To The FemmeMobile! Away!











I used to watch Doris Day’s Calamity Jane obsessively when I was young. Especially every time I got sick. I was in love with her, in a “I want to be her” sort of way. Here’s a snippet:

It was full of gayness, including accidental cross-dressing. (You can rent it for $2 from Youtube, apparently. It would be a $2 well spent, I’m just sayin’.)

When I moved to Canada at 20, long before I figured out my own sexual and gender identity, I had to leave it home. I didn’t see it again until years later — probably ten years later, when my sister bought it for me for Christmas. By that time I’d figured out both the lesbian/butch attraction and the femme bit.

Watching the movie again nearly made my jaw drop. Calamity Jane both was me, and was who I wanted to be. She’s got a temper that drives her into doing stupid things (though mine’s under control now), she sticks up for the underdog even when it puts her at great risk, she’s got this super rough, tomboy, cowgirl exterior, and she really wants someone to see that she’s beautiful under it all. She wants love and doesn’t know how to go about getting it, because so many people saw the tomboy and not the girl (this is less me: people generally saw the girl, but I had a hard time realizing that). She’s strong, she’s a hero, and she still wants rescuing. She’s rough and practical on the outside, but she cleans up and wants to be aĀ girl.

She’s me, as a femme.

It’s funny: for all her tomboyishness, she never came across as butch to me, either. I think it’s Doris Day’s feminine energy under all that faux-rawhide!

When I saw it again after so many years, I watched in absolute fascination. Here were the answers I’d been looking for just a few years earlier, when I started this blog, trying to figure out how I could be femme and yet not be a high femme or wear dresses all the time. In short, be femme and still be a tomboy. Here it was, the answer I’d watched over and over as kid, wishing I were her.

It makes me think that even as a kid, I identified with her. Maybe my subconscious was trying to help me out. šŸ˜‰ Now, if only she’d been attracted to butches… I might have figured it out that much faster! ;-D

JB



{October 16, 2012}   Trans support

I’m not around much anymore, am I? It’s a good sign, actually: it means that things aren’t so much on my mind that I have to write them down or spend sleepless nights tossing and turning.

But! I’m back for this. Over the last few months I’ve started making enough money to actually give some of it away, which has been feeling great. Before that, I would give away $5 here and there as I could. Before that, I just spread the word.

Well, I still spread the word. šŸ˜‰ Here’s the newest cause come to my attention: A transgendered woman named Abby is trying to fund surgery to lessen her Adam’s apple. I am all for helping! You can help, too, by either sending money or spreading the word. Woot!

(That’s kind of a terrifying first image. Oh, youtube, how do you make beautiful people so strange looking? I think youtube does that on purpose…)

Or go right ahead and donate without watching the video!

J



{December 22, 2011}   …Whoa.

Totally unrelated to the last post, I just realized there have been almost 12,500 hits to this blog since I started it.

…holy shit. That’s a lot of people looking at my stuff. o.O

Uh… Here! Have my favorite Christmas song!

(These are not the Irish Rovers. These are young guys being funny. So just don’t look at the video if you want to hear the song; you can laugh at the video after. ;))

And, uh, My Drunk Kitchen! She’s lesbian. And seriously cute. šŸ˜€ (Oh, Q, she doesn’t hold a candle to you, dear. ;))

J



{September 10, 2011}   I kissed a girl, too!

You know that song by Katy Perry, “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It”? Well, I remember when it came out — IĀ  hadn’t quite come out more than to kinda sorta mentioned I might maybe be bi — and seriously, I was so terrified of the ridicule it received.

First off, I really liked the song. I still do! But second off, there was this idea (among lesbians, I should clarify, or at least the lesbians I knew) that to experiment like that was Wrong. That it was Terrible and Offensive to kiss a girl and like it. That the character in the song was just Faking It and making light of lesbianism.

I was terrified of being that girl. That was one of the biggest reasons it took me SO LONG to come out, because without experimenting I couldn’t be sure, but I didn’t want to be the girl who said she was bi and experimented and realized it wasn’t for her. I was scared shitless of being a poser! (The other reason it took me so long to come out was a lack of butch people around. I think I’d have figured it out earlier if I’d seen some hot butches earlier!)

I love that song now more than ever. Maybe the character in the song was just doing it for attention. (Though I’d have to argue that her boyfriend doesn’t seem to be present… so it’s not his attention she’s trying to get, and presumably if she has a boyfriend she’s not looking for another.) Maybe the character in the song kisses that one girl, likes it, goes back to her boyfriend and never crosses that line again. Maybe that girl kisses a girl, likes it, goes home and dumps her boyfriend and realizes she’s lesbian. It’s all good! What’s actually happening in the song, after all?

Experimentation.

Except for a lucky, and precious, few we all have to experiment to figure out what we like and don’t like. We all have to try things on before we know what fits. That song told me it was okay to try things on, and I love it. It makes me sad when I hear people bash it as a girl getting attention — which is what I hear most of the time. I don’t think she is. I think she’s learning about herself!

