Take out your keyboards and sharpen your wits, because I'm actively soliciting guest posts! I'll keep writing nearly all the stuff on BW, but I think it'd be fun to change it up sometimes (and from the reader survey I gave a few weeks ago, I know you guys would love occasional guest posts, too!).
So, I need YOU. If you want to write something for the blog, shoot me an email at butchwonders [at] yahoo [dot] com
. You're free to make up your own topic. I'm particularly interested in topics I don't know enough about to write in depth, including:
- Drag king life
- Racial issues in the butch community
- What are femme-femme dating relationships like?
- Lesbian life in some non-US city (especially if it's one where I have a lot of readers: London, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, Calgary, Auckland, Calgary, Vancouver, Verdun, or Hamburg).
- The perspective of a trans woman who identifies as butch
- Anything else you think might be interesting!
HFAQ (Hypothetically Frequently Asked Questions):Q: Do I have to use my real name?A: No, but you can if you want to.Q: How long does it have to be?A: Shoot for 200-500 words. But there's no specific length minimum or maximum.Q: What if you don't like what I write?A: Then I won't use it.
But I'll have the courtesy to explain why, and you'll be free to resubmit.
Q: But I'm straight [or a man, or a femme, etc.]!
A: Great! I don't care if you're male, female, neither, straight, bi, gay, queer, fat, skinny, cisgendered, black, brown, or white. If you have anything to say that's relevant to lesbians generally or butchy types specifically, I'd love to hear it.
Q: Can I submit pictures? How about a video?A:
Yes, and yes!Q: Can I run a topic by you ahead of time?A: Sure.
Q: You never write sex stuff. I'll write sex stuff for you!A: Well, in addition to my dandy-style prudishness, I actually like the blog to be SFW (safe for work). But there are some awesome sex bloggers out there, and if you write to me, I'd be happy to recommend a few! (Come to think of it, that would make another great guest post: best lesbian sex blogs, with SFW descriptions...)Q:
Who will read it?A: These days, I have about 1500 readers daily.
So I'd guess 3000-4000. Possibly more.
Q: I already write a blog. Can I cross-post?A: Sure! Just let me know what you're up to.Q: Are you going to have a lot of these?A: I was thinking of one or two a month, depending how many I get.Q: My grammar is horrible.A: Mine isn't too bad. I'll help you edit.Q: But I'm only 18! (Or, I'm 75!) A: Who cares? I get readers of all ages and I love different perspectives.
Q: But I hate writing!A: Um, then don't do it.
I'll still love you. I hope some of you will think about this--I'd really love to hear from you, and I know a bunch of BW readers would, too!Mucho affection and a kiss on the forehead,BW
I just wanted to take a second to point you toward some blog entries I've enjoyed from other bloggers in the past month or so:
- Kyle from Butchtastic talks about the new TSA guidelines for transgender travelers. (Some of this stuff applies to genderqueer travelers, too.) I'm guessing that some trans men, particularly those in the early stages of transition, might flinch at being patted down by a person of the gender they choose to "present." What does this mean, exactly? Check out Kyle's reflections here.
- Maddox of Neutrois Nonsense writes about what it's like having been on a low dose of testosterone for three months. I always enjoy Maddox's writing, and this is particularly interesting.
- Chris, author of The Feral Librarian, writes this candid post about the transgressive nature of wearing a men's suit, reflecting on the (semi-)comfort she's afforded by her own position of privilege and wondering whether her coworkers ever wish that she'd "tone down" the butchness.
- A Butch in the Kitchen offers up a delectable-looking recipe for making Nutella-filled sugar cookies. Then she has to go and taunt us by telling us how good they tasted with coffee. *Drool.*
- G from Can I Help You Sir opines about the plight of young gay Mormons, asking: do they truly understand the life they're choosing?
- Bren, one of the authors of Buzz Cuts and Bustiers, writes an interesting post about her own reflections on her gender identity: what "butch" means to her, the apparent contradictions in how she identifies in different situations, and Allen Ginsberg's "Howl."
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. All six are great blogs to follow!
I had an interesting conversation with a straight female friend of mine yesterday. She happens to have a bunch of polyamorous friends, though she and her (amazingly wonderful) boyfriend happen to be monogamous.
