In a section about courtship and the search for love, Kennedy and Davis report:“Butch-fem roles were the primary organizing principles for romance and courting. Butches were not attracted to one another, nor were fems attracted to one another.”This is the historical legacy that made its way into the few cultural representations of butch and femme relationships I saw and formed my understanding of sexual desire off of — and falling for myths like this was part of my journey to a more complete understanding of who a queer femme can be.Unsurprisingly, the realities of sexuality and queer expression are almost always more complicated than these prescribed possibilities for pleasure reported to Kennedy and Davis; queer attractions do not insist on such rigid role play.More our speed was Michelle Tea’s Valencia and Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For.importantly defines as a queer indicator in the song “Ring of Keys,” and one I deliberately signaled. We were too busy doing gender to slow down enough to define it.If I don’t intentionally come out as a lesbian to the grocery store clerk, a colleague, a waiter, the person riding on the bus next to me, or in any other interaction, the assumption is that I’m interested in attracting and sleeping with men.Incredibly, this invisibility happens with people I’ve worked with for years, though less so now that so many of the things I work on are related to my queerness.
I watched sexy mustached drag kings embrace female masculinity. It is these stereotypes that shape the misconceptions about LGBTQ lives, especially for those most marginalized — and even within the community. The stereotypes associated with lesbian identities tend to skew masculine, with little room for so-called feminine traits.(Gay male sexism has certainly not helped this problem.)But as a queer academic and activist, I live in the language of femininity beyond the binary.
My romantic relationship, my queer community, my activism and my academic work are all aspects of my femme identity.
”Understanding my femme-ness is largely an intellectual project, an exploration of femme identities and femininity beyond stunted narratives of female sexuality catering to the pleasure of Western, white, heterosexual men.