Tag Archives: butch

What Makes Female Masculinity Hot?

There is something about being in close proximity to a butch woman that makes me go a little fluttery inside – kind of melty and shy, and occasionally, bold.

Perhaps this is accentuated by the fact that butches are rare and precious in my particular corner of the universe, but when and wherever they cross my path, something within me sits up and takes notice – because I share the other side of the secret.

Be sure to read: 8 Weirdly Adorable Things Soft Butches Do That We Can’t Get Enough Of

I know the special magic that happens when female yin meets female yang, and the opposite polarity locks us together like magnets caught up in each other’s sway.

There’s nothing sexier than being yourself.

Laura Bridgeman’s ‘The Butch Monologues’ Is Currently Touring The UK

Over the weekend, we were fortunate to catch The Butch Monologues – a powerful and often humorous collection of secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire taken from interviews with butches, masculine women and transmen, living world-wide.


The Butch Monologues is a collaboration that began back in 2012, between hotpencil press: an independent publishing house co-founded by the writer, Laura Bridgeman; Vital Xposure, a dynamic touring theatre company under the creative leadership of disabled artist, Julie McNamara; and The Drakes, a group of butches, transmen and gender rebels who joined together in the spirit of masculine solidarity.

A changing roster of performers from within The Drakes, some of who have stage experience and some of who do not, performs the stories.

The stories themselves arch from the typical butch/femme dynamic, to exploring what it means to be butch, the vulnerabilities felt, and the struggles for acceptance with in the LGBTQ community, family and the outside world.

The show is currently touring the UK, and for further information please visits the show websites.

Photographer Explores Queer Masculinity In Stunning Photo Series

Butch Is Not A Dirty Word is an anthology of essays, stories and photography curated by Esther Godoy.

It is an attempt to create more positive representations of “masculine-presenting women”.

In an interview with Broadly, Godoy said

For many butches, and in my own experience, society has such prejudices towards masculine women. When you’re a kid, the most important people you hang out with are your family; you really trust them, you take their opinion to heart. So before you even leave home, you already have the closest people around you telling you: “You’re not right.”

Gender diversity and fluidity maybe more accepting these days, but for many people who identify as butch, their masculinity can still feel taboo.

There are lingering assumptions that butch-ness is synonymous with aggression, ugliness, and loneliness; the “old butch dyke” trope writ large.

The candid images below (by a range of photographers) are the latest instalment explores what it means to be butch within a “family”—in every sense of the word.

Growing up masculine-of-centre means having experiences of not being accepted; people rejecting your masculinity, and being mistaken for male all the time. That’s very commonit’s sort of the standard story, so I wanted to move past that. If you’re butch and older than 25, there’s not a lot of visibility. I wanted to open up [the conversation] to different kinds of butches. Focusing on the family gives us the opportunity to include a broader variety of people.

I really wanted to show examples of butches with these meaningful communities of people around them. It’s about confronting that age-old story and saying “That’s not true.” And it’s a resource, so people can say “Oh, there’s hope for me.” People are so uncomfortable with feminine men and masculine women.

I identify very much as female but my presentation is very masculine and that’s confronting for a lot of people. Why is society so upset about it? I couldn’t tell you. But I do think people are scared of what they don’t know, and it does threaten the patriarchy to have women or men who are not cis-male being strong and powerful. It threatens the whole social make-up.”

How To Come Out As Butch

Some people are supportive of lesbians – but only if they look a certain way. That “way” is usually thin, feminine, and unthreatening to gender binaries or to men.

If you feel more masculine – aka stud, butch, or masculine-of-center – then starting to express your masculinity can be more stressful than coming out in the first place.

Being butch means you’ll often be read as gay immediately. It means that people who initially supported your sexuality may be suddenly uncomfortable.

It means your friends and family may question who you are. How do you transition from feminine to butch smoothly?

1. Start small.

If you don’t feel comfortable changing your entire wardrobe overnight, then start with small changes. One day, wear a men’s button-up with women’s skinny jeans. Another day, wear a dress with a men’s snapback. Experiment with bow ties, men’s sweaters, suits, argyle socks, and trousers.

Not only will this allow people to acclimate to your new gender expression, but you’ll also be able to acclimate to their reactions. Over time, raised eyebrows won’t even faze you.

2. Find your style.

Men’s fashion is very diverse, so give yourself room to experiment. Although you may think you identify with a specific style – are you a dapper qt? or a hipster john? – that may change as you explore.

Read men’s fashion blogs. Read women’s menswear blogs. Shop at thrift stores. Order basic men’s pieces from Forever 21 and H&M so that you can mix and match. Browse international streetwear stores. Hit pop-up shops. Steal from your brother.

 3. Be cool with your female days.

Just because you start to identify as butch, that doesn’t mean you have to present as butch all the time. Gender is nuanced and gender expression can be even more so.

Some days you might wake up wanting to wear a dress. That doesn’t make you a fake or a fraud; it’s just the way your body wants to express itself that day, so honor it.

4. Don’t be homophobic.

Some butch women won’t date butch women because it’s too “gay,” as if it would be like two men dating. Not only does that mentality insinuate that gay men should be ashamed, but it also heavily implies that gay female relationships are only okay as long as one partner is more feminine than the other.

Masculinity and femininity aren’t necessary for a relationship. So don’t react like a homophobic straight man when you see two butch people together, or when your feminine friend asks your opinion on another stud.

5. Don’t be a misogynist.

Similarly, it’s depressingly easy and common for butch women to internalize heteronormative anti-women attitudes. etc. A butch woman may call women weak, may be possessive or even abusive, may objectify women – and then excuse her behavior because she’ s a woman too. Being a woman isn’t a hall pass for problematic behavior.

6. Be yourself.

Expressing yourself as stud or butch can be confusing, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it if you’re being true to yourself. On difficult days, keep that in mind. Every struggle brings you closer to the person you were meant to be.

8 Reasons To Love Masculine Women

I’ve always been a lover of the many varieties of women out there. There are no two alike, and that makes them all incredible to me.

Still, there’s something to be said about a woman who doesn’t fit the traditional “female aesthetic” – whether she rocks sweat pants and a sports bra, basketball shorts and a snapback, or a suit and tie… I’m all for it.

There’s something magical about the way they present themselves.

We’ve put together a list of the top 8 things about masculine women. If there’s something you love about butch women that we’ve left off the list, let us know in the comments!

1. They are comfortable being themselves.

When society told masculine-presenting women that they “looked like men”, the masculine women piped back with “no, we look better.” I admit I’m paraphrasing here, but there’s something awesome about wearing what makes you comfortable without worrying if it makes other people comfortable.

2. They don’t care about your beauty standards.

Masculine women generally present themselves as more confident than other women, because they don’t hold themselves to the same standards of beauty that most women do. While this transcendence past the world of cultural norms isn’t a butch-specific thing (and there are other standards that butch women are held to), their decision to reject the associations with “what a woman should look like” is the most widespread of all subcommunities.

3. They look good.

To be clear, all women look good as long as they believe they look good. But there’s something incredibly handsome about a woman who can take what she wears and make it her own – even if social norms tell her it’s not for her. (Spoiler alert: All clothes are gender neutral.)

4. They need love.

Masculine women receive more overt discrimination than feminine women (which isn’t to say that femme lesbians aren’t discriminated against, too). They can be victims of misgendering, stranger’s taunts, workplace discrimination, and a whole host of ugly problems.

5. Cologne = heaven for your nose.

Let me be very clear: There is such a thing as too much cologne, and there is such a thing as bad cologne. But most masculine women over the age of ten can figure those things out for themselves, and generally, they smell pretty good.

6. They’ll make you feel safe.

Even if it’s totally an act and inside they’re the biggest softies, you’ll still feel really safe when you’re with your butch woman. (Just be sure to remind her that she doesn’t have to fit the stereotype of the badass or the thug – only if that’s actually who she is.)

7. They’re usually gentle(wo)men.

Most enjoy the chivalrous things like opening doors for you, buying you flowers, and making sure you finish first, if you catch my drift. Plus, their head game is usually off the charts.

8. They’re an important part of the queer community.

Probably one of the most important reasons of all is that masculine women are an important part of the queer community – just like everyone else. In a group such as ours, there’s so much hostility from the outside, it’s important to keep it all in perspective. Butch women, like everyone else within our community, deserve to be loved, respected, and treated right.

Our Top 10 Sex Positions For Lesbians

We’re often looking for just the right routine to give us that spark back. Luckily, this year has shown quite a bit of exciting new moves – many of which are super simple! If you need a little reminder of some of our best discoveries, keep reading for a recap.

10. Joystick


This position offers the excitement of a new routine (and even props!) without forcing you to buy anything special. You can use any chair you have, as long as it’s big enough to seat both of you comfortably. (You will be on top of one another, so it doesn’t have to be anything giant.)

The partner who will be giving the pleasure will be seated in the chair, with one foot in front of her (so that her knee is propped up – see picture for clarification). The other partner will climb on top of the upright leg and begin to rub herself against it. She can lift her lover’s leg in order to maneuver things better, or she can just let the bottom partner take control.

This isn’t the sort of routine that will make your everyday routine, but if you’re looking to experiment with tribadism this is a good power position to try.

