Early Morning Rantings!

Once again I am awakened at 2am, just am not meant to sleep like a normal person should right now.  I wake up and I am just…up…no going back to sleep in the immediate future.

I had a really great conversation with a great woman that I have been talking to lately.  It wasn’t an easy chat at all, but it was good for both of us I believe.  I confided in her a good bit about my addiction history, and she didn’t go running away like a scared cat. Addiction is not an easy topic to navigate and I admire her for her inquisitiveness on the topic, as it is a big part of who I am and why I am.  I look forward to more conversations with her, about everything.  She is someone I very much want to keep in my life.  🙂

Today was a bit hectic, but seriously productive. I worked til 1pm and then got together with my best friend and went to do our Friday afternoon errands around town.  Every Friday we have a ritual of doing this.  It’s called living paycheck to paycheck.  We get paid, go out and pay our bills, do the shopping for our respective households and take care of whatever else needs doing in town.  It is a struggle sometimes, but I make it work somehow.  And I realize that there are millions of others who are making it work this way as well.  It’s not easy in today’s economy or job market to do it any other way – especially if you don’t have a college education to fall back on, which I don’t.  Sometimes it feels likeI am always trying to play catch up on things, but hey, that’s just how it is.  I do alright.

I visited Trader Joe’s grocery this afternoon, I love that place!  I actually requested an employment application when I was checking out, and the woman who checked me out told me it was a super great place to work.  Everyone in there seems pretty pleasant and happy to be there, so they must enjoy the job.  I love the diversity of people in the place, from old hippies, to housewives, to young dykes, it’s just a palate of different people. They must have a really good company equality policy.  I am going to research the company a bit just to be sure that I would be a good fit there.

I also visited Staples office supply store on my excursion about town.  I needed a ream of copy paper.  They had a really good deal on some excellent quality paper that I had to take advantage of!  That is another place I could picture myself working.  Although a bit more “stuffy” than Trader Joe’s eclectic atmosphere, it would be fun.  I was in the corporate business world for many years and used to frequent the place quite a bit for supplies for my company.  I imagine working with people who were doing the same thing would be right up my alley in skill sets. And being the techno nerd that I am, I can imagine I would probably reinvest in the company and that might not be a good idea!  I’d be buying stuff like crazy.

Meanwhile, in Trumpy-land the Twitterverse is running wild with Trumpy stuff.  This Russian connection thing is really getting out of hand, Jeff Sessions needs to resign and a full investigation needs to ensue.  It just has to happen to put this subject into some sort of understandable terms. I was Tweeting with a friend in Texas who is petrified right now.  Being our age and queer isn’t going to be an easy path under Trump as he keeps going along with ripping away our rights and equalities.  It’s also just plain scary as an American, not withstanding being a part of the LGBTQ community!   Everyone seems to feel the impending doom of being attacked in some way by all of the executive orders and wild things that Trump and his team are doing or proposing to do.  I know I’m fucking scared.

Living in Maine has some pretty unique advantages.  Where I live especially because geographically it’s a great spot.  Right between Boston Mass, and Portland Maine.  I can be at the beach in 5 minutes, in the White Mountains in less than an hour and to either of the two cities in about 45 minutes.  Geographically it’s fucking perfection.  Maine also has a good equality rating. I just read an article in the Bangor Daily News about Maine being at the top when it comes to gender equality.  We also have good protections for the LGBTQ citizens here too.  I am glad that I live in this type of state.  From personal experience I can say that there IS really good gender equality.  Maine women are a fierce and tough lot.  Especially those from “down” Maine, which is actually upstate Maine…it’s a Maine thing…those women are hardened by the lifestyle of living in a very rural state, where you have to be fairly tough to survive.  I live in the more populated area, it’s a bit easier to navigate life here, but my cousins are down Mainers’ and they are not to be messed with.  The women are equal to the men up there in so many ways, they do equal work and expect equal pay. And truth be known, I believe they run the whole fucking show!  I have a healthy respect for my down Maine women cousins. They take no prisoners.

