I actually know this week’s nominee personally – he’s my BFF-in-law! Here’s what Di had to say about Liam:
I’m nominating Liam because my BFF told me to. Ha! Seriously, this is his second appearance on the Butch Swoon List and I don’t think he’d mind even though he is a trans man. So what makes him swoon-worthy in my book? Well, besides his obvious rugged good looks, he’s quite the catch. He is an artist and a writer (he writes the most beautiful poetry for me) and a woodworker. He makes me laugh more than anyone I know, particularly when he tries to throw me out of the car for singing along to Van Halen (“Get out. Get out of the car right now. Yes, you can walk from here.”). He is unbelievably intelligent and academic but isn’t above guffawing at stupid movies like “Get Him to the Greek” with me. He’s an amazing dad to my 12-year-old son (even if they act roughly the same age sometimes) and is just as good at the serious sit-down talks as he is at helping with school projects that require power tools. He does the dishes every night and helps me with laundry even in the middle of a killer grad school schedule. Yes, I said grad school: my baby boi is, at 49 years of age, in his second semester of divinity school. He’s a rock star preacher who is also a political and social activist. When he is in the pulpit, I just go mad with love and burst with pride and yeah…he makes my heart go pitter-pat.
It’s time for another lesbian (grammar) life lesson!
Americans seem to have an aversion to the word “me”. We use “I” when we should use “me” and, worse, we use “myself.” Ugh. I shudder whenever I hear people say “myself” because they almost always use it wrong.
Let’s start with me/I. I’m not going to give you a whole long informational session but here’s a good rule: if you’re grouping yourself with others, you don’t always use “I.” Take out the others and see which makes sense.
For example: “Me and Cowboy are going to the movies” is wrong because if I was going without Cowboy (as if!) I would say “I am going to the movies.” Conversely, “Hippie Grrl gave Cowboy and I free passes to the movies” is ALSO wrong. If Hippie Grrl were only giving free passes to me, I would say “She gave them to I.” See how that works?
I could give you all the technical reasons why this is the way it is but you were taught them in middle school and you don’t remember them so chances are pretty good you aren’t going to remember them now. But now you have a handy trick to figure out which is the right way to say it. Of course, you’re probably not going to stop to think that out while you’re *talking* but I hope at least you do in writing! Facebook would be so much better if we could get this down. We’ll work on you’re/your and their/there/they’re later.
Now on to “myself.” Here’s the deal: myself is not a pronoun. NEVER, EVER, EVER say something like “Cowboy and myself.” No. It’s either “Cowboy and me” or “Cowboy and I” depending on the situation.
Repeat after me: myself is not a pronoun.
Clarification: It IS a pronoun but it’s a reflexive pronoun (because I know one of you is going to look this stuff up and smugly tell me that myself is, in fact, a pronoun.) However, for your purposes, it’s not. To be mildly technical, “myself” is always the object of the sentence, not the subject. So much like the Me v. I debate, just take out the other parties and you’ll see that “myself” doesn’t work. Like: Cowboy and myself went to the movies. Would you ever say “Myself went to the movies”? Nope. So don’t say “Cowboy and myself.” Basically, “myself” is used to add emphasis. Like “I did that myself!”
I would like to nominate a very special soul. Her name is Lori Rankin, she goes by L. She’s all boi. And I am very blessed to call her my beloved.
Her mantra is” Life is meant to live and I don’t want to regret a single moment of it.”
She works in the field of organ and tissue donation and while it is a very stressful and emotional job, it is also very rewarding and humbling. She has a different take on what it means to live in each moment, to not live with “what could have been” but what IS now, what is right in front of her.
She’s a huge animal lover; we live with five rescued furry souls currently. She takes excellent care of herself by being a very disciplined endurance cyclist and a dedicated member of an all women’s boot camp.
She’s a very good boi, She knows who wears the heels in this relationship and spoils me rotten. She sincerely enjoys doing her chores which include by are not limited to, cleaning the main house, cooking our meals, lawn care, and the dishes. Can’t have a Lipstick with a chipped nail, can we? ;-)
She is my best friend, my soul mate, my forever beloved and fingers crossed my future spouse recognized EVERYWHERE!
This nominator wrote such a beautiful post, I didn’t have to write another thing other than this mini-intro. Here’s what Weavre had to say about Evelyn:
If I were nominating Evelyn Molina for some other sort of community award, I might start with her professional background. After all, she’s former NYPD, a genuine 9/11 hero, and earned her detective shield doing some of the dirtiest police work in the big city. She’s now part of a beautiful set of educational programs that help change the lives of hard-core juvenile offenders inside a secure treatment facility. She’s at once tough as nails, so that even the worst of her 21-yr-old violent offenders back down when she gives them “the look,” and so deeply compassionate that she routinely brings those same kids gifts bought with her own paycheck when, for example, their families forget they’re there. She’ll go in on a day off to supervise a phone call for a teen who needs to talk to someone from home, and every single one of her coworkers sings her praises.
