Femme Friday – Femme Role Models: My Grandmother

When I sat down to work on this Friday’s post, Grandmimi popped into my mind and I’m going with it. We come to our femme in so many ways, with so many role models, not all of them queer. One of my femme role models was my mother’s mother, Grandmimi. Sending love to you, Grandmimi!

I learned so much from you. How to pay attention to the needs of other people, how to laugh, how much fun it is to be a ham, the importance of accessories, the joy of lipstick and what it means to be loved without reservation. Even though you gave me a chance, I never had the courage to come out to you before you died. I wish I had. I wish I had given you a chance to love me all that much more. I dream about you so often! And I wrote this small heart piece for you, part of a longer essay on coming into my femme.

Deep gratitude to Grandmimi, who loved her little queer femme granddaughter so fucking much.


            It’s morning in Sheffield, Iowa, sometime in the early 60s. I’m probably about 8, visiting for the summer. My grandmother is getting dressed in front of the big mirror in the bathroom. I’m sitting on the closed toilet, watching, because at my house, with my no-nonsense mom, nothing this exciting ever happens. Grandmimi pulls on pantyhose, a slip. Her skirt, the matching blouse. A pin, bracelet, her rings. She steps into her high, high heels. Fluffs up her hair, nails it with hairspray. Spritzes perfume. She uses an eyelash curler, mascara, powder, rouge. And finally, she untubes her red lipstick and deftly colors her lips. Now I’m standing next to her. She knows I’m down here, by her hip. She tears herself away from her fabulous reflection to swoop down in a cloud of perfume and hairspray for my morning kiss, full on the lips. Now I’m beautiful, too.

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! How did you come to your femme? How does being femme affect your life? Who are your femme role models? I am so eager to get to know you!

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 June 29, 2018 at 4:57 PM  Comments (2)  
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