North Carolina Newspapers

    MiOceK fiiDder, jiDd
By Christine Williams
rvery day there are negotiations. I am so
out, that most people know I’m a dyke with my
face appearing in the Daily Tarheel more than
once. Still there are negotiations. My hair is
not very short; sometimes I wonder if my
failure to cut it is related to style or fear. These
questions seem complex—things I’m still trying
to think about and explore.
As out as I am, there are still places and
spaces that I don’t want to come out at. I still
wonder if people will be freaked out by my leg
hair or if they know what the buttons on my
bag mean. Econ 10 is not a safe space as a
queer, socialist, or a feminist. Even the
barriers I break down for myself aren’t down
for other people. I’ve felt the stares recently.
Like when I forget that I’m not in queer space,
anymore. As when we dressed-up for Crape
Myrtle, I in my tie and she in her evening
gown. We walked into the restaurant thinking
ourselves fabulous and soon realized we were
so queer. It is to walk into space you know is
reserved for straight people. To feel the desire
to take off the tie, just to avoid the stares. To
move away from a lover as frat boys, or the
police walk by. To simply and politely
respond know to the woman on the train asking
if I have a boyfriend. It is to spend countless
nights digging into my soul/brain pounding to
find the words to identify myself with. Do you
look for tose words?
I’m not supposed to hold her hand or
look like a dyke. Sometimes I do out of spite.
Sometimes I beg that some asshole will call me
a dyke just so I know we are visible. The scene
is different. You know “the scene—” the queer
scene. The tie is taken a different way. It is
more than that. She as a femme, sees me as a
butch. I would buy her flowers, open the door,
and she would grab my arm. She loves the
smell of my cologne, the way I walk, and my
energy in dynamic relation to hers. I do look at
myself differently and interact with butch
women differently, but what is it that I act in
relation to her, and what is it that is me—or has
been since I was young? I’ve never liked
dresses, shunned the Barbies fny sister had, and
was always encouraged to be a “little more
feminine.” My hair isn’t very short, and
sometimes I wonder if my failure to cut it is out
of fear of conforming, performing, or of people
thinking I’m trying to fit into a bitch dyke role.
But so often I have no words for myself, and
Iwonder if I want any. But I also don’t want to
be acting; I need to be real—to somehow
separate what is me and what is performance.
It’s so much more complicated than that. It’s
not exactly how people perceive it, and it’s not
masculine or feminine, necessarily. And what
does this all mean, as a woman, as a feminist?
Trust me; Sometimes I would like not
to care, but I’m forced to from ignorance, and
fear, and my own consciousness because I
really do care—for so many reasons and for my
closeted brothers and sisters. Sometimes I’m
angry that I should explain myself, and that I
have to somehow be a teacher to you about
what it’s like to have no words.
Need it
Call Us!
(End of Article)
Chapel Hill - Carrboro
929-7500, or
144 E. Franklin St. Chapel Hill

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