Category Archives: writing

Is ButchOnTap one of the 25 Most Powerful Butches in America?

What does it mean to be one of the most powerful Butches in America?

Does it mean that women won’t freak out when I walk in the correct restroom? Does it mean that my friends will stop wondering why I don’t just dress a little more feminine if it’s so irritating? Does it mean that people at restaurants, coffee shops, drug stores, service counters, auto shops, and on planes will stop calling me “Sir”? Does it mean that I will magically have tons of customized clothing options when I walk into any of the shops I frequent? Does it mean that I will stop frustrating the occasional gay man who thought I was a man to hit on? Does it mean that I will have all of the book publishing world and Hollywood open to me to do some creating on a big scale?

Does it mean my amazing and stunning wife will love me more? Does it mean my kids will think I am any cooler? Does it mean my puppy will stop having accidents in the house? Does it mean my cat allergies will suddenly vanish? Will it reduce my cable guy service window?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding and huge No. But, it would be hella cool.

When ButchWonders posted the poll this morning and invited the world to vote for the 25 Most Powerful Butches in America, I was excited. What a cool thing to see all those Butches (and in some cases, perceived Butches) listed. I mean, there are lots of us! Butches aren’t disappearing! And even better, we are starting to achieve more visibility. More visibility means more mental health. More comfort in daily life. More acceptance. It means kids can figure out they are Butch younger. Less stress. Less anxiety. Less why don’t I fit? Less badly dressed lesbians! (You are a Butch, feel free to shop in either the men’s or women’s department.)

I was also excited to be listed. Heh. But I got tripped up on whether I could ask y’all to vote for me. If I was powerful, wouldn’t everyone vote without being asked? Doesn’t it diminish it if I run around asking for votes?

Again, I think the answer is No.

I’ve done pretty well in life by asking for what I want. After all, I want to be powerful. With power comes the ability to change things. To get things done. With power, people are more likely to take your calls, listen to you. Isn’t it my responsibility to claim that power then? To take steps towards what I want? To help carry the banner for Butches everywhere?

I hope so. Please vote for me. You can vote for 10 of the people listed, so it’s not like I have to be the most powerful Butch you know… Just in your top 10. The poll closes Friday, so vote quickly.

I’ll still Be Butch regardless of the outcome of the poll. Making it won’t make me more Butch, nor will not making it mean I am less Butch. But, it’s Butch to ask for what you want. Vote for me and Be Butch with me.


I’m Otherthan White & My Feelings About the Murder of Mike Brown

Originally posted on December 4, 2014 at Huffington Post Gay Voices. If you like this post, please hop over there and tell them by clicking the like button.

I haven’t written much about race issues, mostly out of respect for the black community. Even this term sounds wrong as I type it out. Is there a single “black community”? Is there just one “gay community”? Sure, if you are talking about the Castro in San Francisco, Chelsea in New York City, or Hillcrest in San Diego. But are all LGBT people in America one community? No. Neither, I suspect, is there a single “black community,” unless we are talking about a particular area, like, say, Ferguson, Missouri. So out of respect for black Americans, then? After all, what the hell do I know about being black in America?

On the one hand, zero. I am not black. I am one of those Americans who tell people they’re Irish because it sounds more interesting than “white.” I knew I would go to college. I can reasonably believe that if I work hard enough, I will be successful and can support a family. I don’t have to live in fear of the police stopping me as I drive home to my nice, predominantly white neighborhood. When I go into a shop, I don’t have to worry that the employees will follow me around on the suspicion that I will steal something. Even with my mohawk. Zero.

On the other hand, I experience being “otherthan” each and every day of my life. Otherthan being married to a man, because I am a lesbian. Otherthan being like “every other lesbian.” (Do all lesbians look alike except for me?) Otherthan looking like a “regular, normal” woman, because I am too tall, too big, too masculine, too butch. Otherthan identifying as a Christian, Jew, or Muslim, because I am an atheist.

Is any of this like being black? No. No. No. A hundred times no. I offer these otherthans only to say that, within my white privilege, I experience daily “otherness” that might give me some hint of what black Americans face each and every day, at least as far as being otherthan white. I don’t feel like I’m part of the big, white, oppressive system — and yet I am. I’ve had amazing friends in the past few years who have helped me see this better; while it might not be my fault, I definitely experience the privileges that come with being white, middle-class, and educated.

