I have a certain perception of internal dynamics within the queer community, a recurrent perception that makes me want to build it into a fully-formed theory, if possible. I’ve reflected on it enough that I feel it’s time to express my thought and see if anyone can corroborate it, or if I jus be trippin.
My perception comes from participating in the trans community; I’ve engaged a little with the lesbian and gay communities, but not as much yet as I would like to. I want to know their perspective on this, because I know they have one; at least it’s widely discussed in the lesbian community. Maybe even lesbian theory. (BTW, can anyone recommend a good source to start with lesbian theory?)
Because I’ve dealt with it among trans people, and heard about it happening with lesbians, it felt safe to generalize it and just talk queer theory.
Kate Bornstein on gender theory: When you’ve demolished the exclusively binary gender system, there are lots more modes for pairing up than just straight male/female: for example, butch/femme, top/bottom, sub/dom, etc., all without reference to gender or sexual orientation. Maybe Bornstein means we don’t need to get all hung up on a couple different ways of relating, when there’s such a wide variety of alternatives. If more people were down with this liberating concept, there wouldn’t be homophobia or transphobia.
So within the trans community, I am sometimes made to feel second class for being femme, when some of the butch persuasion make their preferences normative. It can even become a political power issue.
There, I got that off my chest. I didn’t present it as a rant, but as an exploration toward queer theory. It needs more development. A good constructive debate has been known to contribute to building up theory. Wanna take a crack at it? Have you noticed any butch/femme power issues within a queer community?