Super Fun Weekend

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I traveled to LA this weekend to help my brother celebrate his Doctorate.  I went with the other members of our family of origin, joined by his husband’s sister, one of my exes who he’s close to, three long time friends and mentors and various spouses.  There were 15 of us to witness his hooding and celebrate together.

It was a spectacularly good time.

My mom, dad, sister and sister-in-law flew down Wednesday.  Thursday we road the train from my brother’s place near East Pasadena into downtown for the hooding ceremony.  Once my brother had his fancy new hoodie, we stopped briefly at the reception to snack and get pictures taken and then back to the train.  That night we had reservations at Maximillio’s.  It had been raining off and on all day and was supposed to rain more that night, and the tables we’d reserved were outside but we were determined.

One of our group, an LA resident, brought wine and champagne.  The food was delicious, the company amazing.  My brother really does have some excellent people in his life.  About a half hour into our evening, weather started to happen. At first it was a light patter of rain, but soon a downpour.

The tables were covered, which held back most of the rain.  The staff huddled in the doorway, looking toward our table.  We whooped and hollered and kept drinking. Unfortunately there was a drip line.  I was sitting next to my brother along the backside of the table, the drip line went right across our heads.  The roof was apparently only ‘LA normal rainfall’ rated because it threw up its hands and shrieked like a drag queen with a ruined wig as it was pelted with extra heavy rain drops.

We shifted around, someone passed an umbrella my way and my brother and I ducked under it.  Our plucky waitress dashed out and asked if we wanted to move inside.  We laughed hysterically and insisted we were fine.  She suggested we move the tables 6 inches, which moved us out of the drip line.  The tables were moved and we partied on.  Not long after our dinner came out, we got a brilliant light show.  A thunder storm moved slowly over us, with lightening flashes coming fast and furious.  It was a dinner none of us will soon forget, including the staff who got wet on our behalf (we offered them our umbrellas, they insisted they were fine).  I’m sure they all thought we were nut jobs, but they also seemed to be having a great time.  Not often you get a party of 15 to sit outside and spend over $400 during a thunder storm.

The next day’s original plan had been to attend the university wide commencement but the rain and lack of cover for that ceremony led our illustrious leader to give us all a pass. He’d already gotten his hood and diploma holder, no need for all of us to sit in the rain for hours.  That’s when his friend who lives in LA offered to host a brunch.  Much better idea, and we didn’t need to get early either.

We took our time with brunch, which came together with contributions from all of us.  It stopped raining partway through and the sun came out to dry her outside furniture.  Little conversation groups were scattered inside and out.  It was awesome.

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After a brief rest and wardrobe change, we were off again to party in downtown LA.  Our destination was a rooftop at 16 floors called the Perch.  It was fabulous. My BIL pointed out the various landmarks, including the buildings he and my brother had worked in.  The company was amazing again and expanded to include people from every institution of higher learning my brother had attended or worked for (up and down the coast).  Whereas the group of 15 were mostly people I’d met before, the majority of folks at this party were not.  I took advantage by introducing myself as my brother’s brother, which he reinforced.  People remarked at how alike we looked.  Then I’d point to my sis, ‘That’s our sister.”  Again, as in Florida, I was passing as male without having to try hard.

We left the rooftop late and found dinner at a place called Cole’s that almost exclusively serves french dips of various kinds.  There were pictures of celebrities and the one-time owner on the walls.  After that we all went home to crash.

Saturday the weather had improved which was good because we were headed out on another big field trip.  Most of our posse of 15 were going to the Getty Center to geek out on art and architecture. It is a beautiful place.  The buildings almost appear to float on top of this low mountain that you reach by riding a tram that winds its way up the slope.  My lovely girlfriend, the SwitchWitch, had been there and gushed about the experience.  I left with almost a hundred dollars worth of gifts and keepsakes and a renewed artistic inspiration.

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I parted with the posse that afternoon when a friend who lives in LA picked me up and took me to hang out in Santa Monica.  I hadn’t seen her and her husband for 6 years, when we’d all attended the New York Sex Blogger’s Calendar Party.  They took me down to Venice Beach where we strolled, talked and gawked before having a great meal and beers across from the beach.  We watched the sun go down and the Santa Monica pier carnival lights come up.  Before heading back to my brother’s, they treated me to ice cream at Scoops. It was one final magical night in LA.

