BOT’s Box: Mail Call!

Check out this amazing mail call I had today…

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I received a stylish polo from Dapper D Fashions, a sassy postcard from Alpha Harlot, and this rad bow tie – skull and crossbones in wee Santa hats! I’m also particularly intrigued by a package I shall not describe just yet from Berman Innovations.

Thank you so much everybody!


The Dinah 2015: Dinah turns 25!

I’m so excited! I’m going to be there again this year. Are you? I can’t wait to hear the line up! And, I note they’ve spelled all the celebrity names right (unlike me). I’ve so much to learn…

CLUB SKIRTS DINAH SHORE WEEKEND COMMENCES CELEBRATION OF ITS
2015 SILVER ANNIVERSARY:
CELEBRATING 25 EPIC YEARS OF WORLD-CLASS ENTERTAINMENT AS ONE OF PALM SPRINGS’ LEADING SIGNATURE EVENTS

IMG_0753.JPGPalm Springs, CA – The legendary Dinah Shore Weekend, founded and produced by Mariah Hanson under her Club Skirts marquee, has officially commenced the six-months long celebration of its Silver Anniversary.

April 1-5, 2015 Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend is turning twenty-five and taking the event to a new zenith.

Twenty-five years of excellence and unwavering commitment to deliver world-class entertainment and top notch customer service that continue as Mariah Hanson and her team commemorate the landmark by honoring the partnerships that have been part of the amazing journey and contributed to the event’s stratospheric success.

A quarter-century ago, Mariah Hanson did more than just kick-start her Dinah. She also and most importantly launched what would become her enduring legacy to both the city of Palm Springs and the LGBT community.

From a small, one-night event at a Palm Springs museum with 1,500 participants twenty-five years ago, to booking lavish locations at deluxe hotels over five days of epic pool parties and world-class entertainment with some 15,000-plus attendees and major corporate sponsors today, Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend has evolved into one of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley’s largest tourism boosters and undisputed biggest lesbian event of its kind in the world.

The natural symbiosis shared by these two iconic LGBT Mecca has continuously been a match made in heaven. More than a tradition The Dinah Shore Weekend has over these past 25 years (and counting) become a Palm Springs institution and one of the city’s most popular spring attractions.

Once the party pied-a-terre of Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack, who turned Palm Springs into America’s most glamorous destination for the glitterati in the 1950s, the famous sunny oasis has now gotten back in the swing of things to once again reclaim its status as one of Hollywood’s hippest playground and the world hub for major high-profile festivals and special events.

The envy of the world with its 360-days of sunshine, the swanky modern city of glitz and glamour has been attracting a new generation of visitors from young hipsters, international jet-setters to Hollywood A-listers and socialites, who vie for the ultra-chic weekend getaway of martini-sipping, cabana lounging and celebrity sightseeing.

As one of the early pioneers, the Dinah has become one of Palm Spring staple events sharing the spotlight with the likes of the Coachella Music Festival, Stagecoach, The Palm Springs International Film Festival, the BNP Paribas Open Trophy, and the PGA and LPGA golf tournaments –all intrinsically linked to the famous desert community.

In the span of twenty five years The Dinah has cemented its status as not only an event the entertainment industry’s most elite go to but also as a trendsetting event that music industry insiders watch and jockey to book their artists’ performances.

It is the only acknowledged all-girl party that features such a phenomenal line-up of talent to ever to perform at a lesbian event. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Colbie Caillat, India Arie, The Pussycat Dolls, Kesha and more recently Iggy Azalea, are just a few examples of major recording artists that headlined the epic event while still “unknown” and then systematically went on to hit international superstardom.

While The Dinah has been spearheading music careers, it has, most importantly, also been transforming lives and making a difference in and for the LGBT community. Offering an unparalleled one-of-a-kind experience for myriads of women who come every year from all over the world to enjoy the freedom to be who they truly are without fearing the judgment of others, and gain, as well, a tremendous amount of self worth.

The event has also been serving as a platform to mobilize the LGBT community around humanitarian projects and social issues, famously partnering in previous years with a variety of activist associations and charity organizations such as GLAAD, HRC, NOH8, Love is Louder, Equality California, and The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center among others.

