Featuring works from our first issue, Love Letters!
Winter '22 Contributors
All participants from our Winter '22 issue, Love Letters!
A.W. is a transmasc dyke living in the Bay Area. They are currently finishing up an undergrad degree in sociology while also pursuing an informal education in dyke history through personal and communal archival work. A.W. can typically be found wearing too much leather, obsessing over their many houseplants, and daydreaming about the joys and sorrows of queer existence.
Letter In The Back Of Stone Butch Blues
This is a transcription of a handwritten letter I wrote in the back of Stone Butch Blues. I scribbled this down at 2 a.m., letting the imperfect thoughts flow out of me as a love-letter to this book. I deeply believe in the power of telling our stories, and Leslie did so in the most iconic way. Zie lives on through all of us who have walked down similar paths of the blues.
AMH is a socialist swiftie living in rural Washington state!
THEY ARE IN LOVE
Just some cute little teddy bears - everything I think of when I think of Valentine's Day. Teddy Bears, lace, ribbons, candy hearts. And lesbianism, I guess. The bears are in love :)
Belén is a 20 year old high femme lesbian, an artist, student and lover. They were born in Veracrúz and currently lives in Mexico City studying sociology. She is intrested in all things love, trauma, lesbianism, community and relations. They spend their time with her lover, talking with their friends about hating capitalism and colonialsm, pole dancing, reading queer fiction and cleaning her house. hiii, about me.
Ana Belén Ornelas (ella/they)
I enjoy figure drawing the most, because i found deep value in nakedness, pleasure and sex. Having sex with my partner being high femme has been immensely healing and pleasurable, my lover has made me feel both safe and desireable, an my drawing express the way he makes me feel. Both being intimate with her and drawing have been completly linked to a way for me to deal with trauma sorounding sex and my body.
Ananya is a 21 year old, Indian American junior studying Animation at SCAD. She’s been creating art her whole life, inspired by music and mythology. She loves prehistory, poetry, sci-fi, bollywood, impulsive bathroom haircuttery, and butches of every kind.
Ananya Singh (she/her)
This piece is about how growing up fat and brown distanced me from femininity- I felt like none of the good and sparkly things about girlhood or womanhood were allowed to me. Realizing I was a femme, loving butches, brought me back to it. There’s this ineffable connecting thread at the core of my femme-ness that I imagine to be a connection to my future love, that I visualize here as a red-string-of-fate that I turn into a tin can telephone. something something agency something something hope. you get it.
Ashtyn is a queer trans man that was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a self described "butchtwink", his work focuses on the intersection of gender identity and sexuality. He's currently in college majoring in studio arts.
Ashtyn Granger (he/him)
Butch Seeking Butch
The main inspiration for this piece was tart cards, small advertisements that were used by sexworkers and seen in phone booths of the 70s-90s. I wanted to make my own version of these, but in a gay subtext with a tom of finland twist.
Hi! My name is Anneliese and I am an eighteen year old artist from San Diego, California. I attend Wellesley College as a sculptural art major. In my free time, I love to make art and zines with my friends. Outside of art, I work in activism spaces and spend lots of time in nature!
Anneliese Peerbolte (they/them)
Where's Wendy Wellesley?
This piece was inspired by the Wellesley College stereotype of the "Wendy Wellesley" who is a straight, white, rich, posh girl with perfect grades and goes to school to get her "MRS degree". Current day students break this stereotype through passion for education, diversity of selves, and a culture of queerness on campus. This piece is dedicated to all of my fellow Wellesley sibs who work to break down the barriers to education for marginalized communities and create a campus culture of celebration of diversity and queerness.
Bertie is a butch artist and aspiring eccentric academic from the UK. Hy is currently studying Classics at university, and enjoys knitting during lectures and drawing 'evil' women from ancient Greek/Roman literature. Hy also likes learning about philology (ancient linguistics), and talking about the intricacies of butch gender with friends and hys beloved butch husband.
Bertie Politi (hy/hym/they/them)
‘Pansy Butch’ is a self portrait and celebration of my ‘effeminate’ butchness. I was hesitant for a while to identify as butch, as I felt I did not match up to the ‘cars and beer’ masculinity I admire in other butches, as I am not physically strong, and enjoy stereotypically feminine hobbies. I am now secure in my ‘eccentric little grandpa’ brand of butchness, and express quintessential butch care for the people I love by painting birthday cards with watercolour flowers. I also take great pride in being a knitter, as being able to make my own clothes makes me a ‘handy butch’ and means I can express my masculinity sartorially with greater agency over the fit, colour, and design of clothes. In the portrait, I am wearing a cardigan I knitted.
My name is Beau and I’m an 18 year old transmasc butch lesbian hobby artist. I’m from Utah, a place that isn’t too fond of people like me, but the online lesbian + Queer community has helped me embrace who I am. Besides art I enjoy taking testosterone, appreciating vintage aesthetics, dressing like Will Graham, and listening to MCR.
Beau C (he/she)
Love Letter to a Femme
One day when I have a femme to call my own I hope to create beautiful love letters for them. Valentine’s Day has always been my favorite holiday, and seeing all of the hearts and shades of pink around fills me with joy.
Cassidy is a nonbinary butch originally from the Midwest but currently living in Seattle. They like making zines about lesbianism, gender, and nature. When they're not making zines, they can be found making espresso drinks, getting lost in the woods, and listening to movie recap podcasts.
