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September 20th, 2022

Fem Boys Need Representation Too

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m fem, but I’m sure not butch either. That’s okay…

I don’t qualify as androgynous because I’m not pretty enough, but I am definitely not lumberjack material either. I got static nearly all my post puberty life for being more interested in art than sports, for wearing my hair long (hey hippy are you a boy or a girl…HAHAHAHAHA), for being a scrawny little dweeb and not wanting to fight anyone. And it’s taken me decades to finally give myself permission to wear the turquoise jewelry I love, dress a little better, wear more color, and not care how masculine or feminine I appear. But that static can come at you from all directions.

The fact is there are subsets of the gay family that really take a disliking to guys who aren’t anything less than 100 percent manly beefcake. I suppose that’s where their libido goes, which is fine, but do they have to bust on the androgynous guys for being…well…beautiful. I have a very picky libido, and it tends to alert on beautiful androgynous longhaired guys…which unsurprisingly tend to be the subjects of my sexy drawings. One day I showed this sketch to one of my (former) gay friends…

…who immediately snarked that he was one estrogen shot shy of a job at Hooters. Okay…fine…his libido doesn’t go there. Mine does. I don’t object to your fantasy material, kindly don’t object to mine. But I think there is an element of misogyny in this too that needs to be looked at. You’re either a Real Man, or you’re a pussy. A disappointing number of gay males fall for this…trap.

Believe me, I know how it is to be on the receiving end of that static. I know how it eats at you inside, how it makes you stifle yourself. And then how for years how you can find yourself struggling to cut your way out of that blanket of self censorship and just be Yourself, be the person you are. And I’m not really all that fem. Just not lumberjack material. But it’s been hard.

And it seems this mid-term election year, that Not Manly Enough males, and especially transgender kids and adults are in the crosshairs from the usual culture warriors who use hate to harvest votes. So it’s good that they get representation in the popular culture now, more than ever. Especially trans kids, who seem especially vulnerable in the red states now. And especially in any subset of American pop culture where they’re routinely denigrated. Like in video games for instance. I get that. And I approve. Mostly.

But fem and trans are not the same things. This is why you support trans kids with things like counseling specific to their needs, and puberty blockers if that’s necessary, and trans adults with necessary drugs and surgeries, so they’re not always feeling like they’re in the wrong body. But you support little fem boys by letting them wear their dresses if they want, and put on makeup if they want, or however they need to be, just as girlish as they want to be.

I would expect that the Venn Diagram of Androgynous

…and transgender…

…probably has a lot of overlap, as the symbols for each of them suggest. But they are not the same things. And it’s offensive to suggest they are. And fem boys, whether plain faced¬† (like me) boys next door or beautiful androgynous boys, get enough static from excessively testosteroned males and their Karens. They don’t need it from people who ought to be their natural allies.¬†

Where I’m going with all this: If there is any hill not worth dying on, it’s arguments about the pronouns of characters in video games. Ultimately it strikes me a lot like arguing about the race of mermaids in Disney movies. So I’ll just put this out here: Fem Boys Need Representation Too.

Please don’t take it from them. And from all of us, even those of us who don’t quite qualify as fem, Because we need to know we are part of the human family too.

And that is all I have to say.

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