New En Femme Blog!

My new blog for En Femme is up!

The latest from blogger, trans-activist and fashionista, Hannah McKnight is now available in our Learning Center! Hannah’s blog discusses more in-depth her life as a self-described T-girl. 

In her newest article, Hannah talks about finding the support we need, especially after coming out to someone in our lives doesn’t go as hoped.  Read it now>>

Love, Hannah

Mom Hugs

Pride Festivals are wonderful things, especially when you want to see just how much support, how many allies we have.  Of course, it’s not possible to know for sure who is and who isn’t a member of the LGBTQ+ community (at Pride or anywhere) but sometimes an ally is easy to spot.  The moms who come to Pride with t-shirts that say “Free Mom Hugs”?  Probably an ally (but again, impossible to know for certain that mom isn’t LGBTQ+).  Same with those wearing “Free Dad/Free Sister Hugs” shirts, too.  


I am…well, fascinated (jealous?) of moms like that.  I think almost all of us have complicated relationships with our parents, but perhaps I am just projecting.  I wasn’t the favorite child growing up and that dynamic has more or less lived on decades later.  I think things are…thawing between my mom and I and for the most part we have a good, healthy relationship, as long as, you know, THIS side of me isn’t brought up.  I’ve come out to her, both on purpose and, well, by accident and despite my efforts it’s been made pretty clear Hannah isn’t really someone my mom wants to know.


And that’s… okay.  I have made peace with it.  Not everyone is going to love you (or your femme self).  I wish things were different but again, I’ve made peace with it, although I have to admit I’ve had a couple “Mom Hugs” at Pride.


But I digress.


Like most things I think about, this little post is about clothes.  But this time it’s not about bodycon dresses or sky-high stilettos, it’s about a simple shirt.  A shirt that reads “I Love My Trans Kid”.  It’s not an uncommon shirt to see at Pride and I saw many moms (and dads) wearing it at last week’s Pride Festival.  Usually the parent was with a kid who was, well, a kid.  Think teenager or younger.  The age isn’t a surprise.  I’ve known and accepted this side of me at a young age.  I absolutely knew I was transgender (although I didn’t know the word) by the time I was in second grade.  Probably even earlier.  It’s like knowing you’re right-handed.  You just know.  You just… are.


The world is a different place than it was when I was discovering who I am all those years ago.  We didn’t have words in the common vernacular like “non-binary” or “gender fluid”.  We had “transvestite” and “crossdresser”.  Words that are a little outdated or not quite expansive enough (at least for me).  We also had “sissy”.  God, if I were to have come out when I was eight I would have been called a sissy or worse.  And I probably would have been called that by my dad.


Damn, a lot of baggage here, lol.


Being who we are isn’t easy.  I mean, it kind of is, it should be easier, but the world (for the most part) doesn’t make it very easy, does it?  It’s disheartening sometimes to be comfortable and to embrace who we are when we see laws being passed against the LGBTQ+ community or hear a co-worker say something nasty about transpeople.  But one thing I can’t experience is what it must be like to be a parent of a kid who is non-binary or gender non-conforming.  I mean, in principal it might be easy if you just let your kid dress how they feel and let them wear what they want.  Of course that’s probably easier said that done.  Letting your son wear a dress is one thing, dealing with the toxicity from the rest of the family or the rest of the world is another.  


Parents have to be advocates for their kids, no matter what they need.  It might be for medical reasons, or getting your child a tutor, or being their biggest defender and ally for their trans kid.  I don’t know if a parent can really prepare to, well, be a parent.  I suppose you could read every parenting book in the world but when it comes to the real thing, well, it’s the difference between reading a book on how to drive compared to actually being behind the wheel.  A parent should accept their kid and their identity.  A parent probably can’t prepare for that conversation aside from resolving to accept and love their child if they do come out.  You can’t love your kid conditionally, you can’t decide to love your kid on the condition that they are straight and/or cis.  


And at Pride you see that unconditional love.  It’s written on their face, it’s written on their clothes.  “I Love My Trans Kid”.  It doesn’t get more supportive than that.  


Don’t get me wrong, my mom is a wonderful, kind, supportive person.  But she grew up in a different era.  Her kids grew up in a different era.  I like to think that if I came out to her when I was younger in today’s world that she’d be wearing a shirt like that, too.  I am also positive if any of her grandchildren came out she’d be the supportive grandma.  