Anyway, this friend recently attended a polyamorous commitment ceremony. Here's the situation, as I understand it: The ceremony centered around (A) a man and (B) a woman (already married to each other), plus (C) a second woman who has a relationship with both of them. The point of the ceremony was for the woman to affirm her commitment to this married couple, and vice versa. Their parents were there (as if coming out to your folks as LGBT isn't hard enough, right?). A, B, and C live together. Two of them also have at least one relationship outside of the trio (to D and E, who are unconnected). The husband and wife (A and B) used to have a relationship with another husband-and-wife couple (F and G), but A broke up with G. B and F are still together.
Before we go any further, a working definition: Polyamory is when you have a relationship (usually emotional and physical, but certainly emotional) with more than one person simultaneously. Often, polyamorous people have a primary partner with whom they have their "main" relationship, and one or two other people with whom they also have enduring emotional and sexual relationships. Polyamory is sometimes referred to as "responsible non-monogamy," because a central tenet is that there aren't any secrets--everyone knows whom everyone else is dating.
This is different from an open relationship because (typically) in open relationships, both people in the relationship agree that they can sleep with other people, but are emotionally monogamous. Often, these couples have an agreement that they can't have "repeat" partners (in order to avoid becoming emotionally connected to anyone besides their partner), and/or an agreement that if they do
start to have feelings for another person, that they will no longer sleep with that person, and/or an agreement that they will not sleep with mutual acquaintances.
As you might imagine, there are practically unlimited configurations. I know one gay male couple who has a list of 5-10 people with whom they are each allowed to sleep. They have to get sexual partners pre-approved by one another, their lists can't overlap, and they aren't allowed to have sexual escapades with any of these people in their own house, or spend the night with them. They can get emotionally attached to these other people, as long as these attachments don't rival or interfere with their attachments to each other. (I don't know if they consider their relationship "open" or "poly.") Some polyamorous folks
live together in groups of three or more, and may even raise children together. Others keep calendars; they might spend Tuesdays and Wednesdays with their second lover and the other with their primary partner.
These arrangements make my head spin. I don't think they're wrong
in an objective sense, but I don't think they'd work for me. The main reasons:
Successful practitioners of polyamory manage to overcome these challenges, so I know it can be done. But I think I'm wired for monogamy, the same way I'm wired to be a butchy lesbian.This got me to thinking: if I'm "wired" for monogamy, then probably some people are wired for polyamory. Does this mean that polyamory is a sexual orientation? Or is it a sexual preference?
- Management challenges. I can barely handle the demands of one partner, two pets, a blog, and a couple jobs. Adding another partner to the mix? Who has that kind of time?
- Emotional demands. I've (briefly) tried dating more than one person at once. Maybe this would have worked if anyone I was dating was dating anyone else. But they weren't. And it felt like everyone was trying to win my affections. I wanted to feel studly, but instead, I felt like a player (not in a good way).
- Jealousy. Not other people's (though that's a problem, too), but my own. If I was dating someone who was also dating someone else,
I would be absurdly jealous. Hell, occasionally I get jealous of exes who start dating other people, even if I'm the one who ended the relationship. The idea of my DGF spending a night or two a week with someone else makes me want to tear my hair out. While crying.
I've heard both from polyamorous people, and maybe different things are true for different people.If polyamory is a sexual orientation, this has major implications. For one, I believe that a person's sexual orientation should be protected by law. Does this mean that poly marriages should be legal? And if so, what does this mean for
things like tax breaks and health insurance?
(For more on the legal implications of polyamory, check out this article I just found
.) As I've written about before, I'm not
entirely sure that the government should be in the business of endorsing marriage relationships at all
, aside from allowing people to form contracts about issues like child-rearing, inheritance, etc. Getting the government out of the business of regulating these relationships would be a step towards poly equality, I suppose.
In theory, I totally support poly equality. In practice, I have a gut reaction against it. I flinch at the idea of polyamorous households adopting kids. And I can't articulate a concrete reason why, except that it goes against my idea of what relationships "should" be. Which, when you think about it, makes me no better than gay marriage opponents who want their
moral inclinations to prevent people like me
from getting married. Would I vote for governmental recognition of polyamorous marriage? I'd like to say, of course! And in the voting booth, I believe my answer would be yes. But it would be an uncomfortable yes. And this discomfort makes me feel guilty and hypocritical. What do you think about this, dear readers?
