The butch lesbian flag.

An example of butch fashion.

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Butch is a term used in lesbian and gay subculture to describe a lesbian who presents masculinely. The term butch tends to denote a degree of masculinity displayed by a female individual beyond what would be considered typical of a tomboy. Butch women will often dress in masculine clothing, and typically present themselves in a more stereotypical masculine way, such as having short hair, not wearing makeup, and not shaving. This label can also be used by non-binary people. Butches are also commonly thought of as having more "masculine" interests, such as sports, mechanics and other hand-on jobs. Some butches will take on masculine nicknames and some butches bind their chest or take masculinising hormones to appear more masculine. Despite this butch women are still women. They can be cisgender or transgender. It is not uncommon for butch women to face harassment or violence because of their appearance.

While the butch label is often used by/associated with lesbians, it is also used by other groups in the LGBTQ+ community. This includes queer men and m-spec sapphics.[1]

Other Terms[edit | edit source]

Some other terms that are typically synonymous with butch include: "diesel dyke" "bulldyke"[2], "or "bulldagger"[3] or simply just as a "dyke". There as several sub-categories of butch that exist.

Stone Butch[edit | edit source]

A stone butch is a butch woman do not like their genitals sexually touched by their partners. They still, however, provide their partners with sexual gratification, and often experience pleasure themselves in doing so. A stone butch may receive sexual pleasure from their partner in different ways as well. They may also identify as asexual, or placiosexual.

Stud[edit | edit source]

A stud is a form of butchness that is specific to black women. They tend to be influenced by urban and hip-hop cultures.

Soft Butch[edit | edit source]

The term soft butch means a butch who does not act very tough, or just is all around a softer type of person. This does not mean they are less feminine or "less of a butch" than any other type of butch, because butch and femme aren't a spectrum of masculinity to femininity.

Resources[edit | edit source]

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