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.