Femme Friday – Otter Lieffe

My sweet friend Miel introduced me to the work of Otter Lieffe – gratitude! From Otter’s website:

Otter Lieffe is a working class, femme, trans woman and the author of two trans feminist novels—’Margins and Murmurations’ and ‘Conserve and Control’.

She has been a grassroots community organiser for over two decades, working and organising in Europe, the Middle-East and Latin America with a particular focus on the intersection of gender, queerness and environmental struggles.

Since publishing her first novel in 2017, Otter has been building networks to counter the systemic oppressions faced by working-class trans women. In 2018, she helped establish Books Beyond Bars, a trans/LGBTQIA prisoner support group in the UK. 

Deep gratitude to Otter for her dedication to the beloved souls of working-class trans women, for standing up to systemic oppressions with such courage and creativity. Darling femme sisters, get over to her site and buy her books, take her writing class, support her work, buy her a coffee, and give her some love!

https://otterlieffe.com/

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

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.”)

 

 

 

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – LGBT Books to Prisoners

This organization has been working for over 10 years to send queer books to queer folx in prison. Books save lives and are empowering in deep, healing ways we can’t always know. I am so grateful this organization exists!

LGBT Books to Prisoners, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for the wonderful, inspiring community work you do.

https://lgbtbookstoprisoners.org/

We are a donation-funded, volunteer-run organization based in Madison, WI that sends books and other educational materials, free of charge, to incarcerated LGBTQ people across the United States. We have been doing this for over 10 years and have sent books to over 9,000 people during that time.

We do this because:

    • We want to acknowledge, and work against, the oppressive functions of the prison system. Our project shifts some control back into incarcerated people’s hands.
    • Incarcerated persons have little access to reading material, and LGBTQ people behind bars have a particularly hard time finding resources that meet their needs and wants. We are in a position to gather and distribute these resources.

We believe that our work affirms the dignity of all individuals by providing access to knowledge of their choosing so that they can learn and grow as they desire. We respond to individuals’ requests as directly as possible.

    • LGBTQ people behind bars face many hardships, including — but not limited to — isolation and physical violence. We want them to know that they have a supportive community on the outside that cares about their wellbeing.

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, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

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.”)

 

Published in: on March 27, 2019 at 4:29 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Scale

As the daughter of an archeologist, I was taught from an early age about the importance of scale. When photographing an artifact, you have to put some form of measurement beside it so that you can tell how big it is. There was a fun moment in my life when my mom even used me as the form of measurement, as I was exactly one meter tall.

It’s been a really difficult year for my family. I find myself hardly able to pay attention to my own writing, my own joy, because I’m so busy trying to manage situations. Some are just life stuff having to do with aging parents, others feel much more heart breaking, a string of poor choices and wasted opportunities. However, as I write this, I see that both aging and making mistakes are the stuff of life. As my therapist used to say, “Sounds human to me.”

I wonder if we queer femmes don’t sometimes lose track of scale. Scale isn’t comparing in order to judge, the way we can compare ourselves to other femmes with their seemingly-sparkly and perfect lives. Scale is just about showing something exactly the size it is. Without scale, the very small can appear extremely large. When I remember this, when I hold up some kind of human measurement to the problems in my family, to my insecurities about my identity, art, work, relationship, I see that I am exactly where I am: a human in the midst of human pursuits. A human among other humans, who also can get really twisted up inside their heads and hearts.

I still don’t like it when I’m mistaken for a straight lady, especially when it’s by a butch who somehow doesn’t realize that it’s a femme smiling at her, darn it, but the older I get, the more my scale is changing. I’m not measuring myself as much as by what other people, even other queers, other femmes, say is how and what I should be. I’m giving myself and my own experience and opinions way more weight, and I’m even allowing myself to go from one definition of scale to another in this post! Dear queer femme sisters, walk with me: Weighing in and measuring up as 100% human queer femme, learning that pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice, making mistakes, trying every day to show compassion, to be open to joy, to make art, to love ourselves and spread love to others. Femme Love Heal World!

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise 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.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on March 25, 2019 at 5:21 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Femme Friday – Out’s The Women & Nonbinary Femmes Issue

On the cover are Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (50-year veteran activist for trans women of color, to whom I was honored to bow down last year at Creating Change) and Tourmaline, a film maker and artist – a gorgeous, sexy photo. Also featured, among others, are Barbara Smith, Alica Garza, Charlene Carruthers, Kate Bornstein, Angela Dimayuga, Aja, Brandi Carlile, Kia Labeija, Jenna Wortham and Our Lady J, and the issue is edited by Janet Mock, and it’s a fascinating and important read.

