“Our identity should not take away from others. There is enough space for all of us,” Lexi articulates in our latest podcast. It addresses femme invisibility within our community.
Femme invisibility is essentially the erasure of the queer identity of femme folks. It is the assumption that LBQ people need to present in a somewhat masculine fashion to be read as queer. Femme is defined as a person who presents in stereotypically feminine characteristics.
The conversation helps us understand what femme invisibility means in the lived realities of femme folks in Ethiopia and presents us with the layered challenges that they face.
Femme invisibility has many challenges. While femme folk may have the privilege of not being targeted due to their presentation, there are many challenges that come from being a femme. Some of these include: Not being believed when they tell someone that they are queer, not being immediately recognized as a fellow queer people within the LGBTQ+ community, a sense that they must prove themselves, lack of acceptance within the LGBTQ+ community, not being taken seriously and being forced to deal with comments such as “but you don’t look like a queer person”.
This invisibility or erasure has the effect of creating a sense of isolation and creating expectations that align with gender roles found in the straight community. Our guests dive deep into the topic from dating to sex and to the way that we, as a community, must break the silence around this issue and make space for all of us.