Small World

Four months ago, I quit my day job. I had been working full-time at a sign shop, doing graphic design. I spent nearly five years there before I finally threw in the towel.

I had plenty of reasons for leaving. As you might expect, most of them centered around not wanting to be there anymore. But the strongest pull away from that job was a pull toward something. I wanted to try something new. I wanted to make something new. I wanted to stop tailoring my creativity to the desires of my customers, coworkers, and bosses. I wanted only my voice in my head as I worked.

Even at the time, it felt like a pipe dream. It felt silly to walk away from the security of a paying job and plunge into the unknown with no guarantees. Irresponsible, even.

My goal was to make money writing. Four months into this, I don’t feel any closer to that goal. Maybe I haven’t been working hard enough. Maybe I haven’t been working smart enough. Maybe I’ve been too distracted by other tasks, like household chores, and Kijiji sales, and planning our move. Maybe I’ve been inviting these very distractions so I’ll have something to point to when I fail.

I feel like I’ve failed already. Continue reading “Small World”

Advertisements

Opening Up

Kate and I have noticed a discouraging trend over the last several years. All of our city’s queer establishments seem to be vanishing. First it was The Roost, the first gay bar I ever visited. A few years ago it was Junction, and then Roast. The most recent loss was Buddy’s, a queer night club that had been around for 21 years. It closed last November.

New queer bars and clubs have popped up over the years and disappeared almost as fast. Watching places like Flash and Play and UpStares UltraLounge come and go, we’ve had to ask ourselves whether there’s still a need in our city for an exclusively queer spot. All signs point to “not really.”

Times are changing, and we queers are no longer limited to a short list of safe spaces. Teens, preteens, and even children are coming out younger and younger. By the time they hit clubbing age, they’ve had years to get comfortable with their orientations and identities. When I was 20, things were very different. My sexuality was always at the forefront of my mind as I questioned and agonized and worried. It engulfed me, and as such, it distracted me from other types of growth. For years, I felt like I could never just be Mo, I had to be Gay Mo.

Kate and I created Butch Please to be a website for queer women. This seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do at the time, but fifteen weeks in, we’re feeling stuck. We don’t have the readership we want. We don’t have the variety of writers we want (though we love and appreciate our existing writers). We’re feeling really limited when it comes to the writing. Kate is bisexual and I’m a lesbian, but that’s not all that we are. We’re both complex, well-rounded people with lots to say about our lives and the world. And, for the moment, we’ve run out of ways to talk about how queer we are.

In light of this, we’ve decided to extend our reach. Instead of being a queer women’s site, Butch Please will now be simply a women’s site. We’ll remain, as always, queer friendly and feminist (because obviously), but we won’t limit ourselves as far as talking points. Gone will be the daily categories. After all, personal journeys don’t just happen on Mondays.

What’s it like to be a woman working in a predominantly male field? What’s it like to navigate the intimidating world of online dating? What’s it like to take the plunge and start a new business? What’s it like to be a feminist man? We want to bring you these stories. We want you to see yourselves in them. We want to invite everyone to our table; not just queer chicks.

The door’s open.


Author

small mo


Want to keep Butch Please (mostly) ad-free? Leave a tip for our hard-working writers.

Paint By Numbers

Greetings, Gentle Readers!

Normally, on a Friday, we would bring you a Sex & Dating themed post. We’re not doing that today because, to be frank, we don’t have one.

When Kate and I first talked about starting this website, we were excited about the idea of featuring lots of stories from lots of different people. We wanted our readers to be able to dive vicariously into other people’s lives; to learn a bit about people they might not otherwise meet, and to learn a bit about themselves in the process.

Representation is important to us. We really want to showcase people from across the queer spectrum. We want gay writers, bisexual writers, asexual writers, trans writers. We want to hear from queer people of colour, queer people with disabilities, queer people of all ages. We’d also love to hear from non-queer people about the relationships they have with the queer people in their lives.

We need your help with this.

Everybody’s got a story to tell. We want to hear yours. Even if you’re not a writer, we can work with you to put your lived experience into words. If you’re not comfortable putting your name and face on your story, we’ll happily publish it anonymously.

We need more colours on our rainbow canvas. Please think about adding yours. It’s the only way we can paint the whole picture.

If you’re interested in writing for Butch Please, please contact us.


Author

small mo


Want to keep Butch Please (mostly) ad-free? Leave a tip for our hard-working writers.

#YEG – Introvert Yard Sale

Kate and I are embarking on a cross-country move later this year. In preparation for this dramatic life change, we’ve been sorting through our belongings and deciding what to keep and what to lose.

