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

 

 

Ruminate…

via Daily Prompt: Ruminate

My Horoscope for Today:

“You may feel somewhat open or vulnerable today. It could be that you’re allowing more of your authentic self to be seen by your friends or loved ones. Perhaps you’re taking a chance by attempting to make a new connection with someone you don’t know very well but would like to become closer to. If you’re feeling vulnerable today, try to invite more love into your life, even if you are afraid of rejection. An emotional risk could be a chance worth taking, so allow yourself to express what is on your mind or in your heart. Try to be completely open and honest. If you don’t censor yourself and let your true self show, you will create real connections with people.” 

This all really ruminates with me, I am totally in this space of allowing more of my authentic self to be exposed to my friends and loved ones. I have been getting to know someone more, and have been slowly learning about her, and she about me. I find it to always be taking a chance to let someone new into my life on an intimate basis.  But without taking that chance, and being my authentic self, I could be passing by a really awesome friendship or relationship. And I’m too old to let a chance like that get by me.

I had a really super productive weekend here at home.  I deep cleaned my house, caught up on all of the laundry and got things very organized.  I even got new shelving in the shed and got that more organized.  It feels great to have everything around me in it’s place.  Now to keep it well organized and picked up is all I need to do.  That and my normal weekly cleaning of everything I normally tend to, like changing my bed sheets, vacuuming and washing the floors as necessary.  I have to vacuum quite frequently because of the amount of Nola and Lulu hair that accumulates in the form of hair balls and dust bunnies.  Being ADHD I always do better when things are right in the world around me.  I even got the new knobs on the cabinet doors, although I am having screw-length issues with the draw pulls.  Seems that I need longer machine screws than those that came in the package with the pulls, and I got some longer ones but they were too long.

I’ve been doing better with my depression lately.  I take an anti depressant medication, and I think that I was on too high a dose, which was messing with me.  I’ve cut my dose in half and that seems to be doing the trick without the side effects.  I did discuss the change with my doctor and she was in agreement that I should try the lower dose.  I seem to be adjusting to it well, and my moods have stabilized very quickly.

I am starting to participate in a therapy group.  It’s for addiction issues and should be a good thing for me.  I haven’t done group therapy for years, my last group was of people dealing with living with HIV.  I liked it except that they were so focused on “dying” from HIV and not “living” with it.  I wanted more from the living aspect, and not the dying.  I had decided a long time before that that I would find a way to be at peace with my virus.  I take my medication, remain undetectable and keep very high T-cell counts.  Meds now consist of 3 pills once a day – a far cry from the 90’s and the handfuls of medications they threw at us to see what worked.  I’ve been lucky, I’ve taken pretty good care to stay healthy and to adhere to my medication regimen.

The new group will focus on addiction issues.  I am at a point where things are going relatively well in that area of my life.  I’m taking good care to stay clean and sober.  I have a whole new attitude and find that life is just far easier this way.  Plus I care deeply for the people in my life and want to keep them there.  LIVING successfully clean is my goal.   Sure, I will always fight addiction on some level, but I won’t let it beat me.

(written last weekend…finished today)

Snowmageddon 2017…Another Nor’Easter

I am hunkered down at home today, weathering out a super duper bad Nor’easter.  It’s snowing heavy and the wind is whipping at 40+mph, gusting as high as 80mph.  Yes, this is as bad as it gets here!  And it’s become so common place that we all joke about it now.  Everyone on my Facebook friends list is posting pics of the storm from their homes, or pictures of sunshine from other parts of the world.  It’s been a real active day on FB, everyone is stuck inside with not much else to do.  The power keeps flickering on and off here, I am waiting for it to go off for an extended time at some point, which means no heat or internet.  I am praying that that doesn’t happen because this is my main source of entertainment for the day!

My dogs are even a little stir crazy today.  They are leary of all of the wind noise, and the shaking of the house in some of the gusts.  Yes, it is blowing hard enough to literally shake the house.  I live in a mobile home, so it’s more susceptible to hard wind gusts.

