Friday, August 19, 2011

That's Not a Recent Picture

[thanks Mars]
Hey there, cave-dwellers!

Have you ever had strep throat before?  

I ask you this because I was just eating delicious gluten-free shortbread cookies after work this afternoon.

In the midst of shoving crumbly fistfuls down my throat, I looked at the bag.  

It suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea how come I had cookies at my house.

I didn't buy the cookies. 

They cost, like, six bucks for a teeny little bag.
No way would I buy these.

But CJ doesn't really eat sugary stuff.
And they were just sitting on the kitchen table.  


A mystery!
[thanks Amy Huntington]
CJ called.  

I ate the last cookie, licked my pointer finger, stuck it in the crumbs, and asked her if she bought me cookies.  

How thoughtful!
[thanks Annika]
She snorted.  

Faggettes, today's the first day I've been able to get out of bed in four days.  

I've been knocked on my ass with strep throat. 

My tonsils tried to take over my mouth and my throat closed up and I had to go to Urgent Care to get drugs because I couldn't swallow and started panicking. 

My fever climbed higher and higher.

Now, I don't know about y'allfags, but when my fever goes up, I rapidly lose...lucidity.  

A certain grasp on reality.
[via iwillserveitindrag]
I get delirious.

I mean, I'm better now, but I literally cannot remember the last couple days of my life. 

[thanks Alex]

Apparently, as CJ tells it, while running a very high fever and staring at her with "weird scary eyes", I suddenly threw back the covers, sprang out of bed wearing footie pajamas, and announced that I was much better and the only thing I needed to feel 100% was "a proper English tea." 
[by idle threat]

Apparently I begged her, over and over again, to go out and get "a packet of tea and some biscuits."

Enter the shortbread cookies.


Frankly, I find this alarming.

It's disconcerting to know that if I ever black out or have a psychotic break, my other personality is a mincing English prat.

Anyway!  Mustn't dwell.  

Let me direct you towards my mailbag. Heh.

We don't have time to be sick! 
There are dykey issues afoot! We have to get to work! 
[thanks Austin]
The other day, a lovely lil' lezzer named Rose sent me this:

Q:Dear Effing Dykes Writer,

...These past few years I have been the fun, pretty femme who looks straight to the eye but is gay right down to my roots. 

I like being who I am...but after a while it becomes exhausting to have to defend myself and convince people that I am, in fact, very very gay.  
I've been trying to figure out what I could possibly do to stand out from everyone else. 

I have been thinking about becoming butch. 

Is that possible?  Can one just change from femme to butch?  Is there some lesbian rule book as to who should be femme and who should be butch? 

How does one determine if she should be one or the other? 

[via self-enigma]
Do y'allmos know what Rose is talking about?

I do.

Rose is talking about a phenomenon that occurs in lesbian culture on a regular basis.

For years, for lack of a better term, I've called it The Switch in my head. 
It needs a better name but I've been wracking my brains and I can't think of anything.

The Switch is when a lesbian (usually newly out or new to the scene, but not always) suddenly decides to "try on" a new persona or stereotypically dykey label - i.e. make a rapid, near-overnight change in clothing style, hair, and often even mannerisms. 

[thanks Lindsay Card]
Now, don't get me wrong, sluts.

Lots of people do this - not just lesbians.

When young, we all switch from preppy to emo to rich bitch to goth to stud to Abercrombie-whore to hick to nerd in the blink of an eye.  
We're learning about ourselves!
We're trying on identities for the rest of our lives.  

Now that we're adults and we're figuring things do we want to show ourselves to the world?  
[thanks JT]
Tons of people go through this.

But The Switch seems to happen especially a lot - a lot - with lesbians.

One day, you're a tomboy. 
The next, you've swung in the absolute opposite direction.

Now you're wearing miniskirts.

And there's nothing wrong with that.
Who says we have to pick a look and stick with it, anyway?  
How else will we figure out who we are unless we experiment?

My only trouble with your letter, Rose, seem to think your options are limited. 

There are more kinds of lesbians than butch and femme.

Um, way more. 

But I know why those seem like the obvious choices. 

When you're a newly hatched dykelet, the gorgeous subtle nuances of styles and looks in the lesbian world are lost on you.  

It's like being a baby - the subtleties of a flourless bittersweet chocolate cake with toffee creme fraiche nestled next to an earthy scoop of shiitake gelato is lost on on your inexperienced tongue. 

You don't taste all that.
You're a baby.  
You taste "sugar."

Likewise, there are millions of ways to be gay, but newer lesbians look around and see only the very basics.  

You don't see the muscular yoga teacher with a shaved head who dresses in ripped jeans and little boys' t-shirts and has lotus flowers tattooed down her spine and is actually a femme. 

You just see a shaved head and boys' t-shirts at the bar. 

You're new to all this.
You see "butch."

Labeling is fun, and it's a great way to start an argument, but there's more ways to be gay than ascribing to other people's set definitions of what a lesbian "looks like." 

There are millions of fine distinctions.  
[thanks tinah! kickwhere]
We must train our eyes.  

That being said, though:

Christ on a crackpipe, Rose, don't do it.

You already like who you are.

Don't change for anyone else.
Be yourself! Love yourself! 
Whip that femme hair! 

Come, take my hand as we accept ourselves for who we truly are and move forward into a glorious new lesbian future!!!!

Um. Yes.

Listen, I know how tempting it can be to change and become more "lesbianish."

I totally did The Switch when I first came out. 

Learn from my humiliations, Rose.

[thanks Chantale]


When I was an innocent little femme babydyke, I was going to lots of gay bars and dealing with the classic problem of other lesbians thinking I was either a fag hag or a straight girl, and thus ignoring me.  

(Btdubbs, that's called femme invisibility - someday we'll have a nice, cozy lil' rant about that.)  

[thanks Lauren]

I could only get dykes to talk to me if I was either:

a) with other, more obvious-looking gayelles

b) wearing a rainbow/pink triangle/HRC logo/lesbian band shirt

c) willing to go up to girls and hit on them.  
Every. Single. Time.  
[thanks LS_island]

I was working very very hard to get laid.  

Too hard, bitches.
[via hungoverowls]

One day, I peeked out from under my mascara'd lashes and noticed something: 

My boi and butch friends were getting more pussy than they could throw stones at. 

And they weren't even trying.
[thanks! Carroline Hillary]


So what did I do?  

Well, I'll tell you what I didn't do:

I didn't come to terms with my innate inner femme goddess, that's for damn sure.
[via curvyisthenewblack]

I wasn't attracting enough attention as a femme, so...

I cut my hair off.
I bought my first pair of jeans.

I - I - I bought a leather jacket.  
[thanks Sydney Burgess]
I began wearing embarrassingly large belt buckles and greeting girls with the upwards head nod. 


I was in my early 20's. 
I practiced sneering in the mirror.  

There...there may have been some men's undershirts involved.  
[thanks! postcardstome]

I was TOTES butch now. 

For serious.

I know it was stupid! I was really young, ok?

If you promise to keep it to yourself, I'll even tell you my secret shames:  

1) I once slapped a butch friend on the back and said, "I know, bra, right?" conversationally when she was bitching about her girlfriend. 

Years later, my face is burning just thinking about this.

2) Annnnd...I once put panties, a bra, jeans, and a belt on my body pillow and practiced, um,  taking them off in interesting ways. 

[thanks nik! jackpotloves]
So I could be butch!

Because taking bras off body pillows with your teeth is obviously what all butches do, right?
[via gray37]

Well, sluts, it didn't work.

I was patently not a butch.  
I looked ridiculous.

Butches, bois, and other femmes could smell my fakery from a mile off.

I got talked to at the bar even less.
[thanks Zaret]
All I got out of the entire humiliating experience were some pictures that CJ now takes out and passes around when we have people over for dinner, to general merriment.

Rose, learn from my mistakes.

