Author of ‘Why I’m Still A Butch Lesbian’ announces she’s a trans man now

In 2014, Vanessa Urquhart wrote an article about still being a butch lesbian even though, as she says, being a butch lesbian is “increasingly old-fashioned.”

I don’t know who the fuck decided that being a butch lesbian is old-fashioned—well, okay, fine, I do know. Butch lesbians defy patriarchy both by being gender nonconforming and by loving other women—so obviously they had to be rebranded as old-fashioned or “ugly” by people who seek to uphold patriarchy. (Although, if you ask me, butch lesbians are the hottest women imaginable.) According to the new-fashioned sparklequeers, anyone who is masculine is a man, and only patriarchy-compliant women are women, so obviously butch lesbians are just trans men who are in the closet about being trans.

Urquhart made some excellent comments in this article and she said some things that made me cringe. One excellent comment was “I’ve felt hungry, happy, gassy, and anxious, but never male or female.” Same here! Male and female aren’t feelings—they’re biological classifications of the two types of reproductive functions in sexually dimorphic mammals—one who produces sperm, the other ova. It’s how we reproduce. We all know this.

And then there’s this:

“This is especially true because cis-gendered women have a distinct tendency to define themselves in ways that don’t include me. I hear women throw out things like, “As women, we all know how important it is to feel pretty,” or “We, as women, are naturally more tender and nurturing,” statements that never seem to include women like me. Not only do I dislike feeling pretty and prefer arguing to nurturing, I don’t even particularly like eating chocolate. Popular culture, and women themselves, often imply that I lack many of the most essential qualities of womanhood.”

Oh, gawd, why??? No, women don’t all think it’s important to feel pretty! Fuck feeling pretty! I have short hair that I do not style, I do not wear makeup, my leg hair is full grown, and my clothing style consists of whatever pair of jeans and T shirt is hanging around close by, whether clean or dirty. I am a woman. This shit about being tender and nurturing and pretty is a bunch of sex stereotypes. Not all women are Mary fucking Poppins. Nobody should be making the above statements about women, not only because they exclude lots of women, but also because they are fundamentally sexist.

By the end of this article she comes to a wonderful conclusion, which I can agree with:

“But, it’s just as important that young people, girls and boys and genderqueers alike, can have as many examples as possible of men and women who don’t conform to gender stereotypes. I like to think I’m doing my part for that by living as an aggressive, competitive, logical, and strong butch woman.”

What a wonderful conclusion! Let’s make the word safer for gender nonconforming kids by being excellent nonconforming role models!

But then she wrote this new article yesterday: I Didn’t Know I Was Transgender. Um, what?

She says that she didn’t used to know she was transgender and believed that you couldn’t really change your sex anyway. In her old days, when she mistakenly believed she was a butch lesbian, she thought “maybe trans people were crazy, unable to accept reality the way I had,” and that they “mistook societal gender norms for natural rules.” In short, she used to be a TERF. You know, one of those people who understand how human biology works and who know that sex stereotypes are harmful social constructs. But now, she is enlightened, apparently, because she’s realized she’s really a man! However, when I read through her article, I’m still not convinced that she really believes this.

She was unhappy with her female body and when she was aroused she wished she had a penis. Okay. Well, most women are unhappy with their bodies—there is a multi-billion dollar advertising industry currently in operation convincing women to hate our bodies so we will buy stuff to cure the made-up problems—and guess what, that advertising works really well. Women buy stuff to change their appearances all the time. Also, it’s totally normal for a lesbian to imagine herself having a penis. I’ve written about this before. You can imagine yourself with a penis all you want, but you’ll never have a real one, and by the way, the things that two women can do together with their female bodies are quite satisfying and no penis is required, thankyouverymuch.

Now, does this sound like someone who is sure she’s a man?

“I had discomfort with my body, sometimes severe and sometimes less so, but I never thought of myself as having a gender identity, per se, and to be honest I’m still not 100 percent clear what it means to have a “gender identity.”

