Butch Please: Butchsolutions

BUTCH PLEASE is all about a butch and her adventures in queer masculinity, with dabblings in such topics as gender roles, boy briefs, and aftershave.

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I rang in 2013 on an elevated platform under the bar at Voyeur, a nightclub playing host to Stimulus, the only lesbian party I seem to ever hear about in Philly. It was a good feeling, this whole raising my fist in the air while everyone around me screamed or covered their screams with each other’s mouths. The ceiling was painted black and rose two stories above me, indistinguishable under a sea of balloons and moving bodies. It felt like raising my fist to everything, or nothing.

I always go out on New Years’ Eve, even though I’m not the going out type anymore. I don’t know why I do it, because I know the cover charges are 150 times more expensive, and the drinks are 450 times more expensive, and slipping in vomit on the street has happened 3 times in the last 2 years. I always end up sober because I can’t afford enough to be drunk, and nothing about New Years’ Eve at a club is fun or acceptable when you are sober. Yet there’s something shallowly empowering about being out at night and knowing the rest of the city is there with you. It’s empowering the way blowing off your therapist is empowering. You feel thrilled for about a half hour, your mind overrun with all the things you can do now that you have an hour of your day back, but then you just go home and take a nap. Heading out to the club and finding the crosswalks overrun with thirty-somethings in princess crowns who are drunker than you are is exciting for the first hour or so, but then you realize that you are paying $60 to $100 to smell like sweat when you could be curled up in your bed, watching Star Trek and eating Cheez-Its.

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I got home around 7 in the morning, run down but still sort of charged, and scribbled this out on the notebook next to my bed. I think the last time I made resolutions for the new year was when I was ten and being forced to do it on construction paper so my teacher could hang it on a bulletin board. This attempt was sleepier, but seemed to have a lot more heart in it.

1. Be kinder to yourself. You are gentle with everything else in your life, and your big ol’ heart is feeling a little left out.

2. Stop being ashamed of your non-ironic love for One Direction and Justin Bieber. Listen to more Selena Gomez so your pop interests are less gender-biased. Avoid Taylor Swift, as she seems to make you irritable.

3. Don’t be such a passive little goober. Try to stop asking the people who walk all over you to back it up and try again.

4. You’re not awkward, you’re quirky.

5. Always keep a party size bag of peanut butter m&ms in your freezer, as this is already doing wonders for your happiness.

6. 2012 was the year of the bowtie. Find a new accessory. Make 2013 the year of the ascot, or the bolo tie. Mmm, bolo ties.

7. Sit down with the cat and try to talk boundaries. Make an attempt to meet him on his level and explain how peeing all over your new bed is still a tender spot for you, how you want to forgive him and move on but it’s hard when he literally rubbed his face in it.

8. Learn to prepare chicken without hyperventilating or making someone else do it. It’s just veins, and chunks of slippery fat, and weird membranes. No big deal. You can do it.

9. For the love of all that is good in this world, please get more sleep.

10. Try to actively control that really stupid grin you get when you see a pretty girl. You don’t realize you look like a 14 year old boy, but you look like a 14 year old boy. Try not to blush and get all flustered when she makes eye contact. Keep your shit together, man! Remember your name at least. You are really bad at that, seriously.

11. Eat more salad?

12. Do your goddamned laundry. Stop buying more underwear when you run out of clean underwear. H&M boxer briefs are amazing, but they are not cheap anymore. Nothing about this is economical or sane. Stop wearing your rodeoh as underwear, too.

13. Be in touch with your feelings. Let them overwhelm you from time to time. It’s not always a compliment to have people refer to you as “stoic.”

14. End this list on 14 instead of 13 because you’re superstitious as all get out. Don’t be ashamed of your superstitions, or all the things you inherited from your grandmother. Stay in touch with your mountain roots. They’re worth it.


Special Note: Autostraddle’s “First Person” personal essays do not necessarily reflect the ideals of Autostraddle or its editors, nor do any First Person writers intend to speak on behalf of anyone other than themselves. First Person writers are simply speaking honestly from their own hearts.

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Hard-lovin' butch made of tears, sweat, and spit, in that order. Professional lonesome polecat. Kate is living proof that you can take the hillperson out of the mountains, but she's still probably going to run back to the mountains anyway. Kate prefers the trashy to the classy, and the tender to everything else. Full-time writer, part-time lover. Heart got so big and soggy that she had to cut off all her sleeves.

Kate has written 124 articles for us.

74 Comments

  1. Thumb up 52

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    ’12. Stop wearing your rodeoh as underwear, too.’

    That awkward moment when you run out of clean underwear, wear your rodeo, stretch to reach something in class and the straight guys in your class ask you about your brand of underwear in front of your lecturer because they’re never heard of Rodeoh before and they like the colours.

  2. Thumb up 14

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    4. You’re not awkward, you’re quirky.
    —– Truth. Own it.

    10. Try to actively control that really stupid grin you get when you see a pretty girl. You don’t realize you look like a 14 year old boy, but you look like a 14 year old boy. Try not to blush and get all flustered when she makes eye contact. Keep your shit together, man! Remember your name at least. You are really bad at that, seriously.

    —– Don’t do it. This is seriously, seriously cute, attractive, and charming when it happens. Even if you forget your name – what a compliment to the pretty girl!

    1 – Champion. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Talking about your big ol’ heart is a great start (and super lovely, btw).

