Pride Weekend!

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It’s Pride weekend in Minneapolis/Saint Paul!

There’s a lot to do all month and you can see what events are happening here but the biggest events are happening this weekend at the Pride Festival.

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The MN T-Girls will be at the Pride Festival tomorrow.  If you’re there, come say hi!

Love, Hannah

 

 

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HommeMystere Review: Lingerie

I used to think that there was nothing practical about lingerie.  It was something beautiful to wear to help you feel beautiful.

Now I realize that even if lingerie’s only purpose was to help you feel a certain way, wasn’t that just as, or even more important than it’s functionality?

Bras are pretty essential on different levels.  It’s the first thing I put on when I dress as I step into one gender presentation from another.  I believe a bra is the most feminine thing you can wear.  But more often than not I select which bra I will wear based on what I need the bra to do.  If I am wearing a white dress, I wear a light colored bra.  If my dress is cut a certain way, I go strapless.

See?  Beauty and versatility.

Panties are no different.  If I am wearing a bra, then I choose the matching panty because every bra I own has a matching panty (I’m a little OCD that way).  But I also take into consideration the kind of day I am going to have.  A tough day requires beautiful panties, a boring day needs something a little more… exotic.  The white lacy panties with a candy cane pattern only come out during December.

Panties are fun, cute, and like any piece of lingerie, makes me feel a certain way.  I wear what I wear often because of what I am feeling, or what I want to feel that day.

As I discovered different lingerie options over the course of my life, I became fascinated at the sheer (and sometimes not sheer) number of options there were.  Babydolls, teddies, bodysuits, basques, merry widows, corsets, garter belts… the list goes on.  My own lingerie wardrobe grew over time and I loved how there was something I could wear for any mood.  There are different degrees of versatility when it comes to lingerie.  I think a corset is one of the sexiest things to ear, but they are also functional in terms of cinching your waist and holding up your stockings.

But I think the most important thing lingerie does is invoke a feeling.  To make you feel beautiful.  Lingerie is something you wear for yourself.  Like panties, what I wear often depends on what I want to feel.  There is nothing like finishing a long, hard day and slipping into something that makes me feel beautiful.

Lingerie is usually cut and designed for body types with certain anatomical features in mind.  I see beautiful options that simply don’t work for someone with a flat chest for example.  This can limit what I wear.  I mean, I can wear it, but if it doesn’t look right than I have a hard time feeling pretty in it.

‘Lingerie for men’ is a term that many in our community are divided over.  I completely get it.  Lingerie designed for men misses the point, there are many options ‘for girls’ I can wear… Again, I see that point and agree in many cases.  However, I do think that is worth looking into designers that make lingerie for someone with my body type in mind.  For one reason, it’s being designed for someone with the physical features that I have.  Or don’t have.  I don’t want lingerie that shows off my cleavage if I don’t have any, for example.

The main reason I like looking at lingerie for men is that more often than not it is incredibly beautiful.  I like feminine lingerie.  I love a teddy or a bodysuit with a floral pattern.  I love a nightie with lace around the edges.  I love finding beautiful lingerie that I know will fit my body.  I don’t want to spend $50 on something that I can’t wear.

There are many options for someone like me these days.  I can name a dozen different websites to buy beautiful bras and panties for someone with the body that I have.  I was sent lingerie from HommeMystere recently and I reviewed their bras and panties previously.  For my third and final review (for now, anyway), I am delighted to share my thoughts about two pieces of their lingerie.

1The first piece I wore was their Natasha Mini Dress with matching panty.  Lingerie can be amazingly practical but if it isn’t cute, then I will not even bother trying it on.  This is not a dress (well, I suppose anything could be a dress) but it is a beautiful nightie.  A criticism I have with a lot of lingerie designed for men is that it is simply too short.  However, this reaches my hips but it is close to being too short.  Some of us may think that this shortness is a feature 😉 but having a matching panty does help pull the look together.  I love the fabric but since it is made from satin there is not a lot of stretch to it.  Ordering your correct size is important but minimal stretch will help keep its shape.  It has lacy features and a full back and is super comfortable to sleep in.  The V neck is similar to a lot of ‘girl lingerie’ in a way meant to tease a little cleavage but having none the effect is a little lost.  However, the lacy details won me over.

2The second piece is the best babydoll I have ever owned.  I love, love, love the Anneve Babydoll and matching panty.  This is an amazing soft, beautiful article of lingerie.  The mesh feels amazing against my skin.  I love little details and this babydoll has lacy edging along the edges and a beautiful floral pattern on the cups as well.  A delicate pink bow completes the look.  The babydoll falls just below my hips which is almost too short for my tastes but the cute little frilly skirt offsets the shortness of it.  I actually like how short this is because the matching panty has detachable garters you can show off.  This babydoll has more stretch than the Natasha Mini Dress, but your size should be based on your bra size.  The photo (which is not me, by the way) does not do this beautiful lingerie justice.  It’s a lovely babydoll and I love how I feel when I wear it.

Which is exactly why one should wear lingerie.

Thank you to HommeMystere for providing this beautiful lingerie.

Love, Hannah

Testing the Waters

When I met my wife, I knew I would need to tell her about… everything.

I was in my early thirties when we started to date and I knew who I was, I knew this was not a phase, I knew I was not going to outgrow this side of me.  I believe in full disclosure in relationships and it was only fair that she knew everything about me.  It also stressed me out keeping something, especially this, from her.  I knew that this was sometimes a deal-breaker in relationships and she needed to know as soon as possible.

The longer we dated, the more urgent the need to tell her grew.  So, one summer night I told her everything.  At this point in my life it was only about underdressing.  I wore lingerie and besides a few pairs of heels (I needed something to wear with my lingerie, after all), that was all I owned.

I insisted that lingerie was the extent of my dressing.  I told her this because it was true, but I also wanted to assure her that this was not the start of something bigger.  I knew that one of the biggest fears our partners have is that one day we want to transition or that we are unhappy in our current gender identity.

….and now we fast-forward a few years.

I remember my wife’s shaky smile as she tried to be supportive and happy for me the first time I wore a wig and full makeup.  I remember her laughing off how my shoe collection exceeded her own.  I remember the nervous conversations when she confessed how she was afraid of where this was going.  She married me, she didn’t want to lose me.  This was not something she anticipated having to adapt to in a relationship.

It’s not uncommon for our partners to feel afraid that they are losing their husbands to another women when that other woman is us.  For me, lingerie led to makeup, then dresses, then to a wig, then to a name, then to a website, then to going out…

Where was all this going?

It felt as if with every step I was testing the waters.  Every step I took felt right and made me happy.  I had never felt I was missing something in my life that I found through dressing and exploring my gender identity, but each new step just felt natural.  I thought that with each new level, if you will, was where I would stop.  I didn’t think I would have a name, until I did.  I didn’t think I wanted to go out of the house, until the pull of experiencing the real world became too hard to resist.  It became harder for either of us to believe that I was stopping anytime soon.

And then I did.

Although I would go onto starting the MN T-Girls, refining my look, and expanding my online presence, my “journey” ended.  There was no next level that I felt compelled or interested in exploring.  If anything I got to know this side of me better and grew more confident as Hannah.

If the life of a t-girl were a movie, the third act would likely see them talking to a doctor about hormones and coming out to others in their life, but I never had any sort of desire to explore that.  I have friends (in both gender identities) that have transitioned.  I listen to their stories and I don’t feel like that’s my path.  They tell me what they feel, and I don’t feel that way.  They tell me about the conversations with their therapists and doctors and those are not talks I feel I need to have.

And full disclosure, I have seen therapists before for reasons having nothing to do with my gender identity.  I bring it up though, just to talk it out and through these conversations there was never any feeling I was repressing something or in denial about who I was or what I wanted.

Looking back, it felt like I went very quickly from progressing from underdressing to where I eventually landed, but it wasn’t easy for my wife.  Even when I stopped going to the next level, my wife worried for years I would want something more.  Not that I was in denial about who I was or keeping something from her, but when you see your spouse go from panties to strutting out the door to hit the mall, they may wonder if we want anything more.

