Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme

Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme

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Lambda Literary Award finalist

American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book

In the summer of 2009, butch writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote and gender researcher and femme dynamo Zena Sharman wrote down a wish-list of their favourite queer authors; they wanted to continue and expand the butch-femme conversation. The result is Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme. The stories in these pages resist simple definitions. The people in these stories defy reductive stereotypes and inflexible categories. The pages in this book describe the lives of an incredible diversity of people whose hearts also pounded for some reason the first time they read or heard the words "butch" or "femme."

Contributors such as Jewelle Gomez (The Gilda Stories), Thea Hillman (Intersex), S. Bear Bergman (Butch is a Noun), Chandra Mayor (All the Pretty Girls), Amber Dawn (Sub Rosa), Anna Camilleri (Brazen Femme), Debra Anderson (Code White), Anne Fleming (Anomaly), Michael V. Smith (Cumberland), and Zoe Whittall (Bottle Rocket Hearts) explore the parameters, history, and power of a multitude of butch and femme realities. It's a raucous, insightful, sexy, and sometimes dangerous look at what the words butch and femme can mean in today’s ever-shifting gender landscape, with one eye on the past and the other on what is to come.

Includes a foreword by Joan Nestle, renowned femme author and editor of The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader, a landmark anthology originally published in 1992.

Ivan E. Coyote is the author of seven books (including the novel Bow Grip, an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book) and a long-time muser on the trappings of the two-party gender system.

Zena Sharman is the assistant director of Canada's national Institute of Gender and Health.


Title:Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781551523972
Format Type:

    Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme Reviews

  • Elizabeth

    I would say about 25% of the essays I really liked, 50% were forgettable, and 25% made me extremely uncomfortable. Things that I loved: reading about different kinds of gender expression and gendered ...

  • Danika at The Lesbrary

    If I could guarantee one thing, it's that at least one entry in this collection will piss you off. There are opinions all over the spectrum in this collection, and there is a lot to be debated. For ex...

  • Janine

    This is an anthology of writings on femme, butch, and more. It looks at how these identities have evolved and what they mean to individuals. With an excellent forward by Joan Nestle and two fantastic ...

  • Rachel

    There were a small handful of essays that I really loved and more that actually made me pretty uncomfortable or angry, like the ones that argued that cis women femmes are "straight-passing" or that bu...

  • Journey

    with something so heavily theorized, it's nice to get personal narratives; but then, personal narratives can also be just as grating, self-indulgent, and/or obnoxious as theory sometimes. I liked a ha...

  • Kat Heatherington

    brilliant anthology. this collection of personal stories is thoughtful, relevant, insightful and frequently powerful. anyone interested in gender studies will find a goldmine of valuable material in t...

  • Hil

    it's weird seeing the low ratings for this book based on the pieces from trans-exclusionist lesbians, when i feel like those pieces exist purely to provide the context needed for the clear, concise, a...

  • Jean Roberta

    This thick collection of essays and manifestoes, with some poems, short fiction and brief autobiographies mixed in, is a current report on the diversity of queer gender identities in the twenty-first ...

  • Margaret Adams

    Picked up a copy of this at my friend Dave’s house in Santa Barbara – never met the roommate who it belonged to. A mix of stories, analysis, & stories-as-analysis, some very good, some much less s...

  • Iskra Ryder

    fascinating takes on butch and femme as identities...