Again on Butch-femme Relationships

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I have just had the pleasure of reading a most outstanding piece on Huffpost  called “Redefining Butch-femme Relationships”, by Georgia Kollas, writer, Huffington Post blogger, and cultural observer.  I loved it!  It could not have been any better!  I encourage all of you to give it a good read!

Also, Ms. Kollas is a self-identified as a femme, a “strong, badass” one at that!  I love reading about the “dance” from a femme perspective as it’s obviously the opposite, yet the same as my own experience from my stance as a Butch.

To quote one favorite and much agreed with paragraph from Ms. Kollas’s article:

…We are yin and yang – seemingly oppositional forces that are actually complementary and interconnected. We offer a devoted appreciation for the gender expression of the other, an affirmation of intrinsic qualities that make us who we are. Each of us is unique, with our own blend of characteristics along a gender spectrum. We all carry both masculine and feminine aspects within ourselves.

I so agree that we are the “yin” and “yang” in each other’s worlds.  We are the same, yet complete opposites that need on another for happiness and love.  We, both identities, thrive on the energy that our opposite exudes.  As a femme loving Butch, I am very strongly attracted to the softer essence of the femme, and to her fierce badass parts as well.  It’s not just about the sex, it’s about the “big picture” that each of us has in mind.  It’s about the sensuality, both strong and intriguing, that lures us to each other; to desiring to be in one another’s presence.

I’ve always heard the old “mimicking hetero” stuff, even from other lesbian identified people in my community.  And it makes me chuckle to myself because that’s really not what Butch-femme relationships are at all.   As a Butch I do not desire to be or to mimic a man; I am a undeniably a female person who is entrenched in masculinity from within my soul.  I embrace my masculinity, and I love women who embrace their femininity with that same reciprocating enthusiasm – particularly lesbian identified femmes who find my Butch-ness appealing and attractive.

I appreciate the power of a femme; that alluring mystique that captivates my every thought when I am with her.  I love the flirtations and the magic that happens within the Butch-femme dance.  That magic fills my chest with pride; pride for being with such beautiful and sexy woman that makes my masculinity feel so perfect to me.  There is just nothing akin to the exquisite dance that happens when we are connecting.

Another favorite line from Ms. Kollas writing,

I love butch–femme and the particular dynamic that exists when two people are firmly in their fullest expression of their gender and interconnected in a dance of complementary opposites.

I see femmes as precious beings; ones to be protected and to be loved deeply.  As I run my fingers through her long hair, balling my hand into a fist and pull her head back to kiss her passionately it is actually she who controls that very moment, as it is she gives me that power.  There is a power exchange in the Butch-femme dynamic that is fierce, yet so subtle and we feel it deep in our bones; spiritually, emotionally and sexually.

We know the deal, and we’re in-tune as we dance.

Kudos to Ms. Kollas on this wonderful article!

Peace.  ~MB

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Week’s Update Blog / Sept. 22, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017…wow, this year is going by very fast for me!  It feels like May was just last week, yet here we are entering Autumn and the leaves are beginning to change colors, mornings are crisp and cool, and you can feel the change of seasons in the air.  I love this time of year.  I love everything about the Fall season; from pumpkins to raking leaves in late Fall…it’s just a super enjoyable time of year – although I am not a huge fan of the leave raking task, I do manage to get it done when it’s time.

I got a ton of things done around my house this last weekend.  I did a really deep cleaning of the interior of the house, right down to washing comforters and pillows.  I’m getting ready for the winter and want to have everything organized and in place in preparation for the cold and snow.  I got the grass mowed for what I hope is the last time this season. It has slowed in growing quite a bit, so I doubt that it will need to be mowed again this year, but hey, I could be wrong!  I still need to trim my forcynthia bushes and do another coat of paint on the front porch railings and spindles. And I still need to get the back porch painted.  There’s just always something that needs attention around here, I guess it’s all a part of having a home and caring for it properly.  I like to keep things updated, in good shape, and looking nice, so I put in the extra effort to get it all done. Â

