Try This, Have Your Mind Blown: Solid Cologne

I admit I’d never heard of “solid cologne” until my friends over at Birchbox Man sent me some. But, being the open-minded cologne lover that I am, I wanted to give it a try. There are a billion different scent options out there, and it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which one works for you (think the cosmetics counter at Macy’s and the over-zealous lady who ambushes you with fifty different kinds of Polo). I, personally, tend to find a cologne I really like, and stick with it at least until the bottle runs out, and then try something new. But my cologne has never come in a tin before!

Birchbox sent me the “brio” scent by Alfred Lane. It comes in a nifty little container that fits (conveniently) in the front pocket of your jeans. And this is what I love most about it. My first thought was “this is going to be super portable.” And it is. How many times have you tried to pack your favorite bottle of Tom Ford, or Versace, for a weekend trip, only to find that some of that $100 liquid gold has leaked out, evaporated, etc? Or, worse yet, you get stopped by TSA on your way through security because your cologne is now a potential terrorist weapon? I hate checking bags when I fly. It is the bane of my existence. They always lose them, or somehow manage to mangle them. So I pack a carry on whenever possible and jam it (often literally) into the overhead. But if you do this, you’re going to have a hard time finding a way to bring your nice cologne. In the past, I’ve taken to free samples from Sephora, or one of those little aerosolizers to avoid checking my expensive cologne. But the solid cologne has just changed the game.


I keep my Alfred Lane in my bag at all times. That way, when it wears off (as all scents do) I have the option to reapply if I need a little touch up. No pesky spilling, no bulky bottle, no pricey evaporation. This thing packs like a tin of balm or moisturizer. When you get that mid-day not-so-fresh feeling, you can discretely put this bad boy on and smell delicious again.

The application process was a bit of a challenge at first. This stuff has the consistency of a balm as well, so I wasn’t exactly sure how much to put on, and how to go about it. Just take a little and rub it on your wrists and neck until it dissolves.

I love the way this particular solid cologne smells, too. It’s not overbearing, and has hints of spice and musk. It isn’t overly floral, and is sort of reminiscent of a campfire– not a bad scent for summer.

Now, I can’t say I’ll be a solid cologne convert for the rest of my life. I’m too attached to my  bottle of Cartier Essence (which I also got from BBM), and solid colognes just don’t have the amount of options that their liquid counterparts do. But you can bet I’m going to use the hell out of this Alfred Lane, and probably always keep some as a backup, in my bag, for the plane, and for those post-workout coffee dates where you don’t want to alienate your girlfriend with your stank. So throw out that old bottle of Adidas Moves (really? Adidas?) and get out of your cologne comfort zone.

My Brush with a Terrorist- Watertown, MA One Year Later


My Brush with a Terrorist (and How it Changed my Life)– The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and Watertown Terrorist Attack.


The day I realized I was in love with my girlfriend, Jillian, we almost died.

April 15, 2013 started out, like it did for everyone in Boston, as the perfect spring day. After a brutal winter, it felt like the sun had finally decided to show its face, and Jill and I decided to try to take in one of the first Red Sox games of the season. We sat in Fenway Park, eating hot dogs and watching Dustin Pedroia smack the ball over the Monster. The sky was clear– the weather almost ironically pristine considering the events that followed. Life didn’t get much better. We talked about the future, and the kids we both wanted, and all the things we wanted for ourselves, and for each other. And when the last ball was hit, we decided to take a walk down Boylston Street to take in a little bit of the Boston Marathon.


This picture was taken at the Red Sox Game right before the bombing.

This picture was taken at the Red Sox Game right before the bombing.

This was only my second Patriot’s Day (a holiday we, in Massachusetts, made up, because we decided we can do that kind of thing) in Boston, and I’d always wanted to watch these crazies who actually choose to run twenty six plus miles straight. Around 2:30pm, we settled in at mile marker 25, pushing our way through the massive swells of people to cheer on the runners. At 3:00pm, we decided to head home, beginning our trek back to the car which was parked several blocks away. Still immersed in the crowds and sounds and excitement, I didn’t think much of it when I heard a paramedic say “well we’d have to stop the whole race and turn everyone around.”
As we got closer to the car, a few scattered pedestrians were running and shouting into their cellphones. Police car after police car wailed down the streets. I told Jill it was probably a false alarm. That these kinds of things happen all the time in EMS. And then, a man on his phone ran by shouting about a bomb exploding in the Prudential building. I squinted straight ahead, the Prudential building looming in the foreground, looking for any sign of fire or smoke.There was nothing. Yeah. Probably just a false alarm
We picked up our pace, though, because I told Jill this was all “just a little too 9-11 for me.” It wasn’t until we flipped through Twitter that we found out the truth– two bombs had exploded at the finish line of the Marathon. Less than a mile from where we’d been standing.
Jill and I were lucky that day. Certainly much luckier than the hundreds of injured, and the three who lost their lives. And there are much more heroic and harrowing Marathon stories than ours. But this isn’t a story about that day.
I mention that day only because we escaped what was a horrible, life changing moment for so many, and could have been for us as well. And because I knew, that day, that I loved Jill. I’d known for a while, actually. In fact, really, I knew back in February, during the northeast’s epic three foot snow storm, where we stayed in together all weekend, made beef borigone and drank too much wine. But I hadn’t told her. Because it was insanely too soon… And also, because it could wait. On April 15, though, when we finally made it back to the safety and comfort of her Watertown home, it couldn’t wait.
Of course, I didn’t tell her. Days went by, and though the tragedy of the bombings didn’t ebb, my immediate feelings of mortality did. There was time again. Time for the perfect moment, time to make sure she felt the same… Wasn’t there time?
It was just after 11pm on Thursday the 18th. Jill and I were fast asleep already, preparing for an early work day, when several incoming text messages jarred us both awake. I tried to ignore them, but a few minutes later, she called for me, the fear immediately evident. Her friend in California had been watching the news. A shooter was at large in sleepy little Watertown. We rushed to the living room and turned on the television, while I insisted on keeping all of the lights off. If there really was a killer out there, I didn’t want him to know we were home.
Watertown is small. Very small, actually. And not the kind of place you’d ever expect to house an international terrorist. Jillian’s mother grew up there. And her parents, and their parents. The last thing anyone expected was for the Tzarnaev brothers to end their murderous rampage there.
We spent the rest of the night holed up in the bedroom, the house pitch black, listening to news reports on the static of Jill’s laptop. Over and over again we heard police warning residents not to leave their houses or answer their doors for anyone, and stay away from the windows. Meanwhile, a few streets down, word got to us that the older of the two brothers, who we’d just learned were the suspected Marathon bombers, had been shot and killed. And Zhocar Tsarnaev was still on the run… In our town… Maybe even in our back yard. It was the most terrifying night of my life. Something about hiding in a dark house, with nothing but the crackle of what sounded like an old radio telling us there was a nut job on the loose trying to kill us was more than a little unsettling.
Morning came, and with it, a little bit of reprieve from the terror that had haunted us. Tsarnaev was still out there, and the town, as well as the greater Boston area, was on a mandatory lockdown. We didn’t go outside that day, but pictures shown on the news later displayed an eerily almost post-apocalyptic Copley Plaza, with not a soul on the streets. The shelter-in-place order remained for the entire day, while we eagerly watched the events unfold on TV. Just outside Jill’s bedroom window, SWAT teams armed with enormous assault riffles had taken over the streets, and armored cars and tanks were the only vehicles on the roads. Helicopters buzzes overhead. It was a scene out of a movie. One that I really never wanted to see.
Around 5:00pm, the Governor announced a lifting of the ban, and Jill and I debated leaving the house to go to the grocery store. I was changing my clothes when she shouted to me from the living room. Several police and SWAT trucks had pulled up on our street.

