Who’s That Lesbian?

Like many long-term couples, Tex and I have little code words, inside jokes and years-long continued conversational topics to keep us engaged and amused. Here in the suburban wasteland, whenever we see a likely candidate walking around, we quickly spell out “W”, “T” and “L” in ASL, then sing this little song, “Who’s that lesbian? Hey, who’s that lesbian?”

Yes, we are complete goobers.

Last week was the fourth year Tex and I attended Women’s Week in Provincetown, a dyke-a-palooza that’s been going strong for over 30 years. One of the highlights for me of this full and thought-provoking eight days was Cris Williamson’s song-writing workshop. Having come out late, I did not experience the full impact of her 1975 “The Changer and the Changed”, the ur-album of lesbian music, and really, knew very little about her. During the course of the three-hour workshop, where 16 of us wrote a Women’s Week theme song together, it became apparent that Cris is actually a lesbian guru-goddess-grandmother-top, whose dedication to her own art and her own people is unwavering and fierce.

If I thought anything about Cris before meeting her, it was only to snobbishly dismiss her music as cheezy and outdated. Seeing her in Ptown as she played a show every single day, signed albums and connected with her fans at Womencrafts every single day, did fundraising for her latest album every single day (as I believe she has done for many of her previous 30 or so albums), was incredibly inspiring. Who’s that lesbian? A shimmering jewel in our crown, that’s who.

In previous years, I have used Women’s Week as a writer’s retreat. This year, Tex and I decided to just go and be, hang out together and apart, give ourselves over to the energy and plunge ourselves into the great sea of women. I still took care of some writerly business, however, and did two readings and a signing. I also went to a writer’s workshop at the Provincetown library with 90-year old poet Hilde Oleson, as well as the workshop with Cris.

As a writer, I am constantly distracted by my commitment to activism. As an activist, my writing can suffer by being too precious or political. In addition, rather than sit my ass down and write, I find it a hell of a lot easier to roll up my sleeves and get to work scheduling meetings, responding to emails and following up on the thousand and one other urgent organizing tasks.

In Provincetown this past week, I worshipped at Cris’s feet, basked in Hilde’s wise and humorous presence, continued political conversations with Women’s Week friends, shop owners and other Ptown year-rounders, brainstormed with Tex about how to lovingly and effectively address racism against American Indians in the mostly-white dyke population. I began to feel something I don’t often feel: fully and truly myself. Integrated. Standing in my power as femme, writer, activist, mother, daughter, wife, observer, critic. Goober. It was incredible.

Re-entry into our life in the “liberal” suburbs was rough. But every time we go to Provincetown, we come back more committed to that integration, something queer people have been historically denied. And last night, our grassroots organization, Mystic LGBTQ+ Youth Support Network (Queer Mystic), celebrated over a year of programming and opening queer space for queer youth. Local folks, queer and straight, youth and adults, sat in a circle and talked about our lives, our wishes for our town and the progress that has been made. Today, I am sitting my ass down and writing this post, the first in many a moon.

Who’s that lesbian? Hey, who’s that lesbian? Stay tuned.


Me, Alli and Eve’s verse for the Women’s Week theme song, “This Place”:

Do you see?

How the light inside you beckons fearlessly?

Do you see?

How it flares within you so relentlessly?

Do you see?





Published in: on October 19, 2016 at 10:29 AM  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This sounds like a truly great week! I could only manage two days of it, so it’s lovely to hear about more of the bright light that is Women’s Week.

  2. Thanks for this! Sad to miss you and Women’s week this year. xo

  3. We missed you soooooo much! We continued to machinate about butch/femme events, though! Something will happen!

  4. It was wonderful, as always, reading and signing with you, Sacchi! Mwah!

  5. Nice, Goober!

  6. As we learned on the playground, it takes one…! And where more than a couple are gathered, we have a cluster! Hope we can cluster one day soon, preferably in Ptown! Love to you and you know who! xottf

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