Introducing a New Blogger…”Trigger Warning”

I have a buddy named Ryal, that has just recently started blogging on WordPress.  Here’s the link to his blog:  “Trigger Warning”  yes, the name of the blog is Trigger Warning, and I will add that there are some seriously blunt topics discussed.  He’s just gotten started and could use our input and interaction on his blogs!  Won’t you subscribe and add him to your Reader list?

It’s all about diversity and supporting one another in our journey’s through life, right?  I definitely think so!  🙂  Have a great day folks!

~MainelyButch

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Looking Back…While Looking Ahead…

It’s three days after Christmas and I was just looking forlornly at my cute little Christmas tree, thinking that it didn’t get that much love again this year.  I really need to figure out next year how to get more into the Christmas spirit again.  I used to be all about the holiday, but in the last couple of years I just haven’t been into it as much.  I’d like to decorate my house more, but no one but me really notices or sees it.  I wish I had more visitors.  My family is local, but they rarely come by my place to visit.  Mom does come by sometimes, but just for a few brief moments to pick me up or to drop something off to me.  And my buddy from up the street comes by quite often, which is nice.

I am a fairly solitary type of person, I’m okay living alone with my dog…I’ll always have a dog or two around.  They’re good company, gives me a little buddy to take care of and play with.  Without a dog, especially little Nola, I’d be one lost puppy myself.  Pardon the pun.  She grounds me in some ways, keeps me remembering to go home and take care of her, keeps me thinking about something other than myself.  Which is a good thing.

I tend to keep people at arms length.  Everyone has their dark side.  I’ve seen a few dark sides and I’m walking more cautiously now with people so that I don’t see anymore.  Hell I have my own dark side, don’t I know that all too well.

So, I am sort of staggering into this New Year wondering what will be in store.  I know I need to find another job, cuz the one I have sucks wind.  I know I need to socialize more, meet more people and get out of my own zone.  I get too comfortable in this zone I create for myself, then I miss that opportunity to get out and meet new people, and have new experiences.  I’m always wanting to do different things, but I chicken out because I would have to go stag…and that’s never fun, but it’s time to start doing just that.  Stag or not I am getting out more, having more fun and meeting new people.

I don’t know why I am like I am with people.  I just don’t trust most of them.  I’m very leery of peoples’ motives and reasons for wanting to be friends.  What do I bring to their lives that they can’t get somewhere else?  Someone told me this logical stuff, that it’s all a mathematical equation, that everything is numbers.  Well, it’s about time for my number to come the fuck up…and I don’t know that I believe that it’s all just numbers…oh I know that the scientists claim that everything is based on numbers, but I don’t get how personal relationships can be based on numbers.  She explained it in a very logical way, but still I’m not buying it.  I think it’s also got a lot to do with personal choice, commitment and responsibility.  It’s got a lot to do with how one feels, and allows themselves to feel.

I know that I’m not any different than anyone else.  I want the same stupid shit.  I just want to be happy enough so I don’t live in misery, I just want to have enough so I don’t live in a box, and I just want to love enough so that I’m not always alone.  I actually need to work on all three of this equation.  I can’t seem to do anything the easy way.  I’ve always walked harder roads, and I am beginning to think that I do it on purpose so that I can self-sabotage my progress when I want to do so.

I’m not a terribly unhappy person.  I tend to run pretty even keeled.  I used to have a temper, but that has quieted down quite considerably without the drugs and alcohol fueling it.  But there is a sort of deep resentment that I seem to feel, but can’t quite put my finger on it.  I don’t take it out on anyone, and because I am not really that close to anyone it doesn’t affect anyone else.  But I feel it when I’m alone. I need to take up some sort of physical activity like kick boxing, it might help me to channel some inner anger and frustration.  I know a gym is in my future, I’m just not that excited about it as usual.

And I am secure enough in my home life, working when I have to and making things come together that I’m not worried about living in a box any time soon.  I’ve always been one to land on my feet no matter what, and I may do a few flips on the way down, but I’ll be on those feet and somewhat secure in my being.  I may hate this job, but there are others, and I have my ways of making things work out.  I find solutions.

