Is Transitioning Becoming Too Easy?



I realize that this may be a touchy subject, so I’m going to make it clear right away that I mean no disrespect to anyone.  It isn’t really my style to purposely hurt anyone or to judge anyone. My intention right now is to delve into a topic of discussion that I’ve had recently with a few people close to me.

As a butch woman, I have to deal with a great deal of prejudice from a lot of people. The direction from which this prejudice comes is sometimes astonishing to me. Other lesbians who are more of a feminine persuasion and are attracted to the same type of feminine woman have a tendency to talk to me like I’m dirt sometimes. They do not understand me and often go out of their way to say things like, “you are just trying to be a man” or “if I wanted to be with a man, I’d choose a man” and so on and so on. I’m not going to get into all the things that being butch means, but it certainly does not mean that I want to be a man. I consider myself to be a combination of masculine and feminine energy that compliment each other in ways that bless me in my life. I feel that I’m lucky to be me.

I’ve grown to believe that sexuality is a very fluid thing.  I believe that we are all capable of loving men or women, regardless of who we are. We may never act on it, but I honestly believe that many people would if they hadn’t already been taught by society that it is somehow “wrong” to do so. I also believe that this early programming has seriously affected lesbians in many ways. Sexuality simply cannot be placed into a box of choice.

I believe that many years ago, lesbians thought that they had to give-up their femininity in order to be gay. It was almost expected that women act more masculine in those days because they were a lesbian; society had a vision of what a lesbian was and that was anything but feminine. Many women felt they had to give-up dreams of having children or families in order to live up to some sort of ideal. Only in the last twenty to thirty years are we realizing that we don’t have to choose one or the other. We can be lesbians and be parents. We can paint our nails, wear heels or we can wear jeans and a ball cap. We truly can have it all.

As we (lesbians) have evolved, there seems to have become some sort of a split with many sub-groups. There are now so many labels that I personally cannot keep up with them and I certainly imagine that heterosexuals are confused as well. Being butch, I’m noticing that more and more butch women are gravitating towards transitioning from female to male in larger numbers than ever. I notice that there is a rise in interest in binding, top surgery and a desire to even mimic male behavior patterns more so than ever before. I’m a little puzzled by this because I’ve always been proud to be lesbian and even more proud to be butch. I’ve always felt that I was better than men because I could embrace the masculine while having the brains to know better behavior. I am comfortable with my masculine nature but I am also very comfortable to be a woman underneath it all. I embrace my softer side; the part of me that enjoys cuddling and having a good cry from time to time. I feel that I have managed to take the best of both worlds – male and female – and make them uniquely my own. I believe in respecting women, holding the door for them, getting the chair for them and holding them in only the way a butch woman can. I also believe that it’s okay for me to cry, be soft and enjoy putting my head on someone’s shoulder sometimes and showing my vulnerability. This makes me feel whole.

My concern is that because transitioning is so easy to do now (and so common) that it may just be too easy. Just like Botox and boob jobs, people now think nothing of taking “T” and growing a beard. Honestly, I’m concerned that someone in their twenties is not fully equipped to make this decision. Before some of you get your boxers in a bunch and tell me that the difference is that you see yourself as a guy in the mirror, let me cut you off and tell you that there was a time that I did too.

You see, when I was much younger I considered whether or not that the choice to transition would be right for me. I didn’t take it lightly and I went through a phase where I probably had “penis envy” in a way. I used to think that I was in the wrong body but not because I truly felt that way on my own – society was making me feel that way. I am saying that I was slowly conditioned to look at myself the way others did…I had short hair and I had big hands and feet. People assumed I was a man and still do. I’m often called “sir” out in public. The fact is that it doesn’t bother me. I am secretly pleased to know I am a female underneath it all. By the time I was in my thirties I had come to a point where I learned to like myself exactly as I was.

I think all human beings go through this phase, but because it has become so popular to blame our sexuality for unhappiness, many butch lesbians think that transitioning will make them happy or whole. I’m not entirely convinced that this is the case for most. That said, there are people who honestly do need to transition in order to live a whole life;  they are truly mentally the opposite sex. I’m not disavowing anyone here. I just wonder if it has gotten too easy, like taking Xanax instead learning to deal with your life? Has transitioning become the latest plastic surgery fad and is it being done because doctors see it as a way to make a lot of money? Are we making it too “cool” to do?

