Meditations for Queer Femmes: No Straight Femmes


It’s morning in Sheffield, Iowa, sometime in the late 60s. I’m probably about 8, visiting for the summer. My grandmother is getting dressed in front of the big mirror in the bathroom. I’m sitting on the closed toilet, watching, because at my house, with my no-nonsense mom, nothing this exciting ever happens. Grandmimi pulls on pantyhose, a slip. Her skirt, the matching blouse. A pin, bracelet, her rings. She steps into her high, high heels. Fluffs up her hair, nails it with hairspray. Spritzes perfume. She uses an eyelash curler, mascara, powder, rouge. And finally, she untubes her red lipstick and deftly colors her lips. Now I’m standing next to her. She knows I’m down here, by her hip. She tears herself away from her fabulous reflection to swoop down in a cloud of perfume and hairspray for my morning kiss, full on the lips. Now I’m beautiful, too.

That is an excerpt from my piece, “Tamago”, in Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories edited by Sacchi Green. I wanted to post it here because it goes a little way towards explaining why I used to say the below every Femme Friday:

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.

I have to say, I never felt completely right about saying that Grandmimi was a straight femme (although I have no qualms about describing her as fabulous!), and I have been meaning to revisit this for some time. Recent conversations with femme friends both during and outside of Femme Klatsches, have made me understand how important it is to me to reserve the term “femme” as utterly queer, utterly unavailable to straight women.

I know that I used to confuse the two: straight women’s fabulous femininity and my own queer femme. I remember once at a secretarial luncheon, where I was the only queer, whipping out my lipstick and reapplying after the meal. Some of the women looked at me askance, and when I asked, murmured that it’s a bit rude to apply makeup at the table; better done in the powder room. Today, I would not care a titch about what straight women think is or is not proper. Back then, I thought, “Oh, I’m doing it wrong!”

I love how Maggie Cee articulates why she has reclaimed the spelling “fem” over “femme”:

I’ve recently decided to reclaim the older spelling of fem after seeing use of “femme” by straight cisgendered people explode in the past year.  I am all about an expansive definition of femme/fem across all kinds of people and bodies,  but I am not here for straight women appropriating a term with very specific queer meanings.

That’s it: “very specific queer meanings”, meanings we continue to reclaim, rediscover, invent and revel in. Straight feminine women may have influenced us, inspired us, loved us, been good friends, but they can not be femmes. Their relationship to femininity is and always will be different from ours. As for the spelling, I’m still mulling over what Maggie has to say about it. I like that it’s a French word (I still haven’t been able to find out what “femme” is in French, though!), because I love French, and I haven’t been exposed to the offensive appropriation of the word that she has, so I’m in a bit of a bubble. To be continued!

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


Femme Friday: Angela, from “Cannon Street” by Lee Lynch

I love this short story! It reminds me of how important it is for children to see adult queers, and how powerful intergenerational connection can be. In this sweet story, a tomboy takes charge of her own haircut. Despite her mother’s instruction to go to the beauty parlor, Ericka opts instead for a newly opened establishment, the Snip’N’Shape. Angela, the femme beautician, gently allows her nervous, 9th grade customer the space and time to tell her what kind of haircut she wants, and it isn’t some frou-frou pixie nonsense, either.

Deep gratitude to Lee Lynch for loving Angela onto the page!

The sign in the window that said NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY was still there. She pushed the door open, eyes to the worn maroon linoleum floor. The shop smelled just as bad as the Elegante. Dark nylons and white shoes appeared in front of her. She looked up. The beautician, just her height, wore a tight white uniform and held out her arms, hands open, as if Ericka were a long lost friend.

            “Hi, honey. Here for a cut?”

            Ericka felt her breath stop. The woman’s long, narrow eyes were dark as semisweet chocolate and welcoming under angular eyebrows. Her nose was sharply yet elegantly curved, her dusky-brown hair so waved it looked ruffled. her broad, keenly-etched lips smiled, dressed up in a grapey lipstick. Ericka looked quickly away when she noticed that behind the hairdresser a row of three ladies under silver space-helmet driers stared past magazines at them, cigarettes between index and middle fingers. Another beautician, this one very tall, bent over a sink and scrubbed an old woman’s white hair. Ericka saw no sign of the whistling woman who washed windows like a proud shop owner.

