Crossdressing is not a gender; it’s an action! Savannah Hauk, author, speaker and podcaster on the subject of demystifying the crossdressing experience, shares her thoughts and experiences as a crossdresser on a Smart Sex Smart Love episode. Savannah is a male-to-female dual gender individual supporting and promoting non-binary visibility. Her focus is letting every crossdressing person find their own confidence, expression, identity and voice. She frequently is asked why she chooses to crossdress … for kicks, as a hobby, to attract attention? “It is part of who I am,” she explains. It’s time to plant new seeds, she adds. What we learned 20 years ago is old thinking. “We have lived with stereotypes that have defined us for years. We’re supposed to be a man or a woman, not both, our society continues to tell us. I’m very comfortable being a man six days a week, but on Sundays, I go to Starbucks for coffee and work as Savannah.” In this podcast, she talks about how her life as Savannah impacted her relationships, what the new normal is for her, and how she finally discovered her true identity … and happily. To hear Savannah’s story and her advice on living proudly and confidently as a crossdresser, listen to this Smart Sex, Smart Love podcast
JOE KORT 0:04
Welcome to Smart sex smart love, we're talking about sex goes beyond the taboo and talking about love goes beyond the honeymoon. Today we're going to be talking about the facts and the Phoenix podcast with Savannah hawk. My guest today is Savannah Hawk, a TEDx talk speaker on demystifying the cross dressing experience, and the author of living with cross dressing, defining the new normal and living with cross dressing, discovering your true identity. She's also a seminar and workshop speaker throughout the United States, and the co host and producer of the fox in the Phoenix podcast. Savannah is a male to female dual gender individual supporting and promoting non binary visibility in the upstate of South Carolina, and on social media, focusing on letting every cross dressing person young and mature, find their own confidence, expression, identity and voice. Welcome, Savannah. I'm so happy to have you joining me. Oh,
Savannah Hauk 1:04
thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you reaching out and inviting me.
JOE KORT 1:08
It's such an important topic to me for so many reasons I'll talk about on here too. But can you explain why did you name your podcast, the fox and Phoenix podcast?
Savannah Hauk 1:17
Um, well, I have a co host. And we met over a year ago as guest critics, let's say, for a after show, we watched a movie together on the free TV show. And so because it was COVID, and we couldn't really get together, she had a movie night. And we kind of dissected the movie afterwards. So I'd met my co host, Julia Rubinstein on that show. And she reached out later. And you know, we converse, and I had seen her on the show previously. And she has a service for train styling, and confidence building and doing lookbooks for fashion for the community, and is called the fox and hanger. It's called Fox and hanger. And I always wear I always consider myself a Phoenix. I was aware of Phoenix, so being transformative. And so we came up with other names, and they were all poo pooed very quickly. And we realized that the fox in Phoenix was the best mix of who we were so
JOE KORT 2:24
All right. Well, thank you. I was wondering about that. Now, I want to believe that I've been challenged a lot by when I as I've been you know, I've been a therapist almost 37 years and language has changed. And I know it's currently changing. It's all fine. I try to learn as much as I can. But when I use the term cross dressing people challenge me and say we don't say that anymore. That's an old fashioned term. It's gender play, it's feminization, but you use the word crossdressing. So help me understand.
Savannah Hauk 2:48
Well, you know, when I wrote the books, you know, I always thought of myself as a crossdresser. Even growing up, when I kind of came to terms with who I was transvestite was still the word to use. I didn't like that word because it derivative right into tranny, which was a slur whether you know, it was appropriated by me or not. And so crossdresser was that softer term that said the same thing. You know, this was in the 90s when I was saying I was a crossdresser. But because I accepted that label it stuck. And because it stuck, I really never thought more about it until very recently, which is I realized that cross dressing is not a gender cross dressing is just as an action it's just such a performance it is something you do it is how you get from male to female or female to male or somewhere in drogyny in between. And I realized that I've been calling myself a crossdresser but in reality I am crossed for a scene to express my dual gender which as now I just stated is really who I am my gender is dual gender by gender, there's gender fluid, there's gender queer I'm there's so many derivatives and kind of nuances to each of those terms. But in reality cross cross dressing or a crossdresser is not a gender is purely a way to express yourself.
