Why Today Matters

 By now, you have heard that the US Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right and that gay and lesbian people are as deserving of that right as their straight neighbors and friends. As such, no state may restrict a gay or lesbian person’s right to get married. Well, despite the obvious Snoopy dance that I have been literally and figuratively dancing all day, I realize that maybe not everyone gets it.

I have seen a lot of celebration today from both my community and from allies. I have also seen a fair number of what I like to call now-can-we-focus-on-what-really-matters? comments. I agree that there is much work to be done. We need protection from being fired. We need protection from being kicked out of our homes, including the big home of the United States. We need protection in the adoption process, health care, and basically every government service you can think of. We still don’t have those national protections. There is much to be done. But today is a day for celebrating. Here’s why – from my perspective.

In 1993, I had a commitment ceremony with my partner at the time. It was a big deal and looked a lot like a wedding. I had friends back then who did not understand why we would want to do anything that looked like a wedding. That is for straights, they said. You aren’t straight, so why do you want to pretend to be a part of a system that rejects you? We did our best to explain it – over and over. In 2000, we registered officially in California as domestic partners. This was a huge step for many gays and lesbians because it was some sort of official recognition, albeit separate and unequal. Many people took advantage of this registration. In 2004, we rushed off to San Francisco to be legally wed. It was an incredibly exciting time because there was a feeling that all of the people involved were making history. We did make history, but not as legitimately married couples. All of the weddings performed were declared void (which held its own kind of pain), and the whole Proposition 8 nightmare began. Several years later, we separated and experienced the tremendous unfairness of not being married, but still having to go through a divorce, and all of the inequities dealt to both of us by the system.

In 2013, I met my wife. We fell madly in love. We knew that our relationship would be a challenge since she was not a US citizen. But, then that summer, the Supreme Court invalidated DOMA and Prop 8. That meant all Californians were free to marry.  The striking down of DOMA meant once married, we would be able to apply for immigration status. We got legally married late that year, and this time none of my friends asked why we would want to marry. Everyone understood. People fall in love, and some of those people want to get married. In early 2014, she became a legal green card holder. All thanks to the changes in the law – largely brought on by the marriage debate.

The tide has shifted so completely in the last 20+ years people of all walks of life now know how important marriage is. Not because it is the end-all and be-all of civil rights, but because it is an indication of normalcy, acceptance and finality. “They are married, just like we are, so that’s that.” “Of course they are a family, they are married with kids.” No longer can the question, “Is she a lesbian?” be answered with, “No, she’s married.”

If people are married, then of course they can visit each other in the hospital. If two parents are married, then of course they can both come to the parent-teacher conference. Married couples rent apartments and buy cars. They open savings accounts, and go to the doctor. Marriage was never an end, it was a means to an end. And that end is equality. Lesbians and gays who are married get to be treated the same way as straights who are married. Of course she gets to inherit that house, they were married! Do you see what I mean?

To those of you in the LGBT community who don’t want to get married, great! No need for you to do so. Be excited, though, that you can. You are no longer excluded from an institution and the multitude of rights that are automatically bestowed on people who are part of that institution.

To those of you who are offended that my wife and I are now legally married in every state in the union, I feel sorry for you. You are on the wrong side of history. And if you cannot see that, take comfort in the fact that no one will ever force you to marry someone of the same-sex. Nor will anyone force your church to perform such marriages. Don’t worry; the same constitution that grants me the fundamental right to marry, also protects your fundamental right to hate me for it. I hope that you won’t, but I will defend your right to think and speak how you wish.

It’s Butch to support equality. Be Butch.


Stylish 100

I am honored to have been selected as one of the Stylish 100 by DapperQ. What a great compliment! Check out the list here (http://www.dapperq.com/2015/06/100-most-stylish-dapperqs-2015/). 

It’s Butch to be recognized for being yourself. Be Butch. 


World Oceans Day: 5 Things You Can Do Today

Started in 1992 and officially recognized by the UN in 2008, June 8 is World Oceans Day. The Ocean Project is one of the leading organizations advancing the day. You can read more at either site.

Here’s 5 easy things you can do today to help protect the oceans:

1. Skip the straw and lid. Reusable cups and straws are best, but no one is perfect. Straws and lids don’t degrade. They are floating around our oceans. They get eaten or inhaled by sea life. Plastic is bad for sea life.

