Flannel Files is a blog that I read regularly. In a post concerning her own personal metamorphosis she asks these questions…
“”What about you? Are you a moody butch or in a relationship with one? Are you still a work in progress or is your transformation complete?”
I certainly have been told that I am moody at times in my life. And I know this is true, because I take medications to keep my mood on an even keel; keep my depression at bay and to keep me happy enough to continually participate in life. Although my more somber moods tend to be less frequent nowadays, still I do have them.
Butches seem to get a bad rap for mood swings. Not saying we don’t have them or deserve a rap on the noggin occasionally, but when a Femme has moods we blame it on PMS conveniently, and when a Butch gets a bit growly it’ s like “wtf is wrong with you?” Personally, I live alone so it is not so much of an issue for me, but I do feel for my Butch brothers, ya’ll got it rough.
Ah, and our transformation. Yes, we can call it that, just don’t call it transition please. People are confused enough about us Butch figures. We come off rough and tough and then we get accused of wanting to “transition” to be male. No, that’s not the case with most of us. We are completely confused enough transforming to being just plain old Butch. It’s a lifetime fight; a lifetime transformation and a lifetime of learning to accept who we are and convince others to do the same.
I went from this gawky short kid who was trying to survive high school, and did by the skin of my teeth) into a slow transformation over the decades to the Butch that I am today. I’ve talked and written about several of the “episodes” that I’ve experienced along this journey; from the funny to the mundane. Even again today I had another ‘dressing room dilemma’ at Walmart. I wasn’t even binding, yet the lady directs me right into the guys dressing room. I shrugged my shoulders, grabbed the jeans I was trying on and headed in. She never saw me past my haircut evidently. Not saying the rest of me was any less Butch, but I wasn’t trying to ‘pass’ by any means.
I am not sure any of us as human beings ever are finished with our transformations in life. Every day that I wake up is a new challenge. Every day is a new learning experience or chance to learn if I open my eyes and see it. As I have gotten older, past that 45 mark I feel like I have definitely gotten more rooted in my ways; I’ve become a creature of beloved habit.
Now not all habits are bad. I have a habit of getting up every morning and slugging back 3 cups of the darkest roast, strongest coffee I can get, before I can even speak. The bad part is the couple of cigarettes that I inhale with the coffee. I also have a habit of wearing a white t-shirt under just about everything I wear – even my polo shirts. It’s just something I do, maybe from watching my father don a white t-shirt for years when I was young. Maybe just because I love the feel of the cotton against my skin. Some habits just stick with us over our lifetimes. Some come and go and if we are lucky don’t return ever.
My transformation from soft Butch to more Stone Butch came after my LTR of 14 years ended. It was then that I realized that I had been untrue to myself for a very long time. That I had been trying to be someone who I wasn’t. I tried to be softer for the woman I was with, not for myself. At heart I am Butch to the core. I live and breath a rough kind of deep masculinity only confined to a female body. It’s a masculinity that I was born with, that genetically I have always had – or so I feel personally. I have never known a day in this life that I did not feel Butch. And as I have said before, Butch to me is my gender.
Today I identify as a Butch. While some call me a Stone Butch, I never quite know if I can put that word with Butch or not. While I am a Butch lesbian I know that I have capacity for deep feelings and a softer side. I can be compassionate and caring even though maybe I don’t look the part. I understand my masculinity in a feminine way. I don’t take things for granted like a guy would, possibly because I feel that I have more to lose. And I don’t want to ever be considered misogynistic. I treat people with the same respect with which I wish to be treated.
I thank Flannel Files for the inspirational writing prompt! While I didn’t relate to the butterfly “metamorphosis” type of transformation, I think it was more like going from puppy-hood to being a big dog! What do you think?