Recently I was talking to my friend Catherine about the very distinct and solid lines between a transgender identity and a butch/stud identity. So, it was perfect that I happened to stumble upon this blog post, written by Reverend C. Emily Heath about claiming her butch identity.
Heath writes about always identifying as a butch, and feeling comfortable in that identity, until she moved to Massachusetts and was suddenly confronted by numerous trans men asking her when she was going to come out. All of a sudden, she realized that people within her own queer community didn’t accept her butch identity as enough.
She writes, “this may sound like sour grapes, but sometimes it feels like butches are the forgotten remnant of the queer community. There are trans pride flags, scholarships, and celebrations. There was even a documentary made about a FTM minister in my denomination. I think all of those things are great. Really great. But, where is the same recognition for butches who also live with non-binary genders every day?”
She follows this with a statement about how she doesn’t mean to take anything from the trans community, in fact, she is proud of the strides that have been made for trans people, and simply hopes that the same will be done for the butch/genderqueer community.
I found her post to be extremely refreshing. Especially in dating a transman and being such an activist for trans rights, I often forget about the many other often subversive queer identities that deserve rights as well (be they legal, political, social, what have you). So, to all the butches out there (and fags and queens and kings and twinks and bears and femmes and dykes and hot-tranny-messes and all the rest of you), I’d like you to know that I’m thinking about you, and your identity, and your rights. And I know I’m not alone.