Introducing: Butch Lab

Logo for Butch Lab, words in black and silver

Sinclair Sexsmith (who you may know from the blog Sugarbutch Chronicles) launched a new project recently: Butch Lab.

Butch Lab was born out of Sinclair’s project last year, Top Hot Butches (I have to admit, I was number 68).

So far, Butch Lab seems like a really cool outgrowth. Rather than a Top 100 list (how would you even begin to rank all these folks?!?) it’s an exploration of butch identify from those who self-identify as such. As Sinclair calls it, a “database of inspiration.” From the site:

The mission of the Butch Lab Project is to promote a greater understanding of masculine of center gender identities, expressions, and presentations, through encouraging: 1. visibility, because we feel alone; 2. solidarity, because there are many of us out there, but we don’t always communicate with each other; and 3. an elevation of the discussion, because we have a long history and lineage to explore and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

That’s a mission I can definitely get down with. I myself sometimes use the label of “butch” to self-identify. I have an essay in the upcoming anthology Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, where I talk about my relationship to the identify of butch. It’s one that I’ve only embraced in recent years because I often felt self-conscious that I simply wasn’t butch “enough” to claim it. My masculinity isn’t particularly hard, or tough, and so I felt that I couldn’t really be butch.

Meeting other folks with a whole diversity of masculine gender identities, not all of which were tough, or hard, has helped me a lot in my own journey, allowed me to less self-consciously claim labels like butch.

Looks like that is what Butch Lab is all about–getting to know our community, share experiences, trade stories.

Check it out.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    My first thought was, hmm, wonder if Ivan E. Coyote will be on there? Sure enough, as soon as I landed on the site, a mini-interview with Ivan popped up.
    Nice to see some Canadian butch representation!

  2. Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree with this completely. Queer identity is often consigned to the shadows, or at least to those in the know. If I’d not had lesbian friends, I wouldn’t know even ten percent of this.

    And I do know what it’s like to not feel as though I am (insert gendered attitude) enough. I experience that every day.

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