I Don’t Want to Miss This…

It’s the middle of the night…I reach for my phone…has she messaged me?  Did I miss it?  Damn, I never want to miss her messages, her texts, videos, pictures…I don’t want to miss a thing.

I’ve been sort of walking on clouds…and eggshells simultaneously.  I’m falling very hard for her and I know I can’t hide it.  She’s in my thoughts and in my heart constantly.  I have kept myself very guarded; not letting anyone into my heart, for a very long time.  I’ve been keeping people at arms length for so long that it is like a whole new thing to let her in; to let her past those walls and to reveal my vulnerability to her.

I don’t want to scare her away, and I also don’t want her to get away!  I have to be patient and focused.  I’ve been given another chance at real love – and that doesn’t happen too often, so I don’t want to fuck it up in any way.

She’s different from the other women I have been with…and she deserves to be honored and respected for her uniqueness.  She’s teaching me, and I am teaching her.  This is a new world and a learning curve for both of us.  Our histories are similar, yet very different at the same time.  We’ve both been in places that we didn’t want to be in, yet stayed for all the wrong reasons.  And it’s a tender walk out of that dark forest, a very tender walk.  But putting the past behind us so that we can build on our future is important – and doing it right is as well.  I want her to do things in her own time; at her own pace and for the right reasons.  Just as I have to do, too.

Yeah, so I think I have found the woman who can handle me.  Who wants me no matter the scars and the baggage that I carry and she’s willing to take me as I am, no demands and no requirements in advance.  She gets me.  She really does.  And I love her for that.

I can’t change who I am, and I don’t want to have to ever do that.  This woman isn’t wanting me to change.  She gets that I am Butch and stuck in my ways.  She understand my dominance and my quirks.  She’s my Rock star.

And she is awesome.

 

 

 

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And I don’t wanna miss a thing…

It’s a nice cool 61 degree morning here on the coast of Maine, albeit a rather overcast day.  The clouds gathering above me in the sky are heavy and full of rain – which will surely soon be pouring down upon my thirsty gardens and lawn spaces, thankfully.

I am up. I got up at 4:30am after a few short hours of sleep.  I’ve been having the most insane dreams lately.  I’m not sure if it’s med related, stress related or just that I am fucking weird.  Again last night I dreamed of being in the Army once again, and this time being deployed to control riots surrounding the Charlottesville white supremacist rally.  Yes, my dreams are overlapping into what is happening in real life here in America.  If I were able I would re-join the Army in a heart beat, but I’m aged out at 55.  Even so, I still dream of being in uniform again every now and then.  I often lament that I should have stayed my ass in the military until retirement.  But back in the mid-80’s when I finished my tour of duty the climate around being lesbian and in the Army was not good.  They were still in the midst of having monthly “witch hunts” and “round ups” of gays and lesbians to throw out of the service just for being who they were.  I narrowly avoided a couple of those round ups because I did not use my real name back then.  Off-post I had an entirely different identity; living stealth in order to maintain my position with the Army.  I did not want to have to explain a discharge that was other than honorable to my father – a man I feared and respected; a man who said I did not have the “balls to join” the Army…yeah, I was busy showing him what a damned good soldier looked like!

…and I digress…

I was saying, it is a fantastic start to my day here.  Life has been changing lately for me, as I mentioned briefly in previously posted blogs here.  I’ve been making changes, still growing and just relaxing more into myself and into life.  I’ve been trying hard to become more aware of myself; of my internalized phobias, and trying to work on those. We all have them, we try to deny it but it’s a fact.  I’ve been trying harder to think about what other people are going through or are concerned with and to be empathetic to those things.  I think it’s making me a better person.  I hope it is.

I have been getting out more the last few weeks.  Doing more by the way of social sort of stuff.  Generally I keep quietly to myself.  But I have realize that this isn’t doing my psyche any damned good.  Thus I have made more of a concerted effort to socialize and get the hell out of the house days.

