Tag Archive | ask Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Have you ever considered adding video content to your blog? I think appearance is great but what helps the illusion is mannerisms and comportment– how you walk in heels, how you cross your legs, and move your body etc. Heidi Phox has some great videos, for example.

Watching these movements from a cisgender woman is great, but observing a TG woman is better as you need to always be “in the moment”. I’m sure that is incredibly hard to do. Does this ever make you feel like an actor/actress?

I can’t say I’ve given it a lot of thought.  I think adding video would require more time and resources than I have to do video well.  Heidi does have some great videos and in watching them, I am not sure I have much to say that she hasn’t already said in a better way than I could.

But you bring up a good point about mannerisms and movement.  I took to walking in heels and crossing my legs very naturally.  I think heels naturally lend you to a different way to walk and when you wear a dress or a skirt it feels normal to cross your legs without having to think about it.  I think when you’re dressed you tend to listen to your body a little more and are a little more tuned in to what feels “right”.  Walking and moving with confidence, even if you have to fake it, is the best way to move in a more natural, strong way.

I also don’t think I try to create an illusion.  I don’t try to pass and I really think the whole idea of passing is a little silly and unrealistic.  I just try to look the best I can, be as confident as I can and somehow, everything just naturally falls into place.  The most important thing is to be comfortable and everything else just comes together.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

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Another amazing Dress Barn find

Hello, Beautiful Hannah!

I need some pointers. My very good friend Alexandria has agreed to be an attendant in my wedding next month. She will be dressing for the very first time ever in public. She has never done much shopping and I need to help her find some things she loves for the wedding, rehearsal dinner, and so on. Can you tell me shops that might be good places to start looking for dresses and shoes? She is tall and large. I would really appreciate any advice you have for us!

Jean

Alexandria is a very lucky girl!  It’s always been a dream of mine to be in a wedding.  What fun she’s going to have!

Shopping is one of the most fun and stressful things a t-girl can do.  It takes some practice in selecting the right size and style of your new wardrobe but the best thing you two can do is go to a store and try clothes on.  See what fits, see what she likes and what she’s comfortable in.  When I need a new dress for any occasion, I usually go to Dress Barn. Almost every dress  I’ve worn in the last few months has come from there.  Without knowing what size your friend is, it’s not easy to recommend where she should go.  Lane Bryant is also a good idea if she is, as you said, tall and large.  Lane Bryant carries sizes up to size 28.  For girls like myself who have broader shoulders, a larger dress size than I usually wear is necessary, depending on the dress.

Of course, how formal the occasion is will have an impact as to where she should go.  If it is a formal wedding, a bridal shop might be the best choice and can usually tailor a dress to a specific fit or order one in the appropriate size.

Shoes are not as easy.  I can usually find shoes on Payless as they go up to size 13 (I wear a 12).  The internet might be your best option for shoes.  There are stores around here that go higher but are usually of the stripper-esque variety.

One more piece of advice.  She will likely be very nervous going out in public for the first time dressed.  I would recommend that she goes out in public dressed a few times before your big day so she can get used to it a little.  Being in a wedding is exciting, but if it’s the first time she’s out in public, it might be overwhelming.

I hope this helps and I hope you have a beautiful wedding.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

This isn’t so much a question as a comment. I truly enjoy your daily blog. It’s is so simple yet so close to home for so many of us. But I especially enjoyed your 10th anniversary blog. It truly brought to light the trials our spouses endure being married to a crossdresser or trans.

I wish my home life was as open and supportive as yours. I began dressing as a young teen but moved away from it when I graduated high school and went off to college. For over 10 years I honestly didn’t even think about dressing or gender issues. I believed it was something I did as an immature kid but that I had outgrown. In that time, I started a career, met and married my wife. It wasn’t until a couple years after we were married that those old urges returned.

