Drumming Amazon

Drumming Amazon
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Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Marriage Equality: A Case in Point: MINE

Now this is truly disturbing and I am considering ending a friendship around this.
I have a friend of mine that I hang out with a couple times a week when she's available. She claims she's AC/DC(bisexual), but comes across quite butchy/dykey in the way she takes up her space and in her persona. We come from the same hometown, so we were raised in a similar environment which influences our personalities to a great extent. I don't want to go into all the details and thus 'outing' her online...

I've known her for a couple years and we are engaged in some of the same activities which brings us together. I have felt that she is in denial of her Lesbianism, but yet she engages in it in a very indirect platonic way with a female friend of hers, that she buys all kinds of items for, treats and gives expensive gifts to. The woman is way more femme than her, straight, and they fight like an old married couple, like this old married couple, my partner and myself.....Butch on Butch! She knows both of us, and we are longterm partnered, going on 10 years, longterm sobriety, and LEGALLY MARRIED since 2008, though we also married in 2004 while Gavin Newsom was allowing it before the courts stopped it. Those marriages held for six months before they were struck down. The ones in 2008 are still legal(yes we got to hear the actual arguements in the California Supreme Court itself, one day).

We have done the marriage equality marches, rallies, marched for 6 years in San Francisco Pride for Marriage Equality....so we've done our part. Our marriage certificate sits upon our hallway wall.

SO ANYWAY, this pal of mine, I talked to her two nights ago, and she went on about how 'gay marriages aren't legal in California because of the law[Prop 8].' I told her
OURS IS. That my partner and I are LEGALLY MARRIED in California...she started to argue about it and for someone who hasn't followed the whole struggle it's rather confusing to understand it all(she's pretty nonpolitical). I told her we married in the 5 month window when the California Supreme Court allowed same sex marriages in 2008. We married two weeks before the infamous election...and even so, when the case was finally decided, going before the CA Supreme Court again, they kept Proposition 8 legal, the discriminatory law that stopped the same sex marriages, and declared marriage between a woman and man only, but we're still fighting it...AND it also allowed all of us who married LEGALLY in that 5 month time frame before the 2008 election, to stay MARRIED. So, our marriage, unlike in 2004 when 4000 same sex marriages were annulled, 18,000 same sex marriages in 2008 including ours, was NOT annulled by the State. We still have California State Legally Married status.

I tried to explain this to her and then she retorted: "Well, the Catholic Church says that marriage is only between a man and a woman." Do you know how many people we picketed, including the Mormon Temple in Oakland, how many times we marched, how many times we protested and how much consciousness we've tried to raise, around those who would deny us, and shout their religious crap at us???To get this from my own friend whose too scared to claim her Lesbian identity???But still wants to hang out with us, go to coffee and meetings with us, and be our friend? WELLLL...this fucking HURT! It was so unexpected....for a moment I was in shock...but then I came to my senses and responded: "And do you know how many churches support Marriage Equality? The Unitarians, the Quakers, liberal Jewish Congregations and many others..." Then I told her I had to go and hung up on her. She called me back the next day 10 minutes before Obama's speech, but I just couldn't bring myself to answer it.

I would feel sad to let go of yet another friend...but...but....and my partner was just as shocked, her knowing us as a MARRIED committed Lesbian couple in longterm sobriety and all, and proud of who and what we are....we just did not expect this to come from a friend...so I'm grieving and angry too.....

It never is easy for Lesbians..especially OUT LOUD AND PROUD ones, but it's done so much for me being married to my partner. It has changed everything. Not just the rights, but my attitude towards commitment, and especially having the right unchallenged to have complete access to her while she was in the hospital and Emergency room for several serious health incidents in the last few years since we married.

Whether you believe in marriage or not, I'm glad that we at least can claim the right.
-In Sisterhood,

From Dirt's Blog: What has caused the most devastation to the Lesbian Community?

Here's my answers: I'd like to hear yours too, as long as it stays respectful.

Shaming. Shaming those of us who are LeatherDykes, thus the Lesbian Sex Wars...shaming those who thought differently, were a little too Butch or too high Femme(but my concern of course are the Butches, high Femmes still get privilege in the outside mainstream/malestream world), and the lie told to Butches "You just want to be a man", the death of our Lesbian businesses and bookstores, the elimination of our women only events AS women only events, allowing men and others in, MTF's attempting from the get-go to coopt our culture, our needs, and our sympathies while having been raised male and treating us in the same sexist ways they treated their hetero wives and girlfriends, then claiming a 'Lesbian' identity, and WE ALLOWED THEM TO DO IT, and by allowing them in, that brought more legitimacy to those who transitioned to FTM, instead of moving into the gay men's or even straight/bi men's communities or mixed more hetero communities like
FTM's used to do, because they wanted to be seen as MALE, allowing them to stick around cuz 'they used to be a lesbian' and still are dating 'lesbians' or lesbians had their lovers transition and did not want to leave either the relationship or the community, so thusly the community should be FORCED to accomodate them.