I’ve been spending a good amount of my time alone lately and doing quite a decent amount of writing.  I am still in total denial that Trump is really president.  Although I do not dispute that he has invaded the White House with all of his corruption and his cohorts in treason.  I’m very disappointed in Congress…they ALL have no guts.  They will not stand up to Trump; they won’t call him on his bullshit, no matter how bad it gets they dare not cross him or do anything that would upset or anger him.  Anyone who is watching can see how nut-less this governing body has become.  It used to be that Republicans wanted everything done by the book, and wouldn’t stand for anything that smelled of corruption or lies, but this new Congress – under Trump – is just as complicit as he is.  Just as guilty.

The new health insurance bill that the Republicans have presented is anything but good.  First, it’s nothing new.  It’s basically just ripping all of the good stuff out of Obamacare and adding in more tax breaks for the rich while leaving millions and millions uninsured.  They keep throwing around the word “access”…saying we all have “access” to health insurance.  Well, right NOW we all have access to it, you can go out and buy health insurance any time you want – IF you can afford the premiums.  So “access” is NOTHING NEW.  And removing Medicaid and Planned Parenthood funding is NOT what Trump promised while he was campaigning.  He specifically promised to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  This new health insurance bill would eliminate Medicare funding for millions.  Thus, once again, leaving millions without any alternative than to use the ER for their primary care needs. I am hoping that there will be many revisions to this new plan, that Congress will not just pass it “because” he said it was to be.   Trump has said that it “will pass, one way or another” which indicates to me that he is not shy about using executive privilege to force this bill into law.  It’s just sad that Americans have to fight tooth and nail to get good health care, and for it to be affordable.  America should be better, we should have the best health care in the world and it should be readily accessible and affordable to all Americans.  Period.

I find it interesting that Trump has remained so quiet all week.  Since his stupid “wires tapped” Tweets he hasn’t said two words really.  Some WH lawyers must have jumped in and stopped him from Tweeting, that’s the only thing that makes sense.  When directed to provide PROOF of his accusations by yesterday, he declined to do so and sent Spicer to face the press.  Poor stupid Spicer.  The guy is just short of a full stack.  You would think that Trump could find a better WH spokesman.

And Kellyanne Conway….her and her “microwave” surveillance comment has really gotten her into the Twitterverse this week.  Hell, I even suspiciously eyed my own microwave….hehe.  She is just a looney tune.  Half of everything she says is just air facts, the other half doesn’t make ANY sense.  She’s another WH spokesperson who needs to fade into the woodwork and NOT be allowed to speak.  Even her voice grates on my nerves.

I am writing other blogs, just trying to find the words at the moment.  Thank goodness I have my writing as an outlet.  I do get mighty lonely here….it’s high time I change that, and very soon!

Be kind.  Peace.  ~MB

“Access”

So, Trump’s stab at the ACA (also known as Obamacare) is pretty pathetic.  He claims that his plan will give everyone “access” to health insurance coverage.  Well, we all have “access” to caviar and champagne too.  But that doesn’t mean we all have it because most of us cannot afford it!  Same with health insurance, it’s pretty unaffordable here.  I just went over a plan with my friend here, and the premiums and deductibles were very high, more about that later.

The new plan, TrumpCare, or the AHC Act of 2017 would in essence do the following plus more:

  • Offer less coverage overall
  • Result in higher out of pocket costs
  • Increase insurance premiums across the board
  • De-funds Planned Parenthood, devastating women’s healthcare.
  • Penalizes for lapses in coverage by up to 30%
  • Is less accessible for Seniors and the poor
  • Eliminates the Medicaid expansion, resulting in loss of mental health and substance abuse treatment/programs (Medicaid covers 72 million Americans, approximately 1/3 of who have mental health or substance abuse care needs.)
  • Gives tax breaks to the rich

I am perplexed that our GOP is so cold and heartless as to present a bill that would cause millions of people to lose their health insurance, due to an increase in premiums that they can’t afford or to a pre-existing condition or a lapse in coverage for over 60 days.  They claim this is “reasonable”, that reducing access to subsidized health insurance isn’t cruel, that it’s some form of “tough love” -without the love – in which people are forced to make good choices instead of bad ones.  This is patronizing and a big misreading of the actual outcome of this new bill.  One guy, I think it was saying that, and I am going from memory here) that maybe someone would “have to not buy that new iPhone” in order to afford their insurance. That is really stereotyping us!  Isn’t this guy really saying that Americans are just stupid?  Hell, it would take quite a few iPhones to cover the cost of a year’s insurance premiums on someone my age, single and with a pre-existing condition or two.