Have any of you monogamous types felt the kinds of things I'm describing?
And I know I have some poly readers, too: I claim no real knowledge about polyamory, so feel free to jump in, correct me, enlighten me, etc!
You may know her as cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester
. Or as the sexy-but-sleazy divorce lawyer on The L-Word
. Or even as Gayle Sweeney
, recovering addict and head of the Sturdy Wings program in "Role Models."
But did you know that Jane Lynch once starred in a long-running stage version of Brady Bunch
episode remakes? Or that when she was a kid, she used to sneak into her father's closet and try on his ties and suits? (I'm guessing that latter morsel resonates with some of you as much as it does with me!)
In her new(ish) book, Happy Accidents (2011)
, 51-year-old Lynch recounts all of this and much, much more--starting with her girlhood in Dolton, Illinois and finishing up with her present-day life in Los Angeles.
One of my favorite things about Happy Accidents
is that Lynch doesn't pull punches. You get the shame she felt as a high school freshman when she dropped out of her first acting role; the depth and struggle of her addiction to alcohol; her blithe arrogance in approaching early acting roles. There's pain, sweat, hard work, awkwardness, and chance meetings. There's joy, hijinks, foibles, and clear-eyed reflections on people's capacity for change. Nor do you need to be a Gleek or a Christopher Guest enthusiast to enjoy the book. Happy Accidents
is rife with references that will resonate with dykes and comedy fans of all stripes.
Mini-entry time! I just found a site (via Lifehacker
) called Simple Desktops
that boasts tons of minimalist computer desktops (free!). A few struck me as especially butch-appropriate, and I thought I'd share them with you. After all, why shouldn't your desktop look as effortlessly stylish as you do?
Celebrate the start of the week with a new desktop look. Why not?
Here's a boxer shorts desktop:
...And this one is understated... yet super gay! Perfect as we ease into Pride season:
This is just cool:
Perfect for the butch who's part Clark Kent and part Superman:
Just nice and simple:
This is probably my favorite one: glasses and a tie pretty much sum up my signature dressy look.
Anyway, hope y'all had a swell weekend. My DGF and I got to spend much of the weekend with our buddies C and D (a butch-femme couple, though not strictly so), and it was way fun! We BBQ'd tri-tip, went on a three-mile hike, and drank a bunch of coffee while our dogs played in the sun. I don't think I realized how much I needed a break. Now I'm actually rested(!) and looking forward to the week(!!). I forgot how nice that feels.
Here's a tough question I got from a reader the other day. I'll do my best to answer it, but I bet it'd be even more useful if others weighed in, too. Dear BW,Can you do a post about how you know you're female even if you're gender non-conforming at some point in the future? I feel like an alien in a Halloween costume when wearing women's clothes, even if they're not overly feminine. I don't feel like a dude, but I don't feel like a woman either, as far as I can tell, but if you aren't into being girly, how do you know if you're a woman? My best friends are straight and I don't know how to talk to them about how they know they're women. I wear all men's clothes, and I really like getting called sir, but I think that's only because I get called miss maybe 70% of the time, and sir 30% of the time, and I like knowing I'm ambiguous. Thanks!CDear C,First: good for you to have the courage to ask these kinds of hard questions about yourself! That's awesome.
Second: I'll give you the best answer I can, but I can only speak from my own experience; you should definitely talk to as many people as you can.
I had a conversation with my buddy C about something similar yesterday. We were talking about gendered pronouns (we both use female pronouns, but are often called "sir" and don't mind it), and I mentioned that if I was a kid today (I'm in my 30s), growing up in a progressive area of the country (which I didn't), I wondered if I'd have identified as trans. Why? Because I totally didn't fit in with the other girls. I didn't outgrow the "tomboy" thing--in fact, it became more pronounced as I got older. I wished desperately that I could wear a tux to prom instead of a dress (ugh). I can remember once in third grade, actually praying that God would come and turn me into a boy. I felt much more at home with boys than girls. Girls seemed foreign and hard to understand. Boys made sense, and played cool sports. (Mind you, I didn't feel like I was
a boy, which many trans men report having felt.)