Cassidy Whitney (they/them)
My goal for this zine was to marry nature and the butch gender identity. Being in nature and reading lesbian-centered works are where I feel most seen and grounded. In writing this play, it felt like I was creating a little haven that existed outside of heteronormativity and environmental destruction. Focusing on butchness allowed me to show that masculinity can be beautiful and celebrated without any ties to men, even in a Western. I also wanted to highlight that there have always been people besides white men who escaped the status quo to live authentically. I’ve always loved Brokeback Mountain but, like a lot of queer media, it ends so tragically. I wanted to reimagine what the story could be if it were gender-bent, lost the internalized homophobia, and actually had a happy ending.
Bram is a 20 year old Butch from Croatia. When he isn't writing poetry, it's getting turned into guitar-lead songs and sappy dramatically read voice notes. They spend their days working on trying to mend their relationship with art by taking it one step at a time.
My poem is about feeling stumped, feeling ashamed and less-than the great names and figures of Butch culture. It's about feeling like you need to be more for your Femme; while being perfectly Butch the way you are.
Charlie is a butch dyke lesbian (is also butch for both) and an artist. She loves to make sketches in her sketchbook about butches and what it means to be butch to them. They're from Nevada where they enjoy doing art, listening to music and wear her favorite pair of big black boots.
It's a great day to be a DYKE
Butch love is very important to me. When I was first figuring out my gender expression and sexuality, I had no idea butches could love other butches, so I made this piece to express my joy in loving butches and dykes. Showing that this kind of love is out there, I was inspired by all the butches who love each other whether it'd be platonic or romantic.
Nicole is a stone femme lesbian based in British Columbia, Canada. She currently majors in Fine Arts, and hopes to become an art teacher in the future. Their hobbies include reading comics, playing video games, listening to music, and writing. Her favorite things are butch/femme history, disco, and My Melody. They enjoy visiting the bookstore in their spare time.
Dandy Butch and Frilly Femme
My identity as a femme for butch lesbian shows itself in my work. I have a great appreciation for butch/femme culture and its subversion of gender roles, as my own gender feels affirmed through the dynamic. The lack of butch/femme relationships on screen and in other forms of media leads me to develop my own stories and characters, and I do this mainly through my art. Maisy and Diana started off as nameless characters I would draw occasionally and have since developed into something more. They are a stone femme (Maisy) and butch (Diana) who are a recently married couple.
Clark is an Arizona based essayist, novelist, and educator whose professional work centers practical applications of disability theory. When not at work or writing about butch knights, Clark enjoys studying theology, ironing, and helping friends assemble furniture
The title of this poem comes from a line by my all-time favorite poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. “Down this hill, April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.” In the middle ages, sexually frustrated lesbians coped by joining convents. Today, ecclesiastically frustrated lesbians cope by finding girlfriends. Either way, candles are lit. Offerings are made. Hours are lost contemplating the nature of sin. There’s something in me, frantic and exuberant and a little ridiculous, that’s built for devotion. It’s how I’m wired. If I’d been born a thousand years ago and allowed to dedicate my life to worship I wouldn’t be any less gay. I’d probably be a little less weird about it, though.
Clark A. Waters (she/her/he/him)
My Barber Asks Me to Show Him A Picture
I have a clear vision of the woman I’m striving to become. She’s exactly the kind of man my congregation would have approved of. Clean-cut, dutiful, courteous. A provider. It troubles me to imagine I might never live up to this masculine ideal, but in some ways the reality of attempting to embody it is almost as terrifying. I’m often disheartened by the way these roles and styles, which for a man signify worthiness, are seen as deviant or unwholesome when I adopt them for myself as a lesbian. I thought for a while I was dissonant, wired wrong. I don’t believe that anymore. I don’t need to carve out distinct spaces for the contradictory pieces of myself, because there are no contradictory pieces – only endless expressions of a single way of being.
Charlie Stetson is a transmasc butch lesbian poet from Oakland, California currently living and teaching high school English in Los Angeles, California. When she is not writing poetry, she is writing film reviews or working with middle school girls in her UCLA community service organization Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE). They love to cook, watch soccer, and to uplift butch/femme relationships, friendships, and dymanics, and more than anything they love their girlfriend.
Charlie Stetson (he/she/they)
Family Dinner surrounds the dynamic of butch/femme love through the lens of the kitchen, and food as a love language. Author Charlie Stetson writes about how they show love to their girlfriend through cooking for her and feeding her as she reflects on falling in love with her femme. Using color and scents, this piece highlights the care that comes with butch love and the security and wellness butches hope to provide their femmes as they move within this world together, as a family.
Love is Like a Record Player
Love is Like a Record Player is a midnight ode to a butch missing her lover. Written in the early hours of the morning, Charlie Stetson yearns for the touch of her femme while reflecting on the clarity and life that her femme has brought her already. Despite the feelings of loneliness, this piece focuses on the beauty of the everlasting nature of love that resists both despair and distance, finding hope in knowing that their heart will beat for their femme forever.
Diya is a Pakistani, butch lesbian from St.Louis. Catch them making art with her gaggle of queers or writing poems about her girlfriend.
