My Butch Musings Today

I’m not sure exactly how to write about this, or what I want to say, so we’ll see how it goes as I type on here.  Let me say that I am just me, and these are my personal thoughts and opinions.  I know there are many varying views, and I don’t know that any particular one of them is “right” or “wrong”.  And let me say up front that I love and support my trans friends and allies, and I always will.

Caitlyn Jenner.  She has been the woman of the week in the news, her doing the cover of Vanity Fair, and doing television interviews and stories about her coming out, and she’s been talked about in many of the blogs that I have been reading too.  Friends have asked me what I think about it all. because who better to ask than the local Butch lesbian about this? ha!  I think it’s comical that when anything happens in the news concerning any kind of LGBT issue that people come off with the strangest questions to us just because they see us standing under the umbrella of LGBT.

It’s been a strange couple of weeks watching as Bruce Jenner disappears and Caitlin Jenner emerges on the cover of Vanity fair…and sort of as a sex goddess of a kind.  Annie Lebowitz’s photography is amazing, and I am glad it was she who got to shoot these photos, good choice Caitlin.  Coupled with your association with names of fame, from Kardashain to Jenner, from Bruiser to Caitlin, the choice to reveal Caitlin as this impeccably groomed prima donna cannot be outdone, in my opinion.

I’m not sure how I feel about all of this.  That is my answer to my questioning straight* friends. I give straight the asterisk because I am not even sure about that anymore!  What defines straight now?  It’s all become so confusing, all of the terms and words have changed, all of the prerequisites seem to have changed too.

What does it mean to be a woman now?  How is it defined?  And who gets to define it?  I used to think that being a woman is shaped by a certain kind of experience living as a gendered individual, among a community (women) who share those accrued experiences, both positive and sadly many times negative.  It’s always been a sort of uphill battle to survive as a woman in this world of inequality.  And now it seems that there is some re-defining force at work that is trying like hell to change everything.  I’m just not sure what to think anymore.  I guess I have many more conversations to have and reading to be done to figure some of this out.

I do realize that I am walking a thin, thin line between female and male I know.  I am often mis-gendered as a male and it doesn’t bother me.  When I am gendered properly as a female I know instantly that I have taken second place somehow. Women have always been made to feel inferior to men.  It’s been that way since caveman days.  It’s a weird feeling, and one I struggle with daily many times.  Some days it pisses me off, and some days I don’t really care one way or the other.  I am just me in this world, just me.

I read and watch on TV all of this stuff about “living in the wrong body”.  This is something, that as a non-trans person I could and can never understand.  I don’t know what that feeling is like, nor do I claim to know as I have never felt that I was in the wrong body, but I did not like my breasts, so I had them reduced drastically.  My chest is flat now, and my body feels right to me.  I am a woman.  I suffered all of the things that women suffer through gender experience, including the push to be more “feminine” at times.  I never wanted to be male, but I never liked being “feminine” either.  As someone said recently somewhere that I read “nail polish wears off”.  This sounds weird to me, because I think that who one IS doesn’t wear off.  I look into the mirror every morning and I see a masculine Butch woman, raised female by experience and culture.  I see the scars of living in this female body; one that belongs to me, and is unquestionably the right one for me.  The scars of living in the wrong body are more invisible to people, and I am not sure what that looks like.

I look at the photos of Caitlin now and it’s amazing.  What can money not do? According to the photographs I have seen she is strikingly beautiful.  From the perfect hair to the perfect waist and ample feminine cleavage.  It’s hard not to be jealous in a way, she has achieved that perfect female/feminine body; the body that she wants and feels comfortable in from what I am reading/hearing.  This is something many women work a lifetime to get through a variety of sometimes wild and occasionally means (i.e. botox and illegally performed surgeries/procedures).  Caitlin chose professionally treatments and surgeries to bring out her feminine side.  I, myself, chose surgical procedure to be less feminine.  Funny what we will all do to achieve our goals.  And how vastly our goals are from one another in this world.  Everyone has their own agenda and desires, and everyone should be able to act on those desires if they are able.  I feel lucky that I was able to get my chest surgery done, and I always feel happy for other Butches who get it done and like me feel it was the best thing they ever did to improve their body image and divert some dysphoria.  And I feel the pain for those who want it done and can’t yet get there.

