These are MY Opinions

I have been vlogging on Youtube since March of 2009, and have done well over 700 videos in total, most about my life, my experience and my views on various topics ranging from politics, to local news to LGBT issues and lifestyles.  I have also been blogging in written word for even more years here on WordPress and on other blog sites over the years (although now it’s only here on WP which I totally love and prefer over all others).  I’ve seen all the types of hate and disagreement possible from both venues.  I’ve watched the drama unfold on Facebook as well.  Internet bullshit is just that – bullshit.  I tend to just over-look it and move on with my own stuff.  I do what I want, when I want, for whatever reason I want.  Period.  I do that in real life as well, I walk my own walk and as no one’s permission or approval in doing so.  If you happen to be a reader or Youtube viewer, then you know I have a strong personality and I speak my mind fairly freely.  I tend to pull no punches, I don’t strive to aggravate anyone (ok, maybe Republicans on occasion! LOL)  or fight with anyone regarding any issue.  I will gladly have a civilized debate if necessary.  But mostly I just put my writing and videos out there, and I read the comments, occasionally I even change my opinion if another view that I hadn’t considered comes to my attention.  Remember, there are always options to your thoughts, other ways to think, that are just as valid as yours or my own.  I get that and I accept it fully.

I bring this up because I have gotten some backlash and been judged harshly for stating my opinions on some written blogs here on WordPress that I recently wrote about, then I got similar backlash on Youtube after speaking in defense of and about Butch-Femme dynamics after someone else had called the lifestyle “bullshit” in another video on the same venue.  There has been some attempt to get me to engage in a back and forth video battle with this other person, which I am totally not going to do.  I state my opinions, my own personal views and takes on issues and subjects that interest me.  I don’t feel that I should necessarily be “judged” for putting out my own opinions, thoughts and views on any subject – whether those thoughts were perpetuated by another, or they are merely my reaction to something I encounter in daily life or online.  I have all of the same rights to voice my opinions and experiences and to draw my own personal conclusions – based upon what I know from my own experiences – as anyone else in this country has.  No one has the right to say another is wrong to make their voices heard – especially on a free and open platform such as WordPress or Youtube. 

The beauty of these platforms and of our society is that it’s a free world.  You are free to watch or read whatever you choose – or not read what you do not want to read/watch.  It’s simple, if my opinions fly in the face of your reality then don’t listen to me, don’t watch me and don’t write and call me names because I will not engage in your fight.  And if it’s not “your” fight, and you don’t have the guts to even put up a profile photo or a video of your own, yet you feel strong enough to call me names, then shame on you…who are you hiding from besides yourself?  I don’t watch what I don’t care for.  And sometimes I even start to watch someone and then dislike the video and don’t even finish watching it, especially if it’s very negative in content.  Why would I want to even watch people who are negative and condenscending in nature to begin with?  It’s a waste of my time, my energy and the power supply of my computer in all reality for me. 

I speak aobut life from MY own Butch Perspective, based upon what I see, read, and experience in my own life.  I need no ones permission to do this.  Nor do I require or need anyone’s approval of any kind.

I appreciate constructive conversation and I value criticism when it’s applied correctly and respectfully.  I thank all of my loyal readers and followers and I value their opinions as well.  I want to thank the many, many who wrote me dozens of notes and sent tons of messages of support after my recent Butchphobia blog on WordPress, and my following video on Youtube.  It’s because of YOU that I still do this stuff, that I am fearless to put my perspectives out there – no matter what the controversy.  I appreciate the open mindedness of my audience, the interaction with good people, and the honest conversations that we have – even when they do not match my own opinions. 

Everyone has their haters, those who wish to detract from the messages and those who will bring hateful, negative and bashing comments to one’s pages.  I am not immune to that kind of person any more than anyone else who puts themselves out there honestly on line would be.  There’s always someone who will try to pick a fight, cause you discomfort, shame and try to get you to retract your words.   I handle it like most everything else – let it roll off my shoulders and fall away .  I will not be silenced because someone out there doesn’t care for my words, opinions or views on any topic.  I also will not engage in bad arguments, name calling or verbal bashing of another’s opinion either.

