Tag Archives: equality

Suck It, Biggots!

Biggots in 5 states are looking at Fox News today and shaking their heads. What the …? Equality is contagious, you see. You can’t start treating people equally – as they deserve – with dignity in one, two, three, four, five, six states and expect everyone else to just lump it.

What did you think? Did you really think that you could just throw enough money at the issue, keep trying to scare people and We would forget? Go away? Accept less?

You see, I demand to be treated equally. I demand that for me, my love, my kids, my family, my friends, my neighbors. But…

I also demand that for you, your love, your kids, your family, your friends, your neighbors. Even though I don’t know you. I may not even like you. But still I demand this. For all of us. Even the biggots.

I want equality for you, too. That’s what America is all about. If you don’t like it, suck it.

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/10/u-s-supreme-court-denies-marriage-appeals-from-five-states/

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Hunting for Valentines: Interview with Kiyomi

 

Kiyomi is talented... and hot.

Kiyomi is talented… and hot.

 

I broke my interviewing cherry with Kiyomi McCloskey from Hunter Valentine. Now, don’t worry. I already know that I am not a journalist (surprise!), nor do I write for Rolling Stone, so I decided to just talk to Kiyomi — and, of course, ask questions that I thought people who read my blog would be interested in: things about beer, fashion, travel, dating, and being butch. If you want more of the “who’s your musical influence”-type questions, go check out Hunter Valentine’s website. Oh, and Google them, as many journalists do. Read the rest of this interview on the Huffington Post:

Hunting for Valentines: Interview with Kiyomi.

Let the Huffington Post know you like ButchOnTap

Let the Huffington Post know you like ButchOnTap

While you are there, would you please hit the “like” button next to my name at the top of the page? This is to like me as an author, rather than liking the particular article. Of course, you can do that too. ;o) Thank you!


Like a Butch

My daughter has a new expression: Like a Boss.

I realize that this is not new, but it’s new to her and our household. She announced the other day that all the boys in her 4th grade class were saying it. I remember a gorgeous femme explaining it to me a little while back. What can I say? I am not very hip.

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This Mallard does it Like a Boss

 

Here are a few of the images I found that represent the expression which is meant to be a clever way of explaining that you are doing something with authority.

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Beaker does it Like a Boss

 

Anyway, this past weekend, everything we did, we were doing it “Like a Boss.” It was fun. Then my son added a lovely new twist.

“Mom, you should say ‘Like a Butch’ instead.” First of all, please remember that he is 6. Second of all, how cute is that? And third, how wonderfully accepted did that make me feel? Happy sigh. So, now in our house, we use both expressions. I favor Like a Butch, of course. There are gestures that go with each, as well.

likeabutchLike a Boss seems to be accompanied by the double pistol hands – formerly considered lame and dated (like from the 70s). But now, hip and cool…at least with the 4th grade set. Like a Butch, however, according to my son, should be accompanied with a bicep curl. So, that’s rad.

It’s butch to act Like a Butch (bicep curl). Be Butch.


It’s Not That Complicated

Today, I texted my daughter to see if she knew what happened yesterday at the Supreme Court. Turns out, it’s just not that complicated. It went like this:

Me: Yesterday the US Supreme Court listened to lawyers argue about the right for gays to get married. Remember Prop 8, honey? The one we went and protested? It made it’s way up to our highest court. Both sides argued – our side for equal rights and for not just Mommy but all gays and lesbians in the US to be able to marry and the other side for hatred and keeping Mommy and only the gays and lesbians from getting married. It’s a big deal in history! We have to wait until June to hear what the 9 justices think.”

Her: O to bad we have to waight

Not a bad answer. It’s butch to teach your kids about equality, and it’s even more butch when they get it (typos aside). Be Butch.


Three Lesbians Walk Into a Strip Club

Vegas' OG strip club

Vegas’ OG strip club

So, in my last post I left off with the statement, “Umm, how about a strip club?” Well…

Yes! We had a winner. Into a cab we piled and headed way off the strip to Olympic Gardens. I’ve never been here before, but it’s a bit of a Vegas institution. The bottom floor is women strippers, and the top is men. Something for everyone. As we got into cab, the bellman said, “OG.” I took it as a compliment. Yeah, we are original gangsters because – you know – we were rolling like that. LOL. I mean, really. Three white lesbians cocked and ready to go.  Oh yea.

No, Butch, you lame ass. That’s what they call the club. So, off to OG we “rolled.”

Now, I have been to plenty of strip clubs in my day. Enough to relax about it. But, being single. Being in Vegas. With good friends. I got excited. Like when you are about-to-board-a-roller-coaster excited. In we went, slightly (fairly?) intoxicated.

I imagine that a few of you reading this might never have been to a strip club – perish the thought! As I have written before, I am available to be your wingman or tour guide for such an outing. Or, better yet, take your girlfriend – that’s hot. In the meantime, allow me to set the stage – so to speak. I mean, you won’t find Butch dancing on any poles – at least not in public!

All the strip clubs I have been to are laid out the same. There is a long dark hallway leading up to the entrance. Some have a cover charge you’ll pay when you show your ID and others do not. If they do not, they might have a two drink minimum, or maybe not. OG has a cover. Once paid and our IDs were checked, we moved into the club proper, also dark, though lighter than the hallway. Usually near the door is a bar, and a cashier. Past that is the main body of the club. A stage in the center of the room, with a varying number of poles for dancers. Flanking the stage will be front row seats. Further back from the stage, you will find tables and chairs, and still further back in the shadows, you will find booths. Sometimes, there are also back rooms and curtained off areas. I would avoid those for sure – no matter how nice the club is. But of course, to each her own.

Our first stop was for singles from the cashier – I got a lot. Second, my friend has found the perfect spot by the stage. At OG, there are 4 poles on the stage, but it looks like at any given time on this evening, only one will be in use. I kid you not, that within one dancer (a set of three songs) of us being there, every stripper used the pole right in front of us. And, do you know why? Because we were a group of lesbians. Respectful, well-behaved lesbians. And we were all tipping. So politely, too. The strippers must have sent up a flare. “OVER HERE! Kind Lesbians who won’t grope you. Dance over here, Ladies!”

A lovely, hard-working woman on a pole. Do you know how hard this is to do?

A lovely, hard-working woman on a pole. Do you know how hard this is to do?

And they did. And we didn’t. Lesbians must be the most respectful audience at a strip club. Why? We love women, so we pay attention. We love women, so we are respectful and super appreciative of: 1) how hard it is to move like that, 2) how difficult it is to stay looking like that, and 3) how gross it must be to dance for straight men all day. Sorry, guys. You must admit that strip clubs are not your best environment. You kinda come here to let loose, right? And, drop those gentlemanly manners of yours. Well, I don’t think that’s true for lesbians. At least not for me, and not for my friends.

So, we had lots of dancers focused on us. Stopping by, dancing close, of course, to encourage us to tip. The first dancer who came up to me asks me if I am single, and I said yes. My friends aren’t, so guess who got the most attention? This lesbian right here. How much fun was this! Beautiful women dancing for me, expecting nothing other than I pay attention and keep slipping ones into the various strings that they are wearing solely for this purpose. I’m not leaving here with a stripper. I’m not heading into any back room. Right? So, all I have to do is enjoy the femme attention. Oh, and keep paying for it with that big stack of ones in front of me. Done.

Now, as butch as I am, and as much as I like to pretend that I am a player (did I say pretend?), I am quite embarrassed to actually deliver the ones. I want to tip because I appreciate their work, but I am afraid to touch them because that seems so disrespectful. Thus, I have to be told that it is indeed ok to slide the dollar bill into the dancers’ g-string, or even better, they explain, into the special snappy string that they are wearing underneath the g-string. Yikes. [“Umm, where should I put it?” “Wherever you like, honey!”] After a few tries, I got it down. One dancer actually said to me when I verbalized my hesitation, “Honey! We are strippers, grab away. If you’ve got a one for me, slide it wherever you like!” I’m pretty sure I blushed – because, you know, I am just (not) that cool.

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As long as I’ve got my suit and tie…

So, there I am. All dressed up (three piece navy blue suit, dress shirt, bow tie, cufflinks, etc.). With good friends. Drinking. And, having a procession of young, attractive women with lithe bodies doting on us and me. Sigh. Some of you will think me a pig, I realize, and that’s ok. I had fun and if you don’t like it, so be it.

I finally had the nerve to get a lap dance. First time in my life.  The dancer had come over almost as soon as we sat down and started chatting me up. As you do. Anyway, later in the evening, I decided to go for it. We headed over to one of those couches – remember the ones that are just past the tables and more in shadows?

There was a lot, a lot, of chatting at the start, something I’m sure is not normal with male patrons. The stripper told me all about her family and why she was dancing. Then she shifted to the main event and started to dance kind of around, in front, and over me. It lasted longer than I thought it would, even though I bought a second dance.

When I went back to my friends, they peppered me with questions. How was it? Was it worth it? How do you feel? Blushing, I am pretty sure, I answered that it was nice. Much more intimate than I expected, but not gross. I got roundly teased and then we all turned our attention back to the dancers on stage. Those ones won’t tip themselves!

As we left the club, that dancer ran up to me and gave me a hug. She was topless as she had just left the patron (male, natch) that she was with and came to say goodbye to us. I guess we left an impression on her and others. What with being polite, respectful, and good tippers. Plus, we stood out. A group of very tall lesbians, including a few Butches. Anyway, I was proud of our group, but I suspect that this would be the case with any posse of lesbos. We are just so different in this environment from our male counterparts, and these, dancers, erm, strippers (“Honey!”) appreciated us – or maybe just our ones. :o)

It’s very butch to hit a strip club, and even more butch to make sure you tip well and treat the dancers like angels (such a hard job…). Be Butch.


Why I Hate TSA

ButchOnTap

Some days are worse than others. I’ve talked a lot here about what I experience as a butch. Specifically, how people interact with me because I do not conform to gender identities that they expect. I feel all lined up on the inside. I am a woman physically, and I feel like a woman. But … I don’t always look like a woman – or at least what you (the societal you) expects to see on the outside. The expectations go like this:

Big and tall = male.
Short hair = male.
Strong, unapologetic presence (aka, swagger) = male.
Soft face = female.
Woman’s voice = female.
Breasts and no Adam’s apple = female.

All of this adds up frequently to confusion, at best, and hostility at worst. There have been really great pieces written by various butch bloggers about the horrific bathroom stories us Butches routinely experience. The bathroom really seems to bring out the worst in everyone, doesn’t it? I have also written about how my femme girlfriends have experienced this; it’s unpleasant, ranging to infuriating, for our femmes, too.

Why am I ranting today?

You may remember that a few days ago the gay flight attendant called me sir. Right, duh. Anyway, whatever. Indeed, today as I am writing this on a different plane, the flight attendant called me sir, and didn’t even acknowledge me when I corrected her. Dumb people suck. But, the reason for my rant today is TSA. I am going to tell you why I hate them. [Hate is a very strong word and I never use it casually. Indeed, it’s a bad word in my house and the kids can’t use it either. So, I use it here today to really convey the depth of my anger…]

On at least 3 other occasions, I have gone through the body scanner at security and had to wait a moment longer, or be rescanned. I know that this is because they thought I was a guy, but my naked body scan showed a body other than what they expected – boobs and no penis, to be specific. Waiting in the security line, when there is a body scan has become quite anxiety producing for me. Will they get it today? Will they ask themselves while looking at the scan, “Where is that guy’s penis?” Or, “Why does he have boobs?” Ugh. How embarrassed will I be?

Today, I prepared for the security as I always do. I am a rule follower. And, I don’t want anyone to have to wait for me. Get it right. Liquids out. Laptop in the bin – all by itself, nothing on top of it. Briefcase directly on the belt. Shoes and jacket off. Bracelets, rings, watch, wallet, and belt removed while in line and put away. I saw the body scanner so I also took my charms out of my pocket (they don’t set off the metal detector). Though stressed, I was ready.

Being a rule follower, I did exactly as asked - even holding my breath.

Being a rule follower, I did exactly as asked – even holding my breath.

I was sent to the body scanner. I stood there making sure to shadow the drawing on the wall in front of me with my arms up and holding my breath. 3 seconds. Rule follower. I step out and wait in that spot where we all wait while some anonymous stranger decides if I am a threat, if my body scan matches what it’s supposed to. Turns out today that it does not. I knew it was coming because I saw the two squares of alarm show up across the male picture on the screen where my boobs would be.

The guy keeping me from my plane – you know, the one who stands there right in front of you and tells you when you are free from that little pen – he asks, “Would you mind going through again?” No, I reply, with dread rising in my stomach and chest (where my womanly boobs are – right where everyone can see them). I turn around and wait for the person behind me to be scanned. From this spot I see that the woman running the machine (not an anonymous stranger here, here she is a stranger in plain sight) has to push a button on the screen before it starts. Now, I see I was right. There are only two buttons on the screen – “MALE” and “FEMALE.” The two buttons are even color coded to make it idiot proof, I suppose. What colors do you think they are? Blue and pink. So, so creative and forward thinking of TSA.

Only two choices to make it simple, and nicely color-coded with pink and blue!

Only two choices to make it simple, and nicely color-coded with pink and blue!

The passenger behind me is lucky that he’s all lined up as a man. She hits the male button, zip bang boom; he gets to step out and heads on his merry, male-identified way. Now it’s my turn. Whee!

She signals for me to step back inside and then, the kicker, asks me, “Would you mind if I ask you if you are a man or a woman?” Really? Yes, really.

Well, hell yes, I mind. Wouldn’t you mind? Hey, are you a man or a woman? Are you a freak because I can’t tell? Hey, do you have a penis to go with those breasts? Yes, I mind. I would mind. And, today I did mind.

But, remember that I am in a little pen, waiting to get to my flight. I can’t get to the rest of my day without answering. And, if I make trouble for her – by I don’t know… yelling at her OF COURSE I MIND YOU IGNORANT FOOL! – then I won’t be making my plane. And, on top of that, there’s a flock of people there who aren’t friends of mine. People who will assume I’m a terrorist, or a jerk, or whatever they assume, but who would certainly be irritated that I was causing a delay – making a scene.

In case you are thinking, “But Butch, you are a big tough outspoken butch. Why didn’t you give her a piece of your mind?” Have you ever been pulled over by a cop for a traffic violation that you didn’t do? And you know it’s because of profiling, or you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe the cop is just bored? Well, did you scream at the cop? Did you refuse to give the cop your license? No. You can’t do that or you would get arrested. And, if I did anything like that here, I would most certainly have been removed to a private room and strip searched, or detained. No matter what, I would not have been making my plane.

So, I didn’t say what I wanted to say. Instead, I simply said, “No. I’m a woman.” With that, I was ushered into the machine, where I stood, again, making sure to shadow the drawing on the wall in front of me with my arms up and holding my breath. 3 seconds. Even when hurt and angry, I am a rule follower. This time she pushes the FEMALE button, it’s easy to find being pink and all, and my body lines up. No little squares on my chest now. The machine now validates my very existence as a woman, “She’s a she and she’s got bumps where she should and none where she shouldn’t.” Whew. What a relief.

Are you kidding me? I laugh and I write here to try to work through the pain of it. How crappy is this? I can’t explain really adequately how much I hate TSA on this day.

I wait for my belongings to come out of the belt, and I walk over to the bench after I’ve collected them. I am numb, no, not numb – because I am feeling lots of things. Bad things. Painful things. I am in shock. I am embarrassed and I cannot believe what just happened. I walk through life proud and tall. I am certainly insecure, but I am never ashamed of myself or apologetic about who I am. Not Ever. I won’t apologize for not looking the way you think I should. And, if you don’t like it, you will not be in my life, or if you must be in my life, you will get the barest possible minimum of involvement from me and certainly, none of my heart (unless you read my blog… plenty of heart here).

But this situation is different. I can’t tell the idiot calling me a “Dyke!” from across the street to “Eff off!” or even better “Thank you!” I don’t have my friends with me, or a girlfriend to squeeze my hand and whisper, “It doesn’t matter, baby. It’s ok.” I am without coping mechanisms in this situation. So, what do I do?

First, I tweet out how angry I am. Including to TSA. Then, I take a few minutes and call a very good friend for help. She is on my side and I tear up as I tell her. Sigh. It can’t be right that it goes this way.  And, I write, of course. It makes me feel better immediately. Thank you for listening, by the way.

I am filing a complaint with TSA. They need to know what this feels like. They need to make some changes. There should be another way to do this. Another way to handle those of us that don’t conform to gender stereotypes so that we don’t feel less than human. I’ll let you know what TSA says. How awesome would it be if something came of this?

Until then, I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… It’s butch to be yourself – no matter the cost or what a stupid machine thinks of you. Be Butch.


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.


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.


Why 8 is Enough Already.

Note:  This is a factual and opinionated blog about political stuff, not so funny as I like to think I normally am.  Forgive me.

So, as a lawyer and one of the leaders of my company’s LGBT group, I sometimes get asked to help explain what is happening with Prop 8.  Certainly, the events of last week need explaining for many of us – me included.   I was able to explain it to my kids without research.  It went something like this:  Another even higher court told the people who hate us that they are still wrong and Mommy and her fiancé will be able to get married soon!  I cannot even use the word stepmom legitimately, yet.  Anyway, I did not feel comfortable explaining last week’s events to anyone (other than my kids), until I did some research of my own and read the full court opinion. Now that I have done that, I thought I might do a little synopsis here so that I can share it with folks.  If it helps you, please feel free to share it with whomever you like.  The more we all understand about this, the better.

First, a procedural refresher.  Now, don’t get scared.  It’s just a bit of history; although I am going to skip some steps, because if I didn’t this blog would really only be suited for a law school exam, and, I would probably get something wrong (which I might do anyway).  So let me stick to the basics.

Amy met Eve.  Amy and Eve wanted to get married.  Amy and Eve cannot get married in California because of a foul bill called Prop 8 [cue the awful, scary music that comes before someone gets killed in a slasher movie] which purported to amend the Constitution so that Eve could only marry Adam.  This happened, by the way, after a California court ruled that the state could not deny Amy and Eve the right to marry – it was unconstitutional in California.  This is great news for Adam and Steve and 17,999 of their closest friends who rushed to the altar or courthouse and got legally married.  Victory in California, right?  Wrong.  Enter Dastardly Do-Wrongs and his Four Friends; let’s call them the “Haters.”  The Haters [cue appropriate music, you can hear it, right?] decide that if it is unconstitutional in California to deny Amy and Eve the right to get married, let’s just change the constitution.  This is very similar to playing a game on the playground with a kid who does not like that you beat them at the game you are playing and so they change the rules.  That is what the Haters tried to do with Prop 8 – change the rules so that Amy and Eve can once again not get married.

Now, Amy can only marry Steve (ignore the fact that Steve is already married to Adam – they are still legally married, but none of their friends can get married).  And Adam can only marry Eve.  Maybe, if Amy and Adam cannot marry those that they love, no one should be able to get married!  Ridiculous, right?  There are plenty of folks that think marriage as a legal construct should go away entirely.  Now, that is radical!  At least us gays are only trying to get in on the gig, not make it go away entirely.

Amy and Eve sue Governor Terminator (once again an actor) and Attorney General Brown (now our Governor) in Federal court when they were denied a marriage license by the State.  The Terminator and his main attorney hated the fact that Amy and Eve cannot get married, so they refused to defend the suit.  This was great news for Amy and Eve and all of those who love them, or who don’t know them, but love equality and fairness.  Hooray!  No one to defend the foul Prop 8 means truth and justice wins, right?  “No!,” the Haters said.  We are the ones who started the foul Prop 8 in the first place, so we want to defend its dishonor. 

[Then there was some weird jockeying between the Federal court and the State court, and lots of battles over “standing” to sue (aka the right to bring a case in court), judges recusing themselves, and court video being released, including an opinion on the video by the Supreme Court of the United States (or the “Supremes,” as I like to call them).  None of that matters to the outcome, though.  Eventually, years later, the Federal court said, “Fuck off to the Haters; Adam and Steve, you boys can get married!  Right after all of the rest of the appeals, that is.”]

So, what did the Federal court say the first time around?  It found that the foul Prop 8 was unconstitutional for two reasons:
1.      It deprives Amy and Eve the fundamental right to marry, which is guaranteed by the Due Process Clause, and
2.      It excludes Amy and Eve from state-sponsored marriage while allowing Adam and Eve (or Amy and Steve) access to that honored status, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Thank you, Judge Walker!  I hope your retirement is awesome.  You have certainly changed history with your well-reasoned, Regan-appointed ruling.  That’s right.  Judge Walker is not a flaming liberal out here in California, the land of the fruits and nuts.  Judge Walker is a Republican-appointed, well-respected, conservative jurist.  No matter what happens down the road, Judge Walker’s decision is a landmark for the LGBT community, or I should say, the civil rights movement – all civil rights movements.

The Haters were unhappy with Judge Walker’s ruling [Surprise!], so they appealed.  The Federal court of appeals (3 more judges) heard arguments in the case and just ruled – once again – that Prop 8 is illegal and unconstitutional.  The Haters and the 52% of Californians that they tricked into buying their extremist crap cannot deny Amy and Eve the right to get married in California.

The Federal court made its ruling on a very limited point, that:  Prop 8 singles Amy and Eve out for unequal treatment by taking away from them alone the right to marry, and this action amounts to a distinct constitutional violation because the Equal Protection Clause protects minority groups from being targeted for the deprivation of an existing right without legitimate reasons.  Courts like to make rulings in the most limited way, that is to say, they do not like to make sweeping statements like “that is wrong for everyone and no one can ever do it again, anywhere!”  They much prefer to say something like, “in this particular instance, that statute is wrong, and it cannot be used in California in that way that it was used.”

I am glad that this is what they said because it means a couple of things.  First, it means that the Supremes are less likely to hear this case on appeal.  Why bother using their limited resources on a case that only affects California?  The Supremes only hear 1% of the cases that are filed with them, anyway.  This limited ruling in California would be easy to overlook.  Second, it makes it less likely that even all of the Federal judges dealing with California and the other states in our district will want to hear another appeal.  This is called an “en banc” appeal.  You do not like the first ruling that one judge gave you?  Appeal to a panel of three judges.  What’s that?  You do not like the ruling that those three judges gave you?  Well, appeal to a panel of all the judges in that circuit – in California’s circuit, that would be a little less than 30 judges.  Again, there are some procedural tweaks here, but they are not really key to this blog.

So, where do we stand?  Can Amy and Eve start picking out china patterns, now that Prop 8 is once again illegal?  No.  Amy and Eve have to wait until the court orders the “mandate.”  This is akin to saying that the court will wait until the Haters have again had time to appeal.  I am sorry Ms. Parks, I know that the court said you have the right to ride in the front of the bus, but you will have to ride in the back of the bus a little longer – those racists in the white sheets need time to appeal.

Today, we are waiting for the Ninth Circuit to either issue an order finalizing the decision [Run and get married!] or for the Ninth Circuit to decide to have an en banc hearing – either because the Haters ask for it, or a judge or two on the circuit asks for it.  If there is no en banc hearing, we are one step closer to tying the knot.  But wait, the Haters have another try to keep Amy and Eve from getting married – they can ask the Supremes for help.  Stop!  In the name of love, before these gays get married… and what? Society as we know it ceases to function?

Basically, it could be early next year before we have the right to get married again, or it could be as late as 2014.  Remember that this is now THREE courts of different judges (one state court, and two federal courts) who have found the effort to keep Amy and Eve from getting married to be illegal and unconstitutional.  What the hell does a butch have to do in this state to marry her femme?!?

Enough already with the nonsense and unfairness of Prop 8.  Let’s move on.  It is going to happen.  Gays and Lesbians are going to get married, here and in every state.  All of this is just wasted time and money.  And it hurts.  A lot.  Enough!

I want to be able to don my tuxedo.  I want to be able to see my gorgeous fiancé in a stunning dress with her hair in an updo and her dress showing off her cleavage.  I want to send out invitations, argue about the number of attendants, how many guests, and just how stuffy the service will be.  I want to be able to get married.  I am not trying to take my straight friends marriages and break them up.  I am not trying to destabilize the tradition of marriage.  A tradition that includes Kim Kardashian being married for 72 days.  A tradition that includes people getting married on a reality TV show after a few weeks of dating.  I am trying to marry the love of my life.  Why on earth would anyone care to try to stop that?  Why are there not crowds of people lining up to support that?  Why isn’t everyone trying to get me to the church on time?  Why don’t I have the soap writing on the back of my car right now?

If you are gay, tell everyone you know that you should have the right to get married – to be happy or miserable till death do you part – just like everyone else.  If you are straight, tell all of your straight friends that they should not worry about gays marrying.  It is not like the gays are trying to make you gay!  We are trying to take ourselves off the market!

Stand up for equality.  People love each other and they want to tell the world.  That is what marriage does.  It is butch to care about equality.  It is butch to love.

Be butch.


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