DECATRANNIVERSARY: Hannah Alexandria Isadora Scroll down

January 10, 2014 was the day I started my transition. I told myself I was going to tell as many people as possible. Dig myself a hole so deep that this time, I can’t get out. Kind of not the best analogy, but it made a ton of sense at the time.

I’ve never been happier and I’ve never been more myself. Transitioning was the single best decision I have ever made in my entire life.

Not to sound dramatic, but also I don't want to mince words: Transition saved my life.

DecaTranniversary is a collection of art, letters, photos, stickers, a mixtape, and more that I have put together as a way to reflect on and celebrate this momentous milestone.


2002 - 2006


2002 - 2006

Hey kid! I'll keep this short.

  1. The goal is to have fun. Not having fun? Do something else.
  2. You had a conversation with your best friend in the front seat of Mommy and Daddy's Isuzu Rodeo during Trunk-or-Treat at church where you two talked about wanting to be girls. There's more to that than you realize. Anything is possible. Follow your heart.
  3. You can do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. Just don't be mean.
  4. One day you'll get to make your own safety and it'll be better than any safety you ever sought from those around you.
  5. Your parents' anger isn't your fault. It also isn't your problem -- it's very much theirs.
  6. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
  7. I know how you feel about being so powerless about everything -- one day, along with that safety I mentioned, you'll have that power.
  8. Computers are rad as hell.
  9. Don't let anyone dull your gorgeous, signature sparkle.

I love you. I've never been angry with you. Go have fun.
Your future self






2007 - 2013


2007 - 2013

Content warning: Graphic references to self-harm

Dearest Alex,

Tonight is another Christmas Eve. What used to be your favorite day of the year is now a day full of haunting reminders.

When you went to Christmas Eve church service, you saw all the women dressed in their Christmas best. But the worst sight is all the little girls decked out in their green and red velvet dresses with the plaid bows and shiny Mary Jane flats. I know the ache you have when you see them. I know the agony you feel in your core as you think about the childhood you want but don't get to have.

Tonight you sit in your bedroom and sob quietly so no one hears. You use the Xacto blade you've hidden between the pages of Steve Wozniak's autobiography to slice the layers of skin on your thighs. The goal of feeling something different or feeling something at all takes up your mind. To be distracted from your life with a different sensation. And to punish yourself for not being who you want to be. And to hurt one of the parts of your body you hate the most.

One day you'll look at those scars and see something very different. When you look at the scars, you'll remember the quiet sobbing on Christmas Eve, and the time when you bled all over Grampa's bathroom rug when you cut the deepest you'd ever cut, and when you got out the blade you kept in your school planner and destroyed your favorite pair of pants in the upstairs bathroom in building 2 at school -- but now you feel a surge of resilience. Because you fucking made it. You survived and the scars are just a written memoir of your journey.

If you had chosen to end your life, I wouldn't have blamed you. It was impossible to feel anything other than what you felt in those years of your life trying to live as someone who you weren't. The voice of that one sweet woman in the church choir who called you "Bill" after Bill Gates. So scared that you'd disappoint her and everyone else by not being the powerful tech CEO businessMAN everyone saw in you. It's okay, sweet angel. You aren't someone else's dreams. You have your own dreams and there's nothing wrong with that. Your dreams are so much better and those who matter don't mind, and those who mind... they don't matter one little bit.

For now, crawl into bed and bleed. Let the red of your blood become the red dress you want to be adorned in tonight on Christmas Eve. Dream of the day you wear that red dress to church because I'm here to tell you it happens. Every year. In the family photos you beam brighter than the star in the Christmas stories because you won.

In the coming years, you will find the strength to stop being what people expect you to be and you'll get to thrive and live as who you want to be. Rest assured those who care will stay and love along with you and so many more people will board for the journeys ahead.

I love you and I see you and I'm not mad at you for a single thing.

Nothing but love,

One thing about being the yearbook editor...

A photo of a yearbook page showing the entry for Alex Patellis. The photo shown in the yearbook is photoshopped. Beside the photo is the following text: 'I am charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent' as well the quote 'You are who you pretend to be; so be careful who you pretend to be.'

