Personal Stuff, Updates

Hello my fearless readers! I hope you are all in the very best of health and spirits – wherever you are on this big blue marble we call Earth.

The weather is turning here in southern Maine.  It’s beginning to feel a lot like Autumn, or Fall as we call it here.  Morning temperatures are pretty cool, down around 50F and it does warm up into the 70F range by mid day, but summer is now behind us as well as her very hot, humid weather.  Personally, I love this time of year. I love the smells, like fresh cut hay, newly fertilized fields, pumpkin and apple pies being baked, and that crisp clean smell of the ocean as the tides roll in and out.  Yes, this time of year just feels good.  I like being able to wear my sweatshirts and flannel shirts, and dressing in layers is key as you want to shed some as the days warm up.  I  like that I don’t have to run the air conditioners in the house – and have actually removed them and stored them for the winter – yet, I also don’t have to run the furnace for heat either.  Living with the ambient natural temperatures is perfect.  Sleeping is great, the cooler weather makes it so for me anyway.  And days are just comfortable.

I’ve been doing all the regular stuff.  Working, keeping up with the house and taking care of the dogs.  Everything is going pretty well.  I get to talk to my girlfriend every day, and we are doing really well.  Thank goodness for Skype!  And messenger of course.  what the hell did we do in days before cell phones and computers?  Dating was very different back then for sure, you were relegated to dating only those you could meet in your local circles.  I’m really glad that’s not still the way it is.  I never would have met this awesome woman had it not been for social media – this blog specifically.  And I’m really glad I met her and have gotten to know her.  She’s planning to come here in late November.  She’s got a lot of work between now and then, thus we are waiting.  I’m really looking forward to us spending a week just hanging out together.  It’s going to be great.

I decided not to bounce the friend of mine, who is staying here, out of the house just yet.  After giving it some careful consideration I decided to make a rule that politics are not to be discussed and told him to please be considerate of the fact I don’t want to hear it.  I felt bad cuz I know he doesn’t have much choice other than moving back to the motel.  Thus my choice to give it another try.  So far so good…although I am having some issues with his excessive alcohol consumption.  I don’t think that he will be here very long, too many things tell me this.  He’s planning to head to Florida the second week of December, and I think I can deal with him until then.  We shall see.  Regardless, he won’t be coming back to this house when he returns to the Maine coast, and returns to fishing, in the Spring. I’ve already decided that definitively.

I’ve been feeling really good.  Met with my doctors, each of them, in the last week.  Been having some issues with my c-spine, pain radiating down into my arms and hands.  So I am on a non-narcotic pain reliever called Celebrex and I have a brace on my left wrist.  We think I may also have carpal tunnel in that arm, thus the brace.  Both have seemed to help, I am in far less pain now.  Then I met with my HIV specialist yesterday.  My current tests just came back from the lab and I’m doing great.  T-cells up around 790 and my viral load is remaining undetectable.  This makes me really happy.  It means the cocktail of drugs that I am on is working and keeping my immune system healthy.  I’m feeling excellent, although I still battle a little weight gain, but I’m not real worried about it right now.  I know it’s a result of healthier living and being on the Suboxone…got to give a little to get a lot, so I’m just letting it ride.  I’ll work on losing the weight along the way.

My dogs are doing great.  Here’s a cute pic of them invading my spot in the bed…

2017-09-02 13.25.44

Well, I’m off to Groups…my weekly check in is on Wednesdays.  Things are going well with it and I’m continuing the program.  Staying clean is pretty important to me right now.

I hope you all have a great night!

Peace!  ~MB

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Harvey’s Devastation of Texas…

Harvey pic

Texas…the news coming out of Texas due to the direct hit by Hurricane Harvey is devastating.

We have a “president” that has not got the slightest clue as to what to do or how to act in any situation like this…He made an “appearance” in Texas, away from the actual disaster area, and he used it to once again continue to bolster his ego.  He spoke about it being “epic” (which it is) and about the affects on real estate and business, how bit his “turn out” was in Texas today and how “expensive” this was going to be…he showed NO empathy toward actual people or the HUMAN suffering that is happening there right now.  I was NOT impressed at all.  He has NO idea how to be empathetic toward human suffering; he himself does NOT know WHAT suffering IS or FEELS LIKE…he’s a rich, codified baby.

Trump wants to continue to worry about his rating and TV photo ops instead of worrying about what the hell he is going to do, and how he is going to react to this very devastating natural disaster.

