Kicked Out author E. F. Schraeder

Femmethology Author Ariel McGowan

Femme is one of the boxes I like to play in.

How do you define your femme identity?

The piece I wrote for Femmethology is called “I Am Not a Box”. It talks about identities as boxes. Femme is one of the boxes I like to play in.

How do other identities you have not only intersect with femme but also contradict it?

The only contradiction I ever feel is that of being a boy and a girl. Most of the time, though, it doesn’t feel like a contradiction at all.

What are some joys of being femme?

I am not femme, I’m boygirl. And for me, the joys of being boygirl are simply the joys of being alive….the sound of running water; the feeling of embodiment; the joy of food, of community, of sex, of love; feeling fear, anticipation, pain; transformation…

What role does writing play in community-building for you?

A good question is why communities need to be built. How did people become so isolated? I believe that systems of oppression tear communities apart through violence and create isolation. I know that is true for me, personally. Rebuilding community is one of my favorite forms of healing and is also an act of resistance.

Writing is a small part of that.

Writing does have incredible power because, unlike speech, it is reproducible. One flaw of writing is its boxiness. I am literally typing words into a box right now. Writing and identity are both boxy. Still, I like to do them.

How does it feel to be part of the Femmethologies?

Honestly, it’s intimidating. I’m going to come out here and admit it: I am really truly terrified of femmes.

I have social anxiety issues already, and throwing me in with such frighteningly beautiful people is likely to trigger a panic attack.

Femme is _____ (one word only, please)