Bravery is Living Against the Wind-A Reader's Email

Hello Dirt.

I found your blog a few months ago at a time I was really struggling with who I am, who I am supposed to be, and who I want to be. I still struggle. I think you are very brave to stick your neck out and speak the truth in the face of so many who lie, distort and ignore what is really going on and what really happens to people who try to change the gender they were born with.

I remember my mom being asked a lot if I was a boy or a girl as a kid and her correcting people that called me a boy. "No this is my daughter" and later I would get odd glances and once a kid even pulled down the window on a school bus so he could shout out and ask me if I was a boy or a girl. In junior high while I was walking to the bus after school a guy called me a bitch and I wasn't sure if he was talking to me or not so I kept walking then he pulled me from behind and just punched me in the face so hard my glasses flew off and I spun around. At least I didn't fall, the fucker had a good 60 lbs on me. He was huge. The vice principle did nothing and told my mom it happened because I look too much like a boy. My mom bought me makeup and dresses and pink things, but it all made me feel like a clown.

I felt like an outsider and alone. There weren't any girls in school or in my neighborhood that were like me.

One time when I was visiting my grandmother I seen a lady pull up the driveway on a motorcycle. This was in the mid 80s. She was wearing an oil stained white t-shirt and jeans with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in left sleeve. No makeup and a no nonsense haircut. She looked strong and I wanted to speak with her because I was shocked, she made me think of myself. My grandma said she was my cousin Mary. Then my mom said with an angry face "She is a lezbo, stay away from her" and that was that. Didn't see her again. Mary spoke to my grandmother in private and then left quietly, no drama.

I need to get to the point before this turns into the worst War & Peace redux ever.

Even at 35, I still feel like I'm looking for an anchor. I want to learn about butch women in history. I want to learn how they lived, survived and how they coped. Things seem a lot better nowadays in a lot of ways as far as the right for gay people to marry in a lot of states and more rights, but then there is this pressure on butch women to transition instead of accepting who they are. It scares me that I was considering maybe that's what has been wrong my whole life, maybe I was a guy stuck in a female body. I see now that society is fucked up and there are all kinds of women. We shouldn't be squeezed into a mold of what society thinks a woman should be and if we can't fit, forced into a male mold.

I respect your opinion very much and I am asking if you could provide me with a list of recommended literature, or documentaries, or websites that could help me learn more about women's history.

Thank you for your time and thanks so very much for your blog. I know you get a lot of hate for it. It can't be easy.

Much respect.


  1. Thanks for this amazing article...

  2. Glad you didn't fall in the transtrender trap, sister!
    F2T aren't trapped in the wrong body, they're trapped in their own illusions forced upon them by society's crazy norms.
    I hope you meet women like me. We're everywhere, but hardly visable online I fear. Cheers to you! :)

    1. History is FULL of women who refused to accept their "feminine" role. If we don't always know about them, it's because of erasure by later (mostly male) historians. But we still know about plenty. Some of them were quite "flagrantly" lesbians, others not. Some of them were crossdressers, sometimes by social necessity, others not. Some were black, some white, some working-class, some middle or upper-class. Although a few of them are my personal heroes, I think it falls to to other women contributors to this site to point them out individually. (If you feel I'm ducking that through cowardice, I will happily send you a list.)

      Butch is a great way to be a woman, and you are part of a long, proud tradition. Since you probably don't know me as well as other contributors here, let me add that I am a gay male who would undoubtedly lose in any "butchness-contest" against all comers. You don't need me to tell you all the reasons you should be proud, you have Google.

    2. Big - altijd, eeuwig, onophoudelijk, steeds, steevast, telkens, voorgoed en voortdurend ben ik blij, vrolijk, opgewekt, welgemutst, en begeesterd (B?), en commentaire van jouw te lezen. I could have added "opgeruimt" which I believe is good Dutch for more or less the same sentiment, but in Belgium I'm afraid is indissociably linked with garbage collection. Don't forget my e-mail: I'll be in Belgium from about 25 July, and will be much more mobile than last time. A trip to the Netherlands would be a treat for me, and meeting you an added plezier (now I know that really is Belgian, so let me say "vreugde"). You could at least crtiticize to your heart's content my Anglo-Belgian way of deforming your beautiful (hem, hem, no comment) Dutch language.
      Hey, Peter, you just gave out your e-mail address on a pubic forum. So what? I've been missing good hate-mail. Bring it on, gals and guys, and pseudo-gals and pseudo-guys.
      Voor Biggeske, allerbeste wensen, or "verybeste wensen", is dat beter hollands aujourd'hui?

  3. Such a moving story, thank you for sharing. I'm SO glad you decided to walk the road of accepting yourself as the PERFECT way Nature made you! I'm so sorry your mom wasn't able to see this in Mary and you when you were younger. I wish so hard that adults thought more seriously about the worldviews and judgments we hold and share with kids (and eachother), and how profoundly such views impact vulnerable hearts and minds.

    Whole, unconditional acceptance and RESPECT for the infinite, *natural* diversity that is Female (and human in general) begins at home. So much unnecessary pain and confusion comes from the squeaky, rusted, rotten gender straight jacket imposed on people! We can and should be having so much joy and fun with our natural selves.

    From a DEcolonist perspective, it is counter intuitive to seek liberation of Self by erasing parts of it -- submitting to whatever colonist institutions of social control is to bury ourselves deeper in our oppression, when we should be running far away from it, breaking off the shackles and throwing them back at the oppressors' stunned faces (stunned cuz their small little minds break so easily when confronted with difference/something they don't know/understand instead of simply Respecting it and letting it BE).

    Of course people have the right to do whatever they want to their bodies, health risks be damned (it's boundary-tramply to tell adults what to do with their bodies since they're not hurting others). I personally just think it's rad when people love and accept their Natural selves because dammit we are what we are and we're perfect AS Nature made us, because Nature is perfection. Just look at the world around us - plants, animals, ecosystems, how it all works -- it's absolute magic and perfection, and it's pretty damn ignorant for humans to think we can conquer/control Nature or think we can make "improvements" to something already so perfect and beyond our limited human understanding of it all.

  4. Beautifully put. The way out is in deep, radical self acceptance with wonderment and love for a deeper appreciation of our brighter and higher spirit that can dance in relation to this wonderfully inherited Nature and not seek to control & destroy & re-fashion the wise art of loving our Natural Woman inner nature with barbaric tools of narcissist man's arrogance and vanity.

  5. I hope the reader who wrote this beautiful commentary continues on her journey to true happiness and congruence ~ realizing that she is already not only perfectly fine as-is, but also special and rare. I wish there were a safe, pro-lesbian space for such discussions and for support (i.e., a moderated forum which would remain free of the current pro-trans ideology). Unfortunately, even (so-called) lesbian spaces have now been hijacked. Perhaps it is time to create one.


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