Tonight, I drew the winner of The Dinah weekend pass giveaway. Check out the video as the drama unfolds.
It’s Butch to enter contests with ButchOnTap. Thanks for Being Butch!
Tonight, I drew the winner of The Dinah weekend pass giveaway. Check out the video as the drama unfolds.
It’s Butch to enter contests with ButchOnTap. Thanks for Being Butch!
We got to the lobby at 8:05. Recall our movie start time? Anyway, there was quite a ticket line and the two registers weren’t plowing through it fast enough. We tried to use the self service option, as well as Fandango, but neither was working (maybe they are connected). I politely asked a manager if there was any other way to get our tickets. He apologized for the delay but said there was not.
It’s not his fault we were late, obviously, so we thanked him and waited. My wife went to grab our snacks and I joined her with our tickets. Not only do they have those neat soda machines with 10,000 flavors, but Angelika serves craft beer, 8 taps of local beer to be exact (with 1 visiting beer from Avery Brewing in Colorado).There was a glitch with the register and so they happily sent us into the theater and said they’d bring our credit card to us later. Again, us being late not their fault.
We went and found our dedicated seats: big, leather, comfy ones with a swing-out tray (like an old school desk, only much, much cooler). Only down side? Not loveseats like some have. Cuddling over the soft armrest still achievable, though. The cashier brought my card in almost immediately and asked me to stop after the movie to sign. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but we did not eat our caramel popcorn. It seemed a bit burned.
After the movie, we went out to sign the receipt and ask if they would refund us for the popcorn. Not only were they apologetic and happy to refund our money, they gave us a fresh bag and offered me another beer while they handled the refund. The manager from the ticket line came and found us to offer us 2 free tickets to return. Again he apologized for the delay in ticketing – though they didn’t do anything wrong. A different manager, Chris handled the refund and I complemented the beer selection. When he said he was responsible for the drafts, we had a nice chat. I asked Chris to pose for the glamorous tap shot above.
My wife and I wandered to the lobby to finish my beer and our popcorn, marveling at the outstanding customer service. To a person, they were kind, polite, and extremely helpful. We were both so impressed we thought a review was fitting.
If you are in San Diego, come check out our newest high-end cinema. If you are not, check Angelika’s website as they are in several other states (NY, VA, DC, and TX). Oh, and in case you were wondering, I had the Lost and Found from Lost Abbey.
It’s Butch to have date nights. Be Butch.
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.
This interview was published over at Huffington Post on October 13, 2014. I have shared it here for my WordPress friends.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Mariah Hanson who runs The Dinah each year in Palm Springs. As confirmation of her lifetime of success, Mariah will be honored by The Center in Palm Springs with its first ever “Legacy Award” to recognize exceptional work on behalf of LGBT people living in the Coachella Valley. I met her this year at The Dinah and she was charming. I was lucky enough to get to ask her some questions well after the dust on the event settled.
Tell me about yourself.
I am a very passionate woman interested in all aspects of really discovering all the ways we can grow and be the best person we can be. My event reflects that, working my weekend is like going through EST or a seminar. We really lay the groundwork for people to see how they can make a difference. How they can reach out to people who are on the edge, heartbroken, maybe in crisis, or in mourning. The vibe with my staff is really about making a very welcoming amazing first impression with people and then letting that experience flow throughout the weekend. Think about a fancy restaurant with a famous chef. The first course is fantastic. Then you have to go to the bathroom, excuse yourself, and you go in and it’s disgusting. How do you feel when you walk back to your food? Doesn’t matter how good the chef is now. I may be the face of Dinah, but everyone is important. Even the janitor.
I am definitely an event producer, who loves what I do and feels incredibly honored to do what I do. An individual who, as I grow older, is really enjoying the opportunity that we all have to grow and be kind and make a difference. Making a positive difference in our lives is really important. The journey that we have to take has a ripple effect. I love what I do. And then I ride horses. I am a cowgirl. I drive a Chevy. People wouldn’t recognize me.
How do you feel Dinah has developed?
I think it’s seen an incredible growth trajectory. It started out as a pretty wild three-day party focused around drinking and DJ driven. 24-25 years later it is an international lesbian music festival with film, comedy, live music, and charity. It just has become this amazing event. We gave feedback forms last year at the film festival and the feedback was more events like this – mostly from women in their 30s and 50s. As the event grows there is room to do different stuff during the Dinah.
How do you manage to top the year before?
Well I will tell you my goal isn’t to get bigger every year. The goal is just to throw the most amazing event for lesbians in the world. Other events are changing, more talent that is recognizable because gay events set the bar.
Do you see other event promoters as competition?
No. I see it as a win-win. You are in New Orleans and at that beignet shop – you know what I am talking about – there is a line around the block. [Cafe du Monde] Someone comes to NOLA and sees the line and thinks, wow they are making a lot of money; I want to open a beignet shop. But they aren’t as good at making beignets. So they revert to competitive tactics and send the health department over to the other shop. The other option is to see the line and think that this town loves pastries! Let’s open a bakery and make almond croissants. Second scenario: Everyone in NOLA is going to get really fat and be eating a lot of beignets and croissants. First: competitor will go out of business, not everyone is a beignet baker. Not everyone is nightclub promoter.
Favorite memory from the past 24 Dinah’s?
I’ve got a couple. One is listening to the Pussycat Dolls sing Don’t Cha. Another is talking to Katy Perry’s manager about Lady Gaga; I felt this presence behind me as I was talking to him. It was so strong and I turned around – it was Katy Perry, listening to everything I was saying to her manager. She is absolutely stunning and deserves her success. She has a good heart and is really funny. I was really blown away by her. Mary Lambert this year was spellbinding. I was so moved by her.
