Butch is a term used in the lesbian subculture, referring to a woman who possesses masculine traits, behavior and self-perception.
“Butch” can be used as an adjective or a noun to describe the gender performance of a person.
The concept of “butch” and “femme” (a feminine lesbian woman) has been called a “way to organize sexual relationships and gender and sexual identity”.
Lesbian relationships aren’t only embodied through butch-feme relationships, since there are also women in butch-butch or femme-femme relationships.
Origin of the term
“Butch” became a common term in lgbt communities in the 20th century.
The expression “butch” meaning “masculine” may also have been extracted from the abbreviation of the word “butcher,” as first stated in George Cassidy ‘s nickname, Butch Cassidy.
Nonetheless, the exact origin of the word “butch” is still unknown.
Spread of the term
The “butch” artist Daddy Rhon Drinkwater made an illustration of a black triangle colliding in a red circle to represent “passion and love” in butch-femme relationships.
The symbol first appeared on their website, Butch-Femme.com, which is now unfortunately is defunct.
A “butch” woman can also be described as a “dyke”, “stone butch”, “diesel dyke” or as a “bulldyke” or ”bulldagger”.