Gender and Identity, it’s personal

Posted: May 16, 2014 in butch, dyke, femme, gay, lesbian, queer
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thankfully, for the most part, our world has evolved past the ‘which one of you is the man in the relationship?’ questions.  People are either educated enough, or polite enough, to realize the rudeness of the question, even if we all know that they’re making assumptions in their own heads.  Much (maybe not enough, and maybe it’s not read enough, not mainstream enough, not considered enough, but still much) has been written about gender identification from an academic point of view, from a political point of view, from a feminist point of view, much good, valid stuff.  What interests me right now, is my own little family and how we see ourselves and each other, how our culture informs our concepts of self.

 

We walk a cultural divide between our primarily traditional heterosexual geographical culture in which we are accepted because we’re ‘safe’ queers, other than that one little difference we act just like them, we talk just like them, we fly under the radar, and queer culture.  Within our home, and within our queer culture, my partner uses masculine pronouns, ‘Puppy, Daddy’s busy now, he can’t play with you, go bring your toy to Mommy’, we slide back and forth from one culture to the other with a practiced smoothness that requires no effort.

 

One of us dresses in mens suits, has half a dozen different fedoras, mows the lawn, kills spiders.

 

One of us wears make up, colors her hair, spends hours getting ready for an evening out.

 

One of us cooks and does the laundry and feels it’s her job to nurture, to make take care.

 

One of us is the primary wage earner who feels it’s her job to be a good provider.

 

It would be easy, and would help with everyone’s sense of stereotype, to refer to us as femme and butch, as we refer to ourselves as him and her, but it’s not that simple, and how we see ourselves is not how others might see us.  We are femme and butch both of us.  I cook and clean and nurture and mow the lawn, I wear a suit and tie and fedora, I wear a strap on, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I cry and want to cuddle.  I am who I see myself as, not in the least confused about my identity, comfortable with my pronouns, comfortable when she calls me her boy, when she says I’m her little butch femme.

 

Butch?  I look the part for sure, the all important visual cues that people rely so heavily upon are all there.  He’s my boi, he’s the strong one, silently bottling emotions, she’s my he and he’s my she, fluidly switching from pronoun to pronoun, fluidly being.

 

How we see ourselves, how we refer to ourselves, how we feel inside our skins is such a personal thing, and, for some of us, it’s fluid, a state of flux that we are entirely comfortable with.  We are lucky to be a part of the queer community, where such things are nothing unusual, we’re used to figuring out our own definitions of self, we’ve had to do it from the get-go.

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