On the 10th I went out to The Old Ferry Landing in downtown Portsmouth, NH with my whole family for a birthday dinner for my mother.  The Landing is right on the Piscataqua River, in Portsmouth Harbor.  It’s the very spot where the old ferry would land to bring passengers and freight back and forth across the river between Maine and New Hampshire up until the first draw bridge was built in the 1930’s.  So it’s a very historic spot, and when I am there I imagine what it might have been like for my grandmother to ride that ferry to town, which she did back then.  So it’s like walking in the footsteps of my ancestors.

Right next to the landing is the home of the Moran Tugs.  These tug boats are used to guide commercial vessels through the channels of the Piscataqua, one of the fastest current salt water rivers in the world, and through the two draw bridges that span the river.  There is a 3rd bridge, the “high level” we call it, that is high enough to navigate ships beneath, so it is stationary.  Right now the “middle bridge” of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, is being replaced.  It’s quite the project building a new draw bridge with all of today’s technology incorporated into it.  The project is the talk of the seacoast at this time.

Here are some good pictures of me, my family, the restaurant and the tugs.  Taken with my new Moto phone’s camera.

And while I was in the city (Portsmouth) I happened by a little shop that is owned by a dear old friend of mine. She is actually the woman who worked at the clinic where I tested positive for HIV back in 1992.  She is the one who had to break the news to my bewildered ass.  And I was the first woman she had ever had to tell they were positive.  So we have a sort of bond because of this happening to us back then.  We have always stayed in touch on the fringes, seeing each other at various outings, like Pride, Women’s March, and others.  Well, she dragged me into her little shop, which is for femmes let me tell ya, it’s full of jewelry, scarves, and hats…oh the hats…seems they were having a little “hat party” at the moment that I happened by on my way to the Ferry Landing.  Once inside they took great glory in having a Butch in their midst.  I got flirted with and poked fun of and then THIS happened: Ang Hat Pic

Yep, they made me try on one of the foofy hats…and they sure did get a laugh out of it, as did I.  I graciously allowed them to take this pic…so here it is for prosperity…and you all get a good chuckle out of it too.  🙂

This last Saturday I went up to celebrate my neices’s birthdays – Kyle and Meagan are both 23 this year…oy vey…and they often celebrate together as they are only 4 days apart in age.  Yes, 1994 was a very busy year for my family! lol.  It was the year I became an Auntie.  Auntie Butch…go figure. One of the proudest times of my life.  Here are some pics from the pool party we had Saturday.

Yes, it was complete with fresh off the boat Maine lobsters!  And they sure were great.  They are hard shell right now and full of good meat.  I had a fun time sending pics of them to my girlfriend and freaking her out…she’s never had a lobster.  Soon…very soon.

Yes, you read that right.  Girlfriend.  I formally asked her to be my girlfriend.  Hey, it’s the Butch way, you got to be respectful; not assume anything.  If you don’t ask; if you don’t together label what you have then it’s not official.  That’s my code anyway.

I’ve known this woman for close to a decade now…she’s been right in front of me and I just wasn’t ready…and in reality neither was she.  Both of us were on other paths; going through other things of our own and were just aware of each other on the fringes…but come to find out we WERE both aware…

The last 10 years I have been involved in some not so good situations.  I was with one woman on and off for many of those years.  I thought we would be together basically forever, but she met a man and realized she wasn’t who she thought she was.  Did it hurt?  Hell yeah.  But I don’t want anything to do with a woman who may be the least bit straight in any way, shape or form – not even a little bit.  So that ended, and ended very abruptly.  It’s for the best, I was “settling” I now see.  I didn’t have that passionate love for her that I need to have for the forever woman in my life. Then I started to get involved with another woman, but turned out she was so deep in the closet that she was kissin the back wall hard…So, yeah, I had some fuck ups along the way here, but it’s all behind me now.

I backed off dating completely; just gave the fuck up and figured I’d just be happier sticking to myself and not getting involved with anyone, it seemed to always be just too damned complicated.

