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Butch: What's in a Name?

I'm Jesse, and I'm a butch lesbian. I'm also a software developer, and used to do technical writing. I'm also a great cook (cilantro rules btw), a cat whisperer 🐱, and I enjoy decaf coffee . I also enjoy caffeinated coffee. ☕ I don't enjoy spiders but understand they're ecologically important. Mosquitoes, too, maybe, but I still hate them. 😒

Basically, I'm a person with varied interests, pet peeves and desires and not a stereotypical trope that you often see of people like me on TV and in film.

I'm proud of...

Finding the courage to embrace butchness even with an audience. All of my colleagues witnessed my transformation, even if I didn't want them to. Arguably, they'll continue to as I figure out what's right for me in my evolving understanding of myself.

The continuous integration of gender...
Ba Dum Tss

Equality in tech looks like...

  • Accountability for researchers and practitioners for the development of facial recognition software that is used to racially profile and target Black people.
  • The end of collaborating with agencies like ICE who forcibly tear families apart and keep children in cages.
  • Removing stigma against talking about discrepancies in pay, removing pay discrimination entirely.
  • An end to gatekeeping practices that prevent newcomers from entering the field, more diverse hiring practices, etc.
  • And surely more that I can't think of at the moment. There's a lot of work to be done, that we can all help with together! 😄

I think many people more qualified than me, a white butch lesbian, have spoken about what needs to change in tech and why. I just try to listen, and do what I can from where I'm at!

I find support in...

My wonderful partner, who supports me wholeheartedly in everything I try to do. She's my biggest supporter and my best friend.

My several other best friends who I've lived with, cried with, argued with, cared for, and who've cared for me.

My co-workers who I joke with everyday on Rocketchat and on zoom before meetings are supposed to start! They keep me grounded, even during a release cycle. 🔁

If you're interested in learning more about butchness, what it means as a gender, or what it means for lesbian culture...

Leslie Feinberg's Stone Butch Blues moved me in a very profound way, and I don't think any review I write would be adequate. Goodreads has some though, from people who can articulate a lot better than myself.

I can't recommend the zine Butch is Not a Dirty Word enough. It's a collection of stories from butches all over the world about what butch means to them.

I also recommend the book Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, which talks about lesbian life in 20th century US.

Oh, and also...

Black lives matter. All Black lives matter.

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