Dear Femme Momma...

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Dear Rah,

You embody beauty. It envelops you like dew in the morning. You are fresh, open, and ready. A new bloom. You are covered in lotus flowers and smell of moss, dirt, and precious resins.

How long has it been since you stared at your reflection, intently? With burning sensuality?  How long has it been since you’ve laid prostrate and took in the glory of your own being?

For a while you didn’t do this. You got lost in so many outward things. Needs of other people. Tending to them, caring for them. You forgot your ultimate power: taking care of self.

Don’t stay away too long. Know that you are The Mother. The nurturer. A warrior and protector. You nourish those around you with gold nectar dripping from your fingertips and lips. Your tears form halite crystals, and the finest floral waters excrete from your body. Walk with this and in this. Always remember to take care of yourself first. Know that this isn’t selfish. This is so that you can take care of yourself and others in the best way. Most importantly, remember that it is ok to say no.

Don’t give way to those who couldn’t appreciate you.  It’s inevitable. There will be those who care for you and appreciate you and those who don’t. There was a time you almost changed for these people. You tried to put a damper on your femme to make them comfortable. To make them less fearful of your femme. Let them be afraid. Let them say what they need to say because, truly, they need to get it out. You didn’t wear lipstick for an entire year. You barely looked in the mirror for an entire year. Who was she? What was she? She was in limbo. You are out of that space now. You came up glowing. Be proud of that. Remember the moment where you really spent time looking in the mirror at your body and sat with that excitement for an entire day? Hold that close.

Continue to keep your cool. And when questioned about who you are, tell them. Tell them that you are the femme hyena, leader of the pack. But also friend and lover to your fellow femmes.  Also tell them that you bring truth to your name. You are the innocent baby lamb that is so curious about the world around and beyond you, and you see endless possibilities. You nurture AND discipline. You are playful and full of questions. Tell them that you revel in your femininity and its power. Who cares if they know about it because they can’t take your essence from you.

Continue to be the lover who loves to love. The one that is always dripping with it. It is such a grand disappointment to find that there are very few people who can handle the love that you bring. Sharing it with yourself in solitude has become the most beautiful journey. You will encounter individuals who can share those intensities with you. Individuals who don’t grimace at your excitement. Remember who they are. Remember the words that the ones you love always tell you: You have a lot of love to give and it takes special folks who are right with themselves to be able to accept that love. You give fully and freely. It is who you are.  

Your gift of being able to put the pieces together is a real one. The way you set aside time to look at moments and trace them back to their roots is lovely. It will keep you protected in love. It will keep you level in love. And it will keep you from getting lost in love.

You are the femme mother that every queer wishes they could call lover, friend, family. You know what it means to really take care. You know what it means to embody nature. It becomes you. You are everything lovely. After all, you are Black and comely.

With all the love,

~Your shadow


I think it’s important for me to write this to myself because sometimes it’s easy to forget that I am femme inside and out. Regardless of how I am feeling with my gender on any given day I am always femme. I am always giving off that energy. It’s not something that I have always been proud of or comfy with. It’s also not something that my partners loved.

In forming new connections and maintaining old ones, I see what it means to be worshipped, to be treated as that femme hyena. It takes a lot for me to walk in that but it is who I am and it is what I constantly strive to work towards.  And this isn’t purely sexual. To be worshipped and seen for my full femme self means to be challenged and engaged by those I share love with. It means that my work and productivity aren’t to be rated and placed on scales. The work that I put out and the beauty I create is on my time and is the best because it is mine. It means that I am held and shown that I can ask questions, that I do have a safe space to say “I don’t know” or “Show me” and I get that truly and fully. I can NOT have to know everything. I can be free from the expectation of ‘intellectual capacity.’ I can share my knowledge and be in a space where I am always ready to learn more—I don’t have to pretend to be a know it all. I can appreciate that I have been taught something new.  It means that there are no masks, just real faces. Flesh on flesh. Mind to mind. It’s hard to find folks who can be that way with you but it’s beautiful when you do.

I love that Corinne and I can both be there for each other in different ways. I love to make sure that she is taking care of herself and accepting nurturing energy into her life especially in fragile times. She has helped me to be deliberate with everything that I seek and keep a constant mindset that I deserve all of it. I don’t have to carry all of everyone’s feelings with me. I am worthy even though some folks aren’t ready and possibly may not be worthy of the love I have to give. And I don’t think this is fully about our identifications of mommy/daddy, but i think that our identifications do bring these things to a grandiose level.