The Dinah has certifiably come to represent an ever-growing movement that has crossed over to mainstream bringing more and more visibility to the lesbian community – one that had never existed before.

Now ready to soar to new heights, the 25th installment of The Dinah is already expected to be one of the major highlights of the 2015 Palm Springs festival season.

Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend is not just breaking grounds; it is making history!

Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend 2015 will be held April 1 through the 5th in Palm Springs, CA. For More Information go to: http://www.TheDinah.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/ClubSkirtsDinahShoreWeekend

Twitter: @Dinahshore
Pinterest/Instagram: #DinahShore
#thedinah25

To learn more about The City of Palm Springs visit: http://www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

http://www.thedinah.com

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The Lesbian Mastermind behind The Dinah: An Interview with Mariah Hanson

This interview was published over at Huffington Post on October 13, 2014. I have shared it here for my WordPress friends.

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Mariah Hanson who runs The Dinah each year in Palm Springs. As confirmation of her lifetime of success, Mariah will be honored by The Center in Palm Springs with its first ever “Legacy Award” to recognize exceptional work on behalf of LGBT people living in the Coachella Valley. I met her this year at The Dinah and she was charming. I was lucky enough to get to ask her some questions well after the dust on the event settled.

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Tell me about yourself.
I am a very passionate woman interested in all aspects of really discovering all the ways we can grow and be the best person we can be. My event reflects that, working my weekend is like going through EST or a seminar. We really lay the groundwork for people to see how they can make a difference. How they can reach out to people who are on the edge, heartbroken, maybe in crisis, or in mourning. The vibe with my staff is really about making a very welcoming amazing first impression with people and then letting that experience flow throughout the weekend. Think about a fancy restaurant with a famous chef. The first course is fantastic. Then you have to go to the bathroom, excuse yourself, and you go in and it’s disgusting. How do you feel when you walk back to your food? Doesn’t matter how good the chef is now. I may be the face of Dinah, but everyone is important. Even the janitor.

I am definitely an event producer, who loves what I do and feels incredibly honored to do what I do. An individual who, as I grow older, is really enjoying the opportunity that we all have to grow and be kind and make a difference. Making a positive difference in our lives is really important. The journey that we have to take has a ripple effect. I love what I do. And then I ride horses. I am a cowgirl. I drive a Chevy. People wouldn’t recognize me.

How do you feel Dinah has developed?
I think it’s seen an incredible growth trajectory. It started out as a pretty wild three-day party focused around drinking and DJ driven. 24-25 years later it is an international lesbian music festival with film, comedy, live music, and charity. It just has become this amazing event. We gave feedback forms last year at the film festival and the feedback was more events like this – mostly from women in their 30s and 50s. As the event grows there is room to do different stuff during the Dinah.

How do you manage to top the year before?
Well I will tell you my goal isn’t to get bigger every year. The goal is just to throw the most amazing event for lesbians in the world. Other events are changing, more talent that is recognizable because gay events set the bar.

Do you see other event promoters as competition?
No. I see it as a win-win. You are in New Orleans and at that beignet shop – you know what I am talking about – there is a line around the block. [Cafe du Monde] Someone comes to NOLA and sees the line and thinks, wow they are making a lot of money; I want to open a beignet shop. But they aren’t as good at making beignets. So they revert to competitive tactics and send the health department over to the other shop. The other option is to see the line and think that this town loves pastries! Let’s open a bakery and make almond croissants. Second scenario: Everyone in NOLA is going to get really fat and be eating a lot of beignets and croissants. First: competitor will go out of business, not everyone is a beignet baker. Not everyone is nightclub promoter.

Favorite memory from the past 24 Dinah’s?
I’ve got a couple. One is listening to the Pussycat Dolls sing Don’t Cha. Another is talking to Katy Perry’s manager about Lady Gaga; I felt this presence behind me as I was talking to him. It was so strong and I turned around – it was Katy Perry, listening to everything I was saying to her manager. She is absolutely stunning and deserves her success. She has a good heart and is really funny. I was really blown away by her. Mary Lambert this year was spellbinding. I was so moved by her.