At first it was just an occasional slipping into a pair of panties for a few minutes. Nothing to get anyone excited over. But over time it became more and more. The more I dressed the deeper I went into the closet. I was always sure that I could just quit whenever; that it was just a passing personal quirk. No need to involve or bother anyone else; especially my wife. What would people, especially her, think of me if they knew. Plus, I was going to quit and never do it again each time I purged so why create an issue right??

Finally, after 31 years of marriage, I sat down with my wife and told her about “my other side”. We have been struggling with this gorilla ever since. She is not totally accepting and definitely not supportive, but we struggle along, playing catch up for the many years of secrecy. I realized that she went through all the trials and fears as your wife, but in a very short time. I let her absorb all this at her own pace and do not try to force the issue. But the future is definitely not a clear path.

I know my story is not unique. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, society wasn’t as accepting of what we do, nor was information and help so readily available as it is today. I just want others to know that it won’t “go away” and urge them to come out and be honest with themselves and their spouses sooner than later.

Thanks again for your blog. It helps many of us more than you might guess. And by the way, you ALWAYS look amazing.

-Claire

Hi Claire, thanks for the comment.  I wanted to post this because I’d like to point out a couple things that most of us have thought about and have gone through.  The first thing is that many of us thought that this would pass, that this was a phase and that we would grow out of it.  Crossdressing never goes away.  We will always be crossdressers even if we haven’t worn a pair of panties in five years.  We will always want to.  Purging doesn’t help, we just end up throwing out our beautiful clothes and then spend money on a new wardrobe.  I hope that anyone struggling with this side of them will accept it.  It will make your life so much better.  You are who you are and there’s nothing wrong with this.

The second thing is when we come out to our wives, we are not only dropping a major bombshell on them, but in addition to coming out, we are also going back over all the years when we were keeping this secret, or as Claire put it, catching up on years of secrecy.  Sometimes it’s not the crossdressing itself that is the issue, but keeping something from your spouse is.

I know it’s not easy to come out, and I am not saying you should.  You know your life and partner better than I do, but I think we all need to be aware of what our partners will likely go through when we do.  For those of you not married, I cannot stress how important it is to be upfront and honest with your partner before you do marry.  I believe in marriage, I believe in the sanctity of it, I believe in putting everything out in the open before you do marry.  It is simply not fair to hold anything back.  They deserve to know everything about you.  They deserve to know what they are getting into because, as I said earlier, crossdressing doesn’t go away.

Clair, I hope you find peace in your home, and I hope your wife does too.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

selfie 2I was wondering if you know of any good clothing stores around the Twin Cities that are tg/çd friendly?

Shopping for clothes is one of the first and most nerve-racking things we will ever do but the good news is that it gets easier with experience and confidence.   I think almost every store is transfriendly if they are just simply…friendly.

The thought of being transfriendly is not up to the store, it’s up to the individual sales clerk and cashier.  I’m sure if you asked any major department store if they were transfriendly they’d all say they were because we spend money just as much (maybe even more) as anyone else.  Target is extremely trans-friendly but that doesn’t mean the cashier at the check out will be.

If you ask anyone who works at a store they will likely tell you that they see men shop for dresses and skirts and everything else all the time.  They will also tell you that a few of them are creepy.  I’m sure every store has creepy customers.  When you go shopping, be friendly and smile and don’t waste their time whether you are en femme or in male mode.  I think this applies everywhere.  I’ve been out shopping for a very long time and I’ve shopped en femme from everywhere to Dress Barn to Target to Kohls to Victoria’s Secret to countless others.  I’ve almost always had wonderful customer service if I am polite.  Again, don’t be creepy.  I know it’s scary to buy clothes the first times but be brave, be friendly and be honest. You will learn so much more about clothes and be able to buy the right ones so much faster if you tell the clerk you are shopping for yourself.  Whether you are en femme or in male mode, you will not be the first or the last person like you in that store.  If the person is rude, leave and take your business elsewhere.

