Meditation for Queer Femmes

A femme is dreaming. She wakes up, still groggy, and reaches for her dream journal. If she begins writing immediately, the dream unfolds, acquires weight and depth, sparking insight and wonder. If she waits even a few minutes, the dream rushes away, leaving only wisps of itself and sometimes not even those.

At work later that day, a straight, married colleague asks the femme about her “wife”. Today, the femme is juggling a hundred different tasks, as well as a looming deadline, so she just smiles and says, “Fine, thanks.” She has already told this colleague that she is the wife, but he’s too tickled about what he sees as bonding with her to remember, and she’s too busy to remind him. She moves on, the wind taken out of her sails.

It’s frustrating when straight people assume that she is a certain kind of queer, but it’s even more frustrating when other queers gloss over or even denigrate her life, her femme life. “I’m really not into that butch/femme stuff,” a lesbian acquaintance told her recently with a sneer and a shake of her head. “It’s just not for me.” Implying that how could it be for anyone, really, anyone at all? There was a silence, then the femme changed the subject. Sometimes it feels as though no one can really see her.

The femme yearns for opportunities to discuss all manner of queerness. She is now a bit shy of her lesbian friend, a little broken hearted, mourning the missed opportunity for the two of them to learn about each other’s queerness. She wishes they could open-heartedly offer each other the informed support and love “God’s good people”* withhold.

She thinks, “I am a slap-dash, DIY femme who likes to throw together 70s outfits and experiment with eyeliner. I love soft butches who shave their pits but leave their legs au naturel and who are secretly extremely toppy but also cry a lot, and that’s just the beginning. Is there a name for me? Would you recognize it if you heard it?”

Name it! Call it into consciousness. Femmes are part of the queer constellation, we dazzling, innumerable femme stars.

And femmes are dreams , we are writing ourselves into being. The more we explore our infinite femme variations, the more we shine.

What kind of shining femme star are you? What are your dreams?

*Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for queer femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was a fabulous straight femme, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.