Friday: September 22, 2017 — While I’ve been feeling really great lately mentally and my immune system health is excellent, I am still dealing with a good amount of pain in my neck and cervical spine area that radiates down both arms and affects my hands.  Last week I had one day that I couldn’t keep a grip on things, and I dropped my favorite coffee cup and smashed it to smithereens.  It’s got something to do with the nerves and some disc issues in my neck that is causing the pain, tingling, and weakness in my arms and hands.  I recently had an x-ray and an MRI done on the neck/c-spine area and am awaiting the doctor’s advice and suggestions as to what we can do to help with it.  I may be facing a possible surgery to repair the degenerated discs…I am not sure yet exactly what is going to be done.  Something has to happen because I don’t want this to get any worse, or to lose the use of my hands.

The kidney issue is still also up in the air.  I’ve undergone some extensive testing, and do not know the results yet.  I have a cyst of some sort on my left kidney, and it’s showing signs of disease, but we are not sure how bad it is, or if it’s even bad at all.  I’m not real worried about it, I’m in no pain from it and had it not been for an abnormal blood work result I wouldn’t even know there was a problem at all.

So, while I have a couple of challenges health-wise, I do feel really good about things overall.  I haven’t felt very much up to using the computer the last 10 days or so, it hurts to be on it and typing for too long. This has caused me to get behind in my emails and in replying to people.  I just hope everyone will understand that I cannot always get right back to them when I am feeling like this.  I do occasionally use my phone to check email, which I did earlier this week – to find that one friend was quite angry with me for not replying to her email from the 15th.  I tried to tell her I wasn’t feeling up to even opening up my laptop, but she can be a bit extreme when it comes to being mad at me for little things like not replying to her fast enough for her tastes.  I’m wicked sorry about it, but not much I can do.

My girlfriend’s internet is down for repairs at this time.  She and I haven’t been able to really communicate for over a week.  That bums me out because I am very used to connecting with her every day at some point, but until they finish replacing the internet lines in her town they are all without cable and internet.  It’s supposed to be completed by next Thursday.  I’ll be happy when she can be back online and we can Skype once again.  I really miss talking to her and seeing her on Skype.  It’s also like this when she is out of town on business travel too.  But we have learned to cope with it alrigh
I am in quite a lot of pain in my right collarbone and right shoulder and arm tonight.  So I cannot continue typing for very long, and I have to keep resting every paragraph or so because it hurts so damned much!  I have taken Aleve, a prescription Celebrex pain reliever, as well as applied a 4% lidocaine gel to the areas to help relieve some of the pain.  I have upcoming appointments to have the nerves tested in my c-spine and arms, and am preparing to most likely have some disc surgery on my neck and c-spine.  I’m not sure what all that will entail at this point as the doctor has just started discussing it with me and we are going to do further testing to try to really pinpoint the problem.

I have to go respond to some personal emails tonight and beg forgiveness for my tardiness in doing so.  Tomorrow I am going to TRY to paint the kitchen cabinets that I installed this last Spring as well as get to the rest of the outside painting that needs to be finished up.  This will obviously all depend on how high my pain level is and if I am physically up to doing it in the morning!  Let’s hope so!

I am watching the world news very closely lately.  As I am sure most of you are too.  I am not going into my thoughts on what is going on here, it’s just too frustrating for me to deal with right now.  I fear we have entered the twilight zone in some ways.  It all seems so surreal sometimes.

Hope you all are doing well.  So, tell me, what is your #1 concern about world affairs right now?  What are you doing to deal with it?

Peace.  ~~MB

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…

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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

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

 

 

 

In the Fog..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace!  ~MB

Role Models

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.  ~MB

Our Stories…an inspired post

I have been blogging now for so many years that I really have to stop and research when I first started…I think it was sometime around 2005 that I first started blogging on AOL.  It’s been a good amount of years for sure.  I printed out all of my AOL blogs when I stopped using AOL, so I have them in printed form – just not in digital form.  I am thinking about this because I have been reading MiddleAgeButch’s blogs on writing our stories, which are really excellent blogs!