I don’t blame her.  These days I regret how scared and lonely she felt during this time.  I wish I had done more to assure her, but when your husband is dressed to kill in a wig to stilettos and everything in-between, it’s not easy to let that fear go.

What helped ease her mind was time and me being honest with her.  If she were to find that I was secretly having conversations with my doctor about hormones I would have lost her trust and all credibility.  We need to be as transparent as a mesh nightgown.

When I think back to that summer night when I insisted that the extent of my dressing started and ended with lingerie, I do not think I was in denial or lying to her or to myself.  I had tried on dresses before and previous experiences with makeup did nothing for me, so I thought that I gave them a chance but it wasn’t for me.  Of course, experimenting with makeup with no training or tutorials is going to lead to a frustrating and unfulfilling experience.  When my wife did my makeup for the first time it was a whole new world.

I loved how I looked.  I was as surprised as I could be.  I wanted a dress.  Then I wanted a wig.  We looked at a few online and a few days later, it arrived in the mail.  The first time I dressed completely was the start of who I am today.

And that start was the beginning of my wife’s fears.

She went from hearing her boyfriend open up about wearing panties to a new woman in her living room in just a few years.  It was not easy for her.  At one point she was told that there was nothing beyond lingerie to a closet steadily filling up with little black dresses.

The only way we know where our journey will take us is by exploring different paths.  The only way we know where our limits are is to test them.  The only way we can get to know this side of us is by doing.

At one point I didn’t think I would want a femme name.  At one point I didn’t think I would want to go out.  But it turns out I did, I just didn’t know it until I tried.  It never felt wrong or disingenuous to have a femme name.  Going out into the real world was just was wonderful and fulfilling as I could have wanted.

Many of us are scared to dress.  Many of us are in denial about who we are and what we want to wear.  I think for many of us that fear comes from not knowing where it will end.  It’s not unrealistic to think that a pair of panties could eventually lead to transitioning, I mean, changing your gender identity has to start somewhere, after all.  But you won’t know until you try.  I know many t-girls who dress but don’t want to wear a wig.  Or makeup.  Some even keep their male name.  They have tried femme names or eyeliner but just wasn’t for them.  I have a good friend that dresses and wears makeup but still refers to themselves with their male name and male pronouns.  For him, it didn’t feel right to call himself ‘her’.

The only way for us to know where all of this will eventually land is to try the next level.  Right now you may be all about lingerie like I was, but you won’t know until you try dresses or proper clothes.  I am not saying you need to or should, but when you come out to someone, I absolutely believe you need to know where all of this is going, if it’s going anywhere.

And that’s the point of this.

When we come out to someone, we owe them the truth.  We need to let them know where we stand (in heels or not) and what we want.  We owe ourselves the truth as well.  We all know what we mean when we talk about our journeys, and exploring gender presentation and gender identity is exactly what that means.

When we come out to someone we will get the typical questions.  Do you want to transition?  Are you gay?  Are you unhappy as a man?  Do you want hormones?

These questions are often paired with the unasked questions, especially with our partners.  Are you in denial with who you are?  Are we going to divorce in two years because you want to transition?  Am I in a relationship with someone who doesn’t know who they are or what they want?

We need to know ourselves.  Our partners need to know that as well.

Of course, what we want could change over time.  I’m not going to pretend we stay the same.  For some t-girls they realize they are ready for the next level, so to speak, decades later.  That next level could be anything from heels to going out to hormones.  As we learn things about ourselves and what we want in life, it’s essential for us to share these thoughts and desires with our partners.

Thinking about going back to college to change careers?  Tell your partner.  Fantasizing about writing an opera?  Tell your partner.  Daydreaming about a pink dress?  Tell your partner.

