Meaghan O’Malley’s Tumblr page “Butches + Babies” aggregates self-submitted images of butch lesbians posing adorably with their little ones.
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It’s a necessary display seeing as butch lesbians, whom Lea DeLaria recently called the “pariahs of the community,” are often relegated to cultural stereotypes instead of viewed with complexity and nuance.
In fact, during the most recent episode of NPR’s Fresh Air, lesbian author/cartoonist Alison Bechdel recounted the first time she encountered a butch lesbian at 9 years old along with the immediate onset of guilt.
We were in Philadelphia… a much larger city than where we lived, and we were having lunch in a diner and this woman came in—this big, burly woman with short hair and men’s clothes — and I was spellbound.
My jaw dropped. My father saw me looking at this woman and he whipped his head around and said, “Is that how you want to look?” And there was so much going [on] in that exchange. In that moment, I recognized that woman: I identified with her; I wanted her; I wanted to be her.
And I knew that that was completely unacceptable.
Fortunately, times have changed, and it’s folks like O’Malley who are making strides towards increasing visibility.
“While the number of celebrities embracing butch identities has increased dramatically over the past ten to fifteen years,” she noted during an interview with BuzzFeed, “the reality is that we don’t see those people building families publicly.”
Take a look at some of our favorite Butches & Babies below.