Very Inspiring Blogger Award

vibloggeraward

I would like to Thank Butchcountry67 for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, I am very honored by this nomination!  I’ve been blogging on WordPress.com since 2009 and have been a regular WP blog reader for even longer.  I am inspired by many phenomenal writers, by the passion and the grace with which they light up my computer screen and stimulate my thoughts.

I am inspired by many other writers, some bloggers and some published in print, but here I will personally nominate 7 of my most often read online blogs with hot links to each for your convenience.  I hope that you will check them out, let them know what you think, follow those that also interest you and help us to promote our online blogging community, good will, excellent writing, and most of all…freedom of speech and expression.

As a Butch identified lesbian blogger, I am partial to my other LGBT friends and cohorts who blog on WordPress and other sites, as my nomination list here reflects.  I want to say to each of them here that “you inspire me daily, thank you.”  Without the readership and support that I receive here on my writing I would not continue to post online.  It’s become an important part of my life, and is my personal passion.   Again, Thank You ButchCountry 67, and Thank YOU my readers!   ~Peace~    ~MB~

 

The rules of this award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
Display the award on your post.

2. List the award rules so your nominees will know what to do.

3. State 7 random things about yourself.

4. Nominate other bloggers for the award.

5. Contact your nominees to let them know you have nominated them. Provide a link to your post.

6. Proudly display the award logo (or buttons) on your blog, whether on your side bar, ABOUT page, or a special page for awards.

Soooo…7 Random Things About Me:

1.  I am a Butch identified lesbian living in southern coastal Maine, and most often write from that perspective.

2.  Books that have inspired me are: Grapes of Wrath, Butch is a Noun, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Five People You Meet in Heaven.  I love to read.  These books are about life stuff, but for recreational reading I like The Vampire Chronicles and Rita Mae Brown’s work in Ruby Fruit Jungle, just to name a couple.  I prefer books that can be related to real life and I do not care much for any kind of science fiction stuff – books or movies.  I love print books; books I can hold in my hands and feel the crisp pages under my touch.  I pray they are not lost in the technology affray.

3.   I did not “come out” to my family and straight friends until I was over 24 years old.  By that time most of them had “figured it out” but some still needed to hear me say it to make it real for them.  I lost very few friends, and the ones who I lost obviously were not really true friends to begin with in my opinion.

4.  I served 6 years in the US Army from 1980-86 as a 63Bravo…Light Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic.  I enjoyed my service in the military, and it was a big contributor to forming me as a young adult.  When I was in the Army it was NOT okay to be LGBT and I had to hide my identity and sexuality in order to stay enlisted.  I sadly saw many friends booted out because of their sexual preference.

5.  I am a Capricorn, and one stubborn old goat!  I’ve been told that I am a very typical Cappy… I am assertive, set in my ways, determined and strong willed/minded.  I tend to be more of a leader than a follower.  And I can be bossy given the leeway to be as such.

6.  I have lived in several places in my life but I always seem to return to Maine, where my roots are deep because I am 15th generation of the oldest family in Maine.  My family came here and settled the oldest town in Maine, where I was privileged enough to grow up, Kittery, founded in 1642 by the Shapleigh family and named for their estate in England.

7.  I am too am old enough to remember the original Hippies, Bell Bottoms & Hip huggers, Club kids and Disco, when cars were made of solid steel and we all had Cherry Bomb mufflers so you could hear us coming a mile away.  I also remember when you could buy penny candy for a penny.  And when you could not say one-tenth of the words that are now allowed on public, prime time television stations, and when you didn’t see ANY gay or lesbian performers who were “out” in real life.

Now for the fun part! I am nominating these 7 blogs for being so inspiring to me.

ButchCountry67

Roxi St. Clair

Feminin1

Queering the Nerd

Butch Wonders

Butch-Femme Photo Project

I hope that you have enjoyed this post and that you will visit some or all of the above listed great blogs!

 

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These are MY Opinions

I have been vlogging on Youtube since March of 2009, and have done well over 700 videos in total, most about my life, my experience and my views on various topics ranging from politics, to local news to LGBT issues and lifestyles.  I have also been blogging in written word for even more years here on WordPress and on other blog sites over the years (although now it’s only here on WP which I totally love and prefer over all others).  I’ve seen all the types of hate and disagreement possible from both venues.  I’ve watched the drama unfold on Facebook as well.  Internet bullshit is just that – bullshit.  I tend to just over-look it and move on with my own stuff.  I do what I want, when I want, for whatever reason I want.  Period.  I do that in real life as well, I walk my own walk and as no one’s permission or approval in doing so.  If you happen to be a reader or Youtube viewer, then you know I have a strong personality and I speak my mind fairly freely.  I tend to pull no punches, I don’t strive to aggravate anyone (ok, maybe Republicans on occasion! LOL)  or fight with anyone regarding any issue.  I will gladly have a civilized debate if necessary.  But mostly I just put my writing and videos out there, and I read the comments, occasionally I even change my opinion if another view that I hadn’t considered comes to my attention.  Remember, there are always options to your thoughts, other ways to think, that are just as valid as yours or my own.  I get that and I accept it fully.

