Femme Friday – Literary Femmes: Yvonne from D. Alexandria’s short story, “When She’s Mad”

D. Alexandria is the deviant storyteller…

the revolutionary someone should have warned you about…the woman whose words will conjure images that make you shake your head and squeeze your thighs together…

Jamaican descendant, D. Alexandria, is the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist “This Is How We Do It: A Raw Mix of Lesbian Erotica” (2010). A Gemini-born native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, her work first appeared on Kuma2.net, a nationally recognized site for lesbian erotica featuring women of color. Her stories have also been published in Tristan Taormino’s “Best Lesbian Erotica” series from 2005-2009 and “Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica”, Nicole Foster’s “Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2006” and Laura Antoniou’s “No Safewords: A Marketplace Fan Anthology”.

from http://www.dalexandria.com/home.html

“Always Unapologetic” is how D. Alexandria signed my copy of This is How We Do It: A Raw Mix of Lesbian Erotica, but the butch in the story “When She’s Mad” has got a lot of apologizing to do for having openly flirted with another femme when out dancing with her femme, Yvonne.

Deep gratitude to D. Alexandria for the gift of strong, sexy Yvonne – do not fuck with her!

            Yvonne turned in her seat but I kept my eyes on the road, not needing to look at her to know she was scowling.

            “You’re gonna tell me you weren’t watching that skank-ass blonde bitch while we were dancing? I caught your ass when I turned around.”

            “What blond bitch?” I asked, inwardly kicking myself because I knew exactly what blonde bitch she was talking about. While Yvonne was in my arms, behind her another couple was dancing just as heatedly as we were. The stud’s back was to me, but her girlfriend clearly had me in her sights, eyeing me up and down appreciatively. She had blondish dreads that fell around her shoulders, at times masking her face and hiding the motions she was making towards me with her lips and what apparently was a very skillful tongue. I hadn’t realized I had been so obvious in noticing. Normally I’m much better than that, ‘cause I knew that as confident Yvonne was in her status as my girl, no woman wanted to catch her stud checking out another chick. It was my fuck up.

            “You know exactly what blonde bitch I’m talking about, Lee, don’t play dumb. I’m surprised her ass wasn’t on some pole. Sure ‘nuff know yours would be there, dollar ready.” She added.

            I sighed, “Baby—,”

            “Don’t ‘baby’ me. I would never disrespect you like that and you know it. You’d be ready to get in a fight if you caught me doing what you did with another stud.”

            And, of course, she was right. We both knew I was hot-headed and more than a few times I’ve had words with other studs who weren’t respecting my place. And a couple of incidents came to blows. “But Yvonne–,”

            “But what?” She interrupted.


            “What? What do you have to say?”

            “But I’m sayin’–,”


            “Yo, let me talk!” I snapped, taking my eyes off the road for a moment to glare at her. “How you gonna come at me like that and not give me time to say anything?”

            She sucked her teeth, crossing her arms and stared ahead, “Talk.”

            I rolled my eyes and tried to relax, my mind racing for words that could soothe the situation, because truth be told, I was getting aroused. Call me insensitive if you want, but whenever Yvonne got heated I got excited. I can’t explain it, but when she gets angry there’s this energy that surrounds her and all I want to do is bend her over and tap into it the best way I know how. This, of course, is hard to do when we’re in the middle of an argument and the last thing she probably wants to do is look at me, let alone be intimate. But with every passing minute as her voice gets louder, her words become rawer, and her eyes are blazing the most intense heat, all I can think about is subduing her with the lash of my tongue.

            And right at this moment, as the animosity in the air grew thick, I was thinking of how good it would feel to have her thighs around my head as I pressed my face into her.

            “I thought you had to talk.” She said suddenly, jarring me back to reality.

            “Listen,” I began, trying to keep focus. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t even really paying attention to what I was doing. But for real, it was nothing. You know she don’t got shit on you. You ain’t got nothing to worry about, boo.”

            As soon as the words left my lips, I knew I had made a mistake. What a fucking rookie move. Never ever assume your woman felt insecure, because even if she didn’t, the fact that you mentioned it will make her think there’s a reason she should be. Worse it just makes your ass look conceited as all hell. If I could, I would have physically kicked myself.

            “Let me out,” She said.