For me, identifying a boy would have solved this particular conflict. But at the same time, I didn't feel uncomfortable in my own body (unless it was wearing women's clothes! I was like you, in that I preferred men's clothes even to non-girly women's clothes). It wasn't my body that was the problem--it was the culture around me (and the gender-based expectations and assumptions that culture contained) that were the problem. I thought my breasts were kind of inconvenient, but I never felt like they weren't "mine." As far as I can tell, this is a big difference between butches and trans men. (You might be interested in this post about why female-identified butches are different from trans men
.) It wasn't until I started to meet butches and masculine women that I realized, "Oh! That's
what I am!"
Some days it would be nice not to get stared at in public, which I wouldn't if I was a man in the same haircut and clothing. But I don't feel like I "am" a man. I don't want to use the guys' bathroom. I like getting called "sir," as long as it doesn't happen all the time
. It reminds me I'm different. Being a masculine woman just feels right to me. I don't feel alienated from my lady bits--especially not when they're under a shirt and tie. But put women's clothes on me and I'm suddenly an alien in my body. This tells me that it's clothes and culture that are the problem, not my gender identity. For my trans male friends, they didn't feel comfortable in their bodies no matter who they were with or what they were wearing. Even if they were alone in the shower, they felt as if they were in the wrong body. They hated being called "she" or ma'am. (I'm not saying this is the experience of all
trans men, just of the ones with whom I've talked about this.)Until I was in my late 20s, all my best female friends were straight, and often fairly girly. Even when I was married to a man (that's a whole other story--here's a link to part 1 of that five-part story if you feel like reading it), I didn't feel like I fit in with the straight women. Now that I'm an out, proud, lesbian masculine butch woman, I feel like my straight female friends know I'm different from them, and respect it. I don't think they see me as less of a woman, just as a totally different kind of woman. And they often treat me more like a gay male buddy than like "one of the gals." This took some getting used to, but I actually like it now. The key point? Just because you don't conform to society's ideas (or straight people's ideas) of what "being a woman" means, doesn't mean you aren't a woman!
I should also point out that a lot of people don't identify as male or
female. Some identify as neither. Others identify as both. Some women get top surgery, because although they identify as women, they don't like having breasts. Some trans men keep their breasts, because they like them or their partner likes them or they can't afford surgery. There are all kinds of possible gender identifications and expressions. Although boxes like "male," "female," "butch," "trans man," "genderqueer," and so on work for lots of people, that doesn't mean they have to work for you. You can also pick more than one. You can also change whenever you want. There are no rules about gender, only patterns
. You don't have to follow one that's already been laid out.
I'm glad God didn't answer my third-grade prayer to be transformed into a boy. I love being a butch woman. There are hard things about it, yes, but overall, it just works for me. Keep questioning, experimenting, and looking for answers about your own identity, and I bet it'll become clear what works for you, too.Best,BW
When I was first coming out, I thought that being gay would be a big huge pain in the neck. I expected to be stared at when I was out with a girlfriend, I thought my straight friends wouldn't feel close to me, and that I'd always feel excluded at straight weddings and baby showers (if I was even invited). Some of these fears weren't entirely unfounded, but in my everyday life, the downsides of being queer were far smaller than I'd expected. Sure, there were a few lousy surprises (e.g., sometimes people stare, and the "convert a straight girl, get a toaster" thing turns out to be a total scam). But overall, being queer brought more good surprises than bad ones. One of these good surprises: kissing is fun! And just for the sake of kissing, not as requisite foreplay (who knew?). For another, I realized I love fashion. Liberated to wear what I want,
I now love reading about fashion and shopping for myself and other people. My younger self (who broke out in hives just walking near Macy's) would never have believed this was possible.
While I was thinking about the surprise perks of being gay, I posted a question on Facebook
yesterday "What's the #1 SURPRISINGLY best thing about being gay?" I received over 50 answers and thought I'd share some:
- "Being gay I have gotten a lot closer to my family...I am very fortunate in that regard."