That worked for a good while…then she somehow got my attention and things turned in a different direction. We got to just casually talking at first, and then it became clear that we had both been stealthily following each other for almost 10 years…interacting on rare occasions, but just enough to stay in touch.  We began daily conversations, got into some pretty deep stuff from both of our lives.  Both being bloggers and being each other’s followers, we knew quite a bit about one another; each had watched the other go through a myriad of struggles over the decade. We filled in those blanks; those things that we didn’t disclose in our blogs, the intimate details…lots of very personal stuff we have shared.  I’m not afraid of her hurting me, I’ve let that wall down and damn, it sure feels great.  To finally have someone who I can trusts with my heart.

Fast forward a little bit and I have really connected with this great woman.  She has stolen my heart…in a very good way.  She makes me smile, laugh, think and want to be all that I can be for her – and for myself.   I keep pinching myself to see if this is real; to see if I am really awake and that this is happening for us.  We’ve gotten really close, sharing our fears, our dreams, and our mutual affection for one another.  I haven’t felt this way in a very long time….like since 2007…and I don’t exactly know where this journey with her will take me, but I am sure going to find out.  I’m not letting go now for anything…anything.  I’ve needed her for so long, and now she’s right in front of me right where she belongs.  In my heart and in my arms.  I don’t wanna miss a minute of this…

More on this to come…I am sure as rain.   Peace.  ~MB

 

 

 

Butch…Trans…A Conversation

There will always be someone who disagrees, no matter what the topic is. And inside the LGBT…xyz community there are many voices, many cultures, tons of identities and buckets of genders. I recently cross posted an interesting article that was on Slate.com titled “Why I’m Still a Butch Lesbian” in a Facebook group that I am part of called “Gender Outlaws”… and wow, people came out of the freaking woodwork to comment and argue about this post. I only wish we could get the author herself to see the comments and respond to the conversation. I just might try to contact hym about it. At first I was a bit frightened by some of the responses and comments I was getting on the article. Now, the points of view are entirely .the author’s own, and while some may not find them to be very “PC” I do understand where she’s coming from in many ways. Not that I fully agree with her statements or opinions but I do understand some of the thinking involved in what she’s trying to say.

Some people found the article to contain transphobic bits, anti-women pieces, and generally it left people wanting to discuss the topic more. I felt that it was a great article to start a conversation with, which it certainly did! I tried to see where other people were coming from with their disdain for the article, and I can see how some were offended for sure. Especially after my exchange with one of the commenters, she got me to look more objectively at the issues with the post and why others felt the way they did.

Gender identity is – or seems to me to be – an ever evolving thing. As are the politics surrounding it. And we all have our implicit biases – snap judgements based on what we see, age, race, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, culture and up-bringing. Yet most of us aren’t aware of our prejudices. That’s Implicit bias, for those wondering what the hell I am referring to. You can also call some of what we are experiencing as our own internalized homophobia. We were most all taught or told from a young age that there is only one of two ways you can be, either male or female, and that being anything but straight (heterosexual) and living a clean life will damn you to hell and fury. Those things cannot not affect, in some way, the way that we have each grown to think and be. And thus the way that we react to things that may stir up internal triggers for us. I believe this article by Lea stirred up a LOT of these triggers.

Love has no labels – in a perfect fucking world.

People can be whoever they wish to be – in a fucking perfect world.

But when you “say” who you are then you are going to open yourself up to outside opinion and most likely criticism of your designation and your words.

You are never the same as you were yesterday. Every day that goes by changes each of us in little ways, maybe even in huge ways – I call those days moments of definition (defining moments). I am not the same person I was at 20, 30, 40, or 50. I am a culmination of all that has happened to me; of all that I have experienced and all of those people that I have let into my life – whether I allowed them to stay or not.

