Meditations for Queer Femmes – Keep That Queer Femme Energy Comin’!

Friday night, Tex and I went to the Dyke March. Saturday afternoon we had a little neighborhood Pride gathering in our driveway. Yesterday, we went to our town’s Pride event on the grounds of Town Hall.

At the Dyke March, we marched with the Urvies, holding signs with photos of Urvashi Vaid (1958-2022) and chanting things like:

Never straight! Always curvy! We are marching for our Urvi!

and

We’re dykes! Don’t touch us! We’ll kill you!

and

2, 4, 6, 8! Right wing assholes, stop the hate!

My sign said: Crush White Supremacy on one side, and Fuck SCOTUS on the other.

Being with the Urvies, talking with younger folx to let them know who Urvashi was, shouting out our anger, grief, and community connection with other dykes was deeply, deeply satisfying.

In our driveway on Saturday neighborhood queers of all ages and situations mingled and chatted. I organized an extremely ad hoc mini-Pride parade for the kids – one mom decorated her daughter’s bike handles with festive rainbow socks. A bit chaotic, as these events always are, we were still able to chit chat and get to know each other just that much better. It was chill, and sweet, and slightly chaotic (there were tears and scraped knees from some of the younger set). I loved it.

Yesterday, groups of rainbowed out middle schoolers sat together on the grass, many wearing various flags as capes. A young lesbian, member of the high school Gender/Sexuality Alliance walked around hanging out rainbow beads to anyone who needed some. Town officials, including the chief of police, select board members, and commissioners from the Rainbow Commission read the 2016 proclamation announcing the creation of the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission. I hugged friends and colleagues I hadn’t seen in a couple of years and chatted with a few of the kids. I really miss chatting with queer kids, so my soul was fed.

There was no Pride in Boston this year, which, according to Joan Ilacqua in an opinion piece earlier this month might be a good thing, as it gives us time as a community to reassess what our needs are and to address them. As Ilacqua says, “[o]ur community’s resilience and joy are some of its defining features and part of its greatest strength”.  

I gathered strength from the three Pride events this weekend. Motivated by my love of queers, I’ve done my most fulfilling work, from organizing in my town (I was so proud to be the Rainbow Commission’s first chair, for example) to the writing I’m doing now. It’s the spark that keeps me going, it’s the most essential part of who I am.

You, beauties. Your spark, your queer femme joy, your strength in the face of it all. Not just for Pride month. Not just for these joyous gatherings, but always, always. What can you do every fucking day to plug in to that source of queer abundance? What do you do? Large and small, you gather it in and then you give it back out. We need each other. We need you.

Your queer femme joy is without compare.

I love you.

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. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. 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.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on June 13, 2022 at 10:13 AM  Comments (2)  
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Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – The National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey

I’d picked up the little card promoting this survey at Womencrafts at some point, and it had been kicking around for months before I finally buckled down and took the survey. I knew Urvashi Vaid was involved in working on this effort, but this was before she died. I urge all readers of this blog to take the survey now, for yourself, for our community, in honor of Urvashi’s brilliant work. What is this survey, you ask? From the website:

We are everywhere — writing, teaching, organizing, creating, building fantastic businesses. And leading major initiatives – whether in the political arena, social justice movements, the arts, tech, academia, medicine or law,

And yet — we are also nowhere.

We are the punchline of endless jokes – our hopeless fashion, our overparenting, and our unfathomable sex lives. But, the hard truths of our lives – how we survive every day at the intersections of sexism, racism, ableism, homo-, bi-, queer- and transphobias – somehow these barely register in the public policy arena. This is often true even in our own LGBTQ+ movement spaces.

The concerns of LGBTQ+ women who partner with women are dismissed with the wave of a hand, and yet, what do gatekeepers and policy makers know about our lives?”

This survey is gathering information for the above and so many other reasons.  

And we go forward, in sisterhood and on fire. As the survey website says in their tribute to Urvashi, “We press forward with her commanding spirit at our back.”

Press forward, queer femme sweetnesses!

