22 September 2008

tomboy femme and soft butch

Tomboy Femme meets Soft Butch

Tomboy femme meets soft butch and sparks fly! But, who’s who? Or, who wears which label? With me and my beloved, the labels are fluid and the roles are not fixed. That’s how we like it.

Why is it that the lesbian community wants definitions for every gender and gender role? Maybe it’s not a lesbian thing. Maybe it’s our culture. I find the labeling constricting and resist it as much as I am able. On forms, instead of a couple of check boxes for gender there should be space for a paragraph. Or no gender question at all.

Many lesbians will recall that their childhood years were spent as a tomboy. Not every tomboy grows up to be a lesbian, but lots of us did. Being a tomboy was having the freedom to dress like your brothers, climb trees, ride fast, play sports. To live those years as androgynously as we chose.

So, who’s who in our relationship? I’m the tomboy femme. I wear jeans and t-shirts when I am not at work. Also, I’ve never really gotten the accessories thing. For instance, scarves are to keep your neck warm, not to dress up an outfit. I’m handy with the tools I own. I’m a black belt in my martial art and I can kick your ass.

But, I’m the one with the long, pretty hair. I’m the one who owns and even wears skirts occasionally. And high heels. I like doing the laundry. I love the smell of clean clothes! I’d rather sweep and vacuum than mow the grass. I absolutely do not want to mess around with cars.

And my girl? She’s the soft butch. She’s sporting the short, but not buzzed, hair – think Ellen-esque. She always wears jeans; unless she’s wearing sweats. She works in construction. She fixes everything in our house. She would rather mow than vacuum. She does the car stuff.

But, she blow dries her hair. And has it colored. She primps more than I do! Although she likes being the Daddy, she does not like being mistaken for a man. She wears earrings. She is pretty, and she knows it.

I’m not femme and I’m not butch, and my girlfriend is neither as well. We’re just a couple of quirky girls making our way in the world. We don’t feel obliged to fit into a category; you can’t use us as a definition of anything.

Sometimes I want to shout, like Popeye, “I yam what I yam!”

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