Butch Stuff, LGBT Community Issues

YouTube Censorship

What a day.  Personally, I was tired all day because I didn’t sleep well last night and I was woken up at 5:45 by my assistant manager asking me to report to work early because someone had called out sick.  I begrudgingly got up and went in at 7am, only an hour early but because of my lack of sleep it was more of a chore than anything else.  I came home and desperately wished to watch the news and see what Comey had to say today about Trump and his lying tweets about Obama spying on him, but I was so tired that I fell onto my bed and fell fast asleep for 3 1/2 hours.  Thus my afternoon was wasted, but at least I did catch up on some sleep.

Tonight me and Linda, my bestie, made an awesome dish of shrimp scampi and had dinner together.  She borrowed my vehicle and will come get me in the morning very early as I have to be at work tomorrow at 6am.  Her truck is in having a wheel bearing replaced and she has to be at work at 2am.

After dinner I sat and watched the news, and caught up on some YouTube videos.  YouTube has begun to censor most LGBT videos and their creators accounts.  They have now made all “potentially controversial” topics – mostly LGBT stuff – available only in the in-restricted mode, and have restricted and blocked most of my videos.  They claim this is to keep YouTube “family friendly” but it’s very homophobic in the end.  They haven’t blocked videos of straight people making out and doing heavy petting or talking about sex, only the LGBT ones.  Smells of homophobia and censorship to me.  I turned around and made my own video for my channel about this.  You can see my latest video here.

YouTube is a resource. It can be a terrific place to develop community and to meet like-minded people.  For youth it can be the ONLY place that they may find answers to some of their more pointed questions.  Most don’t grow up being exposed to LGBT people, and thus YouTube can give them the exposure that they seek when they are questioning their own selves.  I understand blocking things like pornography and explicit material like that from young eyes/ears.  But restricting a video where I may talk about what it was like growing up Butch and talking about my own personal struggles with my own sexuality is not helping anyone.  If a kid needs to talk to someone or wants to know about coming out YouTube is a great resource for this.  It is probably something they can’t or won’t speak with their parents about.  While I agree that some sort of “filter” is appropriate for children, I also believe that we must educate our children, teach diversity and tolerance and openness.  Blocking information about the LGBT community on YouTube is not the answer.

I have gotten emails and messages from many LGBT youth over the years.  Most start with “my mom/dad doesn’t understand me, I think I am gay” and many go on to tell me how frustrated and lost they are and how they have no one to turn to or talk to.  Some tell me how they fear being thrown out of their homes if they are “found out” and some fear violence at the hand of a parent.  I fear these kids are so oppressed that they will do something drastic.  I remember growing up and how hard it was for me to deal with my own sexuality as a teenager and having no one to talk to about it.  I only WISH that I had had a resource such as YouTube at my disposal during those times.

I am a YouTube creator and have been for almost 10 years now,.  I enjoy putting together videos of my thoughts and my experiences.  Most of my videos deal with the LGBT lifestyle, being butch or politics.  I often am inspired to do a video by another YT creator.  They may do an interesting topic, and I may do one of my own like it.  Or I do a response video to their original.  I’ve built a decent sized following on YT, but lately my subscriptions have been disappearing because of this new restriction thing.  I enjoy my YouTube community, enjoy getting to know people and making friends there.  I don’t want to give it up or boycott the site.  But something has to give with this censorship.

That’s all for tonight.  While I am still digesting what has gone on in Washington today I will spare you my thoughts on that subject for tonight.  I hope you will leave me a comment below about what you think about internet censorship and everything I have said above.  Thanks for reading!  Peace ~MB



Things Butch-Femme

Youtube versus Real Life…choices

Youtube, the internet versus Real Life…the two are somehow separate, yet somehow intertwined; parallel universes revolving around your own personal sun.  

I been thinking lately.  I have been on Youtube for 5 years and 4 months now…quite a LONG time for any Youtuber!  I’ve seen people come, stay a little while, do a dozen or so videos and disappear into oblivion once again.  I’ve known a very few who have stuck it out and stayed with it, actually about 5 that I know of right off the top of my head that I have followed since March of 2009 when I started actually doing videos.  It took me about a year to be convinced to join the vlogging bandwagon, and once on board I decided that I actually liked doing them and have pretty much stuck with it.  I have taken small hiatus periods, like 3-5 weeks here and there through the years, but I’ve posted over 1000 videos, some are still up and some are in privately shared space, and some have been deleted now, but I’ve definitely done a boatload!

My videos have ranged in topic from very personal stuff about myself, to answering questions people have asked, to giving my opinion on different things such as news stories, articles, issues within the LGBTQ community, etc – all basically for fun and entertainment, although mostly my own!  LOL  Hell, I’ve even done some more serious “how to” videos on some minor things like pet care.  I have had a blast doing the videos.  I have built a subscriber list of 1389 viewers.  My typical video garners approximately 130 views in the first 2-3 days, and some have topped 5,000 views over time.  I don’t do it for the “views” or “hits”, but more for my own personal enjoyment, for those who are dedicated, loyal followers and for those who come to me with questions or topcs they would like to see discussed by me and others.