The scene from outside our house.

The scene from outside our house.

“It’s probably just another false alarm,” I reassured her. But as I looked out the window, more and more officers were arriving, until both our street, and the cross street were full. In a matter of minutes, each officer left their vehicle and ran down Franklin Street, riffles pointed ahead, yelling orders we couldn’t hear. The news, which was still on in the background, reported a breaking story: “body found in Watertown back yard.”
My first, and most horrific thought, was that Tsarnaev had invaded Jill’s neighbor’s house, and killed them. And then, the news quickly revealed the body was found in the neighbor’s boat. And whoever it was, was still alive.
But we didn’t have time to hear anymore before the first round of twenty to thirty gunshots shattered the air. Even growing up in rural New Hampshire, I’d heard only a handful of gunshots in my life, and they were all hunting riffles. Jill’s upstairs apartment was tiny, with windows throughout the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom, and even the bathroom. I searched frantically for a safe place to bring us, where one of what was probably many stray bullets wouldn’t make its way into Jill’s house. Even the hallway was in the direct line of fire. So I grabbed Jill and pulled her into the only confined space I could think off– the bedroom closet (I know, the irony…). She still laughs at me today for this, but I hold to my decision. We closed the door as best we could while I held her, waiting for the noise to stop. When it finally did, we ventured out, trying to decide what to do next. Jill called her downstairs neighbors to check on them. They were in the basement.
“Can we get there from here?” I asked. We could. But we’d have to leave the apartment, and enter the downstairs unit first. We made our way as quickly as we could, managing to make it down stairs before the firestorm started again. As we huddled in the basement with her neighbors, listening to the news stream on a laptop, we waited. More explosions echoed outside the walls, and then, the news feed cut out. Family and friends who knew we were on Franklin Street were calling and texting, keeping us updated on what was happening right outside the door. It had come out that Tsarnaev was the body in the neighbor’s boat. And he was alive, and desperate. We hatched our escape plan incase the gas tank on the boat that Tsarnaev was hiding in exploded (a possibility that had seemed likely to the news at the time). I held Jill, my arms shaking violently. I’d never felt death quite so close as I did that night. I loved her. And I hadn’t told her. There wasn’t time. And now, we were going to die.
After what felt like days, the noises stopped, and our family on the outside confirmed what we’d felt was impossible. Tsarnaev was in custody, and no one else had been injured.
When it was safe, we left the confines of the basement, and took to the streets with every other resident of Watertown to watch the police cars and ambulance take away the man who had terrorized a city, a country, and now just a tiny town.
We didn’t die that day. But I did tell Jill I loved her the very next morning. What happened on April 15th was a tragedy. And what happened on April 19th was the subsequent triumphing of good over evil. I still choke up when I remember the feeling of standing next to her on what is now our front porch, watching the first responders clear our street. There were a lot of lessons to come out of such a horrible week in the great city of Boston. But the most important I took away was not to wait. Because there isn’t always going to be time. And you may not get the chance to say that thing you were too afraid to say.
A couple of months later, I moved into that same house on Franklin Street. And I will never again wait to tell her how I feel.


On Growing up a Gay Republican

I have a confession to make– a deeply hidden, humiliating secret on par with heroine abuse, or that time in middle school you got all the way onto the bus before realizing you weren’t wearing any pants. In the 2004 presidential election between John Kerry and George W. Bush, I voted for Bush. Sure, I’m making light of it now. But truth be told, there are many times when I’ve had to live with the guilt of helping put a man in office who goes against nearly everything I stand for now. So why did I do it, then?

28 years ago, I was born into an extremely conservative Evangelical family. My father was the Minister of Music at the local Evangelical church. His parents were Evangelical. And my mother, having married into the family, more or less adopted the Evangelical church as well. When my brother and I were little, we went to church every Sunday. My father read the Bible every morning at 5am over coffee (still does, as far as I know). Christmas and Easter were absolutely about Jesus’ birth and subsequent death/resurrection. And the often unspoken values of the church were always quietly present in our house. Let me explain what I mean by that. My father is an introvert, if ever there were an introvert. He rarely lectured or spat hell-fire and damnation. He didn’t have to. His beliefs– the church’s beliefs– were always there. It was the sort of conservative pink elephant in the room that sat in the corner and listened to make sure my brother or I didn’t cuss or watch anything on MTV. The few times he did speak up usually involved his feelings on Magic Cards and Harry Potter (neither of which my brother or I were allowed to get involved with because it was “dark sourcery”) and other relatively benign things like that. We didn’t talk about sex (in fact, I don’t think my Dad’s ever talked about sex… even with himself). And when my brother started having it, he just cleared his throat in disapproval and turned the other cheek.

