Monthly Archives: December 2013

Understanding Male-Identified Butches

Hey team, I need help. I get asked a lot of questions about butches and being butch. I can and do answer a bunch of these gladly. I am very excited to try and represent our diverse community and ecstatic to have a platform to do so. But I cannot answer all of them alone. For example:

Please explain how someone can be a male-identified butch and not be trans.

Given that I am a female-identified butch, I’m afraid I don’t do our community justice in my otherwise politically-correct answers. Remember, in addition to making you laugh, I try to educate – so my reply is not to tell people “Hey, we don’t need to explain ourselves!” (Though that is certainly true.)

I’d like to write a piece and can’t do it alone. If their are a few wonderful male-identified butches among you who feel like sharing privately with me, I’d be very honored to learn from you and will not share your names. Email me your thoughts to Butchontap@gmail.com. Thank you, my handsome and amazing male-identified butches.

It’s very butch to take time to help others understand when you do not have to. Be Butch.


What to Buy a Butch for the Holidays

(Notice the clever, but oh-so-subtle use of “Holidays” instead of any particular December religiously-identified festivity.)

Alright, so you just realized that your daughter is a butch. Or you have finally realized that your mom, who you always knew was a lesbian, is a butch. Maybe your co-worker or boss is a butch and you want to give her a little something. Or, perhaps most worrisome, you are newly dating a butch – be you butch, femme, or otherwise… What to buy your butch for the holidays? Well, fear not dear readers. I am here to serve. In that vein, let me give you a list of the best gifts for a butch. Really, of course, it’s just a list of gifts that I think are super rad and worth giving to someone like me. Your butch may hate all of these things. Generalizations are only as useful as humor and light reading (i.e., my goal).

Note to my wife, kids, and parents: This is not for you! We’ve already covered our holidays. :o)

Now, given that I am not sponsored, I will not be referring you to any items that anyone has “paid” me to suggest – though I might happily create such a list next year, if any of the lovely people who make these items and items like these want to ask. This post is all me.

1.  Bow ties. Yes, the proverbial tie might be lame for your father (Right, Dad?), but butches (at least my kind of butches) love ties – bow ties specifically. The crazier the pattern, the better. Something I wouldn’t have picked out for myself. Something that reflects you, so that when I wear it, I will think of you. Maybe your butch doesn’t know how to tie a bow tie? Never fear, send her this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoUre0ugkmI), tell her how hot you think she’ll look, and give her a cool bow tie. She will be motivated to learn how to tie it.

My goodness! This is a real knife ($1600).

My goodness! This is a real knife ($1600).

2. Multi-tool. A fancy Leatherman or Swiss Army one is great, but you can also do any multi-tool you find in any bin at any hardware store or market. Because, let’s face it, what butch doesn’t want/need/have to have a pliers, pocket knife, and awl in her pocket/bag/car/desk at all times?

3. Alcohol. I’m going to say craft beer or scotch/whiskey. (I realize it’s a stretch). Minis are cool. If you do minis, get some weird stuff your butch may not have tried, or a full-size sampler of Belgian beers. There is always a Beers of the World box this time of year, and many of the butches I know would appreciate such a box.

4. Craft Beer Tour. I love experience gifts, as long as the giver comes with me. Send your butch on a craft beer tour. San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, Denver and other brew cities will have lots of these to choose from. Substitute historic homes or flower gardens if that’s better for your butch. It’s about the experience.

5. Anything from REI. For my non-US readers, REI is an outdoor adventure outfitter company and pretty much everything they have there is rad. Carabiners, D-rings, knifes, multi-tools, biking/kayaking/spelunking/climbing stuff, compasses, cool flashlights, solar-powered chargers for all your electronics. I mean, the list goes on and on. Any trip to REI will result in many lesbian sightings, even for non-lesbian flooded cities. I find things there each trip that I suddenly cannot live without, even though I never knew I needed them!

6. Video Games. Whatever her gaming system is (PS3/4, Wii U, iPad, etc.), take a look at her games and get her the newest one that is like those other ones she has. If she is into Call of Duty, she might not like Ratchet and Clank, for example. (It’s like the difference between a violent shooting game and a Mario Bros. game). Any of the people at a good gaming store (GameStop, Best Buy) will be able to make suggestions based on what your butch already owns and plays.

7. Lingerie. If you happen to be reading this as a femme in love with/married to/or dating a butch, consider giving your butch a lovely box of unmentionables that you will wear. I promise, your butch will think of this as a very special gift – even though you will be the one wearing it. Or get her lingerie for herself if she likes lacey things.

