My Butch Social Needs…and Denied Gender Choice

I’ve been wrestling my demons like mad lately.  Depression, anxiety, internal strife…the perpetual circle that it has become for me.  It’s kept me from doing things I normally enjoy doing, such as blogging or doing videos on YT.  I also have serious ADHD that plays into it, which I really have to discuss with my doctor on Thursday.  Chronic, debilitating pain I believe is my main stressor that leads me to being depressed.  I’m sure there are also a few other demonic ideas floating in my head that are also fueling the depression/anxiety fires too.   I am here today attempting to do a few things:  break my cycle of doing nothing lately by doing something- writing!  I also want to get some of my thoughts out here so I can perhaps see them and have some kind of epiphany about what to DO about them and this fucked up period that I am stuck in at the moment.

Some days I try to chalk it up to the famale body, that I inhabit, maybe going through some menopausal changes, hell I am 52.  I haven’t had menses since I was 47, my body did go through the up and downs of that, then it just stopped completely after a year of coming and going at will, just being bizarre and unpredictable.  I was so freaking happy I wanted to have a good-bye party for the stupid periods!  I am still a fully in-tact woman inside, but my doc says my organs are definitely shrinking and going through whatever they go through to just become extra baggage (ohhhh, they’ve actually been extra baggage for me forever!).  I’m not sure if my body is still producing estrogen or not, or if that’s even important.  I am on a very low dose of testosterone gel (Androgel 1%) that we added to my regimen to perhaps improve my appetite and energy levels.  It does do both when I stay on it regularly!

I have found myself avoiding the internet lately.  It seems to be being overtaken by separatist lesbians who are busily hating on FtMs as well as on the Butch / Femme lesbian community at large – or at least I seem to be encountering a lot of negative posts and publications online about various people who I know in the B/F community being harassed, cyber-bullied and outright disrespected by other members of the lesbian community at large.  Why does any person think that they are any better? Or that their “way” is a better or more authentic way to life a lesbian life?  We are all unique individuals, and if we could just undertstand and accept that and learn to love and celebrate our uniqueness, instead of trying to force “our preferences” or “understandings of what is right” upon others and trying to force them to swallow those poisonous words, we could be a so much happier and healthier population!

Being so outwardly, openly and authentically Butch I already find myself tip-toeing in steel toe boots through the proverbial minefield of society in general.  Often I am making this journey as the lone-Butch; having no other Butch persons in my neighborhood, and watching them slowly disappear from my social circles.  There is this security that a Butch feels when in the presense of another like gendered person.  It’s that “Whew! I’m really not the only one!” thought that we get from hanging out and swapping war stories with each other.  Usually there’s also a general adoration of Femme lesbians; their ways, their looks, their kisses, that cause us to flash one another the sly-eye, half crooked smile of just knowing what the other is close to thinking.  I miss the fist to the bicep greetings, the smell of 3 out of 4 of us smoking while we scoff our boot toes on the ground, grind our hands into our front jeans pockets and stand in a small circle laughing at the “hey, check this out….” stories of yore.

Most of my interaction with other Butches over the last couple of years has been online, through FB pages and Butch specific websites.  Or through commentary on articles that we are all drawn to – guided to by other life-minds via FB and Twitter cross posts of Butch and Butch/Femme related blogs, newspaper articles, magazine features, and videos (seriously loooove me some Youtube!).  I hate to see the Butch pages dwindle down, which they all seem to do after a while, and then sort of fade off into internet oblivion.

