When I Was Your Age — A Meditation for Queer Femmes

The freckle-faced young white femme shows up at the meeting wearing dark purple lipstick, her curly red hair in pigtails, her feet in high-heeled silver boots. Today, members of the QSA are going before the school board to educate them about LGBTQ+ identities and issues. The young femme speaks knowledgably and with great passion about demi-boys, demi-girls and other identities, about the reasons you might want to put your pronoun in your signature line, and about the ins and outs of queer community online. She is thirteen.

When I was your age, I was wearing Beatles t-shirts and obsessing over John Lennon. My best girlfriend and I waited on the sidewalk outside of the Dakotas and finally saw John leaving. We were too cool to ask for an autograph, just fluttered about, telling him how much his music meant to us.

The young Latinx femme wears fire engine red lipstick and gauzy scarves. One of her paintings takes up the whole wall, part-graphic novel, part-geometric tromp-l’oeil. Her passion spills out in her laughter and her mad dashes as she greats friends and fans, guiding them around the gallery. She is twenty-two.

When I was your age, I was trying so hard to be straight. I thought something was broken inside me, that my romance was broken. I couldn’t write, or only if I tricked myself by listening to music as I sat in front of the typewriter, pretending it wasn’t a big deal, that it wasn’t anything, really. I chose to date mean, unavailable straight guys, perhaps in an unconscious move to self-sabotage myself. I didn’t have words for being queer and didn’t come out for another eight years.

Dear young femmes, when you are my age, may your long, queer lives have given you lots of sex and joy and adventure and satisfaction. May you be loved and loving, creating your art, weathering life surrounded by your darlings. May you have made a difference in the world.

When you are my age, may you be held in community and in family, resting secure in your femme wisdom.

Just as I am.

Every Monday (or Tuesday), 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.

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Published in: on February 28, 2017 at 4:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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