My luck in love remains to be seen.  I’m pretty content…and patient.

So, on another topic, I’ve been reading so many blogs lately…and I’m seeing this sort of “trend” that worries me with Butch lesbians taking that leap and transitioning to male.  I shutter to think I’m even going to write about this, because it’s such a touchy subject, but hey, my blog can be controversial and I am pretty open with what I am thinking most of the time with these politicized subjects.  I just have to wonder about it.  I mean even with my having had top surgery I still don’t relate to wanting any more or to wanting to be a man.  I guess I was not born with that defect, as it’s explained to me by others.  It just worries me with the younger crowd, particularly those in their early 20’s that I see taking this difficult path.  I remember being in my 20’s and not knowing what the hell was really going on in life.  (I write this after I jsut swallowed another couple of Text X180’s and applied my daily regimen of testosterone…damn, I’m a hypocrite sometimes).  I guess while I desire to be more masculine looking, I don’t desire to be male.  And I am assuming (ass out of u and me) that if I did desire to be male I would be transitioning as well.  When we are in our 20’s life is all about figuring out how to deal with things on our own, without our parents (or it should be!) and how to survive and thrive.  We’re not that worried about retirement or getting old because at that age you just don’t think those things will ever happen to you.  I’ve talked about this before, how life sort of comes in chapters, it really does.  You just don’t see it until you get to about chapter 4 or 5 and look back on things.

So I worry about my fellow young Butches and wonder if they are feeling pressure to transition nowadays, is that something that goes on with the younger crowd?  I can imagine it’s quite different from when I was in my 20’s (back in the 80’s).  Back then everyone tried to look alike, it was the age of androgynous looking lesbians, the word Butch was a slur and you didn’t want to be associated with it even if you knew it truly described exactly who you were (raising my hand).  As impressionable as kids are in their 20’s it would be very difficult to live with pressure to transition from one’s own community if you already have masculine leanings, such as are already solidly Butch.  Does anyone else see this?  I’m not saying that no one should transition, but I do worry about pressure to do so in today’s gender-fluid world.  What will we look back and think about this 20 or 30 years from now?  And how will it be different then?

As we grow older we settle into ourselves much more over time.   I know I have.  I am far more comfortable with my own sexuality and gender expression now than I ever was when I was young.  When I should have been enjoying it and celebrating it more back in my 20’s I was more afraid of who knew and what people thought of me and my lifestyle.  Looking back I realize it never mattered; none of it mattered.  What did matter then was that I was in the US Army and they didn’t take kindly to my lifestyle or sexuality at that time.  Other than that I could have lived a lot more openly and been a lot more comfortable in my own skin, knowing that none of it really matters in the long run.

Oh the things we would all do so differently if we had the knowledge that we have at 50 when we were 20 or 30!!  I would have not gotten involved with the drug scene that I was involved with for years, I would have taken far better care of my  body, I would have stopped smoking at 20 for sure.  And a rash of other things. I would have been more sensitive to who I shared parts of my life with, wouldn’t have dated some of the women I dated, and would have dated other that I had turned down.  Ah, to see backwards all too clearly.  But life isn’t like that.  It’s not about the destination at all but about the journey…I’m sure someone has said that in some quote book somewhere.  The journey is all you really have, there is no fucking destination.  The end result destination for all of us is the big dirt nap.  Yup.  It’s true.  Right as rain.  You can acquire all the crap in the world, have piles of cash and cars, and still you’ll be in the same place I will be eventually…pushing up daisies, or dust in the wind.

I don’t fret too much about the destination at all.  I know the end outcome of this game called life.  But I do fret abou the journey at times.  Lately I think it’s really been on my mind because I feel like I am on pause or something.  I have these ideas in my head like about doing a book or two, and about how the hell I am supposed to get to that point, or even if it’s a good idea or not.  I don’t look at doing a book as any sort of income thing, but more of just something I want to leave behind in the world when I do take that nap. A mark.  Something that says I was here.

