Wednesday, August 15, 2012

#243 Lisa Camps It Up!

Lisa is another fabulous butch musician we get to sing with and listen to every year at queer family camp - our family's favorite time of year. Such a pleasure and a joy.

#242 Karen Camps It Up!

Karen, what can I say? An old-timey butch comedian and improve teacher. Karen made queer family camp even more fun this year. Plus, she's got bulldagger appeal. Just sayin'.

#241 Yolanda Camps It Up!

Yolanda doing the butch pose for me. She's a talented drummer, amazing parent and all around fabulous person. Oh how I love queer family camp!

#240 Rachel and Fern Camp It Up!

Queer family camp iconography: Rachel and her baby daughter Fern. Hard to imagine anything sweeter.

#239 Maureen Camps It Up!

Queer family camp wouldn't be the same without the nightly cocktail parties held before dinner outside various tents and cabins. Maureen is the consummate host - mixing up delicious drinks and serving wry humor.

#238 Ora Camps It Up!

Ora is a butch mensch, a wonderful person, lawyer, hiker, mother, partner who is generous with her time and expertise.

#237 A Butch and a Guitar

During queer family camp last week I was lucky enough to sing with a band we called The Parental Units. This is our fabulous guitar-playing butch.

#236 Andrea Camps It Up!

We went to queer family camp last week. A fabulous and incredibly loving community of families, teachers, little kids and big ones. It's the best time of our entire year. And you know, there were butches to be sighted. This is Andrea.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

#235 Daddy Rhon - Biker Style, and then some

I've known Daddy Rhon since 1996, although we lost touch for years. Rhon is visiting Michelle and Dags from Texas and it was so good to see her again after all these years. I drove from the SF Bay Area to Sacramento, CA to see Rhon and meet up with all Rhon's fabulous butch and femme friends, including the lovely Miss Sabra, pictured below.

Rhon is a proud long-haired butch with a style that makes me feel at home (more of that biker thing, yeah, I like it). Rhon is as warm as they come. So good to see Rhon again!

#234 Daywalker

What can I say? Perhaps it's my hippie youth spent listening to hair bands and hanging out with bikers. I don't know, but I found Daywalker extremely appealing in a butch Ozzy Osbourne kind of way. His wife, Mrs. Daywalker (Lady Flamez), is great too. She's from Tennessee and says that butches go by "he" there. So does her husband, but like Dags below, he is not transgendered.

#233 Shelley is single

Shelley is a fabulously interesting butch who is single and "on the market." She's warm, into sports (swimming, hiking and weightlifting), spirituality and works as a parent educator for the parents of disabled kids.

She's 38 and lives outside of Sacramento. Her friends say she's funny. I'd have to agree, she had that vibe about her. I tried to grill her on why she was single (I just never understand how such appealing people aren't hooked up), but we got off topic.

Want to know more? Email me: butchsightings at gmail dot com.

#232 Tigger

Tigger was taking photos all night, just like me. She called me over to talk and find out exactly why I had taken her photo earlier (with her wife's permission). She used to be a club kid, before she was married with kids. She is not 25, although that's the age I guessed. Tigger is parent to two teenagers and says that she no longer has an identity outside of "Mama." I tried to reassure Tigger that one can get their sense of personal identity back, but also commiserated; parenting changes everything.

Along with loving clubs, photography, her kids and wife, Tigger is an accomplished balloon artist who can do with balloons what a great caterer can do with food. She once made a 8' x 7' Incredible Hunk from baloons, and then stuffed it into her car, head out the sunroof, arms out the windows. A cop drove by and "whooped" his siren, then pulled up to say that she was doing "an awesome job with that."

Tigger is good people.

#231 Dags

Dags is a butch who goes by "he." Not transgender but not female identified. Dags teaches math and science and is a great appreciator of his partners phenomenal art and Rag Doll cats. They have six rescues, including one named Gianni and another who looks just like him named Versace. Dags and Michelle live out in the country where they enjoy a quiet life with their cats, art and nature.

They are a beautiful couple.

#230 Lori, illuminated

Lori was walking into the bar as we were leaving and I just couldn't resist doing one more butch sighting.

#229 Dallas

Yes, I met two butches named Dallas last night. And they didn't know each other. This is Dallas. She is the long time neighbor of Tigger and her wife.

