General Blips

Toning it down…

Butches do get trotted out for being non-conformist rebels…as Jamie reminded me.  We are ridiculed for having top surgery, are expected to just live with the dysphoria and discomfort without complaint instead of seeking the things that will make us happier.  The anniversary of my top surgery was just 1 year ago this week now and I am reminded that it’s not “proper” for Butches to seek top surgery.We’re supposed to just bind and live with the boobs; hey we’re not “trans” right?  And only transguys should have top surgery, or so I am told.  Bullshit.  It’s the best Butch thing I have ever done for myself, and I am so much more comfortable in my own skin now.

I received a note from a young Butch this week seeking advice.  I mentor young people quite often and find it really cool and rewarding. This young Butch was fretting over an upcoming wedding in her family, where she was being required to wear a dress (gag!) and participate in the wedding procession.  I sympathized with her, I’d been in that very same position a time or two in my earlier lifetime.  Prior to me fully identifying as Butch I was required to wear a dress to a wedding, I felt like a cross-dresser.  I felt completely out of my element and very vulnerable and uncomfortable.  Never again I vowed, and never again has it happened. The last wedding I was part of I wore a great looking tux and felt much better about it all.

I was also reminded that growing up I was expected to wear dresses to school four days a week, and “slacks” the fifth.  As you might imagine this caused a huge rift between me and my parents, and my young Butch brain was all fucked up over it.  I did it for the early years, when I was too little and too confused to know any better, I let my parents choose for me.  But when I became a young teen I did rebel, and my rebellion was to run away from home – worrying my parents sick in the process, and really pissing off my Dad.  I remember hiding out in the woods, eating peanut butter sandwiches that friends would bring me, and being gone for 3 days.  I was eventually “caught” and returned home, where my mother brokered a deal with my Dad that I could wear pants to school, as long as they were not denium – so no jeans, but corduroys (which were in style then anyways) and the such.  That was my first success in becoming my own person, and it’s one of those defining moments of my life.  Funny, those little moments that add up to make us who we are today.  That was one of the first times that I had had the guts to stand up to my father…something that I am still not always able to do today even.  He’s a tough guy, a Marine, and a strict father.  Pleasing him became a real focal point in my adult life, one I often still deal with today.  He is the man that I emulated, and feared.  Even today I have a very healthy respect of his opinion, but am not always afraid to buck the trend anymore.

Point is that sometimes as Butches we are put in these positions where we are expected to buck up and be uncomfortable for the sake of saving face for someone else.  Whether it’s in wearing a dress, or toning it down when we are with family, business associates, or meeting someone for the first time.  “Don’t be so Butch” we hear….and what the fuck does that mean and how do I do that?  I ask myself…my hair is crewcut, and I very obviously masculine as hell…how does one “tone it down”? per say.  If I tried to act girly in any way I would look stupid and it would be seen as fraud by any knowing person.

I like that now that I am grown and settled into my identity that I feel very comfortable these days.  I don’t put on an act or even feel like I have to.  The world today is so much different than it was 40 years ago, and wow am I super happy about that.  I’d hate to feel that I had to be any other way than my true authentic self ever again.  Plus I’d look a damned fool now in a dress!  (can you even imagine?)  ~Peace!~   MB

PS…if I have pictures of that wedding where I wore the dress I will find them and post them for you to see…I know of only one in existence, let me locate it.


3 thoughts on “Toning it down…

  1. Most engaging read! Really enjoyed it, and it reminded me of how I would feel today in high heels – not that I could even stand up in them any more and besides who ever heard of a size 12 spike heel? lol – I do my own thing, too, do love peasant and hippie type dresses especially in the hot summer – with my Birkenstocks, of course.
    Bet you looked really sharp in that tux!


  2. With regards to the top surgery — people just love creating rules. You break a bunch of boundaries as a young person, to affirm your butchness, but now people create some more boundaries and say that you are not really butch, because of the top surgery.
    It is all just words, and rules. You can’t escape them, and there will always be people who you just aren’t good enough for.
    Having experienced similar types of judgment myself, I catch myself when I find myself categorizing, labeling, or judging people. We are all individuals, and the words, labels, and categories do not define our beings.

    With regards to being yourself, especially at big social/family events. The very worst judgement, that it is so hard to defend yourself from, is that you are being yourself simply as a way to draw attention to yourself. “This is so-and-so’s wedding: it is not about you.” or “How could you wear that to your father’s funeral? Give him some respect.”
    These accusations are so nasty and hard to deflect. It is the nasty judgmental people that are twisting the whole thing into being about you.
    On the other hand, it is so wonderful when people don’t say or think this stuff, but instead just give even the tiniest smidgen of support . I have found some unexpected allies within the older generation of my family. But, the older generation is leaving quickly. I would like to be able to go and grieve for them when the time comes without people thinking that I am making a scene, or being self-centered.

    I think that I will write about this topic …


  3. Good post! With each writing I learn different layers of mainelybutch. Being of the older generation and having a cop for a father I was always expected to be the perfect lady…I tried, but I was never “girly” enough. I am just me, my own person. I have never conformed to peoples idea of what a woman should be and find it frustrating as all get out when that is pointed out to me. Some people have the strange idea that you just slap a label on something and that is what it is suppose to be. I hate labels. Accept me for who I am, not what you want me to be. As for top surgery, breasts do not define a person. Just be happy Ang, and don’t change for anyone. Live your own truth.


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