Pingy-Dingy Wednesday –Nikkita Oliver and Last Real Indians, “Black and Native Lives Need Each Other to Matter”

I live in a town that has an image of an American Indian as town symbol, but because it is modeled on a sculpture by a revered (white) town son, most people don’t put it in the same category as, say, the mascot of a neighboring town whose high school team is called the Sachems. Our town has a lot of Black Lives Matter signs, but almost no awareness of its complicity in racism towards American Indians.

Nikkita Oliver and Last Real Indians, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for discussing this issue so wisely and with such compassion. The more articles like this I read, the better prepared I am to raise awareness and have meaningful discussions with other white people, discussions that hopefully lead to action about my and their part in the shared resistance.

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 January 17, 2018 at 5:23 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes — Queer Femme Inspiration

For queer femmes, the stories of other queer femmes can be nothing short of life saving. Every femme who shares her take on the world releases enduring nourishment to her sisters far and wide. Every time we name ourselves, proudly claiming femme, we save each other the fatigue of constantly having to read between the lines, desperately searching for queers like ourselves. There is a comfort unlike any other in seeing queer femmes engaged in every arena from art to science; from knowing that we are everywhere. And because “bodies respond to other bodies” and “[t]he heart responds to direct human contact,”* that comfort grows exponentially when we queer femmes gather together in person and are able to relax, connect with our own complex femme identities, and be nurtured and challenged by other femmes. Femmes who are like us in one core fashion, but who are, of course, their own fascinating, unique selves. I don’t think it can be said enough that we are able to explore our own identities more deeply, connect with ourselves more fully, when we have time to rest, laugh, renew and explore with others like us.

And when we have rested, laughed, renewed and explored, we are able to bring a more healthy and discerning awareness to the rest of the world. A generosity. After a Femme Klatsch, I can just breath more easily, and situations that might have infuriated me and taken up way too much of my time end up being more easily resolved because my spirit has been fed and eased, and I feel good in my queer femme body.

In addition, when our queer femme spirits have been fed by queer femme company, we are so much more able to be inspired by those who are not queer femmes. Queer femme company is imperative, but connecting to other queers and to straight people, finding inspiration there, is not only delightful, but necessary for the work of resistance.

For example, I adore the Marketplace series by Laura Antoniou. I’ve read it many more times than once, but the first time through was the most profound. I was just coming out in my thirties and was so excited to be here and queer! My attraction to the world of the Marketplace is based less on a desire to live a life of full-on BDSM and more on the fact of the possibilities in this queer leather story. If these characters can move in so many directions, find so many ways to connect, love and thrive doing things that are in direct contradiction with what the status quo says is ok – that’s inspiring! I treasure that inspiration, from the leather community, from trans folks, from radical fairies, from drag, from poly folks, from the Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance, from Black Lives Matter, from United American Indians of New England, from the Center for Coastal Studies, from RedNation, from Bold Nebraska, from Brown Girls Surf…the list is deliciously endless.

I want all of us to support each other and learn from each other. I want us all to have the opportunity to gather in affinity groups, those places conducive to a certain, basic kind of healing and spiritual growth, so that when we get back together, we can sock it to the oppressors.

We all need our own close-knit communities based on affinity and love; we all need our siblings in the revolution who may not look a thing like us but with whom we share the goals of resistance and radical change and with whom we are inextricably linked.

I am inspired by my queer femme sisters.

I am inspired by lovers and warriors of every stripe.

May we meet in power!

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.

*The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World by Nancy Collier, p. 109 in the chapter, “All Alone in Virtual Community”