I have always tried to be very open and honest in any video I have done.  What’s the point if you are not going to be?  My view is that if you are going to make videos make them so they have a point of some kind and so they are interesting in some way and that keep the viewers’ attention to watch them to the end.  Perhaps I have succeeded sometimes, perhaps I have failed miserably others. Whichever way it has gone, it’s been just fine with me.  I don’t lose sleep over it. I just YT because I like it.  I enjoy most of the people I have met over the years.  I have gotten tons of comments about how this video or that video changed someone’s opinion, view or life in some little way and made their day a tad bit brighter.  Those are the BEST comments to get!  I have made some friends, so damned good friends and I have made some enemies I am sure.  Hey, you can’t please everyone, why even try!  If I were worried about that I would either not post videos at all or make all my posts private.  

I think my vlogging is something I like to remain positive about. I like to project a positive attitude, even if I am discussing a negative topic like a news event about a tragedy. There’s always something to find positive even in the negative.  I try to avoid the negative quibbly stuff, avoid the dramatics and rarely speak about people in any type of revealing way.  Viewers don’t want to watch or hear that kind of stuff so I try to keep it real and be honest in voicing my own opinions, my own views and things deriven from my own life experiences.  I find it more freeing to be this way. I, and I am sure other people as well, can relate to people who they find are real and who they can share a view with or an experience with in virtuality.  I think it’s pretty cool to get other peoples opinions, views and have exchanges that may even change MY view on the topic; maybe change how I thought and that’s what I call growth.  We grow through the exchange of ideas.  

There is a weird paranoia that does come with being a public sort of figure or being in the public eye.  It can and will change your life.  As I have navigated the online world I have met many people, some interesting, some funny, some scary, some I liked and some I did not.  I’ve made some really good friends, and I have had many great conversations as a result.  I have learned as I have gone along, because there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it, there is no instruction manual or care-of guide.  Vlogging helps me get perspective sometimes, and it helps others see my perspective, and maybe further think about their own.  Viewers see some of their problems and answers or ideas about them through seeing and hearing about how I have dealt with things in life.  Sometimes I look back at old old videos and think “what was I thinking!?” because I have changed my view in some way or another, life has gone on and whatever it was became either less important or completely irrelevant.  

I started out on Youtube slowly, and became far more open about myself as time went on.  I have blended my Youtube with other venues, shared the videos in other places and used them for a variety of purposes over time.  Lately I’ve been starting to feel that it may be that time in my life to keep my emotions and more personal things to myself more.  The internet is a rapidly changing place.  

Five years ago Youtube was a MUCH different place; a whole different atmosphere and way of being.  It was much more about personal videos discussing life issues facing each of us at different times and in different places along the path. Today it’s more of hubbub about what the “popular” theme is, how to make money doing videos and who can out wit who.  It’s a bit crazy and not as interesting in my own personal opinion.  Sure, there are still some great vloggers who have remained true to themselves and still do the types of videos that I continue to do about everyday topics. And I will follow those people until they either drop off the tube or I do.  I am finding more negativity than ever before.  I am finding more haters and bullies, I hate to see it happening, but it seems to be just the way of the web-life.  I don’t feel that mutual respect and the kind of trust that I used to feel when the tubes were a smaller, more intimate community, but that I have to be more careful who I share my personal life with these days.  

I will absolutely continue to do videos.  I’m not leaving Youtube or WordPress by any means!  I find it way too fascinating to leave.  But I am going to divide off and make more personal videos available to only a limited, select audience on all of my channels.  Same with WordPress; I will be posting password protected blogs when I deem it necessary to protect my privacy and in an effort to be more careful about who I am sharing my life with in these venues.  I have watched another very well respected YT vlogger do this a couple of times, have to change channels, go private, use passwords, etc and now I know and understand his need to do this periodically.  Sometimes you have to rethink your position and it may lead you to a new choice, a new path or one of better footing in the long run.  It’s not a bad thing, and it could be a necessary thing, as I am finding at this point in life.

The weekend is over.  Mine was a pretty good one – mostly spent working!  I did take some time to relax and accomplish some other things as well. The best thing I did was turn off my email and internet – except for 2 check in’s on Facebook! – all weekend, I won’t even check my email for at least another 12 hours.  I’m sure it’s full, but you know, I didn’t stress about it and it will be there when I get to it sometime tomorrow.  It’s given me time to rethink these things about Youtube and the seeming “need” for an internet presence by everyone here in 2013…I so wish for the simpler days of much less technology!  

In closing, thanks for your continued support and encouragement!  I appreciate every reader.  

Things Butch-Femme

Life Update – Youtube Update

Hello!  For those of you who follow my videos online on Youtube:

I am having major camera and computer issues at this time. I will have them corrected this week for sure and will be back strong with a full month of daily videos (Video Every Day for May) as promised in my last video post.  

It seems as if every electronic device in my life is trying to break or go wacky lately.  My phone, the webcam, the computers….but alas, my computer guy is coming out to the house to deal with the computer issue I believe on Friday.  I’ll have the phone fixed tomorrow and the web-cam…well that is still up in the air as of now.  But I will find some way to film and post, don’t worry I am a “fixer” and this too I shall FIX!  

