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Old 05-09-2011, 08:54 PM   #41
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Great thread, ALH. I have two questions for the butches. Several of the previous butch posters mentioned feeling somehow inadequate. It sounds as if many butches feel like there's a standard that defines what it means to be butch, and they feel they don't live up to it.

I certainly have those feelings as a femme. I can clean up and dress up pretty well, but my everyday look, as well as my passions and work life, are not at all congruent with feminine standards of dress and behaviour. Feminine standards are broadcast from every billboard. We all know what they are, and I know that in many ways I don't fit them. Most of the time I don't give a rat's ass, and as a feminist I applaud myself for breaking stereotypes on a daily basis. BUT, in my less confident moments I can still be made to feel insecure in my femme ID. Every movie, every commercial and every magazine holds up some impossible ideal of what a feminine woman is supposed to look/act/be like. I know it's a bunch of photoshopped crap designed to sell us products we don't need, but some of it sinks in anyway. Even for me.

There are no TV ads that tell us how a butch is supposed to look and behave, (Thank the Goddess!). So where does the butch standard come from, and how does it happen that butches feel like they are inadequate to it? I'm guessing that even for the most feminist butch, some of that standard is probably based upon expectations of how a man should act. I hope there's a lot more to it than that. Do/did you have role models? Was/is there someone in your life who told/tells you that you aren't butch enough? (I confess to a very unfeminine urge to kick the ass of anyone who would do that, by the way.)

My second question is a related pet peeve. I have a feminist outlook born in the 1970s. Back then all the smart, feminist girls paid their own way on a date. What happened? How on earth has it become expected that the butch pays for the date? It makes no sense to me. Who would have imagined that I would have to re-establish those ground rules as a middle aged woman dating butch women? Is there a reasonable explanation? Please help me out with this.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:10 AM   #42
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I am not sure there is a single standard...nor exactly where it would come from. We all have our own ideas of how 'a' butch should act, dress, etc...but the good part about our ideas is they are all different & unique to each of us. I would venture to guess that not any two butches you will ever meet will be the same. My dad's joke is "we can't all be the same...cause if we were we would all chase ur mother & she wouldn't like that"...lol
So I guess my own ideals are from my father & grandfathers...as well as setting an example for the younger generations. And it is mostly just about being genuine & respectful. I don't have the feeling of not living up to that standard tho...so maybe not the best one to answer that question.

The dinner question...*sweet smile* my opinion...
I love to pay for dinner. I want to just have a great time with my dinner guest(s) & put it all on one check & not have the "how do we split up the appetizers" talk...lol most of the time it was my idea to go out or where to go anyway...so why not just let me pay for it?
My fiancee will attest to the fact that I would rather go out again & let someone else pay next time than split the check each time. (and even then I get the urge to pay, but am getting better about it) lol
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:01 PM   #43
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I identify as a Dyke, personally I don't like the term butch even though most would look at me and say "hey there goes that butch chick." I understand and mean no offense to those that do ID as butch. I am very masculine in appearance at first meeting, once you get to know me you will find out very quickly that I have an effeminate side, I am very much a woman even though at times I feel inadequate and an impostor in my own body. I have over time come to terms with myself after years of not knowing exactly where I fit in, I have always felt that I should have been born male and something went terribly wrong in the development of the embryo that would eventually become Jenn...from the time I was a small child I knew that I was a "lesbian" even though I didn't know there was a word for it. I would find myself attracted to women, having crushes on the neighborhood mothers, and always being the "daddy" when we played house. I loathed girl clothes, in fact I got in trouble for destroying a dress or two when I was little. I felt comfortable around my male friends, and if I was given a doll as a present I either lost it or pulled its head off! (sorry Barbie)
It was no big shock to my parents when at 16 I told them that I was gay, my friends knew and luckily, since I live in a small town in redneck central WV, I was accepted and never given a hard time about it...I was fortunate to have an older butch friend who was there for me, and I believe this made my coming out much easier.