One of the worst things we can do is blindside our partner.  We need to do our best to be open and honest with who we are, when we know who we are.  Telling your spouse after five years of marriage that you have always wanted to get a makeover or feel you were assigned the wrong gender at birth is usually avoidable and a little unfair.  Marriage, like any relationship, is a serious commitment, the biggest one in your life, and it’s not fair to go into that commitment without disclosing everything, as hard as it may be to talk about it.  You owe it to them, and to yourself, to know who you are as much as you can.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

Glamorous Corset Review: Dita Corset

After years of dressing, I started to add enhancements into my wardrobe a couple of years ago.  I was surprised by how much I loved what breast forms and thigh pads did for my figure.  I was also surprised by how much difference they made to my appearance.

Thigh pads gave me more curves and I loved how I looked in dresses and skirts with them.  Breast forms helped me look and feel more natural.  I could see potential for an hourglass figure and I wanted to find something for my waist.

I own a corset (that I spent a lot of money on) but I rarely wear it.  Corsets are peak lingerie, in my opinion.  Incredibly sexy with a wide array of options.  You can attach garters if  you want (and why wouldn’t you?), there are underbust and overbust options as well as a variety of material with everything from PVC to satin.  The intricate lacing and tying in the back is simply alluring.  A true corset has steel boning which cinches your waist and slims your figure.  It’s easy to confuse a corset with a basque.

I rarely wear the I own because despite spending a lot on it, it’s rather cheap.  The metal strips that are sewn into it are more bendy than they should be and do not keep its shape (and therefor did not help with keeping the shape I wanted) as well as it should.  They also poked through the fabric and then poked me which was not comfortable.  It felt bulky and did not move with me as well as I would have liked.

I knew corsets were meant to be functional as well as sexy, but this experience made me think that perhaps they were not as functional as I hoped.  Luckily I was mistaken.  I was sent a Dita Black Satin Corset from Glamorous Corset last week and within minutes of opening the package I knew that everything I thought I knew about corsets was wrong.

CaptureThe corset arrived in a black velvet bag and I immediately knew that any corset experience I had before was nothing compared to what was ahead of me.  This was the real deal.  The corset had some weight to it and I could feel the steel boning in the fabric.  The corset felt thick and shimmery and I didn’t think the steel boning would be able to poke through the fabric.  The steel fasteners in the front felt strong and the hooks fit comfortably and snug.  It also has six loops to attach garters.  Six!

backThe back of the corset was even more impressive.  It was already laced and the cords felt strong without being too thick.  The eyelets were not too close to the edge of the panels so I wasn’t worried about them being ripped out.  These details stood out to me because of my past experiences with corsets and what I liked and did not like with previous ones.  The cords were long which meant that not only could I tie a really sexy bow in the back, they were also long enough for me to adjust the corset as I needed.  This would be something I would own and wear for a long time.

The next thing that I looked through was the guide that the corset included.  The guide included instructions for lacing and tying the corset of course, but also how to get used to wearing it.  There is a practice called seasoning where you wear the corset for 45 minutes to an hour each day for about ten days.  This allows the corset to adapt it’s shape to your body and also helps you get used to wearing it.  You will know you are wearing a true corset the first few times you put it on.  It has an impact on your posture as well as on how you move.  It is recommend you season your corset before you wear it to an event and  I couldn’t agree more.

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I loosened the laces of my new corset and after putting it on I tightened the back of it.  The cords were long so with a few minutes of practice I was able to tie it.  With an authentic corset you may be able to go tighter but that is something you slowly work your way up to.  After my corset was laced and tied, I felt taller than before.  I stood straighter and my posture was amazing.  It was not so tight that I could not move easily, but I definitely knew I was wearing it.  I liked that it was a underbust corset which allows me to wear a bra with forms.

As recommended, I wore the corset for an hour that first day.  I got used to the corset (and the corset got used to me) as I moved normally and naturally.  It never felt tight or uncomfortable but I did notice I was wearing it.  I tightened the corset to trim my waist and I could see a more shapely figure under my shirt and jeans.  I also felt… sexy.  Wearing lingerie is a fun little secret and we all know the joy of wearing something cute under our clothes but this was a different level altogether.  I used to think lingerie was nothing but sexy but we all have experienced wearing something cute but uncomfortable.  Lingerie can be beautiful and practical and this corset is the pinnacle of that.

