Break It Down, Butch.

October 14, 2010

[43] Joel Burns — It Gets Better.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 00:53
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Joel Burns is from a small Texas town, son of an actual cowboy, and a current Ft. Worth city councilman. He utterly broke my heart.

Please watch this video and spread it around, because I don’t think there could be a better one.

July 25, 2010

[31] Kick a man in his internet.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 22:47
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So, it turns out my address doesn’t exist.

Only my life, man. I swear to God.

I should explain. My new (shiny! awesome!) apartment is number 17a. The tattoo shop below me? Also number 17a. Which’d explain why I’ve been getting all their mail. But they are the 17a officially registered with the Post Office, which means they legally own the right to that address.

I, on the other hand, cannot get a phone line installed because BT — British Telecommunications, holder of all phone lines — goes by the addresses registered with the Post Office, and refuse to install anything in an unregistered house.

Ergo, I cannot get a phone line.

Ergo, I cannot get an internet connection.

Ergo, I am losing my mind.

I’m stealing a friend’s internet right now. Between work, couch-surfing, dog-sitting, and my friend’s father being rushed to hospital after a bout of vomiting, collapsing, and seizing (seizing, because this month sucks), I’ve slept exactly one night in my own bed this week. I’ve spent the last few days at my friend’s place, providing moral support and generally getting underfoot. (I’ve been very helpfully picking raspberries, buying flowers, and hugging people a lot. I also called the ambulance and stayed relatively un-panicked while everyone else — except the nurse!daughter– worked themselves up into an understandable lather.)

(I’ll admit, I panicked a bit later. But quietly and on my own.)

(I should also mention: it looks like the father is going to be fine. He’s still in hospital, but hasn’t had a seizure in a few days, and all his heart tests have come back clean. We’re waiting on blood tests and CT scan results. The current theory is Addison’s disease, which’d be brilliant because it’s manageable with drugs and non-fatal. Scarier theories include mini-strokes — he’s had three already — and other neurological awfulness. We’re holding out for Addison’s disease.)

Randomly, I went to Pink Picnic today, which is Huddersfield’s version of a pride parade, except without the parade. Basically, a whole bunch of stalls and tents set themselves up in a field for a day, along with a stage and a few fairground rides, and everybody has Pride. It’s kind of sweet and soggy and pathetic and very, very British. There were also a few fabulous drag queen acts, including one lady who got up on stage dressed in a black PVC mini-dress and a pair of enormous red feather wings and sang ‘Stand By Your Man’*. I went with one pansexual, polyamourous friend who wore a giant rainbow flag-cape and rainbow cowboy hat all day, and a kinky MtF transgender acquaintance who wore a PVC stretch top, rubber face-gag, and a giant leather-pride flag-cape.

We got stared at like you wouldn’t believe.

Still, it was lots of fun. I went in jeans, a military shirt, and bought a pride ribbon and a rainbow bracelet. Mostly I got cruised by gay guys. I also saw the most drop-dead gorgeous butch in a grey shirt and low-slung jeans; I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t have the guts to talk to her. I just sort of… admired her from a distance.

I had to work this evening, so I didn’t get to go to the after-picnic party. But I did find out about a new (ish?) gay club that’s within walking distance of my place, and apparently pretty awesome. I plan to acquire a backbone and check it out. As soon as I remember the name, anyway.

And, while I’m on a roll, tomorrow looks to be exciting. I have to call my landlord (again) and shout at him about renting me an existential apartment; I have to call my garage (again) and yell at them about not calling me back; I have to pick up a mystery package I didn’t order from the post office; and I have to dog-sit for my dad.

Note to self: purchase throat-sweets.

(Okay, I’m kidding about the shouting. I don’t shout if I can avoid it. I speak firmly, with conviction, and stay excrutiatingly polite until they realize I’m also being entirely inflexible. It’s amazing how well that works.)

Oh, I forgot to mention: There were absolutely no butch!pride things at the picnic — which wasn’t terribly surprising — but they did have bear pride things, so I figured what the hell, it’s close enough, and bought a keychain/bottle opener. It’s sleek, made of steel, decorated in the bear!rainbow — lots of browns and tans — and has a little black pawprint in the corner. Sterling! Manly! Tough! Supportive of body hair! I like it, even if it does keep poking me in the hip.


* She advised people to sing along with the lyrics of their own choosing, which included ‘Stand On Your Man’, ‘Sit On Your Hand’, and if you were a straight man, ‘You’re In The Wrong Field, Buddy’. I adored her.

