From the perspective of a Lesbian who “Came Out” in the 80s in a Lesbian Feminist Community
I’ve been in “gender confusion” since I joined Twitter a few months ago.
I came out at around age 30 in the 1980s in an area that is mostly rural, in a lesbian feminist community whose participants identified themselves simply as “women who love women”. Even though some women dressed and behaved more in a feminine manner, and others more male, no one called themselves anything except “lesbian feminist”. In fact use of those two words butch or femme were “uncool”. There was no B/F culture in evidence except in lesbian history, so I thought it was passe. I love lesbian history so learned about B/F culture from reading about such couples as Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. (I’ve had no urban experience)
After a seven year relationship that ended in 1990 I disappeared from the lesbian feminist scene and all political arenas for the next two decades. I “came out” again publicly not long ago. When I joined Twitter I discovered there were butches and femmes galore – most intriguing to me, though I was a bit bewildered. I started paying close attention.
So the B/F culture is back – cool! Or rather it never left. I discovered I really like and am attracted to many butches. BUT not only is B/F back – there is now T, Q, and apparently several other categories I cannot remember to name here.
No wonder I’ve felt like I was in a time warp! I was! Now I have the missing pieces.
I was fascinated listening to a radio interview on the “Disappearing Butch”. I learned the LF movement tried to squash the B/F culture -I didn’t know that was happening. How’d I miss that?! Probably because I wasn’t in academia at the time. As I mentioned, I found this interview absolutely fascinating and very interesting to listen to, and would like to share it with the LGBTQ world.
I am proud to have attended the 1986 Washington, DC gay rights march, a fabulous experience for me – There was so much subculture within a subculture, none of which I had previous knowledge! Far from being 500,000 lesbian feminists marching for gay rights there were so many different groups of lesbians it was boggling for me and exciting.
Apparently there is concern that with transition surgery available butches will disappear, maybe are disappearing. I learned so much from the radio interview that I wanted to pass it along to others to listen to so I’ve enclosed the link below. Personally I don’t think the butch is going to disappear. The butches I talked with are happy with their female bodies. I do have a health concern about butch women that bind their breasts with tight garments, but that is another subject for another time.
A Bit About Me, as a New Lesbian Blogger
I was born and raised in Maine and lived most of my life there. I didn’t know I had feelings for women until I was near 30 – first fell in with a woman at age 28, went through an “adolescent” period of crushes and unrequited interests.My first lover was 11 years older than I and much more worldly. I was 32 at that time. That relationship was 7 years. Surprising to me at that time I survived the break-up and have gone on to thrive as a lesbian with many friends and a couple more relationships followed. I was married to a man and am mother to an adult son who is married with one child, my beautiful granddaughter.I am an RN who is currently on sabbatical. I recently started a blog, my first venture into writing anything for the public.Currently I am single, and not looking, am focused on my own health and internal growth.
RADIO INTERVIEW BY CBC.CA Interviewer Anna Marie Tremonti
Discussion of Lesbian, Butch, and Transgender F to M, are Butches Disappearing?
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2387814013 Listen: What it means to be butch & why you should care. Disappearing Butches @TheCurrentCBC including comments from ButchOnTap aka Butch Jaxon, well known blogger whose pieces regularly appear in the Huffington Post. Also heard from are Ky Lynn Shupka, a college student transitioning from female to male; Karen Pendleton Jimenez who identifies as Butch and is a professor at Trent U. and the creator of “Tomboy”; Nancy Irwin who identifies as a leather femme dyke; and Bobby Nolle, who identifies as a trans man and is Assoc. Prof. at The School of Gender, Sex, and Women’s Studies at York U.