Marriage…my reflections

I’ve done a lot of reflecting over the last 4 days since the SCOTUS decision on Friday, and a Facebook friend suggested that I write a little bit about my thoughts on it here in my blog.  It’s a little bit amazing to look back on the last 35 years of my life as an “out” lesbian; to remember specific events, and to remember what I’ve personally been through trying to live my own life amidst the prejudice and hate spewed at me and my friends, and the LGBTQ community in general through the decades of my life.  More than once I have been directly assaulted for just being who I am – a Butch lesbian.  Even within the community itself I have encountered prejudice, but that’s a whole other topic of it’s own and not what I am talking about here. I will save that for a future blog.

I remember all of the Prides I have attended, the March on the United Nations, Stonewall Inn’s 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Marches on Washington and other things like marching for the elimination of the DADT policy (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell), the last full display of the AIDS Quilt in Washington DC.  I’ve attended Pride celebrations in DC, NYC, Boston, SF, OKC and here locally.  So many events and protests I have attended over the years that I have probably forgotten a few. There were times that I’ve been in the trenches, and times I have been a bystander. I’ve been an activist and an educator.  I tried to contribute to the fight for equality in all ways I have ever been able to, physically, financially and by being the activist and best ally that I could be.

I’ve fought for equality all my life.  I’ve been “out” since I was 18; known I was lesbian since I knew there was a word for the way I felt from a very young age, and have been fighting for equality ever since then.  It’s amazing to finally see the US have marriage equality for all.  Some may not think it’s such a big deal, but to someone who never thought they would ever live to SEE this happen here it’s pretty freaking amazing.

I know there are millions of people who are very happy about this (61% of the US according to the latest statistics).  And for the millions of LGBTQ folks who live here in the US (not sure what the number could be!  I heard 8.8 million somewhere) — it was a happy day Friday for all of us, not just me.  I got quite a few notes from friends and allies who sent their congrats on the ruling by our Supreme Court.  It was really nice to know I have so many supportive friends and family.  They don’t always understand me, but they do support me and that’s what counts to me.  I really appreciate that they all know how much this means to the LGBTQ community here.

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Personally I don’t see myself getting married, but it’s nice to know that I have that option open to me now no matter where I end up living in the USA.  I’m 53 and it doesn’t look like it’s in the cards for me personally.  I don’t exactly know how I feel about marriage even, it seems like an unnecessary formality.  I’ve never been a big one on marriage in general.  But I support those who do choose to get married – gay, straight, black, white or whatever.  Anyone who wishes to be married should be able to do so –and now they CAN!  So, Love Wins, as everyone has been saying.

Much of Facebook was turned into a rainbow on Friday – even the White House lit up the rainbow flag across it’s bricks.  The celebration was enormous throughout the country.  And Saturday many towns had their annual Pride events, plus there were many impromptu gatherings across the country.

And now the fights also have begun.  With Texas leading the way and refusing to issue licenses already.  I don’t think that this battle is over to be honest.  Now that we have marriage equality we’re going to have to deal with much hate and bigotry from those who don’t agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling.  There is still a fight to be had.  We still have to educate and show those who don’t agree why they have no reason to fear us; why “gay marriage” won’t destroy “straight marriage”, as some are saying.  (One evangelical bigot had the balls to say that this will now promote anal sex and pedophilia…where does one even GET that kind of bullshit to come out of their mouths?  Wow).

As the churches and religious right gear up to fight this ruling tooth and nail, I believe that we too should be getting ready for the backlash, and ready to fight back to keep these rights we now have.  In some ways we have opened up a proverbial can of worms here, and the fish are going to be biting hard.  I am a little concerned about what we might see as the dust of celebrations on this ruling settles and the trash talking begins.  I’ve already seen – from a few people who identify as LGBTQ themselves – some of this trash talk.  Yes, there are even people within the community who don’t believe that the Supreme Court had the power to rule on same sex marriage.  So, we are not all on the same page for sure — but are we ever?