“I still use female pronouns, and I have yet to change my name.”

Wait…she’s a man but she’s not sure what a gender identity is and she’s still using female pronouns and her female name? Won’t she die from misgendering herself?

And her wife is a “cisgender lesbian,” apparently. If she’s a man, then isn’t her wife straight? These facts do not add up. What I’m seeing here is that she still knows she’s a lesbian.

“The idea of asking people who experience dysphoria not to transition, when transition works so well, and when there is no other effective treatment that we know of, has come to seem unreasonable to me.”

No. Transition does not work for everybody. See the blogs by de-transitioners in my sidebar? See this post on FtM detransitioners who wrote a zine about reconciling with being female? See this post on a lesbian who is pressured to transition and ends up suicidal? Some women take testosterone and finally realize they are lesbians and stop taking it.

“I could probably live as a gender-nonconforming woman who wished she was a man, but why should I have to do that if I could live more comfortably as a man?”

I have a better question for you to ask yourself. WHY WOULD YOU WISH YOU WERE A MAN?

Is it because it’s easier to be a man in a world that hates women? Is it because women have to be sex objects and men can be humans? Is it because your personality and the clothes you like to wear and regarded as “for men” by your misogynist society? Isn’t the answer to this to say “fuck you” to the patriarchy and be exactly the woman you were meant to be, despite what society expects from you?

I say, why live your life wishing you were a man, when you can be a fantastic, hot, smart, sexy, wonderful butch lesbian who makes your lesbian partner very happy. That’s where the real joy is.

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32 thoughts on “Author of ‘Why I’m Still A Butch Lesbian’ announces she’s a trans man now

  1. She’s a mature person and if she’s happy taking testosterone and having surgery and presenting herself socially as a man, knowing exactly what she’s getting herself into, I think that’s fair enough, and I can sort of see where she’s coming from with her experience. I think that’s very different to a teenager or little child “transitioning” – they don’t really get the chance to try out being in an unaltered body and accepted as the sex they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She isn’t any less likely to suffer long-term health complications from cross-sex hormones or to die on the operating table than a teenager would be and in fact, she’s at greater risk due to her age. But who cares as long as she thinks it’ll make her happy, right? Because we’re not actually talking about her being happy in the present tense–has she actually started any of this stuff yet? Let’s not question or anything. Let’s not wonder where this is coming from or anything.

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      • 1) I do wonder where it’s coming from. 2) The article said she felt good on t. I suppose it’s like my attitude to taking other types of drugs. Some people just want to do that, yes it’s due to trauma, but tell me they think it’s the best way to deal for them – after trying other ways – and I think, who am I to judge, for them? She says she was a lesbian for years, but wasn’t happy still – she didn’t like her breasts – is it possible some women don’t like their bodies regardless of what society or the people around them thinks? I was thinking maybe so because she was a butch lesbian, and must have been so attractive to so many women, as butch lesbians usually are in my experience. I’m sorry if I sounded unconcerned about her health, it’s just that so many people say they manage to have happy lives despite self medicating and having health problems.. It is surprising to me she was a butch lesbian for so long and has decided to go trans now – what can have changed – she days it’s reconsidering trans so feels there’s aspects of doing trans she didn’t previously consider, that’s how I read it.

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        • So many years being a lesbian, (she says she was at school in the 80s), when lesbians so much love women of all shape a n sizes, and are so much less critical of women’s appearance than men and heterosexual people. Then, she became a butch for at least a few years, and mentions feeling good at that – and, butches are so popular with women. Yet, still she hated her breasts, so, yes maybe therapy to uproot, other causes than people’s criticisms – but I’m not a big believer in therapy – I know for some it can work though.

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  2. ‘I hear women throw out things like, “As women, we all know how important it is to feel pretty,” or “We, as women, are naturally more tender and nurturing,” statements that never seem to include women like me.’

    Uh…what? Where or WHEN is this person living? While I realize women are still highly objectified, there are plenty of nonconformists.

