I find that in the lesbian community there is a lot of ignorance and often intolerance of people who are interested in exploring the more masculine side of themselves.
I am not totally sure where it comes from, but my guess is it stems from internalized homophobia -- people who are concerned with how gays and lesbians look to the outside world. Those same people who have a problem with butch-looking women, also don’t like to see the “flamboyant” gay men represented in the media.
But the truth is, these representations are just part of the diversity of who we are as a LGBT community. As well as the straight community. One of my best friends is a very butch straight woman. (Who gets mistaken for lesbian often, especially when she’s hanging out with me!) She is very aware of how she presents and claims it has to do with being raised on a farm. She could be right, but then again, her sister who was raised on the same farm is very feminine.
I also think it is important to acknowledge that we all have elements of masculine and feminine within us, no matter what our sexual orientation. Just like there is a Kinsey Scale of sexual orientation, which goes across a spectrum, there is a scale of gender expression.
It is my opinion that being butch, femme or somewhere in between is an inborn trait, much like sexual orientation. Personally, I was acting like a tomboy, never liked dresses or dolls, long before I had any inkling of what being a lesbian was. I did not choose to be this way, simply who I was born to be.
Some butches love to work on cars, watch football and do projects around the house. Others do not. Some femmes like to work on cars, watch football and do projects around the house.
Butches are women. They do not want to be men. People who are born women and want to be men are called transsexuals.
Butches are women who feel comfortable expressing the masculine side of themselves.