I work in a long term care facility and most of the residents take one look at me and call me he, I don't correct them because it would 1. Embarrass them, or 2. Confuse them. I have one lady that calls me "Sir Lady" and when asked why she told me, well I know your name is Jennifer and your a girl, but when I look at you I see a Sir, so I just call you Sir Lady!!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by CherylNYC View Post
Great thread, ALH. I have two questions for the butches. Several of the previous butch posters mentioned feeling somehow inadequate. It sounds as if many butches feel like there's a standard that defines what it means to be butch, and they feel they don't live up to it.

I certainly have those feelings as a femme. I can clean up and dress up pretty well, but my everyday look, as well as my passions and work life, are not at all congruent with feminine standards of dress and behaviour. Feminine standards are broadcast from every billboard. We all know what they are, and I know that in many ways I don't fit them. Most of the time I don't give a rat's ass, and as a feminist I applaud myself for breaking stereotypes on a daily basis. BUT, in my less confident moments I can still be made to feel insecure in my femme ID. Every movie, every commercial and every magazine holds up some impossible ideal of what a feminine woman is supposed to look/act/be like. I know it's a bunch of photoshopped crap designed to sell us products we don't need, but some of it sinks in anyway. Even for me.

There are no TV ads that tell us how a butch is supposed to look and behave, (Thank the Goddess!). So where does the butch standard come from, and how does it happen that butches feel like they are inadequate to it? I'm guessing that even for the most feminist butch, some of that standard is probably based upon expectations of how a man should act. I hope there's a lot more to it than that. Do/did you have role models? Was/is there someone in your life who told/tells you that you aren't butch enough? (I confess to a very unfeminine urge to kick the ass of anyone who would do that, by the way.)

My second question is a related pet peeve. I have a feminist outlook born in the 1970s. Back then all the smart, feminist girls paid their own way on a date. What happened? How on earth has it become expected that the butch pays for the date? It makes no sense to me. Who would have imagined that I would have to re-establish those ground rules as a middle aged woman dating butch women? Is there a reasonable explanation? Please help me out with this.
As a butch, my personal opinion on your first question is that there is so much more to being a butch than dressing or acting a certain way..its a state of mind if you will. I had no role model growing up as a butch. I knew I liked girls and not boys. I knew that I got along great with boys and they considered me "one of the guys". I played touch football, climbed fences, got dirty and even got kissed by a girl who thought I was a boy lol I think it's an all around persona one embodies and its definitely different with every butch. It's very open and vast..the spectrum of it. Maybe I am more butch to someone (in their opinion) than to someone else. It's all personal perception of an individual.

As for the second question, I think most butches want to be chivalrous or gentlemen by treating their femme like a true lady..which would include paying for their meal, opening the door, pulling out their chair etc. Once again, it's a personal choice. I have no problem paying for dinner or going dutch. Compromise seems to be of the norm these days..and rightfully so with the feminine movement having advanced so far and pushing the boundaries each day.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:31 PM   #45
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What femme look(and attitude) most attracts you?
How one carries themselves has always been at the heart of attraction for me. Mainly, the self-comfort with that carriage of the woman is what interests me.

I have been attracted to femmes that are all over the charts in terms of what I think I understand about this look you speak of. I also can be attracted to non-femme identified women. Mainly, I don't do the labelling of others, including femmes. I listen to how that individual identifies herself.
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:04 PM   #46
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Default Opinion...

i'm wondering if anyone can relate. i'm with someone younger, and i'm her first lesbian experience (ever!). even though i should be more experienced, i feel like it's the opposite. she said she fell in love with me after dating 1 month and is sexually assertive... she wants to go down on me and use a strap on all the time (which is great), but she is really good at both and seems experienced. i would have thought it would take time to be confident/good at it? i am not complaining, just curious. was it like that w/any butches here? like one day you're dating men and the next you realize you are 100% into a woman and telling her you're in love w/her and fine going down/using strap on and ready to tell your parents you're a lesbian??? did you need any adjustment or was it that sudden? were you like that as soon as you met a woman you were attracted to? why i'm asking is that i think part of me has a hard time believing this is true, but she's never lied to me about anything else.
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:37 PM   #47
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i'm wondering if anyone can relate. i'm with someone younger, and i'm her first lesbian experience (ever!). even though i should be more experienced, i feel like it's the opposite. she said she fell in love with me after dating 1 month and is sexually assertive... she wants to go down on me and use a strap on all the time (which is great), but she is really good at both and seems experienced. i would have thought it would take time to be confident/good at it? i am not complaining, just curious. was it like that w/any butches here? like one day you're dating men and the next you realize you are 100% into a woman and telling her you're in love w/her and fine going down/using strap on and ready to tell your parents you're a lesbian??? did you need any adjustment or was it that sudden? were you like that as soon as you met a woman you were attracted to? why i'm asking is that i think part of me has a hard time believing this is true, but she's never lied to me about anything else.
I guess I wonder, has she thought about women before you came along? I thought about women even while dating men.

