Conditioning Myself

When I came out (again) I didn’t do it all at once. I told those closest to me at the time and moved on. I also have a lot of friends that I can go months and years without talking to. We always pick right back up, because we’re close like that, and there’s never any issue. Still, I find myself retelling the story over and over- coming out again and again. It’s lessening now that’s it’s almost become a script. I know that, due to my personality, I’ll still have to “come out” for- probably- the rest of my life. I’m okay with that. I don’t go into detail with those people- they never matter that much to me.

Most of my friends have had positive reactions, some not. Even those who didn’t, I wouldn’t call terrible. Those are ones who have made stinging remarks that are not okay and I will discuss in a later post.

I don’t make true friends easily, I never have. My family moved around a great deal as a child and as soon as I made friends I lost them. It has just become who I am. I have loads of acquaintences but few friends. I’m okay with that. That being said, I believe every one has been covered at this point.

I recovered a friend recently. I say recovered because I thought them lost due to drama from, as I suspect, a crazy ex. They thought the same of me and, ironically, neither of us ever spoke about it. Until the other day. So, we spent nearly an entire day chatting away and getting caught up. Of course, I had to come out again. Every thing went smoothly…

Until I was telling Miabear about it. I was rather excited to have my friend back as we have quite a bit in common. This time, she had questions. Of course we’ve talked about it before but, I suppose, she had only just thought to ask these questions.

So, I told her the story of the first girl I came in contact with after coming “back out”. I hate that term, by the way. I’m going to tell you the story here. At least, the part that matters….

I remember being nervous. I went over what I was going to wear with Flutterby making fun the entire time and being completely useless to me. I remember pausing in the hall as Flutterby made herself scarce just to collect myself. Then, as I entered the living room, I had to pause again. My hands were shaky, my stomach flip flopping, my brain malfunctioning. For a moment, I truly was incapable of intelligent thought- of any kind.

I thought, in that moment, that I was ill.

I did a mental “body check” to make sure I wasn’t ill.

As I told Miabear that, the weight of the entire situation came crashing down on me. I remember, very clearly, questioning anything I’d eaten that day- had I been around anyone who was sick? I had to stop talking to her for a moment and gather my thoughts. I had laughed it off then when I realized this was a normal reaction to this situation. I’d been immediately distracted by the girl in question at the time.

I suppose that- in the time that’s passed since then- that I’ve been more focused on telling the story. It’s a script to me now, the same old thing. I’ve been focused on what comes next, not what I was saying.

There’s something about Miabear that effects me differently. Something about her that is utterly amazing, in my opinion. I believe that, because it was her I was speaking to, I realized what I said.

I had- in the years back inside my closet- conditioned myself to not expect that response. I should feel nervous and happy and giddy. I should expect butterflies (if she doesn’t do it, she’s not worth it). I knew on some level- consciously or subconsciously- that no man would ever make me feel that way. It just wasn’t possible. So I stopped expecting it to the point that when it happened, I thought I was physically ill.

That breaks my heart. It shatters it in fact, into a million little pieces.

I have yet to tell you all the things that happened that caused me to go back into the closet. There were a lot of bigoted, homophobic responses toward me (the only out homosexual at the time) and my friends (who weren’t even out). These responses were violent and at one point became seriously damaging. It was a scary time and I was terrified for my life.

Still, all of these years since, when I was honest with myself about it- I always counted myself lucky. Why? Because the most violent response I witnessed, I was not a part of. I merely came in during the aftermath, I got to see the blood. No one remembers that quite like I do, other than the LGBT people involved. They don’t want to.

I hadn’t realized that they’d gotten me too. In one way or another, I became a victim as well. To the point that my brain conditioned itself not to expect normal and happy physical responses.

I still can’t wrap my mind around this.

I’m not even angry. I’m heart breakingly sad. This has been driving me mad since that realization. I’m just not sure how to cope but I’m able and I’m glad it’s over, I still feel like I’m breathing again.