I took a look at Wendi Kali’s new book The Butch Femme Photo Project, which I ordered from Barnes and Noble Booksellers and received in 3 days flat…thank you US Postal Service, you come through once again.  It’s a nice coffee table book of portraits of people who identify along the Butch-Femme-Trans* spectrum.  Very nicely done and I can see she really put her heart into the book.  I recommend everyone support her and buy a copy.  It’s a nice piece on any coffee table, and one I am proud to own.

My book about Butch-Femme in photos looks very different in the vision in my head.  It is an idea that I have been toying with and one where I will need the input of a couple of good, if not several good, photographers from the B-F community.  I wish I had Wendi’s guts to throw it out into a Kickstarter campaign and go for it.  It’s so damned risky, and would mean I’d be on the road on and off for about a year doing it, expensive and I still have to maintain my home here in Maine somehow.  There is room for this book I speak of though, and it would be well received I believe….I have to figure out how to pull it together.  I’m working on this.  May be time to call in my editor ex….mhm.  I am inspired to do something new for 2015…and I’ve been talking about doing a book for as long as I can remember.  Self publishing is an option, but I’d rather get in with a good LGBT publishing house.  Sounds like a big giant project to me.  Perhaps that’s just what I need.

 

Inspirational Butch Authors: My Heroes

I’ve been doing a lot of great reading today and tonight specifically around Butch-Femme lifestyle and dynamics.  I read one article about Butch “peacocking” and that got me thinking, and it lead me to other links to other writings by some awesome other Butch writers.  Yeah, we seem to always be the “others” even in our own community.  Or as one blogger (Butch Jaxon) put it so eloquently, the “other-than’s”.  It’s amazing that I can still read and get so much out of reading anything good about the journey’s of my Butch counterparts.  It always comes to the “I can relate” thus it makes the reading/writing particularly interesting to me.  Personally I choose to write much about my experiences as a Butch so that others out there will know that they are NOT alone, there are many of us; we are legion.  We just have to find better, safer and more accepting places to bond.  Butch bonding is a real experience, and one that every Butch, young and old, needs in their lives.

Recently we lost Leslie Feinberg.  I wrote a short piece about them soon after their passing.  Still, I think about how much Leslie contributed to the Butch / Trans community over the years of their life.  That one book, Stone Butch Blues, had such a wide and deep impact on so very many of us.  Every good Butch has read it, has seen themselves in the pages, in Jesse and in Leslie’s experience.  Every one of us is a good Butch!  If you are Butch, or Trans*, or LGBT you should read this book if you have not already done so at least twice in your life.  It is a piece of literature that changed or at least enhanced and recognized a rather large, unknown number of lives; that made us unafraid, that gave us the power and confidence to be Butch without shame.  If you are Butch and you don’t “see” yourself in the pages of Stone Butch Blues it would be astonishing because just about every Butch I know holds this book out as the virtual “Bible” of Butch.

Here is what Sinclair Sexsmith, author, activist and self-identified Butch, said in one of her recent posts entitled “Long Live the Butch:  Leslie Feinberg and the Trans Day of Remembrance“:

“For me, Leslie’s book Stone Butch Blues invented butch identity. If I had the word before the book, it was only as a slur, only as something nobody should want to be. If I had the word before Jess’s story and her tortured restraint of passionate love, it was only used to describe ugly women, unattractive and unwanted. It wasn’t until I read Stone Butch Blues that I realized it described me.”  Nov. 20, 2014

This book, followed by S. Bear Bergman’s “Butch is a Noun” and Ivan E. Coyote’s “One in Every Crowd” all combined, personally gave me eye-opening and deep inspiration to always be my authentic self, to be comfortable and happy with my own Butch identity, and to share my own experiences in my writing and vlogging.  The three of them, Leslie, Bear, and Ivan have had huge influence on my own writing and I am honored to have had the chance to have met Leslie personally once at a conference.  Bear and Ivan, I still wish to meet and hear them speak in person one day in the near future.

All three are well known, and held in highest regard in the Butch community.  What I would give to be so gifted as to be able to write like they do, and be published as they all have been.  …sigh…  Ah, to dream that big!

