Stuff To Try

A Dapper Butch (DykeNight-Boston) Event!

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about a great event that’s happening in Boston on December 19th!

The ladies at Dyke Night Boston will be hosting a fantastic 21+ queer dating event at Urban Art Bar- 709 E. Broadway, Boston, on 12/16 at 7pm!

I’ll be reading from my new book, Searching for Forever,  to get the party started. I encourage any and all ladies (single or taken) to come check this out.

“No this is not speed dating!!! Think of this as a giant card game. Everyone is going to be given a card with some clues and a unique fact about themselves. Groups will then whittle down to 6 people that will be matched at random and then the games will really begin as people sit down as a table of 6 strangers for the 2nd part of the event. We can’t give way any more secrets, sign up with friends, or solo and meet a new significant other or a new life friend!”


Register here (only $10!)! But hurry! It’s filling up!



The First Dapper Butch Giveaway!!

We all like free stuff, right?? Well, that’s why, for the first time ever, I’m doing a Dapper Butch Giveaway!
That’s right. I’m giving away this beautiful slim wallet by J. Folds in red!
All you have to do is follow me on Instagram @thedapperbutch, and “like” this giveaway post! Easy right?? I’ll notify the winner via Instagram on Monday at noon!


Product of the Week: Mr. Natty All Over Wax

Product of the Week: Mr Willie Mack’s All Over Wax by Mr. Natty


I know what you’re thinking. Say what????? An ALL OVER wax?? That’s exactly what I said when my friends over at Birchbox Man sent me a sample of Mr.Natty’s All Over Wax. I wasn’t even sure what “all over” meant, never mind what it would look like! But I’ve been thoroughly impressed with this totally unique, convenient new product.

The first thing I noticed, like always, is the packaging. The All Over Wax comes in a cool, round tin that’s small enough to fit in your brief case or gym bag. So, I opened up this bad boy and gave it a whirl, first, applying it conservatively to my arms. Mr. Natty and Birchbox Man insist you can use this stuff anywhere on you… I admit, I was hesitant at first. I usually hate all in one products, finding them mediocre at best in their multitasking skills. But after I dared to try Mr. Natty on my arms, I then ventured to put it in my hair… Yes, *gasp* my hair that I so obsess over. I had to try it. After all, the container says “a fresh head.” The end result? My mane was smoother and softer, and still stayed in place. Don’t believe me? I’ve provided you with photographic evidence.


















Hands down, my favorite thing about the All Over Wax, though, is the smell. I’d use this stuff all day just for the woodsy, patchouli-esque smell. It’s unique, and stays on you. I even used it to cover a sun burn this past week. It left my skin smooth AND smelling amazing.

Don’t forget if you sign up for Birchbox Man you can get great products like this in your monthly box! Not a Birchbox user yet? Sign up today and get points for buying products in their shop!

How to do Provincetown Right

DSCN1120The first time I went to P-Town, I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven… Or, maybe Gay Disney World. Everywhere I looked was one queer person after another. Stores and hotels are blanketed in rainbow flags. Drag Queens ride bikes in glorious 6″ heels down Commercial Street. And best of all, there’s a sort of tangible sense that you belong. But with cute little shop fronts and coffee joints and clubs squashed together like circuit boys at a rave, finding your way can be a little overwhelming. I’ve only been going to P-Town for a handful of years now, but because my girlfriend’s family has a place there, we’re sort of considered mini-locals (and not just because neither Jill or I top 5’2″). So, I’ve taken it apon myself to play tour guide, and give you a butch’s how-to guide for doing-up the great Gay Mecca in style.


Because really, this is the most important part of any vacation, right? Okay well, maybe not THE most, but fuck, it’s up there. There are a lot of little chintzy women’s shops in town. But there are also a lot of GREAT menswear selections.