But still…

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A Letter to Studs

Recently, I have heard and overheard a lot of…negatively said things about different sorts of people within the LGBTQ community from their own community. I don’t like that at all so I would like to address my feelings about that.
I am a self identified femme, as I’ve stated before. We are each, individuals. We are each special in who we are, inside the depths of our souls. I am aware of this and I think that is beautiful. I, in no way, mean to offend anyone by my blog. These things are how I indentify, how I think and feel, and my preferences. No, this does not mean that all of those like me feel the way that I do.
That being said, I prefer to date masculine of center women, dominant women. I have dated other girls that have also identified this way and have friends who identify the way that I do. It’s just not my thing. I like studs, butches, bois, AGs, and whoever I didn’t cover there. Again, I don’t care how you got there if you’re there, you’re there. You know you better than anyone. I won’t question that, ever. This piece is to you.
I love these women. There is something that draws me to the energy they put off, it’s magnetic. It’s the way they look in the mirror to check their hair before going out, that head tilt so that they see all sides of it. I love that wink that so many of them do, the often cocky laugh or grin.
I love your ties of all kinds, your combat boots, your stylish kicks. I like your dominant and protective presence, right at my side. I love the way you bring femininity to chivalry and prove it never died. I love the way you smell and have yet to determine why it is you all smell so good. I love the way you sit, laid back, feet up, as though draped like my favorite jacket.
I admire your absolute strength while still being gentle, your energy. I dig the way you can so easily slough off society’s expectations of what a girl should be and rock that out. From flannel to crisp white shirts to baggy jeans and a shirts, you’re pretty freakin’ awesome. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
I do not think you look like a man. There is something still feminine about you, that separates you and defines you from them, and anyone who says differently isn’t looking the right way. There’s something there, in the lines of your face and in your smile, in your hands, that screams you’re still a woman.
I grew up with two masculine of center women (Kitty’s parents), who were very much in love. Something about them was never attractive to me, perhaps their age or motherly figure like disposition toward me distracted me from how they identified. I can still remember the first masculine of center woman I ever met, still at a young age, who could- in no way- be considered a part of my family. I remember freezing in the kitchen, all of my words gone and turning to my very best friend and hissing, “is this a thing? Who is that? You! Explain now!”
It occurs to me that you must get so much more negative attention than I. Not once have I been confused for being in the “wrong” restroom without actually *being* in the “wrong” restroom. I admire that too, your ability to go through that sort of thing, your sexuality usually pouring out of you in that oh-look-there’s-a-lesbian way. Ignore the haters, honey, because you’re awesome.
I know I’m not alone. I am very close with a large circle of femme’s- both lazy and lipstick- who feel the same way I do and you should know that we’re out here and we adore you- everything about you. You do you because, really, you’re rocking that shit out.
On another note, I feel the same way toward studs (let’s assume there’s an etc. there) who love other studs. All of this applies to you and I find nothing wrong with it. Okay, I might have pouted once or twice a little bit because there goes another one…but that doesn’t make you any less you or any less awesome.

You rock, honey.

Love,
Me ❤
PS: If you’re physically or mentally abusive (no matter who you are or how you identify) for whatever reason, this does not apply to you. You suck.

Being a Lesbian and a Mom

Yup, I’ve got three kids. Because I’m rather protective after a strange, pedophilic type encounter online I do not give out tons of information about them. I can, however, tell you that they’re reasonably close in age and the first two are called Irish Twins. They have two separate biological fathers between them, neither of which are always as active as I’d like them to be. So, a lot is left up to me and I’m okay with that, we manage.

However, my oldest child approached me recently after a long weekend with her paternal family, who can all be very helpful- until now. This was the conversation that followed:

Her: “Mommy did you know that, sometimes, girls kiss girls?”

Me: “I imagine that, yes, I did actually know that. Go on.” I’m highly amused at this point, wondering where this is going as she’s normally a very insightful child.

