For this Femme Friday, I was lucky enough to be able to connect with Namaste Evolving, who first came to my attention as an actress in the webseries “Between Women” (watch it NOW!). She was kind enough to share her bio, a short email interview and a powerful poem for this Friday’s post.
Deep gratitude to Namaste Evolving!
Namaste Evolving is a woman of many gifts and talents that she open heartedly shares with the world. The hats that she so gracefully wears include Entrepreneur, Artist, Writer, Poet, Actress, Student of Holistic Living, and Raw Food Chef Consultant (graduate of the Graff Academy).
Writing since she was 11 years old, Namaste Evolving has written short stories and poems, participated in numerous poetry slams at some of the most popular poetry venues, including the “Apache Café”, “Kats Café” and Nuyorican Café”, where she was the poetry slam winner. Her foray into the arts goes even deeper with her acting career, which includes playing Natalie Hintmore in the highly acclaimed web series “Between Women”, as well as, “For Colored Girls” and “Vagina Monologues” directed by Onyx Keesha, “Only God Can Judge Me” written by Natalie Simone directed by Onyx Keesha, and “Opia” which she co-wrote and was also the starring actress. She has also spoken out on social issues on the newly launched talk show Gab Talk. Her writing also includes her new blog “Coloring the Grey Areas” https://coloringthegreyareas.wordpress.com/, where she opens up in a vulnerable quest to heal, evolve, and use her experiences to encourage other people to do the same.
Namaste Evolving is a force and a light that continues to shine through everything she touches. She uses all of her gifts and talents as a way to empower, educate and create awareness. Her continued study of writing, film, social and economic issues, healthy eating, metaphysics, living off the land, spirituality self-care, and Holistic Living are all ways that she strives to educate, empower, and make a difference in the lives of friends, family and the world as a whole.
TTF: Would you be willing to say a little about your relationship to the identity “femme”?
NE: I would not consider myself fully “femme”, my energy tends to fluctuate between what would be considered in society to be masculine and feminine. Many assume from my typical dress style that I am “femme” all of the time, but once a person gets to know me that perception usually changes. I am an unapologetic anomaly.
TTF: And “queer”?
NE: If I had to label myself I would be more likely to use the term fluid. Even though I have been in relationships with women for most of my adult life I would still say I’m more attracted to energy as opposed to gender.
TTF: And maybe some thoughts about “Between Women” — what it’s been like, what it means to you?
NE: I have so appreciated all the opportunities and lessons that have come from working with Between Women and I have been so grateful to be able to bring my light to such an amazing project. Being a part of a group of people that work to make their dreams a reality, that keep pushing through adversity, and that consistently evolve on so many levels has been an honor and an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I started on this journey so that I could conquer my fears because I knew the work I wanted to do with people and the messages I wanted to spread would require me to come out of my shell, be vulnerable, and willing to expose my imperfections. Getting in front of a camera with no acting experience and giving people a front row seat to my flaws was a challenge I took on and it changed my life. At times it hurt, at times I was afraid, at times I did not know if I had made the right decision, but today I know that I absolutely did. I never knew that this show would end up being a blessing to so many people, I never knew the people I could help by being on this show, and I learned that when I step out on faith, listen to spirit, and keep talking to God in the midst of fear that I will be blessed beyond what I could have ever imagined. One of the main things I have loved about Between Women is the messages and the inspiration to fall more in love with writing and film and how to use it as a form of activism.
TTF: And the LGBTQ+ community in Atlanta?
NE: I think the LGBTQ+ in Atlanta is dope! There are so many talented, amazing, mystical, revolutionary people here striving to make a difference.
Orisha Oya by Namaste Evolving
She told me she would bring the winds of change upon my spirit and whether strong and bold like a tornado or gentle, calm, and comforting like a summers breeze, well that would be my choice. Either way it was time for me to stand up, believe in myself, and she doesn’t have time for foolishness. So I lit my incense, anointed my crown, and dropped to my altar with all that I had left. Silence, frustration, acceptance. I positioned myself in a child’s pose and let the salt water flow inward as it cleansed my soul, I honor her, I honor her presence. I just listen patiently, respecting her timing, and knowing that she will eventually speak. Having so many in my presence yet feeling this a journey I must physically take alone, I position the crown on my head as I clinch my hands to my throne. I embrace the darkness so that my light may shine, I ease my anxiety by telling myself it’s my time. No longer will I be complacent because my life longs to be adjacent to my spirituality and I will no longer hide. Out of the closet in more ways than one, embracing my roots, the moon, and the sun. Embracing the wind that blows through my hair, a gentle reminder telling me that she is there. I wish I could give more but I can only give as I receive so positioning myself in a meditative pose I close my eyes and just…. breathe. I say to you shalom knowing that my story is not done and hoping you will overstand and we will build as one.
Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!