But in my privileged, albeit otherthan, place, I have been profoundly affected by the killing of Michael Brown, the grand jury’s decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson with any crime for the death, and the reaction afterwards. As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I am trying to understand why the process worked so differently for Wilson, a white police officer, than for otherthans accused of similar crimes. As an intelligent person who understands the system, I cannot fathom how the prosecutor could have handled the case in the manner that he did, nor why he did not recuse himself. If ever there was a time for the process to be fair and as impartial as our system will allow, this was it. But it wasn’t.

As an otherthan white person, I am trying to understand. Trying to process. Trying to synthesize my feelings. I hope this does not make me sound ignorant about race in America. I do not believe that I am; that education started for me many years ago. I distinctly remember an accomplished black lawyer telling me he got hassled by the cops, routinely, in his Brooks Brothers suit. Upper-class black girlfriends of mine share stories of being profiled as potential shoplifters by retail employes, and of the repulsive comments they receive from strangers at a shockingly high frequency. I know about the way my friends whose families are not all-white or all-black are treated. There are so many of these stories that anyone who listens to them gives up the naïveté (“That still happens in America?” asks the wide-eyed white child) immediately.

I note that my black friends and family are not speaking out much on social media. They are silent. I imagine the pain is too much. I haven’t reached out because I don’t especially like it when straight people reach out to me after a gay hate crime or injustice. It is not my friends’ job to help me understand. It is my job to gain understanding. So here I am, part of the problem, I know, but not feeling quite like that.

I want to be part of the solution.

What can I do to help? What can I do to combat racism? How can I make a difference? I’m not stupid; I know that the civil-rights movement needed white Americans to see and abhor what was happening to add weight to the fight. A minority cannot win rights from the majority without some help from the majority (basic math). So it was in the ’60s, and so it has been the past decade with gay rights. We wouldn’t have gay marriage in 35 states and D.C. if it weren’t for the support of our straight friends. (Thank you, by the way.)

But as one person, what can I do to help? This is my struggle. I realize I have a tiny podium to share things and try to impact others. I have done that. But what about as I move through the world? As I handle my daily life? How do I say to the black and white Americans I come across that I abhor what is happening and want to be part of the solution?

Last week I read the “Other America” speech that Martin Luther King Jr. gave at Gross Pointe High School in 1968. This is the speech where he says riots are bad but he could not condemn them without also “condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society.” It has been cited a lot in the last few days. In it King calls for an acknowledgement from all Americans that we have a race problem in America.

Well, we have a race problem in America.

We do. We have a system that is skewed. The cards are stacked against black Americans, and the statistical proof of this is sickening. But many people do not (cannot? will not?) see it. This was never more apparent to me than in the past few months. I have spoken to otherwise intelligent, wonderful people who did not hesitate to disparage an entire race. I have moved through work afraid to say anything about Michael Brown for fear that my colleagues might say something to make me respect them a little less. I scroll through Facebook nervous of what I might see.

But how does an otherthan effect change? We can’t wait for voting; besides, basic human rights are not to be voted on. We need “the people” to agree that the system and the rules of the system are geared toward protecting whites, ensconcing them in privilege, supporting them, and helping them flourish. We need the people who don’t see the problem to read and see, to listen and hear.

The laws need to change to provide protections. We need race training for all law enforcement, though I’m not sure how we teach someone that all life has equal value when that idea should be innate; an end to racial profiling; the demilitarization of our police; and lapel cameras on all law enforcement officers.

All these things need to happen, but before they do, the opinions of the majority must change. Right or wrong, it works this way.

So what will I do? I will keep using my podium. I will continue to teach my children about equality, that all stereotypes are bad, that they should question a system that benefits them solely because of their race, and that they should choose friends based on the quality of their character rather than the color of their skin. I will share with the people in my life. I will do so gently with people I like or love, and respectfully with the rest. I will not stop loving or liking them just because they might need help to understand. If we only talk with people who agree with us, we are preaching to the choir. When I pass black and white Americans on the street, I will look them in the eye and smile. I will continue to look for biases inside me. I will keep reading. I will listen to anyone who tells me I am missing something and read things that people suggest I read.

If you have any suggestions for what else I can do, share in the comments. I am listening, as are a lot of white Americans today (and, hopefully, tomorrow and always).