Her: “that’s bad though. Girls aren’t supposed to kiss girls and boys aren’t supposed to kiss boys. It’s gross and really, really bad.” End amusement, begin heartbreak.

At that point, I felt as though I had been slapped in the face. With a chair. I was so dumbfounded and confused that all I could do was tell her we would talk about it later and send her on her way to play with her toys and brother. I needed to sort myself out first, this was never supposed to happen. I was numb. It didn’t take long for the pistons in my brain to start firing again, putting it all together.

All of my children are highly intelligent. They get that, of course, from me. I have taught them from the word go, to question and challenge everything. Just because the weatherman says it’s raining, doesn’t mean it is, look outside. I want them to learn to verify for themselves, not to instantly trust and believe. Until that moment, they always had. Sometimes, with all of their evolved beauty, I forget that they’re still children, still impressionable. I knew what had happened in that moment. Someone had sent my own child to take a personal shot at me and it worked.

So, I called a meeting. We sat on the love seat in my living room and I posed a question. What is wrong about girls kissing girls? Why, pray tell, is it so bad? She had no answer, because she was only going off of what she was told. So, I asked her, if people were different than her, did that make them bad? Because she was different than them, did that mean she was bad in their eyes? Then, she got it. I could literally see the wheels in her mind working and the light click as she grasped the concept. She then said:

“it’s not nice to be mean to people.” Yes, she’d grasped the entire concept in those few seconds. I agreed with her wholeheartedly,

“would you like to play a game of pretend?” I asked. She lit up and nodded. I gestured about our living room “let’s pretend we’re at a party, okay? We’re sitting here, *just chillin’*. There’s some big girls over there and over there, there’s two girls kissing. Over there, there’s two boys kissing and over there, that girl was born a boy.” These were simply the first things that came to mind for me and going much further into the spectrum could confuse a child her age. She nodded, getting the visual. “Do we make fun of the two girls kissing?”

“No, that’s mean.” She replied.

“Do we make fun of the two boys kissing?”

“No.” she replied, “it’s not nice.”

“Good, good, you’re following me so far. Do we make fun of that girl because she weighs more than us?”

“Nope.”

“and that girl who was born a boy?”

“No, we’re friends with everybody.”

“That’s right.” I said, “because you shouldn’t pick on people because they’re different than you. It doesn’t mean you’re better, just different. Now, why do we not make fun of those people?” So help me, I meant for her to answer ‘because it’s mean’ or ‘I’m not a bully’ or ‘they’re just different’…something along those lines. Instead, she cocks back in her seat and gives me this superior look. As seriously as she can, she replies,

“because we’re *chillin’*.”

Parenting. I think I’ve got it.

For those of you that may be wondering, no, I have not sat my children down and had the “mommy is a lesbian” talk. I don’t have to, because there’s no reason to. I don’t see why they should need an explanation when, to them, two girls kissing is commonplace. Now, on to my nephew. As I’ve just thought maybe you’d like to hear this story as well. I’ve changed everyone’s name of course. Flutterby is my sister, bumble her son. He’s a year older than my oldest.

Bumble: Hey, mom, does Aunt Val like girls? She kissed Jane earlier.

Flutterby: yes, she does.

Bumble: so, then, are Jane and Aunt Val…girlfriends?

Flutterby: yes.

Bumble: That’s gross. Kissing is gross. (kissing in general, here, not just two girls. Cooties and all that rot, you know)

Flutterby: You’ll like kissing when you’re older.

Bumble: So Aunt Val and Aunt Jane are girlfriends now?

Flutterby: Yes, does that upset you?

Bumble: *shrugs* nope, just wondering. I don’t care who they’re kissin’, s’long as they’re still playing with me.

And there you have it. It’s that easy for a child his age (he’s still in the earlier years of elementary) to grasp two girls being together. Since then we’ve discussed many things amongst “the cousins” and there’s never been any problem with comprehension, they don’t care. It’s not that difficult.

