Nominations Needed for Top Hot Butches

October 29, 2010  |  on butches

With the relaunch of the Top Hot Butches project, I am including different people than last year, in a totally different way.

I think this is some of the confusion about including cis men. The Top Hot list is not a top 100 butches list like it was last year. I’m not that interested in hierarchizing everyone based on hotness. Hotness is all relative, anyway.

What I am interested in is community, and bringing people together who experience similar gender identities. I’m also interested in the word “butch” itself, and how it scares many people, how many of us have such a strong reaction to it, like it’s a slur, as it has been used against many of us for lifetimes. And how it becomes a strong, defining word for others, a major hook on which we hang ourselves and by which we define ourselves. Many different kinds of people use this word to talk about who they are, and I’m curious about that.

The new site is more community-focused, with a whole blog component, Tumblr site, and Symposium, as I mentioned the other day. And there is still a Top Hot section. It’ll be more like a database of people you can go browse through and find their work and be inspired by, not a numbered list. Just people, doing good work, going about their lives, with a butch or masculine of center gender.

I’m much more inclined to include women than men, and it will be harder to find men to include, since I am restricting the men included to being butch-identified (more about that below).

I am especially looking for trans women who identify or present as butch, men (cis or trans) who self-identify as butch, and people of color along the masculine spectrum. It’s been easier to find the white butch dykes than anyone else, but I know there are a lot of other folks out there!

Check last year’s list to see who was on it before you nominate somebody. Everyone from the list last year, unless requested otherwise, will be included in the new project.

Rules for nominations:

ALL nominees:

  • Must be active in the public sphere of some sort, or a leader, and well known, in their field. Performers, writers, and activists are particularly easy to point to, but anyone notable in any field is applicable. Yes, this means your girlfriend/boifriend/boyfriend might not qualify. No, having a blog is not necessarily qualification enough.
  • Must have been doing work at some point in the last decade. There are plenty of people we can dig up who are no longer alive, or who were notably butch or visibly masculine women from decades past, but this project is about what’s going on now. Perhaps at some point in the future we’ll tackle Top Hot Butches pre-Stonewall, but for now, let’s focus on who is around now.
  • Can be of any age, though generally we’re talking about folks who are post-puberty, and even more frequently folks who are post-Saturn return, as it sometimes takes quite a bit of time to really know oneself enough to come to an alternative gender identity and expression like these. Age doesn’t matter.
  • Can be of any race, religion, ethnic background, or sexual orientation. That probably goes without saying, but I’ll make it clear anyway.

Inclusions of women, cis or trans:

  • It would be GREAT if they self-identify as some some of masculine of center identity: butch, macha, stud, ag, tomboi, genderqueer, etc.
  • If they do not self-identify this way (or they have a level of fame where they wouldn’t reply to an email asking if they do or not), they will be considered for inclusion based on these things: 1. rejection of traditional femininity, including but not limited to dress, style, and hair; tendency to shop in the men’s department and display a masculine gender expression most of the time; 3. swagger, meaning some sort of masculine energy in their movements; and 4. are out as queer. Some exceptions will be made to the requirement that they are out as queer, such as in the case of Katherine Moennig, where she is very clearly queer but has not made official statements regarding such.

Inclusions of men, cis or trans:

  • Must self-identify as butch. Either you know that they identify as butch, because they’re your friend or you’re aware of their work, or they have made some sort of public statement that says they identify as butch.

Inclusions of genderqueer folks that identify as outside of the binary:

  • Should self-identify as some of masculine of center identity: butch, macha, stud, ag, tomboi, etc., and be interested in being included in a database of butches.

How to nominate:

Email me, or comment on this post, with the following:

  • Name of the person you’re nominating
  • What they do (writer, performer, activist, lawyer, whatever)
  • Link to or attached recent photograph, at least 640×480 (landscape) and better yet, cropped to 700×400
  • Link to their website, Myspace, Twitter, or other web presence for more information about their work

Aside from Top Hot Butches, I am also compiling a list of butch-identified bloggers. If you are a butch-identified blogger, or if you read a blog by someone butch-identified who you like, will you please leave a link to them here and I’ll add them to my list. I have quite a few that I know of, of course, but I’m sure I don’t know you all! Even if you think I probably have yours, leave it anyway just to make sure?

