I am Butch. I identify myself as Butch. Some may call is a “label”, I call it my identity; my gender. There will always be arguments about “labels” within the LGBT community, no matter what not everyone uses them or identifies with any particular group or sub-group. That’s a personal choice. A choice I have made and every individual must make for themselves. I get that. And those who do not “like” or use labels should get that about me, it’s my freedom to call myself Butch, and it’s yours to choose not to. Yes, it’s a choice, and no matter what anyone says about liking or not liking them, they will continue to use them on me and others, and claim they themselves do not “need” a label. I don’t “need” one either, but I have choosen one that describes me; that identifies me to others, and that others can somewhat understand in the grand scheme of things. Butch. If you don’t choose a label for yourself, an identity, then what or who ARE you? Not Butch, nor Femme, nor tomboy, nor trans, nor gay, nor straight, nor bisexual, nor…whatever….or perhaps I am confused…oh, you DO Identify as lesbian? Is that not a “label” in some books? Don’t slam my choice, and I won’t slam yours.
The group Butch Perspectives was formed with the perspective and the label of “Butch” fully in mind. It’s mere conception by me on FB that is targeted directly towards those like me who do identify as Butch and who seek friendship and dialogue with other Butch identified individuals.
I, like everyone, cannot foresee what conversations will come up on line. I don’t know what any one person will identify as, and I was hoping that by being very specific on the “Butch” Perspectives I would not have to get into discussing “labels” once again. But, alas, here I am typing away in an attempt to clarify my position – which is generally the position of the group page. Like any creator, I have a vision, a vision of a place where Butches can feel at home, comfortable and not threatened by their expressions of what it’s like for them, or us, to live in this world. Where conversation, debate, laughter and dialogue can freely and openly take place; where friends are made and friendly relationships are formed.
Butch Perspectives is not a place to have all out arguments about what it IS or ISN’T to be Butch. It’s a space for those who identify already, or are starting to identify as masculine of center and/or Butch. It’s not a space where we welcome Femmes or those who don’t really “get” it…there are lots of other spaces across the web where those conversations and arguments are already happening. (Personally I avoid those spaces).
This is not to say that I personally govern what it means to be Butch for any person other than myself. But I am seeking participation of women who DO identify as masculine of center, as well as those who identify as Butch in their own rights. We each have our own personal conception of what that means, and for those who understand what I am trying to convey here, it should be no problem.
I recently posted a video by a friend of mine in California, TheSloFox, from Youtube – another very active social networking venue for me. In the video West speaks of that rather “grayish” area of being perhaps “Trans-Butch” where some days it’s one, and others it’s the other. I can truly relate to this aspect of being Butch, and it is perhaps the reason I am very trans-friendly and understand my FtM brothers on a little deeper level. At the end of the day, I am most definitely a very masculine of center – Butch – individual. It’s nothing I was taught, it’s how I was born, how I matured and how I walk this world. I defend my right to live as I feel comfortable, just as I would defend my friends’ rights to do the same.
As far as group rules or guidelines…let’s all play nice. Discussion and dialogue is encouraged as long as it does not ridicule another, cause serious group discomfort or appear to be outwardly misogynistic. Open, honest and even controversial conversations are welcome, but be a gentle-Butch and please use manners.