Things Butch-Femme

Butch-phobia….my personal rant

I was directed to a blog last night that stunned the crap out of me with its anti-Butch/Femme/Trans overtones and direct, blatant lies and misconception.  It infuriates me that this far into the fight for equality across the board the we are still belittling and ridiculing each other right her within the LGBT alphabet soup community, and with such harshness and berating that it’s unbelievable.

When I see a snake in the garden I am one to confront it and deal with it, rather than let it slither at me and try to scare my ass.  And while there are many “snakes in our gardens” so to speak, the ones that are particularly venomous are those who are spouting phobic bullshit.  If you are phobic about something and do not understand it or haven’t experienced it yourself, so you are afraid of it and thus feel you need to belittle or shame it away somehow, I think you are just so full of your own internalized homophobia and woman-phobic bullshit. 

Short of going on a full out ranting rampage here I am going to choose a few sentences of the bullshit blog I read and share them with you. 

“…how the Butch and Femme identities are two sides of the same gender coin that limits the full potential of who a woman can be.”    What does this fucking mean?  That because I identify as Butch and walk that walk in my own life that I cannot possibly live up to my “potential”?  WTF? 

This person also seems to think, from what I understand, that somehow being Butch is a lead in to becoming an FtM trans person.  Yes, perhaps I walk a thin, thin line in this aspect, but let it be known that I am NOT trans, and I AM a lesbian.  A woman loving woman.  I respect and admire my brave trans friends to the nth degree.  Their walk is so like my own, at times very lonely, scary, and confusing I am sure.  And to be continually fighting against the Butch/Transphobia we both face from within the Lesbian community, it is just ludicrous. 

I am Butch no matter how you dress me up.  As another blogger coined I am “clockable” regardless of what I wear or don’t wear.  It’s like lipstick on a pig to put me in a dress, and it fools no one.  I’m straight up Butch and damned proud, and damned sure not going to try to twist it or change it for some other fool who thinks it’s not “feminine” enough, that I am “aggressive and inappropriate” in my appearance or presentation to the world.  Fuck that.  I never ever felt very feminine and it’s stupid to say that that makes me less of a woman, when it’s just MY way of being the Butch woman that I am. 

Shame me all you want, I am not accepting YOUR shame.  I will not be shamed into changing the core of who my being IS in this world.  Accuse me of “playing a role”, but understand if you can that I am NOT playing a role, but I am just being myself, plain and simple.  It’s sad that people cannot just be who they are in today’s world without causing someone else to start throwing therapeutic assumptions at them that they are suppressing some inner battle and that’s causing them to “act out” in the way that they present to the world.  Utter bullshit in my opinion.

I have experienced oppression as a woman, as a Butch, because I am not feminine enough, woman enough, too masculine, “other” and more.  I am a gender non-conformist, and it seems that some Lesbian people just seem to hate that idea!  Like they expect us to all shout at the tops of our lungs that “we are woman” but yet not be too “Femme” or too “Butch” as to make them look twice. They would rather have everyone fit more into a “neutral” kind of box where we could all be some sort of touchy-feely kinds of Lesbians with woman attributes that were apparent, but not overly so. 

I’m not some college educated left wing Feminist.  To the contrary, I often am confused by radical Feminism and all its negative connotations on our lives.  Seems like it’s that we want to be treated equally – but separately somehow, and that’s not exactly equal if you ask me. 

Who I love, whether it be a more Femme woman, another Butch or someone who doesn’t fall into an identifying group, is none of anyone’s business.  And it doesn’t matter, I am still a card carrying Lesbian no matter what.  I am romantically attracted to women and only women.   I have many male friends and respect them as they do me. 

What we directly experience and see in life is what matters to us as human beings.  It’s how we navigate our way through our often complicated, complex and dynamic lives.  People choose the facts that relate to what they already believe.  Human engagement isn’t about facts, but about our experiences and our relationships to each other.  And yes, these relationships take on all forms, we take on all types of personalities and personas, that make us comfortable in our own skin.  No one can take your core values and your core being away from you, and no on should every shame another for being who they ARE in this world.  Walk your walk.  Butch or Femme or something else, just be proud and walk tall.   


8 thoughts on “Butch-phobia….my personal rant

  1. Your confusion about “radical feminism”: Nobody, especially in the lesbian community, likes second-wavers, except possibly the second-wavers themselves, and even then I’m not sure. Third-wave is about being who you are, and recognizes that sexism hurts everybody no matter what their gender expression or identity. Actually, sexism is the root of homophobia–but there’s a lot of literature out there about that, so I don’t need to write a giant essay here.

    Keep blogging your awesome stuff. It gives me hope.


    • Jan DeMar says:

      I believe you said it better than anyone could about being butch . I am also and very proud .You are a real hero to me for being able to express your thoughts and how it really is for us thank you for telling the world the truth .


  2. Words:
    If “Butch” is a definition, and a box, and a thing to live up to, then it is indeed a restriction on your potential.
    If “Butch” is a possibility and a permission and a springboard to greater understanding then it is Liberation and not restriction.


  3. Pingback: Butch-phobia….my personal rant | The "B" Word

  4. Pingback: A great Post – “Butch-phobia….my personal rant” | The Femmetastic Feminist

  5. Heya, I found your post really interesting, the last part about walking tall no matter who you are really got me though. I find it impossible to do this in my lgbt community as… I’m femme. Really femme. (Although I’m not fake tanned skankery) I get told many times a night in Gay bars that I can’t be Gay, it’s a phase or I’m clearly a confused fag hag who is trying to fit in. I don’t want to fit in, I want to be me. I’ve never known a more judgemental community than lgbt. After a difficult breakup I had a bit of an ‘identity crisis’ and started dressing dykey and boom I was accepted, suddenly my lgbt friend circle included women! After a while I realised I didn’t want to dress dykey and my female friends disappeared as apparently I was ‘hiding who I really was’ by dressing femme. Not the other way round, this was inconceivable to them.
    Present day, I’m femme, but don’t want to identify as lgbt due to the experience I have had with the community. This makes me so sad. I always used to be out and proud, now I get ridiculed for saying I’m Gay.

    Btw I have nothing against the more masculine of us personally. Another thing I used to get a lot was ‘but you’re too pretty to be a lesbian’

    Well thanks for calling me pretty but we’re all beautiful no matter what jeans we’re wearing!

    Sorry for the massive comment, just wanted to get someone’s opinion on the matter.


    • Thanks for the bravery of commenting on this! I respect your Femme identity and am going to comment back to you in more detail later today, I just wanted you to know now that I received this and am considering my reply! Be well! 🙂


  6. Faiza says:

    Thank you so much for this article!! I may be late to the party, but I insist on thanking you as a butch lesbian who often felt weird because of being associated with men. While i respect trans men, i’ve often seen people put us in the same group which is just a new way to say ‘lesbians are as predatory as men’ and its soo damaging especially for butches.. anyway lots of love from france xoxo


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