Two weeks ago, I went to the Femme Conference in Baltimore. I am used to being exhausted after conferences like this, tearfully processing on the ride home, exclaiming over some bullshit someone said in some workshop. I spent the month of August traveling, trying to finish projects with all of my belongings in storage, trying to keep my “Don’t shave! No Tweezing! NO LETTING YOUR MOM WAX YOUR WHOLE FACE” pact with my Beardalicious workshop co-facilitator while my mother (jokingly?) threatened to laser my face while I was sleeping. Femme Con, for me, did not feature creative and impeccable makeup (or any makeup). I did not have day-to-night costume changes (or any costume changes). As Jessie Dress and I have discussed: We are not lazy-femme because we are lazy. We are lazy-femme because we work hard. Because we are tired.
This post-Femme Con update could easily be about fashion. About leopard print and spandex and jean vests and artfully arranged brooches. About earrings so heavy you wonder if your ears might tear, about teased up and blown out hair, about boots and heels and showing skin. Instead it’s about feelings, and power, and finding family. In a workshop on the Prison Industrial Complex, the facilitator said something like: individually, we femmes may be curiosities, or freaks, but gathered together, all in one place, we are terrifying. This is what is sticking with me, holding me together, keeping my hairy chin held high, giving me that much extra backbone. The image of hundreds of femmes sneering and stomping and kissing and building and speaking brilliant and true words. The opportunity to finally meet and spend time with Jessie and Moxie and so many others.
This may be really corny but, in that first picture, when Jessie picked me up, I was struck with the most overwhelming feeling of joy and love. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time and I think I did both, a little. I felt like I was flying, like I was being lifted up not just literally but in every sense. I cannot express enough times or in enough words how grateful I am, for that weekend, for these femmes in my life, and for the presence of femmes in the universe, this whole terrifying pack of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.