Alright, so I grew up in a Uhaul.
Seriously, though, my parents moved me all up and down the northeast coast for ages, usually more than once a year. Eventually, we settled in town-of-hell in the south. I have always done things for myself, as soon as I was capable of doing so. I am also a fast learner. For example, my mother quite literally put “big girl panties” on me one day and told me, “you’re not going to wear diapers any more, we pee in the potty. We do not pee in these because you are a big girl”, followed by a short demonstration. I accepted this and was potty trained. I pulled every last one of my loose teeth, taught myself to ride a bike, etc. It is to the point that, if not left to learn it myself, I almost have a learning block and can’t learn whatever “it” is, at all.
So, that attitude combined with slowly integrating myself into this southern girl rock sort of culture lead to me being able to change my own oil, among other things. I hold very many qualities that are perceived as being “masculine” in most places. Where I live, it’s really just being a tomboy- the girl next door. I can also run in high heels without causing any bodily damage to myself, for the record. Now, do I wear high heels when I’m doing these things? Hell no, that shit’s expensive. Since I lived on a working farm, my wardrobe also consisted of several masculine articles of clothing.
Enter previous girlfriend and her masculine of center friend, stage what-the-fuck. I am deemed “too dominant” and “too masculine” to be a self proclaimed femme because of these qualities. So help me this statement was made, “I think you’re really ‘the man’ in this relationship”. Yes, because my soul should be defined by my steel toeds and ability to fix my own vehicle. THAT MAKES SENSE, said no one ever. Still, I had not yet done any self inspection toward my own femininity and it really bothered me. Like…really. I like for things to have names, it’s just the way my mind works. I argued the unfairness of those statements, entering some deep turmoil and attempting to discover myself further. I cut my hair off, all that jazz.
Guess what happened? Still a girl. Still turned into a useless giggly mess around attractive females. Yup, it turns out that my hair and clothes and abilities have shit to do with that. I don’t *want* to be anyone else, I dig the fuck out of who I am right now. Well, except that I miss my hair. I’ve really got to stop doing that sort of thing to prove a point. Either way, however, point made.
Why, as lesbians, are so many of us doing this? Why? After that particular girlfriend and I split, it was terribly hard to find another. Because I’d cut my hair and still wore rather masculine (I’d say more tomboyish- jeans and a tee or A-shirt) clothing. Facts are facts, the type of girl I’m attracted to usually isn’t attracted to the same type and apparently that’s what I appeared to be unless spoken to. How am I supposed to speak to said type of girl if I can’t form intelligent sentences? Do you see the conundrum? It’s bullshit really. It really, really is. In fact, I’ll admit that I had a Plenty of Fish account and an OKCupid account. To prove my point, on one profile my featured picture was me now, with shaggy shorter hair and on the other, me with my long hair. One particular girl got my attention. I flirted with her with my short hair and was shut down. On the other site she didn’t realize I was the same person and hit on me profusely. Oh, no. Don’t think so. This sort of thing happened all of the time.
It’s so judgmental. Why, in the great war against stereotypes and passing of judgment from those outside of our LGBTQ culture/community toward us, are we doing it to each other? Why, because I made mistakes (that I got three glorious children from and do not regret), am I suddenly deemed “not a real lesbian”. I’m sorry, do you know how rare a gold star is? This is happening without knowing each others stories, and that’s wrong on so many levels.
Here’s another thing, why, as FEMALES (no matter how she got there, she’s a she if that’s her chosen pronoun), are we putting negative imagery on being feminine? Sure, I know not all lesbians do this but those that do know good and well that I’m talking to them. This entire cluster fuck of mental debauchery was ended for me during a conversation with my current girlfriend who is masculine of center. I did something, I don’t remember what, completely “girly”. Something she would never do, because it’s just not her. I actually apologized for “being such a girl” and asked her if it bothered her. “No,” she said, “why would it bother me? It’s what I’m attracted to about you. You’re so weird.” Weird, btw, because I apologized.
Boom. Just like that. She’s right. There’s no harm in being myself and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being feminine. It doesn’t mean I’m weak. No, in fact, it means the exact opposite. Nor does me having short hair make me any less feminine or any other ridiculous nonsense you can think of. I’ve crawled through hell and pitched a tent there for a while. There’s nothing weak about me, I am a strong, intelligent, and badass woman. I can be the “girly girl” that I am and still be that, I’m still a survivor. It literally changes nothing about me. I get it. I hope that, by sharing this, that someone else like me realizes that too and, you know, go change your oil in your high heels and lipstick and swear like a well educated sailor, if you can afford it. That’s your prerogative.
Never, ever, apologize for being yourself.