I was worried about putting it on the next day as the seasoning progressed.  The day before I tightened it after I put it on, but this time it was already tied and I would simply hook the latches on the front of it.  I am happy to say that it fit like a dream and it was easy to fasten.  I was surprised by how much more comfortable the corset was the second day.  It was still tight and cinched my waist but it wasn’t nearly as noticeable as it was the first day.  I stood and sat straight up and I couldn’t slouch if I wanted to.  Again, I stayed home and went about my time and I was able to move even more naturally than I did the day before.

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I am excited to continue to season my corset and wear it to an event or an outing.  I am really happy to have something that I feel completes my quest for a more shapely hourglass appearance.  I will post more reviews and updates over the next week or so and let you know how the seasoning goes.  So far my first impressions are nothing but positive.  A corset is a commitment, it is something you invest your time and money into and I can see this investment paying off.

Glamorous Corset has also provided us with a discount on all their corsets if you want to add one to your wardrobe.  At check-out, use discount code HANNAH15 for 15% off all corsets.

Thank you to Glamorous Corset for this beautiful corset.  I’m glad to find out that everything I thought a corset was supposed to be was wrong.

Love, Hannah

In-Between Update

Hi girls!

I am working on the last few chapters of ‘In-Between’ and I wanted to thank you all for the encouraging emails and messages you’ve sent since I announced my book.

The book is divided into three sections:

Part 1: YOU – Where you are on the transgender spectrum and accepting this part of you

Part 2: US – How this affects your relationships with your partner and family

Part 3: THE WORLD – Your impact on society…and the other way around

As I enter the final stretch of the writing, I wanted to see if there is anything specific you would like me to write about.  The book covers everything from sex to relationships to dysphoria to clothes and everything else in-between.  I have ideas for the last few chapters, but is there anything you think I should cover?

Please feel free to comment below or submit your question through the ‘Ask Hannah’ page.

In the meantime, here are some of the photos Shannonlee and I took for the book cover proposal.  I love how they turned out and it wasn’t easy to choose which one to us.

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Love, Hannah

 

HommeMystere Review: Perfect Panties

Panties are how I stay in touch with my femme side in male mode.  And in girl mode.  And all the time.  When I started to purchase my own clothes, panties were the first thing I bought.  I would go shopping, then purge, and then build my wardrobe once more.  I would always start with panties.  Like bras, I have always been drawn to the sheer variety and options.  Push up, halter, racerback, strapless…you can find a bra for any occasion or mood.  Panties are even more so.  Thong, tanga, boyshort, bikini, hipsters, g-strings, seamless, french cut…and let’s not forget the fabric.  Silk, satin, cotton, leather, mesh…

And the adornments.  Nothing wins me over like a small bow or rose on the front of a pair of cute panties.  Lacey edging, mesh inserts….simply put, panties are cuter and more interesting than the boy equivalent to look at.  And wear.

The heartbreaking moment comes when you find a perfect pair only to have them not fit right.  Sizing is one thing, but perhaps the elastic in the waistband is not of high quality, or there’s not enough stretch, or the gusset is not quite wide enough and…well, we fall out.  You know what I mean.

Crossdressing is very much hit or miss.  It’s learning by doing.  You learn which stores sell panties in your size.  Not every cut or style is right for every body’s anatomy.  Like most clothes, you get what you pay for in terms of quality.

It’s a little easier to eyeball a cute pair of undies in the store to see if the will ft you.  Of course, this can be a little awkward if there are other shoppers in the vicinity.  Shopping online is easier but that is not without risks either.

My clothes for the day, in either gender, determine what lingerie I will wear.  My strapless bra was necessarily for these photos because of the mesh and the cut of the dress itself.  I did not want shoulder straps showing.  Straps would look a little silly next to the seams in the dress in the top picture.Mesh Dress 427

Panties are the same thing.  I don’t think I am alone when it comes to choosing what I will wear based on the day ahead.  If I am wearing a tight dress, I’ll wear a thong.  If I have a day full of difficult meetings, I’ll pick out something cute and pink to wear under my male clothes.

TMI..?

At any rate, that’s the joy.  I have tons of panties for any mood, outfit, or occasion.  But I am always looking for more.

