Another Butch, Another Day … Since 2004

Hy, Hys, Hym = Female Masculine Lesbian Butch pronouns

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Plymouth and the Mayflower

I reside in a city suffering, in my opinion, from an identity crisis. Please allow me to try and explain why I say this.

The Lord Mayor, and I am guessing the local government have celebrated Thanksgiving. They have invited US military representatives and US Ambassadors to Plymouth,  and presented them with turkeys. They have hoisted the ‘Stars and Stripes’ on one of the three flagpoles located on Royal Parade. They celebrate the Mayflower by erecting a monument on the Barbican, calling it Mayflower Steps. But the actual ‘steps’ lay some distance away, under a pub’s toilets. The local professional football (soccer) team is called The Pilgrims. I honestly cannot fathom why.

The saga began with a group of religious dissidents who believed it was necessary to separate from the Church of England. Persecuted in England, these “Separatists” moved to Holland in 1607/1608.

Pilgrim was a word not generally associated with those who sailed from Delftshaven, Holland on July 22, 1620 until the early 1800’s. The Leiden Separatists purchased the Speedwell and sailed to Southampton to join the Mayflower which had been chartered by their English investors. There, other Separatists and additional colonists joined them.

On August 15, the Mayflower and Speedwell set sail for America. The Speedwell leaked so badly that the ships turned around and entered the harbour at Dartmouth and later, Plymouth. Finally, on September 16, 1620, the Mayflower alone,  set sail. It is worth mentioning that only because bad weather and misfortune had prevented the settlers from making the crossing on their two earlier attempts (Southampton and  Dartmouth) that they ended up sailing from the port of Plymouth.

On board the Mayflower were three distinct groups of passengers.  Roughly half were Separatists, whom we now know as the Pilgrims. Approximately a quarter, while sympathetic to the Separatist cause,  were not part of that group of dissidents. The remainder were just hired hands; labourers, soldiers and artisans whose skills were required for both the transatlantic crossing and once they arrived.

So, Plymouth … but for bad weather and/or leaking ship, you would not be able to lay claim to an American holiday and as someone who is not only an American, but part Native American … I feel you are wrong in celebrating Thanksgiving and the Mayflower. You have enough local things to honour and celebrate.

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Ode to Orlando

flag

ODE TO ORLANDO

I woke to the news without knowing.

I stretched my way
into the light of Sunday,
already preparing myself
through a sleep-induced haze,
for the singing.

Mewling cat fed,
coffee made, I sit
logging in to the world
far and near that appears
before me,
amazing me …
not for the first time.

I tend to messages
sent through the vastness,
still unaware
of what lies before me.

Another coffee,
and social media blinks to life.

Tragedy! Death! Shooting!

Before I read on,
I wonder
if things will ever change.
And then,
reading on,
I choke on coffee.

Florida! Orlando! Domestic Terrorism!

The words scream,
gripping my heart and
sending me into a tailspin.
I silently cry out to my angels,
pleading with them
to let me know
that those whom by choice
I call family, are safe.

I seek words and at long last,
reap from my emotions
a small harvest.
I write and I receive.
Looking skyward, I give thanks.

Yet, where I am,
peering at the clock,
I realise this
slaughter of innocents
has not long happened.

I am numb,
blindly going about the routine
that will take me to the music
I need,
more today than most.

My emotions raw,
I fight back tears
as ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ is sung.
So many fallen
in my lifetime, alone.
Yet most poignant was
‘Abide With Me’.

Slain,
their bodies lay as they fell.
And we,
we sang their spirits home.

Now friends and families grieve.
The wounded heal
but the scars that will be the worst,
are those unseen.

Flags fly at half-mast
in memory and in support.
We solemnly light our candles.
We stand silent in the flame’s glow.

Others have stepped up to carry the colours.
They will live on
in the hearts and minds of those
whom they knew as ‘family’ and friends.
They have joined the long list
of fallen warriors,
And we,
must always be strong.

~ Chris Parsons
14 June 2016

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You Don’t Know Us

I am extremely proud to say that I have met this amazing author. This post from her blog says more that so many have tried in the past few days. Thank you Rachel Spangler.

Wonder Boi Writes

You don’t know us, Omar Marteen.

That fact led to death, and pain, and grief for some of us last night, but it led to something worse for you. Failure.

You saw two men kissing, and you made up your mind in an instant. I won’t go into the sadness of that. The fact that you were so filled with hate that the sight of two people expressing love enraged you shows how far from humanity you had fallen. Your heart was already clearly corroded long before the moment you decided violence was a reasonable response to love. It doesn’t take much more than that to paint a pretty clear picture of who you were as person, but if you had taken any time get to know the enemy of your own choosing, things still could have ended differently for all of us.