Gender identity is a very personal thing. No one comes to their truth the same way as anyone else. I am a Butch lesbian. While I feel that I have always been a Butch lesbian I was not always true to my identity. I tried to be other things that I simply was not, for the sake of jobs, housing situations, loves, friends and family. Not until I realized that none of them mattered to my living my authentic life, was I completely comfortable being me – a Butch lesbian. I am 55 now, and I’m sure I am still evolving. I have different habits now, different views, different opinions and a very different body. I chose to have top surgery a couple of years ago, and it was personally the best thing I ever did for myself.

I caught shit for doing it. I heard things like “that means you want to be a Trans guy” and “you’re afraid to be a woman” and “you’re mutilating your body” and on and on. I heard it all. but you know what? I don’t fucking care what ANYONE else thinks, they didn’t have to live inside of my head, and my head is much better off without my breasts! AND it does NOT make me any less of a lesbian, any less of a Butch or any less of a woman. And no, I never had any illusions about those things before or after my surgery.

Lea makes one statement in her article about not sleeping with other Butches, she used some derogatory terms – saying she “isn’t a fag” which really pissed people off. Now, I don’t agree with her terminology, but I do understand, that as a Butch who prefers femme women, that she chooses not to engage romantically with other Butch lesbians. I have somewhat of that same preference, I just cannot connect the right way with another masculine identified person to where I would consider having sex with them. Female or male. Some see this as being somehow degrading to my Butch friends. I in no way am degrading anyone. The type of women I am attracted to romantically are just generally not Butch identified, period. I believe the author was just trying to say that same thing but she tried to make it sound a bit on the macho funny side, which didn’t go over well at all with the people who commented back to me.

I have always thought that there was a “fine line” between being Butch and identifying as Transgender. But…I am beginning to see that that line is much bolder than I had originally seen it as. Perhaps it’s “getting” bolder; perhaps it always has been and I just didn’t see it that way. I’m not entirely sure. I am thinking about this quite a bit now.

As most of you who read me regularly know, I consider Butch to be my gender. It is not lost on me however that I am female bodied and am a woman by definition. But I have never felt like a woman fully, nor have I ever felt like a man. I am just me, just plain Butch. Sort of with a foot in both arenas. I tend to lean very much toward my masculine side, and have very little femininity in me. This is just how I evolved. I’m not afraid of my femaleness, just really don’t know how to be any other way than just as I am. Nor do I even wish to try to be any other way!

I’ve written before about what I see as a sort of “trend” toward transitioning in younger lesbians especially. How is one to know what we would have done had we had that technology, knowledge and opportunity back “in the day” when we were going through our 20’s and coming to terms with who we were going to be in this life? We don’t. Maybe it’s not a trend, but we see it more frequently now because we can see it now! Where back in the 60’s-80’s when I was in those formative years I didn’t even know what the word “transgender” meant – or if it even WAS a word back then! Today’s youth have much more information and opportunity than any other decade before this. Of course this is going to make things different.

I am a very “live and let live” type of person. I don’t like to throw my judgements at others. I have many friends of all sorts, gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, non-binary, etc. I respect each person’s right to choose their own gender identity, their own sexuality, and their own lifestyle. I only ask that I receive that same respect in return.

I believe if the world were more tolerant, less judgmental and less phobic it would be a far better and easier place to exist in. But that’s not reality. This, what we are living today, is our reality. We have to make the best of it, we have to learn to be loving and to care about one another. Just because we are different kinds of people doesn’t mean that we cannot just be people together!

We need to have these tough conversations, listen – really LISTEN – to each other and have some compassion because every one of us is going through something in this life. Some journey’s are easier, some more difficult. Yet, in the end we all end up with baggage. It’s who you unpack it for that should matter the most to you. I want to know that I am unpacking for people who will love and respect me no matter who I used to be, and who love me for who I am today.