I worry that fewer and fewer women live as butch because they don’t see that as a viable option anymore. Pressure from society and from those we might hear referred to as “lipstick lesbians” make us feel unwanted by our own community at times. Is this what makes us feel that the only option is to conform to what the world thinks we should be? I wonder where are the proud butch women now? It seems they are being replaced by a younger generations of “bois” and female to males in transition. I’m concerned if this is because we are placing too much pressure on young butches, making them feel that they need to be something other than what they are. I’d love to hear comments from others on this.

Again, I stress that I am not in any way trying to talk bad about those who choose to transition. I’ve always been very supportive and have friends who are in transition and are fully transitioned. I just feel that this is a valid argument that needs to be discussed and I wonder if we need to be having this discussion more openly rather than just automatically telling our friends to go ahead and transition?

A friend of mine has a friend who is in the hospital right now, possibly dying from an infection that is the result of a compromised immune system – a side effect of transition and hormone replacement therapy. This happens in some cases, as well as other medical complications. There are also many other things to consider, such as never being able to afford bottom surgery – which is also not perfected yet. Someone may start the transition and never fully complete it for many reasons. Personally, I could not handle being in this sort of sexual limbo or giving up sexual satisfaction…which is the case most of the time. I’d really like to hear the opinions of my readers on this. Please, keep it respectful as people from all walks of life read this blog. Thanks!

Categories: equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “Is Transitioning Becoming Too Easy?

  1. Mstarr

    As someone who identifies as a queer femme lesbian (high-femme, actually) I really appreciate this. I’m not sure that I have the ability to be attracted to everyone; my attraction seems to be mainly to androgyny, to the mix of masculine and feminine. To butches, as you describe them. I’m appalled at my fellow femmes for putting butches down for presenting as butches. Haven’t they had the experience of being told that they are too pretty to be a lesbian? That their innate femininity and their presentation of it has made them automatically straight, or, at best, confused? Haven’t they had to continuously and repeatedly come out to people? Basically, who are they to twit anyone else about their label or presentation?

    On the main point, I’ve wondered the same thing. My attraction stops when a person’s energy and body starts to read as a man; it’s just how I am. And after one awful experience (although I have had more good ones) dating a transmit who tried to convince me to sleep with him because he hadn’t yet had bottom surgery

  2. Mstarr

    My phone added that before I meant to post it. 😛

    *transman tried to convince me to sleep with him because he hadn’t had bottom surgery and he “regretted transitioning”…well, his words, whether true or a line, stuck.

    In any case, thanks for writing.

    • Thank-you for your comment. I believe this is an issue that should be addressed. While the act of transitioning is far from “easy” the ability to choose to do it is far too easy, in my humble opinion. It seems like the “flavor of the month” for some people and I just think more time should be spent on the decision and the reason WHY they want the transition. If it is conditioning by society, then it is happening for all the wrong reasons…again in my humble opinion.