Diya Abbas (she/they)
Moon and Sea
At home with my Beloved it seems that we can be safe anywhere on earth. In our reality I have to find control in other elements of earth like air, water, fire. When the validity of my masculinity, my lust, my love is doubted, I like to imagine myself away from land where I constantly don’t have to be making a choice: over the water on a boat somewhere, inside the ache of a fire, the bark broken by a storm. Even on land I can feel myself swaying out of cities, timelines, and fear when I am with her. Her love is my elemental architect. This poem is about trust.
Corin is a bug-collecting butch in STEM that loves puzzles/problem solving, baking for their found family, sketching when they can, and going on a good walk. While they’re out finishing their degree in a stream somewhere, they often dream of cooking breakfast with their femme partner.
Thoughts of Ewe
When ewes are in love, they have a tendency to not physically assert their feelings; when two ewes are in love they try to stay as close to each other as possible without addressing their true intentions. Thanks to human ingenuity, long distances can be connected through phone calls and letters, allowing sapphics across the world to shoot their longing directly to the heart of the one they desire.
Eliot Swift is a genderqueer butch dyke going to art school in Boston. They work primarily in illustration and printmaking but have also branched out into book arts, ceramics and nature photography. They love gardening, birdwatching and punk rock music!
Eliot Swift (they/them)
Self-Portrait as a Butch in Love
Self-Portrait as a Butch in Love started as simple doodles in my notebook during class, trying to capture the feeling of falling in love with my partner for the first time. I feel that butches are often depicted as stoic, experienced, confident lovers- but plenty of us are shy and giddy, flustered by love and trying desperately to do everything right. It’s important to show our softer side, that butches get butterflies in our stomachs too!
"Dot." is an afro-caribbean dougla and transmasc femme lesboy from Jamaica, Queens (NYC). Outside of loudly being a genderfuck enthusiast, fae spends most of his time either drawing or writing sappy love poems. Otherwise, he's cooking, infodumping, and playing games with, or spending time with faer loved ones.
Femme, NOT "Fem".
I'd wanted to write a personal piece about femme identity, both in how it resonates with me as a t4t transmasc, and how it's constantly misconstrued as just being a feminine gay woman (when thats the furthest from the truth). Its hard seeing people divorce femme from its historical context, or present this ideal of a sanitized lesbianism that's so incredibly alienating, especially knowing a large part of butchfemme culture is loving eachother, is the rejection of cis(het) gender norms.
Erica (She/ Her) is a butch lesbian woman who has been drawing since she could hold a pencil. As a young tomboy, drawing was a way to get parental praise for her mind rather than for wearing a pretty dress. Erica loves femmes, olives, and playing guitar.
Erica Giokas (she/her)
butch femme type
This was an attempt at designing a butch femme font which turned into a fun exploration of positions.
Emma is a transmasculinely-aligned gender-aberrant butch lesbian based in Chicago, IL. They have lately been obsessed with queer time and histories, and have been reading the works of Leslie Feinberg among James Baldwin and Ocean Vuong as of late. They are interested in further pursuing the art of letter-writing, and is obsessed with the queered domestic and mundane; within their artistic and scholarly practices, they are interested in reimagining/decolonizing community care, researching queer kinship, and examining how identity and the self are formed. Where do you become you? Who are we but excerpts of another?
Emma Varano (they/them)
Portrait of Mes and Yous
For Portrait of Mes and Yous, I conducted research outwardly to other lesbians, asking for descriptors and adverbs that they may use to describe their lesbianism in a myriad of settings: in relationship to themselves, their community, family, outsiders, and/or their lifestyle and lived experiences in lesbianism. In gathering a spectrum of words, from painful to celebratory, from whispered to in-your-face, I invite the audience of the work to participate directly in the conceptual grounding of the work; I invite non-lesbians and lesbians alike to look inwardly, prompting them to examine their own relationship to their own sexuality/gender, to be serious, to play, readers of the work reflect how/if their experiences can be summed into something as both reductive and as infinite as one word, one continuum, one truth.
My name is Jace and I’m a filipino lesbian with lots of love for comics, I am proud of my identity and I love showcasing it in personal pieces I do.
shoveled walkway and stars in her hai
Shoveled Walkway features a femme putting a scarf on a butch, with a cottage in the back with smoke hearts to highlight the tender scene in front of us. Stars in her hair are two femmes, with one putting stars in her hair, it is based on the line, “I could pick the stars for you, I could pin them in your hair”..
Eve Gore is a butch poet. They love writing, reading, knitting and spending time with their girlfriend. They are currently training to be a teacher.
Eve Gore (they/she)
Why is a Butch Like a Stone?
This poem was about my own journey to masculinity and lesbianism and finding myself within the butch identity. I wanted to work with the imagery commonly associated with butches as well as inspiration from stone butch blues.
Harper is an OFOS trans disabled stone butch college student who writes poetry and screenplays. While they're studying in Massachusetts, they are a proud South Carolinian. In their free time, they love playing video games, kissing their femme, or watching youtube videos about bad movies.
Harper Elrod (they/he)
what it means
what it means is about disabled butch/femme love. It's about what it means for me as an OFOS butch to not be the strongest, but to give everything I have. It's about my femme's unwavering devotion in the sight of a future where I can't do everything I would do for her if I was abled. It's about choosing each other, despite everything else.
Grey is a genderfluid goth femme lesbian who adores butches (particularly their butch). They live in Canada with their girlfriend and dog. In his spare time they can be found reading and promoting sapphic books, making bookish content on their Instagram and Youtube channel, writing books about lesbians, obsessing over Lord of the Rings, and practicing witchcraft. His biggest dream is to be an eccentric goth librarian who mysteriously floats around the library and is always armed with a hot cup of tea.
