Femme–an identity that has caused controversy, celebration and ridicule–is now the topic of a two-volume set from Homofactus Press and editor Jennifer Clare Burke titled Visible: A Femmethology. Femmethology calls the LGBTQI community on its own prejudice and celebrates the diversity of individual femmes. Award-winning authors, spoken-word artists, and totally new voices come together to challenge conventional ideas of how disability, class, nationality, race, aesthetics, sexual orientation, gender identity and body type intersect with each contributor’s concrete notion of femmedom. – from femmethology.com
This month of April marks something I’ve been waiting for quite some time: the Femmethology virtual blog tour! Today is lucky enough to be my day, and so I’m sharing some of my feelings and insights related to the Femmethology. Visit Daphne Gottlieb tomorrow for her day, and all the sites at the bottom of the post on their days.
First, a little about the Femmethology:
Visible: A Femmethology
Femmethology is essential—a roadmap of Femme Nation, an index, an anthropology, a manifesto, and a googleology. – Dorothy Allison
Visible: a Femmethology is a two-volume anthology of essays revolving around femme identity.
I’ve been discovering and embracing my multigendered identity lately, but in that multigendered identity there is a solidly femme identity as well, which these books helped me remember.
Not that I had forgotten my femme identity, I just had been focusing more consciously on my fagette identity than my femme because it was new and in a way easier to focus on because it’s more visible (though only slightly). The identities in no way are opposites, they are complimentary, but they are also different. Reading through the Femmethology in a way re-connected me with my femme identity.
The biggest benefit of the Femmethology, in my opinion, is that it helps remind us that we are not alone as femmes. While some of us have many femme friends and a wonderful support system the rest of us do not and we have to navigate the world without much reassurance and reminders that there are so many of us out there feeling the same things. This is one of the reasons I started The Femme’s Guide in the first place, to emphasize that there are many of us out there, and while we’re all different we are also all the same.
I was moved many times throughout the two volumes. There were authors I knew well or moderately well, from various avenues such as Sinclair Sexsmith, Sassafras Lowrey, and Tara Hardy. There were many other authors that I didn’t know anything about, but I was able to get to know something about them through their stories.
Many stories touched me to the core, rocked me, and left me dazed and contemplating my own stories and my own identities.
I feel that Visible: A Femmethology is not just a book or anthology meant to be read, though it certainly is that as well, it’s also a look into each of these femme’s lives and voices, an adventure into different types of femme-ininity and different experiences that all somehow are similar because of this identity we all embrace and inhabit. It shows the vastness of femme while also showing what unites us.
It screamed “you are not alone” to me right when I needed it.
From the Introduction to the anthology: “Femme means I won’t compromise on complexity. … Above all, my femme is not your femme, which is the good news. … Femme means my sexuality, my partner choices, my definitions and my gender presentation might not match your labels.”
You can also hear Sinclair Sexsmith reading his Love Letter to Femmes!
Check out the blogs below on the associated dates to learn more about the Femmethology volumes:
4/1. Sugarbutch Chronicles
4/2. Ellie Lumpesse
4/4. CyDy Blog
4/6. Catalina Loves
4/7. cross-post: The Femme’s Guide and Femme Fagette
4/8. Daphne Gottlieb
4/9. Bilerico Project
4/10. Screaming Lemur: Femme-inism and Other Things
4/13. The Femme Hinterland
4/14. Bochinche Bilingüe: Borderlands Writing and The Vagina Adventures
4/15. Dorothy Surrenders
4/16. Miss Avarice Speaks Her Mind
4/17. The Femme Show
4/19. Sexuality Happens
4/20. Queer Fat Femme
4/21. Sublimefemme Unbound
4/22. Tina-cious.com and Jess I Am (butch-femme couple day!)
4/24. The Lesbian Lifestyle
4/25. Femme Fluff
4/26. Weldable Cookies
4/27. The Verbosery
4/28. A Consuming Desire and Creative Xicana