Macho, macho femme

October 11, 2011 | 9:27 am
(Updated: February 22, 2013 | 3:46 pm)

My ex turned to me one Sunday morning and asked, “what are you doing today?” I looked at her, surprised, and responded, “what do you mean, aren’t we going to watch football over at your friend’s house?”

That’s when she proceeded to tell me that I wasn’t invited because it was a butch only thing.

I’m sorry, what?

I happen to really love football.

Since when did watching football and being a sports fan have to do with being categorized as butch?

When summer begins to turn over to autumn, the first thing on my mind is the football season. I begin wondering when the games start and planning where to watch them; will it be a sports bar or someone’s house?

I love football. Period.

I understand most of the rules and I generally know what I’m looking at. But in my own little universe – which I like to call lesbianland – I am stereotyped as a femme lesbian. And because of this, I rarely get invited to sporting events.

My problem is this: People don’t peg me for a serious football fan because of the way I appear and dress. Yes, its true, I sometimes wear makeup and often don a dress and heels. Based on this physical perception, the serious “butch” fans think I will be a distraction, or worse, act stupid and clueless about what is happening on the field.

I resent this assumption. All I ask is that you don’t judge me based on what you think you know about me. Stereotypes and asserting judgements have never faired well for minority groups in the past. So why should they work any better today?

I may look a certain way, but inside I’m just as butch as Shane from the L Word. Or, as a friend once said to me, “You’re still the one that wears the strap on.” That’s right sister, my point exactly.

I suppose I’m a butch in femme clothing.

In my social sphere, this topic has been brought up by my friends, more than once. I’ve found that there are a lot of women out there that feel the same way. I had a soft butch gal tell me that she gets flack for being “soft” by her more masculine-butch friends. I find that wrong, yet comical. I get upset because people treat me like a delicate flower and she’s upset because she wants to be treated more like a delicate flower.

The LGBT community is judged every day. The straight community believes they know all there is to know about us based on who we love and what we look like. But I’m beginning to realize, we are just as judgmental within our own community.

So, let me get this straight. If I wear a dress and go out with girls that look like boys, I’m a femme lesbian. But, if I cut my hair short and start wearing pants, I am suddenly butch?

I have never been one to color inside the lines, sit quietly in the corner or fit inside the box someone wants to put me in.

There is a prominent message about stereotyping within our community in the film, If These Walls Could Talk. One of the more “butch” characters struggled with the other characters who tried to get her to stop dressing like a man. She defended herself by reminding them that the whole point of the women’s movement was about being true to oneself and not allowing society to dictate how we express ourselves or who we love.

My hope for the community is that we can begin to free ourselves from gender stereotypes. One of the parts of our personal expression is dressing how we feel comfortable. Each day I put on the clothes that match how I am feeling inside, and yes, sometimes it happens to be a dress or skirt.

So at this point, I bet you are wondering what all of this has to do with football.

Football is just an example of the roles and positions that we can find ourselves in based on what people think they know about us.

I may be the one that gets the bugs out of the house, picks up the heavy things and knows how to use the safety on a firearm. But, I also like to wear dresses, fix my long hair and may opt to put a little lipstick on. In the end, I really don’t care what you call me, as long as you invite me to the football party.


3 Responses to “Macho, macho femme”

  1. MarciaFite
    October 21, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    I was catching up on my reading and had a flash back of this weekend….. Thank you for your effusive hello’s and just wanted to say It was kind of funny that you ask me (the femme looking one) to help you re-clasp the bracelet your where wearing, when you where standing in the middle of a several macho looking women …….did you unconsciously do a little stereotyping?

    • FrankieWallace
      October 22, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      @MarciaFite Mother always liked you best…

  2. FrankieWallace
    October 22, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I say we spend a weekend with Ms. Fite watching the Williams sisters play….

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