Grey Pearce (they/he)
A Femme to Their Butch
This poem was written after my girlfriend had a particularly bad day. I was cuddling her and all I could think about was how much I wish I was there to defend her in public. There's something very special and sacred in the way a femme and butch care for each other. As a femme, I consider it my duty to defend and protect my butch, to provide a safe haven.
Jay is a transmasc butch lesbian with a love of all things butchfemme culture. They spend their time acting, singing, songwriting and playing ukulele. When not working on his craft, he can be found at the gym or at home watching queer film and TV.
To Be Needed
I’ve found so much joy in routine tasks when they were for someone I love. With so many problematic examples of masculinity being modeled in media, I’ve chosen to express mine in acts of service. These short exchanges showcase my adoration of femininity, despite my inclination to present masculine.
jasper (they/she) is an east coast dyke with a theater degree and a judas tattoo. their favorite activities include embroidering, singing, and turning male characters into butches. please ask them about star trek.
reasons best known to herself
this piece reimagines the relationship between anne bonny and mary read, interweaving the heteronormative text from “a pyrate’s history” with a butchfemme narrative of discovery and acceptance.
Juno is a transfem lesbian based in the upper midwest. She wants to start several hobbies but is paralyzed by choice and instead chooses to write poetry and make tiktoks in her freetime.
My partner and I worse skin that never quite fit us. Over two years weve tailored ourselves new outfits, stitched with love, and grown into ourselves as a Transmasc Butch and a Trans Femme. Shoveled Walkways is story about how love feels like a scarf on a winter day.
Jerakah Greene is a dyke from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their work has been published in Crabfat Magazine, Impossible Archetype (Issue 6), the F(r)iction Log, and Hair Trigger. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and Best of the Net nominee, Jerakah was named a PEN America Emerging Voices fellow in 2021. Currently, they are pursuing their MFA in Fiction at The New School. You can follow them at @jerakahs on Instagram for an inappropriate amount of Lord of the Rings memes.
Jerakah Greene (they/them)
DYKES FOR PEACE
This poem is an exploration of the kind of dyke I want to be. It took me years to become comfortable with calling myself a lesbian, and even longer to find my place within lesbian communities. Eventually I realized that my definition is the only one that matters.
Kay is a working class butch from England, with a penchant for Doctor Who, enthusiastic unskilled dancing, and puns. He also writes poetry and prose, and doesn't know how to flirt.
Kay Knighting (he/him)
This piece is an exploration of the depth of my butchness and the journey taken to embracing and celebrating my innate masculinity in healthy, joyous ways, despite the prevailing influence of toxic manifestations of masculinity in my culture.
Kae is a black lesbian artist based in the Midwest. They’re a full time college student, and they love playing instruments, writing, playing animal crossing, reading, and baking!
I Dream Of Studs
A lot of times in media, studs and butches are demonized and not viewed in a positive light so I wanted the femme to be dreaming of the stud.I specifically used the label “stud” to reference aave. I decided to give the femme a double chin and darker skin to shine a light on plus size lesbians and dark skin femmes. I wanted to use a more simple illustration to represent black lesbians, and plus size lesbians.
Lauren Ring (she/her) is a perpetually tired Jewish lesbian who writes about possible futures, for better or for worse. She is a World Fantasy Award winner and Nebula finalist, and her short fiction can be found in venues such as F&SF, Nature, and Lightspeed. When she isn’t writing speculative fiction, she is most likely working on a digital painting or attending to the many needs of her cat, Moomin.
The Hunt of the Unicorn, Displayed in Reverse
This piece is about two of my favorite things: butches and unicorns. As a femme, I feel that I am more similar to butches than I am to lesbians who are neither butch nor femme, and I wanted to illustrate that similarity and solidarity using elements of myth.
Keaton grew up on the prairies but always wants to live by the sea. They love dinner parties, collecting beach glass, and everything about butches. They are an MFA student currently working on a thesis novel about gay rodeo princesses.
"Eden" was the first short story I wrote and workshopped in my undergrad, and is a distillation of that time, with all my love of capital "R" Romanticism, art history, and of course, Keats. It's incredibly nerdy. It's also the queerest thing I'd written at the time, and a celebration of butchfemme aesthetics. Natasha, Willa, and Eden are lesbians who find themselves naturally centred among the romantic, the tragic, and the sublime.
Leila is a disabled femme lesbian musician, composer, writer and artist from Australia. Their art primarily focuses on womanhood, queerness, disability and anti-capitalism. Leila is particularly fascinated by the monstrous feminine and mad women. One of their recent projects is a feminist gothic horror opera titled Plain Bad Heroine - a retelling of the Faust legend which deals with women’s hunger for power, knowledge and love. Amongst several other projects, they are currently working on their debut album. When not creating, she can be found looking after rescue cats, knitting/crocheting, drinking copious amounts of tea and reading a lot.
Nine Mirrors from the Periphery
“Nine Mirrors from the Periphery” is a collection of nine poems that reflect different stages of coming to terms with and sharing my sexuality, gender and love. From conversations, intimacy, internal dialogues and protests, the poems are a celebration of a growing pride in my own queerness and community. It asserts that we, as lesbians, will die old, assured that we lived and loved as we could.
