Pingy-Dingy Wednesday — Vu Le at Nonprofit: Absolutely Fabulous (or is it: And Friends?)

Keeping it sooooo real about non-profit work and the absurdities, frustrations, humor and sublime connections we experience every day, Vu: you and your fabulous unicorns, your excellent sense of humor and your sweet and loving dedication get one pingy-dingy!

http://nonprofitaf.com/2017/08/charlottesville-and-a-time-for-gracious-anger/

And the EDs among us simply must check out Vu’s Executive Director Happy Hour Toolkit!

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white 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, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes — “The Hard Answers”

Relationships with friends, family members and lovers; what to do with one’s queer femme life; why and why and why…we queer femmes crave moments of respite where we can recalibrate, breathe, sit in peaceful contemplation. I hope this poem I wrote for my butch husband early on in our relationship, will afford you one sweet moment.

The Hard Answers

The hard answers must

lie somewhere between

brook trout and mourning doves.

 

Elusive and sweet,

the wild fish flick their tails

and vanish in the dappled water.

Pursuing them through brambles,

you might go gloriously in

over your waders. You might

hook one, lose one,

not get one at all.

 

While back in the burbs,

evening and dawn,

the mourning doves chortle

their comforting song:

Close your eyes, close your eyes;

open them now, open.

 

The hard answers swim in and out

of focus, enter our thoughts when

we’re dreaming, escape us at dawn

only to reappear again after

we’ve made love, fought,

laughed so hard

we’re both weeping.

 

The hard answers can’t be anticipated

or rushed or pulled from nowhere.

They gleam at us briefly,

a ray of sunshine catching

the brook trout’s fin.

They steady us through the days,

cooing: Time to sleep;

time to rise.

 

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.

Published in: on September 4, 2017 at 2:48 PM  Comments (4)  
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Femme Friday — How to Hostess a Femme Klatsch

Would you like to gather queer femme community around you?

Would you like to share food, stories, ideas, supports, fun times and laughter with other queer femmes in your vicinity?

Are you curious about all the different kinds of queer femmes out there and would you like to form a more cohesive network of queer femmes to bolster and inspire and possibly fuck things up?

If so, then the Femme Klatsch is for you! Liz and Constance and I have hostessed a few Femme Klatsches, and we highly recommend this low-key yet powerful way to connect with other femmes, combat femme invisibility, and open up avenues for queer femme personal and political growth.

Here’s a quick Femme Klatsch guide:

  1. Decide if this will be an open invitation or if you would like to start with a group of femmes you know or know of and go from there.

We suggest that if you issue an open invitation, drill down on the agenda for the evening to keep it focused on femme issues. Of course, if you just want to hang out with a group of femmes and talk about whatever topics come up, that’s fine, too! Oh, and you don’t have to call it a Femme Klatsch, of course, if that doesn’t resonate with you. I’ve got a grandmother theme going here at The Total Femme, and a Klatsch makes me think fondly of Grandma Daisy’s Club evenings, when the ladies of her small southern Iowa town would get together, play bridge, nosh bridge mix, and just in general get up to things. Pick a name that works for you, or feel free to use Femme Klatsch – the important thing is to get together with other queer femmes!

  1. Find and book a public meeting space at a time that works for you personally (it’s not usually worth spending a lot of time trying to find a time that works for everyone, given how busy we all are).

Public libraries usually have community rooms that can be booked free of charge for community events; sometimes cafes have nice big tables that could work; if the weather is nice, a park gazebo might do the trick; if you’re lucky enough to have an LGBTQ+ Center in your area, they would have rooms. We suggest starting out in a public space, especially if you’re putting out an open call. You can always move to meeting in people’s homes later, if that seems like a good plan.

  1. Commit to providing some finger food, a beverage or two and a wee bit of decoration and/or crafty things, if you are so inclined.

You can invite people to bring crafts, and also provide some adult coloring books (why not Tee Corrine’s Cunt Coloring Book, for example??) or other little bits and bobs for folks to fiddle with. People can feel shy, especially at the first meeting, and having food and activities can help put them at ease.

  1. Plan a flexible course of events for the evening.

Liz, Constance and I all really wanted to have discussions centered on femme identity, femme resistance, femme resilience, etc. We introduced ourselves and these ideas both in the email invitations and at the first meeting of the Klatsch. We found that it really helped to have a bunch of direct questions to spark discussion, especially since femmes at the first Klatsch were shy; some were even uncertain if they were “allowed” to be there, to which we answered, “If you were drawn here, you are where you’re supposed to be!”( Sample questions below; tailor them to your own needs, or use them as inspiration to come up with your own.) You could also gather femmes together for a specific event, like you want to go to a demonstration together or you want to do work for a certain local charity or you want to make art together, etc., in which case, you’ve got a built in plan for your gathering.

  1. Send out the word!

You can do an event page on social media, send out a group email, even put up fliers around town – whatever will work best in your community for gathering up the queer femmes! We have an email list, which includes femmes who aren’t physically here in this area; we want to hold them in our femme circle and invite them to join in the conversation, even if we don’t get to hug them at the Klatsch.

  1. Plan the next Klatsch at the first Klatsch.

If the format worked, keep it the same. Or, folks might prefer to get together at someone’s house for a potluck, go out dancing together, meet at an art exhibit, etc. – whatever works! We do recommend that someone be in charge of planning/facilitating each meeting, otherwise things can get lost in the shuffle of our busy queer femme lives. For us, meeting once a month has worked so far, with a hiatus in August.

  1. Let The Total Femme know how it’s going!

We hope your Femme Klatsch is just wonderful! We sure would love to hear about other femme uprisings around the country and world, so please take a quick femme moment to let us know how it went. Write to us at thetotalfemme@gmail.com. Who came? What did you talk about? What happens next?

Sample Femme Klatsch questions (you can write them on the back of postcards, write them on slips of paper to be pulled out of a purse or a hat, or come up with your own unique delivery system!).

What feeds your femme?

Do you feel invisible?

Who are your femme role models?

Do you ever hide your femme?

What is your femme coming out story?

Do you have femme friends?

What kind of femme are you?

What does “queer femme” mean to you?

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess (or a Klatsch thereof!). I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com.

 

Published in: on September 1, 2017 at 10:44 AM  Comments (1)  
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