2. Don’t use products with micro-beads in them. Face scrubs and body washes with micro-beads are bad for the ocean because the beads are plastic. They don’t degrade. Down your drain they go, out to the ocean, eaten by the fish, and then back on your plate. Yum!

3. Properly dispose of your medications. The toilet or drain is not proper. It’s bad for our water supply and makes fish sick. Ask your pharmacy how to do it correctly.

4. Express yourself with rad reusable grocery bags. Let the store keep those plastic demons. My current bags are Avengers characters – Iron Man, Black Widow, The Hulk, and then the whole crew.

5. Don’t litter. Duh.  Everyone knows that. In addition, if you see a piece of trash, pick it up. You might be keeping it out of the ocean.

Maybe go to the beach today. Take a deep breath and look out at the expanse of mesmerizing water you see. It is a wonderful reminder of just how small we are.

The oceans don’t need us, but we sure do need the oceans. It is Butch to take care of our oceans. Be Butch.


YES!

The votes are in. Recounts have been called for. Unscrupulous polling practices and redistricting have been dealt with. And the voting is final.

Not really, of course, but the votes are final. ButchWonders published the list of the Top 25 Most Powerful Butches as nominated and voted upon by her readers. As she explains in her post, its actually the Top 20. And, guess what?

I am indeed a powerful butch. Number 19, to be exact. Though my wife and kids would probably rank me closer to 3 or 4 (after kd lang and Ellen, natch).

I mean! Come on! I am on a list of women that includes Rachel Maddow, Ellen DeGeneres, kd lang, Lea Delaria, Ivan Coyote, Billie Jean King, and Martina Navratilova (just to name a few). I am delighted. Thank you all who voted. Seriously, no jokes. I am really excited. Thank you.

Be Butch. I certainly will keep doing so.


Is ButchOnTap one of the 25 Most Powerful Butches in America?

What does it mean to be one of the most powerful Butches in America?

Does it mean that women won’t freak out when I walk in the correct restroom? Does it mean that my friends will stop wondering why I don’t just dress a little more feminine if it’s so irritating? Does it mean that people at restaurants, coffee shops, drug stores, service counters, auto shops, and on planes will stop calling me “Sir”? Does it mean that I will magically have tons of customized clothing options when I walk into any of the shops I frequent? Does it mean that I will stop frustrating the occasional gay man who thought I was a man to hit on? Does it mean that I will have all of the book publishing world and Hollywood open to me to do some creating on a big scale?

Does it mean my amazing and stunning wife will love me more? Does it mean my kids will think I am any cooler? Does it mean my puppy will stop having accidents in the house? Does it mean my cat allergies will suddenly vanish? Will it reduce my cable guy service window?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding and huge No. But, it would be hella cool.

When ButchWonders posted the poll this morning and invited the world to vote for the 25 Most Powerful Butches in America, I was excited. What a cool thing to see all those Butches (and in some cases, perceived Butches) listed. I mean, there are lots of us! Butches aren’t disappearing! And even better, we are starting to achieve more visibility. More visibility means more mental health. More comfort in daily life. More acceptance. It means kids can figure out they are Butch younger. Less stress. Less anxiety. Less why don’t I fit? Less badly dressed lesbians! (You are a Butch, feel free to shop in either the men’s or women’s department.)

I was also excited to be listed. Heh. But I got tripped up on whether I could ask y’all to vote for me. If I was powerful, wouldn’t everyone vote without being asked? Doesn’t it diminish it if I run around asking for votes?

Again, I think the answer is No.

I’ve done pretty well in life by asking for what I want. After all, I want to be powerful. With power comes the ability to change things. To get things done. With power, people are more likely to take your calls, listen to you. Isn’t it my responsibility to claim that power then? To take steps towards what I want? To help carry the banner for Butches everywhere?

I hope so. Please vote for me. You can vote for 10 of the people listed, so it’s not like I have to be the most powerful Butch you know… Just in your top 10. The poll closes Friday, so vote quickly.

I’ll still Be Butch regardless of the outcome of the poll. Making it won’t make me more Butch, nor will not making it mean I am less Butch. But, it’s Butch to ask for what you want. Vote for me and Be Butch with me.


Are You A Lesbian?