    If there was one thing I would want people to learn from me it’s that we define the world we live in. The language, symbols, fads and stereotypes we use are defined by us–people. Therefore, it is not we who do not fit, but the symbols we use which are inadequate and must be changed.

    If the popular standards of beauty, the definition of what it means to be a woman, etc. does not describe you, it is not YOU who needs to change. Perhaps it is our language or even the culture that needs to change! Ever think of that?!

    Jeez…. I feel like a woman when they convince me I’m wrong and flawed and need to change to fit their expectations!

    Liked by 6 people

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  4. I’m a *straight woman* and have occasionally imagined myself with a penis. BFD. I’m definitely female though. Didn’t even dread getting my period–thought it was kind of awesome (if messy and embarrassing) actually. It’s funny, my stepmom is an abuse survivor, and I mean some horrendous s?!t. And of course I grew up hearing all the same toxic s?!t in the larger culture as every other girl did. How I escaped hating my body, I do not know. I didn’t start really carrying a grudge against it until it started failing me. And I’m a large part of the reason it did so I’m really not being fair. But I digress. All I’m saying is that for so many women to be hating their own bodies, man, they’ve got to be dealing with ever so much worse than I did. Abuse and/or rape for sure. Why does no one look at that and say, “You know, maybe if we worked on healing this, she’d feel better about herself overall”? Never mind, I know the answer. The only good woman is a man. And that cuts both ways.

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  5. FWIW I dream I have a penis fairly often. It’s a magnificent specimen and of course, always ragingly erect. Alas ’tis but a dream – and these dreams don’t not make me feel in the least like I am a man.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “don’t not make me feel”…? LOL. I’m sure you all figured out what I meant.

      To clarify… I’ve never felt like “a man” but I’ve never felt like “a woman” either, I’ve always been a human being living in a a female body with female biology, and that makes me physically and socially and unalterably a woman. For better or for worse (mostly worse).

      I’m deeply alarmed by the viral acceptance of this ridiculous male-centric fantasy about becoming a woman just by “feeling like one”.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “A lot of these women received little social support for being dykes but lots and lots of support for being genderqueer or trans men. They saw no representation of butch and/or masculine women anywhere and didn’t realize other women like them existed. Transition seemed like a way to join a socially recognizable gender category, one in which they would be respected as human beings, and “fix” the problem of being female. Some of the writers lived as trans men for a few years; others barely started to transition before deciding not to.””

    Nailed it.

    This is undoubtedly one of the things that has spurred the recent rash of lesbians suddenly coming out as non-binary or ftm. There is so much support now if you identify as trans, and next to none if lesbian.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. It’s not just lesbians who imagine having a penis, I know at least one heterosexual woman who has. *cough*

    Also, being a butch lesbian is old-fashoned? Not half as old-fashioned as people who have a problem with women not doing the local version of feminine. 🙄

    Liked by 4 people

  8. This is the result of brainwashing, isn’t it? They told her that she doesn’t fit in, that “all women” are so and so, and that she therefore cannot be a woman, until she believed it.

    I admit I have at times been a bit doubtful about my sexuality, and considered defining myself as demisexual or whatever, because I am not as obsessed with sex as seems to be normal, but well, that’s just a label.

    Taking testosterone is bad for your health, bad for your sexual orientation (if you are lesbian, at least) and the surgery it will lead you to require is bad for your health and will not make you male, anyway.

    I cannot understand how a butch lesbian who used to know the truth can be so blinded.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. The pressures on Butch Lesbians to transition IS ENORMOUS. The Lesbian communities are in tatters which the trans community has exploited and destroyed from within by both mtfs trying to infiltrate the lesbian communities and so many Butches and nonfeminine young women transitioning to FTM.