So, my last post was about inspiring blogs here on WordPress.com.  That is what got me into reading tonight, and into thinking about my inspirations outside of WP, thus the evolution of this post you are reading.  It is the courage, bravery, and authenticity with which each of them write that so inspires me to strive to be as good a writer as I possibly can be myself, and to more comfortably be my authentic self.  I would like to see more books by both Bear and Ivan, and whenever one comes out I will be right there in line waiting on my own hard copy, believe me.  And I do follow them all on line at their various sites and venues, where both often blog about the current events and their own life happenings.

So, there you have it.  MainelyButch’s inspirational heroes of 2014.  One day I hope to have a book on my shelf written by me, and sitting right next to any one of the above authors’ books.  Dream big.  Rock on.   ~MB~

Leslie Feinberg: Ivan’s Tribute

As most know our community lost a warrior this last week in the passing of Leslie Feinberg, trans Butch lesbian author and activist.  Ivan Coyote wrote the best piece on Leslie’s passing, which you can read here. Ivan Coyote: Blue Not-so-stone Butch

I can’t even put into words what Ivan managed to do so well with this tribute.  Leslie’s authenticity spoke for hir in volumes.  It’s important to convey who Leslie is to younger generations who have not yet read Stone Butch Blues or who ever had the chance to see or hear Leslie speak. Leslie has been a pioneer in LGBT history, and will be remembered as such; as a warrior and for her great contribution to the literary world, as well as to the LGBT community.

Ivan talks about Stone Butch Blues being such a land-mark piece of literature that gave her the inspiration to write down her own stories.  I think that Leslie’s courage rubbed off on many of us.  I know as a Butch writer it’s been because of the courage and determination of other LGBT authors that I continue to write down myself.  Stone Butch Blues was the first book of it’s kind where I could read about someone with similar issues to my own.  I could see myself in Jess and it made me feel so not alone.  I read it and was like “damn! there are others like me in the world!”  Coming from a very rural area, I didn’t have a lot of contact with others on the Butch spectrum, so it was refreshing to be able to read about someone like me.  I think many Butches can relate to the book in some way or another.

RIP Leslie, you will be sorely missed.

