Ok, Loves. So, earlier today a dear Butch friend of mine (let’s call her Butch A) shared with me that she felt shy about communicating with an other Butch (Butch B) who had offered to talk with Butch A and share a discussion on what it means to be Butch, how to navigate uniquely Butch life issues, interacting with Femmes and other such topics. Butch A said she had not contacted Butch B because she felt ‘shy’ around Butch B.
I replied to my friend, Butch A, suggesting that she overcome her shyness and go ahead and contact Butch B, as both might benefit from the interaction. The writing below is, with a few alterations to keep my friend’s anonymous, is my reply. I realized I feel strongly about this and thus share it with you all in case it might be of use.
I hear you, but I really want to encourage you to LET GO of feeling shy around Butch B – she looks big and tough but she is a super-sweet and very thoughtful and gentle soul. She is SO NON-JUDGEMENTAL, and so into talking about and discovering the ongoing process of growing into one’s Butchness. . . she was hoping you’d want to connect.
I mean you could even send her an email being totally authentic about feeling shy around her – maybe that would open a dialogue from a safe place. . . and of course ya know there is no obligation to keep talking if you don’t want to – but what harm could come of saying hello and just being real? Yes, we talk and discuss these things, but Butch questions and answers can really only be danced around with a Femme; you ‘guys’ must find the real truths for yourselves with each other.
I am guessing you’d say so, but Femmes are not better than Butches to talk to – in some cases they may be carrying less baggage around with them due to the fact that they just lived life getting less shit from the world than Butches did/do – so some of us might have a kind of confidence that you Butches have to build for yourselves – but dude, you can’t do that in isolation, NOR should it be any Femme’s job to help you do it!
(Of course the concept of Femme’s having been through less shit in life is a generalization – and there are plenty of Femmes who have had it tough and we by no means mean to discredit our fair sisters! In fact, Femme’s issues are many and we know this personally. Just different. More on this in a future post.)
So, yes, I see you, my friend, hiding somewhere deep inside yourself, there under all the crap the world has dumped on you, and I want you to have the amazing (and sadly rare) gift of Butch comradery: I think this might be more healing than any therapy, more enlightening than any meditation and more empowering than any workshop.
The majority of you Butches did not have what boys/men and girls/women had/have in this world – getting to grow up knowing that who and what you are is a normal, viable, and unique sex; a Butch. Imagine if there had been a “Butches” bathroom in school. . . and you got to pee and wash your hands and talk trash or gossip or just share moments with other kids like you, separate from ‘girls’ or ‘boys’ . . . and what if there were a “Butches” section of the department store and changing rooms at the pool and imagine too that there are places and clubs and games and life coaches and retreats and a gender box on forms and documents where you could check “Butch”. . . etc.
So perhaps you, like so many Butches, are shy for good reason. But don’t let your shyness keep you from community. Don’t let anything – including any addiction to being uniquely Butch (so many of you Butches live lives in which you are the only one of your kind for miles around, or at least as far as you can see) – don’t let wanting to feel unique – keep you separate from your clan: You will always be (and as you uncover more and more of your Butchness through communication with others of your kind, will become more so) uniquely YOURSELF – ain’t no other one of YOU – but you ALSO deserve to know yourself as a part of Butch Nation – your Butch self deserves her community, her band, her clan. She deserves to share stories of childhood, growing up, living life, facing feelings of death, crying (shhh, we wont tell – but – your Butch self deserves to have a safe place to TALK about things like what makes you cry, how that feels and affects your masculine self, how it feels to your feminine self when you feel you must hide your sensitivity etc etc!!) just as each of the other sexes do with their clan. You deserve to let off steam about Femmes and everyone else who drives you nuts (with love, with lust or with general fed-up-ness!), you deserve to have what men have with men, what women have with women. . . a place to be amongst and supported by/support for your kind. . .
Scary – yes – I am sure that breaking the threshold of silence and isolation and the unknown in general is as terrifying to you as it is to every other human being. AND, what a statement of healing you offer yourselves, you Butches, when you allow yourselves to create and join Community. Butch Community.
I’d vote for risking total authenticity. Butch B, like you, may be a ‘man of few words’, as they say, most of the time. So perhaps you will have to grunt at each other from the bushes until you both feel safer coming out to hug or arm wrestle or eat burgers or whatever it is you folks do to bond. But do it. Risk it. Let your Butch Chivalry or your Butch Gentleness or your Butch Strength or your uniquely balanced heart – knowing both estrogen and testosterone-based viewpoints – be of service to your kind. To us all.
We need you – (all of us – Femme’s, other Butches, Queers of all types, Straight people too) – to be the fullest, brightest, most healed and self-worthy Butches you can be; Butches might just be humanity’s best hope; so join up with your bro’s, Butches! Because when you feel and are supported you are more than twice as strong. Inhibition and lack of self worth fall away when we have our beauty and power mirrored back to us. And when Butch Nation takes its stand, just watch how fast our world gets really amazing!
F of BFL Team