Saturday, March 17, 2012

Butch Unity

After the Butch Voices Conference in 2010, one of Portland's community members founded the Butch Crew PDX Meet-Up.  A monthly gathering in a safe space where Butches can find unity.  You may not think that the Butches of today need unity but we do.  Well, let me speak for myself and say that I do. 

The meet-up started with an open floor in case there was anything anyone wanted to talk about then we started answering questions from the book Dagger: On Butch Women.  Questions like who was your Butch role model and what's the best Butch name.  Great conversations came out of the answers to those questions.  I learned a lot during that hour and a half with Butches who were my age (the fabulous forties!) or older. 

Did you know there was a Butch meet-up here in Portland back in the '70's?  They called it the Butch Wrap.  It was formed to create unity because back then Butches took the brunt of the hatred that was spewed towards our community.  Simply because they were easier to recognize as lesbians.  They needed a place to go where others would understand the daily trials they were subject to.  A place to talk about it, find unity, find support and a place to talk about girls.  Because, what Butch wouldn't want to talk about girls.  Am I right?

I realized during this meet-up that there is so much more history to our community then I have come to know.  It seems like so much of it hasn't been recorded or may have been recorded but I don't know where to find it, which I would like to remedy.  Butch history, or herstory, is a part of our community history that I'd really like to explore more.

This realization also gave me even more motivation to write my own Butch story to add to the somewhat small collection out there.  It's been something that's been on my mind for several years now.  I've let the overwhelm of it take over and I think I've finally found a solution to that by breaking it down into essays.  Much like S. Bear Bergman's book Butch Is A Noun and many of Ivan Coyote's books, two of my Butch brothers.

As for the Butch Crew PDX Meet-Up, I most definitely found unity there.  A unity I've been searching for ever since the Butch Voices Conference.  A place to feel safe, heard and understood.  I'll definitely be in attendance next month.


  1. You've touched on two topics that are very near and dear to my heart: butch unity and butch his/herstory. I'm not sure how hard it is for you to get to NYC, but if you can make the trip, the Lesbian Herstory Archives has some really great info on butches "back in the day." I visited it last summer ( and it was a really moving, intense experience. All kinds of lesbian processing went on. ;)

    1. Wow. What an amazing journey. This is certainly a place I need to visit. I'll have to start saving up for the trip!