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Butch Identity, Visibility & Voice

"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."

Meet A Butch: 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.

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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....

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Butch Enough

Although I originally believed that this was a one-off, I began to notice that getting hit on by gorgeous feminine women was not actually a rare experience here – everywhere I went in this city, these women were coming onto me and making the first moves! This had never happened before in my life, I'd never been thought of as "physically attractive". In the past when people had crushes on me it was because I was funny, adventurous and interesting. Never purely just because I was "hot"....

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Memories

I think about my past romantic relationships in which some of the women I dated overlooked my masculinity or never really revered it. It took time for me to settle into to myself, comments like “really…your not a man, stop trying.”  It was those significant memories, that taught me that if someone can’t acknowledge the whole me then we are just not a good fit. I recognized my worth and to be grateful for what I have now, respect for myself and a dope ass wife....

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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.

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