Politics again…lol

I worked this morning and hid away all afternoon, trying to nap but with no luck in doing so.  I relegated myself to just staying quiet, cuddling with the dogs and doing much deep thinking.

Tonight I caught up on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  I get a lot of my news blips from those places too…I’m always interested in what others find interesting in the news.  Of course 99% of what I read is about Trump and his cohorts.  I cannot understand how we are allowing him to continue on as President of the United States.  It just makes NO sense.  Every day he comes up with something new to destroy.  He hops from topic to topic, and never really give anyone any idea of what his REAL policy is on any one thing.  A POTUS with NO known real policy, no known “real” agenda – other than creating complete chaos across the board.

We are close to war in several places around the globe.  Trump is beating the war drum, he thinks he can just do anything he wants to do.  I seriously think he’s going to get us in to a war with North Korea first, and that will anger the Russians, the Chinese and others.  Soon he will have most of the major dark side world powers all lined up against us.  It may be a war that we lose.  I know that is something the US doesn’t think can happen, but in reality it CAN happen.  Right now I see no diplomatic negotiations taking place with any of our “enemies” like Russia, N. Korea, China or Iran (yeah now Iran is angry too).  It’s really fucking scary.  I dread the morning that we all wake up to the news that we have either attacked or been attacked by any one of the aforementioned entities.   It will be a very bad day.

When will we ever get to making some decisions here in America?  All we have done for the last couple of years is fight over things.  Nothing seems to be getting done or resolved.   Washington is locked up in partisan politics.  We have a very ineffective leader.  We have ineffective representation in Congress and the Senate.  It’s going to take a complete change of the guard to rectify this whole situation and that’s going to be one super nasty fight.  Our next mid-term elections are going to be very tell-tale.  I suspect that you will see more money than ever before being poured into the political coffers of many candidates.  And if we are to elect effective candidates it’s going to take a hell of a lot of real grassroots campaigning.  It certainly will be interesting.

Next week, when Congress returns from their vacation, they will be faced with dealing with the national budget.  If they cannot get it together then we are going to be facing a government shutdown by next Friday.  This shutdown will totally be the fault of Donald J. Trump.  Trump is insisting that there be $1billion for the construction of his famous wall on the Mexican border – that wall that he promised that Mexico would pay for – and if there is a government shut down I predict it will be over this issue alone.  He will let our government shut down over his idiotic idea of the wall.  I think he’ s THAT MUCH of an asshole.

Alrighty, that’s enough political shit for tonight.   For more specific stories you can always check out my daily paper on Paper.li “Relevant Times”  It gets tweeted out on my Twitter account daily, and is a composition of what’s happening on the political scene, the LGBT scene, and in the lesbian enclave of the world.  It’s kind of interesting.

I am considering upgrading my WordPress account to be able to post videos here as well.  You have to upgrade to a paid account to add videos.  Right now I use YouTube, but I am not completely happy with that venue at the moment.  Especially with some of the anti-LGBT stuff that has gone on with Youtube’s rules lately.  And Instagram videos are just too limited, I use that mostly for quick pics and to follow my younger friends’ posts.  I hope to have time this coming weekend to work on all of this.

Peace.  ~MB

 

Trump’s Latest Anti-LGBT Move…

People line Christopher Street during a gathering of the LGBTQ community and supporters protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda in Manhattan

Roger Severino has been given the position as chief of the Office for Civil Rights in the Health and Human Services (HHS) department of our government, working directly under HHS secretary Tom Price.

THIS, dear friends, is NOT good for the LGBT community.  This is a direct threat to all of the rights that we have fought so damned hard for, the major one coming to mind is marriage equality.  Severino and Price are BOTH historically anti-LGBT in their rhetoric and actions.

Putting these two people at the helm of the ship when it comes to all civil rights is a very dangerous thing to minority groups.  Of the LGBT in particular Severino and Price do not believe the discrimination is an issue for us.  Really?

These appointments are more fine examples of how inconsiderate, hateful and trigger happy the president and his administration are.  Who appoints someone who hates gays to an office that has the duty to investigate and possibly prosecute the abuse of LGBT civil rights?  Someone who hates us to begin with: Donald Trump.