In many ways, what my father did was more painful than any shouting or damnation. It was his quiet disapproval (often only evident by the above throat clearing that’s become so synonymous with him among our family) that alienated me from my real self for so many years. My father is a wonderful man. He’s been hands down the best Dad to his two children. He was at every sporting event and play he could get to. He came home for dinner every night and hugged us. He’s loving and supportive and would do absolutely anything for us. I still get a message from him every year saying “you’ll always be my Valentine, Dots” (that’s what he calls me… a long standing inside joke). Truth me told, my father and I were extremely close (and, in many ways, still are). I was always a bit of a Daddy’s girl. And that’s what made coming out so incredibly difficult.

My parents divorced when I was sixteen. It was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I know my mother agonized over the decision, but I still tell her every day that by making the hardest choice of her life, she saved mine. My folks remained extremely amicable, both of them wanting to remain friends due to their kids, and a lot of mutual respect. But my mother found her way back to the Episcopal church, returning to her roots as a liberal, open-minded democrat who’d spent just a little too much time confined to the judgements of the Evangelical church. I think it was probably the Evangelical minister who told her she’d go to hell for leaving my father that officially did her in. My mother branched out, but I didn’t. In fact, through much of high school, I became even more involved in the Evangelical church. I made friends there, and even went on a mission’s trip to Mexico to try make more Evangelicals. I refrained from having sex, because I knew it was a sin. I felt guilty whenever I dropped an F-bomb (which, being a teenager in a public high school, I did often). And I even got up on my Right-winged soap box a few times about things like abortion. I did it because I found comfort in that kind of blind, cult-like faith. And it bonded me to my father.

I started college a couple of years later at a very liberal state school. My secure little world was about to be cracked wide open. Now, I wasn’t a perfect Christian (like my father) by any means. I dabbled with drinking and smoking, I made out with my share of boys (yes, boys), and often swore like a Springer guest who just found out her boyfriend is cheating. I didn’t go to Campus Crusade meetings or even attend church anymore. But I occasionally read my Bible and swore to abstinence until marriage (to a man, of course). And when the 2004 election came rolling around, I took my 18 year old self down to the Town Hall and checked that ballot box next to Bush’s name. Literally every other freshman in my dorm was sporting Kerry signs on their doors. But I stood strong to my Evangelical beliefs– my father’s beliefs– and put a misogynistic, pro-life, anti-gay “Christian” in the White House.

Then, something else happened– something that has undoubtedly shaped every facet of my life as I know it today. I fell in love with my best friend… a beautiful, funny, brilliant girl named Sasha who was the light of my life back then. My coming out story isn’t really a “coming out story.” At least it wasn’t by my second year of college. My high school dance card was full of boys. I even dated the goalie for the varsity hockey team. I was rarely single. And, although I dealt with an ever-nagging sense that something was definitely missing, it never once occurred to me that I was gay. People ask me now how that’s even possible, seeing how many kids know from puberty. My only explanation is that my “beliefs,”– twenty years of “values”– were so deeply poisoning me, being a lesbian wasn’t even on my radar. In retrospect, there were definitely girl-crushes from early on (my 6th grade student teacher, my brother’s girlfriend freshman year, my high school guidance counselor). But I easily chalked them up to admiration and kinship. It wasn’t hard to suppress any kind of sexual desire for women, because I didn’t even know it was there. That is, until Sasha. After years of friendship that bordered more on dependence, I finally came to accept that the things I was feeling for her– the way I wanted her– was more than just platonic.

And we all lived happily ever after. Right? Not quite. You’d think that that little gay lightbulb that went off when I realized I wanted to kiss her more than I’d wanted to kiss any of my old boyfriends would have been enough to push me right out of the closet I didn’t know I’d been living in for so many years. But denial, and the Evangelical church, are powerful things. And, although I was away from home, and physically separated from the church and their confines, I didn’t feel it. I don’t know what I would have done had Sasha reciprocated my feelings– probably peed my pants and ran. But she didn’t. Instead, she (unintentionally) broke my heart. And I (very intentionally) went running… right back to men. That’s when I met Chris. Chris was a nice boy who liked me right away. And we stayed together for an entire year before I just couldn’t anymore. I loved Chris– as a brother, as a friend, as someone who loved me. But that old feeling that something was missing was just magnified a billion times after finally falling in love with a woman. I was up front with Chris about this– in fact, he was one of the few people I was up front with. But as we approached the one year mark, and things were supposed to be getting more serious, it was becoming harder and harder to shake my want to “try it”– you know, try being gay. The need to just so much as kiss another girl was so intense, it became all I could think about. I cultured myself with DVDs of the L Word, which only served to intensify my torture. And then, I told Chris I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had to figure out what these feelings were, or I couldn’t stay with him. He was heartbroken, but understanding– and to this day, one of the most nobel men I’ve ever met. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay with him. Because as soon as I laid eyes on my first girlfriend, who I met while I was with him, I knew. I was gay. And even twenty more years under the church’s iron fist wasn’t going to change that.

By the 2008 election, I was the most adamant democrat I knew (well, maybe just in my family). The thought of voting republican again seemed not only foreign and contradictory, but also absurd and repulsive. In a blink of an eye, I’d become a prideful, liberal homo. It would be another year before I could come out to my mother (thank God for her). And another four years before I’d reluctantly come out to my father. Actually, I can’t even fairly say I came out to him. My mother outed me. Don’t worry… I told her to. I just couldn’t find the words myself. And I couldn’t bear to hear that throat clear on the other end of the phone that said I’d disappointed the hell out of him.