  3. Victoria

    Hey Jesse as usual you have some thought provoking points of view here. It is refreshing to hear
    another butch speak about the discrimination that goes on inside of our own community. It’s bad enough when I hear so called straight people say that if I wanted to be with a woman who looks like a man I would be with a man. That is the most ignorant statement ever made in my opionion
    and it tells me that the person who sees it that way no matter whether or not they are hetero, bi or
    gay and beyond that they have no clue what it is to be butch and why it’s so hard even for someone like me who is a “soft butch” to get the respect and even admiration. Granted I understand that people are attracted to what they are attracted too. But unless you understand
    what being “butch” is and many people don’t cause they just look at the outside and they have
    never gotten to really know the inside. Being butch is like having the best of both worlds. I for one
    love being a woman and embrace my femme side. I’m not as manly or I don’t view myself that way
    even though I have been called “sir” which I actually like by the way at times. I wear a shaved head. Completely bald so a lot of the attitude stems from my look which is “controversial” for many
    reasons. Men and Women don’t see a woman with a bald head as being particularly attractive.
    Some do others just don’t know what to make out of it. My experience has been when people don’t understand something they tend to shy away from it. Now I have a stocky build and because
    of that and me wearing baggy clothes, polo shirts and basically dress like a guy some people treat
    me differently. And another thing I get because I do have a soft side that I do display because like I said originally I embrace both my masculine and femmne sides equally. I agree that true sexuality
    is fluid. I don’t like labels actually. I found all of these labels we have now to be very limiting. Being
    butch is different for so many women. I don’t have the so called “swag” thing many butches have.
    I’m very sweet and that confuses a lot of people. Some expect me to walk around having an attitude
    being the angry “butch” but when I don’t display that type of attitude a lot of people just don’t know
    what to make out of me. Hey I am unique and I like that I am unique. But I don’t want to go too far off topic. I think it’s ashame how we are with each other. Even if you are a femne or even a soft butch like myself who just recently discovered her attraction to not only other femnes but to some
    boi’s and butches too. Why not? I used to be with men in my younger years and I had a couple of
    really good relationships with them too. I could have sex with men but I chose not to because I bond more and am happiest with other women. It’s a choice I made 25 years ago and I have never
    looked back. I have no issues with men at all. Some straight guys find that confusing because there is this myth that butch lesbians hate men. That’s not true. In fact I have more male friends
    then I have female friends. I can be myself and there is less drama with guys having them as friends but I love women and will always prefer to be intimate and in a loving relationship with a woman. For those who feel transistioning is the answer. I would take some serious time and consideration before I rush into something like that. There is too much pressure in society and subliminal messages that are geared towards making women feel and appear to be inferior to me
    which couldn’t be futher from the truth. There are good and not so good aspects of being male
    and female. I just want to be the best person I can be and ultimately grow beyond the limitations
    of labels and even gender and become pure energy. Hmmmm now that’s something to think about. There is a lot of power in being a woman. Many of us de-value that. I hate to say this
    but women no matter what sexuality can be the worst critics of each other. I have male friends who
    often talk anout how women are with each other. We need to embrace each other and respect
    even if you are not specifically attracted to a certain type of woman but we need to support each other more and our differences. The is nothing that hurts more than when someone within your
    own community doesnt support you and doesnt want to be your friend because you don’t fit their
    image of what they feel comfortable being with. Look in the mirror ladies and be real honest with yourselfs.
    Many of you so called femmnes who only want to be with a woman who looks femne on the outside also stems from the fact that you can kind of transition in society more easily because its
    not so obvious to the rest of the world that you are into women. Granted its no one else biz unless you want it to be but many of you hide behind that and if you were seen with someone like me
    then it would be really obvious to everyone what time it is. The only thing I have to say to you all is this who are not into butches. Just remember we don’t hide who we are. We have and continue to
    endure discrimination and disdain from within our own community and in the hetero world because
    we chose not to conform to what society thinks we should look and act like. It takes balls to go out into the world everyday and be real. I will never be anything else but real. Many butches deserve
    respect and yes admiration for being brave on a daily to daily basis while the rest of you and you
    know who you are “hide” from the world for fear of being treated the same way I can be treated
    at times. But I’m happy to say because I hold my head up proudly and I am a loving person and
    that shines thru more than anything. Some people have but no choice than to like me eventually
    That’s because in the end folks in my opionion we need to evolve beyond labels and yes even
    beyond sexuality and be in alignment with who we all really are and that is pure energy.

  4. Carolyn Hay

    There is a lot of food for thought here Jesse. I would like to give some perspectives to consider here. Firstly as a counsellor/educator for my local GLBTI community I get to see how fluid sexuality AND gender are. The I in LGBTI stands for intersex. Meaning people who do not fit the male/female binary of gender. These are people who sit somewhere between male and female. I think many of us do we just can’t define it because our society is so gendered. Think about the first question people ask when a child is born. Think about having a conversation with your workmates about what you did on the weekend and who you were with using gender neutral pro nouns. It’s hard because the world we live in only recognises male or female.
    I wonder what would happen if we just let people be who they were without needing to box them. I have a very dear friend who considered surgery and is now happy with her body and accepting her “femaleness” when in her early years she denied it. I identify as butch but I am proud to be a woman. I would be seen as a “soft” butch but I am still butch. That’s where I sit on the gender line and I am happy with that.
    I think you are very brave to raise this Jesse and I hope there is some respectful discussion that comes from this,

