Meditations for Queer Femmes — Dag, Noam!

Yesterday on Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky was telling it like it is, in that familiar, deeply exhausted monotone. I listened to his devastating illuminations until I just couldn’t anymore and I had to turn him off. Not because I don’t believe him, not because I’m trying to hide my head in the sand, but because listening was very rapidly having the effect of immobilizing me. And I refuse to be immobilized.

Before I turned on the radio, I had already done some really hard listening. Earlier that morning at the homeschoolers QSA, a new member had begun opening up and sharing a bit about their life and struggles. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I was listening to this young queer with every fiber, every atom of my being.

A millennial friend recently told me that she is turned off by the climate justice movement because the predominant energy is punitive: if you don’t drop everything and fight for the earth in the particular way they demand, all is lost and you’re an asshole. How familiar that is to me, rabid anti-nuke activist that I was in the 80s. I am remembering those times today, and also hearing my mother’s voice. When I demanded she use her prestige and position as a respected archeologist to join me in anti-nuke protests, she said she wouldn’t be good at it. What she was good at was teaching, and she told me that she was going to keep teaching undergraduates, and if just one student in her Intro to Anthro class learned something about the way human beings interact, if just one student then went on to be inspired to do the work that they are good at, then she would have done her job. I hated hearing that at the time, but I am now repeating it here. Doing the connecting, loving work that you are good at cannot help but have a positive effect on the world.

[Trump’s] extremely unpredictable. But this—the relations with China are an extremely serious issue. China is not going to back down on its fundamental demands, concerning Taiwan, for example. And if Trump—a lot of what China is demanding, I think, is—it shouldn’t be—is not acceptable. It shouldn’t—it’s not internationally acceptable. But the reaction through use of force is just extraordinarily dangerous. I mean, you cannot play that game in international affairs. We are too close to destroying ourselves. You take a look at the record of—through the nuclear age, of near—of accidental—sometimes accidental, sometimes kind of irrational actions. It’s almost miraculous that we’ve survived.

Then he started talking about the Doomsday Clock, and I turned off the radio.

Dag, Noam. I love you and I love Amy for your brilliance and your persistence; I deeply appreciate Democracy Now!’s mission to deliver non-corporate news, but I can’t live there, and I can’t pretend my time would be better spent doing something other than what I am called to do.

And you, my femme sisters, my dears. I see you. I know what you’re doing. You’re confiscating your butch’s purple socks, the ones hy’s inexplicably fond of, because you’re not going to let hym go out in public looking that girly. You’re rocking your baby; you’re walking the dog, going down to the Climate March, going to the Black Lives Matter meetings; showing up how and where you can, from cleaning the catbox to doing your duties as an elected official, to smiling at your cantankerous and judgmental neighbor.

I know that it all connects up.

You and I, sisters, are part of something bigger. All the millions of acts of queer femme caring we make contribute to the love the world so desperately needs.

Every Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday, even), 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.