Another thing was the whole arguement of the 'boychild' issue, Lesbians began getting artificially inseminated, and 80% of babies born that way ended up male....rather than the 'natural' method where there's a 50/50 chance of either sex. Because now they identify with motherhood which legitimizes them in a way one is not when one does NOT have children, they wanted to bring their boychildren EVERYWHERE including into Lesbian spaces because we should be forced to 'accomodate' them now that they have chosen to be mothers....this is what childcare used to be for, so the women could have their own times and spaces SEPARATE from their children and role as Mother..and it gives no validation to little girls to have special time with other females/women only(while it's still o.k. for boys to go with Dads and other males only to fishing and hunting excursions).

It did not start just with the trans...all the trends above were part of why there were those Lesbians, myself included at times, who identified with other more accepting sectors of the commmunity, and even if we had differences, we should have allowed ALL bio-female Lesbians access to Lesbian only/woman centered spaces and been a bit more tolerant with each other, but also NOT assume that it is ok to bring males along(like I see every year at the Dyke March, what with FTM's, and bisexual women's boyfriends forcing their way marching along with the Dykes/women, and even gay boys marching when they don't belong, because Dolores Park isn't far from the Castro, and like always, males feel entitled).

If we fought this entitlement from day one....whether you're bringing along your male baby, male lover(if bi), FTM, or even late transition MTF's, or gay male friends, all these things undermine Lesbian community and spaces.

If we better supported ALL of our Lesbian businesses, and if they were struggling bought them out and KEPT THEM in Lesbian hands, bought buildings with Lesbian money so we could OWN our resources rather than rent them where a landlord could jack rents sky high, especially on commercial businesses, if we REALLY FOUGHT For keeping our women's/lesbian bookstores open, our events, our safe havens, and guarded them in the way that gay men guard theirs(though because they're men they have way more money to work with), we'd still have a viable community and would have the collective power to counter some of the trends going on today

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A rant...TRANS/BORG: You WILL BE ASSIMILATED! FTM gang up when refusing to attend an event that has been coopted by FTM's

To the disrespectful transFTM's who can't take a difference of opinion and get their buddies to gang up: ..you ARE the worst kind of assimilationist bigots, and yes, I certainly 'get' the Borg analogy, and when we look back in 10 years, it will be the trans community that will have assimilated in it's Borg-like way every single Butch/boyish female that comes along...convincing them of the need for hormones, surgeries, ect.....instead of PRIDE in their female minds/bodies/spirits AS Butches and AS Dykes....and that by fighting sexism and yes, LESBOPHOBIA, a Female can do any damned thing in her body/mind/spirit she sets her self to, if just given the opportunity.

What, I don't go along with the crowd, OH MY. Just keep arguing boyz. Cuz that's what 'menz' do.....force their opinions on everybody else....What? There are those who regret transitioning and are transitioning back, cuz they weren't sold on your bill of goods, the dirty little secret nobody wants to admit to? What? Young Butch/boyish/tomboy females coming out wonder where other Butches are and what's left of the Lesbian community and everyday they're asked 'when are you transitioning?', and attempting to resist that peer pressure? That taking 'T' is not enough, breast surgery is better, changing your name to something male better, and yet Dykes should have to accomodate your new found 'maleness'? While they look around and say: "No I don't want to do that...where are the Butches?" We're still here...and we are rising.......we ARE taking back our communities for ourselves and for those young ones who DON'T WANT TO BE RUBBERSTAMPED BY YOUR PEER PRESSURE CUZ YOU CAN'T DO IT ON YOUR OWN....

"You will be assimilated" NOT!
. MasterAmazon: 1 day ago| delete
NOLOSE is just another sold out organization using the Lesbian title, no longer representing Lesbians, along with National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Astrae Foundation for "Lesbians"
YOU have sold us down the river, but we Dykes ARE withdrawing our support.-MasterAmazon

@MasterAmazon - Wow, I'm disappointed to see you continuing to spread trans-fear and bigotry in our queer community spaces.

You know we disagree on this topic. I feel that we Butch Dykes continue to be strong and proud beings and that we are NOT being assimilated. If there is a delusion in this thread it is certainly your analogy equating trans-men with the Borg!

