It’s always good to sit back and contemplate those things we are thankful for, that we appreciate, that we can say, “Well, I do have that…”. So I’ve decided to write a tribute to a subject near and dear to my heart: my Butches.
Being a lesbian in our society is one thing. But being a Butch lesbian, or anyone who dares to color outside the lines of society’s rigidly defined gender expressions, is a road traveled by the courageous few. My gender expression is ninety percent female, so I am almost never on the receiving end of what I have seen my Butches go through. Many people are accepting, even intrigued by femme lesbians. A case in point; lesbians in the media are often portrayed as femmes. They are makeup wearing, long hair flowing, high-heel wearing, straight looking women, who are hooking up together. Of course, often these women are just straight women acting like lesbians, especially when it comes to porn. No one seems very disturbed by that (well, except lesbians). And porn aside, a femme lesbian looks and acts similarly to her straight counterparts (i.e. non-threatening). But the Butch lesbian dares to cross the boundaries of what many in our society consider sacrosanct. She may look, act, think, or otherwise behave in a way that evokes masculinity. And the Butch, brave soul, does this, not just in the bedroom, where those who “tolerate” her seek to have her imprisoned. Nope, she walks on out the door, without apology or defense and says, “I am”.
On a daily basis, the Butch must often endure harassment from her male coworkers who see her as competition and seek to eject her from their well defended territory. She is routinely called “Sir”. This is by far one of the tamer names she may find herself assaulted with. She is followed into women’s bathrooms by overzealous do-gooders trying to tell her she’s used the wrong door. And all of this is a description of the lesser of what she might experience. In a society where there is a place for everything and everything is in its place, she is homeless.
But enough of my ideological ramblings. This is a post to honor some of the best things in my life, that have often been inspired by, provoked by, or otherwise influenced by, some Butch.
To my first Butch. You are only in this post for comic relief. You don’t really deserve to be here. But thank you for showing me that domestic violence isn’t just for straight folks. You were (almost) my last experience with abuse. And thank you also, for helping me to learn how to fake orgasms, so that later, I could learn that I didn’t have to.
To my DJ Butch, Butchrico Suavé. Thank you for saying, “You are an alcoholic. Stop drinking.” You were so good in bed and at being influential that I listened. And you were right. I thank you for years of sober living.
To K, my first real love. You were the best teenage boifriend a femme could ever want. I’ve searched for some version of you in every Butch that came after you. You taught me what it felt like to be loved. Thank you for touching my face, for looking me in the eyes, for loving me with such fury and passion. It was in your hands that I first experienced tenderness. You broke me in all the right ways.
To the Butch I must forever endure, my baby’s daddy. Most of the time I don’t like you. Sometimes, I hate you. But I dedicate those fancy papers on my wall to you. You endured years of working your ass off and my ever-changing majors so that I could pursue my dreams. I hope one day before you die you allow yourself to pursue yours.
To my crazy ass Butch. Thank you for showing me that I could say, “No, I cannot come get you out of the mental hospital, this time”.
Thank you to my steadfast Butch, “O”. I know I was no picnic. You plucked me raw and reckless out of the trash can and polished my edges. You gave me two very important gifts that have served me in all of the relationships that followed. You taught me how to be faithful. And you showed me that intimacy is something that results from daring to speak your truth. I’m sorry that at that time, I did not know how to love. I’m glad you found someone who appreciated you.
Thank you to my wandering Pisces Butch. That time you put all those flowers and tree limbs and all that stuff on the bed, well, I won’t ever forget it. I didn’t understand it at all and I didn’t know what to do with it. But I know there was some loving intention behind it. I treated you unfairly. I hope you found your way, lovely nymph.
My last Butch, NB (aka “The Vamp”). Without you, this blog, this writing, this returning to self, would not be. You were the finest of muses. I recovered from the wounds your teeth left long ago. You left me finally ready to appreciate someone who would treat me well. I harbor no resentment towards you. You provided a lesson I needed to learn.
To my present Butch. You came along and scraped me up off the floor. Your tenderness, passion and steadfastness coaxed me into believing that I could trust again. In my wildest imagination I could never have conjured you up. You are strength, compassion and a love I have never experienced. You never chain me, because you don’t have to. You play my body like a fine instrument, effortlessly. When I am near you I respond like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Just the sound of your belt unbuckling, the scent of your neck, or the transparency of your golden eyes watching me inspires me to pant and drool. I love that soft blonde fuzz I can see in the sunlight along your strong jaw. And your dimples, you know how I feel about those. Sure, you are physical perfection and an artful lover. But you are so much more. I’ve planted my roots in you. You are my deep sigh of relief. At last, I have found where I belong.
And for some more Butch appreciation, check out this YouTube video, you won’t be sorry.