Femme Friday – Femme Klatsch with, moi! The Total Femme

Femme Klatsch is where queer femmes chat with one another on all themes femme. Sweet femme sisters – chime in!

 What does femme mean to you?

Who are your femme role models?

How did you find your femme?

and today’s question:

What sustains your femme?

One of the things that sustains my femme and that opens up big queer space for me to be my most sincere and truthful femme self, is the inspiration of other queers who are really-oh, truly-oh themselves, in all their queer glory. It really, really helps if they have a good sense of humor, too. For example, Tex and I recently attended the yearly fundraiser, ClimACTS, for Theater Offensive. The memory of founder and executive artistic director Abe Rybeck in a truly tremendous neon outfit, waving and blowing kisses as he was carried onto stage by two scantily clad fellas while another hunky number in ass-less pants serenaded him with Italian opera will sustain me unto my dying day.

Queer story sustains my femme. Whether it’s in a book, like Juliet Takes a Breath by Gaby Rivera, or observed, like watching Michelle, the current owner of Womencrafts in Provincetown both honor the history of the store as well as honor the political complexity of today’s queer world, or told to me directly, like the stories I hear from the QSA members or from other femmes — I need queer story almost as much as I need to breathe.

Coalition building and intersectionalty sustain my femme. My straight colleagues and friends model how I can be a better ally, show me how to recognize my privilege and wear it with a sense of humor and responsibility. The National Day of Mourning is a holy day for me. My femme is sustained when I brainstorm and discuss with other queers about strengthening our organizing by asking hard questions about race or disability, for example. My femme is sustained when I hear from a straight colleague with new information about our ongoing struggle to get our town to deal with its Native American town symbol. Attending Creating Change sustained the fuck out of my femme.

My femme is sustained by the love of my butch.

My femme is sustained when my new femme friend and I machinate to take over the world.

My femme is sustained by this blog, and by hearing from you.

Deep gratitude to all of you in all of your queer and fabulous variety!

 Every Friday, The Total Femme showcases a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!

 

 

 

 

Femme Friday — LaSaia Wade

IMG_0093.JPG“Calling all femmes!” the workshop description began. I was in Philadelphia for the Creating Change conference, and my head was spinning with the variety and amazingness of workshops, plenaries, and day-long institutes, but this one was a definite: “#CCFemme17: Our Bodies are Powerful”. All the same, when I walked in and saw that I was maybe the oldest gal in there, I hesitated. I need not have. LaSaia Wade and her co-presenter, Alison Amyx, skillfully invited each and every beautiful femme in the room to connect with our heart’s strength and physical power, and connect meaningfully and genuinely with each other. At the end of the too-short time we had together, LaSaia enfolded me in a loving femme hug, a gift I will always carry.

LaSaia, whose name is pronounced ” LA-SY-ah WAYD,” and whose pronouns are She, They, Goddess, shares the following bio:

LaSaia Wade is an open Afro  Puerto Rican Indigenous Trans Woman, she’s the founder of TNTJ Project member of Chicago TGNC Collective, Trans Liberation Collective and Director of Brave Space Alliance. She graduated in 2010 with a BBA in Business Management; as coming out as trans she has 10 plus years in organizing and advocacy work with black, indigenous, trans and gender nonconforming folx around the world. She is the current Director of Brave Space Alliance, business owner of Mystical Bee Hive, while facilitating trainings across the U.S.  

 Deep gratitude to LaSaia for the brave and loving work she brings to the world!

 Check out an honor bestowed on LaSaia this month here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158276524820398&set=a.435717750397.366746.812810397&type=3

and this timely and important statement:

https://radfag.com/2016/10/05/turnup4tt-a-public-statement/

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

 

Femme Friday — Jewelle Gomez

I have here on my desk a signed copy of the 25th Anniversary Edition of Jewelle Gomez’s novel, The Gilda Stories, a treasure in 1991 when it was first published, and a treasure still. I had the great good fortune to take part in an all-day workshop Jewelle co-led at the Creating Change conference last Thursday. (Having inadvertently left my copy behind, I rushed off to Giovanni’s Room during lunch and, thank goodness, Jewelle’s book was in stock!) The workshop, “Thriving: The Eric Rofes Legacy: Envisioning a Transformative Queer Movement Focused on Sex, Health, Politics, and Liberation”, points to the focus of Jewelle’s activism which is expressed in story and direct action: sexy, wholesome, politically wise and profoundly liberatory.

“Hold out your hand, doesn’t matter which one,” said Jewelle last Thursday, in a closing ritual. 40+ queers reached out. Jewelle read the words of her ancestor, Chief Seattle, about connection, then cast a lifeline out to us. She told us we are connected, now, and that we are all holding onto the lifeline. To remember that, to envision the connection when we need strength and support. The love and power in that room at that moment was queer magic that I will never forget, that is sustaining me now as I write and that will continue to do so for life.

And now you, dear reader: hold out your hand!

Deep gratitude to Jewelle Gomez!

One summer evening BC (before cell phones), my home telephone was out of order so I strolled down to the corner in the musky urban night air of Manhattan to call a friend from a phone booth. As I was talking two male passersby started telling me in lewd detail what sex acts they would like to perform on me. I thought about the fact that women go through this debasement regularly, routinely. How we usually steel ourselves and block it out. But this time, on that evening long ago, rage welled up in me like a tidal wave. I told my friend on the other end of the line to hold on.

I turned on the two men and began screaming like a mythical banshee. I could see that they thought I was overreacting – they were “just being guys.” But my harangue exploded uncontrollably, stripping away their macho posturing. One man yelled desperately to the other, “Brother, she’s crazy!” He clutched at his friend’s arm and they fled down the street away from me. I was shaking with the pen-up fury of all the women who’ve ever been harassed on the street. I came back to myself when I heard my friend, terrified that I was being murdered, shouting my name through the telephone receiver. I thought with shock that if I had had a weapon in hand I would have gleefully beaten or shot or stabbed or bombed those two guys. Instead I went back to my flat and wrote the first installment of what would become The Gilda Stories. –The Gilda Stories, Forward, July 2015

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

Published in: on January 27, 2017 at 1:19 PM  Leave a Comment  
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