There are still many other issues surrounding equality for all that need to be dealt with for many people.  I’m wondering how many people think that the fight is over now that we have marriage equality?

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Near You

I absolutely LOVE this poem, it’ says so much that’s so close to how I feel…

I Digress….

Having a bit of a moment here tonight…..It feels like it’s been months since I felt that love in my heart, but literally it’s only been just over a mere 17 days now….such a short time to drag on so fucking slowly.  Thankfully I have a bunch of new things going on work wise that are keeping me really busy and without too awful much downtime to think about things like this…but still it is all that I think about HER.

I fell in love with a young woman.  Plain and simple.  Right to the very point.  I can’t just fall out of love in 17 days either…it’s going to take me quite a bit longer than this to get over her, yeah I still love her so much.  I know, life does go on, and I’m sure it’s gone on for her too…She has another love interest that was just dying to get with her there, and I am sure they were talking everyday even when we were doing the same. Which she knew I didn’t like but continued with anyway, so I guess she had to have her fall-back girl.  Personally, now being a bit more aware, don’t see the attraction but she has to have someone to pay attention to her or she’ll be one very unhappy camper.

I honestly wanted to be and tried to be that person for her, I gave her all of my attention.  Then there was this one afternoon when I was tired and wanted to catch a nap and didn’t want to Skype with her at that very moment.  Big mistake.  She’s one of those types who wants to be the one to say jump and wants you to be the one saying how high?  I put up with that for 9 months, and I even thought it was kinda cute at first.

She kept everything close to the vest, She wanted to know me but didn’t want me to know too much about her.  It was like pulling wisdom teeth to get the smallest bits of information from her sometimes.  That was very infuriating at times, although I tried to hold my temper and be patient.  There were many reasons for my patience, and having a person relax with you is a good reason for having good patience.  She was worth everything I went thought about her, here alone or when we were talking in one form or another.

Now I miss her.  I miss her smile, her laughter, I even miss her being mad at me all the time (or what felt like much of the time, as I was not living up to her needs as a Butch lover).  I miss our long talks, hours on Skype, LD pajama parties and just sharing our days events together.

I understand that it will take months to process this whole thing, to read and reread the things that were said and think about all those Skype calls and verbal calls that happened between us.  It’s a whole process of figureing out what exactly went on and why — maybe even why I let it go on as long as I did in the first place.   Fuck.  I let it go on because I love her.  And love doesn’t always make sense, or dictate the right thing to do or say.

I realize that I am not the best at reading “signals” from women.  I am more of a straight forward Butch.  Tell me like it is and I will get it, beat around the bush, threaten me and try to cower me and I just go from irritated, to frustrated to disappointed and then to angry.  Maybe that is more like a man would think.  I’ve surrounded myself with men most of my life, in many aspects.  I worked in a male dominated industry for years, having to hold my own – which I did proficiently.

I was taught not to cry, not to let things get to me to push me to that state of mind.  It wasn’t Butch to cry. (I know this isn’t true now, but it’s one hard habit to break once you have conditioned yourself to react in such a way).

I just wanted to be cared for like I cared for her.  I wanted equal footing in the relationship – in all ways.  I wanted us to be friends – and lovers!  I never wanted anyone so damned badly in recent years.  It sucks that it all had to go to hell like it did, and really all over nothing but more and more miscommunication.  I am so sorry for it and wish I could turn back time and change it all so I was not without her now.  She was good for me, and I think I was good for her too.

I would have done anything to meet her in person and wrap my arms around her with love.  Pieces of me will never be complete with things standing as they are.  There will always be the “what IF” and the wondering on both sides I am sure about what could have been.  What I believe could have been a really successful relationship if it had been given the proper chances and the proper attention; had the right things have been done and said.