Telling our stories is an important thing, especially to leave marks on the history of the LGBT community.  I write because I love to write; it’s an outlet for me and if I can tell my story and it helps even one person along the way then I will have made a small difference in the world.  Everyone has their story.  I have mine and you have yours.  Sometimes we can relate to each other through our life stories; finding common threads and experience.  We can all be storytellers.

My story is about growing up feeling very “different” and not understanding exactly why until I became more aware of sex and sexuality.  Then it hit me that I was lesbian.  I remember looking the word up in the dictionary. “Ah Ha! That’s me”  My story is about holding that secret very closely, with a lot of fear and anxiety, for many years.  It’s about coming out in a time when it wasn’t cool to be gay.  And about life before we knew what HIV &  AIDS were, never realizing that life was about to completely change for so many of us.  Some chapters are about dealing with emotions and feelings in all the wrong ways, about drinking, drugs and wandering in the wrong directions.  Then you get to chapters of growth, acceptance and realization.  All of the stories of my life have brought me to where I am today.  And today is a good day.

I love reading the other author’s blogs on WordPress.  There really are some super writers on here.  I follow quite a number of them, and while I don’t get to read every entry every day, I do catch up with my favorites every week or so.  Some I do read daily when I can.

I think it’s really great that so many LGBT people have taken to blogging and writing down our stories for the world to read.  It’s important to the coming generations to be able to find us through our stories and to understand the history of our people.  I know it has been life changing for me, in many ways, to read the stories of those who fought this battle before me, of the Stonewall Riots, the Butch-femme histories of the early 20th century.  I always look to read as much from other Butch-femme lesbians as I can.  Some of my favorite reads are “Stilettos and Steel,” “Stone Butch Blues”, and “Butch is a Noun” and “Tomboy Survival Guide”…all of which are stories that address various periods and what it’s been like being Butch during them.  All have made great contributions to the history of the LGBT movement, in my opinion, and I would highly recommend them to young readers looking to know more about our history.

I was also reading another blog about people we admire and the qualities that they typify that we admire in them.  I found it to be really intriguing.  So I made my own lists of people that I admire in my life, and what I admire about them.  Because those are the qualities that I want to have myself, to make myself a better person.  I think it’s important to occasionally take a personal inventory of ourselves and do some hard thinking about how we are presenting to the world around us, and if it’s enough or if we need to tweak things up and make some changes.  Changes are not always easy, but they are a necessity in life.  AND you can always make the choice to change.

So I made a copious list of the qualities and traits that I personally want to have.  I am going to post it on my desktop where I can see it everyday and be reminded to live up to them.  I’ll let you all know how it goes.  I like to think that I already have many of these qualities, but it’s good to remind oneself.

I was talking with someone today about how everything happens for a reason.  I think that’s kind of a lame old line actually, but there is some truth to it I am sure.  Where I am in life today is exactly where I have put myself.  You get no more than what you put into something.  I’m pretty contented, but will always strive to make things better, and to be a better person for it all.

What makes me think of all of this is a very close friend who is having some really tough times right now and conversations that I had today with her.  She’s saying crazy things like “I’m done.” and “I am giving up.”  Words that scare me into thinking she’ll do something crazy.  I would be devastated if anything were to happen to her.  She’s very special to me, and someone I depend on in my life.  Right now she’s having some financial troubles and I am sure she’s feeling overwhelmed and under a lot of pressure because of it.  I am not in a position to help her out or loan her the money, which makes me feel bad.  I wish I could help her in some way other than just giving her advice and trying to help her get through it.

I want her to look at her life and see all of the positives and not just the current negatives.  I know it’s hard when the negatives are staring you right in the face though.  I been there too.  But you can’t just give up and throw in the towel.  You have to work things out, and sometimes it’s hard and you don’t want to do the work, I know, but it has to be done.  Hopefully she will get some rest tonight and will have a new outlook in the morning.  I am hoping that she will come by for coffee in the morning so that I know she’s okay.

It’s all part of the story of our lives…these day to day happenings and problems.  Hopefully better things come in the future.