And a huge thank you for your help with this project! It is coming together, and I’m really excited to show it to everyone.

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43 Comments


  1. Deadline for noms? I know your goal is to launch/relaunch by 11/15, but do you need lead time also?

  2. I think in general this is a great idea, but I’m concerned once again about the labeling of other people. Why does it have to be Top Hot Butches? What I mean is, when you include the word “butch,” but don’t require that people self-identify that way, I think that could be problematic.

    One problem I’ve encountered with my identity is that everyone seems to feel like they are the authority on what is “masculine” or “feminine”. What constitutes a masculine dress, style, or hair? Who gets to decide what a “masculine” energy in a swagger is?

    I’ve known tons of femmes that have the same swagger as butches; the swagger, I think, is much more about confidence than gender presentation.

    I find this to be problematic because when we describe different traits as “masculine” or “feminine,” aren’t we just categorizing what’s “normal,” or “traditional”? Who gets to say? I think it might be less controversial and less boxing-in if the list was just a general list of notable people in the queer/gender-variant community. Once we begin labeling people with specific words (especially words like “butch,” that mean different things to different people), we start boxing people into roles that they may or may not identify with.

    Everything else seems like a great idea, but I’d suggest to avoid the controversy from last time, maybe avoid the explicit labels.

    • You're right—it is controversial to choose labels. The focus is absolutely on self-identified butches here, but there are still butch icons that are recognized, and that's what I'm trying to get at. Maybe it'd be better to call them exactly that—icons. I'll keep thinking about it as the launch gets closer.

  3. Hello…butch identified blogger here :)

  4. Hmm, I’d have to think about this one!

  5. Our blog is very new, but we are raising money for FORGEFL.org and the FTMfund.org by appearing in a calendar spread and also a “bachelor auction” in 2 weeks.

    Thanks for adding my to your bloggers list.

    Dylan

  6. Butch-identified Blogger here! I’m new and quite frankly I’m just learning what butch means to me, but I’m excited about getting my various thoughts out there.

    http://rambling-thru-rambles.blogspot.com/

    Does boi count as butch? Cause if it does I like this blog as well:

    http://www.boimeetsplay.com/

  7. Rachel Venning owner of Babeland

  8. I recommend the canihelpyousir? blog.

    I’ll be interested to see the final list. While I am familiar with the butch/nelly dichotomy among gay men, it’s hard for me to imagine how a cis man who’s not gay (or a trans man who identifies as het) could be butch.

  9. Dannielle Owens-Reid… Creator of LesbiansWhoLookLikeJustinBieber and she’s helping some wonderful human beings in need of advice with EveryoneIsGay.com. Also was part of the finalists for mtv first TJ…
    http://dannielleforever.com
    FB: http://www.facebook.com/dannielleor
    twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/dannielleor

  10. Thanks for suggesting my site E.S.T… At my blog, Boi Meets Play, I am definitely trying to create a new butch label for the younger generation.

  11. if this is about all genders including men then its just about masculinity.

    basically your championing poor forgotten masculinity. Wouldn’t it be easier for us to all just get together and watch some Rocky and Rambo movies instead?

  12. How is the ‘fame’ of the blog being judged? Cos I know writer for http://www.gracethespot.com which I spose it quite well know who is really dykish and out like that at her high school, which takes guts :)

    Also, glad you are bringing the list back!

  13. Just to be clear, I’m not trying to be argumentative, but as a butch identified “straight” woman, i wonder where “my” community is. So, I have sex with men. I see folks “like me” can’t be nominated, and once again sigh (not that I’d be nominated), but really, I’m so tired of all the identity boxes. I know if I was the way I was when I was a kid, these days I’d be encouraged to think I was a “something”, instead of part of a wondrous continuum.

