April 9th, 2013 maggie
Two shows coming up!
We’re super excited for Femmetastic: the Femme Show in Brooklyn!
Featuring Bikini Thrill and guests Essence Revealed and T.L. Cowan. And back for ONE NIGHT ONLY Elizabeth Whitney and Lea Robinson as Bitches with Barrettes.
Sunday, May 5, doors at 6:30, show at 7:00 PM Zoo Theater at Triskelion Arts, 118 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY. Tickets $10 in advance at http://femmetastic.brownpapertickets.com/, $12 cash only at the door.
With Sabina Ibarolla, Rachel Kahn, Maggie Cee, GeeGee Louise and Amy Raina.
That same weekend, we’ll be joining Stonewall Speakers for their 25th Anniversary Bash and fundraiser. It’s really remarkable that this group of volunteers has been going into schools and talking about the gay for 25 years! Should be an epic party.
April 2nd, 2013 maggie
Great show in Portland this weekend with Stripwrecked Burlesque, 5G and Nerdy Femme!
It was a very dressed up audience, with some adorable babies, too! I love traveling with this crew and the show we put together.
We’re taking April off and we’ll see you in CT and NY in May!
February 26th, 2013 maggie
The snow is starting to slooowly melt here in Boston – I’m hoping I’ll be able to find my car soon so we can get to these shows! Won’t you come and spread the word?
Spring Tour Dates:
Friday, March 22, 1:15-2:30 PM True Colors Conference, UCONN, Storrs, CT. Conference registration required.
Saturday, March 30, 8:00 PM Mayo St. Arts Center, 10 Mayo Street, Portland, ME. $11 Advance/$13 door. *With 5G and Gingerita and Shipwrecked Burlesque*
Saturday, May 4, 8:00 PM OUT LOUD! Stonewall Speakers 25th Anniversary Bash The Spaceland Ballroom, 295 Treadwell Street
Hamden, CT. $20 advance/$25 door.
Sunday, May 5, 7:00 PM Zoo Theater at Triskelion Arts, 118 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY. Tickets $10 in advance, $12 cash only at the door.
November 27th, 2012 maggie
Hi Folks! A guest post today from Janie, a stellar organizer I’m proud to also call a friend. Janie is a veteran of queer and femme communities and I’m so proud to share some of her thoughts.
Janie will use any excuse to be super-femme & fearless! Her activism began quietly in the bisexual movement in the late 90s, gained momentum when she helped organize the 2006 Transcending Boundaries conference, and burst forth with madFemmePride in 2007. She digs radically inclusive events and LOVES how people of all stripes & genders are creating a femme-centric friendly revolution in Boston!! This is what queer community looks like:www.meetup.com/madfemmepride !
1. Suggestion: Don’t label someone else femme.
Why? Here’s an example:
At FemmeCon 2012 workshop, I listened as a conference participant reported: “I was trying to explain to a straight friend of mine what the Femme Conference was and I said ‘you’re kind of a femme, you wear a lot of feminine things. But it’s really more for queer women.’”
I know, it’s easy for any of us to do this casually. But this is a problem. People need to be able to chose their own gender, not be cornered into one. Even if “femme” is an expansive, totally inclusive, wonderfully supportive, fabulous, flexible gender (which I think it is), it still doesn’t mean that we have the right to push anyone into that corner of the gender room.
I feel passionate about getting the word out that anyone can label themselves a femme – anyone who wants to be femme (or sometimes femme), is absolutely welcome.
But no matter how inclusive a category is, it doesn’t make it ok to give someone that label. We need to be careful to avoid telling people what their gender is. (This goes for other genders, too. I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell someone that they are “such a butch” unless you’ve already had a conversation with them about their gender identity.) I’ve found, as femmes, we’re quite often told how what we’re doing “proves” that we are femme, and hear other people being called “femme,” even when they don’t chose this label for themselves. Labeling someone without their consent is disrespectful – and honestly, it’s also rude.
In addition, slapping on a label flattens people’s experience, by refusing to honor their true human complexity – just because someone “looks femme” it doesn’t mean they “are femme.” But femme labeling happens. It reminds me of the many bisexual men who have been told by gay men “oh, you’re really gay,” even when the bi men do not chose that identity for themselves.
Solution: Use the descriptor “femmey” instead.
If you find yourself starting to slip down that slippery slope of labeling someone a femme by saying things like “that’s pretty femme,” etc., pause and keep an eye on yourself. And if you really really need to do some kind of labeling of an actual person, try using “femmey” – as a descriptor – rather than pasting a nonconsensual label over someone’s gender expression.
