Butch as Gender
The Butch and Femme thing is kind of difficult to describe when it is such an intensely/internally understood thing. I have been butch since I knew my sexuality. And Butchness is a totally different concept from the mainstream normative masculinty which is terribly problematic. I think the normative masculinity is killing men in so many ways. Butchness on the other hand is about survival of people who are living in the margins of society. If is also proof that female bodied people have a capacity to express gender in many ways, and it is also proof of sexuality within these bodies, period. This makes butches and any other transgendered female bodied people dangerous to the status quo, we are by definition, genderfucks and gender rebels. I like to call us the GFP, Gender Fuck Posse.
Butchness is such an internal part of my identity. It is also a part that will always tie me to the queer community. In my own opinion I believe that butchness is a queer identity. A biological male cannot be butch unless he is within the lesbian and butch boy dyke community. There is a difference between the two. Being male is a biological determinant of your sex, but butchness is an essence, a way of moving through life and relationships and a way to relate to your body and to your sexuality. For me, my butchness and trans identity go hand in hand. I cannot separate them because such a big part of my masculinty lies in my butchness. Femmes are my primary attraction, NOT straight women. There is a very thick, drawn out and distinct line that separates these two terms as well. I wouldn't have it any other way than a femme. Femmes (self-identified) are just amazing partners to their butches, granted the femmes have to be healthy women (trans and non) in order to be in good relationships. I am not making any sort of argument to state that butch femme couples are always the best and the healthiest, because they are not. I am speaking only from personal experience. My femme takes care of me and I do the same for her. We are completely equal partners in out relationship. What makes us totally different then most relationships is that we are both willing to express our gender in a binary way, at the same time however we remain true to ourselves and how we are viewed by society. A butch is someone (female bodied, trans man, or lesbian, or bisexual and everythingelse in between and outside of) who is completely comfortable within their own interpretation of masculinty. Butches are very, very masculine and very much caretakers of friends, families and their lovers/partners. But the most important part of the butch is that his/her identity is totally congruent to that of the femme. Most butches, but certainly not all, relate the best to femmes. This does not mean that we don't take responsibility for our actions...it just means that they have our hearts and souls, wrapped up inside their lips, heart and body. There is always the possibility of finding the bestest of the butch friends though, with an intense connection, but this is not a common thing. Though I myself have found some amazing friendships with other butches. This is an important part of the honesty within a healthy butch-femme couple. Even through the transition process and even surgery, I will consider myself butch, that part of the dyke identity I lived with for so long is extrememly meaningful to me.
To tie these concepts together can be rather confusing. One thing is butch, and yet another is being a transguy. For me though, it is very simple. I have always been butch in terms of my attraction. I have always considered myself to be a guy. The term dyke was used when I thought I had no other options, it doesn't mean I liked the label by any means. There are many transguys who will tell you that they never identified as lesbians, and some of them may even have a hard time being around them. NOT ME. The truth is that i actually enjoy the company of lesbians because they embraced my sexual deviance and certainly acceoted my masculinity before any men or straight women ever did. The only problem I may have with the dyke community is just having to tell them to switch the pronouns. Many of them have said they do not understand it, because many lesbians have an attachment to their bodies as female. There is a sense of pride, pride that I never really felt. That has been my only wall, other than that I do not want to leave the lesbian community, but more specifically the butch community. As I start to transition, I am wondering where this will leave me. It will take a while for me to look like a real bio guy, but this is something that is very important to look at and think about in regards to the relationship. I am passing a lot, and a lot of times I am not. When I don't pass, there is a sense of community there for me...with my butch brothers and sisters, but when I pass..do I feel the same pride? Sometimes I do, pride in myself and when I look at my femmes and fellow butches there is a distance there that I cannot describe.
I will always be butch in the way I treat femmes. Always. I will always do the same things and relate to them the same way a butch would the only difference will be the way I am perceived by the outside world. I will be seen as a man, and the invisibility of my transness is sometimes frustrating. While many guys wish they had been born male, I don't. Also, I don't think I will ever identify as straight, because that is not my sexuality. I think it is rather limiting. I am with a female identified, female bodied femme as we speak, and I don't plan on changing that. But I will also say that as a butch, and as a guy I would never turn down an intimate healthy relationship with a femme bio guy or anyone worthy for that matter. I love flaming gay men. I just know that I need a partner that understands, accepts, respects and encourages my butch identity. I would never be able to be with someone who neverunderstood my somewhat convolued identity. Again, I am stressing femme, not biological sex. This makes me butch and queer, and it certainly does not make me straight. I just prefer a partner on the far extreme of the feminine spectrum. But this does not mean that my attraction is limited. we all have our preferences but to really narrow down our attraction to one specific, small, marginalized group of people is very skewed to me. Personally, the more a girl or guy thinks about which mascara to buy, the more I know I will fall in love with them. Yeah I know, I am strange. I am within the community now because I still pass as female. I am in the community still because my partner is a very out and proud femme.
here are some great links for you to check out
butche and femme
stone femme (great site for femmes!)
Also my best boy Kael has great resources on his site, go check them out. Kael's Site.
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