Editors' Note: Guest blogger Sinclair Sexsmith writes Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at sugarbutch.net. With work published in various anthologies and websites, Mr. Sexsmith facilitates workshops on sex, gender, and relationships; more information at mrsexsmith.com.
What is "butch?" What does a butch identity mean? What stereotypes are associated with the word and identity "butch," and what identities to people who identify as butch really have?
As someone self-identified as butch, I'm interested in these investigations. I'm interested in how people are making and re-making masculine identities that expose patriarchal power imbalances, inherent sexism, misogyny, and identity alignment assumptions usually based on gender roles. I'm interested in tearing down the systems that keep us misinformed and misinterpreting the visual signals that we all see.
Some folks these days want to get rid of labels entirely, but labels can also be a powerful tool of naming, belonging, and identity, especially for people whose identities fall outside of the societally acceptable polarizing spectrum. I don't want to throw out labels so much as I want to understand the stereotypes behind them, and work to strip the sexism, misogyny, and misandry out of the way we see the world.
Though my larger goal and life's work is to aim to eradicate sexism, right now I'm just talking about butch identity. And after a few years of working out my own butch identity online, I'm working on a new project about butch--the word and identity--and I'm seeking your contributions.