Kanithea Powell’s ‘Butch’ Photo Book Expands Definition of Butch

Autostraddle recently asked me to provide advice for butches who are exploring the world of makeup. Since I started writing for dapperQ almost four or five years ago (I can’t keep count), I have been extraordinarily surprised and happy to see a movement away from expectations of binary gender presentation (e.g., women wear this, men wear that…femmes wear this, butches wear that…femininity is this, masculinity is that….AND THE TWO SHALL NOT MIX!). God forbid, but straight cis-men are wearing florals, and butches are wearing lipstick. Oh my!

Kanitha Powell’s “Butch” photo book captures a variety of butch identities, even those that challenge our conventional definitions of butch.

“I wanted to create something that moved people to conversation. People talk all the time about how a butch woman is ‘supposed’ to dress and look. Well, these aren’t your typical flannel, mullet having, boot-wearing butches. This book forces you to rip the blinders off your eyes and look around and see how things are changing.

My identity plays a huge factor in my work. I’m butch and very fashion forward. I strongly believe in popped collars and mohair loafers, and I wanted to show more of that side. There are so many women out there who are like me. They are being criticized because they consider themselves butch, but don’t fit inside the ‘stone butch’ box. So for me, creating something that expands the definition of ‘butch’ was something I felt was necessary.” – Powell via the Huffington Post


Powell 1

Photo by Powell

Powell 2Photo by Powell

Powell 3Photo by Powell

The book is currently available for purchase at Qwest here.

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