a-z challenge: b

Yup I made it all the way to day two of the challenge.

I rarely talk about queer things on my blog, so I decided to now. Herewith, a rainbow b.

image

And b is for butch, and butch is me. When I was younger, it was b for boi, but middle age made me mannish. Let me get one thing straight clear; I do not wish I had a penis. My gender performance is masculine of centre and frankly that’s about all the definition I need for the way I look. In binary terms, I’m a mix of male and female things, inside and out. In and on my own terms, I’m just me. I love butch, because butch is brave and because it’s the real me. Being a butch woman, a butch dyke – it takes courage.

I wear clothing from the men’s department, they’re comfortable and look good on me and they never have fake, decorative pockets. Pockets matter, because I’m not overly fond of handbags and manbags. I fit the category used by Kate Clinton – stylish butch; I think Ellen DeGeneres fits that description too. I’m working on the silver fox aspect too. I don’t like the size of my breasts and if surgery was cheap, I’d get ’em lopped off, but I don’t want it enough to sacrifice stuff for it; and anyway, women have al…erm none of your business. I don’t bind, because it sounds problematic, so bras are a necessary evil. Shifting south, it’s boxers or commando. I’m told that I walk like a man, and when I’m feeling cocky, I strut (insert dirty laugh here).

I get called sir at least once a day, both face to face and on the phone. I get called ma’am too and I don’t pay any special attention to either. I’ve been mistaken for a boy since I was seven, and when I was 22 and wearing a skirt at work, a guy shook my hand and said I was a brave man to wear a skirt. Sometimes the male or female tag sticks, and sometimes people get confused and disconcerted, but that’s their issue, not mine. Choosing a public bathroom can be entertaining and occasionally, frightening. And sometimes I have a little fun (if I’m getting funny looks) by saying I’m so glad I had the operation. I get insulted too, mostly covertly. Whether it’s covert or overt, I react by saying something along the lines of wow that’s rude, because it is. I’ve been yelled at on the streets in the UK, but never in SA. I could tell you at least a hundred stories about reactions to me; I usually make those anecdotes funny too.

Women … sometimes I fit into that heterofuckwit concept of but which is the man and sometimes I don’t. In my own little queer ghetto, plenty of hot women are fans of butches. My sex life, when I have one, is an extremely, mindblowingly intense kind of amazing. If you’re wondering about things like strapons, keep wondering.

Doing and being allegedly feminine things do not affect my perception of myself.

I shave my head and my underarms, I do not shave my shapely legs and … my groin is still none of your business. The old buggers who live round here have pretty much stopped gazing at my legs slack jawed; my policy is to force eye contact and stare right back. Freaks them out completely. My policy is a fabulous one, unless there’s a chance of being queer bashed. The policy there is throw shoulders back and stride confidently off. Alternatively, sidling away quietly with your heart pounding your eardrums is another decent option. Okay okay, if you’re a lovely lesbo, my groin might be your business. Applications on a postcard etc etc.

What else … Ivan Coyote’s Butch Roadmap is brilliant. Watch that and read this (the spoken word video version makes my eyes leak).

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Published by

blahpolar

battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

48 thoughts on “a-z challenge: b”

  1. You Rock! I am by no means feminine and am probably more androgynous. I wish I could be more butch but I’m too soft. Though I have been called sir and it doesn’t bother me. I also LOVE butches, with the exception of Dani, who I’ve talked about in my blog. I’m glad that you don’t care as much of what people think, like shaving your legs. I hate having to shave but am still too self conscious to stop. Keep up your awesomeness!
    ~Devin

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ahhh thanks sir and you rock too :) Nothing wrong with soft, idk exactly what you mean by it there, but you know soft butch is a thing, right? And leg hair … I shaved in the distant past and if I wanted to shave now, I would. No big deal either way, methinks. And a lot of the not caring aspects just come with age. Thanks again Dev.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. That’s true, Soft Butch is. Kind of forgot that. It might be different too if I had more friends in the LGBT community. I’m not into the bar scene though and not really sure where to meet others. I agree with the age thing. I’m 31 and a lot better about not caring then I was in my early 20’s. Hopefully it will continue that way. :-)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I know that feel – atm my lgbtq friends are all long distance or purely online. Small area … the nearest town is 45kms away and has one club and nothing else to join or visit or whatever. You could shop online if you have similar issues. My 30s were fun. Yours can be too.

          Like

  2. Fantastic, insightful post.

    Online I have been spurned a lot for mistaking pronouns or not considering non-binary in my ‘stupidly straight CIS female mind’ ~ There I was throwing pronouns by mistake because I didn’t bother to read their life story hidden in some link on their Tumblr.

    At any rate the rageful commentary led to the exploration of what the hell CIS meant, as well as this binary term which I had thought related to programming. I embrace insults that lead to furthering my education on new terminology people use to identify or label themselves with. I was so lost. So ignorant.

