OCCUPATION/PREOCCUPATION: Musician, music producer, model
YOUR STYLE IN TWO WORDS: Soft butch
YOUR HISTORY WITH/RELATIONSHIP WITH “BUTCH”: I identify as soft butch, because my gender presentation is both masculine and feminine. I am six feet tall, I have short hair, and I don’t wear dresses. But I also shave my legs, like my boobs, and love sparkles and necklaces. It has taken me a long time to feel okay about being genderqueer, and that is definitely still a work in progress. I have days when I like being different, and days when I wish I could walk into a changeroom or public bathroom without feeling stressed.
I have had a relatively privileged experience of being butch. I had enough money growing up, and I never got bullied. My parents didn’t kick me out. My sister gave me Stone Butch Blues and took me to gay bars.
It is hard to find yourself reflected as a genderqueer person, though. And that is where this Superbutch project initially came from—the desire to represent genderqueerness as hot and sexy and interesting. Instead of the ways that I generally see people of my gender represented, which is as ugly, unsexy, and unsuccessful in every way (when we appear at all). With the exception of white butch comedians, interestingly; they seem to have been deemed safe for American daytime TV for some reason.
I think I would have been able to be comfortable with myself or imagine myself as sexy a lot sooner if there were more positive images of people like me available. I am interested in the ways that gender nonconforming people make their own styles in the absence of such images—and often while facing serious constraints in terms of both access to money and access to clothes that fit. Recruiting people for this project has been really inspiring in that way. I have realized how many stylish queers there are, and how they are able to creatively construct themselves in a world that mostly pretends they don’t exist. They are so resourceful and brave and I am so proud to know them all.