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.”)