  14. Sally Rubin

    Documentary filmmaker

    http://www.sallyrubinfilms.com/ http://www.facebook.com/sallyrubinfilms

    Please don’t reveal my name to her. She is the cousin of a friend but we’ve never met so I just think that’s a little weird. She makes films about teenage boys’ body image, people getting naked for peace, and interesting environmental issues. I don’t know how she identifies. Really cool project.

  15. I nominate Vanessa Selbst, 2010 PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour Champion, student at Yale law school.

    Articles/Pics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanessa_Selbst

    http://www.curvemag.com/Curve-Magazine/Web-Articl

    Blog – http://fslexcducktales.com/

  16. I have a nominee– Anne Levinson, co-owner of the Seattle Storm, former Seattle Deputy Mayor who brought in domestic partner benefits in Seattle way early, former Municipal Court judge who founded one of the 1st mental health courts for people who need treatment rather than jailtime, now Citizen Auditor of the Seattle Police Dept for the current Mayor. While leading the Storm to their championship this year.

    http://www.wnba.com/storm/contact/force10.html

  17. I’d nominate Heather Peace (if it’s not exclusively US territory?), don’t know though how she identifies. I did check her website and found the word “tomboy” as a description for her most typical roles on screen, if that counts. On the other hand there are some pictures of her in a more “girly” manner.

    She plays the police officer Sam Murray on Lipservice (BBC version of the L-word) and at least in her acting and manners appears to be butch.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Peace http://heatherpeace.com

  18. I would like to nominate Joe Leblanc who is an activist and the President and Conference Chair for Butch Voices.

    http://www.butchvoices.com

  19. I’ve certainly known some uber-hot gay butch men in my life. But, in my mind the whole concept of butch is or has been a queer concept. Just being masculine isn’t necessarily the same as butch…for me, there has to be some queerness in the construct. So, it’ll be interesting to see how the non-gay cis-men thing works with regards to butchness.

    • I agree—and as of yet, I don\’t have any non-gay cis men who are interested in taking part, just as I don\’t have any non-gay cis women who identify as butch. But I\’m open to it, if they are interested in being part of it.

  20. B. Cole

    Activist, advocate, teacher, community leader

    brownboiproject.org – she founded this organization

  21. Gina Mamone from Riot Grrl

    Look at all of the rad queer art that exists because of the work ze does.

  22. Well Mrsexsmith, I give you kudos for being open to it, if it exists. :)

  23. I’ll second the vote for Ivan (what is it about Butches and cute little dogs? [my Daddy has a Miniature Puddle]).

    I’ll add some more west cost handsomeness like Ingrid Amazon, Ami Fox and Marie Gagnon (I’ll keep my Sir to myself ;o), and you can’t really talk about Butch unless you mention Ice.

    Not all Tops, just very hot butch women who’ll always turn my head.

  24. Oh and if you can change it, her name is Amy Fox, my bad. And thanx for a very interesting blog, hot handsomeness always makes me smile.

  25. I nominate Consuelo Ruybal.

    Consuelo is a badass Interactive Creative Director. She cofounded Right Rides. She just finished designing the game for Jay-Z’s campaign with Bing, other clients include WebMD and LG. The NY Times just featured an app she conceived, pitched and won funding for. The app allows women to easily report Street Harassment. The app was produced by Holla Back.

    Picture: http://sophiawallace.tumblr.com/search/consuelo#/

    Consuelo’s Website
    http://www.consuelo.com

    Oh yes she owns that domain cuz she has been an interweb hustla since the 90′s.

  26. Can’t wait to see the Top Butch line-up!

    I saw that FG nominated Jennifer Levi. I would give Jennifer a thumbs-up too but Jennifer ids as trans although he does not live as a male. ??

    To the “butch straight woman”: Butch has a queer history. Masculine gender alone does not make a butch. There are masculine lesbians, masculine straight women. Butch is about same-sex queerness, and most commonly desire for femme, which is also a queer identity and not any feminine woman.