I hope your weekend is a great one!  Signing off from southern Maine….Peace!  ~MB

 

Rules Don’t Apply: Being Butch

butch-name-tag

I am Butch.  A Butch who loves femme women in particular and a member of the Butch-femme community; a community that struggles in today’s politically correct sort of world.  We are more often than not, ostracized for “copy catting or aping” heteronormativity.  My partner is asked why she feels the “need” to be so feminine, and I am grilled about my “wanting to be a man” by those that just don’t understand the Butch-femme dynamics or lifestyle.

Within my own community I find people telling me I should just “transition and get over it” when that is the furthest thing from my mind.  They seem to think that I must “want” to be a guy, because I look and act in more masculine ways.  The truth is that I love being Butch.  I am not afraid of my female parts.  Since I have had chest surgery I am much more comfortable in this female based body.  Sure, I hated my boobs when I had them, but that didn’t mean I had to transition.  Many lesbians, like me, are uncomfortable with their breasts – even some that don’t identify as Butch!  I was just lucky enough to be able to do something about my upper body dysphoria and have the surgery I had wanted for all my life.  I am fine with my body now; I’m flat chested and happy.  I am fine with my masculine appearance and my butch ways.

See, the rules don’t apply to me.  I have chosen to live outside the definitive lines of the gender binary.  I don’t prescribe to much of anything that would label me a girl/woman/female person.  As well as I don’t identify as a male person.  I fall somewhere in the middle of that scale, a gray area where I embody the best of both worlds.  It’s a comfortable place for me, mentally and physically.  I lean hard toward the masculine end of the spectrum, by pure nature.  I was born this way; born Butch.   It’s the only place I fee comfortable, safe and seen.

I am pretty stereotypically Butch.  I dress like a guy, talk like a guy (thanks to the US Army and smoking I have a pretty deep and rough voice) and I embody most things masculine in nature.  I’ve even been told that I think like a dude.  I am not very emotional and I rarely cry….all things that people believe are stereo typical of most Butch women. That tough exterior and rough attitude everyone believes we have. I like to think that Butch is my actual gender, that I am neither man nor woman, but somewhere in between and we call that “Butch” in my world.  In my world Butch is a noun.

I am often mistaken for a guy.  I get called “sir” and “dude” all the time, and it doesn’t bother me.  It often makes me smile, like I have some sort of secret.  I wear my Butch like a scarlet letter, prominent and proud.  I walk the walk and talk the talk so to speak. And it embarrasses me when people who I am with will try to correct those who mis-gender me; somehow it’s easier for me to just shrug it off and laugh to myself. I get a kick out of it.

I feel bad for my friends who are femme lesbians.  They are so invisible. Usually being seen as “straight” all the time.  Only we see each other; we seem to recognize each other somehow.  I know that it must be hard for her when she’s told that she can’t be a lesbian because she’s too pretty, or she hears the dreaded “why do you date girls that look like guys, why not just date a guy instead?”  As Butches and femmes we hear these types of comments, or get these questions, quite often.   I’ve heard some brilliant answers to them over the years.  But it never ceases to amaze me when someone feels so emboldened as to ask such personal stuff.  And it’s always so disappointing to hear it from anyone who identifies with the LGBT community, that just feels like a true back-stab. You would think that they, if anyone, would understand that we are all unique and we all like different things; differing lifestyles and have various tastes.

So when I lace up my Chippewa work boots and tug on that worn old ball cap over my closely cropped crew cut hair, I definitely look the part that I gleefully embody:  Butch to the core.  And loving it. I blur the lines of the gender binary and I am comfortable in my own skin, being authentically who I am, and I never want to change that.

Peace.   ~MB

Sunday Snipets

I am so fucking psyched for the Christmas holiday season this year!  Finally a year where I feel so damned good and things are really looking positive in my life.  I’ve got the world by the proverbial balls right now.  My family is great, the dogs are doing well, my house is in order and I have a new woman in my life. What more can a Butch ask for ?  Sure, I still have my share of hard stuff to deal with, bills and the such, but overall life is sailing along swimmingly!!!

I ordered Ivan Coyote’s new book, A Tomboy Survival Guide, and the Barnes and Noble bookstore emailed and said it’s ready for pick up!  I cannot wait to get it and begin reading the latest works of Ivan. I have all of Ivan’s other books, as a matter of fact I just loaned one to my best friend here.  I’ll have to ask her if she’s reading it yet.