9. Rocking Horse

Rocking Horse

This position involves a strap-on, but the especially acrobatic can try it with a double-sided toy as well. The partner who is receiving will lie on her back with her legs in the air. At this point, the giving partner (wearing a strap-on) will slide herself under the legs of her lover and penetrate her with the toy.

If the partner wearing the strap-on wants to get a little deeper, all she has to do is lean forward. You can also consider caressing each other’s bodies, as you will be facing each other. To experience a tighter fit with the toy, the receiving partner can try putting both of her legs on the same shoulder. No matter how you mix it up, this position is sure to please!

8. Major Inspiration

Major inspiration

Okay, I’ll admit… I’m a bit of a watcher. Particularly when it comes to oral sex. I can’t help myself – I love to see the face of a woman enjoying herself. This position is perfect for that, as the receiving partner will prop herself up with a few pillows so she’s got a good angle to observe from.

Even if you’re not into watching, this position is great because the arched position of the back leads to stronger, greater orgasms – it’s science!

7. The Spoon


This has been a personal favorite of mine for a very long time, because it offers the warmth and closeness of cuddling with the undeniable pleasure of… Well, getting laid! While you’re spooning your girlfriend, the “big spoon” will simply reach around to the front and start fondling and caressing as she desires.

If you want to spice it up even further, you can get a toy involved in the action – once the “little spoon” is nice and wet, the “big spoon” can scoot back a touch and slide in her favorite toy. This might be easier if the “little spoon” pivots her hips a bit to put her bum into the air. For those who enjoy deep penetration, the pleasure you get from this particular position is incredible.

6. Above Below


This happens to be one of my personal favorites, and for good reason. It’s different enough to add excitement without being difficult – and it definitely has potential to turn into a super sexy experience.

One partner should be lying on her stomach. Optionally, she can position a pillow underneath her hips and rub herself against it as she becomes more aroused. The other partner will lay on top of her so that she can rub up against her partner’s bum – while she offers a helping hand to her lover underneath, of course!

Once you get the hang of this one, you should both be able to climax – maybe even simultaneously! But there are no rules here. The partner on bottom can be stimulated however you desire, and if you’re keen on penetration, it’s especially divine.

5. Skin Deep

Skin deep

This foreplay position is a great when you want to take your partner by surprise. (Please make sure that she is OK with surprise sex first!) The partner who will be seducing the other will come up behind her while she is standing and start caressing in order to warm things up. Of course, this doesn’t have to stay one-sided for very long! Once the receiving partner is thoroughly aroused, she may decide to reach her hand back and stimulate the giver as well.

If your partner is into the idea, you can even consider penetrating her from behind with a strap-on or other toy, although this may be significantly more difficult – experiment and see what works for you!

4. 99


For another super simple position that will get the juices flowing, 99 relies on the sexy feeling of your partner’s body pressed against yours while you’re making love. But instead of lying down or standing up, both partners will be on their knees.

You and your partner should be sitting back-to-front, so that you must both reach past the front partner’s hips. It doesn’t matter who is giving, who is receiving, or if you’re both doing both – this position is a great way to tease and tantalize.

3. Face to Face

Face to Face

This is a super sexy position for those among us who like to watch what our partner does to us (but don’t want to miss out on the fun of making her moan). Not only do you get to watch her turn you on, but you also get to watch the faces she makes as she touches you!

You’ll be sitting face to face with your partner, with your legs draped over one another to allow for a better angle. It works easiest if neither of you is “on top” of both legs – this way your vagina will be slightly lifted from the floor or bed (if you will be penetrating). With either a double-ended dildo, two separate dildos, or your hands, go to town – nothing is off limits as long as your partner enjoys it!

Pay special attention to her face during this position, because you might see signs of pleasure you haven’t noticed before. This is great for intimacy and with the right toy it can be a supercharged experience that’s sure to ignite the fire within.

2. Magic Touch

Magic Touch

This one is for the ladies who have major finger skills – since you’ll be stimulating you and your partner simultaneously! The non-giving partner should be lying on her back, with her legs slightly spread. The other partner will climb on top and straddle her vagina. She should be able to use her fingers to rub both clits at the same time.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but with a little practice it will be one of the sexiest forms of “masturbation” in your repertoire. Not only does your partner get to watch you touch yourself, but you’re also directly stimulating her as well – talk about hot!

1. Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver

This position doesn’t require any special skills, tools, or any real prerequisites (except that the partner who’s going to be receiving should be able to stand). It’s the ideal position for shower sex, sex against a wall, or maybe even a quickie in the kitchen!

The receiving partner will need to stand in front of the giving partner. She’ll be most comfortable if she’s up against a wall or some other solid surface, but those who are more versed in sex standing up can even do it in the middle of a room.

The giving partner will either sit or kneel in front of her lover and provide whatever type of pleasure she wants – oral, fingering, or a toy even (or any combination). It’s pretty basic, but it can add a fun new level to your intimacy.

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands!) of amazing sex positions out there, and we are always looking out for something new and exciting. If you have something to recommend to us – don’t hesitate to drop it in the comments!

We’ll be keeping our eyes out, too – here’s hoping 2016 brings a wealth of exciting new techniques for you and your lady to master together. Take care of yourselves, and each other!

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Butch In The Bathroom: What Sucks About Gendered Places

In my life, I know that my own “invisibility” invokes a bit of safety for me. I know that, since people don’t believe I’m a lesbian, the only homophobia I will experience is second-hand stuff that’s not exactly directed at me, but I catch it from the side. I know that I can feel safe blending in, not being something so spectacular as to draw attention to myself. Yes, I’m lucky.

But for those in the community who don’t blend in – who stand out – who are true to their nature, homophobia can still run rampant. The campy men who are chastised for it by straight men and other gay men alike. The butch lesbians who somehow embody the stereotypes of all lesbians, but who are becoming a rare creature. The trans people who don’t quite “pass” and want nothing more than to be accepted as they are.

I don’t know what it’s like to have management called on me in the restroom for my (allegedly) perverted ways. I don’t know what it’s like to be called “sir” and “he”. I don’t know what it’s like to be denied equality because I was “different”. Because I’m not different – I blend in.

These people who don’t blend in, or for the ones who can’t, they deserve respect. They often put up with more than I could imagine, and this year alone has shown so much hate killing – and for what? If you’re a member of the invisible community, I think it’s time we acknowledge the battles of those who are highly visible, too.


What are some of the things that happen when you don’t fit into a binary gender?

People’s uncomfortable looks.

If you don’t fall within the gender binary that defines gendered places, there’s a risk of discomforting the other bathroom patrons. Butch women may be mistaken for men. Transwomen may be mistaken for men. Transmen may be mistaken for women. All of these things have the potential to escalate to harassment and assault.


Those who don’t fit into the binary genders but choose to go along with the “perception” of which restroom they should use face danger as well. Since many non-binary people are hard to pinpoint exactly, the assumption by the homophobic may be to assume that they belong somewhere else, no matter which side of the spectrum they fall on. It’s not the case everywhere, thankfully, but it is a risk that must be assessed.


I have never once been misgendered (well, except on the internet), and I am thankful for this. I couldn’t fathom how much pain it must cause for someone to misgender you, particularly in a situation when you’re just trying to do what you need to do. Non-binary people who deal with this on a daily basis, I lift my hat to you. You are stronger than I.


Projections and assumptions about your “exact” gender definition may happen, on a regular basis, with complete strangers. Highly feminine women may feel threatened by you. Highly masculine men may feel taunted by you. Or it might be the opposite. Either way, your sexuality is perceived on full display, and people invite themselves to make speculations about you – without even knowing you. I respect your strength in dealing with these people.

Being policed.

Butch women have reported that it feels like their gender identity is on trial – and I’m sure there are trans individuals who feel exactly the same way. It is not our responsibility to validate them, and it is not our right. You don’t get to decide who or what someone is, under any circumstances. Ladies and gentlemen who put up with this discrimination, you are valid, and you mean so much for not waiting for their acceptance.


To the women who watch how they act in the public restrooms in order to keep from making anyone else uncomfortable; To the transmen who wait until the bathroom is empty so no one sees you’re using a stall; To the butch women who avoid eye contact while waiting in line… I respect your struggle. You shouldn’t have to keep yourself in line with their expectations, but you do. You are strong and you are polite – even when the world doesn’t want you to be.

For more information…

This article was inspired by Butch Please: Butch in the Bathroom, which brought light to many of the daily struggles faced by those who don’t fit into the binary gender. All credit for the idea goes to Kate, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to see into your experience.

I have always held a fondness for those who existed somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, and her narrative inspired a new, greater respect. If you’ve got the time, please go read it – whether you fall within the binary or not.

What’s The Difference Between Top and Bottom, and How Can You Tell?

Recently, we watched a video that details the questions that new lesbians might want to know: What is a top, what is a bottom, and how can you tell which one someone is?

Well, for the most part, people switch it up – but that doesn’t mean that everyone does.

There are definitely full-tops (also called a stone top, or sometimes stone butch), and there are full-bottoms (also called stone bottoms or pillow princesses).

But really it’s a little deeper than that.

What is a top?

A top in a relationship is typically the more dominant one, and a stone top would be someone who does not like to receive sexual pleasure – only give it. These women are typically on the more masculine side of the spectrum, but this is definitely not a rule.

