Curve Magazine: Butch is Back! Featuring Phranc, dapperQ, Chloe Atkins, and Studs

Curve Magazine: Butch is Back! Featuring Phranc, dapperQ, Chloe Atkins, and Studs

Butch is having a moment in plain sight.

From Lea DeLaria on and off-Broadway, to Jenni Olson’s Masc film retrospective on the Criterion Channel. Key to this revival, for me, was when towards the end of last year, just as we were wrapping up our final digital issue of Curve Quarterly, I saw that Phranc was having an art retrospective. Talk about a blast from the past.

I recalled that Phranc was one of the first butch-identified, self-aware gender performers I ever read about in Curve. I decided to do a deep dive into our Archive and see what we had on Phranc, and then I took a trip down memory lane and rediscovered how butch identity was integral to lesbian identity and its presence in the mainstream. And so it was a pleasure to get behind Phranc’s renaissance and theme our first issue for 2024 around it.

Now, this issue is by no means a comprehensive survey of ‘butch.’ That would take many, many issues! Think of this more as a little taste to whet your appetite for more contemplation about one of our favorite lesbian archetypes. In this issue we talk to Phranc, and we ask Curve publisher Franco about Phranc!

We also chat to Curve photographer Chloe Atkins about butch image-making in the early Curve days, and we honor outgoing publisher Eboné Bell’s groundbreaking leadership at TAGG magazine with an opinion piece about studs-Black lesbians who embody masculinity.

And we wouldn’t have our butch appreciation society without femmes, and so we checked in with femme fashionista and former Curve style editor Anita Dolce Vita to ask her about dapper style, butch identity, and how it set us on the path for ‘ungendering’ fashion and liberating it from the patriarchal binary.

Butch was one of the first identities to set up a challenge to the binary and gender norms, and to this day butch is constantly evolving. What a great way to kick off 2024!

curveadmin, editor of Curve

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