“Help me… I’m too camp!”

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James from Fourways, Johannesburg writes:

How can I butch it up a bit? I’m naturally camp, and sometimes get hassles for it. Any advice on how I can tone it down would be welcome.


Aunty Emma responds:

I think that the best way would be to find a behaviour, either in your environment or in a media to which you have access, that you found acceptable or that you would like to emulate and try and do so – find a person you know, a TV character, a personality who has a manner that you think fits the bill and try to copy or characterise some of what they do. Maybe you have a lot of camp friends and should try to find friends who act more in a way that you’d like to act.

There is no right or wrong way – butch, camp or somewhere in between - to act and as LGBT people, I think that we’re about ending stereotypes and challenging gender roles that dictate how we have to behave. You should always be yourself and if you want to change your mannerisms, let it be for the right reasons.

If you are naturally “KAMP” acting in your mannerisms and speech I’m not going to try to tell you to act like someone you are not, that would be like denying your whole personality.

If you get hassled hassle back.

BUT, if it really bothers you, you can always take the following harsh steps:
Find a bad barber—or if necessary cut your own hair. Never polish your shoes. Wear plain clothes and dull colours. Forget the deodorant. Don’t talk much. When you have to talk, do so slowly and in a deeper voice, less articulately and with more hesitation, and pick your topic carefully—rugby and cars are good. (You might have to read up on them.) Belch and fart freely. Adjust your genitals openly. If desperate, grow a full beard.


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