WATCH: Top 10 Signs You Might Be A #Lesbian. Cameo by me! (I’m a lesbian.)

http://youtu.be/MdIEmxDtq1A

#thedinah #thedinah15 #thedinah25


What is “butch”, anyway?

Check out this great piece from my friend Searching4Self. What is “butch”, anyway?.


The 16 Butchest Movies of All Time

Need a handy list of movies to watch? Want to make sure you can communicate with the Butch in your life? I’m here to serve. 

The following is my selection for the Butchest movies of all time, in no particular order. Obviously, this is because I am a Butch and clearly a movie expert. Lol. Add your favorites in the comments.


1. Terminator – When Ahhnold takes that biker’s clothes, boots, and shades. Also, biker boots crushing red roses and Linda Hamilton. 
2. Jaws – I mean, clearly we are going to need a bigger list. Er, boat.
3. Alien – Sigourney Weaver in a wife beater, dirty and sweaty taking on that Mama Alien. Yes!
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark – What Butch doesn’t want to be Professor Jones? Digging in the dirt? A whip and a pistol? I mean, come on!
5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – The name alone would get it mentioned here (plus, great movie).
6. Batman – Normal dude, tuxedos, tons of money, best toys ever. Catching bad guys. 
7. Any James Bond – All those gadgets, cars, women. Bow ties. British accent. 
8. Godfather – Meh. That’s right, I said meh. Then why include it? Ask any Butch you know. It must make the list.
9. Ace Ventura – Like a glove. 94 minutes of brilliance. 
10. Bad Boys – whacha gonna do when they come for you? Plus, a Shelby Cobra, and Tia Leone with a gun. 
11. Silence of the Lambs – it has Jodi foster in it, so we will excuse the senseless scariness. What are we? Rocks?
12. Die Hard – Yippeekaiyay mother f*cker!
13. Big Hero 6 – What? Go ahead. I dare you.
14. Charlie’s Angels – Um, hot girls? Car chases? Explosions? Drew Barrymore kicking ass?

15. Star Wars – Whether you identify with Han Solo, Luke, or Darth Vader, this is about as Butch as it gets. Sword fights (with lasers), talking robots, high tech vehicles of every kind, spectacular explosions, and … Princess Leia. Sigh.
16. Lord of the Rings – Epic adventure, fears of daring do, being underestimated and succeeding against all odds. 
Did I forget your favorite? Let me know!
It’s Butch to make lists. Be Butch. 

14 Problems Only Butches and Femmes Who Love Them Understand

Today, I read a great list of problems only Butch lesbians understand. I laughed out loud. Many of you also enjoyed the list, judging by the plethora of comments. The author captured many of my Butch problems, but I couldn’t help myself. I thought of a few more. And, as a Butch who loves Femmes, mine are a little different.

So, go read Lane Moore’s post in Cosmopolitan – of all places – and then please see my humble additions below. 


1. Drink Umbrellas. You really want a mixed drink (rather than beer) but are afraid of what will come in or on your drink.
 
2. Parent Night at School. When your kid’s classmates ask if you are the mom “because you look more like the dad.”
 
3. She Looks Better In Your Clothes Than You Do. Actually, never mind.

 
4. Suitcases at Airports. You want to carry your bag and hers, but it’s a little too awkward. Plus, there’s the whole caveman stereotype.
 
5. That’s My Job. A cool new piece of furniture or technology gets delivered and you’re looking forward to putting it together when your girl grabs a boxcutter and is excited to get started.
 
6. When Your Mom Says You Look “So Pretty.” Or should I say “handsome”? Oh, honey, you know what I mean. (I do, Mom. 😜)
 
7. Getting Dressed. In anything other than casual attire. Until you decide the men’s section isn’t off limits, anyway.
 
8. Giant Boobs. Seriously. Why is it is #Butches seem to have the biggest racks? Girls would pay good money for racks like ours. Also, see number 6.
 
9. Tiffany. Betty Sue. Rebecca. Did you ever notice the Butches in your life have the girliest names? It’s so unfair.
 
10. Engagement Rings. You’ve bought her one. She said yes! Wait, why don’t you have a ring? Aren’t you excited? Well, I am, but I don’t want that big diamond hanging off my finger. What a hazard!
 