You can Photoshop the ever-loving hell out of your senior portrait right before it gets sent to the printer so your dysphoric-ass can cry over it just a little bit less...

My high school senior portrait, pre-Photoshop Arrow pointing to the right My high school senior portrait, post-Photoshop

2010 - 2013


2010 - 2013

My lovely lil Hannah,

Maria Callas is so beautiful isn't she? Her voice is different and her beauty memorable like her tragic story.

Right now, your life is in Tumblr. It's inside a glowing box placed squarely upon your glass desk in your IKEA catalogue-ready room. That's okay. One day your life of being trapped in that bedroom, inside a dull box, dutifully performing dull little boyhood when you could have been doing so much more will come to an end and you'll be set free. You'll get to live life inside your dreams. Imagine the possibilities.

Remember when you came out and Mya' asked if you were going to start wearing heels to school? Remember how amazing that made you feel? The validation, the acceptance? Well you're going to get that not just from her, but from nearly everyone around you. The fear you feel is real and it's so, so valid. But I promise you sweet girl, it's not going to be as bad as you think it will be.

The high heels you wear will echo through the halls of academia, the dresses you sport will flow with the breeze, the red lipstick that adorns your lips will inspire another generation of trans girls, and the Ray-Ban sunglasses you wear to get coffee will make you look like a movie star.

One of the things that rampages through you head is the thought that no trans woman will be taken seriously in a boardroom as CEO or in the office as the officianato or subject matter expert. Don't worry, you're wrong. Martine Rothblatt. Jennifer Pritzker. Lynn Conway. Sophie Wilson.

Your voice is different, but that's okay. Deep voices are enchanting and sexy. Your beauty is memorable, but you're not a tragic story. You're a novel full of success and survival, thrills and thriving.

There's so much love in my heart for you. You are the foundation of dreams only beginning. I'm so deeply proud of you.

I love you,

Day before coming out

Summer before sophomore year

First comfortable selfie

Posted to Tumblr on Sunday January 12th, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Okay so like here’s a big cool thing you don’t have to read but I guess it’s kinda exciting? Okay that’s all… here goes nothing…

Okay so like I guess here it is. I’m trans. And I’ve known for a really hella long time. I came out once in like, 10th grade. I told Tumblr, I told my friends, I even told my parents. But then I got really scared and every time I tried to do anything about it, something else got in the way. Be that mental illness, people, or just general fear. But now I finally think I’ve found the courage to become someone I don’t loath, ya know? Someone I want to wake up to, and someone I want to see in the mirror. I really want to love myself. And the fear is pretty much gone. Which I think means I have nothing left to lose. Which is okay, because I’m hoping by doing this, I’ll have something worth fighting for, ya know? I’m afraid this energy is just temporary (hah that’s a whole other story) but it’s okay because even if the energy itself is temporary, I hope it will push me deep enough into the water to make me do something about it. So I’m going to finally start transitioning. I don’t know how to even begin but I’m just gonna wing it and delve into the deep underworld of queer.

And like, I don’t think I’m 100% transgirl, either. I guess I’m a weird mix of .5% homosexual boy, 5.5% androgynous non-binary human being, and 94% girl. But I’m super okay with that and I’m proud of my queer gender.

So I came out to a few of my really good friends Friday, I’m going to come out to my doctors Monday and Tuesday, and my good friend here at school, and I’m going to come out at Q&A (because I want it to be real on like, a big scale, ya know?) and yes. And here I am coming out to Tumblr once again. Hopefully this time it’s for real. Hopefully I have the fight in me.

So I’m going to grow my hair out and dye it and wear high heels and contour like a bad ass and be happy with my life and I’m so excited omg like I haven’t stopped smiling in days because I am so excited to be who I really want to be. Even if it’s going to be hard, it will be so worth it in the end. So fuck society’s bullshit norms I’m going to let it go, and be free, and be the queer woman I’ve always wanted to be.

Okay thank you for listening to this queer little rant. And please enjoy your day~ <3


2014 - 2015

Alexandria Isadora

2014 - 2015

Hello Alexandria!

Welcome to your first incarnation.

I know the makeup is a little cakey and the clothes don't fit quite right... but freedom is truly lovely, isn't it?

