Category Archives: travel

Lesbianland: The Dinah, Day 2

So where did we leave off? Oh yeah… Friday was a blast – we were drinking at the White Party. We did some dancing. And then we did a little drinking. You know, seeing and being seen. Or in our case, I was seeing and my wife was being seen. She looked amazing (obviously).

It’s hilarious to me how odd it is when she straps on those gorgeous heels. They are always high. And she’s not that much shorter than me. So in the heels, she’s got about an inch or two on me. Even if I stand up really straight. In dress shoes.

At first, it threw me. I like being bigger. You know, the butch. Care taker, protector. Bigger. But then, I realized… She looks unbelievably hot in those heels.

Yes, her legs for sure. But also, they change her attitude. Right? No heels, beautiful femme. Heels, beautiful power femme. Am I the only one who’s noticed this?

Now, don’t freak out and send me nasty notes about chauvinism and misogyny. Heels are evil. Designed by men to make women miserable and put them on display. Yes, I know. Don’t wear them. No one should ever have to. Period.

But, if you want to – cause that’s your thing – go right ahead. It’s your choice. I’ll happily validate your choice either way. Like I said, beautiful femme with or without. I can’t help the fact that high heels are very hot.

I was so pleased to be at The Dinah with my wife. I’m probably in danger of being gross about it. We are in that googly, cute (just this side of obnoxious) phase. So, I’m standing up straight and we were hanging out with two friends. After a late night drive-thru run, we made it home.

We’d made loose plans to meet for breakfast at Sherman’s the next day. I was doubtful, but held out hope. Sure enough, Saturday morning came along and we made it to a late meal as planned. While waiting for our table, I grabbed a quick photo op with a dog who had a Mohawk. Heh.

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I think this is when my wife said, “Baby, you should get pictures of all the Mohawks at The Dinah.” What a great idea!

So, as we headed to the pool party, I had a purpose. Find every lesbian there with a hawk and shoot a pic. I note that the ideal would be butches with hawks, but this would present several problems – identification and exclusion. You can’t identify a butch just by how they look, and if I limited it to butches, I’d exclude all kinds of rad hawks.

First, let me set the scene. Palm Springs is hot and dry. The pool at the Hilton is sparkly and blue. There are palm trees dotted about, lounge chairs, and several bars. Over in one corner is a giant stage and not one but two DJs are spinning and pumping up the crowd. The crowd is women. Lots and lots of women. In bathing suits. Bikinis. Board shorts. Lots of skin. Not that I noticed, of course. My wife had “suggested” it might be better if I did not oggle the women in bikinis. As a photographer, however, I did see my – erm – subjects.

Add to the heat, pool, bikinis, music, and palm trees, alcohol. And me. Cruising around taking pictures of all the hawks. And my wife. In sexy heels.

Here’s a fun tip: lesbians see a press pass and a camera (I’ve got a serious one) and they want you to take their picture. In all kinds of crazy poses! I’m taking these pictures and thinking, “Are you going to be excited about this picture tomorrow?” Suffice it to say, I got some fun photos.

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Right. Photos of lesbians with hawks. What fun I had! We’d spot a hawk and I jog over to the hawk-owner, explain that I’m ButchOnTap and “I’m doing a piece on Mohawks at Dinah. Can I take your picture?” Yes. Yes. Yeah. Of course. Rad. Really? Ok. And so forth. Only one woman said no – and I totally respect that. I got so many great pictures of butches, lesbians and femmes Rawking The Hawk! The photo journalistic piece will be up soon.

So far, two days out of two days and The Dinah rawks. For me, and my high-heeled wife.

It’s butch to highlight those that are Rawking The Hawk. Be Butch.


Lesbianland: The Dinah

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We woke up this morning fairly early – 9. Texted friends to see what was afoot for breakfast. Both of us are tired because we went to bed about 3:30, but there’s an impetus to get back to the fun.

Like when you go to Disneyland (or any theme park) and you are so tired of walking by like 1:00, but you have to see the whole park, ride everything, not miss anything! Well, being at The Dinah is kind of the lesbian version of that. It’s lesbian Disneyland. Lesbianland. And you want to see it all. Not miss anything. Ride everything (cough).

So we are back at it this am. Last night was rad. We arrived in time to get our press credentials (“creds”) before they closed down the table. Then we zipped off to grab a bite. That was a funny fail, however, as we misjudged our timing. Can you bring us our appetizers (all we ordered) in take out containers? After getting our creds, we ran out to the car and ate our appetizers in the street. 3 lesbians trying to down giant Italian meatballs with only one napkin and one fork. Then, into the fray.

