Femme Friday – Kelly in “Tori’s Secret” by Andrea Miller

Oh, it’s so sweet to come across femmes in literature! Even better when one rears her luscious head in a collection of smut, don’t you agree? What a deliciously twisted revenge story this is, with a femme accessing her creativity and her inner butch to even the score…

Deep gratitude to Andrea for loving Kelly onto the page, for calling out butch bad behavior, for gifting us with such yummy butch and femme fuckery and for delving into the infinitely complex and wonderful femme sexual psyche!

…Tori (in her PS) left me with shit to clean up, too. “I’ll be by soon to get my stuff,” she wrote. “Maybe you can pack it for me.” And sure enough almost everything Tori owned was still strewn about the apartment. On the closet floor I found one of her T-shirts that still smelled like her – like men’s deodorant and cigarette smoke. I put it on and crawled into bed, looking for comfort in the cotton. But the clock ticked on without comfort or sleep. Forgetting I hated Tori, I’d lodge a pillow next to my belly and remember her sexy crooked smile and the deep indent her calve muscles created in her shins. Then I’d kick off the blankets and plot fantastical schemes for revenge.

Just about finished, the hairdresser’s razor hummed against my neck and his scissors snipped at a few rogue strands. I looked at my hair lying in clumps on the tiled floor. Then I looked in the mirror and sucked my teeth. Fuck, I wanted to blow a kiss to that sexy butch looking back at me. This was going to work. All I had to do was get the job and buy the cologne Jacqueline loved – the one Katie couldn’t stand and had always refused to wear.

— from “Tori’s Secret” by Andrea Miller, in Stripped Down: Lesbian Sex Stories, edited by Tristan Taormino, Cleis Press, 2005, 2012.

And a tip o’ the femme cock to Tristan, whose inspiring contribution to queer porn is unparalleled!

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!

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 – Wisdom Holders

I’m not sure where I came across this story, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. A great teacher has grown very old and is preparing to die. Her most devoted follower attends her in her last days, trying not to give in to the devastating sorrow she is navigating as she watches her guru fade. As the old woman lies very close to death, she beckons for her student to come closer and whispers, “You know how I was always eating peppermint candy to soothe my delicate stomach, even though sweets are strictly forbidden?” The younger woman nods; even now, she has a few of the medicinal lozenges in her pocket. The teacher lets out a weak but heartfelt cackle. “Well,” she whispers. “My stomach is like iron. I just ate those peppermints because I like them!”

I love this story for what it teaches: we are all human. No matter our status as great teachers, or great anyone, no matter our positions of power and knowledge in any discipline, there is a not a one of us who doesn’t have a few or more very human foibles. If the student in the story was at all tempted to deify her teacher once she was dead, she won’t be able to do it now, because the teacher left her with this priceless gift: I was just a person, and so are you.

I think most of us have a tendency to imagine that the people we look up to, from whom we gain inspiration, are somehow more elevated than we are. That their daily lives and private moments are free from odd habits; that their wisdom provides them with a shield from the little crotchets and weaknesses we all experience. And then when we find out that, say, our beloved religious figure relaxes by watching porn or that she lied about her credentials or background, we lose all respect for her. Even if her teachings had liberated us from despair – maybe especially if her teachings had liberated us from despair.

This demand for our leaders and teachers to be perfect just doesn’t do us any good. I wish our demand instead was for them to be perfectly human. To me, that would be the more nuanced, layered and powerful example. What if our most respected teachers said things like, “Look, I have a wicked temper I can’t always control, I fucked up a lot when I was younger and did things I still regret and I know a few things that I’d like to share that might be helpful to others.” or “I binge watch ridiculous reality shows while making myself sick on salt water taffy, and I am the Executive Director of a cutting-edge non-profit where I do incredibly complex, healing, beautiful thinking about climate change and it’s really making a difference.”

I’ve written before about how queers in general and queer femmes in particular often feel the pull to present to the world as if we have it all together. As if we are model femmes with much wisdom to offer to both other queers and to straight people, while secretly worrying that we are flawed and fakes because we actually don’t have it all together. And we’re afraid that if “they” saw our distinctly human side, that all would be lost. My dear femme sisters, I know this is a complicated subject, and we queer femmes must do whatever keeps us safe in this turbulent world, and if that means holding up a shield of Don’t Fuck With Me, whatever that looks like for you, I am behind you one hundred percent.

And I also implore you: when you look in the mirror, when you’re home alone, when you look in your heart and you see HUMAN HUMAN HUMAN flashing in rainbow colored neon, be of good cheer! Our most revered wisdom holders light up that very same sign, and you, queer femmes, you are wisdom holders. You hold queer femme wisdom in every molecule of your queer femme self, and I revere you and am so grateful to you. The world benefits from your passage here.

Human. Queer. Femme.

Unending wisdom.

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.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on April 16, 2018 at 5:27 PM  Comments (2)  
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Femme Friday – Aryka Randall and She’s Just Not That Into You; The Fab Femme’s Guide to Queer Love & Dating

Back a few years ago when she was 24, Aryka started The Fab Femme website (now TTF Mag), with the hope of connecting femmes of all kinds; she is also the creator of the web series, “Girl Play” and does a ton more online stuff . Her 2016 book of queer femme advice is sweet, creative and loving, not to mention super cute!

Deep gratitude to Aryka for her dedication to the love lives and wellbeing of all femmes, for her outreach and contributions to the queer femme community (check out TFF Mag’s “Shit Femmes Like”!), and for including a shout out to the memory of her dog, Molly, in her book – our pets accompany us for too short a time, but we are so glad that they come into our lives!

 Sometimes, in relationships, people confuse healthy growth with toxicity. This is because growing pains hurt like hell and it’s easier to slap a negative label on them and avoid them than to face the changes necessary to evolve into a better person. Your true soul mate will take you on a journey of self-discovery that you didn’t even know existed. The journey won’t always be pleasant, but it will be worth it.

To be clear, there are moments when you will date someone who isn’t right for you and their criticism will be directed at you in a negative way because of their own internal issues. These people are toxic and are not making a genuine effort to help bring some light into your life. They just want to tell you negative things about yourself to make themselves feel better about their own shortcomings. Beware of these people. They are emotional vampires and they won’t be ready to change until they grow tired of whatever is causing turmoil in their life. Misery loves company. Stay away from people who bring you down to make themselves feel more adequate. That’s not love, it’s mental abuse.

— from the chapter, “Process of Elimination: Avoid Toxic Relationships” in Aryka Randall’s She’s Just Not That Into You; The Fab Femme’s Guide to Queer Love & Dating, Mango Media, Inc., 2016

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!

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 – Supaman, Acosia Red Elk and “Why”

Oh, let’s have some music! I adore Supaman, whose fabulous “Prayer Loop Song” is a favorite in our family. This gorgeous video for “Why” and the song itself are such a gift, and so inspiring.

Supaman and Acosia Red Elk, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your incredible dancing, the beautiful song and for sending out the love, prayers and heart.

https://youtu.be/OiVU-W9VT7Q

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 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 April 11, 2018 at 3:19 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Femme Love Heal World

I just read an article in the local paper about two parents of color whose 4th grader had been called racist names by classmates. One of the way the parents responded was by applying for and receiving a grant from a local education foundation to make a series of posters celebrating people of color in STEM, to be displayed at their child’s elementary school. The school happens to be the same one my college-age sons attended, as well as the site of a project colleagues and I worked on that is funded by the same educational foundation: the Rainbow Alliance, a pre-GSA. Middle schoolers had told us that bullying around LGBTQ+ issues begins in grade school, and this is one of the ways we responded.

          Do these stories sound familiar? I mean, in that members of the targeted population are the ones doing the innovative and creative work, responding to the bullying and effecting positive cultural change at the school. This is so often the case!

            I was so glad to read about these parents and already have ideas about how we might combine forces to make even more of an impact. How about including some LGBTQ+ people of color in STEM? Whatever we might come up with together, we will be more powerful together, not to mention feeling less alone. This is exactly the kind of collaboration and connection I am always looking for in my organizing work.

            I’m now remembering back to when I was part of a UU church congregation and we had a gathering of queers in the church one evening, a pot luck. There were a couple of straight, cis, white men, also members of the congregation, who took it upon themselves to show up and work quietly in the kitchen while we queers chatted and enjoyed ourselves. It was an amazing moment for me. Although that church and I parted ways when it finally became crystal clear that this Welcoming Congregation was actually dedicated to assimilation instead of radical change, one of those fellas washing up that evening is now my most trusted straight colleague. He knows how to listen, ask, offer his considerable organizing expertise, and then step out of the way, unless, of course, he can be useful on chore roster! I learn so much from him about being an ally myself.

            In addition, we queer femmes do our own hard work, every day, so that we can live and love as fully queer, fully ourselves, healthy and vibrant, and this gives us an understanding of the kinds of indignities and worse faced members of other minority populations.

Today, dear, busy, thoughtful and kindhearted queer femme sisters, celebrate what you do to support and spread love to others on the front line of oppression, violence and hatred. Who do you see that others don’t?

            I’m not suggesting you take one yet another project, because I suspect you’ve already got more than enough going on. I want you to care for your precious queer femme selves! I’m just hoping that today you will honor those connections, those points of contact: a smile, a shared glance, a quick word, an “I see you!” nod: all of these are part of the love you spread, and are part of the beautiful queer femme healing that is your birthright and your gift.

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.”)

 

Femme Friday – Sonia Appleberry and Femme: A Woman’s Touch

A recent search for “femme lesbian” turned up Sonia Appleberry’s book, Femme: A Woman’s Touch, an autobiographical work of fiction about a young woman from a small town in Mississippi who goes through some extremely difficult times, but eventually emerges into health and happiness as a femme lesbian who is partnered with another femme lesbian.

Deep gratitude to Sonia for her courage and generosity in putting her story out there, for her efforts to educate about lesbianism as well as about domestic violence, and for her deeply kind-hearted “Conclusion”, which made me cry!

Love can be a dangerous thing. This is precisely why you should choose your mate carefully. Whether it’s a man or a woman, this choice can be a determining factor of the rest of your life. There are millions of gays and lesbians in the world. The life we have chosen to live takes courage and confidence. I have spoken with numerous people who are secretly living this lifestyle, but they are afraid to be exposed. They feel that exposure to their life will spark controversy and even strife between them and their loved ones. For the most part, they feel that mothers are easier to confide in than any other family member. They have realized that mother will show love and compassion in any situation. Fathers tend to be unapproachable when it comes to this subject. My mother was one whom I could confide in. I lost her in my adolescent stage to a terminal illness. I can still hear her strong voice that said, “Honey, if there’s anything in this world you want, you’ll have to work hard for it. No one is going to give it to you freely.” I really didn’t understand those words at that time, but after four children and some unbearable days in my life, I clearly understand the message she was sending. I didn’t realize it, but she was sending me some warm words of encouragement.

–from the Conclusion of Sonja Appleberry’s book, Femme: A Woman’s Touch, Trafford Publishing, 2012

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!

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 – Penzeys Spices

My stalwart Midwestern brother-in-the-fight, Bill Penzey, has my respect and gratitude for taking a political stand on the side of love, humanity and all Cooks everywhere! Today, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, Penzeys stores and the call center are closed, and staff are getting a paid day off.

Penzeys and Bill, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for doing the right thing and showing those east- and west-coasters what the “fly-over” states are really about!

https://www.facebook.com/Penzeys/

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-gastronomy/ceo-who-called-trump-racist-penzeys-spice-mix

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 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 – Elemental

Driving down to Provincetown this weekend, I was briefly behind a work truck from a company that does clean up after damage by storms, fires and flood. We don’t have earthquakes here (yet), but I bet that would be included if this was California. All four elements, each one with its own particular abilities.

Although I am not usually a fan of fantasy, Tex did get me to read Laurie J. Mark’s Elemental Logic series (Fire Logic, Water Logic, Earth Logic, Air Logic), which I thoroughly enjoyed because they’re so wonderfully queer and loving and political, with a sense of humor to boot. After seeing that truck, I thought about Laurie’s books and her take on the properties of each elemental logic. Then I started wondering what element I am most connected to.

I’m thinking air, or more particularly, wind. I just love a windy day! It refreshes me and jazzes me up, makes me feel present and alive. I also grew up practicing tornado drills and know the power wind can have. And more mundanely, if I don’t cover up my ears but good when I’m out in the wind, I will totally get an earache. The destruction caused by floods and storms and fires and earthquakes are hardly personal on the part of the elements; the elements just are. It’s up to us to draw our own conclusions. When we pay attention, learn and listen, keep lightfooted and inventive instead of rigid and stubborn, we can learn how to work with the elements. This is something we desperately need to do on a large scale around climate change, but here I would like to talk about how we can also learn so much about ourselves.

If I deny the power of the wind and go out without covering up my ears, I’ll get sick. If I prepare myself, however, I can learn so much. The wind circulates, doing exactly what it is meant to do. If I pay attention, this element has a lot to teach me about my own strengths and weaknesses, just as it can power a windmill or blow down entire neighborhoods. For example this ear situation: I interpret that to mean that I don’t always do the best job of listening to myself, and when I don’t, it spills over into not being able to pay attention to what’s around me or to listen very well to others. That’s a lesson I can work with.

I know as a queer femme, there are many times I have felt isolated, invisible and without a working community lifting me up and lovingly holding me. Stepping out into a glorious windy day can blow some of that burden right into the stratosphere, because I am reminded that we queer femmes are part of the natural systems, just like every other human being.

What connects you to those natural systems? Which element seduces you into a more spiritual and holy place? Which of the four calls you, teaches and inspires you, humbles you, uplifts you?

Whichever it is, the next time you are worshipping at that particular altar, know that I am there with you, wearing a good warm hat and leaning into the fierce and cleansing wind. Queer femmes, all, today remember the elements and open to their lessons. Allow them to bring you closer to the heart of love.

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.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Femme Friday – G from boneandsilver.com

As more or less a luddite femme, I continue to be dragged kicking and screaming into the technological maelstrom that is our current reality. I tend to think about my blog as a column in a queer newspaper, perhaps on the same page as the latest “Dykes to Watch Out For” comic strip – ah, we had it so good back in the day! However, I am so happy to have made G’s online acquaintance as I am always thrilled to meet a sister femme blogger. Here, G speaks about two topics near and dear to many a femme’s heart: the environment and looking fabulous.

Deep gratitude to G for her in-depth, intersectional thinking about what it means to care about true health and beauty, for her sweet blog and for her caring, feisty, strong femme energy!

Being femme and saving the planet: but can I still wear a dress?

On my blog bone&silver, I write about being over 50, queer, Mum to my almost-18 year old son, and general life in Australia. My posts often have an environmental slant, as I’m acutely aware of how we’re not taking care of our planet- as most of us are of course. Is this a femme thing? Maybe. I think we femmes are definitely more tuned in to caring, whether it’s about our lovers, our family and friends, or the big Mama Earth herself. And there’s always room for a tiny bit of care about our latest vintage dress find too *winks.

According to the U.S. EPA, more than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States, doubling over the last 20 years. In 2014, Americans generated over 16 million tons of textile waste, with over 10.46 million tons sent to landfill.

I know we love to look good, but we gotta shop second hand. We consumers have SO MUCH power, and we need to exert it. According to Greenpeace, cheap clothing production has doubled since 2000, exploiting the poorest women and children who work in the garment making industry.

There are literally thousands of women on Instagram blogging about fashion styles and trends; join your femme sisters in supporting ethically-produced clothing, or second-hand recycling fashions!

For when we all rise together, taking the wider community of women with us, we are using our caring, feisty, strong femme energy for global good.

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!

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 – Ije Ude, Samia Abou-Samra and Turtle Tank

Ije and Samia are utterly and mind-blowingly brilliant and have the biggest hearts in the world! The last time we were in New York, Tex and I met them at a Georgian restaurant and sat there until the wee hours, talking about queerness, radical anti-racism work, social justice, outside-the-stratosphere business ideas, children, mental health in communities of color, queer youth, butch/femme, and so much more! What a gift!

Ije, Samia and Turtle Tank, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for the incredible work you’re doing, for helping activists, organizers and business owners do what they do in the healthiest, most genuine and efficient ways, for incubating the kinds of ideas, businesses and enterprises that are putting healthy and generative energy into the world, and for just being two of the most loving and generous people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing!

https://turtletank.co/

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 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.”)