Me, too. Have you noticed a change in the crowd or any shifts?
I started producing independently in 2006 and that meant that I could make sure everyone was invited to the party and embrace the diversity of our community. If you go now it is incredibly diverse, people from all over the world, different pockets all over the US that are not as accepting as they could be, but at Dinah something different happens. It’s like walking through the door to Narnia and they just embrace the diversity. It is the most positive vibe over the weekend. It is amazing and thrills me. Look around. Look to your left and look to your right. This is amazing. We have 5 days of the most diverse and beautiful people. I’d like to invite the United Nations to come to Dinah and take notes. We can get along. Our differences are so small in the big scheme of things. It happens organically, but we are picking the seeds that we plant. I don’t allow my staff to be rude; if they are rude, they don’t come back. Customers aren’t allowed to be rude either. Positive seeds – treat every customer like gold. We are planting seeds that foster that kind of garden. So there is a stage that is set, and then it happens organically. Valuing and honoring people who attend the event. We appreciate that they are there and want them to have a wonderful weekend. I can’t take responsibility for the weekend, only for the stage.

I’m not so sure about that, Mariah. Who’s on your dream line up?
P!nk – been trying to get her forever. Bring Katy Perry back. Ok, here is my dream line up: P!nk, Katy Perry, Earth Wind & Fire, Chrissie Hynde, Justin Timberlake, and Dolly Parton. Challenge is that you have to stay relevant.

What is one thing people don’t know about you?
I am a bookworm. And, I do a Christmas poetry slam every year.

How fascinating! We talked about this for a few minutes. Mariah and her best friend recite poetry with each other to celebrate. With that, we moved on to the Lightning Round. Yes or no answers, no elaboration needed.

Favorite beer?
Stella, not a beer drinker. I prefer it on draft. I am a wine drinker – big reds.

Cars or motorcycles?
Cars, unless you say Vespa – in purple.

Rather be hot or cold?
Hot, hate to be cold.

Prefer to wear silver or gold?
Gold, I like silver more than I used to.

Books or movies?
Books. If you ask me fiction or nonfiction, then biographies. Why am I reading fiction when the lives of these people are so much more colorful than anything someone made up?

Straight ties or bow ties?
Bow ties, I have to go with eccentric. But, I am more into dresses and if she wore a tie.

And, with her last answer, I sat up a little taller, straightened my bow tie and thanked Mariah for her time. I have to say that I was expecting her to be different. I don’t know how exactly. Maybe less personal. A little more full of herself. After all, she runs the biggest lesbian event in the world. She gets huge talent to come to the desert to sing for several thousand women. Every year. She is a legend. But not as in old, just as in – it’s The Dinah! She has been running The Dinah since it was actually a golf tournament, with a party on the side (as opposed to the week-long party it is now). She wasn’t full of herself, though. She was funny and charming, and hot. I really enjoyed our talk. I can’t wait to go to The Dinah again next year.

It’s Butch to create something that gives so many lesbians joy, year in and year out. Thank you, Mariah. That’s very Butch. Be Butch.


“Mom, What’s a Lockdown Drill?”

Published today on the Huffington Post, reprinted here for my WordPress friends.

Something very disturbing happened today. My daughter, who is 11 and in 6th grade, participated in a lockdown drill at her school. I got an automated call from the school this morning to let me know that the drill would take place. I appreciated that call because it is the kind of thing that I would like to know. Kids sometimes worry about things. Especially things that they don’t understand – or maybe they do understand, but cannot accept.

I remember distinctly being horrified and disgusted as a child by the awful murder of a woman in the middle of the street while a variety of people looked on yet did nothing. This was the first time in my life that I was confronted with the facts that there was evil in the world; the world is not in fact fair; and sometimes people can be disgusting and repulsive (and I don’t mean the killer). I had nightmares for days. I am sure that my mother could add a lot more detail here, but the bottom line is some of my innocence was destroyed by the crime. I was simply not able to reconcile my understanding of the world so beautiful, filled with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, people who loved and cared for me, and this true horror.

Worrying how she would internalize the drill, I made a note to discuss it with my daughter tonight. And, I did just that. The perfect opportunity presented itself: my son was at baseball practice, and I had time with my daughter after karate.