Thinking about it a little more, I also wonder about the homophobic reactions to the song. I mean, if people are angry at hearing the song because she kissed a girl and liked it, how much of that is just being disturbed at the gayness of it? Hmmm.

I remember there being massive feminist reactions, too, that she was only kissing girls to get the boys attention. While I do know girls who do that, the fact that the feminist section of my friends assumed only that was kind of hurtful. What, she couldn’t be experimenting? Apparently not. She could only be doing it for men. Yeesh, what a thing to say.

Hmm, now I’m not sure how to wrap this up. Look! Ponies!

JB



{August 5, 2011}   I <3 Willie Nelson


{July 21, 2011}   My tender, transgender heart.

Ha, I love talking about shit I know nothing about. >.>

So, this is a post that’s been literally months in the making. Months and months ago, while at Texas Rose (a women-only two-step place), I picked up a flier for Texas Rose. I was scanning its info, as you do, and I saw this:

“Texas Rose: for lesbians and their FTM friends.”

Now, at first I was like, “Excellent.” But then I got to thinking about it a little more. This gets tangled pretty quickly. I mean, if FTM are, y’know, male, wouldn’t they prefer to be in a male space? Except it’s partly to find people and possible partners; assuming most of them are still attracted to women (either a huge or very minor assumption, depending on what you read), wouldn’t they rather be here? But then wouldn’t the lesbians who are only attracted to women and not trans folk be offended?

Then I read Bond‘s post (forever ago) on Trans being pretty damn invisible in the LGBTQ community, and how it gets lumped in various places, and I thought about it even MORE.

See, there are several sides to the argument here, just that I can see. There’s the side that’s lesbian-centered, of the lesbians who say, “If they’re men, they’re MEN and not lesbian, and therefore do not belong here.” And I can see that point; in that theory, FTM gents still attracted to women would, I guess, belong in a straight bar. But!

There’s the theory that says an FTM will have a lot more luck (and MUCH more safety) partner-hunting in a space that’s already queer-friendly, where they likely already have friends and contacts and people who’ve seen them through the transition, in a lesbian/queer space. I suppose you could say an FTM should then head to a gay bar, but there’s issues with that, too. What if they’re attracted to women? What if gay men are less interested in dating FTMs? I don’t know if that’s true, but given the underlying desire NOT to date an MTF in the lesbian community — as if you’re no longer lesbian if you date someone who’s MTF — I’d guess it’s pretty close.

I’ve also heard that trans folk should have their own trans spaces (not in a ‘get out of here’ context, but in a supportive context) and I tentatively agree. I mean, I like having my queer spaces, and if I were trans I imagine I’d like having a trans space, too. Of course, the BIG problem there is… well, there aren’t a lot of trans folk in general, so it’s much harder to be feasible.

Q and I sat at dinner and talked about it a while the other day, coming from varying viewpoints and basically chasing it around in circles. On one extreme, Q knows several die-hard feminist lesbians who really feel violated by FTMs being in their space, because it brings a male energy. On the other extreme, we both know several people dating FTMs, who feel like of course the FTMs should still be allowed in lesbian space because that’s how their partners (often) identify, and because that’s where their friends and exes and support is. To be honest, I can see both points (even if I don’t agree with both points), and I can also imagine how, if I were trans, I could feel either way (don’t want to be in a lesbian space because it’s a lesbian space and I’m not lesbian, and at the same time much prefer to be in a lesbian space because it’s probably a bigger pool of likely partners – I know a fair number of lesbians who would date/have dated FTMs).

It is a conundrum.

In short, there are a lot of problems and no answers that I see, and I’m selfishly glad I’m not trans and it’s only something I have to ponder, not live. But really, the point of this post is that Judy is still my favorite character in any movie ever and I want to be her when I grow up, and I ‘ship Judy/Francis.

Ā 

J



{November 25, 2010}   Ahh, Answering Questions

Saw this on The Femme’s Guide, and it made me laugh. It’s a video made about answering the question this particular femme hates the most.Ā  Yeah, I love it when my definitions of things (like family; the people one chooses to surround themselves with, instead of the blood family who hates them) gets overridden by whatever the other person wants to hear… ;-D

I can’t embed the video, though, so the post is here!

J



{September 5, 2010}   Real life stuff: new home!

This is a post that has nothing to do with being gay, being femme, or gender identity. This is about what’s been happening. I have a new house. An actual house, not an apartment.

It’s morning now, almost 10, and there’s dappled sunlight on my tiny back patio. I’m sitting at a little glass table my landlord had put out, with two old but pretty chairs. The rocks that make up the patio are cool against my bare feet, covered over in patches with some sort of moss. I swept this morning, so it’s clean against my skin.

