Bevin's Blog I'm blogging the relentless pursuit of my joy

2015-07-24

Additions to the Queer Lexicography: You’ve Got Toptions

Wow things have been a little hectic around here! It’s summertime in NYC and I am working hard on my East Coast bucket list. Last weekend I went to a Bluegrass festival in the Catskill Mountains about 2 hours North of NYC, this weekend I head to Atlanta for pre-wedding preparations for one of my besties, I went to two queer weddings in June (one of them at a summer camp in PA!), did NYC Pride (aka Gay Stamina month), produced Rebel Cupcake for the last time and a couple weekends ago took an overnight trip to Fire Island! On that trip I caught up with my friend Avory who loves a clever turn of phrase as much as I do and inspired this edition of Additions to the Queer Lexicography!

AvoryAvory on their birthday after the incredible Bjork concert! Avory serves great fashion and great turns of phrases.

Toptions. This is the idea that you have a lot of different Tops to choose from. And yes, I’m talking about Tops in a sexual way not a sartorial way, but feel free to use it that way too, especially when talking about fat friendly crop tops! Being open to Toptions means being in a mindset of abundance. I think a lot of people out there lament that they do not have a lot of Tops to choose from. Believe me, as a Femme who is Top leaning, especially when it comes to public play, I know that there are lots of Tops out there. I feel like going into any situation where you may want to play, you’ve got to be open to possibilities, talk to lots of folks, explore your Toptions (or bottom possibilities) and have a mindset that there are lots of people out there waiting to be explored!

I spent so much of my early twenties totally convinced no one would be attracted to me that I barely tried. I often clung to the edges of play parties, dance parties and whatever other cruising environments I was in not interacting with folks. I’ve learned that there are lots of Toptions out there, you just have to leap into small talk with folks and feel things out. Being there is often not enough to open the door, you gotta break the ice. Small talk doesn’t cost anything but time and maybe a little annoyance. And, as Rachael says, if you’re going to have to get through 9 rejections to get to 1 yes, get through them as quickly as possible!

You booed up with the first person you met on Fire Island? You are really missing out on all of your Toptions!

Related post–my theory of Butch abundance!

abundanceI believe in abundance so much and want to be reminded of it all the time so I have it tattooed on my wrist! A scarcity mentality is draining to me! Also, I’m repping Wide Eyes Open Palms my favorite latte makers, in Long Beach, CA!

Fuckit List. It’s like a bucket list of who you want to fuck! I have a few people on my Fuckit List and I know we’re all going to be gay for a real long time so that helps me to have some perspective and patience. Also I’ve talked to a lot of older queers about their sordid pasts and have heard many juicy stories about finally being single/available at the same time and getting to do it to that person they’d had their eye on for 15 years.

Also when going to a queer event or place and you know who you’re going to run into, having a Fuckit List in mind of possexibilities is a good way to be prepared and manifest abundance.

Freddy is monogs now, but I’ve got them on my Fuckit List.

nailsMy nails from the cold brew photo… relevant to my abundance mindset and inspired by sunsets in LA!

Shark Week. An incredible euphemism for your period. It’s vicious and bloody! Lasts about a week. Get it? I loooove it. It’s also great because it can be kind of masculine (though Femmes shark it up pretty magnificently) and it’s always nice to have a masculine version of a period euphemism!

200069_10150172750922079_5109552_nI can’t talk about Shark Week without Miss Mary Wanna doing her shark burlesque act! Photos by Kelsey Dickey for Rebel Cupcake!

This one has been spinning out there for awhile and somehow I always thought people were talking about the Discovery Channel. I don’t know, I don’t have cable, I know people really like Shark Week. But when I heard it multiple times during a few months I was like, wait a minute, Shark Week? And I finally asked.

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OMG it’s Shark Week and all the ibuprophin is gone. This is a nightmare.

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Manses. I can’t believe I never talked about Manses before, but Glenn Marla introduced me to this awesome masculine of center euphamism for period. Get it.

It’s my manses and I hate that all of the products come in pink. Get it together Kotex, people of all sorts of genders get periods!

MacyBevinbeachReading on the beach at Fire Island (Cherry Grove) with my dog Macy!

2009-10-13

Nobody Ever Died of Awkward: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Battling Insecurity and Asking People Out

A few months ago I was in Rachael’s king size bed fretting over sending a very forward propositional text message to someone I thought was foxy. “C’mon Bev, nobody ever died of awkward. Worst case scenario she’s flattered and says no.”

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I sent the message and the response I got was articulate, complimentary and offered a raincheck. Kelli Dunham, Butch Comic in Residence for FemmeCast asked if this person had taken classes on how to write text messages because it was so good.

But more than the response, I was really proud of myself for putting myself out there. Zoe beats it like a drum everytime I do something like this.