Board Stiff:


Board Stiff is a great little surf shop located on Commercial Street (where most of this stuff is). They carry a variety of products from O’Niel, Hurley, and other swimwear brands, as well as about a billion different kinds of flip flops. Everything here goes for retail price (like everywhere in P-Town), so don’t expect to be blown away by any mid-season sales. But if you’re looking for a new pair of board shorts or Reefs while you’re on vacation, this is the place to do it. Check them out at

Kiss and Makeup:

Both Jill and I are obsessed with this place. Kiss and Makeup is hands down the place to go in Provincetown for any kind of hair or skin product. They carry some of my favorite men’s brands, like Billy Jealousy (try their energizing facial scrub), Clinque, and Ursa Major. But they also rock the local stuff. The last time I went in there, the extremely well-groomed and helpful guy behind the counter introduced me to Previse, a Provincetown based skin care brand that he was happy to offer me full sized samples of (review to come). Christine and her crew are also one of the few stores I’ve found anywhere to carry Malin and Goetz– a skin care line that makes some amazing hair care products (like my favorite, their styling cream, and their pomade). The staff here is fantastic. They’re always beyond helpful and friendly, and if you’re lucky, you might even get to meet Christine’s adorable dog Paddington. Until Kiss and Makeup came to town, there really was nowhere to go if you forgot your moisturizer, hair wax, or high end shampoo. No more Axe Hair for you, friends! Fear not, Kiss and Makeup is here!

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Tim Scapes:

Of course if you’re going to P-Town, you’re going to want to pick up some kind of swanky t-shirt, right? How else will you make your other queer friends ridiculously envious? There are about a billion grimy t-shirt stores on Commercial Street about on par with those you’d find on Myrtle Beach. And that’s fine. But what if you want a shirt you’ll actually wear again? Tim Scapes is the joint. Tim is really more of an artist than a t-shirt guy. All of his designs are done with duct tape, and then screen printed onto t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, bags, etc, creating a cool, dapper souvenir that won’t end up in your Goodwill pile. I, personally, own a sweatshirt, a t-shirt, and a tanktop, and I am currently eyeing my 2014 purchase– an adorable navy American Apparel t-shirt with a small white anchor design on the left chest. Did I mention that Tim’s only uses high end shirts from American Apparel? Which means one thing, kids… FIT FIT FIT! That’s right– no more sloppy, oversized “I Heart P-Town” shirts. And hey. Tim’s even carries hooded sweatshirts for dogs… Now, even your pets can be dapper.

















Item is one of the higher end menswear stores in Provincetown. But if you have a little money burning a hole in your pocket, this is the place to get rid of it at! The selection is small but mighty, with a nautical theme throughout. You’ll find all kinds of flat front shorts, casual button downs, belts, and my favorite, understated, JFK-Goes-to-the-Cape-esque jewelry. Be warned though, nothing in Item is cheap. You’re going to pay at least $80 for anything in here, including the bracelets. Basically, if I had a laughable amount of disposable income (and believe me, someday I would like to), I’d shop my heart out here. Check them out on Facebook here.

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I would wear absolutely everything in BodyBody. Everything. Unlike Item, which is a little more on the casual side of things, Item carries more ties, button downs and polos. Last summer, Jill’s parents bought me a shirt and tie from BodyBody for my birthday. Word has it that Jill’s mom went right in, told the sales clerk she was looking for a gift for her girlfriend’s daughter. Not only did this not phase him (this is P-Town, after all), but he also knew exactly what style and fit to take her to that would look good on a woman. Needless to say, he was right. The shirt fits like a dream. Besides their extensive clothing collection, ranging from khakis to t-shirts, BodyBody also has the sexiest shoe extravaganza in P-Town. Right now, they’re carrying a pair of honey colored double monk straps that have taught me the meaning of shoe lust. BodyBody isn’t Butch on a Budget friendly, either (wow talk about alliteration!). But everything is high quality, designer garments that you’ll love for years down the road. Follow their Facebook page here.


MAP is tucked away at the tail end of Commercial, out toward the West End of town, and can be easy to miss. It’s small, and if you aren’t looking, or aren’t walking up that far, you’re going to be sorry. This store is unlike any other store in P-Town. it carries an impressive array of vintage belt buckles, leather goods, and Levis. Pretty much everything in here screams Steve McQueen. Because nearly everything is legit, often handmade vintage items, MAP can be pricey. I fell in love with a calf skin chain wallet behind the counter the other day, and when the owner told me it was going for $325, I almost fell over. But even if you don’t have a wad of cash to spend on a pair of jeans, MAP is absolutely worth the look. Check out their Facebook page.

This is the wallet at MAP I'd sell my first born for... But maybe not for over $300.

This is the wallet at MAP I’d sell my first born for… But maybe not for over $300.