Let me tell you a little bit about what to expect. This era is short, but it's important. It’s also quick. What you do know, who you are close to, and how you spend your time here will be something that you'll remember for years to come. All that said, you just have to live your life. That Cher quote you have taped to your mirror? "Unless you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great"? That will continue to be a mantra for you during this next year or so. Now that's not to say that you are foolish or look foolish! But I know you feel… off. Judged. Alien.

Eventually you'll hate when people tell you that you are "brave" because you're just... surviving. But right now, you are brave. Making the decision to risk it all to start living the life you want and not the life that's expected of you? That is bravery.

There's another mantra you love and will live by. You'll keep it closer to your heart and for longer than the Cher one. It's the Kate Bornstein one: "You can do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living. Just don't be mean." Think hard about this every time you make a decision. Will it make life more worth living? Is it mean?

Life is about to take off in ways you've only ever dreamt of, but it's also about to get hard in some ways you've never even imagined. But it's worth it. You'll survive and you'll make it through. Just keep breathing. It's okay to do the bare minimum needed in order to survive.

One more thing: I know transition feels like a huge journey ahead. It both is and it isn’t. Instead of a long, arduous drive in a cramped car down a barren interstate think of it as a stroll through a bunch of European towns. Stop and enjoy the journey. Meet new people. Have new experiences. You’ll get there when you get there and your heart will become rich along the way.

You're doing the damn thing so go big with it! Go all the way. Make all the dreams come true. Don't be mean but also don't let anyone stop you.

See you soon,

Transexual timeline

Everyone does this differently. This is not a definitive guide

  • Approximately early-2008
    Came out as a gay guy
  • Approximately early-2009
    Started the Tumblr blog primadonnaassoluta
  • Approximately mid-2010
    Came out as trans
  • January 10, 2014
    Started transitioning at college
  • Mid-February 2014
    Started gender therapy in Orlando
  • October 28, 2014
    Started spironolactone in Orlando
  • November 25, 2014
    Started estrogen in Orlando
  • December 11, 2014
    Name changed legally in Brevard County, Florida
  • December 23, 2014
    Gender marker change with the State of Florida and United States government
  • December 5, 2017
    Gender-affirming surgery in Pennsylvania





2016 - 2017


2016 - 2017

My Hannah,

Writing this letter is the hardest one. I've been going back and forth for a month over what to say to you.

You've done some shit, you've seen some shit, and I know that many days, you think you ARE shit. Other days you think you are THE shit.

There's a lot I could say here. I could tell you a better way to go about finding help for your mental health crisis or I could spell out exactly what you need to do to get the hell out of school with that expensive piece of paper as quickly as possible. I could tell you that the career path you're considering might not be the right move and we both know I could read you to ever-loving filth for what you've done to those you love and who love you.

However, we both also know that wouldn't do much good. It’ll go in one ear and out the other. You're going to do what you want and you're not in the right mind to be able to take this information well either. Don't worry, you'll get there.

What I think I want to use this letter for is to talk about passing… kinda. It might not make much impact right now, and that's okay. Maybe I'm just planting a mustard seed inside.

As you settle into womanhood, you've started to settle into stealth. Kinda. And I know it’s killing you. Constantly going back and forth between wanting to be loud! And out! And proud! But also feeling compelled to archive old photos of yourself on Instagram and delete references of being trans everywhere on the web out of fear.

You have a lot of passing privilege right now and that's fine. Not everyone has that. Right now, I think there’s a place for passing and there's a place for saying "fuck this noise" to passing.

I'll break the anticipation and tell you that right now we walk a line between when to be intentionally stealth, when to be unlocked but not necessarily open, and when to publicly and powerfully embrace the faggy-voiced transexual mayhem goblin that lives inside.

Let me break them down.

Unfortunately passing has some relevance in your life. You're a trans woman who is about to undergo a surgery that most men think is the single worst thing you could ever do to your body. And there are men that will kill you in a second just because of that. You need to use public restrooms as a person with a severe chronic gastrointestinal disease. There are people who will beat you to a pulp because of their own insecurities and/or their lack of education. You pass when you need to for your safety. And the radical trans folks on the web who you feel like would give you shit for that don’t matter. How can you be loud and faggy later if you’re dead?