- "The fact that you understand how your partner's body function in bed. That's an undeniable advantage ;)"
- "Getting to be lovers with butches!"
- "Not having to worry about getting her knocked up."
- "Being able to be your true self."
- "You can share pieces of clothing."
- "Go TOGETHER in a public bathroom and no one will EVER ask questions. ;)"
- "Being different!"
- "My community. The incredible bond in bed with my GF."
- "Being openly queer means you have a built-in filter that will detect and remove a good portion of the closed-minded jerks that could potentially enter your life. It's truly a great tool for screening out assholes, stodgy work environments, and boring parties." (I thought that was a particularly terrific [and true!] answer.)
- "We have the BEST PARTIES!!! :P"
- "I finally feeling like i belong somewhere :)"
- "The courage that comes, the friends that love you as you are, the being able to breathe as a whole human."
- "Contentment deep within, like everything is the way it's supposed to be!"
- "Great sex and can't get pregnant!! ;)" (I love not worrying about pregnancy--and not being on birth control pills. Yeesh!)
- "On a personal level it's the freedom to date/express my attraction to women without the feeling that it is wrong."
- "Raising our children with diversity... love and acceptance of others. My kids will have obstacles because they have two moms. But they will also have advantages because they are taught to 'dare to be different' and walk to the beat of your own drum!"
- "It used to be the novelty factor, as explained by Armistead Maupin. But there are so many of us out now, and we are more accepted, so that's not really it anymore."
- "Not being constantly asked when I'm gonna have kids is lovely."
- "The ultimate is being able to be yourself, no matter what. Knowing that how you feel is natural and not anything to be ashamed of."
- "The people I've become close to that I wouldn't know if i was straight."
- "When i came out to all the managers in the company i worked for at a meeting and they all clapped for me and gave me hugs that i could finally be open."
- "Knowing who my real friends & real family are... and proud of my grandmother for telling me half the world is gay anyway! lol, she's probably more right than she knows ;)"
- "Meeting and marrying my wife was also surprisingly wonderful... I was told I'd never get married or have kids...HA! to you i say!"
- "The look on str8 ppls faces when I (obvious dyke/butch) walk in a room with my 2 beautiful daughters, one adopted and one birth. They look so startled and confused, like deer in headlights. LOL is it wrong that I giggle inside every time?"
- "We can share dressing rooms, and bathrooms ;) and clothes. Also, having the same thought processes, same body parts which makes for very easy understanding of each other's pain and pleasure."
- "It has brought my mom and i closer and I have made amazing friends through lgbt groups."
- "That moment when either the viciously judgmental comments or the 'totally understanding' - 'well, good for you,' never come. It eases my cynical heart just the tiniest bit more."
- "Being out, being myself, supports my honesty and integrity. Being with the person that i fell in love with. Living life completely and wholly, not hiding who I am."
- "Kissing another woman. Best thing ever."
- "Breaking the stereotypical ignorance of some: 'you don't look like a lesbian.'"
- "I can be who I am, a Beauty King."
- "Knowing I'm right where I belong."
- "I am free!"
Do any of these answers resonate with you, dear readers? What was the best surprise for *you* about being queer?
I've decided to try out a chat forum, just as an experiment for a few weeks, to give BW readers a chance to chat with each other about various topics. I may pop in occasionally, too. Check it out using the new "forum" link above. Secondly... betcha thought I was going to forget about March's "weird-ass search terms that got people to my blog" list, didn't you? No way--I saved the list, just hadn't gotten around to posting it. So, for your enjoyment:
- "black button up shirt for 12 month olds" (How did this person get to my site with this search? And doesn't that seem a touch formal for a 12-month-old?)
- "is ellen degeneres a butch lesbian?" (As far as the media is concerned, yes. As far as I'm concerned, she makes the Field Guide, but only barely.)
- "big bad lesbian butch tubes" (What!?!)
- "san francisco dyke tubes" (Seriously, will somebody please tell me what the deal is with lesbian "tubes?" This shows up in my search list at least a few times every month, and it's just weird.)
- "lesbians hate penis invalidates my identity as a woman" (Lesbians usually hate neither penises nor men; we just prefer to have neither in our beds. And even if a lesbian did hate penises, how would that invalidate your identity as a woman??)
