Writer’s Block & Publishing a Book

I have just discovered that there is an app for Writer’s Block.  Yes, it’s true.  Someone had the where with all to figure out that us writers are occasionally mentally constipated and need a brain laxative of sorts to get things flowing once again.   The app is aptly called Writer’s Blocks, see what I did there?! ehehe   I even made that a nice hot link so you don’t get lost trying to find what I am speaking about here.  I’m a smart ass I know.  It becomes me sometimes.  Sometimes it just makes me look like a jack ass.  Who cares.

I often suffer from not knowing what to write about. Lately I ‘ve been focusing more on a book that I would like to compile and publish, a book of short stories of incidents and situations I’ve encountered in my very bizarre life.  I’ve lead a very interesting life and had some pretty wild, and some mild, experiences.  I’ve met some great people and I’ve met some looney tunes…and I want to write a book and introduce my readers to them all. Won’t that be fun?  eheh…I think it will be for sure.  Good thing I have a very good memory, plus I have oodles of journals that I can reference if I forget the details.

I’ve been toying around a bit with Writer’s Block the app and I think I am going to like it – a LOT.  Which means I have to throw up $119 to buy the actual program once my free trials is expired in 14 days.  But if it works as well as I am hoping it does – and so far so good – it will b well worth it to organize myself for some better, more professional and better writing.  Especially if I am really going to put my ass in gear here and do this book I keep talking about.

I’ve talked about writing a book for years. I was personally life-partnered with a publisher for 14 years and she always encouraged me to do it, but I just never felt good enough.  So why am I thinking that I am good enough now?  Well, for one I have read some books that were published that I thought were terrible and couldn’t believe that a publisher actually picked up the book and did it.  I know I can and will write better than some of what I have seen get published.  Secondly I just feel like it’s time for me to get off my ass and do it.  It’s in me, I can feel it and I know I can do it.  I’ve just been a lazy and fraidy cat fuck. It’s a very vulnerable thing to put yourself and your work out there for the public to read.  I do it every day with my blogs, so why not with a hard copy book?

I have great inspiration in my writing.  I am a big fan of Ivan E. Coyote and S. Bear Bergman for two. They both write in much the same style that I intend to write in – short stories.  They compile books based on true short stories of incidents and the goings on in their lives.  These two write a lot of about being Butch and now about being Trans also.  I shall write about those things too, just from my own perspective and angle.  There are not enough Butch writers out here doing this, we need more anyways.  (I have hot linked both Ivan and Bear’s names above to their web sites. I encourage all to visit and check them out. They are two of the best LGBT writers alive today. And I guarantee you will love their work.  Ivan even has several Youtube videos if you like to hear examples of their work).

I get contacted quite frequently by young Butch girls who are trying to figure out how to be in life. Mostly teenagers and some younger 20 something Butches too.  One question came up the other day that intrigued me coming form a 17 yr old.  She asked me “If I am Butch does that mean that I have to grow up to be Trans and be a man?”    She says her friends say that she is supposed to want to be a man, and that being Butch is only a half way point between the two.  I wished like hell I could have sat these girls down and had a really serious conversation with them and learn where they are getting these kinds of thoughts.  Today’s world is so confusing for these kids.  I can just imagine what it would be like to be growing up Butch in 2016….much different than when I grew up in the 60/70’s and we just didn’t talk about things like this.  It’s good that it’s so open now, but is there such a thing as too open?  Are there really any boundaries anymore?   It seems all so technical now, and there are soooo many words and definitions (remember my recent blog on definitions?) that it confuses even the best of scholars I am sure.  So here are these two kids trying to figure out if Butch means you have to choose to be a man when you grow up….without adult guidance; the guidance of someone who is knowledgeable and keen on the subject even, they are destined to flouder until they find the right answers.  I am go glad that there are GSAs in most schools now.  I should probably be volunteering to help out with the GSA at the local high school here too.  Because this stuff frightens me and these kids need mentors and people to look up to who have been where they currently are now.

So, tonight I will work on Chapter 2 of the Washington DC story…I’m sure you’ll see it by week’s end.  I’m also certain that it will be more than 2 chapters, so it may take me a bit here.  I am going to use Writer’s Blocks to produce the next segment of the story, so I will let you all know how that goes as well.

Peace & Love

~MB

 

 

Very Tough Question…

Sorry if posted multiple times
What do you think of trans men and trans women forcing themselves into and eventual shut down- the owners gave up – of the Michigan Womyn’s Festival?

I think lesbian born women have the legal right to exclude anyone who is not a womyn born womyn without facing harrassment, legal threats, to exclude those who are not.

I got this question in my comments recently and wanted to just touch on this a bit.  I’m sure my thought on it will be controversial no matter what. Why?  Because there is no really right or wrong solution to this issue. It’s really a touchy subject no matter how you look at it.

The world has changed.  We now have all kinds of organizations of exclusivity that are being challenged with similar situations as the Womyn’s Music Fesival (WMF) was caught up in with the trans question.

For those who don’t know the very basics it seems that the organizers of the WMF were faced with the question of who is “woman” and who is not.  Since the WMF was supposed to be exclusively for women, some thought that transwomen should be excluded from that definition because they were not women-born-women. It’s very confusing, see?  Now there is huge argument on both fronts.  And then there was the question of if transmen should be included since they were born women…and the confusion deepens.  Finally after fighting legal and ethical battles of huge proportion over this for several years the WMF organizers canned the festival out of sheer frustration I believe.  That’s the situation the commenter speaks of above in a nutshell. Believe me it was much deeper and more technical than that.  It was basically a fight over who and what constituted a “woman” and who/what did not.  The festival boasted a safe place for all women to join together in community for a week every year.  Some felt that that safe space was violated by trans people from both genres.  It was an ugly fight and it’s a very difficult subject.

