Dear Baby Femme,
The brain is spongy and the world is toxic. Sometimes, when times are hard, you might absorb pain so covert and foul, you start to think it’s you–your voice, your ideas, your energy. It’s not! But it’s damn near impossible to fight on your own–no matter how fierce of a warrior you are.
So surround yourself with other fierce femme warriors who will carry mirrors way stronger than any demon clinging to your shoulders, who will remind you how brilliant and loved and dynamic you are no matter how much you fight it, who you trust to lay hands and words and magic and love on you to help you exorcise the demons out, even if that exorcism takes weeks and months.
Choose femmes who will make time for you. Those who will knock on your door when they don’t see you, who will ask you if they can make care-teams on your behalf, who will go with you to the ocean or the lake, who will exercise, dance, sing, laugh and cry with you; who will go with you to your doctor or your therapist when lethargy or agoraphobia has taken over, who will crack jokes with you about your crazy, who you don’t have to perform “sanity” for, who you can process your exes with years later, who you can be emotionally naked with.
Choose femmes who treat you like your healthiest imagination of family, love and friendship.
Choose femmes who you can listen to when they give you difficult feedback, when they hold your hand and tell you you’re wrong, when they put up boundaries for their own self-care and well being, when they call you in or tell you that you have hurt them, when they ask you those vulnerable questions you’ve been avoiding answering for yourself.
Sometimes, for some of us, conflict is the greatest indicator of trust and love. So choose femmes who you would do the same for, who you would go to battle for, who you can caretake without feeling exhausted, who honors your time and boundaries, who understands the word ‘no,’ who can listen when you say, ‘Ouch,” who won’t treat you like a resource, who won’t gaslight or blame you, who won’t be dishonest with you, who won’t make you feel like where you are or how you feel are too heavy.
Choose your femmes like you are choosing your tomorrow. You deserve the absolute best in friendship, in intimacy, in connection, in love, and in queer family. We need each other.
Vanessa Rochelle Lewis is a queer, lush-bodied, Black, femme performance artist, writer, actress, filmmaker, educator, and Faerie Queen Mermaid Gangsta for The Revolution. Learn more about her and her projects on her website: www.jezebeldelilahx.com.
Featured image: Models @holly_hallelujah and @pheonix.wild; photo by @NateyNukez (on IG)