11. Manicures. Cut or file?, the lady asks. Cut. How short? Really short. Immediately conversation in another language happens. Followed by laughter.
 
12. You Miss The Pre-Lipstick Kiss. Your wife put her lipstick on and you missed your kiss. It’s going to be a long night before you get another chance.
 
13. Selfies. Hers are coy, playful, and sexy. Yours look like these.
 
Sigh. And here’s one more, special for me.
 
14. Butch or Bitch? When your wife is British and the two words sound a lot alike. What did she just call me?
 
It’s Butch to share lists of the funny things you experience as a Butch. Be Butch. 

Valentine’s Day Redux: How Not To Spend It Alone

This is an updated version of a post that first ran 2 years ago. It is as applicable today as it was then.

Attention butches!  This is a public service announcement for Valentine’s Day. What’s that, you say?  It’s almost two weeks away?  A whole 9 days?  No need to worry about that yet. You have plenty of time. WRONG!

Please allow me to give you some advice. Let me offer some tidbits I have learned while loving a femme. You need to get ready. NOW. Not 8 days from now, because your girl will know. How will she know?  I don’t know, but trust me they ALWAYS know. And you will feel the full wrath of your girl if you do not prepare.

A special note for you married butches: Do not assume Valentines Day does not apply to you anymore. Sure, you aren’t doing a full court press as you were when you were dating, but you still love her, right? You still want her to feel special, right? This applies to you, too.

Ok, first do not tell me that she is the kind of woman who doesn’t care about Valentine’s Day. Its simply not true. Even if you have heard her say one or more of the following:

1. I don’t care about Valentine’s Day

2. I don’t need anything special

3. I don’t want you to go to any trouble

4. I don’t want you to spend too much money

5. It’s just a stupid Hallmark holiday

6. Flowers are a waste of money; they just die

7. I don’t need any more jewelry

8. Who needs chocolate and teddy bears

These are lies. All lies. Every single one of them. Do not believe her!  Why does she say these things if she doesn’t mean them?  Well, apart from her being a femme, you mean?  I don’t know. Why do femmes say most of what they say?  It could be that she is trying to convince herself of any one of these statements. Perhaps she knows from past experience that you will let her down and she is preparing herself to lessen the blow when another Valentine’s Day comes and goes and she is left with a meaningless card and a lame little teddy bear from 7-11. Whatever the reason, ignore her.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that you must do something – that you must decide on a plan of action and put it in play now.  If so, you may be thinking, “Butch, what should I do?” Read on.

The bad news is that there is not one size that fits all women.  The good news is there are lots of great options and they can be divided into 7 easy-to-understand categories. Fit it into one of these, and you will be golden. Note that only a couple are expensive; at least four of these can be affordable, so not being loaded is no excuse to neglect your femme on Valentine’s Day.  Unless you want to be neglected, that is.

1. Thoughtful. Think mushy. Put together a collage of ticket stubs from shows you’ve been to together, throw in a matchbook from a place you ate at that she loved. What’s that you say?  It looks like crap?  Doesn’t matter. Gather a bunch of papers and little mementos from your life together this past year, glue it on construction paper around a picture of the two of you and she will positively swoon. You’ll see. You can also add the high value presentation gifts here from places like Shutterfly and Moonpig. These websites let you upload your photos, type your message, add as much flash as you like, and presto! They will create a customized card, poster, t-shirt, you name it for you. You’ll need to expedite shipping now – so hurry.

2.  Hard. Intricate or detailed works, too. Create a scavenger hunt to take her to all of your favorite couple’s spots around town.  Recreate the first date you had. Take her to the same restaurant with the same walk on the beach.  Or, order in the same food, and rent the movie you saw on that first date or the day you asked her to marry you.  Take the time to set the table.  It is crazy how much women love a set table.  If you drop a few candy hearts or flower petals on the table, watch out!  Find that special kind of cookie/champagne/cheese/liverwurst (if she loves it, who cares what it is?) that you had on your honeymoon/first date/trip to Scotland, and order it online. You need time for this to be delivered. This will tell her: a) you pay attention enough to know she likes ____, b) you took the time to order it especially for her, and c) you love her enough to plan ahead. Yes, planning = love.  Do not try to make too much sense out of it, just trust me.

