Femme isn’t Feminist?

I’ve seen some wacky ideas on the internet that people try to label as feminism.

One of them is that women “conforming” to wearing feminine clothing is anti-feminist. This is almost comical to me, because feminism is about supporting all genders in any way they want/feel the need to express themselves. Yes, feminism has made it more socially acceptable for women to dress in a more androgynous or masculine manner, but it isn’t a requirement to claim the title.

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I usually dress pretty femininely. I wear makeup when I go out most of the time, and in the past I’ve had long hair. I shave my legs, and get my eye brows waxed.  None of this discredits me practicing intersectional feminism. It’s quite silly to think that clothing would determine your morals and values. On the days I dress more androgynously I’m not any more/less of a feminist than the days I wear a dress.

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When I think of people believing that women must only wear dresses and skirts, I think of the 1950-1960’s. In my Grandparents church they had problems just this month with the choir director not letting people join if they wore pants. She claimed the Bible says it’s evil for women “to wear men’s clothes,” FYI that’s not in the Bible. How crazy right? Luckily even though the other members are also super conservative, they let her go of that position because they all agreed that kind of attitude wasn’t okay.

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Wear whatever you want, and whatever makes you most comfortable. It doesn’t matter your gender, sexuality, weight, height, ethnicity, etc. you can wear anything you want. There are no rules when it comes to clothing, it’s just another form of self-expression. If you want to wear short-shorts and low cut tops, do it! If you want to cover up, and dress conservatively, do that! Other people shouldn’t be dictating what you can and cannot wear.

Be authentically you and don’t apologize,

Alyssa

 

 

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Putting Ourselves in Boxes

The LGBTQ+ community does something I’ve never been able to understand.

We put ourselves in boxes.

Lesbians are categorized into femmes, butch, chapstick, lipstick, soft butch, stone butch, stem, and the list keeps going. Gay guys are also categorized, but by body type, and amount body hair, which is even more confusing to me. From bears and otters to jocks and “clean cut,” to probably a hundred other terms I’ve never heard of. If society is so set on putting us into boxes, then why are we doing it to ourselves?

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“What does she look like?”  Oh you know she’s like a 5.7599 on the butch scale
I don’t think there’s any harm in identifying as a femme or a butch girl, but why does it matter? Gender presentation, is just that, a presentation. You aren’t getting any more information from one of these labels then you can from justing looking at the person. Being a “femme” doesn’t mean you have a certain personality or act a certain way. All it tells someone is that you dress more femininely. So why do we use these words to describe ourselves?

Queer guys classifications confuse me even more. How does someones weight or amount of hair effect their personality? It doesn’t. If we aren’t getting much information from these labels, then why do we use them? Being a “baby gay” and getting thrown into a world of slang and labels can be very confusing. I felt like I need to identify with one of these terms, but I didn’t feel comfortable labeling myself with any of them, and that’s okay. If you feel caught up in the world of labels, just know you don’t have to pick one or even fit into a certain label.

Each of these terms carries stereotypes about the persons character traits, and their general demeanor. The Queer community deals with enough stereotypes from the rest of society, so I just don’t get why we would do it to ourselves. I personally don’t want to have to fight societies ideas of what lesbian is or looks like, along with other queer girls ideas of how I should look or act based of being a more feminine presenting lesbian.

I find these terms unnecessary, and don’t really see their use, but if someone else wants to use them, it doesn’t offend me.  Do you use these terms to describe yourself or your friends? Let me know if you do like these terms, and why they are important to you. I’m open to all sides, and would love to hear your view!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Political Correctness & Respect

There’s a couple of words/phrases that I hate in the English language and one of those is “political correctness,”  “politically correct,” or “PC culture.” This probably stems from me living Texas and 99.9% of people I’ve heard use this phrase have said it in way that  complains about society moving towards respecting everyone, and mocks the idea of avoiding offensive language. I will never understand why someone would not change the words they use to make others comfortable or to respect them.

I believe in respecting all people. Respect peoples pronouns, and gender, and sexuality, even if you don’t think you “should have to” or don’t believe it’s “real.” (That’s another post in its own.) Don’t use racist and/or derogatory terms to refer to a people group. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t respect others with your words. It seems as black and white to me as not walking up to someone you find unattractive and saying, “hey, you’re ugly.” That is uncalled for and so is being “anti- PC culture,” and continuing to use language that hurts other people.