It’s just not something I want or will do.

Excellent review! Ordering mine this week!!!

Buzz Cuts and Bustiers

If you’ve been paying any attention to the world of queer sex accessories for the past year (and, I mean, who hasn’t?), you’ve no doubt heard a lot of buzz about a little company that goes by the name of RodeoH. I first read about this scrappy up-and-comer (pun fully intended) on Autostraddle – which, consequently, has a great new interview this week with the company’s founder.

For the uninitiated, RodeoH’s whole shtick is comfy, colorful undies that look totally hot and, oh yeah, are also harnesses. That’s right, bois and grrrls: gone are the days of awkwardly adjusting 50 different straps mid-sex or chafing your sensitive spots against huge metal buckles and rings. RodeoH makes strapping on as easy as pulling up your drawers!

rodeoh

Not to sound too much like a late-night Skinemax infomercial, but you guys, I was seriously excited to get my hands and other bits…

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Butch-phobia….my personal rant

I was directed to a blog last night that stunned the crap out of me with its anti-Butch/Femme/Trans overtones and direct, blatant lies and misconception.  It infuriates me that this far into the fight for equality across the board the we are still belittling and ridiculing each other right her within the LGBT alphabet soup community, and with such harshness and berating that it’s unbelievable.

When I see a snake in the garden I am one to confront it and deal with it, rather than let it slither at me and try to scare my ass.  And while there are many “snakes in our gardens” so to speak, the ones that are particularly venomous are those who are spouting phobic bullshit.  If you are phobic about something and do not understand it or haven’t experienced it yourself, so you are afraid of it and thus feel you need to belittle or shame it away somehow, I think you are just so full of your own internalized homophobia and woman-phobic bullshit. 

Short of going on a full out ranting rampage here I am going to choose a few sentences of the bullshit blog I read and share them with you. 

“…how the Butch and Femme identities are two sides of the same gender coin that limits the full potential of who a woman can be.”    What does this fucking mean?  That because I identify as Butch and walk that walk in my own life that I cannot possibly live up to my “potential”?  WTF? 

This person also seems to think, from what I understand, that somehow being Butch is a lead in to becoming an FtM trans person.  Yes, perhaps I walk a thin, thin line in this aspect, but let it be known that I am NOT trans, and I AM a lesbian.  A woman loving woman.  I respect and admire my brave trans friends to the nth degree.  Their walk is so like my own, at times very lonely, scary, and confusing I am sure.  And to be continually fighting against the Butch/Transphobia we both face from within the Lesbian community, it is just ludicrous. 

I am Butch no matter how you dress me up.  As another blogger coined I am “clockable” regardless of what I wear or don’t wear.  It’s like lipstick on a pig to put me in a dress, and it fools no one.  I’m straight up Butch and damned proud, and damned sure not going to try to twist it or change it for some other fool who thinks it’s not “feminine” enough, that I am “aggressive and inappropriate” in my appearance or presentation to the world.  Fuck that.  I never ever felt very feminine and it’s stupid to say that that makes me less of a woman, when it’s just MY way of being the Butch woman that I am. 

Shame me all you want, I am not accepting YOUR shame.  I will not be shamed into changing the core of who my being IS in this world.  Accuse me of “playing a role”, but understand if you can that I am NOT playing a role, but I am just being myself, plain and simple.  It’s sad that people cannot just be who they are in today’s world without causing someone else to start throwing therapeutic assumptions at them that they are suppressing some inner battle and that’s causing them to “act out” in the way that they present to the world.  Utter bullshit in my opinion.

I have experienced oppression as a woman, as a Butch, because I am not feminine enough, woman enough, too masculine, “other” and more.  I am a gender non-conformist, and it seems that some Lesbian people just seem to hate that idea!  Like they expect us to all shout at the tops of our lungs that “we are woman” but yet not be too “Femme” or too “Butch” as to make them look twice. They would rather have everyone fit more into a “neutral” kind of box where we could all be some sort of touchy-feely kinds of Lesbians with woman attributes that were apparent, but not overly so. 

