Bonnie Wong English 385 February 24, 2010 Stone Butch Blues Stone Butch Blues’ opening was different from other books I’ve read because it begins as a love letter from Jess Goldberg who is a “butch” lesbian to her long-lost lover Theresa. It is sort of like an autobiography about her life and the struggles/events she went through being “different”. She always knew that she was not your typical average girl but as she progresses, she begins to feel lost and so she goes to seek out whom she is but that proved to be not a easy road for her.
In chapter 2, she tells how “(she) didn’t want to be different” and how “(She) longed to be everything grownups wanted, so they would love me. ” She wanted to be the same and to fit in but in her heart, she knew she was different. She had/went through an identity crisis because as she stated, “no one ever offered a name for what was wrong with me. That’s what made me afraid it was really bad. ” She was stuck between of worlds of both genders.
I feel very sympathetic with her because I’m sure everyone goes through an identity crisis at certain points in their lives but to have an identity crisis about the very anatomy part that identifies you as female or male really makes a hard for a single person to deal with. She was beaten and given looks of disgust because she was a “butch” lesbian. She became a “stone butch” lesbian who hides her real self and a person who cannot take in the emotions called love from others because she faced gave her mixed messages about her identity and so made it even more confusing for her to deal with herself.
She felt she has to protect herself and so create a psychological “stone”/wall to hide away her secrets etc. Every though she has a lover, she still kept her secret self hidden behind that “stone. ” She felt that it was the only place where it is safe for her but unfortunately, she became a person who cannot completely feel the love that others give her for fear that it make be nothing but a fake reality. All in all, Jess’s identity really came into play here because of her psychological battle with her physical anatomy that identifies her as a woman.
She struggles to accept who she is many times even though she knows she’s different. She fights with herself constantly and mentally yelling for an answer to come to her. I see this as a battle between her and her wanting to be accepted for who she is. This novel was very sad and was like a modern history book taking you into gay, lesbian, and transgender history through the eyes of a person who went through all of this hate during the 1960s. This book was definitely worth reading.