Butch and more butch

300h[1]I was reading the paper today and stumbled upon this quote by Pink:

“I was always considered butch.  Feeling beautiful to me is when I feel good in my leather pants and my husband grabs my ass.”

The word “butch” took me by surprise.

Hey, that’s my word.  My thing.  Me.  I am Middle-age butch, after all.

Why is a straight woman like Pink using the word “butch” in reference to herself?

Sure, Pink is an edgy, bad-ass rock star who looks hot in leather pants.  If a straight girl is going to use that word, it might as well be Pink.

I guess the flannel on my shirt stood straight up for a moment there because the word “butch” means something to me.

After I came out, I considered myself a “soft butch.”  Something like a tomboy with harder edges and more rigid views about my sexuality.

I transitioned to what I consider a regular butch a few years later.  The more butch I became, the shorter my hair.  I’m sure there’s an algorithm for that somewhere.

I hit my butch stride when I first started dating W.  I was rocking jeans and flannel shirts from the young men’s department.  Thick black belts and Dr. Marten’s boots.  I felt good in my body.  Like things fit — like I fit — for the first time in my life.

I carried myself differently.  With more confidence and purpose.

At the time, I was participating in a weekly therapy group related to coming out.  I used to leave therapy and head over to W’s apartment for a quickie.  Feeling large and in charge.  Taking her in my arms and kissing her deftly and with purpose.  (We later determined that there is no such thing as a Sapphic quickie.)

Lately, I’ve felt restless in this body.  In this butch body.  Stagnant.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t changed things up in awhile.

imagesCAYXS717In the past, there have always been firsts.  Neckties, tattoos, men’s vests and suits.  Chunky boots and thick leather bracelets.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still love wearing ties, Dr. Marten’s and studded bracelets.  They make me feel sexy and alive.

But maybe it’s time to stir things up a bit.  Butch up.  Be more butch.  Butcher.  Live butch.  Love butch.

Butch.  It’s not just for breakfast anymore.  And if it was, it would beat the hell out of oatmeal and OJ every single day of the week.

Maybe I should wear my hair shorter.  Trade in my Hanes Her Way for the ones on the other side of the store.

There’s still a lot of unexplored territory.

In the end, “butch” is just a word.  Like “femme” and “dyke,” “queer” and “queen.”

It only means more if you want it to.

To me, butch is power and comfort, sex appeal and swagger.  It reminds me of a young girl long ago who didn’t know who she was or how she would ever be anything other than scared and unsure.

To me, butch is more than a label.  More than a way of life.  It’s who I am and how I came to be.

So, if Pink wants to say that people have always viewed her as a butch, who can blame her?

Not this butch.

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30 responses to “Butch and more butch

  1. “Butch. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.”

    Love. This. Line. 😀

  2. I enjoyed the post. It reminded me that the most imortant thing is what you think about yourself and how it makes you feel.

  3. I saw this article today online..the heading was something like “Not Beautiful Enough…” I was reminded by a song she sang way back when…about her looks, trying to make it in Hollywood etc. I think she’s just perfect the way she is. She can represent many…if not most women. Not stunningly beautiful in her looks, but beautiful in her heart and soul. That transcends the physical aspects…which if you ask me I don’t see a darn thing wrong with the way she looks! IF I looked like her I would be just fine with it!

  4. I love this, because I think butch is a great word. I absolutely believe P!nk is butch regardless of sexuality. She’s strong and fit and powerful and confident. When I’m running miles on the treadmill, or my uphill neighborhood loop, butch is absolutely what I want to be. I think it’s great to see women take this term, tweak it different ways, and make it their own.

    • Well said. I never really thought about it that way, probably because the word relates to how I perceive my own sexual identity and I see it very narrowly. But, yes, any woman can be butch if she’s strong and confident and has a bit of swagger. Just like Pink.

      Thanks for your sharing your perspective.

