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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Court Dates…Thoughts

2017-11-09 21.45.37I got home from an 8 hour shift at work this afternoon to be greeted by 3 – THREE ! – fat envelopes in my mail from my attorney.  Fuck.

One was the discovery from my last run in and lock up incident in Portland.  The second…was about a hearing on a motion to terminate deferral and impose sentence because of my being arrested was in violation of my bail conditions, or conditions of release (VCR).  Fuck.

I’m scared of course.  I don’t like the idea of going to jail.  I fully understand that I violated the conditions of my release from the charge from 2016, and by doing so I put myself in this position – where they can choose to impose my 1 year jail sentence and lock my ass up.  I am not sure if they will actually try to send me up for the full year, or if they will want me to do a 7 day “hold” – of which I have already done 3 days – or what will happen.  I have a terrific attorney, who is especially skilled in drug charge cases, and I am going to give her a call tomorrow and see what she thinks she can get them to agree to.

I’ve been going to Groups now – which qualifies as treatment as required by the conditions of release – since last March.  Prior to that I did individual therapy and got myself clean, kicking the habit back in October 2016.  I have been having regular urinalysis tests done every week, which prove that I am clean.  So, I have to gather documentation of those things, plus a letter from my employer, as well as from a couple of other people like my HIV case worker and probably someone else who knows me personally that will write me a letter of support.  I am hoping that by showing those things to the judge; showing him/her that I have been clean and sober and am doing what I am supposed to be doing that I can get a favorable decision to let me continue being out on bail conditions.

Then there’s the new charge.  Fuck.  I am so angry with myself for ever getting it; for ever even thinking that I could get high just once and it would be alright.  Those thoughts and my acting on them are what put me in this very dangerous position now.  I am really not sure what the punishment will be, seeing that this is a second offense 13 months after the 1st offense.  I can only show them what I am doing, and hope that they will give me probation for this charge.  Meaning that I will have to continue treatment (which I intend to do regardless of all of this) and that I will have to report to a probation officer on a regular basis.

None of this is fun.  I regret my mistake very much.  And I am aware of the “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” aspect of this.  Of course I do not want to go to jail, but I do know that there is a chance that that is what will happen.  I most likely wouldn’t do a whole year, but I could do 9 months with good behavior.  That would seriously suck.  It would literally ruin my life at this point.  I would lose everything I have worked so fucking hard to put into my life.  I would probably lose my home, my job, my vehicle, the trust of my family, friends, and more.  I would be separated from my dogs.  THAT would really, really get to me bad.

I’m not sure what else I can do to show the courts that I am seriously better off not being jailed.  That I am a productive and upstanding citizen who is contributing to my community.  Locking me up would only serve to punish me, cost the taxpayers, and cause losses to the local economy and community.  It would be senseless, but I KNOW it is the law and is a decided possibility.  No matter how good I am, I broke the law – twice.  And now I am in trouble and will have to pay for my fuck ups in some way that will satisfy the state.

I am currently free on $1000. bail.  That may work in my favor.  And I served 3 days; which also will work in my favor, so I can only hope the judge is in a mood to consider my position on the day of my court appearance.  If not, I will be spending Thanksgiving and most likely Christmas, my birthday and 8 months of 2018 in jail.  Fuck.

I feel a bit like a failure, but I am trying not to be overly hard on myself.  I know that recovery is a process, and that relapses do happen sometimes.  Nevertheless, I am very ashamed that I let myself get caught up in this again.  I have learned a pretty valuable lesson, and I won’t ever touch anything illegal again.  Nope, I’m too old for this bullshit and too old to be doing jail time with mostly kids half my age.  Those 3 days I was literally the oldest person in the group that was in there with me.  I don’t want my life to be like that; threatened by jail time and legal issues.  It’s not what I signed up for, and I will do everything in my power to repair this fuck up and move on with a good, clean living kind of life.

My bestie and I haven’t been hanging out much since the “incident”….I think she’s kind of fallen off her wagon and she’s staying away because of it.  That is really the only reason she wouldn’t come around more.  We have talked a bit on the phone, but not as much as usual and there have been days that have gone by with no word from her for a few in a row — very unlike her.  I can’t risk my own sobriety though.  So if she is using again I don’t want to be part of it; see it or be near it, so she’s best to stay away.

Drugs can really fuck up life.  I wish I had never started dabbling in them as a teenager.  My brain wasn’t fully formed and I developed an addictive disorder.  So for the rest of my life I’ll deal with it.  I’ve been dealing with it for what feels like eternity already.  At least I can recognize it and understand that I have a problem.  And I know all the “right” things to do, I just have to stay completely on the defensive and very focused on staying clean.  I can do it; it may not always be fun, but I can do it.