Yes, the great old orange idiot did this to us.  If you are an LGBT Republican and you voted for this guy I hope you are happy now.  Or will you be happier when they strip our right to marry away?  They’re going to try to do it, just you wait and see.  Either way, these appointments send dangerous signals that they would bring someone to protect our rights to the table that so adamantly denies there are problems and the we even need protection.

“Severino won’t be able to roll back protections overnight, and his office will still be required to look into every civil rights complaint. But he will have some discretion in terms of deciding what to prioritize, and what kind of resources to invest. (HHS Secretary Tom Price also has a history of opposing LGBTQ rights.”  Huffington Post, 3-27-17

 

 

Identity Complexity

“How do we bridge who we become with who we were?”

“Remember who you wanted to be”  quoted from a bumper sticker I saw yesterday

“Language sets expectations”

I seem to be running into all of these one-liners that are basically alluding to identity and I find this very interesting.

I have also had some conversation surrounding identity and how we embody it, about the multiple pieces of a person and how they make up the whole.

Also, in writing about intersectionality it spurred me to think about all of the things that make up me; all of those pieces, and how they all fit together with each other.  It’s hard to figure out which piece goes in what order when you start listing all of those aspects of yourself out.  Like, what comes first, what is your first identity?  Of course we all know that it’s your sex.  When you are born they automatically declare “it’s a Girl!” or “it’s a Boy!” and God forbid they can’t figure THAT out, then all hell breaks loose I would imagine.

So if our first identity is our sex, whether we are male or female, then our second identity would be what color we are – am I right?  Those will be the first things noticed about you when you are first seen, what sex and what color.  So, I started life as a white girl.  Oh but wait, wee what I did there…I listed white first.  So is my color or my sex predominant?

I read a lot about “white privilege”, so I think that your color is the predominant first identity.  Even in common conversation we tend to go to color first, like “the black kitten” not “the kitten black”  Am I making sense?  I am thinking this through as I write…so bear with me here.

Identity, as we know, changes over the course of life.  That’s just how it works.  There are some things that don’t change, like your color/race.  But we do go from being “girl” to being a “woman” at a certain age, and we develop into people with various other identities to tack onto the ones we start with.  Once you decide your sexual preference, there’s that.  So, now I am a white woman lesbian.  Jesus, this can be super complicated.

At one time in my life I was a soldier.  And thus that was part of my identity.  Now I am a former soldier, or a veteran.  At one time I identified as a Republican (go figure, it’s true though) but now I identify as independent in political thinking, leaning toward Democrat. I now identify as a Butch lesbian, but remember there is no singular experience of an identity.  So my Butch will be different from your Butch, maybe subtly or maybe starkly, but it will definitely be different.  People are all different, no two are ever exactly alike.

There are identities in class and socio-economic status too.  I’ve always identified as middle class, grew up that way and have maintained that middle class socio-economic status – although some days I feel poor as fuck, I know I do have privilege as middle-class.

This all brings me back to line one of this blog: How do we bridge who we become with who we were?  We all build history in our lives.  Years ago I was a hard-core drug addict.  Today, while I still fight the demons of addiction, I am not what I was once upon a time by any means.  I have evolved, grown, learned and improved in that area of my life and identity.  I think back to when I identified as a more conservative Republican and what that was all about.  I was in the military, perhaps I was sort of brain washed by the military machine.  Today I am much more concerned with social justice and equality than I was back then.

So, there are all of these pieces of ourselves that come together neatly – or so we hope – to make up who we become; who we are today.  Who knows what new pieces will be added to make up who we will be tomorrow, or next week.  Good thing is that as human beings, with very complex brains, we do have the ability to make concerted efforts and to make choices, thus we do have influence on what happens with our decisions.

These are all the pieces of my identity that intersect to make me ME:  A white Butch lesbian woman, independent, Methodist, working-class, HIV+, recovering addict, American, introvert, avg. intelligence, physically disabled, outspoken, employed, mobile, compassionate, activist…hell, the list can go on I suppose.