The Hunt of the Unicorn, Displayed in Reverse
This piece is about two of my favorite things: butches and unicorns. As a femme, I feel that I am more similar to butches than I am to lesbians who are neither butch nor femme, and I wanted to illustrate that similarity and solidarity using elements of myth.
Lee is a Boricua-American Butch4Butch writer and cartoonist who loves to create worlds through their hands and words. You can find them leaving kisses all over their butch, taking long walks, and reading new books.
Musings at a Stovetop
Food is a way I have connected to my heritage for a long time and I love to share it with others that I love especially as a special form of intimacy and softness.I think cooking is not something that is typically viewed masculinely, so taking it into my hands as a butch gives it a very special meaning to me, especially when it comes to cooking food from my culture.
Little Dog is a Canadian illustrator and butch lesbian. Their art explores about the human experience and topics such as love, grief, growth, and connection - as seen through the eyes of a butch lesbian.
This print is a love letter to butch identity and to other butches. It is rare to see butch4butch representation, so I'm doing it myself. The stamp was carved from lino and printed on newsprint. My goal was to create a simple, timeless design.
Lottie is an OFOS high femme lesbian with a background in zine making, mural painting, and butch defending. They have lived all over America but currently reside in NYC, working as an art teacher part time and for a publishing company full time. When they're not starting unnecessarily ambitious new projects, Lottie can be found painting her nails, writing love letters, sewing, gardening, visiting cemeteries, leaving lipstick ALL over her butch, making educational ButchFemme videos on Tiktok, and baking heart shaped treats.
Team Member + Contributor
Lottie Valiente (they/elle/she)
Lottie is the Head + Editor-in-Chief of Beloved,
They drew both the front and back cover to the zine, as well as various pieces of spot art inside.
Loree is a femme artist with too much on the mind.
Maddie is a non-binary lesbian artist who currently lives and works in Minneapolis, MN. Using acrylic painting as a form of journaling about their own lived experiences, their work focuses on all things intimate, personal, and queer. Maddie is a big fan of fluorescent colors, staying caffeinated, and always finding new ways to connect with the people around her.
fruitful love (lesbian is not a dirty word)
This piece was created in response to current discourse surrounding the word "lesbian" and how there are many members of the LGBTQ+ community who avoid using the word because of its stigma of being a dirty word. I'm a strong believer that lesbian is one of the most beautiful words to exist, and I created 'fruitful love' to combat the negative feelings surrounding the word and to celebrate any and all individuals who find love and solace in the word lesbian.
M. Christina is a lesbian writer and nerd currently attending school for classics. She enjoys reading, history, nature, and museums. Her favorite vegetable is broccoli and her creative works focus on the interconnections of gender and sexuality as well as lesbians and queer women in history.
My piece came about when I started my yearly listen of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Memories of yearning and an undefinable euphoric feeling flooded before my eyes and I was swept to my younger years as a ballet dancer who performed in The Nutcracker until the age of fourteen. Now as someone who has insight on my sexuality and why on Earth I was blushing so damn much around my fellow dancers as they treated me like their knight or husband rushing to save their lives, I created this poem to connect pasts and presents. This poem focuses specifically on one of the roles I played: a toy soldier. Images of swords, chivalry, masculinity, romance, and my sexuality are intertwined with one another, and this is the poem where I explore such a concept.
hiii, about me.. i’m a 19 year old butch brown mexican lesbian film student. my pronouns are He/She. im currently based in mexico city, training to become a DOP (director of photography) then make the butchest most femme lesbian films ever :) you can find more of my work on @mariam_vila (insta) or @hunk697 (twitter)
Retrato de una mujer en llamas
a collection of 35mm portraits i took of my beautiful femme girlfriend, belén (she/her) (20) who i love and adore sm <3
euforia de género
a 35mm photograph of myself near the urinal on the ‘mens’ bathroom in a coffee shop on my little hometown. this ones about my gender identity, my gender expression and gender euphoria.
lesbianas en día de muertos
butch/femme lesbians on día de muertos. this is me & my lovely girlfriend of 3 years. <3
L., also known as Mahovina, is a bosnian butch lesbian living in Germany. She's a full time student and occasionally an artist. Her stories and art center lesbians and the variety of the lesbian experience, while also focusing on themes of gender and religion.
the instinct to be held
A beautiful part of butchfemme dynamics is the absolute adoration that both partner have for each other. The subtleness of a gaze, or the placement of a hand on your partner can express so much. There's something very intimate about the femme holding her butches head, having complete control over them, and the butch letting her. Trusting someone like that, can be terrifying, but you can tell they are both completely in love with each other. Butches are often portrayed as these tough protectors, but butches can be just as vulnerable and soft as they are tough. And I think a butch being held by their partner and looking up at her completely open and vulnerable is something that needs to be shown more.
Marley Stokes is a femme lesbian hobby writer who studies black and queer history and anthropology in the blue ridge mountains of southwest Virginia. They like folk music and early 2000's hip hop, and butch lesbians who will drive so they don't have to. They love the process of aging, the beauty of humanity, and the joy of their respective communities. You can find them as @mar777ey on Instagram, and @banjobeetle on TikTok.
