04 February 2012

How Can I Help You? Third Edition

Q: I'm Transgendered and having trouble being myself. I'm afraid to present myself as my true gender. There is so much hate in the world. What should I do?

A: Being yourself is a terrifying concept, because it opens you up to other people, to the world, to how broken our society really is. My only advice to you is to take time to examine yourself, because the way you identify to yourself is far more important than how you present to other people. Ask yourself why you are so scared – do you think people will not like you as much? Do you think it will scare away potential partners? If either of these is ringing true, I have one more question for you: could you really be happy with someone you cannot be your whole self around? If you think you could, then you are not ready to come out yet…and there is nothing wrong with that. Take as much time as you need to figure yourself out before you bring other people into the mix. Being comfortable with yourself first will open the door for you to find someone who will love you and see you for all that you are.

I am not going to say it will be easy; I would never lie to someone that way. What I will say is this, though – the world is changing. Please do not be so distracted by the hatred that you miss all the love that is out there waiting for you.

Q: I am a bio woman and my boyfriend is ftm. It is rare that anyone knows about his situation so I have no one to talk to besides him. And there are times I do not want to talk to him about things. I mean, technically he is still a female. Female body, female voice, female name. So does that make me a lesbian?

A: First things first – how does he identify? If he is FTM, prefers male pronouns (even if he still has a “female” name) or has expressed the desire to transition, then you need to respect your partner’s gender identity. Just because his body has a more “feminine” look (assuming he is pre-T) does not make him any less of a man – what makes him a man is who he really is, who he is inside, not the body he happens to have.

Now to the issue at hand…I am not going to tell you if you are or are not a lesbian, and that is because there is literally nothing that matters less than that. I understand that labels are important, especially if you have recently come out, and I do not mean to be harsh in saying this but it needs to be said, and it seems as if you need to hear it – there are more important things than you in this world. If your partner is male identifying and female bodied, he most likely has some body dysphoria If you want to make him feel more insecure and dysphoric, referring to him as your ‘girlfriend’ or yourself as a ‘lesbian’ because you are with him is a really awesome way to do that.

Your partner deserves someone who loves and respects them for exactly who they are, and from your question, I am going to guess you are having your doubts. Please understand I am in no way saying you are in the wrong or you need to feel something you are not ready to feel. Some people simply are not meant to be. So look inside yourself. Try to figure out if your label is more important to you than your partner’s full comfort. It might seem like there is a right and a wrong answer, but there most certainly is not.

If you think you can love, support, and be with him regardless of what you “call” it, then I wish you both the best of luck.

But if you do not think this I something you are ready for, then you both need to let the other go…and I wish you the best of luck if that happens to be the case as well.

-Sage Veritas

02 February 2012

It's A Butch World Out There: Question Time

Good evenin’ and Happy Groundhog Day to all you butch ladies and butch lovahs out there! Word on the street is that we have six more weeks of winter ahead. Thanks Punxsutawney Phil! Now, to focus my energy more on the blog at hand!

Something that I’ve been pondering lately, recently stepping forward into the realm of butchdom, is how people outside the LGBTQ community view us more masculine types. I wanted to know how they define butch, who they think is “butch”, et cetera. So! I devised a set of seven questions to ask various individuals in my life what they think. I asked a wide variety of people (i.e. different age ranges, different genders, different races, different levels of education and so on) and below are the questions and the various responses I received!

1) How do you define the term butch?
-“Having more masculine characteristics, low maintenance, short hair, neutral clothes, not embracing traditional standards”
-“A masculine person”
-“A term applied to a female who looks a helluva lot like a guy”
-“Super masculine, super dyke lesbian”
-“’Butch’" is one of those terms that is self-appointed. I have a difficult time identifying someone as being ‘butch’ because I don't feel it is my place to do so. Since I have to define the word, I would call it an abundance of the masculine gender.”

