Meditations for Queer Femmes — The Neutral Zone

This year of the empty nest is an emotional roller coaster for me, middle aged femme mama, that I am. Grief, loss, and panic come and go, interspersed with relief, excitement, and a sense of possibility. My therapist recently told me I’m in The Neutral Zone, something that comes after Endings and before New Beginnings. (It also reminds us both pleasantly of Star Trek.) In The Neutral Zone, said my dear wise shrink, it’s important to allow yourself time to experience the most prominent emotion and also to go full-tilt with whatever it is that gives you the purest joy. So in my case, I guess I need to be listening to a lot of sad songs and writing like my life depends on it.

This past weekend I made time to clean out my jam-packed writing file drawer so I would have more room for and access to my current projects. Even though the unorganized files were a little overwhelming, what I understood quite viscerally as I sorted through them is that I love to write, I’ve always written, and, as hard and full of mind-fuck as it is, it gives me such joy. Also, the things I write about have always reflected my politics and my unique take on the world. Like Tex remarked recently, “Other people can do our day jobs, but only we can make our art.”

The poem below fluttered out of a folder this weekend, and I was so glad to find it again. It’s something I wrote right when I was figuring out I was queer, before I’d even had sex with a woman. I already knew I was a butch-lovin’ femme and I had so much joy and anticipation about meeting the butch of my dreams! I didn’t know that I would have to wait years and years, but that’s a different story. I include the poem here for the pure joy of it, but also because it’s a reminder that in art is truth and in truth is connection to something bigger than yourself. Follow the truth and you find your way out of The Neutral Zone.

Today, sweet femme sisters, make room for joy. Reconnect with your queer truth. Lean into the support and nourishment that beats in you like a fiery heart. Whatever your art, go full tilt.

P.S. There are a lot of break up tunes, but sending-your-babies-out-into-the-world-and-feeling-griefregretfearfreakout songs? Send recommendations my way!!


If you fit your suit all long and lanky,

and in your pocket is a folded hanky;

if your name is Kit or Frankie or Des,

or something equally genderless,

if you’re wearing something to catch my eye,

like a strap-on snug between your thighs,

then chances are I’ll adjust my frock,

and watch real close as you walk that walk.

I’ll touch up my lipstick, fluff my hair,

imagine you stripping me with manly flair.

When you ask me to dance, I might play hard to get,

moving real pretty until we’re both wet.

When you buy me a drink to salute my charm,

I’ll notice the tat on your wiry forearm.

When you buy me another to salute my style,

I’ll sip it demurely, but all the while

I’m planning my moves and weighing my chances,

making sure that I’ve caught your fancy.

Crossing my legs, I’m checking you out,

my eyes are traveling both north and south.

I’m watching you smile with your crooked grin,

creamily opening, inviting you in.

I retire to the Ladies as you watch my ass

and come back relieved with double the sass.

We dance some more, this time cheek-to-cheek;

I reach down below and give you a tweak.

You pull me close, I inhale your smell –

we’re way smooth together, and I can just tell,

when you take me home and lay me down,

we’ll fuck so brilliant it’ll light up the town.

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.

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 March 5, 2018 at 3:41 PM  Comments (6)  
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When I Was Your Age — A Meditation for Queer Femmes

The freckle-faced young white femme shows up at the meeting wearing dark purple lipstick, her curly red hair in pigtails, her feet in high-heeled silver boots. Today, members of the QSA are going before the school board to educate them about LGBTQ+ identities and issues. The young femme speaks knowledgably and with great passion about demi-boys, demi-girls and other identities, about the reasons you might want to put your pronoun in your signature line, and about the ins and outs of queer community online. She is thirteen.

When I was your age, I was wearing Beatles t-shirts and obsessing over John Lennon. My best girlfriend and I waited on the sidewalk outside of the Dakotas and finally saw John leaving. We were too cool to ask for an autograph, just fluttered about, telling him how much his music meant to us.

The young Latinx femme wears fire engine red lipstick and gauzy scarves. One of her paintings takes up the whole wall, part-graphic novel, part-geometric tromp-l’oeil. Her passion spills out in her laughter and her mad dashes as she greats friends and fans, guiding them around the gallery. She is twenty-two.

When I was your age, I was trying so hard to be straight. I thought something was broken inside me, that my romance was broken. I couldn’t write, or only if I tricked myself by listening to music as I sat in front of the typewriter, pretending it wasn’t a big deal, that it wasn’t anything, really. I chose to date mean, unavailable straight guys, perhaps in an unconscious move to self-sabotage myself. I didn’t have words for being queer and didn’t come out for another eight years.

Dear young femmes, when you are my age, may your long, queer lives have given you lots of sex and joy and adventure and satisfaction. May you be loved and loving, creating your art, weathering life surrounded by your darlings. May you have made a difference in the world.

When you are my age, may you be held in community and in family, resting secure in your femme wisdom.

Just as I am.

Every Monday (or Tuesday), I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was a fabulous straight femme, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

Published in: on February 28, 2017 at 4:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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