For those of you that want to know, no. I have no idea who had my daughter say that to me, I really don’t. I don’t care either, as I’m not interested in any sort of drama and as that’s been long enough ago to be able to tell, it didn’t affect her. It was merely a speed bump she went over that she recovered from with grace and ease. I’m not interested in any drama with them, I’ll allow them to believe how they want and I always put it upon my children to make their own decisions and form their own opinions. For example, her only problem with the girls I date is that they tend to have short hair- usually in a fauxhawk sort of style. This disturbs her as it cannot be put into a pony tail therefore disrupting her need for all of her pretty baubles to go in it. *That*, apparently, is unnatural to her hair and purse obsessed mind. We’re okay with that.

Girl, as in Grrrr with an ‘l’ Sound at the End

Alright, so I grew up in a Uhaul.

Stop laughing.

Seriously, though, my parents moved me all up and down the northeast coast for ages, usually more than once a year. Eventually, we settled in town-of-hell in the south. I have always done things for myself, as soon as I was capable of doing so. I am also a fast learner. For example, my mother quite literally put “big girl panties” on me one day and told me, “you’re not going to wear diapers any more, we pee in the potty. We do not pee in these because you are a big girl”, followed by a short demonstration. I accepted this and was potty trained. I pulled every last one of my loose teeth, taught myself to ride a bike, etc. It is to the point that, if not left to learn it myself, I almost have a learning block and can’t learn whatever “it” is, at all.

So, that attitude combined with slowly integrating myself into this southern girl rock sort of culture lead to me being able to change my own oil, among other things. I hold very many qualities that are perceived as being “masculine” in most places. Where I live, it’s really just being a tomboy- the girl next door. I can also run in high heels without causing any bodily damage to myself, for the record. Now, do I wear high heels when I’m doing these things? Hell no, that shit’s expensive. Since I lived on a working farm, my wardrobe also consisted of several masculine articles of clothing.

Enter previous girlfriend and her masculine of center friend, stage what-the-fuck. I am deemed “too dominant” and “too masculine” to be a self proclaimed femme because of these qualities. So help me this statement was made, “I think you’re really ‘the man’ in this relationship”. Yes, because my soul should be defined by my steel toeds and ability to fix my own vehicle. THAT MAKES SENSE, said no one ever. Still, I had not yet done any self inspection toward my own femininity and it really bothered me. Like…really. I like for things to have names, it’s just the way my mind works. I argued the unfairness of those statements, entering some deep turmoil and attempting to discover myself further. I cut my hair off, all that jazz.

Guess what happened? Still a girl. Still turned into a useless giggly mess around attractive females. Yup, it turns out that my hair and clothes and abilities have shit to do with that. I don’t *want* to be anyone else, I dig the fuck out of who I am right now. Well, except that I miss my hair. I’ve really got to stop doing that sort of thing to prove a point. Either way, however, point made.

Why, as lesbians, are so many of us doing this? Why? After that particular girlfriend and I split, it was terribly hard to find another. Because I’d cut my hair and still wore rather masculine (I’d say more tomboyish- jeans and a tee or A-shirt) clothing. Facts are facts, the type of girl I’m attracted to usually isn’t attracted to the same type and apparently that’s what I appeared to be unless spoken to. How am I supposed to speak to said type of girl if I can’t form intelligent sentences? Do you see the conundrum? It’s bullshit really. It really, really is. In fact, I’ll admit that I had a Plenty of Fish account and an OKCupid account. To prove my point, on one profile my featured picture was me now, with shaggy shorter hair and on the other, me with my long hair. One particular girl got my attention. I flirted with her with my short hair and was shut down. On the other site she didn’t realize I was the same person and hit on me profusely. Oh, no. Don’t think so. This sort of thing happened all of the time.

