Meet Hannah McKnight, a happily married t-girl from Minnesota She writes a blog, Hannah McKnight, focusing on fashion, advice and activism and occasionally models for Glamour Boutique or writes for Frock, an online transgender-focused magazine. Hannah runs a social and support group for transwomen in Minnesota (and beyond) called the MN T-Girls.
Hannah says, “MN T-Girls is here to create awareness of crossdressers and transgender people in Minnesota. Some of us are husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. We are also beautiful girls when we want to be, whether that is a few weekends a month or every day. We are all at different stages in our lives…some of us have transitioned, some are out for the first time, some of us just love dressing up a few times a month. All are welcome. Each month we get together and shop, have dinner, have private makeup lessons and have fun.”
Hannah is 42 years old, 6 feet tall, 163 lbs and wears a size 12 dress.
Interview with Hannah
What is the secret to great style? Confidence. You can have flawless makeup, a beautiful dress and amazing heels but without confidence and self-assurance, none of that matters.
What is the one thing you would spend a lot of money on? Makeup, particularly foundation.
What is the one thing you wouldn’t spend a lot of money on? As much as I love heels, I wouldn’t spend a lot on a shoe simply because it’s trendy or by a famous designer. I have about forty pairs of heels, something for every occasion and I can’t bring myself to spending a lot on something simply because of who designed it.
How do you balance new trends with a more timeless look? I think looking your best never goes out of style, so regardless of where I go and what I’m doing, I strive to look my best, which is always timeless. If there is a new trend that I am drawn to, I’ll follow it but not for long.
What is your current obsession? As we are in the Christmas season and stores are displaying fun sparkly dresses, I am obsessed with finding my perfect holiday dress.
Who inspires you? I really am inspired by women who are stylish and you can tell they are making an effort to look their absolute best. When a women has a stylish dress, has clearly thought out their accessories and has amazing makeup, I am inspired to look my best. I love seeing women in the office, the mall and out in the real world. When you can tell her confidence and appearance are linked to each other, I am reminded how an outfit and really bolster one’s esteem.
Do you have a signature piece or style? I am not sure if this counts, but I am usually the girl who is overdressed wherever I go. I aim to look my best and it’s not unusual for me to run errands in heels, a stylish dress and matching accessories.
What’s your secret to making yourself stand out? I tend to wear a lot of bright colors and a lot of floral prints. I am also tall, so that helps, and of course my four inch heels adds to that. I also dress appropriately for my age and where I am. I love my leather dress and five inch stilletos, but I am not wearing them to the mall. I don’t want to stand out for the wrong reason.
What’s the one piece of advice most crossdressers need but don’t get? That there is no such thing as “passing”. I also want to state that I do not believe in “passing”. I don’t think I pass, and you likely won’t either. What is passing? Who decides if you pass or not? Who has the right to decide if you look feminine enough? What does that even mean? Women, whether trans or cis, all look different. Some cis-women are tall, have broad shoulders, hands of all sizes and have different facial features. Holding ourselves to a certain standard means that we have expectations as to what a cis-woman “should” look like. Here’s the reality: Some cis-women have large hands. Some are taller than men. Some have deep voices. Some have facial hair. Does this mean they don’t “pass”? Of course not. All cis-women are women (if they choose to identify that way, of course), all transwomen are women, no matter how anyone looks.
“Passing” and loving how you look and feel are two completely different things. When I walk through a mall wearing my favorite dress and heels I feel *amazing*. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. What do I care if someone thinks that I am not beautiful? What do I care if someone knows that I am transgender? It doesn’t affect me in the slightest. You are the only one that gets to decide if you are beautiful. And you are.
What’s the best piece of style wisdom you’ve ever received? “You can never be overdressed or over-educated” -Oscar Wilde
What is your favorite trend? They are not really en vogue anymore, but I was obsessed with peplum dresses. I also love bodycon dresses.
What would you not be caught dead in? Open toe heels with black stockings. Or a maxi-dress. Or flats.
What are your favorite websites? I love looking at outfit ideas on Pinterest and Instagram.
How would you describe your personal style? I don’t know if I have one, but I love anything that is feminine, fun and shows off my legs.
Who are your style icons? I love Dita Von Teese. She is just…alluring in everything she wears. She is famous for her fetish and lingerie wear, but it’s her dresses that are simply to die for. I love her retros outfits and evening wear.