On queer aesthetics and not feeling ‘Queer Enough’

Some excerpts:

Femininity is complicated. Despite not shaving and rarely wearing
make-up, I perform it well. Still, conforming to gendered stereotypes or
normative standards of beauty doesn’t make me more or less queer. I do
see the irony in talking about the downsides of fitting mainstream ideas
of gender and beauty. Though in queer spaces it does feel like a point
of contention.

Don’t misread me, radical self-expression—along with the
deconstruction of what gender can and should be—is great. It’s brave,
it’s empowering and it’s liberating to so many queer people. It’s
important work and it needs to be done. But while we’re doing that work,
we shouldn’t leave people feeling as though they aren’t “queer enough”
to enter safe spaces and explore their identities, too.

Limiting the narratives around expressing queerness also limits
the diversity and fluidity of the queer community. Thinking that someone
needs to look and act a certain way ignores the fact that every kind of
gender, sexuality or identity presentation is, in some way, a
performance. While some of these performances may not be deliberate or
subversive, they are still valid. And they show, in some small way, that
the reach of queerness extends far beyond what we look like, what we
say or what we do.

On queer aesthetics and not feeling ‘Queer Enough’


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