Heaven holds a sense of wonder….

I’m on a kick.

I tend to obsess over things until they bore me. Sometimes, this can take weeks or months. Most of the time, it annoys the hell out of the people who love me. I just have to understand hows and whys and whats-its, I guess.

This time, it’s a dual-layered obsession. Layer one – how the hell did I not know I was a lesbian earlier in life? Looking back it’s just so painfully clear to see, and it’s no wonder that the most common reaction when I came out to everyone, friends and family alike, was, “I know. So?” and “I can’t say I’m surprised.” My own mother said, “Why didn’t you just tell me ages ago? I’ve been asking you for years if you were gay!”

I have no idea. Not that it matters for anything, it’s just a source of intrigue for me. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by lesbians. We’re talking early age. And I think I was maybe 6 when I had my first “real” crush (as real as it can be that young) on a high-school basketball player named Lani, who was my inspiration for piercing my tongue more than ten years later in 1999. In college, I surrounded myself with dykes – we took over a corner of the floor in my dorm and named it “Dyke’s Corner”, even though I identified as bi and dated mostly guys. And every single guy I ever dated was kind of effeminate. Ok – my ex-husband and I were often mistaken for a lesbian couple, and now he prefers to dress in women’s clothing and wear makeup. And I was in that relationship for ten years.

The other layer, layer two – the whole butch-femme dynamic. In my last post, I said, “The whole butch-femme thing is kind of silly,” and then I went and discovered a blog post complete with a youtube video featuring a tribute to all those rockin’ femmes out there, embedded here for your viewing pleasure:

As I watched that, I couldn’t help but feel like Ivan was talking to me – or, well, people like me, anyway. And it’s true that ever since I’ve been with Pickle, I’ve actually felt like a girl, more than I have other times in my life. And it’s something that I struggle with. I used to fight wearing dresses and makeup. I now find myself fighting that little part of myself that kind of still wants to fight, but not really. That little part of myself that says, “Hey, wait a minute, you never liked this before, what are you doing??”

Pickle says I do it for her, because I like to get all sexied up for her. In a sense she’s right, I do love the way she looks at me when I’m all purty. But I do it for me too. It’s like I’m reclaiming a sense of my identity that I lost touch with long, long ago.

My daughter’s a girly girl. Purses, shoes, make up, dresses, the whole nine. I never knew where she got it from. My mom has told me over and over again, “You were like that too. I don’t know what happened!” I disturbed my mother with my desire to wear frilly party dresses, just like J.J. disturbs me with that same desire. And that child taught me to start carrying a purse. Which I still do only on rare and reluctant occasions.

So maybe femininity is more hard-wired into me than I thought. And maybe that explains why certain “types” of women have always caught my eye, and it’s not the soft, sparkly, made-up type.

Maybe the whole butch-femme thing isn’t so silly. Maybe Pickle’s right. Maybe I was still thinking like a straight person, trying to draw lines that weren’t really there. I thought it was silly because I couldn’t understand why lesbians stereotypes had to fit a heteronormative standard. I couldn’t understand why there had to be an equivalent to a dude and a chick in a partnership involving two women.

I’m pretty sure I was overthinking it. I’m pretty sure it’s not like that at all.

I love women. So what if the woman I love, and the women I’ve liked before her, tend to be a bit boyish? It doesn’t mean I’m trying to replace men with women… I just think there’s something sexy about my girl in a baseball cap or fedora and tie. But she’s still a woman – she’s got all the parts, she’s got the chemistry, and she’s soft, so soft, and she smells so good.

And I don’t have to limit myself to only wearing girly clothes just because I’m with a girl who dresses like a boy – I’m happy wearing my cargo shorts and t-shirts around the house. But I don’t have to limit myself based on a preconceived and poorly understood notion of gender roles, either. And I don’t have to care about reinforcing stereotypes held by the straight world. And I don’t have to limit myself by identifying as femme – calling myself femme is just one more way to describe myself among myriad others.

She thinks I’m hot in a skirt and heels. I feel hot in a skirt and heels. Who cares what the rest of the world has to say about it?


My brother calls her his brother.

My mother is still trying to figure out which one of us is the “man” in the relationship. Surely, it can’t be me, because I’ll actually wear a dress and look like a girl once in a while. But then again, it can’t be her, because she thinks and argues like a woman.

She calls me a “lipstick tomboy,” a badge I wear with pride because it does sum me up pretty nicely. I love to get dressed up – if I’m Dressed Up. And even in my formal, I won’t hesitate to get down in the mud and play ball.

This whole butch-femme thing is kind of silly. The idea that one of us has to be girly in order make the balance work.

I’m not dating a man. I really have no desire to. So when my brother calls her his brother… something about that feels disrespectful. Even if she is ok with it, even if she does behave like a ten-year-old boy sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time.

But she has girl parts. She has a woman’s physiology. These are things I like. They are not her in her entirety, but neither is her ten-year-old boy persona.

All that said, I have to say, she does look good in her fedora and she rocks that vintage tie of hers that matches, and my heart flips a couple of times in my throat every single time she puts them on. I love going out with her, dressed to the nines, me uber-femme’d out and her all butchy.

I spent a very slow day at work yesterday trying not to think of her. Unfortunately, where I work is very queer-friendly and located in a high-traffic area, so we get lots of good-looking dykes walking in throughout the course of any day. And yesterday, there seemed to be more than usual. And every time a hot dyke would walk in, my mind immediately drifted over to Pickle. And wouldn’t leave.

I had visions of her in full drag (something I’ve heard stories about but not yet seen for myself), and private scenarios played themselves out in my mind, causing me to grin foolishly in a store full of customers, repeatedly waking from my reverie blushing and stammering apologetically to those looking on, trying to puzzle out what the hell was wrong with me. Couldn’t stop.

But honestly, six days out of seven (and probably more than that), those who know me expect to see me in cargo shorts and a ribbed tank top, maybe with a button-down work shirt thrown over it. Or jeans and a big hoodie. My hair is almost always pulled back out of my face, and if I’m wearing shoes, they’re likely to be her DC’s or my canvas Airwalks. I hate pink, and all my “girly” clothes (except for the really nice stuff) look like they’ve been worn by a girl who likes to play in the mud. And her uniform consists mostly of t-shirts or polos and jeans.

We both walk the line somewhere in the middle. She’s not a boy, and neither am I. I find her sexy regardless of what form she takes – as long as she’s comfortable and true to herself.

I’ve also been known to entertain visions of her slightly more femme-y (and even then, she’s still wearing jeans and a tank top), but I’ve seen pictures of her in a dress, and it’s not her. She looked pretty, but she didn’t look like Pickle, and it didn’t do a damn thing for me.

She might not be the girliest girl out there. Well, hell, neither am I. But there’s no man in this relationship, and my brother’s brother lives far away, and he sure as hell doesn’t share a bed with me.

et cetera