Final Words on Labels

From Kim   “On a completely unrelated topic, one of these fine days, could you do a video on “labels” and the importance/unimportance of them (based on your opinions and perspectives)? I know you’ve said before that you identify strongly as “Butch” and use the label often, and many people within the community do identify with the labels “gay” “bisexual” “lesbian” etc. etc. Then there are those of us who do not identify with labels (myself included) that just are with whomever we are with, or not with, and we just don’t use them at all. Do you think society will ever reach a point where labels and “coming out” are irrelevant or unnecessary because all relationships and attractions will be completely normalized? I realize society has a long way to go before this happens, but what do you think the effects of that would be from your perspective?  I wonder if “labels” are a different issue or serve more purpose in the trans* and butch communities because there is such a spectrum? I’m curious because you would have more knowledge in this department than me–educate me! lol I am in no way trying to imply that labels are always a “bad” thing–I think to each their own, and if someone identifies with a label, great. If not, that’s great too. I personally don’t. But I’d like to hear your perspective of what you think society would be like if we weren’t always pressured to fit a label or stereotype, or fit in some box. I know it’s utopian thinking, but that’s me for ya! 🙂 I know this is kind of a lot to cover in one video; you might have to make it a series! But I appreciate your insights, as always.”
Ah,…my sweet young friend…you bring up “Utopian thinking” here.  And yes, it is quite Utopian! *chuckles*  For there to be a world without labels…that would be something to see.  How would we navigate?  How would I know who my people are?  How would they know me?
I know I’ve written about this before, but there always seems to be more, or new questions or ways to look at it, as in Kim’s request at the beginning of this piece.  She says she doesn’t identify with any particular label.  I would ask her how I was supposed to describe her if I were to describe her to a friend.  How would I identify the kind of woman she is, without using words to do this?
I did another fairly recent blog “Butch Femme Musings” on 9-8-14, (check under Butch Stuff in my archives here).  I take up a lot about labels and verbiage in there, take a quick read of that as well.  I also did the “Bread…an Anthology” vlog on Youtube about this topic.  And I’ve done others.  I’m burning out of ways to do this!  🙂
I don’t care if you are one who uses these convenient labels (i.e. Butch, Femme, Trans*, Bisexual, Granola lesbian, Dyke, Diesel, etc) or not.  These labels have worked their ways through the history of the LGBTQ movement from the very beginning.  They’re not going anywhere any time soon in my humble opinion.
I like labels because they give me a descriptor of the ‘type’ of person I am dealing with in the moment. Although some of these words have varied meaning among even those who identify with them.  My personal idea of Stone Butch, may vary slightly from the next person’s idea of that same sexuality and identity. I see Stone as my sexuality, and Butch as my gender identity.  I don’t see Butch as ‘just a label’, to me it’s WHO I am.  So my full identity…Stone Butch lesbian.  I explain it this way.  I am female bodied, and I prefer only women in my bed, sexually.  I am lesbian, but I am Stone, meaning there are limitations and boundaries with me as far as touch and approach go.  I’m not stone cold, I love to be touched, but I have my off limits zone just as my personal preference.  Other Stones could be more or less like me, some may allow intimate touch after some trust is built, some may not.  THAT is all part of the dance that happens between a Stone Butch and her Femme counterpart.  And every ballad is different.
I think that the labels in the Butch-Femme community in particular (let me take that perspective as it’s the one I know best and can relate to genuinely) are something that we not only use but that we find great comfort in.  Once I could allow myself to identify as Butch it was like the weight of the world left my shoulders.  I finally found a home.  I found a place where I fit, an identity that fit me and a way of life that I had been living all along was finally clarified and quantified to some degree.  And I love that I can see the Femmes in my community; and that they proudly call themselves Femmes.  It’s something I really like, a beautiful Femme woman.  In my mind those Femmes validate me as a Butch.  They are my equal opposites.  They have attitude, and they provoke attitude in me.  The interactions can be very intense.  Personally I really like that.
I do think that you are right that perhaps labels are more indicative to the Butch, Femme and Trans* communities.  We are far from society’s ideals of normal…I don’t even know if your “Utopian” culture of the future will be able to completely blend us in…for everyone to be the same, they would have to look the same, dress similarly, think along similar lines, and have very like goals and ideas.  B O R I N G.    I would rather live in a community structure where I knew who people were and how they identified.  and where there was lots of diversity and no two people were alike.  Perhaps it’s my age, being over 50 I am more settled in my ways of thinking and acting/reacting to things.  It’s so much easier on me to understand a person, and have better interactions with them too, if I know where they relate in the spectrum and/or binary.
Butches suffer the full time visibility issue, and Femmes quite often have to deal with the full time INvisibility situation.  Again equal opposites.  I’m not going to say that Butches are tougher than Femmes, because we all know that isn’t true….I know many fierce fantastic Femmes who are just as mentally tough as any pumped up Butch that I know.
When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I didn’t really care about labels, but as the world becomes a bit more complicated, and as we are doing most of our interactions through technology and on line now, it’s become imperative to me in properly communicating that I know or have an idea of someone’s base identity.  Then I have a better idea of how I will relate to them.  My interactions with my Butch buddies is far different than my manners and better conduct around Femmes.  I have some very good Femme friends who are great for advice when I get myself stumped.  Plus Femmes are generally pretty damned smart…and I think smart is sexy.  My Butch buds I’m not saying we’re not smart, hell we are all brilliant!  But our interactions are more about simpler conversations ….Stop!  I can’t go there or I will lose my Butch card for sure.  Classified stuff is what we talk about.  🙂
The newer words I am hearing a lot of now are Transmasculine and Transbians.  Maybe it’s not “new” but it’s being used now to describe those of us Butch lesbians who are electing to proceed with top surgery (like our FtM brothers) and who are easily confused with Transmen, but still identify as female and lesbian.  I’m sure there will be more evolution of the words and labels that we all use, it’s just how humans are wired….we have to know what to call things, people, ways, ideas.
I realize that some of the label stuff just gets ridiculous.  And that new stuff comes up on a regular basis.  Humans like to cause themselves problems.
There is now even a label for the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists – TERFs….
And there are word/labels we have pushed aside now and think of as more derogatory – fag, dyke, Tranny – altough I will admit I use them all in my language sometimes.  (I also say fuck a lot.  Heh, whole other topic….btw I was told that intelligent people tend to swear more than stupid people…fact.  Probably because we get so exasperated dealing with the stupid people!  haha)
But to live in a world without labels…I would be interested to see how that will evolve, and no doubt at some point labels may not be necessary, but by then I think the gender boxes on our business forms will be growing in number.   The binary will need some check points – and border guards!  And we don’t even want to THINK about what will have to happen with the public restrooms around the world!
I want to take my own choice to identify as Stone Butch a little further here.  Because that’s how I identify, that my whole life is somewhat guided by the unspoken rules, I dare live as my authentic self, never altering myself to the atmosphere, but making the atmosphere accept me and my presence.  I go about my business daily just being me.  And if the world doesn’t agree with me, that’ fine, just agree to disagree and we’ll all be fine.  For the most part I personally find people to be inherently good, at bare minimum they at least mean well.  I have no problem talking to all kinds of people, and handling situations where I am often misgendered with skillful ease now.  I like just going about my business and not worrying about how people are going to perceive me.  I have a fairly well worn path around the Seacoast area, so many people know me or who I am.  I’ve not encountered much by the way of homophobia around my stomping grounds.  I think in all the years I have been here and back again, that I’ve had maybe 2-3 incidents of idiots.  Or kids yelling slurs at me from their speeding car.  Mostly for me it’s the misgendering thing that happens, and I CAN see what you guys mean when you talk about being treated differently when you are perceived as another guy.  Totally.  I’ve always hung with the boys and bois and they are sort of like my tribe now.  I blend in with them a bit better.
If I have to write anymore about labels and identity markers, binarys and gender identity I think I am going to throw up.  I have enough in this blog (200 posts!) and on my Youtube channel to answer with my perspective on this topic pretty completely.  Perhaps I will search out all of my blogs/vlogs on this topic and edit them down to one manageable article.  Time…it would just take some time.  Rock on readers.  ~MBbetruetoyou

