So this week I had intended to continue with what I had written about last week, which was gathering input from “straight” individuals about how they perceived the butch community. However, what has been weighing on my thoughts recently is the quote from the fourth question of my last entry:
“Oh, you aren't gay. You really just want to be a man.”
While I love some of the people in my life I call my family, they have been known to utter this statement more than once. Being completely honest, there was a brief period in my where I wondered if I had been born into the wrong body. I always had felt as though there was something wrong with me; for some reason, my body in my head did not align with my idea of how it should appear.
Following my coming out at seventeen, I began working towards how I felt my image should look. Butching it up, slowly but surely, I went from wearing clingy women’s clothing to mens jeans and shirts. And you know what? I liked it. A lot. Recently I made an even more noticeable change and cut off a good 12 inches of my hair. I had wanted to do this for awhile, but sometimes it takes a little courage and a leap of faith to do so. (My courage just happened to come in the form of tequila). As simple a solution as it sounds, I became more content with how I looked just by changing how I represented myself.
How do I feel about myself right now? Not 100%. I have good days and bad days. But my unhappiness with how I look does not stem from being born into the wrong body. I realize that not everyone is as fortunate as I am to be comfortable with oneself that simply. I respect my brothers and sisters of the queer community who are trans* and am constantly in awe of the courage they possess.
While the experience of being trans* differs from the experience of being butch, it is a similar courage that is shared among the queer community—the courage to be true to oneself, despite how people say you should act, behave or look.
So do I characterize myself as being more masculine? As being butch? Yes, I would say so. I also classify myself as being a cis-gendered woman. And that is perfectly okay. It is alright to be true to who you are. No one can tell you who you were born to be, nor do they have the insight in your head to properly label you. Identify as you feel fit, and for the folks who tell you that you are someone you are not?
Well they can just go fellate something.