Goodbye Old Blog!

Recently, I celebrated my twentieth birthday. Somehow, birthdays, instead of being something special to that person, lands up being a day that can only be made special by other people. For this one, I knew that other people wouldn’t get how important it was for me and, while being well-intentioned, their efforts wouldn’t make the day I wanted. While friends and family mostly ignored it by my instruction, inside, I was over-joyed.

I know I’ll always have a part of me that perfectly fits the angsty teenager, but I’m heading to an age where I can be more free to be all the parts of me. Change has always been something that I was scared of until I really understood what it meant. Fundamentally, I know who I am and I know that there are parts of me that will never change, but situations and the way I approach these parts change. And I think it’s really important to acknowledge these changes, because I think it’s really important to accept them because that’s how we grow as human beings. Which is why I’m not doing anything more on this blog!

I have really enjoyed working on this blog and working on understanding myself through it. Which is why I know that this blog no longer serves a purpose to me. A few weeks ago I changed the tagline for teenbutch to “just another young queer” from “just another teenage lesbian” because the truth is, I no longer feel like just another teenage lesbian. Once I had done that change, I realised that that meant more than just a tagline- the way I felt comfortable labelling myself had changed. I haven’t changed so much, but I know more about myself than when I started this blog and the way I express myself has changed. This blog was meant to be an outlet for me to be able to express myself, both as a writer, a teenager and a lesbian. But now, I no longer truly identify as a lesbian or a teenager. My sexuality is the same as it always has been, but my expression of it has changed. And I still love expressing these parts of myself- and I’m still very much a writer! Which is why I’m starting a new blog, youngqueer, which will be much the same but I feel like I might be able to express more of myself there than on this one. Thanks for all the support, and I hope you’ll enjoy the new blog!

-hb.

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Blue Notes

I hear the blue notes in my ears,

calling me again

back to the place where I come from.

Sleep, my child,

there is nothing for you here,

far better to wake tomorrow in a new world.

I hear the blue notes in my ears

calling from my home again.

Every fountain, every stream,

every roaring river

calls to me.

In the place where I come from

endless valleys turn to sky

every green replaced with black

every mountain calling me back.

Sleep, my child,

for there is nothing for you here

except the blue notes in your ears

calling you to wake in a better world,

back to the place where I come from.

Back to the place where I come from.

-hb

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An Open Letter To Clothing Shops

Recently, I happened to be looking at clothes in my local mall. I found some things that I liked and decided to try them on. I then walked to the men’s changing rooms but, this time, I was stopped before entering. This time, I was asked if I could please use the women’s changing rooms.

I have been asked my whole life to please use the women’s or the men’s (depending on which one I’m at) changing rooms and bathrooms in various shops, in various malls in various places. Mostly, I get upset and either leave or go to whichever one will have me. Mostly, it’s people that don’t know me which is why this time it was different. This person had let me into the men’s changing room again and again over the years. They had helped me find ties and explained how to look for the right size shirt. They had even complimented me when I picked something particularly dashing. I wouldn’t say we were friends (I don’t even know their name), but I might venture to say that they recognised me. They recognised me from years and years of trying men’s clothes in the men’s changing rooms, and now they were telling me to move.

The problem is, there isn’t a change room for someone like me. That’s because I identify as a different gender to the binary system of men and women. Yes, we do exist! I was born a specific sex, and although I don’t wish I was wholly the opposite sex, my gender doesn’t entirely match up the body and therefore gender I was given at birth. Before I even knew about different gender identities, I identified differently. As a very young child I thought about my gender as something different from the one everyone supposed I had- even different from the gender opposite to the one I was supposed to have. I felt confused and broken, not least because everywhere I went I had to choose between men and women’s changing rooms and bathrooms, without really feeling comfortable in either. I decided to see it as that- a choice. I choose to use women’s bathrooms because women have less of a reputation of being physically abusive and I choose to use men’s changing rooms to try on clothes because I often wear clothes from the men’s section which is right next to the men’s changing rooms and so it’s convenient! It’s not perfect, but at least it’s up to me.

And, that’s why this refusal bites. This time, I was told that I could never use the men’s changing room again because the other men were complaining. Suddenly, I couldn’t even choose between the limitations of two gendered rooms. At the time, I thought about complaining myself to this person, but I know they would find my gender confusing. And I get it- I find binary genders confusing! But, not understanding an aspect of someone else should never be a reason to discriminate against them. I know that, unfortunately, the world still has a long way to go before all changing rooms and bathrooms aren’t gendered and I know that (at least in my lifetime) there never will be a changing room just for someone like me. But, that doesn’t mean that someone has the right to gender me and then make their decision force me to do something. At least in some parts of the world right now, I can walk around in public and wear what I want and present how I want. Sometimes that means I am harassed, but at least I can choose to do so.