Two tops together won’t work out sexually because neither one wants to be the “receiver” – and therefore they’ll be stuck in a type of competition over who can top the other. Of course, most tops aren’t dead-set on it, and will in fact compromise. But if your partner expresses a lack of interest in bottoming, it’s best not to push it.

There are also submissive tops, although this is less common (and in some cases indicates that the woman is actually “a switch”). A submissive top will likely want her partner to tell her to “top” her, and she’ll get pleasure from being told what to do.


What is a bottom?

A bottom is usually the more submissive one, and the term “pillow princess” is used to describe someone who never gives her partner sexual stimulation. She would prefer to receive only, and she’ll probably be upset if you expect her to return the favor.

Two bottoms together won’t work out so well in a relationship, either, because neither one wants to be the one to give pleasure. Just like with tops, there is a potential for compromise, but you need to listen to your partner and determine if you’re sexually compatible.

Just like there are submissive tops, there are dominant bottoms (and the woman who created this informative video describes herself as one). Dominant bottoms like receiving pleasure, but they enjoy the sexual thrill of telling their partner what to do to them.

What is a switch?

Most lesbians are considered “switches”, which simply means that they switch between a top and a bottom depending on a variety of factors. Someone can switch between topping and bottoming with the same partner, or they could vary their approach depending on the partner they’re with, or they could even do both in the same sitting. For switches, this type of activity is often fun.

It’s important to note that most lesbians consider themselves switches, whether they use that term or not. A switch feels that the best way to get the full experience out of their sex is to both give and receive. They may lean one way or the other (our video buddy considers herself a bottom-leaning switch) but they will still receive pleasure from either role in the sexual experience.

Switches are considered sexually compatible with anyone, top or bottom, although they will probably get the fullest experience if they are with someone who complements their own preferences. That is, a switch who prefers to evenly top and bottom will do best with someone the same; a switch who prefers to top will do best with one who prefers to bottom; and, likewise, one who prefers to bottom will do best with one who prefers to top.

Just like with many other aspects of human sexuality, it’s a spectrum. Not everyone will fall at one end or the other, or exactly in the middle. In fact, most people won’t!

How do you tell the difference?

The easiest and most obvious answer here is to ask her. This seems like it could be awkward, and maybe it is. But if you’re not ready to talk about the specifics of sex, you’re not actually ready for sex. Whether we admit it or not, sex with someone is a huge commitment, as we are giving them our body – which we can never fully get back.

Furthermore, it’s not really that awkward because, if you’re not already planning to have sex with someone, it’s really none of your business whether they’re a top or a bottom – and if they want you to know, they’ll let you know without the need to ask.

Far too often these days, we think that we deserve to know the intricacies of someone’s sex life. Really, we don’t. You asking an acquaintance what their sexual preferences are is no different than one of your acquaintances asking you, and most likely you’d be offended by the questions. Why should we assume that anyone else feels differently?

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Butches And Babies

I am the type of woman who loves seeing pictures of happy families. Everyone complains when one of their Facebook friends shares 30 million updates of their little ones, but I eat it up. Hey, just because I’m not ready to start a family of my own doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the cuteness of someone else’s.

But one thing that’s seriously lacking from my Facebook feed is pictures of butch women and their little bundles of joy.

Even though many women are beginning to brace their butch identities, not as many are actively showing their families – there’s this social stigma surrounding being “stereotypically gay” and dealing with kids. It’s one of the lingering examples of self-perpetuated homophobia.

(Admittedly, when I was working in childcare, I felt the need to dress “less gay” while I was working with my kids, and I know I’m not the only one.)

But for those of you looking for your daily dose of lesbian cuteness, Butches and Babies may be just the ticket.

How can you resist this?!

“Jess + Jailen | Jess and her nephew Jailen on his first birthday! Time flies.”


Robyn + Billie + Alysa // “At a friend’s wedding, their photographer captured an amazing family portrait! My wife, Alysa and myself, holding our baby daughter, Billie. It was a beautiful day!”
”Jane + Brady”
”Davina + Novaleigh | My wife wearing our youngest daughter Novaleigh.”


Trevin + Shamae // “We wore the same thing to Thanksgiving dinner. First time meeting my new nephew.” tumblr_nvi1bfr7bI1qms4kto1_1280


Pat + Izzy / “2 year old Izzy and me, post rice-Krispie treat extravaganza.”


Givonna + Tristan // “Can you tell that I forced him to wear this costume?”

While not all of the pictures on the site are butch women with their own children (many are pictures with nieces and nephews) this is a big step in removing the stigmas of being gay and dealing with children. And not only that – they’re insanely cute, too.

Why this is so important

For those of us who are deeply immersed in the lesbian community, we may wonder, “Why is this such a big deal?” But think about this: Outside of your own social circle, how many butch lesbians can you think of who have public family lives? Most likely, the answer is very few or none.

Butch women have long been the subject of social scrutiny. They come with their own set of first impressions before they’ve even said anything, and it often extends to other gay women as well – not just the most naïve of our straight allies.

Even in the gay community, butch lesbian women are treated as cultural stereotypes. It’s assumed that they like sports, and working on cars, and flannel. It’s assumed that they prefer to “give” in the bedroom. It’s assumed that they’re abusive toward their partners. It’s assumed that they really want to be a man.

Why is any of this a fair assessment?

In short, it’s not.

But in order to break free of the stereotypes, we must be willing to show that they’re only stereotypes. Everyone deserves to be treated as an individual, but the ease of latching onto the narrowest of descriptions is hard to break. It’s going to be a long road to true visibility, but luckily Butches and Babies has started to pave the way.

8 Weirdly Adorable Things Soft Butches Do That We Can’t Get Enough Of

Soft butches. My weakness. They’re a little awkward with their boyish looks, and hands in pocket stance.

Yes, they give off the queer masculinity front, bit deep-down, underneath that butch exterior, they’re a soft as a puppy.

In fact, some of the more adorable things about them are also simultaneously some of the weirdest.

Here are some of the strange things you do that we can’t help but find endearing:

1. When she zones out while she’s staring at you

Sometimes she does this thing where she’ll zone out completely while she’s staring at you, to the point where she doesn’t even notice that you’ve noticed she’s looking. After it takes a second for her to bounce back, you can’t help but smile at her. That was so cute.

2. When she accidentally drops a really impressive fact

Intelligence is undoubtedly sexy, but when it leaks out of her pores in a (seemingly) accidental moment, you’re sold. You hate pretentiousness, but what you don’t hate is her giving you a little lesson about some awesome historical moment or recent scientific discovery you hadn’t known about before.

3. When she geeks out over things

Am I the only person who finds it absolutely adorable when a woman obsesses over something, especially if the thing she is obsessing over is kind of weird? It shows she has passion and is unapologetically herself, and that is something you can’t get enough of.

4. When she’s flex in a picture “by accident”

We’re not stupid, we can tell when you’re flexing, even if it’s subtle. But it’s pretty damn cute when she’s try to pretend like you don’t notice. You may even jokingly comment about how “buff” she looks, which will probably make her flex even more.

5. When she can’t dance or sing, but try anyway

You know that butch at the party who’s hanging out in the corner and moving slightly out-of-tempo to the song blasting from the speakers? She’s teetering on the line between being confident and wanting to run out of the room, but she manages to stay anyway. She’s really trying, and it’s adorable.

6. When her humour is extremely deadpan

If her humour has the perfect amount of dryness and deadpan-ness, she’ll go far. Give me a good one-liner and I’m sold.

7. When she’s holding a baby

This is the greatest thing ever because, as per butch and femme stereotypes, it’s a slightly unnatural sight. Nothing makes our heads scream, “I want to have your babies!” like seeing her hold a baby.

8. When you’re feeling socially awkward

She’ll clutch you by the hand, looking you in the eyes and nervously utter how good you look tonight – oh it the key to our hearts.

How To Be A Butch Lesbian, According To WikiHow

Have you been wondering how to market yourself as a butch lesbian lately? With the invisibility surrounding femmes, it’s no wonder that some people may seek to change their image in order to seem “more gay”. (Hey, I’ve done it – but not through my apparel.)

We took a minute to check out the WikiHow page on “How to Be a Butch Lesbian” – and here’s what we think!

Step One: Ask yourself why you want to be this way.

WikiHow-butch-01What Wiki says: Why do you want to dress this way? Will you feel attractive and natural in this look? Are you concerned about how will others react? What are the risks of changing your style?

Yes, this is always a good first step. Before you make any drastic changes in any part of your life, it’s important to understand why you want to make this change. It’s something we often consider when deciding whether or not to come out in the first place – so it should make sense that it would apply to your style, too.

I think it’s important that you change your style if the style you’re currently displaying does not reflect your true self. After all, our personal style is simply an extension of who we are on the inside – and it should be treated as such.

Step Two: Develop more masculine mannerisms.

WikiHow-butch-02What Wiki says: Walk with more confidence and stride. Don't slouch or sit with your legs together. Watch the way men move and move like them. Try to only copy more of the popular guys, when observing them think, is this guy cool? Does he seem attractive to girls? If yes, he is a good example since you do not want to move awkwardly.

While I understand what the WikiHow article is trying to say here, I think they’re taking the wrong approach. You should change your style to a more butch one if it fits in with your life – you shouldn’t have to pretend to be something you’re not, under any circumstances.