To his credit, my father’s done okay. When I was married in 2010, he came to the wedding (even though it was in Provincetown and rampant with drag queens). And he’s actually getting a little better about asking how my partner is doing now (as opposed to his normal method of pretending things don’t exist). But there are times I almost wish he’d quote scripture and damn me to eternal hell fire. At least then I’d know how he felt. Instead, I’m forced to deal with the silence and assumed disapproval of what I can only guess he considers my “lifestyle choice”– no eternal damnation, just eternal throat clearing.

We often pride ourselves on being different from our parents. “I’ll never do what they did.” And parents often scold themselves for not having enough influence over their kid’s lives. But I am almost exclusively a product of the life my parents gave me (and I don’t just mean biologically). Had my mother not left my father– had she not made the difficult choice to be happy– I would never have been strong enough to accept who I was. Had my father not raised us Evangelical, I would probably not have taken twenty years to come to terms with how God Himself actually made me. And I certainly wouldn’t have voted republican in 2004. Don’t underestimate the presence our parents have in our lives… even when you think you’ve grown up and moved away. I still struggle every time my father hugs me and says “God loves you, and so do I.” That being said, is it really my father’s fault? For all his conservative and often harmful beliefs, he loved us passionately. He still does. Every few weeks we meet for lunch back home in New Hampshire. And when he hasn’t heard from me in a while, he sends me a text saying “just checking in. Love you, Emmy.” Yeah, he still calls me Emmy. And he’s the only one I won’t punch in the chest for doing so. I can’t blame my father for the church’s errors. Especially when he’s nothing like those horrors in politics or on the TV like Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, or Pat Robbinson (all of which he’d still support or vote for). My father is a kind, gentle, saint. Albeit a misguided one.

We are absolutely products of the environments we were raised in. But at some point, we grow up. And it becomes our responsibility– not our parents– to step out, and break the mold. I’ll always be my Daddy’s daughter, in spite of the fact my life, and my beliefs, don’t often align with his. I chose to be who my God made me. And I know, somewhere buried beneath all those Bible verses and sermons, my father knows that to be true too. So, thanks Dad. For forcing me to make my own way. And for loving me even when I did.

5 Ways to Up Your Style Game Using Ebay

Yeah, I said it… ebay. I hate that shit. No, seriously. I mean I really hate it. There’s nothing worse than finding something you love, getting really excited, and placing a bid, only to find out that some creeper in Montana outbid you in the last 3 seconds. That’s why I stay clear away from the whole “auction” idea.

You probably already knew that when you do a search on ebay, you can select the “buy it now” option. That means no annoying bidding, and no creeper from Montana screwing you out of Brittany Spear’s platform shoes from 1999. But what I bet you didn’t know is that there a few key items you can get on ebay for ridiculously low prices that can seriously help upgrade your style game.

1. Ties (search: skinny ties, bow ties, pre-tied bow ties).

Skinny ties, bow ties, bondage ties (no, I’m just kidding… we aren’t talking about that kind of tie here)… they’re all over ebay. I bought a pre-tied bow tie in black silk from a company in China for… get this… $.99. That’s right. $.99. Not even a dollar. You can’t get get a cup of coffee from McDonald’s for $.99 now. Shipping was even free. You aren’t even going to find a tie for $1 at Goodwill. This one doesn’t smell like cat pee, and the quality is decent.  For those of you with the dapper skillz to tie your own bow tie (I’ll be posting a video on this shortly), you can also find those for a few bucks. *Disclaimer– most of the ties you’ll find for that price will be “silk.” For some reason, it’s much harder to find cotton/cloth ties for under $10.

2. Dress shirts (search: men’s slim fit dress shirt)

This one was the biggest find of all. I put in “xs men’s dress shirt and was expecting to find a couple used pieces. Instead, I found page after page of Korean/Chinese companies selling what looked to be decent dress shirts in various colors for around $11 (with shipping). Now, I’ve spent a lot of time honing which brands work for me and which don’t. An extra small shirt from Alfani is like… four times bigger than an extra small shirt from H&M, and even those shirts within the brand vary from model to model. So I took a gamble and ordered the small. I got the shirt two weeks later, and it’s now one of my favorite dress shirts. The sleeves hit in just the right place, it’s fitted but isn’t too tight like so many of my other shirts post-cruise, and the length was spot on (which is nearly impossible to find). The quality is about what you’d expect for a $10 shirt, but again, it’s new, its cheap, and the fit is fantastic. *Disclaimer– these are “asian” sizes (their term, not mine!). They run VERY small. I’m normally an extra small in SLIM shirts here, and the small in China is about one cheesburger away from being too tight. Order at least one size up, and make sure you’re ordering the US size and not the “Asian” size (a US S is an “Asian” M).


3. Pocket Squares (search: pocket squares)

These run about $2-3. If you go to JCrew you’re looking at at least $30. Even a TJ Maxx find will be at least $8. My theory on pocket squares is that you’re only looking at about a quarter inch of fabric. Most people aren’t going to judge you on the thread count… and if they do, they’re douchbags. If you don’t know how to make your own, ebay is a great place to build your stash.


4. “Leather” Jacket (search: men’s slim fit leather jacket)

Proceed with extreme caution here– I was NOT a fan of the fit here. Leather jackets are tricky. Faux leather jackets are trickier (maybe I’ll do a post just on leather jackets soon). They have to fit better than any other jacket you own. If not, you look sloppy and ridiculous. I ordered this jacket in an extra small, and unfortunately, I ran into the problem I almost always run into when I buy leather jackets… it was too long. A leather jacket should hit at your belt, and not below it (ouch). And, while there’s some wiggle room with other types of jackets, you have to stick to this rule. However, if you’re taller than I am, I highly suggest doing a search for “men’s slim leather jackets.” Worst case, you spend $25 plus shipping on a jacket you can’t wear… Not the end of the world.

