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Flagging Femme
2009-10-05 // 1:10 a.m.

I'd like to be seen. Not noticed, or really even paid that much attention to. Just seen.

I'm talking about the gay nod. The little tilt of the head, shift of the eyes, and slight turning of the body that happens when two queer people, most often of the same or supposed-same persuasion, come in contact with one another. That's what I'd like.

About a year ago, a friend of mine interviewed Dorothy Allison after the femme conference in Chicago, and DA mentioned that there are always ways to "flag femme" in your daily life. Most often it's a way of carrying oneself, or wearing something that, on your typical het woman, would be "too much." But that works in a queer context.

Hearing that, I pictured myself with a sparkled up hanky hanging out of my back right pocket, how it would probably still be hidden by the kitchen jacket I had to wear to work. I thought about making myself up, but it always feels like too much; I have never worn makeup in my day to day life, and almost 30 doesn't seem the time to start. I thought and thought. But nothing came to me.

And so I often feel invisible. I feel as though I try too hard. Queer couples come in and I pay them extra attention. They never give me the nod, though I sometimes think that maybe just maybe one of them thinks I'm hitting on the other. If I am or am not.

But here's the thing: I want to flag femme. I want to see the femme placing her order, really See her. And I want her to See me. I want the acknowledgment that we aren't invisible. That we don't need a butch partner standing at our side to make us visible, complete, fully fledged members of the queer community.

I just haven't figured out how to do that yet. And it bugs me to no end.


reunited - 2012-04-22
work appropriate - 2012-02-29
i need you, i miss you - 2012-02-22
yes. and. - 2011-11-16
the quiet - 2010-04-04