One of my new favorite words, one which I’m even considering adding to my long list of labels up on the masthead, I’ve already added it to my gender description. I first encountered the term in the Fagette video by Athens Boys Choir which is absolutely lovely, hilarious, wonderful, and perfect.
Doing a search on google for faggette brings up over 18,600 results which are a mixture of pages with the Athens Boys Choir video on them or linked, personal profiles like myspace or digg, information for people with the last name of Fagette, some is information about La Fagette, France, and random other things. Aside from the video I’m interested in the Urban Dictionary definition of fagette which reads:
A lesbian or a woman that displays either a masculine or feminine attitudes, mannerisms, and dress depending on their whim at the moment.
At the Lesbian Club, Cheri was such a fagette that she was receiving looks of interest from both the Butch and Femme crowd.
As opposed to the simple other definitions: 1. A gay frenchman. Derived from “faggot” and “baguette.” 2. A female homosexual/lesbian. I would say I prefer the first definition of fagette(s) from UD instead of the other for fagette.
Further, I would propose my own definition (as that’s what this post is all about, right?) which brings it slightly away from sexuality, though I would say queer is a necessity as I believe queerness and gender have some sort of link together but queer doesn’t always have to do with who one sleeps with. I really like the “depending on their whim at the moment” part of the definition, and I think that is key for my own feelings and adoption of this label.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my boi side, especially since reading The Leather Daddy and the Femme since it is so amazing and is a queer femme who also dresses as a boi, who has both aspects (genders) within her and plays with both and in between. I have been feeling more of my boi side lately, but also enjoying and analyzing my femme side, yet another “switch” label for me to inhabit, perhaps, switching from boi to femme and back again and everywhere in between.
It’s often difficult to not have a definite place in this gender galaxy, or to be circling around more than one sun. At the same time it’s very freeing, because through embracing these specific labels I am able to then open up my own gender expression to fit inside or outside of the gender lines as I see fit. Just like I feel it’s sometimes necessary to restrict something or go to one extreme in order to find where you really feel comfortable, and I’ve had to do that.
Back to my definition of fagette. Basically I think of it as a queer who mixes masculinity and fem(me)ininity and creates their own version of both, whether their biology is male or female. I know it’s a rather open-ended definition, but I think gender is open-ended in some ways, a lot more open-ended than society would like us to believe anyway. A fagette can look like Athens Boys Choir: a boy with a vagina, or a bio-female drag queen, or like Miranda/Randy of The Leather Daddy and the Femme, or all sorts of other configurations. There’s something about femme masculinity in it (not to be confused with female masculinity), which seems contradictory, in any way but I’m talking simply gender and not biological sex.
There’s a type of femme which can only be achieved by mixing a little masculinity in, I think, the drag queen is a drag queen because it’s putting a feminine gender on the socially “wrong” body, but a similar gender is difficult to achieve when you are putting a similar gender expression, drag queen, on the socially “correct” body. Fagette is recognizing that wrongness, that queerness, and embracing it.
It doesn’t come out as femme drag queen for everyone, that’s just my experience of fagette, having to map it onto my identity in order to have it fit. It’s similar to what I mean by “femme drag queen,” the purposeful combining of femmeininity and masculinity in order to create a new gender all my own, an androgyny that doesn’t come out looking primarily masculine as most androgyny does.
Fagette is not limited to the gender expression “drag queen” as some drag queens are not fagettes, but some fagettes are drag queens. Fagette can encompass any gender which is a mixture of femme and fag (I believe).