- "is it uncommon for butches to be attracted to butches?" (Not as uncommon as you might think!)
- "what two butches do in bed" (We exchange big bad lesbian butch tubes.)
- "can you be female identified and want to bind your chest" (Yes. To my knowledge, the Community has not yet issued any Official Restrictions on female identification and chest-binding.)
- "straight girl attracted to butch girls" (Um, maybe straight girl not so straight?)
- "straight women attracted to butch women" (See above.)
- "straight women attracted to butch" (Seriously. Are you SURE you're straight?)
- "straight woman attracted to androgynous women" (Dude. You are at least a little bit queer. Explore that side of you, pronto. Then please give my information to the Community so that I can get another toaster for my collection.)
- "mesh liner in swim shorts cause injury" (I've been trying to figure out what injury this could be. A number of possibilities come to mind, mostly involving tangled male genitalia. Ouch!)
- "not all butch women are transgender" (Excellent point.)
- "howdy partner in a sentence" (This is going to blow your mind: "howdy partner" itself is already a sentence. Whoa.)
- "how butch women match boxers and bras" (Okay, this is awesome. For one, it assumes facts not in evidence. I can only speak from personal experience on this one, but I'm guessing that even metrosexual butches like yours truly make very little effort in this regard. We avoid overt clashing, but most of our bras are black or white sports bras, so this presents little challenge.)
- "we need to balance taboos" (Agreed. Let's also juggle cliches, mismanage memes, and mitigate misnomers while we're at it.)
- "gay male moccasins sex" (Say what?)
- "what do you mean always" (I mean all the damn time, bucko!)
- "exwifebestfriendisabutchdidshecrossover?" (crossovertobeingalesbianjustbecauseherfriendisbutch? YeahdefinitelyandwhileI'matitremindmenottobefriendanymenorI'll becomeoneandnottotalktoanyeightyyearoldsbecauseI'llsuddenly agefiftyyearsjustfromproximity.)
- "butch dog clothes" (See, this is why ambiguous modifiers are such a blight on society. Are we talking about butch clothing for dogs [like my buddy C might look for to butch up her swishy mutt]? Or clothing for butch dogs [e.g., clothing for mutt like mine, who is already butch]? So confusing.)
- "AA AFuneral Benefit" (Eh?? How did you get to BW from that?)
- "why is it most studs and butches are small breasted" (We're not, but we often wear sports bras, and some of us even bind, so it looks like we have little boobies. LITTLE BOOBIES!)
- "what to do when kissing a butch" (Cross your eyes, grit your teeth, and poke us hard in the ear with your index finger. That turns us on, baby!)
- "what it says about you to tuck in shirt with no belt" (It says: I forgot my belt! Or: I have no fashion sense! Or: My pants don't have belt loops, and are probably girl pants! Or: I'm wearing suspenders!)
- "where does rachel maddow get her clothes" (I was trying to come up with a pun about how rachel maddow getting out of clothes is the more interesting question, but then I got too distracted by the idea of R.M. undressing and temporarily lost my ability to form coherent thoughts.)
- "why do gay men hug each other" (Because that is how rainbows are made.)
A little over a week ago, I received the following question from a reader. It's a hard one, and one I've heard before, so I thought I'd better tackle it:Dear BW: I am only attracted to femmes, but my girlfriend has become more and more butch. At this point she's almost as butch as me. I love her but I don't find her attractive when she looks so butch. What do I do? - MM.
Dear MM: this is a tough one.
When we start dating someone, they're one way. Two years later, they're another. Of course, this is natural: people grow, change, evolve, etc. (As my mom says, "We are all in a state of becoming.") But what do you do when you don't like the changes?In a way, your question is a version of the question, "What should I do if my girlfriend tells me she's trans?" I posted an answer to that back in
January, and you might want to check it out
. Obviously, I can't give you a definitive answer. But here are some important factors to consider:
As I see it, your choices are: (1) to break up or (2) to stay together and accept her as she is, and yourself as you are.