    Mostly these are lost souls like this former Butch Lesbian…on one hand her partner is a “cisgendered Lesbian”NOT a het woman, and yet she is supposedly “male”. With the lack.of strong autonomous Lesbian.communities, the loss of Lesbian infrastructure, our businesses and bookstores, groups, conferences, FESTIVALS, and meeting places, this new “queer nation “has slowly taken its place.

    The demonization of us Butches at any size as “ugly”when in truth Butches at all sizes pride ourselves on being handsome groundbreakers into new territory other women fear to go and to expand womonhood at what women can do. And those who transition do get ugly, get bad acne, bad breath, male pattern baldness, a dampening and dulling of more sensitive emotions EXCEPT anger and rage, and often take on the worst of male stereotypes.

    The bottom surgery for a penis does not work and those who pursue it do at great expense and permanent bodily harm as it often gets necrotic which is WHY the vast majority of ftms only get breast removal surgeries/mastectomies. It is nothing short of chosen genital mutilation.

    These are unhappy individuals who have been fed a line of bull..both by peers and society at large of what a woman, a Dyke, Butch Dyke, a Female can be….

    The narrow limitation of female ROLES makes MANY a young woman or Butch Dyke feel who doesnt conform(including.myself) ” well if I dont fit in then I must be male!”. As a kid I so wanted to be a boy. I didnt want to wear skirts and dresses, to play with dolls, to do domestic chores. I much preferred riding my bike, climbing trees, walking around with my shirt off(still do on womyns land/Festivals), playing ball games, ice hockey, martial arts, playing with my brother’s toys ect ect ect.

    The hypersexualization.og girl children.is WRONG. As a child I was sexually attacked walking my dog alobe in Riverside Park while wearing a dress. My family never understand WHY after that I refused to wear one. I didnt understand till college once I got involved with the Lesbian Caucus and came out and Feminist Alliance.

    But girls and Women.ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN DEPICTED IN TV OR THE NEWS or in malestream media. We have all kinds of temparaments, appearances, personalities, and ways of Being that if not the expected ones, the ones that please men, are invisibilized demonized ostracized ect. So young girls and women dont SEE the HUGE variety of womonkind, of ALL THE THINGS WE CAN DO or could be if not for sex discrimination and active censorship of women who live outside established hetro norms.

    So thusly the ONLY OTHER WAY TO BE FREE in their minds..is identifying with and “becoming male”. Then they can get beyond being seen as a sex object to straight men, mostly. IF they “pass”. But they can become and some seek becoming a sex object to gay/bi men. I have known several formerly hardcore Butch Dykes that upon transitioning pursued gay/bi males.

    Mostly these young ones are so lost. Without a strong Feminist or Lesbian Movement to show these young women ALL THEY CAN BE AND DO IN A FEMALE BODY/MIND/SPIRIT and can still be independent non stereotyped women/females, they respond to the siren song of transition as the ticket to freedom and autonomy and value..since males are so.much more highly valued than females…
    It is very very sad to see yet more of our Butch Dyke brethren leave us to.identify with the oppressor…..

    Liked by 5 people

    • I deeply feel for you over your childhood assault, even while only imagining something which never happened to me as a child. I feel for you, that your family weren’t understanding about your refusing to wear a dress after that – people can be so lacking in understanding, and often, in desire to try to understand :- (

      ‘The pressures on Butch Lesbians to transition IS ENORMOUS. ‘

      It really surprises me to read this, not about very young butch lesbians who may not have ventured far – or, even at all – from parental homes which might have been homophobic, homophobic through being religiously very conservative and isoliationist against other cultures apart form their own, very strict about gender roles, or, intensely mainstream – but, about mature lesbians who have mingled in the multi cultural world and with other lesbians. Because, it always has seemed to me, over many years of being a bi romantic and once a long time homoromantic woman, that lesbians are usually very uncritical of other lesbians, bisexual women and in fact all women not dressing in traditional and/or mainstream feminine fashions, or not behaving in traditional or/and mainstream feminine ways, and that in fact butch and chapstick lesbians are very very very much admired and desired by most, or many, non heterosexual women, very much in contrast to a woman like me who has always been seen as gender conforming, and who, while getting some love interest and occasionally a little friendliness from lesbians and bi sexual women, was usually just met with extreme dislike from them for being feminine, tons of disparaging comments, before in the mid 00s I completely gave up trying to find a female significant other, returned to being a skivvy aka carer in my family of origin, and took up exploring alternative medicine and spiritual healing instead of a love search.

