Identifying as LGBTQ isn’t always easy. Globally, masculinity and all sorts of masculine traits are prized, while femininity is rejected. It’s a sentiment pervasive in gay media, porn and in online gay spaces — like the language used on gay apps. Statements like “no fems,” “no queens” or “masc4masc” don’t reflect a “preference” — they demonstrate ignorance, sexism and homophobia. Racial stereotypes, machismo, sexism and heteronormativity instigate these forms of discrimination. That’s why Hornet is proud to launch the #MyFemmeSelf campaign.
As an initiative to affirm and celebrate all kinds of gender expressions, #MyFemmeSelf is an opportunity to combat toxic masculinity and create a digital space where everyone can feel empowered to explore who they are and freely express themselves.
Our community must act more like an actual community. We must recognize the beauty and value in diversity, and celebrate it. To celebrate is more than watching popular TV shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has made great strides for visibility and representation but is just one part of what’s required to truly demonstrate the incredible diversity of our community.
Throughout Mexico and Latin America, many LGBTQ people grow up under a culture consumed by “machismo,” in which gender-nonconforming people are constantly marginalized. Being feminine or doing feminine things makes us feel guilt, hatred and shame, because they’re classified as something weak or ‘less than.’
“When family, educational and social environments deprive us of this validation — mocking us, limiting our experiences, criticizing us or rejecting our way of being and facing life — we become incapable of developing an internal sense of trust, competence and achievement, and very important, of giving and receiving unconditional love,” says Alex Torres, psychotherapist and specialist in human development and well-being of LGBTQ people.
To determine the value of a person based on masculinity, physicality, ethnicity or class is unjust and demonstrates an inability to recognize a person’s humanity.
Traditional media plays an important role in changing the image and perception of what many hide as “preference.” Understanding that we are all sexual beings who need love and to achieve connection is fundamental, as is knowing that we are all worth the same and we should not exclude anyone under these concepts.
#MyFemmeSelf will be an ongoing campaign by Hornet including stories, interviews and profiles reflecting the message of inclusivity and acceptance.
We encourage you to use this hashtag on your Hornet profile and engage with us on social media with this campaign as well.
Featured image by Alberto Seyffert for itsgeorgieboy.