In a departure from my usual erotica interviews, I wanted to include an interview with a leading voice in our community. We have all struggled at one point or another and the books written by Savannah Hauk have really helped me personally. She has also done a couple of TEDx talks too which you can watch below…
Detroit-born Savannah Hauk is an author, podcaster, advocate and TEDx Speaker. She lives a confident, visible and successful male-to-female dual gender life. Through a lifetime of experience and research, Savannah has come to understand the many reasons men need to express a more feminine persona, the struggles and fears they face, and the weight of the transgender labels they accept but may not truly or fully understand.
Her eLit award-winning “Living with Crossdressing” book series is written to demystify and destigmatize the dual gender experience for both crossdressing men and the people who love them. Savannah also co-hosts the weekly The Fox and the Phoenix Podcast, reinforcing the same positive and inclusive message of diverse gender identity and multiple expression. She also leads conference workshops and has given two TEDx talks, and emceed a third.
When Savannah isn’t working or advocating, she spends her time with the MCU, LEGO, Netflix, and spending time with her girlfriend and their two fur babies.
Facebook Pages and Insta Pages Here:
Please meet, Savannah Hauk…
Jenny – If crossdressing, transvestism, or trans – whatever description you choose – is now way more accepted than ever, for many of us, it is still stigmatized or taboo. How can we overcome this mindset, assuming we want to?
Savannah – While the concept of being transgender is more well-documented now in the 21st century, and the language for labels in the community is more mainstream, I see the queer community as being more overtly under attack today than ever. The social, religious, and political attacks on the LGBTQ2IA+ community have become more extreme and newsworthy than ever before.
Yes, for me, I felt the terms crossdresser and transvestite were very stigmatized while growing up before I braved the labels enough to accept them for myself. Even when I did accept the terms as how I described myself, I didn’t like the way the words felt on me.
Over the years since, I have come to embrace and celebrate the term of transvestite. I have realized that the term crossdresser is not a description of my gender but the method by which I achieve my presentation to support my gender identity as a dual-gender individual.
Suppose we want to overcome the mindset of fearing these terms as they apply to us because of what we or others feel they represent. In that case, we need to better understand and educate ourselves on the terms and how they apply to us. I always stress that as long as we are not causing harm to others or causing harm to ourselves, we have every right to pursue our gender truth and authenticity. It is a long journey to fully embrace our identity beyond what the world had defined for us and to have the courage to proclaim the truth within ourselves to others. For some, embracing our personal truth in private is good enough.
For others, being seen and heard is paramount and essential. Just as tricky as it is for our journey for the truth of our gender identity, the road to sharing that truth with others is just as arduous and filled with challenges.
Jenny – I began at age five. Why do you think we crossdress?
Savannah – I also discovered my magnetism for feminine attire around the same age. Why do we do it? That question may be left to medical science and scholars hundreds of years from now. Crossdressing and gender diversity have been around for hundreds of years, and the idea of non-binary folks has been entirely accepted in many cultures around the planet. Even a scroll that ended up in the Bible’s Book of Deuteronomy has one passage about it.
Based on the examples above, I do not believe that our crossdressing results from preservatives in food or medicine administered during our gestation in our mommy’s belly. I think, as Lady Gaga sings, we were born this way. There are so many more gender-diverse people out there than previously counted. We still live in a world where gender diversity is still seen by some as a statistical anomaly. But, even at a conservative 1% of the world’s population, we comprise over 80,000,000 people. That’s almost the 2023 census population in Germany (or the states of California, Texas, and Georgia combined).
Yes, of course, chromosomal and psychological reasons, childhood traumas, cultural acceptances, and much more define why many of us feel we need to express ourselves in a way that breaks the stereotypical barriers of the two-gender system. As for me, a feminine spirit within me requires a physical outlet from time to time.
Jenny – My teens were tough as I was attracted to girls but also desperate to be dressed as one, too, and that at that time was a BIG turn-off. What advice would you offer teens who feel all these conflicts and challenges with their identity?
