National Coming Out Day

National-Coming-Out-Day-1024x273

Today is National Coming Out Day and I wanted to congratulate everyone who has bravely come out to someone in their life.  Who we are is not easy to explain or understand.  Sometimes I think we have a hard time understanding this ourselves…but we still know who we are.

When we are ready to come out, we open up to different people in different ways.  Sometimes it goes wrong,  sometimes it’s anti-climatic, sometimes they already knew, and sometimes we just have a hard time explaining ourselves to others.  Sometimes this is a conversation that takes months, sometimes the person we come out to never wants to discuss this ever again.

If you’ve come out to someone, what has worked?  What did you say that describes who you are so perfectly that the other person understands exactly who you are?

Love, Hannah

 

 

Advertisements

It’s Been a Busy Week for Hate

It’s been a hard week.  Most of our attention these past few days has been focused on the horrific events that occurred in Las Vegas on Sunday.  As the shock fades, our country returns once again to gun control laws and the never ending discussion of our rights and the government’s obligation to protect its citizens.

This is not an invitation to discuss gun laws, so please be mindful of that in the comments.

A country’s obligation and role in protecting its people extends in many different ways.  Whether it is protecting our personal rights, having access to proper medical and mental care, as well as ensuring our civil rights are maintained.

This week we saw the Trump administration roll back the mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for contraception based on religious freedom.  This, of course, will open the door to other discriminating changes that are also based on religious freedom, potentially rights that protect the LGBTQ community.

What does this have to do with the transcommunity?  Well, everything.

I think most of us here believe that transwomen are women.  Issues that affect cis-women are also issues that transwomen should be concerned about as well.  While it is true that reproductive issues may not affect a transwoman personally, we should be outraged when any right of any woman is denied, especially when it comes to one’s healthcare.  If we want to be viewed and accepted as women when we visit the mall in a cute dress and heels, then we must also champion for the rights of ALL women.

If the GOP wants to deny healthcare to cis-women, whether directly or indirectly, then they will not hesitate to take away the protection of transwomen.  Which brings me to my next point.

If you had any doubt that the Republicans hated us, this week also saw the Trump administration end workplace protection for the transgender community.  Unless it’s in an effort to be needlessly cruel, I do not see any point in going out of your way to take away a civil right from us.  This week was a busy week for this administration as they somehow also found time to request a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military.  One would think that escalating tensions with North Korea, hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico and mass shooting in Las Vegas would take more precedent than stripping away the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.

Things were going, well perhaps not well, but things were less terrible for us not too long ago.  What happened?

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask Hannah!

Hello I am a 24 year old who crossdresses. I am passable and I have a female friend (We grew up next door to each other and are only children) so she is like a sister to me. She has asked to be maid of honor in her wedding next summer. However she wants me to begin immediately living full time as a female so I am prepared for all the wedding stuff. She has offered a place to live and a job what do I do. Thanks.

I receive a lot of emails and from time to time I get a message along the lines of “…my wife’s best friend moved away and she misses having someone to go shopping with.  Now my wife wants me to live as a woman so she has a girlfriend again.  What should I do?”  My suspicion is that many of those messages are fake.  I think there are some crossdressers who are…intrigued, let’s call it, at the idea of someone else taking charge of their gender identity.  Perhaps there are those who want to dress/transition but taking comfort in the idea that it was the idea of someone else.  I am not sure, I cannot answer that question.  When I was in my teens I read anything I could about crossdressing and for a few of us, this is a fetish, fantasy or a sexual turn on.  There is a lot of fiction written about someone being crossdressed by someone else.  “I don’t want to be a girl but my aunt is making me dress up” or “I lost a bet and now I have to be a cheerleader” are popular themes.

I never was a fan of not being able to make your own decisions about who you are or what you wear.  For some, the above question is the ultimate fantasy.  Someone supportive in our lives, the chance of being a maid of honor and the offer of living full time as a woman.  I’m not one to say what fantasies one is allowed to have.  That’s the point, they are YOUR fantasies.  I am also not questioning the legitimacy of this email, either.

My point is that your gender identity is YOUR gender identity.  It is your decision and not one that can be maid by anyone else.  It is entirely up to you if you want to transition, dress up for a day, a month, a year or forever.  Please don’t let anyone make this decision for you.  Living full-time is a drastic life change and not a choice one should make at someone’s else request, nor should it be made lightly.

I would encourage you to seek out a gender counselor or therapist, join a support group, talk with your doctor and loved ones to determine if this is truly the direction you wish to go.

Best of luck!

Love, Hannah

MN T-Girls Hit the Road!

Today the MN T-Girls had a little road trip and went to Saint Cloud which is about an hour north of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.  Saint Cloud held their annual Pride Festival this weekend and I am so glad we went.