The article suggests that you should watch the “more popular guys” and copy their mannerisms. It’s important to realize that sometimes, the guys who are more popular are those who use lies and trickery to win over women – and that’s not something we should strive for.

Be you, and try to be the best you – but don’t emulate someone else just because you envy their success with ladies. (And besides, if you were going to emulate someone to be a better butch lesbian – wouldn’t you want to emulate a butch lesbian? Just my two cents.)

Step Three: Get some masculine clothing.

WikiHow-03What Wiki says: You can buy men's clothing, or, buy women's clothing that is boyish. Choose colors that you like in sizes that fit your body nicely. Some good things to get; a few polo shirts, T shirts with cool designs on them (Try not to go with big logos or dorky souvenir shirts); Loose-fitting jeans (Not too baggy, not too loose - You can go with men's jeans or women's boy-cut jeans since those are made for a female frame); Dress clothes - pants suits, shirts with ties, and nice shoes are great for special occasions. Do learn to tie a tie , as clip-ons are tacky. Get a few belts and a nice watch (go for a neutral color). A chain to wear around your neck can look handsome. Shoes. You really only need 3 pairs: comfy shoes, dress shoes, and boots. Binder. Some butches dislike having large breasts and may wish to bind them down. Boxers No butch should wear girly undies. Go for comfort. Plaid, solid, or simple patterns are best. For the most part, you will be the only one that sees them; keep in mind that your girlfriend will see them so they need to look good. Messenger bag or backpack. Purses are to be avoided.

If you strive to be a butch lesbian (no matter what your reasons are), masculine clothing is pretty much a must. It doesn’t have to be men’s clothing, even – there are some “less feminine” options in most women’s clothing brands that will suit lesbians much better.

This is because men usually have different body shapes than women. If we were to dress in clothing that wasn’t built for our body type, we wouldn’t look very good in it. There are now some clothing designers who are specifically creating “men’s clothing for women” – these should be your first choice, as they are designed both for the look you’re after as well as the body you have.

(Oh, and in regards to their statement about boxers – you should wear whatever underwear feels comfortable to you. If that’s boxers, so be it! But you shouldn’t feel the need to match your underwear to your clothing if it’s not reasonable for you. One of the studliest girls I’ve ever dated happened to wear hipsters underneath her baggy jeans. You know what? It was pretty cute, too.)

Step Four: Skip the make-up.

WikiHow-04What Wiki says: Concealer for blemishes and pimples is fine. Eyeliner is okay in small amounts and also make absolutely sure that you're always brush your teeth.

Often, butch lesbians and studs feel that they can’t wear make-up because it’s “girly”. This is a ridiculous assumption. Make-up is a personal choice and the implication that it’s just for girly women (or girly men) is ridiculous. If you like make-up, wear it! If you don’t like make-up, don’t!

I do understand why this association is made, though. Make-up is targeted towards feminine insecurities. But that doesn’t mean that all who wear make-up are insecure, or even that they are all feminine. Need a solid example for this one to sink in? Johnny Depp. Enough said.

Step Five: Get a short hair cut.

WikiHow-05What Wiki says: Look at both women and men for inspiration. To find a look that will look good on you, ask the hairdresser what will match your face shape.

A lot of butch women have short hair – but not all. My current girlfriend is, as I like to refer to her, “ostentatiously gay” – that is, her clothing style is a bit stereotypical for lesbians. But her hair is much longer than mine (and admittedly more beautiful, too!). When we’re out in public, many people are surprised to see how long her hair is, after seeing how she dresses. I have never understood why this is a point of surprise – but I think “tutorials” like this may be, in part, to blame.

The length of your hair is in no way a determining factor in your masculinity or femininity. I’ve had “super manly” friends (both male and female) who had long hair, and “super feminine friends” (again, both male and female) with short hair. Your hair is an extension of your personal style, no different than your clothing choices or your decision to wear make-up or not.

Step Six: Be active.

WikiHow-06 What Wiki says: Try to get into a sport or just work out. Be proud of your body and its strengths. Looking attractive and gaining muscle can also be a benefit.

This one falls in the category of “be you” as well. If you want to play sports, you should most definitely play sports – but it’s not for everyone.

Of course, everyone should strive to be physically active, as it’s good for your health, both physical and emotional. But it doesn’t make you any less butch if you don’t like basketball and (gasp) softball.

Step Seven: Act the part.

WikiHow-07What Wiki says: Be confident and masculine. Be chivalrous and gentleman-like. Try your best to stay calm and in control of your emotions in public. Confidence is key, so be sure to take charge and be assertive. Most of all, be yourself.

No, no, no!

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the advice they’ve included in this section – it’s a good idea to be chivalrous and confident. It’s great to stay in control of your emotions when you’re in public, whether you consider yourself butch or femme or anywhere in between. But it shouldn’t be acting. It should be genuine.

I think the writer of the original article knew this, too, as they closed with “Most of all, be yourself” – even though this contradicts most of the other things they’d written.

So what should we really do?

Above all else, we should strive to be ourselves. If that means you dress in sharp suits with a bit of makeup, so be it! If it means that you wear skirts and dresses with a short hair cut, so be it! Our style is a part of ourselves, and it should be a reflection of who we are – not of who we want to be.

If you find yourself wanting to make the transition into a butch/stud style, nothing should stop you from achieving that. But if you have to change many things about yourself in order to reach that goal, it’s probably not a reasonable goal to strive for.

No one can really tell you who or what you are – that’s for you to decide on your own. You might think that you have to change yourself to attract the girls you want to attract. This may be true, if you’re not a “good fit” – but generally speaking, there’s someone out there who will love you for exactly who you are. If you’re changing yourself to attract a woman (or to get others to accept you), you’re not being genuine to yourself, and you will have to go through so much work just to market yourself.

Instead of trying to market yourself to someone who’s not interested in you, you should focus less on labels and allow people to know who you really are. It might mean that you don’t get what you want, but it’s not fair to others if you misrepresent yourself in order to gain.

Always be true to yourself, and to your partners. Keep doing what you need to do, but don’t add the unnecessary pressure of fitting in somewhere you don’t belong.

Butch vs. Stud vs. Tomboy: Putting Things into Perspective

What’s the difference between the “masculine” labels, anyway? Aren’t a butch and a stud the same thing?

Lesbian labels span a wide spectrum. At the far-masculine end, we have the butch lesbians: The ones who look and act like men. At the far-feminine end, we have the lipstick lesbians: The ones who are often misappropriated as straight women. In a community that’s so solidly dependent on inclusion, it’s important to understand that each of these labels means something different to everyone – but generally they fall under certain criteria.

Today, we’ll be addressing the labels that fall on the more masculine side: Butch, stud, and tomboy. After a bit of examination, we should be able to determine the primary differences and start addressing our partners by the appropriate terms (as long as the term is one they agree with; remember, labels are a very personal thing, and no one can assign a label to someone else).

Butch Lesbians

Butch lesbians are those who have helped shape the stereotypes involving who “looks” gay. Generally, when we think of “butch women”, we think of short hair, flannel, and denim. Of course, a woman’s individual style still plays a heavy part into this, but the short definition of a butch woman is “a woman who presents herself to look like a man, but doesn’t identify as a man”. This is a different category than trans men, as we have addressed in a previous article, but society may tend to lump the two together.

If your partner identifies as a butch woman, she will likely choose to identify with “masculine” characteristics. Many times, for example, a butch woman would prefer to be called “handsome” rather than “beautiful”. (Shortly after coming out, I made the mistake of telling a stone-butch that she was pretty – and she was rather offended!)

Butch women are also likely to have more masculine interests as well. I have the urge to jump to the “lumberjack” stereotype, but this is purely a point of reference. Truly, butch women may be into cars, or sports, or even construction trades.

There is a stereotype that butch lesbians tend to be misogynists – but generally this isn’t true. In reality, they are the epitome of feminism – proving that you don’t have to look, think, or act “like a woman” to be a woman.

Stud Lesbians

Studs are slightly different from butch women, although they may share many of the same traits. A stud will typically dress masculine as well, but probably less “baggy” and more stylish than butch women. (This isn’t to say that butch women can’t look good – just that “style” isn’t as high on their priorities.) A stud may have long or short hair, but she will typically keep it held back if it’s longer. My girlfriend, for example, identifies as a stud, and she wears her very-long hair in braids. Occasionally I’m able to convince her to leave it free, but only if I offer to brush it out for her at the end of the day.

Studs tend to invest a lot of thought into their fashion choices, and they will want to look good for their partners, as well as the other people they encounter during their day. She’ll probably have more shoes than a butch woman (who really only needs a pair of boots and a pair of sneakers), and her clothes may take up more of the closet than a more feminine woman’s clothing. That’s not a bad thing! In fact, it’s nice to have a partner that cares about their appearance – as long as it’s not the most important aspect of their personality.

Studs typically regard themselves as “players” in some aspect of the definition. Some may have a hard time with faithfulness, although the label doesn’t guarantee it. Some may play team sports as they have a competitive nature. Either way, they are typically drawn by a need to be the best – the best looking, the best lover, the best basketball player, the best at whatever they attempt.