Passing so you can use the restroom in a Texaco on I-16 is different from erasure of who you are. This is where things get really fuzzy and why I’m stumbling over words writing this letter. How out are you when it comes to your web presence? You're already becoming a pretty Googleable person and it's only going to get worse (because you’re really good at SEO… unfortunately). That openness could jeopardize things for you -- adoptions, jobs... maybe your life? But at what cost? If you're not being who you are, if you're hiding so you can be a "clean" version for someone, what’s the point? Do you want a job if this is something that’s a breaking point? But also, you’d do anything to adopt. I don’t have the answer here. But start thinking about this. Maybe you’ll beat me to a better letter lol

This brings me to being unlocked but not open. The door is unlocked, but it's not open. Almost anyone can open the door if they choose, but you're not giving it away.

And finally, embrace that faggy-voiced transsexual when you're safe to.

Sorry bud, that’s kinda all I got.

It’s just… so many people see passing as black and white. And I know you feel this way right now. All or nothing. When in reality it’s not even a spectrum of grays. Within your future work days you’ll switch between faggy transexual and professional business woman with your own colleagues! Passing isn’t just passing all the time or not passing all the time. And it’s also a choice. When do you want to be a little more buttoned up and when do you want to let go a little more? Do you have the energy to be misgendered at the Taco Bell drive-through? Okay then put on that passing charm and raise your voice a few octaves. Or don’t! And just roll your eyes when they stutter on which pronouns to use sir-er-ma’am-er-um-thank you-si-no-wait-um-okay

This is a hard letter to write because I'm no expert on it. I'm still forming and changing opinions on this every single day. But starting this deep thinking on this topic is something I wish I would have done sooner.

I love you. Be safe, but also be you.
Future Hannah


2018 - Present

Hannah Alexandria
Isadora Patellis

2018 - Present

To my trans sisters:

My hope for you is for you to THRIVE. I think a lot about what "success" looks like in a life of trans experience. Right now I think thriving is the goal. Not passing, not if you have the dream job, not how your voice sounds, or if you're in a relationship... but are you thriving? Do you have the love for your life in your heart?

Everyone starts transition at different times and at different places in their lives, and everyone's transitions vary greatly. But rest assured your experience in trans womanhood is not only valid but important. I know women who have transitioned at 6 and women who have transitioned at 60. Their stories are so different, but they're so important to this rich tapestry of womanhood and they're all women just the same.

Something I always struggled with as a trans woman, and something I still struggle with, is how my womanhood compares to cis womanhood. First off, to that I say "fuck off." Because dwelling on that will only make me crazy. But also, even within cis womanhood the stories and experiences are vaster than we can comprehend.

How special are we? We get to finely craft our own realities and lives in a way that cis people just don't get to do. Transitioning allows us to find ourselves and explore our realities in ways so many cis people never get to do or never realize they need to do.

All that to say, wherever you are in the midst of transition, wherever you are in passing, wherever you are in exploring, discovering, and building what womanhood means to you -- you're welcome in this community. The trans femme community AND in womanhood. The mothers and the elders of these groups are here to protect you in any ways we can.

I feel like society pits us against other women (both consciously and subconsciously) and so we always feel the need to compare and contrast, to try to be "better," and to outdo other women. But my love, we're all winning! And just because one person is winning doesn't mean everyone else can't too! We're all winning because we're striving to be the best and most authentic versions of ourselves. We’re all winning because we’re alive and doing the damn thing.

You're valid. And I've got your back. And every day I'm fighting for you just like all the other mothers and elders are doing. I see you and I love you.

With all the love and best wishes in my heart,
Hannah A. Patellis

A horizontal photo showing six driver's license ID portraits, ranging from oldest to newest. All except the first are from Georgia. The first is from Florida.
Square sticker with rounded corners and a dark gradient background featuring an illustration of an viciously angry looking cat's face with a glow in the background and the words 'TRANSEXUALS WILL WIN' followed by an icon of a shield with the trans symbol inside the shield. Rectangular sticker with rounded corners featuring some glowing colorful blobs and the text 'trans people are SACRED, POWERFUL & FOREVER' on a black background. In the bottom left corner is an icon of a shield with the trans symbol inside the shield.
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