So, as you read the article please understand that she has been on a life journey as well. She’s had her share of good and bad. She has her own stuff to deal with that we know nothing about. We don’t have to agree with her, but we have to hear her and give her space to speak her own truth, in her own unique way. I hope that she will give that same consideration to those who don’t agree with her article, for they have their own reasons – I have my own reasons! And it’s ok, it’s ok to not always agree. That’s why it’s important to hear many voices, to really listen to each other and to learn that we can be very different – yet in the end we are all just human beings trying to survive this life.

I am positive that this is not the end of this conversation. Nor will it be the end of my writing on gender and being Butch. I invite you to read Lea’s article and tell me in the comments what your take away on it is. Were you offended? Were you intrigued? What do you think overall of her piece?

Peace! ~MainelyButch

PS. Here is a second article from Slate.com along the same subject lines. It was added as a comment to my post, as an alternative point perhaps? What do you think?

“I Didn’t Know I was Trans” by Evan Urquhart

PSS.  so I went to publish this post and low-n-behold some of the original Slate.com piece has been EDITED by them? Someone? Author?  I don’t know, but mysteriously some of it that was causing the bulk of the controversay seems to have disappeared.  I’m very confused.  So, this is based on the original version that I read…prior to this obvious edit…which pisses me off to no end.

Fresh Haircuts Rock !

2017-08-04 07.55.09Trump leaves for 17 days vacation today, not like he’s DOING anything productive or noteworthy in the White House or anything…naw…he’s just wasting space and stealing air.  He leaves with his tiny orange tail between his legs.  He signed the Russian Sanctions bill and now Putin has directly said by Tweet that he will now remove DJT from office – because obviously the American Congress cannot – or will not – do it themselves.  If there were a pile of shit on the Congressional floor someone would take on the task of disposing of it properly.  Well, there’s a pile of shit in the White House and I don’t seen anyone with a pooper scooper in sight.  Pathetic.  Sigh…so I am now counting on Putin to get this guy out of our White House, or as Trump calls it “the Dump”….

I had a decent sort of day.  I took Thursday and Friday off of work…mental health reprieve.  Plus I have the weekend as well.  So yeah, I needed some time off to myself.

I stopped in to Loaded Dice, Boston Barber Shop in Rochester, NH today for a nice fresh cut and edging.  I really like how Skinny B cuts it, he’s better than Johnny used to be.  I hear that Johnny got hired back…and then fired within a week…damn dude!  Anyway, Skinny B is the barber at the middle chair in this picture; guy in the white shirt and black apron.  He’s a great barber!  I just love getting my hair cut, and everything about it.  The smell of the Old Spice aftershave,I love the feel of that straight razor as he nicks away the tiny hairs at the edges of my hairline, shh, shh, shh, like gently carving on balsa wood  I love the noise, guys laughing, pool balls clinking into the worn plastic pockets, the hum of the AC unit and of course the “guy talk” that I am SURE is akin to the gossip you do/say/hear at any local beauty salon.  I just love my barbershop!

2017-08-03 14.02.45

In the Fog..

That’s where I have been lately…in the fog.  I’m feeling a whole slew of ways.  Emotions are such fucked up things most of the time.  I’ve been trying like hell to sort through them all, from those feelings of loss, to feelings of renewed strength.  It’s no easy task.  I’ve been burying most of my emotions for months now…and the build up is working it’s way towards either an implosion or an explosion…both are pulling in equal directions!

I haven’t been writing much at all.  Which is VERY unlike me.  I have always written at least every other day…but for some reason I am avoiding the keyboard, the phone and the pen/paper like mad.  So, tonight I am determined to do some writing here; to sort through some stuff.  You are welcome to read along, but let me forewarn you that this may be a bit discombobulated or it may make perfect sense…THAT is yet to be seen.

What’s been going on in my life?  The same daily struggles of course.  Working my 3 days a week, puttering around the house.  Playing in my gardens.  I’ve been laying pretty low, not causing much commotion – as if I could!  LOL  I like things rather quiet.  I enjoy my home and spend a good amount of time here, working around inside and out.  Making it as nice a home as I can for the dogs and I.