Tomboys are a different category altogether. They don’t necessarily identify themselves as masculine, although their clothing is usually on the more masculine side of the scale. They aren’t likely to be offended by your use of the word “beautiful” – or handsome, or gorgeous, or really any positive attributes. They’re happy that you find them attractive, and they are happy that you felt the need to tell them.

Typically, tomboys don’t care too much about how they look – so you will be pleasantly surprised when they make an effort to look extra good for you. Maybe their hair is normally in a basic ponytail or covered by a cap, and then one day they’ll leave it down. They may even dress feminine from time to time – although they’re likely to feel out of place if they try to force it.

The nature of a tomboy starts young for many women. They may have had more fun playing in the dirt than playing inside with their dolls, and they may have felt more comfortable playing baseball than learning ballet. However, they are likely to have a background that combines what society would expect from a lady (such as playing with dolls and dancing ballet) with what they would rather do instead (such as playing baseball and getting muddy).

It’s also important to note that “tomboy” is not considered a specifically lesbian label. Yes, there are straight tomboys, too! However, there is a stereotype in the heterosexual community that “tomboys” are always lesbians that just haven’t come out yet. This falls into the category of not assigning labels to others – and someone’s sexuality is an extra personal label indeed.

Within the lesbian community, a tomboy may also be referred to as a “soft stud”. Sure, she usually presents herself in a more masculine manner, but occasionally she’ll switch things up and veer more towards the feminine, or more towards the stud (remember, a studly appearance implies a greater fashion sense). Her long hair and feminine body type will remind you that she is definitely a woman and definitely identifies as such, but her clothing choices could go either way.


Of course, this list in no way represents every lesbian out there – and not even every masculine lesbian. Someone’s label is a personal decision that deals with how they see themselves and how they want others to perceive them. Check back in as we detail some of the other common lesbian labels.

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Maintaining Your Butch Identity

Is it difficult to keep your identity “in line” with your life?

Even among the lesbian community, butch lesbians face a fair amount of scrutiny. With the newly gained acceptance of transgender individuals (both male-to-female and female-to-male) in society, many butch women feel pressured to identify as a “trans man” without necessarily feeling that way.

I have even experienced this in my own life, although I do not identify as butch. I have had previous partners who felt that they were “unable” to correct people who referred to them as “sir”, and partners who questioned whether they desired to transition – simply based on the fact that society viewed them as wanting to be men.

Why is it that, in the age of acceptance and understanding, butch women are such a mystery to the rest of us?

Certainly, I’ve met my fair share of lesbians who expressed a genuine interest in transitioning, but it’s important to realize that your “gender identity” and your “gender expression” are not the same thing. Just as “drag queens” are not the same as “trans women”, different too are “butch women” and “trans men”.

In the past, trans men may have been forced to label themselves as “butch lesbians” as there was no readily-available identifier available to them. While it’s wonderful that they are now gaining more acceptance and visibility, it is having the unfortunate side effect of making butch lesbians who wish to maintain their female identity intact without feeling pressured to dress in a feminine manner or present themselves as “men in women’s bodies”.

This puts butch women in a particularly invisible spot when compared to other lesbians. While once women weren’t considered “really gay” unless they expressed themselves as butch, now lesbians are not considered “really women” unless they choose to dress “like women”.

In a community where we already face so much invisibility from the outside, this can be extremely painful when it comes from those within the community.

The difference between gender identity and gender expression

There is a world of difference between how you choose to identify yourself and how you choose to express yourself. There is definitely a world of room for “grey areas” in both labels, but the most important thing to remember is that you cannot assign a label to someone else – no matter how well you think you know them. They know themselves better, I promise.

Gender identity refers to who you believe yourself to be on the outside. It’s definitely not a clear-cut black and white, as we are seeing a new influx of those who identify as “genderqueer” and “androgynous”. This isn’t a flaw in the person – it’s a flaw in the system that tries to push us into an individual label for its own convenience.

Once, the only labels to choose from were “cis-male”, “cis-female”, “trans-male”, and “trans-female”.

Now we also have “genderqueer”, “androgynous”, and “non-binary” – all of which mean essentially the same thing, but perhaps to different extents. The individual label that a person uses should be based solely on their own choices.

Gender expression, on the other hand, refers to how you choose to be portrayed by your outward appearance. Remember in your childhood when you were taught “it’s what’s on the inside that counts?” Well, this is a good place to practice that. Just because someone chooses to wrap themselves in clothes traditionally attributed to the opposite gender does not automatically mean that they wish to identify as the opposite gender.

What can you do to be a better ally?

It’s important that you ask, rather than assume, as to what your masculine-presenting friend or lover chooses to be identified as. If she chooses to refer to herself with female pronouns, a female name, and only masculine clothing, chances are, she wishes to remain female – but it’s always a good idea to ask.

If, on the other hand, your friend or lover chooses to refer to themselves with gender-neutral terms (such as they, or any pronouns they have created for themselves), it’s best to honor those choices.

There is also a tendency of some genderqueer individuals to refer to themselves in both male and female terms, depending on their outward expression at the time. This can be a bit confusing for the allies in their lives, but chances are they will be able to tell if you’re making an honest effort to honor their wishes – and they will appreciate this effort.

Lastly, there is the category of “butch lesbians” who truly wish to identify as men. They may be unaware that this is a legitimate option, as they may have faced hesitation in the past, or they may be uncertain of their commitment to their transition. Some people decide to never surgically transition – and it’s important for you to realize that they are still as “real” as those who do choose to go under the knife. The decision to transition is deeply personal, and truthfully, their anatomy is really none of your business unless you are sleeping with them. (And, even if you are sleeping with them, you would be out of line to try to impose your own labels onto them. It’s their body, not yours.)

Some notes for those who still identify as “butch lesbians” and not trans men

Don’t be afraid to correct someone if they refer to you with male pronouns or other terms. This is your body – you should not settle for anyone else’s definition of who you are. That is for you alone to decide.

Don’t feel pressured to transition if it’s not something you really want. Transitioning is a long process that can be quite expensive and potentially traumatic. The decision to undergo a transition is yours and yours alone.

Don’t feel that you have to hide your femininity in order to keep your “butch” identity intact. Just because you identify as butch doesn’t mean that you can’t be feminine as well. You shouldn’t allow your label to define you so deeply that you lose who you are.

Don’t ever compromise your sense of self in order to satisfy someone else’s requests. They’re not the one that has to live in your body – you are.
Do speak to your partner about how you feel. If she doesn’t identify as butch, she likely doesn’t understand the struggles you go through with your label and your identity.

Inform her – you will grow closer through this experience.

Do adequately weigh your options before making any “permanent” decisions. This is a huge undertaking, and butch women are in a particularly unique situation.

Do feel that you are allowed to change your identity. There is nothing set in stone, and (within reason) you have the ability to change things at any point in time. What works for you now may not work for you in ten years – you should take inventory of your life on a regular basis to see if your identity still matches.

Do understand that you are not alone. Every person’s situation is different, at least slightly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find someone to help you answer the tough questions. Find your own personal support group, and discuss your issues with them.

Do value yourself. The true butch lesbian is certainly a rare creature – celebrate it! You are magical in your own rights. Don’t let anyone dull your shine.

What does this mean for the lesbians in their lives?

I have been friends with many lesbians whose partners have transitioned – and the decision whether to stay together or split up vary from couple to couple. In my personal opinion, your choice to stay with your partner should have more to do with your connection than with your own labels.

It’s also important to realize that the only person who must deal with their identity is themselves. If your partner is in the process of transitioning (whether hormonally, anatomically, both, or neither) – you are of course not required to stay by their side. Everyone is entitled to their own preferences, and if you are only attracted to the female anatomy, it can be difficult to come to terms with the idea of your partner no longer having those female characteristics.

However, just as important as it is for you to maintain your preferences, there is their right to maintain the identity that works best for them. Sometimes these identities change, either due to a new understanding or due to the general fluidity of the human condition. If you find yourself truly unwilling to accept their newly disclosed identity, it may be best for both of you if you part ways. It’s not fair to your partner to be confined to the label that you would “prefer” they fit.

Overall, the subject of gender identity and gender expression is deeply personal for those involved. It will take a fair amount of communication between you and your partner in order to understand where your relationship stands. In an ideal world, everyone would be able to accept their partner for the person they are inside, regardless of whether it matched their outward appearance or not. One should never be pressured into making someone else “more comfortable” through exclusion of their innermost feelings.

Butch vs. Femme: The Ultimate Misconceptions

For the entirety of my life, I have been caught somewhere between a girly-girl and a tomboy. I love the idea of getting dressed up in makeup and high heels, but I’m more likely to throw on a tank top and a pair of sweats. In fact, until recently, I joked that I didn’t know how to be a girl – wearing makeup made me feel like a drag queen, despite having no inkling of a desire to transition.

That being said, the labels of “femmes” and “studs” themselves can carry a bit of a stereotype around them. Just as with all stereotypes out there, just because it’s “sometimes true” doesn’t make it the rule. I’ve had the chance to be with both studs and femmes, as well as the chance to be both labels – and I have determined that the most common myths are as follows:

Myth #1: Studs don’t have feelings.

Sure, some studs may bottle up their emotions because they have a tough outer image they feel the need to portray. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have any emotions. It just means that they think their image requires them to hide them. If you’re dating a stud, it’s important that you let her know that you care about how she thinks and feels – she doesn’t have to be “the man” all the time.