#228 Frannie

Maybe it's being outside the immediate Bay Area, but Sacramento seemed filled with butches. Not only the ones I was with, but others at the bar and walking by. Frannie was in the bar with friends and I felt compelled to approach her to ask the question.

#227 Dallas

Dallas and her wife have baby twin girls, 7 months old, but adjusted age 4 months. They were premies and the story of their entrance into the world is harrowing and painful. As a woman who has experienced pregnancy and birth trauma myself, I felt especially moved by Dallas's story. Her girls are now 12 lbs each and she and her wife are just starting to talk about what they went through. I appreciated that she shared the story with me and send much love and empathy.

#226 Christie claiming butch, perhaps for the first time

In my usual somewhat tactless fashion, I butted in on a conversation between Christie and an old aquaintance of hers last night at the bar while I was waiting for my drink to ask if she identified as butch.

She seemed a bit taken aback by the question, but not as much as the woman she was talking to who actually got mad. Christie said she loved women, didn't have time for men and didn't seem to own the word "butch." She showed me her bra as if to say, "I'm not butch" but then thought about it and decided she was. All in the span of about two minutes.

Later Christie joined me and my friends at our table to talk about butch. It seemed to me she had a kind of epiphany, and although stumbling on what the definition of butch meant (she chops wood but so do femmes), felt that it was the right term for her.

Christie's ink

Christie and your mistress of butch sightings

#225 Coffee Butch

I stood behind Jamie in line at Peet's Coffee trying to figure out when I was going to ask. Hoping I wasn't misinterpreting the neck tattoo or stance from the back. She ordered, I ordered and then I found her and asked the question. Not only does Jamie identify as butch, her girlfriend has a femme blog called Outspoken Femme.

Jamie is a landscape gardener and former pastry chef. She drinks a dry, triple shot, whole milk cappuccino. She is very friendly and easy going. Hope to run into her at Peet's again sometime.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Today I was talking to the director of my son's summer camp. It was my first time meeting her and she was so clearly a butch, that I almost skipped the question "Do you identify as a butch" and asked her if she would agree to be sighted.

But I didn't skip the question and she responded thoughtfully by saying she had always been Tomboygirlish. There was nothing girlish about her. I thought she was using that term and not butch as some kind of new/old gay slang, but it turns out, she's never been queer - not in the 70s when she found out wearing plaid had a certain dykely connotation, and not during the many years she's been married to her husband. I know because I asked, "and you've never been with women?" She hadn't, but she had also had the question/assumption enough (for years) that she was okay with the conversation and I didn't feel weird/ashamed for asking. I appreciate her even more for that. She'a also got a kick ass summer camp!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

#224 Cathy

I surprised Cathy with my question on a sunny afternoon out at the shops. I spotted her when we arrived and waited until she came out of one shop before popping the question.

My guess was that it could go either way: identified as butch or as old school lesbian feminist who lived, at one point in her life, on the land. Truth is, she was intrigued by how she was seen by others, definitely likes the softer energy of more feminine women, and believes that all women carry feminine and masculine within themselves. Cathy still lives on the land part of the time, and the rest in San Francisco, where she grew up. She is a Leo with a birthday coming soon, and we had a lovely and interesting discussion. I introduced her to my son, partner and our butch friend Toby - hoping to make her feel at ease.

Sometime I would love for someone who has been "sighted" to write what it was like from their perspective.

Toby had coffee this morning at the Temescal Farmer's Market

Lucky us

Saturday, July 21, 2012

#223 A Self Made Butch

Kitty was walking by on the waterfront under the San Francisco Bay Bridge when I spotted her. She is about to move back to Bethesda, Maryland after 12 years in San Francisco. Kitty grew up in Washington, D.C.; Athens, Greece; and Frankfurt, Germany. She has children and grandchildren and is single (like her, let me know, maybe I can hook you up).

She is a self-made butch who started very successful businesses. And she is very friendly, easy going.

Thanks for playing along Kitty! Nice to meet you.

(that's my partner in the background, she puts up with a lot)

#222 Charlene

The new Rosie the Riveter Museum and Visitor Center recently opened in Pt. Richmond, CA and so naturally, butch sightings are increasing.

This is Charlene.

Queer ASL Butch/Femme Gotye - Whoa!