JOE KORT 4:17
Okay, and when and so, can you people are going to think also cross dressing is usually not always obviously but a cisgender hetero man who dresses up for erotic purposes. Is that what this is?
Savannah Hauk 4:31
It can be can is it I mean and I will tell you in my evolution, you know, I kind of had an attraction to female clothing from the age of five or six now that's obviously pre adolescent as pre hormonal changes and the raging you know sexual discovery, but many people come to a during adolescence which it can be possible positively reinforced by experimentation. erotic experimentation, where some people will think I was like, Oh, this is all it is because, um, I have fetishized it for myself, because I did through adolescence and positive reinforced, you know, you know, intimacy or when I dress gets me excited, you know, there's only those components. But if you dig deeper, what's the why? What was the what, what draw you to it? versus somebody else who's not like some other adolescent boy who never thought to wear bra and panties? But you know, why did they get drawn to it? So there's a drawn to it. And I think there's a misunderstanding of like, why we do it, I think, I think we get channeled into a very specific length for ourselves, and maybe not think deeper about the meaning behind it. I'm not saying dig into your psyche and say, why did the folds of my brain different? Is it a chemical thing is like, I'm not looking for a physio, like the physiology of it. I'm just like this, like, there's a root cause that drew you to it, and whether it is fascistic. And it's a hobby, it's something you do on the weekends in the bedroom with your partner or alone. And that's fine. And many people have that I'm not disputing that people do do this as a hobby. But the more public, and the more important, and the more you want to share with family, friends, and the more it becomes part of who you are. It's, I think you have to take fetishism off the table at that point. Because if all I wanted to do is do this in my bedroom, I wouldn't need to tell anybody except for this
JOE KORT 6:39
is really, really good night. So agree with this. So what you're saying is yes, for some people crush dressings, erotic, and it's, um, you know, a way of self pleasuring you know, feeling like a woman not mean a woman, right, this is separate from being transgender.
Savannah Hauk 6:54
Um, I will, I'm gonna dispute that as well, because I think we all live under the transgender umbrella. Okay. And I think a lot of cross dressers feel or have been told they don't belong under that umbrella. That's what I've learned. Because Because because people have seen cross dressing as a way to not provide equal rights, equal protections, equal health care to trans individuals, because they see the CrossDresser, quote, unquote, and say, Well, why would I want to support that? Because that's just gross and disgusting and solemn, and Gomorrah is I would never I would never, you know, there's a why would I want to back a bill that that allows them to prosper. But what I think people forget is that transgender is a general term encompassing all people in diverse gender, right. But yes, there is transgender men and women who are a transitioning group of people medically, non medically, hormones, just maybe living full time, you know, 365, and they are also transgender. But at one point, a lot of those folks were transsexual. Now we took trans, the sexual part off it because it wasn't about sexuality. It was about gender. So obviously, you take transsexual, and you make take that away, and you put in gender. Now you have two groups of people, both an umbrella term, and a very specific term for a group of people within that umbrella. So I think we have to be very careful, I'm not going to stop anybody as labels. But I think sometimes people will say, Well, I'm transgender, and you're not me, therefore, you're not transgender. I said, we all live under the umbrella of trends.
JOE KORT 8:39
So I love this, this was very well explained, I'm going to listen to this again, because I want to teach you exactly the way you just said, because that's not I've been teaching it, because you're right, I've learned that cross dressing is outside of the transgender community. But now I understand why people feel that way. And I like the way you set it.
Savannah Hauk 8:55
For there's some unfortunate, there's some unfortunate as about gatekeeping. And like I had mentioned before, gatekeeping is both done to protect yourself and to also keep people out that are undesirable. Now in either case, you know, like I said, people who are looking for protection, looking for equality, looking for, you know, equal rights and equal health care and be accepted in those ways. I think they have a very strong position about why they feel that us the crossdressing community is a detriment to their growth to their end goals. But the problem is cross dressing is typically so underground. There's not enough people coming up to say, No, this is what it is. This is who I am. There needs to be more cross dressing advocates, to really kind of like plant the new seeds to say no, what you learned 20 years ago and 50 years ago is not what crossdressing is. It is diverse as every other gender diversity Yeah,
JOE KORT 10:00
no, I love that you're doing this. It's so important and you're not ashamed. And you're you're speaking intelligently. But I know people are going to be thinking. So what's the difference then? between somebody who's assigned male or female at birth, and then wants to gender reassign? versus somebody who cross dresses?
