I read a lot of blogs when I have time. I read a lot of gay press online and I now have a twitter account to keep up with trending topics. I also hang out in a few forums, butch-femme, bi-gender, queergender and lesbian (Supposedly inclusive).
Today I looked at a forum topic that kinda interested me.
The OP asked, in summary:
“…for those of you who identify as “butch” or “boi”, “trans”, “masculine” etc., have you always felt this way (as in masculine or androgynous) and then discovered that you were gay? Or maybe you discovered that you were into women and this made you change your image from ‘girlie’ to ‘masculine’? If so, why?”
The ensuing responses were fairly numerous, swift, and confirmed that for most of the BBTM identified, they had been tomboys from a very early age and, as I had, resisted any attempts to feminise them. Some knew from an early age they were same sex attracted – except that often they didn’t recognise that they were of the same sex!
Then came a post from a lesbian who identifies in her personal profile as lesbian, sporty dyke, ‘just me’. (there are a hell of a lot of participants on this site who identify in their profiles as ‘lesbian’ and ‘just me’ and there have been constant attacks by some of these on the whole concept of Butch-Femme, people IDing as Boi or Butch) The post was basically a spurt of vitriol against so called ‘labels’, querying why we need to “…put ourseleves in a box or / circle or triangle to make ourselves fit into society??????”
Why is it that in the ‘mainstream’ of gay and lesbian society there is so little understanding of wonderful diversity that is represented in our community? Or is it just amongst lesbians? Do gay guys have more tolerance for femme guys? I certainly dont recall and of the hundreds of gay men I’ve known questioning the fairy gay boy’s right to exist. In some circles their soft, sweet, sensitive ways are quite admired, and valued. Yes, I know bears and leather are all the go these days, but a couple of decades ago it was bodybuilders and cowboys. And they might have looked butch but I’ve been told there was a high proportion of ‘muscle minnies’.
So I thought about it. Possibly this person has just never had anything like the experience we’ve had, and regards it as some kind of fiction, playacting. I wrote this post in response:
Firstly, it’s not just a ‘label’ – it’s an indicator, a signpost,
to what we know to be true about our intrinsic, authentic selves.
We find that there’s a lot of common ground, shared experiences. It’s
a different perspective. Anyone who has not felt the deep dyscomfort
of, for instance, wearing gendered clothing that doesn’t suit, and
feeling like you’re in drag, probably can’t understand – unless they
make an effort to.
Please go gently. This is a topic that many approach in a
light-hearted way, poking fun at themselves. But seriously, it’s
serious, because it’s about being true to ourselves.
That’s the nub of it. I am sick of getting attacked, discredited and flamed online, whether directly or indirectly, by “mere lesbians” who seem to think they have the high ground, and that me and my ilk are some kind of politically unaware, socially archaic subculture who do what we do in life out of some kind of brainwashing and failure to recognise the complications of male privelige.