Femme Friday – Kayleigh Marie

About a year ago, Kayleigh wrote to me on a much-neglected email account, with kind words about one of my stories. When I finally checked that account and wrote back to her, I was delighted to learn that she was interested in being featured on Femme Friday!

Deep gratitude to Kayleigh for generously sharing her story and her thoughts with us here on The Total Femme!

You asked, What does femme mean to me?

Well, to me, femme means: A woman who is very much in touch with her softer nature, a woman who sees herself as a soft blank canvas but takes out her brush and creates the most beautiful picture that she has ever seen, she is the blank canvas, and the brush is her potential. It is her make up. She can be whoever she wants to be and seeks great pleasure in doing so.

The clothes that she wears on her back are not merely pieces of material, they are part of her identity, she wants to wow, she wants to be noticed, she wants to look in her mirror and smile back at what she sees and feel that thrill in the pit of her stomach.

But who is to say that all femmes have to be just a fluffy, soft pillow princess with nothing about them but make up and clothes and beautiful hair?

Take me for example, I’m 28, I’m ALL of the above: I feel inconvenienced when I break a nail, I throw a fit if my hair doesn’t stay in the position that I have trained it with 3 cans of hairspray and I swear to almighty god that I’m not going out tonight, my brand new 6 inch heels can remain in their box because somehow it’s all their fault!! I am a femme, spoilt, princess little brat! But alas, that isn’t ALL of what or who I am. There is more to me than all of that. There’s alot more to all who identify as femme.

My coming out as femme story: hold on for this one, you might want to grab some tissues.

So, as a little girl, maybe around 6 or 7, I was much more of a tomboy than I ever was a femme. You’d see me climbing trees, you’d see me climbing people’s balconies like I was auditioning for the remake of “The Planet Of The Apes”. I outran many old, angry men, brandishing sticks and telling me to get to school, (they often called my school and told them that a troublesome child kept playing “Knock Down Ginger” and throwing herself over the balconies and getting away. Knock Down Ginger is a British Term for knocking on people’s doors and running away).

Even as I got older, 12-13, I was still doing this. I was a physically underdeveloped teenager, childhood was a very tough time for me. I didn’t fit in anyway, I had long, mousy brown hair with a very dodgy cut fringe (we all know what mums can be like when they get their hands on a pair of scissors: they suddenly think that they’re John Frieda but their work says Edward Scissorhands). I was skinny and the clothes that I was dressed in (not through my own choice) were usually 3 sizes too big and very boy-ish. I hated them. I had to wear shoes that weighed more than I did; I’m surprised my skinny legs could even lift with those things on.

I envied the girls at school. They wore make up everyday, their hair was always perfect, their clothes were beautiful, and then there was me, always watching them, always sad, always wondering why I was ugly and couldn’t be like them. I wanted to look like them, to be girly, but mum never allowed it. The saddest part is that, I really was beautiful, I just couldn’t see it then. When I look back at old photos of me as a teen, I was so pretty, so naturally pretty. I had these big blue eyes (that even to this day, when people meet me, one of the first things they say is that I have beautiful eyes) I had perfect skin, so smooth, I never ever suffered with acne, I had the cheekiest smile that melted hearts, with little, faint dimples in my cheeks that made my smile worth so much more. But again, I couldn’t see it back then…….

It wasn’t until I reached around 14 years old that I saw my potential. I was at secondary school and each term the school published a magazine, featuring all that they had to offer. A few of the students were hand picked to model the sportswear. Of course, I wasn’t the first choice, but because one of the girls dropped out, she begged me to take her place, probably because I was the only girl left in my year that could fit into the size 0 clothing that had to be modeled.

So I took the job. I had make up professionals fussing around me, hair stylists, it was REALLY overwhelming! I felt so important that day, and when I looked in the mirror after they had finished, I couldn’t stop staring at myself. I looked like a girl. A girly girl, a femme, and all of the girls that didn’t even notice me before sure as hell noticed me then. They wouldn’t associate with somebody like me in reality but just because I had half of the Mac counter on my face and my hair was braided into a snake around my head, apparently I fit in?!?!?!

