The FEMME

This is a collection of self-portraits displaying my new found strength and power in femininity.

I was photographing myself without reason or direction and ended up with a collection of photos where I felt strong, fashionable, empowered, and loved the way my body looked. Interestingly enough, these same portraits displayed something in me that I have been told for countless years makes me weak, makes me a sissy, makes me disturbed: femininity. “Man up. You sound like a girl. Don’t be such a sissy." These are just a few of the negative phrases and demands from a society of fragile masculinity that I grew up hearing. Not that much has changed, I still hear these things, however, I am learning to not them control the way I talk, act, or feel. My feminine traits, the same remarkable traits I see in my friends, family, and role models, make me stronger and empowered.

“Because we are taught women are weak and men are strong, we’ve been taught to disguise and reject the femininity within ourselves. But a feminine man is no less of a man, he’s just not performing gender the way our culture expects him to and while that makes straight people predictably uncomfortable, it’s disappointing to see gay men buy into the same casual misogyny. The personal rejection of the feminine manifests in harmful ways. It’s harmful to our straight female allies, it’s harmful to queer women, and it’s harmful to young queer men feeling awkward and undesirable in their own bodies… We owe women and ourselves better.”
-Gabe Gonzalez