It is butch to stand up and say, “Enough! This otherthan wants to be part of the solution rather than the problem!” Be butch.


An Interview with Sinclair Sexsmith: A Very Sexy Butch Wordsmith

In honor of Sinclair Sexsmith’s new book, Sweet & Rough, I got the opportunity to talk with Sinclair. We also asked BOT fans to submit questions that they wanted me to ask Sinclair. The three that we choose to ask Sinclair will win their creators a copy of the book. I’ll go first (cause it’s my blog).

Sinclair

Tell me about yourself.

I’m 35 and currently living in the Bay Area after leaving home (southeast Alaska) at 16 and living in Colorado, Seattle, and Brooklyn. I’m still looking for a place that I really love and want to settle in, I haven’t quite found it yet. I might have to move to a cabin in the woods to find what I’m looking for, but not the creepy kind. I am really lucky to have found/created a career and calling for myself that I love, writing and teaching and coaching about sexualities, genders, and relationships. I live with a cat and a boy and a dog (in that pecking order). Since I work from my home office, I cook a lot, and I aspire to garden and grow more food, but that’s still a work in progress.

I love the way you present yourself to the world, attitude, stance, style. There aren’t as many Butch role models as one would like. How do you get the strength to be so very you?

It’s been a long, slow road to this version of me. It’s taken a long time and a LOT of experiments, a lot of wardrobe changes, a lot of trial and error. And I’m still changing all the time, still seeking ways to become the most “me” I can be. I had really excellent teachers who inspired me while I was coming out and coming into butchness and queerness, which really helped. I have very supportive parents and siblings, and I’ve always been very stubborn about doing my own thing and expressing my own way, since I was young. I’ve leaned on the many communities I’ve been a part of, and have felt so supported and lifted up by the generosity — I’ve learned so much by being part of communities and groups.

To the heart of it… What is special about Sweet & Rough?

sweetandrough-bigIt’s a sixteen story collection of sexy butch/femme smut, so just that is pretty special. It’s got conversations about gender interspersed, plus all sorts of kink, like handcuffs, rope bondage, flogging, anal sex, rough sex, sex in public … just lots of sex in general. I think it gives readers and lovers of butch/femme culture a great introduction to the huge body of work I have on sugarbutch.net and I hope it’ll be a good starting point! They are some of my favorite stories that I’ve ever written, and some of them are in book anthologies that were published many years ago (some published under my legal name, even, before I had this nom de plume) so many of them will be new reads.

Do you do casual clothes as well, or are you always so suited up?

I love casual clothes, but I’m always very polished. I’ve worked in offices and had to wear button downs and slacks, but I’m much more of a jeans and jersey polo style these days. I’ve turned the black tee-shirt into my signature of sorts, so while I wear a tee-shirt and jeans four days a week, it’s still within a signature ‘look’ and style. I have a variety of fashion rules for myself, though—like always wear a belt with jeans, always wear a collared shirt if I’m going out or teaching or going on a date, always wear good shoes (never sneakers, unless working out).

Here are our three winning questions from BOT fans:

How do you manage all your different enterprises…i.e. Your writing, your web classes, your personal appearances? [Kara]

I focus on one at a time, and I have a variety of goals for myself that I juggle. I think of my business as three-prong: writing, teaching, and coaching. So at any time I have some little projects for each of those. This summer I moved Sugarbutch to being updated once a week, so that’s changed my writing schedule a bit, and it’s been great because it gave me time to do other writing projects, like compiling Sweet & Rough!

Do you ever feel pressure to stick to binary gender roles i.e. butch = male/top/dominant/do-er and femme = female/bottom/submissive/receptive? In other words, do you feel pressure to write butch characters as NEVER being on the receiving end of sexual pleasuring? And if so, how do you choose to deal with that pressure? [Deborah]

Yes, I think there is pressure to remain in those roles, and rewards when I stay in them. I’m more likely to get a story published if I write characters into those roles, I believe. Most of the pieces I’ve written that are hard to find “homes” for, by which I mean keep getting rejected from anthology submissions, have somewhat unusual character pairings that don’t fit those binary modes.

The thing is, though, that while there is pressure to conform to that, there’s also huge celebration and praise from the queer worlds when you break out of it, and sometimes big critique from queer community for reproducing anything that looks too normative or following a trope. Just go check out some of the reviews for my last anthology, Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, on Amazon—most of the ones that are less than five stars are comments about how “the butches are all tops and the femmes are all bottoms, yawn” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s often the gist).