I find your sentiments on the subject to be divisive, ignorant, arrogant and full of rage. The world is an ever changing place and I for one am grateful for that. Work done by queer leaders of the past have paved the way for broader and richer definition of gender and sexuality. Your views are increasingly contracted ... trying to put queer people into a smaller and smaller box. I prefer a more expansive view of a future with a vibrant array of genders and sexualities.

Also, I'm quite offended that you are representing yourself as spokeswoman for all butch dykes by claiming that, among other untrue assertions, "we Dykes ARE withdrawing our support". Speak for yourself. I know for sure that there will plenty of dykes at the next NOLOSE conference.

And there will be plenty who won't be Ra. Sorry you feel that way....I guess there aren't different strokes for different folks, but there ARE Female Identified Butches in many forums, who feel as I do....it's called BOUNDARIES. And we are reasserting them.
I'm not 'queer' which can mean 'anything goes' these days, I'm a DYKE.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My response to Kate Kendall's National Center for Lesbian Rights on Facebook for not putting Lesbians First and Foremost on their agenda

,January 11 Tara, and Gallus Mag, you give me hope. I have seen over and over again where NCLR only gives it's attentions to the most high profile cases, lesbians with children ignoring those of us who choose not to have children or procreate or adopt.... While I do appreciate all the marriage equality work NCLR has done, and was in the courtroom for Shannon Minter's arguement for us, and many more Lesbians married than gay men or anybody else in the queer community, and also handsome Butch Lesbian Therese Stuart also argued for us both times(SF assistant DA), we won in 2008, and again in this current case....the arguements were compelling against the rightwing, I DO appreciate NCLR for that, so I could continue to be married to my Lesbian spouse.....

However, as ordinary OUT Butch Lesbians, we've both been terribly discriminated against in our jobs and BOTH of us throughout the years have desparately called NCLR to advocate for us and they simply could not be bothered. They also have a Transgender Law Center directly under their purview, and it seems that transgender cases have become frankly more important than Lesbian cases. I do not recognize born males as Lesbians. They are socialized as men, and take privileges for themselves and treat Lesbians once they come into our communities in the same manner they treated their former wives and girlfriends. It also saddens me how many Butch Lesbians are
transitioning right and left as the culture becomes more conservative and more 'queerified' that the bite has gone out of Lesbian culture and into Trans and gay male culture.....thus disappearing our most obvious handsome Butch Lesbians for the passing that happens through transition. A very small handful might be FTM, but for most it's a dangerous, dangerous trend, and there are those who regret what they've done, but it is highly hidden by the trans movement. Many Butches are being pressured to transition, and I hear of them talk of it frequently. Our Lesbian and women only spaces are being erased at an alarming rate to cater to those who consider themselves 'male'. But how 'male' can you be if you INSIST on staying in Lesbian/women's spaces and thus coopting them? Or is part of NCLR's agenda to erase our sacred women only and Lesbian only spaces too through trans lawsuits against us, and against women's colleges?(When those who become FTM INSIST on staying in a women only college, or a 51 year old male who just got out of the Navy decides he's now 'a woman' wants to stay in a female only dorm with those who are in their teens or early 20's).

I'd like to see NCLR concentrate and focus first and foremost on ALL Lesbians rights and especially for us Butches as well, and on the job rights particularly. Whether it be the myriads of Lesbian tradeswomen who face discrimination everyday, Butches, ect.....or other fields..
BEFORE giving other communities the preferred attention.

Like I mentioned elsewhere, a butch dyke won a case in San Francisco against Harley Davidson because she considered herself 'transgender', and got the support of your and other groups...but an ordinary Lesbian won't get your attention if she does NOT consider herself transgender or transsexual.

There are those of us who are Female Identified Butch Lesbians wanting to counter this self hatred so many young butch/masculine females have against their bodies and selves because of sexism, and we are creating OUR OWN Lesbian positive organizations and groups to counter these negative trends and messages...we are RISING!

Our own Female Identified Butch Dyke groups and events and organizations to counter the messages coming out of the trans community, so Butches of all ages can feel proud in their Female bodies AS BUTCHES, and AS DYKES. Will NCLR stand with us, or against us???

Butch/Woman: my response from Dirt's blog

Fortunately I got to do the karate starting at age 14, and still do all these years later, and I got to play ice hockey at 12 and 13, the only female in the league....but I had to INSIST, with my parents that I didn't want to be left out, while my brother got to do all these fun things.