I would like to not have to choose a gender that doesn’t fit me every time I need to use a public bathroom or change room but if I can’t, then at least let me choose the one that is the most convenient to me and don’t force a gender onto me. Dear clothing shops, I would like to use my changing rooms again.

-h.

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Only In Our Hearts We Are Free

I met a boy

I know a lesbian

I know a child who will die

and in every day in every life

there are moments when the sun doesn’t shine

and I’ve tried to wipe away the clouds

or watch the rainbows through the rain

but only fractured have I felt

so close to breaking so many times

searching for a freedom that was never mine

why is loving you easier than loving me?

only in our hearts we are free.

-hb.

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Happy 4th Anniversary

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This year started exactly like the first episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 4- ‘The Freshman’- with that strange transition from high school to university that somehow makes you feel very much like a fish out of water and as if everyone else is gong to do it better than you.

Luckily for me and Buffy, we found out feet! I loved studying what I wanted to study (Biology); I loved that people respected me more now that they saw me as an adult; I loved being more independent. And I loved that last year I really gave myself time and effort to just be me. And yes, sometimes that’s a hard person to be- but it’s so much easier than being anyone else. I’m now at that time in my life where my brain really starts working and I’m constantly learning stuff and creating my world. That can be a bit scary, but confronting everything you thought you knew and asking yourself the painful questions actually does get you some answers, and if not then at least you’re thinking. Which is totally my favorite thing to do! Sometimes it feels like I never really enjoyed most of my life; and, what with my mood swings and all, I know there will always be difficult times ahead; but at the moment I feel pretty content. And for me to say that is pretty amazing! I met some new people and made old contacts into great new relationships as well, but mostly I feel good in my own company, which I’ve had trouble with for a while. There’s still lots to think about, and I really doubt that I’ll ever be perfect, but the amazing thing is is that that’s kind of fun and interesting in it’s own way.

So, maybe this year ended like the last episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 4, ‘Restless.’ This is where all the main characters have slightly wacky dreams where it sometimes feels like something’s trying to kill them, only to find that they are okay as people anyway. In the end, Buffy decides not to have a dramatic climax, because she rather likes the normality of life.

-h.

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Girl Love Zine Part 2

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PIN UP_ KAKI KING

HERSTORY- So I recently gave into an urge of mine to own Kaki King’s cd, ‘Everybody Loves You’. I have been a fan since she helped out on some T&S songs on their cd ‘The Con’ way back in 2007. Kaki King is not only a beautiful lesbian, but an extremely talented acoustic guitar player and composer. ‘Everybody Loves You’ was her first cd that she released when only 24 in 2003. She started playing guitar from age 5 and Rolling Stone
magazine correctly calls her, “a genre unto herself.” What I love about her is that I first got to know about her by her music before I knew she was gay. Somehow, her lesbianism has never really affected her career- and she does admit that she doesn’t always look the “stereotypical lesbian.” But, she’s still open and proud about it, writing #equality when she officially told the world she had gotten married. In an early interview, Kaki states that she thought of marriage as simply something that, “might become a very practical stage in a relationship for me.” She has now been happily married to her best friend and love of her life, Jessica, since 2012. Her other love is the guitar, which she says, “is a place of endless possibility.” Her newest musical venture is her cd and tour ‘The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body’. Kaki has always seen music and colours simultaneously, and in this show she creates not only an auditory, but also a visual experience. Her specially customised guitar is used as a prop for luminous visions, taking on an existence of it’s own. She says of this latest project, ”The guitar is a shape-shifter. I’ve been playing guitar for more than 30 years. It’s who I am and if anything, this project has made me even more familiar with it.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING_ TIL LEASE DO US PART SEASON 2

If you haven’t already heard of the fantastic youtube channel Unsolicited Project (aka The Gay Women Channel), then maybe this is the time to head on over and watch their brilliant new webseries Til Lease Do Us Part. This is the second season and involves a totally new set of characters and story (the first season is also available and worth watching). The 12 episodes follow three lesbian characters Elliot, Jess and Lexi. Basically two of them are besties and the one’s girlfriend moves in with them who turns out to be the other’s ex leading to some unsolved issues. Typical. And that’s why I love this show! You know exactly what’s coming next and nothing is too edgy, but it does involve three great characters that I certainly fell in love with. They’re also making a movie Almost Adults that features more Elliot and with such an awesome trailer and casting, it looks like it’s going to be a much anticipated movie for this zinester.

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        Things I Like                     What Am I Doing.jpg

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Sometimes I Feel Like A Mushroom

Sometimes I feel like a mushroom.

Like a collection of cells

that work together for food

and stuff.

It seems strange that mushrooms don’t think

or know what it feels like to be a mushroom.

Maybe I should tell them.

Maybe I should tell them that I could

never feel like a mushroom

because I feel all the time, too much,

too much

time is spent feeling

for something and sometimes

I wish that I felt like a mushroom

just a collection of cells

that work together for food

and stuff.

 

-hb.

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