–D. Alexandria, “When She’s Mad” in This is How We Do It: A Raw Mix of Lesbian Erotica


 Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!


for Liz

 Although the mean-spirited, straight, cis prurience of Diane Wood Middlebrook is the main thing that has stayed with me from her biography of Billy Tipton, I also remember the poignancy of how eager, shy and proud Billy was to finally have someone witness a queer life lived in so much secrecy. Billy can finally say to someone, “This is what I did; this is how I did it; these were my triumphs; these were my questions; these were times when I was lonely, troubled, didn’t know what to do, but somehow I got through…” In this case, Billy’s witness is cravenly untrustworthy, but at least she was a witness.

Yesterday, I kissed my sweet hubby goodbye at 4:30 am and watched as she was carried off in the cab for the first leg of her trip to Texas, where she will be keeping her mom company through hip surgery. Luckily, given I was immediately very lonely, I had a femme lunch scheduled with Liz Nania at my favorite queer café, the Diesel.

“Talk to me about queer culture,” Liz said. What a treat to get right into it with another femme artist, deep thinker and generous organizer of queer community who had just scored the cutest bag at a neighboring thrift store!

One of the things that surfaced in the following conversation was family. Running through queer history is the theme that we do our best to take care of each other, with whatever resources we have. I’m thinking Contact Dykes from Lesbian Connection; Houses in ballroom culture; rainbow flags, pinky rings, pierced ears and hankies and so many other signs and signals helping our people find each other. Finding each other, most of us know – especially those of us who’ve been around a while – is essential. Finding each other is life saving.

For several years, our library has run a Queer Book Group, a delicious mix of queers of all ages and so much fun that Tex and I recently started holding an offshoot at our house: Historical Queer Book Group. One of the core members of both groups is in her early 20s. When she emailed yesterday that she needed a temporary place to stay due to a break up, there was no hesitation from me or from the other home-owning dyke couple she’d reached out to: of course you can stay with us! We understood that her friends were unlikely to have room for a sudden guest. Here was a moment when we older queers could step in, be there in our successfully married, 30-years-down-the-line queer lives. And be there to witness.

So this morning, I got to talk literature over breakfast, and last night, I heard a little about the breakup and talked a little about my own experience in queer love and heartbreak.

“This is why I love the intergenerational part of QBG!” she said at one point.

My house guest is at work right now, and I’m working from home. Tonight we’ll meet up at QBG and then she’ll ride home with me in the Femmemobile.

I just know we’ll have a lot to talk about.




Aaaaand…I know you wanna know what we’ve read in QBG and HQBG! Here it is:


The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

The Faggots and Their Friends Between the Revolutions by Larry Mitchell

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde


QBG (a very partial list)

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie March

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Under the Udala Tree by Chinelo Okparanta





Published in: on March 29, 2017 at 12:26 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Femme Friday – Femme Klatsch! With Constance Clare-Newman

Femme Klatsch is a new feature, where queer femmes chat with one another on all themes femme. Sweet femme sisters – chime in!

 What does femme mean to you?

Who are your femme role models?

How did you find your femme?

Today, we begin a conversation with Constance Clare-Newman

The Total Femme:

Can you talk about how your understanding of “femme” has evolved over the years?


When I first accepted my femme identity I was so excited. Yay! I could admit to loving butches. They could admit to loving my femme being. It was San Francisco in the early 90’s and butch/femme love was being celebrated. So many butches and femmes out on the streets, that it almost seemed the norm. I think it has never been the norm in lesbian society, but during that brief butch/femme renaissance, we were the trend of the moment. We were leather dykes and activist dykes and corporate dykes. Working class or downwardly mobile (it was San Francisco), we femmes were girly in our tiny skirts with Doc Martens for day and shiny heels for night. Lots of cleavage and glitter or sleek in leather. Butches in their Dickies and chains with keys. Butches in biker jackets with stickers all over. Butches in suits and ties. Dressing up for each other and appreciating the Otherness. In love with the otherness, which had been hiding in lesbian circles for a while.

Some percentage of us lesbians have always been drawn to the difference butches and femmes love in each other. I’m sure since the time of Sappho, some of us have loved and been turned on by our similarities, and others by the differences. The particular way butches and femmes enchant each other with their differences is unique.

When I first came out, I loved butches and felt desired in a particular way by them, but felt ambivalent about the dynamic. In the 80’s, in my small town, no one talked about being butch or being “feminine” without a little derision. We were all supposed to be equal, and tender, and womyn-loving-womyn. While aspects of that were delightful, the overall desire to conform, so as to belong, certainly hampered my own deeper desires. Growing into my femme identity was something that came with little bits of acceptance over quite a long time. Of who I was as a child, as a young woman, as a lesbian who desired lesbians who were on the “butchy” side, to who I became as a femme clear about her need for a butch.

