I am Butch. A Butch who loves femme women in particular and a member of the Butch-femme community; a community that struggles in today’s politically correct sort of world. We are more often than not, ostracized for “copy catting or aping” heteronormativity. My partner is asked why she feels the “need” to be so feminine, and I am grilled about my “wanting to be a man” by those that just don’t understand the Butch-femme dynamics or lifestyle.
Within my own community I find people telling me I should just “transition and get over it” when that is the furthest thing from my mind. They seem to think that I must “want” to be a guy, because I look and act in more masculine ways. The truth is that I love being Butch. I am not afraid of my female parts. Since I have had chest surgery I am much more comfortable in this female based body. Sure, I hated my boobs when I had them, but that didn’t mean I had to transition. Many lesbians, like me, are uncomfortable with their breasts – even some that don’t identify as Butch! I was just lucky enough to be able to do something about my upper body dysphoria and have the surgery I had wanted for all my life. I am fine with my body now; I’m flat chested and happy. I am fine with my masculine appearance and my butch ways.
See, the rules don’t apply to me. I have chosen to live outside the definitive lines of the gender binary. I don’t prescribe to much of anything that would label me a girl/woman/female person. As well as I don’t identify as a male person. I fall somewhere in the middle of that scale, a gray area where I embody the best of both worlds. It’s a comfortable place for me, mentally and physically. I lean hard toward the masculine end of the spectrum, by pure nature. I was born this way; born Butch. It’s the only place I fee comfortable, safe and seen.
I am pretty stereotypically Butch. I dress like a guy, talk like a guy (thanks to the US Army and smoking I have a pretty deep and rough voice) and I embody most things masculine in nature. I’ve even been told that I think like a dude. I am not very emotional and I rarely cry….all things that people believe are stereo typical of most Butch women. That tough exterior and rough attitude everyone believes we have. I like to think that Butch is my actual gender, that I am neither man nor woman, but somewhere in between and we call that “Butch” in my world. In my world Butch is a noun.
I am often mistaken for a guy. I get called “sir” and “dude” all the time, and it doesn’t bother me. It often makes me smile, like I have some sort of secret. I wear my Butch like a scarlet letter, prominent and proud. I walk the walk and talk the talk so to speak. And it embarrasses me when people who I am with will try to correct those who mis-gender me; somehow it’s easier for me to just shrug it off and laugh to myself. I get a kick out of it.
I feel bad for my friends who are femme lesbians. They are so invisible. Usually being seen as “straight” all the time. Only we see each other; we seem to recognize each other somehow. I know that it must be hard for her when she’s told that she can’t be a lesbian because she’s too pretty, or she hears the dreaded “why do you date girls that look like guys, why not just date a guy instead?” As Butches and femmes we hear these types of comments, or get these questions, quite often. I’ve heard some brilliant answers to them over the years. But it never ceases to amaze me when someone feels so emboldened as to ask such personal stuff. And it’s always so disappointing to hear it from anyone who identifies with the LGBT community, that just feels like a true back-stab. You would think that they, if anyone, would understand that we are all unique and we all like different things; differing lifestyles and have various tastes.
So when I lace up my Chippewa work boots and tug on that worn old ball cap over my closely cropped crew cut hair, I definitely look the part that I gleefully embody: Butch to the core. And loving it. I blur the lines of the gender binary and I am comfortable in my own skin, being authentically who I am, and I never want to change that.