Lipstick Lesbian Chronicles – My YouTube Series

Well, I did it. I recently joined the ranks of lesbian YouTubers.  It has been fun so far and I can now add “iMovie editing” as a skill on my resume.  Part of my YouTube channel is a regular series called “Lipstick Lesbian Chronicles” where I address issues specific to femme/lipstick lesbians.

You can expect humor, insight, vulnerability, and plenty of sarcasm in my videos.

Check out my new video below and subscribe to my channel to see more. 🙂

As always, thank you for supporting Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbian,

XO Liz Baxter

Follow me on:
IG: @LizBinLA

Twitter: @LizBinLA 

YouTube: Liz Baxter

Saying Yes: My Catalyst to Manifesting

There has been a theme to my life recently.  Well I guess it’s been about a decade but I am just now putting it all together and giving myself credit. The theme: saying YES to as much as possible…including starting this blog.

I will try to not get too preachy here about how you all should live your lives and instead focus on my story and the amazing things that happened and doors that opened when I started saying YES to more things.

Mull this over for a hot sec…are you someone who says yes to most things or do you have an arsenal of excuses?  But really?  I was someone who had excuses.  Or as I saw them, very reasonable and grounded explanations for why I wasn’t doing certain things or why some things just weren’t possible.  “It’s actually better if I don’t because…”  Sound familiar??

I was raised to get a good job, work your way up, follow the rules, save for retirement, and don’t do anything too risky.  My parents wanted the best for me so they taught me to be smart but also to play it safe and stay on the beaten path.  I still have an inherent fear inside of me that flairs up whenever I stray off the path…at least initially.  But, that fear is more and more drowned out by the draw of opportunity and possibility.  The “What if?” version of glass half full.  Each time I take a chance and “say yes” to something that is both terrifying and exciting, the fear gets a little less and the excitement a little more when the next opportunity presents itself.

The universe is always providing opportunities, you just have to have the awareness to SEE them and then say YES!

Yes to Italy!

The first life changing “yes” that I can remember is my decision to study abroad in Italy and then go back again, alone, to work and complete my college required internship.  There is something magical about living in a foreign country alone, with some days where you don’t speak a word to anyone except strangers on the street or vendors at the farmers market.  That’s a lot of time alone…a lot of time to get to know yourself.  Will you be scared and lonely or will you embrace the vulnerable situation?  I didn’t realize it at the time but I fully embraced my vulnerability.

I realized that the world was SO much bigger than the tiny bubble that I lived in and frankly my mind was blown.  I went to a state university in a rural town in Indiana and lived in a sorority house for 3 years.  Previously, my time was spent doing the bare minimum to get decent grades in school so that I could have more time for beer pong and corn hole.  When I got back from Italy, things were different.  Beer pong was still fun but I started to think about what I really wanted to do with my life…so many exciting possibilities flooded my thoughts. It was like a part of my brain had been turned on that had never been used.  EXPOSURE…  The more you expose yourself to new experiences, the more “data” you collect to then choose from that helps you visualize and plan what you want to do with your life.  LIFE GOALS, dayum.

All of a sudden, a whole new realm of life possibilities were opened in my mind.  I didn’t have to just graduate college, get a good job, buy a house, have babies, whatever… I could travel the world, get a job where I would travel to other countries, LIVE in other countries, move out of Indiana…WHOA.

Yes to coming out!

Ok, y’all, I am not going to re-hash my whole coming out story because I already did that here: Turns Out…I’m Gay AF. Butttt, looking back, I realize that I accepted my gayness in my own head with much less of a fight than it could have been.  I mean, I could have tried to deny to myself or been too fearful to act on it or talk to anyone about it.  We live in a society of labels and sexual orientation is a large part of someone’s identity. I think sometimes coming out to yourself or the willingness to accept yourself as an LGBTQ individual is harder than coming out to others.  I am proud that I was able to say yes to being a lesbian without too much self-loathing or wasted time.

I actually think that being gay automatically put me into the “not normal” category which opened the door to me embracing being different, in general.  I realized that I wanted to live in a big city with more diversity and more a of gay community/presence.  And more hot lesbians, DUH!  Because of this desire, I set my goals on moving to California and not taking “no” for an answer. I spent a lot of time (YEARS) dreaming about living in California…the warm weather, amazing restaurants, the ocean, the hoards of beautiful gay people.  Which leads me to…

Yes to moving to CA and changing careers!

I had a Tourism Management major and had worked in a hotel for 4+ years after graduating.  I had been promoted from an assistant to a management position and for the entire 4+ years I worked in a cubicle in an internal office with no windows.  I worked nights and weekends usually totaling 50+ hours a week. Most days in the winter I would come in when it was dark and leave when it was dark, never seeing the light of day.  I was miserable.  I just knew this couldn’t be it for me.

I told myself that because ALL of my work experience was in hotels/hospitality (and my major was Tourism) that I couldn’t possibly be qualified to do a job doing something else, something different.  Something where I could work less and make more money.  It sounds too good to be true, right?  No, homegirl, no…I was a quick learner, a go getter, and successful at anything I really put my mind to…I just needed to believe in myself.  I always KNEW I would find a way.

