What I am saying here is this: don’t just open your eyes. It’s not enough.
Seeing my pencil skirt isn’t enough to tell you I’m femme. Seeing me with a butch isn’t enough to tell you I’m femme. These signifiers can be hints–take them as an invitation to your senses, all of them. Especially the senses that are deeper than the usual five, your sense of space, of proximity, of vibes, if you will. Noting the aesthetics of clothing or makeup or hair is not enough, because aesthetics are not enough to convey something as complex as one’s gender/identity. When we rely on aesthetics, we get lazy and reductive. When we are lazy, we make people invisible by refusing to recognize them, as what they are and as part of our communities–for identities are intelligible only in communities. When we are lazy, we take trans femmes for drag queens and straight white hipsters for femmes. In our laziness we reduce the entirety of femme to the singularity of an aesthetic: one type of body (with tits), one way of dressing, one way of partnering and fucking. Question your desire. Do more. See more.