It’s my first time working the red carpet as press. I have creds, so behind the red velvet rope we go, along the step and repeat. We cram in and wait for the lengthy list of celesbians (that’s celebrity lesbians) to arrive and smile for us. I have my big camera rig (which looks very professional) and my wife is my second shooter with a smaller camera (still a serious one, tho). The plan is: figure out the red carpet, don’t trip, get at least a few good shots to show y’all. And maybe talk to a few celebs.

We were on target – mostly. The press line was way more crowded than we expected and it was impossible to get a spot along the rope. I’m tall, so I tried to make it work. Holding the camera up with one arm is hard. Shooting over the woman’s bun in front of me was even harder. I did my level best though.

We got good shots – more than I expected. I didn’t trip. Batting a thousand. No interviews though. But then, my friend Fortune Feimster came right over to say hi and we had a chat. I was really happy – I look like real press!

After the press line, my wife and I went out to stash the heavy cameras. Then, we got a chance to meet Lauren Bedford Russell and Kiyomi McClosky in the VIP area (love those press creds!). Recall that I interviewed Kiyomi last year. Well, I interviewed Lauren just recently, but both interviews were on the phone. It was really nice to make the in person connection with two such genuine and cool women.

After that, it was into the party for some drinks and dancing. We ended up sitting outside for a bit, and having wonderful conversations with friends, old and new. This is my wife’s first time at The Dinah. So far, so good!

I’ll share about today and tonight later. We will make it through the day. We have to. It’s Lesbianland. We are going to see everything. Do everything. Ride everything – just as a figure of speech of course!

It’s butch to go to Lesbianland. Be Butch.


I’m going. Are you?

Ohmygod, am I ever getting excited! Have you ever been to Dinah? Do you know what I’m talking about? Maybe you are a baby butch who just came out. Maybe you are an established butch who never thought Dinah was for you (because you don’t play golf). Maybe you live in a galaxy far, far away from Palm Springs. Whatever the reason, if you don’t know about The Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend (affectionately dubbed, “Dinah“), you need to come! Let me elaborate.

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This is a huge party in the desert. It’s more than a weekend (for those of you who can take a few days off), and it is filled with lesbians, pool parties (read: Bikinis), comedy, hot DJs, go-go dancers (who flirt with you), booze, celelesbians (celebrity lesbians), a film festival, and, I’m told, lots of hooking up. Honestly, that’s not my style, but I understand if it is your style, opportunities abound.

Palm Springs is gorgeous. There is all kinds of fun stuff to do, see, play, and listen to. But there is nothing better for the soul than to be surrounded – literally – by other lesbians. And there are a fair share of butches there, too.

It probably should be a saying that “where there are bikinis, there will be butches.” You know us. We are sporting the rad board shorts, paired with either a ribbed tank, surf shirt, or some sort of yoga top. There are even those of us that brave a bikini top with our swim trunks. I am not one of those butches. Forgetting for a moment that it’s a tiny bikini, no one wants to see my stomach in public.

We are the ones who go to the bar and bring back buckets of beer. The ones playing football, volleyball, or frisbee in the pool. The ones splashing the girls in bikinis. You know, on accident. Yeah, there are butches at Dinah. Femmes, too.

And you know what else? I’ll be there again this year. And, I’m excited to say, I’m bringing my wife! I went last year and definitely had fun. You can read about that here. But it will be nothing compared to the fun of enjoying this with her! I literally cannot wait. I will do my share of running to the bar for drinks for her, will gladly carry her beach bag, and will probably splash her “accidentally” once or twice – like a pathetic teenager.

Of course, in addition to enjoying, I will also tweet and post throughout Dinah. Hopefully, I will even get to do a few interviews before the event with some of the headline musicians and comedians. We will see! If things go right, I may even have some BOT stuff to give away. =:o)

So, I’m going. Are you? It’s butch to surround yourself with lesbians in bikinis. Be Butch.

###

Here is the most recent press release for gobs of official details:

PALM SPRINGS, CA – More than 15,000 women from all over the world are once again expected to gather in Palm Springs, CA, to attend the biggest lesbian event of its kind in the world, Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend – the original Dinah Shore Weekend – slated for April 2 to April 6, 2014 (www.thedinah.com).

Celebrating this year its milestone 24th Anniversary, The Dinah is a one-of-a-kind destination where women of all ages, interests, ability, relationship status, cultural background and profession come together for one big giant celebration of the community. A life changing experience offering lesbians the opportunity to express themselves, to be who they truly and gain a tremendous amount of self worth.