I was back at the home base by 10:30.  The next morning we had an early start, flying out of Burbank at 7 am.  I woke up at 4:45 to shower and drink coffee.  My bags were already packed and ready.  Coffee cup in hand, I walked up the terraces behind the house and looked out on the pre-dawn terrain.  Roosters and birds were heralding the day but human noises were almost nonexistent.  It was bittersweet goodbye.

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The weekend was full of highlight-reel worthy moments.  Some of my most cherished are the small moments (those who know me won’t be surprised).

  • Watching my brother embrace his husband after the hooding ceremony.  They held each other for a long moment and I could see the tears in my brother’s eyes.  He pulled back and looked into the eyes of his beloved and without words thanked him for three years of sacrifice and support.
  • Sitting with one of my brothers long-time mentors and her husband, talking about art and inspiration, creative passion and artistic vision. True to her form, she had advice for me and I’ve tucked it away for further consideration.
  • The moment my sister corrected herself after using the wrong pronoun for me.
  • The joy and pride I felt being introduced and celebrated as the older brother.
  • that last morning, taking coffee in the pre-dawn calm

…. and a lot more that I know will come to me in the days to come.

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Lots of New Visitors: Hello!

There has been an influx of new readers lately, a lot of you connecting with my blog through the Slate article by Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart that I was quoted in.

For the benefit of the new folks, here’s a little about me…

I’m married with children, living with my wife of 22 years (legal for 2) and our two daughters (kindergarden and high school).

I have a steady girlfriend/boyfriend/partner of many talents who recently moved up to Olympia.  She has become a part of my family and it is my great joy that she and my wife get along so well.

For pay, I write proposals for my technical consulting company. I used to be a software developer and moved into this work when I was between contracts. That was over a year ago and now my company relies on me to bring in work for everyone and I don’t go out on consulting gigs myself any more.  It’s sometimes triumphant, sometimes frustrating, always challenging.  The best part is that I can determine my own schedule and work from home (or various locations downtown) part of the time and from our office part of the time.

My passions are writing, social activism and learning more about everything.  I’ve said before that I will happily sit and listen to a talk or presentation by a passionate, energetic speaker, regardless the topic.  It’s true, I’m a sponge for learning.  I also love deep, engaging, smart conversations with passionate people.  And long walks on the beach.

I write erotica, mostly short stories, and am floundering with my first novel.  I’m so comfortable with the short story format that it feels like my native way of telling stories.  Pushing that into a longer format is a challenge, and I’m seeking mentors for working through it.

I write short pieces for submission to online magazines, some have been published others are awaiting editing/rewrites.  I have a short erotic story in an anthology to be published in August and I’m working on one to submit to another anthology.

I enjoy gardening, both because I love being able to grow food for my family and for the therapeutic benefits of being outside working in the dirt.  It makes my heart and soul happy.

I identify as butch, trans* and genderqueer.  I do not identify with the gender binary, neither man nor woman but rather a combination of them.  I’ve been taking testosterone for 10 months and have a lot more hair on my chest, face, shoulders and back.  My voice has gotten lower.  I’m learning how to sing new songs with my new voice.

If you’ve come here after reading a Slate article I was quoted in, or one of my SimplySxy posts, or from anywhere really, feel free to ask questions about what you’ve read.  I’m open to respectful questions via comment or email:  kyle at butchtastic dot net.

Thanks for visiting.

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Why Sex with You is So Good

I’ve told you before how fantastic sex is with you. I’ve seen you blush, heard you stammer, seen your shy but pleased smile.

“Why?” you ask. Is it true that you don’t know?  Please, love, let me tell you.

Sex with you is excellent not just because of the shape of your body, though it makes my knees weak every time I see you. Or think about seeing you. It’s not just because of the size of your hands, or the shape of your fingers or the way they move inside me – though I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a big part of it. Sex with you is amazing not just because of the firm softness of your lips and the way kissing you feels like falling into a pool of warm water that suspends me in time and makes me forget all thoughts or desires beyond the movement of my mouth against yours.

Your physical attributes delight me, no doubt about it. The memory of a warm, bare stretch of your skin, surfacing during an otherwise tedious part of my workday, can render me nearly senseless with lust.

All of these things are wonderful and lustworthy and yet, they are only a part of what makes sex with you some of the best I’ve ever had..

What else is there, you wonder?

For sex to be amazing and mind-blowing for me, it has to revolve around a connection that goes beyond the physical. And the connection we have was remarkable from the very beginning and has only deepened since then.