Let me spare you the embarrassment of constantly playacting a role in your own life, just to impress some women who won't be impressed, anyway.

Let me save you from a photo album filled with ill-fitting pants and unfortunate experiments with bolo ties. 

Be yourself.  

Experiments are fun, and sometimes The Switch results in a change into the person you were meant to be, but don't change yourself to impress homogirls with narrowass views of how lesbians look.

You are exactly what some hot dyke is looking for.
As is.
[thanks Nikki and Kat]

I have two parting questions, faggettes:

1)  Can anyone think of a better name than The Switch?

2)  Who's got a good story about switchin'?


  1. I'm still curious where the cookies came from and how that caused you to get sick.
    I just cut off my dyke ponytail so I doubt that counts as a switch.

  2. may want to read the blog post over again! :p

  3. Haha I have switched three times in my life.

    You see, I'm a to-the-core skirt wearing makeup expert flowers in my hair femme... And i work my femme-ness... But the problem is I'm attracted to other femmes! So I trap them by "switching," seducing my femme, and then gradually fading back to my feminine self while we are going steady.

    Everytime I break up with a girl I ceremoniously cut off my hair and break out the tank tops and flannel.

  4. I made my own switches. I was a straight child, and very butch. Then as I got older (14) I wanted to fit in so I grew my hair and acted femme (without success). Then, at 20 I realized I was gay and could, with good confidence go back to the natural butch that I am, and will be. No more switches here.

  5. I must say, I look forward to the rant about femme invisibility. I swear I have them at least daily to whoever will listen, and it's even starting to annoy me! I am constantly tempted to try 'The Switch' (which I think is actually a fairly good name - i.e. I can't think of a better one) but I know it wouldn't work. The hair I could maybe do, and genuinely think it might look quitegood on me, but the clothes...nah. So instead I shall invest my efforts into hitting on girls & getting over rejection! I just need to learn how to fake confidence without coming across as a dick! Then I shall be sorted :)
    Oh, and I now SO want to go practice unhooking bras with my teeth! And I'm not even ashamed to admit it. Is that bad? Rawr!

  6. "The switch" sounds pretty good to me.

    I don't actually have much input, but I do have a mysterious sore throat, so I wanted to say thanks for reminding me that it could be strep. Ugh... I'm that lucky person who randomly gets strep/pneumonia/yeast infections/demon-flu like other people get zits; frequently, for no reason, and when you least want them.

    Now that I think of it, the closest I got to switching was when I was about 16 or 17 and I had a huge crush on a slightly older butch girl (who was either totally oblivious or pretending to be to spare my delicate-flower teenage feelings) and she mentioned that she liked "lipstick lesbians". I tried to think of ways to be more femme, but skirts and I just didn't get along, so that pretty much dashed my hopes. I do remember oh-so-subtly asking her if she thought I could pass for a lipstick lesbian. I think I've blocked the memory of her reply.

  7. I am a high femme, as femme-presenting as they come. I'm also, at the risk of using labels, very aggresive/toppy and usually lean towards other femme presenting or soft butch women. I have a rule that I don't wear anything too femmey to first dates with women. I don't go completely butch, but I do wear pants, which I only have about three pairs of in total. This is because of a theory I have that women might get duped by my clothes into thinking they have to "butch out" to compliment my femmeness, or that I somehow how desire it from them because I am such a femme. It happens a lot.

  8. 'Switching' sounds enticing if it will make me approachable to queer ladies =] I am not femme or butch but somewhere in the middle, I guess soft-butch/ tomboy/ whatever lol. I will not wear a dress or carry a purse, will carry a 'satchel', skirt occasionally, wear short shirts, tank tops, plaid(no overkill though), long wavy hair, occasional ponytail. At gay bars I have to resort to C) hitting on girls which can be nerve racking. I like femme girls or girls in-between butch/femme as well. So far being the aggressive one flirting and sliding a side note about liking ladies in a conversation works alright... Hard to tell about other in-between girls without being friends first.

  9. I must have depersonalization disorder, because I do 'the switch' on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis. Perhaps this mean I haven't figured out my 'look' yet, but I honestly just feel girlier sometimes and other times dont.

    My most pronounced 'switch' was when i started dating a super femme (her words). I knew she liked bois so I seriously toned down my femmeness. After we broke up, I wore dresses or skirts every day for like a month. However, lately I've been more of a hipster dyke... rockin the flannel, short shorts, and combat boots. I think it's a nice balance.

  10. IDK any suggestions, but hearing the term Switch just makes me think BDSM. Haha, def need a better name.

  11. I like "The Switch" too. I cut off all my hair when I came out. It didn't look awful, but it wasn't great. That's for sure.

    I think femme's can switch up their look to be edgier without changing who they are. Think asymmetrical hairstyles & leather miniskirts.

  12. Some days I wear makeup. Some (most) days I don't. I think that's as far as my "Switch" goes.

    I might though, on special occasions dust of a dress or a skirt and turn into quite a femme for a limited amount of time.

    But that's just if some situation requires it and I imagine that it'll be fun with a change. It usually ends up feeling uncomfortable though, and that I'm being a fraud.

    I mean, this doesn't like right. Does it?

  13. I propose "butchering". I know, I know, it sounds really grim. But, that's what one's doing when they radically de-femminze.

  14. Ha Jen I like "butchering!" I did cut my almost waist-length red hair to an almost-buzzed pixie when I first came out, but I kept wearing my usual pretty dress/combat boot combo. It actually helped a lot with the femme visibility factor (and the creeper straight guy INvisibility factor) but I don't know if I'd call it a switch so much as a really great haircut.

    My butch-ish girlfriend and I did do "the switch" as our halloween costumes one year... I wore boy jeans and a beater and put on some swagger, and she wore a dress, pearls and makeup. I weirdly got hit on by a couple of straight-looking girls who would never have noticed me otherwise.

  15. I think that "The Switch" works (you probably just coined a new term)...though I think more of Top/Bottom switching myself. I suppose that works in this sense, too, in some ways.

    Me - I 'had my 'switch' to first 'butch' (which, in my college days, involved a buzz cut, then some unfortunate hair bleaching), to 'femme' (can you say more makeup than a drag queen???), to finally accepting that i'm just one of those jock dykes...or Chapstick lesbians, if you prefer. So, I have years and years of unfortunate photos ;).

    And, what you've said is true, you're not going to get picked up unless you start just being 'you'. While it confuses me how anyone could find me attractive in my ratty old sports t-shirt, jeans, and messy undone hair, I'll go with it ;).

  16. I did it and it was ugly. I was 19 and made the Switch. Not only my inner femme suffered but my whole persona. I got even less attention and became depressed... and gained like 20 pounds.
    I was all around miserable. Was I supposed to be this big butch girl hitting on baby dykes? A femme that people mistaken with a man wearing makeup? WTF?!
    Long story short, I was way more confortable with the idea of being a drag queen than a hardcore butch so be it: Drag it is. Anyways, I'm into musicals and wigs.
    I'm a femme, and 6.1", and all around big. I'm confusing in a lot of areas and that's ok. I found people that love me, get confused as well and don't mind.
    I could lift an elephant but I'm a girl and like being treated like one and my nails are important so get that shopping bag for me, thanks. You're cute. This is my number.
    Success. Happiness. Hell yeah!

    PS: Love when stories that include unicorns.

  17. please do the femme invisibility post! I always get read as straight no matter how short my hair is or what I'm wearing. Every now and then I get pissed off and make my friends take me shopping for butch accessories (which is fun, but doesn't work). -sigh-

  18. I suffer from severe femme-invisibility. I like my skirts and heels and manicures just as much as I love other femmes and you know where we all go? THE INTERNET. My successful dating is credited to okcupid and gaydargirls. Thanks, Internet, for keeping my pussy tended to by other manicured digits.

