Meditations for Queer Femmes – Still Here!

Sometimes, it feels like I want to scrawl one of those signs you see in zombie movies that humans stick in the windows: STILL HERE! Because, dearest femme sisters, I am still here, despite it all. So much mortality inside me and around me, always sorting through what can I do, what is my responsibility, how can I help. When I can still my own fretting and round and round thinking, I do hear the wise voices saying, clearly and with such love, that one must start at home, with oneself, build the love there, care first for the body, mind, and soul, so that the love can radiate out. Caring for our queer femme selves is a radical act. Along these lines, the best and most beautiful auto-reply messages I’ve ever seen came from Rebecca Jackson, the senior director of Organizational Equity Practice, part of a local organization, Trinity Connects (their mission statement is below):

Thanks for your email. In my ongoing attempt to live into rest as an act of resistance against White Supremacy Culture, I may not respond to your email right away. If my response time doesn’t meet your needs, please feel free to reach out again.

Thank you, be well!

Tears came to my eyes when I saw this; it is so deeply healing and inspiring to witness self care from people of color, and from folx running non-profits, especially, as the traditional culture of non-profits is often to work until you drop. And so meaningful to see this now, when, even before the pandemic, people were expected to respond to emails and texts pretty much 24/7 – it’s so much more oppressive these days, with so many working from home. I don’t suppose there’s anyone among us who hasn’t received an email written at the wee hours of the morning from a co-worker or colleague, or perhaps written one ourselves.

I am weary, and I know you must be, too, my sugar plum darlings. Stop right now and step away from the screen. Deep breath, relax your shoulders, look outside. Remember we are in it together. It’s hard and we’re scared and run down, but we are not alone, and we can’t do it all at once or by ourselves or even right this minute.

“Where do you find inspiration for your work?” Spirit Magazine asked Quinn Gormley, Executive Director of the Maine Transgender Network. “I’m especially inspired by the work of ACT UP,” she answered. “The politics of fighting for life as people we love die – is there anything more queer? In a moment of burnout a few years ago, I described my work as ‘bailing out the Titanic with a mop bucket.’ But if we bail, really, really hard, and work together, we might buy ourselves enough time for the string quartet to finish their song. And isn’t that the point? Making life livable enough in an impossibly hostile world that our people can lead lives filled with joy and music?”

Thank you, Quinn, for that inspiration, and Rebecca for your modeling of self-care. Today, make a moment for yourself, my loves. Rest, and build on your power. There is joy and music and such good company!

Trinity Connects: Our mission is to unlock opportunities and change the odds for youth of color in Boston. Our goal is to help them succeed by increasing available resources that lower systemic barriers to their achievement and wellbeing. This is vital and unique work for youth of color who are subject to the pervasive trauma of systemic racism. The heartbeat of Trinity Boston Connects is in the nourishing connection between youth of color and adults who champion their success. 

 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.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

 

 

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