Femme Bear

Someone wrote…

I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain how I feel about my identity to other people, especially as I don’t really feel like a trans man.

The phrase that I came to and rings true for me is “femme bear.” I want to be a big, strong, muscle-y, hairy person, and wear heels and flower patterns. I like my beard, but I hate that I felt I had to give up wearing lipstick completely.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on April 27th, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Femme Bear”

  1. Anonymous


    The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence wear makeup and some of them are quite hairy. :)


  2. thesnakegod(dess)

    You should feel free to express yourself however feels right. There’s nothing that says you can’t wear lipstick with a beard…

    It’s when I paint on facial hair that I feel the most comfortable showing cleavage. Gender-bend it up, lovely! :)


  3. Jessica

    Red is Dead describes it as wearing a gorilla suit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO6jagfZvkU)

    Why did you have to stop wearing lipstick? There are lots of colors that are not so obvious, or does your beard grow so close to your lips as to make application of lipstick difficult?


  4. Nicholas

    That’s what I don’t like about expectations, the feeling that you “have to” live up to something or someone you are not associated with! I know that, at least for me, I did not a receive a handbook on how to be me, so I really don’t know where people are quoting this information! It’s liberating to do whatever you want, whether it fits with a gender norm or not. Carving out your own gender identity can be daunting, but making it your own unique and personal statement is something to be proud of!


    Jessica replied:

    The aim for a lot of transsexual folks is to be assumed to be the person they present to be without question or expectation. It does get tiring after a while to always meet those stares, the hostility, the instant rejection – to always feel like someone in work clothes arrived at the white black formal dinner.


    Nicholas replied:

    And it is for that reason that I think it’s a shame that people focus so much on passing that they become a walking stereotype, which in itself is neither “normal” nor a realistic depiction of the kind of person they’re trying to be. I’ve earned a lot of respect just being myself, something I fear I would be waiting to “receive” if I was “trying” to earn it.


    Oliver Leon replied:

    Yes, I agree completely! Excellent metaphor, by the way.


  5. Anonymous

    I’m sorry that you’ve been made to feel alienated by society. Being unable to express yourself authentically has probably added another layer of hardship to transition. It’d do society a world of good to learn that being a man, trans or otherwise, or a transmasculine person, is not defined by gender expression and presentation. The OP is a man if he (or they) feel they can identify in that way. Nobody should be denied affirmation as their gender identity because of apparently conflicting expression or presentation. This is true whether the OP ends up identifying as a guy or a transguy or just a femme bear. I’m really glad that they’ve found something that rings true for them. (I’m sorry if these pronouns bug you, OP. I decided to play it safe and use neutral ones.) It’s too bad that society polices the gender expression of those read as male, and I hope the OP can find a safe place where they can go through a tube of lipstick a day if so inclined. A femme bear sounds pretty awesome.


  6. delisubthefemmecub

    I’m a femme trans bear (cub) too! :D In fact I named my tumblr after those very aspects of myself (delisubthefemmecub).

    Just do you :) your gender is fantastic!


  7. mouse

    i SO identify with you :)


  8. Anonymous

    I had once wondered what a “female bear” might be called, and I decided it should probably be some member of the mustelid family. Mink or wolverine or something.


    Samson replied:



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