Savannah – I assume you mean that your wanting to dress as a girl was a big turn-off for your girlfriend. I was fortunate to share my desire to dress femininely with one of my late teen girlfriends and early adult relationships. I didn’t struggle with my sexuality because I was laser-focused on my attraction to women. As for the crossdressing, that same girlfriend helped to buy me panties and other crossdressing beginner things during our time together. I felt safe with her, and she was with me enough to express myself in as much a feminine way as I understood it.
Most teens today have the advantage of the Internet and growing local, school, and online communities where they can see others like themselves. While teenage angst never goes away, having a support system is crucial to believing the best in themselves. At the end of the day, facing the conflicts and challenges with gender identity and sexual orientation is best handled through education, voracious reading, and tireless discovery. What doesn’t fit our narrative journey today can be shelved for future exploration or discarded as not something that speaks to us and who we are.
Jenny – Shopping online is so easy now. But shopping in person has a thrill attached. Would you encourage someone to go to the store and buy clothes for themselves?
Savannah – Online shopping has become the “go-to” for many of us. Heck, so many of us have been secret shopping online for decades. Or, buying from thrift stores so we don’t spend too much money. I continue to use Amazon, Wigs.com, Soma, and many other online stores for most of my feminine purchasing. And modern return policies continue to make that type of purchasing convenient. That being said, I also love to browse Macy’s, Target, Marshall’s, Ross Dress for Less, and other brick-and-mortar stores.
There is something electric about shopping for so many dresses and feminine outfits, accessories, and heels from the comfort and convenience of our phones, laptops, or home computers.
Yet, there is also the tactile feel of our hands running through the fabric, the ability to test the elasticity and snugness of each article of clothing, or being able to try on a pair of heels in the store without the worry that they might not fit if they had come through the mail. Sure, there could be disappointment in the dressing when the clothing doesn’t work, is too tight, or makes our bodies look frumpy. Still, if we are in the store with supportive staff and a bestie to help us zip up and be an objective fashionista, then we might still come home with something we love.
Jenny – Can you offer three simple tips for effortlessly elevating your femininity?
Savannah – Are there only three tips to offer? Hmm.
First, be a people watcher. Find people who dress in a way you’d like to and see how they wear it. See how they carry themselves as women. Watch their comportment and the tiny manners in which they move and act.
Second, always be learning! Watch YouTube videos to help you understand makeup applications, be aware of the trending styles if that is something you are interested in, and delve deep into assessing yourself as a feminine soul. What makes you tick? What makes you da bomb!
Lastly, like they say to do to get to Carnegie Hall… practice, practice, practice. There really is no shortcut to an effortless elevation of our femininity. Some of us are blessed with slighter frames and softer features. Some of us are not. But people from both camps can look amazing with an expert hand and an application brush, a well-suited outfit that hugs all the right feminine angles, and a dash of confidence that allows us to carry ourselves with a “Yass queen” attitude!
Jenny – Should we hide our feminine clothes?
Savannah – The need to hide your clothes is all based on how out in the open you are. Suppose you are still very much in the figurative closet. In that case, your feminine clothes will probably not be in your literal one. If you live with a wife, girlfriend, or family who is blissfully unaware of your feminine side, it would make sense that your clothes are packed away in a rubber container in an attic, a garage, shed, truck, or storage facility. I did not hide my Savannah clothes from my partners for most of my life. That being said, in some relationships, the clothes, wigs, and makeup were more out of sight and out of mind than in others. Savannah has a closet all her own and a metal makeup box under the guest bathroom sink.
Jenny – Do you have any makeup tips? It’s a real challenge for many of us unless we can enroll with the help of a partner or girlfriend.
Savannah – Returning to an earlier answer, my makeup tip centers on learning and practicing. I have been fortunate to be able to apply my makeup once a week for a few years now. As a result, my hands are steadier, my understanding of what contouring makes my face appear softer and more feminine, and I have created the muscle memory, ritual, and routine of repeated applications to get my best looks.