So I think while there is pressure to conform, there is also a lot of reward when one doesn’t conform—and the folks who often get the most attention and status in the queer worlds are the ones making their own way. Honestly, I have felt more pressure in person to conform with the butch/femme roles than I do with my erotica—in some ways I think erotica (or the way I write it, anyway) has more leeway than the in-person stuff.

I hold vulnerability as an incredibly deep value, in my work and in my personal life, and the transparent vulnerability that I show through my work is really important to me. It’s the heart of my business, I would argue, and the heart of my style as a writer. So while sometimes I do write stories where the butch character is the top and the dom and the one doing all the action, I also write stories where the butch character is getting off or receiving vulnerable touch, and I think it’s important to talk about the gender role restrictions as a piece of the erotic discussion. I do still identify as stone, so there is a piece of me that is very challenged with receiving intimate touch, but I believe in sharing it as part.

What motivated you to begin publishing your work? Was it difficult to find support at first? [Meghan, Tina]

I’ve always been a writer, and always wanted to publish work and write books. In college, I started obsessively reading lesbian erotica and writing dirty poetry, and I started learning about submitting to anthologies, and started dreaming of one day having one of my stories in a real book – and then I was shocked when one of my stories was finally accepted (to Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 — that was my first official erotica publication)! I have an undergraduate degree in writing, and studied at the Bent Writing Institute for queers in Seattle, so I have been in writing groups longer than I’ve been publishing writing—so the support came first. I don’t know if I would have started publishing if I hadn’t had support around me, like writing group colleagues who were egging me on and reading my submission letters and comforting me when I got rejected and supporting me to keep trying.

Writing groups and community are so important when trying to get your work out there. It’s hard to find writing groups who will take erotica seriously, I’ve found — so at times, over the years, I’ve made my own writing group, specifically so we could talk seriously about the erotica writing, not just the dirty actions in the story that were titillating.

My big long-term goal has always been to write books, plural. Many of them. Most of what I do aside from write is me trying to find a way to fund my writing, since writers — especially genderqueer trans butch/femme sexy kinky dirty erotica writing — rarely get paid very much.

Now back to my questions. What is something people don’t know about you?

I do write about it and talk about it, but I still find that it’s a surprise when I tell people I was born and raised in southeast Alaska, and that I left home at sixteen. I had a rough time as a teenager, and was really searching for something, though I didn’t know what. In retrospect it was always about being a queer butch, but it took me a few cities and partners and mustering a lot of courage to come out in order for me to find those identities, and then another five or so years to really be comfortable claiming, living in, and expanding the definitions of them.

Also, I’m a really big introvert, and need lots of time alone to do the deep thinking that I see as instrumental to my work. It’s not always obvious because I love leading workshops and performing, too—it’s a bit of a contradiction, but that’s just how it is.

I am really surprised to hear you are an introvert! What would you like to tackle that you’ve not yet done?

I’d like to do a podcast, I’ve thought about it for years. But I just don’t have the time, with my current schedule and number of projects I take on. Personally? I’d like to have a vegetable garden. After years of living in little apartments in big cities, I have a yard right now, and a few little things growing, and it’s so thrilling.

Are you ready for the Lightning Round? These are just A or B answers, ok? No need to explain.

Bow tie or straight?
Straight.

Motorcycles or race cars?
Motorcycles, definitely.

Herringbone or plaid?
Hmmm, tough one. I’m inclined to say plaid because I’m a kid of the 90s, but really that was more like flannel. I rarely if ever wear patterns. I think I have a herringbone tie, though, so I’ll go with that.

Soup or salad?
Salad forever! Breakfast salad, dessert salad. All the salad.

I almost spit out my soda. All the salad. Heh.

Roses or daisies?
Daisies, especially Gerberas, they’re my favorite. But I am a pretty classic romantic, I believe in roses too.

Well, we have that in common. Gerberas are my very favorite, too. And I am definitely a romantic.

Beer or whisky?
Whiskey! But with an -ey, because bourbon.

Curves or muscles?
Mmmmmm, curves definitely curves.

There are so many more questions that I want to ask you, but let’s wait and do another interview some time soon, OK? Maybe around your next book. As for that book, you can buy it from Amazon here.

