identity politics, Interviews

Kyle Jones: Mini-Interview

Writer, parent, lover, perpetual student.

1. What is your relationship with the word or identity “butch?”
‘Butch’ is one of the words I use to describe myself. I’ve experimented with different identity terms over the years, and ‘butch’ is one that I come back to over and over again. I currently use butch to describe my presentation, as an adjective more often than as a noun. When I describe myself as butch, I mean to say that I am masculine in appearance and mannerisms. I wear clothing from the men’s department, cut my hair short and don’t mind when someone refers to me as ‘Sir’.

2. What kind of words and labels, if any, do you use to identify yourself?
When I talk about my identity, I say that my sexuality is queer, my gender is genderqueer and my presentation is butch. I also use the words transgender and trans-masculine to identify myself, as a female-born person who’s gender identity does not always line up squarely with my body.

3. What do you wish you could tell your younger self about sex, sexuality, or gender?
I would try to explain how fluid and changing identity is, that what we see as a rock solid personal identity can change over the years, as we grow and experience more in life. I would encourage myself to explore sex more, to experiment and play, to see the fun and playfulness of sex and not be hung up on judgements about what should, or should not, turn me on. I would try to explain some of what I know about gender now, which is much less rigid than my viewpoint when I was younger. Back then, I was very much trying to find the one gender that worked for me and that kept me bouncing back and forth until recently, when I finally realized that I didn’t have to choose. Gender is not only fluid and unfixed, we can experience multiple genders concurrently, or even feel a lack of gender identity. Gender is much more fascinating than I imagined 20 years ago.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

0 thoughts on “Kyle Jones: Mini-Interview”

  1. Roxy says:

    I love your answers, but especially number 3, because what you said is true for a wide variety of people, not just those identifying as butch. You’re dead-on right about wishing we could quit being hung up on judgments – both about sexuality and identity. Imagine the world where people were free to discover themselves without having to face judgments from the inside and outside of themselves.

    Congratulations on being selected, love – you look great.

    1. Kyle says:

      Well, of course I look great, I was looking at a gorgeous photographer at the time and that always brings out the best in me. Thank you for the photo shoot and the brilliant pictures you created of me. And I agree that it would be a far different world if we could ditch external and internal judgement about identity, sexuality and preferences. Don’t know that I’ll live to see that world come into being, but I’m very happy to be working toward it.

  2. moon says:

    love the gender is fluid thing…my little transgender daughter is very fluid in the presentation of her “female-ness “.
    she knows she shouldn’t have “the penis”, being a girl inside..
    but she also doesn’t want pierced ears….she says “I’m not that kind of girl”
    thanks to you and all the other folk in this forum for sharing.

Leave a Reply