Half the reasons I’ve missed out on getting ass in my lifetime is by not articulating my desire. Insecurity, fear of rejection, fear of being made fun of… the list is endless. It’s hard to put yourself out there in a racist, homophobic, misogynist, binary gendered, anti-erotic, fatphobic, ableist, etc… society when you’re at one or many of those intersections of marginalized identities. Plainly stated, I’ve been a fat girl my whole life, shit from middle school runs deep and it’s hard to bounce back from significant early rejection.

Out of that insecurity can come a bevy of reasons to psych yourself out of propositioning someone.

After that moment I incorporated “Nobody ever died of awkward” into my regular on stage repetoire. As any of you who have seen me femmecee can attest, I am a fan of encouraging my audience to interact after the show or during intermissions. I often give out pick-up lines, conversation starters and ways for people to connect. I love matchmaking.

At the Zombie Queer Cabaret this weekend someone said I was easy and I said, “I’m not easy, I’m just straightforward.” When I’m attracted to someone it can often inspire in me my old shyness. In fact, one of the signs that I’m really into someone I’ve just met is if I have a hard time looking them in the eye (though I am working on getting over that). The shyness is really just insecurity. The fastest way to get through that shyness, for me, is to just be direct.

I still have to go through the same cycle of insecurity I always have when I proposition someone, but now I can psych myself up about it way faster than I ever could before. I’m talking a matter of hours versus days, weeks or months. In college it would take me weeks to work up the courage to ask someone to hang out as a friend-that-might-lead-to-more. Now I might let a passing interest develop into a crush for as long as a month, but there’s a certain moment of annoyance I reach when I am getting mixed signals from someone and I just want to cut to the chase.

When I ask someone out I always use the term “date”. I encourage you to do that, too. My friend Megan Beene used to complain about the “Lesbian Not-Date” syndrome where you’re hanging out with someone and you’re not sure if it was/is a date.

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I like to make sure it’s clear what my intentions are. I also often tell them that my intention is “casual” or “proper” date.*

Even if you’re not asking someone out and just expressing interest, it is really great to be direct. One of the greatest examples I’ve experienced was really more of a gesture than the words themselves, but this really hot butch I’d been trying to make contact with for 2 weeks came up to me in the dark, put her hand on the small of my back as she walked by and said something in my ear along the lines of me being a really attractive woman. And then she walked away. I don’t even remember what she said but it was really clear.

The best part about having a move like that is that no matter how nervous you are, you’ll never actually seem that nervous in person. Trust.

Another thing I always do when I ask people out is to be complimentary and to not give them the reason to reject your offer. If they want to turn you down, they can, but let them be the ones to come up with the excuse.

An example is “Georgine, I’ve found our long talks about homo fashion really intriguing and would love to continue the conversation. Would you like to go out on a date with me? I am thinking a casual walk along the Christopher Street pier where we can see the fashions of the gay youth of today followed by a coffee at the one remaining West Village gay coffee house.” Instead of all of that followed by “Unless you’re busy. It’s really okay, you know, if you’re busy. Or if you don’t want to. Or if you want to just be friends.” If they want to be friends they can propose that with their proper response to you.

I tend to also be really cutesy with my date requests and use a little schtick. A friend of mine uses rhyming, which is particularly adorable. I like to think putting some personality in the date request makes it all the more flattering, and that is what a date request should ultimately be.

Rachael’s flirting philosophy is “It is never a bad time to make people feel good about themselves.” I think this absolutely applies to asking people out.** I have also found that the fastest way for me to get over a crush is to be rejected by them. And, really, how can you be into someone who doesn’t think you’re fabulous enough to date?

It’s comical how many of my friends I once asked out or who once asked me out. In every one of those cases it was clear within a few months that it was way better that we chose the friend route.

The awkwardness lasts as long as you let it, and I purposefully act like nothing is wrong until nothing really is wrong anymore. It’s best to just try to be normal.

What I love about having gotten a lot of practice asking people out in the last couple of years is that now it comes much more naturally. I met this hot girl last month and after flirting with her a few times in the evening as I was bidding her adieu and we exchanged numbers I told her straight up “If you’re interested in asking me on a date I would love that.” (Sometimes the butches like to do the asking.)

The important part is that you see your success as battling your insecurity and putting yourself out there, rather than what the reaction of the other person happens to be. You’ll always be successful when you push yourself to grow.

Today on Twitter, Shit My Dad Says tweeted “That woman was sexy…Out of your league? Son. Let women figure out why they won’t screw you, don’t do it for them.”

So the next time you are getting an attack of insecurity about a crush, or you aren’t sure whether you should ask someone out, stop thinking and start texting/emailing/calling/talking and do it. Let them make the decision whether they will go out with you. You won’t die of awkward if they say no.

*I’m going into much greater detail about this in the episode of FemmeCast I’m editing right now, on courtship.