            The small beautician was never still. She swung a stiff transparent cape over her as soon as Ericka was seated, then sprayed her head wet with an excess of movement that made a performance of her attentions. “Like this again?” she asked, holding up a hank of overgrown pixie hair. She smelled of a kind of flowery powder that Ericka’s mother patted on with an oversized puff. Did she cut the whistling window washer’s hair? Ericka’s insides quivered.

            She got chills as the beautician, warm-fingered, refastened the cape at the nape of her neck. Her heart worked like a bongo drum as she answered, “No.”

                                                            –“Cannon Street” from Cactus Love by Lee Lynch


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

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday — “The Sound and the Furry”

I’m a typewriter, card catalogue girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, laughter and inspiration, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme, I’m going to try for a weekly Wednesday shout out to other people’s posts. Needless to say, that’s other queer people! So, here we go: Reading Femme, you get one pingy-dingy!

This hard-reading Midwestern femme has the following to say about herself:

Reading is such an important part of my life. Growing up, trips to the library with my father were the highlights of my week and it was so exciting taking home stacks of books. It didn’t seem real, this system of having books there for free for anyone to take.

I always have a book with me, and am happiest at home with my partner, my cats, and my books!

I definitely recommend taking a look at her book reviews, in which she always remarks on the cover of the book, which strikes me as a rather adorable femme thing to do! But for this Wednesday, I suggest you read her post “The Sound and the Furry”, which made me and Tex laugh so hard we just about coughed up a hairball!





Meditations for Queer Femmes What Is Femme?

In the 1935 novel, A Scarlet Pansy by Robert Scully, the pansy protagonist, Fay Etrange, encounters “an anomalous-looking masculine woman, Miss Bull-Mawgan, and her inseparable friend, Elsie Dike”. My heart leapt, and then sank again when the author writes (on p. 99), “Elsie always kept close to her friend for fear that some of the money would be spent on another one”. Oh, yeah, keep telling yourself that, I thought. Keep telling yourself that Elsie is just a user, has found herself a sweet meal-ticket. She couldn’t possibly be attracted to that abomination. Oh, no! There could never, ever, be such a thing as a female who prefers female masculinity over male masculinity. It goes against the order of things, don’t you know. Even Fay Etrange, the most feminine of fairies, can see that! Where there is no penis, there can be no genuine (healthy, normal, real, etc.) sexuality.

As regular readers of this blog may know, my friend Constance is in the habit of politely inquiring of likely passers by if they identify as butch/femme. Sometimes they do, and are happy to chat. Sometimes they get huffy, and declaim self-righteously, “No labels!” Speaking of labels, Tex and I routinely get called, “Ladies”, something most of our butch/femme couple friends are familiar with and something that is particularly frustrating in a place like Ptown, where you would think other queers would be aware enough to go for the less gendered “folks” or “people”, especially if one of the “ladies” is wearing distinctly masculine clothing. At a recent Femme Klatsch, one of the participants started out saying, “I’m not sure I belong here…” and ended the evening having enjoyed herself immensely. “Femme” comes in and out of focus: is it a role? a label? an insult? a passing trend? an embarrassment? a weakness? a joke? something we shouldn’t mention in polite company?

Like any identity, femme is infinite. What kind of femme are you? Who are your femme role models? What nurtures your femme? These are questions we ask at Femme Klatsch, and the answers are as varied as the participants. While femme may not click for the vast majority of people, that doesn’t mean we femmes should follow their lead. What nurtures my femme? Not taking my unique, beautiful, complex, thrilling, delicious sexuality for granted, nor allowing others to ignore or denigrate it.

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.

Published in: on July 24, 2017 at 11:26 AM  Comments (4)  
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Meditation for Queer Femmes: Be Very Queer

It is astounding to me how many of the artists and writers I was exposed to as a child were queer or had queer sensibilities. Tove Jansson; Louise Fitzhugh; William Sleator (I just found out he was raised in the St. Louis suburb where I grew up!); Harper Lee; Thomas M. Disch; Samuel L. Delany; Queen; David Bowie; Buffy Sainte-Marie; the Smothers Brothers; Christopher Isherwood; Joanna Russ; Susie Orbach; George Takei; Maurice Sendac; Mr. Rogers. Many more that I’m not remembering.

