I don’t use the word “femme” to describe myself.Â Never have, likely never will.Â That’s not so say that I’m butch or anything, I just don’t like the word “femme”.Â Other people use it fine, but not me.
Why?Â Because rarely (if ever) will you hear a gay man refer to himself or another man as “femme”.Â Effeminate, flaming, fabulous, but not femme.Â Femme is a word that is used almost exclusively by lesbians for other lesbians.Â It has been brought into the trans-masculine community by transmen who used to be lesbians and never bothered to learn the nuances of gay male culture.
What’s more, it is almost always used by the “women and transmen” people.Â As in “I only date women and femme FtMs”.Â Yeah, sorry, no.Â That’s vastly offensive and if you don’t know why you can go read this.
Why is effeminate different?Â It’s a word that is used by men to describe other men.Â It’s not a word that has been historically used to describe lesbian dichotomy.Â I dislike describing myself in lesbian terms, something that most transmen can’t understand as they were once lesbians.Â I wasn’t, I don’t have that history.Â My life has always been rooted in gay male experiences so I use words to reflect that.
Now, some transmen (I’d say most) are fine with using femme to describe themselves and others.Â That’s great, people should be able to describe themselves how they see fit.Â I simply take issue with people describing me with that word.