8. Kid Stuff. Kids take note, if you are of the age that you might need a ride to pick out a gift for your mom, think about making her something. Who doesn’t love a handcrafted gift from the kiddos? I, for one, absolutely cherish the painted cards, ironed crafts, and even the pottery gifts my angels have made for me. If you are old enough that you can drive to buy a gift yourself (but don’t want to make anything), think about getting your mum a gift card. If you know that your butch mom likes movies, music, or a particular store, you can get her a gift card for said store. No problem with that. Personally, I prefer that you struggle to choose something for me that you think I will like. But lots of people, butches included, love a gift card. If your mom loves going to Home Depot, then that might be a great gift card for her.

My new favorite. His shirts are so rad.

My new favorite. His shirts are so rad.

9. Her Favorite Dress Shirt. Parents, this is a great one for you. Think about getting your butch daughter her favorite designer shirt. Maybe it’s a little out of her price range (like my new favorite, Robert Graham), or maybe you found it on sale. Whatever the situation, one of the coolest things my mom and dad have given me in the past few years is dress shirts from my favorite designers. This falls into the category of things I might not have bought myself, and makes me feel very special. a) They paid attention to what shirts I like, and b) They took the time to go buy me something that they know I will wear and will make me feel great.

So there you have it, 9 ideas for gifts for the butch in your this holiday season. There are gobs of others, of course. Books, movies, food, tickets to a musical, concert, or ballet, candles, plants, tools, crochet kits. You get the idea!

Those of you who love a butch (mom, partner, friend, co-worker), It’s your turn to be butch. It’s very butch to give her a gift that shows you’ve been paying attention to what she likes and enjoys. Be Butch.


The Broom

As promised in my last post, I am going to share some things about the whole getting married process. Here goes.

The first wedding-y thing that She and I did was go to a bridal bazaar. Fun, right? Yes, you are probably imaging right now that I signed us up gleefully and dragged her to this cornucopia of wedding planners, photographers, dress shops, tux purveyors, caterers, dish renters (did you know people do that?), and florists. There was even a fashion show! No, of course, I did not drag Her there. But neither did She have to drag me. I asked Her to marry me. She said yes! So, a wedding was going to happen, and if a wedding was going to happen, we needed things. From people, you know, who handle those things. A bridal bazaar is a pretty efficient way to see a lot of these vendors all in one place. So there. We went.

The first thing that happens, in case you’ve not been, is that we walk in the door and they ask us “Bride or Groom?” They have stickers, you see, pre-printed in pink and blue (surprise!) that say exactly that. You are to wear one of these stickers as you peruse the tables and exhibits, and they instantly mark you as a potential customer. She happily dons a sticker that says “Bride,” as if there was ever any question, and then looks at me anxiously.

We had talked about language not long after we got engaged (it is not just semantics), but hadn’t come to any conclusions. I didn’t like referring to myself as the “Bride” because that has very girly/feminine connotations to it for me. Plus, if ever there was a “Bride” it was my love. “Groom” isn’t right either. I identify as a woman and as female, so I don’t refer to myself with male pronouns. Neither fit and we left it at that.

Back to the sticker passer-outer and my beautiful Bride gazing at me expectantly at the first wedding-y thing we did. Will I pass on a sticker? Will I chose one? Well, without thinking, I took one of each, ripped them each down the middle (basically), put them back together, and formed a new word “Broom.” I was able to do it pretty well, actually, so that the “Br” and the “oom” lined up nicely.

20131206-192433.jpg

I stuck that on my chest – to the delight of my Bride and the sticker passer-outer. You would have thought I was the funniest person in the world judging by her reaction. The sticker passer-outer almost died. She loved it. I smiled at my Bride and we walked on. That initial reaction was repeated throughout the bazaar more times than I can count. It seems no one had ever heard of a “Broom” and everyone loved it.

It was pretty amazing to feel the kind of acceptance that this allowed people to show us. “Broom? I love it!” “Make way for the Bride and the Broom (now let me sell you something, of course)!” “That is the cutest thing I have ever seen!” “I have never heard of a Broom, it’s perfect!”

We scoured every inch of that bazaar, holding hands, heads held high, and had a blast.

We found our photographer there, by the way. Not directly, but through a referral of someone we liked who turned out to be unavailable. So, not only was it relationship and language-affirming, it was fruitful. (I will talk about our photographer and the process in another post.)

Butches, go to a bridal bazaar with your fiancée. Maybe you can even score some butch points by researching one and suggesting it first! If you are marrying a femme, I promise that she has already thought about going to one. I know my Bride was happy the day before, during, and after. I made sure that I didn’t look like the other partners of brides there – miserable and dragged against their wills. And, I was rewarded for it.

It’s very butch to find your own language… and to attend a wedding-y thing. Be Butch.


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