For now I will walk on and figure out where I am going from here in my own way.  One day in the distant future I may even try dating again….but no way is that going to be happening too soon.  As long as she is stuck in my heart and head I can’t and will NOT see anyone else, it wouldn’t be completely fair to them, nor would I be being true to my own heart.  Plus I’ve done fine on my own the last few years, and I will continue to do just fine as long as the proverbial bus doesn’t get me sooner.

Thanks to everyone who reads me and gets that I am just trying to figure all this out, figure out what went wrong and where, when, why and how.  It’s not easy.  I feel like shit about it all.  She doesn’t read my blogs anymore, so I figured I am safe to write about my thoughts once again.  I always feared hurting her when I wrote, and my intentions toward her have no harm or fear in them.  I have only respect for her and love for her, to this day.  ~Peace~  MB

Checking In Monday

Summer solistice yesterday was a really rainy, wet day here in Maine.  I attended a family barbeque at my parents’ home, and miraculously ALL of my siblings were there too!  That’s  a rare occurance, to get all of us together in the same space, it might happen once a year if we are lucky.  And in thinking back now, no one thought to take a photo?!  Opportunity lost. It was a very nice party with lots of food, talking and laughter.  We experimented on new ways to make Jimmi juice, a beverage they served at the Ferry Landing that we all love, but can’t quite seem to copy exactly.  It’s a concoction of 4 different dark rums and orange, pineapple and cranberry juices – we THINK.  It’s a fun game to try to make it up, and what we do come up with for trys are always good anyways!  I sucked back 4 of them and was feeling no pain whatsoever believe me.  And I slept pretty good last night!  🙂

This morning I got up feeling pretty chipper, was out the door to do a couple of jobs down by the beach that I wanted to finish up before noon.  Got those done and did my usual Monday errands…grocery store, post office, bank, and thrift shops.  At one shop I picked up a brand new Timberland waterproof jacket….it’s awesome!  New this must have sold for closet to a couple hundred dollars and I got it for $7 bucks!  Here’s a picture, which doesn’t do it justice really, it’s a super nice jacket and I will get a lot of use out of it this fall I am sure.  It was a steal, a real good find and I just couldn’t pass up the deal on it.  Anyone who understand the value of a good waterproof jacket on a cold blustery day will get me for sure.

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Our weather here can be quite diverse, changing from sunshine to rain fairly quickly over a day.  You’ve got to be prepared if you are working or playing out in the outdoors.

I’ve been managing to stay really busy, although sometimes I just wonder where the time goes.  I wish I were even a bit more busy most days.  I find myself with too much time on my hands to be idle and that gets me to thinking too much, and that’s just never good.

There are lots of things going on around the area right now.  Hampton Beach is hosting a sand sculpture contest, and the sculptures are just phenomenal.  They bring in artists from around the globe to line the beach with these massive mounds of beach sand which they then turn into giant works of pure sand art.  It draws a huge crowd, and it’s hard to navigate down there on a good day, let alone on an event day!  I’ve followed it online and in the paper and on tv, but haven’t ventured down to see them yet.  I am due to be in the Hampton Beach area again on Thursday morning, so maybe if I go over that way early enough I can sneak by the beach and get some photos of the sculptures.

This coming weekend is our first local Pride event.  That ought to be interesting, and I am looking forward to going to it. I’m not sure who has organized it or what kind of things they are planning to have, so it’s a total blind surprise!  I’m sure I will run into other people that I know from around here, which will be really cool too.  That part I am really looking forward to.  It’s nice to catch up a bit with old friends once in a while.

Saturday is also America on Tap’s Beer Festival which is being held about 300 yards from my front door.  I can enjoy the live music without even leaving my porch.  I’m not much of a beer drinker, so I am not inclined to buy a ticket to the event and go, it just wouldn’t be worth it.  Plus I am hoping to spend my whole day at the Portsmouth Pride event instead.  I believe there are supposed to be 150 beers on tap, live music, games, and vendors.  I’m sure it will be fun for those who do go and who enjoy those micro-brew type beers.  I have a hard enough time stomaching a couple of Coors light’s once in a great while.  Beer is just not my choice of beverage.