For me, that need is for a woman who looks like a guy, who has the emotional accessibility of “female,” and stands in her power as Top/Daddy/Dyke. Who loves and is enlivened by my sexy girly or elegant lady ways of looking and being. Who is empowered to be who she is in the world by my love, admiration, support, protection. Who responds to my femme sexuality with her butch sexuality, and nurtures our differences.

Lately, with gender blowing up in all our faces, I see lots of young people exploring non-binary ways of being. Still, whether in San Francisco, LA or Provincetown, I do see a percentage of young butches and femmes together in the mix. I don’t know how they identify today, but I do see them, openly drawn to each other’s difference and turned on by the unique frisson that has always been.

Deep gratitude to Constance for sharing her eloquent femme story!

 Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!



Meditations for Queer Femmes – First Day of Spring

No matter when we femmes come out, no matter our age, we share the exhilaration of coming in to our truer, more genuine self. We feel so good, so full of love and comfort, so juicy and sexy now that we’ve found our femme! That moment of pure joy, of uplift, when we know who we are and feel it from soul to toes; that sweet enlightenment – how we wish to shout about it! Look world, a brand new femme is born!

But that same world we’ve moved through until now rarely shifts to accommodate our shining, genuine selves. At our most vulnerable and ecstatic, we are shut out. Sometimes the rejection is immediately apparent, sometimes the awareness creeps up on us: we are no longer considered a part of the normal progression of things, despite the fact that we are finally where we are meant to be.

We all confront this according to our natures and our resources. We may go back in the closet, if that’s the only way we can keep our jobs or our families. We may fight tooth and nail. We may pull a certain amount of denial around us, murmuring, “Oh, she didn’t mean it like that!” and “He’s really not a homophobe – he was just joking!” We get angry, depressed, astonished, bitter, and frustrated. Dealing with this heartbreak, we are distracted and pulled away from our human birthright of being allowed to deepen our self-knowledge and act on that knowledge to bring our unique gifts to the world.

But not today! Today, dear femme sisters, on this first day of spring, meditate on your truest, deepest selves.

Blow on the embers.

Rekindle your sacred femme fire.

Illuminate. Regenerate. You are a blessing, you are blessed.

You are exactly who you are meant to be.

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.


Published in: on March 20, 2017 at 5:00 PM  Comments (2)  
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Femme Friday — LaSaia Wade

IMG_0093.JPG“Calling all femmes!” the workshop description began. I was in Philadelphia for the Creating Change conference, and my head was spinning with the variety and amazingness of workshops, plenaries, and day-long institutes, but this one was a definite: “#CCFemme17: Our Bodies are Powerful”. All the same, when I walked in and saw that I was maybe the oldest gal in there, I hesitated. I need not have. LaSaia Wade and her co-presenter, Alison Amyx, skillfully invited each and every beautiful femme in the room to connect with our heart’s strength and physical power, and connect meaningfully and genuinely with each other. At the end of the too-short time we had together, LaSaia enfolded me in a loving femme hug, a gift I will always carry.

LaSaia, whose name is pronounced ” LA-SY-ah WAYD,” and whose pronouns are She, They, Goddess, shares the following bio:

LaSaia Wade is an open Afro  Puerto Rican Indigenous Trans Woman, she’s the founder of TNTJ Project member of Chicago TGNC Collective, Trans Liberation Collective and Director of Brave Space Alliance. She graduated in 2010 with a BBA in Business Management; as coming out as trans she has 10 plus years in organizing and advocacy work with black, indigenous, trans and gender nonconforming folx around the world. She is the current Director of Brave Space Alliance, business owner of Mystical Bee Hive, while facilitating trainings across the U.S.  

 Deep gratitude to LaSaia for the brave and loving work she brings to the world!

 Check out an honor bestowed on LaSaia this month here:


and this timely and important statement:


Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!


