Tag Archives: butchness

The Bromance

The mystical Bromance...

The mystical bromance…

I’m excited to talk about this with y’all. Traditionally, “bromance” means a non-sexual relationship of great affection between guys. Think Hangover (the first one, not the sequel, because that was lame); those guys have a bromance. It may even be that the term originated with the movie genre – like “chick flicks” (shudder, no thank you).

Because guys aren’t allowed to have great friends that they love (who decided that?), they can’t call each other “boyfriends” they way straight girls do. As in, the women in Bridesmaids are “girlfriends.” There is no need for them to refer to their socially acceptable relationship of love and affection (again non-sexual) to the other women in the film as a bromance. Double-standard much?

Girls don't get bromances, they have girlfriends...

Girls don’t get bromances, they have girlfriends…

Anyway, recently I was thinking about the cool men in my life. [Other than my dad, of course, who is awesome. Shout out, Dad!] There are some awesome guys that I consider really good friends. Yes, I am a big butch who likes my male friends. I know, your stereotypes are absolutely shattered. I love them; get over it. Some are straight and some are gay. Some have been in my life a while, and others are really new. High school friends, work friends, grown up friends. You know, the people you choose to hang out with? Not just the ones you have to hang out with. You all know who you are…

First, my gays.

I affectionately refer to my gay friends as my “boyfriends.” I realize this might not be very butch, but who cares? They are boys and they are my friends. Boyfriends. There’s no tension here because they are G-A-Y. No threat to their relationships by being friends with me. Indeed, I am even particularly affectionate with my boyfriends, linking arms, the occasional kiss on the cheek. I even let them open the door for me, and *gasp* buy me drinks sometimes. I reciprocate, of course. Don’t judge. It’s ok, I promise. They don’t expect me to put out. SNAP! We talk about fashion, fitness, science, music, movies, our friends from school, drinking, life, you name it. Plus, they are gorgeous and hella buff. The buff part comes in handy when you’ve been drinking too much and want to hold on to someone for balance. Say, in Vegas perhaps?

Now, my straights.

Some men can hold that purse really, really well.

Some men can hold that purse really, really well.

Ahh, my straight male friends… this feels like a particularly interesting situation. It came up last week. I was on a date and we did a dinner cruise of the harbor (yes, I know, you are jealous of how creatively sexy I am, not really). On my way to the bathroom, I passed a big strapping straight guy – let’s call him “Dude” – who was holding his girlfriend’s tiny jeweled purse outside the restroom. I said to Dude as we passed, “Nice job holding that purse, man.” To which, he immediately and easily replied, “Hey Brah, it takes a real man to hold his girl’s purse.” Don’t you love that he said “brah?” Ha ha! I shot back, “Oh, I know, that’s why I mentioned it. Solid.” I went on my way. It was a moment.

A little later, after dinner, when my date and I hit the dance floor, Dude was there with his girlfriend, Amanda. Anyway, me and my date (who is a super hot femme, by the way, and who people were staring at), started dancing. Dude and Amanda were dancing next to us. Dude and I ended up talking, introducing ourselves, and generally having a grand time all night. Thus making me and my date feel more comfortable, which is a nice gift in an uber straight environment. Why is it that Dude and I had such a nice connection? Well, I have a theory. Do you want to hear it? Assuming the answer is yes, I will go on.

The only acceptable way to hug your male friends as a guy - you have to hurt them.

The only acceptable way to hug your male friends as a guy – you have to hurt them.

I think men really want to have friends. They want to have friends that they can be affectionate with – without sex. They want that connection that women want with their girlfriends (non-sexual). You know? Stay up late talking, sharing lipstick tips and inner secrets. But it’s hard for men. Society doesn’t let men do this. So many expectations. Love your friend? Better pound him on the back when you hug him. Really enjoy spending time with your teammate after the game? You’ll have to practically bruise him with the slap on the ass to prove to folks that you are not, in fact, gay. God, it must be hard to be a straight man. I know we get all up in arms about the straight male privilege, and of course there is that (and all those pockets!), but think of all the down sides! No crying. No sharing. No really good friends, without worry of gayness. No fruity drinks. No pineapple on your pizza. Right? Lots of rules for straight men. For Butches too, but less restrictive.

I think that’s the magic. Dude could relate to me as his “brah.” After all  we are both attracted to very feminine women in dresses and heels.  We can both relate to the holding of the purse [I hate it, but will do it.]. We buy the drinks, lead on the dance floor, compliment the outfits, wait and wait and wait for our dates. One look at Amanda’s purse and I know he was ready an hour before her. So much in common. Butches and straight men… it’s a natural bromance. There is no threat of sex or weird expectations like what must be there between straight men and straight women who are friends. No, with us, there is no worry for the significant others of inappropriate touching.

