femmephobia

"Out-siders": Being Femme and Bi in Queer Spaces

The_Feminine_Eye_-_Photo_by_Alyssa_L._MillerI have previously written about my struggle with my appearance not being read as queer as I would like. Both alone and even less when I am with my partner. Though I am alternative, a lot less than I used to be as a teenager, in certain ways I do conform to female stereotypes. I have long hair, I wear makeup, I wear dresses and skirts (in fact I don’t even own jeans or trousers), and an obscene amount of jewellery. There are ways in which I don’t however. You will never see me in heels. 99% of the time I wear Dr Martens boots that are perpetually untied, my hair is not kept and glossy because I crimp it so it’s usually huge and wayward, my nail varnish will always be chipped and my facial piercings, black clothing and dark lipstick usually seem to put people on edge.

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Past the look: What is demisexuality?

love-560783_1280One thing that has bothered me for a while when it comes to LGBT+ spaces is that they are primarily focused on bars and clubs: spaces revolving around alcohol and casual sex. For me, as someone who doesn’t drink, they are only places I would go if I was with a larger group of queer friends. Outside of that however, it is rare that I come across somewhere that is both queer and casual that I would like to spend my weekends.

I have recently been doing some research on the asexual (ace) and aromantic (aro) communities that are included within the LGBT+ umbrella but are very often ignored. One main difficulty the ace community faces is people rebranding the “A” in LGBTQIA as being for allies and not asexuals. This erases them even further as they are replaced by non-queer representation, which is exactly, not, the point.

The problem with LGBT+ spaces being hypersexualised means that queer ace people could feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in queer spaces due to the heavy focus on indulging in casual sexual behaviour, which is totally fine and awesome if you are into that sort of thing, but if you aren’t it leaves you in the cold as to where to find queer spaces and likeminded queer individuals. This oversexualisation of queerness and queer spaces also means that asexuals get forgotten and are sometimes not seen as being “queer enough” to be part of the community. Which is something that to bisexuals sounds strangely familiar…
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