I am looking for more good lesbian books to read and review here and on my YouTube channel.  If you have a recommendation or if you are a writer and want me to read and review your book, please contact me at mainelybutch@yahoo.com  Direct email is the best way to reach me.  I tried to email someone who wanted me to read and review a book and I evidently have the wrong email because when I sent it to the email she indicated in her comment it bounced back as undeliverable.  I WISH that WordPress would add an email account to our pages, that way a reader would not even have to leave the page to email a writer directly.  I do know if I would upgrade to a full website for my blog, which is hosted by WordPress too, that I would have that in the webpage package….so perhaps I will soon do that.  I need to register my web name and invest a few dollars into it I guess.  Perhaps I will seriously consider doing this, it only makes sense.

On the note of doing reviews, I am particularly fond of books about the Butch-femme dichotomy and lifestyle.  Since I am Butch and I tend to date femmes this only makes sense.  But I am also interested in books dealing with sexual identity, Butch and Trans issues and stories.  I blur the gender lines so much that I am often asked if I identify as Trans.  I do identify as Trans-masculine, but not as Trans-gender.  I’ve struggled with my identity for most of my life, and there was a time when I may have questioned my gender, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I am fine being female bodied, as long as I can do it in a masculine way!  I’m definitely the definition of Butch, by stereotype, and that just fits me perfectly.

As far as me writing a book, as I have been told I need to do by so many people, that’s a thought that is definitely in my head. I would love to write a book of short stories of my life experiences and adventures.  I just need to get lined up with a good editor who can push me in the right direction.  I have the stories, some even already on paper or in the computer, but I don’t know how to write a book, or how to put one together for publication.  All things that a good editor would know and would be able to guide me to do.  I suppose I should start looking around and querying as to who I should contact and with which publishing company I should be trying to work with to do a book.  Hmm….2017 is going to be a very big year I think!

Alrighty then, I am off to work on another blog.  What have you read that you think I would like to read?  I’m seriously looking for suggestions!!!  Peace!  ~MB

 

 

 

The Truth Hurts Sometimes

I’ve met more than one woman in my life journey that could not handle all of the technicalities of being with me.  I admit, I am not easy to process.  I have a bit of a troubled history.  Don’t read me wrong, I’m a good person with some high morals and ethics, but I’ve taken some forks in the proverbial road of life that others have managed to avoid.  I’ve had issues with drugs and addiction.  That’s probably the one thing that I’ve struggled with most in my entire life.  When I was young I sought out a safety net for myself and found it substance abuse and the people involved with it.  I wised up in my late 20’s and got clean and sober for many years.  I did the typical “mid-life crisis” shit in my mid 40’s and backslid a bit.

I strive to keep that stuff out of my life now.  I stay away from the “friends” that I have that are involved in that world now.  That’s a big part of how I am staying clean and following the good road now.  I tend to let myself be influenced by them if I hang around them, so now I avoid them and I avoid the whole drug scene.

It’s really hard to meet women as you get older.  Being single isn’t easy in your 50’s, believe me.  But add a history of drug addiction to the menu and it becomes even more difficult.  I completely understand that some people do not understand me or understand addictions.  That is just the way that it is.  When I begin to show interest in anyone I make sure that they know 3 things about me right up front – why?  Because I would rather they walk away sooner rather than after I become attached to them – or God forbid, fall in love with them.  what are my 3 things?  1.  I am Butch and that will never change.  2.  I live with HIV infection, which is under control but it’s a fact of life for me….which leads me to #3…I am a recovering drug addict.

Those 3 facts put me into a whole new space with people.  Either they are able to handle it, and give me a chance, or they are not, which is completely okay.  I get it.  Those are 3 major pieces of who I am.  I can’t hide them very well.   And I don’t want to pretend that I can.  Those 3 things are only a small fraction of what I am made of, but they are important if you are going to be involved with me – or even be a friend to me.  It’s important that you understand that I struggle with all 3 on a daily basis.  That doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – quite to the contrary, I am very happy in general.  But I am well aware that these 3 things make me “different” than the typical 55 year old lesbian with 2 dogs and a college degree.  I bring a whole different scene to the table.

I have lived with my addiction and my HIV for many years.  One lead to the other obviously.  Yes, I was an IV drug user and this is how I contracted the virus.  I’ve been clean for many years, fell off the wagon and got back on a few times.  So what is involved for me is knowing what triggers me to fall off and avoiding it altogether.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that, and I am proud to say that living clean and right is what I strive to do every day now.