Did you know the English language has more words than any other language? And of course, words fall in and out of favor, and culture, age, location and so much more influence the meanings of words. It took me so long to get to my femme identity – old school, butch-loving — that, although I get this evolution intellectually, it’s still tricky for me to maneuver through the rapidly changing definitions. In large part, I suppose, this has to do with the way, due to the nature of homophobia, there often seems to be room for only one identity to be in the spotlight, so it feels like the kind of femme I am has gone out of fashion and has been stashed under the bed with the dust bunnies and those boots that were really expensive and hot in 1997 but look ridiculous today.

I’m old enough and secure enough not to need to see myself constantly reflected back in the media, but this is an age where the internet is where people, especially youth, go looking for people like themselves. And things can get very loud and very didactic about identity, louder voices drowning out more quiet ones, opinions posing as facts, words changing meaning, meanings changing… There isn’t and never has been just one way to be queer. The more we put that nasty old idea out with the trash, the better. If only we can keep exploring, celebrating, loving all the infinite queerness, while continuing to love and celebrate each other, particularly across generations and cultures, the more we will be spreading queer medicine. We must cherish each other, ask questions, and not judge. And always remember: Femme Love Heal World!

 

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

 

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.”)

 

 

Femme Friday – Devil Kitty

Meet Devil Kitty:

“I consider myself to be an old fashioned or retro femme with old school values and a progressive attitude. I’m an eclectic, deep thinker. I’m absent-minded at times, but profusely spiritual. I’m a scorpio, which means you’ll either love me or hate me. I would classify myself as a girly girl, a high femme, a re-vised Stepford wife. I’m into 1940’s & 1950’s clothing, lingerie and shoes. But I also have a big hippy side few rarely get to see. I love my home (especially decorating it and preparing fabulous family style meals). I love being a wife and a mom! I have an innocent smile but an exquisitely wicked, naughty mind. Which brings me to my erotica, which I write to reveal the different layers of myself. Those layers range from soft and sweet to devastatingly hardcore. Depends on my mood!”

It added so much sweetness and love to my day to come across Devil Kitty’s blog, Old School Queer With A Deviant Twist! Although she hasn’t blogged here since 2014 (having moved on to more modern platforms, I suppose), it is lovely to read her posts, which are still timely, such as the last one, her discussion of femininity. Read it in honor of International Women’s Day, engage with it, run with it, embrace it, add to it, disagree or agree with some or all of it, and send love to Devil Kitty!

Deep Gratitude to Devil Kitty for taking on a complicated and hot-button issue, for having a secret hippy side, a naughty mind, for writing erotica, and for reminding me how extremely ok it is for me to be a out loud and proud foo foo cream puff femme!

http://devilkittysworld.blogspot.com/

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

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.”)

 

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Darling Dopamine!

For a little delving into the gut/brain – brain/gut relationship – only just about the most important health area going – settle in with a cup of tea and a snack to watch Dr. Andrew Rostenberg from way out in Idaho break it down for you in “The Dopamine Dilemma — Natural Strategies for Optimizing Mental Health”. As he mentions, we hear a lot about serotonin, but it’s darling dopamine that we really need to cherish, ‘cause modern life can really trash it, and we can’t live without it!!

(And how ironic that I thank a little bottle of antibiotics below, when antibiotics wreak such havoc on the gut! Just goes to show that inspiration can come from the most unexpected places…).

Dr. R, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for caring, for working to make a complicated topic understandable and interesting, and for helping people help themselves. I hope you get to drive sehr schnell on the Autobahn one day!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d630qmgW2sg

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, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

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.”)

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Thank You, Owl

The barred owl

smacking her beak lips

in the morning light

hunches and turns her back to

the harassing blue jays

no one loves a predator

but I do, I love her

I love how she has come

to us now, this year of

transition, grief, rebirth

she has been in and around

our yard for a few months now

quiescent in the sunlight

way up in the hemlock

visible best from the bedroom

window where our son

no longer sleeps

at dusk she swivels

her head, beginning to wake

her eyes widen

she preens, quickening

ready to scout

thank you, owl

thank you

for your wild, near presence

for your glory

for this grace

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise 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.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on March 4, 2019 at 5:56 PM  Comments Off on Meditations for Queer Femmes – Thank You, Owl  
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