I fell head over heels in love with the first woman I was dating pretty quickly if I remember correctly. I think it was because of all of those endorphins that were being released because I was finally dating/having sex with women. Maybe that is what is going on for her. Maybe that is what is going on for her. She is happy with you and she is having sex (endorphins).

As far as her experience goes, I don't know but why would she lie. Some people are just naturally good at sex and I guess if she has been in the past with men, maybe that is why she is confident now. Did you ever ask her how she got so good?
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:16 PM   #48
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thanks for your insight... the endorphins part makes sense. she said she had zero thoughts about women before me. she's mid 20s and looks/acts butch. can't see why she'd lie but i still can't help but wonder. guess it shouldn't matter. and i did joke w/her about being so good in bed... she denies it lol
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:09 PM   #49
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thanks for your insight... the endorphins part makes sense. she said she had zero thoughts about women before me. she's mid 20s and looks/acts butch. can't see why she'd lie but i still can't help but wonder. guess it shouldn't matter. and i did joke w/her about being so good in bed... she denies it lol
I'm in my late 20s. And while I've never dated men, I was sort of a "late bloomer" (relatively speaking). I figured out I was different pretty young, but never knew how to classify it. I didn't have my first kiss, with anyone, until I was 19. Didn't officially come out until I was 21. And only recently started identifying as butch.

That being said, I knew instantly that being with a woman was right for me. Now, I had thought about women before. But never acted on my thoughts until my first girlfriend and it just clicked right away.

Some people just are more sexually assertive. Personally, I expected to be shy at first, especially with my more experienced first girlfriend. But I found I'm a natural top and it just came easier. Maybe your girlfriend is the same way.

My other thought is that it's easier for your girlfriend to be in control of the situation. Some times its hard to put yourself in a vulnerable position, such as letting someone go down on you. If she controls the situation, she can set the pace and make sure things progress in a way she's comfortable. Now, I don't know if that's really the answer, just another thought about what may be happening.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:13 AM   #50
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Default Mini freak out

I haven't been on this site very long. A week maybe? And I have found a lot of good stuff. And met some cool people, even made some friends. But last night in chat I had a mini freak out moment.

I was asked if I identified as male or female. I answered both, either. But internally I was sort of freaking out. Needless to say I fled a few minutes later, which I'm not overly proud of. But the answer to the question is I don't know.

I've always identified as female. I mean, I was born female, raised female, even was forced into many dresses as a kid. But I was also a huge tomboy. And I had kids make fun of me for being boyish. Even as an adult I get looks and comments.

When I came out, I had a group of all gay friends who were really supportive and proud of being gay. But I realize now they were really narrow minded. They didn't have room in their view of sexual/gender identity for anything besides gay and lesbian. Butch was not something that was accepted. And I sort of went along with it, because I didn't know any better or had the courage/self-confidence to go against the group.

But after college and losing touch with that group, my view of myself started to evolve. And I learned to start being comfortable in my own skin. So I started to shop for clothes in the men's department and wear male cologne because I like the smell on me.

The last couple years have been eye opening. And I can finally admit that yes, I am butch. But at this point, I don't know much more than that. Or even what it means completely to me. So yes, I've always identified as female. But maybe I would be okay identifying as male. I mean, I have only recently started packing on occasion and it feels completely natural and, well, me. So why wouldn't identifying as male too?

I know that I am over generalizing things. Because gender identity is anything but black and white. And as I am learning it's a deeply personal, continually evolving dynamic. My mini freak out isn't a bad thing, it's a learning thing. A growing moment.