5. Suspenders (search:.. uh… duh.. suspenders…)

I’ve decided to try rocking the suspenders again, since my girlfriend says she likes them. It’s been a long time since I’ve done it, but I’ve seen some great fashion posts using them with bow ties, or just open collar dress shirts. A quick ebay search yielded cheap suspenders in just about every color/print you can imagine for a total of about $4. You’ll probably want to go with the clip-on ones, like I have on here, unless you’re feeling swanky enough to get buttons tailored onto your pants (which I’ve done before). If you get the clips, you can wear them with anything from jeans to suits without having to permenantly alter your pants.  *Disclaimer- I recommend a bland color like gray, khaki, black or navy, unless you’re really bold. Anything too bright or colorful is going to be limiting and (unless you’re REALLY good) detract from the dapperness of the outfit.


So there it is, folks. No bidding required. Now, if you’ll excuse me, ebay is calling.

5 Things Butch Women are Sick of Hearing

1. “But I mean, you aren’t like… BUTCH butch.”

When I was in college (AND in the closet), I took this amazing course in LGBT Literature. One of my classmates (who I affectionately refer to as the Big Dyke on Campus) did this tremendous presentation on the many different “sub-brands” (so to speak) of butch. This included anything from Stone Cold to Saturday Night Butch. Now, I think it can go without argument here that gender is pretty damn fluid. So, there are all sorts of places one can fall on the “butch” spectrum. I, for one, place myself somewhere more masculine than Kiyomi McCloskey, and more feminine than Zac Efron (though only slightly). One of my coworkers has even taken to calling me “gentle butch,” which I find utterly hilarious and adorable. What bothers me, though, is the sort of connotation that being “butch butch” is negative. Because it’s pretty clear that when straight people innocently tell me I’m not THAT butch, they’re implying that those who do fall further on the masculinity spectrum than I do are unattractive, undesirable deviants, as if they’re giving me some sort of backhanded compliment. That being said… what exactly is being “BUTCH butch?” Is one required to sport a flat top and not shave their legs? Because I haven’t shaved my legs since February, and they’re looking just one hair short of “BUTCH butch” if I do say so myself…

2. “So why do you want to be a man?”

Nothing… and I mean NOTHING… makes my blood boil more than this question. And the hardest part about it is that most of the people who ask it are well-meaning friends of mine who are just fucking clueless. Why do I want to be a man? I don’t. I really, honestly don’t. If I could teach everyone on earth one thing with this, it would be that GENDER IDENTITY IS NOT NECESSARILY RELEVANT HERE! I love and support my transgender brothers/sisters. But being butch is not the same as being transgender. I have always identified as female. That’s never been a question I’ve struggled with. I know it’s confusing… but wearing a tie to dinner doesn’t make me anymore of a man than wearing a Bruins hat makes me a hockey superstar (unfortunately… or else I’d always wear a Bruins hat…). The bottom line is, they’re just clothes.  And underneath those clothes, I like my breasts (as long as they don’t get too big), and my hips (as long as they fit into my dude jeans). I cry A LOT. I’m usually the needy one in my relationships. And I love a good Nicholas Sparks movie.

As an aside… I imagine I speak for many other butches out there when I say I get extremely offended when anyone implies I have gender confusion because I like a good pair of boxer briefs.  I dated a girl once who was so jaded by her ex’s transition, she accused me of wanting to do the same nearly constantly. The offensive part was the implication that I didn’t know myself. Apparently this is not a problem exclusive to straight people.

3. “So then why do you want to look like a man?”

I don’t. Or maybe I do? I don’t know. Why do you want to be a blonde? Or like to wear heels? I like what I like. I look better with short hair. And nothing makes me feel sexier than a nice suit. Also, I’d like to remind everyone that what we consider “men’s” and “women’s” clothing is just a fabrication (no pun intended) of the fashion institute. Look at skinny jeans. You can’t tell the men’s pants from the women’s these days. Why do I want to “look like a man?” Because I want to wear what looks good on me, and what doesn’t make me feel like I’ve stepped into some episode of the Twilight Zone where pink doesn’t make me look awkward.


4. “If I was a lesbian, I think I’d like more feminine girls.”

Well. Congratulations. Your input is crucial to the continuation of our species. But, alas, you are not a lesbian.  So I ask you… how do you know what kind of girl you’d want to sleep with if you don’t like girls? And why does it seem that SO many bisexual women EXPLICITLY state that they are only attracted to femmes (don’t believe me, just check out OkCupid)? Listen… you like what you like. But don’t throw in your two cents about something you don’t know. And certainly don’t go out of your way to use this like a disclaimer, as if touching a girl with long hair and a huge rack makes you any less gay (guess what… is doesn’t).

5. “Well… who’s the man and who’s the woman?”

My grandfather asked this sweet, albeit incredibly insensitive question, when he first found out I was gay. Now, because he was 80, I cut him all the slack in the world. But for those of you born AFTER 1930, you have no excuse. And, in case no one’s done it yet, I’m here to educate you a little. Contrary to ABC, NBC, CBS, blah blah blah, not all lesbian couples are femme-femme. Not every Caleigh Torres wants an Arizona Robbins (although who wouldn’t? Seriously). Oh, and also, that “butch spectrum” I mentioned earlier? Ellen is like… way closer to the femme end than not. So here we have all modern media representing all lesbians as femme loving femmes. And in “real life” we have just about every ignorant person alive asking who the “man” is. The answer is neither are the man. I know. I know… this is going to be a stretch. And I realize the faux hawks and lack of makeup are throwing you for a loop. But regardless, we’re both still women. ALSO…ALSO ALSO ALSO… Here’s an interesting fact many people don’t realize… Not all butches like femmes! I know. Total mind fuck right? I’m a bad example, since I’m pretty much exclusively attracted to super femmie girl-next-door-Katie Holmes pre-Tom Cruise types. But not all butches are. Many butches are attracted to other more masculine women. I dated a butch woman once (for a whopping 2 months) and it didn’t pan out.. partly because she was a child, and partly because she just wasn’t my type. And I admit, I struggled at times with the image of two masculine women being together. But then I stopped giving a fuck. Because who really cares how the world see it after all of the victories we’ve already won together? My point is, no one is the man. And don’t be so quick to assume that anyone is even more masculine than the other. Lesbian relationships: typical gender stereotypes need not apply.