Which brings us to:

Myth #2: Studs want to be men.

The topic of transition comes up a lot these days, because it’s getting a lot of media attention. However, not every stud wants to transition into a man. Those who do will usually be in a state of pre-transition already, and probably won’t be seeking out someone who identifies them as a woman.

It’s not about how you appear, it’s about how you identify – which is exactly the same reason a “trans woman” is not the same thing as a “drag queen”.

Myth #3: Femmes are really bisexual.

This is a tough one, because both feminine lesbians and bisexual women are considered invisible by both the common media and the lesbian community. We perpetuate this idea that if a woman looks or seems straight, she must be. It’s 2015 – there is a difference!

Myth #4: Studs can’t be bisexual.

Honestly, I was with a stud for a while who prided herself on being “the gayest of the gay”. However, she wasn’t really; once we were together, she confessed a strong desire to have sex with men.

There’s nothing wrong with that, really (except that she did it while we were in a relationship), but because of the way she presented herself, she thought she wouldn’t be taken seriously if she was honest about her desires.

I’ll say it again: It’s not about how you appear, it’s about how you identify.

Myth #5: Femmes are helpless.

When a woman is keen to take advantage of the gender roles prescribed to her by society, we are inclined to think that she fits into a predetermined box. That’s usually not the case. I know very few women who are actually helpless, and one thing I’ve learned is that the way they dress is no indicator of what they’re capable of.

Myth #6: Studs can only date femmes, or vice versa.

This is another symptom of (outdated) gender roles. When we apply restrictions to who we can date simply based on what we look like, we are limiting ourselves the possibility of finding true love.

That’s not to say that you can’t prefer someone with a different label than yourself – but you are in no way forced to go with what society expects from you.

In my case, I prefer women who fall in between categorizations – but my current relationship is with a stud. Do we get funny looks when we’re both dressed in more masculine clothing? Perhaps, but that doesn’t matter. Your relationship shouldn’t be about making other people happy – it’s about making yourself happy.

Myth #7: You can’t change your label once you’ve decided on one.

This is complete rubbish. I know plenty of women who have changed labels at some point in their life. It’s not unheard of, or even uncommon – but we get this idea in our head that we’re “stuck” with whatever we’ve decided.

Do you still wear the same clothes you did when you were a teenager? Probably not.

Sometimes your style changes as you age. Your choice in the kind of clothes you wear says very little about your actual personality. But if your personality changes, you can always change your wardrobe to reflect that.

Myth #8: Femmes would prefer to “receive” in bed, while studs would prefer to “give”.

Someone’s choice of apparel has very little (if anything) to do with who and how they are outside of their clothes. We definitely hear of more femmes who are “pillow princesses”, and more studs who are “stone butches”, but that’s not a concrete fact – it’s just what gets represented. Surely, most women prefer to both give and receive – although not necessarily in equal amounts.

The same can be true for straight women and bisexuals; it has nothing to do with your orientation, or your style, or anything other than your desires.

Myth #9: Studs are abusive toward their partners.

A few years ago, I actually heard this from a friend. She asked me, “Why do I always hear about some femme letting their stud beat on them?” and I was completely taken aback.

I had simply been sharing with her about my previous experience with an abusive ex – but I never mentioned that the ex was a stud. Why do we tend to jump to the idea that only studs can be abusive?

I think this goes hand-in-hand with the myth that femmes are helpless. It’s not really a fair assumption, when you think about it. The truth is, anyone has the capability to be abusive. It’s not about your style, or your mannerisms, or your orientation.

It deals with mental health issues that may be undiagnosed, or in some cases it’s a temper problem. Simply wearing basketball shorts and sports bras doesn’t make you want to hit your girlfriend.

Myth #10: Studs can only be friends with other studs (and femmes with femmes).

This is ridiculous. If that were really the case, who could us label-free lesbians be friends with? I have friends who fall on both sides of the spectrum, and a fair amount of friends who straddle the line right there with me.

There’s no rule anywhere that says that your label defines who you can be friends with.

I think this one goes along with the idea of who studs and femmes are “allowed” to date, and it’s equally ridiculous.

If you limit yourself on who you can be friends with, you may be missing out on a wonderful opportunity – shouldn’t you base it on something more important than the clothes you decide to wear?

Myth #11: Studs can’t be “girly” sometimes.

My girlfriend, the biggest stud I know, loves The Notebook and is afraid of spiders. Need I say more?

The idea that you have to fit completely within a label has never made any sense to me. After all, we define our own labels – what right does someone else have to say that you’re not “you” enough for them?

Myth #12: Femmes have to be the “wifey” type.

Your relationship should be a partnership. Just because your girlfriend “looks” like a wifey, doesn’t mean that she has to be solely responsible for maintaining the house and taking care of your kids (even if they’re only fur-babies). By the same token, this means that the “hubby” in the relationship doesn’t have to be the one who makes all the money.

If the traditional gender roles are what work in your relationship, great! But most of the time, the balance is shifted a bit, so that the partners will share equally the responsibilities of the household.

For example, I’d much rather spend all my time working than spend any real length of time cleaning. Does that mean that I “should be a stud” instead?

No, because I’m comfortable with who I am, and the balance of responsibility works for me and my girlfriend.

Your mileage may vary, but it’s really up to what you agree on.

What else?

Do you think there’s something I’ve missed? What myths and misconceptions have you heard pertaining to the different labels? Do you think I’m wrong about something? I’d love the chance to speak to you in the comments section about it. After all, this community represents all of us.

Growing Pains: 25 Problems Only Femme Lesbians Will Understand

Growing pains: 25 problems only femme lesbians will understand.

1. When people say you don’t look gay – Really? Not even when I’m having sex with women? I feel like that’s when I look my gayest.


2. When people confuse your girlfriend for a friend or even worse a sibling.


3. When people tell you you’re too pretty to be gay – because all straight people are attractive.


4. When people (including other lesbians) say you’re just pretending to be gay.


5. When people demand you to prove you’re gay.


6. When guys think they can “turn” you.


7. When other lesbians don’t recognise that you are a lesbian, so you constantly have to drop hints.


8. When people just get so hung up on your sexual orientation, that’s all they want to discuss.


9. When people assume your sexuality is something that’s just for men and not for you or your partner.


10. When people think your dating life is easy.


11. When you can’t tell your friends and family about your relationship problems, because they’ll just tell you to date men.


12. When people assume you only like butch women.


13. When you date butch women and people think it’s because you’re really into guys.


14. When guys ask if they can watch – No, you can’t. No forever.


15. When lesbians assume you’re manicure means you’re a safety hazard in bed.


16. When apparently your label defines you.


17. When you have “the talk” with your family and they point out the fact you wear dresses, which means you can’t be gay.


18. When straight women think you’re hitting on them.


19. Or when straight women think it’s perfectly ok to hit on you.


20. Always having to make the first move in the bar and in the bedroom.


21. When people assume you’re straight by default.


22. When people ask you if you’re sure you like women – like really sure?!


23. When people tell you you’re less of a lesbian because of the way you look.


24. When you have to deal with the stereotype that femme lesbians are passive in bed.


25. When you think you’re not lesbian enough, so feel the need to make changes.


What Is Female Masculinity?

Buzzfeed’s new on-point video on female masculinity. In it they asks people along the masculine-presenting-female perspectives to discuss how they see themselves; from butch to masculine of centre to gender neutral.

Masculinity goes beyond aesthetics.”

What is female masculinity?

18 Struggles Women Have When Dating A ‘Bro’ Butch

Our sexy little butches – we love them, but some times they can be a little hopeless when it comes to our womanly ways.

1. She absolutely hates public displays of affection – there will be no hugging or kissing outside.

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2. She considers flowers a total waste of money.

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3. She’s not herself when she’s hungry; in fact, she literally transform into the Hulk on steroids on an empty stomach.

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4. She loves to swear – even around your parents.

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5. She can completely outdrink you and all your friends.

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6. She hates buying presents and as a result, always ends up running around a couple of hours beforehand to try and find one that doesn’t look like a last-minute purchase.

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7. She gets lost in conversation, when you go off on tangents and can’t simple tell a short, linear story.

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8. She’s blunt and direct, and doesn’t understand passive aggression behaviour.

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9. She finds it almost impossible to have something in common to talk about with girly-girls. Beauty products – huh?

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10. When something is bothering her, she’s immediately confrontational. People see this as a bad thing, even though she’d just prefer to hash things out as quickly as possible.

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11. She prefers a football game and beer, too shopping.

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12. She’ll spend hours waiting on you in a store, but can’t understand why it takes you so damn long.

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13. She gets over things quickly and doesn’t understand why people choose or actually like to hold grudges.

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14. She doesn’t understanding why you wake up early to put on makeup and do your hair when they can spend that time sleeping.
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15. And manoeuvring a curling iron baffles her.

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16. Texting isn’t important to her. In fact, it’s kind of annoying.

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17. She can identify every single person in this GIF, and know exactly what they do and why.

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18. But Pretty Little Liars — and its appeal — is unfathomable to her.

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12 Things Only Butches With Big Boobs Can Understand

I love women with big boobs. But when your a butch woman, its not as fun as we would like to think.

Here are some common issues facing the busty who walk among us.