There is so much happening in the world that I could be talking about….like the latest mass shooting we had in South Carolina this week, 9 innocent people lost their lives to one very racist little prick.  It’s been the talk of the news heads all over the internet and television.  Bumped the Caitlyn Jenner story right to the curb.  Sometimes I just don’t know if I can be surprised anymore by what I see and hear on the news.  It’s like watching a bad bad movie.  The voilence and hatred that runs rampant here is just out of control.  And these “lone wolf” killers like this 21 yr old kid who killed the people at the church in South Carolina are just the scariest of them all.  Nope, just don’t know what this world is coming to….

I made Bruschetta for dinner tonight, it was just awesome.  All local fresh ingredients.  Yummy.  Now my stomach is full, so I think I will get into some shorts and a tank top and just chill on the couch watching mundane TV for a while, or maybe reading blogs online and doing word puzzles instead.  Whichever, it will be a relaxing night.

I hope you are all doing well!  ~Peace~   MB

Mid June

How is it possible to be so fucking bored and so insanely busy at the same damned time?  I don’t know, but I have managed to do it lately.  I’ve picked up a couple of little jobs helping to do some spring cleaning on pools in the area, nothing too strenuous, but enough to keep me busy for 6-7 hours a day most days.  Then I come home and I am just plain bored.  I’m told to get my license and go fishing, rent a boat, take the dogs out on the water and just do the things that I enjoy doing.  But it just seems boring to do it all alone.  I did manage to get my lawn mowed and the yard cleaned up nice today, so chores are done!  It just seems that all I ever do is chores.

I’m planning a trip down to Virginia towards the end of summer, probably in September for a few weeks.  My best friend and ex lover lives there and I need some time to just chill out with her for a while.  She’s the only person in the world that ever really understood me.  We get along great, I’m not sure why I couldn’t have just settled down with her and made it work…hell we are on the phone still daily and are definitely still part of each others’ lives.

Lulu is getting taller, she’s all legs.  And her adult hair is growing in nicely, she’s a cute little thing.  She and Nola keep me smiling – and buying Better Belly Bones on a regular basis!  They are addicted to the bones, it’s terrible when we run out.  I had to run out tonight to town just to get a couple of bags of those bones at Petco.

Had a doctors’ check up yesterday, everything seems to be going well healthwise.  I’m even down 16 lbs. in weight from where i was last time I checked in.  It’s a summer loss thing, I just work like a bear…gain in winter and lose in summer.  Thankfully!!!

I didn’t make it to Boston Pride…seems I forgot that I have 2 dogs that need care and I couldn’t find a sitter for them on such short notice.  When I got to Virginia they will be going with me, which makes it much easier and I will be more at ease with them with me than I would be leaving them with someone else.  Lulu hasn’t been on a long road trip yet…so she’s going to be in for a big surprise!  With the suv I have the luxury of being able to set up the back for her and Nola to be very comfortable for the 10 hour trip.  I’m figuring it’s 710 miles to where I am going in the mountains, so it will take me around 10-12 hours to make it down there.

There is a local pride festival going on here in Portsmouth NH at the end of this month, and I WILL be going to that one.  It’s the first time we’ve had one here, and it should be fun and interesting.  Portsmouth is a good sized city, so it should have a yearly pride event in my opinion!  It should also have way more LGBT things going on, but it seems that everyone goes to Boston for most of that stuff nowadays.  Not me, I am no city Butch…like it right here in the good old rural countryside!

Hope everyone is having a great start to their summer!  ~Peace!~  MB

My Butch Musings Today

I’m not sure exactly how to write about this, or what I want to say, so we’ll see how it goes as I type on here.  Let me say that I am just me, and these are my personal thoughts and opinions.  I know there are many varying views, and I don’t know that any particular one of them is “right” or “wrong”.  And let me say up front that I love and support my trans friends and allies, and I always will.

