Queen of the Festa

Ana Carolina Meneses – Queen of the Lajes Festa 2016

Rarely do you get the chance to see a woman you love treated like a queen, but when that does happen, oh my goodness what a feeling! Usually that’s reserved for a wedding day, complete with special gown, flowers, and people surrounding you with love and best wishes. But not always. Some special women become queens in other ways.


I’m currently on the island of Terceira, in the archipelago of the Azores, where my wife’s grand-niece is the current Queen of the Festa for the town of Lajes. It’s a true honor, and her family couldn’t be prouder. Ana Carolina Meneses is beautiful, smart, kind, and completely deserving of this distinction. The celebration is entitled The Year of the Woman, and Ana epitomizes modern womanhood at its finest.

But then, so does her mother, her sisters, cousins, and her aunts. The women of Terceira have come a long way over the years, from her great-grandmother and other island women chasing Nazis off the island with bulls, to heralding in a new millennium and ushering in the rights of women. They’ve done it with humor, grace, and style, and  are heroines, one and all. This family, in particular, is something special.

I should know. I’ve been blessed with knowing them ever since I fell in love with my beloved, my Trafulha. She is one of a kind, a distinct personality that has lived life to the fullest and on her own terms. Born a butch lesbian on a Catholic island secluded from the rest of Europe, she had to fight every step of the way to force the world to accept her on her own terms.

But gossip, priests, prostitutes, the U.S. Air Force, and the times themselves could not bend her to their will. Luckily for me, she found her way to America and became the queen of my heart, my lesbian wife, my life. Later this year, on December 15th, my book When Butches Cry will be published by Sapphire Book Publishing. A fictionalized romance, it is a labor of love that has taken the better part of a decade to come to fruition, and in it I tell many of the stories of her life growing up on this wonderful island. I hope you’ll be entertained by it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the incredible pleasure of watching my Trafulha’s grand-niece

Ana Carolina being assisted in preparation by her mother and aunts.

elegantly portray the Queen of the Festa. May all the women of Terceira, the world, and your life, have equal success in all their endeavors. Long live the Queens!


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