Tell Shelley Anne: Hanna Olsen, Transgender Party Hostess Extraordinaire

| Aug 17, 2020
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Hanna Olsen

I had the opportunity to meet Hanna Olsen when I traveled to Oklahoma City to attend one of her Heartland Transgender weekend events in Spring 2019. The Transgender Soiree was recommended to me by Laura, an Australian acquaintance from a Las Vegas gathering I participated in a year earlier. The three-day event was quite enjoyable with an opportunity to meet girls from several states, from the West Coast to the Midwest and south to Texas, plus several countries. Hanna is a gracious hostess and makes everyone feel welcome, even the soiree newbies.

The trip to Oklahoma City, an area I had not previously visited, afforded me a chance to tour the area on my own, and on a somber note, explore the site of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, now a museum and memorial to those who perished. I traveled alone throughout the City in casual crossdress and felt extremely safe. I met some folks in the downtown area which led to drinks at a nearby local hotel bar and chit-chat about our lifestyle.

Overall, it was a lovely weekend with a chance to meet anew group of girls. One of the girls I met was Bobi Z from Kansas. She has gone back to transgender weekend events every May and November since 2017, always coming in a day earlier for a longer weekend gathering with the girls that includes partying in Oklahoma City’s District area. She has become a bit of a recruiter, i.e. talking friends into going to every one of those events. She says Hanna is a great “ringmaster” and has a way of overcoming challenges and thriving to always make things better for all attendees.

Laura, my Aussie friend attended as well and says, “I travel a long way to attend Hanna’s parties because they are such a nice group of people and it is a lovely venue.” She notes that one of Hanna’s greatest attributes is her ability to reassure apprehensive girls and put their mind at rest about attending for the first time.

Hope you enjoy getting to know Hanna a little more in the following interview and perhaps can attend one of her future parties.

Hanna Olsen Biography

Born in Norway and raised and educated (though high school) in the Oklahoma City metro area, Hanna Olsen has been married three times with no children. She has been with wife number three for 37 years. She is now retired, except for being the hostess, for the past 14 years, for the largest transgender weekend parties in the Southwest, known as Heartland Transgender events.

She is active in promoting transgender awareness through her events, which have grown larger each year, and went global several years ago. She holds a BA from Southern Nazarene University and an MS from Oklahoma State University. Hanna went through what many have experienced, including countless purges of clothing and everything feminine, being repulsed by her femininity and swearing it off forever only to realize her urge to be feminine was building and she was going to be feminine again whether she wanted to or not. That in turn repeated often as a purge cycle for her life, until one day she stopped and sat down to think about why she purged. It took her over a week to realize that being feminine is an inherent part of her life. It is who she is and she cannot be herself without Hanna. Once she accepted herself for who she is, she never purged again and has been incredibly happy ever since.

TGForum: You have been an evolving pre-op transgender woman all your life. Can you share some of your journey?

Ms. Olsen: I started dressing femme when I was 14, and evolved to where I am today, over 40 years later. It was not easy in the pre-computer and pre-internet days. Many of us felt so isolated then until the advent of computers and the internet evolved as well. My family did not support my femininity at all. It was in the late 1960s when no one heard about transgender women.

TGForum: Any, major obstacles that have gotten in your way?

Ms. Olsen: Male-Female relationships were difficult which lead to two divorces for me, losing everything and having to start over again. Places to meet others were always an issue, plus personal safety once I could find a place to meet someone. Things were very risky back then. But even in today’s world, safety is always an issue for us. As for as our events, the hotel staff adds extra security and does patrol the grounds, common areas, and hallways. At the current time, they are installing key card gate access to even get on the hotel grounds so all access to the hotel will be controlled. I am pleased to say we have not had any incidents in the 14 years we have been doing Heartland Transgender events at our hotel location.

TGForum: Any advice for those walking down a similar path?

Ms. Olsen: Today, it still seems tough, but you can do pretty much whatever you want. People say things about how difficult and challenging it is, but it is a fraction of what it was when I was in my early 20s. If you can make up your mind to be true to yourself to follow your dreams, you can do almost anything, including living as a transgender woman.

TGForum: What is the best compliment you have ever received?

Ms. Olsen: I have had a few marriage proposals, serious proposals, that were truly compliments to me. I did not feel at the time, that any would have worked out. The men were younger than me by a decade. One woman from Saudi Arabia, who owned her own business and traveled throughout the Orient, asked me to marry her, but I did not think that would be wise, at the time. A doctor asked me to be his Latex Queen, as he travels to fetish latex events all over the world, but too, I did not think it would work for me. At least not then.

TGForum: If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living, or dead, real, or fictional, with whom would it be?