I’ve been trying to talk my best friend in to moving in with me, her and her 2 cats.  It would make life so much easier on both of us, sharing expenses and being company for one another.  But she has her house that she owns, and one of the cats is very old and she’s afraid that he will not adapt to new surrounds this late in his life.  I say he will.  But it’s just not happening.  So, I spend most of my evenings alone, chatting on FB messenger with friends, or watching TV, reading and sometimes writing.  I’ve been pretty absorbed in US politics…a whole other topic for another time.  The last 2 days I have had to back off and take a break from it…it’s just so incredibly chaotic over here in the USA…incredibly fucked up to put it bluntly and honestly.

Been doing some thinking about people that I miss in my life.  Wishing that there weren’t so many good-byes.  But understanding that that is just part of life.  People come and people go.  Some stay a while, some retreat quite abruptly.  I miss the Spanish chick, still.  And I miss a couple of other’s who have dropped out of my life.  But, alas, life does go on and whether those people are still in it or not is completely up to them in most cases.

I’ve changed in the past couple of years — doesn’t everyone change with time?  I am more sure of myself in knowing what I want and don’t want.  What I don’t want is “temporary” people in my life.  I don’t want to play games, or pretend to be someone I am not just to make someone else comfortable. I don’t want to be used for any reason.  I am a strongly opinionated person, I have good morals and ethics that I am committed to and I will not waiver in my commitment to them for anyone.  What I do want is more truth in life.  Genuine people who care about others and are not self-centered or self-absorbed.  I like people who are engaged in life, who read and stay informed about what’s going on in the world, who understand that all of our lives are intertwined and connected.

I had a young friend just come out to her family today.  It was really super sweet, they stepped right up and were whole-heartedly supportive of her!  Insuring her that they love her and are proud that she found her voice and exited the closet!  Her mom is a very good friend of mine, and she called me today to talk about it, to insure herself that she had responded lovingly enough!  I thought THAT was awesome of her!  My young friend is just 21, she’s got her whole life ahead of her and now she can move forward without that nagging “fear” of being “found out”….we all know that fear, and how paralyzing it can be.  Coming out is a very personal thing, and is not always received like this one way, with love and dignity.  Sometimes it goes in the opposite direction, sadly.  I’m just happy that this one went so well!  I am always happy to support and mentor young LGBT folks who contact me, and I knew that this one would eventually do so..it was just a matter of time.  I have known her all of her life, and could see that she was struggling with this over the last couple of years specifically. But I thought it best to let her come to us, instead of confronting her on this very personal issue.  In the end this is what happened, and everyone is doing great tonight!  Welcome to our community young Ash!  🙂

Took Lulu and Nola out for a walk around the neighborhood tonight.  We all needed to get out for some exercise and fresh air.  We waited until around 7 to take advantage of the setting sun and cooling off of temps.  Even Lulu actually WALKED on her leash today! That’s progress as she would rather be carried most of the time, lazy baby girl!  She walked with enthusiasm today!  So I have decide to make it a nightly thing, to help us get in better shape.  Nola and I could stand to lose some weight and Lulu needs to fatten up and get some more muscle.  So this will definitely benefit us all!  Nola and I are both getting older and it’s not easy to keep the weight off of either of us.  I personally could lose a good 25 lbs and be a lot happier with my appearance.  Nola is about 22 lbs.  She should be more like 17…so she has a proportionate amount of weight to lose, at least 5 lbs.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress.  I am going to buy a weighing scale this weekend.  I don’t even own one now…but need one to keep track of our progress.  Yeah, it’s gotten that bad!  I usually lose it faster in the summer, but it’s not happening this year like it has in the past.  So the weight war begins….lol

So, it’s a nice cool night.  I am heading to  bed soon, to cuddle with the pups and get some rest.  Tomorrow I have a bunch of little things to get done around here and then I have doctor visits on Wednesday; work Thursday and Friday and then do it all over again.  I am planning to go to the beach this weekend.  Not sure which one yet, but I’m definitely due for a beach day with the dogs.  Sun and surf on the agenda!