“Panties for men” is one of the most common search terms people use to find my website.  I think this is used for two reasons.  First, finding a designer that makes lingerie for men makes it a little easier for someone to get started on building their wardrobe.  If someone is nervous dipping their toe in this world, it’s easier when there is a company out there that makes lingerie for men.  They’re not girl panties, they are panties made for men.  They are made for me. 

Secondly, as most of us know, not all clothes are made for every body.  Searching for panties for men is an effort to find cute undies that fit a certain body type or can accommodate certain anatomical… characteristics.  Lingerie is no exception.

I tend to be skeptical when it comes to ‘lingerie for men’.  For the most part, I think lingerie for men misses the point.  I don’t want panties that are designed for men.  These tend to be no different than boring boy undies but with the addition of a little lace around the waistband, but if you remove the lace they are just briefs.

Some panties for men are cut differently.  Most are.  Sometimes the leg holes are a little bigger but this can make the panties a little looser and baggier.  Yeah, not too sexy.  Sometimes the front has a little more fabric for, well, you know.

So, what do I look for in a panty?  They have to be cute.  There needs to be a variety of color, fabric, and style.  I love a cute pattern, I love a cute bow on the back.  Of course they must fit.  Always.  They need to move with me.  You know what I mean.  I want a panty that is comfortable.  It should have a little stretch but not so much that they feel loose.  I want a panty with a nice, smooth front.

So, basically a panty that needs to be designed by NASA.  In a fabulous way.

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I am thrilled to say that HommeMystere has nailed it.  When I opened my package from them I was immediately impressed with, well, to be honest, how cute the panties were.  The four pairs they sent were all different from each other so there was a lot of variety in style, color, and fabric.

CaptureMy favorite pair is easily the Anneve Panty.  I love the mesh side panels with the delicate pink flower pattern.   But the standout is the four garters (which are removable).  The garters have metal hooks and do not easily become loose.  I never had to worry about my stockings pulling the garters off the panty itself.  The garters hold stockings up really nicely and did not unfasten on their own.  The back has a seam up the middle to create a flattering shape as well.

 

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I also loved the Violet Panty which also has a matching bra.  I love a panty with different fabrics and this pair has a lovely purple fabric with black lace.  The lace is adorned with a subtle, silver highlight that catches the light in a playful way.  A cute black bow finishes the look.

 

 

 

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The Krystal Panty  also has a matching bra, and is made out of a really sexy, sheer fabric.  Mesh can be itchy at times but I found this pair to be comfortable and wore it all day.  It has a lacy edge at the front and a really cute floral pattern as well.

 

 

 

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Finally, there is the the Natasha Panty.  It is cut a little differently than the other panties here and is a little snugger than the others.  My favorite detail is the lacy edging around the leg openings in the back.  I love the fabric and the pattern, but the overlay of a second fabric on the sides of the front is just super cute and unique.  The satin bow on the front is the perfect cherry on top for these cute panties.

The panties fit well.  In every sense.  There is just enough stretch for everything to fit but the stretch is not limited to just the front of the panties.  It’s an all over stretch that feels comfortable and creates a very flattering and smooth look.

Finally, for those of us who have worn “panties for men” before, I can honestly say that these panties feel and fit like girls panties in every way.

I think you know what I mean. 😉

Thank you to HommeMystere for providing these perfect panties.

Love, Hannah

 

Oak Grove Presbyterian Church

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It is not uncommon during Pride Month to see organizations proclaim their solidarity and support for the LGBTQIA community.  Perhaps I am a little cynical but I wonder how sincere this support really is.  Any company can tweet a Pride flag, but are they truly there for us?  Do they actively support us during the other eleven months of the year?  What is their company culture like for our community?  If they make political contributions are they supporting politicians who support laws that hurt our community?

With this kind of cynicism, it is wonderful to see stories like this, where it is very clear we have the support of an organization, especially a church.  I mean, we should have the support of a church, right?  I seem to remember Jesus teaching his followers to love others as he loves them.

Please read about this incident at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington.  I think it’ll brighten your day.

Love, Hannah