It’s not easy being with someone who has addiction in their history, and it’s even harder when you add HIV.   I know the precautions to protect my partner from HIV but there is no protection from addiction.  No guarantee that I won’t relapse again, except for my sheer determination to stay on the straight path.  I don’t know how to reassure someone that I will stay on this path.  I guess they either have to believe me, or not.  There is no magic bullet or cure – for either condition.

I don’t want to pursue anything beyond a basic friendship with anyone who can’t deal with the baggage that I carry.  I know everyone has their struggle in life and their burdens to bear, mine are just a little more difficult for some people to understand, and that’s perfectly fine.  There are zillions of other people out there to be involved with, I am just one.

I have been fortunate to have been involved over the years, with women who gave me the benefit of doubt; who trusted me and tried to understand my complications.  I’ve sincerely appreciated them.  I’ve been lucky.

Right now I am trying to deal with quite a full plate of issues in my personal life.  I’ve avoided bringing anyone else into my life for this reason.  But I so want someone special in my life on a regular basis.  I would like to let down that wall that keeps me by myself.  I’ve punished myself for the past 2 yeas now and I’m sick and tired of it.  I’ve seen people who say they care disappear more than once.  I built a wall around myself, insulated myself from hurt and despair.  But it’s not a happy place all the time.  I want to learn to trust again, and to love again.

I’m a good person, I am strong, sensitive and caring.  I deserve to find someone good who can deal with life with me and who won’t be afraid of my past.  Someone who sees me for who I am now and not who I once pretended to be.  But how can anyone believe in someone who has such a history?  I don’t know if it can be done, which is exactly what I fear the most.  (although my ex did it for almost 14 years and never let it sway how she felt about me…so perhaps it could be possible again.)  I long for a good strong relationship that will endure.  Something beyond “just friends” –dammit, I want to be loved and understood.  Maybe it’s just too much to ask for at this point.

Ok, let me close this up before my mind explodes.  I am trying so hard to just be cheerful for the holiday season, and to keep on keeping on.  But tonight I was reminded of my flaws (see above) and it stung hard.  I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst – as always it seems.  Sometimes the truth just hurts.  There’s no way around it.

Peace.  ~MB

Speaking Out

I’ve  been relatively subdued on social media about the political debacle that is currently taking place here in America.  Today I kind of vented some of my frustrations on my Facebook page.  For those who are interested you can check out my page or read below.

“I haven’t said much since the election.  But I feel the palpable hate seething in this nation.  I watch the news and am watching carefully as DJT picks his team….Steve Bannon? Is he serious?  I can’t just watch some of these appointments without speaking out.  I don’t want to see civil rights go backwards 50 years – or more.

I am not out there protesting; I’m doing it from the comfort of my own home though.  I am not protesting the election result, I accept it.  But I am very concerned with where he takes us now that he has secured the office.  This is a man with no real time political experience.  He has the future of our country and our well being in his hands.  When he appoints a person such as Mr. Bannon to be his top advisor it concerns me greatly.

I condemn violence. I condemn racism, hate, misogyny, classic and all separation between people.  I condemn the destruction of property and violence in the name of democracy.  I do not condemn anyone’s act of protest as given by 1 st amendment rights.

Don’t tell us to get over it or to move on.  Tell us it’s going to be okay, because you and my fellow Americans will hold the new president to a truly American standard.

People are protesting because they and their families, friends, and loved ones very place at the American table has been threatened or undermined by DJT’s campaign rhetoric and promises.  

There has been a visible increase in hatred and violence against many minority groups just since the election November 8th.  I’ve personally heard the use of derogatory words by people who somehow now feel emboldened to say things that maybe they wouldn’t have said before. It makes me wonder what else they may fell is now okay to say or do.

I am a white woman.  I know I have some privilege because of this, this fact is not lost on me.  But I am also a Butch lesbian which throws me into a minority group that feels very threatened right now — the LGBT community.Maybe my fears of what DJT will do in office will be unfounded, but I have to wonder if it will be once again OK to bash gays?

