(Em, our main character, talking to the audience)
Em: I’m a queer femme and I love it. Femme is an integral part of my identity! However, sometimes my queer community lets me down.
(A butch-identifying person speaking over Em)
Butch: Well as a queer butch, I feel that—
Em: Excuse me, I was talking!
Butch: Oh…you were? Sorry. I didn’t even notice you.
Em: The culture we live in celebrates masculinity and demonizes and shames femininity, and that doesn’t go away in the queer community. This means at times, this community can feel unsafe for femmes.
Em: Here are four suggestions of ways to be an ally to queer femmes.
(A person scanning over a group of people, ignoring the person who has their hand raised)
Text: Don’t assume we’re straight because of our gender expression. Femininity does not equal heterosexuality, our experiences are just as legitimate as everyone else’s. So please don’t ignore us…
Person: Is there anyone here who can speak on the queer experience? Anyone? Anyone at all?
(Two people talking, one with longer hair)
Text: Invalidate us…
Person with Short Hair: You’d get more dates if you cut your hair.
(A cisgender women talking to a trans women)
Text: Or exclude us
Cisgender Person: I just don’t think trans women belong in a women-only bike ride
(Person three painting a picture of two femmes in a partnered pose with their arms around each other. In the painting that person three is painting, one is femme while the other appears butch)
Text: Or erase us!
Person 3: I’m just changing your partner’s look a little bit so people can really see what’s going on.
(A bunch of scary faces leering at Em)
Em: Secondly, remember, that this femme-ness isn’t for you! It’s the way I am to feel comfortable in my own body. I’m femme because it makes me feel confident, powerful, sexy, and most of all, comfortable. I am not this way for your consumption! Femme is an identity on it’s own and not rooted in validating anyone else’s experience!
(A long panel, with two scenarios of Em talking to Person)
Text: I appreciate consensual affirmations….
Person: Can I give you a compliment?
Person: You look so confident and rad and your outfit is top notch!
Text: Don’t objectify me!
Person: You have the sexiest legs.
(A bunch of femmes, all over the gender spectrum)
Em: Another thing to keep in mind, femmes are not all women! Some femmes identify as cisgender, but many of us are non-binary, genderfluid, agender, genderqueer, trans men, cis men, etc!
(More samples of femmes with preferred pronouns, like: hir/ze,they/them or she/her or he/him)
Text: Make sure you ask pronouns and how people identify, instead of assuming based on clothing.
(A butch approaching Em, but she’s checking her nails with one hand and raising the other dismissively)
Text: And lastly, we are not always looking for butches!
Em: Not today.
(A silhouette of two people kissing, their lipstick in bright colors)
Text: Femmes can love other femmes! Or femmes can be asexual. Or love people all over the gender spectrum. Our romantic and sexual interests vary as much as we do.
Em: On that note, femmes are also not always sexually submissive. We can be tops, switches, not into sex at all, stone, pansexual, omnisexials, bi, polyamorous, monogamous, aromantic. You get the drift.
Em: Patriarchy teaches us that if we look one way, we must act or want certain things to match up. And luckily, that’s not how humans work.
(Close up of Em, who is grinning)
Em: The truth is we’re as varied as my lipstick shades have been in this comic, and that’s a beautiful thing!
(A whole bunch of femmes!)
Em: Femme’s are an important part of the queer community, historically and currently, and femmes be celebrated and recognized for their presence! It’s important that we make room for each other to love and respect our diverse differences.