The biggest argument I have seen against political correctness is that some see it as a form of censorship and is “anti-free speech.” I couldn’t disagree more. Using those kind of excuses only dismisses those who have been discriminated against, and those who are trying respect others and progress in society. I personally  don’t want anyone to call me a dyke or fag just because I’m a lesbian. If another LGBTQIAP+ person I’m close to does it as a joke it’s okay with me because I like that kind of banter and humor, but it you are heterosexual or a stranger, I would be offended. That kind of speech is used to oppress a people group I belong to and I’m not okay with it. Just like I’m not okay with someone using hateful and derogatory  words to tyrannize someone else. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences, and some of those consequences hurt other people, and continue to systematically oppress people groups.

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I also mostly see white people complaining about political correctness. Is your freedom and power in America not enough for you? I’m white, and I’m going to call out other white people and say, how some of you treat your fellow Americans, and fellow human beings is wrong and it needs to stop. Some of it stems from racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia – you name it, but I also think a lot of it stems from laziness. Some straight people are too lazy to learn about pronouns and sexualities that aren’t as common. Some white people refuse to stop using racist terms, or supporting organizations with racist names and values because, “back in my day nobody cared; everyone now is too sensitive,” and they have used them for so long it has become a part of their daily vocabulary.Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon
I don’t agree that people are too sensitive now. We are moving towards a culture that has greater respect for one another – even though we are from that kind of society. I watched a great video on political correctness and respect awhile ago that inspired this post. In that video Franchesca Ramsey describes political correctness as, “Avoiding words that exclude, marginalize, or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” I love that definition, and I think it hits the nail on the head. Personally I want to love, respect, and empower everyone around me. I want all people to feel special and worthy no matter what society tells.

I have used the word respect a lot in this post, because that’s what I believe this boils down to. Respect. If you truly loved and respected others, you would take the time to better yourself and learn the kind of language to avoid. One  bible verse I like is Proverbs 2o:27, ” A person’s words are the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being” Essentially we should use our words to respect others and show not only God’s love, but also what our hearts look like. Even if you aren’t religious, good morals preach to show your love and to be “pretty on the inside.” Treat others with love and dignity, when speaking to them or about them. Celebrate diversity, while respecting those who are discriminated against, and validate their hardships.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Do I Need a Label?

When I first started questioning my sexuality I read the definitions of different sexualities up, down and backwards, I listened to other people describe what the label they choose meant to them, and I was determined to figure out who I was, and what label worked for me. I like labels. They give order to the huge spectrum that is sexuality, but they can also be restrictive.

I identify as a lesbian, gay, or queer. I prefer the term gay but I use all three to describe myself. Not everyone identifies with one particular sexuality, and that’s okay. My personal sexual identity isn’t super fluid, but for other people it changes a lot. I believe people can be bisexual for one period in their life, and gay for another, or any other combination of sexualities. When I first came out I only felt comfortable using the term Lesbian. When I said ” I am gay,” I felt dirty and wrong, due to internalized homophobia. Now that I’ve accepted myself I love using the term gay and I wear it proudly.

Choosing to not label your sexuality is a perfectly valid choice. However I personally feel power in labels. I feel a connection towards other people who are LGBT, it unites us in some way. Our narratives may not be the same, but we are a minority of the same type and I feel a familial presence in that. Being gay is something my straight friends, family members, and acquaintances will never be able to fully understand.

I live in Texas, (hint the blog name), so close-minded people who don’t understand minorities are never more than a few feet away. Using labels helps them at least understand slightly who I am. Now if I were pansexual or demisexual or any other lesser known sexuality then my label would go right over their heads.

Label yourself with whatever makes you happy, and if that is choosing not to use labels then so be it.

– Alyssa

 

 

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It’s Okay to be a Stereotype

It’s okay to be a stereotype.

It’s okay to be a masculine lesbian, who never wants to wear make up and keeps their hair short. It’s okay to be an effeminate gay guy, who paints his nails, and has a high pitched voice.

Being a stereotype doesn’t make you less original or “basic.” If you fit a stereotype for your sexuality or gender that isn’t always a bad thing. There are stereotypes for a reason. However it isn’t okay to put someone in a category based off their gender, sexuality, race, or religion. Don’t let heterosexual people tell you that you’re “too gay” or “too feminine” or “too masculine,” because there is no such thing.