There are a lot of clubs in P-Town. And I mean, a lot. Sadly, most of them are focused on gay men. If you’re fine with that, then look no further. But if you’re feeling like being surrounded by a sea-full of ladies, there are a few things to do:


Pied is the only girl bar in town (shockingly enough). The times I’ve been in there, it’s been pretty dead. But because the pickings are slim for lesbian clubs, I’d suggest trying your hand here around 11:30pm. They have a great patio that doesn’t get too crowded, so if you’re like me, and don’t always enjoy sweaty people grabbing you by the shoulders to push through you over loud, ear-shattering bass, this may be a nice alternative.

Lesbian Nightlife:

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Lesbian Nightlife is a fantastic organization that does a lot of great womens’ events in town, and throughout the country. They host the Memorial Day Weekend parties every year, and often have killer guests like Kiyomi from The Real L Word. They throw a great event. Unfortunately, they aren’t in P-Town all summer…Visit their website and sign up for events in your area.

Tea Dance at the Boat Slip:

Basically, a Tea Dance is where the whole town shows up in the afternoon, drinks rum punch from plastic cups and dances their asses off. And the Boat Slip is really the only place to do this. From 4pm-7pm everyday, you can have a mini party with just about everyone in P-Town. The Boat Slip has great music, a couple of pools (which aren’t open during Tea to avoid any drunk drownings), and cold drinks, and it’s a good start to the evening.

Look Things Up!

The best thing you can do for entertainment in P-Town is Google that shit. There are often themed parties, drag shows and comedians going on, and this is the best way to find out. Of course, you can always walk through Commercial Street and wait for someone to hand you a flyer… They always will.



You have to eat, right? There are a thousand places to do that in P-Town. Sounds easy. But like those t-shirt shops, it can get exhausting trying to sort through a sea of sandwiches and lobster rolls. These are a few of my favorite things.


Jill and I like this place partly because it’s so close to our house. We usually go for the coffee, but they also carry a delicious selection of pastries, cookies and cakes. I’ve also found that their lunches are some of the best in town. Relish offers a variety of sandwiches (a glorified chicken salad with pears that I pretty much died over, a caprease style, tuna), and you have the option of getting any of them without bread (if you’re on a low-carb, beginning of summer diet like me). They’re cupcakes are tremendous, and they’ll even do custom cakes for events. Check out their menu at

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These are truly the best cupcakes in town… and maybe in the world. Scott started out selling his cakes on the streets, until some whiney nay-sayer threw a fit and complained. And thus, his slogan Legalize Gay Cupcakes was born (note: he sells t-shirts that say this. They’re adorable). Scottcakes only does vanilla cake. That’s it. When we asked him about it last summer, he said he wants to do one thing really well before he tries to venture out and do anything else. I can respect a man striving for perfection. For Jill’s birthday last year, I wanted to order some cupcakes from Scott. He was willing not only to make and sell them for me in October, but also to deliver them for a small fee. 409693_395452903837204_560781202_n










I hope this helps give a little direction for your next trip to the great Provincetown. Now go do it up. And keep it handsome.

Meet Your New Favorite T-Shirt

I have this t-shirt that I bought at the Northeastern bookstore when I started doing my pre-med classes. It’s a simple gray with the classic college lettering, and I’ve intentionally worn and washed it at least once a week since I’ve owned it in hopes of getting that soft, vintage look and feel of a tee I’ve had since high school. After a few  million washes, though, I’m still not completely happy with the outcome. How many more years of laundering am I going to have to go through to get that perfect t-shirt?? Answer: none.

Alternative Apparel has managed to create a shirt that is not only sustainable and eco-friendly, but also great to wear.

I purchased my Alternative Apparel Eco T-Shirt from Birchbox Man, who featured them as one of their April products (which, sadly, I was not lucky enough to recieve for “free” in my box that month). Right out of the package this shirt is even softer than that old Northeastern one I have, without the clumping that cotton tends to do after so many trips to the washing machine. It also lacks that thin, sheer look of worn shirts, which I think we can all appreciate.





The biggest surprise about this tee has been the fit. I chose the v-neck version, although both Alternative Apparel and Birchbox Man carry crew neck, tank top and sweatshirt versions of the same material. Now, I can’t speak for their other products (although I would love to try more of this line!) but I can say I was thrilled with the way the Eco V-Neck fit. Not only is it soft and comfortable, but it doesn’t hang like a sloppy old college tee either. The sleeves are cut high, the neck is just low enough, and the body is slim– everything you’d want in a t-shirt you can wear under a leather jacket on date night or to the gym.







