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The dismissal of femmes as illegitimate or invisible also happens within the queer community itself, which creates the push for femmes to self-advocate as an empowered identity not inherently tied to butches.Some people in queer communities eschew butch or femme classifications, believing that they are inadequate to describe an individual, or that labels are limiting in and of themselves.On the other hand, the writer Jewelle Gomez muses that butch and femme women in the earlier twentieth century may have been expressing their closeted transgender identity.
In "Negotiating Dyke Femininity", lesbian scholar Wendy Somerson, explains that women in the lesbian community who are more feminine and do not fit into the "butch" stereotype can pass as straight.
She believes the link between appearance and gender performance and one's sexuality should be disrupted, because the way someone looks should not define their sexuality.
In her article, Somerson also clearly talks about how within the lesbian community some are considered more masculine than others.
He further argues that butch–femme is uniquely geared to work in lesbian relationships.
Stereotypes and definitions of butch and femme vary greatly, even within tight-knit LGBT communities.