Radically, deeply queer.

Someone wrote…

It drives me crazy that my usually feminine presentation leads to people questioning if I am sufficiently queer… I identify so strongly as radically, deeply queer, and it hurts so much when I feel rejected by my community for not being dykey enough.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on July 29th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 31 comments »

31 Responses to “Radically, deeply queer.”

  1. Anonymous

    i get the same feeling.. femmes are invisible. a gay guy referred to me as a friend’s fag hag when i went to pride. :\


  2. Anonymous

    I hate when I’m presumed to be the “straight friend”.


  3. Anonymous

    It’s like the community is sticking to the binary it’s trying to shuck and it should know better.


  4. Anonymous

    It’s true… femmes are rarely noticed, and when they are, they’re seen as posers. It’s real sad too, because some femmes are the dyke-iest dykes out there.


  5. Arial

    i am a femme lesbian, sometimes a “futch”. when i was younger when i had waist length strawberry blond hair, at a dyke bar i was told to “go home to my boyfriend”. to this day i’m still not comfortable in gay bars even with my girlfriend.


  6. Dharma Kelleher

    I learned a long time ago never to assume a person is straight, gay or bi based on outside appearances.


  7. Amanda

    I’m mostly femme in my gender presentation, ambivalent in my gender identity and queer as fuck. I haven’t really experienced first hand people assuming I’m not queer because I’m femme, but I’ve been told that probably happens. Fuck that noise.


  8. Jay

    Gah, people can be such idiots, even when they really should know better. I basically go with a ‘everyone’s pansexual (or bisexual, at least) until proven otherwise’ sort of theory.


  9. Asikr

    I say bullshits. Queer-ness isn’t defined by appearance, of course. Otherwise, any straight, heternormative person would become a queer just wearing a certain type of clothing. And any actual queer person would become heteronormative in the same way.

    Stereotypes exist of course, they are useful to semplify the molteplicity of reality, just like labels. Though we should remember that there is a lot, lot more out there. It’s a shame that the community doesn’t always realize that. I guess we all have alot to work on this.


  10. Emily

    Yeah, I’ve been having the same problem. My sexuality doesn’t really fit in a box. I identify as bisexual, but I’ve come to realize that I’m really only attracted to transboys and butch lesbians (it is the androgyny I love, I have to admit). Depending on what I’m wearing (I have my super femme days and super cross-dressing days), I’m either labeled as lesbian or straight (but typically straight) and neither of which are exactly correct.

    It is frustrating because I like having a queer identity. I’ve recently started to come to the conclusion that I cannot really worry about the way people see me, though. I like who I am, and I know my sexuality and even the way I portray my gender don’t really fit in boxes. People are going to think what they want, and let them!


  11. Ava Swan

    Yes, I dare say I’ve had my experience of this as well. However, I hope you are comfortable enough with yourself and your identity not to take their slurs to heart.

    This is a case of community hypocrisy and it is deeply disheartening to be aware of.

    Love to you all :)


  12. Gen

    People assuming femme=straight and at the same time proclaiming to be above the binary depress me. How do they not see that associating attraction to women with masculinity is as binary as anything?


  13. Jessica

    Don’t pretentious, sententious, arrogant folk make you angry? It’s just as bad in my mind to tell someone they’re not “enough” gay/trans/whatever, as it is to tell them they shouldn’t be gay/trans/whatever.

    I had a class in college on diversity. It was “taught” by a young Latina woman who was a professional corporate “diversity” trainer. She thought she was really hot stuff. I was, on the other hand obviously incapable of actually comprehending the deep meaning of her message because I was too white, too privileged, etc.

    I really hated that class. I don’t respond well to indoctrination at the best of times. Indoctrination at the hands of a bigot really pissed me off.


  14. Emily

    this type of judgement shouldnt happen, i identify as bi but i have no confidence in going to a a gay bar just because i probably dont fit the mould of what people believe is butch enough. however being bi is slightly a different story than just gay. people should just allow themselves to trust one another, besides i dont get how people can be s judgemental.we are all very different inside.


  15. Anonymous

    When you claim that you want to include everyone, you gotta include everyone. Playing ours-and-theirs identity games is best left to people with thousands of years of practice at it, because they’ve been writing the rules of that one for ages and they’re better at it.


