Scroll To Top
Identities

This Is For Any Boy Who's Ever Been Told They're Too Feminine

This Is For Any Boy Who's Ever Been Told They're Too Feminine

This Is For Any Boy Who's Ever Been Told They're Too Feminine

You probably aren't told this enough.

buffyonabudget

Photo: Allef Vinicius

Being a feminine male in the queer community is a tough gig.

While it makes sense that a marginalized group would create safe spaces to compensate for the mainstream acceptance that they're denied, often in these spaces, hierarchies are made that mimic the people and society that denied them in the first place. Femme gay men take a lot of the responsibility for degenerate values and poor media representation (even though they have to deal with toxic, homonormative practices and racist beliefs, both locally and nationally.) Bisexual men, especially femme ones, are joked about and their entire sexuality is questioned and deemed nothing more than "a stepping stone." Femme trans men are thought of as "not man enough" and are cruelly misgendered. It's all femmephobia at work, and I'm here to say—as a feminine queer person—that it's hard and it hurts.

Femmephobia, for those who have never heard the term, is in the simplest terms the resistance and attack of actions, forms of expression, and characteristics that are perceived as feminine. Feminine things are usually little more than things that are not masculine, which might sound silly to say, but it makes sense if you take a step back and look at how male-dominant and male-centered the world is. What is seen as feminine is often nothing more than just what is rejected by masculinity; things like crying, showing emotion, dancing, makeup, and more. None of those things are inherently feminine, they're only feminine because society says so, and because they're feminine, men should not do them.

Femmephobia is complicated in queer spaces. Everyday Feminism made a helpful comic on how to support queer femmes, pointing out that so much of our social programming encourages the oppression and domination of femmes. That leaves femme people in a terrible reality where they can be perceived as weak, over the top, and stereotypical for doing little more than existing. Somewhere along the line, society decided that feminine expression was equal to physical weakness and dramatics, because what better way to empower masculinity than by weakening its proposed opposite?

I can't speak for all femmes, but I know that I spent a lot of time being angry. I didn't go to gay events because I was so angry that people didn't like me for who I was but simultaneously asked society not to prejudge them for who they are. I was sick and tired of hearing "no fems" everywhere and not having anything I could say in return. I could feel the rejection eating away at me, pushing me to love masculine queer people, despite the fact that they were oftentimes the ones telling me I wasn't good enough for them. I'll never forget when my first boyfriend told me, coldly, that I was too feminine. I didn't break up with him right then because I didn't love myself enough to do so and I thought, deep down, that maybe I was too feminine.

Years passed, rejections occurred, and I spent a lot of time by myself.

I ended up in a femme-heavy space at my female-dominant school and it was there that I discovered the truth that I needed to hear all my life: Femme boys are beautiful. Femme boys are brave. Femme boys pave the way. Femme boys are historic. Femme boys are the future. Femme boys are an act of rebellion.

Most of us never had closets to hide in. We were laid bare for the world to attack and judge and yet so many of us still live our truth proudly, where others would have crumbled. We're not perfect, of course. Femme on its own doesn't necessarily mean good. But someone has to speak up for the femmes once in a while.

So if you're femme and you've felt like you're not good enough, or that you need to be more muscular, or have a deeper voice, or walk a different way, just know that you are amazing the way you are. You have a light that the world will try to take. Don't let them. You have one life to live and you should live it exactly as you want. Let people spend their lives fixated on who you are, because ultimately society will never erase femmes. Society has tried to get rid of femmes so many times, but they fail each and every time. Why? Because we're unlike anything else in the world.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Buffy Flores

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.

Aries/Taurus cusp, Latinx, vegan, femme person, and the biggest Buffy fan you know. Now writing for Bustle, PRIDE, Everyday Feminism, and The Rumpus. Passionate, deeply feeling, sometimes angry, mostly emotional. Wants to make people feel less lonely in the world. Follow them on Twitter @buffyonabudget.