Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Vivek Shraya, “How did the suffering of marginalized artists become so marketable?”

If you’ve ever wondered why queer stories seem to be repeating themselves, and that the stories are often so sad and violent, Vivek Shraya has a few thoughts to offer. I’m old enough to remember when even the hint of queerness in the media was something to be celebrated, even if the character or mention was horrible – at least we had proof that we existed! That time, thankfully, is long past, and queer stories, queer lives, must be told and honored in all their infinite variety. Not so easy, though, when the powers that be are hoping to keep those stories and lives within very narrow, oppressive boundaries.

Vivek Shraya, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for making your own, unique, honest queer art, and thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. It is immensely inspiring!

https://nowtoronto.com/culture/art-and-design/vivek-shraya-trauma-clown/

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 June 5, 2019 at 9:03 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – When You Turn Into a Magical Unicorn

“Can I tell you something?” The woman helping me at the health food store looks sweetly into my face, and I nod. “I love you!” she says, and then proceeds to thank me, “on behalf of all women.” I manage to smile and thank her for her kindness because I’ve been saying the Serenity Prayer almost non-stop and practicing gratitude like a house on fire, but she is really kind of freaking me out. It’s my first encounter with someone who has lots of preconceived notions about me because of how I currently look, but it is definitely not my last.

How I currently look is bald, baby, bald. Early in the spring, I found a lump in my breast, and here we are now, working hard to usher the cancer out of my body with our era’s most powerful drugs, functional medicine, Al-Anon, a loving spouse, a loving community of friends, neighbors, and family, and the strength and power of my precious femme body.

So I’ve been thinking about visibility. I’ve never been visible as queer unless I’m on the arm of my butch, but now I am extremely visible as someone with cancer. When I go out in public, strangers smile at me with a certain look and offer me lots of compliments and solicitous behavior. They treat me the way I’ve seen my butch and other visibly queer friends treated by straight people who want very much to weigh in on injustice and bigotry by a little bit overdoing it in the support category. Telling folx how brave they are, how beautiful, how amazing. The extra, weird attention is uncomfortable and awkward and is making me revisit my long-standing grudge about how people never see me as queer.

I’ve always had a propensity for an in-your-face queer politics, wanting everyone to see me as queer, all the time. It seemed the best way to get and keep straight people’s attention, to educate them. Also, I’m such a proud femme, proud of my ancestry, my people, my community – I just always wanted everyone to know who I am, where I come from, where I stand. But the bottom line is that homophobia and all its attendant fuckery will attend me for the rest of my life; it’s not going anywhere soon. And no matter what, in your face or stealth attack, there’s no one sure method of educating and spreading social justice glitter. Does it really matter to me personally if everyone sees my three-dollah bill every second, or if sometimes I get to come out to them when it actually might bring us both closer together, or make a bigger impact?

Sweet femme sisters, my darlings, my loves. Today, think about your stealth femme powers and hold them on high. Revel in your sneak attacks. Sing praise to your devious strategies of love. You walk among them and you queer the game and by the time they know it, it’s too late for them to walk away untouched. And make no mistake.

I see you. I love you. You are treasures.

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 June 3, 2019 at 2:40 PM  Comments (2)  
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