This same sort of situation is playing out across the world with organizations like the Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts and other gender specific organizations. Some girls want to be Boy Scouts, some transboys want to be Boy Scouts, etc. etc.  Do they have a “legal” right to exclude people based upon gender or genitalia?  Who knows.  I am not a lawyer, and thus can’t speak to the specifics of legality of any of it.  I can only give my opinion.

I never attended the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.  I only read and heard about it. So I don’t even speak from experience of being there.  I was always under the impression that it was a lesbian festival of sorts.  That was always the impression I got at least.  I wonder if they segragated it based upon sexual preference?

To me excluding people is not much different than segregation. And we segregate constantly everywhere.  We do it by color, race, sexual orientation, religion, social status, and a huge range of other things.  We do it everywhere, all the time. It’s sad. But I also think it’s part of human nature in some ways.  Like people gravitate toward their own kind.  I know that I would be most comfortable out camping with a bunch of Butch and Femme lesbians – which I consider my own “kind” in a way – than I would with a bunch of straight women talking about dick and men. I just would.  It’s all about comfort; what I am most comfortable doing and being around.  And I am entitled to my comfort.  Would I join a club that excluded transwomen/men?  No.  I do not believe that I would.

I bet that at the WMF that people segregated by types/kinds.  I bet Butches hung out with other Butches, that Femmes with other Femmes and that every type of woman had a group that she associated with more than others.  It’s all in the comfort level of the individual.  Diversity is great, but let’s face it, given the choice we all choose and become loyal to our own type.

Now I don’t know about the WMF and what happened there but I know there were some huge arguments around the internet about it all.  I can see basis for argument from all standpoints.  Who is right is still not clear, nor do I believe it ever will be clear.  It’s sad that a solution could not be reached that suited everyone so that the WMF could have continued and could have remained that safe space to express and experience the various types of women that we all are.

The specific exclusion of trans people seems to be blatant transphobia to me.  Not being trans I can only imagine how that would feel.  I can say that if I was a transguy I would not be inserting myself into an exclusively female venue.  Why would a man want to be at a women’s festival?   But if I were a transwoman…I would want to be recognized as a woman and would expect to be included.

These are just my thoughts on the whole thing.  I don’t know the answer to your question, commenter, it’s a tough one.  I wish we could all just get along and have one big camping festival that included everyone!

 

 

 

 

A Little Rant on Butch-phobia

I got a note from a young Butch who is struggling with being Butch.  Sad when one struggles so hard with just being who they authentically ARE. Pisses me off that we have nurtured a lesbian community who thinks that Butch equals male.  Butch doesn’t “equal” male at all, Butch is far more than plain old male, it’s the culmination of masculine female energy and living.

There is so much going on in the LGBT community currently, that things get a bit jumbled in my head.  I have several half written pieces in my cache about various things concerning various LGBT issues.  I mention this because one piece is on “allies” and what constitutes an ally versus what constitutes prejudice and phobia.  I look at it from underneath the proverbial “umbrella” myself.  So my perspective on anything LGBT will be skewed in this fashion; bias to some degree.

Maybe I am even getting a little off topic here now, it’s because when I think of phobia both Transphobia and Butchphobia come to my mind. Because those are the two inside the community that affect me personally the most, thus the two that very first come to my thoughts.  Know what I mean?  Sure you do.  Since I identify as Butch then Butchphobia comes to my mind when we start talking about the various phobias that we deal with as LGBT people…homophobia being our #1.  And then even that doesn’t bother me as much as phobia coming from inside the LGBT community itself – some of that being internalized Butchphobia.

I find that quite a few lesbians are seriously Butchphobic.  They shun the more masculine of us in the crowd.  I’ve had it happen personally, watched it happen to friends and felt the pain that is a result of being dissed by my own supposed “community” members.  I’ve heard it said more than once to me “oh, I don’t identify any way, I am just a regular, normal lesbian.”  to which I always want to say,”Hell yeah that big fat rainbow sticker on your car says ‘LOOK I am normal and regular’ alright!”

And I want to have a big ole argument about this “Normal, Regular Lesbian” title.

I want to know what is not ‘normal’ or ‘regular’ about ME?  Why can’t I be part of the normal/regular crowd?  Are they afraid of me?  (Maybe they fear that my masculinity will be contagious! hahaha  Let me assure you that Butch doesn’t wash off or rub off on anyone else.  It’s pretty permanent.  Same with femmes, it doesn’t wash off like their cherry flavored lip stick!

Is it that I am Butch?  Are you saying that that’s not the norm?  That I can’t just be a regular Butch lesbian?  Cuz that’s what I am; just your regular stock Butch lesbian.  (Except when I am that “special” kind of Butch…you know, like the one you like so damned much, but are afraid of what your friends or family will think, if you ask her out.  Maybe they’ll ask you the old “Why not just date a man?” fall-back question and then you would be some uncomfortable huh?  The femmes that I date have dealt with this question I am sure (because they’ve told me about it).  Dating a Butch lesbian is a bit like dating someone with a lesbian tattoo in the middle of their forehead, it’s usually blatantly visible that they are lesbian. (Now before you railroad me I know that there are straight Butch girls…and other sexualities of Butch out there, but for all intents and purposes of this blog we are talking about lesbians)   So it’s important to me that I date strong minded femmes, because they can handle these rude questions much more effectively, and with some finesse.  I love that about femmes, they will stick up for what they believe in and are loyal to. Bless their steel-plated hearts.

I don’t try to be anyone other than who I am.  I don’t tell you how to identify and you don’t tell me.  I try to be authentic; honest about who I am and how I see things. And I dare to be different.

(….to be continued…)  I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Peace!   ~MB~

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

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~

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