It took me a long time to actually verbalize my goals for fear of ridicule or everyone harshing my mellow.  Which they did anyway.  California is too expensive, you hardly know anyone there, how will you get a job, how will you move your three cats (STOP JUDGING ME), etc. I would spend hours apartment hunting on craigslist in my free time just to envision myself living in California.  I pictured a life where I had a flexible schedule, made way more money, lived near so many cool things that a big city offers, near the ocean, plenty of time to enjoy life outside of my career.

I kid you not, I am currently living the life that I dreamed about (BOLD).  I manifested exactly what I wanted and I am living it.  I currently live in the heart of Los Angeles, 30 minutes from the beach, two hours to palm springs, 15 minutes to amazing hikes, and an hour or so from mountains and skiing.  The sun is literally shining every damn day…it’s a beautiful thing.  I have an incredible sales job that allows me to travel all over California and work out of my house.  I make at least 3X as much money than in my last job in Indiana, and I actually enjoy what I do!  Last year I won sales rep of the year and a free trip to Mexico. Seriously! There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how badly I wanted the life that I am currently living and feel immense gratitude.  SO many things have fallen into place.

Yes to getting fit/crossfit!

My first year in LA consisted of many nights out drinking, smoking cigarettes, and indulging in any and all food that I wanted at any time with no restriction.  Lezbehonest here, I’m talking frozen stuffed crust DiGiorno pizza dipped in ranch at least 3x a week.  I literally did NO form of exercise for the entire year other than an occasional hike at Runyon (the easy paved path of course). Let’s just say, I was living FAR from a healthy lifestyle.

Crossfit people always annoyed me with all of their talking about crossfit, so I had always taken part in a one person boycott.  Bitter Betty party of one!  Anyway, fast forward to finally saying YES, I need to get off my lazy ass and get into a gym.  I bought a groupon to an all girls gym in West Hollywood right near my house.  I showed up the first day and realized it was a crossfit gym, oops!  I had bought a 20 pack so I told myself to keep an open mind and finish all 20 classes.  The first day I could not complete the workout and I spent the second half of the 60 min class sitting outside on the steps for fear of losing my lunch onto the floor…and all of my dignity with it.  Yet I went back…and again, and again.  By the 4th class or so, I was hooked.  Almost 4 years later, the crossfit community has been such a huge part of my life.  Most of my closest friends I met at the gym.  People from all walks of life that I would never have met otherwise.  Also, now I give a shit about how I eat and how I treat my body.  I am more fit now than I have been in my entire life, I drink MUCH less, and I haven’t touched a cigarette in years.  I used to freaking HATE going to the gym and now I look forward to it.  I get to hang out with my friends while doing something miserable and then commiserate with those same friends.  Sounds amazing right?

Yes to the Love Connection with Andy Cohen!

Oh boy guys, this is a good one.  When this opportunity presented itself I initially said no.  Hell no.  I listened to some not so positive feedback from others (AHEM, my parents) and made up a story as to why it was better for me NOT to do the show.  But obviously I came to my senses and I will write about my full experience in a future post…stay tuned!

The bottom line is…I obviously said YES to Andy Cohen and the Love Connection!  Looking back, it was truly a FUN experience!  Being on the first lesbian episode of the Love Connection ever and having it air on FOX…pretty damn cool.  Plus, I met some super cool people and who knows what doors it will open or further opportunities it will provide.  Also, NO , I don’t know what date my episode will air yet but I will let you all know as soon as I do!

Yes to starting this blog!

Which brings me to this website/blog and why I said yes to this as well, despite the MILLIONS of people who have websites or blogs about their daily life, things they like or dislike, and basically everything under the sun.  Initially I had thoughts (fears) such as: What sets me apart? Why would people want to read what I have to say? There are far more talented people out there, will I be just another basic bitch, etc.  I allowed these thoughts to win for a while and then I thought.. why the fuck not?  What do I have to lose?  Maybe someone will read just one story of mine and it might make them change the way they think about something in their life.  Maybe it will raise their awareness for just one day.  Maybe they will say yes to something they wouldn’t have and it will change the trajectory of their journey.  Who knows.

Yes every…damn…day!

It’s not just the major life decisions that impact your life but its the little things everyday.

Things I say yes to every day:

Eating healthy, staying fit, talking regularly with my therapist/life coach, sleeping a lot, not giving a fuck what others think, meditating, reading, visualizing my future, being grateful, calling my Mom, journaling, ETC.

I am living proof that if you say yes to things that good things can happen.

Have you ever thought about how one tiny event or chance encounter lead to something which lead you to someone that told you about something that completely changed the direction of your life?  The universe presents these types of opportunities to us everyday but most of the time we don’t notice them.  Take a week or even a day to pay attention.  Stop making excuses and start saying YES to what the universe is presenting.  Who knows…you could even end up on a stage with Andy Cohen one day.

