Remember that episode of the Real L World where they had pants or pumps competition? After watching it I wasn’t quite sure which side I would have been on. Probably pants, but you know some days I do like to wear pumps when the mood strikes me! Recently, I came across the phrase tomboy/femme on various tumblrs and blogs. I had never heard it before and as soon as I saw the two words together I finally felt like I could describe myself. As human beings we desperately grapple with our identity, especially within the LGBT community as we try and fit ourselves into the acronym. Even though I’m out now for the last number of years I still find myself trying to fit in to the gay scene.
A gay male friend of mine told me a couple of months ago that I was a real femme. I was shocked. I told my straight friends and they thought it was hilarious. To them the sight of me in a dress is a rare occasion. I have one or two in the back of my wardrobe which gets pulled out for the odd wedding or dinner dance. When I go to those heathen places called ‘straight’ clubs I feel completely out of place as I feel like my difference in fashion causes me to stand out like a sore thumb. But, on a night out in the gay club I feel overdressed compared to other women when I see hoodies, runners and the odd baseball hat. But ye all manage to pull it off nevertheless!
But why do I feel the need to find another label for myself, is it not enough to say I’m a lesbian? I suppose in the heterosexual world there’s a lot of sameness but within the LGBT community, while there are similar trends, there are also so many different roles being played. It’s almost as if we feel a strange pressure to fulfill the label we have been given, to be part of the group you have to have a part to play.
I’ve always felt different, even when I go to gay clubs I sometimes feel like I don’t fit in, I don’t look like a lesbian but then I don’t look straight. So am I pants or am I pumps? For now I’ll just stick with tomboy femme. Maybe if I was there on that episode of the Real L World I would have just taken the score, which wouldn’t have been so bad. But I suppose the important thing to realise as we struggle with our identity is that being an individual can be a positive and not a negative, standing out from the crowd can set you apart.