Caitlyn Jenner.  She has been the woman of the week in the news, her doing the cover of Vanity Fair, and doing television interviews and stories about her coming out, and she’s been talked about in many of the blogs that I have been reading too.  Friends have asked me what I think about it all. because who better to ask than the local Butch lesbian about this? ha!  I think it’s comical that when anything happens in the news concerning any kind of LGBT issue that people come off with the strangest questions to us just because they see us standing under the umbrella of LGBT.

It’s been a strange couple of weeks watching as Bruce Jenner disappears and Caitlin Jenner emerges on the cover of Vanity fair…and sort of as a sex goddess of a kind.  Annie Lebowitz’s photography is amazing, and I am glad it was she who got to shoot these photos, good choice Caitlin.  Coupled with your association with names of fame, from Kardashain to Jenner, from Bruiser to Caitlin, the choice to reveal Caitlin as this impeccably groomed prima donna cannot be outdone, in my opinion.

I’m not sure how I feel about all of this.  That is my answer to my questioning straight* friends. I give straight the asterisk because I am not even sure about that anymore!  What defines straight now?  It’s all become so confusing, all of the terms and words have changed, all of the prerequisites seem to have changed too.

What does it mean to be a woman now?  How is it defined?  And who gets to define it?  I used to think that being a woman is shaped by a certain kind of experience living as a gendered individual, among a community (women) who share those accrued experiences, both positive and sadly many times negative.  It’s always been a sort of uphill battle to survive as a woman in this world of inequality.  And now it seems that there is some re-defining force at work that is trying like hell to change everything.  I’m just not sure what to think anymore.  I guess I have many more conversations to have and reading to be done to figure some of this out.

I do realize that I am walking a thin, thin line between female and male I know.  I am often mis-gendered as a male and it doesn’t bother me.  When I am gendered properly as a female I know instantly that I have taken second place somehow. Women have always been made to feel inferior to men.  It’s been that way since caveman days.  It’s a weird feeling, and one I struggle with daily many times.  Some days it pisses me off, and some days I don’t really care one way or the other.  I am just me in this world, just me.

I read and watch on TV all of this stuff about “living in the wrong body”.  This is something, that as a non-trans person I could and can never understand.  I don’t know what that feeling is like, nor do I claim to know as I have never felt that I was in the wrong body, but I did not like my breasts, so I had them reduced drastically.  My chest is flat now, and my body feels right to me.  I am a woman.  I suffered all of the things that women suffer through gender experience, including the push to be more “feminine” at times.  I never wanted to be male, but I never liked being “feminine” either.  As someone said recently somewhere that I read “nail polish wears off”.  This sounds weird to me, because I think that who one IS doesn’t wear off.  I look into the mirror every morning and I see a masculine Butch woman, raised female by experience and culture.  I see the scars of living in this female body; one that belongs to me, and is unquestionably the right one for me.  The scars of living in the wrong body are more invisible to people, and I am not sure what that looks like.

I look at the photos of Caitlin now and it’s amazing.  What can money not do? According to the photographs I have seen she is strikingly beautiful.  From the perfect hair to the perfect waist and ample feminine cleavage.  It’s hard not to be jealous in a way, she has achieved that perfect female/feminine body; the body that she wants and feels comfortable in from what I am reading/hearing.  This is something many women work a lifetime to get through a variety of sometimes wild and occasionally means (i.e. botox and illegally performed surgeries/procedures).  Caitlin chose professionally treatments and surgeries to bring out her feminine side.  I, myself, chose surgical procedure to be less feminine.  Funny what we will all do to achieve our goals.  And how vastly our goals are from one another in this world.  Everyone has their own agenda and desires, and everyone should be able to act on those desires if they are able.  I feel lucky that I was able to get my chest surgery done, and I always feel happy for other Butches who get it done and like me feel it was the best thing they ever did to improve their body image and divert some dysphoria.  And I feel the pain for those who want it done and can’t yet get there.

