Welcome back to Hi Femme!, dapperQ’s sibling visibility project celebrating the incredible contributions that stylish femmes make to queer fashion. This edition, we’re featuring Jolie Main, a recent barred attorney currently advocating for families in the child welfare sector in Massachusetts. Although a Boston Native, NYC is her second home and will always be one of the loves of her life. By age 14, Jolie knew she wanted to be an attorney to make a difference for families facing trauma and oppression. She just recently attained that goal in May 2017 when she graduated Northeastern University School of Law, passed the bar on the first try, and got her dream job defending families against child welfare services. She is an avid intersectional feminist, social justice warrior, and proud queer femme.
Hi Femme!: Can you talk a bit about how you define queer femme style, what makes it transgressive, and why femme visibility is important?
Jolie: My queer femme style is just that: It is mine. I present my style in the same way that I live my life – authentically and true to who I am. I’ve been out for about 5 years now, and my experience is that being ultra femme in the LGBTQA world feels erasing; there are clear negative stereotypes and assumptions about femmes in the community. This was something I did not expect when entering the queer world. The invisibility attributed to my feminine presentation was disappointing because regardless of my presentation, I too face hostility in our heteronormative culture. I would argue that being a queer femme creates a paradox where you are not safe in the cis world because feminine presentation equates to masculine domination over your feminine self; and in the queer world you are shunned and isolated because you do not present “queer enough.”Because of this, it is imperative that femmes have visibility in the queer world and that hopefully this continued visibility will help queer women and non-binary folks to feel more accepted in the community that they (should) feel the most safe in.
As early as age 4 I can remember sneaking into my grandmothers bathroom and putting on her lipstick and mascara. I have always loved makeup, high heels, and dresses. The notion that I would have to eliminate these items from my presentation in order to feel safe or accepted in queer spaces is just as oppressive as the cult of femininity projected on to cis straight women in our heteronormative society. In essence, the act of existing as a femme in a predominantly masculine presenting queer world is transgressive on its own.
Hi Femme!: How would you describe your personal style?
Jolie: It really depends. During the week I am very laid back and enjoy lounging around in comfy sweaters and leggings during the fall/ winter and in the summer/spring: dresses, flats, and sandals.
During the work week:
Business attire: Suits.
Free time: Laid back, casual, sweaters, leggings, booties, and scarfs, dresses and flats/sandals.
Going out: Sexy-chic, classy.
Hi Femme!: Who are your fashion icon(s)?
Jolie: Amal Clooney, Victoria Beckham, Stella Maxwell.
Hi Femme! What item in your style arsenal can you not live without?
Jolie: My High waist-ed black disco pants from American Apparel and my numerous body suits. Also Kat Von D tattoo eyeliner and Chloé perfume.