Now these are all just my musings; thoughts and opinions of a very socially isolated Butch.  I wish I had someone who could explain many of my questions to me, and help me better understand not only this but myself as well.

Jamie (A boy and her dog) recently attended a conference (see blog) and speaks about this social isolation.  I don’t know why some of us socially isolate.  I know for me it’s partially because I now live in an area where there is no real LGBT community to speak of.  Those that are here are partnered up, settled down and don’t really interact with one another in any type of organized atmosphere, i.e. there are no gay bars, no clubs and no recreation centers or LGBT organized events.  For the first time there is going to be a Gay Pride festival here at the end of this month, WOW!  That is actually exciting to me, and I am sure to many others in my area.  I am planning to go, and I know I will run into many people that I used to see years back at the bars (when there were some here!) and on the softball fields (lesbian cruising spots). If U-haul were smart they would run a special on local moving trucks for the following week!  I wonder if they ever considered having a booth at the Gay Pride festivals?  Now, that’s a funny thought!  (hahahaha!)

At the end of the blog Jamie says:  “I need to stop apologizing for identifying as both butch and transgender. I need to stop apologizing for not having it all figured out..”   This line caught my thought process by surprise.  I do this too.  And I need to stop and realize that maybe no one has it “all figured out” ever.  We are all just works in progress.  Maybe we are all just like worker ants building and rebuilding ourselves daily; doing what has to be done.  Everyone’s brand of Butch is different, and as the world turns it seems to get more and more difficult to decipher where the lines get drawn sometimes.

I have actually been working on my own social isolation alot in recent weeks.  And have reached out to quite a few friends lately.  I am blessed to have some awesome people in my life, that’s for sure.  I’m pleased that I can call them friends and that I feel valued by them.  I’m going to join a couple of them for Boston’s Pride this Saturday, which should be loads of fun!  I’m sure I will come back with many photos and a story or two to tell next week.  I am going to meet my friends in Amesbury and take the T in to the city, that way no searching for parking or looking for the “lost car” at 1 am when we are trying to find our way out of the city!  I’ve done that before, it’s not fun!  haha!

~Peace~

~MB

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Vulnerable Thoughts

I feel the need to write.  Just write.  I can’t pull a particular topic out of my head, but here I am in front of the WordPress posting page…again.

The past few weeks have been strange and enlightening to me. I’m going through some kind of inner “shift” I believe.  Notions I took for granted just aren’t proving to be true.  I keep my emotions pretty locked down and close to the vest, so to speak.  I am not one to just lay them out on my sleeve for the world to see.  That makes one too vulnerable…and we all know how we hate vulnerability (especially Butches!).  But I have to get some stuff out and it may make me vulnerable in ways I will be uncomfortable with, but hey, what the hell.

One of the biggest things I am questioning is love and relationships.  What the hell IS a relationship in today’s cyber techie world anyways!?  Online anyone can tell you anything and you have only gut feeling to believe them, you can develop feelings that you don’t know if they are true or not until you come face-to-face with someone, you can have some incredible experiences and once in a while a bummer experience.  But it’s all part of the package of “chance” that we take in relationships.  And I never regret experience, it’s what makes each of us who we are every day. 

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  The old adage goes.  

So, I am thinking that I am no longer going to be looking for “Ms. Right” but more for more experiences with more people.  In other words, I am not going to play the game of monogamy any longer. (Although, there is one woman, in Utah, that I WOULD go back to monogamy with but unless she comes back into my life, the chance of that is slim to none.)  