Now these are all just my musings; thoughts and opinions of a very socially isolated Butch.  I wish I had someone who could explain many of my questions to me, and help me better understand not only this but myself as well.

Jamie (A boy and her dog) recently attended a conference (see blog) and speaks about this social isolation.  I don’t know why some of us socially isolate.  I know for me it’s partially because I now live in an area where there is no real LGBT community to speak of.  Those that are here are partnered up, settled down and don’t really interact with one another in any type of organized atmosphere, i.e. there are no gay bars, no clubs and no recreation centers or LGBT organized events.  For the first time there is going to be a Gay Pride festival here at the end of this month, WOW!  That is actually exciting to me, and I am sure to many others in my area.  I am planning to go, and I know I will run into many people that I used to see years back at the bars (when there were some here!) and on the softball fields (lesbian cruising spots). If U-haul were smart they would run a special on local moving trucks for the following week!  I wonder if they ever considered having a booth at the Gay Pride festivals?  Now, that’s a funny thought!  (hahahaha!)

At the end of the blog Jamie says:  “I need to stop apologizing for identifying as both butch and transgender. I need to stop apologizing for not having it all figured out..”   This line caught my thought process by surprise.  I do this too.  And I need to stop and realize that maybe no one has it “all figured out” ever.  We are all just works in progress.  Maybe we are all just like worker ants building and rebuilding ourselves daily; doing what has to be done.  Everyone’s brand of Butch is different, and as the world turns it seems to get more and more difficult to decipher where the lines get drawn sometimes.

I have actually been working on my own social isolation alot in recent weeks.  And have reached out to quite a few friends lately.  I am blessed to have some awesome people in my life, that’s for sure.  I’m pleased that I can call them friends and that I feel valued by them.  I’m going to join a couple of them for Boston’s Pride this Saturday, which should be loads of fun!  I’m sure I will come back with many photos and a story or two to tell next week.  I am going to meet my friends in Amesbury and take the T in to the city, that way no searching for parking or looking for the “lost car” at 1 am when we are trying to find our way out of the city!  I’ve done that before, it’s not fun!  haha!

~Peace~

~MB

Sunday Plans

Ok, so I was pretty angry when I wrote yesterday’s blog, and I realize it going back to reread it.  Maybe I was harsh, but I felt like that insult was the icing on the proverbial cupcake.  I am done with it.  And moving on…. 🙂  Let history be history, and lessons be learned.

Today is my “house attention” day.  I will be working on my little gardens, and mowing the lawn.  We had rain at the beginning of last week, like 2.5 inches of rain!  And then the sun has been doing it’s job, so now the grass is starting to become very tall and going to seed. It will actually look pretty nice once it’s mowed, because all of the winter spots have now grassed over and filled in.  Once it’s mowed it will be all even and look pretty darned good.  My wheel barrow planter got so much water from the rain that it fell over sideways!  So I had to upright it and replant half of it that fell out.  I was tempted to just leave it sideways and let the flowers sort of “flow” out of it, but it’s just not looking right that way.  Today I will fix it properly and make sure it looks the best it can until it “recovers” from it’s traumatic tip-over! haha.

The dogs have an all out war going on over rawhide bones. It’s driving me a little bit nuts. Nola is a bone pig.  She wants ALL of the rawhide chew bones to herself, and will hoard them.  Her favorite part is when they are tiny pieces, that I call “gum bones”.  She will sit and chew those little chunks like they are pieces of gum in her mouth.  And then she will save the little chunks until she has a sort of “pile” of them, hoarding the whole time!  She gets downright mean with the puppy over “her” bone pile too…I have to scold her occasionally for snapping at the puppy so harshly.  Other than the bone war, they are getting along just fine, Nola has accepted her as a member of the family now, it just took a little time and patience on everyone’s parts.  Here is proof they are getting along:

NolaLulu

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!  I’m off to get ready and get my day started here!  ~Peace~    ~MB