I’m not some college educated left wing Feminist.  To the contrary, I often am confused by radical Feminism and all its negative connotations on our lives.  Seems like it’s that we want to be treated equally – but separately somehow, and that’s not exactly equal if you ask me. 

Who I love, whether it be a more Femme woman, another Butch or someone who doesn’t fall into an identifying group, is none of anyone’s business.  And it doesn’t matter, I am still a card carrying Lesbian no matter what.  I am romantically attracted to women and only women.   I have many male friends and respect them as they do me. 

What we directly experience and see in life is what matters to us as human beings.  It’s how we navigate our way through our often complicated, complex and dynamic lives.  People choose the facts that relate to what they already believe.  Human engagement isn’t about facts, but about our experiences and our relationships to each other.  And yes, these relationships take on all forms, we take on all types of personalities and personas, that make us comfortable in our own skin.  No one can take your core values and your core being away from you, and no on should every shame another for being who they ARE in this world.  Walk your walk.  Butch or Femme or something else, just be proud and walk tall.   

Getting My Butch Wings

Flying while Butch

 

Let me add my recent experience, and give you a few hardy laughs, to the online conversation about flying, the TSA and being Butch. 

Of course as you all know I am very Butch and present as very masculine.  I get mistaken for a guy all the time, called “sir” and often the offender never comes to the realization that I am actually female – which I could care less about anyway.  I get a chuckle out of people who take it upon themselves to be the “gender police” in restrooms and dressing rooms.  (ask my friend Jake, I had to verbally out her “gender policewoman” in the restroom at the dog show…then guess who was embarrassed?” hahaha)

So recently I visited Florida and of course the most convenient, prompt and economical route was to fly on my favorite airline – JetBlue. Yes, I am going to name names here!  Of course JetBlue is awesome in my book, and they treated me just fine. But TSA is not run by the airlines, but by Homeland Security and the airports with which they are aligned.  So let me be clear there is no qualms with the airline itself. 

I packed my suitcase to visit my lady friend in Florida.  Now, as a packing Butch I knew that I would have issues before I even got into the security line.  So I decided not to pack physically, but to pack my “equipment” in my carry on suitcase, knowing it would go through an x-ray machine and hoping like hell it would cause no problems. 

As I got into the security line I made sure everything was kosher.  That my pockets were empty, my jacket was off, work boots in the tray, everything laid out, suitcase on the conveyor belt and only my boarding pass in hand.  I think I was sweating just out of discomfort of being in such a public place and already having been called “sir” by the shuttle bus driver while retrieving my belongings from the bus when I got to the airport.

Through the x-ray my stuff went…I cringed as the TSA agent stopped the machine and pointed out the distinct outline of my cocks in the carry on suitcase.  Discomfort and embarrassment were horrible.  I couldn’t believe he actually pointed it out to the other agents and laughed!  Then I was asked to step into the machine…obligiatory hands above the head, I could see the agent trying to figure out which button to push…so I puffed out my un-bound chest a little and obviously he pushed the “female” button.  The other agent says “step out sir” – but get this she was most likely, from what I sensed family!   But I think she thought she was in the right, and that she assumed I was FtM and in transition, so I held no animosity about that particular one.  She made eye contact and nodded.  She was cool.

Going through the stress and discomfort of airport security is just part of flying the friendly skies these days. We all want to be safe.  But the gender policing and off-handed comments and glares are just uncalled for.  I wish and hope that the TSA does MORE educating of its agents and gets things a bit more comfortable.  What if I had chosen to pack that day?  That would be my prerogative, and I should not be shamed for it publically.  What if I had had chest reduction or reconstruction surgery?  How to my trans friends deal with the TSA bullshit scans?  I can only imagine it’s maddening to them, especially if their IDs do not have their correct gender marker yet. 