FullSizeRender(4)

Everyone we met was friendly, positive and welcoming.  There were vendors from organizations from all over the state and I spent a lot of time chatting with Transforming Families and the Minnesota Transgender Alliance,  which I have added to the Transgender Resources page.

IMG_0310

There was a total of six MN T-Girls there today and we had a lovely time wandering around the booths, eating yummy food, making new friends and taking photos.  It was supposed to rain afternoon but as you can see it was a lovely day.

FullSizeRender(5)

It was such a fun day and next year I plan on going to many more Pride events.  Hope to see you there!

Love, Hannah

Saint Cloud Pride!

The MN T-Girls will be taking a road trip this month to Saint Cloud’s Pride weekend!

2017_StCloudPride_postcardweb

There are events all throughout the weekend, from theater shows on Friday, Saturday’s Pride in the Park and drag show, to a Sunday brunch.  The T-Girls and I will be at Pride in the Park.  I hope to start attending more of Minnesota’s pride festivals and I am excited for this!

If you plan on going, drop me an email!  I’d love to meet you!

Love, Hannah

 

Capturing Confidence

75I think we all remember our first photograph.  Although we likely stared in the mirror for a long time after we dressed or wore makeup in the early days, seeing a photograph is an entirely different experience.  Sometimes the photos make your jaw drop as they capture a side of us we always wanted to see…but sometimes the photos are humbling and can trigger a downward spiral as we realize we don’t look quite as how we imagined, or hoped.

But what we do takes time.  It takes patience.  It takes practice.  We often need a mentor.  Creating ourselves and being comfortable with who we are can take a lot of effort.  The picture of me in the white dress was taken about six years ago.  I remember how happy it made me when it was taken, but as time passed, I realized how far I had come whenever I looked at the early photos.

If you’ve spent even just ten seconds on this blog, you’ll see that I obviously love having my photograph taken.  I was fortunate enough to partner with an amazing photographer, Shannonlee, a few years ago and she is so much fun to work with.  In addition to working with such a fun and talented artist, the photos are a reminder of how far I’ve come…as a result of hard work, patience, exercise and building confidence and how it can pay off.  To me, the photos are less about how I look, but more of a reminder of how I feel about myself.  I feel happy, confident and assured.  I have come a long way from needing validation in the early days.  The girl in white dress looks insecure, guarded and although she’s smiling, she’s unsure of herself.  She has the heels, but missing confidence.

Confidence is everything.  Whether you are a t-girl or not, it’s confidence that gets us through the day, helps keeps our head held high as we strut through the mall or make eye contact with those who stare at us.  Confidence helps us ask the makeup artist to recommend a foundation for our skin tone, confidence helps us ask the sales clerk if they have that cute red pump in a size 12 in the backroom.

I recently had a photoshoot with Shannonlee and I am thrilled to post the first of the pictures.  These photos are of me in a dress I purchased earlier this summer from Long Tall Sally.  It’s a little short and the slit makes it even more risque, but I don’t spend two hours a week on the Stairmaster to cover up my legs.  😉

I hope you like these photos!  I’ll post more throughout the week.

slit dress 1slit dress 2slit dress 3099100Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

I am a beginner crossdresser.  Please tell me how to chose my dresses.

Creating your wardrobe is one of the most fun and expensive things you’ll ever do.  It will be even more expensive if you don’t purchase clothing that is the right size.  It’s important that you know your measurements and understand that the size on the tag doesn’t mean very much as each designer and store can have a different meaning of what a size is.

So, how do you find your measurements?

Find a measuring tape (not the tool kit kind, the ribbon kind) and take your measurements for different parts of your body:
-Waist measured at your belly button
-Bust measured at nipple height with or without forms/padding
-Chest measurement taken just under pectoral muscle (2 to 3 inches below nipple)

404

I have a section on my blog that goes into more detail about shopping and sizing.  Read that section here.

The internet makes it very convenient to purchase and ultimately return clothing if it doesn’t fit.   It’s important you refer to the size charts on the store’s site in order to choose the right items.  I found a really cute dress on Amazon recently, but I know from experience to look at the size chart.

Here’s a typical screenshot from Amazon:

Capture

Under the price, you can choose the size you’d like, as well as view a size chart.  This is a standard Amazon size chart and is rarely relevant.

Capture2

 

 

 

I ignore this.  Usually on the left side of the screen, among the alternate views, you’ll see the manufacturer’s size chart and will vary from dress to dress.  This is usually more accurate.

Capture3

I also will scroll to the bottom of the page and read the customer questions and reviews to see other shopper’s opinions.  I normally wear a size 12 or a large (unless it’s stretchy, then I go down to a 10), but according to this chart I am a size XL.

Taking a few moments to do you research will save you time and money.

Happy shopping!

Love, Hannah