Stone Butch Views

butch-pride“I have a question for those of you who are stone butch identified.
I have personally found that a lot of stone butch I’ve dated are in fact not stone at all by the definition I understand. Why is it that our butch brethren feel the need to add ‘stone’ to their label if they don’t truly feel that???

Honest question and innocently asked out of curiosity and would love to hear your feedback???”

In addressing this question / topic:

*People have their own perceptions of what Stone Butch means.  These are mine and how I see it.

*Labels I use:  Stone Butch, Hard Butch, Butchboi, TransButch, and Butch.

*Stone Butch lesbian= sexuality & identity & sexual preference

Stone refers to my sexual appetite and preferences as a top with the more standardly recognized ‘meaning’ of stone which is generally that I prefer to be the giver and not the receiver in the sexual and intimate interaction.

Butch is my identity.  Yes, I use labels folks.  I find them necessary for me to identify myself and when describing my perception of individuals in conversation.  I, like Bear Bergman, see Butch as a noun, it’s who I am. Butch to me is my authentic identity.  I am female bodied, but don’t identify as fully female, nor am I male, I am just Butch.  Pronouns don’t really make a difference to me, except I don’t like the “m’am” or “lady” words much at all.  I dislike them a lot.  I am often mistaken for male, and thus I do get “sir” quite often, which I don’t mind and which actually makes me secretly smile at the fact that my masculinity is that strong.

There have been a lot of Butch bashing blogs lately across the web.  Surprisingly from some sources that I was shocked at myself.  But then other sources such as the TERFs out there, don’t surprise me one bit.  TERFs seem to really frown upon female masculinity and are especially critical and phobic concerning the Butch-femme dynamic.

I had a long discussion tonight with my best friend here tonight concerning our views and perspectives of Butch – femme and the bashing and hatred that gets put out there from inside of our own LGBT community.  I hate to even believe that these radical lesbian feminists are even part of my community, but by default they actually are and they’re not going away anytime soon.