I’ve always been very honest in my blog.  That’s why I am even writing about this hear.  Plus, it’s what is going on in my life right now and since I’ve written a couple of blogs about it previously I felt I should let you, my readers, know how this situation is progressing.

Everything else has been going very good.  I’ve been spending time with my mother, trying to assure her that I am going in the right direction with things.  I’ve been working steadily, 5 days a week now, and going in at the crack ass of dawn every morning.  I still have my weekends to myself, and have been getting alot done around the homestead.  Things are ready for winter, now it’s just got to get cold here – it’s still unreasonably warm temperature wise.

I put 2 new tires on the truck, fixed the shot headlight and got it all ready for the annual state inspection due this month.  I also got the 4 wheel drive fixed (I may have mentioned that previously) and it’s running great.  So it should get me through the winter much better this year.  All I have left to do on it is an alignment, which I have an appointment to get done next Wednesday afternoon – if things go as planned.

I’ve been checking out the thrift shops and cruising around the back roads of Maine and New Hampshire checking out the fall colors and that’s been a lot of fun and very relaxing.  I’ve done it mostly by myself, with my dogs of course, and the solitude of driving around on a beautiful sunny fall day is so quieting to my soul.

So, that’s my life this week folks.  I’m just hanging in there and trying to keep it all together.  I hope you all are doing well.

Peace.  ~MB

2017-11-07 05.30.34

Tuesday Thoughts…Puerto Rico

I have been pretty much confined to my house for the last 4-5 days because of the pain and discomfort in my right shoulder, collarbone and both arms.  It’s been driving me batshit crazy.  I’m not accustomed to being held down by physical limitations like this.  But, it has given me time to get some writing done, attend to emails, organize my paperwork on my desk and do much inner reflecting.  I’ve basically spent far too much time in my own head!  I can basically recite the news broadcasts because I’ve watched them so much, over and over.  Yes, far, far too much time alone and secluded in my house!

I’ve been consuming coffee and smoking way too much as well.  That’s one of the drawback of being at home, in one place, for too long a period of time.  I’ve done a huge amount of reading and studying, as I am trying to educate myself about some new stuff to write about and I’d like the article to sound intelligent at least!

I’ve spent some time looking into new investments and venues of enterprise.  I got a couple of tips on making some investments that I am seriously considering.  I will be sure to share more on that at a later date, once things are more finalized with it.  But I must say, it’s really exciting stuff!

I’ve been keeping up with Facebook and Twitter feeds, which have been inundated with stuff about Trump and the NFL.  What everyone SHOULD be most concerned with at this moment is Puerto Rico.  That poor country, which is also a US Territory and who’s citizens are American citizens, is really in bad shape.  Hurricane Maria, on top of Irma a mere few days beforehand, really devastated the country.  I don’t think we have seen the real extent of the horror there because it’s still very difficult to get TV crews onto the island nation to report on what’s going on!  Plus, there is a severe shortage of food, water, medical supplies, medication, and basic living needs.  Travel within Puerto Rico is very limited due to washed out roads, downed power lines, downed trees and debris.  So, until someone can really get in there more deeply to show us on TV what is actually happening we are pretty much left to guess and depend on sporadic reports and first hand accounts.  Our “president” (I use the title loosely) isn’t doing a damned thing for Puerto Rico, period.  His words yesterday when asked about it were very demeaning to the country, saying they were in debt, and basically they were on their own.  He said they would get around to dealing with sending federal assistance “maybe mid-October”.  Do you believe that?  Puerto Rico is an American territory and has 3.5 million American citizens living there….and he doesn’t care!!!!

This is a link to PBS article about how you can directly help Puerto Rico.  It lists the main organizations helping.  I urge you to read this and act if you are able.  They really need our help.  If I can get healthy soon I am going to try to volunteer with VOAD if possible.  I’m sure it will be a few weeks before I am healed from the surgery that I need right now, but once that is done I plan to do more volunteering of my time with agencies like VOAD.

Ah, yes, surgery.  The MRI and x-rays that I had taken last week came back and the results were not good at all.  It seems that my neck and cervical spine area thinks that I am 85 not 55!  Because of degenerating discs, arthritis and a narrowing of the opening where the nerves go through my spinal cord and nerves are being constricted.  This is causing me to have pain and tingling and numbness in both arms and hands.  I also am having bad shoulder pain, be until I see the doctor on Thursday to set up the surgery I won’t know if that is part of the nerves being constricted or not.  I’m hopeful that surgery by a specialist will help to fix the problem and eliminate this pain and discomfort.  I am also hoping that the procedure won’t disable me completely for too long.  I hate laying in bed and doing nothing.  I know there will be a recovery time, but I’m hoping it will be as short as possible.  It’s a bitch getting old.  Haha…no seriously, it is!!!