2) Who does the term apply to? Does it exclude genders other than female?
-“I assumed it applies to women, though I’ve never really thought about it in depth.”
-“Not just lesbians, but masculine looking women in general. I’ve never really thought about guys as being butch”
-“When I hear the word butch, it excludes other genders in my mind.”
-“Men can be butch”
-“I do think a male can be butch as well as a female; let's remember from where the term came (a tough youth or an abbreviation for "butcher"). Recently I think it has been associated with masculine women.”
-“Exclusively a term for females”

3) Is butch more in the attitude of a person or in the attire they wear?

-“Attire. I think there’s a certain attitude though. Butch women seem more confident and present themselves in a positive way”
-“Both. Even though I would not categorize you as super masculine.”
-“Attitude, but the attitude of a person is shown in the clothes they wear and they way they carry themselves.”
-“Butch is not just in the attire they wear, but also hairstyle. I wouldn’t personally say a girl is butch by her attitude. She may have the attitude of a guy, but some guys like that, whether straight or LGBT.”
-“Both. One can consider his/her-self butch in attitude but dress in an opposing manner the same as one can be identified as butch by their attire. The attitude can remain throughout wardrobe changes.”

4) How would you respond to the statement, "Oh, you aren't gay. You really just want to be a man."? [Note: This is something people have said to me, and I’m sure it’s been said to others as well. I’m curious to see reactions—whether folks agree/disagree, etc.]
-“I think that’s stupid. Just ‘cause you wear jeans, sneakers, and have short hair doesn’t mean you want to be a man.”
-“I get angered by that. I mean, I think I’m feminine. Aren’t I femme? You would NEVER catch me in a fuckin’ dress. You are born that way. It’s just in you.”
-“What? What’s the difference? That’s fucked up.”
-“I think it could be true, depending on the person.”
-“False. Polar opposites in my opinion. Especially if you’re a man hater.”
-“I don't think it's appropriate for anyone else to make a statement as such. What if the person to whom you are speaking doesn't want to be a man and just likes girls? Plain and simple. Out of any context, I find this statement offensive”

5) A. Is butch a label limited to the queer community?

-“Yes, in my mind. I guess if I see a woman who fits my idea of what butch is, that there’s a greater chance they’re gay. People often assume.”
-“I would say yes.”
-“No. It applies to all communities”
-“Currently, yes.”
B. Can an individual who identifies as “straight” be considered butch?
-“Yes. Yes. Yes.”
-“Yes. It’s more of an attitude than a gender ID”
-“Absolutely! Someone can be butch regardless of gender. Can anyone "straight" be considered flamboyant?”
-“Girls can look butch despite their sexual orientation.”

6) Lastly, just for fun: When you hear the word butch, who is the first celebrity who pops into your head?
-“Ellen DeGeneres.”
-“OMG! Ellen? She’s not butch! But her eyes are fucking amazing! Oh my God…The housekeeper! On Two and Half Men! She’s even butch, and she has long hair.”
-“Rosie O’Donnell. But I wouldn’t even really consider her super butch. But at one time—yeah. No one else really stands out.”
-“Rosie O’Donnell. No idea why.”
-“Renee Zelwegger.”
-“No one. I don't associate anyone famous with this term.”

And there you have it ladies and gents. I think in my spare time, I may even ask people this just out of sheer curiosity. It is always interesting (to me, at least) to see how other individuals view a group outside of themselves. Next week I will be asking these same questions to person inside the LGBTQ community.

That being said, there is only one question that still lingers in my mind…
…Renee Zelwegger? Really??


01 February 2012

Kings United: Binding

I do not do shows as often as I use to back when I started, but I did do a few shows this past December. One thing that has not changed, is binding techniques and how often kings get it wrong. There are ways to bind and ways not to because binding can cause serious damage. I will go through the list of what is used, whether you should or shouldn’t use each method, and the best way to go about the method. I will not cover open shirt binding since that in its self will be an entire blog. I will try and cover that for next week. So let’s start.

