Photo Montage

NolaLulu
My babies, Nola and little Lulu 2015
cropped-maine-seapoint-beach-sunrise.jpg
Picture I took of the sunrise over Seapoint Beach, Kittery Point, Maine

Picture 294

A shot from Fort Foster, that's pretty complete, lighthouse, ship coming in and leisure boats drifting around
A shot from Fort Foster, that’s pretty complete, lighthouse, ship coming in and leisure boats drifting around
WSMR 1984 SP4Angela Lawrence
Just prior to getting finished up with the US Army Photo taken in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico 1984
Austin TX in the tiki hut
Austin TX in the tiki hut
BadBoiPlate
–My foolish license plate

My Butch Social Needs…and Denied Gender Choice

I’ve been wrestling my demons like mad lately.  Depression, anxiety, internal strife…the perpetual circle that it has become for me.  It’s kept me from doing things I normally enjoy doing, such as blogging or doing videos on YT.  I also have serious ADHD that plays into it, which I really have to discuss with my doctor on Thursday.  Chronic, debilitating pain I believe is my main stressor that leads me to being depressed.  I’m sure there are also a few other demonic ideas floating in my head that are also fueling the depression/anxiety fires too.   I am here today attempting to do a few things:  break my cycle of doing nothing lately by doing something- writing!  I also want to get some of my thoughts out here so I can perhaps see them and have some kind of epiphany about what to DO about them and this fucked up period that I am stuck in at the moment.

Some days I try to chalk it up to the famale body, that I inhabit, maybe going through some menopausal changes, hell I am 52.  I haven’t had menses since I was 47, my body did go through the up and downs of that, then it just stopped completely after a year of coming and going at will, just being bizarre and unpredictable.  I was so freaking happy I wanted to have a good-bye party for the stupid periods!  I am still a fully in-tact woman inside, but my doc says my organs are definitely shrinking and going through whatever they go through to just become extra baggage (ohhhh, they’ve actually been extra baggage for me forever!).  I’m not sure if my body is still producing estrogen or not, or if that’s even important.  I am on a very low dose of testosterone gel (Androgel 1%) that we added to my regimen to perhaps improve my appetite and energy levels.  It does do both when I stay on it regularly!

I have found myself avoiding the internet lately.  It seems to be being overtaken by separatist lesbians who are busily hating on FtMs as well as on the Butch / Femme lesbian community at large – or at least I seem to be encountering a lot of negative posts and publications online about various people who I know in the B/F community being harassed, cyber-bullied and outright disrespected by other members of the lesbian community at large.  Why does any person think that they are any better? Or that their “way” is a better or more authentic way to life a lesbian life?  We are all unique individuals, and if we could just undertstand and accept that and learn to love and celebrate our uniqueness, instead of trying to force “our preferences” or “understandings of what is right” upon others and trying to force them to swallow those poisonous words, we could be a so much happier and healthier population!

Being so outwardly, openly and authentically Butch I already find myself tip-toeing in steel toe boots through the proverbial minefield of society in general.  Often I am making this journey as the lone-Butch; having no other Butch persons in my neighborhood, and watching them slowly disappear from my social circles.  There is this security that a Butch feels when in the presense of another like gendered person.  It’s that “Whew! I’m really not the only one!” thought that we get from hanging out and swapping war stories with each other.  Usually there’s also a general adoration of Femme lesbians; their ways, their looks, their kisses, that cause us to flash one another the sly-eye, half crooked smile of just knowing what the other is close to thinking.  I miss the fist to the bicep greetings, the smell of 3 out of 4 of us smoking while we scoff our boot toes on the ground, grind our hands into our front jeans pockets and stand in a small circle laughing at the “hey, check this out….” stories of yore.

Most of my interaction with other Butches over the last couple of years has been online, through FB pages and Butch specific websites.  Or through commentary on articles that we are all drawn to – guided to by other life-minds via FB and Twitter cross posts of Butch and Butch/Femme related blogs, newspaper articles, magazine features, and videos (seriously loooove me some Youtube!).  I hate to see the Butch pages dwindle down, which they all seem to do after a while, and then sort of fade off into internet oblivion.