I can’t say enough about these guys and what they’re doing. Sure, $28 for a t-shirt is a little steep when you compare it to the Hanes three pack at Target. But I promise, this WILL be your new favorite.

Don’t forget to sign up for Birchbox Man ( for the chance to get products like this very t-shirt in your monthly box!

Movie Review- Blue is the Warmest Color

How “Blue is the Warmest Color” Kind of, Sort of, Almost Breaks the Mold

Hollywood thinks it’s super progressive and edgy these days. Seriously, it’s like, “hey, let’s put Jared Leto in some lipstick and we’ll be totally helping represent the LGBT community, cuz we’re like… such awesome people.” I will give mainstream media some credit. With the advent of Orange is the New Black, Glee and uh… I guess a couple of other movies/tv shows that think they’re successfully portraying lesbians, we are getting somewhere (albeit really freakin’ slowly). But truth be told, I still think even gay men are more commonly featured in today’s media (HBO just came out with a killer new show called Looking which follows the lives of a group of gay friends in San Francisco, making the L Word days nothing but a long lost memory.)

So, if the American’s are sucking at showing the world what it’s really like to be a lesbian, maybe the French could do it right? I’d heard a lot about Blue is the Warmest Color— a Sundance flick that’s received a good bit of attention considering it’s both foreign and gay. Last night, I finally checked it out for myself.

The movie opens in a high school French lit class, where you’re forced to read a subtitled version of a bunch of teenagers reading aloud from some romance novel. It’s painful, to say the least, and you’ll find yourself wondering how you could possibly sit through 2:59 of this Baz Luhrmann-Romeo and Juliet-esque dribble. But if you can get past the first ten minutes, you’ll get to the actual movie. We now get to know Adele– an adorable, angsty 17 year old closet case whose bitchy group of friends preasure her into having sex with this dude, and then slut shame her when she does. Of course, being the young future-dykling that she is, Adele doesn’t really enjoy her roll in the hay with this guy, and instead has her token gay friend take her to a girl bar. While there, she meets Emma– a blue-haired art major with a girlfriend– who immediately chats her up. On the one hand, I was totally icked out by the fact that Adele was clearly underaged… I don’t care that this is France and children can go to bars… it’s gross. On the other hand, I found myself really, really wanting Emma to take Adele home and show her the ways of the lesbo world.

Adele and Emma begin spending time together, talking about art and philosphy and wine and other such sophisticated things that all 17-20 year olds love to discuss. And after a very long, excruciatingly tense moment where the two just stare lustfully at each other, they finally kiss. And we all cheer for Adele’s newly found dyke-ism, and thank Emma for dragging her out of the closet. By the way, there is never any mention of Emma’s girlfriend of two years after this… But my guess is she did was any 20 year old lesbian would do and told her she had to go find herself.

Now we get to the real story– the pain and excitement of first love… sorta. But what really impressed me and made me say “I have to write a post about this” was the sex. Gasp. I know, how taboo. But seriously, one of the most infuriating things about mainstream lesbian media is the way the sexual relationships are represented (or worse, not represented). “Blue is the Warmest Color” has the longest, most beautiful female love scene I’ve ever watched. Unlike most shows/movies, we aren’t teased with a kiss and a fade to black. If anything, the first love scene between Adele and Emma goes on TOO long, leaving you feeling like a voyeur encroaching on a couple’s most intimate moments. It’s a little creepy. But what makes it creepy is that it’s realistic. These aren’t two straight girls (well, they may be… but I’d doubt that) who are acting out their porn-laden ideas of what gay sex is. This is vulnerable and beautiful– something I’ve never said about any sex scene before, ever. I was blown away not only by the accuracy of the emotions that were portrayed by these two women, but also by how unafraid the French were to “go there.” For YEARS we’ve been totally okay showing Tom Cruise getting fucked on a train by a hooker. But I can all but promise you if this movie were Americanized, there would be a right winged uproar like you wouldn’t believe. Good for you, France, for not being afraid to show a little boob.

