People are saying butches are invisible in mainstream films. They have always been there, but we may have not liked what we saw like June ‘George’ Buckridge in The Killing of Sister George or Rosa Klebb, a butch Russian lesbian who has a dangerous shoe in the James Bond film from Russia with Love.
I will be in the panel at the Butch Voices Conference called – Is That Me on TV? – 22nd August 2009 – chaired by Cheryl Dunye (Stranger Inside, Watermelon Woman), Campbell X (Fem, BD Women), Kortney Ryan Ziegler (Still Black), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) & Jack Halberstam (Female Masculinity).
You may disagree with the list and it would be interesting to hear if you think they are indeed butch or trans, just some girl in a suit, or just a tough broad. Ha!
- Marlene Dietrich in Morocco as Mademoiselle Amy Jolly. Dietrich is audacious, chivalrous and causes the woman to melt when she kisses her.
- Katherine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett as Sylvia Scarlett. Here is a rather camp sequence with Cary Grant. But doesn’t Hepburn look handsome.
- Queen Latifah in Set it Off as Cleo. I don’t mind she dies at the end. It is noble and heroic and explosive.
- Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry as Brandon Teena. Painful to watch as it is a true story but Hilary Swank is gawky, red-neck and sexy.
- Gina Gershon in Bound as Corky. A butch who lives and gets the broad.
- Yolanda Ross in Stranger Inside as Treasure. Hot dark-skinned and Afrocentric.
- Silas Howard in By Hook or By Crook as Shy. Gender queer, avante-garde and complex.
- Sonja Sohn in The Wire as Kima Greggs. Is she butch or just a tough cop. One of the few flawed lesbian characters intelligently handled in mainstream television.
- Josiane Balasko in Gazon Maudit as Marijo. A rare sighting of an older bulldagger, and in French cinema to boot.
- Pamela Sneed in BD Women as Butch Daddy. Reclaiming the glory days of the Harlem Rennaissance.
Who are your hot butches on film or TV?