I asked some of you to share your own bromance stories (thank you!). Here are a couple of highlights:

  • He’s my absolute best friend… He called me on being gay and helped me come out.
  • We are so close because of honesty. No bullshit between us. We are straight with each other (seriously.)
  • We like the same things, dude! He likes strip clubs. I like strip clubs. He likes beer. I like beer. It’s a bromance made in heaven!

I know there are more, but I will leave those to you all to add in the comments. Here is my own straight guy bromance entry.

One of my best friends is a straight guy. I’m not even sure he knows that I think of him as one of my best friends … I guess he does now. It’s funny because I’ve known his wife much longer, but I am a little closer (for now, anyway) with her husband who I met not that long ago. She doesn’t have to worry that I will hit on him. Doesn’t have to worry that he will become attracted to me. I get to be his friend (hers, too, of course, but that’s obvious). But, he can tell me he loves me, and I him. How neat is that? I think probably that he doesn’t relate to his male friends in exactly the same way that he does to me. Although, he is pretty evolved, so maybe he does. We get each other in a cool way. He loves women – his wife in particular. And, I love women! We can talk about boobs, and not getting all of our girls’ emotions, our kids, porn, and you know, stuff.

Ahh, the bromance. I love it. Affection, fun, sharing, closeness, and bonding – all without any weird expectations. He doesn’t have to pound me on the back when we hug, and there is no need for a linebacker slap on the ass. I know he’s not gay. He knows I’m not straight. Whether it’s my straight bromances or my boyfriend bromances.

I love my male friends! It’s butch to embrace a bromance if you are lucky enough to have such a bro in your life. Be Butch.


Butch Bible: A How-to Guide for the Proper Butch

I am working on a compendium of sorts, a listing of all things butch. Guidance for me and my beloved Butches. My hope is that we will build a primer that can be used for generations to come. [Cue dramatic music.] If you send me thoughts you have for good verses, I will include them in updates. What do you think? I will name each chapter after a famous and historical lesbian suiting the topic. Here are my first 5 entries, of a foundational nature, and so,of course, they can be named after no one but Sappho.

Sappho, the Mother of all Lesbians (courtesy of the Tate Museum)

Sappho, the Mother of all Lesbians (courtesy of the Tate Museum)

Note well: the Butch Bible is tongue-in-cheek. Remember that there are no real rules. In this butch’s opinion, though, if you get it right, your cheek isn’t the only place your tongue will be.

Also, note well: this butch is a confirmed atheist. I mean no disrespect to any of you who are religious and follow the better known bible (there are others). Remember, tongue-in-cheek, good fun, and all that!

Sappho, Chapter 1

In the beginning (of western civilization anyway, and by that, I mean Manhattan), there were pretty much only Butches and Femmes. Being in the closet forced many lesbians to identify this way, and any other lesbians were invisible. Obviously, this has changed, but it was very common in the 1900s. It turns out, by the way, that some of us choose to identify like this. These women were the mothers of our movement, along with their drag queen brothers. These are the people who were subjected to police raids and enforcement of laws that required them to wear three pieces of clothing belonging to their gender. Yikes. Three? I’ve got, let’s see… One. Ok, so Google Stonewall Inn Riots if you want to know more. On to the verses.

1:1 Butches are more masculine than Femmes, and are often mistaken for men by people who are not paying attention. Butches are defined (variously) as lesbians that tend toward the masculine or who are notably manly or masculine in appearance. Exception: It’s a generalization, so of course there are plenty of exceptions.

1:2 Femmes are more feminine than Butches and other lesbians. Femmes tend towards make up and dresses, but not always. Femmes are defined as being lesbians that are attracted to Butches. Exception: See above. [I note that it feels troubling that a femme is defined by her attraction to a butch; that seems unfair. Perhaps I will tackle that another time.]

Get it right, rock on. Get it wrong, you are an asshole. (courtesy of weheartit.com)

Get it right, rock on. Get it wrong, you are an asshole. (courtesy of weheartit.com)

1:3 Butches shall have some amount of swagger. This is key to being a butch. Plus, it makes Femmes swoon. Exception: Beware of too much swagger. This makes you an asshole. So, good luck figuring out the balance.