Like I said, I’ve been thinking about all of this because of the word intersectionality.  So, I’ve been thinking about the way the world sees me.  Not how you or my family sees me but how I am seen statistically.  (But then it is interesting to wonder about how my closer contacts identify me, too.)

Then I think about how the word is used when speaking about oppression, domination and discrimination.  Of course, I am already considered a 2nd class citizen because of the mere fact that I am female.  Men want and do dominate our world unfortunately.  Women will always fight male domination and oppression, I do not foresee a time when that will not be a fact in my lifetime.

Just this last week it was a full panel of MEN that were gathered and deciding on women’s health issues during the Trumpcare debacle.  Not one woman on that panel or in that room!  THAT, my friends, is fucking oppression and male domination at it’s finest – or worst I should say.  Why is it that men think they can or should ever be deciding on women’s health/body issues?  Where do they get the idea that it is THEIR job or duty to tell women what to do with their own bodies, or what is/isn’t going to be covered by insurance.  Insurance covers Viagra, so equally it should cover contraceptives.  Fair is fair in my book.  But not in the “book of men” I suppose.  No man should ever be making a woman’s decision for her. Ever.  That panel should have been ALL WOMEN.

I will leave you with  a quick question, which of your identities expose you to the most oppression, domination or discrimination?  Drop me a quick comment below and let’s talk a little about this.  I’m very interested to know what you think.

Peace!  ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

Big Word: Intersectionality

I seem to keep running into this word: Intersectionality.  So, I went to Wikipedia to research it’s origin and meaning; to give myself some basic understanding of the word.  This is one of those specific times that I wish I had much more direct contact, like in face-to-face conversations, with others in the LGBT community on a regular basis.  But, I am relegated to internet relations and community for now – it’s a hazard of living as an older LGBT person in rural America.  I wish I could discuss this word and it’s meaning and how it pertains to the LGBT community with some people who could explain it to me in more detailed terms.

From what I am gathering here it means basically that there are lots of “parts” of you that come together to make a “whole” of you.  And “intersectional theory” claims that there are overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination and discrimination.  This gets really deep, basically saying that we are multi-dimensional and intertwined with our various “parts” and the discrimination/oppression we experience is generally addressing the individual parts.  So, I may be oppressed because I am a woman on one level, and then discriminated against because I am lesbian on another platform.  It’s quite complicated.  But I get the gist of it.

I encourage you to click on the link to the word intersectionality and read up on it.  You may hear it being tossed around in the media a bit more, as we are realizing that marginalized people like us are also intersectionally challenged with multiple types of oppression, domination and discrimination.

I know, this is a deep subject I have chosen to address here, but it’s important for me to understand things like this as much as I possibly am able to understand.  Vocabulary and wordsmithing is something I really like.  I love to learn new words, and how to use them properly.  I do realize that my understanding of “intersectionality” is currently limited to what I am reading here and on the web in general, and that personal discussion of how it affects others is much needed for me to understand it completely.  So, if you have some input for me, or a take on what it means for you please leave me a comment, let’s have a discussion!

Peace!  ~MainelyButch

Is this really 2017?

I feel like we are heading in a backwards direction.  One would think that in 2017 we would have stopped arguing and fighting against stupid shit.  But no…

It’s the weirdest thing to sit and watch everything unfold with Trump.  To watch him lie and awkwardly spin things is just something I NEVER thought would come from a US President.  To have the White House tell you that you should believe the lies because he is the leader, and what he says must be true – even when it’s proven to be an outright lie.  His supporters are buying it like idiots, even as they witness reality unfolding in real-time.

We have an illegitimate president who is now being investigated for his ties to Russia.  Russia?!  The big bad Bear.  I served in the US Army, stationed in Germany, during the “Cold War” and Russia was our biggest threat to world security.  Unless I have missed something in the past 35 years, they still ARE the biggest threat!  And to think that they influenced our election in any way is just plain scary.  They are some ruthless and smart fuckers; their reach is astounding and Americans cannot ever let their guard down or underestimate the Russians.

