Challenging Assumptions


from left: Q-Roc Ragsdale (BUTCH Voices Board), Eva Rivera, Michelle Paris and Theresa Strong.

This profile was written by Tammye Nash.
It appeared originally in The Dallas Voice.

…[W]hatever label you use, Radsdale says, its about a “masculine of center” identity that is a natural state for some women but that, at the same time, can put them at odds with the society around them.

“It’s not male; it’s masculine. There’s a difference,” Ragsdale says. “A lot of people don’t understand the difference between sex and gender. Gender is so fluid. It’s a spectrum. … There are woman-identified butches, trans-identified butches. Some use male pronouns and some use female pronouns. Some are just butch in presentation. Some don’t like gender roles, and some live gender roles.

“You can’t make assumptions. You can’t generalize. Our community is so diverse, just like any other community,” Ragsdale says.  But one thing most masculine of center women share, she adds, is a sense of living outside the mainstream. And that can often leave them facing many disadvantages.

BUTCH Voices aims to help correct those disadvantages with its three-pronged mission focusing on physical and mental health, social and economic justice and community building.

As a masculine of center woman, “there are just so many different social norms that you challenge,” Ragsdale says. “You challenge gender norms. You challenge the mainstream notion of lesbians.” And those challenges can sometimes make life difficult.


Registration is NOW Open.  Please visit BUTCHVoices.com to register and for more information about booking your rooms for this year’s conference!