How do you define your femme identity?
Delicate as a pearl housed in an oyster. Strong as the branches of a magnolia tree. Femme has come home to roost in my heart. Femmes feed my soul and build me up over all the cracks in my soul from struggle and oppression. While I joke about being a delicate flower I am often reminded that I am in fact a steel magnolia. Being a Femme breaks the bounds of gender oppression, while being strong, well accessorized and deeply deeply fabulous.
How do other identities you have not only intersect with femme but also contradict it?
I am simultaneously a hot queer Femme AND a sexy faggoty drag king. Often this confuses people when they meet me as Asha and wonder how this girly girl can possibly “be a man.” When people meet my drag alter ego Al Schlong it usually leaves an impression. My performance art totally twists gender expectations by embodying, bending, and subverting masculinity. Together Asha and Al manage to subvert expectations of gender while queering life up as much as possible.
What are some joys of being femme?
Truly there are too many to list. I get deep joy from my Femme community, these are the women who have my back, build me up, call me out, and will go after someone stiletto heel in hand if need be. Being held in the bosom of Femme community. The feel of fishnet hose snaking up my skin. The aura of power that glints off my body when I am embodying my perfect Femme.
What role does writing play in community-building for you?
I have kept a journal ever since I learned how to write. Writing for me is a way of expressing myself and having a conversation with my community and the world. Writing is part of how I ground myself in the world. Being grounded allows me to connect, discuss, interact and build community.
How does it feel to be part of the Femmethologies?
I am extremely excited to be part of the Femmethologies. I’m so glad that these books are going to be out in the world. I hope they create discussion, build community, and birth Femmes.
Femme is _____ (one word only, please)