The Dinah is also a unique five-day affair of lesbionic luxury and fun complete with epic pool parties, unique high-profile nightlife events, celebrity appearances, live performances, a famous celebrity Dodgeball game, a film festival, a Celebrity Poker Tournament, philanthropy, the hottest women, the best DJs, and so much more.

Turning this year again the city of Palm Springs into the ultimate entertainment hub, the 2014 Dinah Entertainment Roster delivers an epic slate of Top Ten Billboard headliners that make up one hell of a phenomenal line up – one of the greatest in The Dinah’s history.

Headlining this year is Lesbian cult favorites Tegan and Sara. The pop sensation duo will bring their “Heartthrob” world tour to The Dinah with an exclusive concert on Saturday, April 5 at “The Black Party” at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The twin sisters have been on an unstoppable meteoric rise since the release of their 7th studio album “Heartthrob” and the massive success of their lead single “Closer”. Their Dinah performance marks the first time the pop stars perform at an all lesbian event.
Also headlining the “Black Party” is female rap titan Eve. The Grammy-Award winning rapper will perform her slew of music anthems including “Satisfaction,” “Who’s That Girl”, “Gangsta Lovin’”, and “Let Me Blow Your Mind”. Also set to top the bill at the epic lesbian party is hip-hop’s biggest revelation Iggy Azalea who will take center stage at the iconic “White Party”, Friday, April 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The Dinah 2014 will also be rocked with special performances from 2014 Grammy nominee Mary Lambert, the voice behind Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ VMA award-winning pro-equality “Same Love”; Grammy Award-Winning R&B diva, Evelyn “Champagne” King known for her multi-million selling classic old-school smashes “Shame” and ”Love Come Down”; Thea Austin, the legendary voice of “Rhythm is a Dancer” by Snap!; and power, pop/punk band and stars of “The Real L Word” Season 3, Hunter Valentine, to name a few.

On the comedy front, “The Dinah Comedy Night” hosted by Suzanne Westenhoefer will be headlined by Fortune Feimster of E! “Chelsea Lately”. The loveable Southern comic will be joined by Last Comic Standing alumni, British comic Gina Yashere and stand up’s fastest rising star, Erin Foley.

Returning this year is the “Celebrity Poker Tournament” with all proceeds going to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Celebrities joining the poker tables include Jill Bennett (“Second Shot”), Chef K (ABC “The Taste”), Guinevere Turner (“American Psycho”), Ari Fitz (“MTV The Real World Ex-Plosion”), Gloria Bigelow (“Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious”), Tracy Ryerson (“The Real L Word”), and Brittany Wiener (Bravo “Millionaire Matchmaker”) among many others.

Also coming back is The Dinah Film Festival presented by OML, held on Friday, April 4, at 8:00 p.m at the Hilton Hotel. Produced by award-winning filmmaker JD DiSalvatore (the producer of Shelter, Marine Story and Elena undone, to name a few), the Dinah film Festival will showcase a variety of quality lesbian films including “Little Horribles” “Nikki & Nora”, “Kiss Her I’m Famous”, “Dyke Central”, and the short film “Secrets & Toys”, among others.

New this year is the “Battle of the DJs” hosted by Dinah’s resident DJs Lezlee, Asha, Lisa Pittman, Saratonin and Amara. The competition held over two-days will feature some of the best DJs on the West Coast!

If that weren’t hot enough, did we mention the exclusive L Word Pool Party?
Hosted in association with Showtime, The L Word Pool party will be held on Saturday April 5 at the Hilton Hotel.
L Word iconic stars, Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig will, respectively, step back one more time into their famed Alice Pieszecki and Shane McCutcheon shoes for an exclusive meet and greet hosted from 2:30pm to 5:00pm in the grand Ballroom. As this year marks the 10th Anniversary of the official television debut of The L Word, Club Skirts and SHOWTIME are proudly commemorating the nostalgia of a memorable era in lesbian culture that celebrated out loud our “girls in tight dresses who drag with mustaches”!
The epic five-day world-renown weekend is already making a lot of noise and is well on its way to be the biggest Dinah EVER.

… this is going to be an unforgettable year!

For all the latest updates, the full Dinah 2014 schedule of events, entertainment line-up, as well as hotel information, tickets and VIP package options please go to: http://www.TheDinah.com

Follow us on Twitter: @dinahshore
Connect with us on Facebook: Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend


Exciting Dinah News!

