All About That Balsam

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You've got to be living under a rock not to feel that this holiday season has proven itself to be a very different one from those in recent memory. It's been well over a month since my last post, and the afterglow of a few weeks' worth of incredible shows in early November (after one of which I spent a few moments talking with Kim Gordon - the Kim Gordon of Free Kitten/Sonic Youth/Body/Head fame and then some) was quickly replaced with dread, frustration and anger at the Ferguson Grand Jury decision, and then again in the NYC Grand Jury decision in the killing of Eric Garner, as well as the deaths of Tamir Rice, a child, in Cleveland, and Akai Gurley in Brooklyn, both unarmed and senselessly killed by police.

We are not only nowhere near close to living in a post-racial society, racism is killing innocent Americans with impunity, and our existing systems facilitate this. This is not going to be an organic process. It has to stop.


I've had precious little left to give at the end of the day lately (not that business as usual here at FFAF would have felt right). After a much-needed Google hangout with folks from the incredible Autostraddle Speakeasy last week, though, I felt a little more able to fall asleep soundly, to awaken into something other than a sense of dread, to take it all back on again, restored.

It’s so important to do what makes you feel centered and strong again as a QTPOC trying to deal with this country right now, because the energy it takes to keep marching, protesting, educating and informing is no small thing. It can be mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting to stay engaged when intersectionality is largely ignored, and feeling like you're always compromising on something, whether it's being POC in queer spaces or queer in POC spaces.



As QPOC parents, it's important that we try and find the balance between providing security and some semblance of normalcy in scary or uncertain times, and making sure we're having healthy, real discussions with our child when she is weary and feeling isolated. Her high school, while excellent, lacks the diversity of her old school districts in the Bay Area, and the older she gets, the more it seems she takes after her mother, but I digress.

There isn't much else to say; we'll still fight and keep our voices raised in the hopes that a deep and lasting sea change occurs. I don't have answers or know what the future holds, but staying silent isn't an option. The luminous Anita Dolce Vita of DapperQ said it best earlier today (from her Saint Martin vacation, bless her heart):

Because #blacklivesmatter is not a moment, but a movement - one that requires a wide range of resources.

Here is a list of other Black-centered, Black-led, mighty organizations striving for justice, kindly provided by Kay Ulanday Barrett:


So it was later than normal, and smaller than normal, and things are more somber than usual, but we got our tree and it's a deliciously fragrant balsam fir at good old Allandale Farm. We used maybe a third of our ornaments - the left are going to have to sit things out this year. We still haven't gotten around to putting up the lights outside, but we have at least got a foxy wreath on the front door to welcome friends, and princess pine garland on the mantel. It'll do!


Told you it was wee! (And yes, M's sweatshirt is the raddest.)


The tree hunting outfit was mostly hidden under a very long and fabulous wool coat by Forecaster of Boston from Macy's, which is keeping me toasty for my daily commute now that winter's begun in earnest. The brick red cords are from the Gap, and the wonderfully comfortable booties are Saturday by Kate Spade.


The tree-trimming skater dress in navy is from Cotton:On and the creamy turtleneck is Uniqlo. The gold braided horse hoof bangle is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry from Low Luv x Erin Wasson. The look of pure "Are you kidding me with this right now?" on Gunny's face is courtesy of Caturday.


You can take a walk down memory lane and see past tree huntin' posts - my favorite is this one from California - and if you need some inspiration for holiday party attire, check out my Autostraddle post from last year! Last night I wore this Lakeside Libations dress from Modcloth to one, and it was a hit! The next post will feature the surprisingly hearty and swingy Vice Versatility skirt, also from Modcloth - can't wait to get it up soon.


To everyone who marched in today's Millions March all across the country, thank you. The photos out of NYC are incredible, with organizers estimated 30,000 in attendance and zero arrests made. I'll share one here, but do check out more photos and info over at HuffPo.

Photo by John Minchillo/AP

Love and solidarity, FFAF