It’s so judgmental. Why, in the great war against stereotypes and passing of judgment from those outside of our LGBTQ culture/community toward us, are we doing it to each other? Why, because I made mistakes (that I got three glorious children from and do not regret), am I suddenly deemed “not a real lesbian”. I’m sorry, do you know how rare a gold star is? This is happening without knowing each others stories, and that’s wrong on so many levels.

Here’s another thing, why, as FEMALES (no matter how she got there, she’s a she if that’s her chosen pronoun), are we putting negative imagery on being feminine? Sure, I know not all lesbians do this but those that do know good and well that I’m talking to them. This entire cluster fuck of mental debauchery was ended for me during a conversation with my current girlfriend who is masculine of center. I did something, I don’t remember what, completely “girly”. Something she would never do, because it’s just not her. I actually apologized for “being such a girl” and asked her if it bothered her. “No,” she said, “why would it bother me? It’s what I’m attracted to about you. You’re so weird.” Weird, btw, because I apologized.

Boom. Just like that. She’s right. There’s no harm in being myself and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being feminine. It doesn’t mean I’m weak. No, in fact, it means the exact opposite. Nor does me having short hair make me any less feminine or any other ridiculous nonsense you can think of. I’ve crawled through hell and pitched a tent there for a while. There’s nothing weak about me, I am a strong, intelligent, and badass woman. I can be the “girly girl” that I am and still be that, I’m still a survivor. It literally changes nothing about me. I get it. I hope that, by sharing this, that someone else like me realizes that too and, you know, go change your oil in your high heels and lipstick and swear like a well educated sailor, if you can afford it. That’s your prerogative.

Never, ever, apologize for being yourself.

I am a Girl, Damnit!

No, really, I’m a girl. I was born this way. Inside and out, a girl. I’m a feminine girl, at that. So, and, well….yeah. Why does that bother me? Why do I let it bother me? That’s complete and utter bullshit and it now bothers me that I ever let it bother me.

See, when I first ended up on the street, due to a rift in my family caused by my sexual preferences, everything changed. I was a victim of circumstance and age…yadda, yadda, blah, blah, so forth and so on. Still, I was and am an intelligent female. I knew on the spot that my submissive and feminine tendencies were going to get me eaten alive. So, yeah, I put on this badass front.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a badass. Really. Stop laughing.

I took on more masculine tendencies, dress, etc. I made myself this way to protect myself. How terrible is that? How misogynistic? Clearly, I see the issue now but I didn’t then. I’m not sure what bothers me worse about the whole situation, to be honest with you. Is it that I saw being feminine as weak? Or, is it that it actually worked- that I got more respect as a masculine of center woman than I did as feminine? I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer to that, I really don’t. I was so, so miserable.

Therein lies my new problem. That…act, that absolute mockery of…just every thing, is still haunting me to this day. So, I get away from the hard drugs and the bad people, yeah. I’ve still got friends that knew me then, though. I decide to be myself, a little at a time and to just stop the bullshit. I started by actually wearing my clothes, the ones beginning to gather dust and my makeup. Oh yeah, that got a lot of attention but no one said anything and it felt so damned good.

Then, I came out of the closet. The people that knew me best basically just snorted derisively in my face and went back to what they were doing. “Oh, you’re a lesbian? Who knew?” was said in the driest, most sarcastic tone imaginable. Smartasses, my friends.

Now, a lot of said friends met me in the time period of me retreating into the safety of my closet and coming back out. Read: they’d never seen me date girls. This brought up a lot of issues. My relationships with men on any type of romantic level were all shot to hell. Why? Because one of us wasn’t meant to be there, obviously. I got the strangest questions, like, “with all that fighting with boys, what are you going to do with girls?” what…what does that even *mean*?