I’m going to Dinah. Are you?

Check out this press release with new details:

CLUB SKIRTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH SHOWTIME® PRESENTS “THE L WORD®” DINAH POOL PARTY WITH AN EXCLUSIVE MEET & GREET WITH STARS KATE MOENNIG & LEISHA HAILEY

Palm Springs, CA – Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend, in association with SHOWTIME, is bringing back the magic of the hugely popular, groundbreaking lesbian drama, The L Word, with an exclusive “L Word” pool party during the legendary Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs, CA.

On Saturday, April 5, 2014, The L Word stars Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig will, respectively, step back one more time into their famed Alice Pieszecki and Shane McCutcheon shoes for an exclusive meet and greet hosted from 2:30pm to 5:00pm at The Hilton Hotel. Fans will also be able to catch them on the red carpet at the Dinah’s “Black Party” held later on Saturday night at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Dinah attendees will have the once in a lifetime chance to take photos and get their favorite L Word memorabilia autographed by two of the most popular characters of the beloved, critically-acclaimed television series. In addition, limited edition The L Word swag will exclusively be given away throughout the event courtesy of SHOWTIME.

Since the show ended its five-year run on March 8, 2009, both Kate and Leisha have been keeping busy entertainment careers. Kate is currently starring on the hit series on SHOWTIME Ray Donovan, playing the role of Lena –one of Ray’s associates. She’s also filming “My Dead Boyfriend”, a film based on Arthur Nersesian’s 2000 novel Dogrun also starring Heather Graham, Gina Gershon and Angela Featherstone. As for Leisha, she’s still making music as one half of the acclaimed electropop duo Uh Huh Her and is getting ready to release the first single off “Future Souls” dubbed “Innocence” available February 4 on iTunes.

As this year marks the 10th Anniversary of the official television debut of The L Word, Club Skirts and SHOWTIME are proudly commemorating the nostalgia of a memorable era in lesbian culture that celebrated out loud our “girls in tight dresses who drag with mustaches”!

SHOWTIME has been a long-time supporter of the LGBT community with programs like The L Word and The Real L Word®, and has developed over the years a close relationship with Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend. The Dinah served as the focal location for both series.

We all remember Shane, Alice, Jenny, and Dana eventful roadtrip to The Dinah, the biggest lesbian event in the world, in Season One. Likewise, The Real L Word shot episodes of Season One and Two at Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend and notably dedicated two back-to-back full episodes to the event in its third season.

Speaking about The Real L Word, the reality TV show will also have a prominent presence at the highly-anticipated Pool Party with a live performance by Season 3 cast members, Hunter Valentine. The all-female Power, pop/punk band will take the stage at the Hilton Hotel at 5:00pm and will close the massive Pool Bash with a special meet & greet.

Countdown to Dinah has started!

The epic five-day world-renown weekend is already making a lot of noise and is well on its way to be the biggest Dinah EVER.

… this is going to be an unforgettable year!

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

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What Did Butch Pack for Dinah Vegas 2013? Too Much, Probably.

20130429-201652.jpgI went to Dinah Vegas this past weekend. It’s the Vegas version of the more traditional Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs (which I I wrote about a few weeks ago), but this one is sponsored by L.A.’s Girl Bar. It’s another lesbian spring break. Ironically, I am no longer young enough to act like a spring breaker, but I never did spring break when I was young enough, so why not go and have some fun?

I tend to overpack, always. Overpacking may be something that some people normally attribute to our fairer femmes, but I’d bet that plenty of butches overpack. Our hair products alone could fill one carry-on. Let me give you a quick and dirty list of my essentials…

Read the rest on the Huffington Post Gay Voices.


I Don’t Like Sushi

I don’t like sushi. There, I said it. I love veggie rolls, and anything that is cooked, but not raw fish. It’s a problem. For real. And something I will either have to hide while in Japan or be prepared to deal with.

My Japanese colleagues will want to take me to excellent sushi. After all, what do most Americans want to experience in Japan? Sushi. So, I will go and eat sushi and I will drink lots of sake and it will be fine. I also cannot stand shellfish. Any kind of shellfish. Lobster, crab, scallops, mussels, abalone, clams, oysters – disgusting. The lot of them. Again, I realize that this makes me a bit of a freak. Whenever I am at a high-end event and all of my friends and colleagues are freaking out about the “amazing crab legs” or the “ridiculous oyster bar” I just shake my head. It’s really a texture thing for me. The flavor is ok really, but I can’t stomach the texture of these sea creatures.

