Vancouver
3 min

Butches with boyfriends

There really is no gender line

Credit: Xtra West files

There are two kinds of butches with boyfriends. Us and them. Here’s the thing. We’re not going to apologize for the high-school tone of this column because, well, our whole relationship is based on reliving our high-school experiences from a queer perspective.



We’re the best butch friends we never had as adolescents. That’s us you see swaggering down the hallways, punching each other in the arm, pushing each other into the lockers and putting each other in headlocks. That’s us making fun of our world and figuring out our place in it from the safety of our butch brothers in arms bonding. Since we became friends the world is our high school and are we fucking ever having fun. Bubba and Champ, that’s us. And this is our world.



“Whoa, look at those arm muscles!”



“And that jawline! She is SO butch. I mean, she is so butch she must be on steroids or something!”



“Really! Do you think so? She just looks totally butch to me.”



“Wait, who is that guy with her?”



“Who cares? Ask her out!!! Oh no, forget I said that. Can that be her fucking boyfriend?”



“You’ve got to be kidding me. She’s such a fucking dyke!”



“What do you think they do for sex? Does she fuck him up the ass or is this an ortho-hetero situation we’re looking at here? I’m feeling queasy, dude.”



In this space, we usually we try to add an historical or social perspective to a seemingly simple topic; you know, make y’all think a little. Well, forget it. We didn’t even poll anyone. This topic is just too plain scary. Butch boyfriends, well that’s one thing. But butches with boyfriends, like, men, well that’s something entirely different. So, we’re gonna calm down here, and apply some basic logic to this situation and try to figure these gals out, these “gender blenders” who look like dykes, act like dykes, talk like dykes, but don’t fuck dykes.



Back in the old days (when Bubba was a baby dyke) there were basically two categories of lesbian: butches and femmes. Butches were dykey and a little over the top gender-wise, and femmes, were . . . . luscious. They could have passed for het girls, and sometimes taunted butches to steal them away from men. (You can see why Bubba doesn’t want to do too much research on butches with boyfriends; I mean, the idea that the competition went over to the competition, well, it just doesn’t compute). But after gay liberation, opposites were no longer supposed to attract, so lesbians (okay, not all of them) got kind of androgynous (Champ says, “hockey hair meets feather earrings and public denunciations of penetration as patriarchal”). This may have been the origin of butches with boyfriends, but in our experience, such couples almost invariable realized they were both gay and went their own sexual ways.



Then came Queer Nation, with everyone dressing in clothes from the Sally Ann and fucking anyone. Here, diversity of partners was the in thing, and no doubt, a few very butch women got paired up with men, but most of those men, feminists all, were, well, a little fey.



What we’re talking about is those fabulous women who would pass as dykes of the old school in every possible way, but whose sexual orientation focusses on sex with men. There are thousands of women in the Yukon and Alaska who fit this profile. And there are more than a few floating around Vancouver. (Actually, that’s how we got on this topic: Champ had a close encounter of the third kind and came running back to the locker room screaming.)



These gals have serious issues to deal with. Like fairies with wives, butches with boyfriends are often accused by lesbians and gay men of being in the closet and afraid to come out and declare their true sexual orientation. But they are not homos, as least not homosexuals-they do seem to have a mutual attraction to gradations of masculinity. They aren’t bisexual either (or not necessarily) because they seem clear that they, respectively, want to have sex across that biological divide in which there is an extra slit on one side, and a big bump on the other. (But oh what a lot of possibilities that affords! Especially after a trip to Womyns’Ware to get some “extras.”)



Okay, so why are we so upset? Well, for two reasons. First of all, if butches can hook up permanently with men, then there is really no gender line. But we can deal with that. The really scary thing is that two people with virtually identical genders (butch and guy) could actually, I mean really and truly, have sex! How queer!



Oh god, it really is high school all over again! Lesbo! FAG! What the fuck!



As our holiday gift to you we offer advice on avoiding bed death in our next column. Stay tuned!