All of the scanning and dog sniffing and stuff is necessary for prevention of violence in the skies and a repeat of 9/11 I know and accept that fully.  I don’t mind going through a security check, but if you don’t know my gender then it’s none of your business in my opinion.  WHY would it be?  What reason does TSA have to fuck with people who are androgynous; is it out of personal curiosity or what? Because I see no reason safety wise to give people hassles over their gender specific or chosen parts, body shape or any of it. 

On the way home I pretty much ignored the x-ray, assumed they’d get their laugh and stepped into the machine.  Then I hear “male or female?”….what the fuck.  I wanted to say “Female body, male brain”.  Then after the x-ray machine I got pulled aside and I got the pat down.  They paid particular attention to my chest and back…checking for the obligatory sports bra perhaps? (because again I forwent the binder). 

So I made it back to Logan Airport, Boston and then home to Maine.  All in one piece, but a bit disgruntled with my treatment at security checkpoints at both Logan and Tampa airports.  I have a new respect for what my trans friends have to go through, and am wiser to what I will most likely have to go through again and again until TSA becomes less stringent about knowing my gender and more focused on real threats to our security, because my dick is no threat, believe me! 

I am imagining how brave it would be to bind and pack and try to get through security…maybe next time!  J

Facebook Friends…or not…

I kind of lost a friend today over my inability to live up to her expectations of me as a friend.  I don’t quite understand exactly what happened, but she un-friended me after instant messaging me about my lack of paying attention to her; my lack of phone calls and texts and my lack of her feeling that I did not “care” enough.  I don’t quite get it.  I didn’t really even know this person outside of Facebook, not even a little bit.  She had requested FB friendship a while back and said we had common likes and thought we would make good friends, and she wanted to eventually move to the northeast and wanted info about the area.  Never had we actually met, never Skyped or converse on Yahoo messenger and never did we exchange intimate conversations on life.  And most of all never did we shake on it that we would be buddies until the end. 

I knew I might be onto a wacko when she said to me one time “no one ever sticks around, they are friends with me then they stop talking to me like I don’t exist…” or something to that idea.  That statement she made stuck with me in all of my contacts with her.  What was it about her that drove people away?  I think I figured it out today. It’s her demand that you have to pay attention to her in some way on a very regular basis.  Well, I am not the right person to deal with anyone who is needy…it’s just not part of my nature.  Personally I view overly needy people as a pain in my ass.  Now if someone close to me that I love dearly is in “need” that’s not the same as being “needy” in my opinion.  I am happy to help close friends and relatives and even the occasional general acquaintance out with words of kindness or wisdom, maybe a favor sometimes, but act “needy” and you become a pain in my ass. 

I understand that sometimes people reach out to others for comfort or support and I try to be those things as best that I can. But unless you are related to me or in my close inner circle of friends don’t be bringing me problems all the time that I cannot do a fucking thing to help you solve.  If you are unhappy in your relationship, your housing situation, your location, etc. then YOU have to find the solutions to those problems yourself.  Sure I am up to discuss them maybe once and give you my advice, but let’s not have the same conversation every time we talk or text. 

I friend people on FB out of commonalities, and who I think would be good people to follow, or who would be interesting to know about.  People are amazing creatures.  I value each one individually, and I see each one individually – even when part of one of the groups that I am a member of online. I’m not trying to build up a friends list of thousands, just a few handfuls of really good people; people who can with their life stories perhaps enrich my life experience.  I’d be happy if I managed to meet and have a couple of really good friends, but I am not about putting any expectations or limitations on anyone. 

This particular person who un-friended me would message me or call me once in a while and complain that I never called or texted just to see how her day was.  Honestly?  If I were that interested in furthering our long distance friendship I WOULD have done those things.  I was contented just to keep her on my “casual acquaintance” list and have sporadic interesting conversation with her.  But she wanted more (let me interject that this person is a fellow Butch and not anyone I would be romantically inclined towards)…and how was I supposed to KNOW that in advance of her sending me todays scathing messages and then abruptly jumping off my friend list without even waiting for my reply.  NO, I do NOT sit in front of my computer screen waiting for you to message me….I am busy, life is going on, I go on FB, do my thing and get up and walk away to do something else around my surroundings.  AND right now I am on fucking vacation and not interested in much more than my immediate friends and surroundings!  JEEEEZUS! 

