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)

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Ask Hannah!

Hey Hannah, 
How accepting is your family?   Are they accepting and you can be Hannah around them?   Or do they not want to see it.
Coming out as transgender can be challenging to our loved ones.  My family is accepting, supportive and are definitely advocates of the LGBTQ community.  However, regardless of how much of an ally you are, it can be difficult when someone you love comes out.
Identifying as transgender can add additional questions to our loved ones.  I’ve written before how being transgender can mean something different from individual to individual.  Some of us have transitioned, or want to transition, and for some of us it’s never crossed our mind.  Accepting a family member as transgender isn’t easy, but there is also the additional question of what it means to them and possibly what’s next for them.
My family knows they can go shopping or have a cup of coffee with Hannah whenever they’d like, but I don’t press anyone with this part of me.  I have also written previously about how I  think it’s important we try to be conscious of who we are to our loved ones and be gentle and considerate when we come out.
Of course, if we waited for everyone we know to be “ready” to meet us, we may never get to be ourselves.  I also am speaking as someone who does not want to live full-time, so it’s easier for me to accommodate my dual genders and the rest of my life.  I realize everyone’s needs and lives our different, and can only speak for myself.
Love, Hannah

Transgender Ban in the Military

I am sure you all heard the news regarding our president’s tweet regarding how transgender individuals are banned from serving in the military.

Thankfully tweets are not executive orders and according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Joseph Dunford, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance”.

Why this president does anything is beyond my comprehension, but the reasoning behind this statement relates to the financial burden that a transgender soldier would put on the American people.

First of all, this statement is not accurate.  According to The Atlantic, “The military has not historically covered gender-transition surgeries”.  The article cited goes on to explain that if the military did cover such operations, “That cost would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually for transition-related costs, according to a RAND analysis commissioned by the Department of Defense. The group estimated there are between 1,320 and 6,630 active-duty transgender servicepeople currently. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 put the number at 12,800 people and $4.2 million to $5.6 million, concluding that “doctors agree that such care is medically necessary.”

This would be a military health-care spending increase of 0.04 to 0.13 percent. Even in the most extreme case, it is one tenth of the annual $84 million that the military spends on medication for erectile dysfunction.

Having a world leader make such inaccurate and damaging statements is scary enough, but this perpetuates the belief that transgender people are a burden of any sort, as well as the belief that all transgender people want to transition and undergo surgery.

This is disheartening, especially when it seems to me that we have made such large strides in the last few years and a statement like this just knocks us back. There’s not much we can do to stop people with a Twitter account making such inaccurate and misleading statements, but there’s always something we can to fight back against stereotypes and hatred.

We can sign many of the petitions online demanding that any such bad would be reversed.

Although signing a petition may seem like it has little impact it is encouraging to see so many people supporting our community.

We can donate to Outserve.  OutServe-SLDN is the association for actively serving LGBT military personnel and veterans. We are a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America’s military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

I am not making being transgender political.  Politicans are.  We just want to live our lives and not have our basic human rights diminished.  Being transgender, I believe, means being obligated to fighting back against hatred and stereotypes.  How anyone can be transgender and Republican in this political climate is beyond me.  How one can stand by an organization that, intentionally or not, makes such damaging statements is beyond my comprehension.  I know that standing by a political party is more than just its opinion on one issue, but this statement was damaging, wildly inaccurate and hurtful.

Being trans is a huge part of who I am.  I make decisions on where to eat and shop based on their stance on the LGBTQ community.  I will never eat at Chick-fil-A, for example.  Supporting an organization that has such a low opinion of who I am is not deserving of my money, my time or my vote.

Your perspective may vary.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Ask Hannah!

I have been crossdressing for about 5 years, but I want to take it to the next level, going out in public dressed as a women.  I have been out as a women but only to gay bars or other places like that.  I wear a wig, padded bra, dress , nylons, high heel shoes, necklaces, and clip on earrings.  My problem is that I do not know how to apply makeup, so I need to meet other crossdressers to get some tips or do a makeover.  my question is, how do I meet other crossdressers?  Thank you for your time in answering this.

Hi!  Talking to other t-girls and crossdressers is certainly an option when it comes to makeup, however I have learned more about makeup by talking to makeup artists and having makeovers.

