Welcome to the Queer Fat Femme Blog Guide to Life! Featuring advice, glitter, fat fashion, travel, performance recaps, community building and sardonic anecdotes from the life of Bevin Branlandingham.
Why Queer Fat Femme?
I believe in the power of community to bring strength to marginalized identity. I believe in giving power to that identity. I believe claiming what has kept you down in the past as your own is part of the journey to loving yourself and making your own path.
I believe there is no one right way to be Queer, Fat or Femme.
For me I identify as Queer because I do not acknowledge a gender binary and most of the people I date don’t identify exclusively (if at all) as women. It also acts as a handy umbrella term to encompass the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.
Identifying as Fat has a lot to do with the reclamation of a word that has been used to hurt me in the past. I don’t think Fat is a bad thing, I have highly nuanced Fat activist politics and I believe in body autonomy. Bodies come in all sizes, mine happens to be fat, and I have chosen to live my life to the fullest regardless of what the society I was raised in tries to make me believe. In the words of my hero, Heather MacAllister, “Imagine how much time you would have if you stopped worrying about how fat your ass is.”
Femme is a tricky one.
Femme is a way of defining for me how I fit into my sexuality, but does not describe my gender.
Femme means my feminism and my femininity walk hand in hand.
Femme means I look how I want to look and not how someone tells me I should look to be perceived as queer. You’ll know I’m queer within about 20 seconds of talking to me.
Femme means I look how I want to look and not how someone tells me I should look because I am a woman. I am often far overdressed for everything I do, but when I look in the mirror and smile because I’m wearing a glittery necklace, feathers in my hair, lots of cleavage, that’s what matters.
Femme means I stand in solidarity with every other self-identified Femme, Butch, and gender warrior out there.
I also identify fiercely as a Femme Shark, read the manifesto!
It is about finding a way to be a girl that doesn’t hurt. (This is from my friend Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s keynote speech at the Femme Conference last year).
And another great quote from the Femme Conference (this one from my hero Dorothy Allison): “A femme can teach you how to run through broken glass in heels.”
None of these identities exists in a vacuum. Coming out as fat made being femme possible, which made being queer make more sense to me. Acknowledging an intersectionality of identities–both privleged and marginalized–is very important to me. Other ways I identify: Feminist, currently able-bodied, grew up working class, currently artist class, white, ally, a daughter, a friend, culturally lesbian, community leader, activist, Capricorn.
About the Masthead:
Pretty much an ongoing collage of Bevin and her Besties, since her Besties are a huge part of what makes being a Queer Fat Femme so magical.