So this is the original post that seems to have become rather popular. First published on the Screaming Violets website.
Last night, I went to a queer/lesbian event that I had been looking forward to for ages. It consisted of a screening of a 1970s lesbian film, with a talk beforehand from one of the actors and some performances and a party afterwards. I was expecting it to be ace, and we had friends come to stay the weekend especially to go to the event.
As part of her talk before the film, the actor was telling us a bit about herself, including about her femme identity. I was pretty excited when she started talking about that – it’s not often that femmes get to take centre-stage on the gay scene, and I was expecting her to shatter some of the tired old misogynist stereotypes about femmes, which are sadly still rampant in the mainstream LGBT scene. As someone who identifies as femme myself, I love hearing older femmes’ stories – it’s validating and fascinating and empowering.
So she started recalling a definition of femme that had always stuck with her – the definition that had rung the truest for her. Again, I was pretty excited at this point, as femme is notoriously hard to define and usually misunderstood – by both the straight mainstream and lesbian culture. I was looking forward to having all the usual bullshit stereotypes blown out of the water by this older, self-confident, badass femme actor.