Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cool Blog of the Week!

OMG! ButchOnTap is the “Cool Blog of the Week,” according to Denise, one of the hosts of the Lesbian Lounge on mylesbianradio.com. Hooray! I am so excited!

They will talk about ButchOnTap this Wed (July 25th) from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 pm EST.

The Lesbian Lounge is a LGBT talk show that streams live and has the long-time best friends catching up weekly, as Denise resides in the U.K. and Donna is in the U.S. The topics range from food, travel, books, recipes, TV, promoting events from all over, discussing news, gossip, and music. There is also an interactive chatroom where 20 to 30 people go to chat during the show. The ladies usually have special guests lined up to call into the show to talk about their various products, projects or schedules (depending on if it is a business or a musician, etc).

The recorded show is put on the website where you can listen, and they are also posted as podcasts on iTunes for a free downloads. Archived shows are always available for new listeners, as well.

Please tune in or download the podcast so that Denise knows she made a good choice. Thank you, dear readers!

It’s butch to listen to The Lesbian Lounge. Be Butch.


Be Proud.

This weekend is San Diego’s LGBT (gay, for you old-schoolers) Pride Parade and Festival. This is the equivalent of a butch’s high holy days. As big as it gets – at least if you live in San Diego. This weekend is the time that hundreds of thousands of gays and lesbians, their friends and families, and businesses and services that support us and welcome us line up and march. After the Parade, many of those people will proudly walk into the Pride Festival in Balboa Park. This year, and the last two years, my gorgeous fiancé and I have participated in both.

Predominantly, we participate because we are doing so with my company. Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to know another lesbian attorney at my office and together, we started an LGBT network group. Sadly, this wonderful woman died shortly after we started the group – but she would be very proud of what we started together. The first year we were formed we marched in Pride and had a very small booth at the Festival. Each year since our booth has tripled in size. So, even without any other reasons to do so, my gorgeous fiancé and I, we march.

But how about the rest of you dear readers?  Do you think the Pride Parade and Festival is dumb? Outdated? No, on both counts. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. Parades stand for something. It takes time, money, resources, and energy. Permits. People. Support. All of these things are representative of a community that can raise money, organize people, work within the “system” (City Hall, Police, Trash, etc.). You don’t just wake up one morning and decide, “Let’s have a parade!” and get hundreds of thousands of people to show up. Yes, hundreds of thousands.

2. It takes courage to go to a Pride parade, to watch or to walk in it, gay or not. For gays, you feel (probably correctly) that you are announcing your gayness to the world. That can be very scary in a world that, although changing, is filled with hate crimes, firing from jobs, constant media attention to rights/lack of rights, teen suicides, and worse. For straights, it’s the same thing plus, will people think you’re gay, on the down low, or just on the fence? And, if so, see the previous few sentences.

3. It’s incredibly important for gays and gay-friendly people to see that we are not alone. It is so empowering, that I still tear up every year that I look around the group that I march with and see my straight friends there with me; still get a chill when I see the throngs of people cheering, being proud, embracing themselves and their friends. The PFLAG group is always a tear-jerker. These are the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Think of it as a wonderful support group for the families and friends of us gays. They will have lots of signs like “I love my gay son,” “My lesbian granddaughter is awesome,” and the always super cool, “I love my 2 Moms (or Dads).” For a community that has so often lost family when coming out of the closet, this contingent is always moving. Also, this year in San Diego, members of our armed services will march in full uniform for the first time because of the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Talk about a pride-inspiring moment.

4. It gives the gay-friendly businesses a chance to prove it. Car dealerships, realtors, plumbers, lawyers, and other service people will march in the Parade. The message is: “We love our gay employees and our gay customers; come work for us and patronize us – not those other guys who aren’t here.” A more recent phenomenon is that national brands have stepped up to the plate and are eager to show the gay community and their allies that they are welcoming and celebrate diversity. Certainly, there are long-time supporters like Budweiser and Miller (dating way back), but now there are companies like Albertson’s, AT&T, Cox Communications, Cricket Wireless, Hewlett-Packard, Jack In The Box, Johnson & Johnson, Orbitz, Qualcomm, Sempra Energy, Sony, T-Mobile, Vons and Wells Fargo in the Parade and Festival (at least in San Diego, but other cities as well, I am sure). This visible support is incredibly important to us gays. It means that you stand for equality. Not just tolerate it. It means that we want to be your customer – not your competitor’s. Oh, and as a community, we’ve got money and we are loyal. Pay attention if you work for a national brand!

5. Some of us in the LGBT community get frustrated by the media’s obsessive coverage of the, shall we say, “freakish” fringe at our Pride Parades and Festivals. You know what I’m talking about. This is the flamboyantly gay man in a thong on roller skates with a rainbow feather boa. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The dyke on a big bike with no shirt on. The West Hollywood Cheerleaders. Someone in assless chaps walking someone else on a dog collar. Right? You know who I’m talking about.