    • Thumb up 9

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      10. Try to actively control that really stupid grin you get when you see a pretty girl. You don’t realize you look like a 14 year old boy, but you look like a 14 year old boy. Try not to blush and get all flustered when she makes eye contact. Keep your shit together, man! Remember your name at least. You are really bad at that, seriously.
      —– Don’t do it. This is seriously, seriously cute, attractive, and charming when it happens. Even if you forget your name – what a compliment to the pretty girl!

      Yes yes yes yes. I would DIE if someone had that reaction to me.

      • Thumb up 16

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        Echoing the above: DON’T STOP THIS. I loooove that moment when I realize a) yes, you’re looking at me, b) yes, you are blushing and quickly looking down at your feet, and c) it’s because you think I’m pretty. Love that. Every time. Giving a really big smile in return is basically the only way I can signal that YES, IN FACT, I AM GAY TOO.

        • Thumb up 9

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          Other potential responses include:
          1. Buy that kid a drink
          2. Dance up close to that person
          3. Do multiple walk bys (and smile)
          4. Say hello
          5. Wink (I totally don’t know how to wink, but if I could, I would – then probably laugh at myself)

          But of course, the really big smile is top notch!

        • Thumb up 4

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          I came on here to say the exact same thing!! This reaction is one of the most beautiful and charming things a grrl could ever hope to see. Don’t stop, please!

  3. Thumb up 4

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    #8 yes! God is raw chicken gross. I was never really honest with myself about how much I hated cutting it up and always came up with excuses for why I didn’t need to cook. Good luck getting over it! I cheated and stopped cooking with meat.

  4. Thumb up 4

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    Oh my gods, I cooked with chicken once and vowed to never do it again. I always make someone else cut it for me now. Really, though, all of these resolutions would be excellent things for me to work on. Except the getting more sleep thing. I should really try to sleep less, because it’s my #1 way of avoiding things that I don’t want to deal with (#2 is watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

  5. Thumb up 9

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    Cooking chicken is all about tipping that shit straight from the packaging into the pan, sealing it and then cutting it up with the spatula. Don’t have to touch it, or put it on your chopping board, or look at the gross parts, or nothing. If there are pieces you want to avoid (veins, funny-coloured bits), there’s an art to gouging them out with the spatula and transporting them to the bin on it.

    I honestly would not cook chicken if I had to touch it. I don’t even touch frozen chicken dinosaurs, I tip them straight from the bag too.

  6. Thumb up 10

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    My one and only new year’s resolution:

    1. Go to the city in which you live
    2. Magically find a way to pass you on the street
    3. Obtain said response mentioned in #10

    You know, in the least creepiest way possible. Whatever.

    OMIGOSH I LOVE THIS COLUMN.

  7. Thumb up 4

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    I’m *so* glad to know someone shares my love of frozen chocolate(ish) candy! My girlfriend thinks I’m crazy but seriously, there’s nothing better than sweets from the freezer! Mint aero balls are my personal favourite, but trying any bite-sized treat frozen should make everyones resolution list!

    • Thumb up 6

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      see, for me, peanut butter m&m’s are best when the insides are perfectly melted. Like they have been in a hot car for an hour or two. Because then the outside is just the right crispyness and the inside is melty and delicious and awesome.

  8. Thumb up 2

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    Kate, no matter how late I am for anything (which is everything usually), I will always stop in my tracks and read your articles as soon as I see them.

    This made me laugh and smile, which are things that I have resolved to do more often in 2013.

    Thanks for your amazing…everything. :D

  9. Thumb up 1

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    At first before reading, I had no resolutions for this year. Just for the fact that most resoultions just need to be done in the progress of years, not in one year. But after reading this, there are a few certain things I should at least try to change. Thanks for the reminder.

    By the way, awesome article.

  10. Thumb up 1

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    Oh my gosh, this is fantastic. I’m adding your resolutions to my resolution list. I’m also adding that I should watch more Star Trek and eat more Cheese-Its. I’m gonna finish working my way through every episode of Xena first though. Mm, Gabrielle.

  11. Thumb up 1

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    Okay. Here’s a queerly embarassing confession. I just had to Google Image search “rodeoh” because I had no idea wtf all of these comments were referring to. I must say, it looks like it would be wayyyy more comfortable than a strap.

    OH, and don’t stop wearing it as underwear. Major sexii points.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some online shopping to do….

  12. Thumb up 0

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    Kate, I just wanted to say that your column is one of my favorite parts of Autostraddle. As always, this article is a mixture of funny, relatable, adorable, and (of course) extremely well written. Thank you for writing it. I look forward to getting a peak into your thoughts in the next one!

  13. Thumb up 1

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    #13 – Can I please comment? PLEASE show feelings more (not just you Kate, everyone) because stoics suck. I don’t mean that in an offensive way, I mean that in a frustrated trying to get to know you kind of way. There’s someone I’ve talked to and even had sex with and yet, trying to get anything in the way of discussions, let alone emotions, is like trying to get blood out of a stone. It leaves me confused, questioning what’s going on, blaming myself, trying to come up with answers (and they’re probably all wrong), and feeling rejected. So please, for the love of god or at least that cute girl who makes you go all #10, OPEN UP! Do NOT be a stoic!

    Thank you.

    Signed,

    Girls anywhere and everywhere who just want to get to know you

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