  19. "Butchering" is a great term. I have been bitter about my invisibility/need-to-be-on-the-defense-all-the-time within the LGBT scene, because in the sandbox I guess they call me a lipstick lesbian. But trust me, short hair on this one would result in some kind of Little-Orphan-Annie-Jew-Fro-Horror! Yikes! I enjoy employing different kinds of looks--we're not going to put "hot" in any kind of box!--but it's tough out there when you have a tendency towards femme and are attracted similarly to more femme-y types and when you walked in, everyone assumes a position of "Are you sure you're a lesbian?" It fucking sucks, but I like this post because it will help me remind myself not to be so bitter about it and

  20. maybe we could call it "the freaky friday." As in, I went all freaky friday and cut my hair off... sad day in femme land.

  21. The only thing worse than femme invisibility is when everyone, especially lesbians, assume because you're a femme that you're only interested in butch girls. I completely respect that a lot of women like the butch-femme partnering but just because it's common doesn't mean it's law! Many times when I show someone a picture of my gf they're shocked at how "pretty" (read: femme) she is.

    I've started explaining it as I am one of the truest HOMOsexuals in that I prefer the SAME; when it comes to gender expression, sexuality, etc. As someone who has always been soft femme and always been attracted to the same, when I see butch-femme pairings with all the gender role seperateness of modern straight relationships it's hard for me to see that as a gay relationship.

    Back to the issue at hand: femme invisibility is a very real and surprisingly persistent phenomenon in the gay community. Based on how harsh the responses sometimes are I have a theory that there is an element of subconscious jealousy/resentment directed towards femmes. We pass so well in the straight community and even when we do come out, are treated with less disdain than those defying their gender stereotype. That shouldn't exist anyways. But... still do.

  22. I can't even count the amount of friends I've had come out and immediately chop all their hair off.. The switch (or butchering) is definitely common over here.

    In other news, I feel extremely honoured to have made it as the top photo in this post! I didn't think it'd actually get used haha
    (and that's about as femme as I've ever been..)

  23. Can you please write a post about how you figured out to get lots of girls with minimal effort while still presenting as femme? some of us out here are still trying to figure that one out...le sigh.

  24. Either I've yet to experience my "switch"/"butchering" or mine only included me bying my first plaid shirts and accepting that I don't need to wear make up every day. But I still love my skirts and lipstick and long hair, so yeah, here's another one suffering from femme-invisibility.
    I am already desperately waiting for you to write a post about it! How the hell do I make people around me know that I'm not interested in guys (so please don't talk to me about penis) and catch a womans attention? Yeah, I could talk about pussy all day long or get a super-edgy haircut... No.

  25. This is my favorite post of yours so far, in fact I think I am going to save it and share it with everyone who makes a comment on the polarity of butch and femme, so thank you for saving me a lot of fumbled explanations that don't quite say what I am thinking!!

    Also, I know the feeling, I have always been the girl who "must be just experimenting, cause she could never be gay"....even 6 years after coming out! It sucks and yes, Ive cut my hair off and tried to go "butch" did not work, I looked like the straight girl who doesn't realize she resembles a lesbian, hehe.

    Be yourself everyone! There are so many lesbians in this world and we are all unique, and all looking for someone different.

    Thank you again for this post!!

  26. I was a "butch" (that can mean a bizillion things, but this was my version) when I was like... 16-17. I only wore suit jackets, button shirts, ties, baggy jeans.. and I had really short hair. I didn't even know I was gay yet, I just wore it because I really liked it.

    Then I got together with my girlfriend... who got used to me being a butchy kind of girl.

    She sounded very weird on the phone when I called her to say that I just bought some awesome dresses one day.

    I don't know what happened, but suddenly I loved high heels, dresses, skirts and all that shiat that are stereotypically more...feminine. She was confused and didn't really like it at first. Then she realized that the me wearing a dress granted her quick access to my *hrm* more private parts, and she liked that. XDD

    You only have to look gay while you're single anyways. Otherwise it's hard for others to distinguish you :pPp after that, just be yourself.

  27. I never "switched" and never will. Being a femme is a part of my persona and if there is a girl out there who doesn't like it, chances are there are 10 more that do so screw them ya know? Screw them while I walk in my 6 inch stilettos. ;) You just have to have the confidence to work do you as the peeps over at autostraddle would say. There are plenty of girls who like you doing you. And there are femmes everywhere. Just look at LA.

  28. I rock the "fierce femme" myself... aka I recently cut off my long curly locks for an edgier short haircut, but I'm totally a femme. Big long earrings, makeup, cute tops that I pair with tight jeans... or sometimes big ol' men's cargo shorts.

    I definitely did "the switch" though as a 16-18 year old babydyke; got rid of all my tight jeans and skirts and makeup. It was necessary, I think, in order for me to come into my own as a femme. It meant that I knew I was eventually wearing skirts and makeup for ME, not because it was what girls were s'posed to do.

  29. Damn, I wish I would have seen this post like two days ago before I decided to cut all my hair off again. I still have the remnants of my last Switch (i.e. a lot of cargo shorts that I break out every once in awhile), but I had slowly been moving towards a more feminine/sporty look that I actually preferred. The hair isn't as short as before, but I'm for sure already missing my ponytail.

  30. Remember, "butch" is more of a fashion statement than an indication of sexual orientation. A femme lesbian friend once complained to me that all of the butches on her ladies softball team were straight.

  31. I really loved this post...I wrote to you like two weeks ago with a very similar problem. I'm a recently-gay-discovered femme; I feel really comfortable with the way I look (that has nothing to do with me liking girls), but it's very annoying to keep being hit on by stupid guys, and being invisible to girls. I'm currently in a relationship, so it's not a BIG issue (a.k.a. not getting laid), but I feel very "left out" by the community. On the other hand, my girlfriend (who isn't very femenine, but is far from being a butch)is recognized as a lesbian EVERYWHERE and gets hit on only by girls.

    I'm eagerly waiting for the "femme invisibility" post. Please. Need it.

  32. If you are a femme if you feel comfortable that way then stay that way. I'm not really "butch" but i def look like im gay, i wear mens clothing, boxers, sag a bit, and hopefully i will have the balls to cut my hair short one day. i love femmes though. Seems like there isnt many around anymore. I see what yall are saying about the femme invisibility thing, i guess femmes have to kind put themselves out there more and make it known they are gay. Dont change who you are and if there are people like me out there. We're searching for you =]

  33. I can't believe everyone is missing the fact that you didn't buy your first pair of jeans till you did the switch??? What do you wear everyday?

  34. Dear hot femmes, you're totally hot, please don't change. Love, Katie

  35. When I was a senior in high school, dating my first girlfriend I went through "The Switch." I hacked my hair off, stole my brother's jeans and actually cared in my shoes matched my boxers, sock, undershirt, shirt and hat. I was fuckin' dedicated! I spent a fairly miserable two years trying to be... Less of a Butch and more of a Boi and eventually gave up because it was just Too. Much. Effort. I'm not an uberFemme (you couldn't PAY me to wear a skirt in this lifetime, thank you VERY much) but I dig heels, and pretty jewelry and I'm very fond of my boobs, and I do not enjoy packing them under a bra, sports bra and a binder. So my thoughts here are threefold: 1) Can you explain this "femme invisibility" concept, because I THINK I get it, but some explanation would help; and 2) I get the feeling from certain of my dyke-ier friends that sometimes I'm not "butch enough" to hang out with them, it's never been outright said, but it's a feeling I get. Are they gonna outgrow this "I only hang out with other butches" phase or is it hopeless and they're not worth my time? 3) I, personally, feel that being "butch" took a lot more effort for me than being Femme-y. Does anyone else notice this? Like how there's this cocky-ass attitude that comes with being butch and if it doesn't come naturally then it's a pain to keep it up on the daily? I can't describe it, but I'm definitely curious as to whether other Femmes notice this if they've been through the Switch?

