I looked up from fixing my laces into the wide-open smile of a tall heavyset, “sporty” woman. Unused to such enthusiasm from total strangers, (especially butch strangers) she was gone before my returning smile reached my eyes.
Why was she smiling at me?
Because I was wearing a tie.
And suspenders. Over a wife-beater with some big black boots.
I was butch. Very butch. During the daytime. In public.
Now, I was in central square in Cambridge, where this is not all that unusual. Creative self expression is as much the rule here as the exception. For example, on my way to the club I passed a woman skimpily clad in a homemade leopard print skirt and tube top , among other characters.
Even so. I could feel people looking at me different–but I felt the same.
I was wearing butch clothing–but I felt the same.
There are times when I feel like a boi, but this wasn’t particularly one of them. To mask my insecurity, I lengthened my stride into my street strut and puffed out my shoulders, dangling my arms in studied nonchalance.
Just let one of these fools mess with me, I projected with my body language.
I felt transgressive. Transgressive in a way that I don’t usually feel on a boi day. My normal boi clothing is butch enough to register, but it doesn’t scream butch the way a tie and fitted does.
But as strange as it felt to walk down the street with my masculinity on my sleeve, it was stranger in the club. You see, while I’ve been wearing boi clothes on the weekend and even to work, I’ve been carefully policing my gender presentation in queer space to present purely as a femme.
I wasn’t the only butch in the club, but I was definitely in the minority. I was surprised that the butches there didn’t react to me with the hostility that I’m used to. Instead their eyes slid over me as if I was of no interest. (Maybe the goofy glasses made me not non-threatening.)
Because it was a themed event, there were lots of femmes and adros in ties and hip/hipster outfits, with a sprinkling of effeminate guys mixed in.
I walked up to a social friend of mine and said:
She stared at me blankly for a long moment before erupting into a big smile.
“Oh my god I didn’t recognize you!” She smiled and laughed uncomfortably.
This same interaction was repeated two more times with two more people. I really looked that different. The third person was a really cute stud that I’ve seen around before.
We chatted flirtatiously, and throughout the night I could feel her looking at me in a way that she hadn’t before, but every time we got close enough to dance, she turned around and danced with either a femme or a gay guy.
And–I found myself doing the same.
I think that I finally “get” the thing that some butches have about gay guys. I always knew that there was an ego boost to having my masculinity “recognized” by cis males, (something I’ve gotten even dressed as a femme on occasion) but having it acknowledged and–deferred to–by a more feminine cis male was heady stuff!
Throughout my evening, I spent a little too much time worrying about my presentation: was I acting too femmey? Should I be leading on the dancefloor? Um, how do I lead? (Still haven’t figured that on out!)
Besides some dramatic dancing with a narrow-boned black guy, I danced with a rather boring light-skinned femme for a while, then found myself matching rhythms with a slender, long haired femme with a Spanish flair and a tomboy edge.
After a short convo that proved she had a solid head on her shoulders, all thoughts of the (closetted stud-for-) stud dissapeared as the femme and I bounced up and down on the dancefloor, her pussy pressing through the fabric of our clothes as she bounced up and down on my thigh.
My own pussy felt wet and swollen and strangely naked in the cavern of my boxer-shorts.
I gripped her slender, well-shaped ass, matching her rythm even as my knees screamed in protest.
When the lights came on we wandered out.
“Can I give you a ride?” I offered, at the turn to where my car was parked.
“I don’t now…” She looked at me, knowing that my offer held the possibility of more kinds of rides than one.
“I’ll walk you to the T-Stop then.”
We hugged for a long time, then I watched as she descended the steps to the train station. With some finesse, I probably could have turned her maybe into a yes. But if I’m with a woman, I want it to be an unconditional, unthinking, YES!