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Fashion Choices in the Queer Community

Seher, Kori, and Taylor discuss queer fashion now, historically, and how we might sort of be doing just a little gatekeeping as well.




Further Reading (Thank you Taylor!)


Lesbian/Bi terminology:



  • Michel, Fran. Do Bats Eat Cats? Reading What Bisexuality Does”; RePresenting Bisexualities: Subjects and Cultures of Fluid Desire anthology (1996)
  • Murphy, Melanie. FEMME (2016)
    • “Femme is intentionality. When you compliment my outfit, you are appreciating my taste, my resourcefulness, my creativity, my sense of adventure, my liberal application of glitter, my choice to wear sequins with sequins. […] Femme is about taking the time to be present with the body, to make time to care for your self. Femme is about quiet moments waiting for your nail polish to dry, the hair dye to develop, the moisturiser to soak in.”
      • Capitalism, alienation, and the mind-body dichotomy that helped form the philosophy (Federici)
    • “I would probably add to “Femme is not the opposite of butch”.. ‘femme does not exist as a counterpart to butch, nor rely on butch in order to exist as queer; as a femme with very little interest in butch people its something that I often have to make clear to people who assume that femininity is essentially something done to attract or please masculine people.” — OllieFace (commenter) → maybe this perception is reflective of the aesthetic/[…?] evolving beyond relational understanding
    • “On the other hand, a lot of anti-makeup sentiment– particularly anything that starts talking about how “frivolous” and “shallow” makeup is– is also misogynistic and femmephobic. Makeup is a form of visual art. If making your face beautiful is shallow, so is making a canvas beautiful or a block of marble or a hunk of plastic. If you understand why someone would feel satisfied and happy when they make a gorgeous print, you understand why someone would feel satisfied and happy when their makeup looks perfect. I do not think it is accidental that the form of visual art almost entirely practiced by women is the one that gets accused of frivolity and where the talent exhibited by many of the artists is ignored or denigrated.”
    • “Ultimately, to be “femme” is to forge a self-made femininity that subverts the gender binary and heteropatriarchy by refusing to be defined in opposition to manhood and masculinity. In its autonomy, femmeness does not merely “queer” normative ideas about femininity—it confronts them and challenges them, necessitating a radical reimagining of gender and identity in the process.”



  • Sweeny, Robin. Too Butch to Be Bi (or You Can’t Judge a Boy by Her Lover); Bisexual Politics anthology (1995) 
    • “But being a butch woman who is also bisexual can be difficult. It feels sometimes that the idea is so challenging—since the assumptions in our communities are that all butch women are lesbian women and all femme women are bisexual women—that often a butch woman trying to come to terms with being bisexual is stuck.” (p. 182)
  • The “Lesbian-Only Term” Myth: A Comprehensive Historical Essay on ‘Butch’ and ‘Femme’, femmebis (2019) (Tumblr)


Miscellaneous Sources:



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