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F.E.A.R.

fearmeanings

One day in September I did a banking errand for my mom and inside the teller’s area I saw this acronym, F.E.A.R. written on a dry erase board. I’ve seen it or heard before someplace, yet each time I visited the bank I would find myself looking at the board and stare at it. I’d wait in line and quietly reflect. I’m definitely not a Forget Everything And  Run kind of girl. I’ve thought about times in my life where I had to pick myself up, dust myself off, and just move forward, one step, then another, and another. Over those two months I spent caring for my mom in Florida through to today my mind kept going back to those words on the board. Maybe it was premonition. Maybe, that message was preparing me for these past few months and also the months and years that are ahead of us. I have been feeling fear in a number of areas of my life recently.  I have this strange feeling this message came to me at just the right time and that it’s so important for me to Face Everything And Rise right now.

I finally came out to all of my family in the past year. My children and my ex-husband already knew about me being queer and kinky. This was new information for my mother, step-dad, sister, brothers, and in-laws. Some clearly prefer to just not speak about the matter, while others have been very accepting, warm, and loving. I remember telling my mom first. I sat with her at the dining room table, just her and I alone. I was nervous, but it went well. I am fortunate that I’ve always had a close relationship with my mom. I’ve always believed I could tell her anything and that she would still love me. Even then, it was still scary. I guess it’s because I thought it would confuse her, possibly scare her, anger her, disappoint or hurt her. Yet, I knew I had to find the courage to spit the words out and that it would somehow be okay. I didn’t want to live another day longer hiding who I am. And somehow I found the words and it was all okay. I love my mother with all my heart. Face Everything And Rise.

holding-handsMy girlfriend is amazing. She spoils me with affection and truly she inspires me to be better and do better. Of course I think my Daddy is the best and deserves all kinds of goodness and kindness. Everyday I want to bring joy and happiness into her life. There has been more than a few times when I have had to call a BFF to walk me off the ledge, because the truth is sometimes I think she deserves better than me. She’s very organized, completely got this adulting thing down one hundred percent, and just has it all so together. Meanwhile, I’m going through life flying by the seat of my pants, usually making it up as I go along, and so often very sure that I am quite a hot mess. Maybe a fun, sexy, lovable hot mess, but a hot mess all the same. So sometimes I feel insecure or fearful, because I am opening my heart to love again. Yet, I’m a risk taker, so I just leap. And as surprising as it is to me, my hot butch Daddy feels similar fears too. And then there are other fears. External fears of how our progressive little bubble of NYC may change in the coming years. I will not stop holding her hand, kissing her, or hide my love. Love is love. So each day, week, month, and hopefully over the years, together we will overcome our fears. Face Everything And Rise.

fear-quotesSome days I still become emotional and cry when I think about this year’s Presidential election. Like many other women, the loss hurt, but even more it’s left a shadow of fear. I fear for my young adult daughters. I fear for my gay and trans friends. I fear for immigrants and people of color. I fear for all marginalized groups. That’s a lot of fear and I have to lift myself up, dust myself off, and move forward. One step, then another, and another. Now is not the time to lose heart. Now is the time for strong women to support each other and build each other up. I’ll be in NYC volunteering for Lesbian Sex Mafia. I’ll be in Washington, DC on January 21, 2017 at the Women’s March on Washington. I’ll do what I can to hold space. I know who I am. I’m the kind of girl who will Face Everything And Rise.

Hiking

It feels like I’ve been hiking my whole life, yet very little of that has happened in the tradition place most people imagine when they hear that word. Last weekend my girlfriend, my lover, my hot butch leather Daddy went hiking in the woods, the traditional way. And I was in the city lamenting that I was not able to take in the changing color of autumn leaves by her side. The following day I had an epiphany about hiking and stopped my lamentations and replaced it with gratitude.

broadwaycamelwebI have lived my life in the concrete jungles of the world. The modern cities of our world, sometimes grimy, unpleasant,  and challenging. There is a lot of hiking that happens in these cities and thankfully not all of it is tough and hard, but some of it is brilliant, vibrant, and inspiring. On Sunday Daddy and I were in the city exploring, on a mission to find body jewelry that met both our satisfaction.  Walking north on Broadway we came across an exhibit with displays spaced out over many blocks. I stop at the first one not knowing there would be more and like a tourist or an unabashed New Yorker I rush up and ask her to take a picture. As we kept moving up Broadway I would find a new figure, color, design, pattern to fall in love with more than the previous one. As we walk along I  say to my Daddy, “This is why I love this city. Every day is an opportunity for a new adventure.” I may miss the colors of the autumn leaves changing, but the city gave me her own vibrant, unique changing of colors as we hiked along her concrete paths.

