What an incredible, amazing, affirming two days!
The Minneapolis Pride celebrations was held this weekend and the MN T-Girls were there to talk about the group, to represent transgender people and to look fabulous. It was a wonderful weekend and on a personal note, I felt so bolstered and loved and accepted these past two days.
The day started early. I love waking up and getting dressed and doing my makeup while I have coffee and start my day. By 6am I was looking good and ready to walk out the door! Pride had many events over the weekend and even quite a few in the days leading up to the weekend but the T-Girls were going to be at the two day Pride Festival in a large park in Minneapolis. I had no idea how crazy traffic was going to be so I made my way to the festival early. I had a few errands to run before the day would begin but I got my start by going out for breakfast and then going shopping for some stuff for the day. It was going to be hot and I needed to get some water to keep me hydrated.
After breakfast, I went to the grocery store and my excitement for the day just kept building. I was feeling amazing in my new dress and couldn’t wait to get to Pride. After shopping, I went to a cafe for one more coffee and to wait for the start of the festival. I knew parking and traffic would be a nightmare so I parked my car in Uptown and called an Uber to take me there. I love Uber and I was excited to take one as Hannah. In case you’re wondering, Uber allows you to change your name when you request it so I could avoid accidentally outing myself when my ride came. My Uber took me to the park and it was time to get started!
The festival was held at Loring Park and seeing all the tents and booths set up reminded me of a little village. Fellow MN T-Girl Mari and I set up the tent (in heels, of course) and spent the next hour or so decorating it. Mari has been to Pride many times as a member of other trans support groups and her experience, her enthusiasm and her spirit was amazing. the T-Girls at Pride was a complete success and it was all thanks to Mari. The booth looked AMAZING as we decked it out with as much pink (naturally) as we could. I helped with wearing more pink. That counts, right?
As the day passed, Mari and I, along with T-Girl Liz talked to so many about being transgender, gender, the T-Girls and more. We spoke to t-girls who were out of the house for the first time, we spoke with t-girls who were just about to start hormones, to t-girls who weren’t t-girls yet. It was amazing to meet so many of us who were all at different points of their life and journey. We spoke to people who wanted to learn more about trans etiquette, parents who have trans children, activists and allies. We spoke to parents who wanted their young kids to know that everyone is different and how gender is more than just what most people say it is. Mari also brought The Wheel of Fabulosity so people could find out how fabulous they were (or were not) with options of being everything from Absolutely Fabulous to Diva to Wallflower. I was a Pretty Princess. I knew that but it was good to have the wheel confirm it.
To all you t-girls out there, you have no idea how loved we are. It was amazing to meet so many people who just wanted to understand the complexity of gender and what being trans really is.
Mari and I wrapped up the first day and I caught another Uber to my car and went home and absolutely collapsed. After standing in 92 degree heat and wearing heels for 13 hours I was exhausted but excited for the next day.
It was another beautiful day but thankfully not as hot. It was windy. More on that in a second. I woke up and like the day before, got ready for the day. I really love waking and doing my makeup and getting ready right away. I wore another new dress (with heels of course) and left for the festival. I drove close to the park and like Saturday, caught another Uber to Pride. Once there, I set up the tent and soon Mari showed up.
The festival got underway at 10am and Mari and I talked to everyone who wanted to learn more about being trans and of course, anyone who wanted to spin the wheel. Suddenly a huge gust of wind blew our tent completely upside-down and the corner of it hit me on my head. The corner of the metal legs cut me right above my eye and bruised the side of my face really badly. Thankfully the corner JUST missed my eye and that it wasn’t worse than it was. Some lovely people helped us straighten the tent but I quickly ran across the street to a coffee shop to clean up. The leg took out a nickel sized piece of my skin right between my eye and eyebrow. My face started to swell and I was pretty shaken up.
I went back to check on Mari and then walked over to the first aid tent. Two very nice paramedics cleaned up the wound, told me I didn’t need stitches and sanitized the cut. I was still very shaken and scared and relieved. After the shock wore off I was a little heartbroken to see the face I spent so much time on to look my best for the big day bruised and bloodied and smudged. Smudged makeup is a small price to pay for avoiding a massive eye injury, though. I had brought some finishing powder which helped but not to cover the cut.
But the best thing a girl can wear on her face is a smile and I was determined to not it bother me. I went back to the tent and smiled and hugged and laughed and educated and had a wonderful time. I wish I had taken pictures of me in my new dress but I’m afraid I didn’t feel very photogenic after the tent hit my face.
Mid-afternoon T-Girl Danielle showed up and took my place at the booth. It was time for me to leave and catch an Uber and head home to plan for next year.
It was a wonderful, beautiful, fun weekend. I loved talking to people and listening to their stories and experiences and journeys. We laughed and some people cried and some felt frustrated and lonely and elated. Everyone was beautiful.
Thank you to Twin Cities Pride for an amazing two days. Thank you to all the police and security guards who kept us safe. Orlando was still on our minds. Thank you to everyone who stopped and shared their stories. Thank you to all the new MN T-Girls who joined the group. Thank you to Mari, Liz and Danielle. Thank you to the kind people who helped fix our tent and chased down the flyers that blew away in the wind. Thank you to the two medics who treated me like a princess as they helped with my gashed face. Last but not least, thank you to MAC Prep + Prime Fix who helped keep my makeup from melting off in the heat.
How many people know both Hannah and your male side and are the interactions with them similar or different depending on how you present?
Also, I’m sure there are many people who only know you as Hannah. Have you ever met or seen any of your Hannah-only friends while presenting in male mode? And if so, do you have to remind yourself not to say anything or let on that Hannah knows them fearing you might out yourself by accident?
There are only a handful of people in my male life that know about Hannah. The people in my male life who know about her I only interact with them as a male. Well, except for my wife, of course. I had come out to different people over the years with the hope of them getting to know Hannah as well but that hasn’t happened and I doubt it will. I thought that it would be fun instead of me going out to dinner with my sisters in male mode that Hannah would come out but I don’t really see that happening. My sisters and the people I’ve come out to are wonderful people that are supportive of transgender people but for various reasons I haven’t gotten to the point where Hannah and my male side can both be a part of my family.
I don’t want to overthink why this hasn’t happened but some of the reasons come from when I came out to my sisters and my mom was when I identified as a crossdresser as opposed to being transgender. I think being a crossdresser and being transgender are different from each other and for my sisters (and my mom) they perhaps think that I just like to dress up and wear makeup as opposed to being transgender and how much of a part of me it really is. It is literally my other half.
Of course, I could talk about this with them again but I am trying to figure out if I really want to, or need to. I have a wonderful, fulfilling life as both genders and I am wondering if it would needlessly complicate things. The interactions with those who know about me aren’t really different but they were a little awkward right after I told them about myself.
I have never seen any of Hannah’s friends in public while in male mode and even if I did, I of course wouldn’t say anything to out myself. Speaking for myself, I think most t-girls enjoy our lives as dual genders and that none of us have any interest in meeting the male sides of our t-girl friends.