Now I claim to know nothing about feminism beyond what the average person knows.  I did not ever take any classes in gender studies, sexuality or feminist theory.  So, all of my words here are purely my own thoughts, opinions and perspectives.  Please agree to disagree respectfully.

I am a firmly planted member of the Butch-femme community.  I love the dynamic; I thrive on the energy of the interaction and the intimacy.  Being Stone Butch I absolutely love femmes.  And Stone femmes are particularly attractive sexual beings to me.  I worship femme energy, fierceness and the spark.  I adore that femmes understand my Stone Butch identity better than any other identity in the spectrum.  I’ve never been with another Butch, nor do I wish to be as to me it would be like screwing my brother and there would be a fight over who bottoms for sure!  J  My interest in Butches is for friendship, brotherhood and boi talk only.  My sexual appetite is for femme lesbians only.

In my discussion tonight we were saying that the difference to us – that best describes my way of seeing the difference between a Butch and a Transman is that Butches grow up wishing to be bois and Transmen are men.  It’s maybe difficult to explain this in writing to any great extent, but as a Butch I can say for myself that I have never wished to be a man, wanted to be a man or male.  I am fine with being female bodied – although I did just modify my body with top surgery , and now that that is done I have no more body dysphoria.  Maybe it’s because I’ve made it thru menopause, no more monthly reminders of my female parts, and now my chest looks closer to like what I wanted my whole life.   I still identify as a Stone Butch lesbian, not as transgendered at all.  And I have thought about it long and hard, Butch is just my true identity.  Stone is my sexuality.  Lesbian is my sexual preference.  Perhaps some can relate to me here, and some can’t.  This is just my take on my experience.

Some believe that B-f relationships are mimicking of heteronormative ideals.  That to me is just bullshit.  I hear that so much it makes me sick.  My relationships have been far from heteronormative!  I am a lesbian, I love women.  I am a woman who loves women.  I am a Butch who loves a femme.    I’ve heard it said that B-f relationships are “unhealthy” for women – let me assure you my relationship dynamics are as healthy as can be. Lesbian relations are NOT unhealthy, even between women who have seemingly opposite personality traits that are erroneously coded as “masculine” and “feminine” in a sex hierarchy.

Just because I am Butch and my lover is femme doesn’t mean that our relationship is unhealthy by any means!   Of course, every segment of society can have unhealthy relationships, so I am sure there are unhealthy B-f relationships too, but the fact that they are B-f is no reason that they are unhealthy, which I have heard implied and said straight out.

Being Butch I am very visible in the world as a homosexual female.  A sort of “walking billboard for lesbianism and female masculinity” as I have heard it said.  I cannot hide who I am.  It’s fairly obvious that I am lesbian to anyone who meets or sees me.  I wear my sexuality on my sleeve.  And being seen with me is to be seen.  Femmes often suffer the invisibility factor; they are not seen as lesbians and are often mistaken for straight women – even suffering the comments like “you are too pretty to be a lesbian” which is a great insult to most.  Like what, all lesbians are ugly?  I think not.  What they are saying is that to be seen as a lesbian you should be more masculine and dyke-like.  I feel for my femme friends, this isn’t an easy walk for them either.  Inside the B-f relationship dynamic we often protect each other and sympathize the other’s similar – but very different at the same time – plights.

Stone doesn’t mean that I am hard and unemotional.  Stone is a matter of who is giving and who is receiving in sexual situations with me.  Stone to me is the easiest word to convey that part of myself without getting too in-depth.  It means that my pleasure comes from giving pleasure to my femme partner; from her enjoying my masculinity, but knowing she’s with another woman – not a man.  I love to kiss and be physical, I just have my off-limits area.  In my case it’s for more than just the fact that I am Stone by preference, it also is affected by my hiv status – another story altogether.

I also take much pride in being a representative of the Butch identity; it has such rich history and depth.  I’m proud to associate myself with the strength and fortitude of those who have gone before me as Butch throughout their lives.