May 14, 2010

[24] Playing Nice.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 02:53
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Sometimes, speaking online is like having all your teeth pulled.

I should rephrase that. Sometimes, speaking nicely online is like having all your teeth pulled. Often willingly, so you can sit fangless in good company and not upset the mood. Because discussion should be polite, well-intentioned, forgiving of personal foibles, and inclusive.

I am not being sarcastic.

No, really, I’m not. Discussion should be all of those things. It really should. But here’s the nasty little glitch in the Matrix — we’re not just discussing here, us online gender-writers. Okay, some of us are, and that’s awesome and groovy, but a lot of us, a whole lot, are ranting and debating and thinking and raving and theorizing and defending our brand new points of view*. Our right to have rights. Hell, just our right to draw breath.

This butch thing, it’s not easy. And I resent the unspoken code of conduct not to wade in with a flaming torch and ass-kicking boots when someone crawls their way inside one of our journals and starts spreading verbal slime all over the walls. I resent that I’m not allowed to go to bat for my brothers and sisters for fear of reducing this little internet circle to “an unsafe space”. Seriously, that’s not cool. And while I’m all for polite discourse on the subject of whatever, I’m also going to very impolitely point out that there are no safe spaces, not really, not if you’re not willing to stand up and make them so.

Jesus, it took the Stonewall Riotsriots; blood and fists and bricks in the street — just to make a start in butch and queer getting some kind of acknowledgement, some free-thinking room, and now we’re so goddamned nervous of offending our own shadows.

We were born in battle, guys. In hurt and fire and hard, secret places, and we had to fight just for the right to stand next to like-minded folks. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that much has changed in forty-one years. Most of us still have to fight for the right to wear what clothes we like, to date who we want (be it butch, femme, twinkly lady-boy, kinky leatherbound furry, or what-the-hell-ever), and to piss wherever’s safe. To walk unmolested in the goddamned street.

So please, forgive me if I’m not feeling especially inclined to bend over backwards just to make Joe-ignorant or Lucy-asshole all warm and fuzzy when they come into our space, spreading whatever brand of bigotry most appeals. Particularly if Joe-ignorant or Lucy-asshole claim they are a part of our community to start with, because then they should damn well know better.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need to do gender my way. I’m not. Do it however makes you happy and more power to you, god yes. What I’m saying is that if you aren’t respectful, aren’t open-minded, aren’t willing to back up and consider that you might have made a mistake by being a fucking moron — myself included — then you sacrifice your right to be treated with any kind of courtesy.

I appreciate chivalry. I admire gentlemanliness (and gentlewomanliness). But I also thoroughly endorse thrashing the metaphorical hell out of anyone deserving in a good old-fashioned, well-crafted, blistering debate. And I really, truly, throughly do not care if fragile egos and delicate feelings get hurt in the process because, Christ, welcome to the freakin’ club. Grow some armour; build some character; experience some empathy, jackass.

Here’s the thing, we have come a long way from Stonewall, but we still have the absolute right to defend every last inch of ourselves, head to toe, inside and out, internet spaces included.

And seriously, if you find yourself changing the subject, you just lost.

ETA: In the spirit of brilliant timing, JB just threw up a guide to the art of argumentative shut-downs. How’s that for a hive mind?

*And a lot that aren’t brand new, if I’m honest.

January 19, 2010

[3] Blogroll.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 13:49
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My current favourite feature of WordPress? Totally the blogroll. In three days I’ve run across more butches and femmes than I have in the last three months. Butches with blogs! Femmes with fancy words! Pictures, yo. And even fashion advice, which has made me entirely too thoughtful on the subject of butch shoes.

(Turns out it’s not just black boots. There’s choice! Though I think I will always love the ass-kicker boots.)

Anyway. I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a great party, nerving myself up to leap in and meet-and-greet. Or possibly sit at some (highly fashionable) feet and stare up with awe, trying not to drool too unattractively. There’s a community here — an actual group of intelligent, like-minded folks who seem to have each others’ backs. I didn’t think I’d find that so fast. Or find it at all, really. But god, is it hope-giving.

I should get my ass in gear and start commenting around. Get my brain working, see what issues people are thinking about right now. Maybe see if I can’t start forming some connections of my own, But there’s that drooling issue again…

Jeez, self. Courage! I think I’ll make tonight my comment night. I might even attempt to sound intelligent.

ETA: By request, Sartorial Butch’s post on butch shoes. And likewise, Fit For A Femme on the same subject. Enjoy!

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