Sex Roles

, Volume 50, Issue 9–10, pp 605–621 | Cite as

A Quest for Authenticity: Contemporary Butch Gender

  • Heidi M. LevittEmail author
  • Katherine R. Hiestand


A model of contemporary butch identity has been constructed from the analysis of a series of semistructured interviews with butch-identified women who described their gender in relation to their own experiences and beliefs. The analytic process entailed a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The results of the study describe how butch-identified women conceptualize their gender identity and how it affects their social relations within lesbian and heterosexual communities. The core category in this model (i.e., A Quest for Authenticity) frames butch identity as entailing an ongoing process of negotiation between an essential sense of lesbian gender and gender presentation demands that are understood in relation to the signification and meaning of genders across social contexts.

butch lesbian transgender homosexual gender 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MemphisMemphis
  2. 2.University of MemphisMemphis

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