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?

How to Make Your Own Skinny Ties (video)

This idea rocked my world this morning almost as much as the Kate Mara photo shoot in this month’s GQ. I am hardly crafty (which is why I’m posting this). And I can’t take credit for this brilliance either, since I found it through a Google search (which, believe it or not, originated in a Buzzfeed post), by this lady named Design Mom. Design Mom wanted to make some skinny ties for her young son, but didn’t want to spend a fortune. Some crazy tailor wanted to charge her $40 to turn a not-so-skinny tie…well, skinny. Design Mom said “oh helllllll no.” And thus, genius ensued.

Jill has this super dapper coworker who loves to give me ties. They’re always these gorgeous, vintage ties that I love, but unfortunately, they’re vintage, so they’re wide as a truck. Wide ties may work for some butches, but when you’re hardly able to reach the shelf with the cereal on it, the wider the tie, the shorter you look. This post from Design Mom (who may or may not be thrilled that a big ol’ lesbian from Boston is using her idea to further butchify herself, depending on what part of the Bible Belt she’s in) gave me an idea. I could try to turn Jill’s coworker’s ties into something I could actually wear. Now I’m not Martha Stewart (outdated reference, but honestly I don’t think I know any other crafty famous people), and my sewing experience goes about as far as 8th grade home-ecconomics class, but this was really freakin’ easy.

Go to Goodwill, or, even better, a legit vintage thrift store, and buy some wide ties for $2, like this beauty from Coach that Ray gave me. Then, watch this video (it’s in TWO PARTS so you have to watch both… sorry gang!), and learn how to make it into something that won’t make you look clownish.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Demystifying the Lesbian Haircut


I will start you off with a little bit of humor here, courtesy of our good friend Google Image Search. But now I need to be completely serious…

There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING funny about a dyke with a bad haircut (okay, so it’s sort of a little funny…).

There are many butches out there with long hair. Short hair is not requirement for being butch. In fact, nothing is. But let’s face it, there are a lot of us with short hair… maybe even a majority. If you’re a butch with long hair, this article isn’t for you. Not because I don’t respect your dapperness, or your masculinity (remember Brad Pitt in the 90s? How about Jared Leto at the Golden Globes?), but because I know absolutely nothing about long hair. I came out at the tender age of 21 (late bloomer, to say the least), and almost immediately rushed straight to the nearest salon and chopped my hair off. I’ve had short hair ever since. Those of you in my boat, this is for you.

We laugh about mullets and rat tails… But I can’t tell you how many I saw amongst the “older generation” on my Olivia cruise. The generation Xers among us aren’t any better! We’ve simply replaced the mullet with a Justin Bieber shag (see above).

When I was a baby dykling, I had what I suppose you could call a “faux hawk”– about 2 inches too long on the top and on the sides, and about a pound of gell… which no one should be using in this post NSYNC era. Here is my attempt at a “faux hawk,” which was effectionatly (and appropriately) referred to by my ex as the “shark fin.”


It’s awful… I know. Don’t do this. Just don’t. It’s never okay…

If you want this hair style, here’s what I suggest. Skip the goop completely. Go with a texturing paste like Crew fiber, or Go 247 texture cream. Keep the sides and the back buzzed short (a 0 to a 1) and leave the top around 3 inches. Apply product to the damp hair, and blow dry working from the back to the center. You don’t need every hair to stick in place. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy. This guy from High School Musical (okay, I won’t pretend I don’t know who Zac Efron is…) got it right… I did not.


Probably the single most popular lesbian haircut in recent years has been the Bieber Shag. I personally also experimented with this one for many many years. Unfortunately, I learned that my hair is far too straight and thick for it. If you look at my friend Whitney in the picture above (sporting the Bieber Shag back in ’08) you’ll see how to do it right. I don’t think Whit did anything to her hair other than let it rage… But if you have gorgeous, wavy locks like that, you do basically nothing. If your hair is a little on the straight side, a sea salt spray like Bumble and Bumble makes can give you some extra texture for this look.

But if you REALLY want to be on top of the world of hair trends, there’s one cut that everyone’s doing these days– and it’s getting a lot of attention.

There are a million different names for it, but I tend to call it the pompadour. It’s classic and old school and looks good on just about everybody. Think Adam Levine, David Beckham, James Dean. It’s daring, sure. But I promise you the payoff is worth it. And I’m seeing more and more butches with this cut.


The above is a great article from Details magazine about how to get this look. Here’s what to do: tell your stylist to go super short on the sides and back (0′-1′ guard) and work a fade in. The key is leaving enough length on top to be able to slick it back. Any hard wax or pomade works well, but I like Clean Cut by Paul Mitchell ($20). I have also been known to use Murray’s ($3) because my hair is ridiculously fickle (but be warned, a little Murray’s goes for weeks… I’ve been known to have that stuff in my hair for days on end). Use a flat brush and comb from the back, at your natural part, forward. Then, pull the front of your hair back. I like mine more centered, but you can part is to the side too. If you don’t have super thick hair like I do, you can use a blowdryer to get more lift. But I just put pomade in my damp hair and comb it where I want it. Don’t worry if it looks sketchy… Mine always does when I first do it. Once the pomade sets, you can reshape all day long.

Here’s my do…


My barber got me to use a small hand mirror to tackle the cowlicks in the back. Just follow the hair until it lays flat. This has changed my life….

I want to leave you with one last crucial piece of advice… GO TO A BARBER!!!