So, to answer your question, in my experience almost every store is transfriendly.  There’s no store (as far as I know) that specifically tells their staff to be rude to transgender people.  Stores want their money, sales people want their commission and cashiers are paid to be polite.  If you have a bad experience, send the store an email or talk to the manager.  I would love to be able to say that a particular chain or a small boutique is always going to be amazing but that’s not true.  Stores are employed by people who either are comfortable with us or aren’t.

We will always encounter people who are not thrilled to see us but in my experience those people are pretty rare as long as I am acting like a lady.

I hope this helps.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

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.

Ask Hannah!

I have been reading your beautiful, honest and inspiring blog for a couple of years. I think you tell so much truth about life as a crossdresser and it’s so impressive that you post virtually every day. I love your illustrations (especially the one a while back of you as a butterfly saying this is how crossdressing made you feel). You might have answered this question before (if so it was a long time ago) but do you do any artwork other than for your blog? I’m just curious to know what else you paint/draw/illustrate and where or how you learned.

Keep up the wonderful work.

Sue

9.22.2012Thank you for the kind words!  I love doing this blog and find hard to believe that I’ve been doing it daily for almost five years.  To be honest, if people weren’t reading it I probably would have quit a long time ago, so thank you for reading.

 

I enjoy drawing and painting and I wish I had more time (and talent) to explore it more.  I decided to do illustrated blog because I wanted my blog to have a lot of images and pictures and I thought the best way to keep it fresh was to create them myself.  I have a lot of fun doing them and I’m glad you like them too!

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Thanks for posting on your blog. I enjoy reading it every day. You are so lovely. How willingly does you wife accept your feminine side? How did you get around to telling her the first time?  I would really like to tell my wife about my feminine side but I am afraid she’ll react badly and reject me. Did you worry that your wife would reject you?

You know, every once in a while I think that I’ve said all I have to say about crossdressing and marriage.  And then I think a little and realize I have a little more to say.

I’ve written a lot about this, and you might find these previous Ask Hannah questions helpful:

https://hannahgotta.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/ask-hannah-73/

https://hannahgotta.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/ask-hannah-63/

https://hannahgotta.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/ask-hannah-48/

https://hannahgotta.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/ask-hannah-43/

https://hannahgotta.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/ask-hannah-42/

Anyway, my wife is wonderful and accepting of my femme side, but a large contributor to her acceptance is that I don’t overwhelm her with it and I’ve found a good balance with my femme side and male side so my wife doesn’t feel that Hannah overstays her welcome.  I wrote about finding the balance previously so check out the links above.  As for how I told her the first time, I also covered that, so check out the links above for that, too.

Telling your wife is one of the riskiest things you will ever do.  It’s also one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.  This is not a conversation to be taken lightly as this revelation has lead to divorce in other marriages.  So if you’re going to tell her, be as gentle, as kind, as unselfish as possible.  Consider how she will feel.  You know your wife better than I do, so how do you think she’ll react?  Consider that this will be one of the hardest things you can ever tell her.  It will forever change her perception of you, it will forever change your relationship, regardless of her reaction.  She will probably react badly.  She will probably be very hurt and very confused.  She will probably be angry.  The media isn’t doing a lot to help the perception of transgender people right now, so take that into consideration.  Be prepared for the worst reaction, and I know this is harsh but be prepared to break her heart.  This is not something many wives want to hear.

Don’t go into the conversation with the goal of her accepting you or her allowing you to dress.  Tell her how you feel.  Ask her how she feels.  Make this about her.  What I have with my wife took about three years from our first conversation to building a wardrobe and every conversation between those two points was difficult and required a lot of listening and time.  I worried about her reaction, her rejections and her feelings every day but she had to know this about me.  I cannot tell you how important it is to tell your wife about this side of you before you get married.

I wish I had more encouraging, more positive things to say, but the reality is that this will be very, very difficult for her.  Good luck.

Love, Hannah