1. Finding a shirt that fits is impossible.


2. Your boobs get stuck in your armpit when you lay down.


3. Clutching your chest as you pick up speed is a normal thing.


4. Wearing just one sports bra is a joke.


5. People (even those who don’t know you well!) say things to you (even in casual conversation!) like, “Have you ever thought about getting a breast reduction?”


6. You look way-to feminine in a bathing suits.


7. Cross body bag straps are a no.


8. You have to wear a bra.


9. And, Finding a bra that actually fits is practically its own Olympic event.


10. By now, you’re used to all the mean jokes about your bust size.


11. People assume that they’re much less sensitive to jiggling than they actually are.


12. You get to make all the boob jokes you want.


Growing Pains: 25 Problems Only Butch Women Will Understand

25 Problems Only Butch Women Will Understand

1. When people assume because you’re look butch, you’re butch in every way – “Just because I’m wearing a flannel doesn’t mean I own a drill.”


2. When you enter an all female changing room, you’re instantly aware of your lesbian appearance; which causes you not to make eye contact with anyone – awkward.

… hmmmm, or maybe not!


3. When you go into a women’s bathroom, and hear “Excuse me, sir, you’re in the wrong room”.


4. When you want to wear a suit, but are not able to find one that fits.


5. When the shop assistant calls you sir.


6. When your boobs refuse to fit into any shirt.


7. When you try on men’s jeans, and have to deal with the fact you have hips.


8. When you have to buy a new bra.


9. When kids stare and ask you questions like “Are you a girl or a boy?”


10. When old people stare, and then tut disapprovingly. You know their trying figure out if you’re a man or a woman.


11. When you go to a new hairdresser and have to explain how you want your haircut short “like a boys”. Then coming away with haircut that’s more femme than you wanted.


12. When people expect you to always carry the heavy bags.


13. When people expect you to fix things, even tough you have no technical abilities.


14. When your girlfriend teases you for not being able to open jars.


15. When you start to cry and get told “But you’re butch. NO FEELINGS ALLOWED.”


16. When relatives buy you femme clothes, and ask you to at least try them on.


17. When people ask you to wear something a little less “manly”, just to make it easier for others


18. And when you do, people telling you look “good as a girl.”


19. When people expect you to date only femme women.


20. When straight guys assume you want to ogle women with them.


21. When you like something that’s considered “girly” and people are really confused.


22. When gay guys hit on you.


23. When straight women hit on you.


24. When straight guys hit on you.


25. When people assume you’re “the man in the relationship”


17 Things Studs Should Never Be Ashamed Of

1. Not liking sports.


2. Not having the perfect physique.


3. Not wanting to have sex.


*although how could you resist this??!!!

4. Or wanting to have lots of sex.


5. Speaking your mind.


6. Being a feminist.


7. Falling in love.


8. Being emotional.


9. Treating your self every once in a while.


10. The amount of people you have or have not slept with.

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11. Having confidence and feeling desired.


12. Letting a fem take the lead.


13. Accepting a cuddle.


14. Watching a television show like the Real Housewives of Atlanta.


15. Showing affection to others


16. Admitting you’re wrong.


17. And lastly, don’t be afraid to embrace your feminine side.


‘Handsome Revolution Project’ Explores The Spectrum Of Butch Masculinity (Photos)

In a project titled ‘Handsome Revolution Project‘, photographer Miki Vargas explores the idea of masculinity in a stunning photo series, which looks at the lives of masculine-of-centre and gender-nonconforming individuals.

The project initially began in 2012, based Vargas on a desire to see more nuanced, complicated representations of masculinity that she identified with. But the project grew into a body of work that documents the current spectrum of masculine experiences.

Vargas told The Huffington Post.

I hope that these portraits will start or continue the much-needed conversations about acceptance, respect, love, community, unity, feeling of belonging, self love, self respect, self celebration and an overall respect of people as valuable lives in this world. I would love these images to engage the viewer, to seduce them, to intrigue them, to confuse them, to make them smile, to make them reflect, but most importantly to help them recognise that the beauty in our differences is so infinite that it cannot be categorised.”

The “Handsome Revolution Project” also includes first-person narratives from each individual featured in the series, where the subject discusses what masculinity means to them.

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5 Common Misconceptions About Lesbians

To the heterosexual world, lesbians are mythical creatures. Not unlike the unicorn, the Loch Ness monster or the abominable snowman, heterosexuals know very little about these elusive beings and if they ever met one in person, they’d probably try and snap a selfie with them.

What informs most people’s opinions or ideas of what a ‘typical lesbian’ looks like (as if lesbians are a femme-y homogenous, plaid-wearing group) is whatever they’ve seen on the TV or at movie theatres. But between the dramatic, life-threatening antics of The L Word and Pretty Little Liars and the trope-y and offensive ways of Glee, they don’t have a lot to go on.

Also read: 10 Things That Happen In A Lesbian Relationship

Here to dispel some of the common misconceptions about lesbians that have cropped up over the years is this post. Below are five stereotypes that we regularly hear, but feel free to suggest some more in the comments!

1. All Lesbians Dress Like Men

Once upon a time, many, many years ago, some men with bowl cuts and dusty, unwashed tunics probably sat around a table and said ‘so you guys, women shouldn’t wear tunics, right?’ and from that day on, all pieces of clothing were forever separated into men’s and women’s. Bits of thread and fabric are sewn together and assigned genders; sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

According to society’s rules, blazers and dress shirts are for men only, because apparently women aren’t allowed to look smart and/or feel comfortable. And on top of that, when lesbians do wear these clothes it means that they’re ‘dressing like men’.

While there’s a case to be made about straight people not knowing a lesbian if she was stood right in front of them, and only being able to recognise queer ladies when they’re butch, not all lesbians are butch anyway. Just ask Portia de Rossi, Leisha Hailey, Ellen Page, Jasika Nicole, the list goes on and on.

2. Lesbian Relationships Feature a Man and a Woman

That header probably sounds silly, doesn’t it? And yet heterosexuals still ask ‘who’s the man and who’s the woman?’ whenever they meet a same sex couple. Uh, no one’s the man and that’s kind of the point.

It stems from the homophobic belief that every relationship needs two people of the opposite gender – or that one person is more masculine or feminine. Nevermind the fact that sometimes same sex couples feature two, equally as masculine (or feminine) people or that no one asks heterosexual couples ‘which one of you is the man?’ when the woman decides to wear a pair of trousers that day.

3. All Lesbians Hate Men

Ah yes, one of the most common misconceptions at all is that lesbians hate men. Lesbians hate men so much that being around them makes lesbians physically ill! They refuse to interact with men! They hate men more than anything itself! So the stereotype goes, anyway. But we know that’s not true; at all.

Some lesbians are parents of men, some lesbians have brothers, fathers, uncles and so on and so forth. Most lesbians’ bosses are men and the majority of the world we live in is controlled by men (everything from our government, to the various food and service industries) so queer women would have a hard time hating (and avoiding) men if that really were the case.

This misconception likely stems from the idea that all lesbians are feminists and the fact that feminists have been misconstrued as ‘men haters’ for years. That’s obviously not what feminism is about (feminism is about equality between all genders) and some lesbians don’t even call themselves feminists, so there goes that assumption.

4. Lesbians Are Bra Burning Hippies

Ok, yes there are some queer women who like to eat clay and walk around barefoot (Shailene Woodley) and the world’s most famous, well-liked lesbian (Ellen DeGeneres) may be a vegan farmer with a fleet of adopted animals, but that doesn’t mean that every queer lady is the same.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with being a hippie, being environmentally conscious or burning your bra, if you’re into that (there’s nothing more freeing than removing your bra after a long day at work, am I right, folks?) but the idea that all lesbians are like that does come from a negative place. When lesbians are portrayed as vegans, as people who care about the planet or as those who dislike the patriarchy, it’s not being done out of kindness, it’s being done to paint queer women as deranged wackos who are weird for going against the grain.

So this might not be a total misconception, but it is one that’s often used to insult rather than uplift.

5. Lesbians Haven’t Found the Right Guy

The final misconception that we often hear from our straight counterparts is that lesbians are lesbians because they haven’t found the right guy yet. You can almost hear the prayers of ‘please be straight! Please come back from the dark side!’ in that statement, can’t you?

As though a woman would somehow shrivel up into a lonely, bitter husk without a man, straight people often assume that lesbians are waiting for the right guy to come along and marry them out of homosexuality. People who believe that say it because they don’t want the lesbian in question to be a lesbian – which is homophobic. But if they’re waiting for lesbians to ‘find the right guy’ they’d better get out the tents and flasks of tea, because they’ll be waiting an awfully long time.

Androgyny – The Constant Confusion

My partner is possibly the most androgynous person I know. She thinks she’s a boy most of the time (except when the bins need taking out) and she constantly battles with modern day lesbian traumas like insisting on wearing clothes only made for boys, even when her little size 6 feet don’t quite fill the standard men’s size. She wears men’s boxer shorts (apparently they make her feel “free”) – don’t get me wrong, she has no desire whatsoever to become a man, nor does she strap her boobs down and draw on a moustache.