Growing up in rural Appalachia with little-to-no representation of anything Black or queer is a very lonely experience. I love my femme identity and my blackness more than anything, so I wanted to give little me, and other dykes in training in my same position something to have and hold. This story is an amalgamation of both of my grandmothers' experiences growing up here along with some of mine. Johnny Star is me, and I am him. So are you! Be proud always.
Mars is a lesbian artist located in Austin, TX.They mainly use their art to express their love and adoration for other lesbians, especially black lesbians but they also use their art for drawing silly things like bugs and snoopy.
Spring is here
Drawing inspiration from vintage ads but adding a twist to it by depicting two black lesbians. An overarching theme of my work is showcasing black lesbians being loved and adored because that is something that many black lesbians get to experience nor see themselves in such a light.
Marvin is a transmasc butch artist from Athens,Greece. He is a full time English student but usually spends their free time drawing stuff with the main subject being lesbian relationships and dynamics. They are also a bird parent and oolong tea enthusiast
A delicate hand
This piece is meant to portray the tenderness of all lesbian dynamics, wether that be butch4femme, femme4femme or butch4butch, focusing on the aspect of touch. In a society that resents us for being who we are, we will keep touching and feeling and loving; because there is nothing purer for me than lesbian love.
Max is a trans masculine dyke living in Austin, Texas. He loves biking around town, watching horror movies, getting high with friends, and dancing his heart out. He believes in anarchist praxis and fighting for queer futures. Catch him at the local coffee shop, fiending for lesbian eye contact!
Max Hman (pronouns)
Same for Same
Same for Same is about the beauty of butch for butch love. The poem relates how freeing it is to be with someone who deeply understands and sees you for who you are. Relationships with people who share parts of my identity have been transformative, expanding my capacity for love and self-expression. That extends to many types of relationships, including lesbianism, t4t, and butch love. On top of that, this piece is a love letter to butches everywhere- you have my heart.
Mel Jayne is a femme British artist and writer. She is the author of the (free) webcomic 'Summer of Seoul' and several unpublished novels. Her work mainly focuses on the lesbian experience of twenty somethings. She also spends her time watching queer cinema, reading, and baking.
“Gentle Lover” is a love letter to the often overlooked butch identity and relationships through the eyes of a university student in the late 1960s. Grounded in the experiences and culture of queer women at this time, I centered this story around the Gateways, an infamous London lesbian bar. In this way I have attempted to pay homage to the queer women who came before us and the rich hidden history they have left behind.
Micah is a butch photographer and theatre artist based in Boston. You can find them proudly carrying on the lesbian traditions of working at a bookstore, being in a union (shoutout UAW Local 1596!), community organizing (with the Party for Socialism & Liberation!), and never shutting up about their girlfriend.
When my dear friend Cassidy came up with a butch4butch reimagining of Brokeback Mountain, I knew we had to bring this to life somehow. With the passion and skills of our friends, I had the honor to capture this beautiful recreation of a truly iconic piece of gay media. Featuring Anna Kraffmiller & Ana Luisa Brady-McCullough, with costumes by Tamir, props by Soren, lighting by Isaac Roussak, and direction by Gabriella Garcia.
Mia is an autistic butch lesbian from the UK. They are currently studying for their A Levels. As well as art, she enjoys reading, baking, and admiring femmes and other butches. He is also very passionate about socialism and cats.
This is a pencil drawing of some photos of myself wearing a waistcoat and feeling very handsome. I drew these in the style of old photos, to try to emulate the ones I’ve seen of butches from the past. I drew this piece as a celebration of my own newly-discovered butch identity, and the beauty of butch and femme identities in general.
Nat is a femme creative based in New England. They primarily write science fiction, but have also been known to knit, paint, and wax poetic about their butch. Their chief goal in life is to delight little girls with their fancy outfits.
butch2femme 4 femme2butch
"butch2femme 4 femme2butch" is a reflection on my gender journey, my love for my partner, and the inherent connections between them. My gender is not easily defined -- being femme is a foundational part of me, but having spent my formative years as a butch has also left an indelible mark on my sense of self. The one person I know truly understands the wholeness of my identity is my partner, who found their own identity as a butch while I found mine as a femme. As we grew together, the ways we understood each other's paths and the interactions between our related identities were deeply healing. For me, this mutual understanding of one another's experiences -- this intimate knowledge that simultaneously informs and is informed by our dynamic -- is butchfemme existence in its purest form.
Van (He/they) is a non binary masc lesbian based in Southern California. He is a multimedia artist whose specialties include songwriting, filmmaking, and writing poetry/prose. He is also a full time certified personal trainer.
SIN/SUAN film is a project that is meant to encapsulate my journey of self-discovery as a non-binary lesbian while simultaneously healing familial and generational trauma. It is an artistic amalgamation of the complex experiences throughout my transition journey.
noquisi, or Emerald (English name), is a Cherokee and Mvskoke lesbian poet and beader out of Santa Fe, NM. She loves writing about lesbians, the water, and the words they collect from other writers. When they aren't writing, beading, or learning another artform, noquisi spends her time with her girlfriend and two cats making fun of bad movies and cherishing the domesticity of lesbian life.
noquisi inadunai (they/she)
Rabbit and Hare
"Rabbit and Hare" is a love poem to my girlfriend and to femme/butch relationships. While my girlfriend and I do not fit the femme/butch dynamic, the crux of this piece is about lesbian identities, how they intersect, their love for each other, and the beauty in their vastness. Hare answers their own question of transformation as they find belonging in Rabbit, and they begin to change because of the domestication within their relationship. Rabbits are also an important being in my cultures, so their place in the poem establishes this as a specifically Native piece. Originally an imitation poem of Ilya Kaminsky's Deaf Republic, this piece has morphed into something much more sacred to me and represents all my identities in its own way.
