Over the last couple of months, I’ve had dozens of people ask me (through my blogs, through our butch support group on facebook, and through our local meetup group) if I could help them figure out if they were butch. This has ranged from “can you be a sounding board for me to work through some stuff?” (which I’m always happy to do, makes me feel useful!) to “can you basically just give me the answer?” (to which i would like to say, “i don’t know a fuckin thing my guy”).
Its made me realize what a rocky (ha, ha) terrain this is for so many people. god, I know how it felt for me to settle into butch, like pulling on your most weather worn boots that have, over time, totally aligned to the shape of your feet. Sometimes I forget what it was like to break them in. Sometimes I forget how lost you feel before you’ve found your home. If I can raise the lantern to the path behind me, I’d very much like to do that, for anyone still stumbling through the dark.
When people come to me and want to work out their feelings about their relationship to butch, I don’t ask questions like, have you ever been mistaken for a man, are you attracted to femmes, is your hair short, do you have a strong build, are you dysphoric, do you wear flannel shirts and solid men’s shoes. These are all things associated with butchness, and certainly with good reason, but they aren’t the definition. This isn’t about what you put on your body. Neither is it a wishy washy identity thing - it’s something you can’t take off or put on, just something you can choose to own or not. I am butch no matter what I do.
Think about the last time you saw a butch in public. Like, a real live butch stranger, existing and living out there. How did you feel? Did your heart light up for a moment, hoping she’d see you? If you’ve had the pleasure to be around other butches already, do you feel camaraderie? Does something hard and rough unfold just a little at the edges before you go back out into the world? When you read butch words, butch history, do you feel rooted and real? Does it make you feel like you can live?
When I tried to hide my butch self, it was miserable - and everyone could see through it anyway. When I came home, I found myself. I found myself in womanhood. I found myself in lesbianism. I found a paper trail of proof that I exist, have existed throughout history, will continue to exist, that I don’t have to stuff my unwilling and untamed body into a falsehood of femininity or the dissociative state of manhood. Suddenly, I had roots. Suddenly, my feet were on the ground - armored by these old weather worn boots that have seen me through so much.
(pic from fun home by alison bechdel)
You're right he doesn't like bullies. You know what else Norman has stated he doesn't like? Gossip. And BS tabloid stories which is what your whole blog is based on. You think he'd thank you for spreading this crap about him?