  16. Anonymous

    I wonder how many rounds of this sort of thing we’ll go through. “Not queer enough” seems to be the current one, but the one I feel most deeply is “not queer at all.” So, if I’m straight, I can’t be an LGBT / etc. supporter?

    If I’m male, I can’t be a feminist? If I’m white, I can’t fight for racial equality?

    It’s all just so wrong. Somewhere, somehow, the human race will have to grow up and accept that ignoring what’s there isn’t going to make it go away.


  17. Ryan/Rachel

    When my parents found out I wanted to wear a dress to prom they FREAKED out so I decided that “appearing” genderqueer is something I’ll have to wait until I’m moved out. But this effects things so much. Because I’m still attracted mostly to cis women (but also femme boys, trans women, and other people that defy label), I’ve been told that some of my friends assume that I am just “acting gay” so I can hit on them. I feel like I have to scrutinize and moderate everything I do in social situations because of this. Even though I’m out to most of my friends, it feels like living in the closet all over again.


  18. Bellatrix

    As a femme queer, it can often feel that “androgyny” is the only acceptable presentation because it opposes the binary system. However, the spectrum of human expression must include all combinations of presentation, attraction, and gender identity. I am a bio woman, who is actively feminine, spiritually feminine and identifies as such and I am just as actively queer because my queerness accepts all parts of my femininity. My career in archaeology is not “traditionally” a female one, nor are my opinions on body hair, marriage, family structure, or childbirth. So when I am assumed to be “straight” or even “normal” (yes, I’ve gotten that response), especially by those who call themselves queer or gay, bi, lesbian, etc, it feels like they are the other, the “non-queer” since they assumed they knew who I was. I hung out at a queer camp at Burning Man for 3 days before people there stopped assuming I was “that really cool straight girl”.
    That I must “come out” every time I go out, has made me highly conscience of being assumed “straight”. Where I am on the spectrum, is kinda like ultraviolet, you may not see me, but I am here and I have affects. Ignore at your peril.
    (If the sharp tongue slices to closely, examine my Mercury in Scorpio, and my Venus in Scorpio, and my Sun and Pluto in Scorpio.)


  19. Cydne

    Someone told me I was being ‘gay for attention’, just because I dressed a bit femmy at the time, and I had a girlfriend, despite my history of boyfriends. Apparently, if I shave my armpits and generally prefer masculine bodies, I’m not really queer.

    We don’t all have to be totally non-mainstream all the time. If you’re a fem girl, or if you’re monogamous, or if you prefer one gender only, that’s just as fine as being butch, poly, and pansexual.


  20. anonymous

    fyi most queer folks PREFER femme ladies. haven’t you been on craigslist’s women seeking women?


  21. Oosa

    For me, it even goes so far that I myself question if I can be truly queer, because I dress feminine and don’t wish to change my body to a more masculine/androgynous way. I just don’t feel comfortable any other way, but can I truly question the binary system, if my appearance supports it? Am I just excited about rebelling and queer-theory, and deep inside supporting the idea that a relationship should have a more masculine and a more feminine partner? (Well, no, I am not, but am I obliged to show it in the way I dress or wear my hair?)

    If anyone knows any books/articles/anything about the subject, I would really appreciate recommendations.


  22. Samson

    I’m female-bodied, and in the last queer community I was a part of, no one paid any attention to me until I cut my (long) hair. When I showed up with a gender-neutral short haircut, people I’d introduced myself to months ago suddenly went out of their way to come “meet” me. That was the first time I noticed that kind of thing and it was like a slap in the face.

    I think there’s a similar experience in trans spaces–I’m also genderqueer, and went to a trans/GQ support group for awhile. Most of the folks there were FtM trans at some stage of transition, and I got a strong impression that they didn’t consider me “trans enough” to be there–my presentation was too close to my assigned-at-birth sex on the gender spectrum.


  23. Jessica

    Just because people recognize their real gender identity or real sexual identity, it doesn’t cure them of all their faults. I made this mistake, when I first began to transition. I thought, “Oh, this is great, this is the reason I was so messed up before and why I always sabotaged things in my life. Now that I know the real reason, I’m cured!” Well, it was crap. I was just the same person. Just because I now correctly identified and was happier not living up to other peoples’ stereotypical views of me, I still had all my pre-existing conditions. I was still selfish and insecure. I still had trust issues. I was not suddenly more truthful. I certainly did not become suddenly wise or enlightened. Took me a while to figure this out though. And I was disappointed to find out that transitioning didn’t fix me. I’m still a work very much in progress.


