Femme Friday — T.J. Bryan AKA Tenacious

My internet research skills being what they are and aren’t, I don’t know what she’s up to now, although it is sure to be thought-provoking and femmetastic, but ‘round about 2002, T.J. Bryan AKA Tenacious contributed an elegant genre-fuck essay/poem/memoir to Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity. She has also been published in Canadian Woman Studies, Fireweed (she is also a former collective member), Fuse, Now Magazine and On Our Backs, and I’m sure many more since then. In her 2003 film, “No You Can’t Touch It,” she says, “This hair marks me as a nomad, not just black, queer or female…eternal, twisting, undulating, dread, dark, dangerous and true.” She is a multi-media artist, and in 2000 had a show in Toronto called UN CUT: A Queerly Erotic Coup.

Deep gratitude to T.J. Bryan AKA Tenacious for her words and her art and for fighting erotophobia.



            Testing the waters cautiously, I critically delve into my Femme(ininity). I wanna stand and be counted cuz me and mine done been here long enuff. Moving careful though. Mindful of the ways I can be seduced into denying the woman I am. Which is easy when everywhere I look I’m reminded that any sort of contentment couldn’t possibly be attained from where I stand.


Deep throating every last big,

I’d swallow it whole.

Using the word AS IS…

If I could. As if…

It would evah fit completely.

If I could,

I’d sing it, proclaim it,

If it’s rhyme and reason,

It’s pink pastel seasons

Didn’t clash with

damn near everything

I own.


            Femme can feel like someone else’s cast-offs. Another woman’s old, worn-out frock.

–from “It Takes Ballz: Reflections of a Black Attitudinal Femme Vixen in tha Makin’” in Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity eds. Chloë Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri, Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver, 2002

 Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!