But this isn’t that kind of award. I could perhaps offer instead her “butch creds;” she grew up Puerto Rican in a rough neighborhood in NYC, looks fabulous in her boyish clothes, and loves a bit of rough-and-tumble horseplay with her friends. She’s flown a real helicopter, and I’ll admit she still drives like a cop most of the time.
Those things don’t set Evelyn apart, though; lots of butches can show their swagger. What does set her apart is her unselfconscious comfort in her own skin. I’ve met women who said they “decided to be butch” because “that’s what femmes want,” but that’s not Evelyn at all. Evelyn simply decided to be herself, absolutely and authentically, and the rest of the world identified that as butch. Evelyn’s swagger is no act; it’s simply who she is. She’ll dance with the little singing figures in the toy aisle without a care in the world about what anyone else might think. She’s comfortable being silly, often plays the buffoon until her friends are laughing so hard their cheeks are bright with tears—but projects such an air of well-earned confidence that she’s the only person our big-guy former Marine friend trusts to watch his back in a tight spot. She’s earned that respect, as well; neither I nor her coworkers have any doubt that she’d throw heaven and hell aside to protect anyone in need, and she’d have the strength and skill to pull it off, too.
Physical prowess without strength of character is nothing, though. Fortunately, as a human being, Evelyn is absolutely beautiful all the way through. She is honest, intensely loyal to friends and family, and committed to doing what’s right without undue analysis or introspection. She’s the rock supporting her aging parents and other relatives, the safe harbor for friends who need to talk, the reliable community member who sits on the local Pride board and jokes her way through serious event planning. Wherever she is, too, the location is instantly secure. Like too many women, I’ve my own nightmares from history, but the first night I slept in her arms was the first night I slept safe and undisturbed in years.
I’d like to say that those few facts, glowing as they are, at least come close to describing the woman I’ve grown to love with all my heart. The truth, though, is that they don’t even scratch the surface of her charm, and a thousand paragraphs more wouldn’t suffice to do her justice. All I can add, then, is to boast that she’s all of that, and comes with heart-stopping good looks, too—I mean, who has flawless smooth skin and absolutely perfect breasts at 55? Really?
I was pretty excited when Ryn nominated Bren for the Butch Swoon List as she’s one of my favorite butches.
This is what Ryn says:
I nominate Bren for the Butch Swoon list for many reasons. She is smart, witty, geeky and funny to name just a few. Bren has a fascination with Super Heros with her favorite being Iron Man. I think she makes a perfect Tony Stark! I met Bren through her blog and twitter almost 3 years ago and her activism for the Queer community in general and Boston’s Queer community have made a big impression on me.
Bren does a little bit of everything. She’s a journalist by day and Super Butch by night. She organizes butch social events, she volunteers with an LGBT elders group and writes the fabulous blog Buzzcuts and Bustiers. You can also find follow her on twitter. She’s @buzzcutbustier.
These days Bren is single, so all you single femmes, go follow her on Twitter and check out her blog. Leave comments! She’s pretty fabulous.
Zeba nominated her friend Cd for the Swoon List. Here’s what she says:
It is my pleasure to tell you about Cd Kirven.
She is smoking hot, a socially conscious lesbian rights activist, a former female football player, artist, author, comic book creator and fillmmaker. I have attached a couple of pictures and she is the kindest person I know. Chas helps get LGBT teens off the streets, threatens the mayor of Dallas when he hurts her community and if you want to believe it, is very single!
She was arrested in Nancy Pelosi’s DC office which helped with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. She is absolutely amazing! The best part about her is she has no idea how sexy she is and it is so hot! She is a drag king performer helping break down gender stereotypes and her drag king name is Jamie Fauxx. Her artwork is absolutely amazing and has been shown at galleries across the country. Chas did the 1st LGBT cell phone documentary short on same sex domestic violence called: “The Dark Side of the Rainbow”. The short played at film festivals across the country and was runner up for USA Film festival’s Texas Award. Her book is called; “What Goes Around Comes Back Around”.
Here are some other places that you can find Cd:
Domestic violence is something that no one wants to think about or talk about. It doesn’t happen to lesbians, right? Wrong. It DOES happen to lesbians. If you’re butch, you may think you’re immune but you’d be wrong. Domestic violence is more than the physical assault that we can all recognize. It NEVER starts with a punch to the face. It starts more subtly and if left alone, escalates.