I guess what I am driving at is that I am just damned lonely for more Butch buddies.  Another blogger also seemed to be feeling this way and posted about it today on her blog as well.  Why is is so freaking hard for us to find common ground and stick together a bit harder?  Butches, the ones I am familiar with including myself, are generally a tad shy, leary of people even sometimes, and when we do find a good buddy or two to hang with we can be fierce allies and loyal friends — including in the online realm.  But I think we all are feeling the heat of the wrath of the more separatist lesbian types who really dislike us as Butches, thinking that we are selling out on our femininity, we somehow really want to be men, and that if “they” wanted to date a man, they’d date a real one (ouch).  I know I am weary of fighting it, and explaining how those things are so stupid, and not true or close to a realistic accessment of us.  Blurring the gender line is part of just who I am.  Here’s a paragraphy from Buzz Cuts and Bustiers . com’s latest post on just this topic:

In addition to all that head stuff, my queer community – something that I leaned on perhaps a bit too heavily – has become a lot smaller. Most of the organizations I was once involved with have dispersed since last summer, including ButchBoi Life, the social and support group that I co-founded for masculine queer women. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but the loss of these networks has been really devastating. I feel increasingly isolated from my community and cut off from resources that I once took for granted. I rarely speak with, let alone hang out with, other butches now, and that makes me very lonely. In a way, I’ve returned to the level of desperation I was at before ButchBoi Life existed, when I was so very starved for interactions with people that walked in my same worn boots and reflected back to me my own reality as a butch dyke.”  (Buzzcutsandbustiers.com)

I completely saw myself and my need for more masculine energy in the form of Butch lesbian friends in my life.  I do hope that this writer of BCB.com will take another swing at restarting the Butch Boi Life group, which I believe is somewhere nearby to Boston, and thus do-able for me, being that I live in the southern most part of Maine and can be in Boston in less than an hour.

I would love to see more of us all getting together – all types of LGBT people.  We need more small town events, local things to connect us on a more regular, and fun, basis.  And they need to be the kind that welcome all of us and our individual spirits; our gender presentations, and our desire to just chill out and be friendly.  Gay Prides used to be about something; about real Pride in who we are and in the progress toward real equality that we continue to work so damned hard for, making those small strides that will eventually lead us to the finish line.  Used to be we had the bars in the ’80’s and ’90’s to some degree, sprinkled in among various major Pride events, The March on the UN, and then we all started to key it up on the computer screens starting around ’92-’93ish, and things have moved very rapidly around the world ever since.  Technology feeds us daily now, and we’re doing less of the good ‘ole face-t0-face kind of networking.  Yeah, I just plain miss that.

Even though I have a great girlfriend in my life, and the company of our two little dogs, plus my large extended family living in the area, I still am lonely for more of my own kind at least occasionally hanging out together to remind each other that we are still indeed part of a community that does need each other.  I tend to envy those in some of the larger southern cities where a good portion of the lesbian community seems to seek homes in, especially later in life.  There are some nice groups in the Floridian cities that get together regularly and seem to have a great time.  I wish either we had that here or I could somehow pull it together to try to create it here in some small way.

Buzz Cuts and Bustiers was talking about Facebook’s new feature of being about to put in your gender.  Like BCaB I too tried to put “Butch” in as my gender, it IS my fucking gender!  I have always seen Butch as a noun; as the gender that I am, and not some nickname, or anything like that.  And I was also saddened not to find Butch or Femme as gender identities, especially when they had some others that I would have questioned far sooner on that list!    They could try listing your gender, then your sexuality or sexual preference…maybe that will be their next attempt at leveling the playing field, so to speak!

For anyone interested in the article that spurred me to rant off like this on my blog here, you can find it at this web address.  It’s a great Butch blog!  Subscribe while you are there!  http://buzzcutsandbustiers.com/2014/02/26/gender-identity-denied/  Rock on world!  ~MainelyButch

Relationship Checklist

During the month of July, 2010, I did a video blog – or a vlog – called “Lesbian Dating Application” which was very funny, but serious too as it laid out all of the things that would and would not work in a relationship for me. Here I would like to revise that previous performance, and update it, because originally it was filmed over 2 years ago, and we all know how life and situations change; how we can change too.  So I believe updating in both written and video is necessary at this time.

