Archive for butch

lesbians and labels…

Posted in Entertainment, Gay & Lesbian with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2009 by urban crawler

urbancrawlerA few weeks ago, I blogged about Queer Eye Candy, a website that I really liked, and last Thursday I decided to show my support by submitting my  photos.  This morning I checked back on their site and read the comments generated over the weekend, and they got me to think about this whole “labels” within the lesbian culture.  Why are so many lesbians preoccupied with labels?  What is the true function of labels?  Do labels help or deter a person in his/her quest for identity?

I can only answer for myself and share my personal experiences, but I think labels are just another way our society tries to classify and conform everyone into this simple and rigid set of arbitrary definitions.  I know, because I myself have gone from one extreme to the other.  During the period of being in the closet, you can say that I was your classic “femme” in appearance–the long hair, the makeup, the “girly” clothes…the lesbian that always flew under the gaydar.  Although I enjoyed the fashion aspect of it, you can say that I still used the label to my advantage to protect my “in the closet” status at that time.  Then when I finally came out, I went through another significant period of being over-exuberant.  The freedom of finally being “out” translated into a desire to be more radical and to have this “no-apologies” attitude about who I was to anyone.  I also wanted to belong and be recognized in my new “community”, so I cut my hair short and sported a “butch” attitude that came with the look. 

This went on for a while, but then I finally calmed down and eventually grew out of this “adolescent lesbian” years and that’s when I really started to get to know myself and become comfortable with who I was.  Now, fashion is just a fashion to me…whereas my style is a definite reflection of my personality, clothes and outward appearances do not define me as a woman, as a lesbian or as a person.

Again, this is just my own take on it…I think labels among lesbians is a very complicated subject with many different layers and implications, but I do know that between a “femme” and a “butch” lies a whole spectrum and all the small subtleties that make up that spectrum is the true reflection of all the different lesbians among us.

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