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Non-binary Butch Lesbian?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by jjheipz24, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. jjheipz24

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    I'm a DFAB who identifies as non-binary transmasculine/butch. I'm also attracted to girls. I've been wondering for a while now if it's possible to be a non-binary butch lesbian without having the lesbian community say I'm "invading their space". Whenever I see posts about being a non-binary lesbian, it's with people who are non-binary but feminine presenting. I am masculine presenting and often get mistaken for a guy all the time, however I cringe at being called a girl or a boy. Not identifying as a woman seems to be the only thing that differentiates me from the butch females who still identify as female. I hope someone can help me figure this out.
     
  2. Distant Echo

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    I am Lesbian. I hereby declare you can call yourself anything you want without invading my space. I don't get a say in how you identify yourself, neither does anyone else.
     
  3. darkcomesoon

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    Presentation has nothing to do with it. If you identify anywhere from female to neutral, you can feel free to call yourself a lesbian. If you identify as more male than female, you shouldn't be calling yourself a lesbian, because it's not a word that is for men or male-leaning people. From your description of yourself, it sounds like lesbian is a fine word for you.
     
  4. GenderSciFi

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    I don't know, there's quite some non-binary people who would identify more as male but still hold on to their identity as a lesbian (often because they used to identify as butch, and this community has grown to be kind of a home for them, I guess). I'm not sure if it should be up to the lesbian community to exclude them. :dry:
     
  5. gravechild

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but originally butch folk didn't see themselves strictly as women or lesbian, so this wouldn't be that huge of a leap for someone who is non-binary? Plenty of lesbian events have space for butch women, drag kings, trans men, etc. so it shouldn't be an issue.

    I don't know many lesbians who would deny you being included, but plenty who would be all too welcoming! Has any accused you of invading their space? If not, you might be overthinking it.
     
  6. darkcomesoon

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    I understand the exact feeling you're describing; I feel a strong connection to the lesbian community as someone who used to identify as a lesbian. I'm often sad to have had to leave the community, but I'm a guy. The word "lesbian" just doesn't describe me (also turns out I'm bi, but that's a different matter). Lesbian spaces aren't made for me. The community is not meant to include me.

    There's a fine line to be drawn between policing identities (which is not good) and making sure words actually have definitions (e.g. telling a cis man he can't identify as a lesbian isn't policing his identity, it's just stating a fact; cis men don't belong in lesbian spaces). I don't think male-leaning nonbinary people should be identifying as lesbians, but my opinion isn't particularly important here. I would actually argue that it should definitely be up to the lesbian community to decide whether they are comfortable with male or male-leaning people in their spaces, and the opinion I have heard most frequently is that men and male-leaning nonbinary people don't belong in lesbian spaces, so that is the opinion I am recounting here.
     
  7. wanderinggirl

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  8. GenderSciFi

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    @ darkcomesoon: Hm, you have lots of points there. I think I need to rephrase. One should just have a look at how the lesbian space or community is defining itself. If it's a space for self-identified women only, then I would of course respect that. But some might explicitly say that they're open to other genders (probably except cismen) then that can be really cool. I know this from women's spaces that are explicitly open to all kinds of trans and/or genderqueer and/or intersex people. I would go there if it says so on the invitation. But if it just says "women's space", I wouldn't go. Even though they wouldn't throw me out cause I'm read as female. Also, I wouldn't go places where they let in transmasculine (female-passing), but not transfeminine people cause I think that's transmysogynist.
    Most woman and lesbian spaces have policies on this that you can check out online or just ask about.
     
  9. Oh Lilac

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    I think you can certainly call yourself a lesbian. Some days, you may call yourself another identy, and go back to it. No one else can claim who you are. It is not always to do with how we present ourselves outwardly. It might be something to do with sex, gender, internal feelings, etc. That is strictly your business.
     
  10. Lipstick Leuger

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    My partner identifies as the gender of Butch. Hy is an OFOS Hard Butch. This is actually quite common for people who present as an old fashioned type of Butch.(or Femme). When I grew up(when people rode dinosaurs to work LOL) that was how ALL Butches presented, as male identified and being addressed as males. They are very masculine presenting and are often taken for males. This does not mean they want to be males. They are actually a bit more rare these days, as are us OFOS Femmes.(it's amazing when we find each other though)

    The label of Butch has much changed since I was young and now includes many others who are much softer female identified Butches. You are fine and if you want to include lesbian as part of your identifier you can. You like women and lesbian only means woman loving woman.

    ---------- Post added 18th Nov 2015 at 05:56 PM ----------

    No, you are 100% correct. Most of us identify as either Butch or Femme, we consider it our gender. We also do not usually see ourselves as lesbians, except is the strictest sense, as in women loving women. We consider ourselves non binary(most of us anyhow, more so Butches)So, sometimes we do feel like strangers in our own culture. That is why we usually have Butch/Femme groups where we talk about 'the Dance' which is courtship rituals and stuff that is usually not a huge topic(or frowned upon) by general lesbian culture. There really is a difference. :icon_bigg
     
  11. bubbles123

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    If identifying as a lesbian feels the most comfortable and right for you then you should use that. Because if you're nonbinary you could use words like I've heard gynophillic, meaning you like people who identify as female. But if that doesn't feel right to you or you don't feel as good using that then you should just use lesbian.
    If someone is confused about it, you can just explain to them that that's just what you prefer and beyond that, it's really none of their business nor do they know any better than you do what's right.
     
  12. Lipstick Leuger

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    I agree with Bubbles. No one does know better than you what's right for you.

    It really does make me sad however that there seems to be so much gender and label policing these days. Only you can decided on your label and what it means, or you can also use no label. My advice would also be to steer clear of those that say you have to have one, or attempt to tell you that you are not a 'real'______(insert label here)and then tell you all the ways in which you don't fit it. Yeah, I have been there and done that and from what I read on the boards, many others have as well. So, it is ultimately up to you, but there are many others like you and that feel as you do, so don't feel that you are the only one. You are not alone!
     
    #12 Lipstick Leuger, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  13. jjheipz24

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    Thank you all so much. You have all given me so much insight, and it has been greatly appreciated!! :slight_smile: I agree with each of you in many ways, so thank you.