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Don’t Call Me Butch!

14 Sep Posted by in • Guest Writers | Comments Off on Don’t Call Me Butch!
Don’t Call Me Butch!

Hi my name is Terri… not BUTCH!!! I know this because the birth certificate that my parents received when I was born indicates this. All my teachers from grade school through high school called me Terri. My drivers license and military identification all indicate I am Terri. So when I hear “Butch” being yelled at me—I look around for my uncle (yes I really do have an uncle with that name). I guess it is just easier for some to pick a name they feel is fitting to one’s outer appearance.

Don’t get me wrong I can think of a few famous Butch’s through time:

Butch Cassidy, born Robert Leroy Parker. For several years, he drifted around the West using the name Roy Parker. Finally, on June 24, 1889, he committed his first serious crime, robbing a bank in Telluride, Colorado. As a fugitive, he took to calling himself George Cassidy, a nod to his first partner in crime back in Utah. Wishing to lay low, for a time he worked in a Rock Springs, Wyoming, butcher shop, earning the nickname that would complete one of the most famous criminal aliases in history, “Butch” Cassidy.

Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare  was a naval aviator of the United States Navy who on February 20, 1942 became the U.S. Navy’s first flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II. Butch O’Hare’s final action took place on the night of November 26, 1943, while he was leading the U.S. Navy’s first-ever night time fighter attack launched from an aircraft carrier. During this encounter with a group of Japanese , O’Hare was shot down; his aircraft was never found.

So that brings me to the name “Butch” in regard to lesbians:

Butch and femme roles date back at least to the beginning of the 20th century. They were particularly prominent in the working-class lesbian bar culture of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, where butch-femme relationships were the norm, while butch-butch and femme-femme were taboo. Those who identify as butch and femme today often use the words to define their presentation and gender identity rather than strictly the role they play in a relationship. Nowadays, not all butches are attracted exclusively to femmes and not all femmes are exclusively attracted to butches, a departure from the historic norm. The word femme (alternative spelling: fem) is taken from the French word for woman. The word butch, meaning “tough kid” may have been coined by abbreviating the word butcher, as first noted in George Cassidy’s nickname, Butch Cassidy.

So there you have it. Butch Cassidy is responsible for the whole idea behind a manly lesbian being called “Butch” Thank goodness he didn’t have a nickname like Gustavo, Malachi, Rupert or Zeke. I can hear it now there goes that “Gustavo Lesbian” or hey isn’t she a “Rupert”.

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