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society lesbians


butch, identity & a little catchup-ketchup

So far the festive season is festering away … I’ve moved house, changed my psych meds … what a brilliant time of year to do it all eh? I’ve also landed a v cool editing contract. What I haven’t done, is hang out online and I ain’t here for long today.

First things first, I need to reblog the following:

Symposium #1: What is Butch? on Butch Lab:

… and I also need to mention that in the process, I stumbled upon Jolie’s very excellent turn of phrase, “identity geeks.” Not only is it uber-cool, it also applies to me like a comfortable pair of ripped and faded jeans. (The ones I wore to East London Pride this year).

So Google has banned ads for the book Queers in History, because of the ooooh-verboten word “queer.” That falls under the ‘sexual content’ no no, although the book is entirely about queer figures in history and in no way about sex. This brings me on to another of my favourite rants i.e. how very, very, incredibly fed up I am of my identity instantly being associated with sex. Sexuality is a far broader matter than the sex act, thankyouverymuch world.

Back to butch … OK, here I need to add the disclaimer, again, that I am in no way trying to diss anyone’s interpretation of it, simply define my own. You google butch, you find a lot of bdsm, masculinity (radical or otherwise) and … butch cock. I hate typing that phrase.

I am not a man, I don’t want to be a man. I don’t even want to be a woman the way most of society defines us, but I am a feminist and so “woman” is what I (re)claim. I’ve said a lot on this subject, so I shall move on …

BDSM. No. I see a whole bunch of bloggers who identify both as butch and as Buddhist also way into bdsm, on a very conscious and analysed level. I would simply like (as little as I like discussing my sex life publicly) to state that I am indeed butch and a (bad) buddhist, but I am not into bdsm – not one bit. And I (we!) have extraordinarily fabulous sex.

That is all.

Beyond butch. I read a cute FAQ which stated, amongst many other things, that the mental health of queers is far better if they are out and open about their identity. It struck me that this is in fact true for all of humankind. If you know who/what/where/why/how you are and stand with a measure of surefootedness on this planet of ours – you’re a pretty well-adjusted specimen. Perhaps, we just don’t know when to be satisfied and content, perhaps many of us (*points to self*) just keep on and on questioning until we’re convinced we can never be happy. But that is a whole other discussion and I am digressing fearsomely.

Being an identity geek, let me claim the following:

Human [it’s not under threat, so not too militant about it]

Woman

Feminist

Queer

Lesbian

Dyke

Butch

Gay

Geek

Bookworm

Editor

Writer

Thinker

PTSD person

Speculative fiction fan

Alt.indie music fan

That list could go on forever.

Ima stfu now *grin*


Butch Symposium, part the first.. Boxer Shorts & Bras

Call for submissions for bloggers & writers: The first Symposium (Sinclair Sexsmith)
I am planning to launch the new project’s monthly Symposium with the site’s launch on November 15th, and I need your help. I’m looking for writers who have something to say about butch identity, who are wiling to post their thoughts on their own blog (or email them in, if they don’t have a blog) and link back to the Symposium in exchange for the promotion within this project. Here’s the topic for the first Symposium:
Symposium #1, November 2010: What is butch? How do you define butch? What do you love about it? What does it mean to you?

I am a butch woman, a butch lesbian, a butch dyke – so my interpretation of butch stems directly from that. Beyond that though, butch is an adjective I use to describe the way I look, the way I walk. For me it’s about style, not gender. It’s the hipster jeans, the sneakers, the wallet chain, the watch, the heavy silver rings, the fact that I wear men’s clothing but refuse to accept masculinity and femininity as my gender labels. It’s my reclaiming of stuff that society says is just for boys and men. It’s liberation. It’s boxer shorts and bras.

A pause here to reassure sensitive folks that I am only speaking for myself and only about my own private perception and expression.

My masculine traits and appearance are seen as masculine, because that’s society’s definition, not mine. My voice is deep – so was Marlene Dietrich’s … er … OK so maybe she was butch. I walk loose-limbed like a man, not with the supposedly femme hip-sway. It’s just the way I walk, it’s comfortable and often it tells potential muggers that I am not afraid. It’s important for me to feel safe on the streets – my comfortable shoes, sneakers, boots are all practical in case I have to run.

Female and woman are terms I can claim for my sex, biologically. I don’t give much of a shit about gender – mine or anybody else’s. My sex matters a lot to my sexuality though.

What do I love about butch? Well, I’d look and be who and what I am whether there was a word to describe it or not, but the fact that the word “butch” exists has some lovely consequences. To quote that ole politically incorrect thing, “chicks dig it.” I’m a “type” for some women (yay!). “My handsome butch dyke,” she says and I fairly strut about like … something that struts about in a particularly pleased way. Ahem. It gives me cohorts too, a tribe, a family within my queer family. Women to talk about clothes with, for example. There’s solidarity when the world rejects me, when kids on streets mock me, when people mutter that clearly I really want to be a man. It also means, simply and profoundly, that I have given myself permission to dress how the hell I want, to be me.