Seriously. I spent years going to high end salons searching for someone who could manage my hair with only moderate success. In my darkest days, I was paying a Boston stylist (who worked in a hipstery warehouse with a one word name) almost $80 to literally shave the sides and back of my head and not even touch a pair of scissors to it. The cut ended up mediocre, at best. Then, one day, Jill (my girlfriend formerly referred to as Jess– as she has since insisted I use her real name) said “why don’t you try the barbershop down the street?” A barber?! The horror! I was bombarded with flashbacks of being taken to the local old dude downtown as a kid who would take a number 3 to my head and leave me looking like Buzz from Home Alone. But hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. So I tried it…albeit hesitantly. When I walked in, I immediately noticed a shelf full of Jack Black products– and my hopes were high. They paired me with John, whose haircut I also judged just as quickly. He looked good. And when he started to talk about what I wanted, he told me he loves to keep up with men’s fashion. The best and most unexpected part of my barbershop experience was that not ONCE did John either 1. pretend I didn’t want a men’s cut, or 2. make me feel like a freak for wanting one. Long story sort of short… John gave me the best haircut ever. And for only, get this, $23… Now, I can afford to go every three weeks, which is what this cut really requires.

If you want a men’s cut, get a men’s barber. They do dozens of these dos every day. Your barber will be the other most important guy in your life…along with your tailor. Big thanks to John and Richie for keeping it handsome.

Why You Should Keep Dating Your Girlfriend

When Jill and I first started dating, we were doing just that– dating. Fourteen months ago (but who’s counting, right?) we would take the bus and meet somewhere downtown for sushi (not my favorite, but I ate it because it was her’s) or a movie. There was something so exciting and terrifying about those first nights. I distinctly remember sitting in the freezing cold at a bus stop by Northeastern, waiting for a bus I’d never ridden to take me somewhere near Fenway Park. My heart was pounding so hard I had to listen to music on my iPhone to drown it out. We did this once a week at first… And then, it became two or three times a week. And finally, a month or so into seeing each other, she let me come over.

Kristen Stewart playing Butch Femme2

Now, don’t get me wrong… the dating didn’t stop here. We still went out to dinner in the city and saw the occasional show. But it soon became evident to me that Jill could cook better than any restaurant, and her apartment was adorable and homey. I preferred cuddling on the couch watching fifteen straight hours of Bravo and eating her scallops and spinach risotto to fighting Saturday night crowds in Boston and trying to find $40 parking. Eventually, I moved in. And her homey home because my homey home. And our nights were adorable too, and filled with cooking dinners and drinking red wine and all of that new-couple romance.

But let’s get real, ladies. This doesn’t last forever (I can actually see the appalled look on Jill’s face when she reads this for my saying this… hear me out, baby). The truth is, over time, Friday night candlelit dinners sometimes get swapped out for On-Demand and Dominos. I love these nights. I love when I finish a twelve hour shift, swing by the local pizza place, pickup a $20 pizza and a bottle of soda, and we watch hours of House of Cards in bed. Do not, I repeat, do not think I’m in any way belittling the simple things here.

Something happened to us last night though. Something unexpected, and kind of reminiscent of our early “courtship.” Jill and I decided to try this place that does bowling and flatbread pizza. It’s apparently some kind institution in the Boston area. We were tired from a full work week, it was 5 damn degrees outside, and we really had to push ourselves to leave the house. But we did. It turned out the bowling joint has a 50 year long wait list (not really,  but close), so we abandoned that plan and started to wing it. For a while, we walked down the streets of Somerville (a little city/suburb on the outskirts of Boston), holding hands and trying to figure out what to do for dinner. We settled on a BBQ place we both loved, and while we waited at the bar, something crazy happened. We talked. I mean really talked. Jill and I talk, of course. We talk at home. We text. We call each other. But often, too often, as we’ll both agree, life tends to get in the way of that talking. There’s this Facebook meme going around that says something like “you’re my favorite person to lie in bed with and look at our cell phones.” True that. Come on. You know you’re guilty of it. Jill and I have both agreed on multiple occasions that we spend far too much time interacting with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even other people via phone lines when we should be spending time with each other. It’s so easy to be in the same room with someone, and not actually be IN THE ROOM with them.

For several hours, we sat and talked over pulled pork and sweet tea. Nobody picked up their phones. Nobody answered texts or checked their email. It was just us (and the 50000 other people crammed into the restaurant that night). Over just one dinner, we reconnected about our jobs and our goals, our friendships, and reminisced about our past together. There was something almost ethereal about the whole thing, as I looked at her, overwhelmed by all the same things I felt on those first few dates. I knew I loved her. I never question that. But don’t underestimate how important it is to be able to have this moment, where you look at your girlfriend like you’re seeing her for the first time… again.

I know this isn’t exactly news. But if everyone knows it, why is it so hard to follow through with? I know it can be for us. I don’t care how long you’ve been dating. I don’t care if you pee with the door open or talk about your rashes or know every last little thing about her. There’s always something new to learn, and probably, something new to fall in love with. So get off the couch once in a while, put away the take out, turn off the Bravo (I know, I know, but Andy Cohen will be there when you come home), and take that woman out for a real, honest to God date. The longer you’ve been together, the more you need to. And if you’re just starting out… make a habit of it now.


I don’t care if you go bowling, or if you go to a black tie event. Just please, whatever you do, make a NO CELL PHONE rule, and stick to it. Focus on the beautiful woman sitting across from you who probably still has some really great things to say– certainly better than Justin Bieber’s twitter account. One of those lame signs you can hang in your college dorm room says “marriage is falling in love over and over again, always with the same person.” How are you going to do that if you’re too focused on what Ellen’s wearing to the Oscars? Go ahead. Buy her a pulled pork sandwich (or put it on your mutual credit card, because it’s 2014, and you have joint finances). You might be pleasantly surprised what you get in return.

How to Be a Butch Lesbian– According to the Internet

How to Be a Butch Lesbian– According to the Internet

What can’t you find on the internet these days? Seriously. I just found a recipe for something called “monster cookie dough dip” (yeah, it’s as perfect as it sounds). I also just learned how to sew my own tie. I learned about Putin, and I watched Andy Cohen twerk his way across the West Village. But did you know that the internet can also tell you how to be butch?!? Amazing. What’s it going to tell me next??! How to be a woman?? How to make my heart keep beating?? Oh great and powerful internet! How far is your reach!!!

