*today

hearing “i love you” from a close friend, relatives or parents is the most beautiful thing ever, like you don’t have to find a significant other to be loved, you are loved already by the people around you and it’s a blessing

I heard a rumor that butches have access to the world of men by virtue of their polished boots and perfect Winsor knots
Some tragedy tells me that they are the pretend women; the women born wrong; the women-not-women
who inhabit a spectral plane where they wear shackles identical to mine but cannot name the cage they’re in

I heard a lie that butches are men in a bad plastic mask
That their privileges include public hisses, leering eyes, and strangers plodding close behind
I heard that butches sink venom
into femme women
into straight women
into whoever passes by their street corner
at which of course they are leaning against a brick wall with their thumbs hooked into their Dungarees

(But this is not about my fantasies)

I was told some tedium
when I was a baby gay
salivating over Stephanie with the chain wallet and the sneer
who spoke against the cruelty of boys in my class
when I was sold the snake oil that butches were hiding in the shadows
with lighters
waiting to burn my bra
But here is what I have learned:

Butches swing bats against true predators
scaled monstrosities preying up and down the block
They have dug their heels in for my right to call myself a lesbian
to free me from every constricting dress and shapewear that men would otherwise cram me into

I was always good enough, small enough, big enough, loud and quiet and sour enough

A butch woman taught my public school sex education class
and gritted her teeth when her students asked about barrier methods
hands tied by the confines of simply needing to pay her rent
so no she could not dismantle the system
But, she said,
“If anyone–anyone–Has any questions, my office is open”

Butches ask me if I’m doing okay when I’m in a new space
They ask me to dance
if I feel safe
if I need to get a cab home
Butch women have been the ones to catch my terrified stare when I have Shrodinger’s rapist standing next to me on the subway

because you don’t know
until you know

Butches love flowers,
split the bill
whisper sweetly to their cats
secretly sleep with teddy bears

Butches snore like sleeping dragons and bite like them, too
but only when their homes have been invaded
caved in, gutted
and carved beyond recognition

Butch is not a liminal space
a go-between
Butch is a force to be reckoned with, but if you let it, then the rain will come
and everything good will grow from the ground
The rain will come

The dyke rages on.

—  Dan Yell, @anarchism-lesbianism