Femme Friday on a Saturday (Because I’m in Ptown at Women’s Week, Femme Sisters!!) — Kathleen, from Crybaby Butch

I gobbled up Judith Frank’s Crybaby Butch when it first came out in 2004. After we did her next novel, All I Love and Know, for queer book group, Tex and I read Crybaby Butch out loud to each other. They are both stunning novels, both well written and filled with deep, abiding love and understanding for queer people.

This Femme Friday, I am holding up Kathleen, who, among other things, has made a killer hangover cure since 1963, knits scarves and hats for the figurines of swans, frogs, gnomes, and Buddhas out in her yard, and whose socks were knocked off by Stone Butch Blues, which she read out loud to her butch, Chris.

Deep gratitude to Judith Frank for loving Kathleen onto the page and for her proper and deferential understanding that femmes always get the last word.

When Chris got home Wednesday, she found Dell and Kathleen in the living room, drinking beers and giggling over an old photo album. They had Oprah on the TV, with the sound off. Kathleen had taken a rare sick day, to spend the day with Dell. “Lord, this was some roll of film,” Kathleen called out. “Remember that one, honey, where you look great in every picture?

Chris approached and peered down at the pictures. They had taken that roll over a week of vacation, when a bunch of them had rented a cabin up in Wisconsin. There were some at the beach, some barbecuing in the yard, lots of group shots of lounging lesbians with beers in their hands, looking up at the camera through sunglasses. Everybody looked goofy in at least a few shots, caught chewing, or with their mouths slack, but not Chris. “Oh yeah,” Chris grinned. “Just goes to show you the power of a good haircut.

Kathleen and Dell looked at each other and cracked up.


“We were just talking about butches and their hair,” Dell said, still giggling. She pointed to other butches in the pictures: Jo, Perry, Sue Black still cocky before she got messed up by the cops. “Man,” Dell said, “You guys are like old ladies that way, always with a hand up, patting or smoothing.”

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

Published in: on October 14, 2017 at 12:57 PM  Comments (4)  
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