  36. When I came out at the age of 20, I wanted to be all gay! However, I realized that my long, wavy/curly-ish hair made me look straight. So I cut it off. Short, short, I tell ya! (It's a bit longer now, but short enough).

    I'd always worn more feminine clothes, but I highly enjoyed my boy clothes too. As I embraced my sexuality more I realized that I could just continue dressing how I wanted and had been for years: by dressing more femme one day and more butch the next. (No makeup unless I was going to something nice btw). So, that's how I dress nowadays with my favorite style being a mix between the two. Think...boy shorts and a tight girl shirt, or tight jeans and a guy's leather boots or skater shoes...Trust me, I got it all!!

    My wife accuses me of just trying to fit in with my boy clothes and that I'm really femme on the inside... >.< Not true, fagettes.(Love that word)! She just wants to be the only one in the relationship that is more masc. (She's gender-queer, andro.)

    So, I guess you can say I "switch" on a daily basis, more often then not mixing. :D Tattoos and a possible piercing comes later as well!

  37. Maybe you can call it "Lesbian Shapeshifting" or just "shapeshifting". The meaning of shapeshifting alone is so relational to this theme on the very definition of the word alone, not to mention it's historical background and the many ways people and animals shape-shift. If you're femme shapeshifting as a butch, it's a disguise to gain something you feel you wouldn't get as you would in your original state. Most of the time you go back to the original form from which you came, thus ending "the shift".
    Queer shifting! We've all done it at one point or another.

  38. I have slight femme invisibility,
    I think its because I'm really nice and guys think they're hot shit and even though I cut my hair short they still think they should try and ask her out.
    I don't wear skirts or dresses anymore, but I will always wear my makeup.
    I was thinking of doing a switch but It would be kind of awkward for me.
    And I cant go back to being too femme.
    So ive settled for a more neutral look.
    witch means plain v-necks/scoop ts and jeans.
    with cool sneakers.

  39. "Strange Exchange" --- This is what I called it back in high school, and I'm sticking to it. I went through so many phases that it's ridiculous. There was a period in my sophomore year that I called myself the "rainbow goth". How fucking stupid is that? I had the classic "goth-looking" style, but it was all BRIGHT COLORS. I don't understand it to this day.

    Then I went through a huge tomboy phase. So unlike me. I tried way too hard, and it felt like sucha burden... Finally settling into what I am now has been sucha relief! Does it suck that I suffer from "femme invisibility"? Sometimes, but whatever. It's often a pleasant surprise to other lesbians.

  40. Loved this post! - and looking forward to your rant on the "Invisible Femme." I'm frustrated by that on a regular basis -- not just in that it's hard to pick up chicks sometimes, but that I'm *constantly* deciding to out myself: at a new job, at a party with new friends, etc. Since I'm always read as straight, I feel like I have to analyze what my relationship is going to be with a person and if it's worth outing myself or just letting them think I'm straight. And then of course there is the overt-outing when you're at a gay bar and people give you the "why is a straight girl here?" look. Le sigh.

    As for "the switch," (good name, btw), the closest I got physically was in my early 20's: track jackets, leather bracelets, pumas, etc. But I also "switched" other parts of me -- I hung out with mainly gay girls, listened to the Indigo Girls all the time, etc. It was only after being out a few years that I felt comfortable being as "femme" as I wanted to be -- physically and otherwise.

    An upside to the whole "Invisible Femme" is that it can be super fun to blow someone's mind when you tell them you only date women.

  41. Jen I love "butchering" for a femme to butch switch. For anyone who switches from butch to femme, its a "transfemmeation"

  42. So there's soft butch, but can I call myself, uhlikemaybe, hard femme?

    Or does that just sound dirty?

  43. Ah, femme invisibility. Can't wait for that post. Story of my DAMN life (until recently).

    As for "the switch," oddly enough, mine came later. When I first came out, I was pretty high femme and the girls I dated were pretty femme. As I got more comfortable with my gaymo-ness, I got less femme, and then just got sort of lazy. Recently (now that I've been out for the better part of a decade), I chopped off my waist length hair and went from femme to...short haired femme.

    But the liberating part was that I definitely look more like a hipster queer (yes, true about learning subtle distinctions) lady, so I can dress and do my make up, etc. however I want and still be tagged.

    Long story short(er): Cutting off my hair let me do whatever the fuck I wanted, which made me slightly more femme than I recently was, but not as much as before I came out.


    As for attraction, I'm sort of all about girls in the middle: hipsters and sporty girls. Which I guess is pretty similar to me. But now I'm worried because I'm afraid they'll want someone more high femme.

    In embarrassing news, I totally bought ties that (as I found out later) my DAD owned. And I wore one in public once at a work function. For shame.

  44. I was a super baby dyke when I thought I was straight
    but for some reason, the more apparent my sexuality became to me (oh, its normal... okay maybe Im bicurious... okay I'm bisexual but not romantically... okay I'm bisexual... fuck I'm GAY) the femme-ier I became.

    Now I'm pretty femme, but I don't wear make up and have some mannerisms of a dyke.
    Also, I add little dykey accessories as a milder form of "the switch" or, as the above poster said, "butchering", lol.

  45. i'm actually really confused about what being butch means. i dressed like a boy and passed for a boy for one year when i was ten. I got bored of it and became a tomboy. I wanted girls to like me, but girls rejected my tomboy ways. so i became more femme and finally admitted to myself i'm gay. now i am hipster femme, hahahaha! so much talk about hipsters and girls think i'm straight and i love the way i look but i am only attracted to femme girls. and i almost wish all lesbians were femme. and i dont understand what's with the gender identities, because even though i'm femme, i don't like being overtly sexually feminine, but i also don't like taking charge and acting super butch. psychology is crazy. i just think i'm me and i like cute girls with cute clothes.

  46. I'm neither butch nor femme for any particular length of time. My mainstays are comfy, quirky, and preppy/professional drag. Any of those three can involve girly or boyish clothes. I don't ever hit uber-butch or high femme, but everything in between, you betcha. (On the boyish end of my professional kit and with the addition of some...accessories, I do make a respectable drag king, though.)

    I've always been a bit queer around the gender, even before I knew I fancied anyone in particular, and have been mistaken for a boy on more than one occasion even in neutral clothes.

  47. I switched recently, at least I think I switched. In my hair, at least. I used to have shoulder length, layered dark brown hair with an emo fringe. That was about two weeks ago. Now my hair is short, not like a buzz cut or anything, but... Gerard Way with his short red hair (Party Posion hair?). It doesn't help that my hair is bright red/reaaaally dark pink. I don't really know what to label myself as, I'm not femme, nor butch, definitely not sporty, not a boi, I don't even know how to ride a bike. I'unno. I own like, one skirt. Damn, this just reminds me that I need to go shopping.
    Anywaaaays, love this post. I did a little fist-pump when I saw it. Although I'm not femme (for my age and town, it's actually not that hard to notice my gay-ness), I DO want to hear about femme invisibility. Can't wait for your next post <3

  48. Maybe a sub-category of the switch would be "clamouflage" - i.e., falsely changing your stye because you want to fit in with/attract the lesbians around you. However, sincere, self-exploration switches wouldn't be clamouflage.

  49. I would love to see you do a post on femme well as femme-spotting tips and tricks.

    I wouldn't identify myself as femmie by any stretch of the imagination....but I'm style-lazy and "pretty" and I have long blonde hair....somehow that combination apparently makes me read as Really straight.

  50. I personally swap between femme and boyish day to day.
    If I'm feeling femme, I rock ripped up tights and a skirt and I swing my hips around and wear a real bra.

    On my boyish days (because I couldn't pass for butch if I tried) I have mad swagga and boy jeans and I bind down my chest.

    I have short hair, but if I comb it over I have a cute femme pixy cut (gaygaygay, but still totes femme.) If I put in some wax and ruffle it up I defy gravity with my boylook.

    Or I throw it all together some days and rock mens jeans with a push up bra.

