My "cool" Gloves (a repost)

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.



  1. That's a great story from your childhood=)

    I remember feeling like that abotu certain clothes too...i used to want the bugle boy stuff and lee pipes because i thought it was cool. But i still enjoyed wearing girly things like jewelery, "cute" outfits, accessories, and fixing my hair for 30 minutes. I'm really not masculine at all, lol. I still like to do those things =). I could never be butch though...i am so not butch....but i respect your identity. I try not to really label myself...

    girly man...?
    person in female body who is male minded who likes to be girly alot and sing karaoke to kesha with his
    boys in the car who likes loves all people and who loves the mental image of having the male chest under his shirt, a happy trail, sideburns, dark rimmed glasses, and feeling the wind in his leg hair, hahaha....all the while sipping on a latte.

    -Jr. =)

  2. This is where butch pride is. It isn't in harangues about transmen. Hate feeds insecurity, but pride makes strong. Your writing about what it means to be a butch woman and being proud about it is far more moving and helpful and easier to relate to. Just like your other older post about Mr Timney. Can we have more of this, please?


  4. Anon @4:46- I enjoyed this repost too. If you'd like to read more right now you should check out the blog!
    I also like the posts where Dirt brings to light the epidemic of young women trying to murder their female selves with the full support of the medical, psychiatric, and surgical industries.
    A good mix, I think.

  5. Great story!

    When I was eight my maximum aspiration, and the very definition of coolness, was to become an Arwing pilot : .
    I now compensate the loss with enjoyably long driving sessions :D . And most of the men I surpass (and i do it often...), seeing themselves being surpassed by a visibly 15 year old girl, make awesome faces (never happens with women).
    Some satisfactions!

  6. You're a really good writer.

  7. I like how your able to word all the internal thoughts everyones thinking. Although i am not "Butch" i do relate to knowing what was "cool" and wasnt "cool" as a kid, and later realizing all of these things fit into the same boyish catagorie. Whether it was getting a hand me down spiderman T shirt from an older cousin, or aquiring a black eye from running into a tree ( and making up some adventerous story that made the bruise sound somehow "heroic") My idea of cool was always diffrent from the other girls, but the boys thought i was cool, and that in itself was cool, and today i can finally look back and put a word on that all.

    Once again Dirt, i enjoyed this, i like your perspective on things.

    You use the word "colour" btw, found that interesting.


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