I love that my friends also remind me of this. I am shown every day that while capitalism runs everything around us, we are full of questions and are open to criticism so that we can be our best selves for, to, and with each other and ultimately, with ourselves first. I took a love language test recently and it made me think about how I move in my relationships with friends and with my connections with lovers. I find that my friends are often my best lovers and I am also that for them. I see that we challenge and love each other so much that our lovers have a very tight network to weave into. But those lovers who do hold that space and appreciate it are very special. I know the true definition of a tribe. Even when there is distance between us I feel connected. It makes me think about all the ways I can and should open myself up to receive what I give out. That’s what makes love connections special. I’m usually the person who is nurturing, the one who is listening. But mothers deserve care as well. We deserve tender moments. Especially since we are always put on the line to take care of so much—and protect so much, we deserve that reverence in return, and ideally first and foremost.

Being proud of being a femme mommy is most challenging. The shit that you get when you embody this is pretty much like the shit that our Earth takes on. You have people who think that being a mommy means one thing only (and usually that thing is overworked and run down)—what happens with those connections we have where we are both mother and father? What happens when we as femme mothers have to be provider, protector, nurturer, and healer? What happens when people have very shallow definitions of what it is to be a femme mommy or daddy? Aka very binary views of both—mommy=nurturing, submissive, domestic, caring; daddy=authoritative, provider, self-sufficient, unemotional. How are these characteristics replicated even in our queer relationships? These are questions that need answers.

When I think of my mother self and what that means, I think of the moments I’ve spent with just me, really asking myself hard questions and getting to know more about unfamiliar yet familiar parts of myself. I think of the dreams I have and the conversations I have with those close to me.

I think of my mother self as Black first and always. I think about the Black mothers and Black women who I love and surround myself with. I think of moments where we are taught that we have to be hard. Taught that we have to hesitate and be on the defensive so much, taught that there are particular expectations we have to uphold—this deals with our collective traumas that we haven’t always dealt with.  But I think that these collective experiences, traumatic or not, have taught us (those of us who walk in this) we embody a special type of mother. We are everything wrapped in one. I truly feel that my mother self can be hard but also remembers to be soft because of what I have processed over the years and how I have gotten to know myself. I remember that not all mothers have to be emotional all the time and we don’t have to carry others’ emotions either. We are allowed to demand that others carry and take care of their own emotions. We are allowed to distance ourselves from the nurturing process and love on ourselves or love on people who are serving us at any moment in time. We are allowed to be curious and to explore and make mistakes and get messy (yes that’s TOTALLY a Ms. Frizzle reference—Corinne told me that I am basically Ms. Frizzle). I feel that if you’ve never made a mess that you’ve never lived life. But I am fascinated by folks who can organize their mess. That’s a beautiful thing.

When I think of what it means to bring these attributes of mother into my queer identity I think of how I always hold true to these aspects of my mother self:

  • Not being the emotional baggage carrier—because in reality that never works. People should process on their own, guidance is valid but I cannot and will not process someone’s emotions with them entirely—the only time this is needed is when you are in a close relationship with someone and you are processing how each of your emotions affect the other and influence where the relationship is/could be going.

  • I am not your healer. I am a vessel that can be used to inspire others’ healing, but I am not the ultimate healer. People heal themselves. Those moments of true belief in self is beautiful. Such a breathtaking thing to watch. We forget that we have the ability to heal ourselves and to overcome. We have the ability to use all of what our Earth and what our universe has to offer and shape it in our hands into what we want it to be. In healing my own self I know that this is true. After having surgery on my fibroids I knew exactly what I needed in order to heal. I manifested those things and I am healed. In the spots where I am most tender, I show more love and care. There’s always room for growth. I think that knowing how to communicate what is hurting or what is at the forefront of your thoughts is important. Communication is key. But constantly leaning on another for care is selfish and toxic. Community is there for a reason. We need to build better communities so that our lovers and friends can have multiple places to access their healing powers instead of relying solely on their lovers to do this work for them.

  • I am allowed to spread my love—again, not purely sexual. I could never see myself loving just one person. I bring my friends into my non-monogamy and I also bring myself into it. I have a very unconditional love of self and it has come from a long journey of traumas, missed/wrong connections, failures, mistakes, and the messiest of messes. I have trusted too quickly, I have said too much, I have been vulnerable in unsafe spaces. Coming out of that I give myself full freedom to love fully. I see how lovely it is to share my experience with others who reciprocate and reflect love back to me. I also hold close that I don’t put a hierarchy on my love. I am very matter of fact. My excitement or my time spent with a particular person is just that, and I always hold that the individuals I love must respect that. I also in turn do that for other folks. I also hold space for time spent with the ego.

  • I love the way that masculinity flourishes within femininity. I love the way that there is an ebb and flow of both of these aspects within myself and within who I connect with. I love that there are multiple ways to be masculine and feminine. I love the energy that exists between the two. I love how I can explore this in my relationships and within my identity as femme mother—to be put into a space of full vulnerability and to trust that I do not need to be in protector mode is what true freedom looks like for me.  I also know that these attributes of masculine and feminine have been taught to me, are recycled in our society, and can be recipes for toxicity. I am always looking for knew ways to name what I express and what I interact with.