Many of the GOP are also against this new AHCA (American Health Care Act of 2017) or TrumpCare.  Some call it ObamaCare Lite, or ObamaCare 2.0.  I think it would be cool to call it something after Obama, he is the one who got us established with the Affordable Care Act and does deserve most of the credit.  We wouldn’t be discussing health care right now if it weren’t for his pushing the ACA through.

I am really concerned with the elimination of the Medicaid expansion.  Medicaid is administered by each of the states.  Every state has it’s own program, and if you cut or eliminate funding many people will be at risk.  I am very concerned that any poorly implemented or poorly timed change in the current funding structure in Medicaid could result in a reduction in access to life-saving health care services. And will certainly result in the loss of mental health services and to substance abuse treatment.  It will also result in the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, which means the loss of free mammograms, pap smears, birth control and family planning services for those most at risk.  Access to mental health and substance abuse treatment is vital in my opinion and cannot be compromised.

It’s all about money in the end.  Conservatives want everyone to just pay for their own health insurance out of pocket.  Who is rich enough, in the real world, to do that?  Congressmen and Senators, that’s who.  Rich cronies of Trumps, that’s who.  But not us regular hard working citizens.  I listen to people who make a lot more money than I do complain that they can’t afford the premiums of their health insurance policies, so they either don’t have insurance or are carrying the bare minimum required by the 2015 ACA law.  I know many people who just don’t have health coverage.  Some even need care and cannot access it due to the cost.

For instance, a policy with a $500 deductible, a 15/30/60 prescription co-pay for a single 55 yr old white woman is about $67.00 per week.  That’s $3484.oo per year.  (I just went over this policy with a friend, that’s where my numbers come from here).  That is A LOT of money when you only make $400 a week, they take taxes and SSI out of you, leaving you with about $320, then subtract the health insurance premium and you are left with $253.00 to live on.  You have to pay rent, electricity, heat, water and everything else….leaving one behind the proverbial 8 ball quite frequently.  Not to mention you have to meet the yearly $500 deductible before coverage kicks in, and you have pretty high co-pays on medications to deal with monthly.  It’s crazy.

Personally, I am lucky.  I am on Medicare…which they haven’t yet attacked and eviscerated.  I have good coverage, and it’s a good thing with my pre-existing conditions.  I also have Medicaid to help me with prescription costs.  Currently I pay for my mental health care and substance abuse treatment out of my own pocket each week as the program I am in isn’t yet covered by my insurance, although the medication IS covered.  So for now I feel like my own health insurance is stable.  I pay $130 per month for Medicare and $68 per month for Medicaid coverage.  THIS is more reasonable than the $290.00 per month for the policy I spoke of in the last paragraph.

These are the basics on the newly proposed Republican AHC Act of 2017.  I am opposed to the implementation of these new laws on health insurance until they fix the short comings above.  We need a health care act that provides access and availability of affordable coverage for all Americans.  It’s just plain common sense.  Protect the most vulnerable, protect our seniors and our sick and poor too.  Money should not be an obstacle when it comes to getting proper care for yourself.  If it is, there should be programs to help defray the costs so that people can stay healthy, be treated and feel safe in this aspect of life.

We’ll see what happens.  I am following this very closely and will update my thoughts as this issue is hashed out in Congress and the Senate.  Trump’s wild card is to just not make any changes and let Obamacare fail on it’s own….I’m not sure if it would fail, but they seem to think that it would if left alone as it is.  The failure of the program would be a loss of health benefits for millions…it just can’t happen.  But Trump is saying it’s this new plan or none at all.  Bastard.  He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.  That’s obvious.