Femme Friday – Inspirational Books: the bull-jean stories by sharon bridgforth

Oh my goodness. For the Solstice, let’s travel into bull-jean’s world with sharon bridgforth’s performance stories. In the introduction to the book, she says, “with the bull-jean stories I wanted to celebrate the rural/southern working-class Black bulldaggas/who were aunty-momma-sister-friend/pillars of the church                        always been a working part of our community/giving fierce Love with fineness.” This book is prayer and song and queer sustenance, fierce and fine. Below is just a sweet snippet. I hope you buy the book and treasure it as I have.

Deep gratitude to sharon bridgforth for bull-jean and all her people, for loving that queer history and heritage onto the page and into our lives.

———————————-

bull-jean 

slipn in

ever day

5am

 deacon willie/clara’s man

 go git him

 supplies           umph

 everbody know

 nappy love

 be the one filling him sack.

 

 every day

 5am

 deacon willie/clara’s man

 slip out                        bull-jean

 slip in

            clara git her supplies too

the bull-jean stories by sharon bridgforth, RedBone Press, Austin, TX, 1998

 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! New Femme Friday feature for 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.”)

 

Published in: on December 21, 2018 at 5:21 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Pingy Dingy Wednesday – “Coming Out as a Femme Lesbian” by Hannah Cooper

A sweet, respectful and friendly informational post about coming out as a femme. So refreshing!

RUComing Out and Hannah Cooper, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for laying it all out for us. When I clicked the link to your blog, Femme Meets Femme, I was told it couldn’t be found – if you’re out there somewhere and see this, come say hello!

https://www.rucomingout.com/coming-out-as-femme.html

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 December 19, 2018 at 4:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Maintenance and Weather

We queer femmes can be very busy. We are often doing more than one thing at once – I’m looking at you, girlfriend, with your knitting, your correspondence, and whatever all else you keep in your pursetote to grab when you’re on the train or in a meeting or waiting to get the car serviced… I’m looking at you, beloved, as you grow extra arms and neural pathways to respond to your kids, your sweetheart, that quick finish-up of one or twelve urgent projects, the ten work emails that won’t take but just a moment… Ooh, we’re good at it! But when we are stymied in our desire to proceed full steam ahead, things can go from pretty to miserable in the bat of an eyelash.

There is a certain satisfaction about being efficient and available and good at our queer femme jobs, all one million of them. However. In one of those wonderful topsy-turvy’s of life, you can’t be satisfied with your satisfaction unless you give it a little room.

On Saturday, we put my mother-in-law on the plane, already a bit worried, as the travel time was a grueling eight hours. When we got a text from her saying she was in Chicago and facing a two hour delay while the plane was tended to, we flooded her phone with sympathy. “Oh, it’s all right,” this veteran traveller texted back, “I never bristle at maintenance or weather.”

Short and sweet, my darlings: today, find that space. Welcome the inevitable slowers-up. Drive the speed limit. Look up and out, into the sky. Allow for space. Make breath be everything. Find respite in needing to go slower because of snow or heat or just because it’s such a fucking beautiful day. The more space and time you give yourself to arrive and be and feel, the more you will be able to give yourself. The better you will be able to thrive and gift us all. Slow down just a few, my brilliant zippy kin! There is time for all your femme splendor. Now and here there is time.

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.”)

 

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – The History Project

This morning at the chiropractor, I spied a lesbian in an adjacent office, a tall, rangy, well-seasoned specimen. Oh, I do love seeing a lesbian when I’m out and about! It pains me that a friend was just telling me about a colleague of hers, a fierce, radical lesbian who teaches at a local university and who told my friend that she feels completely irrelevant these days, when none or her students even identify as lesbians anymore. I know what she means although, happily, I have the pleasure of meeting and working with young lesbians in my organizing and advocacy.

And to the professor’s point, I read in Lesbian Connection that the New Alexandria Lesbian Library in Holyoke, MA has been renamed The Sexual Minorities Archives. I don’t know the full story behind that, but it feels sad to see the lesbian go.

