Femmepire records is an interview series on femme identity. Click here for the elevator pitch and first interview.
Here's local comedian Jennifer Dronsky:
In a few words, define femme.
A queer person who appears feminine in some way, wears dresses, makeup, has a feminine demeanor, or to straight people, someone who looks like they're "the chick" in the relationship.
If you don't have a definition, what do you think of Google's: "A lesbian or a male homosexual who takes a traditionally feminine sexual role."
I think Google is a B-Hole. What does a "traditionally feminine sexual role" mean? Is that when the woman waits until the man has left the room to orgasm/cry? Just because I haven't worn pants since I was 16 and love lace doesn't mean that I am some pillow princess bottom who makes love like Sleeping Beauty in a pink satin room.
Do other people identify you as femme? How do you feel about that?
I wouldn't say I identify as a femme as much as I don't mind the term, and wouldn't be offended if someone needed to define me as such. I think most people see me as a straight lady. Is there a term for that? Most of the time it's an uncomfortable assumption because then I have to reveal myself as a homosexual radical with opinions about "equality" and "feminism" to unsuspecting bigots. Or I get to just feel wildly uncomfortable around a friend's extended family.
Do you feel like you have to try harder to be read or seen as queer? If so, how do you deal with that?
I don't think anyone has ever looked at me and thought, "I think she is gay!" Generally I need someone who reads as gay standing next to me so that when the sunlight hits them some of their gayness reflects onto me and tints my skin ever-so-slightly rainbow. Usually my girlfriend is the one who does this for me, but lately I was thinking of getting a queer-identifying tattoo. This could also save time if we are ever branded and put into concentration camps (again).
Do you feel constricted in who you date/sleep with because of your appearance?
As a bisexual femme I don't feel I have been limited per se. In the past I wished more women approached me romantically, and by "more" I mean at least one. But, in all that waiting, I learned I could just approach someone and attempt to be charming, and that seemed to work. I also learned new terms about myself like, "a high femme top from the bottom." Sounds like a fancy way to make a drink. I'll have a High Femme Top, from the bottom, please!
What prompts you to present the way you do? Is it something you consciously think about?
Since I was four I can remember lusting over dresses, bright colors, sparkles, and pretty fabrics. When I was seven I had a gold clutch that I would proudly wear with my best outfits and I was even scolded for calling my bitchy neighbor's floral pants "tacky." To be fair I wanted to tell her she looked like a messed up Peggy Bundy but I thought that would've been rude. Sometimes I think I was a lazy drag queen born into the body of a bio woman. But like raccoons and other woodland creatures who are attracted to shiny stuff, it's in my DNA or something.
Lesbian representations on TV/movies are almost always femme. Do you feel like this contributes negatively (or at all) to your life/gender presentation/identity?
Not really. Most TV is made for the majority (straight white people).
I would love to see diversity in the few lesbians on TV and in movies. And it sucked that The L Word was a poorly written show about a bunch of skinny femmes who were wildly self-contradicting and closed-minded, but the content of most TV shows is utter crap. I don't think Friends ever even had a black or Latino person in their studio audience. If they ever put a realistic lesbian or woman on TV then they would probably have to make all of their other characters more realistic, and then they would have to come up with better writing and it all just snowballs into hard work. When they could just put pretty people on trampolines and make them chug milk for a prize. Is that on TV yet?
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