I’ve been talking to one woman lately about feminism and Butch bashing.  It seems that she’s involved in a group on FB that’s mostly femmes and they discuss femme lesbian issue and ideas.  She tells me that there is some “Butch bashing” going on lately.  And that some of the more extreme feminist leaning women have been saying things like “why date a woman who looks like the opposition?” (meaning men I assume).  I find that quite insulting.  That is bashing in it’s finest to me.  I found that to be a new insult, hadn’t heard that one before. Especially from a femme identified person.

You would think that if they were part of the B-F community that they would understand by now that saying that is just not right.  I am told the people saying this are more for femme to femme play, and relationships, so this may explain the odd statement, although it makes it no more less hurtful.  I do not view men as “opposition” at all.  There’s a little bit of asshole in everyone of us.  I try to view and treat people as I wish to be treated.  With respect and compassion.  Yes, I am Butch.  I am masculine in presentation and mannerisms.  I tend to push the binary very hard.  If someone finds this offensive, or to be emulating their “opposition” then that’s on them, and I don’t care to have it in my life.  I am who I am.  Butch and proud.

Do you have any examples of Butch or femme bashing?  I’d like to hear from others on this topic.

Peace!  ~MB

Pride Month Passes

Once again Pride month has passed.  I was planning on attending our local Pride event and parade last Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  It’s not as huge as NYC or Boston, but it’s respectable and is always a good time.  This is only the 3rd consecutive year that we have even had a local Pride event.  but, I picked up a job doing some repairs to a pool and really need the extra money, so I burnered my going to Pride wants, and did the work.  I don’t feel like I missed too much, and there will be lots of pictures to see from FB friends and allies.

So, I didn’t go.  I would probably have felt kind of out of place as usual.  I never feel as I belong correctly in the Lesbian part of the LGBT community.  My Butchness is frowned upon by many lesbians.  Yes, I think that Lesbians can be and are very judgmental of one another particularly.  It seems that everyone has their own “way” or opinion of “how” lesbians should look, act, and conduct themselves.  I always feel like a kind of outsider within my own so-called community.  I am willing to bet that femme identified lesbians also feel this way sometimes, as they also catch holy hell for being “too” feminine as well as for dating Butches that oft times can “pass” as guys.  I am one of those.  I’m so used to being called “Sir” that it feels normal to me.

Perhaps it is me being too sensitive or maybe I am just hyper-aware that I am part of a minority within the minority.  I am part of the Butch-femme world; a world that is only really understood by those who live the life within it.

I see the ads in the personals, when I look, that say “no Butches” and it always pisses me off.  Not that I am interested in responding to a personal ad, but I just wonder what is it about Butches that scares otherly identified lesbians so fucking much?  What is it that they don’t understand about individuality and authenticity?  Who are they to say what is “too masculine” or “too feminine”?  I was born to be me.  I didn’t have to put on any kind of “act” to be Butch.  It’s just who I grew from a young Tomboy to be.  I am not “confused” and I don’t want to “be a man” in any way.  I want to be Butch; a masculine woman.  I like my masculine presentation and traits.  I love femme women.  I love the chemistry, the pull and the dynamic of a Butch-femme relationship.

Pride should be celebrated by all, equally.  Yet, somehow I feel pushed out of my own “community”.  It’s a changing landscape.  Is there still a place at the table for us older lesbians?  For us Butch identified?  Or are we destined to become the invisible?

Even our government refused to recognize LGBT Pride month.  Their dire need to make us invisible is palpable.  Their outright hate for those under the LGBT umbrella seeths.

It’s a changing world.  And ever dangerous.

 

 

Role Models

So, I got up on Monday and made the decision in my head to drag my ass out of the stupid funk that I had gotten into, change my attitude and to have a good week.  And…it worked.  I’ve been very upbeat all week.  And tonight I even invited my parents over to my place for a small backyard cookout.  It was awesome.  They even seemed to relax and enjoy themselves.  The place looks mighty good, and they were pretty impressed with all the work I have done and how it looked.  That made me very proud and put a big smile on my face.

