What “Butch” Means To Me

I ended my last post with the statement “I am butch and that’s enough.” Building on the theme, I thought I’d share a conversation I had with a friend a few months ago. At the time of this discussion, my friend was helping me to explore my inner assumptions about myself. Working on reining in the whinging insecurities. She asked me this question, I think, as a challenge to my assumptions about my outward appearance. It’s a good question. My unedited (except for spelling), top-of-mind answer is below.

Keep in mind that this is my understanding of me, thus my understanding of “butch”. This will be utterly unrecognizable as “butch” to someone else. That’s ok. I try never to speak for anyone else. This is my definition of the me I am today, and the me I hope to make better as time goes by.


“What does being butch mean to you?”

“Several things: demeanor, appearance, attitude and outlook.

Most important to me is being who I must be, expectations be damned. I work very hard at carrying myself with dignity, without falling into arrogance. Paying attention to those I’m with, letting them know by the care I take of them when we’re together that I value them. These combine, in my mind, to form an outward demeanor of competence, reliability, and self reliance.

Appearance is a by-product of that demeanor, my natural inclinations, size and chance. I promised myself long ago that I would never again suffer the indignity of being dressed as a fraud. I choose clothes and mannerisms that rest easily on my skin. I care very little if social convention approves or not.

That attitude carries through my personality. Although I care deeply, worry much, obsess too much, it’s mostly about how I make other people feel by my words & actions, not by my identity or appearance. If I am comfortable in my identity, others’ fear of it doesn’t matter. (Except those closest to me always matter more.) I can handle rejection, but feeling like a fake inside myself is unacceptable.

And, as whinging as I’ve been this week, you won’t believe this, but I’m mostly an optimist. I strive daily to look for the best, see good first, celebrate what makes each of us unique. I smile & laugh easily and like it. I don’t want others to feel badly, so I try to exude an optimism about life, even when I’m at my most vulnerable.”

9 comments so far

  1. Femmi on

    You’ve been whining? That isn’t what I see. I see a brave and strong person who is working through so very difficult and painful transitions, actively dealing with some very difficult psychology, and handling this time of flux with grace and aplomb.

    No whining here, just an inspiring and beautiful story.

    Head up, shoulders back! You’re doing wonderfully!

    • Searching4Self2013 on

      Thanks, Femmi! Your constant support is just as inspiring to me. Coming from one #fiercefemme with an epic story of her own, this praise is high indeed!

  2. Lulu Todd on

    You whinged!! ….. Really?? …… Ha!!!

    This post drips confidence and accomplishment! Accomplished as in someone who has “it all figured out”! The attitude and approach to the aspects of your life as outlined above, show a poise and a confidence that many of us strive to attain in our lifetime. Your attitude and regard to all in your daily undertakings shows somebody who knows their place in this world and who is comfortable in their skin and with who they are!

    Ha! You might say! However, more often we are our own worst judge of our own character and person… We often forget to take a step back and look at how the world views us, how our friends, acquaitances and work colleagues regard us. We often base our assumption on the opinions of our family who’s fondest recollections of us are of the hair cut we gave the dog and ourself at 5, or at the righteous age of 10 set fire to the back fence, with our new science kit ( don’t ask!!! )

    I think if we all strived to be as accepting and as understand and as solid as you are dear butch, then the world would be a much better place to live in.


    • Femmi on

      Hear hear darling Lulu!


      S4S listen to your gorgeous girl… she makes sense!


    • Searching4Self2013 on

      Thanks so much, love! Your confidence in me is a huge boost and a major source of strength. Thanks for having my back!

    • Searching4Self2013 on

      Oh, and two thjngs I meant to add in my earlier response:
      1. The world is already a better place because of the wonderful, magnanimous, supportive Fierce Femmes like you.
      2. Don’t think I won’t ask about that fence fire–science & flames? Hello!?! I gotta hear that story! πŸ˜‰

      • lulu on

        That’s “Fierce Fire Fighting Femme” thank you … :0)

      • Searching4Self2013 on

        Yes ma’am! πŸ˜‰

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