Who We Are: Calling all LGTBQ Sewists!

As Australians wait to find out the results of their plebiscite on same-sex marriage, it seems like a good time to ask: What’s it like to be an LGTBQ sewist? 

Of all the identities we are discussing here, being gay is the only one I can think of that is actually illegal or punishable in many parts of the world, which seems appalling in this day and age. Here in Canada, same-sex activity has only been legal since 1969, and same-sex marriage became legal nationwide in 2005. Transgender rights were added to our Human Rights Act just this summer. Given that context, it seems particularly important to listen to the voices of LGTBQ people to better understand their experiences!

Who We Are (12)

So if you, or someone you sew for, identifies as lesbian, gay, trans, bi, queer, questioning, non-binary, intersex, two-spirited, or any other part of the wider LGTBQ community, we’d love to hear if your sewing connects to that! 

(And if you’d like a primer on what any of those words mean, this one seems good.

Comment below, message us on Instagram (@sewcialists) or send us an email if you’d like to contribute 1-3 paragraphs to a group post. Or, if it’s a subject you feel passionate about, email us if you’d like to talk about writing a whole post yourself!

12 thoughts on “Who We Are: Calling all LGTBQ Sewists!

  1. Hello,

    There is a sexual identity I relate to that sometimes is added to LGBTQ….. and that’s A for asexual. People are always confused by what it means and I think unless you identify with it, you never will understand it. It’s related to sexual desire and having that feeling so many call “being turned on”. We don’t get that. We can look at a good looking person of the opposite sex and appreciate them for their looks, but it won’t go deeper. I can remember as a pre-teen others getting excited over cute guys and putting posters on their walls. I didn’t understand this. I didn’t want to be weird and so I pretended. An asexual person can be in a happy relationship. It was wonderful to find out this had a name and others felt this way too. It’s not the same as celibacy. Some of us are married. Some asexual people don’t want to be in a relationship. There are different types of asexuals. Some of us even enjoy sex for the physical pleasure of it, either with a partner or by ourselves. What makes a person asexual is having no sexual attraction at all. Instead, when in a relationship, we appreciate our partners for how they treat us, their brains, talents, and shared interests…maybe even their looks. We just aren’t sexually attracted to them or anyone.


    Sent from my iPhone

    1. Yes, asexual and aromantic are orientation spectra that aren’t as visible and are often dismissed as medical conditions! As someone who falls under the aroace umbrella, it’s just exciting for me to see either of these labels in mainstream, non-ace media.
      I personally only realized I fell here this summer, and I haven’t sewed at all since this summer, so it hasn’t impacted me in that manner. But since I don’t really experience sexual or romantic attraction, aesthetic is huge for me, which probably led to me sewing and enjoying fashion a lot in the first place. I see it as, I’m not spending time having crushes so I spend time thinking about clothes instead!
      I’m glad you made this point. Visibility is a very important thing.

      1. Regan, i do hope you’ll email us with more on how realizing you are asexual/aromantic made you shift your perspective on your clothes! How do you think it plays into your aesthetic as fascination with fashion? I’m so curious! 🙂

    2. Hi Susie! Thank you for describing so asexuality so clearly! At a workshop I was at last year, I was introduced to the term “demisexual”, which was described as “someone who doesn’t have pants feelings unless there are heart feelings” – aka. someone who is only sexually attracted when they are in love. I found that so interesting, because my first response was, “Um, isn’t that everyone?” But clearly not! 😉 I thinkt he wonderful thing about talking about how we each experience love, lust and attraction is that is helps all of us, wherever we are on that spectrum, to learn about ourselves and other.
      My question for you, which Regan alluded to below, is: Do you dress/sew differently when desire or wanting to create desire is not playing a factor?

  2. Queer sewing, yessss ! I’m super looking forward to that post I’ll say!!
    As far as I can tell, the sewing blogging community is Super Straight, or at least it feels that way at times. It can be a bit alienating sometimes, because sewing is something I’m really passionate about, but there’s a kind if gap with other people. These women (as they often are) have a husband and kids (or they’re planning on them) and it just feels miles away from my life. Not to mention that a lot of patterns have a very, very feminine spin to them, and sometimes it’s… No. Dresses are neat, but sometimes I want to look like a dapper dandy, but I dont know where to find the patterns and even less how to adapt those to a body that couldn’t look less masculine. Heck, I’d just be happy to see more guys in the sewing community, even straight ones, to have more of a view on sewing masculine fashion.
    So, hey. I’m here representing as an agender asexual lesbian/bi/pan/something /o/

    1. Hi! I’m so glad you commented, because if you are feeling that way, then I bet a lot of other sewists are too! I mean, last I heard 10% of the population was LGTBQ, but I agree, it sure doesn’t seem that way in blogging. Would you be interested in sending us 1-3 paragraphs to include in a group post? Basically what you just said, or add whatever you want. That way more people will get to see it, and hopefully you’ll find some other dapper sewists! 😉

        1. Hi! If you could send us something by the end of November, we’ll include it! Thanks! I’d love to hear from you, because I think these experiences are important for people to read.

  3. There are otherwise liberal people who don’t believe in being transgender. They won’t say this out loud. Here’s what they’ll say:
    – “Well, she SAYS she’s a boy, but no one else is going to think so, look at those breasts.”
    – “Really? But you’re so cute, you seem so feminine! I just can’t imagine you as a boy!”
    – “When you say she’s a boy, what genitals do you mean she has? She’s really a girl, right?”

    You can’t tell some people are trans. They won the hormonal lottery; the boys look like boys, the girls look like girls, the non-binary folks are perfectly androgynous.

    For the rest of us, there’s a constant push and pull between the styles and activities we love, and the way people will see us. Boys can wear skirts, but when a trans boy wears skirts, he’s told he’s not really trans. Girls can do woodworking, but if a trans girl works in construction, she might be denied hormonal treatment.

    I love sewing. I’ve loved it since I was a toddler, sewing with a shoelace and an elephant-shaped piece of cardboard.

    Every time I sew in public, I’m called a woman. Sometimes by strangers. Sometimes by people I’ve corrected dozens of times.

    I can afford to sew. No therapist or doctor is denying me care. My parents aren’t trying to have me institutionalized. I won’t lose my job for being the wrong kind of transgender.

    (Unlike some of my friends, who have had all these things happen.)

    But every time I’m told that sewing makes me “not trans enough”, it’s another straw added to the camel’s back. This camel is already exhausted.

    1. Hi Evan! I’m shocked and horrified that people have been so closeminded in your experience, and so sorry! I don’t doubt you for a minute though – I think trans rights and identities are still new to a lot of people. As a ciswoman, I hadn’t ever considered how it could be harder to be gender fluid than to be very femme or very masculine, so I thank you for pointing that out. I’m struggling to wrap my head around the idea that someone could be “not trans enough” to please the other people – as a teacher, all of our training is focused on the idea that someone is the gender they tell you they are, and that we use the pronoun of their choice. Have you found the sewing community supportive?

      If you are interested in having your perspective included in our community post in December, please shoot us an email to sewcialists@gmail.com… or let us know if we could include your comment here in that post if you prefer to to write something new! Thanks, and happy sewing!

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