For my whole life I have been trying to please my father.  I don’t know why; perhaps it’s because he is my father and I have the utmost respect for the man.  As a young person I envied him, emulated him and secretly wanted to be just like him.  Of course I was too young to understand all that that really entailed – like now I know I don’t want to be just like him.  He’s politically my polar opposite, and I could never go there.  But as a man of principles and eithics I always put him on a pedestal and tried to live up to what he wanted…or what I thought that he wanted from me.  In my 30’s I realized this constant need to please my father had been a real problem for me all of my life.  Therapy opened that door for me and taught me a lot.  Yet, still today it gives me much pleasure when he is pleased with me for some reason.  I’m sure the therapist would have a lot to say about it still.  I also fear the man immensely.  I fear his anger, his disapproval and his hate.  I avoid him most of the time, but there is a part of me that would really like to be closer to the guy.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster for me, one I am sure I will continue to deal with until the end.

Role models are important to young people.  When I was growing up I had my parents as role models.  Like any child I watched them intently and copied those things that I admired in them.  My Dad was a super strong dude, a Marine, then a cop, then a builder and business owner.  He is the epitomy of masculinity.  As a youngster I already understood that I was attracted to women, I thought at the time that I was supposed to be a boy and some mistake had been made.  I felt like a boy.  I acted like a boy.  I tried to copy the masculine traits of my father.  Many times I remember standing in the bathroom door watching him shave.  Is there really anything more masculine than shaving your face?  I think not.  Each pass of the razor over his face would make this “szzzh” sound as whiskers yielded under the sharp blade.  I always wanted to shave…to make that sound and feel the razor on my skin.  Of course, this desire kind of dissipated as I grew older.  I eventually became aware that I am female and that wasn’t going to change, but that I could still be as masculine as I felt and that it’s okay to just be me.

I get notes from younger LGBT people occasionally talking about how they need good role models in their lives.  Often these kids are secluded in more rural parts of the country where there isn’t a visible gay community of any kind for them to reach out to.

I sympathize with them because when I was growing up I didn’t have any other lesbians around me to reach out to either.  Always knowing that I was different from the other girls I hung out with, and hiding it like hell.  I wish that I had had role models, that I could have come out at a younger age and not had to go through all the crap that I put myself through when I was struggling with my own sexuality, thinkin I was going to hell and that I was some kind of freak.  It would have helped me to know that I wasn’t alone in the world, like I felt I was.

In today’s world we have the opportunity to BE good role models for those young LGBT people coming up behind us.  They are watching us.  They want to know what to do, how to do it and what needs to be done.  They want to carry on the legacy, the pride and the fight for equality.  We need to be aware of them; encourage them and nurture them.  It is our job to show them the way and to explain to them where we have been; where we came from.  We need to remember that the world has become more open than it ever was when we were growing up and coming into our own as adults.  There are new dangers out there now with the internet and globalization of things.  But there are still the old dangers too…the hate, the hippocracy, the homophobia and the violence.  Keep them alert, aware and yet don’t embed them with unnecessary fear of being themselves.

We each have a story, a history, and a way of being in this crazy world, it’s important to pass that knowledge on to the future.  In being role models we need to tell our stories, tell how we dealt with things, how hard it was and how rewarding it is.  We need to pass on the pride of the LGBT community; pride in overcoming so many obstacles and in living loving lives despite much of the world being against us.  And show them that you can lead a great, productive and contributing life no matter who you identify as.

So that is what I think about when I think about being a role model to younger LGBT individuals.  I want our community to be more cohesive, to come together and to be a stronger voice for all.  And I want those who are younger to realize that community is important and supporting one another is vital to our mutual survival.  What do you think?  Are you being a good role model for those who look up to you in life?

Peace.  ~MB