We have quite a few items that we’re happy to part with, and we could always use a little extra cash. Having a yard sale seems like a no-brainer, but as hardcore introverts, we’ve both always found the notion pretty unappealing. Sitting out in the sun, forcing conversation with strangers as they judge our stuff? No thanks.

Luckily, we’re living in the Internet age. Kijiji to the rescue!

(For our International readers: Kijiji is basically Canadian Craigslist. Not to be confused with Actual Canadian Craigslist.)

Kijiji is built for introverts, for a few reasons. First, the bulk of the communication happens over email and text (as opposed to face-to-face). Second, you create the ads, which means you’re in control of what people see. If you add enough photos and description details up front, you can avoid prolonged Q & A sessions with prospective buyers. Third, if someone wants to haggle over price, you can either make a counter offer or stand firm at your original price, all safely behind the curtain of the computer screen. (This is definitely preferable to collapsing under the stress of interpersonal contact and letting them set whatever price they want just so the awkwardness can be over.)

We live in Edmonton, a city of nearly 900,000 people, so our ads are reaching a large pool of people. Within the month of July, I’ve managed to sell fifteen items.  I have plenty of stuff left to sell, but I’m not worried. With every successful sale, I get better at this process. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way: Continue reading “#YEG – Introvert Yard Sale”

Homo In Transit

(Photo Courtesy of Anderson Transport Edinburgh)

(Originally posted on September 2, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

2013 has definitely been a year of firsts for me.

Some were emotionally powerful (first lesbian wedding). Some were random and sort of weird (first time in a port-o-potty). Some were just awesome (first road trip with friends, first step into the Pacific Ocean, first smartphone). Some pushed me to the absolute limits of who I knew myself to be (first lesbian stagette).

Next month will introduce another: I’m about to move into my very first studio apartment.

I’ve lived by myself several times over the last ten years, but always in one-bedroom apartments. The place I am moving into is a no-bedroom; about 600 square feet total. It will definitely be the smallest place I’ve ever lived.

When I started the preliminary sorting process in anticipation of this move, I was struck by how much crap I owned that I had no use for anymore. I’ve moved enough times in the past ten years that I’ve developed a burning desire to make the process as short and sweet as possible. I was unwilling to pack a single box more than was absolutely necessary.

So began the cull.

Continue reading “Homo In Transit”

Baby Talk

Last month, Kate and I spent two weeks vacationing in Nova Scotia. We saw an impressive number of my relatives in that time span, including a couple of babies. Both of these babies were cute (obviously), and tiny, and incredibly smiley. We took turns holding them as they made the rounds, making goofy faces until they giggled, and snapping selfies of each other. Amid all this adorableness, Kate and I got asked that age old question:

“Are you two thinking about having kids?”

It’s a standard question for newlyweds. When my aunt posed it, Kate and I were pleased. We were being asked intrusive personal questions, just like any other couple! We smiled and admitted we’d thought about it. We have thought about it. But the reality is, when it comes to this particular question, we’re not like any other couple.

There are no accidental pregnancies for a same-sex couple. There aren’t even any easy ways to have a kid on purpose. For the majority of hetero couples (those without fertility problems), starting a family is pretty straightforward. Once you decide you’re ready for kids, all you need to do is have sex. Conception requires no money and minimal effort – it’s actually fun (if you like that sort of thing)! Nine months later, you have a kid that belongs to both of you; a living being created by the physical expression of your love for each other. How beautiful!

Biologically speaking, it’s not possible for Kate and me to have a baby that’s half hers and half mine. That’s just science. It’s a shame, really. I feel like our impossible baby would be very cute. She would have blue eyes and blonde curls, and she would grow up to be smart, and kind, and sensitive. She would be strong (like her mother), and skilled at making puns (like her other mother). She would definitely be a she, since neither of us has a Y chromosome to contribute. But we can’t create her together. We’re not equipped. Continue reading “Baby Talk”

#YEG – Careless Whisper

(Originally posted on April 3, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

Every teen drama in recent memory that’s taken a crack at a gay storyline has included one virtually identical scene. The gay (or presumed gay) character – usually tertiary but occasionally a main player – is walking nonchalantly down the school corridor. Suddenly, he or she stops dead. The camera then zips helpfully around to show us what all the fuss is about.

A locker has been tagged, in spray paint, with the word “FAG.”

This exact scene has happened on Dawson’s Creek, Popular, and Glee, among other teen shows. It usually happens midway through Season Two. (For variety, One Tree Hill had a “DYKE” locker instead, which I suppose is refreshing?)