I always feel a bit bewildered when she goes into salons brandishing screen grabs of Esquire magazine as ideas she still gets charged for a women’s cut. I wonder if long haired guys (like David Guetta for example) get charged for a ladies’ cut? After all “lesbian haircuts” (in Manchester that’s actually the collective term for a combination of shaved and long bits favoured by stereotypical gay girls) are basically a gents cut – on a girl. If it takes the same time as a guy why should lesbians get penalised for not needing a curly blow? The blow dry part of my cut takes at least 15 mins – hence the extra I would expect to pay.

The solution for us is to send her off to a Barbers’. She gets to sit with other guys and get an excellent cut for under a tenner. Winner. Having reproached this subject further with another androgynous friend we discovered that inner city gays tend to go anywhere no problem. It’s in the suburbs that the confusion begins. So do you go to your local hair salon which is predominantly female clientele but you get funny looks and awkward stares, or do you go to your local barbers where you will get the cut you want but have the chance of being turned away because you are a girl?

I was amazed to also discover other difficulties androgynous girls encounter – girls telling her she’s in the wrong toilet, late night petrol station visits for fags resulting in the attendant refusing to serve her as her card said “miss”! Now might be a good place to add she has a whopping DD cup boobs…

Then we have clothes. Try and find a men’s suit jacket that fits in a healthy bust. Non-existent. Surely someone has caught onto the fact that a load of professional lesbians may just want to wear a suit that doesn’t come with girly trousers? And Topman must realise that most Saturday afternoons their clientele is half man/half lesbian. Huge gap in the market here. But would they buy it if it wasn’t predominately made for guys? Maybe that’s the whole point. How many of you have been refused entry to the male changing rooms? Apparently Primark isn’t worth even trying as the attendants just assume you are male and it is way too embarrassing to argue the case.

Being in public with my GF still shocks me at times. In the (gay) Village, my GF has gay guys mistake her for one of their own; in shopping centres men follow her into toilets thinking she is heading for the gents. On holiday recently a restaurant owner shouted “bring your boyfriend for a drink”. I was livid. Luckily my GF was not at all bothered as she chooses to dress and look like that. She doesn’t actually care.

I suppose we all conform to what we think we should be rather than what we naturally are. My late, and very wise Granny used to tell me to say in the mirror, “I’m glad I’m me”. And I think she is right J

Queer Fashion: Doing Male Fashion the Butch Way

Queer Fashion | Doing Male Fashion Style the Butch Way – When it comes to looking good, in any type of clothing whether it’s a dress or a 3-piece suit, fit is everything.

Wearing male fashion and looking good doing it is all about fit. If you can afford to buy a custom-made suit, consider yourself lucky. That’s pretty much the pinnacle of dapper butch fashion. Buying a suit or men’s clothing off-the-rack can be tough, you never want to look like you just grabbed your dad’s suit right? A possible solution is to have that purchase altered to fit your body. Finding a good tailor you can always go to takes a lot of time, money, and resources on your part. But believe me, it’ll be well worth it. Remember that when it comes to looking good, in any type of clothing whether it’s a dress or a 3-piece suit, fit is everything.

Here are some quick tips on how to do butch wear in style:

  1. Avoid bulky cuts. Always aspire to look sleek.
  2. Personalize your menswear look. Whether it’s a pair of colourful socks or antique cuff links, these little details are what make your outfit stand out.
  3. Don’t write off the women’s wear department. There has been an influx of menswear-inspired pieces on the runway as of late. Take advantage of this and open your mind to the possibilities of tailoring that is more suited to your body.
  4. The same goes for shoes too, there are so many colour options in the women’s shoe department that you won’t see in men’s.

On that note, here are some stores that fit your needs to a T, and will provide stylish butch fashion that goes beyond traditional suiting.

KitschKandy – A real mix of fashion, homeware, and everything in between

Androgyny This store makes button down shirts in different fabrications that’ll fit your perfectly. The shirt length is just right, and the conspicuous darting in women’s shirt is absent from their designs.

Marimacho The most noteworthy section is their swimwear. The swim separates are utilitarian and athletic.

Wildfang For a sportier tomboy style, look no further than Wildfang’s T-shirt, hoodies, and cardigans.

Tips For Choosing the Right Scent

A great scent becomes as much a part of you as your clothes and hairstyle. You look good so you should smell good too. However, with the release of new perfume and aftershaves happening weekly, every gay-gal needs tip or two on how to choose the perfect scent.

Learn about scents – Choosing the right scent means getting to know the fragrance families that work for you, and how different fragrances combine. The standard system used to classify fragrances involves woody fragrances (cedar and sandalwood), amber fragrances (which are sweeter) and floral fragrances. Understanding how these scents work together will make picking a new scent simple.

First impressions counts – There are lots of different types of scent that fit in with different personality types, but knowing which scent to choose means knowing the sort of person that you are. Remember, your scent can quite often be first point of contact with a woman, and this makes it important to choose a fragrance that fits in with your personality. For example, if you are a sporty person, go with a scent which is citrusy and fresh. If, on the other hand, you are confident and ambitious, go with something stronger.

Know your skin type – Did you know that your skin type affects how long your scent will last? Dry skin absorbs more than oily skin, so if this is your skin may need to re-apply over the day. Oily skin tends to maintain scent for longer, so the trick here is to not apply as much, or reapply as often.

Think about your lifestyle – Did you know changes in weather can affect how your scent smells? Also times of the day can play a part. Therefore, changes in seasons and lifestyle should also affect the fragrance and intensity of your scent. Stronger perfumes last longer than subtler ones, so think about this when applying a scent for the day or night ahead. In the daytime, you’ll want something that isn’t too overpowering, but at night, you can go for impact to compete in the crowd.

Know how to combine – If you want a completely unique scent that no one else has, then you should learn how to mix fragrances. Mixing can be a case of trial and error, but the tip is to mix complementary scents such as musky with sweet scents. You want to end up with a mixture that is better than either scent when worn on its own.

Seek advice from your nearest and dearest – Be it your BFF or your GF – seeking a second opinion from someone you who (and is around your age) is going to be better than yours. Pick something and see if they them, and get them to pick a few options for you. If you can settle on something that you both like, then you know you’re on to a winner.

What’s In a Name? A Quick Glossary of Lesbian Labels

What’s In a Name? A Quick Glossary of Lesbian Labels – It’s a bit of a conundrum: nobody likes to be labelled in a specific way, but at the same time people do have distinctive traits and find themselves belonging to different tribes and subcultures. This is especially true of lesbians, as our guide below reveals:

Dyke: A term that is typically only used by LGBT people. Some may be offended by a straight person using this term.

Power Dyke: A lesbian who has attained social status, either within the gay community, or in the wider world. AKA Suit or Power Lesbian.

Diesel Dyke: An aggressive butch. AKA Bulldagger.

Sport Dyke: A sport-loving lesbian who might wear baseball caps and running kit.

Baby Dyke: A young lesbian who might just be coming out of the closet. AKA Dyke-in-Training.

Blue Jeans Femme: She identifies as femme, or feminine, but tends to put on jeans and casual wear.

Chapstick Lesbian: She dresses down and eschews make-up. Coined by lesbian TV star Ellen DeGeneres. AKA soft butch or androgynous.

Lone Star Lesbian: She’s only slept with one person in their life.

Gold Star Lesbian: She’s never had nor ever will have sex with a man.

Lipstick Lesbian: She loves “girly” stuff like make-up and fashion, but fancies women as much as the next lesbian. AKA Femme or Fem.

Butch: She adopts traditionally masculine traits.

Stone Butch: She gets her kicks from really pleasing her partner, even though she doesn’t want to be touched or fondled. She does not like to be touched sexually.

Soft Butch: She’s butch in manner and style but softer and more feminine at the same time.

Pillow Queen: She tends to prefer receiving rather than giving sexual favours.

Boi: She’s biologically female, though boyish in mien and appearance.

Stem: Somewhere between “stud” and “femme”.

Kiki: Neither butch nor femme, this girl defines herself as something else. Originated from 1950s US bar culture. AKA Futch.

Stud: She’s dominant and often Afro-American.

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Compelling Documentary – The Butch Mystique

The Butch Mystique (2003) is a documentary chronicling of butch african american lesbians living in the Oakland and San Francisco Bay Area. It is powerful as it is beautiful.

Directed by Debra A. Wilson, this award-winning short documentary discusses the issue butch black women face day-to-day. From what defines a “butch,” to childhood and family, coming out, relationships, sexuality, stereotypes, and society’s perceptions of them as individuals. In addition, because these are all African American butch lesbians, the common thread of race links these women together. As “butches,” they are often perceived as black men, which proves problematic when living in a mostly white society which fears black men.

 “…this film goes beneath the surface, beyond the stereotypes, to reveal the heart of what it means to be an African American butch-identified lesbian.”

Debra A. Wilson,

Butch Mystique is here to challenge those stereotypes by showing that butch lesbians may not fit within culturally proscribed boundaries of femininity, but they are certainly women.


Nine African American butch (masculine) lesbians individually talk to an unseen and unheard interviewer about various aspects of the butch lifestyle and their own personal lives. Topics include their look (clothing, hairstyles, lack of makeup, etc.), their realisations that they were “different” and their eventual coming out, their relationships with various family members, their partners, and other societal groups, the perceptions of society, and what it means to be “butch”.

You can watch this documentary on YouTube in parts. (The video quality is little jumpy in some areas but worth watching).