We get frustrated because these people don’t represent us gays – that is to say, they are not a typical representation of us. And yet, that is all the media will show on the evening news. Why? Because it’s the evening news and they specialize in the fringe, the salacious, the “other.” Pictures of my family marching down the street would not be voyeuristic and provocative enough – even had I dyed my Mohawk into a rainbow.

But also, these people are “us,” and can of course also be found in the straight community. Straights just don’t have this kind of parade where people can let their freak flag fly. If they did, we’d see the same cast of cool and interesting characters. Plus, these people don’t always dress like this. The dude on skates might be your accountant. That dyke on the bike is a surgeon. The guy in the dog collar works at Starbucks. Pride is the weekend when our community celebrates, and everyone celebrates differently. I got my hair done so my hawk would be tight. Someone else pulled out her “Vagitarian” t-shirt, which she only wears on this day each year. To each her own. Freak flags and all.

Anyway, the freakish fringe is no reason not to celebrate. Embrace it. If anything, our beloved freaks make the rest of us look regular and boring. Not such a bad thing for a community still struggling for acceptance within the broader mainstream.

This weekend, I proudly join hundreds of other people (gay, straight, and otherwise), service organizations, schools, police, sheriffs, firefighters, churches, temples, businesses, politicians, and the military to march 1.5 miles through the streets of San Diego in front of 200,000 onlookers for one purpose – to celebrate being gay or lesbian.

So, no, it’s not dumb or outdated to march in a Pride Parade. Maybe someday it will be unnecessary to have a parade showing the world that we celebrate being gay, but until then, march away!

It’s butch to be proud. Be Butch.


Blame It On The Henney

ImageI was at a fundraising party tonight for Lambda Legal (a fantastic organization for those of you who don’t know them, www.lambdalegal.org) and I had an interesting interaction with an older straight male attorney there. I’d been there a while and was comfortable. I chatted up a few different folks and was doing the proper business card exchange when up walks this old guy. A well-dressed man with tiny spectacles and a cognac in hand introduces himself to me, and then he says: “You have the best look of anyone here. Seriously.” I was flattered and thanked him. Right on!

Now, I’m feeling pretty awesome about my look and smiling both inside and out. Butch has got it! We talk a minute or two more and then he compliments me again. This time, he says I’m a “wise man.”

Scratch the record, stop the music. What the hell! I’m a wise man? Really? This guy has no idea I’m a woman? After several minutes of conversation? Wise? I’d like to think so. But, man? It’s not like I was at a Tea Party pep rally. Remember that this was a fundraiser for a group that fights for the rights of gays and big ol’ dykes. I was among my people! He should have been prepared. Maybe I should have corrected him, but I was really too shocked to do so. Can I blame it on the Henney? I don’t think so. He seemed like a seasoned drinker. Bully!

So, void the cool compliment. Obviously, this dude has no power of observation whatsoever. There could have been three other people at the party with cooler style than Butch, and he would have had no idea.

For those of you who are interested, the “look” was as follows:

  • Orange and blue french cuff dress shirt, Thomas PinkImage
  • Orange bow tie, Nordstrom
  • Black plain front cotton dress pants, Dockers (yes, black with blue, it works sometimes)
  • White belt, silver buckle, Adidas
  • All white Stan Smith’s tennis shoes, Adidas
  • Silver square cuff links, vintage – my grandfather’s
  • Silver screw head earrings (they look like Phillips head screws), Uncommon Goods

Oh, and cognac-holding old guy! I’ve got a big rack under this men’s dress shirt and no Adam’s apple above my bow tie. Pay attention, Jackass!

Butches, what do you do when someone refers to you as a man?

It’s butch to have style, even when old straight white guys think you’re a dude. Be Butch.


Sometimes

Sometimes you just feel like crap. No reason. Sometimes you just hurt a bit. It’s important to get in touch with that feeling, to let it sit. Sometimes.

Probably not the best time to write a blog that tries to be funny. So I won’t. I’ll write again soon, though.

Most likely about our amazing trip to the Med and all the fun we had. Being back home has been a very rough transition. Maybe that’s the reason I feel like crap? I will get myself sorted and then be pithy again.

Ciao for now.

It’s butch to be real with yourself and sometimes that means feeling like crap. But still… Be butch.


Wish You Were Here!

[Imagine a getting a postcard from me that reads…]

20120705-182925.jpg
Hi Friend!

How are you? Sorry I haven’t written lately, but I’m having so much fun on holiday and it’s quite hard to keep up. I’ve been taking lots of notes and jotting down things I’ve observed in my travels so far, and I plan to share a lot when I get home.

For now, we’ve been to Barcelona, Naples, Pompeii, Citavecchia, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, and the Vatican City. We are off to France tonight.

Access to wireless is really expensive, so the gorgeous fiancé and I are looking at our holiday as being one away from technology and our phones, as well as being away from work.

We are taking hundreds of pictures, soaking in memories and sun, and making some wonderful new friends. I’ll talk to you soon…

Until then, be butch. Ciao!


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