At a recent event given by the History Project, the presenter spoke about the importance of staying independent rather than allowing the archives to be taken over by a university or other organization. “We want to keep the archives available to the community and cared for by the community,” he said. “If we handed it over and there were to be a change in administration, for example, the archive could be unfunded or even discarded.”

History Project, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your generous and fabulous work for the queer community, for keeping the focus on the queer community and in the queer community’s hands and hearts.

http://www.historyproject.org/

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.”)

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Mother-in-Law

When I tell people my mother-in-law is visiting, I will occasionally get the questioning look, like, “And how is that for you?” I know that there are those whose in-laws are abominable, but that is far from the case with me. Tex’s charming, loveable, smart and funny mom is a joy to hang out with, and it’s been just wonderful to not only catch up but to dive right into conversations about life and all it contains. Poignant and precious, also, in light of the fact that my own dearest mother is happy and safe, but less able to engage about these topics as she once was.

Yesterday, my mother-in-law and I were talking about a project I’m working on and about her long work history as an academic consultant. At one point, she said, “I’m so glad to have lived through the history I have in my life; it just informs my soul. I’m so glad I lived through Watergate, and I know how awful someone like Nixon can be. And I know how wonderful but deeply flawed someone like Clinton can be…” Her observation helped me think about my project in a different, more intimate way: how do I approach it as uniquely myself, uniquely situated in my own lived history? I am so grateful for her wisdom and her generosity!

Today, my precious femme sisters, I wish for you that the treasure(s) in your family shine out for you, and that you spend a moment or two in gratitude for their brilliance.

Let it inform your soul.

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 December 10, 2018 at 5:02 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Al-Anon

I think, but I’m not sure, that I had some very vague notion that Al-Anon existed before last spring. Some kind of self-help thing, I figured, a twelve-step thing. Like I had any idea at all what a twelve-step thing might even mean. Oh, sisters, how grateful I am now to have so much more knowledge! I’ve been attending Al-Anon meetings since the spring, and have recovered so much love and light for myself, I can’t even begin to tell you.

Al-Anon, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your spiritual, kind and gentle program and for the healing you spread.

https://al-anon.org/

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.”)

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes – “The Embrace”

Today, with George H. W. Bush’s 94-year old body lying in state in Washington, a man who will be remembered for how little he did during the AIDS epidemic, let’s send blessings to lovers and friends lost to AIDS with Mark Doty’s exquisite poem.

The Embrace

by Mark Doty

You weren’t well or really ill yet either,

just a little tired, your handsomeness

tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought

to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace.

 

I didn’t for a moment doubt you were dead.

I knew that to be true still, even in the dream.

You’d been out – at work maybe? –

having a good day, almost energetic.

 

We seemed to be moving from some old house

where we’d lived, boxes everywhere, things

in disarray: that was the story of my dream,

but even asleep I was shocked out of narrative

 

by your face, the physical fact of your face:

inches from mine, smooth-shaven, loving, alert.

Why so difficult, remembering the actual look

of you? Without a photograph, without strain?

 

so when I saw your unguarded, reliable face,

your unmistakable gaze opening all the warmth

and clarity of you – warm brown tea – we held

each other for the time the dream allowed.

 

Bless you. You came back, so I could see you

once more, plainly, so I could rest against you

without thinking this happiness lessened anything,

without thinking you were alive again.

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 December 3, 2018 at 4:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Creating Change 2019

Well, folx, it’s getting to be that time again; time to hunker down with hundreds of queer organizers, activists, teachers, artists, educators and more to reconnect, get inspired, talk about sex, healing, fun topics, difficult topics, share information, laugh our asses off, and give each other so much love.

It’s a little bit up in the air if I’m going to attend this year, but even if I don’t, my heart will be in Detroit, this January, especially with my brave and brilliant colleague Mimi Gonzalez as she presents her generous and much-needed workshop, “Truth and Reconciliation: Healing the MichFest/Trans Divide”. I love you, Mimi!

Not everyone can get to the Motor City this January, but here’s a challenge: what will you do in the spirit of Creating Change? Let me know! I will be dreaming and taking action right along with you.

https://www.creatingchange.org/

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.”)

 

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Queer and Clear

Aspiring to keep business hours with my email: M-F, 9-5. Thank you for your patience!

