I went to McGill’s McLennan Library last week for the second time since graduating over a year ago, intending to check out S. Bear Bergman’s Butch is a Noun and maybe something on femme-ness, since I seem to be back-and-forthing on whether “femme” is a label I endorse or reject for myself, and obviously for someone like me the way to decide is to read. Nic and I wandered the stacks, found Butch is a Noun and Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, made out in the aisle of queer theory books, and fucked against shelves of books in a slightly more secluded aisle nearby. It’s good we had such a nice time up there on the third floor, because once we went downstairs, the librarian at the desk informed me that my alumni library card was expired–apparently one year really means eight months? Leave it to McGill to just keep screwing you over even once you’ve graduated.

It’s been ages since I indulged in buying books, though, so today I ordered a few from Amazon, having been frustrated at the complete lack of books on queer femininity at Chapters, though interestingly enough, they did stock Butch is a Noun. Since my last Reading in Cuntext to-do list, I checked off Sue Ellen Case’s “Toward a Butch-Femme Aesthetic,” but given how little I remember I probably need to re-read. I’m currently reading Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, also from my last list, with constant echos of a Womanist Musings post I read a few months ago reverberating in my head. As I read, I oscillate between disgust (for reasons outlined in that post, plus the “instant irrevocable til-death-do-us-part” love connection bullshit) and occasional identification (the way the Ina structure families is very poly, and so far reflects some of my own poly values). At any rate, Octavia Butler is definitely a more engaging read than George R.R. Martin, whose behemoth first four Song of Ice and Fire books took up the end of winter and spring for me. These days, my to-do reading list looks like this:

  • Fledgling, Octavia Butler (reading now)
  • The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (reading now, a short-story remedy for the aforementioned behemoths)
  • Stop Overreacting: Effective Strategies for Calming Your Emotions, Judith P. Siegel (from Nic, whose tolerance of self-help books where I spurn them has actually proven useful in the past)
  • Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, ed. Ivan E. Coyote & Zena Sharman
  • Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity, ed. Chloë Brushwood Rose & Anna Camilleri
  • Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction, ed. Sabrina Chapadjiev (via Sinclair Sexsmith; intended as balm for current gnar mental health sitch. I’m currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation, likely diagnosis: Borderline Personality Disorder)
  • Spiral Bound, Dessa (a birthday gift from Andy, who introduced me to Dessa, who’s now easily one of my top five music artists of all time. My clutter devoured this book before I had time to finish reading it. Oops.)
  • Bareed Mista3jil (True Stories), pub. Meem (another one from Nic, who isn’t a big reader but just read the whole thing in one sitting today after her ma brought it from Lebs)
  • A Dance With Dragons, George R.R. Martin (only because Daenerys and Tyrion come back in this one; without them, the fourth one, A Feast for Crows, was a fucking snore. I resented the hell out of GRRM, his epic verbosity, and his inclusion of constant egregious sexual assault when I finished it.)
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