1:4 Butches are presumed to be tough, and most of us like that presumption – play into it as it were, but this doesn’t mean we have to be tough. Butches shall let their Femmes see their softer side.

1:5 Butches shall take care of Femmes, protect them and make them feel safe. This is our butch privilege. Exception: If your particular Femme doesn’t like this, then don’t act this way.

That’s it for the first chapter – the foundational one. More to come as you share with me or I divine them from the Butch Femme Gods. It’s butch to use a how-to guide to become a proper butch. Be Butch.


Hello Femmes!

A Gentleman Doesn't Share

A Gentleman Doesn’t Share

I’m sitting in a lesbian bar having a beer. I am alone. I only came out to retrieve my Visa that I unceremoniously abandoned here the night before. I was, as you might imagine, having a very good time. I was drinking with a friend and chatting with a lovely femme. (A gentleman won’t share any more than that.) I knew she was a femme because she was here at this lesbian bar. Not out at a hip restaurant or bar in town. Not here with a posse of gay boys. Her presence here, combined with her eye makeup, clothing and generally pleasing girly appearance signaled me. This is a femme, and I knew she was interested in butches because she was “talking” with me.

But what about when I’m not here? What if I’d seen this lovely woman at a conference? At the airport? At Jimbo’s? Shopping at Nordstrom? Rock climbing at the gym? Would I have known she was an option, as it were? Maybe not.  And, what a predicament that is. What a pickle.

Geography Makes It Easy

Geography Makes It Easy

How are we butches supposed to identify our beloved femmes when we are out and about? Obviously, this isn’t an issue when you are introduced by friends, know her as a colleague, or when the geography sends the signal. Like here at this bar.

Outside of those cocoons, though, I think it’s clear that we butches need your help. Femmes, make yourselves known. Reach out. Make eye contact a little longer than is generally considered to be polite. Touch us on the bicep and make a face that signals you are impressed with the massive (cough) muscle you find there. Lean into us a little when chatting. Flip your hair. Touch your face.

In short, you the much fairer species need to make the first move. I and my butch bros will drive from there. But you’ve gotta send up a flare. Throw us a bone. If you’re as pretty and girly as I’m imagining (and you are), I might look at you longingly and then dismiss you as a non-option. I’m sorry, but I might think you are, umm, straight. Not that there’s anything wrong with being straight, mind you. Some of my best friends are straight! But it does limit (although not entirely exclude) my ability to … take you somewhere more quiet.

You might even say, “Oh Butch, I can tell you work out. I bet you could press me easily.” No straight women would ever say such a thing to me, so we’ll be off to the races. [Note: Certainly, there are some straight women that like to flirt with butches, in particular, even though these women think they’re straight. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you agree with them.]

femmevisibilityThis is not a post about femme invisibility. I’ve read plenty about how that’s crap. I see you. And so do the rest of my butch friends. You are not invisible. But, this is a cry for help. We don’t like being rejected (who does?). So, bat your eyelashes at me. I will take it from there.

It’s butch to make sure she is actually a femme (as opposed to a lovely straight woman) before turning on the charm. Be Butch.


How to Date with Kids

Image

Ah, the maternal looking femme. A model mother.

Dare I talk about this? I feel like a bit of a pariah in my community. I have … two kids. The death knell, I think, for dating. Sure, I know there are lots of lesbians with kids. But, these are mostly married or seriously committed partners who had kids together. That is no longer me – hasn’t been for a while.

It would be bad enough if I was a lovely, maternal looking femme. All soft and fluffy. Perhaps even driving a mini-van (shudder) or some sort of giant Tahoe and wearing a pink cashmere sweater. You know the kind of woman I am talking about? She is a perfect mother. Always has gum, never forgets water for the kid’s practices, can do a perfect French braid. Nurturing. You see her and it’s easy to see her as a mom.

But that’s not me. Nope. I am, in case you haven’t read anything else I have written, a big butch. A proud butch. I’ve got a Mohawk – check that little avatar over there. That’s me. People are ALWAYS surprised that I have kids. So, here I am, a big butch. I get it. I don’t really even talk that much here about having kids. There are several reasons for that. First, it’s not sexy. Second, it’s not always funny (sometimes, sure). And, third, I want to protect them. I am the writer opening myself up to scrutiny, not them.

Speaking of writers, a couple of months ago, my idol Butch Wonders *butch swoon* posted a great piece about dating a woman with kids. I’d like to talk about it from the other side. Here I am starting to date. Out and about. Ready to be suave and charming (don’t laugh, I’ll try hard and try hard not to look like I am trying hard!). And, I have all these questions about my kids and Her – that’s what I’ve nicknamed any woman I might approach or date. Pretty clever, I know.