Sex with you is amazing because it is not just a physical act, it is a passionate spiritual act of intentional connection. It’s looking into your eyes and seeing not just your soul, but the way your soul enjoys dancing with mine. You bring attention and empathy to every moment we are together. I feel it in the touch that knows me as well as I know myself. I see it in your eyes, see the way I am completely visible to you. You are fantastically aware and in tune with me, reading my body like the pages of a book you love so much you’ve read and reread it a thousand times. One glance from me, a sigh, hip thrust or the thickening of my flesh in response to your urgent touch, all these speak volumes to you who have made it a practice to know me well.

Sex with you is a wonderful act of communion and re-emergence. You never judge me for the way I need you to touch me, even when – especially when – I change my mind mid-act. You are flexible and compassionate and generous and unselfish.

Our bodies rut and thrash against each other. Sliding in sinuous sympathetic motion, grasp and release, enter and emerge. You take pleasure in my pleasure, I can see in your eyes the reflection of my passion. Making love with you is not a series of physical movements acted upon one of us by the other, it is a merging of our desires and delights. Our energies mingle on the atomic level and the logic of separate bodies is suspended.

Sometimes our fantastic sex uncovers awkward positions, the kind of humorous human moments left out of most love stories, our passionate love songs sometimes breaking into something best left for the cutting room floor. Through it all you never break away, we meet in the middle in laughter, celebrating our humanity and the ways in which these supposed imperfections solidify the divinity of our union.

You are passionate, generous, joyful, solid and kind, strong and gentle, hard and soft in the right measure. Our dance is the dance of equals, two strong individuals who bring many gifts and give them freely. Our lovemaking is the soaring, triumphant leap of earthbound beasts who’ve conquered gravity and sprouted angels wings. Sex with you is dirtysweet earthymagic that feels at once new and familiar in my marrow.

Though I have known you but a short time in this life, I have loved you forever. Sex with you is amazing because it is the reunion of our souls, so in love, so familiar, so eager to rediscover each other.

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Writing Updates…

Yes, I’m writing about writing.

Sometime this coming week, my debut column, ‘Gendering Outside the Lines’, will be published on SimplySxy, a web magazine featuring articles on Sex and Sexuality.  I’d never heard of them before they invited me to contribute on topics related to gender identity and transitioning.  There have been some trans* related posts there, but not much about gender identity and they don’t have a lot of presence from gender minorities.  I’m hoping to help change that.

I’ve had a couple of pieces post on elephant journal, another online magazine devoted to mindful living.  I have also had two rejected, though one of those came with some feedback and an invitation to resubmit.  I’m working on another piece for them, which I should be ready to submit soon.

My story about a young butch and a slightly older co-worker will be a part of the anthology, Me and My Boi, which is still slated to publish this September.  Fingers crossed.

And I am working on at least one, if not two, potential submissions for Best Lesbian Erotica 2016, which I’m feeling optimistic about.

Still in the works:  my e-book which has been put off many times.  I do have cover art for it now, and just need one final story to cap it off.  Maybe I’ll have time this coming week to think about that project.  We’ll see.

And my novel… sigh.  It’ll happen, when it happens, when other projects become less compelling, I suppose.  I just have to roll with it.

Finally, not a writing piece but a piece I was interviewed for:  Slate magazine writer Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart wrote a piece on Genderqueer identities (3/24/2015).  Check it out and if you’re brave, write a complementary comment.  Maybe we can get more articles out there on real life non-binary and genderqueer people.

 

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One More Sleep

My lover is moving to Olympia tomorrow.  She’ll be in a hotel room for two nights and then come to my house to care for our cats while my family and I are on vacation in Florida.

One more sleep.

I’ll spend tomorrow night with her, then back home to prepare for the trip.  I wish I could be here during her first week but feel good knowing that she’ll have a base camp while she finalizes her search for a new home base.

One more sleep and a spring break and then I will be back home.  And she will live here, in this town that I love and have not been able to leave for 51 years.  I’ll come back from vacation and she will be minutes away, rather than an hour and a half.  I’ll come back from vacation and we’ll start learning how to live in the same town.

It was my wife’s idea to invite her to stay at our house while we’re gone, and that says a lot.  My wife likes my lover, they get along, they like each other, they can hang out without me in the room.  This is a big deal.  This is a huge in terms of the three of us being in a functional poly-cule together.  I have so much love for them both and it’s a joy to watch their friendship developing.