Two months into his presidency Trump’s administration is failing badly.  They want you to think they are oblivious and they are succeeding, but with a popularity rating of 37% after 2 months, he’s losing ground fast.  The investigation into the Russian meddling into our election and his Twitter lies about wire tapping have driven him down this week.  His Trumpcare bill goes for a vote on Thursday, and today he went to the hill to threaten his Republican constituents that if they did not vote it in that he would go after them in the next election, that basically they were under orders to pass this bill no matter what.  This bill will decimate our health care system, and millions will suffer the fate of no coverage.  Even Republicans can’t stomach that, at least the ones with a conscience.  Even the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says that this plan is not a good one.  What more do we need?  Major changes to this bill must be made before it goes any further.  If he wants to change Obamacare then do it so that it’s better not worse.

I just wonder how these politicians can sit up there on Capitol Hill and not see what we as Americans are seeing; not hearing what we are hearing.  It just blows me away. What do they know that we do not know?  This government has gotten so secretive in the last 60 days, it’s scary as fuck.  I don’t trust a one of then anymore.  None are working in favor of the people, all are just covering their own asses – and it’s fucking obvious!!!  So, I ask, HOW DO we stop this madness?

I am going to try to put my LINK to my online paper here.  The Relevant Times publishes daily on Paper.Li and is full of information concerning the LGBT community and politics in the US.  It’s kind of an experiment for me right now; something I am hoping will be fun and informative to my followers. Let me know what you think.  I do not hand pick the articles, I trust my sources and have selected those I believe bring us the most up to date stuff.  Let me know what else I could include in the paper, or if you have a trusted source you think I could draw content over to it from.  Most of my current content is coming over from Twitter at this time, and this will expand once I am more secure in the publication.

 

 

 

Closet or Not?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, I watched a video on YouTube about whether it’s okay or not to stay “in the closet” about your sexuality if you are LGBT forever or not.  This gave me a lot to think about because I am currently talking to someone who IS living in the closet, and I am not.

Personally I  could never live my life permanently in the closet.  I can’t imagine what that would be like.  I can’t imagine being afraid that someone would “find me out” and what it would mean if they did.  I have lived most of my life out and proud.  It’s just the way it happened for me.  I came out to my family when I was getting out of the Army, around 22 yrs old, and I have never looked back and thought I shouldn’t have done it.  It’s made my life so much more enriched and so much easier as I have never had to hide anything about my true identity.

Coming out is a very personal thing.  I’ve never been a big believer in a particularly “loud” coming out.  I think they way that I did it, by coming out to people on an “as needed” basis was right for me.  I know some people really want to make a big deal out of it, but I am a more private person and never felt it was a big deal at all.  It is just who I am.  In my way of thinking my sexuality is no one’s business but my own.  If the need to tell someone that I am a gay woman comes up, it’s because they are either questioning me about it or they are wanting to “fix me up” with their male friend.  Never have I found it necessary to just come out to anyone without reason.  My family had reason because I am close to them and they see who I spend all of my time with and when I am most happy in the company of another woman.  They needed to know.

So, I am becoming very attached to this woman, Beach Babe, that I’ve been talking to and I have been thinking about what it would be like to be dating someone who is “in the closet.”  She lives quite a ways from me, so it’s not like we have had to deal with this yet.  But when we are together what will it be like for me? For her?  Will she be afraid that she will be seen with me and be found out?  How has she handled this in the past?  Has she ever been with someone who is so blatantly out like I am?  Who lives their lives as an openly lesbian woman?  Who is so Butch that they cannot hide and whoever they are with will be deemed to be gay as well?  These are all questions I have about this.  I haven’t seriously gotten into any sort of a deep conversation with her about it.

I understand that she has lived closeted all of her life because of religious views of her and her family, and now because she fears losing her job.  She has a job working with teenagers, and fears that if their parents knew or the boss knew that she is lesbian that it would cause problems and maybe cause her to lose her job.  I couldn’t even imagine what that must feel like; what it would be like to have to hide part of myself like that.

