2015 Jan. 4: Exploring my femininity as a butch

by Siba Nkumbi

I have always been bad with colors, today isn’t any different. I have decided to wear a dress, my partner’s dress (I do not own any dresses), it’s kind of an orange nice little number. It started as a surprise for my better half, I wanted her to see me in a dress because I knew it would put a smile on her face. So today I did everything women do, which I never really paid attention to as my butch Steve self.

I took a long shower , exploring my body in a pleasant feminine way, followed by the long process of putting on lotion to the tiniest details. Seriously pausing to think and decide what to wear with what and how. How should I do my hair and all that Jazz. I chuckled to myself in the process, I found it interesting. It’s really the little things that count.


Own portrait of the author, Siba Nkumbi...

Own portrait of the author, Siba Nkumbi…

It was nearly time for me to go fetch my baby from work, I realised this as I stood in front of the door, contemplating taking a step further. I was about to be out of my comfort zone, I asked myself questions like “how in the world will I respond to the nosy male species and their stupid whistles?”
I thought hard and realised the main reason I was doing it, it was for me not the ignorant men outside and so I left.

The distance from Observatory to town felt like a decade, I experienced all sorts of unplesantries. From a guy sniffing me up in the taxi (I quickly sorted him out though) to a butch woman winking and running her eyes up and down my body. As if that wasn’t enough, a cab driver stopped while I was crossing the road to offer me a free ride to wherever I was going. It was disturbing realizing how much society has objectified females. Back to my mission…

I chose a short dress, summer dress and tied my hair up and I was good to go. I started having butterflies on my way to baby. It was like those times where I used to smile stupidly to myself when I saw her, while I had a crush on her. I didn’t know what to expect but I was looking forward to seeing her.

This mission was two-fold, 1: It was a surprise for my queen and 2: A statement that what you wear doesn’t determine your sexuality, plus I felt like that kinda “Super Mom” to the little girls that were taught to cover themselves in case men took it the wrong way. I felt that their generation will be better than ours somehow.

With all that said we met, she was excited and couldn’t stop telling me how beautiful I look (not that I was never pretty). It was so nice I was blushing in every way possible. With her hand around my waist we walked together, men were sneering of course. I didn’t care I was happy and it was high time they realised that the world does not revolve around them thinking they own everything in a dress. This is also for that typical woman that responds to a girl by saying “well, what did you expect from him, your dress was just to revealing.” The time is now where we need to stand up and say ENOUGH!

In inference, the decision to explore my femininity is purely because I realised that I was raised differently from other girls (like a man). I loved it, and cannot deny that. I also realised that I know almost everything there is to about manhood and a little about womanhood and I call myself a woman. This is my journey to self completion as an individual, a sister, a daughter, a partner and a mother to my beautiful dog Angelina. I am taking charge of being proudly female and lesbian, owning up to have found comfort in being called Steve, a name my mother never even gave me. I admit it was part of growing up and finding myself. Now that I have grown and big enough to know that I found myself, I will leave you with this statement. My name is Sibahle, yes that’s right I am Sibahle Nkumbi. This is who I am and who I was meant to be. I challenge you to call me by that name the next time you see me. It will help my journey. I am blessed to have found my inner self.

Previous by Siba


2014 Oct. 15: A letter to my Mom



2014 Oct. 10: “I tried to commit suicide…”







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7 Responses to 2015 Jan. 4: Exploring my femininity as a butch

  1. inscrybe says:

    Brave and empowering!

  2. Khaya says:

    That’s so brave of you.

  3. Kopano Sibeko says:

    This is so inspiring, I wish more butch identifying people would challenge themselves to do that, maybe it should part of our pride events, we must all cross dress. All the femmes dress up manly and all the butch characters dress up womanly, it would be nice.
    Big Up Siba, You’re girlfriend is lucky. Keep the love burning.

  4. Vania says:

    Bravo and big up to you Sibahle and nice name too.

  5. Pingback: 2015 Feb. 25: I drank again… | inkanyiso.org

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