  5. Im reposting my facebook response here for discussion.
    I disagree strongly. I also don’t think than we cis gendered folk can honestly comment on this subject. It’s like straight people telling us to consider longer before coming out. I have never met a trans man or woman who regretted their journey. I realise that it may happen but to me, that’s an assessment issue not an access issue. Personally I think both gender and sexuality are dynamic and people can be anywhere on a continuum at any point but I would never ask someone whose gender was incorrect to work on understanding themselves better. I have seen firsthand the pain of butch identified lesbians as they transition into men only to be rejected by the community they’ve spent years being part of. It’s lack of acceptance, understanding, openness and support from the lesbian and gay community that’s the problem in my opinion, not ease of access to transition. There’s nothing easy about it at all and all trans people accept the risks to health and life that come with surgery. Money might make the process more accessible for some but nothing about transitioning is easy. I know many butch women who have had the thoughts you describe around gender just as many straight people are bi curious. But the certain knowledge and pain of knowing your birth gender assignment is incorrect is something different entirely. As you can tell I feel really strongly about this issue and whilst I agree that dialogue is important, I also think that the way the question is framed, and the content of the blog come across as insulting in some ways. Intentional or not, challenging people’s core identity will always raise hackles.

    • The article is about the pressures placed on butch women to change their sex because society and even the GLBTQ community doesn’t understand butch women. I think that as a butch woman who is constantly asked, “So are you transitioning?” that I am MORE than qualified to raise this subject. I’m writing from my own perspective and posing questions that I have about the process and whether or not people are doing it to make themselves happy or others happy based on what they are conditioned to believe. Therefore, I have EVERY right to talk about the subject because it certainly does and has touched me.

      • I accept your viewpoint. This has touched you and will probably continue to do so. You aren’t trans and not am I but I felt, and still do, that the way in which you framed your question could be seen as undermining to trans men.

        You did ask in the Facebook group for people to post their viewpoints here, so I did. And whilst I fully accept that your experience is more relevant than mine, my response to your post was emotional and defensive when considering the hell I have seen people endure to become themselves. To suggest that might be too easy seemed to me to be a less than supportive approach.

        Having said that, I agree that there are lots of complex issues and that the LGB community is not supportive enough in general.

        I didn’t expect everyone to agree with my points and I certainly accept my lack of intimate experience with the issues.

        In defending the points I thought were important, I certainly did not intend to personally insult anyone.

    • Jay Tilman aka boobookitty

      (((My reply))) interspersed with what indidalmation said:

      Im reposting my facebook response here for discussion.
      I disagree strongly.
      (((my point to be made in next line)))

      I also don’t think than we cis gendered folk can honestly comment on this subject.
      (((stating ‘we’… means you are cisgendered, thus if your where honest, you would not be inclined to comment on this subject)))

      It’s like straight people telling us to consider longer before coming out.
      ((( I am FtM transgender- non transitional, I live the life, I feel the pain, If you are cisgender, you can not understand, no one can tell you ‘how it is’ … they can share their experience and talk about what they can find the words for… but there are too many issues which are just beyond words.)))

      I have never met a trans man or woman who regretted their journey.
      (((then your experience is limited)))

      I realise that it may happen but to me, that’s an assessment issue not an access issue.
      ((( A major point now, it that there is TOO LITTLE assessment, and many professionals are too quick to write the script for T, and no one can guaranty the effect T will have on each and every person. The changes which can be effected within the body and brain, are such that some can not be reversed. That is medical fact not opinion. The human brain is ‘shaped’ by the hormones within the body, When the brain is truly in need of T, it gives peace… much like a thirsty body finds peace in a cool drink.. with out the proper assessments, and learning of skills… the medical intervention can cause additional problems. (it can take a long time to handle the effects of hormones, ‘roid rage’ is a real issue and there are many others))).
      (((try to imagine the feeling and effects of loosing control of your temper and lashing out at your young children… with out the proper support you will not know that cold happen or how to recognize the early warning signs -if you get them- and the skills to help you control them.. and even the personal strength to humble yourself and explain it all to those children–this is a true event from a dear friend)))

