An Open Letter to Ladies from the loving butch at the end of the bar

By Alex West,

Let’s talk about the pink elephant in the room:

I am Gay.

So Gay.

As Gay as a handbag full of rainbows.

No really, that gay.

A big, fat, leather boot wearing, liberal, dyke on a bike.

I am ok with that.

My mum is ok with that.

But, there is something I wanted to ask: why are YOU not ok with that?

I ask this question with much love and appreciation for my sisters. But there is something that I have noticed: the queerer I look, the more androgynous my bowtie; the less I am able find acceptance from my feminist sisters in some social contexts. Here is a secret that I desperately want you to know:

My having fancies and lust for those of the lady variety does not make me a misogynist.

I do not don bowties or oxfords to conform to the patriarchy, which has been suggested to me of late. I just appreciate the feeling of a stiff collar and dapper wear. There exists in the lady community a misunderstanding. My gender identity and sexuality are not things that I choose or use to my advantage.

After reading Dee’s blog, I have reflected on some women’s reaction to noticeably queer or butch women. We are perceived as objectifying and preying on women in the same way some men do in seedy bars that play, “I’m sexy and I know it!” while wearing square toed fake leather shoes. This perception exists whether I have acted inappropriately or come on too strong. Like most women, I dislike rejection, and try to use my “gaydar” to ensure that women of the same persuasion receive my attentions. My clothes do not make me a man that touched your arse in the corner of the silent train carriage.

Don’t get me wrong, like women.

I love girls with tattooed décolletage, high heels and lipstick. I like to make you laugh and buy you red wine, open the door, pull out your chair and basically just Mr Darcy the fuck out of you. I do all this not to get into your pants, objectify or trick you; but to show appreciation. And because my mumma raise me to be a gentlewoman.

I love ladies, but I also love myself.

By Alex West.

The loving butch at the end of the bar

Alex is the Tasmanian State Branch President of the National Union of Students. Tasmanian University Union Sexuality Officer and Producer of Edge n Bacon and Tom, Dick and Harriet on Edge Radio. She is also apparently gay and when she was 7 wanted to be Marry Poppins. You can friend the show here

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