But right then and there, it wasn’t those girls who made me realise I could be more, it was the girl staring back at me and wanting to stay looking that way forever! I loved the make up, I loved the hair! I had a new found respect and admiration for who was looking back at me. And to this day I have remained as feminine as I became that day and I love it. I include photos in this post of myself, ranging from when I was around 5-14 to now.

You asked: If I am a femme who is romantically attracted to butches to discuss it.

Well, you know, I never started out that way. I was always attracted to girly girls, to femmes, especially when I was in school — that’s when I fully began to explore what it was that I was feeling whenever I saw a girl half dressed in the girls’ changing rooms. I was very confused about my feelings towards girls because I couldn’t understand them. Lesbians and gays were a taboo in my family, it was never discussed. But I remember looking at one particular girl (she was a great friend of mine, and still is to this day), she had jet black hair, she was tall (everybody was tall in comparison to my tiny teenaged self), she was SO beautiful! You know that kind of beautiful that really stops you for a moment and makes you wonder how that kind of beauty really exists? And not only that, but she was beautiful inside too, and she didn’t even know it, she was just so oblivious to it all.

I didn’t come out of the closet until I was 19. I had been in an abusive relationship with a man for 5 years previous to that because I believed it was the norm. I stayed in denial about my sexuality for so long. My tastes changed when I started to explore my sexuality. I had believed that a femme was absolutely my type, but getting older, my sexual preferences changed. My desires changed. Femme women didn’t make me feel how I felt whenever I saw a butch walking by me in the street, or in a bar. My stomach would knot up so hard that I’d feel like I wanted to throw up. I’d fantasise daily about butch women, about how they could pin me to a wall and take charge of me. I loved that feeling of losing all control to a fierce, manly butch but with all of the needed attributes of a woman. I have dabbled in BDSM and nothing could get my juices flowing (quite literally) more than the sight of a butch. I know that butches hate to be stereotyped, but it’s very difficult to not envision the chequered shirts, the baggy jeans and the short hair cut when somebody simply says “Butch woman” but to me, that is incredibly appealing. The sexual appeal is carnal for me. I want to be tamed, I want to be put back into line.

Most that identify as butch just have a way about them that screams power and domination and that is the biggest turn on for me.

You asked: Who are my femme role models in the present, or in the past? 

I mean, I don’t think I ever really had or have a role model. There’s a difference between admiring people and then seeing them as somebody you would aspire to be. I lean towards admiring people more than aspiring to be like them or to have their nature. My only role model is me, to be better, to try harder in life, to love others more and to love myself better for the woman that I am. I have come along in stages and I look back at how far I’ve travelled and realised that there may have been a time in my life that I wanted to fit society’s perfect mould of who I should be and who I should look up to but no amount of chains or cable ties could hold me down and stop me from breaking free to being who I want to be. I am my own femme role model. I always have been, it just took me several years to see it.

And lastly, you asked if I wanted to share anything else with the readers of the blog.

All I can say is: It’s great to identify as something, but don’t let an identification be all that you are. What does it truly matter who or what you identify as? Do you love yourself? Are you happy within yourselves and with the paths that you have chosen in life? If you are, then don’t allow a label to determine what you do with yourself, don’t let a label determine the people that you surround yourself with. Just be you! Embrace you! You’re all beautiful and you all have something so special to give. Yourselves. And if that isn’t enough for others, then they are not worthy of your time or your presence.

Lots of love, Kayleigh. All the way from the U.K.

So, my bio: I’m Kayleigh Marie, Born in the U.K, in the south east of England.

 Music is the biggest interest in my life. I’ve written music and lyrics in college in Canterbury where I studied for just over a year.

I trained as a chef 6 years ago. It was a bit of a fluke, I started as a pot washer but within 6 months I became a chef. I worked at a hotel for 3 and a half years but I knew I wanted more. I travelled to the channel islands alone in 2017 and worked in a Michelin starred restaurant.

Food and music motivate me. Eat well and sing well. 

If you ever get to study Cher, study her. She is an inspiration and I have tickets to see her in this fall!

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)



Published in: on October 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well done Kayleigh Marie.
    Have always known you could write. I didn’t yawn once!!

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by, LIsa! It’s an honor to feature Kayleigh! xottf

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