  24. Anonymous

    I have an interesting variation on this problem. I’m not a femme; I wear unisex, practical clothing with a tendency towards menswear. But absolutely everyone assumes I’m straight, because I’m plain and kind of average-looking.

    My clothing doesn’t “make a statement” because I personally believe that what I think and do is much more important than what I look like. No, I’m not grungy either- grungy makes a statement, definitely! I’m clean, neat, presentable, decently attractive, and unremarkable.

    Since I don’t look like I’m trying to look like I’m queer, people assume I’m not queer. The funny thing is, I don’t look like I’m straight, either! I’m just kind of meh, and I’m fine with that.

    There’s this weird assumption that all queer people look fashionable, gorgeous, and quirky. (And let me just say, everyone who has a photo on here IS gorgeous, and I love it!)
    I am not remotely in the closet, but sometimes I feel invisible just the same. And I have had many many queer people shun me for not being ‘queer enough’.


  25. Cat

    Even though I’m not a lesbian (I’m a genderfluid androphile) I really know what you mean. I do feel that an article I once read about queer heterosexuality on Below The Belt (http://feed.belowthebelt.org/2009/12/queer-heterosexuality.html, and if someone could add a link to Below The Belt in the sidebar, I’d really appreciate that as it’s wonderful!) describes me to an extent, but the fact that I only like androgynous/femme guys—traditional masculinity does nothing for me—and that while I’m female-bodied, my gender is unpredictable, even that is blurred.

    I think I prefer Kate Bornstein’s solution to this mess more than anything: get rid of the ever-expanding acronym list and just call queer organizations GASP!: Gender-Anarchic Sex Positivity.


  26. Bellatrix

    I like the GASP idea.


  27. Frankie

    I have the opposite of your problem. I’m a closeted polysexual, I constantly crush on girls; but to make things easier for my conservative friends i just stick to being straight and date guys. but when I’m hanging in other circles I’m constantly being referred to a a lesbian just because of my semi-masculine androgynous appearance. its like just because the stereotypical lesbian is a butch doesn’t mean a straight girl can’t dress a little androgynous.
    I can’t wait for the day when I grow the balls to be brave enough to admit to my friends that I’m not the “good” little straight girl they think i am. but still not a lesbian.


  28. Naomi

    Yeah, I’m pansexual, and I have a similar situation. Straight people, for whatever reason, assume I’m straight. I guess I’m not butch enough. I’m just androgynous. But if I come out to them, they don’t seem surprised. But when I’m around queer girls, they all assume I’m gay, and when I come out to them as pansexual, they give me this look. Like I’m not queer enough all of sudden, even though they just recognized me as queer two seconds ago. Ugh.


  29. Elyssia

    I have a gay male best friend and I am labeled as femme most days so when we go out to clubs, it is always assumed that I’m his fag hag and it drives me crazy. The most irritating thing to me is when I get asked by mostly gay men if I’m straight or bisexual. They never think to ask if I’m a lesbian because they say that I’m “too pretty” to be a lesbian.


  30. Jessica

    @Elyssia (love your name BTW) Just because you’re gay or trans doesn’t mean that you’ve suddenly passed trough some curtain and now you’ve been fixed and have no prejudices, stereotypes, etc. As I’m sure you’ll agree, sometimes people have even more violent and arbitrary prejudices and assumptions about people after they’ve “become” something themselves. Sometimes there’s a whole domino effect of assumptions that happens, especially if their journey has been difficult.

    I certainly wish that coming to the realization that you’re trans somehow immunized you against being stupid, but it hasn’t worked for me.


  31. Cindy

    I too dress and act very feminine. I was never thought of as queer at all until I got my hair cut a few weeks ago. And even now, most people do not even think of it. The fact that I am queer/questioning is only really noticed by some of my closest friends. It is indeed annoying that these assumptions are made based on appearance and I too wish that the world could step outside their pre-conceived notions of what gender and sexuality look like.


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