I bring this up because I have gotten some backlash and been judged harshly for stating my opinions on some written blogs here on WordPress that I recently wrote about, then I got similar backlash on Youtube after speaking in defense of and about Butch-Femme dynamics after someone else had called the lifestyle “bullshit” in another video on the same venue.  There has been some attempt to get me to engage in a back and forth video battle with this other person, which I am totally not going to do.  I state my opinions, my own personal views and takes on issues and subjects that interest me.  I don’t feel that I should necessarily be “judged” for putting out my own opinions, thoughts and views on any subject – whether those thoughts were perpetuated by another, or they are merely my reaction to something I encounter in daily life or online.  I have all of the same rights to voice my opinions and experiences and to draw my own personal conclusions – based upon what I know from my own experiences – as anyone else in this country has.  No one has the right to say another is wrong to make their voices heard – especially on a free and open platform such as WordPress or Youtube. 

The beauty of these platforms and of our society is that it’s a free world.  You are free to watch or read whatever you choose – or not read what you do not want to read/watch.  It’s simple, if my opinions fly in the face of your reality then don’t listen to me, don’t watch me and don’t write and call me names because I will not engage in your fight.  And if it’s not “your” fight, and you don’t have the guts to even put up a profile photo or a video of your own, yet you feel strong enough to call me names, then shame on you…who are you hiding from besides yourself?  I don’t watch what I don’t care for.  And sometimes I even start to watch someone and then dislike the video and don’t even finish watching it, especially if it’s very negative in content.  Why would I want to even watch people who are negative and condenscending in nature to begin with?  It’s a waste of my time, my energy and the power supply of my computer in all reality for me. 

I speak aobut life from MY own Butch Perspective, based upon what I see, read, and experience in my own life.  I need no ones permission to do this.  Nor do I require or need anyone’s approval of any kind.

I appreciate constructive conversation and I value criticism when it’s applied correctly and respectfully.  I thank all of my loyal readers and followers and I value their opinions as well.  I want to thank the many, many who wrote me dozens of notes and sent tons of messages of support after my recent Butchphobia blog on WordPress, and my following video on Youtube.  It’s because of YOU that I still do this stuff, that I am fearless to put my perspectives out there – no matter what the controversy.  I appreciate the open mindedness of my audience, the interaction with good people, and the honest conversations that we have – even when they do not match my own opinions. 

Everyone has their haters, those who wish to detract from the messages and those who will bring hateful, negative and bashing comments to one’s pages.  I am not immune to that kind of person any more than anyone else who puts themselves out there honestly on line would be.  There’s always someone who will try to pick a fight, cause you discomfort, shame and try to get you to retract your words.   I handle it like most everything else – let it roll off my shoulders and fall away .  I will not be silenced because someone out there doesn’t care for my words, opinions or views on any topic.  I also will not engage in bad arguments, name calling or verbal bashing of another’s opinion either.

It’s just not something I want or will do.

Identifying as Butch: Butch Perspectives

I am Butch.  I identify myself as Butch.  Some may call is a “label”, I call it my identity; my gender.  There will always be arguments about “labels” within the LGBT community, no matter what not everyone uses them or identifies with any particular group or sub-group.  That’s a personal choice.  A choice I have made and every individual must make for themselves.  I get that.  And those who do not “like” or use labels should get that about me, it’s my freedom to call myself Butch, and it’s yours to choose not to.  Yes, it’s a choice, and no matter what anyone says about liking or not liking them, they will continue to use them on me and others, and claim they themselves do not “need” a label.  I don’t “need” one either, but I have choosen one that describes me; that identifies me to others, and that others can somewhat understand in the grand scheme of things. Butch.  If you don’t choose a label for yourself, an identity, then what or who ARE you?  Not Butch, nor Femme, nor tomboy, nor trans, nor gay, nor straight, nor bisexual, nor…whatever….or perhaps I am confused…oh, you DO Identify as lesbian?  Is that not a “label” in some books?  Don’t slam my choice, and I won’t slam yours.