These were the authors and artists from whom I was receiving information about creativity, imagination, how to live a good life. I was deriving intense enjoyment from them, grappling, in their company, with increasingly urgent questions about what it means to be human and female. Some of them were out, I learn now, a hundred and two years later, but then, as a child and teen and young adult and even into my 30s, I did not have access to that information, nor did I know that an artist or author could be queer and also be trusted with the big questions addressed by art and literature. I didn’t know this because the importance of queerness in art had been discounted and/or hidden from me by the straight conspiracy to predate on queer creativity without acknowledging queer lives. It didn’t help that my father, who adored science fiction and good literature, art and poetry, and who was my creative role model, enjoyed this art by queers despite the fact they were queer, rather than being able to have an expansive enough understanding of the intertwining of creativity and personhood to actually hold up the art as being wonderful in large part because of the artist’s queerness.

At the time, there just wasn’t the language for bringing queerness into the conversation, or enough incentive to try and find ways to talk about art created by non-straights. Tove Jannson’s books about the Moomintrolls were a touchstone of my growing up and my entire family read them over and over, referred to them constantly (as in, “Oh, don’t be such a fillyjonk!” and “Nake no totice!”) and basically absorbed them into the very fiber of our beings. I don’t suppose I knew Tove was a dyke until my 30s, and when I found out I was both utterly delighted and completely furious that this information had been withheld from me. I wish I had known as a child that so many of the reasons my quirky family loved the books were because they were written by a lesbian, and a lesbian has different ideas about gender and sexuality than a straight woman. This is freeing for everybody, not just baby queers. There is a central heterosexual couple in the Moomintrolls – Moominpapa and Moominmama – but none of the other characters or couples are particularly gender conforming, expect perhaps the Snork Maiden, who might also be read as femme, come to think of it. And there’s a totally fabulous butch, fyi: Too-ticky, who lives on her own out in the boathouse and who wears a fetching striped jersey and tam-o’-shanter and who was modeled after Tove’s partner, Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, and don’t you think this butch-lovin’ femme would have benefitted from knowing that as a wee sprite? Don’t you think seeing this picture might have had a positive effect, even then? (Scroll down, after you’ve admired the handsom Too-Ticky!)

Because it’s not just teens who need to be able to see fully out adult queers engaged in making queer art, who need models of grown queers so that they can imagine themselves as adults. It’s children and even toddlers, who benefit from knowing that there are more ways of loving each other than the straight model which is rammed down their throats the minute they appear on earth and get the pink or the blue, the teasing about boyfriends and girlfriends, and yes, this begins immediately, just take a look at pictures of newborns and listen to parents talking about their infants.

Just as butches must answer truthfully and with love the innocent questions about their gender from young children, so must we femmes be open about our sexuality and our non-straight lives. I know it can be easier not to say anything, to let it slide – it can be really embarrassing talking to kids about sexuality and sexual behavior — but it is a particular queer femme responsibility to find ways to talk about our queer femme lives to children because many of us are so easily read as straight. To step up and give children language they can use, as well. The way I explained butch/femme to my kids when I began to date butches was something like: I’m a girl who looks like a girl and I like girls who look like boys. It was a start, anyway. The language got more complex as the kids got older, but the bottom line was that we began to have ways of talking about non-straight sexuality, which, thank goodness! huzzah! is so much more complicated than “some boys like boys and some girls like girls”.

The queer sensibility I intuited from queer artists as a child has been and is deeply meaningful to my queer life, but I do mourn that I had to work so hard at it. Even now, although there has been progress, queer artists are not at all out from under the “despite of” mentality in the creative world. Or they’re magical unicorns, one of a kind, genre or one-note-Sallys (because who needs more than a couple of works about queers – been there, done that!), strident, boring, didactic, limited, unnecessary.

Fuck that. Queer culture and art is lifesaving. We queer adults — writers, readers, artists, lovers of art — must never forget it.

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.

Femme Friday — Kitten LaRue

Goodness, what a fine and happy time I had at Kitten and Lou’s “Holier Than Thou” show the other night! I was not raised in any religion, but I did have my heart broken by the UUs as an adult, and that is extremely mild given how toxic and death-dealing organized religion is and has been to queers. To so deftly examine such a huge, fraught topic through an extremely queer lens, using generosity, love and some serious hot and nasty, is truly a gift beyond compare. I am left with great admiration for Kitten’s dedication, creativity, skill and sheer fabulousness, and for her willingness to queerly and bravely use her art to address the biggest and most complex issues, not just to condemn, but also to heal.