  5. thegallopinglesbian

    I love this post. I have been thinking a lot about identity and labels as I come out. I often think I am femme on the outside but butch on the inside. It’s not just about what you look like but about fitting your own self-identity to how you feel. I absolutely agree, if any heterosexual is going to label themselves butch, Pink is definitely the one to do it! I really appreciate your thoughts on this, your discussion of how identity and comfort changes over time, and, absolutely, there is no such thing as a Sapphic quickie!

    • Thanks for commenting. I like how you describe yourself as femme on the inside and butch on the outside. Would love to hear more about that. I’m definitely softer on the inside.

      It is interesting how we change over time. I do things now without hesitation that would have caused me great angst and anxiety six or seven years ago. It’s all about being comfortable with who we are and knowing deep down that there isn’t a damn thing wrong with it.

      • thegallopinglesbian

        It is interesting how we change over time. I actually think of myself as femme on the outside and butch on the inside, rather than the other way around. I look and act very feminine, but I feel strong and powerful on the inside. Behind the make-up, girly-hair, polished nails, I love to be the romancer, the one who brings flowers, sets up dates. I love to do all the heavy lifting, fixing things around the house, making the women I date feel taken care of and special.

        I like the idea that those of us who fall outside the heterosexual norms can explore these different aspects of our personalities so much more thoroughly. As you said, you feel softer on the inside. There is so much more room for playing with our identities and personalities in the queer community, and it is all about being comfortable with ourselves and allowing ourselves the opportunities to explore exactly what that means.

      • Ah, femme on the outside, butch on the inside. Like some kind of lesbian candy bar.

        I guess I would be an M&M. Hard candy shell but soft and sweet inside.

  6. One of the most wonderful things about gender is how fluid it is. If you want to experiment with it, it’s only a word or store away. I look forward to hearing what you change and how it makes you feel.

  7. I love how you are free to experiment and see what works for you and your personality/comfort zone. What makes you feel sexy?

    • I think the older I get the less I care what everyone else thinks, which makes it easier to experiment. I’m certainly far from a free spirit, but I guess that’s ok, too.

      What makes me feel sexy?

      I feel my sexiest when I’m going out with W for the evening. I like taking her out and opening doors for her, maybe surprising her with a small gift. Holding her hand. That makes me feel sexy … treating her like a lady. I like getting dressed up in jeans and a freshly pressed men’s white button-down shirt decked out with a vest and/or necktie. I like wearing men’s jewelry (watches, chain bracelets, chunky leather cuffs). I always feel sexy right after a good haircut.

  8. Love this post.

    • Thanks, javaj. The post seems to have resonated with many. And I thought butch was just a gay thing.

      • I think it resonates because of how you are embracing your life and who you are. I’ve always thought of butch as a gay thing, but I can understand why they use it to describe Pink. I think she is confident is as confident in who she is as most butch lesbians are in who they are. So, it’s a compliment to be called butch, I would think. Anyway, that’s what I took from your post. The whole confidence thing. It works for you!

  9. Storm M. Silvermane

    another awesome post. I too went through the levels of butch before finally figuring out I was trans…

  10. Great post! Kind of mirrors what I’m exploring at the moment too, which is pretty cool to see somewhere.

    Also, I’m pretty sure Pink has come out as bi, officially. Just an FYI.

    • Yeah, I think there’s a lot of us out there.

      From what I read, Pink never came out as bi officially. She says she was misquoted. She does say that she’s against labels of any kind.

  11. Pingback: Becoming my best butch | The Flannel Files

  12. I’m late to this party as I just discovered The Flannel Files. (yay! loves)!
    1. I think lots of femminizzles are anxiously awaiting (hoping) that Pink has more to reveal, herself, over time. 😀
    2. Great post about Butching it up! (Have you looked at the RodeOh boxer? Fab butch underthings from the OTHER other side of the store).
    3. Yay, again, that I found your blog. Looking forward to reading. 🙂

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