I read a lot. Reading helps me sometimes complete my thoughts, or spark new ones. Debates inside my head if you will. Today I’m reading “Butch is a Noun” by Bergman. I think that in my first Meme post I said my gender is Butch. I stand behind that, but I also want to clarify. My gender, like I think, everyone’s gender, changes slightly over time as we grow, learn, create and be. I was not always butch. Maybe some would identify me as a “soft-butch” and some would just laugh and say I’m no butch, and that’s fair, that is their opinion and their fully entitled to it. In fact I was so not-butch, I was Femme, a pretty good femme if I do say so myself.
eighth grade Soire
So that was 2003 and I probably continued that lovely fake smile for another five years. That’s right, it was 2008, maybe 2009 before I started to become comfortable with the idea that makeup, which I was never good at applying, and tight girl clothes, just weren’t made for me to be comfortable. I feel most comfortable with my pocketknife in the right front pocket of my baggy jeans and t-shirt. Sure, it makes me even feel powerful, less vulnerable. I like feeling in charge, I like that instead of being stared at, I’m respected. I should note, that I think all people should be respected, doesn’t matter if they’re in skinny jeans, a mini-skirt, tube-top, whatever… But I’m digressing. This is what makes me comfortable:
Driving across country the 1st time... My little civic didn't come with me this time.
There was a brief period of my life that I thought I was FTM but I’m too proud of being a woman, proud of the women that helped raise me. I’m just a person, I’m a butch. I just grew up in my own way, a little later than most. As it is, I’m not a huge fan of wrestling with the boys, the bois, the butches or the what-have-yous… Don’t get me wrong, I think I can defend myself if need be, I know what I need to know, but I have no need push other people around for the fun of it. I can see how it can be fun for others, see who is stronger or better at fighting. I just don’t like hurting people, so I don’t try to, in play or whatever. Wrestling, to me, feels like flirting. I’m a pacifist to the nth degree, until you try to hurt me, or anyone else. I only recently discovered a fondness for contact sports, or any sport for that matter. I love working my body to its ultimate limit but that doesn’t require pushing other people around. I’d rather show the elderly that us young “boys” are kind and gentle creatures, or can be. I prefer opening doors for muscle-men at the gym to having doors opened for me. It’s just who I am. I describe myself as butch for the qualities I appreciate in the elder Butch population. When I bind, I bind because it makes me more comfortable. When I’m wearing my work uniform with a sports bra underneath and still get called “Sir” at Wal-Mart, I politely lower my voice as best I can and adopt my “manliest” stance and walk. If they change their minds, they do, if not, they don’t. Most of all, I appreciate that sitting here in the only coffee shop in this tiny town the woman behind the counter gave me a whole bowl of their famous popcorn free, and then recanted to me her life story, excited that their indeed was another queer in the house. If I was a man would that have happened? I sincerely doubt it.
I’ve got another few days of this town and I’m starting to like it. Tomorrow I’ll go back to the MeMe.