BUTCH Voices: The Organization

The identities of Butch, Stud and Aggressive are complicated beyond the concepts of femininity and masculinity, which are further limited by language to fully describe them. These identities and others along the same lines cannot be defined in this mission statement. Our identities are layered and influenced by race, class, ethnicity, access, ability, sexual boundaries, and age, as well as by our bodies. BUTCH Voices seeks to celebrate and honor our diversity by bonding together and building community across our perceived divisions due to identity.

Butch, Stud, and Aggressive have traditionally been assumed to be predominantly visual identities and not as often heard or understood. BUTCH Voices is committed to increasing positive visibility and providing support and space to those willing to share their voices through activism, performance, media, oral history, spoken word, art, photography, and other collaborative means. BUTCH Voices is intended to be by, for, and about self identified Butches, Studs, Aggressives, and their allies.

The identities surrounding Butch, Stud, and Aggressive have been used to describe various communities and intersecting groups, including — but by no means limited to — lesbian, same-gender-loving, queer, bisexual, homosexual, and heterosexual. Identities within this community can be female, male, intersex, transgender, genderqueer, gender neutral, genderf*cked, all of the above, and none of the above. It would be impossible to list all of the identities that may fit us as a tribe. Our identities are often labeled as butches, AG’s, drag kings, dykes, birls, tombois, studs, queers, bulldaggers, diesel dykes, bois, grrls, touch-me-nots, stone, soft, hard, fags, lesbians, boys, Daddies, men, myn, bois, womyn, women, wimmin, she-bois, he-shes, and many other terms.

BUTCH Voices is dedicated to creating a positive and accepting environment for those identifying along the spectrum of Butches, Studs, and Aggressives, in part by selecting programming that will respect our differences, yet create opportunities for discussion. We hope to bring together people of various identities and backgrounds, inclusive of our differences, to create safe space to discover, discuss, examine, and deconstruct our concept of self and others.

One Response to “BUTCH Voices: The Organization”

  1. gravatar Maria Contos

    I wish this had been around in the the late 70’s!! Our lesbian community had struggled with itself, separated it’s ideologies, our views were as mixed as were our identites! Butch/Femme were what I thought to be normal. I’ve been a stone butch pretty much all my 59yrs of life. Been stared at, name called, shunned by peers, oppressed by society and shamed by family who thought I was not fit to be among them any longer…though never swayed or bowed to anything or anyone but myself. I am who I am and have remained true to that my whole life. I have mentored young butches and always strived to set a good example!! I worked p/t in a lesbian bar in SF for roughly 8 yrs. I saw a lot of things, some good some not so much. I saw struggle, negativity, confusion, bigotry, separation, anger, addiction, stress & more suicide than I ever care to think about! Yet, as the struggle for identity, inclusion & acceptance continued to mount! I also saw, strength, kindness, empowerment, empathy, compassion, growth & pride!! Over the years I’ve watched us collectively unite for our sick n failing brothers to AIDS/ HIV, fight against oppression of all sorts, unite in the, struggle for our rights not for being queer but for being human citizens of this country! I was at the riots when Harvey Milk n Mayor Moscone were shot and candlelit march there after.
    I’ve since watched us evolve globally locally n eternally. Then I think about the boi’s we’ve lost, friends I’ve lost who struggled in their own skin, who felt no one understood! I understood all too well!
    Though life has a way of sucking us in, I am still true to myself as a stone butch of the older variety but very young in heart n spirit! I salute you, your efforts, ideas, commitment and ever growing support to our evolution in life, upholding the spirit, safety n education of our culture for generations to come!!
    Thank you,
    M.C.

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