As a queer woman of color, nothing grinds my gay gears more than having my masculine-presenting appearance become synonymous to wanting to be treated like one of the guys. More specifically, many cisgendered men consider me as just another one of their dude-bros simply because we share a common love of bomb button-ups and curvaceous cuties. Fellas, I’m here to tell you that no, I’m not your bro, bruh, and here’s why.

Although I prefer to throw on a clean snapback and some kicks to any function, it in no way denounces my femininity nor does it cancel out my desire to want to be treated and acknowledged like the woman that I identify as. How I choose to dress does not translate into me wanting to “look” like a man, and it definitely doesn’t mean that I want to be treated like one.

This means a few things. This means that NO, I don’t want to be the only woman in my traveling group of Bad and Boujees to be singled out and reduced to daps and pounds as the more feminine-presenting women of the squad are given hugs and rubs. You’ve now concluded that because we just so happen to shop in the same section at H&M that I must have sent a resignation letter to my womanliness. Let me decide if I want to fist-bump it up with you, if I want to go in for the hug, or if I choose the always popular no physical contact form of a goodbye. And it wouldn’t hurt to extend that same courtesy to the other women in my circle as well.

This also means that, NO, I do not wish to partake in your disgusting, degrading conversations about other women. I’m one of those very women that you’re catcalling and critiquing! Is the glare from our matching watches blinding you from this fact? I simply don’t want to be a part of your locker room talk. My love of flannel and boxer briefs is not an invitation to be welcomed into your blatant boys' club of misogyny.

I’m aware of there being two sides to every coin. There are some masculine-presenting women out there who may not mind that dap-up or those who feel more comfortable being dubbed your ‘bro’. I find nothing wrong with that at all. What I find fault in is the automatic assumptions and stigmas that are tacked onto us lady gals whose physical appearance doesn’t outwardly scream “girly girl”. Comedienne Young Ezee’s hilariously accurate video summing up some common perceptions of more “studly” women is the perfect example of what I’m talking about.

The bottom line is, enough is enough. Cut it out with the assumptions and the assignment of frivolous gender roles and assumed gender identities based on what’s being presented on the surface. Like most of us are, I am a complex individual whose energies and characteristics are as interchangeable as the day is long. The clothes on my back may be a slight representation of how I identify myself but they are in no way a complete summary of who I am. Keep your shallow definitions of my identity to yourself. I’m reclaiming my right to be treated in a way that isn’t automatically dismissed simply because of my masculine-inspired choice of attire.