On top of that, they are sea creatures, very small animals. When served, they frequently are still the whole animal. I have trouble eating a life. A piece of pork under cellophane in the market, or a lovely piece of steak on my plate, totally distanced from its source, is one thing. And both pigs and cows are indeed delicious. But a lobster, in tact, sitting on my plate? No, it’s too much for me. A friend said it really well recently. She is a marine biologist and she shares my distaste for all of these sea creatures, which she explains are her friends. How can she eat her friends? I note that she is a very attractive femme, and I would try anything she asked me to, so it’s a good thing she doesn’t care for shellfish. To my friends reading this, if you didn’t know that about me, take note. It can easily be a new sport for you – a form of hazing Butch.

And, before you say, “Butch, you need to try it,” let me assure you that I have. My ex wife is a lobster freak (I assume this is still the case), and my ex GF loved all manner of sushi and shellfish. Each of them at various points in our relationships encouraged me to try all of these items over and over again in case my tastes had changed. And, of course, I always try things that I am asked to try. Each time, I would say, “Of course, honey” and try what I was offered. My tastes had not changed, much to their chagrin. Even last weekend at dinner with a bunch of friends at an amazing place, a friend was over the moon with her scallops – my least favorite of all shellfish – and she asked me to try them. She’s a pretty femme, and well, what can I say? Of course I did as she asked and tried a bite – washing it down with the Chimay I was drinking as politely as I could. Blech.

So, I am an American business woman in Japan (sounds like a tag line for a show) and a lesbian at that. And, I don’t like sushi. I refuse to make that joke – you know the one – because I think it’s gross and very, very far from the truth, but I’d be a fool if I didn’t acknowledge that at least some of you are thinkng it. For shame.

Dear Japanese people and sushi fans the world over: I am sorry.

Dear PETA and fish friends: you are welcome.

Well, what can I say? It’s butch (or at least good business) to eat things you don’t want to in order to not offend your hosts? Ok. 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.


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.


Update: The Mayans WERE Wrong!

Just a celebratory note that the Mayans were wrong! We are all still here! Hooray. If I’d really been scared, really been sure the world was ending, then I would have to think that I’ve been given a new life. A brand new chance to make what I want of my life. Wouldn’t I? Shouldn’t we all?

Even though I wasn’t scared, and didn’t think the world was ending (did you?), I choose to receive the gift of a second chance, a new world, a new life. That doesn’t mean I don’t love the life I already have. On the contrary. I’m on the right path. That’s what my post (just before this one) reminded me of.

So, what do I want my new life to be defined by – be it well-entrenched in me or lacking? In no particular order…

  • Fun. People, places, events, shows, concerts, musicals, parties, events, experiences.
  • Adventure. Scuba diving, kayaking, mountain biking, DJ’ing, traveling the world, trying new foods, beers, everything.
  • Kids. I adore mine. My life is kid-friendly and I want to create a world where they can blossom while they are preparing for the world that’s more challenging.
  • Honesty. Integrity. Two of the most important words to me. My life is and will be defined by honesty and integrity. I will treat all I encounter with these two words in mind. If you are in my life, you will do the same.
  • Kindness. I want to be kind and I want kindness in those around me.
  • Health. I want to make healthy choices to create a healthy mind and body. I want to ward off disease with this attitude of health and the choices that accompany that attitude.
  • Excitement. Peace. Both are essential ingredients in my life. I crave and enjoy excitement. After the excitement, though, I need and appreciate peace and calm.
  • Joy. Laughter. As much and as often as possible.
  • Simplicity. As much as I want awesome trips to Paris, Cairo, the Johnstone Strait, and Phuket, I want to sit at home and play board games with my friends and family. Perhaps, Butchopoly?
  • Fitness & Strength. I want to be able to lift and pull and press lots of weight. But not to be lots of weight.
  • Appreciation. Gratitude. Living life to the absolute fullest – which includes feeling sorrow and loss when they are present – and always knowing that every day could be the end of the world for me or someone I adore. There are just too many examples to ignore this fact.
  • And, of course…Love. I want to share my life with someone beautiful and loving. A femme. She’s soft and sexy. She looks at me in such a special way that – err sorry. There’s lots more to write here, but just look at Wanted: Femme for Butch
  • Last, but not least…Worth. I want to be a person who is worthy of all these wonderful people and things.
  • The Mayans were wrong. I’m still here. You are still here. They were busy (a long time ago) preparing for the end of the world. Now it’s my turn to prepare for the rest of my life. How about you?

    It’s butch to aspire to be worthy. Be Butch.

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