On the contrary it’s okay to not fit stereotypes. If you’re a super feminine gay girl or a super masculine gay guy that’s cool too! The most important thing is to be true to yourself, and live an authentic life. Don’t let others dictate your personality or gender expression because it makes them uncomfortable or doesn’t fit their definitions of what you should be.

I think the most beautiful part about life is that we’re all different, and we should embrace that. We come from different cultures, families, and religions, but the thing that connects everyone is that we’re all human just trying to figure life out.

I’m defiantly more feminine than the stereotypical lesbian. I wear makeup, and on special occasions or to church I’ll wear a dress, but I can have a more masculine side as well. I’m outspoken and opinionated which are traits that aren’t often aligned with women. All my life I’ve been taught by society to be quiet; seen and not heard. That a man’s opinion has more weight than mine, and I should be of service to any male that asks something of me. I was quite young when I decided that the patriarchal life wasn’t for me. I’m going to be as opinionated, and obnoxious as I want, because being anything else would mean I’m not being true to myself.

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned in life is to be me ,without caring about outside opinions. Be who you authentically are, and don’t care about others opinions.

Lots of love,

Alyssa

 

LGBTQ+ Youtubers

LGBTQ+ representation in the mainstream media isn’t always that great, but youtube is one place where queer people really dominate. Here are ten of my favorite LGBT youtubers!

  1. Shannon Beveridge or nowthisisliving
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Shannon’s youtube channel nowthisisliving has always been one of my favorites. She is a lesbian youtuber who does everything from challenge videos to Q&A’s and is an upbeat person who will always put you in a good mood – and she’s gorgeous so that never hurts 🙂

2. Kaitlyn Alexander or Realistically Saying

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Kaitlyn is a non-binary Youtuber who is a song writer, poet, actor, and comedian. They are also in the web series “Carmilla” on KindaTV’s Youtube channel and play the non-binary character LaFontaine. They’re super funny and also create thought provoking content that I think most people will enjoy.

3. Alayna Fender

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Alayna is a bisexual youtuber who makes sexual education videos, vlogs, and has a hilarious series called “I Don’t Bi It” that comically brings to light the stigma behind bisexuality.

4. Nick Camryn

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Nick is a transgender guy who makes great content talking about his experience being trans, and also does Q&A’s, and reaction videos.

5. Ari Fitz

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Ari Fitz is an amazing lesbian youtuber who creates artsy videos, as well as vlogs. She also has a channel called Tomboyish where she shows off her androgynous style, and teaches you how to dress is a stylish, masculine manner. She’s super creative and fun to watch!

6. Ash Hardell

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Ash is a pansexual non-binary youtuber who creates educational content for the LGBTQ+ community. She recently got married to her wife Grace, who sometimes joins her on her side channel onetakeashley. She also wrote a book called ” The ABC’s of LGBT” that coincides with a series on her channel with the same name. If you’re new to the LGBT community or want to know more about gender and sexuality, you should defiantly follow her.

7. Ebony & Denise or Oliviahas2moms

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Ebony and Denise are a lesbian couple who have a beautiful daughter named Olivia, and *spoiler alert* twin boys on the way. Ebony and Denise vlog about their daily life, their  TTC journey, and have also vlogged both of their pregnancies. I have enjoyed watching their family grow over the years; they are such a cute family!

8. Chandler N Wilson

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Chandler is an agender  youtuber who creates educational LGBT content as well as vlogs.  Chandler is incredibly smart and articulate, and has taught me a lot about the trans community.

9. Amanda McKenna or AmandasChronciles

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Amanda is a lesbian youtuber who makes videos that are super creative. She’s hilarious and has really interesting content ideas, that always turn out well. Some of her videos include coming out to strangers, bathing in TruMoo, and dying her leg hair different colors. She always puts a smile on my face and someone who I could just listen to talk for hours.

10. Scott Hoying & Mitch Grassi or Superfruit

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Scott and Mitch are 2/5 of the spectacular a cappella  group Pentatonix. They are both gay and make videos about LGBT topics, do Q&A’s, and have recently released some music together. They’re both really funny, especially Mitch, and have insane talent.

 

These are just a few of my favorites, but there are many more I like. I am a white, cisgender,  gay girl so these youtubers may reflect that. I tried to make the list diverse in race, sexuality, and gender, while also staying true to the youtubers I thoroughly enjoy.  Leave a comment below with your favorite queer youtubers!