What does this mean?  I don’t want to say it means I am poly-amorous, but maybe it does.  I am not sure.  I know that I have interests, a few of them.  I get different things; different satisfactions from each of them individually and I like that aspect very much.  I’ve been struggling with this issue for a little while now, and as I ramble I am still struggling.  I don’t want to be tied down to one woman indefinitely, that’s the plain and simple point.  There are many reasons – some valid and some probably not so valid – that I am going in this direction and have been for some time.  I feel a bit vulnerable in saying it publicly, but I have been pretty honest with my blogs and my readers, so I am putting this out there.  

Love is a very broad subject, and has many means of manifesting in our lives.  I have love for many people, many various kinds of love.  I have never been “good” with a monogamous lifestyle, although I have tried several times with some fantastic partners, each of whom I still love and respect immensely to this day.  Each contributed to who I am and I thank them deeply for their contributions to my life.

I haven’t been open with many about my choice to keep my dating style “open”…and those I have, have been a little wierded out by it…but I don’t know how else to explain it to anyone. I just am tired of restricting myself, and then you start dating someone and figure out that it’s not all that and the bag of chips you thought it was, so you want to move on a bit, but someone always seems to be hurt.  I think in keeping myself on an “open relationship” type status that perhaps some of this will be avoided because I will date only those others who are on that same page.  

Crazy Insomniac Rambles

Some nights I get insomnia like a mother fucker.  Just can’t get to sleep no matter what I do.  I know it’s my brain full of noise; ticking away at problems, thoughts and life happenings.  I tend to worry about things and sometimes it does no good to worry, I just need to learn to let those chips fall where they may.

So much going on in my life at the given moment.  Had to quit my job or lose my much needed health insurance benefits.  I liked working again, it sucked to have to quit.  I enjoyed my coworkers, my clientele and the whole fun atmosphere of the bowling alley.  It was a pretty easy job, and I managed to stay busy, despite the boring times when everyone else stood around and complained.  I found things to do; things that needed doing but others were too busy standing around complaining about being bored.  But all in all, the job suited my needs quite well and got me out and about several days a week.  I am going to miss that. And I’ll miss the extra money.  But with my chronic health issues I cannot afford to lose my insurance coverage, any of it.  So I had to make the choice between getting my life-saving medications and working a few hours a week…thus I had to quit.  It was the rational and logical choice

My personal life is in turmoil.  I have an ex here that is leaving after I return from a short vacation. She’s being gracious enough to wait and babysit Nola and the house while I am gone for 5 days.  I appreciate that.  But the tension is palpable, and it’s not going to be easy to see her go – as a friend I have gotten quite attached and Nola is madly in love with her dog.  I actually worry more about Nola going into depression on me over losing her buddy than I am about myself.

I’m skeptical and confused about the “love” word lately.  As much as I would like to be “in” love again I can literally feel myself pushing back from the words.  Sooo much has happened over the last 6 months, and it’s all weighing on my mind and has me quite flustered inside. 

I’m going to go to Florida in a couple of days to meet a woman I am interested in and see how that works out.  I have done a lot of thinking and had many conversations with others about how we tend to meet potential dates or partners online and we develop these online affairs, but you never really know what it really is until you are face-to-face and spending some time together in real life, if it’s going to be something that will work; something with chemistry and spark.  I was really getting attached to this woman via online communications, Skype and emails, but then some crazy crap got in the way and I’ve found, in reconnecting, that I have kind of backed up a notch and am waiting to see if what I feel is real or just some online torrid affair of the heart and keyboard.  She’s a peach for sure, very pretty and very intelligent and quite a catch.  She has her own stuff going on, and I have mine.  If we come together and it works, then great, if not then I will consider that I have made a very good friend and confidant. 

The pressure of going there to meet her weighs heavily on me.  I am afraid that I am expected to be some super Butch with great sexual prowess, and I’m scared of not being able to emotionally or physically live up to those expectations.  But I am pulling up my Butch briefs and going there to meet her, because that’s what I WANT to do and I need to know for sure what is there with us. 

I know I am worrying and wondering way too much.  But it’s my nature I guess.  I must try to get some sleep and rest this weary body!  It’s not Butch to be all exhausted and tired, and you know I am Butch!