And that leads me to my major beef with nearly EVERY PIECE OF LESBIAN MEDIA THAT’S BEEN MAINSTREAMED!!! (Yes, caps very much intended). Why do we have to always send the lesbian heroine back to a man in the end?? In Orange is the New Black, as we left it, Piper just can’t bear to leave her fiance, and ditches her sexy, passionate and heartfelt romance with Alex for heterosexual normalcy. There’s also Kissing Jessica Stein, the Kids are Alright (so Juliane Moore’s character doesn’t end up with Mark Ruffalo but she does sleep with him), Imagine Me and You, and about a billion others. My question is a rhetorical one — we do it because it’s a way to make a “controversial” romance more acceptable… because apparently its still 1980 and it would totally cause hell fire and damnation if the lesbian didn’t crave back hair and beer bellies in the end.

“Blue” seriously flirts with this premise, to the point where I nearly shut it off with about 20 minutes left. *Spoiler alert* The demise of Adele and Emma’s relationship comes from Adele sleeping with her male coworker. *Groan. Listen. I have no issue with bisexuality, pansexuality, whateversexuality. Label yourself anything you want, or nothing at all– I couldn’t give two shits. But can we please, just once… ONCE… have a movie or TV show where the lady-loving-lead doesn’t go back to guys? I watched through gritted teeth while the really lame attempt at sexual tension built between Adele and her snooze-worthy collegue, until they finally kissed. And I almost threw my laptop across the room (but not really, because it was Jill’s laptop and she would have been really, really upset… obviously). For real, Adele? Not you too! Not you!!!

Luckily, I kept watching… although I’m not sure why. Just as I was about to write “Blue” off as another failed attempt at a dyke relationship, Adele and Emma break up, and Adele is heartbroken. She doesn’t go running into the arms of one of the many annoying dudes in the film. Instead, she remains single (and downright hot in those little teacher-glasses), still pining over the loss of Emma. But “Blue” doesn’t completely dismiss the temptation to make the femmie leading lady a convert. There always seems to be some guy or another trying to get in Adele’s pants, and Adele always seems just a little too okay with the idea. That’s why I can only give “Blue” the title of “almost” breaking the mold that Hollywood has made for lesbian films. They just couldn’t go through with it without some awkward hetero sexual tension in the background.

In the end, Emma and Adele (sadly) don’t end up together. The teenager in you wants them to. But the adult in you knows that, realistically, there’s no way your first gay relationship (as a teenager nonetheless) is going to pan out long term. And your cynical, grown up self applauds the film makers for being true to that reality. But brace yourself for the last five minutes… because a whole lot of NOTHING is about to happen. Seriously. Those French writers sure know how to make us go “wtf?” The movie literally ends with Adele walking down the street, being chased after  by one of her male suiters. There’s absolutely no resolution– unless you count some kind of internal conflict about her feelings for Emma and her adulterous ways. Still… I kind of liked it… And at least she didn’t go sleep with this stalker (which, I admit, I thought she would).

All in all, I’d say I had a good ride with Adele and Emma. “Blue” was a shining example of first love– both the growth and the destruction of which felt relatively organic. But this movie should have ended like… five times. At 2:59 , you’ll begin to wonder if you’re going to sit here until young Adele is nursing home bound. And then, as mentioned above, when it ends… it doesn’t really end. But maybe that’s the point? Maybe the depth of the nothingness here is just too deep for my American brain?

Watch this. If nothing else, you’ll have a chance to reminisce about your first heartbreak (awwww). Or watch some hot naked girls. And hey, you’ll feel smart, because you have to read the subtitles the whole time, right?

Why You NEED to Subscribe to Birchbox Man

We all have those pesky automatic withdrawls that come out of our checking accounts every month. For me, it was my Planet Fitness membership that hadn’t been used in literally years (don’t worry, I finally canceled it). But there’s one deduction that still gives me butterflies when I see it on my bank statement– my Birchbox Man subscription.

For those of you who think Birchbox is only for lady-ladies, I’m here to tell you how horribly wrong you are. For those of you who have no freakin’ close what Birchbox is until now (like me, before I started dating Jess, who had the women’s subscription), prepare to have your minds blown.