    Learning hasn’t made me feel any more confident as I never know when I’m going to be chewed up. Damned when I ask pronoun preferences (DO I SEEM LIKE AN ABNORMAL PERSON THAT YOU HAVE TO ASK ME THAT?) damn if I don’t and throw assumptions (HOW COULD YOU MISTAKE ME FOR ____?)

    The last thing I ever want is to offend anyone.

    Kind of like that about the Japanese language. Not much him / her identifiers. Just YOURNAME-SAN(SAMA).

    As for them leg hairs… I keep them around in the winter for warmth. I personally don’t like my body hair, but I refuse to slave away waxing. Too much hassle. I also don’t like pleasing the stupids who think women aren’t women if they’re not hairless goddesses. Screw you, stupids. I’ll be a hairy goddess, thank you very much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol what a brilliant comment, I love it. I tend to offend (yay rhyme) by being blunt in my questions. I totally accept ‘I don’t want to discuss it’ as an answer though. Idgaf what pronouns are applied to me; a good verbal genderfuck can be such fun. I use ‘them’ and ‘they’ by default – no gender specified at all. Lol the Japanese way sounds good – and given names should be enough really. If it matters to a trans* person that I use specific pronouns I’m happy to. It gets confusing though. Anything beyond hir and ze confuses me. Then again, most things confuse me.

      And here’s to warm legs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s easier in person because I can see the person and hear them and interact immediately. I think they can read my honest intentions on my sometimes pleasant face. Online they expect me to be psychic and know everything. Children, if I could muster any psychic energies I would be conjuring lotto numbers in my head. The shrinks are pricey.

        Confusion sometimes becomes my second middle name.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Guess what butch sister (sir?). Gonna have a chance to hear and meet Ivan Coyote in May when they speak at HumanRites, a conference on faith (all Kinds) and the LGBT community in May. http://www.humanrites.ca/ A collective that Ivan was part of called Boys Like Her was one of the steps on my gender journey back in the 90s. Cool eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed the post and the comments as well. I respect anyone who is true to themselves and does not give in to the “Stay between the lines…the lines are your friends…” mentality.

    So many people just give in the “status quo” because that is what everyone else is doing. The status quo people bore me and sometimes freak me out, because they do not thing for themselves.

    “When everyone follows somebody else,,,no one thinks for themselves.” Ajahn Brahm

    I like this quote and I have heard it in Buddhist talks but I feel a bit more paranoid than the quote. I think there are people at the top that are in charge of the “status quo” and they set the rules for people to follow. When you do not follow the rules, the “normals” in power positions will make your life more difficult.

    But I stand true to what I believe, and I follow the rules that make sense to me. I do not follow any authority blindly. So, if you know who you are and you stand up for what you believe in, then you are brave ans special.

    You probably are unaware of how many other people you end up helping along the way. There are people who want to dress the way you do, but they are afraid to do so. When they see you, they feel braver and more self confident. You have an important role in the world.

    Every act has consequences, whether good or bad. You generate an energy into the world of confidence and that it is okay to be yourself, and not who others tell you to be. You have my respect.

    Blessings,
    Annie

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Yup I made it all the way to day two of the challenge.”
    You do crack me up.
    You write so well, you should be getting paid for this (are you? I realise I don’t know what your “day job” is).
    Thanks to you guys I now realise my cool neighbour and American pal is butch rather than “just lesbian”. It somehow makes no difference to me, I find her hot in a masculine way with some female extra and now I know why, but that’s all. Surely these “definitions” only matter if you’re thinking sexual thoughts? Or should only matter if you see what I mean, I do understand that society can still make things tough. Is it something you wish people knew about you even if they are not wanting to relate to you sexually or do you not care in normal everyday interactions? (and by normal I mean anything not pertaining to sex).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t call anyone butch till they say it – some extreeeeeeemely butch looking women look astonished and horrified about it … I speak from repeated and totally perplexed experience (lol). Day job was editing and writing, work is not happening atm though. Thanks so much for saying such incredibly lovely things. And good question … it used to matter a lot, to be out and proud and vocal … because I’m all middle class privileged and so on and many are not. Idk if you’ve read about curative rape of lesbians in this country … obvs that still matters, but I am older and more solitary now. People (when I see any) can think wtf they like. As for sex, it’s been so lomg that I’ll need a reminder of the definition before I can discuss it. :D

      Liked by 4 people

      1. aha thanks for the tips! And oh god know I didn’t know about that happening in South Africa, though I have a feeling that’s still happening in a lot of places too :/

        Like

        1. Corrective rape is the right term and SA is the creator and world leader of it. Horrible. Ack I shouldn’t be discussing it in my comments really … sorry if anyone got triggered :(

          Liked by 4 people

  6. Gender and sexuality (and therefore, how we style ourselves) is a fluid thing. I’m a straight woman who has no problems admiring a gorgeous woman (sometimes for a little too long). Sometimes I wear dresses. Sometimes I wear my husband’s jeans. People like you, my friend, challenge the norm. And it’s challenge we need now. Keep being you.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Aha I love this post.