My guest blogger today is eL, who is a domestic violence survivor.
Hey there, folks! My name is eL. I’m a guest blogger, here to share a bit of my story with you all. I am a queer butch.
I have had the unfortunate experience of being in a long-term abusive relationship. Thankfully, I am no longer in that relationship – it’s been almost three years.
I’ve been thinking about this post for some time now. How to write it. What I can say that might be of help to someone out there on the internet. I’ve spent time considering which aspects of my story to share. I have a big issue with what I call “grief porn,” that thing that happens after a big disaster (school shootings, 9-11, the nightly news). I do not want this post to do that with my story of abuse. It is a sad story with unexpected twists and turns and was a huge wake-up call for me in my (so called) selfish former life. I don’t want to make this grief porn or abuse survivor porn. I just want to tell my story.
My story involves being hooked by someone I met online, with no intent (at first) to date. From afar, the control was obvious to everyone, even me, as much as I tried to deny it. We had online, text, snail mail, and telephone communication for ten months before we met in person. After we met in person, it (the spell I appeared to be under) was even more apparent, yet I still moved across the country to be with this person.
I arrived across the country to a huge wake-up call. The person I was with (and whom, I had spent a week with, on vacation, a month prior to moving in together) was still living with their ex. Their ex was not happy that I had moved. Their ex wasn’t ready to be an ex. Their relationship ended in a swirl of anger, yelling, and violence.
There were so many warning signs.
Yet, we moved in together (four months after I moved there). The person I was with established a number of rules regarding what I could and could not do. They controlled what I ate, where I went, when I spoke on the phone (not at home, not at all), got upset when I was on the internet, was suspicious of my every move, and wanted 100% of my undivided attention 100% of the time. I was expected to be on chat during my break time at work. I was followed. I was stalked. There were surprise arrivals at my gym when I showed signs of wanting to get out and/or not wanting to tell them my every move. When the person I was with became upset (at the drop of a hat), there was yelling – loud, screeching yelling (in the car, at home, sometimes even in public). There was punching (of the walls), there was shoving (of my body), there were threats.
Our relationship ended terribly (with shouting and violence, among other things), yet we still got back together.
The only way to really end it was for me to move.
It has been two and a half years since I last spoke to this person and a few months shy of three years since I last saw them.
Those who know me now (and who knew me before) can’t fathom how I would allow someone to control me in the manner I was controlled. It feels like a different life, a foreign time, another planet. I don’t know how it all happened. I don’t know why I didn’t leave sooner. I do know that I was isolated from my friends and family, I was completely fascinated with and dependent on this person, and I made some poor choices in the name of love.
I am happy to say that I am doing so much better now.
There are still some remnants of the old me. I obsessively delete old text messages (they would read my phone, my email, my everything). I sometimes wake up panicked in the middle of the night and forget where I am. The bad dreams have changed from a nightly expectation to an a-few-times-a-year annoyance. I am breathing easier and making my own decisions.
I have tip for any of you would are involved with someone who is a survivor of abuse – do not shut them out. Communicate, communicate, communicate. The silent treatment is a relationship death sentence when you are dating an abuse survivor. I know it’s hard – it’s hard to know how to navigate the waters of survival when you yourself have been fortunate enough to know a life without abuse / domestic violence. Believe me, if I could change this part of my past, I would, I do not look fondly on the way I acted when I was in this relationship.
The crappiest part about the abuse is that before I lived it, I could spot it a mile away in others and would be so judgmental about why they didn’t get out. That is – until I was in an abusive relationship. Getting out was extremely frightening. How can I get away? What will happen to me? Where will I work? Will anyone ever love me again? What if they come after me?
After I got out, things were unbelievably rough. I tried to date right away. I do not recommend that. I even dated a person for six months without ever sleeping with them, I barely even kissed them. After that I dated another person for a few months, in a similar fashion. One of the saddest side effects of life after abuse for me is that, in the back of my mind, I still struggle to trust the folks that I date.
There is no magic pill to move on from this kind of trauma. There is only time, and love, and support. I spent time in therapy, I have spent time sharing my story with family and friends. I am, now, sharing a part of my story with all of you.
In the hope that you may be able to avoid a similar situation, I offer some links with warning signs, support, and advice on how/where to seek help. Be well and know that you are immeasurably loved. You are so much more than any one relationship. You are a fantastic being who deserves to be loved in a safe and mutually beneficial way. You are worth it.
Take care of you. Just in case you’re dealing with an abusive partner or you know someone who is, I’m including some links to helpful information.
The Northwest Network
working to end abuse in diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans communities
an interesting article with myths and facts regarding lesbian domestic abuse
a wealth of links from Stuff Queer People Need To Know