I still have a ways to go in figuring out myself. But I don't have to do it immediately. The one thing I do know is that I've found the right place to help me through the process. All the different threads I've read, stories from all of you, have been so helpful. And informative. So thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:32 AM   #51
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randrum,

Don't forget that sex and gender are not the same thing. There are butches who identify as female (sex), but not as a woman (gender). Butch is also a gender.

Additionally, many do not see sex (male/female) as binary and instead see it as on a continuum. Genderqueer people, for example see themselves as somewhere in the middle (or they see themselves as both). There are gender neutral people, genderfluid people, etc.

I am just suggesting that you don't jump to male from female. There is lots inbetween. Don't stress yourself out about it. Do some research on gender theory.

I identify as stone, butch, and as transgender (not transsexual). I use male pronouns, but I am also ok with "hy". I am closer to male on the gender/sex continuum and have had male top surgery. Professionally, I live as female, but outside of work I usually "pass" for male and prefer to be related to as a male by the public. I use the men's restroom. See? Gender is fluid and fun! ha! Don't box yourself in!

I have never been to our chat, but I assume people are asking because they want to know which pronoun you would like used. You can either tell them you just want your name used, or choose a pronoun.

Last thing. There are a lot of female identified butches (plus butches who identify as both a female and as a woman), who are more masculine than male identified butches. Additionally, there are a lot of female identified butches who pack. Don't let the traditional societal way of thinking about gender get in your way.

Enjoy the gender journey!
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:06 AM   #52
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I have always identified as a female (sex) butch but that is because I do not see myself as male (sex). I have all of my female parts and even if I don't necessary want to think of them as female, I don't want to change them either (although I did have a breast reduction years ago because what I had just didn't feel right). I strap. It's a natural extension of who I am when I do. I consider myself to be a really masculine dude!

When it comes to family or friends who don't know what Butch/Femme is, I am always she. I get called lady, woman, girl and sometimes sir, guy, etc by strangers depending on who it is and where I am.

When it comes to being in the Butch/Femme world that I prefer to live in, I use male pronouns, he, him, etc because it's an expression of my masculinity, it feels right, and I like it. I have no problem with hy/hym either.


When a femme asks me how I identify, it makes me swoon a little bit because I know that this is a person who gets it and cares enough to ask.


Anyway, I think we are all always evolving in one way or another. I know I am. Maybe at this point in your life it's okay to say that you are still trying to figure things out. Nothing wrong with that and people will respect you for it.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #53
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Hey Randrum,
It's ok to not know exactly how you ID in all ways. It's ok to just be where you are. It's ok to have a mini freak out, it's ok to not know all the answers to the questions people ask. It's ok to just say hey, I'm finding my way and I don't know right now. Hang in there, you'll find your way. And just so you know, there's a lot of us here that have gone through that in life as well, if you need questions answered, just please ask, someone will gladly repsond to you .....maybe even a bunch of us will.

Hugs to you younger brother, you belong right here with this family if you so choose to remain being part of us. Don't let any of the questions people may ask, run you off, ok.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:04 PM   #54
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Aloha Randrum! (that's the Hawaiian greeting )

Howdy! (that's the greeting from my home in VA!)

I only had a chance meet and welcome you very briefly in chat, so wanted to take a moment and say it again here.

WELCOME!

I only wish I was your age when I found a place like this! I was very young (read: 3/4) when I realized that I was a "girl"... because I was missing parts my Dad had. It was very confusing. I was in the 4th grade when I had my first "girlfriend" (a memory that was repressed/forgotten until I gained recall in therapy years later) and I was a junior in high school when I fell in love for the first time and realized I was clearly gay/lesbian/queer. It wasn't until I was 38 that I began truly learning about the gender binary, the difference(s) between gender/sexual orientation, the butch-femme dynamic. Trust me when I say, that was way too many years of self questioning/doubts/fears. This site and another similar were a Godsend to me in learning more about myself.

I spent most of my life (and to varying degrees still do) trying to make "ME" make sense. My body and my soul/spirit/gender do not align. I never had to label myself until joining these sites, because frankly, I had never been asked...LOL

Being asked a question about yourself for the first time does often cause a "mini- freak out" because having never been asked, there is no certain/pat answer that just rolls out naturally (unless you are one of the fortunate who has never had to examine your gender/orientation, etc.) It forces you to actually "think" about how to answer and opens the window for self examination/exploration/education.