The liberal optimist in me firmly believes…

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A Silent Thank You

On Sunday, the 27th of December 2015, I had left my partner’s home and was driving home after spending a wonderful Christmas with her. During the time I was there, we bought, put up and decorated the tree. A tradition that comes from Germany, the country of her birth. We cooked Christmas dinner together, continually sampling the dressing as it cooked away in the crock-pot. Making certain that it still tasted as good as it did the last time it was stirred. We smiled, laughed and spent time together. Time that I cherish no matter where we are or what we are doing. I am fortunate, I am blessed.

On the way home, I stopped at a services for a coffee, a meal and a much needed bathroom break and that was when it happened. As I strolled into the facilities, looking this way and that for a vacant cubicle, I noticed a young girl and her mother who were walking ahead of me. The young girl kept glancing over her shoulder at me and whispering rather loudly to her mother.  I entered a cubicle, did what I came to do and walked out. It wasn’t until I got into the more open section of the building and was trying to decide if I wanted a sandwich or a hot meal that I really gave mother and daughter any thought.

Just as I made my decision and turned to join the line for the cooked meals, a female voice behind me softly said “Excuse me”. I turned to face the disembodied voice and saw both mother and daughter standing there. The young girl’s cheeks were cherry red from an embarrassed blush and the mother was smiling brightly. “I wonder if I could take up a moment of your time” the mother said. I nodded and replied affirmatively  and she continued. “I wanted to apologize for my daughter’s behavior in the restroom”. I was surprised but tried not to show just how much. I smiled softly and glanced at the young girl before looking her mother in the eye and telling her that while an apology wasn’t needed, it was appreciated. What I didn’t say, was it would have been even more appreciated if it had come from the young girl, who appeared to be about thirteen.

The mother went on to explain that her daughter had assumed I was male due to my attire and my extremely short hair. I nodded as I listened knowing full well that at first glance to most people, I do appear to be male. It isn’t just my attire or my haircut, it is also the energy I give off, my mannerisms, my bearing and of course my lack of breasts. For those of you reading my blog for the first time, I lost them to cancer fourteen years ago. Anyway, I digress. The mother told me that she was trying to make sure that her daughter was brought up to know that not everyone is the same. That being the same as the next person, whether they are a stranger, a friend or a family member is not good. That people should be themselves, that they should be comfortable with who they are.

It was refreshing to hear this. In a world where so many parents try to force their children to embrace their beliefs and norms. I know at least one young girl that has been given a choice. I hope she takes full advantage of that and grows up to be a responsible and caring adult.

So as the title states, I offer a silent thank you to this mother having verbally thanked her at the time. I wish there were more like her.

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F*CK CANCER!!!

#moranstrong

Having heard those dreaded words twice, my heart goes out to fellow author Sandra Moran, her wife and their families. They are some of the most horrific words a person can hear and for those who are close friends, or even acquaintances, they can be just as harsh.

I had the honour of meeting Sandra Moran in this past summer at the GCLS Conference in New Orleans. Sadly, I didn’t get to chat with her very much as I’m certain this well-studied woman with several books under her belt has a lot of wisdom to impart. But I did get to experience not only her infectious smile but her sense of humour and since then have gone out of my way to purchase her books.

I am so thankful that Sandra Moran has so many people rallying around at this change of journey. I would be lying if I said this is an easy path and I know some of us have personally traveled it or walked beside someone else as they did.

It can be the little things that mean the most. It is certainly the things that bring a spontaneous burst of laughter or a smile. It is the positive, the thoughts, the prayers, the hope. Even if you don’t know the person as well as someone else, it still counts.

Thank you for touching my life in a positive way, Sandra. You will never know what it meant to me. Thank you for sharing your talent with us, for being the person you are. Know that you are in my thoughts as you travel this path.

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How Many Shades of What??

While looking after “Das Haus” and all that is within its walls, I have come across books that I have yet to read. This is always a nice discovery, for me at least, as I am a somewhat avid reader … but then so is my partner … hence the finding of books.
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Farewell to Robin Williams…

A touching farewell from Dante Basco (Rufio in ‘Hook’)

Dante Basco: My take on life...

Today Robin Williams past away and it’s been so surreal, it felt like it came out of nowhere… A text message from a friend made me aware of the news and frantically I jumped online to see if it was true. Sadly, I found out it was and even more sad, I read of the circumstances. I couldn’t keep reading the stories online for it’s too sad.

At times like this, I get very reflective and being a writer, I guess it’s best to write and what better place but my blog. It’s surreal because I haven’t seen Robin for many years yet in he’s so connected to me due to his close involvement in the biggest role of my career in “Hook” where he played Peter Pan and I played the punk kid who took over as leader of the Lost Boys when he left Neverland… Rufio.

Although working…

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