Dear My Boobs, We Need to Talk

The following is an open letter to two of my longest-term companions, Right Boob (“RB”) and Left Boob (“LB”).

Dear RB and LB,

Hey guys. How are you doing? It’s been a while since the last time we really talked (maybe right before our most recent awkward gyno appointment?), and there’s a few things that I’ve really been meaning to discuss with you.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but you two have come up in quite a few conversations lately. My online butch network and I have been swapping a lot of advice about bra shopping, binding, and generally dealing with our chests. I even was interviewed in a video by The Bois Department where I (in somewhat tipsy form) explained my feelings about you two.

I hope my bluntness doesn’t come across too harshly. It’s true that our interactions have been a bit, um, uncomfortable for some time now. I mean, if you had a Facebook profile, our relationship would probably be listed as “it’s complicated.” Even so, you do know that I want you around, right? I do. I just have a funny way of showing it.

You see, RB and LB, there are many times when your presence is absolutely invaluable. These occasions typically take place in a bedroom, but they’ve also been known to pop up in a shower, on a living room sofa, and occasionally, even on a dining room table. You know exactly what I mean. These are moments when you are appreciated, celebrated, even loved. Believe you me, I try to make these moments happen as often as possible.

But there are other times when, well… I don’t know how to say this in a more gentle way, so here it is: Sometimes, my boobs, you’re really embarrassing to have around.

It’s not that there’s something wrong with you. There isn’t! In fact, I’ve been told by kindly femmes that you are both actually quite nice. Not to bust out a tired phrase, but it’s not you, it’s me. You and I, we’re just too different. I take such pride in my masculinity; it’s incredibly important for my butchness to be seen, recognized, respected. And I just feel that, with you two around, that’s sometimes difficult.

I mean, look at yourselves. You’re so…feminine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You know how much I love femininity. I cherish it, just…not as a part of me. I’m so afraid that, if people see me with you, they might not also see my butchness. What if they think that, because you’re so feminine, I also must be feminine by association? What if your presence erases mine?

You’ve probably noticed the lengths that I go to to make it look like we’re not together. I’m sorry that my bras have gotten so much more restraining. I’m sorry that I feel the need to mask your presence under baggy clothes. I’m sorry that sometimes I’m so unhappy to walk by a mirror and, despite my best camouflaging efforts, to see you so plainly in it.

I know you think that I hate you, but I don’t. I just don’t know what to do with you sometimes, my boobs. I don’t know how to make us work in a way that doesn’t shame me or hurt you (and I know those tight sports bras can hurt like hell). But I’m trying, I swear. I’m trying. Just stick with me, ok? Not that you really have any choice.



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About Bren

I'm a self-identified butch lesbian geek Masshole with a passion for comic books, action figures, queer issues, flannel, and pretty ladies. Oh, and comments. I love me some comments (hint, hint).

16 thoughts on “Dear My Boobs, We Need to Talk

  1. This is maybe a totally inappropriate question, but have you ever considered a breast reduction? (I ask mostly because I know a couple of people who have gone that route, though more for back pain reasons than identity reasons. Also, it seems as though you and your boobs are on pretty good terms, or at least speaking terms, so I dunno if you’d want to be quite that drastic with them.)

    • Not inappropriate at all! Breast reduction surgery does hold some appeal, I admit, but in my case the cons – high cost, risk of infection, risk of losing sensitivity – outweigh the benefits – a smaller chest.

  2. Im 62 and still feel like you do on all days. I dont even have the pleasure of liking to have mine even touched so to me they are useless. I love my Butchness and have always. I came out in 1967 at the time that you still had to have 3 articles of wimmins clothes on when going to the bars “In drag”. Sp I understand and have never wanted to do anything to harm them or to Transition like all of the young kids today seem to think they have to do. Whatever happened that it was ok to be Butch?

    • I get the “this body part is totally useless” thing – I feel the exact same way about my uterus. I’ll definitely be throwing a Menopause Party in 30 years or so.

      As for the increase in transitions, I think it’s more a matter of there being increased acceptance and support for trans men today, rather than some sort of epidemic of butches becoming dudes. I mean, transitioning is an incredibly long, expensive, and painful process. I don’t think anybody would go through that purely as a result of peer pressure, you know?

  3. Bren,

    What a great post! =) I have to say as a femme, that I’ve only dated butch women, and honestly, I’ve never noticed their breasts. Maybe because of their masculinity, I don’t know. But I’m sure there are other women out there that are like me on this. Of course it’s more obvious to you, because RB & LB are yours! lol But, I know I can say this for most women, we’re not looking at that when it comes to you. It’s all your other wonderful qualities and other parts of you that we look at. =)

  4. Pingback: Sports bras, Binders and boobies, OH MY… « Gndr_Rebel's thoughts and times

  5. I really like this post. I htink it captures a shared butch experience very well. And it sounds like you have a decent relationship with LB and RB, especially for a butch in the “why are they this damn big” category. It’s great that you’re able to have some happy time with them. That’s something that I’m hoping to be able to get back to.

    Oh an on the useless uterus issue — grow yourself a giant fibroid and they will take the damn thing out. The surgery is nothing and having it gone is the Best Thing Ever. Well, femmes are the Best Thing Ever, this is the second best thing ever.

  6. Pingback: Getting Myself into a Bind: An Exercise in Chest-Flattening | Buzz Cuts and Bustiers

  7. Um, I loved this. Thank you so much for sharing. I have such a similar relationship to mine, and this post really made me feel okay.
    Thank you, again, so much.

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