Ms. Olsen: It would be Wonder Woman, of course! To me she is the epitome of a woman. Outgoing, beautiful, curvy, and an attractive personality, yet strong and decisive. And who does not like the Lasso of Truth as one of her weapons?

TGForum: How did you get started organizing monthly transgender Girls’ Nights Out as well as the twice annual Heartland Transgender events?

Ms. Olsen: Growing up I had no one to talk to and nowhere to go. I felt I was all alone, so when I realized we have the largest LGBT owned and staffed hotel in the U.S. here in Oklahoma City. I knew I could offer my guests the opportunity to come and be themselves without worry, to include having professional makeup done, and photos taken to take home with them, as well as self-confidence. I started having parties with my leather family and our friends, and grew it from there (to) where they are today, with guests from all over the U.S. and several countries, including repeat guests from Australia and the U.K. twice a year. We have had attendees from Canada, Germany, Mexico, Zimbabwe, and Saudi Arabia. We were talking to a trans delegation from Pakistan discussing arrangements when COVID-19 appeared. Ages range from 21 to several a few decades older than me. Heartland Transgender events focus on fun and personal growth, particularly for the less experienced woman, the debutante, if you will.  I understand that it is difficult to be concerned about transgender issues on the geopolitical stage when you would just like to leave the house without being scared to death of being seen, or what people think when they see you. I recognize that for many, this is a trip and a vacation, whether they live full time or not for various reasons, and do not want to sit and listen to speeches when they could be out partying or shopping.

TGForum: What is the best way to get on the invite list for your parties and soirees?

Ms. Olsen: There are no invitations, everyone is welcome. I currently do not charge for anyone to attend. We have our website for party information and our current calendar online. If there are any questions, my contact information is on the website. The hotel that hosts our weekend events has a new feel throughout, although it will take a few years to complete the overall new look and feel. The rooms have been redone with new paint and carpet, key card access and additional suites have been added. The pool areas have been upgraded, the night clubs have gone through a renovation, and the restaurant is being remodeled. Even the parking lot was recently resurfaced and striped, signage updated, and the roads and curbs around the hotel have been recently upgraded as they are part of a city improvement project for our LGBT District. I am looking to form a 501C(3) and have several who are willing to donate if I do that. One event that I launched last year, and hope will become a long running annual affair is our Transgender Music Festival. The first Festival was November 2019 and started out as a drag show on Friday and karaoke and a jam session with transgender musicians the next night. Soon it was evident that many of our sisters had genuine musical talents. I am excited about the opportunity to showcase transgender musicians of all music genres. I am not sure I would need an investment partner but am open to the idea. Our second Annual Heartland Transgender Music Festival is scheduled for November 5-7, 2020 and I expect it will grow exponentially as word gets out and some national level guest musicians show up to help us promote it. For now, one of our musicians who played for 30 years as a studio musician and is in the music Hall of Fame in Oklahoma and Texas will be one of our headliners. (an event link can be found at (Hanna_Olsen) page.)

TGForum: I assume the state and Oklahoma City where you reside is welcoming to the transgender/transsexual community as your parties attract a global audience.

Ms. Olsen: Our community is very welcoming. The area where the hotel is situated is our LGBT district, but we are welcomed to come and go outside of our district. Over 100 t-girls usually attend, sometimes more, sometimes less. I would say about 120 or so on average, not including admirers from our alternative community nationwide. As an example, I have had admirers from Rhode Island and Florida join us. I use my size, at six feet, six inches, and 250 pounds on a good day, to encourage those who think they are too big or too tall to come out and see what life could be as a trans woman at our events within the safety of our venue and our surrounding LGBT District. I tell them if I can do it, then surely, they can as well.

TGForum: What excites you the most?

Ms. Olsen: I am excited every time we have an event. Chatting with friends old and new is very exhilarating and rewarding to me. I am the sole person who plans, organizes, and runs them, though I have a few close girlfriends who help behind the scenes before and when our events start. Prior to an event I spend time with individuals almost daily on the merits of coming for as much as an hour or three. I go by the hotel a few time a month to talk with the senior staff and the owner, who is a t-girl too, to see what is going on and to make sure my upcoming events will go off as planned.

TGForum: If someone gave you $100,000, no questions asked, what would you do with the money?

Ms. Olsen: I would certainly invest it in our transgender community in the way of trans scholarships and larger awareness events.

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About the Author ()

Shelley Anne Baker has been part of the transsexual and transgender community for six years. Wandering about the California BDSM community, she finally found her stride in making the transition to dresses and high heels. Today, her women’s apparel, and shoes outnumbers her male apparel (that she just has to have for certain occasions, but such is life). She has seriously considered HRT, but now feels life has passed her by on that count. She is a professional writer and experienced corporate brand marketing and public relations consultant. For interview consideration and participation email Shelley Anne at

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