The weather here in Maine right now is as hot as southern Florida.  It’s been in the low 90’s the last 3 days…and we got 2 more to go the weather person says!  I’ve been keeping things cool with the help of my overhead fan in the living room and fans in each bedroom.  That along with keeping the shades half drawn has kept most of the heat outside.  I should mow my lawn – one more time – but it’s just too hot.  Maybe tonight after 6pm it will cool down and I can get it done.  Only takes me about 30-45 minutes to mow it all.  And it only requires me to steer and walk behind it.  I have a self-propelled mower, so it’s easy to mow.  I thought my last mow was going to do it for the season, but then we got a bunch of rain just before all of this sunshine and high temps, so the grass took to growing again, nice and lush green!

I have made my website public.  I’ve been working on a basic site with GoDaddy.  It’s not finished by any means, but it’s up and live at: http://www.butchperspectives.godaddysites.com if you would like to check it out.  I have a more “grand plan” for it in the long run, but right now I am just working on getting a working site up and running.  You can sign up on the site for updates, etc. if you wish.  And I appreciate any feedback you would like to offer up!  I’m always looking for new ideas, new products, and fun stuff to do, so please if you have suggestions let me know! Eventually the site will become a dot com site, but for now I am leaving it associated with GoDaddy for convenience in editing.

It’s early afternoon here now and I need to go do those errands I mentioned earlier.  Thanks for stopping by to read me and also Thank YOU for being a subscriber and reader of my blogs!  I truly appreciate every single one of you!!!

What would you like to see me write about?

~Peace~   ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

Some Photos to Share…

The last couple of weeks in pictures. From the top…a segment of the new Sarah Long drawbridge that is being built to replace the old one, on US Route 1 in Kittery going to Portsmouth.  These segments will help put the span in place, which is supposed to happen at high tide on Oct. 17th and I WILL be there – night or day – to see it happen!  I can’t wait to take photos of the event.  The tractors hauling the segments had to come through my weigh station this week on their way over to the bridge construction site, which is close to my work.

Other photos…me being silly with the crown..yeah, I am king Butch! Ha!

The foot shot is my visit to the dentist yesterday to get a broken tooth repaired.  The dentist had a helluva time numbing my mouth, the novocaine just wouldn’t take and he had to keep adding more…finally the whole left side of my face was numb and he got it done.  My teeth are almost all completely fixed now, which is just awesome!  Come a long way since April!

I bathed the dogs and took that pic of them scowling at me from the back of the couch…where they perched to dry off.  They cooperate quite well for their baths, but if they know it’s coming they do both try to run and hide.  Once they’re caught they give in and let me bathe them without much incident.  Now cutting their nails is a whole other animal!  They HATE it and fight like crazy!

I got the pic of the bee on the cone flower when I was over at Lowe’s looking at plants.  I thought it was a great shot to take!  The bees are so endangered right now, we need to keep a vigilant eye on what is happening to them because without bees we don’t get the pollination we need for growing food…think about that.

I got those snazzy new boxers recently, I usually wear boxer briefs, but these caught my eye.  They’re quite comfortable to run around the house in, but I can’t wear them under clothing as underwear.  I’m stuck on the boxer-briefs for that purpose.  I did get a new pair of the Ellen underwear…which I am not that happy with.  They are too thin, the waist band needs to be wider by about 3/4″ and they need to be about 2″ longer in the leg….she touts them as the greatest thing since sliced bread…but I beg to differ.  They could use much improvement.  I am still very happy with the Aeropostale brand, they’re the best I have found!

The sunflowers are from my mothers garden.  I can’t believe how tall they all got!  Those are at least 12′ tall!  I’ve got to try to put in a patch of sunflowers of my own next year.

And yes, I am still smoking my beloved cigars on occasion….I prefer the Black & Mild Cream ones the most!

Have a great weekend!!! More photos and some videos to come!

Peace!  ~MB

 

I Don’t Want to Miss This…

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

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

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

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

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

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

And she is awesome.

 

 

 

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And I don’t wanna miss a thing…

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

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

…and I digress…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Butch…Trans…A Conversation

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

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

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

Love has no labels – in a perfect fucking world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace! ~MainelyButch

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

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

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