Femme Visibility Experiment: Wearing a Gay T-Shirt in Public

Hi everyone!

This is the 3rd installment of the Femme on a Mission vlog! I often complain about feeling invisible as a femme, so I decided to do something about it! I wanted to see what would happen if I stepped out from behind my comfortable femme shield and wore a super gay t-shirt. I recorded the whole experience so I could share it with you!


1. Does it bother you when a part of your identity is not visible on the surface? (This can be for any identity, not just femmes.)

2. If so, what do you do to combat this invisiblity?

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Categories: Femme Theory, The Archives, Video

6 Comments on “Femme Visibility Experiment: Wearing a Gay T-Shirt in Public”

  1. July 24, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    You are so brave, good for you!!

    PS: the lipstick is Physicians Formula in the color Cinnamon Potion. I’m glad you liked the post :)


  2. Wendy
    July 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Why you gotta make me think all the time? I want to be “out” as a feminist/knitter/smart person/Jewish person/fuck the kyriarchy-er. I’d like people to know these things about me before making assumptions of their own. I tend to wear clothes that out me as none of this things, though I suppose my shorter hair signals “feminist” to some. I occasionally wear a t-shirt from the Judaica Club (Jew Club, informally) that I started in high school, which sometimes gets curious glances if I’m in an area with not too many Jewish people, and I do have a Star of David necklace, though I rarely choose to wear it.

    Something that I was wondering- the shirt you were wearing simply says “some people are gay.” I think that upon seeing someone wearing that shirt, I wouldn’t automatically assume they were gay, I’d just assume they were gay or identified as any other non-straight term or an ally. It brings up, for me, the whole issue of how one can identify as an ally. It would be nice to be able to wear that shirt, or have a Human Rights Campaign sticker on a car, or a rainbow ribbon pinned to a bag, without others making assumptions about a particular sexual orientation. I don’t consider it a negative thing for others to assume I’m gay, but I also don’t want to misrepresent myself.

    • July 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

      Wendy, thanks for bringing up the concept of identifying as an ally! It’s definitely an interesting one. I think that there is an assumption that someone wearing a rainbow means they are gay.

      Also something to consider is that rainbows, HRC stickers, and the like have been used by gay people as a tool, not just to demonstrate pride, but also to find one another.

      Additionally, if you want to show you are an ally without people thinking you are gay, you can wear this t-shirt! It says Str8 against H8 (the shirt was produced during the Prop 8 campaign)


  3. Sarah
    August 12, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh watching you on video makes me want to hug you. :) :) :) I have this weird like motherly pride whenever I see one of “my freshman” going out in the world and doing totally badass things.

    I just do the ubiquitous rainbow ribbon pin on my bag, but as the commenter above said, people probably more often think of me as an ally than as queer. I guess it’s something. On the other hand, you have to try REALLY hard to stand out in NYC… :P whereas in my conservative hometown, just wearing a rainbow ribbon would get me strange looks.

  4. scoomes
    August 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    1. Sorry I’m commenting so much, I’ve been away too long.
    2. Coffee exchange!!
    3. I drive a Subaru :)
    4. You are one brave lady, so so proud.

    • August 19, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      1. I love you!
      2. How the hell have you been?
      3. When are you coming back??
      4. There is no 4. I said all the important things!

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