The things I love about butch give butch meaning to me – but of course there are some negatives too. “What are you? A man or a fucking woman?” from some twelve year old on the streets of the UK. “Obviously you’re the man in the relationship,” from a friend in South Africa. Assumptions, insults, general fuckwittery. Times when people start to get violent about it … but then the courage needed to still be oneself adds such positive meaning to anyone’s life too, right?

Language is shorthand for thought. Butch is a proud, strong word. It doesn’t beat anyone else up, it’s just one of many, many aspects of who I am. And who I am is alright.

Loads more waffle and cartoons about butch.


Club Eden – the Only Queer Club in East London

Welcome to Club Eden – it’s my local queer club. Sally and her staff and family and friends renovated it and threw a party to celebrate.

Continue reading


dear queer, i love you ..

because illogical societal stigmas make families forget sometimes, that they love their children and parents and siblings and so on, we queers generally fear coming out, with a dread a lot of people don’t seem to appreciate. in fact, before the terror, it’s society that has caused the fact that we need to come out at all.

we shouldn’t have to.

but we do – or we lurk, fearful in closets not of our own construction.

i was very, extremely (a lot!) touched by a letter roxy wrote, from the viewpoint of the mother of a queer child. it shows a level of love and understanding and basic human compassion that actually, we should all be exercising. it’s the basis of most religions and the better philosophies and part of what allegedly raises us above animals ffs … that letter should get printed out and sent to the world.

now roxy ain’t the mother of a queer child, at least, not right now, i think her “weasels” are a little young to be deciding that. she is, however, both a queer and a mother. She has her own coming out journey and it’s an interesting one. (btw she and her genderqueer lover are happily polyamorous bdsm freaks, so if you go clicking around her blog indiscriminately, i won’t be responsible for any orgasms and/or conniptions you might enjoy/suffer). ;p

i don’t have a huge amount to say on this topic that hasn’t already been said … just … people manage to love murderers … please don’t draw the line at queers?

please.

[desmond tutu and his god have no issue with us, so why should you?]


41 trivial questions meme thingy

 

sheep, post retief road

1. What is the closest item near you that is blue? my eyes <_<

2. What is your favorite color? #666699

3. When is your birthday? next year ;p

4. When did you last go to the mall? monday. we have two [count ‘em] malls in the nearest city – my gf calls them mauls. they aren’t very exciting, but like most of their breed, they have too much fake light and too many people and a general air of need and greed and … i don’t like them.

5. When was the last time you bought a pair of pants? could this be the single most boring question ever asked by a meme?

6. What do you want for your birthday? some pants.

7. Who will be your next kiss? the cherrybomber

8. What was the last candy you ate? sally williams macadamia nougat

9. Are you wearing socks right now? ok this makes the pants question seem quite interesting. i’m not wearing socks, i’m barefoot. enthralling!

10. When was the last time you went out of the state? we call them “provinces” in south africa + the one i live in is called the eastern cape. it’s one of 9. and i haven’t been out of it for what feels like ages. last time would have been to cape town i think? eek. don’t know.

11. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days? nope – far longer than that, in fact. east london is rather way off “the circuit” and seems to suffer rom-coms etc most of the time.

12. What was the last thing you had to drink? green tea

13. What are you wearing right now? a slightly peevish expression

14. What was your last purchase? a t-shirt for a friend’s birthday

15. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? my gf

16. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week? see above

17. Do you have a pet? phrodeaux the 15 yr old very spoiled and loved jack russell terrier

18. What’s the last sporting event you watched? surfing

19. What’s the most played song on your iTunes? right now, full steam ahead by david grey and annie lennox, i seem to have some sort of addiction to it :/

20. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be? with her.

21. What is the last thing you purchased online? bought a month’s mmorpg sub for a dutch kid

22. One thing you hate about yourself? one?! i have self-loathing down to a fine art. seriously though? my panic attacks.

23. What’s your favorite soup? tomato. out of a can.

24. Do you miss anyone? my gf.

25. Last play you saw? man to man at the grahamstown festival – one woman play starring antoinette kellerman + the best play i have ever seen anywhere.

26. What are your plans for the day? walk dogs on beach, work, fetch neighbour’s daughter from airport.

27. Last person you messaged? gf.

28. What do you know about the future? nothing..nobody does, it’s all just “educated” guesses

29. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne? not right now, i only add it for going out.

30. Where are your best friends located? she’s at work in the city right now.

31. How old do you want to be when you have kids? i’m 40 and don’t have any.

32. Who was the last person who made you cry? me?

33. Do you have any tattoos or piercings? pierced ears, nose, brow – none worn for many years now. tats: gecko on right shoulder, eland at base of spine, moon left forearm and star on right calf.

34. How do you like your soda? not hooked on it – coke or fanta on a v hot day.

35. Do you like hot sauce? yes.

36. Next time you’ll take a shower? saturday morning. i usually bath ;p

37. What was the last movie you watched at home? national treasure

38. What is your mood? low-grade anxiety, nothing major.

39. What kind of car do you drive? anything anyone lets me – i don’t own a car.

40. Have you ever been to Virginia? no, i’ve met her though.

41. What are you doing right now? finishing this meme


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