Take the survey!

https://www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org/

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. If you have a favorite, let me know and I’ll post it! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. 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.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Iris Season

Pale purple, yellow and rust, ruffly white, vibrant blue, irises are blooming. My maternal grandmother loved irises, and a clutch that she gave us bloomed on our front lawn most of my childhood. Irises remind me of Grandma Daisy, of the way she saw beauty in the world, of the way she passed that beauty on. In her unsurpassed pie crusts. Her impeccable housekeeping. Her eye as she mixed all her own paints and kept her home clothed in turquoise and pink, her favorite colors. How she taught me to make spit curls in my hair, a talent left over from her days as the most beautiful girl in her county. She wasn’t an easy woman – just ask her surviving children – but she had her own unique connection to the lovely and that legacy lives on in me.

            As I mourn the passing of Urvashi Vaid and read about her legacy, I have been thinking about my own connection to the lovely. For me, that’s all about contributing to the creation, sustainability, and celebration of queer community. Right now, my promise to Urvashi, to myself, to my community, to the wide, wide world, is that I will refocus on and recommit to my queer writing, which is the gift I’ve been given and the gift I can give.

            My angels, my queer femme dragonflies, I am basking in your glory, in your gifts today. Shine the light on yourselves and remember your impact on all that is good and glorious today: the twirl of a skirt, the flicker of an eye, the mirth, the birth, the way you see. The definition of “gift” is boundless and without judgement: yours are shining, shining. I am bathed in that light and the world benefits.

            Be proud and loud and beautiful and bright, my treasures!

            I see.

I see you.

I see us.

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. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. 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.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on May 23, 2022 at 11:36 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Femme Friday – Goodbye, Urvashi. Goodbye, Beloved.

To my knowledge, Urvashi Vaid didn’t identify as femme, so that’s not what this Femme Friday is about. It’s about how Urvashi loved all queers so much that she did the millions of utterly astounding things that she did for us – and for the world — including writing the brilliant Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay & Lesbian Liberation in 1995, being the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, starting the first ever lesbian super PAC, LPAC, and just so much more fierce, amazing, generous work. Over the years I often saw her and her wife, Kate Clinton (oh, Kate, so much love!) around Provincetown, and one time attended their New Year’s bonfire at Herring Cove. I am weeping reading about her now. Here’s just one of the many accolades, from her alma mater, Northeastern:

“I know everyone uses ‘intersectionality.’ It’s become a buzzword and everyone talks about it, but the reality is that years before it was even a word, that’s just the way Urvashi operated,” Cathy Renna, communication director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, said. “She knew, in that uncompromising way that she always did, that that’s how we needed to approach our work.

“She wasn’t ahead of the curve. She was the curve. She was the unstoppable force that made us bend.”

Deep gratitude, Urvashi. Inspiring us. Forever. Accompanying us. Forever. In our hearts. Forever.

From Virtual Equality – I just opened it at random. It’s all gold.

What are we seeking power to achieve? A liberation movement’s answer differs from the liberal politics of single-issue and gay rights that we currently espouse. A liberation movement seeks fundamental social change: we are for a just world in which racism, homophobia, sexism, economic injustice, and other systems of domination are frankly addressed and replaced with new models. Such a movement begins first of all with an act of faith that the movement and society are possible. Put another way, this faith in social change is what the theorist bell hooks has so elegantly termed “the power of disbelief.” We must disbelieve in the permanence of things as they are in order to believe in our ability to launch a new gay and lesbian liberation movement.   –pp236-8, Chapter Seven, Politics and Power.

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, femmelife! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. 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.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on May 20, 2022 at 12:05 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Pingy-Dingy Wednesday — Be Transformative, Not Transfixed

There is solid advice, as well as much-needed inspiration and ideas for fighting the power in the generous and brilliant work of our shakers and movers. Because of the nature of oppression, work done last year, 5 years ago, 15 years ago, 25, 50 years ago and more still calls us to action, comforts us, connects us to the long resistance, and reminds us that we are not alone.

Today, let’s all SWOT with Urvashi Vaid, whose giant, queer, compassionate, creative brain and heart are giant, queer, compassionate, creative gifts to the entire world.

Urvashi, we need you more than ever, and you get one pingy-dingy!

Be Transformative, Not Transfixed

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ 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, laughter and inspiration, 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 from other online queer darlings.

 

Published in: on August 9, 2017 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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