< RETURN TO queer nonfiction

EDITORS: Ivan E. Coyote, Zena Sharman
CONTRIBUTORS: Joan Nestle, Amber Dawn, S. Bear Bergman, Sinclair Sexsmith, Anna Camilleri, Debra Anderson, Anne Fleming, Michael V. Smith, Zoe Whittall, Ben McCoy, Thea Hillman, Chandra Mayor, Kimberly Dark, Miriam Zoila Pérez, Rae Spoon, Belinda Carroll, Amy Fox, Nairne Holtz, romham padraig gallacher, Victoria A. Brownworth, Bevin Branlandingham, Jeanne Cordova, Melissa Sky, Donnelly Black, Elaine Miller, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Karleen Pendleton Jiménez, Brenda Barnes, Elizabeth Marston, Laiwan, B. Cole, Sailor Holladay, Sasha T. Goldberg, Jewelle L. Gómez
PUBLISHER: Arsenal Pulp Press
DATE: April 1, 2011
PAGES: 312

Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme

edited by Ivan E. Coyote, Zena Sharman

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.


Multiple contributors to Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme identify as attracted to people of multiple genders. In Kimberly Dark’s contribution “My First Lover Was Not a Lesbian”, she tells the story of a butch bisexual lover who struggled to embrace her own queerness and butchness.

  • “Forward!, Joan Nestle
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction, Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman
  • Ride, Anna Camilleri
  • My First Lover Was Not a Lesbian, Kimberly Dark
  • Coming Back Around to Butch, Miriam Zoila Pérez
  • A Dad Called Mum, Anne Fleming
  • A Beautiful Creature, Karleen Pendleton Jiménez
  • Never Be Hungry Again, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  • Femme Butch Feminist, Jewelle Gomez
  • Home/Sickness: Self-Diagnosis, romham padraig gallacher
  • Looking Straight at You, Zena Sharman
  • A Butch Roadmap, Ivan E. Coyote
  • To All the Butches I Loved Between 1995 and 2005: An Open Letter about Selling Sex, Selling Out, and Soldiering On, Amber Dawn
  • Brother Dog, S. Bear Bergman
  • Butch Is How I Feel, Brenda Barnes
  • Slide Rules, Nairne Holtz
  • Embodying Hunger and Desire with a Fistful of Bliss, Laiwan
  • Between My Fingers, Stacey Milbern
  • Masculine of Centre, Seeks Her Refined Femme, B. Cole
  • “No Butches, No Femmes”: The Mainstreaming of Queer Sexuality, Victoria A. Brownworth
  • What We Know To Be True, Sasha T. Goldberg
  • Me, Simone, and Dot, Chandra Mayor
  • For Annie B. (1915–81), Donnelly Black
  • Split Myself Apart, Redwolf Painter
  • With Both Fists: Conscious Gender Building through the Butch and Femme Identities, Sinclair Sexsmith
  • A Guide to Getting Laid by a Girl in Lipstick and High Heels, Belinda Carroll
  • A Patch of Bright Flowers, Zoe Whittall
  • Rogue Femininity, Elizabeth Marston
  • Changed Sex. Grew Boobs. Started Wearing a Tie, Amy Fox
  • The New Politics of Butch, Jeanne Córdova
  • Femme Cowboy, Rae Spoon
  • Futch: Thoughts from the Borderlands, Elaine Miller
  • Butch-Femme as Spiritual Practice, Thea Hillman
  • Rethinking High Maintenance: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Not Blaming It on the Fact That You Don’t Like High Femmes, Bevin Branlandingham
  • 38 B, Sailor Holladay
  • baby butch: a love letter from the future, Melissa Sky
  • Female Masculinity, Male Femininity, Feminine Masculinity, Masculine Femininity …?, Prince Jei and Misster Raju Rage
  • Backstage with Lady Gaga, Ben McCoy
  • Femme Shark Manifesto!, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  • A Failed Man, Michael V. Smith
  • Spotlight, Debra Anderson
  • Hats Off, Ivan E. Coyote

Other books by contributors

Similar Titles

Skip to content