From Elisha Lim’s graphic novel, 100 Butches.
The text reads:
“One night at a party I asked Cudbi how she felt about being called a butch. Our friends had something to say. “I don’t relate to butch,” said Leasha, “because it’s usually used by and for white people.”
I thought about it, and it was hard to argue. Where did I first hear the word? Leslie Feinburg’s “Stone Butch Blues,” Ellen DeGeneres “If These Walls Could Talk,” Country Music Television. Toyin agreed. “Butch makes me think of flannel shirts, mullets and white working-class appropriation.”
“Wow,” I said.
“Yeah wow,” she said. “Do you see me dressing like that?” We all shook out heads. She said “I’d call myself the names of the Black queer Family, like a stud or an a.g. But I’m a soft a.g.”
“What about you Cudbi?” I said, “what are you?”
“How about a stemme?” she said. “Like a stud and a femme. I’ve only heard it used by Black dykes. It’s used to describe androgynous people, for more gender fluidity.”
It was a lot to think about, and I struggled with it all as the party loosened up around me. I had to grin in appreciation watching Cudbi work her way through the crowd. My first stemme encounter. I decided I liked it.
this is glorious. thank you curate for spreading the love and introducing me to the etsy site!
check out Elisha Lim’s etsy shop and blog for more :)
sometimes tumblr makes me SO happy. this lovely babe and i had post-colonial theory class together and had so many great talks about everything from food politics to how to deal with jerks to sex (of course). she’s got one of the best smiles, the best laughs. i really love that through elisha’s amazing project, strangers all over the place are getting to admire people i’ve felt so lucky to know.