      Personally I think both gender and sexuality are dynamic and people can be anywhere on a continuum at any point but I would never ask someone whose gender was incorrect to work on understanding themselves better.
      (((It is for SOME PEOPLE, that is true… for most I don’t believe so…. for those of us who ID as male, who would seek to be men. There are skills to learn, both cultural and personal. Surgery to rebuild the genitals and then being tossed to the ‘wolves’ of mainstream life. Can be deadly for the ones who do not learn the everyday ‘how to’ of being a man.. and passing / being fully accepted as one. remind yourself that I LIVE IT EVERY DAY …. we DO need to understand ourselves better and not just jump on the transitioning wagon because someone told us that is the way to ‘fix it’)))

      I have seen firsthand the pain of butch identified lesbians as they transition into men only to be rejected by the community they’ve spent years being part of. It’s lack of acceptance, understanding, openness and support from the lesbian and gay community that’s the problem in my opinion,
      (we agree 100% on this, it is very interesting to me that you use the term “butch identified’ rather than , Butch, or male identified)

      not ease of access to transition. There’s nothing easy about it at all and all trans people accept the risks to health and life that come with surgery.
      (I completely disagree, for those whom transitioning is the BEST, they find peace, the effects of the hormones feel right, the process of learning the new existence is an answer to a calling deep within their beings… challenging yes but there is a … (I got emotional)… deep down … soul rending NEED… there is a joy of self acceptance…. little morsels of food after days of starving…))

      (((– ok I broke down sobbing– and I will tell you all why… The only human beings,.. I have felt completely accepted by (in real life so far).. for who I really am.. are all straight cisgender MEN. — I do find acceptance from a few on line friends)))

      Money might make the process more accessible for some but nothing about transitioning is easy.
      (((bullshit, …. when it is right and your soul and spirit are needing to transition, it is easy to make the choices to get there…. challenging oh yes… the money trail is about who is making a profit off of funneling young people through the process… the numbers are too high… )))

      I know many butch women who have had the thoughts you describe around gender just as many straight people are bi curious. But the certain knowledge and pain of knowing your birth gender assignment is incorrect is something different entirely.
      (( I agree 100%)

      As you can tell I feel really strongly about this issue and whilst I agree that dialogue is important, I also think that the way the question is framed, and the content of the blog come across as insulting in some ways. Intentional or not, challenging people’s core identity will always raise hackles.
      ((( My sarcasm is raised a bit, …I wonder if anyone would think they feel more strongly than myself or those others who have to live this life… (shrug) -strongly resisting an urge to toss the sarcasm which would serve only to vent my own frustrations– I bow out)))

      • Thanks for your response, Jay. Welcomed as always. Yes, we need to be concerned about the “funneling of young people” and that is my primary motivation here. In the end, I absolutely agree 100% that people should do what they feel is right and be who they are regardless of what anyone else thinks. I just want to make sure they have truly gone through the channels and given it all the proper thought. 30-40 years to live life unable to have another orgasm because of what you’ve done to your body, or finding your immune system completely shot to hell because of the transition is something that does happen to some and it is a hell of a risk to undertake. I only want to make sure they are making very informed decisions and not being herded like cattle because it is suddenly “cool” to have this surgery. There are many doctors and clinics out there making a buck of these surgeries knowing full well that these people will never be able to have healthy sex lives again. Perhaps they didn’t before? I don’t know…this is why we need to discuss this and I hope that all the transgender people understand that I only bring this all up out of pure concern for them. I do not want to see them railroaded or hurt in any way, no matter how many years down the road. I too have had friends that truly regretted going through transition and stated that they would not do it again if they had the choice. They also felt misled by doctors at times.

      • First, may I apologise for anything in my response that caused you pain. I would never, ever measure the strength of my feelings against someone whose personal experience is more relevant. I’m relieved to see that there are a couple of points on which we agree and I fully accept your personal view.

        I do believe that in framing debate, there is a responsibility on the original questioner to not undermine or dismiss the experiences of others. I felt that both the question and some elements of the blog might do that. Perhaps I should have left my comments there.

        In no way do I feel that any form of surgery is necessary for a ftm to be accepted as male but I accept that society is far from this level of acceptance.

        Again, I apologise for any distress my comments may have caused.