Check it out: I was trying to explain to a straight friend of mine what the Femme Conference was and I said “you’re kind of femmey, because you wear feminine things sometimes, but ‘femme’ is a chosen gender identity, with its roots in feminism, that celebrates whatever bits and pieces of femininity a person chooses.”
2. Suggestion: Don’t say “femme ON femme”
Yes, I know. “Femme ON femme” can be considered a reclaiming of porn language. However, because there is still so much damn sexism both in the queer community and the world at large, it doesn’t feel like a reclaiming yet. Perhaps when we’re done with the work of reforming the patriarchy? Let me know when we’re there and then I’ll reconsider, k?
Solution: Say “femme-femme”
Until we topple sexism, I would encourage us all to just say “femme-femme,” the same way we’d say “butch-femme” or “bondage-domination” or any other description.
Besides the porn reference, the “ON” draws attention to the connection, implying that it’s rare and unusual. And honestly, femme-femme connections, friendships, dating, hot anonymous sex dates, etc. are neither rare nor unusual. There are tons of people in all kinds of femme-femme relationships. (Yay!) We wanna celebrate them (us), not make us feel like we’re some kind of novelty. We’re not a novelty. We’re hot n’ sexy NOT because porn says we are. We’re hot n’ sexy because we KNOW we are.
3. Suggestion: Don’t say things like “I’m a femme, but I still / but I don’t _____.”
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what goes in the blank – anything from physical proof of strength to what happens to bed or any other gendered activity.
And I’m not just talking about being cautious in published manifestos here. The personal is political. All those little things we tell our friends and lovers and sisters and co-workers (etc.) all clump together to make a broad universal concept of what “femme” is.
It’s important to me that we’re NOT perpetuating a myth of “femme” as something:
that automatically excludes “less feminine” aspects of ourselves
that’s hard to achieve / requires a certain amount/level of “femmeness”
I’m serious: all these little myths we tell ourselves and each other can be dangerous.
I want “femme” to keep on feeling more and more accessible to whoever wants to put femme on / do femme / be femme, this lovely creative gender. And I want “femme” people to feel totally comfy doing and being all kinds of not-traditionally-feminine things and not feel like their gender identity is called into question because of that (see above re: feminist roots).
Solution: Say “I’m a femme. And I also ____.”
November 1st, 2012 maggie
And now, a few words from our sponsor. JK, it’s Maggie, putting on my MadFemmePride hat* to tell you about our awesome Recipe for MadFemmeMagic that we’ve been spreading. Myself and a few other MFP organizers (now unofficially known as Team Conference) have been fortunate enough to present our Femme Friendly social organizing strategies at 3 conferences over the past 3 months. With all of that under our belts, I’d like to share some of my personal opinions about why and how MFP works.
*(MadFemmePride and the Femme Show like to collaborate, and I am a MadFemmePride organizer, but the Femme Show is not a project of MadFemmePride or vice versa.)
From MFP’s mission statement:
Friendly, hot, safe, fun, queer, Femme-Friendly events for all who support and respect freedom of gender expression, especially Femme Visibility.
Totally-Genuine, positive community for LBGT folks, especially fem(me)inists & diversity-conscious queers of all Colors.
no “scene” or “in-crowd”
100% new-girl friendly!
we’ve always been inclusive of trans and bi folks.
we’re femme-positive, but not only femme queer women.
**mfp FEMMEininity is fierce, fluid, feminist, chosen, empowering, & defined and performed by Us as unique individuals.**
MFP has been going strong since 2005 and we have over 3,000 members on meetup.com. While that doesn’t mean that 3,000 people come to any one event (thank goodness! we’d have to rent out gillette stadium. or at least Fenway Park), we do have a robust, ever-evolving membership. And 7+ years is a long time for an all-volunteer, bare-bones community organization to stay alive and vibrant. I highly recommend you check out the excellent hirstory compiled here. You can even see a copy of our founder’s original email recruiting femmes and friends for the Pride Parade.
We proposed this workshop for the Femme Conference because time spent in other femme and queer communities outside of Boston has shown us that our inclusive, femme-centric organizing model is pretty unique and makes a special, welcoming space that we hope others can learn from.
Upon returning from Baltimore we were offered the opportunity to present a version of the workshop to pride festival and community organizers at InterPride, and our workshop was accepted to Transcending Boundaries, which took place this past weekend.
Femme community building is hard work, folks. In the workshops we talked a lot about logistics, finances, event spaces, and organizer burnout. We also talked about defining femme, creating safer spaces, cliques, and drama (dyke or otherwise). The thing I love most about MadFemmePride is that by welcoming everyone who wants to be part of femininity-friendly, femme-living community, we really do welcome all kinds of femmes.