She seems to think it’s not a big deal.  But we haven’t been with each other in public so I don’t know exactly how far in the closet she is.  I guess I will find out when we meet in May.  I will NOT like hiding myself.  I will NOT do it.  There is no way I can “act” or “look” straight, like she does.  I don’t know if she has ever dated a Butch like me; a Butch who looks the whole stereotypical part.  Does she understand that to be seen with me is to be “seen”?

Can I date someone who is still in the closet at 46?  I am not 100% sure.  But I really like this woman and do want to find out.  The other piece of this is the distance thing.  Guess she and I have some conversations to have…

 

YouTube Censorship

What a day.  Personally, I was tired all day because I didn’t sleep well last night and I was woken up at 5:45 by my assistant manager asking me to report to work early because someone had called out sick.  I begrudgingly got up and went in at 7am, only an hour early but because of my lack of sleep it was more of a chore than anything else.  I came home and desperately wished to watch the news and see what Comey had to say today about Trump and his lying tweets about Obama spying on him, but I was so tired that I fell onto my bed and fell fast asleep for 3 1/2 hours.  Thus my afternoon was wasted, but at least I did catch up on some sleep.

Tonight me and Linda, my bestie, made an awesome dish of shrimp scampi and had dinner together.  She borrowed my vehicle and will come get me in the morning very early as I have to be at work tomorrow at 6am.  Her truck is in having a wheel bearing replaced and she has to be at work at 2am.

After dinner I sat and watched the news, and caught up on some YouTube videos.  YouTube has begun to censor most LGBT videos and their creators accounts.  They have now made all “potentially controversial” topics – mostly LGBT stuff – available only in the in-restricted mode, and have restricted and blocked most of my videos.  They claim this is to keep YouTube “family friendly” but it’s very homophobic in the end.  They haven’t blocked videos of straight people making out and doing heavy petting or talking about sex, only the LGBT ones.  Smells of homophobia and censorship to me.  I turned around and made my own video for my channel about this.  You can see my latest video here.

YouTube is a resource. It can be a terrific place to develop community and to meet like-minded people.  For youth it can be the ONLY place that they may find answers to some of their more pointed questions.  Most don’t grow up being exposed to LGBT people, and thus YouTube can give them the exposure that they seek when they are questioning their own selves.  I understand blocking things like pornography and explicit material like that from young eyes/ears.  But restricting a video where I may talk about what it was like growing up Butch and talking about my own personal struggles with my own sexuality is not helping anyone.  If a kid needs to talk to someone or wants to know about coming out YouTube is a great resource for this.  It is probably something they can’t or won’t speak with their parents about.  While I agree that some sort of “filter” is appropriate for children, I also believe that we must educate our children, teach diversity and tolerance and openness.  Blocking information about the LGBT community on YouTube is not the answer.

I have gotten emails and messages from many LGBT youth over the years.  Most start with “my mom/dad doesn’t understand me, I think I am gay” and many go on to tell me how frustrated and lost they are and how they have no one to turn to or talk to.  Some tell me how they fear being thrown out of their homes if they are “found out” and some fear violence at the hand of a parent.  I fear these kids are so oppressed that they will do something drastic.  I remember growing up and how hard it was for me to deal with my own sexuality as a teenager and having no one to talk to about it.  I only WISH that I had had a resource such as YouTube at my disposal during those times.

I am a YouTube creator and have been for almost 10 years now,.  I enjoy putting together videos of my thoughts and my experiences.  Most of my videos deal with the LGBT lifestyle, being butch or politics.  I often am inspired to do a video by another YT creator.  They may do an interesting topic, and I may do one of my own like it.  Or I do a response video to their original.  I’ve built a decent sized following on YT, but lately my subscriptions have been disappearing because of this new restriction thing.  I enjoy my YouTube community, enjoy getting to know people and making friends there.  I don’t want to give it up or boycott the site.  But something has to give with this censorship.

That’s all for tonight.  While I am still digesting what has gone on in Washington today I will spare you my thoughts on that subject for tonight.  I hope you will leave me a comment below about what you think about internet censorship and everything I have said above.  Thanks for reading!  Peace ~MB