Femme Friday – Kaylin Cervini and “Like a Girl”

It’s always a delicious surprise when a femme reaches out to me to share her story, her art, her femme self. Thank you, Kaylin! Your email made my day.

Kaylin Cervini is a singer-songwriter living in upstate New York. Although she’d been dating her girlfriend for about a year, not all friends or family members knew about it. On March 25, 2022, she came out to them and to the world through her release of “Like a Girl,” a love song to her girlfriend, to herself, and to all of us who find ourselves veering off from the path we’d thought we were following.

Kaylin’s lovely song reminds me how difficult and complicated it still is to come out, despite the increase of information and resource. When it comes down on you personally, that’s just a whole other thing, no matter how cool you thought you were with queerness. It still throws you into the unknown. I’m also reminded and heartened about the how art can convey layers and contradictions and a whole host of emotions so much more powerfully than a “hey guys, I’m gay!” announcement at a family dinner.

As Kaylin told me,

My music in general really allows me to open up and be vulnerable with people. Things I’m nervous to express verbally, I often do first in my music. I think it’s the best way to create music that is relatable and can truly make people feel something. I want my music to help people feel less alone in their emotions and experiences, to do this I have to keep it honest and real in my lyrics.

When I asked Kaylin about her relationship to femme, she said,

I‘m struggling to put my thoughts into words on what being a femme means to me. I’ve always felt very feminine even when I’ve chosen to dress more tomboyesque. I’ve always loved to wear makeup and put on an over-the-top dress. In my relationship I definitely typically present more feminine and my girlfriend is most definitely more masc presenting. However, internally I think we sort of equal out. I’ve not chosen a sexual identity, I don’t know if for me its as easy as saying lesbian or bi or even pan. I’ve only ever felt attracted to this one girl, which makes it hard for me to clarify even for myself. I’m just me, and happen to be a feminine girl dating another girl. 

I so appreciate Kaylin sharing her story, because the more we hear from each other and listen to each other, the more we can welcome each other in community. For me, it was clear from the moment I saw the cover of A Persistent Desire that I was a butch-loving femme, although it took much, much longer and much, much more heart and body travel to fully live that life. But, as Kaylin and I discussed, there are so many different and beautiful journeys. Kaylin again,

I just don’t think it’s always so exact. If I had to explain, my guess is that I’m a little bit on the asexual spectrum which makes things very confusing for me because I think I’m also a bit demi, needing the emotional base for sexuality especially when coming to females. However, I think I am sexually attracted to masculinity, and it’s easier for me to pin point what cis male I am sexuality attracted to. However part of this may be learned. Growing up watching heteronormative fairytales, and coming up with what is an esthetically picture perfect for me. Perhaps with a different outlook earlier on I could be attracted to a wider spectrum of people, perhaps I could be more pan. I think it’s extra hard to narrow down when I’m someone who also feels a bit on the asexual spectrum and feel it’s the demi emotional requirement that connected me with my gf. But it’s not something I am really likely to ever explore too much since I’m confident I’m with my forever person. I feel better about simply not choosing an identity rather than picking one I feel fits only partially. 

I so relate to the wistfulness of what would have happened if she, me, we, had had more knowledge of ourselves earlier on (ooooh, there would have been sooooo many more butches for me to get to know!!), but dang, at least we got there! And can live there, exploring, being thankful, sharing and caring for the rest of our lives.

I asked what Kaylin is working on now, and am excited to hear about her next project:

Right now I am working on recording new music! But what’s likely to come up next is a studio live version of my new song “Like A Girl.” I’m really excited about this because I’m bringing in a violinist and cello player. I haven’t actually announced it yet on social media but we will be airing the recording of this live on tiktok at the end of May, just in time for pride month. I think the studio live version is going to be really pretty and I’m super excited for this project. 

Deep gratitude to Kaylin for her open heart, her honesty and vulnerability, for her gorgeous song, including the Polly Pocket, and the backing chorus, so excellent! Welcome to the femme family, Kaylin!

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femmelife! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on May 6, 2022 at 8:43 AM  Leave a Comment  
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