The scene always unfolds the same way: one word, one locker, and one victim forcibly made conspicuous in a crowd of his or her peers. The perpetrator is absent or invisible; a faceless coward, hiding behind a very small but powerful word.

Hate can be so paint-by-numbers.

Just yesterday, a friend of mine showed me some disturbing images from right here in Edmonton. They were photos of a home here in the city; a home spray-painted with racial slurs. I blinked at these photos in disbelief. Is this sort of thing seriously still happening, right under our noses? In a city, and indeed a country, celebrated for its diversity? In 2013?

Really?

Continue reading “#YEG – Careless Whisper”

Out of Touch

(Originally posted on March 2, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

I’ve been a lesbian my entire life. I know this now. I’ve spoken to other lesbians who can pinpoint the exact moment they realized they were gay. I can’t. I’ve always figured that, as a youngster, I was just too sheltered to recognize what was right in front of me.  I’ve always assumed that I was simply a latecomer to the right vocabulary.

I did not know I was gay growing up. Or, at least, I don’t remember knowing it.

I’ve been looking at some old diaries of mine – we’re talking early nineties, teeny-bopper diaries. Within those pages I found an anxious girl; sensitive, insecure, and yeah, I’ll say it: frequently obnoxious. I had incredibly strong feelings for my friends; feelings that made me possessive and paranoid and easily hurt.

Amid these waves of naive and needy words, I came across some fairly compelling foreshadowing. In the middle of an entry about first periods and friendship hierarchies, I had paused to write a description of one of my best gal pals:

She’s really pretty. People say she lost weight. I said, “Yeah, but I didn’t know she’d had much to lose.” Anyway, she had a tank top over her bathing suit and shorts, and she has a figure! I guess she always did, I just never really noticed it. And her hair is really nice. When all of us grow up, I honestly think she will be the prettiest. (Do I sound gay? Because I’m pretty sure I’m straight. But, you never can tell. Sometimes it worries me.)

I was thirteen when I wrote those words. I knew the terminology. I knew that the idea of being gay was cause for alarm. And I also recognized it as a legitimate possibility, however non-committal I was with my word choice. Back then, my young mind was still open enough that I could momentarily entertain the thought. So I wrote those secret words down in a book that only I would ever read. I wrote them, and then I forgot them. Continue reading “Out of Touch”

Amateur Status

A couple of months ago, the lovely Kate and I decided to start a website. We jumped into this endeavor with both feet because we have a passion for writing, and also because we wanted to present the world with an alternative to the obnoxious, ad-laden, content-deprived websites we seem to encounter in all directions these days.

It’s certainly been a learning experience. Butch Please is bigger than a simple blog. We want it to be bigger, but that also means it’s a lot more work. To keep things running, we’re each wearing more than one hat. And this past week has taught me that the requisite “mad computer skillz” hat is a bit too big for me.

I moved our site to a different hosting platform. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it brought us nothing but drama and heartache and a website no one could access, so yesterday, I switched us back. Your Butch Please experience should resume working as it did before. If you encounter any further weirdness, please let us know.

We’ve been running content as usual, but in case you missed it, allow me to point you to all the articles we posted during the switch:

Finding Faith in “Unreal” by Sharon

Our Progress Since 1959 by Kate

Rx Marks The Spot: Finding A Queer-Friendly Therapist by Jay

#YHZ – Spelling It Out by Mo

We will return tomorrow with a new Wife Partners post. We hope to see you there!


Author

small mo

#YHZ – Spelling It Out

Hi! My name is Mo, and I’m super gay!

Being loud and proud can be a tricky thing for an introvert. I’m a private person by nature, and whenever I find myself in a crowd of strangers (a scenario I actively avoid at all costs), my first instinct is to find a quiet, out of the way corner where I can sit and breathe and be left alone. In moments like this, I wish to be invisible.

Kate and I recently returned from our yearly trip to Nova Scotia. This was our first visit as wives! My family is always extremely warm to Kate (if you ask me, they could stand to tone it down a bit), but the area I’m from is rural and extremely small. I’m never confident of how non-relatives will interpret us. I don’t expect harassment, necessarily, but I do prepare myself for mild confusion and inappropriate questions.

The Mrs and I aren’t big on PDA in front of strangers. I think that’s equal parts introversion and queer nervousness. If we’re out together and we’re not holding hands or touching, I can understand someone not immediately guessing that we’re a couple. But sometimes people don’t clue in even when I’ve explicitly spelled it out. When this happens, it comes across as selective hearing, and that sort of bums me out. Continue reading “#YHZ – Spelling It Out”