Savannah Hauk 10:17
Um, well, I mean, why do we have to choose? I mean, you don't have to choose which sporting team you like, you choose which one you want. Now, again, I say the word choose is not a choice. If you think about it, in terms of we are all amalgams of male and female energy, femininity and masculinity, whether you're a young girl who likes to wear, you know, jeans and be a tomboy, well, they're a little more masculine than they are feminine. Right? You have, you know, little boys who like to play with their sisters Barbies is that, you know, that's more feminine this, like, we have the stereotypes they have defined us. And we kind of label everybody based on these pillars of stereotypical maleness and femaleness. But what happens is, you forget that we are not one or the other. We're not a tent pole here, there we are, along the line or scattered around those polls in any direction. Yeah. And so for me, it's not about not liking my body and not liking my biology. It's about expressing this divine femininity that I have within me that I need to express outwardly. And not only just at home, not in the bigger closet, called my house, but in public to be a real person in the world with this persona, this expression and to be accepted.
JOE KORT 11:40
I really, really appreciate this. Do you? Are you at risk for any kind of physical harm or, you know, safety issues with being out in the world,
Savannah Hauk 11:47
I haven't put myself in a position to be accosted. I've had some pretty intense stares, if you will. But nobody's ever approached me. Nobody's ever, you know, threatened to me. So I've been very careful with the venues I choose. But I am also very mindful of the venues I choose and where I go in where I sit, like I have a hashtag called Savannah Starbucks Sunday, on all my social media, which basically is self explanatory. On Sunday, Savannah goes to Starbucks, just to do my work, do my writing, have my coffee, and just to be seen out in the world. And if nobody looks my way, fantastic. If somebody complements me, fantastic. And if somebody does a double take, that's fine, too. I'm this out there to be an example, that this is not a fetish. This is not just something I do for kicks,
JOE KORT 12:43
right? So for some it is. And for some, it's this, it's wanting to be seen and wanting to express and what I love, I think this is what I've had to learn as an older that getting older therapist is everybody's individualized, you can't say that trans people are this way. And cross dressing is this way. And gay is this way. I don't I don't even know what it means anymore. So when someone who's in my office, I see them, what does it mean to you? Because meaning on it would be a mistake, it would be misgendering and mis identification?
Savannah Hauk 13:12
Yes, it's yes. When the problem in the problem with that is, if you were that type of therapist who was like, Oh, let me tell you what you are, then they will take that as gospel because they're unsure for themselves. So they're looking for somebody to be the expert to guide them along the way. If you're absolutely right. In my second book, we talked about, you know, biology, we talked about pronouns, we talked about your presentation, your gender, your sexual attraction versus romantic attractions. And like those six things together, one are mutually exclusive, but not always. But if you take those six things, and you just like basically wrote, how do I see myself and you just answer those questions that will give you a very close approximate view of where you are this moment, doesn't mean that's where you're going to be a year from now. But that means in this moment, like so, for me, I see myself as male, female, I am biologically male, my pronouns are he, for my male side and she for Savannah, I am dual gender, I am dual expressive, for masculine and feminine and dual means. So if you do both, both, I mean, it's supposed to be in if you want to dissect it transit across dual is both. So I am very comfortable, both appearing in my Mail Form, which I do six days a week, except for today and just for you. It is and, and on Sunday, I'm happy to be Spanner. So it's just it's one of those things where if I don't have this expression, if I don't have this ability, this outlet, it actually affects my mood. It affects my emotional state affects my reserves of energy, because she is such a part of who I am. To not give her a voice or not give her a platform not give her a way to be out in the world. is actually like shackling a part of myself, where part of myself is fine and confident. But the other part is shameful and I need to hide away. And that's why I'm trying to let people know that this is not a shameful thing. This is something we do. And it's okay.
JOE KORT 15:15
This is so interesting. This isn't this. I'm not gonna get into this whole thing in your podcasts. But I never, I used to cross dress when I was a kid I loved were my mother's wigs and shoes. And one day I hit her lipstick, got eyeshadow on the whole thing. I did it all throughout until I was almost 18. And then it went away. And then in my 40s, I started claiming my masculinity when someone calls me, dude, I love dude, I love where I just love my masculinity. But I wonder why mine went away and yours didn't. It's just a weird thing that I wouldn't have continued on. I wonder if it shame if I buried it? I don't know.
