Ask Hannah!

Has Hannah affected your relationship with your wife?  Has your wife seen Hannah? Has she had “girls nights in” with Hannah? How does she feel aboutHannah?  How has her relationship with Hannah evolved since your early  days of blogging?

I could probably write (and maybe I should) a book about the dynamics and evolution and impact that crossdressing/being transgender has on a relationship, but I will try to keep this concise.

Being who we are is likely hard on our partners.  This is not a part of us that will change or go away, so we will never “outgrow” this part of us, this is not a phase we are going through.  Too many of us try to suppress this part of us when we meet someone and start a relationship because we don’t want to scare this person away by revealing this part of us.

But of course no matter how hard we try to deny it, this is who we are and we shouldn’t try to do that.  What we should do is be honest with ourselves and be honest with our partners.  I get emails from people like us who tell me that they don’t plan on telling their partners about this side of them until after they’re married.  Their thinking is that it’s too late for them to go anywhere.  This is hurtful, cruel, unfair and dishonest.

I told my wife about this part of me after a few months of dating, once I knew I wanted to marry her.  I’ve come out to a few partners in my life when I felt the relationship was strong and serious enough.  At the time I came out to her, I felt that this was all about under-dressing and I didn’t have a “male mode” or a “female mode”.  I was just a man who wore panties.

But people change and evolve.

After we’d be married for a few years, she asked if I ever wore makeup or clothes other than lingerie.  I had, but never really to the point of a full makeover or head to toe with a wig and heels.  She did my makeup that night and helped me order a wig.  Up to that moment she didn’t really understand why I liked lingerie but she understood the feeling of wanting to be beautiful.

I started to buy dresses with her help.  My wardrobe grew and our relationship now had a new part of it.  We were both learning about Hannah and getting to know her.  We had constant and honest communication about what… all this meant.  There were times where she was concerned about me wanting to transition and where all this was leading to.  Those concerns faded over time.

It’s easy to understand her concern.  I went from wearing panties to doing my makeup and having a closet full of heels in a few months.  My evolution accelerated and it was like going from a nice leisurely drive to a million miles per hour.  But eventually I stopped my gender exploration and landed where I am today and her concerns about me wanting to transition subsided.

This part of me has allowed me to be more open, honest, vulnerable and transparent with my wife.  Not only as Hannah, but as in my male side as well.  This took a lot of patience on her part and a lot of effort to try to understand me.  It took a lot of time, sometimes difficult communication and open and honest conversations.

So yes, she has seen Hannah.  We both met her at the same time, in a way.  We’ve had many girls nights in, whether it was a nice quiet night in wearing leggings or me rocking an amazing gown with winged eyeliner.

My wife and I used to feel that Hannah and my male side were two very different people.  Of course, we have very different wardrobes but over time Hannah and I have kind of… well, balanced out.  Hannah would tend to be more relaxed and chatty whereas I was more preoccupied with whatever was going on or needed to be done.  I don’t relax much, but our girls nights in gave me a chance to dress up and slow down and watch a movie or sit and talk.  My wife and I don’t feel there’s as much of a difference between my two genders (besides physician appearance and presentation) as there used to be.

I make all of this sound very easy and idyllic, but as with any relationship things are always more complicated and nuanced than it sounds.  I am lucky to have my wife for many reasons, not only because of this.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

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PFLAG Events for January

PFLAG’s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

Join us for our January 15th program and support groups.
Transgender Resources Presentation
The January program will feature videos intended to answer some of your questions about gender, language and the Transgender community.
Tuesday, January 15 at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Upcoming events include March when MN author Austen Hartke will discuss his new book:

Transforming; The Bible & the Lives of Transgender Christians.

Love for ThirdLove

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A few weeks ago, I posted about the hurtful comments from an executive with Victoria’s Secret.  Equally disappointing was how they handled the backlash.  Because of this, I resolved not to shop there anymore.  I think it’s important we support trans-inclusive businesses, or at the very least, avoid giving our money to an organization that seemingly tolerates anti-trans attitudes.

Many of you wrote asking for alternatives to Victoria’s Secret.  I heard about ThirdLove during this controversy as they wrote an open letter to the company condemning their comments.  Any company that sticks up for our community is absolutely worth checking out.

I visited their site and was struck by not only the selection of their lingerie but also by the inclusiveness of their models.  Their dedication to providing options for everyone was impressive and they offer Fit Finder, an online tool to help all women find their perfect size.

Even more impressive is their customer service.  I dropped them an email and within a half hour I received a response from Brooke.  I ordered a few different panties (the Cotton Thong, Lace Back Cheeky and the Lace High Brief) and I was thrilled when they arrived.

I am happy to say that each option was a perfect fit.  High quality and beautiful.  I loved what I bought but the Lace High Brief is my absolute favorite panty in my lingerie drawer.  Super cute and fits like a dream.

If you’re looking for a new place to get lingerie, I absolutely recommend ThirdLove.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

When you are out as Hannah, do you try to “feminize” your voice in any way? If so, do you have suggestions for how to go about doing that?

No, for two reasons.

The first one is based on how important it is to be as natural as possible.  I know some of us have been able to feminize their voice, but it’s not an easy thing to do.  I met a transwoman a few years ago and bless her heart, but she was trying so hard to have as feminine as a voice as possible.  She spoke in a somewhat forced high, falsetto voice and to be honest, it was really uncomfortable listening to her.  She seemed so…fake.  She was as nice as could be but the longer we spoke the more her real voice surfaced and she sounded much more natural and sincere after that.  She seemed so much more confident.