We are about to enter a very different era and many things remain to be seen. I am hoping for and will fight for the best.  I stand ready to serve my communities and my country in whatever way possible to move us forward in a continued positive direction. I stand beside my brethren in our continued fight for equality for all people across this land.  I will respect the rights of those who oppose me to have their own opinion as well as their right to speak it.  Bit I will not to?stats words of hate, being called names or being bashed for what I believe to be right and true.  

I conclusion, I wish peace and love to prevail.  I hope we can ALL come together in collective understanding one day. I wish everyone true happiness, prosperity and success under our new president-elect.  And God bless America.”

I have unfriended a couple of real ignorant people who were being outwardly hostile after the election.  I’ve read some real doozies of comments bashing the protestors or gloating about Trump winning.  I held my tongue and didn’t immediately respond about the election.  Hell I was shell shocked and didn’t know what to say at first.  But I finally had to vent a little.  This post was the result.  I’m sure it would have been much longer and more detailed had it not been a Facebook post to begin with.  

So far the feedback has been positive.  But I am sure that there will be negative comments to come.  Everyone has the right to their own opinion as I said.  And I have a right to mine as well.  

I’ll be writing more about this as we see what happens I am sure.

Love

Ang sketch

Love is just a giant little word.  One I am afraid of and have really only said and meant a very few times in my life.  Sure, there is platonic love like how you love a friend for being a friend, or parental love as in how we love our parents.  But there is also a thing called romantic love.  Romantic love is what I speak of here.  I have an issue with it evidently.   When I was younger and more outgoing I chased after love like it was an intoxicator that I just had to have to breath; to live.  But now in my older age here I do far less chasing after this type of love.

Currently I am in a long distance relationship with my lover from Virginia.  Long distance love just sucks when what you crave is the daily touch of another human being.  I want her hands on my body, her kiss upon my lips.  I want the sigh of a woman in my ear.  Distance just keeps all of this from me in a way that feels so cruel and stinging.

Love is one of those emotions I used to try to steer clear of for a few of the more recent years.  I don’t feel like I am very easy to understand for most people, therefore not very loveable to them either.  My exterior is a bit on the harder, rough side and I can be quite stoic in my emotions.  But believe me when I do crack and cry the tears flow like rivers.  It’s not that I mean to be sort of shut down sometimes, but I often am afraid of what to say and don’t want to make mistakes by saying the wrong things.  I tend to speak my mind and that’s not always a good thing I have learned.

Love is a very personal thing for me.  It never has come easy.  I am wary of being burned and thus I take my time with someone.  I have to know that the person loves me that same way that I love her.  I’m a very chivalrous type of Butch, I like to do things that some consider to be male attributes, like pull out her chair, open her car door and entry doors to buildings.  I believe it’s very easy to be kind and chivilrous at the same time.  I’m also one who likes to take care of my woman, make sure she’s happy and contented.  The happier the wife the happier the life!  And that is one very true statement.  And the happier she is the happier I can also be.

As you can see from this post Love has been on my mind heavily lately.  I’m hungry for the touch of another body, and for some ah-mazing sex.  But alas I remain alone here and committed to the path I am walking right now.

Peace!  ~MB

Those Darned Definitions…

cropped-cropped-cropped-001.jpgMan!  Has language changed some radically since I’ve been walking this green earth.  Daily I am surprised by the “new” use of “old” words; the newer definitions and meanings of some.  Start with the word we all know and use in a zillion different ways:  Queer.  Now we know the dictionary meaning to be “odd or unusual” to be short.  But then we all know the meaning when it’s used to describe someone’s sexual preference for the same sex…i.e. “He/she is queer as a three dollar bill.”  meaning that he/she is gay…another word…Gay….now that is supposed to mean “happy and joyful” by the dictionary, but when used to describe me it means I like pussy, and I’m a bit queer.

Today’s LGBT world (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, for those who may not really know what the letters represent, seriously.)  Yes, where was I …in today’s world we are constantly changing up language.  It’s a far cry from what it was like in the 70’s when I was growing up.  Or the 80’s when I was just coming out and defying the world with my gayness.

There are so many words now to describe or to define who one is in the world.  I could not possibly do justice to all of them here, but I will take a stab at a few of the more common ones just for fun.