Deep gratitude to Kitten for her high femme genius!

I asked Kitten to talk about performance and femme, and this is what she told me:

Thoughts on performing femme-ness in my work:

I believe that presenting and performing femininity is a radical act, now more than ever. In this current political climate, reclaiming and presenting the exaggerated trappings of high femme glamour on stage (big wigs, big lashes, high heels, sequins, and glitter) as a source of power, self-examination, and a way to subvert the male gaze has felt like a form of revolt for me….a revolt against the current administration and culture which views women as objects to be controlled, and a climate that makes all humans that present femme feel unsafe and less powerful.





About Kitten LaRue:

“Polished, clever, and glamorous…” (Dita Von Teese)

“Kitten LaRue is like the Patti Smith of Seattle burlesque.” (Burlesque Seattle


“Seattle’s biggest contribution to burlesque since Gypsy Rose

Lee” (Seattlest)

“She’s an independent creative force and a woman of multiple pioneering

talents” (Burlesque Seattle Press)


Kitten LaRue is the Artistic Director, Producer, Choreographer, and a starring

member of Seattle’s critically acclaimed burlesque supertroupe, THE ATOMIC

BOMBSHELLS, and one half of celesbian dancing duo, Kitten N’ Lou, winners of

Burlesque Hall of Fame’s “Most Comedic” title, and voted the #1 Burlesque

Performers in the world (Burlesque Top 50). As an original member of New

Orleans’ legendary Shim Sham Revue, Kitten has been at the forefront of the

international Burlesque scene since 2001, featured in numerous U.S and

international media, including Bust magazine, GQ magazine, USA Today, Tease!

magazine,, Seattle Magazine, Emmy-winning series Full Focus, The

Craig Kilbourne Show, The Discovery Channel, Chase Jarvis’ Seattle 100, and

was featured on the cover of The Stranger and Boston Spirit Magazine. Most

recently Kitten appeared on PBS dancing with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett for

their Cheek To Cheek Live concert.


At the helm of THE ATOMIC BOMBSHELLS, Kitten has produced and toured to

packed theaters in the U.S., China, and Europe, was a headlining performer at

The Burlesque Hall of Fame’s Legends showcase, has shared the stage with

such luminaries as Dita Von Teese, Tura Satana, and Lady Gaga, and continues

to produce wildly successful events all over the Northwest and abroad, including

The historic Moore theater in Seattle, a sold-out headlining spot at the

Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival, and a yearly summer residency in

Provincetown, MA. Kitten LaRue has also made her Off-Broadway debut at Ars

Nova in NYC, and produced an Australian tour with The Atomic Bombshells in



Kitten LaRue is also 1/3 of powerhouse homo-fabulous production trio

DeLouRue Presents (FREEDOM FANTASIA, Homo For The Holidays, PARTY

SCHMARTY) with Lou Henry Hoover and BenDeLaCreme, and is the creator of

the now-legendary Seattle club event TRAINWRECK.


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





Meditations for Queer Femmes: Remembering

Yesterday, Tex and I were chatting with our landlord here in Ptown, and the subject of caretaking elderly parents came up. We told him about moving my folks from their house three years ago when my dad was in a health crisis.

“We had two and a half weeks to move them and put their house on the market, and their 40 years of collecting books and objets d’art from all over the world didn’t make our job any easier,” said Tex.

“We got rid of so much so quickly,” I chimed in. “Some of it I regret, but it’s ok. I still have it in my head.”

I meant that I have memories of the way my mother carefully annotated and filed informative and edifying articles from wildlife magazines, or the way my father put his book collection together: Extreme Sports; Extreme Living; Extreme Exploring; every single Stephan King book ever written; first editions of books by every member of the St. Louis Mafia; Beat Poetry, etc., and that those memories are rather nice ones. Our landlord surprised me by making a little moue of sympathy, expressive and dear as only a kind and lovely gay man can make it, and I realized that, for him, having all that stuff in his head would not be rather nice.

And so I started thinking about memories. Whether they burden or uplift. Why the ones that float to the surface do so and what it means to have forgotten so many other moments. Every time I pass a certain house in our suburban town, for example, I remember that it was where Seth was first given candy. The elderly lady who did the deed couldn’t believe our toddler had been so deprived. I had been trying so hard to keep him pure and healthy, delay sugar pollution as long as possible. It’s a memory that brings up conflicted feelings, to say the least. Is that when his difficult path began? Is that where I definitively failed him as a parent, something that informed the rest of his childhood in some deep and negative fashion? I pass that house almost every day! I would certainly be much better served by a daily remembering of something else about Seth’s toddlerhood, something wonderful, dear, deeply positive, but it’s the candy that haunts me and connects me to present-day difficulties.