She’s a part of my family now.  My children greet her with hugs and smiles and want to spend time with her.  My eldest, knowing that she is more than a friend, has told me she approves.  My Switchy Witchy Woman has met many of my very best friends and they all get along.  No, I’m not looking for the other shoe to fall because fuck that bullshit.  This is good and real and genuine and there aren’t any shoes hanging overhead.  This is working.

I do sometimes pinch myself though, I’ll admit it. I have never felt so little internal or external friction with poly since my wife and I started 7 years ago.  This is amazing, this is how it’s supposed to work.  (said with the recognition that for other people ‘how it’s supposed to work’ could look differently)

I am so happy and blessed.

I am so excited to have her here, in my town.  I’m excited to watch as she explores and discovers – with me and without.  And I’m super excited to see what she discovers that I had no clue about, because I fully believe that will happen.

One more sleep and the new adventure begins.

Almost, baby, almost.  Home is waiting for you.

One more sleep, lover.

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Feeling it

Feeling what?

Toppy….

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Passing Privilege, Spring Break and Bathrooms

I told a friend I was going to Florida for spring break with my family and he gave me a concerned look.

“Be careful down there, especially in the bathrooms.”

That gave me pause, because though I’d been reading about and cursing and posting comments about the ‘bathroom laws’ being introduced in Florida and other states, I hadn’t put two and two together.  Oh yeah, the place I’m going on vacation is one of those states.  I’m a trans guy.  I have to pee sometimes.

He was truly concerned for my safety and I took a couple of moments to reassure him.  I was staying with family and bathroom use wasn’t an issue there.  The times it would be an issue – out in public – I’d have to be aware and cautious about my circumstances and the clientele of the place.  But really, any trouble caused would have to be initiated by someone who saw me and figured out I wasn’t a cis-guy.  And in all the time I’ve been using men’s rooms in public – about 2 or 3 months now – I’ve never been challenged.  That means I have enough passing privilege to get by here in Olympia, and maybe enough to avoid trouble in Florida and the airports between here and there.

Ahhhh… passing privilege, that blessing I sometimes curse.  I am grateful when it keeps me and mine from harm, I curse it for erasing my queer visibility.  I acknowledge that not all trans people have this privilege and they are they ones who are most in danger using the bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. It’s a dangerous luxury that can promote complacency.  My passing privilege led me to minimize the potential risks in traveling across the country to an overtly transphobic state.  There are lots of people who don’t have that option.  For them the prospect of going through airport security can be terrifying, much less pushing open the bathroom door in a place where bathroom policing is the topic du jour.

I have an advantage, most of the time I pass as male.  I can use public restrooms designated for males and not get hassled. I’m going to be mindful of that while I’m in Florida, mindful and open to any possibility to engage people in conversations about why those laws and attitudes are hateful and unproductive.

 

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Snippet

A snippet of something I started working on today:

Sex with you is amazing because it is not only a physical act, but a passionate, spiritual and focused intentional act.  You bring attention and empathy to every moment we are together. I feel it in the touch that knows me as well as I know myself.  I see it in your eyes, see the way I am completely visible to you. You are fantastically aware and in tune with me, reading my body like the pages of a book you love so much you’ve read and reread it a thousand times. One glance from me, a sigh, hip thrust or the thickening of my flesh in response to your urgent touch, all these speak volumes to you who have made it a practice to know me well.

 

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Trans*date – 9 months on T: Come on Get Higher

This morning, I recorded myself singing Come On Get Higher (Matt Nathanson).

 

The name of the song, as well as a frequent thought as I attempt to sing songs I used to sing before testosterone… “Come on, get higher!”

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About My Lover…

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I need to tell you about my lover.  There’s a lot to say, multiple blog posts worth for sure.  I’ll start with this:  I have never loved someone in such a clear-headed way before.

I’ve talked about being addicted to a lover, swept away, even bewitched.  Don’t get me wrong, those were some great love affairs, epic loves that I will always cherish.

So what’s different about this one?  I described it as ‘clear-headed’ because I don’t feel foggy or love-adled or drunk on love. I’m not worried that one morning I’ll wake up with a love hangover and wonder what the hell I was thinking.  She and I have come together as two independent people, responsible for our own monkeys, not dependent on each other for happiness, not needing the other person to change for us.

I don’t need her to be happy, but I’m definitely happier for her love in my life.

Every day she shows me another angle of herself and I fall more deeply in love.  Every day she proves that I can trust her with the most difficult truths and she shares hers with me as well.  There is an equality to what we are doing that lends itself to stability and balance.  And every day it gets better.

Happy third mensaversary, sweet pea :-)

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