“Tell me about your day, honey,” I prompted. We played our usual high-medium-low game (which allows me to learn at least 3 things that happened in my children’s days) and she added, “We had a lockdown drill today.”

“Yes, I know. How did it go?” She explained that the alarm went off, the teacher locked the door, turned out the lights, and all of the children got down on the floor. They were to be quiet. My daughter commented that if it was real, they would have all been in trouble because no one was quiet.

I asked her if they explained the reason for the drill. She said it would happen when someone they don’t know walks onto campus. As we began the discussion of what would cause someone to come onto a campus full of children to hurt them, I started to feel sick to my stomach. And ill-prepared.

My son came home during the conversation, and though he is much younger, I couldn’t exclude him. We broadened the discussion to include him. “What is a lockdown, Mom?”

“Why would anyone want to hurt a bunch of kids?”

“What would make someone do that?”

I said something about how I had no idea. About how the people who do such things are hurting terribly and they want the world to hurt with them. About how people who are unstable can be thrown over the edge by the death of someone they love, the loss of their own children, etc. I struggled for explanations.

We talked about why they aren’t supposed to just run. We talked about the fact that the law enforcement experts have decided our best chance is to lock ourselves in and wait – and pray if that’s your thing. We talked about the guidance my daughter got today that if you can’t get inside and you see the killer, you should run as fast as you can. That the killer is trying to hurt as many people as quickly as possible and might not care to chase you.

What? Why is this a conversation that I must have with my kids? How do I balance this with the philosophy that I have that the world is a beautiful place? That people are inherently good? That you will receive from the world what you put into it, but that you must keep giving even on bad and unfair days? That though the world might not operate fairly, you still should?

We talked about the fact that this happens sometimes in schools, post offices, work places. Evil walks among us – though I didn’t say that.

“It won’t happen to us, right Mom?”

Right, baby. It won’t. I think we’d have a better chance of winning the lottery, or dying by shark attack. But, we practice a little just so that you are ready. Like we are ready for earthquakes and how we have a disaster plan, and a backpack.

I explained that we can put as much love into the world as possible. People who do these kinds of things seem to be loners, people who are made fun of. We talked about how many criminals were miserable kids, teased by kids or beaten by parents. I reiterated that the two of them should never be kids who tease others. They are the kids who are kind to all – especially the kids sitting alone. You never know when your kindness to someone might help.

The conversation morphed into a discussion of being teased – which I will talk about later. I moved us on to funny things, and positive life stuff. Like Santa and the Tooth Fairy. I hugged my daughter very tightly, and tickled my son so hard that he farted. Massive giggling ensued. Peace was restored. At least, I hope so. For their sakes.

After they were sound asleep, I slumped into my chair. What the hell? Why is this our conversation? How is it fair that a 7 and 11 year old have to practice what to do if a gunman comes onto their campus to shoot as many children as possible? Why are we having these conversations? Why, in America, are we standing for one second longer the free-for-all access to guns designed for massive-instantaneous killing?

I’ve not been very political as far as guns – besides a few tweets about how people keep misreading the Second Amendment – but tonight’s dialogue about massacres of children has left me sick and repulsed. After Sandy Hook there was a public outcry – a hope that we might capitalize on the public outrage and do something to curb the reprehensible availability of automatic weapons. But, nothing has happened.

There have been more killings. According to ABC recently, more than 50 attacks or plots since Columbine. And still, nothing has happened. It’s time. No more parents should have these conversations. No more children should have to introduce mass shootings into their Santa-Barbie-Minecraft-Lego filled worlds.

It’s Butch to stand up for what’s right, even when it is controversial. Be Butch.


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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Beauty is Ugly

I had to laugh when a friend snapped this picture of me today getting my hair did. You’ve heard the saying, “Beauty is pain.” Well, it’s also quite an ugly process. Lol.

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I mean, look at that sexy shower cap. And that cotton roll! Anyone who posts selfies should occasionally post an ugly, unflattering pic. I certainly take plenty of pictures that are “un-shareworthy” and deleted immediately. That’s a whole different filter, isn’t it?

Here is the finished product, as it were. Also, not a great shot of me.