The group Butch Perspectives was formed with the perspective and the label of “Butch” fully in mind.  It’s mere conception by me on FB that is targeted directly towards those like me who do identify as Butch and who seek friendship and dialogue with other Butch identified individuals. 

I, like everyone, cannot foresee what conversations will come up on line.  I don’t know what any one person will identify as, and I was hoping that by being very specific on the “Butch” Perspectives I would not have to get into discussing “labels” once again.  But, alas, here I am typing away in an attempt to clarify my position – which is generally the position of the group page.  Like any creator, I have a vision, a vision of a place where Butches can feel at home, comfortable and not threatened by their expressions of what it’s like for them, or us, to live in this world.  Where conversation, debate, laughter and dialogue can freely and openly take place; where friends are made and friendly relationships are formed.

Butch Perspectives is not a place to have all out arguments about what it IS or ISN’T to be Butch.  It’s a space for those who identify already, or are starting to identify as masculine of center and/or Butch.  It’s not a space where we welcome Femmes or those who don’t really “get” it…there are lots of other spaces across the web where those conversations and arguments are already happening.  (Personally I avoid those spaces). 

This is not to say that I personally govern what it means to be Butch for any person other than myself. But I am seeking participation of women who DO identify as masculine of center, as well as those who identify as Butch in their own rights.  We each have our own personal conception of what that means, and for those who understand what I am trying to convey here, it should be no problem. 

I recently posted a video by a friend of mine in California, TheSloFox, from Youtube – another very active social networking venue for me.  In the video West speaks of that rather “grayish” area of being perhaps “Trans-Butch” where some days it’s one, and others it’s the other.  I can truly relate to this aspect of being Butch, and it is perhaps the reason I am very trans-friendly and understand my FtM brothers on a little deeper level.  At the end of the day, I am most definitely a very masculine of center – Butch – individual.  It’s nothing I was taught, it’s how I was born, how I matured and how I walk this world.  I defend my right to live as I feel comfortable, just as I would defend my friends’ rights to do the same. 

As far as group rules or guidelines…let’s all play nice.  Discussion and dialogue is encouraged as long as it does not ridicule another, cause serious group discomfort or appear to be outwardly misogynistic.  Open, honest and even controversial conversations are welcome, but be a gentle-Butch and please use manners.

Stumbling

I am attempting to film a video for my YT channel that is giving me fits.  I need to speak the right words to get my points across in a very concise and fitting manner, so that several of my viewers understand where I stand on the issues.  It’s driving me bats because (there is currently a BAT in my fucking house, btw) I know what I want to say, but am having trouble finding the right words…not usually an issue for MainelyButch! *sigh* but I won’t give up, I will eventually get a version I can live with filmed, edited and posted.

I have taken down a couple of recent vlogs from that channel.  This pisses me  off that I allowed myself to feel the pressure others were putting on me that caused me to pull them into private mode. I am usually much more bold and don’t care what others think, but my psyche is obviously in a weaker place this week and I allowed the pressure through.

This brings up one thing that the vlog is addressing, that one cannot be made to feel any way that they do not ALLOW themselves to feel.  We are in control of those feelings, and while the actions or words of another may not be what we want to hear, but how we react to them is completely up to us individually.  Just because I say I feel one way about something, does not mean someone else needs to agree with me – or worse, be adversely affected by my own personal choices and feelings.

Now…I am addressing issues that I am having with a few commenters on my vlog, with whom I have been having some back-and-forth direct YT email and comment exchanges in recent weeks. If you do not recognize that as you, please do not insert yourself in the scenario..I am blogging about this only to get the thoughts out on paper so that I can perhaps assist my own brain to sort through the best way to handle things such as this altercation.   I am trying to figure out how to explain to this person that my opinions and my experiences are MINE and I do NOT expect any of my viewers or readers to have or hold the same things in their world.  She thinks that I am somehow expecting people to agree with me, when I would never do that, I encourage differing opinions, and am open to new experiences, the sharing of our individual experiences and in finding the common ground of agreeing to disagree without hostility being a side-effect.

Hostility.  That is the word.  I have been experiencing some degree of hostility aimed toward me,  from a few different directions, that is making me uncomfortable as I am unsure of just how to deal with each of the individuals.  I don’t want to deal with it at all by “firing back” or slinging mud at anyone.  Of course, when one is attacked – especially on an ehical level – the gut reaction is to go into “defensive” mode and do exactly that – fire back. Corner me and I will fight my way out.  Give me breathing room, and I will give you that same respect and we can perhaps converse without threat.

I am just at a loss for words. Some things leave me that way.  And I hate that.