1. When Do I Tell Her?

Oh, yes. Very, very smooth.

Oh, yes. Very suave and charming.

First and foremost, when is the right time to tell Her that I’ve got kids? Do I walk up, buy Her a drink, and as I am handing Her the Cosmo say, “I’ve got kids!” No. Clearly not. Turn off. What? Am I asking Her to marry me? But, how long do I wait? If She comes home with me, She will immediately see evidence of children. If not, it could be kept a bit. Not much more than a few days though, practically, because of my kid obligations. “Butch, let’s go to a movie this weekend.” Oh, I’m sorry, but… I, uh, can’t.” Why? Do I bust out the T-ball/martial arts/chorus practice reason?

I joke, and obviously I need to tell Her relatively quickly, but when? I don’t want Her to think that I am thinking so long-term that She has to be on board with kids now. What if we are just having a bit of fun?

2. When Do I Introduce Her?

My instinct here is pretty strongly that this doesn’t happen until I am very serious about Her. My kids have been through a divorce (from their mom) and the loss of my now-ex gorgeous fiancé. The kids love them both. I don’t think it’s fair to introduce a new Her every couple of months. Kids fall for people pretty quickly, and I don’t want Hers coming in and out of their lives too much.

The problem is that I can see this being a real sticking point with Her. “Don’t you love me?” Yes, I do (at some point, right?). “Well, why can’t I meet your kids?” I want to wait until the time is right. “When will that be?” Gosh, I just don’t know.

3. How Involved Is She Supposed To Be?

Assuming I haven’t scared every Her away, and we’ve moved on to being in love and introductions, what is Her role? My belief is that, although kids can never have too many adults in their lives who love them, they only need so many parents. As I said in Wanted: Femme for Butch, my kids don’t need another mother – they already have 3.

I want Her to be a good role model. I want Her to be kind. I want Her to be happy to see them and spend time with them. But, I don’t want Her so attached that She wants to take over my role. I will handle the care and feeding of my munchkins. She gets to be a happy bystander for the hard stuff, and hopefully, a willing participant in the good stuff.

4. Is It Alright If My Kids Know I am Sleeping With Her, or a Variety of Hers?

image_1

Would that I dated often enough to actually have one of these…

Being a shy and proper butch, I am very concerned about my kids knowing that I am committing cardinal sins with Her (or a variety of Hers). Cough. Anyway, religion out of it, I don’t really want my kids thinking about this. We haven’t had the birds and the bees talk yet, so I think I am safe for a while. My point really is that if I date, I don’t want my kids to see a revolving door – regardless of how frequently that door actually revolves. Anyone have any WD-40?

Interestingly enough, my kids gave me the perfect opening to discuss this with them recently. Both of them are pressuring me to get a girlfriend – which if you think about it is adorable and kind of hilarious. Why, guys? “We just want you to have one.” Anyway, when they said this a week or so ago, I jumped at the chance to talk about dating. I said that I was ready to date, and indeed was out and about having fun. I told them that I was going to keep them from the details, that I might start seeing someone and not introduce Her. My daughter was shocked and said, “You are going to date behind our backs?”

I laughed and said, “No, I am going to date right in front of you. I’m just not going to introduce you to anyone for a while.” Why? I explained that I didn’t know when I might find the Her that would be in my life (and, thus, their lives) for a period of time, and I didn’t think it fair to introduce them to a bunch of women. Now, I realize that I might be making myself out to be a real ladies man here, and sadly, this is really not the case. But, hopefully, you get the point. The kids seemed to accept this, although they didn’t like it.

I wish I had a crystal ball the moment I meet Her. One where I could gaze at it and peer into the future. If I could see that She will be in my life a year later, two years later, of course I would introduce Her to the kids. But, how do I know?

One Her to Rule them All

One Her to Rule them All

As lucky as I would be to find the One True Her (the one to rule them all) right out of the gate, I think that is unrealistic. Of course, if the Universe sends me the Femme from my Want Ad, I suppose all bets are off. But still, when do I introduce Her to my kids? Help me out, friends.

It’s butch to protect your kids, isn’t it? Be Butch.


How Butch Are You?

Plenty of readers have asked me a variety of this question: How do I know if I am butch? How do I know if someone else is butch? Why don’t people know I am butch? Or, what about lesbians that look butch, but don’t identify as butch? “Well, she is wearing a vest, after all!” And, what about lesbians that identify as butch, but no one sees them as such? “You can’t be butch, you have a purse!”

As I am now clearly the worldwide expert on this (NOT!), I do feel compelled to try to answer. And, frankly, I am honoured (trying to appeal to my newly broadened audience with a more international spelling) that any of you would ask for my opinion. My hope is that this blog will start a lively conversation and that a LOT of you will comment on this post, adding your view and opinions to what I have to say. As I have said before, there are many ways to be butch, and there is no right way. And, it is definitely more than the clothes. That is just the wrapper on the yummy butchness inside.

It comes down to two things, IMHO

It comes down to two things, IMHO

Being butch, in my opinion, is about two things. How you see yourself and how others see you. Of course the first one is the only one that matters; but the second is important if you want to appear to the world in a way that is congruent with your view of yourself.

1.  How You See Yourself

Michelle Pfeiffer isn't butch just because you put her in a suit.

Michelle Pfeiffer isn’t butch just because you put her in a suit. And, meow!

So, how do you see yourself? Do you feel butch? Do you like the label, tag, or identification of butch? Does it feel like it fits you? That’s the crux. If you feel like a butch, but you wear dresses, good for you. If you feel like a femme, but wear only men’s suits and fantastic vests, good for you. You alone define yourself.

I spend a lot of time on my blog “defining” what it means to be butch, but this is always tongue in cheek. You can read some of these, like How to Be Butch* (http://wp.me/p27vDp-3W) and I am a Butch (http://wp.me/p27vDp-3W). I am simply defining what it means to me, and of course, trying to do it in a way that is amusing for all of you (or maybe most of you? Some of you?). For example, I don’t wear lipstick or makeup (except for eyeliner, which I call “guyliner”). I wear all men’s clothes. I have super short hair (a Mohawk, to be precise). I am bigger and taller than most of my friends, many men included. I like to be strong and want muscles. But that is just me. There are a tremendous variety of lesbians who are butch that would take exception to much of that. Again, it only matters how you see yourself. Do you feel butch?

2.  How Others See You

kd lang didn't become a femme when she put this dress on - my favorite song of hers, btw.

kd lang didn’t become a femme when she put this dress on – my favorite song of hers, btw.

As humans, we have a need to label and categorize ourselves and others. Yes, labels are bad. No one fits precisely into any one category, but don’t hate. You know it’s true. You walk down the street and you see someone, anyone, and you assess them in a split second. Safe, dangerous, attractive, ugly, straight, gay, athlete, lazy, rich, poor, smart, dumb. Translation: desirable or undesirable. Of course, the classifications are much more complex – a handsome, straight, well-educated, well-off, married man. And, so on. While you’re doing it, so is everyone else. Making judgments about you based solely on how you dress, walk, look, and talk. Most people probably see me and think, “There is a big, butch dyke.” [Note: To our ally readers, don’t use the word “dyke” unless your lesbian friend told you it was ok to use it, and then, only use it with her. It’s hate speech and with a butch, it might get you punched in the face.] I’d rather it was, “There is a handsome, dashing, well-educated, charming single butch.” We can all dream. How do people see you? Do your friends think you are butch? What does your mom think? Side note here, my 9-year old recently told a lady at Nordstrom that her mom is butch. I am lucky because the way I see myself lines up with the way others see me – as Über Butch. Whew.

The vast majority of lesbians that I know define themselves as neither butch nor femme. It is much more common to simply consider oneself a lesbian. There is a spectrum of lesbians. On one end of the spectrum are the most masculine lesbians who identify as butch – maybe 15% of the lesbian population. On the other far end of the spectrum are the most feminine lesbians – maybe 15%. But the vast majority of lesbians (70%) would fall somewhere in the middle. I am just picking numbers based on my experiences, no research or anything. This article needs citations!

I have no idea how Jillian Michaels defines herself. She might not look butch in those dresses, but her attitude and poise are hella butch. Hey girl!

I have no idea how Jillian Michaels defines herself. She might not look butch in those dresses, but her attitude and poise are hella butch. Hey girl!

3. But, Who Cares?

The bottom line is that there is no one way to be butch. For me, being butch means that I want to take care of the woman I love – to protect her. I want to be bigger and stronger. Sometimes when I am lifting, I want to pound my chest and roar (Jillian would probably approve). As dumb as that is, I want a woman who thinks it’s cute – or maybe even hot. I want to open the doors. I want her to wear heels, lipstick, dresses. But that’s just me! How about you? What makes you butch?

I would like to add that there are gobs of lesbians that are more butch than me, and I am good with that. Butches, we are good. No need to track me down in a bar, or (gulp) side street and challenge my butchness. You win! Please don’t come looking for me unless you want to grab a beer. If you are butcher than me, I will buy…

Some random blogger's shirt. Heh!

Some random blogger’s shirt. Heh!

I would also like to add that if any of you think you might be a femme, but aren’t sure and would like help figuring it out, come looking for me! I am available for consultations, including door opening, and roaring. We will get you through this – together.

It’s butch to define yourself. Be Butch.


Can Accommodate 7

image

There’s no way to butch up a minivan.

I’ve started thinking about a new car and so have been paying attention to things I would not normally pay attention to. The other day I saw an ad proudly announcing that the new mini-van from whomever “can accommodate 7!” Wow, they are super proud of that.

Now, first and foremost, I know plenty of people need big ass cars and SUVs. Of course. If you have a huge family, are a coach, whatever. Right? No problem. But, for me, and my family of 3, I do not need such a vehicle, and I am so pleased.

Best car ever.

Let me bring you back. About 9 years back. I was driving my favorite car I have ever had: a silver-gray BMW Z3 convertible. Damn that was a sexy car and so, so much fun to drive. Lots of heads turned when I drove around in that number. So, there I am with a dream of a sports car and my partner and I at the time were busy trying to have kids. I knew that I would have to get rid of that sexy little car at some point. No backseat, let alone a place for a car seat. But, I dreaded it.

To add insult to injury, we bought a minivan and I gave up my Z3. It wasnt my car, but still I had to trade in my little baby. Sigh. How trite, right? See, straight friends, we lesbians are JUST LIKE YOU! Same problems and hang ups.

I hated giving up that car.

Now, here I am ready for a new car and feeling a great deal of pressure to move away from the gas-guzzling combustion engine I have in my SUV and to right-size. I do not need to accommodate 7, but I still can’t have a sexy little Z. So, somewhere in the middle I will land. Being an active butch, I will no doubt end up with another SUV but hopefully a hybrid or at least one with high mpg. The polar bears are counting on me.

"It's butch to decrease your carbon footprint. Be butch."

“It’s butch to decrease your carbon footprint. Be butch.”

If the sales guy tells me that the one I am looking at can accommodate 7, I will turn on my heel and walk out.

It’s not butch to drive a mini-van. Be butch.

I really hope the Mayans are wrong.

mayan date

Tonight, or maybe tomorrow night, is supposed to be the end of the world. What time zone does that happen in, by the way? I mean, it would already be the end of the world in Australia, right? The Mayans and the Facebook app Year-in-Review has got me to thinking. What was my year all about? If life as we know it is about to be over, how did I do this past year? Given my breakup, which you all know about (cue the sad face), there is no way that my year is not at least a little melancholy, but that aside. Here is what my year brought me.

  • Reconnecting with old friends: My HS reunion was this year. I helped to plan it in a small way, and I really enjoyed the planning, build up, event, and then aftermath of the event. Several of my closest friends from HS are once again my closest friends in life.
  • Body Changes: This year I have lost weight and fat, and gained a lot of strength, muscle and knowledge. Turns out that I love to lift! I now know about things like Green Vibrance and the difference between whey, soy, and egg white protein. My new body, still much progress to go, allows me more energy, less pain, and more confidence. So that’s cool.
  • Saw the World (or at least some more of it): This year I saw Rome, Pompeii, and Florence, Italy, Cannes and Marseilles, France, Barcelona and Sitges, Spain, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I’m so hooked that I’ve already planned my next international trip, and there will be as many more as I can swing.
  • Stateside Exploration: Charlotte, North Carolina, Santa Fe and Albuquerque New Mexico, Dallas, Texas, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Big Bear, Palm Springs, and Disneyland, California.
  • More musicals and comedians: Saw “The Book of Mormon” (raucously funny), “Wicked” (still my favorite musical), a taping of Chelsea Lately, Florence and the Machine, and Fortune Feimster several times (she is hilarious, go see her!)
  • On the Work front: Spearheaded my company’s participation in the Pride Parade and Festival for the third year in a row, helped to get a great score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, made it through a round of layoffs (whew) and got all new clients at the end of the year.
  • Friends: I made a ton of new friends this year. I know FB does not equal real friends in and of itself, but still I added so many friends there and can think of handfuls of people that I love to spend time with – IRL. Friends, I appreciate you all so much.
  • Random: Tried red hair (short-lived), took a turn spinning as a DJ at Pride, swam with dolphins, remembered that I love to kayak and mountain bike.
  • Blog: This has been a force in my year. I started the blog just before the end of last year, but this year, wow. I’ve been picked up by the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, Lesbian.com, reached over 500 followers on FB, and over 150 on Twitter. My blog was even featured on MyLesbianRadio.com. Wow! On WordPress, I have had more than 37,000 views! Tons of folks are following my blog, receiving emails when I post something, and tons of people comment, like the posts, and reach out to me about the blog. I am so thankful!
  • Recognition: For the first time in my life, I was given two different national awards. Both of them center on being an out and proud lesbian. I was overwhelmed, honored, and very proud.

This year was nothing short of life changing. In several distinct ways, 4 to be exact – that I can think of.fb year in review

  • The international travel. It is really amazing to see the bigger picture of what life is about on this planet. To experience buildings that are older than my country. To meet people from other parts of the world who have such different, and wonderful, viewpoints. You cannot travel and not be changed – for the better – by what you see, hear, learn and experience.
  • My yoga retreat & adventure in Cabo San Lucas. Both were really amazing. So much so, that I didn’t talk about either on my blog. I keep my stuff basically to the funny – beer, fashion, quirks about femmes and us butches. I never reveal deep squishy stuff. On the yoga retreat I learned a lot about myself and it helped a great deal to prepare me for the rest of my year. My adventure to Cabo San Lucas was the same for me.
  • Becoming single. It’s been a long time since I was single, and I have been learning at light speed about myself. ‘Nuff said.
  • Strength. I have learned this year, through some solo travel, some difficult experiences, and lots of time in the gym that I can literally do anything. Walk down the street alone in a foreign country? Done. Renegade rows? Done. Pay for stuff in Euros? Of course. Climb the side of a mountain and then rappel 100 feet? You betcha! Come on Life, bring it. I am strong! Can you hear me roaring?

Seriously, thank you for being with me this year. For those of you that were here all year, hooray! For those of you that are new, welcome!

I really hope the Mayans are wrong. I am learning too much. Having way too much fun. I have so much more to do, see, learn, and experience for it to be the end of the world. I need time to get my game on, to try and be suave and charming, and *gulp* date. I’m not done yet! But if the Mayans are right, so be it. It was a great ride, and this year, in particular! If they are wrong, watch out!

It’s butch to think back over your year and take stock. Be butch.


Just Me

My gorgeous fiancée is no longer my fiancée. We decided to split up about 3 months ago. Now, I am just me (and my kids, and my family, and my friends, but you get what I mean).

I am trying to take a light (but broken) hearted approach to sharing this with you. After all, I write a blog that is usually funny and light. Sometimes sarcastic, but not gut-wrenching. Y’all don’t come see me to read about how miserable I am and how hard life is, right? I get it and I like that. It’s hard to be light and funny though, when your heart is healing. Hence the long delay in sharing this with you, and honestly, fewer posts. I try to be honest in what I write about and I didn’t want to share this, so I just shared less. I am in a much better place now, so it’s a bit easier to disclose. Still, I’m afraid that I don’t have much funny to say on the topic of my healing heart.

I won’t share any of the details – except to say that we love each other a lot and are committed to being friends. So far, so good. For my tips on how to handle a yourself in times like these, see A Butch’s Guide to Remaining Sane During a Break Up. I wrote that smack in the middle of it all. Some of you may have guessed, but were too kind to ask…

So, now it’s just me. I am “single.” My goodness that word entails a lot, doesn’t it? It’s even a little scary. Will I be an outcast from my coupled-friends? Does it make me pathetic and sad? Will I have to carry around a little sign that says “Please be nice to me, I am single?” I certainly hope not. And, it has been a very long time since I was single – 22 years. Wow, that makes me feel old.

The bottom line is that my gorgeous fiancée is still gorgeous, but she is no longer my fiancée.  Indeed, she is no longer “mine” – as much as anyone can ever be someone else’s. I’m still here, though. Sifting through the feelings that I have. Being reminded that life includes sadness and hurt, and that one should embrace these parts of life, learn from them, and then move through them in time.

You won’t hear any macho rhetoric from me about how tough I am, how it didn’t (and doesn’t still) hurt, how I am better off without her, or any of those feeling-denying statements. My heart and I are healing. Time being required – and whatever other slogan you can think of that is supposed to make one feel better. I felt that you needed to know because she has all but disappeared from my posts and sooner or later someone would notice and ask me.