Yes, I may leave FB on my computer screen, running in the background usually, but that doesn’t mean that I am actually ON there.  People…get a life.  Facebook is not the end-all of social interaction – although to some I guess it IS.  To me it is NOT a main feature of my social life.  I enjoy staying in touch with family, friends, YouTubers, fellow group members in various groups, but that in no way mean that I actually TALK, TEXT OR MESSAGE any of them daily….I just follow them and when I am intrigued or the feeling hits me I may initiate conversation or an interaction of some kind. 

In other words, I can be a Facebook “friend” but not your best buddy.  Being a best buddy to me takes time and some common ground.  It takes a person who I truly feel is equal to my own thought processes, who gets me and is as non-demanding as I am.  Who I can reach out to when needed like if I have a question that I think they may have some experience with and could answer for me, and yet who I can leave alone without them feeling that I am somehow abandoning them through non-contact. 

A best buddy knows he/she is a best buddy without even trying or asking to be, but knowing that they just ARE.  I have few “best” buddies, although I do have a good handful of those I would call my buds very easily.  They are those with whom conversation flows easily, who laugh at my bad jokes, who tell me theirs, and who share some common bonds or threads of life.  I like the ease with which I can have these people in my life without making demands on them, without them making demands on me, but with both of us having mutual respect and understanding that life for all of us is sometimes fast, sometimes, slow and many times just happening as we go along.  Sometimes we connect, and sometimes we don’t…but always we managed to catch up somewhere along the way and stay connected to each other’s lives through time and space. 

If you are one who friends me on Facebook or elsewhere online be aware that I am not someone who is going to become a great friend and confidant in any kind of quick fashion.  I am very wary of people, and with good reason (see crazy shit above).  I’ve encountered some real nut jobs online and even met a couple of them in real life and they were even more insane than I could have imagined.  (Another story altogether).   I am careful and if I sense someone is becoming a stalker or has some deranged story of woe and who is going to try to drag me into it or down with them, I am quicker than a rattlesnake to strike that “un-friend” button, change my number and be part of history.

 I’m not one to put up with bullshit, I don’t want to read post after post of your hating on your ex, your blaming your ex for everything, or how horrible your life is since your ex fucked you over (or just fucked you period).  Maybe you think I am being mean, but I’m not, I’m being truthful, and honest. People who tend to do this constantly I first will just “hide” their posts, then upon my periodic “review” of my friends list I will check their page and if they are still up to the cynical postings I will then just remove them from my friends list, especially if it’s just someone I friended along the way over mutual friends or mutual likes, but it never panned out to be much more than a sort  of anonymous FB friendship with no real communication or sharing of ideas, experiences or likes.   I tell it like it is for me and I don’t try to pull any punches, or put anything out there to lead anyone to think anything different.  Not every one of my own posts will be happy go lucky, nor interesting to everyone on my friends list.  But I do avoid going into long (and boring…the longer it is the more boring it is on FB!) monologues of my misfortunes and woes with my ex’s….something I think is just stupid to be posting about.  I want to shake the poster and say “get with it, no one wants to hear or know about your shit…TMI!!! TMI!!! “  If you are thinking tons of negative thoughts search for something positive and post it…THAT is more interesting than hearing about your failed relationship and how you’ll never make it without her – or worse how you think she’s a piece of shit whore who used you…THAT’S crap. 

So everyone who is reading this has some of these kinds of people on their Facebook friend lists.  It’s just the way it is when we all start to intermingle and we let people we don’t really know into these little windows of our lives via Facebook (or other social apps).  I am sure you can see various friends from your own lists flash before your eyes as you were reading my descriptions of issues I have personally had with this platform above.  Do yourself a favor, don’t put up with less than you are worth….pick and choose and it’s your prerogative to be as picky as you want!  It’s your page! Own it! 

