Butch Shame is Female Shame is a DAMN Shame-A Tale in Lesbian Woe

Having always naturally appeared or seemed unnatural to the world outside my immediate familial circle, maybe even at times to them-though none ever showed it if they had. Never recognizing myself in any girl or woman I knew or seen portrayed on TV. Recognizing surface similarities with boys/men-those around me, those on TV. Before long, being too young, too full of youthful energy and dreams, too busy playing football, basketball and riding dirt bikes. I didnt notice that I grew away from myself. By that I mean, my sex. Sometimes whole continents can separate us from those we love. But through circumstance we can be separated from ourselves by galaxies, maybe even universes. We can hop on a plane and fly over night to meet our darling, but there are no such means of transportation to reach ourselves.

Not being the globe trotter type myself and true to my Cancer/Crab nature of side stepping, bridging the gulfs within myself were a process, like all human growth. As recent as ten years ago (my late 30's) I was still finding gaps I had yet to close. One such gap had to do with my cats. I've never given birth, but I truly feel we and our pets can be as close as a loving mother and loving child. But while I profoundly felt for all intents and purposes I WAS their mom, I couldnt say I was. Not out loud, not even in my head. To even think it, felt somewhere between uneasy and deeply uncomfortable. But for all the wrong it felt, I knew in my heart it was right. I loved my cats as much as any mother loves her children, and in far far far too many cases a hell of a lot more! I'm female. Females who have children are mothers. I had children. I had always been maternal. Maternal to children, animals, frogs, goldfish, the ground I walk on and even dead poets. Another Cancer trait. But there had always been this line I dared not cross, the line from maternal to mother.

Signifiers of female such as girl or woman were something I had to learn to recognize within myself and recognize AS myself regardless of how girl/woman were so narrowly depicted. My personal brand of woman wasn't invalidated because it wasnt reflected in the women I saw around me. It didn't make me more woman, it didnt make me less. It simply made me ME! But to get through the murky mire of woman, I had to wade through a terrible uncomfortableness and intense loneliness. Because all personal journeys must be made alone. The beautiful thing, once I waded across, I was no longer uncomfortable. Now paused at a familiar river bank, one I thought I had bridged already. I dove in. If I'm female and I have cat children, then I'm a mother. Their mother. I wanted to say to them, "listen to your mom" or "mom loves you." But mother felt like barbed wire in my mind as well as my mouth. Mother was yet another uncomfortableness I had to traverse.

Like woman, the uncomfortableness with mother was in what/who mother represented based on very narrow portrayals. Just because I didnt see myself portrayed as a mother most certainly did NOT invalidate me from being one! Another piranha river crossed! And me not dripping with blood. Surprised. By crossing that line, I didnt disappear. By crossing that line it didnt change over night. Like all change large or small, it happened when I wasnt looking. Visceral uncomfortableness, becoming uncomfortable, becoming comfortable, becoming love.

Today I say what my dad used to say to my brother and I...."I LOVE my kids!" Only I say it with a slight twist "MOM loves you kids!"



  1. Dianic Wicca really helped me to get in touch with the internalized misogyny that underlies so much of "butch" identity. There is not a whole lot out there that really examines this. Thanks for sharing your powerful story.

    1. My Goddess is Hestia, these days, but I can ask her to pass on a message to Diana to protect you, if they're on speaking terms now (who knows?).

  2. Dirt, thank you so much for this. This is beautiful and necessary.

  3. Great example. Thanks for sharing.


Missing Person Kristin Snyder: Lost in a Sea of Myths Pt 4

Next up in our series on the The Lost Women of NXIVM mockumentary is Joseph O’Hara of Albany, NY. O'Hara was an attorney who worked fo...