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Now, I know you are shocked that the “bleached blonde” hawk of which I am so fond, is in fact, not my natural hair color. While we’re at it… There is no Loch Ness Monster, either. Oh, life isn’t fair. And, mustard will always have that gross watery squirt at the top. Now you know.

It’s Butch to be comfortable looking that ugly during your beauty routine, *cough* erm, grooming routine. Be Butch.


An Interview with Sinclair Sexsmith: A Very Sexy Butch Wordsmith

In honor of Sinclair Sexsmith’s new book, Sweet & Rough, I got the opportunity to talk with Sinclair. We also asked BOT fans to submit questions that they wanted me to ask Sinclair. The three that we choose to ask Sinclair will win their creators a copy of the book. I’ll go first (cause it’s my blog).

Sinclair

Tell me about yourself.

I’m 35 and currently living in the Bay Area after leaving home (southeast Alaska) at 16 and living in Colorado, Seattle, and Brooklyn. I’m still looking for a place that I really love and want to settle in, I haven’t quite found it yet. I might have to move to a cabin in the woods to find what I’m looking for, but not the creepy kind. I am really lucky to have found/created a career and calling for myself that I love, writing and teaching and coaching about sexualities, genders, and relationships. I live with a cat and a boy and a dog (in that pecking order). Since I work from my home office, I cook a lot, and I aspire to garden and grow more food, but that’s still a work in progress.

I love the way you present yourself to the world, attitude, stance, style. There aren’t as many Butch role models as one would like. How do you get the strength to be so very you?

It’s been a long, slow road to this version of me. It’s taken a long time and a LOT of experiments, a lot of wardrobe changes, a lot of trial and error. And I’m still changing all the time, still seeking ways to become the most “me” I can be. I had really excellent teachers who inspired me while I was coming out and coming into butchness and queerness, which really helped. I have very supportive parents and siblings, and I’ve always been very stubborn about doing my own thing and expressing my own way, since I was young. I’ve leaned on the many communities I’ve been a part of, and have felt so supported and lifted up by the generosity — I’ve learned so much by being part of communities and groups.

To the heart of it… What is special about Sweet & Rough?

sweetandrough-bigIt’s a sixteen story collection of sexy butch/femme smut, so just that is pretty special. It’s got conversations about gender interspersed, plus all sorts of kink, like handcuffs, rope bondage, flogging, anal sex, rough sex, sex in public … just lots of sex in general. I think it gives readers and lovers of butch/femme culture a great introduction to the huge body of work I have on sugarbutch.net and I hope it’ll be a good starting point! They are some of my favorite stories that I’ve ever written, and some of them are in book anthologies that were published many years ago (some published under my legal name, even, before I had this nom de plume) so many of them will be new reads.

Do you do casual clothes as well, or are you always so suited up?

I love casual clothes, but I’m always very polished. I’ve worked in offices and had to wear button downs and slacks, but I’m much more of a jeans and jersey polo style these days. I’ve turned the black tee-shirt into my signature of sorts, so while I wear a tee-shirt and jeans four days a week, it’s still within a signature ‘look’ and style. I have a variety of fashion rules for myself, though—like always wear a belt with jeans, always wear a collared shirt if I’m going out or teaching or going on a date, always wear good shoes (never sneakers, unless working out).

Here are our three winning questions from BOT fans:

How do you manage all your different enterprises…i.e. Your writing, your web classes, your personal appearances? [Kara]

I focus on one at a time, and I have a variety of goals for myself that I juggle. I think of my business as three-prong: writing, teaching, and coaching. So at any time I have some little projects for each of those. This summer I moved Sugarbutch to being updated once a week, so that’s changed my writing schedule a bit, and it’s been great because it gave me time to do other writing projects, like compiling Sweet & Rough!

Do you ever feel pressure to stick to binary gender roles i.e. butch = male/top/dominant/do-er and femme = female/bottom/submissive/receptive? In other words, do you feel pressure to write butch characters as NEVER being on the receiving end of sexual pleasuring? And if so, how do you choose to deal with that pressure? [Deborah]

Yes, I think there is pressure to remain in those roles, and rewards when I stay in them. I’m more likely to get a story published if I write characters into those roles, I believe. Most of the pieces I’ve written that are hard to find “homes” for, by which I mean keep getting rejected from anthology submissions, have somewhat unusual character pairings that don’t fit those binary modes.