Makeup trial and error is fine and, most times, fun for experimentation, but investing in a professional makeup artist’s services to learn from them and see how they feminize your face and watching online tutorials are also excellent ways to learn more about the makeup craft. Years ago, I started with the help of family and friends to do my makeup for me. Now, I have my craft down to a 30- to 45-minute routine to get me camera-ready and public-facing.
Jenny – Would you encourage sharing with friends? I have found that many women are immediately accepting and don’t even bat an eyelid when they meet me dressed. Being accepted into a girlie group has been a big deal for me.
Savannah – Every reveal I have planned has gone well. Whether sharing with a family member, a neighbor, a partner, or the boss of the company I have worked at for 25 years, revealing Savannah comes from my want to share with the individual. Yes, most often, female friends have been more understanding and accepting when I have shared Savannah with them. But, I have also shared with men and with the same results.
It is essential to share our authenticity with someone, whether a close friend, spouse, LGBTQ+ ally, or another gender-diverse individual you know in the community—online or IRL. It isn’t wholly healthy to hide ourselves away from others. Yes, we may conceal all we are as a measure of self-preservation and security. Of course, we may want to avoid becoming martyrs and be ostracized from our social groups.
Every person reading this is unique and has their own journey and progress on their specific life path. It is not up to me to advise how and when to be with another person. When you have the confidence to share, and your heart is telling you that it is safe to share, it is usually when sharing will be a positive experience.
Jenny – I have often chatted about this dilemma… ‘I wish I looked like a supermodel in a short skirt and heels. I feel like that when dressed, but I don’t exactly look like that, if I am honest. This causes me a conflict. What should I do about it?’
Savannah – Well, not all of us are graced with a slightly more feminine physique, able to switch from male mode to a catwalk-ready supermodel with the snap of our fingers. I was certainly not blessed in that regard. Of course, I wish I could snap my fingers and instantaneously take on the feminine exterior of a beautiful, curvy woman. Since I have no interest in male-to-female transition through chemical, cosmetic, or medical means, I must rely on how best to alter my masculine frame into something more feminine through padding, breast forms, corsetry, and shapewear.
Body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria are tangible things we may contend with throughout our lives. Whether adversely influenced by the beauty industry or wrongly affected by social stereotypes and stigmas, male-to-female crossdressers, other gender-diverse folks, and cis-men and –women all suffer from the implied indoctrination of what we are ‘supposed” to look like versus the reality of the beauty in what we do look like. Self-love is so important in combating how we have been told what beauty is and the narrow lane in which it is defined.
The internal conflict we feel when trying to emulate a feminine beauty standard we may not be able to achieve, whether practically or assumptively, will come with a dysphoric cost. The best we can do is see ourselves as beautiful in our own skins, in both our masculine and feminine forms. We can achieve this through a healthy lifestyle, self-love, and doing our best to find a way to be comfortable and confident in our feminine guise.
Jenny – Most of us find joy and release in dressing as our feminine selves. What advice would you offer us so that we can live more in that space and less in other spaces?
Savannah – What joy, release, and contentment we find in our MTF dressing is as varied as the stars in the night sky. We all dress for different reasons. We all have varying degrees of time to dedicate to our feminine pursuits. The donning of the vestiges of our feminine personas gives us pace in different ways and for various reasons. Some dress to escape the grind of their everyday lives for an hour or two. Some dress to destress, using their dressing as an alternative to exercise or other dopamine producers. Some find comfort in giving our feminine sides an outlet to exist and express themselves as a whole person. And, sure, others find sensual joy when dressed. And there are boundless other reasons to dress and explore our femininity, whether we need to transition to female or not.
How can we live more in that feminine space, you ask? I found a perfect balance between expressing Savannah once or twice every week and constant underdressing to keep me grounded in my femininity. Beyond that, I have no additional requirements. I have a partner who knows and supports my need to dress, understanding that my transformations are not a sensual kink but an inherent part of who I am as a human being. For others, the answer will not be the same or possible in the same way. The best we can do is be true to ourselves, be mindful of our feminine needs, compromise without being compromised, and find the outlets we need to experience our gender diversity in the most whole ways!