Hurricane Harvey has devastated a large part of our country.  Tens of millions of people have been directly affected, losing all of their belongings, their livelihoods, and some their very lives.   It is horrible…beyond horrible.  There really are NO WORDS to describe this at all.  No words.

The positive side of this is that it’s other citizens, the people of Texas and beyond, that are heroically carrying out rescue mission after rescue mission.  These incredible individuals are stepping up to what is probably the biggest challenge of their lives.  And they are doing it honorably and without thought for their own personal safety.  People from all over Texas, and around the country, are going to Houston, Rockport and Corpus Cristi with trucks, boats, kayaks, canoes, rubber rafts, 4-wheelers, jet skis and anything they have that will help to rescue people and animals from the horror they are stranded in.  Even the American Cajun Navy has responded in full force.  Some are standing in water neck deep; others trying to live on the roof tops.  And these private citizens are flocking there to rescue them!  It’s EPIC alright, and epic show of human caring and kindness for their neighbors!  THAT is the biggest story of this whole catastrophe.  You can see many videos of these heroic efforts, hear interviews and see the devastation on YouTube and Facebook.

The poor animals that were left behind really tug at my heart.  To see pictures of dogs TIED up, with no way to get themselves to higher ground because they were LEFT tied up!  That should be a criminal offense in my opinion.  There were animals left in cages to drown. Horses left in stalls, with no way out.  And numerous other varieties of pets left in less than opportune conditions for survival.   Luckily, there are many that have gone to rescue these animals, hauling them out by boat and by simply carrying them through the high water.  It’s so sad to see the fear in the innocent animals’ eyes, wondering what is happening and where their owners went to.  I fear that many may never be reunited with their owners – and if owners left them behind to die then maybe they don’t need to be returned to those kinds of people anyway.  I’m sure you can give me excuses for it, but I find it unconscionable to leave a loyal pet behind…I would die with my dog rather than leave her to die alone and scared.  No matter how risky, I would take my dogs with me and chance it.

This Hurricane Harvey is going to push America to her limits.  We have never had a natural disaster here of this size, intensity or magnitude.  It will be a huge undertaking and challenge to handle all of the aftermath; all of the destruction, loss of life and loss of property.  It will take decades to rebuilt the intrastructure and for people to rebuild their homes and lives after the initial storm is over.

It will be many weeks before people get resettled into new living spaces, some temporary, some more long term.  And that is probably an understatement.  People lost EVERYTHING in this hurricane.  The lost homes, personal property and dignity.  They lost friends, relatives, children, grandparents, pets and everything beloved to them.  Businesses cannot function, most were destroyed by wind or water and will not reopen for weeks, months, a year or more — maybe never again.  This means thousands without jobs…maybe millions…the numbers will be staggering and are yet to be discussed here.  It’s a bit strange how no one is discussing numbers in all of this…except Trump exclaiming how “expensive” this is going to be.  He’s only concerned because it might cost HIM some personal money I bet.

Oil refineries are shut down.  No production.  Thus gasoline and heating oil prices are increasing daily here – and around the country.  No one knows how long they will be shuttered, or what it means to our national supply of these vital fuels.  And winter is coming here in New England.  This hurricane will affect ALL of America in some way or another.

Personally I have done several things.  I bought heating oil for my home today.  I saw it increase by 20cents in the last 2 days, so I figured I should fill my home heating fuel tank before it becomes unaffordable to me to do so.  I ended up paying $1.90 per gallon for #2 heating oil.  My tank is nearly full now, I will top it off full on Oct. 1st.

I filled my Envoy with gas today too.  Two days ago I paid $2.11/gal. and today I paid $2.33/gal at the SAME station, Irving.  So, gas and diesel pricing is on the rapid rise as well due to this hurricane.

Have written emails to my representatives, urging them to do whatever they can do to help get federal funding for Texas released as soon as possible.  Don’t play politics and make it contingent on “other” budget line items, just give them the goddamn money they need to rescue, recover, rebuild and deal with the repercussions of this horrific natural disaster.  It’s called Disaster Relief for just that reason – it should be used for those purposes and not held hostage by political in-fighting over budgets and line items.

I have remained actively vocal on Facebook.  Posting updates about the storm, photos, videos and sharing stories about the responders and the victims.  I’ve urged people to love each other more. To unite and help each other get through this.  I’ve raged against Trump and the horrible politicians of this country who are so callous about the hurricane and who are already balking at letting federal funds and other assistance go to these people.  I will continue to do all of this; continue to speak out and be vocal whenever and wherever I am able to do so.