      The reason I find it surprising, is the personal one that, being a counter cultural spiritual person myself, I get a lot of very intense hatred from both mainstream secular people and from some types of religious people – including, from my teenage years, from my own family – and via that I’ve had a lot of pressure to change from people socially, who’ve very stridently told me that I’m insane to believe in spirit guides, spiritual healing, and so on, or that me I am in league with the devil, and so on – but it doesn’t really affect me, because I know I have a community of other counter cultural spiritual people whom I belong to, as well as often other types of friends I have met or I meet as well. I think, if no one had liked or supported me throughout my youth into middle age I would maybe have eventually felt too lonely not to change or pretend to change, because I think most people really need social support and others there for them, but I definitely don’t need, widespread or mainstream concurrment with my own beliefs about who I am and what’s going on around me. So I wonder why butch lesbians are being affected when their own community seem so supportive of them, (but I am missing stuff? …).

      I guess, I can not judge everyone by my own needs, and I guess, since I am not butch myself, I lack insights.

      I can’t see the point of trans-ing, though am open to the possibility that it works out well for some people, in the sense that generally very unwise decisions do seem to work out okay for some people. There’s so much which concerns me for all of society, for everyone, about the trans thing, which is why I’m reading this blog and some others. Going to have to take a break from blogs reading for a few weeks.

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        • I’ve heard from other femmes that they still find themselves rarities, and are still treated with a lot of suspicion as presumed, heterosexual or heteroromantic, and a lot of contempt for being feminine. Please forgive me, but I would wonder if the new trend in lesbians deciding to go trans hasn’t got a lot to do with, rather than trans influences, bisexuals/biromantics, due to how it’s much more common now, I believe, for bisexuals to be open about their sexual and/or romantic orientations, and to mingle with gay people as well as hetero people while being open about it. That’s because I think a lot of bisexual women – by which I mean not all, but simply, many – need and seek masculine and feminine in different people, and, are polyamorous in inclination and desired lifestyle, (like myself). Not all bisexual or biromantic women are “gender blind”, as the trad bisexual stereotype – which has to a great degree been taken over by the pansexual label, I think – decrees. I think there still is a lot of homophobia, and so polyamorous bisexual/biromantic women who are mingling with non hetero women are much more likely to have a man already than a woman already; maybe they have anyway because they’re socialising or dating, and people commonly socialise or date, to try to find a romantic significant other. Well, perhaps those lesbians who suffer from low self confidence take the orientations of these women personally, instead of as something which hasn’t got anything to do with them. They may fall in to deep attraction or love for a polyamorous bisexual woman who needs a masculine man and a feminine woman, and when they find out she’s seeking a gender conforming woman because her desires for masculinity have already been met in her man, she compares herself to that woman’s masculine model of perfection and thinks she should try to become that because she can’t fill the feminine model the woman seeks. Or, a polyamorous biromantic woman who likes masculine and feminine more than she does biology, and so falls in love with a butch lesbian purely for her masculinity, starts talking about bringing a girlie girl into her life, and that butch feels inadequate because of that, instead of thinking, well that’s polyamory, because she’s monogamously inclined herself. If a gnc lesbian or bi woman has several bad experiences like the above, if she takes it personally rather than as just how some people are wired, maybe that’s why she decides to become a man – even though women can’t become men.