For me a casual date would involve a meandering hang out, a variety of outside activities, watching a movie at home, having cupcakes together. Something easy and cheap. I often prefer casual dates because I lead such a fast-paced life, what I’m looking for in a potential dating person/girlfriend is really someone who its easy and fun to be around. Casual dates help to tell you that.

A proper date is something more traditional. A performance and drinks, dinner and a movie, just dinner. Some of the best dates I’ve been on involved an activity that told me more about what the person was passionate about and had a sweet and small souvenir.

**Of course, this is NOT the case for those who are monogamous or you are otherwise ethically barred from dating, like your friend’s recent ex or some such close queer connection. Let ethics not insecurity slow you down!

2009-09-15

The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Surviving Getting Stood Up

I got stood up on Sunday night. Since one of my Queer Fat Femme values is to turn rage into productivity, I decided to share with you my Stand Up Survival Guide.

First, we need to define what Standing Someone Up really means. I feel like a date canceled on the same day, either by previous communication or a no show is a stand up. Of course, if a date is canceled with proper notice AND explanation (they have a health issue, unanticipated legitimate conflict) AND apology AND offer to reschedule, that’s not being stood up. Disappointing for sure, but life sometimes happens. I also want to point out that communication issues run rampant in dating and sometimes scheduling snafus come up. This is why I like to text a few hours before a date to make sure we’re still on*.

Mercury is in retrograde right now, which puts an additional cramp on communication, so I like to indulge that with extra benefit of the doubt.** However, even when loosely planned, if a time and day are blocked off to see one another in a romantic context, I consider it a date. When rejection is coupled with the additional disrespect of my time and energy, the offense is quadrupled.

So what do you do when you realize your date isn’t showing up? First, I always text and then call.*** This is where the pre-emptive text is helpful, because when you’re not hearing from them it gives you more time to create a back-up plan.

The best back-up plan is to corral a big group of people to go out and have a really killer night, whatever that means to you. My favorite night of being stood up was when I was 23 and in grad school and dating this girl who lived about 45 minutes away. We had a scheduled date planned for weeks and she called three hours ahead of time to cancel because she had to “study”. She didn’t need to study, but it was a flimsy excuse and I saw right through it. So I made some calls and had the kind of night out she would kill for and took lots of pictures. This was before myspace, but I’m sure if we had been socially networked I would have posted them. The best revenge is living fabulously.

I also like to take steps to move forward in my dating life. Often being spurned by one person helps me get past my completely irrational fears of rejection and is an impetus for bravery. So whether it’s asking someone for a date (on that fateful day in 2002 I totally asked out this 19 year old fledgling drag king at a workshop I was doing and she said yes) or just sending a flirtatious Facebook message to a friend of a friend, it’s important to take steps to keep your dating life moving past the disrespectful douche who stood you up.

Occasionally, you can’t come up with a killer night out back-up plan, or maybe you’re not up for it, so thus I propose a Personal Pity Party. This is especially good for those of us who identify as Pollyanna Optimists. We have to occasionally indulge in self-care and boo hoos and maybe that’s soaking in a bath, reading a sad book, watching a ridiculous movie that will absolutely make you cry*****, talking on the phone to a long distance bestie and whining about the “why me” of it all and dating disappointment in general. It’s really important if you have a Personal Pity Party that you commit to snapping out of it the next morning.

Since my weekend had already been quite whirlwind and fabulous and I was a bit under the weather with an irritating cough, I came home from an incredibly productive Femme Family meeting, ordered soup, talked to my BFF Spunky (who sadly predicted the truth of “She’s just not that into you”) and watched the Patrick Dempsey hit “Made of Honor”. Since I had already asked someone out (who said yes, btw) this weekend, I figured that was enough moving forward and I committed myself to doing things to enhance my wallowing for Sunday night only.

I woke up Monday feeling much better emotionally, though with a lingering cough, and still went to yoga to make sure my body was going to be feeling good this week, too.

I have a lot to say about rejection, which I will save for another post. However I am a big believer in “the sooner the better” in terms of ending something you know isn’t working and not wasting time. Time is a precious resource–my dates should show me respect first and foremost and always respect my time. Salvaging the time wasted by an irresponsible date is definitely turning rage into productivity.

*In fact, my Wednesday date texted me tonight to ask if we were still on, as she had written down the wrong day.
**Mercury’s Retrograde is like the Michelle Trachtenburg character Georgina Sparks on the hit show Gossip Girl. Comes to town and leaves everything all effed up for her own amusement.
***Sunday’s standing up was so out of left field I actually believed the girl might be in the hospital. That’s how benefit of the doubt/Mercury retrogade I was going with.
*****A few titles come up with at the Re/Dress counter last week were Steel Magnolias, It’s My Party, Hope Floats, Beaches.

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