    Screw the rules. I’m a bi feminine girl, in a mostly straight relationship and I’m mostly okay with it, who’s wardrobe is 50% womens clothes 50% guys. This time last year my hair was shaved, when I wore a dress I assume people thought I was dying. I lived my teenage years looking like a lad because anorexia made ma hormones go adios and androgyny was easier, my friends tried to dress me and I cringed from head to toe, now I’ve got the curvy bits and I’ve figured out just about how do makeup and paint my nails, hair still eludes me, I try and grow it then get out the clippers. I’m the horrible cliche bi-straight relationship and I miss girls. But I also want a penis, have since I was 14, I’m okay with that. And I wish the boyfriend had boobs.

    I don’t know the rules but its so much more comfortable not playing by them.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I admire your courage and self acceptance. I am not beholden to a label because I just don’t think it’s that simple, even if I am primarily drawn to men (and believe me, it’s a frickin’ mystery even to me why) but I have fallen for women just as easily. They were, of course, grossed out by the notion but…I just don’t think attraction, connection, and love are deserving of some societal label.
    Being true to yourself…That’s courage.
    You’re kind of an idol to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. Thanks! You could just say you’re pomosexual … don’t worry, I had to google it when I first heard it too. And thank you again – v much.

      Like

      1. I hate labels. I just don’t think affairs of the heart should be labeled. Love is love. Gender has NOTHING to do with it contrary to the consensus.
        You are true to yourself…That is admirable. I know wayyy too many people who put on a front rather than face who they are. It takes guts.

        Like

  9. In elementary school, I was dressed as female but privately wondered if I was supposed to have been born male. I decided that even if I didn’t get a sex change when I got older, I would change my name and dress and go as male.

    Adolescence hit and I was horrified. My body bled and betrayed me. I wore bras all night, hoping to stunt any growth. (Maybe it worked, because I’m quite small.)

    By the end of high school, I had mostly stopped giving a shit. Then I fell in love with a boy who was quite feminine in some ways. Basically, I look back and consider us somewhat androgynous. Gender didn’t matter. I hadnt shaven in a year or so, for that matter. I had never touched makeup or frilly clothes or whatever.

    In college, I let myself pick out some girly clothes that would have previously disgusted me. During my first mental breakdown, my best friend (female) asked me out, but I was in too much of a mental crisis to consider. My roommate told me she was in love with me and couldn’t bear to see me with anyone else.

    Fast forward through a decade. A failed marriage. I allowed some coworkers to dress me. I appear female.

    The only thing that I suspect will always be there is that, for my entire life, I am male in most of my dreams. Maybe even all of my dreams. Typically I’m the male main character even when it means I have girlfriends. It’s just me.

    But I’m not attracted to women. I’m not attracted to most men, either. In elementary school, an older kid did try to brainwash me into being a lesbian when I grew up. I waited in suspense for over a decade for it to happen, doubting myself, doubting my friendships with girls. Sometimes, in my dreams, I dated them.

    But no, when I’m awake, there’s nothing. The only females I’ve ever been attracted to are ones who are quite androgynous. And most of the males I find myself quite attracted to are androgynous in some way.

    Everyone who fits into a strong male or female role — does absolutely nothing for me.

    Just felt like sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you did share. If you were wealthy and it was easy, would you want to transition (in whatever way) from female to male?

      When I was a kid, the concept of ‘boy’ seemed so much cooler than ‘girl’ – now I mostly think it just shouldn’t matter.

      Your perspectives about gender are very cool.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nah, I wouldn’t change now. I actually think I kind of hate most male bodies. I don’t like female bodies, either. Maybe I’d go for unix. I certainly wouldn’t have any of this menstruation / hormonal changes all the freaking time shit. But I don’t like what males have in its place. I’d go for nothing.

        Like

  10. “Force eye contact and stare right back”
    Love it!
    Can relate but more so from a straight females perspective.
    It’s refreshing that you write so openly because the world needs more of you in it.
    I read your posts in a glutton fashion. None for weeks than I’ll sit down and indulge in all I’ve missed while hiding in my mind for however long.
    Reading comments about ‘corrective rape’ sent shivers down my spine. Just NO!
    When will people get it?
    I have the most wonderful couple as friends. And if either of these beautiful women were ever treated like that I’d go after the culprits with an axe.
    Keep on keeping on my friend. Stay safe 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  11. are you sure you weren’t writing about me???

    I was in 5th grade when I knew I wanted to be a Prince; I wanted to be the person/guy who saved the pretty princess. I wanted to make the girls smile. but as as girl, I wasn’t allowed to. and I wasn’t attracted to guys yet (as I was still too deeply “one of them”), so I was “obviously” asexual. then I fell for the first guy — who was *incredibly* effeminate.

    I also remember in middle school when the cheerleaders of other schools would “check out” me due to how I looked. it was flattering. not just that the *girls* were looking at me. but rather, because I was being looked for *who I was*, and who I felt I was. it was awesome.

    blah blah blah, whatever; this is your blog, not mine. just know that you’re kinda telling the story many of us have also lived through. so thanks for putting into words what some of us cannot yet do. <3

    Liked by 1 person

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