today.

This was an exciting and overwhelming time. It’s not uncommon to question who one really is when our identity begins to shift. You wonder who you are and where you belong and wonder how someone might react to your identity.

This can cause some tension and anxiety.

There are people in my life who are very kind to me. The male me. But sometimes I can’t help but think how they might treat me if they only knew.

I can’t stand hypocrites and I prefer to know who people really are. If you treat HIM with respect and kindness but this behavior would change because of HER, well, you’ve kind of revealed the type of person you are.

It can be a little jarring, to be honest. I work for a college and from time to time a student, or more than likely a parent of a student, ask if we have any of “those transgenders” at the school. This always takes me aback. In some situations I will have been communicating with this person for weeks and everything seemed, well, normal, but this question comes out of the blue and just… shifts everything.

It’s like, oh you seemed kind but you’re really a bigot.

And then I wonder how quickly their opinion of me would change if they only knew.

Family can be like that. You hope that your family will love and support you regardless of your sexual identity or gender identity but we all know those things can impact our relationship with them. My uncle might be kind and chatty with me but I have to admit it annoys me that if he only knew he would likely ridicule me. That’s what I mean about being a hypocrite.

While it’s true the people in our lives will likely have different.. opinions of who we are and these opinions can usually have an impact on our self-esteem, the primary, and really, the only opinion of who we are that matters is our own opinion.

Many people in my life would likely never accept, let alone embrace, Hannah. Which stings a little. BUT acceptance of who you are MUST come from yourself. Once you have accepted and have embraced who you are it becomes easier to ignore the opinions (or the likely opinions) of others.

Of course I need to acknowledge that it’s not ALWAYS easy and moments of sadness will always creep in when you think how some members of your family, you know, the people who are supposed to love you, might shun you if they only knew.

For decades I was a crossdresser and that was that. I wore panties and a nightgown to bed but dresses and stilettos were very rarely in my wardrobe. A wig and a femme name weren’t really on my radar. But things change. When I realized that THIS was more than THAT I couldn’t help but rethink my gender and my identity. Not only who I was but also how others might think of me.

And yes, other opinions of us shouldn’t impact us but I think it’s normal when they do.

Who am I? Where do I belong? Who are my people? My allies? My friends? My family? My enemies?

The typical standards and expectations and social gender norms begin to shift. There are cracks in the wall separating BOY and GIRL in our hearts and in our worlds and in our closets.

This rebirth, this new reality of what gender IS and what people THINK it is can really be manifested during the holidays.

A typical family gathering for me these days is overwhelmingly women. My wife, my sisters, and their daughters. When it come to masculine presenting people it’s usually my brother-in-law and maybe my brother who lives out of state.

And then there’s me.

And when I say ME I mean HIM.

Sure, they know of Hannah but they don’t know her, if you follow.

All of us mingle between the kitchen grabbing coffee or a snack and the living room chatting and eating.

But growing up the holidays were a lot different. MEN in the living room drinking BEER and watching FOOTBALL. Women in the kitchen CLEANING and COOKING and drinking WINE.

The dining room was the treaty zone, if you will, in what seemed to be a war between the sexes. Not that there were conflicts (I mean, there were conflicts as most families are wont to have) but nothing out of the ordinary “discussions” of politics and family gossip.

Once Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas breakfast was finished, both sides returned to their respective rooms and roles.

The dress code was also pretty set in stone. The men wore “a nice shirt” and women wore… oh, the things they wore. Cocktail dresses, black stockings, glitter, sparkles, sequins… the women shined as they usually did but their outfits glowed with them.

Everything about these family gatherings reinforced gender roles and gender presentations to me as I grew up. They also made me feel more out of place than ever. Where did I belong? Neither room nor role felt right OR wrong.

My gender… oh, let’s call it an awakening, caused these nomadic feelings to return in my early thirties. While it’s true that the homes I visited during the holidays were not as divided as the houses I was in growing up, there were still some elements, whether out of habit or otherwise, of men in one room, women in another. Cross pollination, if you will, happened, too.

But even subtle, unspoken “rules” vibrated loudly in the house and in my mind.

Once again I was back to wandering between rooms, never staying in one place for very long.

The holidays, already creating stress, brought back that old, familiar, and unwelcome feeling of anxiousness.

But things, as they tend to do, change.

When our gender identities evolve, our hearts and brains and soul grow and change as well. It can be uncomfortable adjusting and learning who we are and navigating this next phase of our lives. It’s not unusual to wonder who we are and where we belong and where all this is going.

And again, this can lead to wondering literally which room we belong in.

In some ways we see gender as more binary than ever, even though the lines between GIRL and BOY are blurring. We see how other react to anything that someone wears or feels that isn’t in synch with the gender that they thought we were. “Why can’t I wear THIS, even if it’s for girls?” we may think. It’s an article of clothing. It’s fabric. It’s magical. But soon we are reminded that for most people that every single article of clothing or color is for a girl OR a boy.

So we swing back and forth between genders internally and that feeling of out of place returns or it’s something we notice for the first time. Soon EVERYTHING is about gender and gender roles. We feel shackled by one gender, and drawn to another. This pull is representing perfectly by feeling that we SHOULD watch football with the guys but feel a need to connect with other feminine people.

So! How does one feel peace and contentment in what feels like a tug-of-war? How do we lessen the tension and anxiety that we feel from others knowing how less than enthusiastic they would be when it comes to our identity?

Well, the world isn’t going to change anytime soon. And most of us don’t have family members that will become enlightened by the next time everyone gets together.

The only thing that we have any control or influence over is ourselves. We can’t make or expect the world or our judgmental aunt to change… like, ever. We can accept ourselves. We can find peace within ourselves. We can love and accept and embrace who we are.

The barriers between genders collapse. Walls come down.

When we do this it becomes easier to be… well, anywhere. We stop seeking any acceptance from others, we care less about which room we SHOULD be in. Like my gender identities, I happily float between the room with the football in it and the room with the girl talk in it.

Love, Hannah

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.


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


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.


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.


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

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