Of course, the folks who don't identify with one of these masculine of center identities should be prepared that that's what most of the workshops are going to center around that's what we'll be focused on. but the conversations with allies are also important.
Moon: Yeah I like how you asked me to be on a panel though you don't know my "relationship" to butch. P to the S I'm having a relationship with my butch, and we are doing just fine, thank you.
Sinclair: Haha! it's a really complicated word! and not everybody claims it, the identity means so much, or sometimes something really specific to different people. but it's a challenge to organize around these 'masculine of center' identities when people have such different feelings for that word.
Moon: Don't worry I get you! I was actually surprised to hear an interview with a musician who is very clearly butch and who rejected "masculine" as an identity?!
Sinclair: That always surprises me. Oh, so you do id as butch then?
Moon: I consider myself butch... its everyone else who doesn't!!!!
Sinclair: Hah! ohh yeah I know what you mean there. I remember when I was first coming to claim that identity I would tell people I identified as butch and they'd say, "oh, don't say that, you aren't butch" like it was a bad thing.
Moon: I think there is still a fear of "female masculinity" outside of queer circles. So butches are afraid to claim their identities out in the straight world.
Sinclair: Oh, yes definitely, it's still a dangerous place to occupy...
Moon: We have so much to talk about! I can't wait for the conference!
Sinclair: yeah I think so too! After the conference that evening there's going to be a special Queer Memoir/Sideshow Reading Series Mashup called Butch Voices Speak and Submit is also happening that night, a lesbian play party in park slope, which will have some special Butch Voices related activity and a $5 discount if you were at the conference I don't have the lineup for that one yet, but it will be good. And right now we are planning a "Building Butch Community Participatory Keynote."
Moon: What does that mean?
Sinclair: It is part ritual, part inheritance, part celebration of our butch elders...
Moon: Butch voodoo?
Sinclair: Hahah that would be really cool if it was I think it will be more like... a promise to keep this community going strong and to keep ourselves together and healthy in all sorts of ways.
Moon: I'm into it! I'm glad you asked me to participate!
Sinclair: Definitely! And even the complicated relationship to that word is part of it...
Moon: ... and even though you questioned my identity!
Sinclair: Haha! well it wasn't so much a question as it was not wanting to offend! It's been hard to ask people to be involved. "What?! I'm not butch!" Oh, oops, sorry...
Moon: God we really do still have a ways to go as far as acceptance and understanding... All the more reason for everyone to attended these conferences.
Sinclair: I do remember running into you at that femme panel at the Center and I thought you said butch...
Moon: Yes, I did! I said a John Travolta Butch circa 1973
Sinclair: Hahaha I love that! I'm going for Elvis butch these days myself. I suppose I should add a circa too — not Elvis circa 1973.
Moon: Haha!! Okay I think we've gotten everyone excited. One last thing, will femmes and butches be hooking up whilst listening intently to speakers, panelists and such?
Sinclair: Mmm one can hope! Or butches and butches, or however your orientation might go.
Sinclair: There's also Butch Brunch, that happens September 18th in the east village.
Now, I think that about covers it. I'm really excited, I think it's going to be incredibly inclusive and dynamic, and really deepen the conversation around queer masculinities and I'm excited you're involved thanks for the chat.
Moon: Okay see you soon!
Sinclair: Bye! Have a good one.