Let me explain this.
I like women. I like rough women with torn cuticles and their nails bitten down to the quick. I like women with short hair and biceps and a Southern drawl. I like women with sports injuries and broken bones from fights they didn't start but somehow managed to finish, even if it meant taking an uppercut to the jaw. I like women with toothy smiles and winks. I like women with manners and courtesy. I like women with an instinct to take care of others, to get along, to crack jokes.
I like women with trash in their cars. I like women who scoop trash out of the seat so you can get in their car. I like pick-up trucks even better. I like stick shifts and tan forearms. I like freckles and long eyelashes and sports bras that have clasps in the back. I like chapstick and basketball on in the background. I like long fingers. I like confidence. I like bravery. I like romance. I like love.
I don't like the word butch. I don't like how jokey it sounds, how it falls flat like every other word. I don't like the word femme. I use them because they do, most of the time, but they are not enough to describe all the ache behind them, and between them. I don't like that I have to use words at all - to correct, to describe to others what I want, what I am the other half of.
I don't like that so many assume that I want a woman just like me, soft and fragile and wild. I don't like that men show me nude pictures of these kinds of women on their phones and wait for me to respond. I don't like that men think that ultimately, always, secretly, I am the other half of a man I just haven't yet found.
What I like is baseball caps and soft tee-shirts. I like soft lips, too, and unkept eyebrows. I like smirks and chivalry and subtlety. I like a woman who will wait and wait and wait, just to be sure I want it. I like a woman who will drive me crazy with the waiting, have me lit up and near dancing by my car under the moon, then will finally lean in.
I like women who will sit in the restaurant where I waitress, who will treat me kindly and leave a tip and walk out not knowing. I like women who know about themselves, though, and aren't afraid to wear it out in the world, to be what they are in Wal-mart or the state fair or Timbuktu. I like women who are strong and stubborn and flirtatious. I like women who like women soft and fragile and wild.