When I was a very young boy, my father gave me a nickname. He called me “Butch.” It was wishful thinking on his part.
Back when he started calling me Butch, the name didn’t have the same connotation it has today. Back then it meant manly and masculine.
But the meaning of the word has evolved considerably over time. These days, according to the Urban Dictionary, Butch means an especially masculine lesbian who is often the dominant partner in a lesbian relationship.
While I know my father didn’t think of me as a masculine, dominant lesbian, I think he was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t more manly. I was the nerdy, studious type of kid, more likely to be on the debate team than on the football team. I was not very coordinated. I was skinny, wore glasses, had braces on my teeth, and pimples on my face. I was more of a Sheldon than a Butch, which also meant that I was more likely to be beaten up than to beat up another.
I even think there was a time when my father worried that I was gay. I wasn’t, but I have no doubt that it had crossed his mind.
Eventually my father stopped calling me Butch. In fact, I think he even stopped calling me by my given name, as well. He basically just stopped speaking to me at all.