This morning I am reminded of other hikes, the type most don’t think about and the kind most people usually don’t share stories about. The hikes where one must lift them self up, find the strength to move one step forward, face everything and rise. I think of times we cross paths with others  and then we show who we are… will you hoist another up? Will you share your water, give them your shoulder to lean on, or carry them the distance when they struggle?  These are the long hard hikes, where perseverance, determination, and loyalty are born. These are the hikes where character forms. Who are you and who will you become?

An Ocean of Love; NYC Dyke March

 

2leatherwomeninthecity.jpgWe were two leather women in Bryant Park, NYC, waiting to see who would come walk beside us under the banner of Lesbian Sex Mafia, in the NYC Dyke March. A dear friend was co-chairing this get together with me for our club LSM and we wanted a decent turn out. I believe it’s easy to allow ourselves to fall into the trap of high numbers=success and the same is true in the reverse, low numbers=failure. A few days ago I told my friend, forget about quantity, relax and let’s enjoy the company of those beside us. Let’s go for quality.  It turns out in the end we had the best of both worlds, quality and quantity.

A small group of women turned up from an assortment of places to walk beside us. They were women we met at the Lesbian Sex Mafia Pizza Munch, Uncle Red’s SUBMIT Party, LSM monthly educational classes, LSM members, and a fancy leather woman international title holder with her lovely half. Turns out we didn’t have a banner, so we were a group of women marching in organized chaos, and it damn… was amazing.

The march starts on in front of one of my favorite places in NYC, the main branch of the NYPL in Manhattan. Our small band of women gather in between Patience and Fortitude, the two lions in front of the library entrance. One man rushes forward to take a photo of a person marching in our little 2016-06-25 17.41.20organized chaos and when the person states their displeasure in the manner which the man took the image, the man come within 6’’ of our friends body and face to say some crap about being press and not just a random photographer. I don’t believe he was press, but regardless of his press or non-press status is beyond me his behavior was not acceptable. I stepped forward and let the man know he was too close to this person and in this person’s personal space. There was some back and forth, but eventually he left. There is always that one person who has to be a dick. We got past that moment and we didn’t let it affect our day.

The Dyke March is a non-permitted protest. We depend on and love our march Marshalls. They hold hands and block the cross roads and keep us safe. There are protesters who bring signs with words of 2016-06-25 17.43.57condemnation and shouting their hate speech. These detractors are peacefully blocked with by organizers and supporters own banners or drummers/musicians/noise makers who follow along making sure we receive positive messages of love and support. My favorite is a girl holding a sign saying, ‘’You’re Making Ellen Proud’’ What can I say, I am an Ellen fan. This morning I was wondering where is the, ‘’You’re Making Porshe Proud’’ poster. Maybe next year. Another favorite of mine was The Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Crops. We all stopped to dance, because their energy and love was just that much that it required attention. So much goodness, so much, it was …amazing.

 

We started as a small group of 13 women in Bryant Park united by some association through the Lesbian Sex Mafia, we became several hundred in front the NYPL on 40th Street and 5th Avenue, and I turned around and somehow we had become thousands. Unlike permitted protests, in this march the only barricades are our march Marshalls. People can step in from the sidewalk at any time along the route and join us. And they did.  The march came to a halt and we create a moment of silence for Orlando. I turned around in 360 degrees and I start to feel tears welling up. We were an ocean of love and this ocean extended far beyond what my eyes could see.2016-06-25 19.12.52

A Letter to My Daughter

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More flowers for your birthday. Ephermeral cherry blossoms.