    Androgyny, feminity and masculinity are all so fluid for me, and I feel so comfortable in my skin.

    I hope you all find your happy places!

  51. Before I came out (#currentlyinprogress), I was much more concerned looking 'girly' because that's what society says men like. I was always getting dressed FOR someone else, usually whatever guy I had a 'crush' on at the time. Now that I've realized I like girls, I don't feel that pressure anymore. While there is the butch/femme paradigm, there are enough variations occupying the middle that I don't need concern myself of who I'm trying to attract, but what I enjoy wearing.

    And to reduce femme invisibility, I always wear some small piece of rainbow accessory. Usually a bracelet or keychain, something subtle enough that it doesn't really affect my look but visible enough that another lezzie can identify me as gay.

  52. Very recently I cut off all my lovely waist length hair (partly due to a desire to look less femme and partly due to a nasty hair bleaching accident), cut back on the makeup and have magically developed an addiction to plaid shirts and shorts.

    And I am rather enjoying myself.

    The amount of girls talking to me out of nowhere compared to before is insane.

    I fought it for a long time.
    I had a RAINBOW dyed into my hair for years and was still getting constantly dismissed as straight.
    But I'm glad I finally caved in.

    It's giving me a LOT more confidence and a sense of belonging within the gay community. I know it's silly but I always felt I had to fight for my place in it before.

    I'm very comfortable with my femme side and now I'm exploring my butch side so hopefully I can find a balance.

  53. Thank you for telling Rose not to switch if she's happy with who she is. While "the switch" can be a natural step in the process of exploration/ development, it also reveals the assumption--in both the LGBT community and society at large--that femmes are uncommon or new to the scene or just experimenting. To switch for the sake of switching--not because it feels more natural or because you're exploring your identity--propagates this assumption and advances femme invisibility.

  54. I have made "the switch" when i was 15 (or 16) because i felt like i was "supposed" to look like that since im a top, even tho im very femme-lookin. It's hard to get attention when you look straight, let alone from other femme girls.

  55. Oh, and i have made the switch back to my femme self within a year. I still have a hard time with meeting other femme girls.

  56. At 13 I tried to fit in to my all girls school by wearing girly clothes. My friends told me I looked like I was in drag. I switched back within 2 weeks. :/

  57. I did cut my hair, but it isn't to impress somebody.

    Anyway, i did write a post in my blog about de same phenomenon. I called it ENLESBIANAMENTO ( AND -- in portuguese, but have some photos)

  58. I chopped my hair off about a month ago (pictures on my blog) mostly to get out of the "soccer mom invisibility" that I was stuck in.

    Now I'm still femme but with an awesome short haircut AND I get recognized as family.

  59. It is so comforting to read stories from other femmes who feel invisible, and to hear from other 'mos that you love us just the way we are.

    I remember in the early days of Effing Dykes there were posts about the "types" of dykes out there, and I don't think there was ever one made for femmes? I might be mistaken.

    Either way, I am with everyone else in saying that I would really really like to see a post about invisible femmes!

  60. I'm a goth butch with tight-fitting clothes and steel-toed boots, I guess. The hair is either in a ponytail or combed to one side to show off the short mohawk sides. Skirts are worn occasionally, as well as light makeup (black stuff around the eyes and on the short-as-fuck nails makes me a happy little bitch). My style never really had anything to do with me being gay. That said, even a girl who could qualify for "gayest girl in the world" (she's all short hair and rainbows with a bit of punk on the side, all both extremely hot and cute) didn't notice me being gay until I told her. Goth invisibility > femme invisibility. Sorry girls hahaha. xD

  61. im a 34 year old woman who gets mistaken for a 16 year old gay boy matter if my hair is long or short.i dont consider myself butch or femme .im just me. ive been a lesbian since the womb but as a child i didnt know what gay or lesbian was.but let me tell you my hair knew i was gay way before i did. lets go back to 5th grade. the best mullett you have ever seen in your life.short short on top and and down to my waist in the back and im a red head :) lets go back to 3rd grade.short spikey hair with the longest rat tail ever :) yes i chose these horrible haircuts. i thought i was cool.everyone knew i was gay but me,probably from the hair and the fact that i was a tomboy.i just find it fascinating that as kids we do stuff that we are not yet aware of.i look back now and just think its amazing how gay i was and didnt realize glad i went through my switch at such a young age because with hair like that i would have never got a date in high school.ive never really switched as far as clothes go.or to wear really inbetween butch and femme. i just like what i like. the only reason for someone to change is because they truly want to not because others want you to or for the matter of fitting in. hair has been on point since 7th grade no more mullets or rattails although i secretly still love the rat tail :)

  62. So, BEFORE I knew I was queer, I buzzed my hair, refused to shave or wear makeup, etc. and found boys to make out with with who had hair longer than mine and who didn't mind my leg hair. I believe at this point that I was subconsciously introducing queer energy into straight relationships. Eventually I grew out my hair again, began shaving, using makeup, caring more about style, and only THEN did I realize I was queer. Haven't changed since and love being femme. I think that identifying my sexual orientation helped me to feel more comfortable in my gender identity. Does that make sense?

  63. I have always felt too low maintenance about my appearance to be either butch or femme, y'know? They seem like such performative identities! I dress like a lady by default, because I just don't care about my presentation beyond a certain point. Sometimes I want to feel pretty and wear fluttery things, sometimes I want to wear wifebeaters and look like slightly more of a badass (which I am totally not). I guess I assumed this made me a femme--perhaps a "low femme"?--by default, because I've never bought anything from the men's section. And my haircut is a girl's haircut.

    Despite this pretty normal gender presentation, people are simply SHOCKED to discover I am dating a man. I like their shock. Keeps me feeling like part of the queer family and quiets down my crazy anxiety about WHAT IF I CAN'T DATE LADIES AHHHHH

    But their shock might be because I did shave my head one time. I will maybe have to do that periodically just as a reminder, like Carmen above.

  64. I cannot believe that this is still a problem in the queer community. I came out 18 years ago at the tender age of 20 and was the only femme lesbian in my city. The only one. I couldn't get a date unless I pinned her to the wall and my first few girlfriends swore I'd "go back to men".

    So, out of sheer frustration I shaved my head and wore nothing but baggy men's clothes. I tried this for a couple of years but still couldn't shake the femmeness of my personality or the frou-frou description other lesbians gave me. Plus, I still had to do the asking if I wanted a date.

    I finally left my insecurity behind and embraced my inner femme. I found a nice tomboy who truly appreciates me just the way I am and loves it when I wear skirts and heels. But femme invisibility is definitely an issue. I do my best to combat it with punk inspired haircuts and edgy least no one will ever think I'm ordinary.

  65. in my natural, happiest state, I am a pink heel wearing, skirt swirling, push up bra boasting femme, and lord have mercy, do I love my stone butch women. however, the pickings haven't always been as good for me as I'd have liked, and on occasion, I have dabbled with androgynous ladies and soft femmes. EVERY SINGLE TIME I have done so, a sort of switch occurs. I become the strong, silent partner, hanging back in the wings and taking care of my ladies in a fashion similar to the way my butch women have taken care of me. it's not something I do on purpose - in fact, I always end the relationship as soon as I notice it, because it always feels wrong and uncomfortable - but it does just happen.

  66. Sporadic Style Syndrome

  67. Ahhh I have long awaited a blog update! I've just recently read through every single one and am now up to date hence it's excruciating to wait for the next one. This truly made my day.
    I've just come out and yes have to admit got the haircut but its more longish tegan quin style. I also dress down a bit more on the casual side. I see the switch as individualising- trying to figure out what suits youself.

