welcome to butch is not a dirty word


Stories, Interviews, Articles, Audio & More
Confessions From A Former Top

I realized I was topping out of duty, stereotypes, and fear of letting go. If I bottomed, how could I stay in control?I am an active lover: from my place in the sheets I let my top(s) know what I want. I'm scrappy and powerful. I take up space and we have amazing times together. I've never had better sex since I stepped into my submission. Having lovers you can trust is crucial: something I will never take for granted. I can finally let go.

I may be a bottom, but in an emergency: I can top.

Words: L. Murphy (Pictured: Kat Monico)

Read More
Butch Whispers: Mara Tucker

It started with my friends, who were boys, swapping inside jokes about me.  The rules seemed to change overnight. I was no longer one of them.  A lot happened in the subsequent years that I don't like to think about, or even discuss with my therapist.  What sticks with me about that time is that I believed there were only two paths to take: one for boys and one for girls.  Neither path felt authentic for me. I became the disinterested friend in the group who would sneak away from slumber parties to go hang out with the brother or parents or sit alone.  

Read More
Butch Whispers: Lil Khalish

I never thought I would align myself with the word “butch” but over the last few years I’ve leaned into it more. I often call myself a “boy dyke” – I see that phrase as encompassing my relationship with boyishness and transmasculinity as well as my life as a dyke. As a kid, I knew I wasn’t the kind of butch white woman I’d see scantly depicted in media. Over time though, I learned about the history of the phrase butch which has its roots in Black lesbian and working-class history. I found it to be more radical of a term than I had first thought.

Read More
My Butch Titties

There was a time, briefly–years ago, that I wanted to have top surgery so the world would look at me differently. Now I don’t give a flying fuck how I am perceived, I just want to do what makes the most medical sense. I know now that butch sexuality and sensuality is expansive, and that I can rock whatever chest I end up having. And when I think about playing tennis eventually with no tits, no bra, no inhibitions, I feel a smile come on. Whatever choice I have to make, I know I’ll keep loving my body, and especially my butch chest.

Read More
Against The Fascist Dyke

Reflecting on the people I’ve gone on dates with, who have openly expressed their disgust of trans people and bisexual women so casually over dinner, who let me know they fetishize me for being a cross-dressing woman as if it’s a compliment, as if I should feel lucky to have been chosen by the hateful exclusionist, I can’t help but be floored by how little shame or self-awareness they've possessed. Our Sapphic space should be an anti-sexist space and we need to be just as shameless as the female chauvinist in maintaining that space.

Read More
Butch Whispers: DJ Aspen

I love knowing that butches and the trans community have long supported each other and whatever choices I make, the community will show support in whatever way they can.`

I love that even when I have bad dysphoria days I can come out the other side knowing there’s a wealth of options for me, both permanent and temporary if I so choose.

Read More
The Sacred Bull

I felt angry for the bull. I felt upset that it had been reduced to a symbol of rage when it also contained so much peace. I wanted to explain to the rodeo audiences that what they were witnessing was a farce, this creature was much more friend than foe.

In defending the bull, I also defend myself. As a tough-looking butch with a tender center, I always feel like I am misperceived as an aggressor, a blood-hungry bull.

Words: Sam Rodeo Gras (Pictured: Nic Burian)

Read More

"Butch Is Not A Dirty Word has helped me feel community in ways I didn't know I could. The essay's and interviews are truly incredible. Thank you for the work you do."

BINADW was pivotal to developing my identity as a baby butch queer. In the magazine I saw and longed for community, for understanding, for representation. I came to realise I was not the hot butch top babes strapping high or indeed bootblacking, but I could be uniquely me, one of many forms of butch within this community.

"Any time I tried to express my non-femme identity growing up, my mom would throw the word butch at me like an insult. Now I can call myself Butch and smile. Love to everyone involved with this platform!"

"Butch Is Not A Dirty Word has become a mantra to combat negative self talk about my appearance. I really appreciate this page and the work y'all are doing."

"Reading these stories is giving me life right now. Anywhere there are butch people, I feel at home, and right now I need all the home I can get. Thank you."

Black & Butch

At that moment, I knew that my black and butch body was beyond belief. That my body was synonymous with suspicion, a dark and dangerous thing to be examined but never witnessed. When the officer took my driver’s license and found nothing, his next sentence felt like a warning. You’re a little ways from home. You don’t live around here. I wanted to open my mouth, to protest, to proclaim the right to move around freely in my body, but I was afraid. The only two bodies in the park that night were me and the officers. I drove home shaking with anger.

Read More
Meet A Butch: Jo cosme

Growing up Catholic and in Puerto Rico, I internalized all the misogyny, butchphobia and lesbophobia that surrounded me for many years. I was so ashamed of myself because I was unable to act or look like a “normal” woman. I hated myself for not being born a man. For years I tried to destroy these parts of me, which led to a lot of self-destructive actions and identity issues. Later, when I began to make peace with my butchness, many women I dated or went out with would expect me to act like a man or treated me like one - which wasn’t healthy either.

Read More
They Call Us Fags

Talking about the specific kind of lesbophobia that butch4butches experience is nothing new to me. When I had an itty bitty platform many moons ago on Instagram, the rigid binary thinking of queer scenes was never safe from my scrutiny. It wasn’t uncommon for me to write long scathing rants..and it was wild, the amount of butches from across the world, literally, that felt these things and related to them; felt those distinct, specific pointed judgements from their queer communities, big or small for being attracted to other butches.

Read More
Friends That Are Lovers

As a relationship anarchist, all the people I choose to be close to (that includes my relationships with friends and family) are most important to me. Relationship anarchy is creating the structure of your relationships based on the needs of each person involved, not on the constructs set by society. This means each relationship will be unique and each will be as valid and important as the others. I don't subscribe to the notion of the relationship escalator, and cherish friends and lovers and friends that are lovers and lovers that are friends....

Read More

Want More Butch Content?

Stories, Interviews, Articles, Pocasts & More

As featured in

Why Butch?

Our mission is to celebrate butch identity, increase butch visibility and amplify butch voices through the art of storytelling, with a print magazine, online presence and in-person events that build community in empowering and accessible ways.

We’re using both print & online content to build a legacy of butch history and create an intimate record of the lives and experiences of butches of different ages, racial backgrounds, and socioeconomic status.

As a not-for-profit project we keep prices at their minimum to cover costs, and we direct all revenue back into supporting the magazine and the community by offering work to queer artists, particularly those who face greater marginalization because of intersecting identities.

Want to support the cause?