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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

Current Reality.

I’m tired.  Tired of fighting all this hate in this country.  The last 7 months, since Trump took office, have really been very difficult.  I’m sure many feel that same weariness that I feel right now.  But I know it is so important to not give up just because we are weary.  I know I have to continue to be strong in facing the evil that is upon us right now.  I only pray that there will come better, quieter and more peaceful days.

What is starting to happen more frequently now is that people are starting to really come to logger heads.  The personal fighting and attacks have begun.  We are beginning to become more and more divided every day.  Just today, in my OWN HOME I had someone say some very pro-Trump, hateful and bigoted things.  Now, you KNOW I wanted to explode and go nuclear on the guy, but instead I got super mad – to the point of tears coming to my eyes – and retreated to my bedroom to try to simmer down.  This person is staying at my house and now I am equally angry about THAT.  I don’t want this kind of  hate and intolerance in my own home; in my personal space or in the place where I am supposed to feel safe.  I can’t have it.  So, I am now faced with having to tell him he needs to move on – out of my space.  This hurts me deeply.  I always considered him a good friend, and I never expected to hear such garbage from him.  He was insinuating that Trump pardoning Arpiao was the right thing, and that Arpiao was only rounding up Latinos because they are “all criminals anyway”…and he continued to say things I can’t repeat here.  It was disgusting.  It was terrifying.  I am a Butch lesbian, who KNOWS what his true feelings and ideas are about ME and my kind!  THAT is terrifying.  And I can’t have that fear lingering over me in my own space; space that is supposed to be safe, nurturing and comfortable for me.  Space where I can hide from the evils of the world.

So tomorrow I have to sit him down and explain to him that I cannot have him here any longer.  This will cause him some problems as he will have to go back to staying at a hotel and on couches.  But I can’t give a soft spot to land to a bigot and racist.  It’s not who I am.  And not what I wish to be associated with in any way, shape or form.  Let him take his sorry ass somewhere else, maybe go be with his own kind.  I don’t know what he will do, I just hope he’s reasonable about leaving quietly, because he has to go away from here; away from my HOME.

THIS is what all of this Trump inspired division is DOING to us here in the USA.  It’s tearing friends apart.  It is tearing families apart.  We do not – or CANNOT – trust each other anymore.  The feeling is very visceral.  It’s frightening to be in any minority group here.

I’m scared.  I don’t know where this is all going, but I want to go back to the Obama years.  I want to go back to when we felt like we were safer and moving in a good direction with the country.  I don’t want to re-enact Nazi Germany’s history here in the United States….but THAT is what is happening.

The way it’s forming up, 1/3 of the people here are willing to kill another 1/3 of the people, and the last 1/3 is willing to stand by silently and watch….

THAT is our currently REALITY.

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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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.

Role Models

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.  ~MB

The Gender Revolution?

It used to be so much more simple!  It used to be that you were either gay or straight, period.  Or at least that is how it was in my world growing up in the 60’s/70’s and partying my ass off in the gay bars in the 80’s…it used to be easier I believe.  I’m not knocking anyone’s gender or orientation choice here, just saying that it’s gotten VERY confusing for me.  I was just reading this article on npr.org titled “A New Generation Overthrows Gender” by Jon Brooks.  It was posted on Facebook, thus I clicked the link and knew I was in a world of word trouble immediately. 

First word I came across that is fairly new to me is “agender” – which according to the article means neither ale nor female.  The particular person in the article used the pronoun “they” instead of he or she.  Ok, so I am really, really trying to be okay with this.  I am really trying not to be internally phobic, or form an immediate opinion – because I know I don’t like it when people do that to me.  BUT I just don’t get it. 

Second word I came across related to this is “Transgender”.  Thank God.  A word that I know and can understand to some degree.  Transgender meaning someone who has changed from one gender to the opposite gender.  Transitioned.  More on this later. 

Third hurdle here “gender-fluid”…which means (according to kid in the article) that you feel like a guy or girl at different times.  I can somewhat relate to this.  There are definitely times for me that I get this twinge of feeling like a girl, but normally I just feel like a guy – although I know I’m a girl.  Confused yet? 

Fourth stumper “non-binary gender” meaning not female and not male according to the binary gender scale.  I’ll see if I can locate a picture of that old scale before I publish this.  But it’s like if you give Female a 1 and Male a 10, and you rate where in the scale you may fall or feel that you fall. 

Near the end of the article they bring up “gender non-conforming” – which I can definitely fully relate to.  I am one who does not conform to the gender norms of female.