As far as a basic life update…everything is going okay!  I can’t complain at all. The weather in Maine has been absolutely gorgeous for days on end now, in the low 70’s and very very comfortable!  

I even got out and got the lawn all raked, and mowed, the place looks great!  Next comes my flowers and the veggie garden – which I have procured all of the necessary materials to make a nice raised bed garden for free!  Got to love my local friends and connections, seems they have lots of stuff laying around they want to give away to be re-purposed!  I got lumber from the farm and all I will need will be some good growing soil, which I know I can also scam up pretty easily.  I’m really looking forward to growing my own veggies and herbs this year.  It will be my 2nd full summer in this home, and it’s time for a veggie garden!  Gardening, both flowers and veggies, is a passion of mine.  I love the feel of the dirt, and the satisfaction of knowing that I can create with plants to my hearts content. It’s good for the soul.

Nola is doing wonderful. She got over her loneliness for her friend in all of one day. She’s been very very stuck to me, as usual and I’ve been making sure she’s getting plenty of attention and we are doing things like walks to keep her sharp.  I decided against another dog to keep her company, just because I cannot afford the vet bills and care!  It’s enough to have one, and she enjoys being an “only child” I believe.  Hell, she gets 100% of my attention!  

I have 2 events coming up for my photo button booth and bracelets.  Both in June, so June should be a better month.  I love doing the fairs and festivals, and it excites me when the season comes around!  I am hoping to schedule to be at as many of the local events as possible.  

My health is great, meds are doing their job and I am basically happy and healthy.  Yay!  So that’s the wrap on what’s been going on lately.  I do hope that each of you, my dear readers, are doing well also!  Take care and enjoy Spring!  ~MainelyButch

Things Butch-Femme

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.

Things Butch-Femme

Darker Side

My primary and most favorite web-cam, Logitech 920, is BROKEN, thus I am having issues vlogging on my Youtube channel this week.  I have writers block…can’t seem to get any words to come out right lately, thus I’m behind on my written blog as well.  It’s just a week of being behind the proverbial 8 ball.  Yesterday was lost to a fucking major migraine headache, one from which hell was derived. Ugh…what a week.

Ever have one of those weeks where nothing seems to be on-target in your life?  Yes, it’s been a busy enough week; one where i have had to swallow my pride and step outside my comfort zone on a couple of occasions.  I just hope it’s all worth it, and I can get myself into a good slide for a while.

I am a very simply, complicated Butch.  I like things neat and orderly in my life.  That includes my surrounds, dishes in the sink, clothes in my draws and general area surrounding my sometimes uncomfortable body.  I like things to be concise and clear, no gray areas.  If you mean it say it, if you don’t mean it then shut the fuck up.  I have some serious Butch Emotional Deficit Disorder going on most of the time, my reactions are not always what they “should” be or what might be expected.  I can be quite non-committal on most things and I know this can drive some people nuts.  My stoic attitude just comes with the territory of my personality.  It takes some serious shit to get me stirred up.  This can often times generally be the cause of most of my adversity with others in my life – I don’t act or react to their liking.  

I like being on my own; being alone and doing whatever I feel like doing at any given moment, on any given day.  I’m kind of in the middle of thinking very hard about that and about what my wants and desires for my life going forward exactly ARE lately.  It seems that one day you have things figured out, then something happens and while you try to get back to the figured out part, something is just out of sync afterwards.  Ok, so the problem is that I should be thinking hard, but honestly I am not putting very much effort into it at all.  smh…grrrr

Emotion is a difficult thing for me overall.  And over the years of my life I think I have even hardened up a bit more in that department.  Like I said, it takes some major shit…or simply a picture of an abused animal….to get me riled up or upset.  I think that’s a good thing, but it also works the opposite, where I don’t jump into feelings of good very quickly either.  Perhaps I am an anomaly; some twisted version of emotional fucked-up-ness.  (I know that’s not a real word, deal with it.)  

I didn’t realize that I so enjoyed my alone time quite so much until recent months.  While I do enjoy human company as well, I like it to be on my terms.  Yeah, I am also greedy with my personal time.  I think I want a relationship, but then all the reality of having someone there on a daily basis, in my space, sets in and I balk.  Not only do I balk, but I can punt, bunt, and kick the proverbial ball away too.  It’s not funny.  But you can laugh, go ahead!  I am.  

I like simple things. I enjoy my morning coffee and a good strong smoke.  I like my music loud, my dog quiet and my world organized and manageable.  I like a challenge, but not an impossible task.  Depending upon the day, I could be in a really good mood and laughing, or I could be a grouch of giant proportion.  Good thing I learned years ago when I could add a touch of alcohol to that mess and when not to do so!

Luckily I got the violent side of me out years ago, and now I am pretty much settled in to just being a dick head mostly.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a place for some mildly violent play  – just now it’s done with safe words!

Maybe this blog doesn’t make a lot of sense today…my head is just about to explode with excess crap.  So there you go readers, a peek into the slightly darker side of MainelyButch.