there is no gender nonconforming / butch Standard that you have to measure up to, there is no list of Approved Gnc Clothes or Approved Gnc Haircuts, the point of being a gender non conforming woman is NOT to slough off strict stereotypically feminine expectations only to adopt new strict stereotypically masculine expectations - if you’re viewing butchness as “I HAVE to shop in the “men’s section” and cut my hair” you’re not approaching it in the way it is intended. the purpose of being gnc is to defy gendered expectations, not create new ones.
Snapbacks and cargo shorts and overalls and flannels aren’t inherently gnc, they aren’t on some Official Butch Clothing list, they’re gnc for me and for many others simply because we wear them instead of the stereotypically feminine way we’re expected to dress by family/the construct of gender/gendered expectations. They’re gnc because in wearing them we are defying the gendered expectation to do otherwise. my haircut isn’t inherently butch (and not all butches have short hair), it’s not butch because it’s on the list of Butch Approved Haircuts, the reason it’s butch to me is because I have always felt trapped by the expectation of having girly long hair, and I defied that expectation.
@ girls who are starting to experiment with presenting more gnc or butch and finding themselves stuck with where to start, here’s my main tip: instead of thinking about which gnc stereotypes you feel you have to emulate to be Butch Enough (which isn’t true or necessary), think about the ways that you’re performing feminine presentation, and within that category, think about the things you’re tired of doing, the things you don’t want to do anymore, because you feel you’re being forced to. what parts of compulsory feminine performance do you want to stop doing? when I started to present as gnc, the first things I thought of were shaving my legs and wearing makeup everyday. those were things I didn’t want to do, that I felt I had to do to be a woman properly. so for me, the first steps of being gnc were to stop shaving my legs and to not wear makeup every day. then, as I was comfortable I added things to my newfound gnc presentation, like cutting my hair (again, a personal choice not a gnc Rule), wearing a certain style of clothing, etcetera.
yes, it’s true that certain types of clothes / haircuts / presentation styles are associated in LGBT circles with gnc women, and that visible association with a group of people can be a vital part of butch or gnc identity, but don’t let it hold you back if you desperately want to be more gnc but can’t picture yourself in certain gnc stereotypes - don’t approach it from conforming to a new set of expectations, approach it as letting yourself out of your old ones - specifically the ones that gender enforces against you as a woman.
Can we please, please stop attacking each other for the way we enjoy our fandoms? Fiction, and fanfiction is a way for a lot of us to get away from the hardships in our real lives. It’s where we can forget our problems and stress, where we can just focus on and get lost in our favorite characters and stories! We can create more diversity, feel included and involved. We can explore more difficult experiences we face and traumas we went through, where we can safely explore our sexuality and emotions, it’s our coping mechanism, our source of happiness and hope when things aren’t going so well outside. Fiction is such a powerful and important tool that i don’t have words to describe it. We don’t have to agree on everything, our opinions don’t have to match. Our differences and diversity is what enriches and enhances our fandoms. It’s so easy, and so simple to just let each other be. Don’t like, don’t read. Ship and let ship. If there’s something you disagree on, either discuss it politely or scroll past. Don’t try to force your point of view on someone else. Use appropriate tags and warnings and don’t go looking for an argument just for arguments sake. Simply enjoy the parts of the fandom you want to, and don’t get upset because there are people who do it differently than you. I’ve seen so many aggressive, shaming posts and call outs lately and that’s really upsetting. I swear, if we could just try to be more respectful and understanding, it will make all of our fandom experience more positive and beneficial. It costs nothing to be nice and understanding to each other, we should try it more.