Friday, July 6, 2012

#221 This butch is a peach

Jen was checking out the produce when I asked her the question. It took her a second to register (as it always does, being apropos of nothing), and then she said yes. I saw her later with her partner and baby. Adorable family.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#220 Trader Joe's Comes Through Again

This is J. J was looking at her phone when I asked if she ID'd as butch. She looked up, laughed a little, surprised but not unhappy about it, and replied, "Why yes." She immediately told me about her wife, Thea, who gets frustrated at being invisible as a femme. Something many of us femmes can relate to.

J and Thea have been together for 12 years. They moved from the foggy side of San Francisco to Oakland a couple of months ago. J answers questions and asks them too - a very engaged person, easy to talk with, kind, interesting. I met Thea too after she walked in to the store from BART which she took home after work.

J is a scientist. I love that. Let's welcome J and her wife to the neighborhood.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

#219 Nothing says "Potluck" like a hot butch

I met Devon and her beautiful fiance Cassie at a potluck yesterday. Ah, queer life! She was happy to be sighted. Lovely.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Butch Sightings Wishes You a Happy Pride

The 2012 San Francisco Dyke March

The dyke march was a lot of fun, although doing butch sightings involved quite a bit of walking backwards in heels to talk with the marchers as they marched and ask to take their pics.

There are many portraits following this post, but first, a couple more pics that say so much about what makes me happy.

#218 Maggie at the San Franicsco Dyke March 2012

I'll admit it, Maggie caught my eye as I was marching up the street. She was sitting on a car, all craggy faced and laughter. Appealing. Old School. When I came back down the street later and she was still there, I couldn't not ask her if she ID'd as butch.

#217 Camille at the San Franicsco Dyke March 2012

I think Camille was a little surprised when I ran up to her to ask if she ID'd as butch (they often are). But she kept her cool and let me snap this pic. I love a butch who plays along!

#216 Suzanne at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

Suzanne told me something that was clearly untrue about herself; she said she wasn't photogenic. I beg to differ. Hello handsome Suzanne. Thanks for being sighted.

#215 Dee and Sid at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

I literally had to walk up to Dee and Sid as they were kissing and interrupt to ask for a pic. I guess I could tell they'd be amenable. What a hot couple and what a fun interaction. I'm pretty sure they went right back to kissing after our mini photo-shoot.

#214 Queer Rebels KB and Celeste at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

What an incredible couple! When I approached them, they were so welcoming. Happy. Delighted. It felt like a 30 second love fest.

KB and Celeste are the directors of Queer Rebel Productions

"Showcasing LGBT artists of color. Connecting generations and genres. Honoring our queer legacies with visionary art for the future."

I can't wait to start supporting their work!

#213 Tania at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

Tania was quite lovely - offering a stunning profile pose. I think she really brings out the rainbow in that flag.

#212 No Name Given at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

This butch was willing to have her photo taken but declined to give me her name. We'll just have to imagine what it might be.

#211 Raquel at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

I ran up to Raquel, leaving my place in the march to ask her if she ID'd as butch. She doesn't prefer labels but was happy to be included in Butch Sightings. Thank goodness.

#210 Raven at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

Raven could not have been more enthusiastic when I asked her if she ID'd as butch. In fact, I felt like she was an old friend - so incredibly warm and happy. Raven is from Tuscon, AZ and we're certainly glad she made a visit to SF!

#209 Laurie at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

Laurie is a friend of a friend and kindly offered, many times, to give my young daughter a piggy back ride (after we got separated from the rest of our family and were trying to feel confident and cheer up). My daughter didn't take her up, maybe next time.

#208 Kelley at the San Francisco Dyke March 2012

Kelley stopped marching long enough for me to snap her pic.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#207 Roke Noir - Creativity Coach

Roke was sitting behind me and my daughter at a local bakery one day in April. She was waiting for someone. I should have approached her before her friend showed up, but I was a bit rusty in the butch sightings department so waited. Finally, I interrupted to ask Roke if she identified as butch. She graciously took the time to answer (yes!) and pose for a picture (or two or three, my daughter wanted to get in on the action by taking pictures too).

I've been seeing Roke's name on various email lists for years - Roke is a creativity coach in the San Francisco Bay Area and founding  Founding Artistic Director of Siren Theatre Project. They are currently working on "Playing with Fear." Check out her web site. "She specializes in helping people transform their intention, passion & vision into the life they live. " Great stuff!

#206 Em

This is Em. We've been married for almost 14 years (twice - once without the government, and once with), together for longer and I'm still in love with her.

We stopped at a cafe by a local lake for some refreshments on a family bike ride with our kids. Em's training for a triathlon. I'm proud of her.