A celebration of femme identifying boys who are resisting the toxic association with masculinity one lipstick shade at the time.
Here at Femmi-Errect we use our platform to celebrate the whole femme spectrum. We decided to do do a photoshoot to celebrate femme boys and the beauty of trans identity that is so often hidden when it's breaking the norm. These photos were inspired by the very people involved in them. They all express they’re femmeness in
such powerful and inspiring way.
The image we see of trans men in the media doesn’t reflect the diverse existing spectrum of that is transness. trans boys are so often not represented
or if they are, they are shown to be hyper masculine, although some are masculine, just like cisgender men, trans masc folks come from a very diverse style of gender expression, they can identify as femme too.
So often when trans masc people are shown as desirable they are either shown to be the stereotypical white skinny androgynous type, or the “I go to the gym everyday and have a 6 pack type”. What about everyone else who doesn't fit into those stereotypical categories? trans masc people are attractive and desirable even if they’re not represented by the mainstream media or the fashion industry.
In this photoshoot we wanted to show the softness behind the femme identity, and shine a new light on the trans femme boys who are often left out of the conversation around desirability. The side that isn’t afraid to talk about fragile masculinity and the dangers of toxic masculinity, but also the side that says it’s okay to be femme,
and that identifying as femme doesn’t decrease your trans identity. We worked with a diverse group of people who inspired us with how they expressed their identities.
It might be a buzzword in the queer community, but "femmeness" can mean a different thing for every person, so it's only fair to ask each person how they define femmeness.
Radam (@radamridwan) model and general babe says: I’m in awe of all the attributes I saw in my mother, my two genetic sisters, and the new sisters I’ve met along the way; a burning torch keeping the world alight. Soft, caring, emotionally expressive, loyal, fiercely protective of those who do not have the power to protect themselves, reflective when challenged, vengeful when the situation requires this of them.
And it is true, the first feminine attributes we experience might be coming from our mother figures, but queering feminity and femmeness takes us to a different world of expressing our gender identities, because it's not anymore just about womanhood and a general binary, it becomes an open umbrella for all to express their individuality.
Coming up with terminologies such as “femme boy” gives queer individuals especially trans folk a sense of autonomy to redefine their own gender identity.
One of our amazing models Mud Howard, a poet and performer says: Being a femmeboy is my perfect way of flipping the patriarchy on all fours and giving it a dazzling makeover. the binary is so boring and so violent in its diminutive ways of imagining gender. i've always been femme. femmeboy for me is the ongoing process of constantly detaching my femininity from womanhood and severing it from that basic and tired logic of biology. femme gets all of its best looks from trans, gender non-conforming and non-binary babes and we owe so much of our liberation to these trans femme legends. when i realized that i could be femme without being a woman, and be a boy without being masculine, that is when i found my gender. i don't identity as a boy anymore, but, as a non-binary person, femmeboy was the first roof that my gender could cozy up under.
One of our other models Rupert also known as the drag performer and artist ChubRub, says to him identifying as a femme boy is very empowering "It makes me feel like I can be a man who is unapologetically feminine. It makes me feel like my femme-ness doesn't make me any less male. In a lot of ways, it makes me feel a lot securer in my identity because I know that being a man is who I am and has nothing to do with my femininity or outward appearance”
expressing femininity or femmeness isn’t always the same for everyone, we were interested to find out how everyone felt they expressed their femmeness:
I express my femme boy identity in lots of different ways, Ruepert continues: mainly through clothing. I like wearing loud colours and overly feminine things, especially pink. As a trans man who does not pass, even when I try to present masculinely, I am read as female. When I'm in that situation, I don't have a choice about how people see me. They never see me as a man. But when I wear feminine clothes, I am choosing when people get to read me as feminine. I have a choice, even if what people think of me is wrong, and whilst being a femme boy isn't a choice and it isn't just about my appearance, most people still perceive gender as a surface. They look at my body and the things I wear and they make a judgement. Describing myself as a femme boy, and understanding that I can be both femme and a man, helps me to stop caring about those judgements.
We asked Mud how they express their femme identity:I am my best femme self with gold hoop earrings, a turquoise mustache, an oversized flannel with a tight mini-skirt hugging every inch of my ass. I love smokey eyes, emotional pop songs, platforms, blue lipstick, shelves and shelves of hair products, chokers, and a fierce year-long mullet blazing down my back. I express my femme lip-syncing on the dance floor, doing nails with my besties, and at home in front of the mirror. It's hard to tap into all the weird versions of gender that the world project onto you, but i try to be aware of both the masculine i receive privilege and the faggy femininity I embody.
"Femme is political and femme is collective. Femme refuses everything we've ever been told about masculinity, its dominance, its power or its persuasiveness."
Radam says: being born with a penis, femininity was socialised out of my body, out of my mind, unable to flourish in a starved environment. femmeboy means the exact point I began allowing the barren land to grow. when I began learning not to repress the traits which draw stares, elicit confusion, and are witness to hate. a quiet moment when I accepted an identity that I was dearly attracted to in others, but infinitely more afraid of seeing in the mirror. I painted my nails a shade other than black for the first time the other day. For 26 years of my life I’ve avoided being seen in ways that will give away the divine feminine energy inside of me. for 26 years I’ve been unable to see that this brilliant fire is not ugly, or despicable—unless left to rot inside. I won’t live like that anymore, and I am lucky to have the rest of my life to show the world the beauty in those parts of me.
It’s a process, though, Radam continues: I’ll start with seemingly innocuous things like my purple frost nails, my gigantic hoop earrings, paint on my eyelids on days other than Halloween. then I’ll move on to walking in the ways I’ve always wanted to, releasing the block on my tone of my voice, unlocking at the hips on the dancefloor. who knows what I’ll uncover on this journey, the shape I’ll end up in, or the person I’ll become... but I’m excited to meet them.
As Radam has explained, It's not always about certainty, it can also be about playing around, experimenting and exploring, but there seems to be a certain theme of hoop earrings!
Come and celebrate FemmeBoys with us at Femmi-Errect on December 14th at Dalston Superstore, a night full of music headlining Tami T, sexy gogo dancers and art! Early Bird tickets now on sale on Outsavvy.