  • I am always in need of unwavering love of my curiosity and playfulness. They’re parts of me that I feel are at the root and forefront of who I am. I am curious. I am youthful. I am always in love with searching for new answers to questions that I carry with me. I remember having someone call me because they got freaked out that I was really excited and happy to text them and vibe w them. It was the most hilarious moment. I felt it was hilarious because we barely exchanged messages yet, when we did I was excited about it and I guess very aggressive with it. I let them have that and sit with it because honestly it wasn’t something that I needed to address with myself. They made incorrect assumptions and I didn’t feel like doing the labor to correct it. I love letting people know how excited I am to share space and time with them. I think it takes the most sound individuals to hold that excitement and not turn it into something it’s not. This is why I appreciate everything femme. We have a mutual understanding of what that excitement is. We know that it is a way to be honest. We should be honest about all of the things that move us—and I am very much so. Even the things that get me hot headed or set me off —I communicate that and let people know and sometimes it can be intense. What are we taught as femmes? We are taught that consistent words of affirmation mean that there is an attachment of sorts. We are taught that consistent checking in or extreme excitement is annoying—you don’t want to be seen as needy do you? You don’t want to be unattractive. You want to have an air of mystery about you. That air of mystery is in your energy not in your words. You words should always be direct and fearless. Your words should be matter of fact. I think that my excitement and the way I communicate are sometimes put into boxes because people aren’t used to honesty. People are used to things being hidden until the right moment comes to let it out. Until they’ve gotten what they want. Why not be your true self from the start? Let the layers unfold. Maybe it’s because I think there are always new things about myself that I can share, things that I never noticed about myself that sometimes come up that I just say what’s on my mind. I appreciate the folks who like my excitement and see it for what it is and don’t allow how and what they have been taught to morph it into stereotypes. We must always ask questions. I feel that the ways we communicate with each other can sometimes reflect how other life beings communicate. If only we could all really study and pay attention to that, maybe we could learn to exist together, maybe we could learn to love each other better. Maybe we could learn to be with each other without having to lean on masculine or feminine notions. We could just  move in it.

Femme mother is taking all of these aspects of self and holding them high and being proud of them. It’s not letting someone put me in a certain category. It’s really asking someone to read the energy I put off and having them understand and respect it. It’s in asking all of the questions always in all ways. It’s not just ‘going with the flow’. It’s not just having chill moments only. I revel in moments that aren’t always chill. I revel in the moments where uncomfortable conversations have to be had. Even when I’m scared I know these things must happen. They don’t always happen of course. And there are many times where things are left unsaid because of my fear. There are times connections have been cut off because of my fear. This is why it is important to leave room for error/failure.

There is this false notion that in order to operate on higher levels you have to do away with the parts of yourself that experience unattractive feelings. This is the only way you can be an attractive and valid mate. You aren’t vibrating higher if you don’t acknowledge those feelings. You aren’t vibrating higher if you think that disagreements should never happen. You certainly aren’t vibrating higher if you mindlessly move throughout life without processing what you are moving through and why. There’s a difference between not wanting conflicting energies setting within yourself or within your relationships and completely shutting out any and all emotions. In one situation you make space to sort what is conflicting out, in the other you dance around it until it becomes this thing that is larger than you could ever imagine. Being a Femme Mother allows me to navigate these spaces and know how to discern what I am dealing with—and to some it may be a surprise that I got this guidance from my father.

I guess the forever looming question is how do I bring being femme mother into my kink world?

I  literally love taking care to the point where it is such a turn on for me. I love to bathe, to oil up, I love to discipline in a nurturing way—asking how one feels, giving someone exactly what they ask for when they communicate it fully and teasing them and keeping that from them when they aren’t fully direct. It is a reflection of who I am for myself. And what I need for myself. I’m not always the most confident person in the bedroom. I think that full on communication and talking is what gets me going. And also feeling that strong desire and vibe from a lover is the key that unlocks my complete confidence in being the best lover I can be. I love having a daddy that I can vibe off of. It’s so good to have that strength and power that really pushes me into being confident—demands that I be confident. That’s just the tip of things, but yes. My femme mother self is always seeking to please.

Do you know how to operate within your Femme Mother self?  What does it look like for you? How do you take it out of the sexual realm and into your everyday—OR do you operate as Femme Mother sexually only and in another way in your everyday (this is important to know)? What has your journey to being your ultimate Femme Mother looked like?

This is part one of a blog series, tune back in tomorrow for Corinne's piece "Dear Femme Daddy..."

Rahel Neirene