I also, of course, carry many memories pertaining directly to my queer femme journey. Like the Candy House, so many of them continue to deliver the sting of the initial reaction I had to the event in question: the time a butch was deathly rude to me at a Butch Femme Bash and Tex nearly had to duel him at dawn; the time, or rather times, other queers have spoken harshly, dismissively, angrily about femme identity; the absolutely horrible time I left a straight female friend in danger with a man who had given us both a lift hitchhiking. It’s all very well for me to try and comfort myself by saying I truly did not understand what was going on due to my naiveté, extreme youth, and the queerness that I wouldn’t be able to recognize for years and years; the memory still gnaws at me whenever I think of it.

Memories are memories of memories, a member of our Historical Queer Book Group recently told us whilst we were discussing Hothead Paison, a work that brought up a lot of memories for those of us of a certain age. It’s a comment Tex has been repeating, as it blew her mind. And if memories are memories of memories, and it makes sense to me that they are, then perhaps we’re remembering emotional responses even more than the events in question, emotional responses that continue to inform our lives currently, whether positively or negatively.

The butch I dated before I fell head over heels for Tex had a deep resentment of femmes, and told me several awful stories about how femmes had fucked her over. Hearing her speak like that about femmes made me feel anxious, wary of her, and somewhat uncertain of my own actions, especially since I was just coming into my femme again after a very difficult lesbian divorce. At the same time, this butch seriously turned me out, bringing me back into my body, making love to my curves and stretch marks and shy places and utterly glorifying my newly awaked femme.

Any leader or teacher understands the influence one negative or hostile person can have on any given group of people. If allowed to do so, that person will suck all the air out of the room, bring in angry and contentious energy, and force the group to go in unhealthy directions, just like that, in the blink of an eye. It takes a skilled leader to prevent a counter-productive free-for-all when that pollution is unleashed.

We know that memories of abuse and trauma can live in our bodies. What about positive, loving memories? Don’t they also live in our bodies, couldn’t we invite them to be more present and curative? I believe this is the purpose of the before-bed exercise where you write 100 positive things you remember about the day: the moonlight on the water; the cute Italian greyhound named Gia and her two cute daddies; kissing Tex on Commercial Street; the dyke server at brunch who called me “baby”; overhearing a young gay man say to his companions, “Oh, girl, they were canoodling so hard!” And that’s just five!

It is particularly important in this time of hostility and violence, to remember queer and positive events that are connected to loving queer energy. Long-ago touches from your first queer lover. The way your best friend hugged you when you came out. The excitement of finding out a long-dead relative was queer, and that her journals are just sitting there, up in the attic of your grandmother’s house. A look, a wink, a sistering; the time at the Not Another Fucking Lesbo Potluck you all got to laughing so hard that one of you let out the mother of all farts and that made everyone laugh even harder.

Bring up queer events from your queer lives and revel in the emotional sustenance.

Gird yourself with your own queer history. Hold up the queer humor and kindness you’ve been lucky enough to receive. Open yourselves to memories of queer family. Use your skills.

Reach back and remember.

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.

Femme Friday – Dorothy Allison

I heard Dorothy Allison read from Bastard Out of Carolina way back in the day at the late-lamented feminist bookstore, New Words in Inman Square, Cambridge, MA. I already owned her previous books, The Women Who Hate Me and Trash. It was wonderful to hear her speak about writing as a queer person, at a time when I was only newly out and wondering how that was going to work with my newly-minted MFA in Creative Writing. It was wonderful to hear her read her queer story. Her femme story.

Rae Theodore over at The Flannel Files just posted about an adorable encounter with Dorothy on an Olivia Cruise, reminding me that Dorothy has been on my Femme Friday list for some time and this Friday is all hers!

Deep gratitude to Dorothy for writing her own truths in stories, essays, poems and novels and for so tenaciously championing the power of all queer story.

      (Since yours truly is in Provincetown, the oldest continuously operating art colony in the US as well as one of the only culturally queer places I’ve ever been, it seems like the below is a good sample of Dorothy’s work to feature.)