That’s some deep shit.

XO Liz Baxter

Follow me on:
IG: @LizBinLA

Twitter: @LizBinLA 

YouTube: Liz Baxter

Turns out…I’m Gay AF

Coming out – 9 years later

At 23 years old, I literally woke up one morning and thought, “Holy shit, I am gay.” Seriously, it was so clear in my head that I almost uttered those words out loud. The night before I met up with a friend from high school that I had fallen out of touch with, had a lot to drink, ended up at a gay bar for the first time in my life, and made out with a super cute blonde girl. I kissed a girl and I liked it…Yep, I’m gay.

Although the thought had briefly entered my mind before (but I quickly dismissed because I would not imagine myself sexually with another woman, ick – HA!), I really had not figured it out until this day. I always dated men and I liked a lot of them but there was always a missing element. Butterflies. You know!? I had never felt butterflies from a guy. I just thought I hadn’t met the right one yet. Turns out….
So many people say that they knew they were gay long before they identified as such but this was not the case with me. I had close relationships with other girls/women but nothing ever felt like a sexual connection. Until it did…and the fog immediately lifted.

It actually felt damn good because things finally made sense in my head. This moment of bliss ended quickly because I started to think about the reality of the situation. Telling my friends and family and the rest of the world…wahhhhhhh. Nope.

It was 2008, a year after I graduated college and I had figured out I was gay. Within about a day I had my first girlfriend (obvs). I started leading a double life from that moment.

In my new lesbian life, I had almost all lesbian friends and was out and proud! I went to gay and lezzie bars on the regular, marched in the Pride parade, and I COULD NOT GET ENOUGH. It was so much damn fun. It was a rebirth of sorts and it felt freaking amazing. My life the way it was before, continued as normal…sort of. I did not tell any of my family, friends, or colleagues about my revelation… For a really long time. I told one or 2 people about 6 months to a year later but it was not widely known that I was gay for another 3 to 4 years.  I was fearful and ashamed.  Ever heard of the term “self-loathing homophobe?”  That was me.  I didn’t like the label or what people might think of me so I just avoided telling people.  Which meant a lot of lies.  I can only imagine that the suspicions were alive and well as I started to change the way I dressed. I mean…I wore vests and a silver wallet chain on the regular.  And you remember Zumiez, the mall skater shop?  I was a regular. *Gay AF*

Examples A & B:

 

I distanced myself from previous friends and kept my new friends away from my family. It felt so much easier to be myself with my new friends instead of explaining to everyone who had known me for years that I had been lying to them for my entire life and that I am actually someone completely different from who I had sold them on…or at least this is how I felt. I didn’t necessarily feel that people would reject me, I just felt like people wouldn’t understand…that this would be so out of the blue for everyone. And that it would be a disappointment. I underestimated good people in my life because the fear and guilt was so freaking huge.

THANKS CATHOLIC UPBRINGING, THANKS A LOT. *insert sarcastic tone*

To this day, there are friendships that I have never recovered…not because they found out I was gay and didn’t want to be my friend but because I distanced myself for so long that our lives went on in different directions. I feel sad for those friendships and those years that I led a double life. I could not have imagined at the time how good things would be “on the other side.” Things are so ridiculously good right now and I have so many wonderful and supportive people in my life that I can’t imagine feeling any type of fear telling someone that I am gay. It definitely helps that I moved to Los Angeles from Indianapolis 4.5 years ago. When I moved here, no one knew me before so it was a clean slate and I was not afraid to fly the rainbow flag. Ain’t no way I was going to put myself in the awkward position of staying in the closet again. Being femme, people don’t know or assume that I am gay…so I have to tell them. So I quickly got a lot of practice at “coming out” to people. It wasn’t the first thing that I told/tell people but as a single, good looking (or at least I would like to think), girl in her late 20s, it didn’t take long for people to ask if I was married or have a boyfriend.

Them – “Are you married or do you have a boyfriend??”

Me – “Nope.”

Them – “Oh I should set you up with so and so.” or “what is your type in men?”

Me “Oh actually I don’t date men”….*Silence*

Them – “Oh. Well, do you have a girlfriend?” *exhale.*

That’s literally about how it went and still goes pretty much everytime I meet someone new.

Sometimes I forget about how hard the first few years were (thank you to my therapist for recently reminding me)…not because of how other people treated be but because of how much fear and shame ruled my life. Fear of disappointing people that I loved and and shame that I would never be the person that my family had dreamed I would be. In reality, none of my friends gave a shit and my family warmed up to the lesbian daughter idea quicker than I would have anticipated. I can’t say that my Mom was or is particularly thrilled but for the most part I believe that if I am happy, she is happy. And THANK YOU DAD for being amazing when I was scared shitless.
I am now out and proud, on the other side, and i’ll be damned but it did get better! So much better…

XO Liz Baxter

Follow me on:
IG: @LizBinLA

Twitter: @LizBinLA 

YouTube: Liz Baxter