There’s a girl in a small town. She’s just starting to figure herself out. She’s pretty but awkward. She’s smart and goofy. She’s different… and far from knowing that “different” is actually something to aspire to. For now, she blends into the background because she doesn’t feel pretty. And in a few years she’ll realize that she likes girls, the same way other girls like boys. That attention she gives her childhood friend, she comes to understand that that is her first crush. Along the way, she blossoms. She becomes a pretty young woman - one who likes lipstick, and dresses, high heels, and pretty things. She likes to look at fashion magazines and paint her nails with her best friends at slumber parties. But she doesn’t tell her best friends that she feels… different. She likes the way it feels when she dresses up and gets attention… from boys of course, but more importantly from other girls.
When she gets a little older, she accepts her queer identity. She doesn’t realize right away that she’s different from the other queer women she hangs out with. “Femme.” “Lipstick.” Those are words used by other queers to describe her… and not always in a flattering way.
She’s trying on lipstick and looking in the mirror. She’s figuring out what it is to be herself. She wants to express herself. She wonders how she fits in. She doesn’t learn until many years later that it’s okay - no, not okay… it’s POWERFUL to be who she is… a queer AND a femme.
Of course, I was that girl.
There’s another little girl, today, growing up in a small town, and she’s our future. I hope she realizes how unique she is. What a beautiful little butterfly. I hope she quickly learns that she can embrace her sexuality AND her femininity. I hope she won’t let her peers and her community stifle her voice. We need her… because there will always be another girl, in another small town, who loves pretty things… and likes girls that way. I hope there are always older girls, like me, looking out for her. This girl, she’s a gift. And, if I could tell her every day how things will get better, and how precious she is, I would.