The thing is, though, that while there is pressure to conform to that, there’s also huge celebration and praise from the queer worlds when you break out of it, and sometimes big critique from queer community for reproducing anything that looks too normative or following a trope. Just go check out some of the reviews for my last anthology, Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, on Amazon—most of the ones that are less than five stars are comments about how “the butches are all tops and the femmes are all bottoms, yawn” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s often the gist).

So I think while there is pressure to conform, there is also a lot of reward when one doesn’t conform—and the folks who often get the most attention and status in the queer worlds are the ones making their own way. Honestly, I have felt more pressure in person to conform with the butch/femme roles than I do with my erotica—in some ways I think erotica (or the way I write it, anyway) has more leeway than the in-person stuff.

I hold vulnerability as an incredibly deep value, in my work and in my personal life, and the transparent vulnerability that I show through my work is really important to me. It’s the heart of my business, I would argue, and the heart of my style as a writer. So while sometimes I do write stories where the butch character is the top and the dom and the one doing all the action, I also write stories where the butch character is getting off or receiving vulnerable touch, and I think it’s important to talk about the gender role restrictions as a piece of the erotic discussion. I do still identify as stone, so there is a piece of me that is very challenged with receiving intimate touch, but I believe in sharing it as part.

What motivated you to begin publishing your work? Was it difficult to find support at first? [Meghan, Tina]

I’ve always been a writer, and always wanted to publish work and write books. In college, I started obsessively reading lesbian erotica and writing dirty poetry, and I started learning about submitting to anthologies, and started dreaming of one day having one of my stories in a real book – and then I was shocked when one of my stories was finally accepted (to Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 — that was my first official erotica publication)! I have an undergraduate degree in writing, and studied at the Bent Writing Institute for queers in Seattle, so I have been in writing groups longer than I’ve been publishing writing—so the support came first. I don’t know if I would have started publishing if I hadn’t had support around me, like writing group colleagues who were egging me on and reading my submission letters and comforting me when I got rejected and supporting me to keep trying.

Writing groups and community are so important when trying to get your work out there. It’s hard to find writing groups who will take erotica seriously, I’ve found — so at times, over the years, I’ve made my own writing group, specifically so we could talk seriously about the erotica writing, not just the dirty actions in the story that were titillating.

My big long-term goal has always been to write books, plural. Many of them. Most of what I do aside from write is me trying to find a way to fund my writing, since writers — especially genderqueer trans butch/femme sexy kinky dirty erotica writing — rarely get paid very much.

Now back to my questions. What is something people don’t know about you?

I do write about it and talk about it, but I still find that it’s a surprise when I tell people I was born and raised in southeast Alaska, and that I left home at sixteen. I had a rough time as a teenager, and was really searching for something, though I didn’t know what. In retrospect it was always about being a queer butch, but it took me a few cities and partners and mustering a lot of courage to come out in order for me to find those identities, and then another five or so years to really be comfortable claiming, living in, and expanding the definitions of them.

Also, I’m a really big introvert, and need lots of time alone to do the deep thinking that I see as instrumental to my work. It’s not always obvious because I love leading workshops and performing, too—it’s a bit of a contradiction, but that’s just how it is.

I am really surprised to hear you are an introvert! What would you like to tackle that you’ve not yet done?

I’d like to do a podcast, I’ve thought about it for years. But I just don’t have the time, with my current schedule and number of projects I take on. Personally? I’d like to have a vegetable garden. After years of living in little apartments in big cities, I have a yard right now, and a few little things growing, and it’s so thrilling.

Are you ready for the Lightning Round? These are just A or B answers, ok? No need to explain.

Bow tie or straight?
Straight.

Motorcycles or race cars?
Motorcycles, definitely.

Herringbone or plaid?
Hmmm, tough one. I’m inclined to say plaid because I’m a kid of the 90s, but really that was more like flannel. I rarely if ever wear patterns. I think I have a herringbone tie, though, so I’ll go with that.