I don’t know if this website is read by any parents of trans kids but I want to thank you for being your child’s cheerleader, advocate, ally, and voice.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have come out to my own mother (at any age) and to have the support and love that I saw at Pride.  I don’t think my (ugh) journey would have led me to a different place than I am today if I had come to my mom when I was in my teens.  I love both of my gender identities today, and when I was growing up I didn’t hate or felt uncomfortable being a boy.  I just wanted to be a girl sometimes.  I didn’t grow out of who I was.  I couldn’t.  I don’t want to.


There’s no replacing a mom, no matter what you’re going through.  I mean, who loves you more than your mom?  No one.  No one is “supposed to”.  And yes, I know that not all of us have the support and love we need from our parents, regardless of one’s gender identity.  I know I have my mom’s love and support and friendship.  I don’t have any grudge against my mom because of her… uncomfortableness with Hannah.  I know that coming out changes a relationship, it impacts the dynamic.  You may be a fierce advocate of the LGBTQ+ community but, let’s face it, it’s a LITTLE different when your own child comes out.  It’s not easy to accept sometimes, it’s not an easy conversation to have.  Sometimes you just need to pretend you never came out.  I mean, that’s kind of what my mom and I do.  Again, don’t misunderstand me, I love my mom and I know as her son I have her love and support.  


And that’s enough.  It has to be.  


Love, Hannah

Wandering and Wondering

This past weekend was the Pride Festival for Minneapolis.  Since the MN T-Girls didn’t have a booth this year I was able to spend a lot more time wandering around the park.  As I wandered, I let my mind do the same thing.


The world is a harsh place.  People can be cruel to one another, there are laws in place that hurt our community, and more being written each day.  Friendships and families can be forever shattered when we come out.  We walk a tightrope on eggshells as we navigate this side of ourselves, regardless of where you are on the transgender spectrum.  You might be getting weekly estrogen shots, you might be a boy who wants to do drag.  You might be somewhere between.  We just want to live our lives but we are held back by the (justified) fear of living our truths, of being ourselves, of being who we want to be.  Of being who we ARE.


When we come out we have to face reality.  I think about coming out to more people in my life but then I have to face the reality of that.  I don’t think it’s likely but there will always be the possibility that coming out to certain friends of mine might end that relationship.  Although I have no plans (nor do I feel the need to do so) to live full time, I know were I to do so I risk discrimination (both legal and otherwise) at work and in healthcare.

  
It’s not fair.  It’s exhausting.  It’s demeaning.  It’s heartbreaking.  Because of the reality we face we deny ourselves what we want, who we are, and what we want our lives to be.  


However.


If we only watch the news it’s easy to think that the world hates us.  That we are alone.  It feels like that over the last few years there has been an increase in violence and hate towards the LGBTQ+ community.  It feels like every week there’s a new law that attempts to suppress our rights and to make it legal to deny us healthcare.  And there is some truth to this thinking.  It’s very… ah, popular in certain circles to hate us.  It’s very popular to turn us into the scary monster in the ladies room when all we want to do is, well, use the ladies room.  


But it’s important (and essential for our mental health) to switch off the television and stop doom scrolling and get out into the real world.  It’s important to stop denying who we are, yes, but it’s also important to see for ourselves what the world thinks of us.  Of course, it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of us.  And we won’t really know what the world thinks of us, but we can get an idea.  Last month I finally got to spend some time at my favorite art museum, something I had been wanting to do for over a year.  I was dressed in my favorite pair of black patent heels and one of my favorite dresses.  My makeup, as the kids say, was LIT.  I wandered around the museum for a couple of hours, had a snack in the cafe, and browsed the gift shop.  It was, well, it was lovely.  


And the best part was that no one cared.  I mean, they might have cared and kept their thoughts to themselves, but smiles were returned when I caught someone’s eye, no one pointed or stared.  Everyone just paid attention to the art (which is what one does at an art museum).  The world seemed a lot less cruel (and a lot more wonderful) than the news headlines suggested.