Before entering this community (the B/F community, I mean), self ID/labelling was a non-issue. In the world of flesh, I formed opinions (sometimes wrong/sometimes correct) based on how I viewed people and by how they present themselves to me. It never entered my mind that people had options as to gender identification and what a gift it was to learn that we DO!

I think you were very much correct and perfectly clear in this:

"Because gender identity is anything but black and white. And as I am learning it's a deeply personal, continually evolving dynamic. My mini freak out isn't a bad thing, it's a learning thing. A growing moment.

I still have a ways to go in figuring out myself. But I don't have to do it immediately. The one thing I do know is that I've found the right place to help me through the process
."

I am always thrilled to see young persons enter this community! (not underage, mind you as this site is clearly dedicated to adults...lol) I love that you have the opportunity to speak openly with so many people of such vast differences along the gender spectrum! I am so happy that however you found us, you DID! Too many people for too many years have had to struggle alone in their search of self understanding and acceptance, especially people inclined to be somewhere in the grey areas of the spectrum and not on the more easily defined and broadly accepted "ends" of it. By "end" I mean, clearly and consistently Male or Female and aligned with the societal definitions of those terms. Gosh, it would have been SO much easier to just have been born one or the other...LOL I'm not sure, however, that I would have been the same "ME" that I have come to actually love.

Dapper, Sleepy and TruTexan all offered wonderful words of encouragement and I agree with all of their sentiment! Take time with your journey and enjoy the discovery! Echoing all of these generous souls...

Do not rush into any ID or feel pressured to "pick" one...lol

Post questions and concerns or just plain curiosities on threads where you think you may find good conversation about your queeries... If you can't find a thread that sounds like it may deal with your questions/thoughts, start one!!

Definitely bring up questions in chat! A lot of us regulars are older than you and while sometimes we may not use the same vernacular (read: we may talk "old people"... heh ), we definitely care and will be welcome hearing your story and sharing our own experiences.

The most important resonance that all three of the previous responders to your post shared:

ENJOY!!!

The process of discovery, while at times difficult and sometimes painful when walked alone can be a joyous freeing adventure when shared with kindred.

I am glad you found us! Your energy is sacred as is all who come honestly in seeking community. Thank you for adding to ours!

Mahalo! Thank you and best wishes!










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Old 02-02-2015, 01:16 PM   #55
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And you can also answer "actually Prefer to think of myself as a cross between a shrub and trout, but you can call me Nevil." If you a) don't think it's any of their business or b) don't want to answer a private question like that in a public space.

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Old 02-03-2015, 02:03 PM   #56
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I find this thread really relevant to my journey. I have been on bfp for about 1.5 years and I have gone from Femmepacker to Profpacker, indicating my change in the fluidity of my identity. I will say quite honestly that although I never consider myself femme anymore and do ID as butch... where on the butch spectrum I lie depends on the day. I feel more male in my id but I do not consider myself male. I can respond to hy and she. I feel that part of my journey is presenting my emerging self to my children. I have recently become involved with a femme who is supportive of my journey. I will say that I feel as if I almost live two lives at this point. More butch/neutral lesbian in my life with family and work and more butch overall in my life with the person I have recently connected with.

I do pack when I am away from home and like I have said before it feels very natural to me. I tend not to pack at work these days and mostly with the kids at home although when the urge is strong to pack I do have a flaccid, smaller packer that is not noticeable. I don't know where this will lead in the end. There is an interesting article in the Times about this today and although I relate partly to this it is like everything else, I think I will ID in the end as just me. I do want a relationship with the butch femme dynamic and like sleepy find myself gravitating towards that world because my feelings regarding relationships and my role in relationships is more male and more comfortable to be with others who get it.
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:27 PM   #57
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Speaking from my me place, I think of butch as traditionally a female or woman identity. For me it's about butch masculinity carried in a female body, about queering masculinity in a female body. Butch does not equal male for me. There is a difference between masculine and male/man to me. There are butches who identify as male but I don't see that as a prerequisite for identifying as butch. To me it is another identifier used in conjunction with but is not a requisite part of being butch. However identifying as male is certainly a part, a very important part, of any butch that identifies that way. But a male identified butch is no more or less butch than a butch who sees butch as a third gender or a butch who sees herself as female and/or a woman. We are all butches. And queered masculinity is a big part of being butch whatever flavor you are. At least to me. And since butch is about queer masculinity whether it's female masculinity or male identified or whatever it's really about something that is intangible and not based on what we wear or who we love or what we enjoy doing in our spare time. It's about who we are inside.

