“Because, you know, you don’t look gay.”
Yup, having your sexual orientation questioned in your own community does wonders for a woman’s self-esteem.
How is it that as a community we have spent lifetimes fighting a storm of misogyny and close mindedness to create a space in which our butch/androgynous sisters feel safe to dress and act as she pleases yet I walk in in all of my High Femme glory and people have the audacity to question my sexual orientation? I have always prided myself on the inclusivity of our community, that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you wear, you are accepted you not matter what but when you’re asked three times in the same evening if you’re actually gay or if you’ve realized that you’re at a lesbian event I have to ask myself, are we really that inclusive of women who lie on the outskirts of the femme –butch spectrum?
Why, when we are so accepting and embracing of women in suits (which I love) do I have to justify or put a name to my sexual orientation? Am I really that rare?
Sometimes I think that life would be easier if I were butch. I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere. I know you think I’m being ridiculous. I’m femme and I can blend into the straight world without questioning glances and curious straight women hitting on me. I am free to come and go as I please, to float. But what if I don’t want to float? Let me shed some light on femme life and we’ll see how you feel at the end.
My least favourite part of being femme is the constant need to come out, to correct people when they assume the gender of my partner, to explain to men that I’m not interested in their advances and nor do I want to have a threesome. I constantly have people make assumptions about me because of the way I look, because of the way I present myself. When I refer to myself as a queer woman instead of gay or a lesbian and people assume that I’m bisexual. Because how can a ultra-feminine woman possibly be gay?
I’ve been referred to as a waste because clearly any man would jump at the chance to get on top of me (sarcasm) and the heterosexual world would benefit from my looks and my body much more than the queer community. I’ve been described as a priceless gem, a rare and sparkly artefact that the lesbian community is lucky to have. Either way, I’m an object. A piece of curvaceous meat just here to please the masses.
Women don’t hit on me! This is the worst. The absolute worst! I’m not looking right now but it still bugs me. What’s the point of going through all of the bullshit with men and the objectification if I’m not going to get hit on when I like someone? I have learnt that if I am interested in someone it’s up to me to walk up to her and make the first move, throw caution to the wind and put myself out there. How is it fair? I just want some beautiful butch woman to walk up to me and ask me how I’m going without me having to dance and bat my lashes in their direction for forty minutes so they know that I’m gay and that I’m interested. Because women (and men) always assume that I’m straight! WTF!
Femme Invisibility is a thing and it sucks!