And Pride was the same thing.  Of course, I understand Pride is a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community and it’s the last place in the world where someone would stare at a t-girl, but Pride is also attended by allies.  Of course I saw other t-girls, drag queens, gay couples handing hands, and countless others of the LGBTQ+ world.  But I also saw people wearing t-shirts with the world ALLY on them.  I saw women walking around with signs that said “Free Mom Hugs”.  I saw people who loved us.  People who wanted us to know that they supported who we are.  It’s overwhelming to know we can get a hug from a mom, something we need, especially if we can’t get one from our own.


I can’t say how many people I saw (or saw me) at Pride in the two hours I was there.  But like when I went to the museum, I was just another girl enjoying the day.  “Vibing”, as the kids say.  


Pride really underscores the importance of having friends like ourselves, of being involved (to any extent) in our community.  As a t-girl I want to do, well, non-LGBTQ+ things.  And I do.  I don’t only go to LGBTQ+ cafes and shops.  I go to Starbucks and Target, too.  But it’s important to stay involved in events like Pride.  To be visible, to add to the number of people who attend Pride.  To show the world that there are a LOT of us, and that we still stand (and strut) no matter how many people hate us.  

Love, Hannah

MN T-Girls at Pride!

This weekend was the mini-sized Pride Festival in Minneapolis. Due to, well, the whole COVID thing, this year’s Pride’s celebrations were a little smaller than in previous years. Usually the MN T-Girls have a booth but we skipped it this year since the festival was only recently announced and there wasn’t much time to plan.


Although we weren’t there in officially this year our little group had our monthly event at Pride. It was a nice little change from previous years as I normally don’t get a chance to wander around and visit other booths but this year we got to see so much. Like always, the people watching was excellent. 🙂

I am looking forward to next year when we are back with a booth but it was a fun day and we were happy just being there.

Love, Hannah

T-Girl Survival Guide

Hi!

The most read part of this website is “A Beginner’s Guide to Crossdressing” and to be honest that makes me so happy.  The point of this site is to provide resources and help to girls like us.  I try to be helpful and offer advice when and where I can.  I think one of my strengths is offering a perspective on identifying as anything but cisgender when it comes to how we see ourselves and how we move through our lives and through the world.  For example, I can’t do anything about how tall some of us are, but I can remind us that no one is too tall to be femme.  


When it comes to stepping out en femme, I am only too happy to share my experiences in regards to facing the world.  I started to think the other day that most of my adventures have been, for the most part, either positive or at least uneventful.  And honestly, anyone can have a good experience en femme when the rest of the world (or the mall) doesn’t really care or notice a girl like us.  Most of the time things go right and we all move on with our lives.


For many of us this side of us is a secret.  We not only are scared that someone will recognize us, we are also terrified someone will see the panties hidden in our dresser drawer or our browser history.  We protect ourselves, or more accurately, we protect her at any cost.  


We are paranoid and terrified when it comes to the beautiful side of who we are. 


Again, almost all of my outings have been uneventful, but what happens when we are en femme and things don’t go smoothly?  What happens if someone accidentally sees our femme Facebook account?  What about getting a flat tire when we are out?  When I am in boy mode and things go wrong I just handle it.  If I have car problems I call a tow truck.  If I saw a friend of mine while dining out I would say hello.  But if these things happen when I am en femme then it’s completely different.  Things will go wrong and I feel mostly prepared for problems that likely won’t happen, but I am terrified about car problems when I am en femme.  The last thing I want to do is watch some tow truck driver hoist my car onto his truck and offer me a ride back to the shop.  I mean, I know it’s not much different than interacting with a barista or a salesclerk, but when I am en femme I choose how I spend my day and who I interact with, no one really plans on chatting up mechanics as they tell you that your alignment or whatever is messed up.


But these things happen, and they will happen.  Sure I can change a tire but I am not doing it in stilettos and a LBD.  Yes, I’ve gone to the emergency room but never after a makeover.  If these things happen to me you can be certain I will write about it, but they (knock on wood) haven’t. 

Really, the scariest thing that happened to me was at Pride a few years ago when the wind caused a tent to flip over which hit me on the head and I was treated by the EMTs.  I still have the scar, but thankfully it’s the only scar (physical, emotional, and mental) I have related to being out en femme.
But I’m sure things have happened to others.


I would like your help in putting together somewhat of a survival guide.  And I know that sounds a little extreme but it’s the best way I can describe it.  If you have had a negative (or frustrating or terrifying or even a funny) experience out en femme, how did you handle it?  How did others respond?  If you had something happen, something other than pleasant or uneventful, I would love to read (and post) your experience on this site.


