I wanted to share my response to a comment on Why I Let Go Of Butch that is actually asking the opposite question:
What I am trying to understand is how a woman can be comfortable identifying as butch. I’m talking about butches who have considered being trans, and have opted to stick with the butch identity instead (kinda the opposite to what the author of this post went through). I can understand how someone does not want to be a transMAN, and how someone does not want to be a WOMAN (been there, done that); but butches are somewhat gender-variant, yet some of them are very comfortable identifying as WOMAN. Why is that?
Here is my answer:
A friend of mine (who’s a stone butch) and I were talking about the first time she was called a Dyke–she looked the word up, and saw that it was defined as “a masculine woman”
“I liked that.” she told me. “I felt like they saw me.”
I think that accepting yourself as a butch woman (if that’s what you are) is just that. Accepting that you are a woman, that you have masculine qualities, and that some other women find that super-sexy, and just leaving it at that.