- Have you talked with her about this? Does she have the sense that she's changing? Is it because she wants to be more comfortable in her own skin? Because she sees herself differently? Or because her gender expression is fluid and right now she's in a butchier phase? Or just because high heels give her blisters and skirts are too chilly?
- What is it about her "butchness" that you find unattractive? How she acts? How she dresses? Her compulsive need to fix things? Once you figure this out, you'll be able to better identify what it is that isn't working for you (and in turn, what to do about it).
- Relatedly: Maybe it's about you. Maybe you feel threatened when your girl opens a door for you. Or maybe you have preconceived notions about butches and are afraid she's going to act a certain way. Or maybe you're just not aesthetically attracted to women who dress in men's clothing. None of these things are inherently wrong or bad, but understanding them will help you see whether your relationship dynamic can change for the better.
- I strongly urge you not to pressure her into becoming more feminine. While I think it's important to be honest about how you're feeling, I also think it's important that you don't say things like, "If you keep dressing butch, I'm going to leave you." For one, it's mean and can stunt her growth as a person. For another, if she "fakes" being more feminine than she feels, the change won't last.
- You can love someone but not want to be in a relationship with her. I'm all for "accepting people as they are," but your partner should be someone with whom you'd like to have sex occasionally. If you don't find her attractive, this is a problem. You are not obligated to stay with someone just because you're already in a relationship with her. I feel like lesbians tend to err on the side of staying in problematic relationships too long, maybe because we're too worried about the other person's feelings. (Yeah, I know--gross generalization.) And keep in mind, too, that she deserves to be in a relationship with someone who finds her attractive and loves her as-is. If you can't be that person, it's not just you that you're hurting by staying.
- Try not to jump to conclusions about what "butch" means for her. Instead, talk to her and find out. She may or may not identify as butch, and even if she does, her idea of butchness may differ from yours. This happens a lot (as I know from personal experience.). Does "butchness" signify fashion choices? "Masculine" or "gentlemanly" behavior? Sexual dominance? All of these? None? Make sure you're on the same page.
- If you want to stay in your relationship, consider going to an LGBT-friendly counselor. (Note: in my opinion, it's neither necessary nor sufficient that the counselor be LGBT-identified herself.) This is something I should have mentioned in the "My Girlfriend Says She's Trans" post. Talking to someone who's actually trained to help you think these things through can be tremendously helpful in getting to the root of a problem and figuring out whether the relationship will work.
But staying together and trying to change her (or staying together and trying to convince yourself that you're still attracted to her) won't work for the long haul.
Has anyone else faced something like this? Or been at the other end of it? What did you do?
Did you miss me? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
While I was not blogging this past week, I was spending time on one of my multiple otakus
*: art! I have an art installation (my first) going up next week (just in a local cafe--don't get too excited), and spent every
possible moment finishing a piece (even missing out on Easter with my parents, which sucked because in addition to loving my parents, I really enjoy dyeing eggs**). My art stuff also necessitated a three-hour trip to Home Depot and various other hardware stores to find mounting*** materials that would comply with the cafe's idiosyncratic rules. At Home Depot
, I learned three important things:
- My Home Depot suffers from an unfortunate dearth of butch lesbians.
- The lumber section of Home Depot smells awesome. Just one whiff made me start fantasizing about home improvement projects--particularly noteworthy considering that I do not own a home and have neither the ability nor the inclination to engage in projects involving nails, saws, screws,**** and the like. (Such things are why this metrosexual butch has a non-metrosexual butch DGF, after all.)
- While Home Depot employees seem skilled in the art of cutting wood, the art of measuring is an altogether different story.
I am now back to life at its usual frenetic-but-bearable pace, so brace yourself for my usual frenetic-but-bearable frequency of posts.
Much love,BWP.S. Another thing I learned this week: the amount of Robin's Eggs I can consume is limited only by the number I can purchase.
* Is that how you pluralize "otaku," or is it already plural?
Also, despite the term's frequent association with anime and manga, I am a fan of neither. I learned the term from Seth Godin
. ** Holidays are awesome excuses for doing weird shit. Think about it: what other time of year could you color eggs or haul a tree inside, decorate it, and prop it up in your living room without having people think you were nuts? *** Heh heh. She said "mounting."
**** Heh heh. She said "screws."