Meditations for Queer Femmes — Eye Candy

I just returned from the 2018 Creating Change conference, a gathering of 4000 queer activists, organizers, educators, public policy makers and more, all of us congregating in one place. The 5-day hooptie begins with a day-long racial justice institute on Wednesday and culminates in a Sunday brunch. It is something else.

There are so many things I want to talk about, so many things I learned, so many profound truths discovered and rediscovered, but this Monday I want to talk about eye candy.


There were some butches. There were a lot of butches. From stern and soft Sue Hyde, the Creating Change conference director who is retiring after 30 years and with whom I shared office-space when I volunteered for OutWrite a million years ago and I was just a wee baby femme and she was courting her wife, endless lovey phone calls full of “baby” and sex voice to which I listened, mesmerized and turned on; to Eddie Clement Swan and Carmen Vazquez, two old-school, suit-wearing butches; Eddie, gentlemanly and sweet and community minded, proprietor of the LRoom in Durham, NC; Carmen, director of the LGBT Health and Human Services Unit at the New York State Department of Health who was on the panels of both “Histories of Activism in Times of Tyranny” and “Sexversations: Pussy Politics & Top/Bottom/Switch Culture,” and who is wise and open-hearted and HOT.

We femmes who love butches are always running on a deficit, ‘cause when do you ever get to see enough butches, a variety of butches, a bouquet of butches in all their sexy glory? Most about never! And even if you do see a butch out in public, how often do they even notice you, smiling away and saying, “Hey, there, mister!” with your eyes? At Creating Change, there was a lot of mutual smiling, and a lot of noticing.

I know that “eye candy” usually refers to people who typify folks to whom you are sexually attracted, and I adored my butch eye candy at Creating Change. In addition, however, I realized how profound it was to be surrounded by such a mind-blowing variety of queers. The coterie of gorgeous trans women who attended Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, the black, transgender elder who received the Susan J. Hyde award for longevity in the movement. The femmes, shy and a little mousy like me, flirty and put together like Gabbi Boyle, presenter of the workshop, “Dance/Movement: A Tool for Self-Care and Social Justice”. Gay men, swishy or more butch; the young ones with their dashing outfits, the older ones rocking comfortable shoes and greying mustaches. Bisexual elders like Loraine Hutchins, co-editor of Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out, her hair died the colors of the bi flag, passing by on her scooter; lesbians of all flavors, gender fluid folks, trans men and so many more filled that DC hotel with their style, energy, spirit and beauty.

Being able to gaze upon butches for five days certainly boosted my spirits and my libido, but being surrounded by all the flavors of fabulous was the larger gift. Queers from 18 to 80 were mingling and congregating, smiling at each other, greeting each other, and checking in with each other in the elevators and in the hallways. The term “eye candy” is hardly enough to describe the impact of this kind of gift: I’d say it was more like soul nourishment.

There is so much more to say about the complex, flawed, gorgeous, unwieldy, amazing, chaotic, loving and utterly queer explosion that is Creating Change, but for today I just want to say thank you. Thank you for the eye candy. Thank you for nourishing my queer femme soul.

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.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)



The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! Sounds like you had an extraordinary time, on many levels!

  2. OMG Anna it sounds incredible! I want to hear so much more!

  3. Oh hell, I wish I could have been there! Why is Australia so far away?? *mmm, butch eye candy

  4. Ooooh, so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  5. It broke me open and loved me whole! I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it… xottf

  6. Next year in Detroit! Surely, the Australian Dean of Femmes should have a personal invitation to come grace us with her presence?? I wish you could have been there, too! Is there anything like it in your half of the world? xottf

  7. Yummy to the nth degree! And your sweet One-Minute Practice For Less Effort and More Ease came right when I needed it most when I was getting conference fatigue (that’s *conference* fatigue, not butch fatigue!). That was great timing — thank you! For more, femme sisters, see Constance’s website about the Alexander Technique: xottf

  8. Oh stop it with those cute compliments!

    There is NOTHING like that here; we have Queer festivals like Midsumma in Melbourne, but not a convention- I just don’t think we’ve got enough of a population : (
    I’m delighted to read about it all in your blog though : ) xO (more pics next time though!! Mmmmm, Butches looking cool *drools a bit)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: