With the acceptance of gender identity switching to a more socially acceptable level in both the physical world and even more so here in Second Life I decided to dive into the issue a little and explore it. I choose Persinphony for this interview because I felt like he really embraced the Femboi way of life and might be able to shed some light on things. Did I mention he is gorgeous and cute? So of course I had him pose up for me and give you a good taste and feel of what it's like to see a femboi and hear from his perspective.
Curty: Persin, thank you so much for taking time out to sit down with me. I grabbed you this interview for a couple reasons. I thought it would fun to discuss being genderqueer and some of the differences from someone who in my mind does a stand out job of crystallizing one aspect a bit. By that I mean you identify as femboi. Correct right?
Persin: Yeppers. I am indeed a proud member of the femboi tribe
Curty: So how would femboi differ from being shemale, sissy, t-girl or any of the other smattering of terms we hear in the community?
Persin: I'd say that the genderqueer folks like fembois embrace the feminine aesthetic without fully renouncing the male boy shape or identification. T-girls and shemales have the penchant, particularly in SL for the larger breasts that we link so much with womanhood. Sissies have more of a fetishized if sometimes shameful relationship with embracing the feminine and getting off on it. Fembois aren't just dressing up in women's clothing, but taking on the feminine presentation in a way that can be just as much androgynous as it can be feminine. I'm just as comfy in a hoodie, some baggy shorts, and a pair of Chucks or Docs as I am a slinky dress and heels, provided all are cute in their own way.
Curty: Do you have a pronoun you prefer? Do you get offended when others can't figure it out or make mistakes?
Persin: Personally, I accept both and use both in certain contexts. There's some differing of opinions on this in the community and I can't speak for everyone of course. Some are very particular about using he/him pronouns and others actually prefer vice-versa. Screwing up anyone's pronouns really isn't a terrible thing in my eyes unless you have been corrected and then maliciously use the wrong one thereafter.
Curty: Now i know you don't profess to be an expert on all things genderqueer but I thought since your daily SL is steeped in some of the RP sims where a lot of this is going on you could help us all kind of define some of the terms. Can you lay out some of the terms as you've seen them at play in SL?
Persin: Genderqueer can cover a bit of a spectrum in and of itself, where some identify as femboys, andros, traps, non-binaries, and a few more I'm certainly forgetting. It's also not so much of a sharp line with easily defined markers between segments as there can be just a wide mixed palette full of hues and shades being mixed from all over. A femboy can sometimes be just started on transitioning while still being comfortable and having fun with the slender hips and lack of chest up top. A femboy can be a trap, if he's a he and is trying to trick people into thinking he's female. Boys and girls alike can be traps if they present as the gender of the differing phenotypic sex. There's also the mostly lesbian bois out there who you may see with short undercuts, a packed strap-on in their jeans, but may still have some eyeliner on. I'd say in SL it really has to do mostly with aesthetics more than anything in terms of term usage. Sissies are 100% uber femme 24/7 for the most part. I've been to some sims where anything but skirts or dresses is a complete no-no. Tgirls and Shemales, who I lump together here because "Shemale" really is something of a porn term and possible slur in certain contexts, seem just as capable of wearing some nice skinny jeans and cute flats with a low cut top that shows off breasts rarely smaller than a C-cup. Femboys can be a bit more varied in their choices of outfits, but the lack of tits can be the lowest common denominator.
Curty: That's very interesting stuff! Thanks for that! How did you come about your way of life? Was it a gradual progression or have you pretty much jumped into this from the get go?
Persin: It was something of a gradual progression for me, presenting more explicitly female before embracing more of the androgynous hallmarkers of the femboi aesthete. The options were especially limiting in SL until quite recently in terms of having easy access to flat chest that didn't just look like squished cleavage. My shapes have always been androgynous for quite a few years now, but skinning that right has been something of a challenge.
Curty: I know one of the things you enjoy as we all do is shopping. Do you find it difficult to find clothing and accessories that help you define yourself?
Persin: It's been getting so much easier in recent time, particularly with the release of the V-tech chest mod and vendors that support it. Finding bulge-oriented clothing has been another very tricky thing for a while now. Kemono appears to have some interesting options, but I could never bring myself to make the switch over because your overall clothing options are diminished. There's been a lot of increased rigged Maitreya bulgewear from V-tech, Cubura, Sensations, and a few others, which has made life a bit easier.
Curty: I have plans for a transgender shopping mall. The idea would be to bring designers that do support the TG population in SL into a universal spot to make it easier to do some one stop shopping. Would you be willing to consult and help in an effort like this?
Persin: That sounds like a super fun idea and I think just about all of the vendors I've mentioned so far would be great potential fits. I know I've taken a few risks on some non-cisgender aimed clothing that ended up being a disappointment after not being able to take a chance on a demo first.
Curty: What are some of the best SIMs you enjoy for you that make you feel welcome, comfortable and provide for the types of interaction you enjoy?
Persin: "Femboys" has a great people watching and just has a really solid aesthetic in addition to just being a well designed meeting spot for people. It's sadly quiet far too often most of the time, even when the main room is packed. The Whole Shebang is a D/s dickgirl skewing sim that is just one of the warmest and friendliest places out there I find. I'm also a total trivia princess over there and I've won so many goodies from sponsors like Heavy Gear and Sensations. But I could never forget my working gig at Ladyboys Club that keeps my spending trips paid for. Everyone is always super great over there besides the few random terrible trolls we get here and there.
Curty: Tell me something not everyone knows about you.
Persin: I'm left-handed, which you probably won't realize unless I'm on my knees and looking upward before I start trying to fingerbang.
Curty: Any thing else I missed you'd like to impart to our readers?
Persin: It's easy to forget the simple idea of just being nice to each other, but I firmly believe that kind of kindness is what keeps the toxicity trolls away. Just don't be dicks to each other out there unless you know it's their fetish. =^.^=