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labels, being yourself, and one unlucky night at a cafe..

May 22, 2017

Here’s another little, carefully crafted essay. (Seriously. I put a lot of work into these). This one is about labels, an unlucky night at a cafe many years ago, and appreciating our own weirdness.

The perils of the Urban Dictionary website.. I look up something innocuous, and on the right margin, all this horrible stuff. The term I looked up might offend some people, I don’t know.

“Chapstick Lesbian” – why did I look up this term? My favorite show is a rather creative and mostly politically incorrect sitcom called “Community.” One of the characters called another a “chapstick lesbian.” I hadn’t heard the term before, so I looked it up. Top hit with google was Urban Dictionary.

Want to know the definition? Ok.. “A lesbian who cares more about practicality than image. She really doesn’t gravitate to the traditional images of “butch” or “femme” — she does what she wants, and doesn’t really care how she’s seen.
‘I prefer Chapstick over lipstick because the former is actually useful. Chapstick Lesbian, baby.’ ” – Urban Dictionary.

(I won’t list any of the stuff in the right margin of the screen of Urban Dictionary. I’m still a bit traumatized).

Ellen’s TV persona was given as an example of a chapstick lesbian. Ok, fine with me. I like balance in various aspects of life.. Ellen strikes a nice balance between a masculine style and being very feminine. Most lesbians I’ve met, both here and back in CA, have tended to be like this. Rachel Maddow is also something of a chapstick lesbian, in my opinion.

I once met an intensely sexy, feminine lesbian, back in the ’90’s.. that was a VERY frustrating experience.. she was hotter than most of the straight women I’d met in years.

Instead of going for me, she headed straight for the also attractive bi-sexual woman I was sitting next to at the time. The bisexual woman would only date women, or men who were overly masculine cowboys. I had no shot with her either. And that too was frustrating. I liked her. Besides being attractive, she was unique and funny.

Although straight, I’m not very masculine, and definitely not a cowboy. It wasn’t the best night for me down at J Street Cafe (in Modesto).

Most of the gay men I’ve met have been somewhere in the middle too, not overly masculine nor overly feminine.

Was the character on the show in fact a “chapstick lesbian?” Probably, but that was left unknown. Which is fine. Not like we can always figure out people instantaneously anyway, right?

What labels could be applied to me? Creative, neurotic, friendly, eclectic, anti-social, odd? Sure, why not.

Wear your weirdness with pride. I don’t just mean wear weird clothes, although if you feel like it, why not. If you want to walk around town dressed like one of the characters from “Downton Abbey”.. which is something I’d do if I could afford custom-made clothes.. that’d actually be really cool.

I mean this metaphorically also. Ya know, enjoy your weirdness Maybe you horde vinyl albums of obscure prog and jazz fusion bands from the 1970’s.. if so, check out a band Phil Collins was in called Brand X. Or, perhaps you spend an inordinate amount of time juggling canned fruit. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, do your thing. (Try to be careful when juggling canned goods, please).

Don’t worry if not everyone likes you (and don’t get mad about this either.. I’m preaching to myself, folks, not just you).

Not everyone will agree with you, like you, or support you. They don’t have to. Who cares. You can’t have diversity without disagreement.

Be yourself. Enjoy being yourself. And, if you can manage, don’t forget to appreciate others for their weirdness too.

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