Playing with Fire

I hear this ramble about “feminism”, and while I am not college schooled on feminism and anti-feminist stuff, I am smart enough to know that we need to stop dividing the treatment of genders somehow.  Treat each other with mutual respect and give everyone the same rights, and regards in life.  Being male or female is just a distinguishment of biological gender.  Some see the female as the “weaker sex” which is just plain bullshit.  Let any man undergo the pain and agony of giving birth and then tell me who is “weak”. 

I am sometimes thrown the “misogynist” card…just because I prefer to date women who identify as “femmes”.  I do not see the type women that I am attracted to as any less than anyone else, I just feel more of an attraction for that “femme mystique,” as I call it.  In the Butch-Femme world I may even be inclined to call them the “stronger” of the two.  Femmes face a world where they are forced to basically “come out” time after time, hearing such shit as “you are too pretty to be a lesbian” and other uncalled for comments.  I admire them for their fortitude, and their poise and grace in dealing with the world and its uncomfortable questions. I respect them for the way most see me and my masculine presentation and do not question if I am male, female or that gray space in between – they just see me as I am and accept me as such.  I applaud them for their bravery in speaking out – for me – or for themselves and others who cannot speak, or will not dare. 

My respect for people in general is based upon their words and actions, not on what’s in their pants.  I have many good men in my life that I highly respect, because they also respect me and treat me as an equal, not as “less than” because I am female.  I’ve found in my many travels around this nation of ours that how men and women are treated –or treat each other- greatly varies from region to region.  (Don’t get upset here, I KNOW that not all are the SAME, but in general I notice differences in the way the two sexes negotiate their respective territories between themselves. 

The strength I have witnessed in southern women is amazing.  The reliance I admire in northern women astounding.  And that seemingly care-free attitude of the left-coasters is more than admirable in so many ways.  We are the sum of ourselves, of our personalities, of our upbringings, of our surroundings and most of all of our choices and decisions about ourselves.  Those who own all of those “parts” of themselves can seem to find happiness and contentment in most any place they choose to settle and in communities that support them as individuals.  It takes work in life to be who you ARE as an individual, to deal with some of the complexities of life and its challenges.  Strong people will attract other strong people to their circles, and vs. vs.   Negative types attract the same…it’s the seeming law of attraction at its finest! 

We all from time to time laugh hard at little sexual jokes or innuendos, yet depending up on who posts it on Facebook, or on which page it is posted it can be deemed anti-whatever (insert, female, male, trans, butch, femme, etc, etc.)  I have even had to deal with the twenty-five dollar word misogynistic.  (Who the hell made up that word and who in the universe gave it a fucking definition?)  According to Wikipedia the definition of

Misogyny is (pron.: /mɪˈsɒɪni/) is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.

I hate the word, the idea and the way that some people simply throw it around like confetti.  Every little thing that could be merely a funny joke or saying is somehow considered “misogynistic” by someone.  And that one person can pollute a page to convince many they are right.  I speak the truth and you know it.  It’s happened to me, to friends of mine to pages that I promote and I’ve had to deal with it through various means with various different personality types.  I’m not anti-woman or misogynistic in any way, but I DO have a fucking sense of humor!  If it’s funny, I am gonna laugh and laugh loudly!

Perhaps I will check out some books on Feminism and it’s history and culture…oh wait, I have a couple already!  (this is where all the do-gooders tell me their pics for fav books on feminism).  It’s not as easy as you think, it’s not always understood the same way by different people.  Respect of others, now that’s kind of easy to understand, so let’s all have that great respect for others and consider our audiences when speaking.  As I type this I am considering you, my audience, to whom I have been brutally honest about topics in the past, and from whom I have received some great advice, good reviews and constructive criticism without letting it wilt my growth in writing.   That’s all part of blogging, or video blogs…taking the heat and still playing with fire. 

I’m Butch; I play with fire…and I like it.

*Remember, the above is only MY personal opinion and experience.