When I tell people about the day you were born I say it was the most empowering day of my life. Your birth was magical. You were born in the house where we lived, surrounded by people who loved us, as the sun was setting. And at the moment of your birth there was a gentle breeze that flowed in from the front window and with it the scent of delicate rock roses. And as I breathed in that sweetness, I knew your Granpa G. was there with us. Unlike many people, your birth name has meaning. I love you with all my heart.

Today my second child and my youngest is turning 23 years old. My first child was born in a hospital. My second was born at home with a midwife. As a woman and a mother I felt strength during her pregnancy and birth. My mantra was, “I have confidence in my body to do what it was created to do naturally.” Her birth was a back labor and lasted 23 hours. Having her at home was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my whole life. It truly was empowering.

I remember digging up those rock roses from the front yard of the home my husband grew up in. He lived in the same house his entire childhood. When we got married, no one lived there, as his parents had retired further south, so we moved in. Those roses were originally in front of the room his sister grew up in and the room that eventually was our first daughter’s nursery. My father in-law, Tom,  was a horticulturalist by hobby. These were his roses. My father in-law was a second father to me. I lost my own when I was nine years old. I am not sure I could have loved Grandpa G. more for all the kindness, affection, and love he gave me. He died before my littlest was born. The irony, both my father and father in-law were taken from me by cancer. Roses do not survive well when but these were his roses, for his little girl. I was not surprised when they survived. I think I willed them to live.

My daughters each have a family name. Hers is Serene, after Tom’s mother. I remember sitting at his bed side and him saying he wished he could live to see more grandchildren. I didn’t know it, but I was pregnant. Eight months later Serene was born. The breeze winding in the room and the scent of those roses. I knew Tom saw his granddaughter. I felt it in my heart.

Pride Isn’t What Comes Before The Fall

This has some good points to consider and I agree with 99% of it. I read it all the way through and then got a big smile at the end. There is this picture of a “Share Your Success” leaderboard image and one of the successes made me think, “How wonderful that she felt she could write that openly…” Congratulations Liliya, Washington State Ms Leather 2015!

Just Alyssa

@Celia.Huddart, doing what she does, working hard and having fun. @Celia.Huddart, doing what she does, working hard and having fun.

My daughter and I were driving to one of many appointments that surround her blossoming weightlifting career. We have an early A.R.T. appointment, then a massage, then she has to go work out. Her pursuit of a spot on Team USA is a job. For both of us. It never occurred to me that I might be raising a future Olympian. I never would have even tried for that. It came to us – which, I now know, is how it happens. They find you, not the other way around. They’re like a sporting spy agency, and they have secret agents everywhere. But, that’s not the point.

We do all this because we truly believe that she’s good enough to have a shot. She, more than me even, believes that she can and will make “The Team.”

We were talking…

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WILL 2015: “A Happy Coincidence”

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I recently ran for a Women’s Leather Contest and title and I want to record my experiences and thoughts. I want everyone to think about that simple sentence. How many of you are recording your experiences? It is upon each of us to do our due diligence and preserve our personal histories. I hope you will think about embarking on saving your mementos, images, and stories that have been part of your leather journey.

My running for this title was all a happy coincidence… I smile when I say that as I reflect on Ms. Diana telling me as I interviewed her,

“How I got involved in BDSM was all a happy coincidence.”

Sometimes, because I have held a title and now because I have run for second title, people ask me about what titles and contests are all about and how do they work? There are many ways to answer that. Each title has its own purpose and reason. Continue reading

On Packing Up and Letting Go

I am still at the “not yet” phase, but each day I feel more healed from the harm that was done. I feel more of the incredible woman I was before someone I loved gave me this box full of darkness. Each day I am closer to feeling that this too was a gift…

In Others' Words...

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.  It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver

house

In July of 2012 I was packing up my house to put it on the market. I’d filed for divorce. My soon to be ex-husband had quit his job, and I’d been a stay at home mom for nearly 13 years. There was simply no way for us to stay in what I had once considered to be our dream home- the house I’d truly believed we would live in forever. Where we would have family reunions, where the kids would get married in the backyard, where we would grow old together. The day we moved in I saw all of those things stretched out in front of us.

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Cut to less than two years later. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t have cared less about leaving that house…

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