I’m sitting at my little table, listening to birdsong from one of the many trees surrounding my little place. At night the crickets sing, attracting mates far and wide. From my little patio there’s a broken brick path, leading straight out past three empty vegetable beds on one side and rose bushes, sadly neglected, on the other, eventually leading straight to a 3-foot statue of St Francis of Assisi (appropriate for me, I think). Or I can take the first right on the path, before I get to the vegetable beds or the rose bushes, and go past my own personal privacy fence and into the main yard. There’s a concrete slab for parking cars to the left, and if I turn right again I end up in what I think of as Charles’ (my landlord) yard. It has a black wrought iron table and four chair, a little pond, more flowers.

There are plants everywhere. The air is cool and smells green. Not that wet green you get in humid areas, but just a pinch of green. Green growing things in cool, dry forests.

If you were to come to my house, go through the back gate past Charles’ house and knock on my front door, you’d see a row of bells hanging just to the right. That’s my doorbell. There’d be a window to the left, with my boxes of things I drop as soon as I walk in sitting in the windowsill, and some pictures of the animals that have touched my life but had to leave. When I opened the door, you’d see just past me a stairway so steep it’s almost a ladder. It leads up to a little loft just big enough to fit my futon, with a nightstand on either side and my coffee table at the foot of the bed. Though you can’t see it from below, there’s a funny little storage space down the side. It’s where I keep my clothes and boxes and linens. The roof slopes. Only in the middle can you stand up straight, and as I lay in bed at night I look at the slope of the roof and am somehow comforted.

Back downstairs, the dogs would be thrilled to see you, wagging like crazy as you came in the door. There’s a tiny bathroom to the right of the stairs, with a standing shower and a shelving unit over the toilet. What you might think is a medicine cabinet is actually just a mirror with a heavy frame, and at least three of us have nearly pulled it off the wall now, looking to see how big the “medicine cabinet” is.

The main room opens up, seemingly bigger than it is, with the entertainment center nestled under the stairs. The living area melds into the kitchen with only the flooring to tell you something’s changed. The kitchen counters make an L, the floors a pretty blue-gray tile. There’s plenty of storage in here, and beyond the leg of the counter, visible almost as soon as you walk in, are sliding glass doors cleverly disguised like French doors. They let out into the back, into the green growing area, onto my patio with my plants.

I’m getting barstools today to put along the backside of the counter, so I can sit and eat breakfast or work on my computer when I don’t want to go inside.

It’s ten now, and there’s shade in most of the garden. Patches of blue sky are bright beyond the trees, and the leaves glow with the sun they’re catching. St. Francis is in a spot of light, as he is every morning, and I wonder if Charles did that on purpose or if the trees just grew that way. (I suspect the latter.)

I’ve been crazy busy since I got here, and there have been a few nights when I just want to collapse, but every morning I wake to birdsong and I smile. I go downstairs and I see my green yard. I let the dogs out, and spend a moment leaning against the doorframe and enjoying the fresh air. Sometimes, that’s all the time I get to relax all day. Other times, I can go outside and sit at my table, enjoying the bits of sun and the fresh air and growing things, drinking my coffee or brushing the dogs.

The dogs are learning new rules. Cash has never had a yard, and he’s still trying to be on his best behavior. He doesn’t know what to expect, so he’s making an effort. Lily lived in a yard before I had her, and she thinks the whole place is hers. They’re learning, though, that they can’t run around breakable pots, and they have to go to the bathroom in one spot.

That’s my new house.

I still have things to do in this house, of course. I’ve unpacked all but one or two of the little boxes, and though most everything is unpacked, not everything has a home. I have to decide where to put my pictures and paintings. A harder decision here, because even though there’s more space, there’s less wall space — more windows, you see.

Today is water hockey, which I haven’t gone to since late June, but I can’t decide if I want to go there or if I want to re-pot my tree and wash the dogs. I have a list of things to get done as long as my arm, and not much time. On the other hand, if I went to water hockey maybe I’d make some new friends. And yet, there will be water hockey again in two weeks. It’s just finding the time to go, and I don’t know if I’d enjoy myself more having a relaxing day at home, getting done some of the enjoyable things I need to get done, or if I’d enjoy myself more going to water hockey and splashing around and making friends.

And then there’s my shoulder to consider. It hasn’t been happy lately, and water doesn’t help.

Erp. Maybe water hockey isn’t such a good idea. But you know, having just realized that, I also realized I’d like to go out and do something today, see people. Maybe I’ll look up hiking in the area. Maybe I could take the dogs; they’d enjoy that, too. šŸ™‚ And then I can be alone with myself, or alone with new people, or strike up a conversation.

I’ve been reading this book by SARK, and at one point she talks about how to do things alone. How to go out to dinner or a movie, things like that. And then yesterday Nezu was talking about a poem on being alone. She sent it to me:

Pretty, isn’t it? There’s something a little melancholy about it, I feel, though. Maybe it’s just the way it’s read.

Yes, I think I’ll take the dogs hiking today. New home, new places. It’ll be fun. šŸ™‚ First, get my new bar stools (which are wood, and used. I’m going to paint red dragons on them!). Next, go hiking. Later, I’ll likely wash the dogs, making sure they’re tick-free. Now I can wash them IN MY OWN YARD.

Life is really, really good.

J



et cetera