I was so pleased to talk with Sinclair. I am inspired by Sinclair’s authenticity, success, and talent. It is Butch to be authentic, sexy, and talented – not to mention kinky and dirty. Be Butch.


Lesbianland: The Dinah, Day 2

So where did we leave off? Oh yeah… Friday was a blast – we were drinking at the White Party. We did some dancing. And then we did a little drinking. You know, seeing and being seen. Or in our case, I was seeing and my wife was being seen. She looked amazing (obviously).

It’s hilarious to me how odd it is when she straps on those gorgeous heels. They are always high. And she’s not that much shorter than me. So in the heels, she’s got about an inch or two on me. Even if I stand up really straight. In dress shoes.

At first, it threw me. I like being bigger. You know, the butch. Care taker, protector. Bigger. But then, I realized… She looks unbelievably hot in those heels.

Yes, her legs for sure. But also, they change her attitude. Right? No heels, beautiful femme. Heels, beautiful power femme. Am I the only one who’s noticed this?

Now, don’t freak out and send me nasty notes about chauvinism and misogyny. Heels are evil. Designed by men to make women miserable and put them on display. Yes, I know. Don’t wear them. No one should ever have to. Period.

But, if you want to – cause that’s your thing – go right ahead. It’s your choice. I’ll happily validate your choice either way. Like I said, beautiful femme with or without. I can’t help the fact that high heels are very hot.

I was so pleased to be at The Dinah with my wife. I’m probably in danger of being gross about it. We are in that googly, cute (just this side of obnoxious) phase. So, I’m standing up straight and we were hanging out with two friends. After a late night drive-thru run, we made it home.

We’d made loose plans to meet for breakfast at Sherman’s the next day. I was doubtful, but held out hope. Sure enough, Saturday morning came along and we made it to a late meal as planned. While waiting for our table, I grabbed a quick photo op with a dog who had a Mohawk. Heh.

20140429-050944.jpg
I think this is when my wife said, “Baby, you should get pictures of all the Mohawks at The Dinah.” What a great idea!

So, as we headed to the pool party, I had a purpose. Find every lesbian there with a hawk and shoot a pic. I note that the ideal would be butches with hawks, but this would present several problems – identification and exclusion. You can’t identify a butch just by how they look, and if I limited it to butches, I’d exclude all kinds of rad hawks.

First, let me set the scene. Palm Springs is hot and dry. The pool at the Hilton is sparkly and blue. There are palm trees dotted about, lounge chairs, and several bars. Over in one corner is a giant stage and not one but two DJs are spinning and pumping up the crowd. The crowd is women. Lots and lots of women. In bathing suits. Bikinis. Board shorts. Lots of skin. Not that I noticed, of course. My wife had “suggested” it might be better if I did not oggle the women in bikinis. As a photographer, however, I did see my – erm – subjects.

Add to the heat, pool, bikinis, music, and palm trees, alcohol. And me. Cruising around taking pictures of all the hawks. And my wife. In sexy heels.

Here’s a fun tip: lesbians see a press pass and a camera (I’ve got a serious one) and they want you to take their picture. In all kinds of crazy poses! I’m taking these pictures and thinking, “Are you going to be excited about this picture tomorrow?” Suffice it to say, I got some fun photos.

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Right. Photos of lesbians with hawks. What fun I had! We’d spot a hawk and I jog over to the hawk-owner, explain that I’m ButchOnTap and “I’m doing a piece on Mohawks at Dinah. Can I take your picture?” Yes. Yes. Yeah. Of course. Rad. Really? Ok. And so forth. Only one woman said no – and I totally respect that. I got so many great pictures of butches, lesbians and femmes Rawking The Hawk! The photo journalistic piece will be up soon.

So far, two days out of two days and The Dinah rawks. For me, and my high-heeled wife.

It’s butch to highlight those that are Rawking The Hawk. Be Butch.


Raising Capital

Hi friends,

I’m thinking of doing a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign to raise money to fund some ButchOnTap stuff. Specifically, I need to register my new trademark (and finish paying my designer), and I’d really like to get some merchandise made. I was thinking T-shirts, bumper stickers, and maybe some bow ties. But I have so many questions running through my head. Like:

1. What do y’all think?
2. Is it a dumb idea?
3. Have any of you done a campaign? 4. Did it work?
5. Which company did you use?
6. Any tips?
7. Would any of you contribute if I did one?
8. If so, what reward might you like?