Me, too. Have you noticed a change in the crowd or any shifts?
I started producing independently in 2006 and that meant that I could make sure everyone was invited to the party and embrace the diversity of our community. If you go now it is incredibly diverse, people from all over the world, different pockets all over the US that are not as accepting as they could be, but at Dinah something different happens. It’s like walking through the door to Narnia and they just embrace the diversity. It is the most positive vibe over the weekend. It is amazing and thrills me. Look around. Look to your left and look to your right. This is amazing. We have 5 days of the most diverse and beautiful people. I’d like to invite the United Nations to come to Dinah and take notes. We can get along. Our differences are so small in the big scheme of things. It happens organically, but we are picking the seeds that we plant. I don’t allow my staff to be rude; if they are rude, they don’t come back. Customers aren’t allowed to be rude either. Positive seeds – treat every customer like gold. We are planting seeds that foster that kind of garden. So there is a stage that is set, and then it happens organically. Valuing and honoring people who attend the event. We appreciate that they are there and want them to have a wonderful weekend. I can’t take responsibility for the weekend, only for the stage.
I’m not so sure about that, Mariah. Who’s on your dream line up?
P!nk – been trying to get her forever. Bring Katy Perry back. Ok, here is my dream line up: P!nk, Katy Perry, Earth Wind & Fire, Chrissie Hynde, Justin Timberlake, and Dolly Parton. Challenge is that you have to stay relevant.
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
I am a bookworm. And, I do a Christmas poetry slam every year.
How fascinating! We talked about this for a few minutes. Mariah and her best friend recite poetry with each other to celebrate. With that, we moved on to the Lightning Round. Yes or no answers, no elaboration needed.
Stella, not a beer drinker. I prefer it on draft. I am a wine drinker – big reds.
Cars or motorcycles?
Cars, unless you say Vespa – in purple.
Rather be hot or cold?
Hot, hate to be cold.
Prefer to wear silver or gold?
Gold, I like silver more than I used to.
Books or movies?
Books. If you ask me fiction or nonfiction, then biographies. Why am I reading fiction when the lives of these people are so much more colorful than anything someone made up?
Straight ties or bow ties?
Bow ties, I have to go with eccentric. But, I am more into dresses and if she wore a tie.
And, with her last answer, I sat up a little taller, straightened my bow tie and thanked Mariah for her time. I have to say that I was expecting her to be different. I don’t know how exactly. Maybe less personal. A little more full of herself. After all, she runs the biggest lesbian event in the world. She gets huge talent to come to the desert to sing for several thousand women. Every year. She is a legend. But not as in old, just as in – it’s The Dinah! She has been running The Dinah since it was actually a golf tournament, with a party on the side (as opposed to the week-long party it is now). She wasn’t full of herself, though. She was funny and charming, and hot. I really enjoyed our talk. I can’t wait to go to The Dinah again next year.
It’s Butch to create something that gives so many lesbians joy, year in and year out. Thank you, Mariah. That’s very Butch. Be Butch.
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).
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?
It’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?
Motorcycles or race cars?
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.
Hi BOTs! Guess what I did last week? I got to fly to Chicago to cover a big lesbian party called Back Lot Bash. As part of my press access, the organizers Christina Wiesmore and Amie Klujian were able to get me an interview with the one and only Lea DeLaria. I had so much fun talking with Lea that night! The full interview is up now over at Huffington Post Gay Voices. Won’t you go read it? If you like it, will you click that snazzy little “like” button and possibly share it on Twitter, Facebook or via email? HuffPost likes to support bloggers that have good numbers… Thank you!
It’s hard to imagine being any more Butch than Lea DeLaria (but I will try!). Be Butch.
Fess up. No butch is 100% butch. We all lose butch points here or there. I have a Hello Kitty Visa card. Yes, that’s right. Hello Kitty. It’s pink and black and absolutely adorable. And totally un-butch. Or, is it?
More often than not, the woman taking my card freaks out about how cute it is. She tells me how much she loves Hello Kitty, or as I like to call her, “the Kitty.” She tells me stories about the Kitty. Why she loves the Kitty. How adorable the Kitty is. Shows me her tattoo of the cute little feline. Seriously.
So, I’m wondering, do I lose butch points with the Kitty, or is it a great hook to get to the femmes? Like the dude with the cute baby or puppy. You know, a chick magnet.
For me, it’s not an intentional hook. I really do love the Kitty. She was introduced when I was a little kid. There was something about that cute little white kitty with that red bow. Maybe it was that she was so perfectly drawn to appeal to a kid. Maybe it was the cute little toys and mini things that she was emblazoned on. I have always loved office supplies. Put a little black and white kitty on a pencil box, and watch out.
On the other hand, maybe she was the first femme I was drawn to. Think about it. She’s cute and girly! Always in a bow, usually a dress. She likes to bake cookies and loves sweets.
Maybe I’m still drawn to her because my parents wouldn’t let me buy the stuff. You know, make something off-limits and it becomes irresistible. They thought that the Kitty stuff was too expensive. I would try reasoning with them… “But Mom, I really need this school set in the pencil box for $20. I mean, it even has a mini-stapler!” But she was, wisely, unconvinced, and the school kit – complete with stapler – stayed in the store.
Now, as a grown up, I can buy that kit if I want to, but strangely, I don’t want to. Seems like a waste of money! I have instilled a love of Hello Kitty in my kids though, and will happily buy them toys and figurines. I might even sit and play with said toys and figurines if asked. My own love, however, is limited to my Visa. I think it says something about me. I like to have fun. I don’t take myself too seriously. And, if some cute femmes happen to appreciate me for my card, so be it.
It’s butch to like the Kitty. Be butch.
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