Butch is many things to many people. Butch is a haircut; butch is a way of living; butch is a swagger; butch is wearing the pants. To cultural anthropologist Gayle Rubin (“Of catamites and kings: Reflections on butch, gender, and boundaries,” in Joan Nestle’s The Persistent Desire. A Femme-Butch-Reader), “Butch is the lesbian vernacular term for women who are more comfortable with masculine gender codes.” To essayist S. Bear Bergman (in Butch Is A Noun), “First of all, butch is a noun. And an adjective. And a verb.”
What is butch to you? Whatever it is, it’s the day to celebrate it because it’s International Butch Appreciation Day!
Now many of you may think that some of the women I included in this post aren’t butch at all. Maybe they don’t identify as butch, and I’m not forcing that upon them, I just see them in my queer rose-colored glasses as my idea of butch. And I, my friends, am very appreciative of butch women. I even have one of my own at home!
We’ve written a lot about the butch identity in the past, so if you want further reading on the subject, revisit our 2007 list of the Top 15 Hottest Butches, Butch Identity on The L Word, Catherine Opie’s real butches, Showtime explores the Butch Mystique, k.d. lang’s Female Masculinity, Butch Fatale and Butch is Back.
Now, onto the celebration.