Savannah Hauk 15:48
Well, that is a very good point. There's so many people who to bury it. There are so many people who, you know, explore it early on, but then when life happens and responsibility and expectations, and then they're married, and then 40 years go by, and they said oh yeah, I've been a closet, you know, cross dressing person, and I hid it from you our entire marriage. And now I want to transition or now I feel like I need to do this more so and more publicly. And you know, what kind of strain does that put on a relationship? Like, I thought I had the bearded therapist here. And now all of a sudden I have you know, this shaven female with a wig? Right in high heels. It's it's is jarring for somebody not expecting that. So I
JOE KORT 16:31
think Go ahead, go. How does it pick your relationships, then because I in my office, when women find out their husbands are doing this, it can go really badly.
Savannah Hauk 16:41
It can go really badly in all my relationships, except for when I got married. Every relationship after that, I told them day one. Okay, so even though they didn't know that when we started, you know, seeing each other get a little more serious. As soon as I hit that serious Mark, I'm like, hey, I need to stop you for a minute. And I need to show you a picture, either a Polaroid from 1997. You know, as technology is better, the photography is right here on my camera. So yeah, in every way ship pass my marriage, it was about the suicide. No, this is a serious relationship, we need to have a talk.
JOE KORT 17:16
Okay, that's, I think that's probably better. It is,
Savannah Hauk 17:19
it is better in one, it allows your partner to have a choice, yes, of what to do with that information. Most people are either no cool with it, but they may be cool with it, because they don't really understand the extent of what it is, in more recent times has been about educating yourself. So there's books out there now, but I found that prior to my books, and this is not self aggrandizing. But prior to my book, there weren't really too many books that were non trans non binary, non transitioning. It's been a lot of like, Oh, my husband, my husband wears my clothes. And oh, by the way, 10 years later, they transitioned. If you claim yourself as being non binary, non transitioning is very difficult to have somebody read a book that then says, cut to 10 years later, they will transition. Okay, because it's not it's not a journey to be it's not like male to female or female to male. It's not a one way trip. It's like where we get off the stops all along the way.
JOE KORT 18:21
Yeah. I like it what you said non transitioning non binary. Is that what you said? Yep. Okay, that you? Yes. And then some people could be in your situation and be closeted even to themselves that they were transitioning until later. But you don't know who those people are. Right.
Savannah Hauk 18:38
Right. Right. And they don't know to themselves. I mean, you have people who, buried so deep, whether because of religion, culture, people who influenced them when they were younger. Yeah. Even my own family, my own folks have said things about other people, which made me very quickly realize that sharing with them was not the thing I wanted to do at 10 years old. Right? So so we learned very quick, very fast how to protect ourselves. It becomes so subconscious sometimes that we, we take in information, we take in news events, we take some people's we take in people's comments, and realize like wow, I really shouldn't do this because it will be a burden for me to be this way. Yeah. So who wants a burden who wants to be ostracized who wants to go through a life where you're pointed at in in ostracized and made fun of and excluded and marginalized nobody wants that. So why people make that subconscious decision to put it away because it'll be easier for them and everybody else to have a typical sis hetero life.
JOE KORT 19:46
It can I ask you, and you don't have to answer personally. But this doesn't automatically mean you're and I don't know what your sexual orientation is. But that your orientation when you're Savannah is one way and when you're not Savannah is another way it's not related to that is it?
