Tag Archives: being butch

Go ahead and label me

imagesCABVPTSFWhen W and I first started dating, she made it very clear that she doesn’t like labels.

On one of our first dates, we met at a local gay bar and discussed 50 shades of gay with the bartender.  Does it really matter what we call ourselves and how we identify?  Gay, bi, queer, all or none of the above or something in between.  Isn’t it all about the person?  What’s on the inside?  To hell with restrictive, pigeonholing labels.

Of course, I agreed.  I mean, it was early in our relationship and I wanted the girl.  Besides, being anti-label seemed to be the politically correct stance at the time.

I was reminded of all of this stuff about labels this morning.  W was getting ready to go to a music festival with her son.  As she was putting in her earrings, I commented about how girlish she is.  She finished getting dressed — jeans, sneakers and a V-neck T-shirt, wallet in the back pocket — and reminded me about how she doesn’t fit neatly in a square box labeled “femme.”

And, it’s true.  She’s got some fantastic “femme” parts and tendencies, which drive this butch wild, but she can’t be contained by boxes or categories or labels.

Case in point, her hands.  I find W’s hands incredibly sexy.  Her fingers are always decked out in silver rings.  I like how the silver sparkles when it catches the light and how feminine her hands look all bedazzled like that.  But I’m also smitten by how capable her hands look.  Strong, agile and adept.  Hands that can sew a pair of drapes, darn a sock, plunge a toilet or fix a pair of glasses with a tiny screwdriver and a pair of pliers.

I certainly love W because of who she is and not because of any label that she wears.

images[7]On the other sparsely ringed hand, I’m quite a different story.  I like labels.  I need labels.  I desire labels.  If I could, I’d sew this label on the back of my neck:


Just like a Hanes T-shirt or a pair of underwear going to summer camp, I feel the need to wear a tag.  To let everyone know who I am.  To remind myself of who I am.

I have an insatiable need to fit in, to belong, to be a part of something greater than myself.

I’ve had times in my life when people have caught me off guard and referred to me as a “butch” or a “baby dyke.”  Usually, I do that thing where you turn your head looking for the person being talked about and then slowly nod like oh yeah, of course, you were talking about me, I was just momentarily distracted by that shiny thing in the corner over there.

Having a label makes me feel safe.  It makes me feel like I’m someone.  That I’m not alone.


Me and k.d. belong to the same club

I’m a butch lesbian like all of the other butch lesbians.  Me and k.d.  Me and Shane kickin’ it at The Planet.  For butches only.  Just us butches.  With our super-secret handshake and members-only clubhouse.

I’ve never been much of a leader.  I’ve never really understood the benefit of going first or paving the way, blazing the trail or setting the pace.

I find it much more desirable and advantageous to bring up the rear.  To follow.  To fall in line.  To go with the flow.

I like to keep things organized and manageable.  I don’t like cross-over or spill-over or messiness.  I like things neat.  Like a white ribbed tank with a pair of jeans.  Or a crisp, freshly pressed white button down with a colorful paisley necktie.

I could never be a Chinese menu.  I’m not in favor of picking and choosing from columns A, B and C.

It’s column B or bust.  B or nothing for this butch.

I wear the label “Butch” proudly, with a capital “B,” even though it might not be politically correct.  For isn’t it all about the woman underneath the Arrow dress shirt and the pinstripe pants?

Of course, but this woman has only really felt like herself when she started wearing a label the reads “butch.”

Middle-age butch screams like a little girl

There was a lot of commotion in our house early this morning.  Our crackerjack mouser, Magic the Cat, had captured a mouse and carried it upstairs to the bathtub for further torture play.

W woke me up so that I could fetch a large plastic cup to trap the mouse and then set him free.  We’ve got this mouse rescue thing down to a science.

I handed the cup off to W, and she pulled back the shower curtain.

“Oh my God, he’s so big!” I said.

According to W, this gave the mouse the courage to scale the walls of the tub and make a break for freedom.

imagesCA3Q04LXWhen the mouse raced up and out of the tub, I screamed.  Loudly.  Shrilly.  Like a 13-year-old girl watching The Blair Witch Project at a sleepover.