 My signature line is a small step in giving myself more mental space. We queer femmes are so dang busy. There’s just a lot to keep track of, in so many arenas. We’ve got our families, our jobs, fields, interests, and more to ride herd on, and then there’s all the queer stuff: shows, books, all the kabillion things online, and news, news, news. The more we see, the more there is for us to do and think about and the less time and space there is for us to settle down and reconnect to our most sacred and enduring femme heartbeat, that queer engine keeping us afloat.

I’m old enough to have lived through many of the changes plaguing us, from typewriter to keyboard, from letters to email to however people are communicating today, from phone to PHONE, from books to e-readers, from vinyl to however people are listening to things nowadays. It’s been utterly insidious, the creeping crud of technology lapping at our ankles, our knees, our asses, rising higher and higher, and even a proud luddite femme such as myself finds herself gasping for breath. And now, as my butch and I face more transition than we’ve run into in years, prioritizing our own dear dreams, our health, our marriage, and honoring the gifts we’ve been given in order to gift the world, are all we’ve been talking about lately. Doubling down on these imperatives is impossible with all the noise. An example: as thrilling as it is to know about umpteen new queer shows, I am learning to just be content that they exist. Rather than figure out how to find them, let alone make time to watch them, I would rather put energy into unsubscribing to all the stupid things we already have, given that those subscriptions come at a steep price, and wouldn’t I rather be: meditating, doing something outdoors, making love or cooking or doing a puzzle with my butch? Fuck yes! So I choose not to invite them in. This can be hard, really hard, seeing as how I grew up and came out with such an incredible deficit of queer, but it’s worth it, especially since I am now dedicating myself to turning inward. To honoring my simplest self.

Who are you, my dear femme bunnies, deepdown in your queer femme souls? When do you let her come out hopping, ears flopping? Despite the ever-increasing hoopla, there is still so much time. So much space. So much quiet. It just takes a slight shift in focus and there it is again, in the sunrise, in the full moon, in the scooting clouds. Make time to notice passers by, the little girl who smiles at a dog or has a full-blown and very public tantrum. So delightful! And all so much a part of our world when we notice, a direct line to our own precious queer humanity.

Today, my darlings, try turning it all off and then peeking inside your rich and marvelous queer femme dreams. What you find there is medicine. Is sustenance. Is gold.

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 November 26, 2018 at 5:27 PM  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Wisdom from Chrystos

As we approach the National Day of Mourning, I have been rereading and meditating on Chrystos’ 1988 book of poetry, Not Vanishing.

Here is the intro to that beautiful book:

Because there are so many myths & misconceptions about Native people, it is important to clarify myself to the reader who does not know me. I was not born on the reservation, but in San Francisco, part of a group called “Urban Indians” by the government. I grew up around Black, Latin, Asian & white people & am shaped by that experience, as well as by what my father taught me. He had been taught to be ashamed & has never spoken our language to me. Much of the fury which erupts from my work is a result of seeing the pain that white culture has caused my father. It continues to give pain to all of us. I am not the “Voice” of Native women, nor representative of Native women in general. I am not a “spiritual Leader,” although many white women have tried to push me into that role. While I am deeply spiritual, to share this with strangers would be a violation. Our rituals, stories & religious practices have been stolen & abused, as has our land. I don’t publish work which would encourage this – so you will find no creation myths here. My purpose is to make it as clear & as inescapable as possible, what the actual, material conditions of our lives are. Hunger, infant mortality, forced sterilization, treaty violations, the plague of alcohol & drugs, ridiculous jail terms, denial of civil rights, radiation poisoning, land theft, endless contrived legal battles which drain our wills, corrupt “tribal” governments, harassment & death at the hands of the BIA & FBI are the realities we face. Don’t admire what you perceive as our stoicism or spirituality – work for our lives to continue in our own Ways. Despite the books which still appear, even in radical bookstores, we are not Vanishing Americans.

Deep gratitude to Chrystos, for their poetry – I urge you to read “I HAVE NOT SIGNED A TREATY WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT” this Thursday – and for their generosity and wisdom and love of their art.

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 November 19, 2018 at 4:58 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,