Savannah Hauk 19:59
No I will say this talking about the sexual attraction and romantic attraction. If I would write down those answers, the sexual attraction is feminine. So don't think about feminine as female, but biologically think about feminine as why is that drag queen? So gorgeous? Why is that person who is like to the nines? That, you know, is a man dressed that way? Why is she attracted to me? Because my brain is wired to love the feminine. Yeah, but in relationships. Female, the biological female is who I want to be with. Okay, so that doesn't change between being a man of being a woman putting on a dress and all this. I'm like, I love men. No, for people. I know. Yeah, that's what people think there is some truth to it as well, because some people like to be validated as a woman by men. Like if there are many, many dual gender and gender fluid, people who go to the bars for male attention, because it reinforces the validation of being a woman. So there's a pretty Let me buy you a drink that so stereotypical and a cliche, but to a person who craves that male attention, it makes him feel more like a woman. Totally. So that could be either situationally, it could be sexually, there's many ways that can be carved up, because they're the need, there's a need of validation, externally, to drive their validation of self,
JOE KORT 21:29
you making me feel so good, because I teach that in that way. And it just reinforces I'm teaching it correctly. You know, because I only know my clients, and there's not a lot of information. And there are no books on, on relationship. You know, like, what happens, there's books about my husband, Betty or something, and she has probably the most common and but now we have your books, it would be nice to have more books about relationship. How do partners deal with this? How do people how to crossdressing? People deal
Savannah Hauk 21:55
with that? Well, I mean, in defining a new normal, that was the first book, it was that book in answer to other books out there that didn't answer the question of non binary non transitioning, or relationships. I mean, there's plenty of books about relationships in general, there are plenty of books about trans relationships. But when it comes to my husband told me after 30 years of marriage, say he likes to wear women's clothing. There wasn't really a book for that necessarily. Because we all have several fears. One, you told me, therefore I know you want to be a woman. So I know that you're going to turn into a woman you're going to want to change sex to Oh, so you'd like men? And you hit that for me, too. What else did you betray me about over all these years? Right? And then like, how do I fit into that dynamic? Now, as a partner?
JOE KORT 22:46
This is great. What are the I'm just gonna say what are you any future projects in the works?
Savannah Hauk 22:50
I do. I am currently almost 100,000 words and on a sci fi dystopian LGBTQ non binary non transitioning story fiction. So basically, how do you how do you take the the journey of a young boy with a feminine spirit that needs to be harnessed? So I kind of took it a whole different direction. So and I wrote that because I feel like the trans youth and non binary youth don't have enough examples. So if I could provide something that's not just gay by I'm sorry, gay, or bisexual or lesbian, if I could take that off the table and make it more about gender, as as a story, I feel that that would be a good thing. So that's my next project. And then there will be a third living with cross dressing book that is going to tackle basically what we just spoke about today, which is why is cross dressing not a gender? And I'm going to dive into the history. There's going to be a Magnus is going to be in there when he you know, came up with the word transvestite. And we're gonna just dissect it and really do what we talked about today on this call this interview is just, yeah, why is it not? And why should we not think of ourselves that way?
JOE KORT 24:07
And I gotta say, I just have such a bad reaction to the word transvestite. I even did in the 70s when it was out Rocky Horror, I fucking hate and I'm so glad we don't say and I never knew that tranny came from transvestite. Is that right? I didn't know that. I believe
Savannah Hauk 24:21
it did. Yeah. And then unfortunately, it just kind of got appropriated across the entire trans community as a slur. And but more recently, a lot of trans people have started to take that word back. Like this is my word. I'm going to make this a positive word. You can't hurt me with this word anymore. And I think that's a positive step as well.
JOE KORT 24:42
So where Savannah can people find you online if they want your books, your TED Talk, your website, everything.
Savannah Hauk 24:47
The TED talk you can find on YouTube, just type in Savannah Hawk TEDx, and you should find it. My books are available primarily in paperback in digital download at Amazon, or in other places where you Do your typical digital downloads for books. You The Fox and the Phoenix podcast can be found every week on Wednesday with my co host, Julie Rubenstein at iHeartRadio, Apple podcast anchor.fm pretty much anywhere where you consume your streaming content and and on social media. You can find me on Facebook at Savannah Hawk Instagram at Savannah Hawk living with crossdressing. And the fox and the Phoenix have Facebook's pages as well. And I think you can also find Fox and Phoenix on Instagram as well. So
JOE KORT 25:38
thank you, Vanna, so much for coming on and doing this and I couldn't talk to you longer if my podcast wasn't so short. This would have been a lot. Maybe we'll have you back. So thank you.
Savannah Hauk 25:47
I would love it. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah,
JOE KORT 25:50
and if you like this podcast to my listeners, please rate it and read it well and let us know that you liked it. And if you want to hear more, you can come to smart sex smart, love calm, but you can also follow me on Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook at Dr. Joe court. Dr. Jo e k o r t. And you can find me on my website. Joe ct.com. Thanks for listening and until next time, be safe and be healthy.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai