Tag Archives: travel

Butch’s Adventures with TSA: Forbidden Words

It’s time for another episode of Butch’s Adventures with TSA. In today’s tale, we learn about those forbidden words.

After smooth sailing through the millimeter wave image monster (no doubt because I sing-songed my hello to the agent staffing the magic pink and blue buttons), I collected my stuff from the belt. 

The benches were full of travelers getting dressed, so I moved over to the table where they do they bomb swipey thing. As I was grabbing the only liquid I had removed from my batchel – a tiny travel cologne flask – I noticed an agent I like.

Me: How’s my favorite TSA agent today?

Agent: Good! It’s my Friday. 

Me: (sprays cologne) Mine too!

Agent: That smells good… What is it?

Me: Spicebomb. Oh. Can I say that here?

Agent: (laughs)

Me: You should see the bottle. 

Agent: Do you carry it? (Eyes my bag)

Me: I stopped after I got pulled for search the second time.

Agent: (laughs) Have a great trip!

There you go. A nice TSA agent who has a sense of humor.

It’s Butch to be nice to the TSA even when they’ve not always been nice to you. Be Butch. 

  


Christina Perri at The Dinah!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/301/31342575/files/2015/01/img_2346.jpgPop music’s queen of romance, Christina Perri is slated to headline Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend’s 25th Anniversary (April 1-5, 2015)!

Perri, the singer/songwriter behind “Jar of Hearts” and “A Thousand Years”, is the latest major recording artist to proudly add Palm Springs’ iconic Dinah Shore Weekend to her touring resume.

She will deliver an exclusive live concert just before the “White Party”at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Friday, April 3, 2015.

“Christina Perri’s love song, A Thousand Years, is one of the great ballads of this decade and a song that our community has embraced. She also happens to be incredible in concert so our guests are in for a full-blown treat. Her fan base is broad and she is one of our more established artists so we are expecting record attendance. Her concert is followed up with The White Party, our signature Friday night event so it’s going to be an action packed night”, says Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend.

The twenty-eight year old Philadelphia native’s career has been on a meteoric path since her defiant breakup anthem called “Jar of Hearts” was used on Fox’s TV show: “So You Think You Can Dance.” The breakout single was success on a stratospheric scale, instantly catapulting Christina Perri into the public eye and earning her the coveted iTunes’ “Breakthrough Pop Artist of 2011” title.

More than 100,000 fans downloaded the pop ballad allowing Perri, the then manager at a Beverly Hills Café, to not only crack the Billboard Top 40 two weeks after debuting the song on the show, but also snatch a deal with Atlantic records.

Perri followed with the 4x-platinum single “A Thousand Years”, written and recorded for the film: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1&2”, which famously zoomed into orbit selling over 4 million copies in the United Sates. Perri then released her first album, produced by GRAMMY®-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli (The White Stripes, My Morning Jacket), which entered the Billboard 200 among the top 5 upon its initial release.

Now riding a wave of success since “Jar of Hearts”, Perri is on an international tour in support of her commercially successful sophomore album “Head or Heart”, a collection of cathartic songs and powerhouse vocals released in the spring of 2014, led by the album’s buoyant first single “Human”.

Christina Perri recorded with Butch Walker, John Hill and Martin Johnson, toured with Demi Lovato on her Demi World Tour, performed at the Los Angeles’s iconic Hollywood Bowl with Jason Mraz and will now perform for a sold out crowd at The Dinah – the largest lesbian event in the world – in celebration of the event’s epic 25th Anniversary (april 1-5, 2015).

For more information and/or to purchase tickets go to: http://www.TheDinah.com

The Dinah 2015’s headliners are Christina Perri and Meghan Trainor. Other live performances confirmed to date include pop music’s new “it” girls Bebe Rexha and Ivy Levan. Stay tuned for more talent announcements.


Text Dancing

I had a bad day. Really bad. Burst-into-tears-at-the-airport-bad.

Maybe it’s because it started at 3:30 am. Maybe it’s because I got scared by a giant, life-sized statue in my parents house – in the dark. Maybe it’s because their dog (my sister?) wouldn’t “play ball” as she’s supposed to. Maybe it’s because of the few terrifying moments when I had to search for my treasured polar bear necklace and my wedding ring that my cats knocked off the bathroom counter. Assholes.

Or maybe it’s because there was a detour to my terminal at 4:45 this morning. Again. Months later. Then again, it could be that I missed my return flight because I was so desperate to see and talk to my wife that I didn’t hear the gate change announcement. Or the change in departure times. Or the 3 pages for me. Seriously. One of my finer moments.

Whatever the reason, by the time I ambled down the jetway and saw these hilarious caution signs, I lost it. Out came the camera. Then the editing tools. Hope it makes you laugh, like it did me.

IMG_9994-0.JPGIt’s Butch to find humor in an otherwise difficult day. Be Butch.


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!


Nothing is Lost In Translation

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Look! Charcuterie to Go.

So, I’m here in Tokyo. I tell anyone who asks me that I have two favorite cities. One is Barcelona – for the weather, food (amazing charcuterie), people, architecture, you name it. It is a warm, inviting and beautiful city filled with gorgeous buildings, parks, and women. Plus, I speak the language – mostly. The other is Tokyo. Why? It’s not the weather. Each of the three times I have been there, it has been cold (late October, early December, and late February). I’ve yet to make it during the coveted Cherry Blossom season. Then, what? Food? Not as much as Barcelona, recall that I despise sushi. Two things. The people and just how foreign it is.

THE PEOPLE

To a one, the people in Tokyo are absolutely ridiculous. Indeed, the people I have met there, the strangers who have gone out of their way (repeatedly) to help me, make me dislike Americans. We aren’t so friendly in comparison. The people are just so kind, considerate, and interested in what you have to say. And service is king. The women are lovely, and the men all seem gay to me – the younger ones at least – and that makes me feel super comfortable. “Gay or European?” really should be “Gay or Japanese?” Oh, and I love the sense of style. Color! Patterns. A Scarf! Socks that are crazy patterns. Bring it. Love it. Plus, any country that is absolutely head over heels in love with Hello Kitty, or Kitty Chan, as she is affectionately called, is more than alright with me.

JUST HOW FOREIGN IT IS

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Signs everywhere, but what do they say?

This is kind of hard to explain. The thing about Tokyo is that it is so, so, so NOT America. I mean, it’s not the US, Canada, England, or Scotland. Duh, Butch. It’s in Asia. No, I get that. What I mean is that it is the one place that I have been where I felt totally and absolutely out of my element. What do I mean by that? You can’t read the signs. In Italy, France, Portugal, Mexico, and many other countries I can decrypt most words enough to figure out “police” versus “pub.” Not so here in Tokyo. If the picture next to the Hiragana word for Shinkansen didn’t let you know it was a train, you would be still searching – and you would miss your train that will absolutely be leaving on time without you.

Most people do not speak English (or they might not let on that they do). Money from an ATM? Good luck. Want to use your cell phone? I don’t think so. It is an entire city that is homogeneous. Everyone looks very similar – and no one looks like me. By this, I do not mean to discount the amazing differences between Japanese people. No, not at all. What I mean is that much more than in the US or England, the people have similar coloring.

Now, that is not to say that there aren’t similar minded people there. That there aren’t Butches, lesbians, mothers, democrats, atheists, English speaking people, bow-tie wearing lovers of musicals, operas and craft beers. Of course there are. But more than any other place I have been, the people look similar to each other and they don’t look like me. I am still taller than most, blonder, bigger, and let’s face it whiter, more awkward and more rude. Try as I might not to be any of those last three.

Want me to prove it? When I travel there, with two different companies, I have been given a “handler.” It is so different, so much harder to get around and find your way, that companies assign someone to help you get from point A to point B. And, thank goodness.

So, it is indeed foreign. It is like being in a sea of beautiful Koi – all of whom it seems understand me and are unbelievable kind – and I am a flounder. Also, I am pretty much in love with the culture of respect. There may be other countries, other cultures, that value each other and respect each other the way the Japanese do, but I haven’t found them yet. Evidence the bow. I love this. It is not subservient or menial. It is a strong, self-possessed person giving way by bowing to another. It says, thank you. It says, I am sorry. I says, hello. How about this? When you leave your office at night, you stand near the door and bow to your colleagues saying Osakini shitsureshimasu. Translation? “I am sorry that I am leaving before you.” How great is that? Even the ground crew for my plane leaving Tokyo bowed to the plane/pilot as we rolled away from the gate. It is a way to honor the other person. I freaking love the bow. How weird would it be if I just incorporated this into my everyday life back home in SoCal? I think I just might. Hello, bow. I am sorry that you had a bad day, bow. Thank you for serving me, bow. Sigh. The respect that this imparts is really ridiculous. I had a protracted conversation on my last evening with the younger colleagues about the bow, the significance, the depth of the bow. It was fascinating.

NOTHING IS LOST IN TRANSLATION

Even though I do not speak Japanese, I have learned enough to impress almost everyone I meet. I think this is more of a sign of how difficult (translation, foreign) the Japanese language is for Americans, rather than the strength of what I’ve learned. I would love to learn more. It is a beautiful language. When I listen to my colleagues and friends speak, I catch a word here and there (thank you, I’m sorry, we, I understand, no, yes, beer, please, woman), but it is nothing like when I hear any one speak a Romance language. I catch lots of those words. Again, foreign. Am I getting this across? And, yet, I feel welcome. Comfortable here.

Perhaps it is because I am at a point where I am trying to find difference. Searching for adventure. Seeking out places where I feel uncomfortable. I love it when English is the second language, or even better, not even on the sign. I think this is why I love Tokyo (and the other parts of Japan that I have visited). Maybe I just like being out of my own element. Way, way outside my comfort zone.

Whatever the reason, I don’t feel like anything is lost in the translation even when I do not understand a single word of what is being said. It’s butch to be out of your element. Be Butch.


The King Treatment

Yes, please.

Yes, please.

I’m enjoying my third trip to Japan. All have been for business. This means several things. First, it means that I have a carefully planned agenda, filled with meetings, occasional sight-seeing events, cool meals (with tons of people), and nice accommodations. I love to travel, but I don’t fly business class when I am traveling for pleasure.

There is a huge downside, of course. You do not control your itinerary. As it is with my current trip. I am traveling for a full 5 days, to get two and a half days in the office working. There will be no time for any side trips. If my energy allows, which I think it will, I will wander about after the long business dinners are over. But that will only allow some exploration in Tokyo. Perhaps Roppongi or Shinjuku, the gay area. Yes, I will make sure to head over there. I’ve been to both before and had fun in each place.

On my two previous trips, I travelled with colleagues; but on this trip, it is just me. No companions. I am really looking forward to it.

As I write this, I am flying. Sitting in business class. Ahhh. Deep sigh of relief. It is a wonderful experience. Over the course of the twelve-hour flight, there is all manner of goodies, beverages and snacks. It is so much fun. Kind of like a kid in a candy store. Unlike coach, business class has choices – lots of them. Shortly after take off, I was served orange juice or champagne (any guesses as to which I chose?). Then I was given a menu and asked to review it. There will be a main meal service, and then there are a variety of things you can order at anytime during the long flight. And, there is a long list of alcohol and other beverages you may enjoy.

The food is delicious. First an amuse bouche of blue cheese and fruit, and a Manchego, almond and smoked duck dip. Then, the hors d’oeuvres of marinated scallop, tuna pastrami, and foie gras mousse. The main dish that I chose was prime beef wellington, with a portabella mushroom pastry and mashed potatoes (lobster thermidor is the other choice). Dessert was Panna Cotta with mangoes. Yes, on the plane.

At varying points in the flight, I have had Jack, Champagne, and Japanese beer (almost always disappointing). Near the end of the flight, after I woke up, I enjoyed a cheese and fruit snack followed by a roast beef and horseradish mayonnaise sandwich (tiny) with a lovely salad of lettuce, asparagus and balsamic. Are you getting the picture that the food was good?

The flight attendants of JAL.

The flight attendants of JAL.

More than that, the service is amazing. I have had at least four different flight attendants help me, check on me, offer me items. All of them are young and lovely, too, by the way. I think the labor and employment laws in Japan are quite different from in the US (I know this, actually). Most of the time when I fly Southwest Airlines, I feel awkward about asking for anything. The last few times, I’ve either been helped by attendants who were older than my mom, or pregnant. How am I going to ask either of those women for anything? I can’t really expect someone my mom’s age or older to go get me more peanuts. How can I ask a pregnant woman to fetch me a Jack on the rocks? Isn’t that cruel? I mean, she can’t have one. So, JAL is a nice change. Here, there is literally a flock of super kind, super attentive, super deferential Japanese flight attendants. All have lovely smiles for me when I ask for something. All make me feel like it really is their pleasure to serve me – rather than an inconvenience because they really are just here for our safety (the message the US airlines disseminate more and more).

So I sit back with my slippers on, enjoying the warm towels each time they bring one, and order whatever I want. I feel like a king. And this is not just on the airplane. The Japanese people have an amazing ethic about service. They take pride in doing it well. If you are in their restaurant, they will make you feel like a king. Indeed, I’ve never been anywhere else in the world (yet), where you can literally yell out “Sumi mas sen!” whenever you want something, and someone will sprint to your side to get it for you. It’s how its done. It’s not rude. Like, say for example the one time last summer when I was in the Mediterranean and I actually whistled in a pub. My British companions almost fainted because what I did was so rude. And it was rude. I will never do that again. Ever. In Japan, though, that is not an issue.

It’s butch to let others take care of you when it is their job – especially when they make you feel like a king. Be Butch.


A Spotless Bowtie

Can you spot the bow tie?

Can you spot the bow tie?

When I was in Tokyo last month I had the privilege of visiting one of our factories. This is where my company makes some ridiculously sophisticated stuff. I mean, seriously. I could not possibly explain it. So, I was delighted to fly to a distant island in Japan and zip on into a special place where no lawyer has been able to go before. One small step for Butch Jaxon, One giant step for Butches everywhere.

This is one of those places where you cannot leave dirt, hair, sweat, or DNA. I had to wear a special suit to visit this “clean room” environment. This means that two women helped me into a hair net (which is bad for the hawk), face mask, special suit (with double cuffs at the arms and ankles), a ski mask like hood, and special booties. Oh so sexy. After getting into my E.T. or Monsters Inc. like outfit, I walked down a corridor filled with air hoses to blow off any remaining filth and into an air-locked chamber before entering the clean room. Wow. What a neat experience.

After the visit (I could tell you what I saw and learned but I’d have to kill you), as the same women were helping us out of our special sterile gear, our guide offered to take our picture. I knew I had to do it. I donned the gear again, and of course, added my special touch. Can you see it?

It’s butch to accessorize, even in the toughest environments, and with the ugliest outfits imaginable. 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.


The Pleasure Pit

The aptly named gambling area at Planet Hollywood

The aptly named gambling area at Planet Hollywood

So I was with friends in Vegas recently – just for fun. One of the people in our group was having a birthday and so it was off to Vegas we go. This is the first time that I have found myself in Vegas as a single person. Ever. Woohoo! I promised myself and my friends that I was going to have some embarrassing moments. Do some stuff that I could really regret! And, you know what? I did.

The best beer I could find in Vegas.

The best beer I could find in Vegas.

Vegas. Lots of fun. Right? Drinking. Gambling. Shows. Food. Drinking. Lots of bad beer in Vegas. For real. Super hard to find any craft beer there. In fact, it was so bad that I tweeted a picture of me drinking what I had (not that I was complaining, it was supplied by a friend) and a beer distributor tweeted back that I should let them know the next time I was there and they would send me to the right places.

Yes, lots of all these things. Oh, and women. When you go to Vegas as a single person – at least this über faithful butch – all of a sudden, do you know what you see? Women. Attractive women. And, I mean everywhere. Now, I am no fool. I have now figured out that these women are, for the most part, instruments of the casino designed to part me from my money. Do you know what I mean? No? Well, perhaps you are a femme, or a gay man, or an über faithful coupled person. Everywhere we went, I saw attractive women. Most of them scantily clad. Never was this more true than at the Planet Hollywood Casino, and especially in their “The Pleasure Pit.”

A parade of distracting dealers in corsets.

A parade of distracting dealers in corsets.

Butches and straight men: STAY OUT OF THE PLEASURE PIT! You will lose money here.  You will be entertained, yes. You will have a lovely view, yes. If you are single, you will feel right at home here. But, you will lose. The casino has made a well-calculated bet on it.  How do I know this?

Because all of the dealers in The Pleasure Pit are lovely women wearing pink corsets, lacy boy shorts, and stockings. Because in between all the tables there are lots of even lovelier women in even less clothing dancing on tables. They aren’t really dancing, at least not in the way that a talented Vegas showgirl, go-go dancer, a trained pole-dancer, or a seasoned stripper dances. But, there they are, wearing next to nothing, and moving around in a dance-like motion. If you show any signs of being distracted by them, they will focus on you. Obviously, this is good for their tips – at least in my experience, but I am sure that the casino trains them. Anyone who has a large stack of chips, focus in. Anyone alone, focus in. Catch anyone staring at you? Oh, it’s on. We are taking all that sucker’s money. Word. At least Planet Hollywood doesn’t discriminate between its straight and gay patrons.

I think this is the dancer that cost me all that money!

I think this is the dancer that cost me all that money!

I am serious. My friends were like, “Butch, focus on your cards.” Seriously, focus! One friend even assisted me by turning my head towards my shrinking chip stack. But, the drinks kept coming, I blame another friend for that. Obviously, she didn’t make me drink them, but when someone (in a corset) hands me a perfectly good Jack and Diet, what am I to do? Anyway, let’s just say, combined with my wonderful friends, it was the most fun I have ever had losing money.

Please, heed my advice. Ignore me at your wallet’s peril. Enough on the distracting dealers and dancers of The Pleasure Pit. On to the really interesting story. After some of our crew has left, the rest of us were trying to decide what to do. See a show? Penn & Teller? Nah. Cirque? Amazing, but too expensive (especially after The Pleasure Pit smack down). Gamble? Out of the question for a couple of us. What to do… Umm, how about a strip club?

It’s hella butch to have fun with your friends in Vegas. Be Butch.


On Being Butch … and Tristan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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