  68. I've certainly experienced 'The Switch' in my young tender years. When I was a youngun' , about sixish I would be plagued constantly with the question, 'are you a girl or a boy?' so I decided before I went to middle school I would 'femme' myself up to avoid the awkwardness. Reading this could not come at a much better time for me, recently to try and attract girls I've been 'femming' myself up due to the negative reaction I got when I was younger for being 'masculine' to try and lure them in, however I think I shall phase out this 'femmy' look and revert to my old 'masculine' ways. I don't think the facade I was putting on was doing much good anyways as people still use male pronouns when talking to me, even if I'm wearing short shorts sometimes. Femmes are super hot, please stay as you are if you feel comfortable as it, because I will fancy you and try and muster up some courage from my weedy self to ask you out.

  69. s0 i decided a long time ago that i gont give a rats ass what anyone thinks about me. i dress how i want and i refuse to be labeled as butch femme boi etc. im just ME! and my "style" is too varied to allow that anyways. i have dreads (used to have VERY long straight hair) and i wear long dresses (i love the breeze on my ladybits when i wear a dress n no panties ;) lol ) as often as i wear boy shorts and the majority of my clothes come from the men's dept. but my favorite outfit is the standard jeans n a tshirt. my most important accessory: i ALWAYS rock my confidence on the outside, and i'm not afraid to be the one to make the first move. Yeah sometimes i get confused as straight and get dismissed but i LOVE throwing people off of their expectations so i don't really mind. plus just in case, i wear a rainbow bracelet i made but it blends in with my other ones so it takes an eye to pick it out...

    but to all the lovely lezzers out there who aren't having such an easy time of it finding their "look" or their place in the gay community, remember that you being YOU is the sexiest look you can go for and i am way more attracted to confidence and someone who is REAL than any specific "sub-category" of lesbians.

  70. Bravo!
    Tris is an amazing post And so incredibly true.
    When I first became of my sexuality maybe around 17-18, something happen within me I began to dress a little more tomboyish. Mind you I was the type of girl that would look at Elle, vogue and just slobber over new fashion trends and on my free time do my nails and practice makeup. I felt that since I was a lesbian I had to renounce to my femininity and dress like ex: Kirsten Stewart, Joan Jett. Yes I looked like a bad ass, and I felt like girls would comment on my "badassness" but it wasn't me.
    I have learned that I rock platform high heels and a fabulous dress and still have the swag to flirt with women I am attracted to. I do sometime have to be a little more obvious when trying to ask then out. It takes hard work but that's totally fine with me because I like to take care of my girl like she is my queen, so chasing for me is no problem.

    For those of You that think that you have to change yourself to have girls like you then you are doing it all wrong because you will be so unhappy with yourself trying to keep up with this new image and it's not fair for you neither the girl you date. Be who you are and if some girl keeps doubting your sexuality because of the way you dress, let her go, that's ignorance and insecurity on her part of the diversity of the gay community. Keep being who you are because there are girls that will be confident enough to tell you that you are beautiful and ask you on a date :)

    Just my two cents ;) I love this blog btw.

  71. aaah yes it was a terrible mistake! I'm femme and when I came out... I mean, I had really, really long hair *forever* and I started wanting to try new things and first I got side bangs and then I cut it shoulder-length-ish and that was fine, it looked good... but THEN I made that tragic mistake which I'm sure many of us have made, when I brought pictures of Shane first to a girl in my residence hall and then to a hairdresser (after my mom decided my hair had to be fixed) and said I wanted my hair cut like that.
    Later, I accepted that my hair was never going to look as cool as Shane's but I had that haircut plus this plaid shirt from American Eagle and black cargo shorts. The pictures of me on vacation in Europe were taken during this era and I look back on them with embarrassment. I looked terrible! Finally, I bounced back from that and I'm probably more femme than ever these days. I just wished I had never compromised my fashion identity just so that people could "tell" I was gay! (Also, during that time I saw a pair of cute pink flats and didn't get them because they didn't fit with the new style I was trying out. Then recently I found a picture of Amber Heard wearing similar shoes. Filled with regret!)

  72. I have yet to try the switch but I know the feeling of being InvisoFemme. Sometimes it does feel like blatantly announcing my pussy preference is the onlt way to go. Often, I'm to shy for that, so I end up turning down a fistful of guys and eyeing that one boi over there, hoping she picks up on my lesbian signals.

    Another frustration of my femme identity is the skepticism from others. I have to go to obvious lengths to get my gay out there. As I am more attracted to masculine women, you'd think they loved to find a camouflaged femme but they actually tend to keep their guard up as a precaution just in case I'm some straight girl who's just sport fishing.

    I've thought about switching but it's really not a good style choice for me, mostly. I have a curvy hour glass body with an ass that doesn't quit. It honestly looks killer in That Dress so I don't want to change. But while i'm getting ignored by pretty bois, I'm turning down men and spending time explainibg myself.
    In fact, as I was writing this, I was telling a guy that he's sweet but I'm a lesbian. And that's it

  73. Hm, i love pretty femme girls

  74. I think the furthest I ever got was in the 90's...picture huge baggy mens shorts with a belt and button down shirt...But the shirt was see-thru. With a black lace bra

    So guess I'm no expert there.

    As far as femme-invisibility goes I'm all over it. I am constantly saying "my gf" and we live together and no one ever gets it. sigh

  75. "...It's a cure for hepatitis
    It's a cure for chronic insomnia
    It's a cure for tonsillitis
    And for water on the knee

    Have a cuppa tea, have a cuppa tea
    Have a cuppa tea, have a cuppa tea..."

    --Have a cuppa tea, Great Big Sea

    And also, that is a cute baby. Just sayn'.

  76. I switch daily. One day it is cowboy boots and floral mini dresses, and the next it is mens jeans, boxer briefs, and a sports bra under a boxy shirt. I have to have a lot of different clothes to fit my mood, and its pretty damn fun. The only thing about switching so often that is hard for me is dating people who have hard and fast expectations of how their partner should present. My ex-girlfriend told me we looked to heteronormative together when I was in a dress, but felt insecure in her masculinity when I also looked masculine. . . its difficult when the person your dating defines their gender identity in relation to yours, especially when yours is in constant motion.

  77. I've never really done the switch in a big way, but I change on a daily basis. Some days I wake up feeling sorta queer and I wanna wear baggy things. Some days I wanna be real girly and I put makeup and dresses on. For the most part I'm in girl jeans and something feminine on top, and I've just survived college with relentless boys refusing to believe that their penis can't "cure" me, because I look so straight. :/
    Please do a post on how us femmes can shake the invisibility!

  78. I recently went through the switch myself. Was always a hardcore tomboy as a child, but as I started realizing I was gay, I femme-d it up in an attempt to attract the few butches in my small Texas high school. This continued after moving to Las Vegas for college, where it became even more pronounced, as the film business tends to demand style/fashion out of the participants that want to be taken seriously.
    However I've always felt way more masc than femme, and never really felt comfortable in that presentation, and pretty much everyone could tell I was gay anyway.
    3 months ago, right after my 21st bday, my ultra hipster femme girlfriend (who
    always gets read as straight, despite her undercut and mad-style) cut my very long, curly hair into a very badass mohawk. I can finally wear baseball tees, men's tanks, button downs and ties and look exactly the way I want (I can't wait to start binding once it's not 100 degrees out everyday) I feel a million times more confident and have slipped into the butch swagger with ease. I get hit on now by girls that would have never done so before because I look like a dapper little boi. . The only part I was worried about, still
    attracting butches and bois that I'm extremely attracted to, has resolved itself with all of this added confidence which reels women in more than any style or haircut could.

    Going through the switch has let me present to the world exactly the way I feel inside. Im a gay as fuck genderqueer boi, which let's me worry less about having to explain who I am, and focus more on what I want to get out of life. I'm never going back

  79. I think femme invisibility is totally age-related. Most figure you're GUG. I came out in my forties, wear make-up every daykn, have long wavy hair. No problem,
    I'm totally accepted in my community and never get an odd look.I also like other feminine looking girls or sporty types. I do wear a woolly rainbow scarf on the bus sometimes, just to show straight people that straight looking girls are gay.