You can identify as male, see yourself as male and be the kind of guy who is into clothes, who likes to read, go to museums or whatever and you can identify as a female and/or see yourself as a woman and be the kind of butch who likes to fix cars, shoot skeet, play sports or whatever. There are as many ways to do butch as there are butches; female identified, male identified or third gender or any variation or combination you can think of that works for you. Find what feels right for you and be that. Just always stay open to yourself and allow for changes as they occur. You can't beat fluidity.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:32 PM   #58
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Since I'm an older butch, 51 to be exact, and not much in contact with the LGBTQI community, hence the reasons why I tend to be on this site, I am not familiar with some of the ID's such as Butch as a Third Gender. Can someone please explain this to me gently? I mean I"m about a lost as a goose when it comes to this stuff and have spent a lot of time trying to retain what I've read in forums on this particular site, I have terrible time remembering things until I can find a way to get my brain to CLICK on and lodge the understanding in place and it stays. So, please help me to under stand what it means and any help from someone here on the site would be much appreciated.
Personally I see butch as a noun, an adjective and a verb and such. It means a lot to me in different ways that I've yet to be able to peace together on paper to write it out. My brain no longer works like it should due to several reasons and hence a disability for me at times when it comes to harder thinking.
So, thanks in advance for the help.


PS. MS.Tick, great post you seem so knowledgeable I like reading your posts. And to Jess who so to the time to post and step up as well and to all the others, what a wonderful way to make a newbie feel like they belong here and are cared about. I appreciate all of your posts, so well thought out and put together. I enjoyed reading each and every one of them. I learned something new in each post about myself so thanks.

And, to all of you here recently posting in the butch thread in response to randrum's post, thanks for stepping up to help ran. He needs our support on that journey of finding oneself. I personally love the site and all its been for me and the online friends I've made here. Thanks again.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:46 PM   #59
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Welcome Randrum to the Planet, first off.

Secondly, you will find a lot and I mean a lot of different Identities on this site, it can be overwhelming at first, but asking questions, does help.

Back when I was in High school I was heterosexual genetic born female, then as I got older I came out as bisexual, I was with both genetic males and genetic females. Then I learned about butch, I wasn't so sure about it till I learned more from folks in the community, well lo and behold at the ripe age of 36, I learned that in all actuality what I was feeling about myself and how I felt as a child as well, is that I am Transgender.

Transgender is a huge umbrella term to me. I am writing this in my personal experience and opinion, only.

Everyday, lots of folks are coming into their own, give it time Randrum, you will get to where you feel very comfortable about your identity and yourself.

Never be afraid to be proud of who you are, no matter the label. You will find some great folks on the site as well as support.

If you ever need an ear, message me and we can chat.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:00 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruTexan View Post
I am not familiar with some of the ID's such as Butch as a Third Gender. Can someone please explain this to me gently?
Some people see themselves as a gender other than female or male, thus the terminology third gender. It is a gender outside of the binary. Some people feel having a third gender reinforces the other two thus it does the opposite of breaking free of the binary. Some do not agree and feel that a third gender allows an escape from the masculine/feminine gender trap. Some think everything outside of the binary can and should be lumped into a single third gender. Others think there are many more than 2 or 3 genders.

I believe the important thing, however we identify, is not to adopt the gender binary. It's difficult since we spend a huge amount of time discussing our identities in terms of masculine and feminine. Socially constructed ways of understanding what it means to be male or female permeate our gender narrative and influence our conscious and unconscious assessments of who we are and how we act and interact with others. We need to examine this and understand how we are conditioned to think in pink or blue.

This is probably clear as mud. I'm sure there are many people here that could explain this a hell of lot better than I have.
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