Nell is a 21 year old femme lesbian based in South Carolina. She enjoys wandering, writing in the notes app (a little too much) and finding colors to base their life and joy around every other month. She is always in a mood of orange and pink, loving their queerness through and through. You can find her @noelleanneliese on Instagram, steeping in her dismay of capitalism, and trying to catch time by the tail.
Noelle (Nell) Anneliese(they/she)
The Persistence of Idolatry
This piece catalogues the developing relationship between the speaker and their object of admiration (now, their butch). It weaves between lust and fearsome longing, willing themself to bravely admit their crush. Above all, it is about hope, the distinct want and lonely that drives lesbians (like the speaker) to great lengths of adoration. The persistence of idolatry is the persistence of hope. This piece was inspired by the month of my budding romance after a year of flirtation and silent watching eyes. It ends with the speaker accepting this love, just a few months after I realized I was in love, that I was still persistent in this desire, my muse and my butch.
poof is an arab femme lesbian who loves history, vintage trinkets, art and reading. their art deals with themes of love, melancholy and heartbreak all with an underlying homoerotic tone. poof has very ambitious dreams and hopes to become a renowned artist in illustration and animation someday. their favorite hobbies include doing her henna, redecorating her room and having movie nights with their friends.
Nora Armânâ (pen name) is a femme lesbian student, translator and aspiring writer from Serbia.
A full table
A full table is a short essay that takes a closer look at the gendered role of cooking within a patriarchal society, through a lens of lesbian and queer life.
Reese Adelio has been writing about their hyperfixations since the age of twelve, when she first discovered erotic fanfiction and her own ability to imagine outside the confines of a fairly religious upbringing. Love, lust, sex, relationships, masc+femme identity, and romance became the ultimate fascination for him, and have inspired the last ten years of writing, performance, photography, and film. Reese was born and raised in rural Ontario, so-called Canada, to a large family of musicians, and currently works and resides on the unceded territory of the Wendake-Nionwentsïo, Mohawk, and Haudenosaunee ("Ottawa").
We Belong In There
This piece is a small attempt at honouring the ginormous, thundering, beautiful, and terrifyingly confusing feelings of identity, and the magnetism one can feel when they connect with someone that reflects only their truest self. It's a tribute to the most beautiful relationships I've ever seen, read about, or prayed for.
Pascal is a bisexual butch from Italy. He spends much of her time in an occupied community space in Milan - whenever they have time, though, they write. Poetry has been his favorite form of art since she was a kid. They like collecting physical memories, taking pictures and making people gifts.
For a very long time, I struggled with my sense of identity. This was mostly related to my then untreated OCD - it turns out it's incredibly hard to call yourself anything at all when you spend your days trying to convince yourself you are not secretively evil or unintentionally ruining people's lives. In this piece, I tried to write about what being butch means to me, especially when it comes to trusting that my love won't be harmful. The title comes from the song Loveology by Regina Spektor.
Finchie is a femme lesbian artist and merchandise designer whose previous projects include clients such as Neon Hemlock Press, Graveyard Goods, and the Classics But Make It Gay artbook, among others. She loves science fiction, the color pink, and love.
I Love You On Purpose
I wanted to capture the way femmes look at butches, they way they always have and always will: calm, confident, intentional love.
Ripley is a femme (for butch) illustrator based in Austin, Texas. Her personal artwork subverts vintage and historical aesthetics to depict lesbian love. Aside from art, she enjoys baking, gardening, sewing, and comics!
Pillow roller princess
There’s something so tender and intimate about styling your lover’s hair.
Avalon is a butch lesbian artist and former cowboy from Texas currently in school for concept art. Her personal work weaves together her complicated religious upbringing with her butch identity & love for other butches. She adores star-shaped things, earl grey lattes, Sonic the Hedgehog, oxford commas, & anything related to Mary or Joan of Arc
Every time I see my butch, he kisses my hand just like a knight from a fairy tale. We always say he's my knight & I'm his prince, & that's what inspired this little drawing. Love between butches is filled with so much mutual understanding & tenderness, & sharing bits and pieces of it whenever I can is so very important to me.
reuben q. is a bigender dyke, writer and photographer located in central florida. his interests include LGBT history, jewish theology, alternative music, sustainable living, and the natural world.
doing it butch
my poem encapsolates butch resilence and is a love letter to my partner and all the other butches in the world living as their true self.
Sentwithakiss is a sapphic illustrator based in Canada who's body of work is fun, colorful and expressive. She specializes in digital art, printmaking and merchandise design, and has an especially soft spot for works depicting intimacy and homoeroticism.
choking on you
Ruth is a genderfluid lesbian and reader/writer/drawer from the Oregon Coast. A rural queer, she enjoys farmwork, backpacking, campfire coffee, swimming in the ocean, and identifying local plants and fungi. Find her hawking illustrations at the Yachats Farmer’s Market this summer and look out for a comic book in the future!
Ruth Hale (she/they)
Across my 20s I noticed an inverse relationship between myself getting butcher and the kind of rigorous self-portraiture I used to indulge. This photo represents a moment defying that pattern: a burst of self-love and self-acceptance; glittering butch joy.