  80. I'm a femmey dyke with an androgynous aesthetic. I wouldn't be caught dead with long hair or wearing heels, I effing love makeup, I wear pants and dresses/skirts about 50/50, and I hate "sitting like a lady." But it's mostly about "who I am" and not what I wear. I've never done "the switch," it's been a progressive transformation.

  81. this blog post is meee for the last three months! i have always had really long, kinda curly brown hair, but in june decided it HAD to go, and cut it all off. like probably 99% of the people who attempt this, in no way shape or form did i resemble shane. i'm now eagerly anticipating the day when i can pull my hair back in a pony tail again! definitely crossing "the switch" off my checklist..

  82. Am I the only person that "the switch" worked in my favor?
    I'm unidentifiably butch. I fucking love trends and skirts and frilly shit. Sweet Sapphos panties, I had the whole femme invisibility thing going on and I wasn't particularly femme. I started dressing like a hipster boi and now I've got more attention than ever. I'm pretty sure it can be done tastefully so long as you aren't taking yourself too seriously. Also it's funny as hell when you dress like Shane and then freak out over a hello kitty bag.

  83. "Labeling is fun, and it's a great way to start an argument, but there's more ways to be gay than ascribing to other people's set definitions of what a lesbian "looks like." There are millions of fine distinctions."

    I completely agree with this statement Krista, and being an avid reader of your blog I have read through to the very beginning. Mostly I was cracking up but the first few posts you made are all about labeling and defining types of lesbians. You categorize lesbians in a way that comes off as divisive, condescending, and classist in the baby dyke/boi dichotomy you present. I'm glad you seem to have changed your mind since those were originally posted but your choice to present lesbian "types" in that way was extremely problematic.

  84. My first girlfriend was a stone butch, and loved femme, as girly as they get.
    Unfortunately I got rather irritated by her expecting me to be constantly feminine and decided to do "the switch" chopped off my pink long hair and died it velvety red. I began to wear men's pants and thew away all my dresses.
    After half a year of being annoyed by putting up my faux-hawk (which horribly clashed with my round face) and the ill-fitting pants(which horribly clashed with my rather curvy figure) I grew out my hair and bought a pair of skinny jeans and a skit.
    Now I just dress how I please neither femme or butch :)

  85. I'm with MrFlasktastic, I had to reread a couple of sentences. Once I realized you'd asked for the cookies while sick, I got it, but as written it sounded like you ate mystery cookies, then couldn't get out of bed for 4 days.

  86. Loved this post as always / and even more so as i'm more femme than anything, but in a dykey way... I think? And you know, we have gaydars, don't we? That sparkle in your eye, the "magic" vibe or something that we only can read, to our straight friends'amusement. Besides, in France we have >>> "the invisible lesbian", a show that talks about IT. I have yet to see it, but almost all of my friends -even gay boys and straight parents and all- saw it and said it's great!

  87. all i can say is-- after i "discovered" i was lesbian, it became infinitely easier to dress. ha! not only did i not like the clothes i was buying, i had no idea how to make 'outfits' anyway. i could finally say "fuck it! im not gonna fit in even if i AM wearing this stoopid sequined blouse and keds. It's chuck taylors, studded belts, and men's xtra small v-necks from now on!" After that, I got more confident, got more friends, and basically started living the life i always wished i had. i was finally comfortable. i always felt like a fake wearing my "straight" clothes. like a poser. after years of being straight and virtually friendless, it turns out that all i needed to do to find acceptance was to accept myself, get rid of the purse, and be myself. i fondly refer to this stage as 'the renaissance' it was my own personal rebirth and cultural movement.

  88. In high school I was pretty fem, but in that tomboy way if that makes sense. Then I dated a couple girls and after telling them (in secret) I wanted to cut my hair and be more butch they laughed at me. As did most of my friends. So the summer between high school and my first year at college I started cutting my hair. Kind of a 'fuck off' to my exs and because my friends wouldn't see me for 6 months. Fast forward a few years and I'm pretty damn butch. For me The Switch was a personal journey (as cheesey as that sounds) and I needed to learn to do what I wanted. Around the time my friends start coming home I grow my hair out to the classic Beiber look just to piss them off.

    As someone with NO game I was wondering if you could do a "how to achieve swag" post. I never went through that phase where I made out with every hot girl I could and I feel like I'm missing out. I just turned twenty and have only kissed 4 people (all of who I've ended up dating). I'm tired of being the adorable little dyke and I want/need to learn to have some swag. Any advice?


  89. LOL, I have cut off my hair really short juuust before i really came out... and being the faggies girl EVER, you can only imagine how that all looked with my baggie pants, short hair, swaying hips and waving arms :D
    dykes did not give me 1 bloody percent of attention
    right now, few years later, my hair grew back- and i bloody love it, i can still pull off all "dyke" clothing- but it looks cute when i mix it with my girly stuff, and am about to get THE girl i have like for yeaaars.
    so yeah, just be yourself and feel comfy with it :*

  90. Jesus Christ on a stick - Thank you Krista. I live for ladies like you.

  91. Thankyou so much for this! This is a great blog. Just wanted to say that

  92. Wow anon AUGUST 19, 2011 10:21 AM. "truest homosexual?" And how is a butch/femme couple not really a gay couple?

  93. I've always been on the femme end of the spectrum but oddly enough it wasn't until I came out that I truly embraced it. That isn't to say I don't wear jeans and a v-neck once or twice a week but I'm much more inclined towards skirts and dresses than I ever was. I think it has to do with the whole femme invisibility issue too because if us femmes keep making switches then it'll never stop being an issue.

    That and I really love the look on my boifriend's face when I walk into her room with a super cute dress on ;D

    (Also I got a bit too excited when I saw my picture used in this post. Thanks!)

  94. Yes, please do a femme invisibility post! Everyone thinks I'm straight but I'm a gold star...and I want to shine like one. So please help. Short of getting a tattoo of a pink triangle, I'm at a loss...

  95. OMG post a pic! I wanna see!! Or better yet, a "before and after."

  96. When I came out 18 years ago I hardly knew what to do. I thought there was a look I needed.

    I experimented with hair length which was powerful already for me having my cut butt length hair short upon leaving my miserable mormon husband and life. I decided to keep the short hair and take pleasure in cutting it shorter if anyone suggests that I should grow it out.

    I experimented with shirts and ties (soft flowy scarf ties) with not shaving my legs with not wearing makeup. most ridiculous I experimented with dyke swagger. I am still laughing about that.
    But I am me. I love being Just who I am: a sort of femme. Skirts and dresses are rare but makeup most days; I have as much lip gloss as any girl, I love that I am a big soft breasted mamma, I love domestic goddessing. Taking care.

    Eventually we all come back to what feels best and most natural to us.

  97. This is my first time commenting but I love the blog and this entry made my day! I have been out since I was 13, I have long pretty hair almost down to my ass and for some reason every guy thinks that equals me being straight. Even dykes think it too which is even more annoying, lezzers should know we come in all different shapes/sizes/hairlength/clothes! I'm all for the switch if you are switching to something that feels more YOU but don't switch if you are trying to look how you think a lesbian is 'supposed' to look like. After all it's a bit of a viscous cycle- femmes are invisible so they butch it up, feeding into the stereotype that all lesbians are butch making it harder for femme attracted femmes or femme attracted butches to find sexy femmes!

  98. Invisible Femme post, please! I'm so over every lady gay I meet assuming that long hair = less gay. And also bonus, often thinking that being femme-y means that any day now I'm going to betray All The Gays and sleep with the first man I see.