I’ve considered trying to pull together a team to go to help in Texas  But I do not currently have a truck, boat or other equipment that they need so badly.  I would simply be in the way at this point. But in the future there may be a place for me there; something I can go and do to help them out.  Volunteerism is what is going to help these people the most over the long haul – that and federal financial assistance for food and supplies to live.  Donations are badly, badly needed there.  Everything was lost…so they need basically everything!  From toothbrushes to blankets.  Some have no shoes.  Most have just the clothing they are wearing when rescued.  They need dog food, cat food, litter and pet care supplies.  Everything we take for granted and use daily – they lost and do not have!  So, IF you can help; if YOU can do ANYTHING – even the smallest of things, like a $5 donation, please, please do it.  And keep doing it until they are out of the woods.

My heart goes out to Texas and all of her people, to my Texas friends and relatives, I send you all must love and wishes for healing and perseverance.  Stay strong. Texas Strong.

For donations and to offer help here are just a FEW places you can start:

Humane Society of the United States – Hurricane Harvey animal rescue/disaster relief

Save the Children – direct response for children affected by Hurricane Harvey

American Red Cross – Hurricane Harvey direct response

How to donate to victims of Hurricane Harvey

Peace to all.  ~MB

 

I Don’t Want to Miss This…

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

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

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

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

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

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

And she is awesome.

 

 

 

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Sunday Reflection

As a good friend reminded me – and people on my Facebook page –

The divisiveness, the hate and the rhetoric has been there a long time.  Trump is just the catalyst that brought it into the bright light of day and made it acceptable.          (thanks ButchDK)

Last night I had to remove a nasty comment – from my own brother – on my Facebook page and block him.  While it made me both angry and sad to have to go to that extreme, I am just sick and tired of listening / reading the ignorant remarks of the minority few that still remain tolerant of hate and supportive of Trump.  And I came to the decision after some long thought, that I would not start deleting people from my life who act in this fashion.  Thus, any and all of those individuals continue to promote and invigorate this hateful rhetoric on any social media platform that I am part of and who either comment to me or directly promote this bullshit, will be deleted, erased, removed, unfriended, unfollowed and otherwise prohibited from communicating with me or across my pages.  Period.  End of Story.  I now have a ZERO tolerance policy on this issue.

Now, let’s turn our thoughts toward Spain.  The Barcelona terrorist bombing…I was very, very shaken by this bombing incident.  As many of you known I was very much involved with a young Spanish/American woman who resided in Barcelona a couple of years ago.  When I heard the breaking news of the bombing my heart jumped into my throat.  Was she okay?  Did it happen right near her, where I thought it happened?  I was very concerned and while I no longer had contact with her, I still care very deeply.  You can’t just turn off love…it doesn’t work that way.  So, I swallowed my Butch pride (and that’s a BIG fucking swallow) and emailed her at her work account, asking if she was alright.

Two days went by, no word.  I would tear up; get choked up when I thought about her.  She has this really vulnerability about her and I know that this kind of thing is very frightening to her.  I could only imagine how scared she was.  I kept trying to not think about her or the bombing…but it was all over US television and in my heart.  I understand that I chose to not be part of her life – or have her be part of mine – when things were “over” so to speak, because I just couldn’t do the “friends zone” stuff with her.  I would never have been able to move on and love another.  She had burrowed deeply into my thoughts, broken down my walls, crashed through the barriers and become someone I didn’t wish to let go of ever.  In the end I had to because moving on was what she wanted, and was doing, and I needed to do it also.  I know I’ve never talked about this, because it hurt too much until recently.  While I will always have space in my heart for her, I have moved on now.

She did answer my email.  She’s fine and yes, the bomb went off right in front of a business that she would frequent daily.  She was lucky not to have been there at that time. But she was fine even though it was very scary for her.  I thanked God, then I thanked her for responding and left it at that.  It was extremely hard for me to not want to talk to her further, to ask how she has been and how things were going in her life these days.  But I can’t know, I just can’t.  I need to focus on what I can have in this life; on those great things in store for me, and on the woman who loves me.

Terrorists are active around our world.  The past week of news stories happening around the world proves this.  Here in America we are engaged in internal strife and being divided as a people.  Abroad ISIS and the Jhadists are employing truck bombs and IED’s on civilian populations – such as in Barcelona.  It’s sad.  It’s infuriating.  It’s frustrating.  All of these things affect us all.  That is the goal of these terrorists – whether foreign or homegrown.  They want disruption, fear and chaos.  And sadly they are achieving that goal in many ways right now.  When will it stop?

