Saturday, December 17, 2011

#163 - Kat

I was running/walking on a sunny day down by the water when I saw Kat and her partner coming my way. I was a bit (very) abrupt in asking if Kat identified as butch - as I had to yank off my ear phones, and catch them as they were going the other way. I'm not the most delicate of women...

Kat shrugged and said she guessed, and yes I could take her pic. Her partner, who was wearing their adorable baby on her back, asked me why I asked Kat and not her and how I defined butch and put me on the spot. I asked her what she thought, but she wasn't taking that for an answer, since she asked me first. She said in a queer women's therapy group this comes up a lot as a topic. I felt that she was offended by my asking, or rather, by my pegging Kat based on appearance.

Here's the thing, appearance may or may not represent who someone is, but it's the best I have to go on until I interact and find out. And there are definitely butch signifiers. Some people "signal" butch and aren't. Many feminine women aren't femme. Some people seem queer and are straight. All this is true, and yet, I want to ask, I care about butch representation and outing myself as a femme and dealing with the boundaries (what is allowed/not allowed).

Anyway, it was another challenging/illuminating experience and I am very appreciative of them both taking the time to engage in the conversation and in Kat allowing me to take her pic for the site.

Here she is with the reflection of her partner wearing their baby.

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