Archives for posts with tag: butch

Last week Butch Wonders wrote a great post about The Importance of Visibility.

It reminded me of how I came out in high school, to the only queer girl my first-gf and I could see.

It reminded me how the obviously closeted vice principal of my high school had my back three years later when protestors were throwing rocks at my head when I walked onto campus in the morning. He even called my dad to say how great I was. Because I was visible.

Mostly, it reminded me of why I came to LA. Because, like Sisyphus, I decided to roll the boulder of butch visibility right up the hill of the media.

There should be more women like me on tv and in films. Because not all lesbians have gorgeous cheerleader bodies, or are interested in having stunning matching wedding gowns.

I came here to be visible. Most of my life I’ve been hiding in plain view. Now it’s time to be seen.

I used to be a compulsive liar. A joiner liar, meaning that whatever conversation was happening, I would join in as though I was entirely up on what was being discussed. Politics, movies, TV shows (this one always killed me – I didn’t have a TV for over 10 years), whatever it was – I was always wittily and forcefully in the know. Except that I wasn’t, I was bluffing, and eventually I started to get caught. And people (mostly my gf’s) would get hurt.

It didn’t end until the PGF came along – and somehow, I couldn’t lie to her. Because she gave me permission to not know, to be wrong, to fail, and to fuck up. In that permission, she found my truth. I found my truth. It was a pretty spectacular change.

Except that now I think I may be a different type of liar.

I can’t even tell, really, but it seems I may be lying to myself.

Where is the line between positive self-talk/hopes/dreams and downright creating a false reality?

In six months I will turn another decade. It’s a little early for my annual age-related freakout (hello, autumn in July), but I can’t help but feel like maybe I’m crazy – maybe I’ve spent too long doing the same old things and expecting different results.

When I moved to LA, I did it mostly so that I could say that I had tried. If I’m an actor, and an actor the way I want to be, then I had to really commit. Since I had given up acting when I lived in NYC, and since I had made the commitment to go back to physical theater school, and since I grew up in SoCal – well, the final commitment seemed clear.

But since then… I may be lying to myself about my level of commitment. I’ve fallen into the same old rut – the rut of chasing money at menial jobs for which I am overqualified, simply because the schedule is flexible. The rut of doing too many things for money that have nothing to do with who I am. The rut of not creating on my own, which is the only means to true success, as I’ve come to learn.

Something has to give, and soon. This practice is unsustainable, and I’m starting to lose my belief in the lies. When that’s gone… what do I do?

The Location: House of Pies, Los Feliz, Friday night.

The Look: Simple black tee and jeans. Clean cut, on the smallish side, but still rugged. A glance that makes your pants melt. Hottie.

Up in Northern California for the past week, and I saw so many fellow b’s and q’s that I was giddy with all the gender-variant stylin’.

I was privvy to:
-rockin’ mohawks and fauxhawks
-a bevvy of flannels and plaids
-some film critic glasses to die for
-and some naked mud wrestling on the beach. which was both butch and not butch and not one person watching was going to argue the semantics.

Christmas done come early, son.

Well, friends, the headshots – otherwise known as The Photos Which Will Enhance My Career – have come and gone and (squeak!)… they are remarkable.

Due to several requests, I will begin posting a few on this site as soon as I can rip them from the disc.

So yes, you will soon see the PB. In living color. Warts and all. Except that the brilliant makeup artist covered up all the warts with powder and hugs so you can’t see them at all.

And then the dilemma of this blog, my butch nature vs. my career as a pretty person, will be laid bare. It continues.

drink it up.

Butch Wonders wrote a nice little piece on the “additive effect of butchness” a few days ago.  I’ve been mulling it over – it struck me deeply, simply because it’s exactly what I’ve struggled with my whole life.

As a terminally shy person, it’s a battle to be just who I am in any given moment.

As a terminally shy person in a profession that rips the throats out of shy people, I feel under fire almost every day.

My butchness makes me a target.

My butchness has very rarely been additive. It is a deep part of me that I have attempted to sequester in full view for over twenty years. Some weeks I am still embarrassed by it every single day, and that’s part of why I keep writing here.  I’m trying to shine a little flashlight into myself, coax myself out from under the floorboards.

My PGF once said to me, “You know, people can see that you’re gay.”

Even though I was wearing men’s boxer briefs under my all-menswear outfit, with my gf sitting on my lap, listening to Ani DiFranco in my Park Slope, Brooklyn apartment – I nearly burst into tears.

And I’ve been out since I was 13, so one would think it would get easier. “It Gets Better” and all that Trevor Project stuff. Well, in the words of one very astute filmmaker who participated – for me, “It Gets Marginally Different.”

Here’s one of my darkest confessions: I’ve never been proud to be queer, under all my bravado. I’ve never tried not to be, but I’ve never fully embraced myself.  I’ve shrouded myself in shame, and it creeps up on me in my best moments. (Although, once in therapy I was asked what I feel best at in the world.  My short answer was “flirting with girls.”)

Even in the company of other butch women, my butchness has often caused me distress. Because I don’t seem butch enough there, either. So I put on a show, upping my masculinity, puffing out my feathers, only to leave the party feeling phony.

BUT – the weird paradox is, I love it. I love my butch sensibilities. I love the attention I get from girls because I walk that masculine/feminine line. I don’t want to just be a regular woman who dates women, I want to look different too.  I love that straight people can’t quite put their finger on me.  It just makes me want to crawl away and hide at the same time.

When I was a little kid, I would put on shows for the adults around me, only I wouldn’t announce that I was doing I show. I would just started doing whatever nearby and hope they looked at me and praised my talents, and if I sucked then it was fine because no one was watching. These days I feel like I’m performing my gender expression within the same parameters.

The question always comes down to: what am I so afraid of? The answer seems to be: to be seen clearly.