  99. Tell me you didn't wear bolo ties.....

  100. For the record, I lurve femmes. It can however be difficult to figure out who's femme and who's straight though. I'm always scared of hitting on a femmy girl because if they're straight then wow that's awwwwkwaaard. But don't ever change! I love you and your dresses :D

    My 'Switch' was to be more femme. As a little lez I was quite the tomboy/butchgirl. I wore boys clothes and did my best to pass as a boy. However when the tween/HS years hit I desperately wanted to fit in with the cool girls so there was a lot of pac-sun, curling irons, rhinestones and cheap makeup involved. At one point heels were attempted. I looked like a foal in maskera.

    Fear not, I'm very futch now. Skinny jeans, comic book tees, colorful sneakers, hoodies, wallet chain, belt buckle to the side and a leather jacket. But christ on a cracker do I love eyeliner, eyeshadow, funky ass jewelry and going to the salon to get my hair gingered up and cut into a bob. It's a nice balance.

  101. I am going through this right now! I have long hair, am fairly femme, and always identified as straight. I got sick of this the past year and took the fem out of my clothing style (because I refuse to cut my hair). I'm more androgynous now than anything. I feel less attractive, but in an odd way, more confident too because I feel tougher... I'm thinking of just switching back though because I like looking girly and it was a lot less effort. I only made the switch to get lesbians to notice me but this post has made me realize that I'm not really comfortable with it.
    Anyway, I found that attention I was receiving from ladies went up not because of my clothes, but as my confidence increased. One year I started hooking up regularly with another girl, and ever since then I've gotten hit on a hell of a lot more.

  102. How about Dykamorphosis?

  103. To look at us, you would think that we are the classic butch\ femme couple. My girl with her long hair and earth mommy build, you think femme. Me with short hair, jeans,and slim frame, you think butch.
    Guess what? Just not true. It is actually the other way around.
    My long haired girl will tell you that SHE is the butch. I Am the femme. For us, the "look" doesn't define out butch\femme dynamic.It's all about the bedroom.
    And I must say, breaking my nails just chapps my ass to no end.

  104. this just reminds me of this:

  105. I never did the switch. I was THE ONLY ONE OUT OF ALL OF MY FRIENDS WHO DIDN'T. And thus I was the only one who never got laid.

    Today I have no troubles getting laid and I still haven't switched, it does get better kids ;)

  106. Krista you are my effing hero. Can't wait for the "invisible femme" post!

  107. I am so glad to know this is a phenomenon! I thought I was alone. When I first came out I cut off all my hair and started dressing more butch. I later realized that I didn't need to look this way to be gay and went back to being on the femmier side.

    I also can't wait for the invisible femme post. Men think I'm lying to them when I tell them I'm gay. What's worse, is I tend to date girls who are physically more like me, but I can't identify them either!

  108. Rose, my friend... I want you. Femme is one hundred hotter than anything else. Don't eeven.

    Also you have teh same name as me and maybe it works for you. LUCKYYYY!!!

  109. I call it "pulling a jenny." ya know from the l word when she chopped her hair off. I felt the same way, not getting looks from the gender I wanted. I got dreads. they were hot, and I definitely got noticed. but they were a hassle and just not me. I cut them off in 2 months and will never chop my hair off again. I love my long hair.

  110. Thank you so much for pointing this out. I've been rather confused, as I like wearing dresses and skirts, while I at the same time sometimes like jeans and a flannel shirt (often softening it up with cool earrings and stuff), and I've just felt like I haven't been fitting in properly. Now I realise, I'm a bit like that yoga teacher - short hair, sometimes boy-ish looking, but still a femme.

  111. 1. As has been stated above: please don't switch hot femme girls. we love you.
    2. isn't there more to the femme/butch binary (although obviously oversimplified) than clothes? Which is what I think this might be getting at any-hoo.

  112. "She's femmeily" - what you say about a femme you know is gay, but your friends don't. "She's butching it up" - a femme moving to butch (cause switching means changing top/bottom roles, and going through the change means she's menopausal).

    Since I've realized my attraction to women, I'm no longer dressing and moving with men in mind, but according to how I feel each day. Often it's jeans, boots and a t-shirt or a beater. Sometimes shorts or a skirt, but I rarely wear heels or carry a purse anymore. And I can't cut my very long hair. I have a bit of swagger and I work out, so have great arms. I think I confuse people sometimes. But I've found when I'm talking to someone and she's trying to figure me out, she usually gets it when I maintain eye contact a bit longer than usual. The eye contact is louder than any rainbow you could wear.

    I think we're so lucky to have the freedom to experiment with the degree of masculine/femme we present that straight women don't. I don't know what I'm going to do with my closet full of man-getting clothes, though. Who knows that I might not move a little more femme of center?

  113. How about people who are butch sometimes and femme sometimes? Are they constantly doing the switch, or are they a whole different ballgame?

  114. i agree with anonymous above, what about people who are butch sometimes and femme other times? im mostly femme but i do have periods where i can be tomboyish, almost butch?? do we have so define ourselves as butch or femme or anything in between?

  115. dear effing dykes writer.

    please post more often.

    i know you have a life, but pretty please?

  116. I second JStone!

    I think I check about every second day for updates...

  117. Hey.


    Come back or I will send you a MILDLY NASTY EMAIL.

    That's right.

    (I said it.)

  118. I concur! Is it seriously going to be once a month updates? That makes me so sad! Weekly was wonderful! Sorry for bugging you!

  119. "Annnnd...I once put panties, a bra, jeans, and a belt on my body pillow and practiced, um, taking them off in interesting ways."

    I know what I'm doing tonight.

  120. As a more 'noticeable' lesbot who only loves the femmest of the femmes. I just want to say one simple thing. At a gay bar everyone is gay or at least not a big homophobe. So assume everyone is gay at the bar and go for it. If they are straight then they are probably still going to feel good about themselves (everyone loves to be hit on) and also aren't going to make a big deal about it....why? Because they are at a fucking gay bar. They knew what they signed up for. This is all we femme lovers have going for us so let's a least can ideas inside these gay gay walls.

    And if anyone cares (and its highly unlikely you do) my photos are up at not brooklynshoutout.

  121. Flannel Flip? Teava Transformation? The Lesboleap? (will the next leap be the next leap home?) I've always kind of lived somewhere in the middle, especially since I'm too cheap to really invest myself in something of a style. I completely get the femme invisibility thing though, add a kid on your hip and you have all but disappeared as a queer twenty-something. Might I recommend: THE INTERNET! No fashion required, just posting your desired orientation on your profile! Then people (have the option of) getting to know you before affixing their desired label. Least, that's how it worked out for me.

  122. I totes did the switch when I came out, largely because it occured to me that I didnt actually give a damn if mens found me attractive or not!
    I tend to swing both ways a bit, but I went from uber-femme to butch/tomboy femme. I don't regret any of it!

  123. These are delicious gluten free cookies (price is 6 boxes):

  124. a good name is "Swapping"
    like -hey u remember that girl? she just swap from femme to butch :P (sound stupid??)

    i never actually experienced Swapping except that for a short period of time i was wearing tight t-shirts, a thing that i never really like since i am total butch and tight t-shirts which are kinda girly is not my thing
    but i am pretty sure i am not going to change a lot in the future, i really like my cool comfortable style right now (age 15) :P

  125. I am a mixture, I have short boyish hair and I don´t usually wear makeup but I like skirts, tights, velvet dresses, boy underpants, baggy jeans... I don´t think that clothes should delimit gender or sexual preferences... I wear what I like and that´s it.

    When I was a kid my mom would buy me "non-gender clothes" or boy clothes, I hated pink and girly stuff. In junior high, at first I wore jeans and girly t-shirts but later I found out flannel shirts and ripped jeans. At the end of my junior high I started wearing "hippie clothes" like mexican huipiles, etc. Then I started wearing band t-shirts, ripped jeans again, punk stuff, vinyl pants, etc.
    Now I´m those things mixed all together. It makes me very happy to be able to look the way I like, to like what I like and to be myself. I think being true to yourself is very important.

    This is to enjoy:

    I just looove Kaia Wilson :)