We all determine our own identity. It’s a basic and very real fact. We wake up in the morning and we KNOW who we each ARE in this vast world; and in the sub-culture of the Butch-Femme world it is no different. It’s how the “world” view us that often perplexes me…that and how my own “other” lesbian friends visibly flinch at the mention of the word “Butch”. Like somehow it reflects on their own identity that they have a friend who identifies fully as Butch.
As in S. Bear Bergman’s book “Butch is a Noun” I am of that same very thought – Butch IS a fucking noun! And I embody my Butch identity in my own truly unique way, just as every other self-identified Butch is entitled to have it their way. There are no real rules, although there are a TON of stereo-typical imaginings of what Butch is and is not.
Butch Wonders talks about “gender policing” or “identity policing” that goes on, as I also spoke of in a recent Youtube vlog I did. Everyone has their own notions of what is and is not “Butch” or even “Butch Enough” or what is too girly to be Butch to begin with. And while I may have some of my own personal bias about what fits my own identity as Butch – such as I would never be caught with my hair not kept very short – it’s not my place to say that longer hair is not Butch for the next person. Perhaps they can pull it off just fine as it aligns with their own personal tastes in what being Butch means to them.
The Butch identity has long existed and has morphed through history over and over. But one thing seems to permeate the entire lineage – Butch resembles the masculine, the male and the dominant way of things. But there are as many types of men in this world as there are ideas of what “masculine” means to different people. I have my personal ideas, my quirks, my adaptations of masculine presentation, and you have yours. It’s pretty much that simple. No one will ever agree on EXACTLY what Butch means, or is, or should be in the gender non-conforming community. So if it’s working for you, just do it. Do what feels right, what looks right for you and what you know you feel most comfortable in. And be the best damned Butch you can be. Oh, and use your damned manners! Don’t I hate a Butch with no manners…THAT is one thing I think we should all hold proudly, that Butches know how to be masculine, and have manners too!