I guess what I am driving at is that I am just damned lonely for more Butch buddies.  Another blogger also seemed to be feeling this way and posted about it today on her blog as well.  Why is is so freaking hard for us to find common ground and stick together a bit harder?  Butches, the ones I am familiar with including myself, are generally a tad shy, leary of people even sometimes, and when we do find a good buddy or two to hang with we can be fierce allies and loyal friends — including in the online realm.  But I think we all are feeling the heat of the wrath of the more separatist lesbian types who really dislike us as Butches, thinking that we are selling out on our femininity, we somehow really want to be men, and that if “they” wanted to date a man, they’d date a real one (ouch).  I know I am weary of fighting it, and explaining how those things are so stupid, and not true or close to a realistic accessment of us.  Blurring the gender line is part of just who I am.  Here’s a paragraphy from Buzz Cuts and Bustiers . com’s latest post on just this topic:

In addition to all that head stuff, my queer community – something that I leaned on perhaps a bit too heavily – has become a lot smaller. Most of the organizations I was once involved with have dispersed since last summer, including ButchBoi Life, the social and support group that I co-founded for masculine queer women. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but the loss of these networks has been really devastating. I feel increasingly isolated from my community and cut off from resources that I once took for granted. I rarely speak with, let alone hang out with, other butches now, and that makes me very lonely. In a way, I’ve returned to the level of desperation I was at before ButchBoi Life existed, when I was so very starved for interactions with people that walked in my same worn boots and reflected back to me my own reality as a butch dyke.”  (Buzzcutsandbustiers.com)

I completely saw myself and my need for more masculine energy in the form of Butch lesbian friends in my life.  I do hope that this writer of BCB.com will take another swing at restarting the Butch Boi Life group, which I believe is somewhere nearby to Boston, and thus do-able for me, being that I live in the southern most part of Maine and can be in Boston in less than an hour.

I would love to see more of us all getting together – all types of LGBT people.  We need more small town events, local things to connect us on a more regular, and fun, basis.  And they need to be the kind that welcome all of us and our individual spirits; our gender presentations, and our desire to just chill out and be friendly.  Gay Prides used to be about something; about real Pride in who we are and in the progress toward real equality that we continue to work so damned hard for, making those small strides that will eventually lead us to the finish line.  Used to be we had the bars in the ’80’s and ’90’s to some degree, sprinkled in among various major Pride events, The March on the UN, and then we all started to key it up on the computer screens starting around ’92-’93ish, and things have moved very rapidly around the world ever since.  Technology feeds us daily now, and we’re doing less of the good ‘ole face-t0-face kind of networking.  Yeah, I just plain miss that.

Even though I have a great girlfriend in my life, and the company of our two little dogs, plus my large extended family living in the area, I still am lonely for more of my own kind at least occasionally hanging out together to remind each other that we are still indeed part of a community that does need each other.  I tend to envy those in some of the larger southern cities where a good portion of the lesbian community seems to seek homes in, especially later in life.  There are some nice groups in the Floridian cities that get together regularly and seem to have a great time.  I wish either we had that here or I could somehow pull it together to try to create it here in some small way.

Buzz Cuts and Bustiers was talking about Facebook’s new feature of being about to put in your gender.  Like BCaB I too tried to put “Butch” in as my gender, it IS my fucking gender!  I have always seen Butch as a noun; as the gender that I am, and not some nickname, or anything like that.  And I was also saddened not to find Butch or Femme as gender identities, especially when they had some others that I would have questioned far sooner on that list!    They could try listing your gender, then your sexuality or sexual preference…maybe that will be their next attempt at leveling the playing field, so to speak!

For anyone interested in the article that spurred me to rant off like this on my blog here, you can find it at this web address.  It’s a great Butch blog!  Subscribe while you are there!  http://buzzcutsandbustiers.com/2014/02/26/gender-identity-denied/  Rock on world!  ~MainelyButch

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One Reply to “My Butch Social Needs…and Denied Gender Choice”

  1. I guess we’ve both hit a sort of depression the last couple of weeks or so.

    As far as community? I feel ya there. Big time. I’ve been wanting to load up my PT. Cruiser and do Butchlesque all over again. Not for the drooling over the butches. But, for the butch/femme community that was around me. I felt home. Finally, feeling what a community feels like.
    Even the big cities are lacking in meet-ups for like-minded people. Like you, I get so very tired of all interactions via Facebook.

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