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Building Femmes of Color Community: History, Self-Care and Selfies

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Laura Luna P

on 21 May 2015

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Transcript of Building Femmes of Color Community: History, Self-Care and Selfies

Building Femmes of Color Community: History, Self-Care and Selfies.
Who Are We?
Femme of Color History/Femme Ancestors
Detail 1
Lana, Jo, Lawrencia
Stepheyne, Laura Luna & Vanessa
“I see femme as someone who is interested in living a life of adornment and affectation. It's not a role but an identity, as in something embedded inside that manifests externally in many different ways.” -Jewelle Gomez
Image by Julio Salgado
Quote by Janet Mock
Sylvia Rivera
had to fight her way on stage through a group of radfems & racists @ the 1973 Christopher Street Liberation Day rally. She quickly denounces the gay community for catering to only the scope of cis white gay people.
Marsha P. Johnson (June 27, 1944 – July 6, 1992) was a Black American transgender rights activist, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and was a popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene from the 1960s to the 1990s.

One of the city's best known drag queens of the times, Johnson was a leader in clashes with the police amid the Stonewall Riots. She was a co-founder, along with Sylvia Rivera, of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.) in the early 1970s. She also was the "mother" of S.T.A.R. House along with Sylvia, getting together food and clothing to help support the young drag queens and trans women living in the house on the Lower East Side of New York.
So What Is “Self Care”?
Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and
emotional health.
LA Femmes of Color Collective
When asked to define Femme, Jewelle Gomez (American author, poet, critic and playwright and self identified femme) Said the following:
*SF Weekly Article
We are a newly formed
Femmes of Color group
in Los Angeles. As of right
now, we are mostly Latin@,
cis & able bodied. Femme
of Color identities are multifold
and multifaceted & we certainly
do not represent the vast complexities
of Femme of Color Identity
LA Femmes of Color Collective
Community Agreements
Self care is everything
“Femme identity can be a source of self-esteem, and a way to heal the negative messages that white, heterosexist, patriarchal society imposes on queer women of colour...Although feminists might argue that a power based on physical appearance is shallow, reclaiming a love for your body can be empowering, especially for those who are faced with innumerable reminders that they do not conform to the white heterosexual ideal. For femmes of colour particularly, affirming one’s beauty in the face of colonization’s internalized hate has revolutionary potential. By reclaiming femininity on their own terms, femmes of colour redefine the concept into an affirming gender expression that rejects both compulsory heterosexuality and white supremacy (www.writingforstrangers.com)”.
“Femmes have also theorized our own feminist understandings of femininity. We know that the construct of “femininity” is often exclusionary because it has been defined according to certain standards of white, heterosexual, middle-class, able, and cisgendered (non-trans) female bodies of a certain size and shape. For some queer people who don’t fit into these categories, identifying as femme allows us to access, reclaim, and redefine femininity on our own terms—in ways that are incredibly empowering” (Young, 2012).
The Current State of FoC Visibility on Social Media
-Hashtags can be difficult to track as well as navigate
-Can be easily spammed by different accounts
-Lack of diversity
-Lack of intentional effort towards community building
*Image screenshot of #femme search on Instagram
Being Organized about Our Resistance
-Positive aspects of specific hashtags
-Social media movements that inspire us
-Our own social media movement that can be used on all platforms
-Holding space for affirmation and community building
(liking, reblogging, commenting, and sharing posts)
-Using selfies as a way to document our resistance, visibility, and experiences
-Spread the word! <3

You [as a Foc] are telling other femmes & folks that you recognize whiteness/white supremacy/oppressive behaviors in our broad community & you as a femme of color do not uphold the white, thin, cis, able-bodied femme values or the lack of knowledge & denial of a multitude of oppressions marginalized folks must live through & regard on a daily basis.
Historial Spotlights

Pictured: Frida Kahlo, Josephine Baker, Oya, Marsha P. Johnson, Maria Felix, Cast of Paris is Burning, Sylvia Rivera
image by Micha Bazant
text from: Wikipedia
Selfies As
Types of Self-Care
Frida Kahlo
Who are some of the Femme of Color Ancestors that you look up to/that give you life?
Image by Julio Salgado
Let's Keep In Touch
Tumblr: www.lafemmesofcolor.tumblr.com
email: lafemmesofcolor@gmail.com
We Look Forward to Building Community With You <3
-Ask Femmes of Color what support looks like to them

-Pass info to Femmes of Color you may know

-Feel free to like/comment reblog pics/blogs you see using #femmesofcolorvisibility
Femme, for me is inherently a Queered identity one way or another, the reason for this is because being Femme required us to have a really deep understanding of social gender roles...because we have made a conscious decision to identify as Femme. For cis womxn: we are not accepting our assigned/expected gender identity, we have made a conscious decision to reclaim femininity and make it our own, in the face of misogyny and how misogyny forms bodily, beauty, intellectual, political expectations of us. In doing this, we should automatically support and be engaged in the Femme identities of (Femme) trans women (given their daily experiences of transmisogyny and other intersection), Femme people who identify using nonbinary pronouns (e.g. "they", "xe", etc), and Femmes who identify as "he". Femme is inherently intersectional, and therefore inherently political - it's a form of a resistance, but also a multifaceted form of resistance."

-Elena Ruiz-Williams
-Almost 700 tags on IG
-Almost 100 LA Femmes of Color Collective members
-Almost 130 Tumblr Followers and hashtag signal boost has 160 notes
"I never painted dreams, I painted my own reality."
1. One Diva One Mic
2. Use "I" Statements
3. Don't Yuck Someone's Yum
4. Move up, Move Back
5. Be mindful of the privileges you bring to this space.
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