I just realized that as I start participating in discussions on adoption websites and blogs, more people will be viewing this website. And those people will be strangers. And so, I thought it might be a good idea to explain a bit more about myself, and why the words ‘queer’ and ‘femme’ and ‘dad’ are in the title of this blog.
To start, a little history/etymology:
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. Originally meaning strange or peculiar, queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late-19th century. Beginning in the late-1980s, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert a politicized identity distinct from the gay political identity. Queer may be used by those who reject traditional gender identities as a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to LGBT.
From Urban Dictionary:
Femme: n.) A gender identity in which someone (female, male or other) has an awareness of cultural standards of femininity and actively embodies a feminine appearance, role, or archetype. It is usually–but not always–associated with a gay or queer sexual identity/sexuality. It is usually more accentuated and intentional than a straight female gender identity or gender presentation and often challenges standards of femininity through exaggeration, parody or transgression of gender norms.
Dad: noun: a person’s father
Clear as mud? Well, okay, I’ll try a little harder. 🙂
I am a femme man. I have a lot of mannerisms that are traditionally considered to be feminine. I wear the occasional bit of makeup when getting dressed up for something fancy. I throw fabulous dinner parties while wearing my apron. I consider my femininity to be central to my personal identity. I am not ashamed of the fact that I talk with my hands. I look great in glitter. I covet jewelry the way my male co-workers covet new golf clubs. And much, much more.
I also a queer man. I like this word better than ‘gay’ a lot of the time (although I tend to use ‘gay’ to describe myself when I am talking to people who may be less educated about queer culture as a way of skipping some unnecessary questions and strange looks) because it feels more expansive and welcoming, to me, and also is a word that has particular meaning in the GLBTQ community that I am a part of. It allows for muddiness, for grey areas, for ambiguity, and I like acknowledging that gender and sexuality aren’t black and white.
One day, I hope to be someone’s father. This part should be pretty self-explanatory. 🙂
And so: I chose to highlight these things in the title of my blog, because they are core parts of my identity, and they are things that make me rare (as far as I can tell) in the adoption blogging world. If anyone out there has any questions, please let me know.