Script goes something like this. 

Dating is hard these days.  You never know what kind of weird stuff that beautiful Femme in front of you has going on in that pretty little head or what she will pull out of her Guici handbag of tricks.   Wouldn’t it be cool if we had paperwork? Like a “lesbian dating application” listing out what will and will not work for use and ask them to indicate their take on each question.  While some can and would be simple yes or no, others would probably require some thought and effort in putting together a serious answer.

The Interview Itself:

  • So if you throw  the application back in my lap and stand up to leave…it might now work out.
  • If you show up to the interview looking like a 14th street hooker….it might not work out.
  • If you have more tattoos than I do…it probably won’t work.  While the occasionaly tat is nice on a woman, I find large tats and full sleeve tats to be a bit over the top for my taste in who I can see myself with long term.
  • Same goes for piercings, if there is metal protruding from your face or your ears are gaged and flopping like a basset hound’s then I am just not interested, thus it just won’t work.
  • If you sit there smacking gum, talking with a thick hood-style accent and vocabulary…nope, definitely won’t work.
  • If your cell phone is not set to silent during my time, my interview time that is, and she stops me mid-question to take a call from your recent ex-lover…get the fuck out.  Not going to work.
  • If you must bring a girlfriend or friend to the interview for “moral support” you might as well turn around and exit stage left cuz that shit just isn’t cool and it will not work.  I had asked to spend this time alone with you, and do not need a chaperone.
  • If you show up on your lunch hour and expect to be munching on your lunch while I am trying to interview you, it will just not work.  I need your focus and undivided attention during a serious conversation.  Had I wanted to do a lunch interview I would have reserved a table somewhere.
  • Now if you show up with lunch for both of us…we might be able to work something out because you obviously took the time to think of me as well, and that is impressive.
  • If you start any answer with the word “Ya know Girl” or “Oh Girl let me tell you….”  It’s just not going to work, because you obviously have me confused with some Femme you must have applied to for the same reason. Same goes for the pronouns, miss, ma’m, lady, and sometimes woman, in the way you are addressing me as a persona senses of the words.  If you know I am Butch you would know that I do not care a lot for the prissy female ways of being addressed.
  • If you come to the interview and are polite, courteous, smiling, have a great attitude and you obviously took the time to dress nicely and do your hair and nails, then I definitely am interested in seeing if we can work this out.  Especially if you brought lunch…awww, how did you know that liverswurst is my favorite??

Remember, your chance to leave a good first impression on someone will stick with them. And that first impression is made in the first 30 seconds of contact.  I can tell if you are someone I would date within a very short period of time.  I am all about first impressions, and about being with a woman who takes the time to make sure that she is always up to par and giving off good first impressions – even in her everyday life.  I do not want things to become “sweatshirt and braless” within 2 weeks of us starting a relationship.  Because that means you just did the interview appearance up to impress me upfront, but aren’t interested in how much I love my woman to look damned good every day; as well as for her to be making great first impressions on my family, friends and the general public And I like it when you are on my arm and we are out around town together, and we both look good…getting smiles from friendly strangers wherever we go…that is important to me and if you are like that too, then this will definitely work.

