Meditations for Queer Femmes – Forgiveness vs. Accountability

Earlier today, Tex was out and about doing some tedious errands, when she heard her name called loudly, and was suddenly being rather overwhelmed by the mom of a trans kid I’ve worked with in the past. The proud mom was desperate to show Tex a picture of said kid. Tex ended up telling her, “It’s a nice picture, but it’s Anna who knows your son, not me.” When Tex told me this story, my first thought was to feel a little embarrassed, thinking that I wouldn’t have reacted like that (of course not – I’ve known the kid in question since he was in third grade, and have had several intense conversations with the mom). My next thought was that Tex was right to remind the mom that her relationship is with me, not with Tex. Tex, being the more visible queer, is often put in the awkward situation of representing the queer community or being asked to give random straight people a “queer blessing”, which is what I think this mom wanted. And that is tedious and often qute rude and inappropriate, as it was today.

Despite over 20 years of parenting, I still have trouble distinguishing between being forgiving and holding people accountable. Certainly there are times when people need forgiveness, especially if they’re going through hard times. Just as certainly, there are people who take up way too much room and everyone benefits from them being asked to rein it in. I can get really caught up in trying to figure this stuff out: take Naked Hot Tub Man, for example. He lived a street away from us for years, obnoxious as hell, arguing and upsetting his neighbors with his antics, playing bad rock and roll at high decibles whenever he had a party and fired up the hot tub on his deck. “Oh, yeah,” one of these neighbors said to us one time, “he’s been like that since grade school…” When, perhaps, sad things happened in his family? Who knows, but the point is, even Naked Hot Tub Man has a complicated history, and I was usually tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt. And, Tex would add, wounds and difficulties are still not an excuse to act like a shithead, especially when you are a grown adult.

As you go about your beautiful, varied lives today, my beautiful, varied femme sisters, I invite you to observe your interactions with others. Are you too kind when it might be more productive to hold the line? Are you too harsh when it might be more gracious to allow for imperfections? It can all be such a muddle, my darlings, but perhaps the more we observe, the more we will gain in the small wisdoms of being human in community.

May queer femme magic accompany you!


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.”)








that magical unicorns cannot always be welcome and ready to engage with those who find them so magical.

Published in: on October 7, 2019 at 5:26 PM  Comments (2)