Making Revolution with the Faggots – Monday Meditation

In the QSA, members argue about how best to support all folx represented by the letters in the wide, wonderful cauldron of alphabet soup. One member points out that almost no groups in the area currently support plain ol’ lesbians. “We’re still here, you know!” she says. Another member argues passionately that we’re more powerful all working together, and that separating into smaller and smaller identity-based groups will only work to our disadvantage. “The assholes want us to stay isolated from each other!” they say. “Only my trans brothers really understand me, though!” whispers a young man tentatively. “When I’m with them, I can finally just relax and be myself.” “I know,” agrees the femme. “I can really let my hair down when I’m with other femmes. Maybe it’s a question of needing both kinds of groups – support groups that are more narrowly defined and action and social groups that include us all?” “That will just end up leaving people out, though,” counters another member. “I don’t know anyone else who’s exactly the same as me, so where do I go for support?” There is no good answer, and the discussion is ongoing.

In the 1977 homo-psalter, The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions by Larry Mitchell, with drawings by Ned Asta, the faggots would be nowhere without the the women who love women, who would be nowhere without the fairies, who would be nowhere without the queens; the queens who “know it takes all kinds to make the revolutions”. All of these folx have their own kinds of knowledge and fuckery and wisdom: the queens elaborate their forms of outrage, the fairies have left the men’s reality in order to destroy it by making a new one, the faggots cultivate beauty and harmony and peace, and the strong women remind the faggots that in the coming revolution we will get our asses kicked and that we will win.

All of these folx love dessert, women’s wisdom, the earth, fucking, kitties, community, gossip, rule-breaking, gardens, masturbation, books, visions, each other. Sweet words from this sweet book to end this meditation:

They know that without the uncalculated giving of affection everyone is lost. They know that friendship freely given sustains them.


Femme Friday – Literary Femmes: Bridget the Apothecary in Moll Cutpurse: Her True History by Ellen Galford

It’s sometime in Elizabethan England, and Bridget the Apothecary is basically running her father’s shop when Moll comes in, demanding to be changed into a man. Although Bridget is wary, her father orders her to start giving Moll various powders and potions in order to make money. After a misadventure that leaves Moll sodden with river water and deathly cold, she stumbles to the apothecary and Bridget puts her to bed. In the morning, Moll is back to demanding that she be made into a man. Bridget will have none of it.

Deep gratitude to Ellen Galford for loving Bridget into the femme literary canon!

           “Carry out your commission, and turn me into a man!”

            “I’ve never heard such stupidity in all my days. I’ve heard your story, and I begin to know you a little, and yet for the life of me I cannot understand why you should wish to change your sex.”

            “Mark me well, apothecary, I dislike certain lectures first thing in the morning. And I do not pay you for your opinions, but for your skill. So double the dose, or whatever will make your elixir do is work, but do it fast, for I have no more time to waste.”

            “And what if I gave you all the drugs of Arabia and the poisons of Italy and the horns of unicorns powdered and the bones of dragons? I would grow fat and rich at your expense. I could try out new elixirs till doomsday.”

            “I will make myself a man! And if you do not change me with your powders I shall find another pill-merchant who will.”

            “You won’t, Moll. Mother Nature made you a woman, and a woman you must be.”

            “Mother Nature made a mistake.”

            “What sort of mistake?”

            “Anyone as brave and strong as I am ought to e a man. Not a silly petticoated woman who bleeds and breeds and whimpers.”

            “For all your bold bravado, Moll, you’re a silly child who knows nothing of life.” I was so angry I almost struck her, then remembered in time that she could easily knock me senseless, so forebore, and simply drew her down into the bed again, for she shivered with cold and vexation. Such anger as she felt did not prevent her from clinging to me closely, for the chamber was freezing. Such anger as I felt did not prevent me from rubbing her back and shoulders, to make her warm again.

            “They say alchemists know how to transform base metal into gold. Surely changing female to male is not so different.”

            I stopped rubbing. “Are you implying that woman is base metal, and man is gold?”

            She grabbed my wrist, and then put my hand back on her back and made me rub again. “Indeed, the order of the world has made it so. Women are slaves and men are masters. And I, mighty Moll, the terror of Cheapside, the scourge of Southwark, am meant to be among them.”

            “You are as blind as you are foolish, Moll. What of Her Majesty? She’s no slave, but the bravest, wisest, most glorious of princes – and still a woman. When she was young, you know, she bled every month as you and I do.”

            “Foul treason!” cried Moll. “Her Majesty never…”

            “You’ve been mixing too much with men. The world is full of brave, strong women. If you’re too stupid to see them, it’s your loss, not mine.”

            I sat upright, and pulled the covers up around me.

            She pulled the covers down again, and pulled me with them. “Even women think I’m a freak. They treat me like a two-headed calf. They’ll have nothing to do with me.”