The most common mistake I see people do is use an ace bandage and/or duct tape. First duct tape against skin can cause serious damage to your skin and can rip it off. Do not apply duct tape to your skin. To use an ace bandage, you just merely wrap it around your chest, positioning your chest comfortably underneath. Some also apply the duct tape over the ace bandage. Either way, it is also very, very dangerous. Whenever I see kings using an ace bandage, I stop them and talk to them about the dangers of using one. Kings that are not trans* often do not understand or know of the risks that come with binding. Such as muscle atrophy and rib cage malformation. I would never suggest ever using this method of binding. I only mention it here as a guide to correct oneself if it is being used.

Sports bras are also as a binding technique. Just get the smallest size comfortable for you and still lets you breath. Using two on top of each other is also common for bigger chested kings. Again, I have seen some who have used duct tape over a sports bra. I urge you not to do so as it is very dangerous. This method when used properly for a show is ok. Just remember to relax by removing the binding after a few hours if you will be expected to stay in drag for longer. Never bind for more than eight hours.

Back braces, abdominal trimmer, and compression shirts can also be used. These are used less frequent but are a cheap method. I do not have much experience in using or seeing kings who have used these, but I am sure they follow the same binding safety precautions as any binding method.

The best and safest way to bind is to use a binder (ftm binder, gynecomastia binder). Most binder sites have a size chart and such. Do not go smaller thinking it will conceal or bind you better. It will only cause breathing problems and other serious issues already mentioned. Each of mine was purchased from Underworks, the 983 style. I prefer and recommend the tri-top styles over the full length ones since it reduces the chance of rolling. The full length ones, even when tucked in and layered upon, tend to roll up and be very uncomfortable. Also, extra layers on the front are better, the single layers do not bind well.

Here are the links to the two most common and cheaper binder sites since I do not know any that sell in stores.

Underworks: or

No matter the method or technique used for binding, they all carry the same risks and dangers. So be cautious. Do not bind for longer than roughly eight hours. Doing so will cause muscle atrophy and/or rib cage malformation. Do not sleep in any binding. Doing so will cause sleep apnea. Bruising and breathing problems can also occur. Always be careful when binding. Never go too tight either. If you cannot breathe while just standing after just putting on binding, then how will you breathe while performing? Not very well. Nor is it good for you. Layers will help in binding and concealing so do not think that going as tight as possible will flatten you enough for the show. Be cautious, and just wear an under shirt (normal white or black t-shirt) and/or beater over your binding before your shirt for your performance. That will give you more wiggle room to wear a more comfortable binding.

As usual, if you have any questions on binding, whether to use something or not, or just any king related question, then feel free to ask in the comment section below or just email myself at or GFB at

Chance W Encounters
Drag King

Partner Circle: Trans Guy Interaction

I am not your typical blogger for this column, but I am here to give a slightly different perspective. Some may know this, some may not, but I am queer. I have dated cis woman and other trans guys. We all know that trans guys have a tendency to date each other. We also know that trans guys flock to each other in groups. What some do not know, though, are the ignorant and hateful things trans guys say to and about each other.

Like any relationship, platonic and romantic origins alike, trust and open communication are major factors. There are good days and bad days for a trans guy, for example being body dysphoria. Openly talk to your partner about what is going through your mind. He should understand and be able to comfort you and ease your mind a bit. Now on the flip side, if your partner comes to you having a bad day with this issue, then be as supportive as possible. Do not assume just because you are not having a bad day that he cannot be having one. Just because you are together, that does not give you the right to discredit their emotions or criticize them.

If a fellow trans guy comes looking for advice, then help out as much as possible. Do not criticize him or his choices. It is one thing to be a mentor or a helpful friend, but it is another to be a complete and utter asshole. Not every trans guy is the same, so do not treat each the same or assume he is not ‘trans enough’ just because he goes a different route then you have. As Robert Frost said,

“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Be helpful, be open, be honest, be true, be loyal. No matter if it is your partner, a close friend, or a random guy in your community (group), each guy is a guy. We are all individuals. We all have different, yet similar, needs and wants. Every person is different, and that goes the same for trans guys.

