Butch vs. Trans and labeling at BMC
I wanted to address one of the questions we left class with on Wednesday… is there a difference between butch and transgendered?
Personally, I feel pretty strongly about this distinction. I can understand why people might view me as being “butch.” My hair is short and I typically wear masculine-looking or men’s clothing (although I also have a decent-sized stash of feminine clothing and makeup that my mother bought for me), and I happen to be gay. But my “butchness” stops at the outside. Correct me if I’m wrong, but transgendered refers to your internal gender identity. I suppose I’m “butch,” but I identify as female, as a woman, and I embrace it whole-heartedly. I love every part of being a woman. The way I look on the outside is completely based on my own comfort and sense of fashion (let’s face it, men’s clothing is much more comfortable). Even though I fully embrace my femininity and feel like a woman, does it mean I have masculine tendencies if I don’t look stereotypically feminine? And why should “my tendencies” even matter? To me, I am female and woman, inside out.
For some reason, I cringe at the idea that I might be perceived as “butch.” And this brings me to the whole idea of labeling, which Ryan and Alex talked about. I cringe at being perceived as “butch” and although I’ve accepted the label of “gay,” I identify with what it represents, rather than the label itself, and it still makes me uncomfortable (especially the word “homosexual”). I think labeling has huge relevance on Bryn Mawr’s campus, where sexuality is relatively fluid and homosexuality is widely accepted. Even so, there’s a overwhelming pressure to label people, to the point where straight women are pressured to be gay or people feel the need to conform to the label they have been given by the rest of the community… does anyone have any thoughts about the problem with labeling on Bryn Mawr’s campus?