Magic stared up at me from the steps.  “You dumb ass.  I had that mouse all caught,” she said.  “Were you waiting for me to gift wrap it for you?”

She can be a total asshole sometimes.

With the mouse on the loose, W and I decided to go back to bed and pretend that nothing had happened.

In bed, W couldn’t resist pointing out the girlish — and very unbutch — nature of my shriek.

“You just handed me a plastic cup and started screaming like a girl,” she said.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know that you wanted to play by rigid gender roles,” I replied.  “Next time, I’ll try to scream in a more manly fashion, ” I added.

And that’s how we started our Saturday.  It wasn’t even 7:00 a.m., and we were having a heady discussion about gender and roles and expectations and whether it is beyond the realm of butchdom to scream in a girlish fashion when a rodent — imagine a ginormous, fanged rodent the size of a micro-wolf — unexpectantly lunges from a tub inches from one’s body.

So, dear readers, please chime in.

If a butch screams at 6:00 a.m. in a bathroom while dodging a giant mouse and no one hears but her femme, is she any less a butch?

What’s the most unbutch thing you’ve done recently?

Butch goes to a department store

I had to go to Kohl‘s today and pay my credit card bill.

If you’re not familiar with Kohl’s, it’s a department store sort of like J.C. Penney but way better.

Because I was already inside the store, I decided to do some shopping.

Here’s what Middle Age Butch bought:

Snowman Hand Towel

How can this not make you smile?

One snowman hand towel for the freshly painted downstairs bathroom.  $4.00.  Who says lesbians can’t be interior decorators?  They had a really cute and fluffy white snowman towel, but we have three teenage boys.  You do the math.  Note to butch: Don’t forget to buy a lot of really nice white stuff like towels and rugs — but not cocaine — after the kids leave home.  You probably won’t need mind-numbing drugs after the kids leave home.  It’ll be like one giant Dinah Shore White Party every single day of the week.

Phillies Pajama Bottoms

Can’t wait to rock these

One pair of Philadelphia Phillies pajama bottoms.  $4.20.  On clearance.  Things I love: the Phillies, pajamas, elastic waistbands, sleep.  Win, win, win, win.  I will be like Charlie Sheen when I wear these this spring.  Winning.  Big time.  So cute.  I love the tiny little silver button on the fly.  And they have pockets!  Bonus.

Hooded Vest

Sporty yet dressy

One hooded vest.  $7.20.  On clearance.  Not sure why they don’t have a butch lesbian section as a subset of the young men’s department.  Or, a Justin Bieber section.  Same thing.  This screams “lesbian” just like a flannel shirt or a Chicks Dig Me tee.  Or, maybe “boy band,” but who’s counting.  The vest is a soft sweatshirty gray material lined in black with a drawstring hood.  Sweet.  Would look great with a plain white tee underneath, a pair of jeans and black Doc Marten’s.  Middle Age Butch needs to lose a few pounds to really rock this.  Combines two of my favorite things — vests and sweatshirts.  Wondering how to combine other things I love … like pizza and beer, wool socks and buttonfly jeans …

Funny Unicorn Tee

Funny yet so true

One funny unicorn T-shirt.  $2.40. On clearance.  Ok, so Middle Age Butch is not all fluffy and rainbowy and into unicorns and glitter.  I mean, I would eat unicorn meat in a heartbeat.  Especially barbequed unicorn.  Or braised unicorn.  Or unicorn parmesan.  Wow, my mouth is actually watering now.  But this T-shirt caught my eye.  I have a thing for T-shirts.  Which means that I have way too many and when I open up my closet to grab one to wear, the whole pile teeters and I have to quick close the door before they come crashing down and bury me alive.  Although in the realm of all possibilities, being suffocated by my awesome T-shirt collection is not such a bad way to go out.   Oh, I like jokey things about therapy, too.  If you haven’t noticed.

What about you?  What’s the coolest thing you’ve purchased in recent weeks?