3. Expensive.  Buy her something amazing – something she wants. Diamonds.  Silver.  Pearls.  Think Nicole Kidman from Moulin Rouge and you will be on the right track.  Please, please, please do NOT buy her expensive lingerie from La Perla – unless she has asked for this. That is a gift for you. How happy would you be if your girl gave you sexy lingerie that she would wear for you?  Right?  So that’s not your gift to her.  Think jewelry, a trip somewhere, perfume, shoes, a nice bag – all good choices.  Clothes: do not buy clothes. Unless she tells you EXACTLY what to get, you run the risk of buying something she hates, or buying her the wrong size. You really cannot win here.  Too small?  “What the hell makes you think I can fit into that? If you’re looking for a woman this skinny, why are you with me?”  Too big? “Just exactly how fat do you think I am?”  Or for either, the worst is, “You don’t know me at all!”  No, no clothes.

4. Flashy or Showy.  This is where flowers fall – at least if you have them sent to her work.  Remember that one of the best things about Valentine’s Day is being able to show off your butch or guy.  Flowers at work say to all of her coworkers, “I have someone who loves me enough to send me flowers.”  Translation, my butch is better than yours.  Send a giant bouquet of flowers to her office so she can show you off.  Roses are great if she likes them, but they are really expensive this time of year, so if she loves another flower, send those.  It will look creative and save you some cash.  Do not leave the card up to the college kid at the flower shop.  Put something on there that will make her smile or show her you love her.  Don’t worry about the college kid writing it down.  He isn’t trying to keep your woman happy, so who cares what he thinks?

5. The Event.  Drinks.  Dinner.  A club (even dancing, gasp!).  A movie at the fancy theater, museum, or exhibit that she has been looking forward to seeing.  Note that you can earn extra points and make her feel extra special by doing something that you do not want to do.  Think indie film, chick flick, an exhibit on purses throughout the ages, a flower show … you get the idea.  Or, by getting you into somewhere that is difficult – the “it” restaurant or club.  Plan ahead and get a table.  Remember, planning = love.

6. Manual Labor.  Yes, that’s right.  Along the lines of “The Event” category, do some things for her that you hate to do.  Do the dishes, put away the laundry, clean the house – all before she gets home from work.  Tell her that you are taking her car that morning and go have it serviced and detailed for her.  There are probably a slew of things that your woman would be ecstatic about if you did them for her.  This does not mean that you can do something dude-like that you should already have been doing and call it a Valentine’s Day present.  Do not  unload the dishwasher or clear the table, or for guys, put down the toilet seat, and announce that as your gift.  Poof! Now you’re single.

7. Pampering.  Think manicures, pedicures and massages.  Give her a gift certificate to the spa for the day.  Or… paint her toenails yourself.  I promise that if you rub her feet and then do this for her, she will melt.  Also, a massage is fool-proof.  Tell her that her gift is a massage, and that you do not expect one in return.  Then go all out.  Light candles, turn on music, and give the massage.  Extra touches are key.  Remember, she needs to feel special.  The harder it is for you and the more awkward that you feel doing it, the better!

So pick one of these 7 categories – at least one. More than one is platinum. You have to make her feel special. Girls need to know that you thought hard, planned carefully, or spent a lot of time or money on them.  No matter which of the above options you choose, you MUST write a card. Do not rely on the pre-printed text alone, even if you think it says exactly what you want to say, only better than you would say it. Sure, the card itself is important, so choose wisely. Stick with romantic or cute – make sure it’s not for your grandmother.  But add your own spin to it.  Love her eyes? Great, tell her.  Love her body?  Only tell her that if you add stuff about her heart and mind, too.  She doesn’t think purely physical, so neither should you.

Ignore me at your peril. Butches and straight guys:  take care of your woman if you want her, and therefore you, to be happy.  She might want totally different things than you do, but that’s part of why you love her.  A card and little teddy bear from 7-11 says exactly what you do not want to say — I did not have time/love you enough/care enough to do something special for you.  Get your act together and show her how much you love her!  And, if your woman sent you this post, you better take note, get busy and use this as a checklist.

Prove how butch you are by showing her how much you love her.  Want to make sure that you do not end up alone on Valentine’s Day?  It’s up to you.

It’s butch to make your femme feel really special on Valentine’s Day. Be butch.


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