  6. Reblogged this on Getting Read and commented:
    This article definitely raises issues!

    • Thanks for the reblog! There are definitely some strong opinions going on here and on FB where I posted links to the blog. I just want to say that this article is not about judging those who transition. I embrace the ENTIRE trans community and have friends there. I consider them as much a member of my community as lesbians are gay men. I am only speaking out about the way I have personally been treated. After identifying myself as butch, I am almost ALWAYS asked, “So are you in transition?” I am puzzled how these to things have become so hand in hand. I am butch. I’m staying butch. I like me butch. 🙂 I love femmes but some butches love other butches. That’s okay too! 🙂

      • Jesse, as a trans woman who is attracted to butches but not men, I have very mixed feelings on the subject. lol

        One of the great thought experiments for people who might be trans is “would you take your hormones and/or have your surgeries if you planned to live alone on a desert island?”

        If the answer is “no”, then don’t do it. If the answer is “yes”, then do it.

      • A very interesting question to pose! I like that way of thinking. I would say it makes more sense to look at it that way too!

  7. Jay Tilman aka boobookitty

    quote, “..and from those we might hear referred to as “lipstick lesbians” ”

    you made a stereotyping comment there, for the most part,.. I agree, I am inside ‘male gender aware’ — out side female and will stay that way, … I am no less Butch, or lesbian or any other term which fits. I am FtM transgender ((not transsexual)) … the need to transition is hyped by the medical profession — it is too easy.. ( just follow the money). The stages/steps once required to live as male and the therapy etc are not considered as necessary now. It took a long time, but I am all the man I need to be, as I am… the acceptance of that truth by others has greatly calmed the urges to prove I am male by transitioning.

    That I feel comfortable “looking” female.. aka ‘Lipstick’ … has nothing to do with some snotty bitches, who are bad mouthing Butches, I get a lot of hassle from Butches for looking too femme.. stereotypes do not make the grade.

    • You make a good point that the comment I made was stereotyping but I wasn’t necessarily calling them that myself…just noting that some others do refer to them as that. I simply hate it that we can’t all just be happy with others as they are without placing much pressure on anyone to “be” anything other than what they wish to be. Also…as far as your “follow the money” comment goes – YES. Totally true. I think the hetero world is making money from those who are transitioning and they are not in it to make their lives better…just to get rich in the process. I agree that the psychological process of the transition is not as in depth as it used to be. It is much more about money. If you have the money, you get what you want and you get it faster the more money you have. Those who have little are given access to half of the job done and live the rest of their lives out without ever completing transition. I feel this is horrible and unfair. How dare they be put in this position. I wish people would see that I am actually taking up for the trans community here!

  8. Thanks for writing this post and starting up the discussion in an open and honest way. I feel like I am borderline between butch and trans* and that I identify as both. The Venn Diagram of early childhood and young adult experience is often overlapping for butches, trans men, genderqueers, and others on the trans-masculine spectrum. I think that how we interpret that experience and how we choose to live our lives is what separates us out later in life.

    I am 54 and came out in 1976 and made choices that made sense for that time and place. I would probably, for better or worse, make different choices if I was coming of age now. My philosophy is “do the best you can with what you’ve got.” Transition wasn’t a choice for me then, and I probably procrastinated for so long that it is not really an option now. I am not interested in taking hormones, although I am still waffling on top surgery. Also, I really don’t want to be a middle aged guy much more than I want to be a middle aged gal – I don’t think I could be either authentically. So butch is status quo.

    • Sad to think that we have such choices to make, isn’t it? Again, I also agree with many of your remarks and I am glad that you brought up some other points. Thanks for the input!

  9. Jesse, you are very brave to begin this conversation publicly. I’m a femme dyke married to a butch (and a great admirer of butches in general) and I’ve had many conversations with butches and femmes about the current peer pressure that young butches face to transition. The pressure is so strong that some butches just “give up” and transition to fit in. I understand that FtM’s feel the need to protect and defend their choices, but what I do not understand is why they don’t respect other people’s choices. Why is there so much support for transitioning and so little support for living as a butch woman?
    Living as a butch may be a more difficult choice in our current society, which is happier with the gender binary, but it should be respected just as transitioning is respected. Being butch today is the path less traveled, and more challenging to straight people, who understand the desire to fit in one or the other gender.
    Those brave enough to walk through the world in their god-given bodies, with all the male presentation they desire, are appreciated by many of us. Thank-you.