I fervently believe that the ONLY way to make space open to questioning femmes and femmes who might wonder if the word is broad enough to include them is to invite EVERYONE. Because if you know your andro, butch, and non-femme friends are welcome, you know that you’re welcome too, no matter what kind of maybe-maybe-not, sometimes, kinda-sorta femme you might be on any given day.
Another strength is our #1 event-planning question: What does this event feel like for someone who comes alone and doesn’t know anyone? Finding ways to make new folks comfortable is how we keep bringing new members in. We offer conversation starters, volunteer opportunities, and activities and pretty soon we’ve got them hooked.
We hear a lot about femme communities plagued by cliques and competition. By welcoming everyone with out separating “femmes” from “allies” we avoid a dynamic that puts femmes on one side and people who want to date them on the other side. People can mingle, dance, date, hook up, make out, lesbian merge and/or marry whomever catches their eye (there are at least 4 mfp marriages or engagements, and countless dates and hook-ups!). This creates a welcoming space for folks who dig femme-femme (or anything at all!) and cuts down on the feeling that we have to compete with each other for dates.
As for cliques, we expect people to make friends and hang out with them outside of MFP. Making connections is one of our main goals! These folks might never come to MFP again, or they might attend events with their posse. Our community and activities draw people in so that even if you come with friends, you’ll find yourself talking to new folks, too!
All this is painting a pretty rosy picture, and it’s important to acknowledge that we’re far from perfect. We’re always learning, growing and being challenged by our community. It’s all part of the process and we’re happy to share our experiences. Thanks to all the wonderful folks at FemmeCon, Interpride, and Transcending Boundaries who came along to the ride, and thanks to our amazing community!
Here’s a handy PDF of our workshop handout, with our missions statement and guidelines for events.
Comment and tell us what femme community you have in your area! And if you’re in Boston, check out Bust*Out coming up November 10th!
October 4th, 2012 maggie
Hi femmes and friends! It’s a little late for a re-cap, maybe. And you can read some great coverage of the performances from Cara at Autostraddle and Angela at Go Deeper Press. So here are a few of my favorite performance photos and backstage memories.
obligatory group shot on stage. this year we warmed up to “Little Plastic Castle” AND “Call Me Maybe.”
I wish we got our awesome backstage team in there! We’re missing pictures of the interpreters, too. Consider this your shout-out – you rocked it! Our new FemmeSM (StageManager) Megan was amazing. Hales did a great job with the SPPSSM cameo, and my roommates switched off so they could each see the show from the front.
Former Femmetern Allie T. joined us on Friday to take pictures. She got some amazing action shots! I love that we had so much dance and movement in this year’s show. And I didn’t do any dancing! I just stood there and talked.
GeeGee Louise busting out what we in the ballet world call a “kitri jump.”
Too much hottness from Bitches of Destiny in “Mein Herr.”
Read the rest of this entry »
September 19th, 2012 maggie
1. Tell us one of your favorite Femme Show memories:
I’m a total sucker for old tour memories and stories. Doing bizarre things in parking lots, playing Queer Performance Art Bingo, spending 10,000 miles in a tiny Yaris, meeting new people…
2.Describe your performance for the fall show in 5 words or less:
1. SPPSSM: Good etiquette takes you everywhere.
2. Reading: Apparently, I have some feelings.
3. Why are you proud of your Femme?
I’m proud of my Femme because it doesn’t need to stand in opposition to anything else or as a complement to anything else (although when it happens to shake out that way, that’s cool too). My Femme is valuable and important and substantial and radical and transformative all on its own, and on its own terms. I’m proud of my Femme because it is flexible, and indestructible, and inclusive, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. (I’m also proud of my Femme because it finally learned how to wear 24 hour lip color. Good job, my Femme! That stuff is amazing!)
4. What is one stereotype associated with femininity that you are just sick of hearing?
It may be more of a general stereotype, but I see it applied to femininity/feminine people all the time and it drives me positively bananas: I cannot stand the myth of scarcity. The idea that communities and identities aren’t big enough to hold all of us, that we’re somehow competing for a limited amount of emotional resources, of any resources, of attention, of opportunities, of visibility, of love/sex/affection, of stories, of interest, and blah blah blah whatever. In my experience, femininity– and specifically Femme identity– is completely about the opposite of that. It’s about making space and making room and creating a reality where there’s enough for everyone, and we work together to continue to be expansive and affirming and dangerous. It’s about counter-acting these fears of scarcity with a reality of total abundance.
5.What are you wearing to the after party?
The jury is still out, but I’m 99% sure that whatever it is won’t be mine.