I’ve been doing a lot of great reading today and tonight specifically around Butch-Femme lifestyle and dynamics. I read one article about Butch “peacocking” and that got me thinking, and it lead me to other links to other writings by some awesome other Butch writers. Yeah, we seem to always be the “others” even in our own community. Or as one blogger (Butch Jaxon) put it so eloquently, the “other-than’s”. It’s amazing that I can still read and get so much out of reading anything good about the journey’s of my Butch counterparts. It always comes to the “I can relate” thus it makes the reading/writing particularly interesting to me. Personally I choose to write much about my experiences as a Butch so that others out there will know that they are NOT alone, there are many of us; we are legion. We just have to find better, safer and more accepting places to bond. Butch bonding is a real experience, and one that every Butch, young and old, needs in their lives.
Recently we lost Leslie Feinberg. I wrote a short piece about them soon after their passing. Still, I think about how much Leslie contributed to the Butch / Trans community over the years of their life. That one book, Stone Butch Blues, had such a wide and deep impact on so very many of us. Every good Butch has read it, has seen themselves in the pages, in Jesse and in Leslie’s experience. Every one of us is a good Butch! If you are Butch, or Trans*, or LGBT you should read this book if you have not already done so at least twice in your life. It is a piece of literature that changed or at least enhanced and recognized a rather large, unknown number of lives; that made us unafraid, that gave us the power and confidence to be Butch without shame. If you are Butch and you don’t “see” yourself in the pages of Stone Butch Blues it would be astonishing because just about every Butch I know holds this book out as the virtual “Bible” of Butch.
Here is what Sinclair Sexsmith, author, activist and self-identified Butch, said in one of her recent posts entitled “Long Live the Butch: Leslie Feinberg and the Trans Day of Remembrance“:
“For me, Leslie’s book Stone Butch Blues invented butch identity. If I had the word before the book, it was only as a slur, only as something nobody should want to be. If I had the word before Jess’s story and her tortured restraint of passionate love, it was only used to describe ugly women, unattractive and unwanted. It wasn’t until I read Stone Butch Blues that I realized it described me.” Nov. 20, 2014
This book, followed by S. Bear Bergman’s “Butch is a Noun” and Ivan E. Coyote’s “One in Every Crowd” all combined, personally gave me eye-opening and deep inspiration to always be my authentic self, to be comfortable and happy with my own Butch identity, and to share my own experiences in my writing and vlogging. The three of them, Leslie, Bear, and Ivan have had huge influence on my own writing and I am honored to have had the chance to have met Leslie personally once at a conference. Bear and Ivan, I still wish to meet and hear them speak in person one day in the near future.
All three are well known, and held in highest regard in the Butch community. What I would give to be so gifted as to be able to write like they do, and be published as they all have been. …sigh… Ah, to dream that big!
So, my last post was about inspiring blogs here on WordPress.com. That is what got me into reading tonight, and into thinking about my inspirations outside of WP, thus the evolution of this post you are reading. It is the courage, bravery, and authenticity with which each of them write that so inspires me to strive to be as good a writer as I possibly can be myself, and to more comfortably be my authentic self. I would like to see more books by both Bear and Ivan, and whenever one comes out I will be right there in line waiting on my own hard copy, believe me. And I do follow them all on line at their various sites and venues, where both often blog about the current events and their own life happenings.
So, there you have it. MainelyButch’s inspirational heroes of 2014. One day I hope to have a book on my shelf written by me, and sitting right next to any one of the above authors’ books. Dream big. Rock on. ~MB~