essays, journal entries

The Femme Conference in Photos

Kristen’s Friday Femme Conference outfit

Jessica Halem hosts FemmeSpeak, the spoken word night

Fran Fucking Varian reads at FemmeSpeak

my outfit for Saturday

Kristen + Liz from Rhino Girl Media + B

Maggie (of the Femme Show) & Dora, both organizers with MadFemmePride in Boston

Shilo McCabe’s hanky flowers for flagging at the vendor room

flyers for Summer Camp at the femme conference play party, featuring artwork by rife

Bulldagger caucus, organized by Sasha T. Goldberg

butch butts after post-bulldagger meetup coffee

Kristen + Jessica Halem in lace at the FemmeWerq performance night

wait, how’d that photo get in here? our hotel bed was comfortable …

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

7 thoughts on “The Femme Conference in Photos”

  1. Cuntext says:

    That butch caucus was GREAT. Speaking as a femme who was sitting on a couch in the lobby as y’all wandered back and forth a few times :-P

  2. Fran Varian says:

    I love these photos!!! And not just because I’m in them! I swear, during the butch caucus MANY of us had to be pulled off of the windows in the hotel lobby…..we weren’t being inappropriate…we just wanted to make sure none of you were getting bitten by mosquitoes or anything terrible like that! ;p

    I wish I got to spend more time with both you and K. BUT – I’m still serious about that panel discussion we were discussing pre-femme con! I’d come to the city for that! Thanks for taking photos and for being such a great ally….and please kiss that amazing-wonderful-genius-hottie love of yours for me! <3

  3. Randy Cooper says:


  4. a femme says:

    So I was wondering when you’d post about Femme Con. I was super excited to go, but I actually have to say, I was really disappointed. I don’t know where to post this, since I don’t have a blog, and I want to stay anonymous, but I felt a lot of frustration from the entire event. As a high femme, I was hoping to meet a lot of other feminine, girly, fun women, but what me and my friends encountered was a lot of cliquey mean-girl looks, and a lot of discussion panels that consisted of people using extremely academic, off-putting terminology.

    In addition to being extremely poorly organized, the conference just really did not feel welcoming to me, and I had a really difficult time connecting with a lot of the femmes there. With the exception of a few panels (i.e. FemmeDagger’s great presentations), it felt much more like a general gender-studies/queer studies event than anything that really had to do with femmes, and I felt like the definition of “femme” was defined as to be so broad that it basically included anyone who felt like saying it at the moment. As someone who is read as straight 100% of the time, it was pretty disappointing to have other “femmes” ask me what I was visiting Baltimore for, and if I had heard of THEIR conference going on in the hotel. I also felt that the conference was EXTREMELY white and upper-class, but that a lot of participants were also insisting on seeing themselves as somehow radical and oppressed. The language that they were using and the topics they seemed to relate to most had almost nothing that would be accessible, interesting, or useful to people who are actually experiencing class or racial oppression.

    I keep reading all these blog pieces about how the Femme Conference was so amazing, and maybe if I had expected it to basically be an insider-group event about queer studies, I would have had a different experience. As it is, I will not be going back.

  5. a femme says:

    But I do have to say that I LOVE LOVE Kristen’s shoes and would like to steal them :)

  6. femme says:

    I agree! Are you going to post about FemmeCon?

    1. Sinclair says:

      Yes, I have some writings in progress, but haven’t put it all together yet. Soon!

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