Change Your World-NOT your Body

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My "cool" Gloves

Its right before my 4th Christmas when I see the gloves I want, the only gloves I want, not having wanted any before. My ma has been after me to pick some gloves out for Christmas. I had planned on not picking any so I don't have to wear any. I don't like wearing extras, shorts and a tee, no sox no shoes. Fine except for those cold snow driven winter months, not exactly practical. For those months I'm forced to wear long sleeves, long pants, a coat, snowmobile boots, which I hate and gloves which I hate also. Its not that I'm some uncouth backwoods raised kid where clothes are a cross between a luxury and a nuisance, that's not it at all. Its a skin thing. Like my insides, devastatingly sensitive, guts as well as personality. I cant stand things on my skin, it almost either hurts or assuredly itches. Well the snowmobile boots actually don't hurt or itch, I just hate how clumsy they make my feet. I also hate when I remove them, that beggars booty felt Xmas stocking comes out every time! So that every time I put them on again I have to put the booty back into the boot. This I have a sensitively about, because I cant always get the booty back in perfectly enough so that it doesn't annoy my toes. So I walk around clumsy and bothered.

As for gloves, gloves I don't like because they create a distance between myself and everything I touch. I am constantly having to take them off to bridge the gulf they keep creating. On off on off on off on off...But the gloves I want, well maybe they'll be worth the trouble. Why? Because I think they make me look "cool". They are black and midnight blue, black leather palms with midnight blue stitching which matches the colour of the top leather part of the gloves. They fit so they barely reach the tops of my wrists, my hands appear stockier when I'm wearing them which adds I think to the "cool" part. My ma makes no trouble for me and buys me the gloves even though they are "boys" gloves and I'm not a boy. I stopped wearing dresses when I was 2, except for once when I was three, my aunt paid me five dollars to wear a matching yellow dress with my cousin Sherry to have our picture taken together. It will be thirty years before I realize how lucky I was not to have had parents who tried to conform me to societies rigid gender norms and equally as long to appreciate that they didnt.

Cool. I aspire to coolness. I want to be cool. I want to look cool. I want to throw cool. I want to run cool. I am cool! What I know now that I didnt know then, is that "cool" for me then is another word for Butch for me now. My four year old self knows nothing of Butch, she hasn't seen Butch, she hasn't heard Butch nor in her ears has the word Butch been spoken. But cool? Yeah, that's something she knows! As I write this I wonder what words other baby Butches used in place of Butch. I feel lugubrious realizing how through using our "Butch" word we must have been misunderstood thousands of times and thousands of times over. "I cant wear that, I wont look "cool" or "tough" or "strong". Was it within our lacking the word for what we were, that as children we placed an unnecessary burden and emphasis on those externals? Externals like my "cool gloves" who had every right to a life and identity of their own simply a pair of gloves independent of whether or not my hands occupied them. Externals we used like last years jeans to be worn or discarded had we out grown them. Externals constructing the foundation for an identity that existed already only we didnt know because we had only those externals informing us, so that by the time our word reached us we were so covered in externals we looked like the child of an over protective mother sending her kid to school on the first day of winter.

I have heard often from both Femmes and Butches that Butch is something one grows into. Butch for me was something I slowly uncovered, layer by layer, stripping and ridding myself of decades of externals, so that Butch only appeared once I laid myself bare.

dirt
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8 comments:

  1. Hello Dirt. I've been reading your blog awhile now and just wanted to thank you. I'm 18 and used to have all kinds of confusion about my gender identity. Your blog has helped me realize that I can explore my masculine and feminine sides, and still be a woman. More importantly, still be a lesbian. I look forward to each of your updates; keep up the good work.

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  2. Samanatha,

    First thanks for reading and thanks for the nice comment!

    Second, good for you for being wise enough and proud enough to discover how to be your authentic female self and not resort to societies limited ideas on what a woman is!

    dirt

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  3. Wow, Dirt, that is absolutely poetic. I love it when you get poetic. It really describes my early feelings, like when I rejected dolls at age 7. I saw what my brother was playing with, I bought him 6" tall plastic men at an Xmas school bazaar for his Hanukah present, he gave me a few of them, and we started up two tribes: his and mine...later we found more of those men at a toy store and saved up our allowances to add to our tribes...we played these games for hours, each had their own personality. And thusly I rejected all those feminine powerless looking helpless dolls.

    I couldn't relate to the female roles, yeah there were certain girly things I wore and did early on, but only when I felt full comfort in my body. As soon as the 'girl' role began limiting me, pretty much simultaneously as I entered grade school, I began to reject it more and more.

    If my brother could do it, then I damn well was gonna insist on the opportunity to do it as well, and I was the older sibling. From dolls, I rejected dresses completely at age 10, once girls no longer were forced to wear dresses to school. I didn't like them, but I went to a school where we all wore uniforms, so there was no 'difference', and it was an all girls school. I got along with the other girls and we played active and fun games even in our dress school uniforms...

    It was when I went to a mixed school around boys I felt more self-conscious and hated being that vulnerable, that and a terrible incident that took place when I was in a dress.

    -M.A.

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  4. Part two. After that incident in 4th grade, I could never separate the vulnerability I felt in dresses, and NEVER wanted to wear them again, preferring my knickers and pants and shirts, and shorts.

    There were many screaming matches with my family, many tears when they forced me to wear a dress or skirt if I wanted to go out to a family dinner, otherwise I was threatened with being left out and having to stay at home. I usually gave in because I loved my grandparents, and wouldn't be able to visit with them. I HATED the comments on how 'beautiful you look' in a dress or skirt. I'd go in the bathroom and look at myself, and felt I looked really, really ugly in it. I couldn't wait till I got home to get into my pants or shorts.

    At 12 I stated to my grandfather I never wanted to get married(to a man), never wanted to have babies, never wanted to have sex. Males repulsed me....well, I successfully did two out of three....It wasn't till many years later I married my beloved DYKE partner...and the only 'babies' I have have fur and tails thank you very much!

    My family indeed had a hard time with my tomboyish Self...but I prided myself on being a Tomboy, and INSISTING on doing all the boy things, even though my mother, and my grandmother hated it, that I wouldn't and couldn't be 'feminine', hell they even sent me to 'charm school'! And then I reward them by wanting to be on the ice hockey team, like my brother, the only girl in the ENTIRE league, and after that, in karate, once he got in that..which I still do to this day! I didn't want my sex holding me back from ANYTHING...I wanted all opportunities to be available to me, and to wear the clothes I felt most empowered in.

    Yeah, I hear ya Dirt, I really, really hear ya!
    -MasterAmazon

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