            “What about me?”

            “You’re an exception.”

            “Just another two-headed calf like you are, Moll. Well, if you looked farther than the end of your nose, you’d find a lot of us about. I promise you, Moll, you can be as bold and strong and free as you are now, and still be a woman, and the wisest of your sisters will love you for it.”

            “Love,” she sighed, “is also part of the problem. For when I love, and when I lust, it’s woman who’s my object. Cruel Meg of the kitchen was not the only one who smote me so. There have been two or three others since, that have tempted me. They offer friendship, but I want something more. And when I have made this known to them, they shun my company, or laugh at me for a mad, moonstruck fool. Because I’m nothing to them without a stiff bull’s pizzle and a pair of wobbling balls.”

            “The more fools they,” I said, stroking her arm. “I think perhaps you have been unlucky in your choice of women. For there are those of us who know that such machinery but gets in the way of a woman’s true pleasure.”

            “I’ve never hungered after such toys myself,” she answered, letting her hand wander over my thigh. “But they seem to be needful.” Her voice shook slightly. “I’ve never met a woman who wanted me without them.”

            “Now that proves it, Moll. You are a fool.” I kissed her over and over again, then drew her close and taught her otherwise.

 Moll Cutpurse: Her True History by Ellen Galford, Firebrand Books, 1985

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!

Published in: on March 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM  Leave a Comment  
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What Do Femmes Do In Winter? — Meditations for Queer Femmes

The word in a newsletter from her CSA is “Farmers”, but her weary eyes see “What do Femmes do in Winter?”

We knit, we plan, we foment revolution.

We shovel snow in some parts of the world; in others, we plant our gardens and fan ourselves with that pretty fan from Japan someone gave us, the one that still smells a bit like sandalwood incense.

We read to our babies, to ourselves, to our butches. We chop firewood. We deal with frozen pipes. We bake.

We travel to the library, a play, a movie. We brave the weather to get to a friend’s birthday party, leaving our boots at the door ‘cause we brought our bunny slippers with us.

We deal with crises, we maintain, we get silly, we take long, hot baths.

Femmes in winter store up strength and knowledge and love so that when spring comes, we can peel off a few layers and let the sap rise.

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.


Published in: on March 6, 2017 at 5:47 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Femme Friday – Femmes in Literature, Mary Llewellyn from The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

“All my life,” says Mary to Stephen, “I’ve been waiting for something.”

To me, this is a quintessential femme statement, or rather, the statement of a femme who responds sexually and romantically to butches and fucking finally gets to meet one. Brave, tough Mary, who has worked with Stephen tirelessly driving ambulances during the First World War. Mary, the orphan, Mary the true and loyal lover. Perhaps because she has so much less to lose – no Morton, no ice queen bitch mother, no horses, no family name – she is much more radical than Stephen, unwilling to accept the lot of the invert in the tortured, noble fashion of her lover. She insists they be around other queers, queers Stephen regards as almost entirely degenerate while Mary has a more compassionate and worldly view. Stephen’s limited understanding of Mary as a pure innocent drives her into poorer and poorer behavior, culminating in an act of supremely craven betrayal.

We had to wait for novelists like Sarah Waters, Isabel Miller and Ellen Galford for happier endings for our fictional historical ancestors, but Mary (and Angela and possibly even Puddle) live and breathe as historical femmes and give us a window into the lives of those ancestors.

Deep gratitude to Radclyffe Hall for loving Mary Llewellyn onto the page!


Mary said: “All my life, I’ve been waiting for something.”

            “What was it, my dear?’ Stephen asked her gently.

            And Mary answered: “I’ve been waiting for you, and it’s seemed such a dreadful long time, Stephen.”

            The barely healed wound across Stephen’s check flushed darkly, for what could she find to answer?

            “For me?” she stammered.

            Mary nodded gravely: “Yes, for you. I’ve always been waiting for you: and after the war you’ll send me away.” Then she suddenly caught hold of Stephen’s sleeve: “Let me come with you – don’t send me away, I want to be near you….I can’t explain…but I only want to be near you, Stephen. Stephen – say you won’t send me away….”

            Stephen’s hand closed over the Croix de Guerre, but the metal of valour felt cold her her fingers; dead and cold it felt at that moment, as the courage that had set it upon her breast. She stared straight ahead of her into the sunset, trembling because of what she would answer.

            Then she said very slowly: “After the war – no, I won’t send you away from me, Mary.”


 Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!