Raquel Gutierrez: Mini-Interview
1. What is your relationship with the word or identity “butch?”
I love butch; it is onomatopoeic. You have to say it like you really mean it for it to register its true power. Being butch scared me, which obviously means I really wanted it. I’m in my mid-30s and these boots have finally been broken in just right. So, as I age, butch feels richer, more deserved than it did when I was a baby gay colliding blindly into language of identities and anarchy of desires. It was an arduous road getting here and it was worth it.
Is butch an insult? It has never been enough of an insult to warrant my having to comment on the banality of someone’s limited observation.
2. What kind of words and labels, if any, do you use to identify yourself?
Bilingual. Brown. Butch. Los Angeles. Napoleon Complex. Performance Writer. Pretty. Queer.
3. What do you wish you could tell your younger self about sex, sexuality, or gender?
Take it slow; subvert the scarcity model of relationalities; feel emboldened to ask partners a fuck ton of questions before having sex; lovingly challenge mentors out of their uncritical machismo even if it means risking invalidation; find, create and nurture a radical gender genealogy; believe what people tell you about themselves; take extra doses of vitamin Compassion; and to state my truth like my life depended on it.