Femme Friday – Kai Cheng Thom, Confabulous!

At the Boston Dyke March this year, along with marching with the Urvis in honor of Urvashi Vaid, I handed out fliers for this very blog. “Do you identify as femme?” the fliers asked, with the invitation to come on over to my place and talk about what femme means for you, share your femme story.

            For the most part, even if the person did not identify as femme, they were polite and appeared to be perfectly ok with me drumming up femme community. The people who did identify as femme were thrilled, tucking the flier away in bras or pockets, happy to be seen. Only once did someone act offended when I asked my question, “Do you identify as femme?”

            “Sometimes!” they grumped, wrinkling up their nose. Was my question offensive? Because I looked at them and made certain assumptions? Maybe so. Maybe it was also my age and them making assumptions about me and what femme means to me, like maybe I’m anti-trans or otherwise not up with the changing times.

            Femme does mean a certain thing to me, and perhaps back in the day when I was just discovering my own precious femme identity, I was a bit snobby and judgemental of other kinds of femmes. Sometimes you need to hang on to your identity that way when it first is gifted to you. Now, however, I am secure in my own femme, and am so curious and excited to hear about other kinds of femme, what femme means to other people, how femme takes them and where it takes them.

            Kai Cheng Thom also wants to hear stories. Dangerous stories. “I wanted something kick-ass and intense,” she writes in the first chapter of Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir, “with hot sex and gang violence and maybe zombies and lots of magic.”

            This book has been on my TBR stack for just a few, and I am using this post to pour love on it and jumpstart myself. The first chapter made me weepy and a bit falling in love, so I’m going to grab the bookmark a friend just gave me – FUCK OFF, I’M READING! – and get down to it. Signing off and wishing you, also, a weekend of delicious, salacious, and dangerous stories!

Deep gratitude to Kai Cheng Thom for her dangerous stories and huge heart. Thank you for writing what needs to be written and adding to the brilliant bad-ass tapestry of femme stories. Thank you for bringing so much fiery and healing fierce femme love into the world.

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 or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. 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 life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on August 5, 2022 at 9:10 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Femme Friday – Sandra Steingraber

Sweet sisters, I confess that I do not know if Sandra Steingraber identifies as femme. I haven’t met her, and I can’t find anywhere where she says, “I am a femme,” which is usually how I tap my featured femmes for Femme Friday. So please don’t jump to any conclusions and please don’t think that I am “claiming” her as femme, because I’m not. Only she gets to identify herself! The reason I’m featuring Sandra today is because her story touches my heart as so quintessentially one kind of femme story, a version of which I’ve heard over and over from other femmes. Whether or not Sandra identifies as femme, her coming out story struck a chord with me, and I hope she won’t mind hanging out on The Total Femme today!

How many of us femmes came out late and stuck with men as romantic partners because we had no other options? Because we were so isolated? Because of a lack of community and role models? Because of full-blown heterofacism? For me, femme bookworm that I am, it wasn’t until I could find diverse, love-filled, well-written, and humorous representation of queerness in publications like Dykes to Watch Out For and Hothead Paison that I was able to begin to dip a toe into an exploration/admission of my own queer identity, and even then, it still took forever to come out as femme.

Deep gratitude to Sandra, for her unwavering dedication to justice, for her vital scientific work, and for her generosity in sharing her survival stories. Welcome to the family, Sandra, sweetheart!

https://www.terrain.org/2019/guest-editorial/just-found-out-im-gay/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/air-force-anti-fracking-veteran-risks-jail-stands-her-ground-282250351.html

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, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

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.”)

 

Published in: on July 19, 2019 at 10:52 AM  Leave a Comment  
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