When I came out we had a strong Lesbian Feminist community and I remember my first Lesbian dances, and when I used the term 'girl' the Lesbians INSISTED I use the term "woman", unless they were less than 15. I was trained when I came out that to be a WOMAN was something to be proud of, physically, spiritually, emotionally and that 'Women can do ANYTHING', and then 'womyn/womon' were OUR terms for OUR KIND Of womon....not related to man...but her own Being, and her love of other womyn(yes Dykes).

Unfortunately there isn't that same kind of Female/Womon proud Lesbian community for young baby dykes and baby dyke Butches to come into, so there's a serious disconnect because woman means attached to men, makeup, heels, dresses, lesser than, victimized, ect. ect. ect. and so many hesitate to use the term 'womon/woman', but so easily use the term "us girls" or 'girl', or "ladies, ladies, ladies"(even in nonfeminist lesbian circles, even by a butch uttering that term). I've ALWAYS hated the term 'ladies' and rejected that, because I AM NOT ONE...even though my family tried to insist, 'don't you want to be a lady?' trying to curtail my tomboy/butchy behaviors.

So, having and building a community young baby dyke and other Butches can come into where woman is strong, powerful, proud and capable of ANYTHING like when I came out, is the ONLY WAY, woman/womon can be taken back and away from strictly hetero defining, and Butches can then own being a Butch WOMON/WOMAN.

Rebuilding our Dyke communities again: a response to one of Dirt's blogs

While I disagree with you about Separatism, as a LeatherDyke Separatist myself, I put Lesbians first and foremost ALWAYS! While I did my stint in the woods for a month before I moved to California in 1984, I still go back yearly to get away from the menz and menz world to connect with women and Dykes, and to honor our Sacred Female and yes, AMAZON Selves. This is spiritually powerful to continue the fight in the menz world.....I'm not an Orthodox Jewish Separatist(and Jewish communities in my youth absolutely WERE Separatist, especially the Orthodox ones), but rather my Separatism is in my focus: worshipping only the Sacred Female, both sexually and spiritually and on every other level. Lesbians come first and foremost, and then all born females....it is the current Separatists that have kept this focus and continue to, and other Radical Dykes, while all the others are sold out lock stock and barrel to the menz, gay, straight, trans and formerly 'male'(mtf's).

But, I DO agree with you, when I first came out I did not understand the whole 'political lesbian' thing, and in some ways never have.....one cannot be something they are not, which is why in some ways I trusted the drunken neanderthal self hating bar dykes more than the radical feminist 'political' dykes, not dykes who were political and radicalized me, especially the Dyke Witches, but 'political' lethsbians...those who claimed lesthbianism, but weren't. I tried to date a few of those, but it never got past cuddling...in fact my first two 'political' lesbian lovers who I met on campus through the political lesbian organizations went back to men...it fucked me up in my head cuz my mom kept saying 'it was a phase' and I was living with her at the time....

Well, for me, once I was out, I WAS OUT...there was NO going back to men for me! Been there, done that, NO THANK YOU....so the whole 'it's oppressive to be with men' bit I/you must/can be a Lesbian did not and DOES NOT work. It is and was coopting of Dyke culture, and those women eventually betrayed us in many ways because they were going against THEIR natural desires, instead of as het/bi women finding THEIR OWN empowerment within the feminist movement as women.

The 'back to the land' bit was and is empowering for many Lesbians who got to do it, but it's also isolating, without the economic resources to create viable communities, alot of those lands ended up in dissension and difficulty, and many were lost...but for some they were and are safe spaces to be, to be separate from a damaging male culture that alienates and annihilates us and our voices and our burgeoning Lesbian communities. We NEED these refuges from time to time...and for some of us more than just from time to time....BUT we DO also need to engage with each other in city environments too, and have safe havens while dealing with the greater whole.

Unlike many religious/ethnic groups that are successful, Lesbians failed to keep matronizing their institutions, their bookstores, their cultural venues, keeping them by and for primarily or exclusively for Lesbians and/or women only....such cultural institutions DO exist in a Separatist way, for THEIR minority/ethnic communities alone, to keep their communities powerful, and as an organized group, to then deal with the mainstream as a powerful COHESIVE unit.

Lesbians failed to do that. We could not keep the cohesion because we kept dividing off from each other, and it's still continuing to happen.

Only when we decide to put our Dyke identities first and foremost, as Lesbian Separatists have always done, will we be able to grow our Lesbian communities as viable institutions as a force to be dealt with, again...I just hope it's not too late to do so....and that other Dykes are feeling this same urge.