And of course we have the weird word “cisgender” meaning you identify as you were sexed at birth – either male or female.   

Then it dives into Gender Vs. Sexual orientation Vs. biology….yes, it gets very in-depth for a minute here:

“Gender identity is different from gender expression, being different from biology” says Adam Chang, a consultant with Gender Spectrum, a provider or gender identity resources and services in Berkeley, CA.  “Identity is what you know in your heart and mind, and expression is external – hair, makeup, roles you take on in society.

“Biology of course, means physical attributes that have always been used as a proxy for gender,” Chang says.  “And all of those are different from sexual orientation.”

((HOLY SHIT BATMAN!))

Chang goes on to put it this way:  “Sexuality is in and of itself not enough information to reveal a person’s gender identity.”

I am 55 years old.  I am Butch.  I have said before that Butch is my identity.  Lesbian is my sexuality. Female is my gender.  Even THAT feels confusing at times.  I’m SURE it is confusing to those who don’t know me, or anyone like me.  Simply put, I’m a Butch Lesbian.  Lesbians are women (females) who prefer relationships with other women (females).  Or so it is in my world today.  There are so many new words that I can’t possibly keep up anymore.  Especially living in rural America where most of my contact with the rest of the LGBT world is via the internet.  Where we have no real “formed community” to fall back on or to learn alongside. 

I have seen a LOT lately about our youth and transitioning genders.  It worries me a little because the human brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25.  This is part of why we make so many stupid choices and dumb decisions when we are in our teens.  I’m afraid that if kids (under 21) are looking at things like transitioning physically with surgery and drugs that they will be doing things that are not reversible in their young futures.  AND I personally just don’t think they are old enough to be doing things like surgery or hormones. 

THAT is my personal opinion on it.  I understand that we are seeing a sort of “gender revolution” happening, that kids have access to all sorts of information that we did not have when I was growing up.  I never even knew the word “transgender” existed or that people could even change genders if they wanted to.  Sure, I was a tomboy, and there were times I am sure that I wished I was a boy, but I am happy with being a woman today and who know what I would have done had I known or had the means as a kid to change my gender.  It would have been a tough one for me I bet.  So, in many ways I am happy to have grown up when I did before all of this revolution and changing stuff came to the surface. 

I have young female friends who are considering transition.  One, in particular that I am thinking about.  I have been trying to be a good Butch role model and influence, answering questions and being a bouncing board for her venting.  But she is edging closer and closer to transitioning.  She’s now 17, I’m just not convinced that she should make that kind of a life altering decision before she’s 25.  Now, saying that I don’t see any harm in her presenting as she wishes.  I am just against early surgery or hormones. 

I know some will disagree with me.  It’s the elephant in the room sometimes even.  I am not anti-trans, and I have many trans friends who I love dearly for exactly who they are.  I respect their choices and decisions.  But most of them that I know made those decisions in adulthood, not in a pre-pubescent fog of “who am I?” or on a whim to fit in with the “in” crowd, or do the new fun thing. 

My fear is that the kid does this, transitions, and then at 25 the kid looks at every adult in her life and gets very angry at them for not stopping things until she was really old enough to make that kind of life-altering decision.  Know what I mean?  Adults are supposed to protect kids from themselves; from making irreversible mistakes, and what if transitioning turned out to be just that mistake that the kid makes and regrets at maturity?  I would hate to be in those shoes. 

Kids are maturing way faster than ever in todays world.  Information travels at lightening speed through the internet and across the world wide web.  We know things that we never knew, and probably never would have known, had it not been for the interenet – some good and some bad.  I think it’s great to explore sexuality and gender and to discuss our views based on the information at hand.  I just hope these kids today are doing their research and not just following a fad that could leave indelible marks.

The rest of the article goes on to talk about suicide rates (40% of trans-identified people attempt suicide), sexuality, and society.  It seems that while many more people are adopting identities of various names across the gender spectrum, that fewer are actually physically transitioning now.  Perhaps that is because we are making it okay to be who you are without having to completely change your body.  All in all it’s a very good article that everyone should take 20 minutes to read and gain some knowledge from.  I do think it’s very cool that kids are encouraged to live as their authentic selves, to express themselves and to be who they ARE in the world.   

So, check out the article and let me know what YOU think.  Peace.  ~MB

This is a highly controversial topic and I respect that everyone has their own opinions and views.  Please be respectful of everyone reading if you comment, which I invite you to do, below.