  10. jewels10

    I read your post Jesse and I love what you have said. I am in complete agreement. You might also check out this post that I came across a while ago from a blog by a butch woman who has taken on exactly the same issues as you have with the same perspective. I LOVE butch women. You are cutting edge in my opinion and society will hopefully one day value all that you are and have to offer. I am sooo busy right now writing a 2500 word essay for a school course on the evolution of the community of butch and femme from the 60s till now and I haven’t time for a proper response here. (It’s due tonight at midnight) But I will happy to take up this discussion as soon as I have time. Great post!!

  11. It seems to me that whatever you are, to belong to a herding species (like people) means there are going to be innies and outies. I support people being masculine if that’s what they feel comfortable being, and all shades of dress and behaviour. I believe it’s hard for gay males if they don’t conform to certain stereotypes too – you can be gay and overweight, plain, timid, modest etc. Do you think it’d be so hard to be you, whatever that is, if there weren’t these ‘categories’ that people are supposed to fit in to (or not fit in to!)?

    • I agree that no matter who you are, fitting in is hard. I think that when we decide that fitting in shouldn’t matter is when we really begin to shine. The world is filled with wonderful and amazing people, some of which shine the brightest when the refuse to conform. Lately, I’ve wondered if we don’t label ourselves in an effort to define who we are in terms of finding mates/partners? To say you are stone butch, for example, is really a way to let women who are stone femme or lean more that way to be interested in you. It is sad though, that we feel the need to label ourselves so much. I know I proudly wear the label butch – but that is a fairly wide open label and it often leads to conversations with women whom I have dated. They want me to be very clear about what I expect and/or need in a relationship. It is interesting isn’t it?

  12. delilahsangels

    Stumbled upon your blog and I am so glad that I did! I am only 21 yet I know of at least 5 people (either people that I know or friends of friends) who are my own age and going through the female to male transition. While a part of me is really happy to hear that people are able to transition without anywhere near as much stigma or difficulties that they may once have experienced, I do worry when I hear older butch lesbians say things like “Oh yeah, I went through that phase once.” Seeing girls even younger than me midway through the transitioning process, I really want to be happy and supportive but it is worrying when so many older people say that they have been through the same thing and label it as a “phase” that “a lot of butch lesbians go through.”

    Anyway, I’m rambling and really have no idea what I’m talking about. Thank you for writing this though, it’s an extremely brave thing to have written.

  13. I couldn’t agree more with your article. I’ve been thinking /saying much the same thing for quite a while now. It’s almost as if it’s a fashion choice to transition now, plus there is a big community of supportive encouragement in the trans industry, which is attractive to a younger person who may be confused about how to be masculine in the world, if they are born female.
    Being Butch in society can be hard, and if society expects us to now conform to the binary and transition, then it may get even harder for us. We will stand out as oddities, symbols of queerness -personally, I think that is a good thing for society, and I enjoy being neither male nor female but something interesting and sexy in between.
    I wish more young masculine females would realise that being Butch is a valid identity in which you can be as masculine as you like, especially if you are lucky enough to experience a Femme who knows how to treat her man….:D

    • THanks, Mandy! I did receive some flack over this article. Those who were trans took great offense. I see my butch folks becoming a dying breed, however. I agree with what you said, it has become fashionable and some people make the decision all too quickly. I know someone right now who started the T therapy = ftm transitioning. After several months, she met someone and has stopped taking it and doing her best to become more ‘femme’ for this new relationship. People just can’t change their sex like their mood…or try to be what someone else in a relationship wants them to be either!

  14. Sarah

    Great article. Completely agree and my experience echoes yours. It is a hard topic to talk about. The take home point to me is a lot of older butches had “penis envy” for lack of a better word before becoming comfortable with ourselves. There is great risk with transitioning – and granted it definitely is the right choice for some. However, potentially losing the ability to orgasm among other risks merits careful evaluation. When coupled with the fact transitioning has become the “cool” thing to do – it is a dangerous recipe. I was not equipped to make such a decision when I was in my early 20’s – and fear I would of chosen to transition and regretted it. No only, where did all the butches go but more importantly how can we support youth and young adults navigating these waters?

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