By: Karen Me (they/them/theirs)

Photos by: Serena Pu

While Outober, a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ community at Georgetown, has come and gone, queer individuals remain on campus and are not to be forgotten simply because October has passed.  

And so in the first rendition of “In-Queery,” I sought to find out a little more about how the queerness and gender(s) of fellow Hoyas manifest through their personal fashion style in our world of heteronormativity – the assumption that a person is straight – and gender binaries – the acknowledgement of only two genders based on ascribed sex at birth (the identity of gender that aligns with ascribe sex is termed “cisgender man” or “cisgender woman”).   

How do our fellow Hoyas navigate outside of these expected social norms?  Here is what I found.

CAMION HORTON

COL ‘17

Pronouns: she/her/hers

What clothing are you most comfortable in?  How would you describe your fashion style?

I’m most comfortable in men’s clothing; I’d describe my style as androgynous, business casual and making a statement.  Often, I find myself wearing black and white.

Do you express your gender through fashion and how?  Do you express your queerness through fashion and how?

I don’t identify as a certain gender, but use she/her/hers pronouns for the sake of convenience.  Queer fashion has always been a thing for me, I don’t see a separation between queer fashion and fashion because it depends on how bold a person is willing to be.  Queer folks already stand out, and our fashion adds a layer of boldness.  Look at Rihanna when she wears a suit, you know she can do what she wants because she’s Rihanna.

What do you think about how society genders clothing?  What do you think about the terms masculine and feminine?

I think it should be nonexistent; people give power to words.  We should let people be who they want to be and wear what they want to wear.

Rachel Brooks

COL ‘17

Pronouns:  she/her/hers

What clothing are you most comfortable in?  How would you describe your fashion style?

I love tall socks, my sock game always has to be strong.  While I appreciate dress and skirts, I prefer wearing pants, especially harem pants.  I guess I would describe my style as semi-boho semi-lazy punk.

Do you express your gender through fashion and how?  Do you express your queerness through fashion and how?

It depends on the day, I don’t like how women’s clothing is typically understood as having more leeway than men’s clothing.  Queer people already don’t fit in so they can do whatever they want.  I would be so down to wear some weird safari themed outfit.

What do you think about how society genders clothing?  What do you think about the terms masculine and feminine?

I really don’t like it, I think people should wear whatever they want.  For example, there are plenty of people who may like “women’s clothing” but don’t wear them because that is not what is expected.  I have mixed feelings about the terms, because some people do use clothes to express masculinity and femininity, but I find that binary limiting.

CeeJay Hayes

COL’ `7

Pronouns: he/him/his

What clothing are you most comfortable in?  How would you describe your fashion style?

My clothing is skinnier and more fitted.  If I see it in the store and I’m like “dang, I have to have it,” well, then I have to have it.  Black goes with everything (that’s a classic), and layering sweaters and cardigans in the fall is a must.

Do you express your gender through fashion and how?  Do you express your queerness through fashion and how?

My style is pretty male-centric, but I do like women’s sweaters.  I wish fashion could be less binary; I would wear heels because I like being tall.  I also don’t understand why jewelry and nail polish are more “feminine,” because framing your hands can be equally masculine.  I’m not expressly feminine, I just don’t fit into boxes of machismo or femininity.

What do you think about how society genders clothing?  What do you think about the terms masculine and feminine?

We live in a binary world and our conceptualization is shaped by that.  I see queer fashion less from a social justice standpoint and more about embracing the diversity of fashion.  Look at Andrew Christian underwear and Heatherrette.  Givenche has men wearing skirts over pants.  People defying binaries are making great fashion statements.

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Personally, I believe the notions and definitive characteristics of masculinity and femininity have been hardwired in us; our language, early exposures to toys, even colors, are constructed as gender specific.  Even the term queer (an umbrella term that simply means “not fully straight”) creates a divide by distinguishing differences between straight and queer communities, which while they exist, can lead to the perception that only queer-identified folks can break gender binaries (consider the term metrosexuality).  While gender fluidity is more prominent in queer communities, we must keep in mind that these terms can only conceptualize our personal understanding of language based on our culture, environment, and experiences.  There is no one way to be a cisgender women, cisgender male, transgender, queer, nonbinary.

The next featured “In-Queery” will be on intentionality and gender performance!

 

Posted by:Thirty Seventh

Georgetown's premier fashion and lifestyle blog.

One thought on “In-Queer-y: On Masculinity & Femininity

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