The Femme’s Guide is alive and well, my friends! It did, however, get a makeover and is now the very fabulous Femme Galaxy. I’m still a columnist, and hope to use the column not only to voice my ideas and theories surrounding the concept of a tomboy femme but also to hone my writing into a better-crafted skill. In the name of both goals, I responded to the June prompt:
What would you say to a newly-identified femme? Do you have advice, tips, tricks, or anything else you would like to share with them? Perhaps you have a story to tell or want to reminisce about when you were first femme-identified?
I actually started this a few days ago, but realized that I needed to write an actual column then respond to the prompt. So, now that I have introduced myself over on my column, back to the original topic: advice for newly-identified femmes. And for my advice, I will tell you what I wish someone had told me when I first discovered the world of femme:
There is more than one way to be a femme.
It’s as simple as that. Even looking at my fellow Femme Galaxy authors, you will see very clearly that there is more than one way to do it and do it successfully. Really, however you rock it is rocking it successfully because there is no failure to be found in being yourself.
Perhaps for some this advice is overly simplistic. Even looking back, I can’t believe that I didn’t conclude from the get-go that there are as many ways to be femme as there are femmes in the world. I knew all along I wasn’t a butch, but I knew there was a bit of boy in me. I knew I wasn’t one of those femmes, luscious though they are, who wear only skirts and dresses and who find pants of any kind horribly uncomfortable. I wasn’t one of those femmes for whom stiletto heels and lipstick are everyday occurrences. And in not being one of those femmes—essentially, high femme—I felt like I was a femme failure.
Though it was a more or less natural part of the growing-as-a-femme process, it was also an unnecessary pain, because there is no one true way to be femme. One can be a femme and wear jeans; one can be a femme who rarely wears makeup; one can be a femme who wins arm wrestling and, yes, belching contests. It is entirely possible to be something of a two-spirit femme: a mix of high- and tomboy femmes whose appearance and attitude changes according to mood and circumstance—or, whose appearance and attitude combines at all times the various aspects of either and any kind of femme. It is absolutely doable to combine both the swagger and the sashay to create a strut that screams your name and makes everyone look twice.
Go forth and rock your femmeninity, my friends. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as it’s all you. Physical trappings aside, femme starts and ends in the heart, so if you feel it there, you’re doing it right.