I nearly feel off my chaise lounge when I read LaurynX’s comment that she just came out as femme in the past few months. Holy mother of god! You, my dear, are going to be a force to be reckoned with, no doubt about it! That aside, I think LaurynX’s advice “not to let any anti-feminine sentiments get to you” is so wise. And it’s not just lesbians who can put you down for being too girly, since paradoxically revering and disparaging femininity is as American as apple pie. Which is why, for me, being a femme requires developing strategies to negotiate this double bind. Such as calling people out on their shit. And looking fierce.
I think Lady Brett Ashley and I are making really similar points about how tomboy (or butch) and femme are not mutually exclusive categories. Lady B has written well on her on blog and elsewhere about how this gender fluidity is a fundamental part of what femme means to her. I would also add that it’s a perfect example of one way in which femme is different from femininity.
Femmes can and do love femmes! In a blogging universe dominated by the butch/femme dyad, I really appreciate BiblioFemme and how out she is about being a “femme-loving femme.” On another note, I love how open Tina was in her terrific comment about her own vulnerability; her encouragement to “give yourself the leeway to find the femme you will be” is right on the mark–and very nicely put, too, I might add!
It’s not every day that the dapper Leo MacCool quotes Dolly Parton on your blog–an act of pure genius, thanks Leo! I can’t think of any advice more perfect than the suggestion that you “find out who you are and do it on purpose.” It’s so true, so brilliant, and so wonderfully campy that it deserves to be a tenent of Sublime Femmeness. All hail Femme Icon Dolly Parton!
Second, to Butch2Femme: you asked for clarification about my cautionary remark*; it was about my concern that you might be embarking upon a Sapphic version of the “break-up haircut.” I saw right away that you were linking your new femme ID to the femme who broke your heart (sounds to me like she has terrible taste!), but I originally didn’t understand what that connection was about. E.g. Were you becoming more femme to keep a part of her with you? I just didn’t understand what your gender had to do with her gender. So I urged caution and tried to encourage you not to be reactive but instead to think about who you really are and what you really want. And it sounds like this is exactly what you’re doing!
Despite the heartache, one positive thing that has emerged from this break-up is that it’s given you the opportunity to begin to define your identity not for someone else but for yourself. For this and for your adorable peep-toes, I raise my glass to you, my darling! Now that I know you’re so healthy and centered, go ahead and throw caution into the wind 😉
Kisses to all,
*Note: My cautionary remark from my original post was: “Did you feel free with your ex to express your gender–e.g. your femme side or your tomboy style? If gender is one reason why you think this relationship didn’t work out, my advice to you would be to proceed with caution.”