Drumming Amazon

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Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Sunday, May 2, 2010

From Lesbian Feminist: Butches aren't transanything!

This is my response, and I feel very strongly that Butches should not be seen as interchangeable parts with FTM's as in all those sex ads and descriptions and workshops and groups where Butches/FTM's are slapped together as a single/similar/overlapping or continuum identity when we are distinctly different:

What Is A Butch? Part 3: Not Trans-Anything
November 9, 2009 at 6:21 am (Uncategorized) (butches)

My reply:
March 6, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Butch is a FEMALE LESBIAN identity, none other. Not a trans identity, not an FTM identity, we ARE NOT interchangeable parts, or even an MTF who can’t completely fit into girly girl identity(yes even MTF’s have tried to rip off ‘Butch’). Butch Dykes want to be with other Dykes, whether it’s other Butches, Femmes or in betweeners…as long as they’re female. Butches don’t fuck men, because again Butch is distinctly a LESBIAN identity. We resist feminization, always have, some of us identify more with the male role, clothing, accoutrements because we don’t feel empowered identifying with feminine items, but inside and outside we still maintain OUR RECOGNIZABLE FEMALENESS. It is NOT o.k. to be a feral Female who doesn’t fit into feminized patriarchal roles or appearance. Some of these words may pertain to some or all of us: Amazon/Fierce/Masculine(NOT MALE)/Aggressive/Protective/nonconforming/nonfeminine/Wild/Untamed, but still ALL WOMON!

Many Butches in the past, and sometimes presently have had to ‘pass’ as men for sheer survival, or just the opposite, had to ‘femme it up a bit’ to get a job, and dress more Butch on our own time….some of us have compromised neither way, and took the shit it takes to be out about who we are: Womon loving Butch Dyke FEMALES who don’t ‘fit in’ to feminized female roles, attitudes or appearances.

We ARE NOT FTM’s and we don’t want to be men, like we’re constantly accused of wanting to be. That is precisely the difference between Butches and FTM’s. To some, they may see it as a matter of degree, but a Butch is still proud to be a strong Dyke Female, unfeminine, inhabiting our space just the way we are, despite the discrimination and sometimes even hate in the world against us which tries to invisibilize us. This doesn’t just include the hetero world, which tries to erase us at every turn since we’re very visibly Lesbian by our appearance, but also the trans movement where it’s still more acceptable to ‘fit in’ and pass and become ‘male’, and completely male appearing, i.e in some manner hetero appearing. rather than the defiant feisty women we are: Butch Dykes/Women Loving Women!


  1. It's going to be an ongoing effort to educate about Butch Woman identity. Frustrating but you and others have been making us realize how important it is to "represent". To stop letting others or self stick us under the butch=ftm umbrella. We are unique.

    I was looking for the article you referred to. Is it on this site?


  2. Hello!


    Do you feel that some butches are transitioning so that they can fit into society better? Or is it that since the therpy (medical/mental health) is better that more butches can transition. There are some documented women who lived as men. Most famously that I was thinking was jazz/blues artist Billy Tipption (I think that is right?)

  3. That is true about Billy Tipton, but partly due to both homophobia/lesbophobia and sexism, in some ways a Butch Dyke or Butch/Masculine woman could NEVER get ahead if she didn't pass as male. But it could also be that Billy Tipton really thought of herself as a male, and wanted to live a fully male life. Though I'm not for the whole transitioning thing for many reasons, if this is what someone wants to do, this is their choice. I'm not gonna stop them. Go do it and then BE a dude..don't crash dyke or women or Lesbian spaces and moan and cry about how 'discriminated against' you are and how transphobic we are if we don't want those who truly want to be dudes and act, look, dress and wear hormonally taken testosterone induced facial hair/body parts or lacking body parts by choice(breast removal) into our lesbian/bio female/ or women's spaces! OR coopt our very identities as Butches and that transitioning is 'another Butch option'! It's like we're going BACKWARDS...that a Butch woman/Dyke cannot be her natural FEMALE self in the world, the gay OR straight world, that she has to 'pass' as male to survive in some way...like in the distant past or in far more oppressive cultures!

    P.S. I also think some of the reason is because the hormones and surgeries have become more efficient and easier to recieve...but I also think it is an indication of the truly conservative times we live in again....in some ways feminism has failed, or been destroyed actively by the mainstream culture and even certain sectors of queer culture, which is why this transitioning business has become so trendoid, and we truly HAVEN'T been liberated as either women or Dykes!