day 10 and it looks like i made it; also i used to have a mullet and be a big dyke.

August 30, 2012

Woohoo! I challenged myself and met my goal. Yay, self! I really appreciate all the comments and “likes” from everyone who’s been kind enough to read my posts. ¬†Encouragement sure does feel good.

I see that I’ve been recently tagged in some old photos from a camp reunion, circa the late 80’s. I’ve got no memory of the pictures being taken and only hazy memories of the reunion itself, except that I wasn’t officially out as queer to many of the people I’d gone to camp with, although I’m sure lots of people didn’t have to be told. I’m solidly midwestern dyke in these photos, replete with an un-ironic mullet and earrings. I’m also wearing a pair of 80’s big glasses that are eerily similar to some of the big glasses I see younger folks wearing these days. (I should have kept those glasses along with my old labyrs necklace. I could have ebayed them off for a little bank.)

It’s hard for me to leave myself tagged in these photos. I don’t look so great in most of them and I can’t believe I wore a mullet for sooo long. But also, what is harder for me to have public, is evidence of all the years I abandoned my butch self for an easier to digest dyke version of me. It’s hard for me to acknowledge I didn’t always identify or present as butch, even though I know why I did this, which was because being butch was not really an option in the 80s. And even though I was in the baby butch camp from 6th grade through my first 2 years of being out, I also wanted to fit in the lesbian and gay community in Bloomington. So I grew out my hair and got my ears pierced and wore rings and hung up my flannel shirts and put my Red Wing boots in the closet. I re-imagined myself as best I could as an androgynous dyke, while being a closet LHB (or long haired butch for those who aren’t familiar with the term). It’s not that I’ve got anything against dykes or dyke life. I love dykes. I’m forever grateful there was a dyke life to come out to. Even if the shoe didn’t exactly fit, it was a bajillion times closer to who I was than anything else I could figure out. But I do have some sadness and regret that I couldn’t figure out ¬†earlier¬†how to be the butch I am. I would have loved to been the kinda dyke who rebelled some against the great lesbian-womyn loving womyn-androgynous force of the 80s, and claimed for myself “butch” and “gender queer” (which didn’t even exist back then). But that Iwasn’t that kind of a dyke. I was a fitting in one and and I’d like to figure out how to be ok with that part of my story. So I leave myself tagged in the FB photos. Try not to cringe Let my dyke self be public.




8 responses to “day 10 and it looks like i made it; also i used to have a mullet and be a big dyke.”

  1. RU says:


  2. Shelby says:

    I think most of us tried to fit by sublimating part of our selves. Good news – you reclaimed that part to be fully wonderfully you.

  3. rswanson says:

    I saw the tagged photos before I read your post. What’s funny to me is that when I saw the pics, I just thought “wow, Liz had dark hair once” and I maybe laughed at the big glasses. That’s all.

  4. liz says:

    Thanks you three for the comments. Very kind. It is hard to believe I had all that dark hair, even though in somewhere in the back if my mind I still think of myself as having all that dark hair.

  5. Jim L says:

    Liz: I had no idea and/or intention to force that look back on you with the photos. You were and are….. Liz…. and that’s always been, and remains to this day, wonderful!

  6. Ned says:

    You rock Liz. Imagining you as a closet LHB – I think I was around for the tail end of that, and of course totally unaware. Here’s to finding authentic identity! Always great to read your thoughts.

  7. Renee says:

    Mullet and earrings or silver fox with thick black glasses, your journey to butch is still such an important one and I value the stages. Well, and I want that labrys necklace.

  8. liz says:

    I wish I still had that labrys necklace, Renee. Also I think I had some earrings too. Thanks for your support and thanks Ned and Jim. You all make it easy to be authentically me. And I feel incredibly lucky to have you all in my life. You rock!!!!!

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