Going along with the Myth busters theme, I have a few myths of my own to bust about butches and lesbians in general. Most of my busts are from a first person point of view. However, what better way to bust on butch fallacy than by explaining personal experience? Enjoy!
MYTH #1: All lesbians are either butch or femme; there is no in between.
Bust: While there are some of us who fall into either of these categories, there are many lady lovin’ ladies who can identify differently. For example, an old college buddy of mine referred to herself as “futch” or a femme-butch. This is just one example of many. Life is not all drawn out in black and white. Why should one assume that self expression, gender identity, or sexuality should be?
Myth #2: There is only one type of butch: the tough, hard-nosed, masculine cis-gendered woman with short hair.
Bust: True, there are some that fit into the stereotypical image of a butch lesbian. There are others though who identify as “futch” (see Bust 1), soft butches, stone cold butches, et cetera and so on. Everyone has moments when they’re tough. Everyone also has moments of softness and sensitivity. It just seems silly to assume that a butch individual is consistently a hard bitch. Also, you do not need to have short hair to be butch. I had had long hair for my entire adult life up until December. I would still have been considered myself butch, even with luscious locks.
Myth #3: Being butch means that you cannot have any interests that are feminine.
Bust: This kind of goes along with the first bust. Being “butch” does not exclude activities and behaviors typically deemed feminine. As I’ve stated before, I will be the first to raise my hand if the question of a day at the spa comes up.
Myth #4: You’re not butch. You’re really FTM.
Bust: Pardon my saying this, but who are you to tell me who I am and who I am not? Gender identity and sexual orientation are different things entirely. I happen to be a cis-gendered lady lovin’ lady who butches it up. I know I’m not the only one either.
Myth #5: Being butch automatically means you’re dominant.
Bust: Now. I will not delve too much into my personal life. I will say, however, that I know many individuals who this does not apply to—myself included. Butch, femme, in the middle, on a whole different spectrum…however you choose to label yourself—it has absolutely NOTHING to do with what goes on behind closed doors, (or under sheets of Egyptian cotton).
Myth #6: All lesbians are man-haters.
Bust: Now this is a general myth people have about lesbians. A complete fallacy and I can only assume the myth was perpetuated because cis-gendered straight men would perceive us not wanting to sleep with them as us hating them. I have many male friends. Most of my friends who are queer also have male friends. Some consider themselves straight and some consider themselves gay, but none of them would consider themselves hated.
Myth #7a: You’re a lesbian? Oh, you just haven’t found the right man yet.
MYTH #7b: Lesbians who date butch women REALLY just want a man.
Bust: I’m gonna tackle both of these myths in one bust. The phrase “you don’t know you like it until you try it!” is meant for things like: test driving a new car, or perhaps trying that new dish at the restaurant around the corner that everyone is RAVING about. It does not mean that I would like to try some of your delicious sausage bro. If you are a lesbian dating a butch woman, don’t let anyone tell you that you really want a man; it’s total hogwash. You love who you love, you’re attracted to who you’re attracted to. Just because butches are masculine, does not mean they want to be men; just because lesbians love butch women, does not mean they want a man.
Myth #8: All lesbians have a dark, sexual trauma in their past. That’s why they do not like men.
Bust: First and foremost: No one and I mean NO ONE has the right to do anything to do you without your full consent. No means no—END. OF. STORY. If you have ever been a victim of any sexual crimes, there are places and people you can turn to for help. You are not alone.
And to bust the myth, there is no scientific link between rape and attraction. Being raped does not determine who your heart will one day fall in love with.
Myth #9: Lesbians (and other members of the LGBTQ community) are evil and just want to sexually assault your children.
Bust: Check the facts online. More often than not, sex crimes are committed by heterosexual cis-gendered men.
Myth #10: All lesbians are drag kings.
Bust: From my understanding of drag, I have noticed that drag is not an art limited by gender identity or sexual orientation. Cis-gendered, Trans*gendered, heterosexual, queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual—it does not matter nearly as much as stage presence and one’s ability to perform. So while some lesbians may perform drag, not all do.
Myth #11: All lesbians sport massive amounts of body hair.
Bust: Shaving is all up to personal preference. Some people like to shave their arms, pits, what-have-yous, and some do not. It has nothing to do with who you are into. Some individuals shave for purely practical reasons, like swimmers who want to shave that extra hundredth of a second of their times. Some choose not to for personal reasons. But the bottom line is butches and lesbians in general are not all yetis. Hell, I’ll lift my pant leg up for you any time and you can check—smooth as a baby’s ass.
And finally, probably the silliest of all myths:
Myth #12: All lesbians are ugly.
Bust: I have no clue what started this. First off, beauty is on the inside as well as the outside. So maybe that orange skinned, bottle blonde who society drools over is nice to look at, but she could be a rotten person on the inside. Ugly is an ugly word aimed at people to try and make them feel less than. Everyone has beauty to them if you just stop to notice it.
However, from a purely physical note I will say that Philadelphia has many gorgeous lesbians out there! And for some famous faces to bust the myths? Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi. k. d. Lang. Leisha Hailey. And Eliza Dushku…(if only in my dreams!)