Some of the things I have in mind:


-Car problems (or getting pulled over)

-Being recognized en femme

-Your social media page being discovered-Someone seeing your bra strap when you are in boy mode

-Flying pretty

-“Getting caught”

-Trying on heels at the mall in boy mode

-Anything else that you might helpful


Please send me an email (hannahgotta@gmail.com) with the subject line “T-Girl Survival Guide” and I’ll be happy to share it with others.


Thanks!

Love, Hannah

The Return of the MN T-Girls Again

Yesterday was the first MN T-Girls meeting since November. We took a pause due to COVID but now that the weather is warmer (for Minnesota in April, anyway) I felt it was safe(r) to resume our monthly adventures This was our second return as we took our first COVID pause last March and returned (for the first time) in May of last year.

This month wasn’t tooooo elaborate, just coffee and girl talk with the girls but it was good to see my friends again.

It was chilly, but at least I looked cute. Well, I thought I looked cute.

Love, Hannah

I Hear You

I do my best to help girls like us.  Sometimes it’s being asked about makeup or where to find heels in their size, but I get just as many questions and emails about the more difficult and emotional and serious side of who we are.


I try to be gentle and direct and honest.  Many of us are conflicted or confused or scared about who we are.  Many of us are in denial.  When I tell others like us that we are who we are, we can’t change (and there’s no reason to), I want that message to be comforting.  Yes, this side of us certainly doesn’t make life easier, but knowing that there’s nothing wrong with who you are is the first step towards accepting who you are.  It’s the first step we take when we stop resisting what we want (and what we want to wear).  Ending the fight against yourself is how you get to embracing and celebrating who we are.  


I understand and respect and am honored by the trust that people put into me and what I write.  I take every email seriously (except the ones from the guys who keep asking me to sissify them).  Sometimes questions come to me through email, sometimes they are submitted through the ‘Ask Hannah’ section.  And sometimes the questions come anonymously and really, that’s okay.  I understand the fear of being outed and how hard many of us try to not have any trail of our male identity to a website like mine.  In many, many ways, caution and paranoia protect us.  I totally get that.    


I respond to most emails I get with a few exceptions (seriously, stop asking me to sissify you) and most of the emails seem to be from one’s femme email account.  I don’t think it’s uncommon for many of us to have multiple email accounts.  I certainly do.  Some emails are from what is obviously “his” email account.  Rest assured your information is safe with me.  Some questions are sent to me from fake email addresses though but the questions and concerns are serious and personal.  Many messages like this are sent in the very late (or very early) hours of the day.  The time of the day when our thoughts are the loudest.  The time of the day when most of the world (or your family) is asleep.  The time when we reflect and think about… well, everything.  


When I get an email that I can’t respond to because it’s a fake email account, it does make me concerned.  It’s normal for me to get a message from someone who is pouring their heart out about this side of them.  They are truly worried, scared, lonely about who they are.  They want help, they want friends, they want someone to talk to.  I want to help, I want to offer support and resources but I can’t reply to an email that isn’t real.


Again, I do understand and can relate to not using an email address that can be traced to our male lives.  I totally get that so I understand why one would use a fake email.  


When I get those emails in the wee small hours of the morning I want to offer resources and ways to connect to girls like us.  We need friends like us.  


If you are reading this and you are lonely, afraid, or sad and need help I want to help you.  And I will, to the best that I am able.  If you write to me and don’t provide a way for me to respond then I can’t do anything.  And again, I get it.  If have written to me and needed help, but didn’t provide a way for me to respond, I would have replied with these resources and links:


-First of all, there’s nothing wrong with who you are and what you want to wear.  You are who you are and you are beautiful.  The world doesn’t understand us and that’s okay.  I don’t understand us either 🙂

-If you are looking to make friends with girls like us, then I recommend creating a profile and posting on the forums on crossdressers.com and transgenderheaven.com-If you need support please find a local chapter of PFLAG.


And the most serious resource I can point you towards is Trans Lifeline.


I hope this helps.  As much as I talk about eyeliner and stilettos and shamelessly post photos of myself, I understand and can relate to how our gender identity can cause a lot of pain, confusion, isolation, and fear.  


And thank you for trusting me and for reaching out.  I wish I could do more.
Love, Hannah