Regarding the “hard and unemotional” perception of Butches – which I have kiddingly called Butch Emotional Deficit Disorder (BEDD) – that is not who I am at all in reality.  Sure, I can be perceived as a hard ass; as a ruffian and bad boi.  That is purely an exterior perception based upon the way I present – a harder masculine and tough presentation.  It’s just who I have always been, I don’t know how to “tone it down” and I become frustrated sometimes because people say that I scare them.  I am not scary.  I am not violent or mean.  I’m actually pretty much a diamond in the rough.  In actuality I have a very caring and compassionate emotional side.  I may not always be forthcoming with it, but it is there for those I choose to give a peek to in my life.  With strangers I am definitely more walled up and less accessible.  For those I love, they know that I am soft hearted.  Being Stone doesn’t mean my heart is a rock.  I fight this quite often in my life.  Like I said, it’s frustrating and pisses me off sometimes, but it’s not something I have ever found a way to change without my trying to present as someone that I am not; and in ways I would not be comfortable.

I am not playing a “role” as some perceive. I AM Butch, and I do not attempt to play any role but try to always be my authentic self – in life and in love.   I am a more dominant personality and I see that as part of my Butch identity and not a separated thing.  In a D/s setting I am definitely Dominant.  And I enjoy a sub very much.  Again, not roles, but actual identities.  Role playing to me is when we pretend to be something that we in actuality are not – don’t get me wrong, I think role playing can be fun in the right setting – but being Stone Butch is not a role that I play.  It’s my life; it is who I am.

Butch-femme is not a hierarchy in relations – Butch over femme, and it is NOT a power imbalance as some seem to portray it and think that it is, it’s actually a mutual balance of give and take. My ying to her yang.

So those are my thoughts on this particular subject for tonight, as discombobulated as they may seem.  I am a little ‘off’ my mark in writing lately, as my mind is often distracted by thoughts of a beautiful woman who is stealing my heart.   I welcome your further questions, comments and feedback.

“Feminist “theory” was built on the backs of lesbian lives, especially lesbians targeted and ostracized for being walking billboards for the existence of female homosexuality.”

Butchnotlikeothergirls

New Work with TVTP

I started working with a very interesting project in the last few days, the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal.  My job – to research murder and violent cases concerning *Trans victims.  It requires a lot of hunting down of information and reading, data entry and understanding why it’s important.  

The purpose of the portal is to collect the maximum data possible for analysis and the to further our understanding and ability to work for changes to bring about justice.  Not only are these victims brutalized and often murdered, but they are defamed in the media reports and press releases.  Still in today’s world the media can be such a cruel place, often mis-gendering, misnaming and reporting with bias and hatred of their own.  *Trans related hate crime goes under-reported more than any other type of crime; why? Because of fear and because sometimes the authorities don’t care to do the paperwork and leg work of establishing if a crime (even a murder) IS a hate crime.

Fact: During 2011/12  76% of LGBTQ victims were *Trans, with 67% being people of color.  

The woman who invited me to lend my energies to the project, Ms. Allison Woolbert, is nothing short of amazing, and so filled with such a deep passion for the work.  Allison is also the continual target of hate from the infamous Gender Identity Watch of Cathy Brennan and hateful homophobic and transphobic blogger Dirt.  Having had my own dealings with these two TERFs in the past, I was more than ready to jump on board to help Allison with this TVTP and in her war against the TERFs and their continual spreading of misinformation about *Trans and gender variant people like me.  

I know that I open myself up for some hatred by joining forces with others in fighting this inner community hatred from the GIW and similar groups, but if I don’t step up how can I inspired others to step up too?  It’s all of our responsibilities to address hatred, homophobia and transphobia and injustice where we encounter it – in our daily lives, from our relatives, from our governments, and from known hate groups like the GIW, as well as the more infamous such as the Westboro Baptist Church and the religious right.  

I would love to hear what you, dear reader, have done or are doing to help combat homophobia, transphobia and blatant discrimination in your community.  Comments invited below!  And as always personal email to my account at MainelyButch@yahoo.com are always welcome.  Peace.

(Note: The abbreviation Trans is maked with an * to denote that it is used here as an umbrella term).