Sophie Elsa Eikli is a femme lesbian living in Trondheim, Norway. She has a background in creative writing, and spends most of her time studying History and obsessing over book series. She also loves looking out for the butches in her life, and is deeply fascinated in the legacy of queerness (and particularly lesbianism).
Sophie E. Eikli(she/they)
Cerulean Nights is an exploration of the legacy of lesbian culture and how we can relate to it today, in a time where lesbians are theoretically better protected by laws at the same time as our former haunts are gone. To read Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg- something which Feinberg worked to make available for younger generations in a new age- is an act of reckoning with the brutal history of lesbophobic violence and police brutality, but it is also a letter of longing for a time of intracommunity connection, that many modern lesbians find themselves lacking. As a femme, this poem is a work of gratitude towards those who paved the way, at the same time as a reflection on how that past affects us today.
Grave Celebrations is a tribute to the progress that lesbians have made, and the fact that in loving openly we are doing what many lesbians were unable to do. I try to refer to this through the questioning over who may lay beneath a headstone, whose identity is often unknown beyond their death. I then try to tie this sentiment into modern lesbian love, and the sense that we are the caretakers of love-memory.
This is Sarah Alvarez. She is a Hispanic exclusively femme4butch lesbian artist who loves digital illustration, ceramics, metal smithing, and printmaking. Outside of the art studio, she is a rock climber and violinist. Her identity and its culture/history is one of her favorite subjects to research. You can often find her in either the ceramics studio, climbing wall, or reading her favorite authors (Sylvia Plath, Shirley Jackson, Leslie Feinberg, and Alison Bechdel) in her college’s library.
This piece is a visual depiction of the representation I needed as a baby gay. When I first came out as a lesbian, I felt isolated, ostracized, and unseen, especially in the media. While all of the lgbt couples on TV were conceptually attractive fem4fems, or white gay men, I felt like I wasn’t being a lesbian in the right way because I was not interested in fems romantically. However, after delving into lesbian history, I found the butch femme culture of the 60s-80s and fell in love. The label of femme4butch is home to me. However, still lacking the fairytale endings of femme4butch couples in media, for this zine I decided to create my own fairytale ending, the one I do desperately needed so many years ago.
Snyder is a femme lesbian and a constant scribbler. You can expect her writing to focus on blood, touch, mortality, history, and/or lesbians. In the rare moments you can get the pen out of her hand, she loves to read, talk about Shakespeare, daydream about slowly decomposing, and consume too much caffeine.
“Denim Grind” is at the crossroads of memory and fantasy. Parts of it are drawn directly from life experience and other parts of it are daydreams of a potential future. The speaker is not me, but they have a lot in common with me. The person they are speaking to is not meant to be any specific person from my life, but rather a combination of butches that I have met or dated. The object of “Denim Grind” was not to portray a specific dynamic in my life. It was to honor the process of femme self-discovery and the joy that comes from community with butches.
Tea Turenne is a butch lesbian illustrator currently based in Baltimore. Their personal work seeks to communicate their relationship with life, love, and butch identity through colorful abstraction. Recently, they have become fond of the book-binding process, and hand-bind artist's books which much of their work is created in. They prefer an illustration process which combines colored pencils, markers, water soluble pencils and pastels.
Using vivid, abstract color, "Butch4Femme" is my visualization of the love and solidarity which exists between butches and femmes. As a butch, my identity does not exist without femmes' existence, resistance and resilience. I want to protect femmes the same way that they protect me. Similarly, butches and femmes are the only people who will ever understand my gender identity the way I want it to be understood. The desire of a femme is a gender affirmation like no other. 'I know they see beauty in us, like we see beauty in them.'
BA shy mullet mustachioed butch from chicago who loves their cats, adventure time, and eating out (lol)io
As someone who came out in their adulthood and struggles with building connections with others, I wanted to help curate a space for lesbians to be able to connect and create relationships in all capacities. Taking a page from LGBT history by utilizing personal ad formats of communication, I hope others feel more intentional and romantic when it comes to finding friends or lovers!
Surya is a transmasc butch who resides in the DMV for the time being. He is an avid book collector, poetry lover and a student of the human condition. They often spend their time with their cat, riding their bike around the city they've grown to love, or hunched over their journal spilling any and all thoughts out.
Taking Up Space
Through my childhood and into my teens, I have always felt quite stuck. A lot of the time, I've been forced to make myself smaller for the sake of others in the room, my family, some so-called friends, you name it. "Taking Up Space" is a cry, a sort of pent up aggression finally exploding itself onto paper to express the mere desires of how I want to express myself, especially as I've come to realize that I am a lesbian.
The Behemoth is a butch gym rat in Montreal, Canada studying sociology. They are a triple national powerlifting record holder and also enjoy art, poetry, boxing, and poppers.
This work is an ode to Butchness and the strength and softness it entails. It brings me great pride and joy to be butch and I wanted to convey that in this poem. A love letter to the butch community.
I’m Zoot, a Canadian illustrator inspired by 60s graphics, who specializes in comics, pinups and hand-lettering!
someone you really love/girls don’t die
While my doodles are delicate and portray a traditional femininity that comes with lace, hearts and decorative trim, I want to use those elements to also represent a rougher, messier side of femininity, with my unruled lines and shaky linework.