Birchbox works kind of like a magazine subscription. Every month, a small fee is taken out of your account, and you recieve your box in the mail. The original Birchbox is for “women” (quotes intended, as obviously I am not comforming to BB’s gender binaries). It’s $10 a month, and doesn’t offer quite as much as the “men’s” box. Jess used to get it, and it usually included some small samples, and a bottle of nail polish or a headband or some femme crap like that (no offense, femmes… we love you). If you aren’t into that, I highly suggest the Birchbox Man subscription.

For $20 a month, you get what usually turns out to be a KILLER box filled with sample sized products for skin and hair, gadgets, and style items to make you look extra dapper. Their whole MO is to clean “men” up.

This month’s box came with a Nick Graham tie ($49):


I know, I hadn’t heard of him either. But that’s the awesome part about BB. They’re always onto the newest trends and tools. This is a tie I’d probably never buy on my own– but I will absolutely wear it now that BB has 1. given it to me for free (who doesn’t love free stuff?) and 2. shown me how to “mix it up” (as was the theme of the March box).

Another favorite came in last month’s box. The theme was “gentleman’s code.” I received this great cap from the Knottery, which I admittedly was on the fence about. It says “Mr” on it. The debate should be pretty obvious. I didn’t want people to mistakenly think I was mocking the trans community in any way, shape, or form by being an identified female and wearing a cap that says “Mr.” Ultimately, I decided that I am kind of a mister. I hold doors. I always let the lady order first. “Mr” sort of fits. I wore it through most of the eastern Caribbean and to the Bahamas. I rocked it. And no one neither mistook for a man, or some sort of trans-hating biggot.


The skin and hair products have also been invaluable. I’ve gotten a chance to try samples of $120 moisturizer I would never in a million years buy (let’s be realistic here… I’m not Jordan Belfort). I even actually bought the full sized versions of the Cartier cologne from my first box, and the Ernest Supplies soap-free face wash and moisturizers ($43 for both). You also will now have a bathroom stocked full of… get this… TRAVEL SIZES of just about every kind of hair wax, skin cream, chap stick and cologne known to man (or butch).

Here’s another kicker– if you buy the products from, you get points for every dollar you spend. You can also get free points from writing product reviews. Eventually, those points add up, and you get… MORE FREE STUFF! No, I don’t work for Birchbox Man… Although I bet that’d be a really cool job… I just love their stuff. It’s like Christmas every month when I see that my box has shipped.

I only have a couple of beefs here… Small ones… Not even a half a cow… First of all, I’m not a big fan of the way the marketing is geared toward, well, men. I get it. It’s supposed to be Birchbox MAN. Not Birchbox Butch, or Birchbox More-Masculine-Than-Feminine-Identified-Women… But still, I admit I feel just a little uncomfortable when the sneak peek videos and emails are all referring to “men” and “guys” and “dudes.” It can be just a tad frat-boy at times. That being said, I have noticed a handful of women who subscribe to BBM (and not just those who are speaking for their boyfriends) on the message boards. I don’t necessarily have a suggestion to change this… I’m just sayin.

Second beef— I get a LOT of shaving products. I thought this was just me, but my bro B said the same thing. I think this has something to do with the online profile you fill out when you subscribe so they can better tailor their choices to you. One of the questions asks about facial hair… the answer to which was obviously “clean shaven” (again, it’s not exactly queer friendly, since neither “full beard” or “slightly scruffy” was not a reasonable selection either). My girl has been known to use the shaving creams on her legs. And I’ve done it too. But still, I really think they go a little overboard.

BBM’s slogan is “get more handsome for $20 a month.” And it’s true. In my boxes in the past year (oh hey! I just realized this is my one year anniversary with BBM!!!awwww!), I’ve received some gorgeous designer dress socks, a wool beanie I wear all winter, a pair of foldable sunglasses, things like collar stiffs and cuff links, and a whole mess of other awesome products. I am also never short on face wash, body wash, and moisturizer that doesn’t smell like a Victoria Secret model.

Go to and sign up. It’ll be the most important $20 you’ll spend this month (unless you donate to the Red Cross, HRC, Planned Parenthood, ASPCA, or any other human/animal/charitable organizations…then you’re a really great person and you’ve earned this).

Olivia Vacations- Pay More, Feel Free

If you’re a lesbian over the age of 35, chances are you’re quite familiar with the travel company Olivia.  For all you baby dykes out there who haven’t heard of Judy Dlugacz and her nearly 40 years as fearless leader of this amazing organization, I’m here to tell you why you never want to travel with any other company. Ever.