The first painting I every saw up close was at a Baptist church when I was seven years old. It was a few weeks before my mama was to be baptized. From it, I took the notion that art should surprise and astonish, and hopefully make you think something you had not thought until you saw it. The painting was a mural of Jesus at the Jordan River done on the wall behind the baptismal font. The font itself was a remarkable creation – a swimming pool with one glass side set into the wall above and behind the pulpit so that ordinarily you could not tell the font was there, seeing only the painting of Jesus. When the tank was flooded with water, little lights along the bottom came on, and anyone who stepped down the steps seemed to be walking past Jesus himself and descending into the Jordan River. Watching baptisms in that tank was like watching movies at the drive-in, my cousins had told me. From the moment the deacon walked us around the church, I knew what my cousin had meant. I could not take my eyes off the painting or the glass-fronted tank. It looked every moment as if Jesus were about to come alive, as if he were about to step out onto the water of the river. I think the way I stared at the painting made the deacon nervous.

            The deacon boasted to my mama that there was nothing like that baptismal font in the whole state of South Carolina. It had been designed, he told her, by a nephew of the minister – a boy who had gone on to build a shopping center out in New Mexico. My mama was not sure that someone who built shopping centers was the kind of person who should have been designing baptismal fonts, and she was even more uncertain about the steep steps by Jesus’ left hip. She asked the man to let her practice going up and down, but he warned her it would be different once the water poured in.

            “It’s quite safe, though,” he told her. “The water will hold you up. You won’t fall.”

            I kept my attention on the painting of Jesus. He was much larger than I was, a little bit more than life-size, but the thick layer of shellac applied to protect the image acted like a magnifying glass, making him seem larger still. It was Jesus himself that fascinated me, though. He was all rouged and pale and pouty as Elvis Presley. This was not my idea of the son of God, but I liked it. I liked it a lot.

            “Jesus looks like a girl,” I told my mama.

            She looked up at the painted face. A little blush appeared on her cheekbones, and she looked as if she would have smiled if the deacon were not frowning so determinedly. “It’s just the eyelashes,” she said. The deacon nodded. They climbed back up the stairs. I stepped over close to Jesus and put my hand on the painted robe. The painting was sweaty and cool, slightly oily under my fingers.

 –“This is Our World” by Dorothy Allison; first appeared in the 1998 issue of DoubleTake

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

Meditations for Queer Femmes — Calling on Queer Femme Company

Since arriving in Provincetown a few days ago for rest and renewal and the first real vacation Tex has had all year, both she and I have found our tolerance for straight people has taken a serious nosedive. Straight people in Provincetown can come in a variety of flavors, but most of them seem to expect queers to be, if not thrilled that they’ve chosen to partake of Ptown’s pleasures, at least polite. Straight people are used to queers being polite to them. We want what they have, after all – you know, marriage and normalcy which only they can confer — and also, queers so often take it upon themselves to model what a truly “all are welcome” society might look like by lavishing generosity, time and energy on straight people who drift in and out of their lives. The trouble is, as Tex and I discussed on the beach last night, trying not to see the straight couple making out in the gentle evening wavelets, most straight people only know how to take and never give. They actually seem to believe that taking from us is something that we desire and that we should be grateful for. And then they move on, leaving us exhausted and drained and most detrimentally, with little to no energy for exploring and living with integrity our own queer lives. Whatever those may look like, and that’s hard to know, given that we’re almost only ever in straight culture.

I know that my queer femme soul is both inspired and harmed by the anger I carry towards straight people. I am inspired to voice ideas and, if I’m lucky, solutions for myself and for other queers as we attempt to swim with the straights. I am harmed by undying anger, that flares up and has unfortunate consequences. That makes me feel mean and small-spirited and that, ironically, hampers my ability to enjoy being in one of the few places on earth where the culture is about as queer as it can be and where I am so incredibly lucky to be spending time.

Dear, queer femme sisters, I do not have an answer for this anger thing.

I need you to talk to me about what you think and what you do.

Who and what are your supports when you are in the heights of fury?

How do you keep your queer femme soul from being wounded and bled out?

Speak to me, darlings, bolster me with your words.

Out here on the tip of the land, I need your queer femme company.

Every Monday (Tuesday, or even Wednesday!), 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 July 5, 2017 at 8:28 PM  Comments (2)  
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