Treat each other with respect.


30 January 2012

No Boundaries: A Mother's POV

Today I sat down with my mother and asked what she thinks about having a daughter that breaks all of societies boundaries.

She said "I'm really proud of my daughter and not just because she's a Gender queer person, in fact I usually don't even think about that... I think about the fact that she wants to help homeless animals, she's talked to me through a few panic attacks, she loves to watch chick flicks with me and we get into fun and not so fun arguments like the Gilmore Girls. I love that she loves her baby brother, that she loves her friends so much and that she cracks me up and has told me things I needed to hear even when I didn't want to hear them. I love that she forgives me for being less than perfect and that she teases me that Ellen Degeneres is her real mother. I enjoy that fact that she dresses in men's clothes, I think I'd have a heart attack now if I saw her in a skirt, even though she used to dance and wore dresses and tutus. I love that can see the male and female point of view on everything. The thing is it wouldn't matter if Chelsea was gay, transgender, green or had a 3rd eye... she is my daughter and my children are my heart walking out side of my body, no matter what they do or who they love. I know that not every gender queer person has support and I'm sure not being understood by the people that you should trust the most must be very hard, all I can say is if you're in that situation look for support from your chosen family... friends and colleagues along the way. Be yourself, and let your family learn by example."


29 January 2012

FTM Chronicles: Dysphoria pt1

I close my eyes as I lean my head forward under the shower head. Feeling the water sting against my skin as it travels down my body, I run my hands through my hair. It is one of the only moments of freedom, freedom from reality. One of the only moments when everything else disappears and the body I was wrongfully born into is gone from mind and, momentarily, memory. Sighing deeply as my hands reach out to turn back to reality with a push of a knob. Sliding the glass door slightly to reach out for the towel hanging in wait for my touch. Pressing it firmly against my face and as I lift my head, my eyes blink open.

After I allow the fabric soak up the drops still wet against my skin, I wrap the towel around my waistline, step out of the shower, and walk to the sink. Brushing my teeth in silence, I leave the fog on the mirror to avoid any eye contact to any unwanted parts. Normally, I trace certain superhero diamond shaped shield on the glass to allow a little vision to finish my personal hygiene, but today is a harder day. Quickly pulling on my boxer briefs, I put in a newly cleaned piece between the fabric and my skin to feel a little more comfortable in my appearance before pulling on my jeans.

I reach over to grab what I consider my second layer of skin and pull it over my head with a tight tug. I take a moment to straighten out the uncomfortable rolling against my ribs and making my skin comfortable underneath before pulling on a beater as well as an undershirt. Buckling up my jeans and belt after tucking in each of the two layers. The final layer then coming on over, the shirt for the day. Running my hands down my chest starting from my collarbones and ending at my beltline. Wiping down the mirror finally once fully clothed, I stare at my reflection. My hair, my facial expression, my facial hair, my clothing, the structure of body after proper placement of extra items, all of a masculine nature.

A low beeping sound guides my eyes to my wrist to note the time. One last glance in the mirror, then I gather my belongings and exit the bathroom. Opening the bedroom door, I see her look up from what she is doing and smile my way. I smile at her, pushing down my dysphoric thoughts for another time, and place my things where they belong. As I stand back up, I feel her hands on my waist so I turn. In one swift movement, my hands are at her waist as one of her hands is on my neck as the other is in the center of my chest with her palm flat against me. We whisper small romantic notions to each other and I see a look in her eyes.

She looks at me with adoration and love. Each a genderless emotion, though I know how she sees me. She sees me as the man for which she fell. She sees me as the man who wraps his strong arms around her at night. She sees me as the man who she enjoys spending time with when away from work. She sees me as the man she runs to, no matter the reason, good or bad. She sees me as the man... a man, her man, and that is all she sees me as.