*Jess and I, along with her mom and her mom’s partner, were lucky enough to attend Olivia’s Equality and Leadership Cruise to the eastern Carribean at the beginning of the month. Don’t be put off by the title. When we first heard, we had terrible flashbacks of college English class. Jess even asked if we’d be required to take any tests at the end. We wanted to lay out in the sun and drink mojitos by the pool, not listen to a bunch of speakers tell us how the world was changing. But boy was our world rocked…

Olivia wrangled together the A list stars of LGBT equality, and somehow convinced them to set sail with us. Get ready for this list…

-Our hero, and personal DOMA destroyer, Edie Windsor


-Dr. Maya Angelou (not a lesbian, but always a feminist)

-the Indigo Girls (I know, right???)


And a whole slew of commedians (including Suzanne Westenhoeffer), and strong, amazing women who stood up for our rights and won.

Okay, so maybe we could take a tiny break from getting our base tan on and listen to what these ladies had to offer… (sarcasm intended).

The stories of courage from these women were literally enough to turn you into a blubbering baby. And don’t even get me started on the screening of Edie Windor’s documentary “Edie and Thea; a Very Long Engagement”– you’ve never seen so many butches in tears. And I will never forget hearing Edie advise us all to “keep it hot.”

The Indigo Girls blew my freakin mind. My mother, though certainly not a lesbian, used to play Swap Ophelia every day in the car when we were kids. I grew up on Emily and Amy. To be 28 years old and finally see them live, in such an intimate venue, was kind of a gay girl’s dream come true. Also, on a side note, Amy Ray still has some serious swag.

Obviously, the leadership and sheer estrogen power on this boat was beyond unbelievable. I could have gone my entire life and not been surrounded by so much good in the world. But then, there was the unscheduled stuff…. Don’t underestimate the healing that comes from being at sea with 2,000 other lesbians. Sure, it’s 2014. DOMA is dog meat. Our President is the first to actually speak out for LGBT rights. Hell, even Arizona didn’t succumb to the right wing hate propoganda being thrown at it. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t all seriously benefit from the insane sense of community that comes from a vacation of only women.


The destinations were spot on– Grand Turk, St. John, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Holland America’s personal island Half Moon Cay. But the real highlights for me were on the boat itself. The Holland America crew provided some of the best service I’ve ever experienced… EVER. As I said to Jess, if any one of them were at all hesitant about serving a ship full of queers for a week, you’d never know it. Every single crew member, from the Captain down to the house keepers, were always on. There wasn’t a sour face among them– and that’s saying A LOT considering there were hundreds of staffers on the MS Westerdam. On our very last night, Holland America’s Cruise Director (not at all affiliated with Olivia, or in need of supporting LGBT rights) got on the mic and announced how honored he was to be in the presence of so many strong and corageous women. I teared up…For like… the tenth time that week.

I credit Holland America for their exemplary treatment of the LGBT community. Not once did I feel judged, or different– which is sort of the point of an Olivia vacation, after all. And I even went the entire week without being called “sir,” as did many of my butchier travel counterparts. But I also have to give the biggest props of all to Judy, and the Olivia company. It was very clear from the beginning that these guys (er… ladies?) are pros at selecting vacation destinations that are not only accomodating and friendly, but are also embracing of LGBTs and allies. I can’t emphasize this enough. Anyone who’s ever been on a trip to a city or town where they felt discriminated against can understand. Many of the women on this trip were from the midwest, or the south, or even other countries where they are not allowed to be openly gay. An Olivia vacation is their one week to be completely open and out with who they are. I can’t think of anything more valuable than that.


Here’s the bottom line:

You can go on a Carnival cruise for $500, and spend your week with a bunch of families from East Bumfuck, Texas, who may or may not stare at you and your partner like you’re Jack Sparrow and his band of dirty pirates. Or, you can spend a small fortune (let’s be honest, Olivia isn’t cheap), and get a vacation where you are guarenteed not only your safety and acceptance, but also the rare oppertunity to network, bond, and grow with 2,000 plus other lesbians. Not to mention the incredible guests, events, and oppertunities you’d never get on a run of the mill Travelocity excursion. Olivia’s slogan is “feel free.” And (remember, this is coming from a beyond poor graduate student) it is worth every shiny penny to be somewhere for seven days where you can do exactly that.