Facial shape and facial structures are wildly different from person to person.  Talking to a makeup artist will be beneficial as they are trained to contour, highlight and reduce certain facial features (if you want) and to help you do your own makeup.  No two people do their makeup the same way.  Learn what is right for you.   There are some tricks I learned from other t-girls, specifically when it comes to color correcting and beard cover but I learned so much more by meeting with makeup artists and being taught which makeup is right for my skin, tone and color.  My advice is to schedule a makeover and ask a lot of questions.  I have some suggestions where you can go on my blog.

As for meeting other girls, I would recommend creating a profile and chatting online at various forums, such as crossdresssers.com and urnotalone.  When I wanted to meet others like myself I started the MN T-Girls, so you may want to consider starting your own group.

Good luck, have fun, be safe!

Love, Hannah

 

Trans Health and Punk Rock!

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From City Pages:

Looking for the loudest possible way to support transgender health issues in Minnesota? 

Head to Triple Rock Social Club any Tuesday this August. That’s where Surly Brewing Co. is sponsoring “The Gay Agenda,” a free punk-rock residency to benefit Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition. Pints of Surly — Furious, Hell, and Xtra-Citra — will be discounted to $3.50, and a percentage of those sales will go to MTHC. You can also expect ticket giveaways for future T-Rock gigs. 

Musically, here’s what’s on tap during “The Gay Agenda”: 

  • August 1: Fucking Cowards/Dirty Junk
  • August 8: New Primals/Moodie Black
  • August 15: Starchild/Nugazi: That Fugazi Cover Band Experience
  • August 22: Former Worlds/Speedweed
  • August 29: Kitten Forever/Royal Brat

The month-long “Gay Agenda” residency kicks off each Tuesday at 9 p.m. Click here to RSVP on Facebook. 

Love, Hannah

Meeting Our Other Halves

Everyone is different.  We all know that.  Even if we’re the same, there’s things about the things that make us the same that make us different.  You and I may both identify as transgender, but we are different in our trans-ness.

Are you still with me?  🙂

Some of you are on a journey.  Perhaps a year ago you were working up the courage to try on a pair of heels, but these days you are on hormones and working on your name change documents.  I don’t think I am on a journey anymore.  I think I am at the end of my journey and have arrived at who I am and will be for the rest of my life.  I enjoy being able to go between genders when I feel like it.  I don’t want to commit to one gender.  I don’t want to transition.  I never wanted to.

That being said, when we come out to others in our life, who we come out to may have a flood of emotions and thoughts.  The internet is a wonderful tool and we all turn to it when we need something.  It’s entirely likely who we come out to will google terms like ‘transgender’ and ‘crossdress’ and receive a lot of information.  Not all of it is helpful, of course.  Looking up information on crossdressers online can easily give someone the impression that it’s a fetish or a sexual turn-on.  And it very well may be for some of us, but it’s not the case for everyone.

Thanks to the abundant information online, it’s not uncommon to think that everyone who identifies as transgender will eventually transition.  It can get exhausting coming out to someone as we have a need to not only explain who we are, but we also have the additional work of pushing back against some common misconceptions of who all trans people are.  “Yes, I am transgender.  No, I am not gay.  No, I don’t want to transition.”

Years ago, I came out to a friend who only knew me as a male.  She was supportive and happy for me and it was a relief to have that kind of response.  I wanted her to know Hannah as well.  It’s hard not to feel like I am a different person when my lips are bright red and wearing heels, you know?  A few weeks ago the two of us went out to dinner so she could meet me for the first time.

I wondered how dinner would go.  I was meeting my friend who I have known for twenty years as a male but this was a new experience for her.  There’s very, very few people who know me in both genders.  I am out to very few people in my life but very few of them have met Hannah.  I needn’t have worried.  Dinner went wonderfully.  She used my preferred pronouns and called me Hannah.

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It was embarrassing to be wearing the same colors as someone else at the same restaurant.

After dinner I drove home and thought about how important it is to be understood.  Yes, there are things that all people who identify as transgender have in common, but I felt that it only took an hour for her to understand who I am.  She knew more about me over one dinner than weeks of internet research could provide.   The internet will teach you about what being transgender means, but the internet can’t teach someone about who YOU are.

This is not meant to knock the internet, of course.  The web has some amazing resources for people like us, and for people who are in our lives.  I’ve written before about being considerate of those we come out to, but when others start getting to know us, really getting to know us, we must be considerate of what they are experiencing.  It can be a shock seeing someone they have known for decades wearing a dress.  Not all of us have people in our lives who want to meet our other halves.  If you’re lucky enough to have someone who wants to meet “her”, please be gentle and considerate.

Love, Hannah