Key Points of the Relationship Expections: The Issues

  • Sundays are reserved for football, and I love my Sunday games, so scheduling a 1:00 dinner with your friends from work and expecting me to go with you….just not going to work.
  • If you are going to force me to go shopping for “girl things” like clothing, handbags or shoes…we will have issues.  I don’t care for that kind of shopping, and unless you are ok with me perusing the tool department while you clothes shop, then we’ll definitely have issues.
  • It’s 2012…if you have to question every cell phone call and text I receive then we will have issues.  Trust is a big thing, and jail breaking my cell phone while I sleep is punishable by breaking up!
  • Same goes for my computer.  It’s my private world, my solace and my place of refuge.  I have a lot of private writing on there, and when I want to share it I will, but catching you at 3am trying to figure out how to close out of my email account will piss me off and you will be leaving shortly there-after.
  • I suffer from B.E.D.D.  This is Butch Emotional Deficit Disorder which is the basic Butch trait of not always showing emotion or emotional reaction to things you think I should react to right away.  I sometimes appear clueless when you are crying, you have to tell me why..I can’t read your mind for hell’s sake!  And when I am not reacting in the way you think I should, remember BEDD.  It’s not contagious.
  • If we have to ever use the word “let” in a sentence accompanied by “you” then we will have issues.  I am my own individual, you will not have to “let me” do anything once you are standing outside with your suitcase packed.   Yes, “let” will definitely mean we have issues.
  • If you don’t love my dog, or are jealous of Nola, it will cause us to have issues.  I adore that dog, and she doesn’t talk back, nag or require weekly manicures, so she’s an easy keeper.  Are you?  If not then I can see issues in our future.
  • If you think you are going to drive when I am in the car we will have issues.
  • Same goes for pumping gas and getting maintenance done on the car.  I like to do that stuff, it’s a Butch thing…let me, or we will have some issues.
  • If you are highly jealous it could cause nasty issues.  I am a very social person, I have friends that I go fishing with, play pool with and hang out with (sometimes without you) and I get phone calls, texts and emails from them.  Because I have friends does not mean that I am any less committed to our relationship, it just means I am a social creature…and I encourage you to have friends too.  We can be happily individualized, and still be a great couple!  I get aggravated with jealousy.  Trust me, and I will trust you.
  • Baggage is something we all have.  Dragging up my past and using it in anyway against me will decidedly cause some issues.  I won’t throw your baggage around, so don’t toss mine across the room either.  If my baggage concerns you then we need to do some talking, so that we don’t have issues.
  • Addressing a Butch can sometimes be a mine field.  Our personalities and outward appearance often doesn’t match our mental state surrounding our identification.  Calling me cheesy pet names like “pumpkin, peaches, or tootsie” will drive me nuts.  Calling me Babe or Honey can work, but be very careful in that minefield please.  I’d hate to see you blown up by this issue.
  • If you have a drug and alcohol problem worse than mine then we will have issues.   Because I detest drunks, and will not put up with drunken behavior…now if you want to have some wine in the evening while we cuddle in front of the TV I am cool with that, but constant drinking will bring up serious issues.
  • The only time I am okay with lying is when it’s to hide a surprise party or something special.  Lying will cause issues.  I can smell a lie on your breath, so don’t’ even try it.  Plus, if you feel it’s necessary to lie to me then we determinately have issues.
  • I am playful and like to tease.  If you take everything I say seriously then you will have issues.

So, in closing up here this is basically what I am saying; I’m easy to get along with and pretty laid back.  My biggest fear is being able to trust someone with my heart and life in general.  Any kind of hidden agenda will not go over well with me.  You have no need to be sneaky, conniving or to hide things from me.  Be up front, be honest and we will never have issues.  When I ask you a question I like to get straight forward answers to the whole question, not the bare minimum that you think will cover it.

To quote the song, I’m lookin for a lover who won’t love another, but she’s so hard to find.  So I’ve been taking it easy, and not doing any deep searching.  If  she walks in and wants that interview, I have my pad and the applications all ready to go.  Of course I will also need your Carfax. LOL

In all seriousness, dating is scary.  Relationships are sometimes frightening prospets of vulnerability to a Butch.  It means laying ones heart on the line and hoping like hell she doesn’t stomp on it with her 4” stiletto heels.  It means having a confidence that she’s going to protect that heart and bear witness to an oft tormented soul and that she’ll do it with the utmost respect and privacy.  The lifetime I’ve seen of wear and tear on my heart has perhaps hardened it slightly, but it’s still pumping life-vital blood and it still has room for more cracks and chips.  I am still a loving and caring Butch, and I still want that perfect-for-me Femme in my life on a daily basis. I’m ready to love again; ready to give it my all.  I just hope she shows up soon and that she’s ready for the challenge of MainelyButch.

Thanks to all of my readers here and my viewers on Youtube who cross over here to read my stuff as well.  I truly appreciate you all and I so enjoy sharing my writing and thoughts with the world and all of you.  Comments are encouraged and appreciated!