But seriously. I found this article by accident, while searching for articles on (what else?) butch fashion.

How to Be a Butch Lesbian– from wikki how– in only 7 easy steps!!! I will walk you through this… Just in case you need some help.

  1. Ask yourself a few questions. Why do you want to be butch? Do you feel attractive and natural in this look? or is this just a cheap scheme to get women’s attention? Can you handle people knowing about your sexuality? How will others react?

Let’s take a moment and review, shall we?? Why do you want to be butch? That’s sort of like asking me why I want to be female. I don’t want to be, wikki. I love it, sure. But I didn’t decide to be butch. I literally came out of my Mom this way, demanding to burn my dresses and wear only my favorite red corduroy overalls and Ninja Turtle’s t-shirts. It’s not paper or plastic. It’s an identity. Do you feel attractive and natural in this look? Okay, so this one isn’t terrible, I suppose. Being butch is all about being who you are. And that means feeling sexy and comfortable. No, wikki, this isn’t a cheap scheme to get women’s attention. In fact, I dare say that many of the femme’s I’ve pursued have preferred other femmes. And if I had a dime for every straight girl I heard say “if I were a lesbian I’d want to be with someone like me…” …. Can you handle people knowing about your sexuality? You’re right, Mr How… it’s probably better to just go into hiding and dress like an escaped Amish girl so no one figures out you like boobs. But I’m glad you pointed that out.


           2. Develop more masculine mannerisms. Walk with more confidence and stride. Don’t slouch or sit with your legs together. Watch the way men move and move like them. Try to only copy more of the popular guys, when observing them think, is this guy cool? Does he seem attractive to girls? If yes, he is a good example since you do not want to move awkwardly.

Great idea, since we are, after all, just playing a part. Might as well find a good dude to study so we can “pass.” Or… and I’m just putting this out there… we could just walk, talk, move, “stride” and sit however we want. Nah…
            3. Get some masculine clothing. You can buy men’s clothing, or, buy women’s clothing that is boyish. Choose colors that you like in sizes that fit your body nicely. Some good things to get:

  • A few polo shirts
  • T shirts with cool designs on them. Try not to go with big logos or dorky souvenir shirts.
  • Loose-fitting jeans. Not too baggy, not too loose. You can go with men’s jeans or women’s boy-cut jeans since those are made for a female frame.
  • Dress clothes. Pants suits, shirts with ties and nice shoes are great for special occasions. Do learn to tie a tie , as clip ons are tacky.
  • Accessories. Get a few belts and a nice watch (go for a neutral color). A chain to wear around your neck can look handsome.
  • Shoes. You really only need 3 pairs: comfy shoes, dress shoes and boots.
  • Binder. Some butches dislike having large breasts and may wish to bind them down.
  • Boxers – No butch should wear girly undies. Go for comfort. Plaid, solid or simple patterns are best. For the most part, you will be the only one that sees them; keep in mind that your girlfriend will see them so they need to look good.
  • Messenger bag or backpack. Purses are to be avoided.

So, I don’t hate this part. I especially enjoy the cliche reference to “plaid patterns.” Because what kind of butch are you without plaid, dammit?!

4. Skip the make up. Concealer for blemishes and pimples is fine. Eyeliner is okay in small amounts and also make absolutely sure that your always brush your teeth.

I admit to wearing only concealer to cover up those pain-in-the-ass, sickly looking dark patches I get under my eyes in the winter, or to hide the occasional adult acne outbreak. Eyeliner? Not a chance in hell… for me. But I know plenty of butches who wear makeup (um… hello… Ellen? Rachel Maddow?? Kiyomi?? F&%^$%# Shane McCutcheon wore more makeup than Joan Rivers does!). Oh wikki, you’re so wrong. Butches can wear makeup too! Also, make sure that you always brush your teeth… Good advice for everyone, I’d venture.

                5. Get a short hair cut. Look at both women and men for inspiration. To find a look that will look good on you, ask the hair dresser what will match your face shape.

Because, obviously, butches can’t have long hair… *Because men don’t have long hair… Right??… (*read as Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Johnny Depp, Steven Tyler…etc etc etc.)


                   6. Be active. Try to get into a sport or just work out. Be proud of your body and its strengths. Looking attractive and gaining muscle can also be a benefit.

I attempt to play hockey twice a week, partly because I like it, and partly because it makes me feel tough. Also, it must be because it keeps me butch, right? If I didn’t play hockey, I’d surely wake up one day a swiveling femme in lipstick and heels. If butches must care about their bodies, by this logic, femmes must not? Makes sense… Sort of? Or maybe we should all just try to get up off the couch, regardless of our gender, orientation, or where we sit on the masculinity scale. A note to Wikki, I am no less butch when I am 10 pounds too heavy and can barely walk up a flight of stairs without seeing God.

                 7. Act the part. Be confident and masculine. Be chivalrous and gentleman-like. Try your best to stay calm and in control of your emotions in public. Confidence is key, so be sure to take charge and be assertive. Most of all, be yourself.

This is my favorite. Wikki really knew how to finish strong here. They actually go right out and say “act the part.” Being butch isn’t an act. It’s not a part we’re playing. It’s an identity we haven’t chosen anymore than we’ve chosen our parents. “Be chivalrous and gentleman-like”. Okay, I can’t argue there. Butches should always be chivalrous. If not, you’re an asshole. And no one wants to be an asshole butch, right? “Stay in control of your emotions in public.” Seriously??? Seriously. Like… what?! I just… I can’t even… Excuse me, I’m getting emotional and I wouldn’t want you to think me any less butch.

Finally, “be yourself.” Oh… okay, Wikki… now that you’ve just told me exactly how to be, I’ll get right on that.

I’m sure whoever wrote this did so earnestly enough. But really? Maybe I can find one on “how to be a cat” next?