I am a butch without a femme. Superman without Lois Lane. Batman without Robin. James Bond without whichever hot actress stars in each movie. Wow, I must think a lot of myself to compare myself to superheroes and Bond. I wish! How about, peanut butter without the jelly? Chips without the salsa? Salt without the Peppa? (What a loss that was to music.) As many of you know, she inspired many a post. I hope I can still think of funny things to write about now that it is just me…

It’s butch to be single. Right? Be butch.


Location x 3

Let me set the scene for you. I’m out with some friends of mine at a hipster new place in the gayborhood. [For you locals: I happen to like this place a lot. It’s called 100 Wines and I have been there a couple of times.] There’s a 45 minute wait. It’s got low lighting, craft beers, lots of wines, small plates, cool French modern looking decor. You got it?

Image

At some point in the meal, I excuse myself to go to the restroom. No worries. First, it’s a single ladies room – so there’s no stress of being inside the restroom and someone freaking out as I come in. Second, I’m in the gayborhood. There are lots of gays here. Tons. Safe. Right? Wrong.

Coming out of the restroom, relaxed and refreshed, I was not on the defensive. Not prepared, as it were, which I normally would be. I open the door and exit the restroom. There’s two women waiting outside. I hear one say as I round the door to walk away, “That’s a man obviously, right?” Stop. Whirl on my heel, I walk back to her very quickly, place my hand on her upper arm for her attention and reply staring her in the eyes, “No, and I can hear you.”

Without waiting for any reply, I whirl around again and stride off standing as tall as I possibly can. I was shocked. Who the hell does she think she is? Where the hell does she think she is? I mean literally, most of the patrons here are gay. It’s not like I was the only butch in there. WTF?!?

I slip back into my seat and spill the story to my boys immediately. It comes out in one gush. They listen supportively, appropriately shocked and indignant along with me. Bless their hearts, they share similar embarrassing stories. You have to love good friends.

During this, and quickly after my return, the manager who had been near the two women, comes up beside me. She is mortified and apologetic. “We try so hard to make sure all are welcome here,” she says. “I’m so sorry that woman treated you that way.” I explain that I hardly ever say anything when it happens and that I thought I might’ve been a little rough. No, no! She assures me that I handled it gracefully and with class. More apologies and well-wishes and she leaves us to what’s left of our trendy, hip dinner in the gayborhood.

Getting confused or sir’d happens to me almost daily. I am used to it. I just returned from an attempted trip back east (I say “attempted” because Hurricane Sandy had other plans) where I had stops in Charlotte and Dallas. I expect to be sir’d in these places. In fact, I basically passed as a dude during the entire trip. No problem. And, no offense taken when I did get sir’d.

But put me in my own office, or my gayborhood and you better watch-the-fuck-out if you accuse me loudly of using the wrong bathroom, and think I can’t hear you when you practically scream it.  I guess it really is all about location.

It’s butch to not punch an insensitive (and rude) straight woman in the face in the gayborhood. Be butch.


One Sick Butch

Hi all. I am a butch down with a cold. What an irritating inconvenience. I am sick, and have been for almost a week, but I cannot find a hot nurse nearby! Woe is me. It got me to thinking… how do you handle yourself when you are sick? Do we butches get sick any differently than non-butches?

Butches, do you dissolve into a baby when you are sick?

For example, there is a stereotype that men are total babies when they are sick – relying on their partners for everything. “Honey, I think I am going to die!” “No dear, you just have a cold.” Right? Well, this is certainly not true for me.

I’m sick. I feel sorry for myself, but I am taking care of things. Picked up a bunch of DayQuil, NyQuil, cough drops, and those soft lotion tissues (don’t judge!). Went to work until I didn’t feel like I should anymore. Hit the gym the first two days, but then was smart enough to take a break the next two. Yesterday’s work out was modified, but I did it.  Today, I took myself to the doctor. Got my prescription and came home to rest. I am about to go to the store and get myself some chicken tortilla soup (I’m too irritated to make my famous, heal-you-when-you-are-sick chicken noodle soup for myself). Tonight, I will pair that with a lovely Ginger Ale, bad TV, and an early bed time.

I pick up all my tissues, put away the thermometer, still handle the laundry and normal chores, and basically take care of stuff. Of course, I would not turn down an offer of help if given, but I don’t really need it. Plus, it would limit my ability to feel sorry for myself…

How about you, dear readers? How do you handle yourself when you are sick? Can we butches claim to be superior in the getting sick department?

Its butch to take care of yourself and get better. Be butch.


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