The second reason is that…well, you don’t need to.  There is no standard as to what a woman needs to sound like (or look like, for that matter).  Does Lauren Bacall or Kathleen Turner have too deep of a voice to be considered feminine?

But there is a difference.  It’s hard not to have a shift in almost everything as I go from one gender to another.  I sit differently in a skirt, I walk differently in heels, I shift my body differently as I move in a dress…and there is a subtle change in my voice and how I speak.  Any change in my movements feels natural.  I tend to speak a little lighter, a little softer, and my tone shifts slightly too.  I do feel I have a small difference between the two, but nothing as drastic as intentionally feminizing my voice.

Love, Hannah

 

 

It Will Never Be Okay

I think the social norms surrounding clothes are hilarious.

Why is a t-shirt with a v-neck considered men’s wear and a t-shirt with a scoop neck is considered women’s wear?  It’s a shirt.

I stand by the belief that if every cis-male tried sleeping in a nightgown then within weeks Target would soon start selling nighties with designs like a football jersey.

Same with leggings because OMG leggings.

I get emails from many people, both trans and cis about clothes.  Some of the emails are from people who may not consider themselves transgender, but rather just want to wear what they want to wear.  “Why can’t guys wear a skirt?  What’s wrong with men wanting to paint their nails?”

Here’s the thing.  Anyone can wear a skirt.  Anyone can paint their nails, even if it’s tricky to paint your right hand with your left hand.  Clothes don’t know that society has placed expectations and norms on who can wear them.  If it fits, you can wear it.

But I know that’s not what they mean.  People want to be able to wear what they want without anyone caring.  Or pointing.  Or laughing.  But that will never happen.  We live in a society where the colors people wear make people so angry.  In 2011 J. Crew published an ad that had a photo of a mom painting her son’s toenails pink.  The world lost its mind.  The reaction, although depressing and hilarious at the same time, was not unexpected.

We live in a world where people get beat up because they’re wearing the opposing football team’s jersey at a game.

I think we can all agree that there are many people in the world who care waaaaay too much about what clothes people wear.  Whether I’m stepping out in heels and a killer bodycon dress and a $70 makeover or I am in guy mode wearing “girl jeans”, I know that I am making someone angry.

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Here’s me not caring about what you think

Good.  If what I wear is making you angry then I am glad to put you through that.  If you are the type of person who spends even a second of your time thinking about what I should or should not wear then you are, well, pretty pathetic.  I don’t care what you wear, why do you care what I wear?

I am not aware of any state that has laws that says that men cannot wear eyeliner or yoga pants.  Let me know if I’m wrong.  But what the law says and what societal norms are can be very different.  Just because there is or isn’t a law about something it doesn’t mean people will change their opinions and attitudes.

I think what we want is for it to be okay.  There were headlines all over the country a few years ago when the marriage equality act was passed.  It gave everyone the right to marry whoever they wanted.  But the law didn’t necessarily change people’s minds about the LGBTQIA community.  I can’t imagine someone seeing that the law changed and thinking “well, I guess it’s okay to be gay.”  If they didn’t like our community before, I doubt that law changed anyone’s mind.

My point is that even if the newspapers all over the world printed a headline that read “It’s Okay to Wear Whatever You Want”, it’s still not going to be “okay”.  It’s not “okay” for me to wear whatever I want.  But that’s fine, I don’t need permission from anyone when it comes to something like clothing.  Even if that headline was published, there will always be the change someone will laugh, point or threaten us whether we are rocking those stilettos or simply glaming up our eyes with a little mascara.

We need to stop waiting for permission.  We need to stop waiting for some authority to “let” us do what we want and wear what we want.  It will never come.  It will never be okay.

But it TOTALLY is.

I hope you can spend your weekend wearing what you want, whether you are strutting through the mall in knee high boots or being lazy in leggings.

Love, Hannah

 

The Littlest Black Dress!

The holiday season is always better when you can attend a holiday party, and what’s more classic (and sexy) than a little black dress?

I found this amazing dress at a thrift store.  The zipper needed to be replaced and it cost more to do that than the dress itself.  It fits like a dream.

This is the final set of photos from the MN T-Girls recent photo shoot!   Hope you like it!

Photography by Shannonlee.

Makeup by Ana at Rita Ambourne.

Love, Hannah

Littlest Black Dress 1Littlest Black Dress 2Littlest Black Dress 3Littlest Black Dress 4Littlest Black Dress 5

Meet the Twin Cities Teen Behind a New LGBTQ Rights Bakery: It Gets Batter

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From City Pages

Lily’s no stranger to volunteering. Her family is involved with the Sheridan Story, a Roseville-based nonprofit that works to combat hunger, and once a month her school does assorted charity work.

“I wanted to start a charity for a while,” the 14-year-old tells City Pages. “And lately I’ve been focusing a lot on LGBTQ rights.”

She says she’s concerned, like lots of young people, about President Trump’s plans to roll back protections for trans and queer folks. It goes beyond her love of Drag Race—Lily has LGBTQ+ family members and friends—and she wanted to find a way to put her newfound love of baking to use for good.

More information about Lily’s bakery here!

Love, Hannah