I appreciate all feedback on this one. Thank you! It’s butch to give advice. Be Butch.


Mrs. Jaxon

I am sitting in a tower suite at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas staring at Mrs. Jaxon. And, by Mrs. Jaxon, I do not mean my mother (hi, mom!). No, I mean my wife. We are here on our honeymoon. That’s right. Honeymoon. You know the amazing woman who answered my call out to the Universe? I wrote about her. Well, given that we were both hopelessly in love, I asked her to marry me a couple months ago – right about the time that my posts slowed down – and, well, she said yes. We got married last Saturday. And I couldn’t be happier.

When I have important really personal things going on, good or bad, I tend to retreat a little bit. I am sure you understand that it’s not my style to process those kinds of things here. I tend to process and then share later – once things are settled. Others do it differently, and I totally respect that. I always want to save my first thoughts, or my truest self for my family and friends. I can share with you all once those things are processed and shared in real life. So, proposal, wedding planning, and marriage are settled. And, now I can share.

OHMYGODYOUGUYS! I am married! In the coming weeks, I will share about what happened. I have lots of things to say about getting married from the Butch perspective. For example, I decided that I was neither the bride, nor the groom. Instead, I claim “Broom.” I’ll tell you how that went down next.

It’s Butch to “marry that woman already” (as one of my besties said). Be Butch.


Poem + Tweet = Peep

I’ve started writing short little poems on Twitter. To be a tweet, it must be 140 characters or less. This is creating a new kind of poetry. I’ve seen others play with it and I like it. Kind of ee cummings meets haiku.

You have to be brief, and use space, punctuation, capitalization, and line breaks effectively.

Since most of you don’t follow me on Twitter, I thought I’d glue them together here in a post. Here are 7 that I’ve written so far.

20130825-171046.jpgONE

your gorgeous
blue eyes
flash:burn:cut
through my
defenses:fear:pride
leaving me laid
bare:open:breathless
in anticipation of
what awaits

TWO

When we are
Together
Time flies by
When we are
Apart
It moves achingly
Slowly
Would that I could
Slow
And speed
Time
At my whim

THREE

Red:lips
Pink:cheeks
Orange:passion
Blonde:attitude
Green:innocence
Blue:eyes
Pale:skin
The colors of my love

FOUR

Cold
Open
Space
In bed
Where you should be

Missing you
A full time job
No
Thank you

Endlessly waiting
For you to appear
To fill this space

FIVE

You gorgeous
Open and trusting
Kind and distracting
So Damn Sexy

Me lucky
Satisfying you
Appreciative
Devoted

Us … happy

SIX

Peanut butter:jelly
Atoms:electrons
Waves:shore
Rubber:road
Grass:earth
Peas:pod
Sound:air
You:me
Nothing between
No spaces
None
At all

SEVEN

She uses
Crazy
Madly
Deeply
and
Always
To define her love

I cross my fingers
Close my eyes
Please
Please
Please
Let her be right

What do you think of this new, drastically abbreviated kind of poetry?

It’s Butch to find new ways to express yourself. Be Butch.


Any Monday in June

Hi everybody,

What’s up? It’s one of those times where I want to say hi, want to write something brilliant, but I have no brilliance in me just now. Has this ever happened to you? That is, of course if I ever have brilliance in me.

My point is… What is my point? Well, I want to say hi. Want to write. But, alas, I’ve nothing interesting or pressing or important to say. Maybe y’all will just have to wait another week, like say till next Monday.20130618-085431.jpgYes, I’ll post something interesting, passionate, or funny next Monday. Oh, or maybe the Monday after that. Who knows. You don’t mind waiting do you?

No, I’m sure you don’t because this blog is fun and fluff. My goal is to entertain and maybe do some good along the way. But what about you, Supreme Court Justices? We want to hear from you. For some, our lives, loves, and families depend on hearing from you. Or more specifically, hearing the right thing from you.

You said on a Monday in June. We held our collective breath on the first Monday in June. Then again on the second. Now the third Monday in June has come and gone. You are running out of Mondays in June. In fact, there is only one Monday remaining, June 24th.

COME ON!