I’m going to turn off the television today.  I need a day of rest from all of the news coverage coming in from around the world.  I am going to go outside, taking the dogs with me, and work in my garden.  I will paint my porches. And I will focus on what his here in front of me that is peaceful, beautiful and good in my life.  I will plant a perennial flowering plant in memory of Corey today.  And I will try to heal some of my broken parts just a tiny bit.

Peace.  ~MB

 

 

 

 

And I don’t wanna miss a thing…

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

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

…and I digress…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Butch…Trans…A Conversation

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

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

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

Love has no labels – in a perfect fucking world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace! ~MainelyButch

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

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

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

Changes and Life Storms…

Yes, we all know that changes happen to us every single day that we wake up breathing.

We are constantly undergoing change. Body changes, hairstyle changes, changes in jobs, living spaces, partners, lovers, friends, and personal stuff like emotional and mental changes.  We are human.  We are creatures of habit, yet change is one of those things that we cannot stop.

I feel  like I am going through some sort of period of changes myself right now.  I just have not been feeling like my old self.  I think I am more like “morphing” into some sort of new me.  It’s not a “bad” thing, the things I am noticing are not all negative my any means.  I am just thinking about this and things I have noticed lately.

I have developed even LESS of a tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.  And I don’t always hold back anymore, if I think you are being stupid I’ll up and tell you right quick.  I used to be more reserved, but hey, I think that people need to know how they are perceived.  And maybe sometimes it’s not all roses and kittens.

The political scene in America – if you can call it a “scene”…well, it sort of is a scene…because it’s being directed by a fucking reality TV fallen-star – has got me thinking pretty deeply about my life here and what is going to happen in my country in the next few years, or even few months!  I wake up every day now and check Twitter to see what the Trumpidiot has Tweeted that is going to be destructive today.  It’s scary.  I now live with more of a sense of personal fear than I EVER did before.  And that is just not right.

I have white privilege, but after that I have everything going against me – I’m a woman, a lesbian, Butch, HIV+, and poor.  The fact that I do have that stupid white privilege thing is not lost on me.  I understand that if I were Black or Hispanic that I would struggle even harder than I do in life.  And that angers me.  Everyone should have the same even platform from which to launch.  No one deserves to be treated as less-than or as unequal in any way.

I want to read Sen. Flake (R) AZ ‘s new book, “Conscience of a Conservative” that just came out.  He sounds like a reasonable man.  And I know how Trump hates any Republican who doesn’t cow to his wants and demands.  Flake and McCain are just two of them that Trumpy despises.

So Scaramoucci (sp?) quit today.  He lasted a whole 10 days as the WH Correspondence chief.  I guess he couldn’t get along with the new guy, Gen. Kelly, who is now going to be Trumpidiot’s right hand man. I actually believe that he’s been brought in to SHOW Trumpidiot HOW to run an administration and HOW to be a President.  And I believe that he is going to be Trump’s worst nightmare.  He’s not going to take kindly to Trump Tweeting stuff every day.  There are “leakers” in there, and Trump is right at the top of them!  He’s his own worst enemy.

I don’t know who, or if they have even chosen anyone yet, is going to be the new voice for Trumpidiot.  Good luck to whomever it is that gets that gift of a job.  Hahaha!  It will give Saturday Night Live a new character to develop for sure.

I’ve been talking with my special girl up north all week.  Even when I wasn’t feeling good talking to her for a few minutes would pick me up.  She’s been a real positive thing in my life.  She is in a pretty complex situation there.  With her being poly it’s okay that we are talking, but does have relations there, and I have respect for those.  We’ve been talking every day, something I haven’t really done solidly with anyone for quite a while now.  It’s nice to wake up and be able to message her and smile at her replies.  Things are really in their beginnings with us, and it’s yet to be seen how far things go.  We have known one another for years, just the time for us to talk was never right – before now.  It’s been really fun getting to know each other better.  I really like this woman and hope we keep talking…for a nice long time.  We’ve become very good friends, and that is what counts to me the very most.  I can share things with her that I don’t with others, which is a nice feeling.

I’m not looking for forever, just like connecting with good people in the now.  One day there will be a woman who comes into my life and decides to stay, but until then I am a free bird and enjoy good people.  This current friend that I am talking with fits that bill, she is just plain good people!  And she’s been through a very rough journey in life, so her story is sometimes hard to hear, but I am someone who isn’t afraid to listen and to really hear her.

Tomorrow is never a given.  Live for today.  Take risks.  Take chances.  Sometimes you don’t get a second chance, so leap before it’s too late.

Peace.  ~MB