  27. I second the nomination for Consuelo – that’s one hot, smart talented person RIGHT THERE!

  28. I nominate Jeanne Cordova – a feminist latina butch and a trailblazer in the lesbian community since the 70s. She’s been an activist, a journalist, a political organizer, an entrepreneur, and just chaired the ButchVoices LA 2010 Conference. (Plus she’s written great essays about being butch in ‘Persistent Desire’ and other places, and a new one coming up in Ivan Coyote’s new anthology)

  29. I nominate Peggy Shaw

    Long-time, self-identified butch performance artist, painter, poet and grand/papa to many

    a true role model, great sense of humor, has influenced butches/gender queers across many seas. Co-founded Split Britches Lesbian Feminist Theatre Company in 1980 with Lois Weaver and Deb Margolin.

    Picture and info: http://www.splitbritches.com/pages/peggy.html

    http://citypaper.net/articles/041097/article001.s

  30. Nenna Joiner

    Queer and Trans Porn Producer, Artist, Community Activist, Sex Educator, and soon to be Sex Shop proprietor(catering to people of color) in Oakland CA!

    http://www.facebook.com/NennaRoss

    oaklandlocal.com/tags/nenna-joiner

    http://jizlee.com/wordpress/tight-places-a-drop-o

  31. KRYS FREEMAN

    Krys is a brilliant activist who brings people together and works tirelessly for the communities she cares about. She does solid work particularly around intersections of gender, race and class. She embodies some of the best qualities of butchness, she schools the boys on the basketball court, claims her identity in such a proud, and beautiful way and she is a warm person who you immediately like.

    Kry’s Work
    http://oaklandlocal.com/article/queer-oakland-phe

    Photo of Krys
    http://sophiawallace.tumblr.com/search/krys#/post

    Kry’s Sites
    http://www.thedefinition.org/ http://bLaKtivist.com http://twitter.com/#!/blaktivist

  32. Joe Smith (and Inrigd!)of Coyote Grace :)

    Also, Columbia Sportswear president Gert Boyle, of recent butchnapper-outwitting fame :) (Dunno if she’s gay, though. Does the nominee have to be gay in order to make the list, or just butch? I know some pretty butch hetero’s.)

  33. So I did a little more research:

    Heather Peace – I found an article were it becomes clear that she doesn’t identify as butch in real life. I’ll take that nomination back.
    http://www.afterellen.com/greatlezbritain/10-25-2

    I saw Jeanette Winterson was on your “honorable mentioning” list last time. She wrote a review on “The kids are alright” where she distances herself clearly from butch-femme dynamics. Maybe that means she should not be included in the update?
    http://www.jeanettewinterson.com//pages/journalis

    BUT I found another woman I think could be included – more of a different generation (born in 1932), but still: Pauline Oliveros – composer and former professor. She has worked extensively with several important composers of the 21. century, such as Steve Reich, Terry Riley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Oliveros

    A book on her (as a composer and lesbian) “Sounding Out”
    http://paulineoliveros.us/site/node/77

    Photos in high quality
    http://paulineoliveros.us/site/?q=taxonomy/term/1

  34. Hot, 100% Butch artist. Have a look at the site. xx

  35. I nominate Red, who does a LOT of great work in the gay community, especially the sexually ACTIVE community, creating a safe environment for ladies to explore their naughtier side!
    She does a party called “Submit” and another one for all LGBT’s called “SPAM.”
    And of course, she’s the hottest butch I know!

    Her website: http://www.submitparty.com

  36. Hands Down: You have to get Jennie Mignone for butchculture.com! Her site is grassroots and driving the next generation of social documentation. No media parlays, no glitz, no payoffs… From the ground up, she is capturing crucial discussions from the changing fields of butch, trans and lesbian identities. Humble, broad reaching, race and class aware, she brings her own long term perspective and finely tuned consciousness to the lens.

    Good luck on your work! I look forward to seeing what else you come up with :)

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