We will all (equal rights supporters and haters) be holding our breath next Monday.

It’s butch to be just and do the right thing for equality. Supreme Court Justices, I beg you… Be Butch.


On Being Butch … and Tristan

20130302-120353.jpg

Usually as a big ol’ butch, I don’t have to come out. Walk into a room, people know I’m a lesbo – unless they mistake me for a dude. Whatev. But recently, I had to decide whether to come out. Again. The first time I was 17.

I knew it would happen. It had to at least if I was doing it right. I’m talking about my blog. I’ve written ButchOnTap as Butch Jaxon since the start. What? You thought that was my real name? I did it this way for lots of reasons:

1. It gives me the cover of darkness. Fail miserably? No worries. Say something too risqué? Not a problem.

2. It protected my then-girlfriend. She’s very private and I always wanted (and still want) to honor that. If I was Butch Jaxon it would be easier to share a few things about our lives, and she could decide with whom she wanted to share the blog, and therefore a little of her, and keep it private from everyone else.

3. It allowed me to shield my kids and parents. I’ve decided to put myself out there. They have not. Imagine, “Mom! Like, I’m sooo embarrassed! OMG!”

4. What about work? I’m not a professional writer promoting a book or movie (yet… but I’m open to all inquiries). I’ve a day job and one where my private musings might be frowned upon.

But, I always knew that if it took off, if I did it right and with a touch of luck, I’d have to switch to my real name eventually.

Well, as luck would have it, this happened over a week ago. A reader of my blog was kind enough to send my post, Why I Hate the TSA over to her friend Noah Michelson, the editor at the Huffington Post Gay Voices. Thank you Dara at Fascinate Media for doing me this unbelievable solid! She’s a writer and a media guru. You can find her at dara@fascinatemedia.net. I’m looking for the first possible moment to buy Dara a drink.

Turns out, the HuffPost wanted to run my piece. I was OVER THE MOON when I heard. I could not believe it. The HuffPost has like 45,000 subscribers online. They are massive, and they loved the piece, but can’t run anonymous authors for policy reasons. “Do you have a good reason to be anonymous? Are you in any danger?” Noah asked politely. Well, I have 4 good reasons, but danger? I figure if Salman Rushdie can publish under his own name, then so can I. I still had worries about my kids, family, any femme I might date, and my job, so I got some input from my best bro, parents, and a lovely femme I’m … somewhat sweet on. Sssh, don’t tell her.

All agreed that I’d be crazy to pass up this opportunity. My parents are 100% fine with you all knowing who they are. My kids are tough and I’ll keep shielding them. And as for dating, I think I’ve decided not to. Or at least, Butch has decided to be a confirmed bachelor – if you get my, erm, her meaning. And, I need to protect that lovely femme… you know, in case she’s sweet on me, too.

So, it’s on. I told Noah and he was wonderful. The post went up five days ago and it’s been an absolute blur since. I’ve been in Tokyo for work. The schedule and time difference have made it almost impossible for me to keep up as I like to. Meaning, I usually reply to each tweet, comment and Facebook post (at least to acknowledge the commenter). I appreciate you all so much! But, as of now, the piece has 399 comments on HuffPo and y’all have been tweeting, sharing, and commenting in other ways like crazy. Sometimes life gets in the way of art.

I had to decide if I wanted to come out as Butch. Did I want to subject myself to scrutiny? Meh. Does it change the kinds of things I can post, tweet and comment on? Yes, perhaps. But I’ve been pretty aware of this since the start. So, I say bring it. I’m ready to come out … As Butch. Jaxon. I mean, everyone who knows me, knows I am butch, but not Butch Jaxon. That’s me in the photo up there, by the way. I mean, the blog photo is me too, but you can actually see me in today’s shot. Hi!

One thing I will say I wasn’t quite ready for (though I should’ve been) were the negative comments. With my blog, I’ve only had one critical comment which I dealt with happily and head on – indeed I got to choose to post it for you all to read. With twitter and FB, zero negativity. The audience is smaller and more organic, I guess. With HuffPost proudly featuring me on their main page, I got lots of new eyes and some didn’t like what they saw. That’s ok, though. Bound to happen. “Not everyone is going to like you,” I say to my kids.

As I ended the TSA post, it’s butch to be yourself – no matter the cost. Be Butch. And for me, that also means … Be Tristan.


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