There’s the all famous Butch.  The definition of Butch varies so widely now that I am not sure if I am even still Butch!  Hell, it seemed easy when I finally did define myself as such, it felt wholesome and right.  I was a masculine presenting woman.  Butch.  It is my identity, my definition of me.  But what it means to me and what it means to other people can really be confusingly different.  I define Butch for myself as a masculine woman.  A woman who is more comfortable walking the masculine side of the binary, but who is not a man and does not necessarily want to be a man.  (Some people are convinced that all Butch women secretly just want to be men – both straight people and other LGBT people have been known to say this more than once).  I want to wear my jeans and workboots; flannel shirts are a must to my Butch wardrobe.  I don’t walk like a girl, or talk like one.  My voice is very deep, raspy and quite often mistaken for a male voice on the phone.  Plain and simple for me, it’s just how I was constructed by life.   I am a masculine woman, a Butch to the core.  Of course, this is just my definition and will certainly vary from yours or someone elses.

Femme is another widely varying word.  It’s gained some serious notoriety and popularity in the last 10 years I believe.  We have had the word Butch for so long and it’s been more popular for the last 100 years than I think Femme has been.  In my experience I didn’t really have a word for the type of women that I found super attractive until I discovered the word “Femme”.  To me Femme means a very feminine presenting woman.  A woman who revels in the glories of being very feminine appearing, acting and who is often attracted to her polar opposite – the Butch.  (I know this is not always the case, I am aware that Butch/Femme is only one dynamic, and that there are others, please don’t shoot me).

Now there are all these fun descriptive words that you can throw together with Butch and Femme.  There’s about 100 ways to be Butch or to dilute it, which ever you think is happening. Personally, I think the dilution factor is more of what is taking place.  Historically we know that the Butch-femme dynamic kind of started as a cover so that women could see one another  and appear to be a hetero couple…they were hiding from the law and society basically. There’s a LOT more to the history than this, I am seriously over simplifying here for brevity.

Today we have baby Butches, Tomboi Butches, Soft Butches, Hard Butches, Stone Butches, Daddi Butches, etc. etc.  I am sure I have missed a dozen or so other types here…but you should get the gist of where I am going with this. It’s a hard thing to just say Butch is Butch nowadays, because there are so many layers and depths to each “type”.  If you look in Wikipedia or do a Google search for any one of the types you are bound to come up with more reading than you probably need to get to the point.  You can be whatever you choose, and you can define it in any way you want along the squiggly line of the binary.

Same with the femmes, you have the high femmes, diva femmes, lipstick lesbians, queer femmes, and that list goes on and on as well.  I am not as familiar with it as I am with the Butch side of things, obviously and for obvious reasons.  All I know is that I really love femme women.  And the way they embody their femininity is up to each one of them, they can put on a baseball cap and pull the pony tail through the back and still be a diva femme.  It’s all in the attitude I have come to realize with femmes.  They have this great attitude about femininity and they revel in it.

Today’s younger crowd has a ton of other new words too that I just don’t understand.  I’ve come to the realization that I am too old for some of this new wording. But I want to learn!

Personally, I used to identify as a Stone Butch.  I am not so sure about seriously identifying with the “stone” part any longer.  I’m just not sure exactly what stone means to me now.  I know that I am not a “touch me not” Butch, as the word “stone” is supposed to imply in some circles.  I don’t care for some things; for some forms of touch, but I do like to be loved on quite a lot!  I enjoy sex, and sometimes I think the the inference to “stone” is that he/she is not someone who likes to be touched or who enjoys any kind of sexual touch.  I have to say I enjoy both.  While I have my limitations, and my boundaries that doesn’t negate the fact that I am human and need human interaction and touch.  Hell, I love sex.

Stone is a word that gets thrown around a lot more as I’ve noticed lately. I even see it in reference to “stone femmes” now, which I never encountered before say the last year or so.  I’m not sure of how that definition would read or what it would be.  Perhaps one of you readers have more information on this one, or some anecdotes to share on it.  I see it on Fetlife quite often and wonder about it.

So, these are my more random thoughts for today’s blog.  I was just pondering word-smithing and how radically language in the gay community has changed over the decades. Words seem to come into fashion and fade just as quickly sometimes.  It’s interesting as fuck.  You may see me write a bit more about this, perhaps from a more serious angle next time, tonight I am in a fun mood and wanted to keep it fairly light.

Rock on.

~MB