Soup or salad?
Salad forever! Breakfast salad, dessert salad. All the salad.

I almost spit out my soda. All the salad. Heh.

Roses or daisies?
Daisies, especially Gerberas, they’re my favorite. But I am a pretty classic romantic, I believe in roses too.

Well, we have that in common. Gerberas are my very favorite, too. And I am definitely a romantic.

Beer or whisky?
Whiskey! But with an -ey, because bourbon.

Curves or muscles?
Mmmmmm, curves definitely curves.

There are so many more questions that I want to ask you, but let’s wait and do another interview some time soon, OK? Maybe around your next book. As for that book, you can buy it from Amazon here.

I was so pleased to talk with Sinclair. I am inspired by Sinclair’s authenticity, success, and talent. It is Butch to be authentic, sexy, and talented – not to mention kinky and dirty. Be Butch.


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.


Stop Gender Policing

20140723-225343-82423281.jpg
I started my day with an email asking me for an interview. The student addressed his email to “Mr.” I was nice enough to respond to him anyway – though I’ve been known to ignore someone who didn’t take the time to check this. I actually couldn’t help him (not an expert in what he was looking for) so there was no harm done. I got a nice apology note – though I didn’t call him on it.

Then, a little later in my day I had a conference call. It’s me, another legal beagle (“Kim”) and the woman on the other side (“Hillary”). When Hillary answered the phone, I said,

“Hello Hillary. This is Tristan (I can’t use Butch here because it will confuse you), and Kim from Blah Blah Corp.”

And Hillary says, “But not in that order, right?”

Kim and I are confused and I reply, “What?”

Hillary says, “Well, you said Tristan and Kim. Tristan first, but you’re Kim, right?”

“No. I’m Tristan.”

“But Tristan is a man’s name and this is a woman’s voice.”

“No. I’m Tristan and that’s Kim over there.” I point in wonder to Kim across my desk. We both look shocked as we realize what’s happening.

Hillary starts to sputter and apologize profusely, “But I thought – Oh I’m sorry – I didn’t mean to -“

Didn’t mean to what? Imply that my parents are idiots for naming me Tristan? Didn’t mean to imply that only a man can have a traditionally male name? What exactly didn’t you mean, Hillary?

Of course I didn’t say any of this.

Now, Kim and I laughed. Kim knows I’m a good sport. I joked to Hillary that at least we know she didn’t Google me. Ha ha ha.

This interaction left Hillary embarrassed (rightly) and befuddled (natch). Even though I’m a good sport, that’s not going to stop me from (anonymously) putting Hillary on blast.

I mean. What the hell? What on earth would lead a professional woman to be so desperate for gender conformity on a professional phone call that she would behave this way? It’s not a call set up by Match.com. It’s a professional meeting. To discuss contracts. And indemnity. And licensing provisions. Boring stuff for most of the world; not me, of course, I love that stuff.

Who the hell cares whether she is talking to two women, a man and a woman, a woman and a Butch, or – two aliens, for that matter?

Is she going to defer to the person she thought was a man? Is she going to ask me out on a date? What was she doing being so concerned? Maybe the man should be doing the speaking and if he’s not, then he’s clearly not on the call yet. Should we wait?

I’ve been on conference calls before with a bunch of men. I’ve no issue asking the people to announce themselves so I get a chance to place the voices. Occasionally, I ask if the person who just spoke was soandso. But, to get absolutely tripped up over the fact that I’m speaking and my name doesn’t match my voice? It’s a new level of gender policing.

Though I despise the bathroom double takes and mistaken Sirs, at least those have an explanation – however feeble or rooted in ignorance they may be. This one left me perplexed. Shaking my head, as it were.

News flash Hillary: Not all women are named womanly names and not all men are named manly names. Sometimes, a woman is named Pat, or Hunter, or Michael (grrrowl). Sometimes, a man is named Kelsey, or Michele, or Shannon. And sometimes, a Butch is named Tristan. A big ol’ woman-identified Butch. Get over it.

Have any of you ever experienced this kind of crazy policing on the phone?

It’s Butch to stop gender policing. Be Butch.


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