          That’s why it seems to me that the liberal feminine innovation of talking about how people all differ in their sexual and romantic needs is a great idea, for this situation among others. Because it sets out how there are different types of people, so emotionally vulnerable people who have bad experiences with incompatible people can see that there are others they’re compatible with and it’s not them. So people understand that they have to be clear and sensitive about communicating what their needs are so wires don’t get crossed and expectations shattered. Some people like blondes, some like brunettes, some like curvy, some angular, some gender non conforming, some gender conforming, some one partner some two some several some none. And – which surprises some, it did me – some people have very strong judgements about how others should be, not polyamorous or whatever. The messages may be somehow missing some women. Possibly they just hate them.

          Liked by 1 person

    • @FeistyAmazon, when I was 12, girls were finally allowed to wear slacks to school from Thanksgiving to Easter (but no jeans). Our pastor in church gave a very fiery speech that girls who wore pants would end up being lesbians. The pressure to conform to a hetero lifestyle, despite my deep non-conformance in dress and interests, was immense. I joined the military service after high school, and then went full sail into a very masculine field of work that still is disputed to this day. But, I fell in love with a man, married, had children. My life is happy. I still don’t conform in dress or interests, and those who love me are cool with that.
      It’s what I’m seeing happening to my daughter’s best friend that decided that she is a lesbian in middle school. I know what’s behind it –a deep desire to say “Fuck You” to mom, and possibly something really bad that happened with a male gym teacher in a school that the school system was indecently happy to transfer her out of when she complained about him. And now? She’s decided she wants to be a boy. The hair cropped shorter and shorter, all male clothing –that’s fine. But it’s not stopping there. The gender therapists have her and from what I see, she may already be on blockers. She’s way too young for this decision, and she needs to talk to someone about Trauma. Despite my daughter’s friendship with her, the family has cut us all off –possibly because I **AM** gender non-conforming and happy in my choices. This cosmetic bullshit heaped on children is going to consume this young girl. And I love this kid like my own.
      She is probably a lesbian. I’ve kind of known that forever. Her mom’s not really ok with lesbian though she’ll put a good front on it. Trans just pushes mom’s buttons that much more. Hell, the only thing worse for mom would be if she came out as a Trump Republican. If she was my kid, I’d just laugh, say, “sure hon, I get it.” Hug her, let her know she’s loved, and take that male gym teacher’s dick as a trophy on our way to talk to one of the best kid trauma therapists in the country.
      This is gay-reparative therapy, but bonus points for sterilization. Some one please explain to me, WTF??

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  10. I had a twighlight zone nightmare last night. I was in this world, much like our own, that demanded that little girls be fluffy and frills and little boys baseball’s and toy trucks and such. Anyone that did not fit the stereotype was fixed by changing their gender to the one in which they most fit creating a world of fear around gender nonconformity.. or around just being gay in fact.

    It was really, ‘ let’s get rid of all the lesbians because they can’t be women of they don’t like cock ‘

    And I think the dream was an exageration of what is going on in society. There seems to be a resurgence of the dominace of oppressive stereotypes to the point we are questioning of we really are women after all…

    And once we question it we question the validity of being gay itself. Mindfuck dream.

    Liked by 3 people

    • By “changing their gender”, do you mean changing their pronouns and their role in society, or physically changing their sex?

      Any way, this dream is stuff for a really scary dystopia novel. One of those where everyone spies on everyone else, and everyone lives in constant fear of being reported for gender-non-conforming behaviour.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gendercator….a 15 minute film by Catherine Crouch just EXACTLY about that. A flannel.wearing Butch Lesbian from the 70s or 80s wakes up.Rip Van Winkle like into well nowadays…and the Gendercator gets her because shes not properly female…and transitiobs her to male.

      This little 15 minute social commentary LESBIAN film was viciously boycotted by so called enmasse group.of mtfs so badly that they eliminated itvm from.being shown through Frameline, the San Francisco Lesbisn/Gay Film Festival.

      Strangely, someone told me all the letters were exactly alike, which means it coulda come from one or a just a few individuals who.made their numbers look bigger than they were….But they had an.offensive film about so called ” trans Lesbians” with penises….

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