Now, so that there is no confusion, I’m just not attracted to feminine presenting females. Let me rephrase that, I can and do find them attractive. Yes, sir/ma’am/other, I do. But, it’s just not my sexual/romantic thing. Nope, to be a bit of a narcissist, there’s only room for one princess in my relationship. Me. So, generally, I can be found with masculine of center women, studs, whatever we’re calling them these days. On a side note, part of me feels like I should probably be keeping up with this but…you know…I have other things to do. Like bake cookies…PTA and all that rot.

So, enter my new masculine of center girlfriend, stage left. In my defense, I did try to explain to my more curious (and sometimes possibly questionable) friends that Val with men is different than Val with women. Why, they asked. BECAUSE I’M A LESBIAN. I need a shirt that says that.

Cue really rude shit. “Oh my God, Val, you’re acting like such a girl.” For those of you not following, I’m Val. Yes, I am a girl. “Stop acting like such a girl”, “what’s wrong with you, you’re being a total bitch”, etc. That’s just…so…offensive. It really is. Now, if you’re curious, I will explain why they were saying these things.

Because…well, I’m an awkward person sometimes. Okay, when romance is involved, I’m awkward. I’m the blushing type. I swear, in the eyes of the public I am a strong, loud mouthed, opinionated woman. I take no shit, only names. Put in front of girl-I’m-interested-in and I’m a giggler. A blushing giggler at that. Why, I have no idea. Any insight on that would be appreciated. I mean, my brain is a thesaurus, I do well with the written and spoken word, my brain never stops moving. Enter hot girl and…I’m suddenly useless. I don’t know why anyone trusts me with anything. Sigh.

So, said girl doesn’t work out. My friends pass it off as a fluke. Enter new girlfriend, stage right. Instantly, I’m a giggling and blushing mess…again. As per usual, I knew this would happen. Again with the comments, as stated above.

Then, I read this thing. I can’t find it to post it here. So help me, I identified with what she was saying and the humor of it. There is humor there, so stay calm if you read it (when I find it, I’ll post the link). But this comment… it just blew my mind. So, what’s wrong with me being a girl? What’s wrong with me being feminine and girly? Why was I (note: “was”, I’m over it) letting it bother me? This girl, the author, was proud to be a femme and she owned it. The commenter was also femme and she felt like I did, like we’d done something wrong.

I’m still dealing with this bit mentally. Somehow, in all my adventures, I’ve let myself develop a mindset that being “such a girl” is wrong. Me, the same girl who has struggled to represent and advocate strong women everywhere for so long…what is this? I can’t figure out where this comes from, why I did all this and felt this way. Insight would be much appreciated.

Oh, and there’s more…there’s so much more. But, I’ll save that for the next post.

First post! you do you, I’ll do me

Alright, so, this isn’t my first time blogging. It is, however, my first time using WordPress. If I move, I’ll be sure that the last post tells where I went!

So, here’s a little about myself. I’m one of those strange people you meet, I make an impression and I’m rarely forgotten. I am a mother of three children, a lesbian and I identify as femme (albeit a lazy one) and my pronouns are so related. I understand that not everyone in the LGBTQ (what are we calling it these days?) community doesn’t use labels and if you don’t, I won’t use them on you, but I do- for me. It just makes things easier for me, personally.

I live in the south, a small town that shall not be named. For personal reasons, mostly hate crimes, I came out- saw the world for a short span of time- and put my baby dyke self right back into my safe closet. I then ended up on drugs and spiraled out of control into a deep, dark personal hell. I will go into more detail on that later. I’m not as old as I feel like that makes me seem, I graduated in 2004.  I’m still there, only now, I’m not afraid.

I continued on a dangerous path until one day…I just walked out. That was the beginning of letting go. I lived, I survived and I had three children but I still wasn’t happy and only I knew why. I never lied to myself, I knew what I was doing and that it was wrong. So, I came back out of the closet. I hate the way that sounds. Still, I know that I can’t be the only one. I know there are others out there just like me, that need someone just like me. So, I’m just gonna do me, be me and I’m here if you need me. That’s the point of this blog, to tell my story, hope I help and give advice if I can at all.