Queer and proud: navigating a life of acceptance

Sophie Reeves

Queer women’s connection to femininity and womanhood throughout history has always been complex. It’s often misunderstood, and by some, it has even been challenged. 

Take it from someone who has identified as many things—bisexual, pansexual, lesbian—being a queer woman is confusing. But it’s also unique, and beautiful. 

In the past, lesbians and other queer women have been seen as almost an anomaly to typical femininity. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Queer women embody femininity and feminism, in their best forms: that of supporting and understanding other women. Lesbians in particular are important to value, listen to, and remember in Women’s History Month.

 Before knowing my own sexuality, I was always a tomboy. I was confused by how, and why exactly I was encouraged to be more “ladylike”. Knowing myself better now, my identity has shaped me into a woman who can simultaneously embrace androgyny, masculinity, and femininity. I may dress stereotypically butch one day, but I might wear dangly earrings and do my makeup the next. 

For centuries, lesbians in particular have broken gender roles in the way we dress. To me, being a woman means owning my body. So, breaking gender roles is for every girl. Wear makeup and a suit at the same time, anything as long as it’s for you. 

Personally, my queerness has made me feel connected to womanhood in a way that I previously have never thought much about. For me, being queer and a woman means rejecting the traditional notion of how a woman should be, act, and look.

Part of being a woman, queer or not, is knowing that you have every right to challenge what a man says is the right way to be womanly. 

I don’t concern myself with the way that men want me to be, and it is liberating. This is not just because I’m queer, though. Every woman and girl deserves to know that the way that they want to be comes first. Being queer and accepting myself for loving who I love has shown me how amazing it is to be a woman and know women. We know who we are, even if it takes some time to get there.

The queer community has always been full of women of color, trans women, women with  diverse body types, ethnicities, and disabilities. This intersectionality between women is incredibly powerful, since it is not just the recognition and acceptance of differences, but the ability to celebrate them and to find joy in them.