The Epitome Of A Stud

telle-2

The Lesbian Stud Manifesto

The Rules

Be yourself.

Treat your woman like a treasure.

Stay true and committed to you.

Let me begin by saying that identifying as a more dominant or masculine lesbian has little to do with gender maturity and everything to do with finding our internal comfort zone. Gender maturity is something we usually reach by the time we are firmly planted within that comfort zone and begin to embrace it as our own. Being a Butch/AG/Stud Lesbian in today’s society can be a journey within a journey that we struggle to come to terms with daily. These struggles most often encompass not knowing exactly how to embrace our identity in its infancy. Many young studs struggle with issues relating to self-acceptance, identity and self-esteem. Many others, brought on by age and maturity, no longer concern themselves with how they’re seen and viewed by society. Instead, they are concerned with creating and investing in the physical and emotional growth of the gay and lesbian community as a whole. Included is the reinforcement and awareness of re-defining roles and labels within our culture and the promotion of the positivity within both. A community that often tells us that we’re confused about our gender when for the most part we are not demands that our persistent and respectful enlightenment teach them the opposite.

The Stigma

The label “stud” imparts negative feelings and reactions among many lesbians and primarily heterosexual men. This is due in part by perceptions and misconceptions that lesbians and straight women themselves harbor about what it means to be a stud.

Most of us start out as tomboys and only later in life do we begin to embrace our uniqueness, our masculinity and our differences as lesbians within an ever-expanding, diverse gay culture. Some begin to mimic behavior they feel is reminiscent of society’s view of “typical stud behavior” with the onset of “typical stud mentality” following closely behind. Most of the negative behaviors associated with butch lesbians only begin to manifest themselves after they’ve embraced a particular subset of popular culture and its view of sexuality usually through music and art. To a large degree, most of those embracing these behaviors and attitudes have subsequently forced themselves into a role that seemingly does not fit.

The Realizations

  • We realize that every stud or butch lesbian is unique. She is an individual. The diversity among us is staggering. Some studs prefer to sag their pants to the knees and others can rock the hell out of a pair of DKNY’s fitted and resting slightly below the waistline.
  • We realize that not every stud will turn down the loving touch and tender embrace of another woman, choosing only to give pleasure in lieu of receiving.
  • We realize that there are those of us who are highly educated intellectuals with goals for the future. We will work tirelessly to achieve them through any positive means possible.
  • We realize that those who have conquered and won the fight of self-acceptance are no longer restricted by society’s view of our womanhood, our lesbianism, our self worth and our labels.
  • We realize that those of us who are comfortable with their bodies and their selves have made it. We are no longer confined to others definitions of who we are and what makes us tick. We no longer feel constrained by the judgment of others because we are our own greatest judge.
  • We realize that being a stud may not mean being more masculine for some or being more dominant for others, it is everything to do with being well, You.
  • We realize that with everything in this world, there are those whose actions give us a bad name, but we refuse to allow those members of our subset to strictly define us. Society does a good enough job doing that on its own.
  • We realize that we are the only ones who hold the power in the meaning of these words, regardless of the attitudes of others and their miss-categorizations.
  • We have adopted these labels and only we have the power to redefine.
  • Those among us who identify as Studs/AGs/Butches are equals, not adversaries.
  • Our outward behavior is often attributed to those who identify with us. As with any community, this will have positive and negative connotations. For studs, the negatives have been outweighing the positives for far too long.
  • It’s time for change.

The Summation

As a lesbian who identifies as a woman first, soft-“Stud” second, it is my duty to tear down negative stereotypes relating to my fellow gender-bending lesbians. I feel it my duty to express in the only way I can my outright disappointment at studs who adopt misogynistic attitudes and behaviors and incorporate them into their relationships with other women as the norm. You, yes you, are not only wrong, you are shining a negative light on the rest of it and it’s not appreciated.

Being a stud is not about trying to control someone or collect women as trophies. It encompasses everything having to do with treating a woman like the Queen she is. In return, she will embrace you as the female King of her castle or however you wish to be honored by your woman. She will understand that just because you may at times feel entirely comfortable expressing your masculine side, you are 100% woman and that doesn’t mean you want to be a man nor does it give her license to strip you of your womanhood in the process. There were women kings throughout history that took on roles as leaders of entire nations. There is only pride and respect to be found in fulfilling such a role.

Studs have individual set preferences, but diversity among lesbians more feminine than us or androgynous must be respected and embraced in turn. We must not try to set standards upon non-butch identified lesbians in any limiting manner that makes light of her individuality, her appearance, behaviors or attitudes just because of our rigid and faulty nuances. This form of polarization is an unacceptable breeding ground for negativity. We must respect that lesbians who are more feminine than us are just as diverse and hold a very important role in our culture and society. These differences must be honored above all else.

Studs young and old must not allow music culture to dictate and deteriorate their behaviors and actions and the measure of respect they show other women. There is only shame to be felt in the degradation of women, which is often embraced by mainstream music and the youth and adults it inspires.

I’m putting it out there because my sanity depends on it, but thankfully my self worth does not. My ability to co-exist among my gay and lesbian family demands it.

My fellow Studs, AG’s and Butches, we’re done selling ourselves short. We allow those within and outside of our community to define, redefine and ultimately restrict our visibility. The truth is we are about as diverse as a United Nations gathering. We form a powerful cohesive within the lesbian community and our time to shine is now.

We are:

  • Mothers
  • Daughters
  • Sisters
  • Grand Mothers
  • Matriarchs
  • Pretty Bois.
  • Pretty Girls.
  • Beautiful.
  • Average.
  • Tomboys.
  • Bisexuals
  • Transgenders.
  • Amateur & Professional Athletes.
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Writers
  • Artists
  • Those in the middle who haven’t yet figured it out.
  • And so many more…
    We are many and we are diverse as one.

We allow others far too much leverage and power in determining exactly who we are, when we should be doing our self. We have the ability and the POWER to define and redefine masculine womanism, dominant lesbianism, tomboyishness, and androgyny. We make up such a force that this topic deserves to be addressed. We owe it to ourselves to aptly follow through in our pursuit of self-confidence, self-esteem and most importantly self-identity in a society that frowns upon those who appear and who are different. Our identity deserves the same respect as any other, even those choosing to transcend their gender. No longer will we allow ourselves to be thrust into a revolving trend where a word that encompasses so many positives is thought of and seen in a largely negative light. We understand that our definition of “stud” may not jive with how another self-imposed stud sees herself. We must no longer make excuses for immature, irresponsible, misogynistic lesbians who call themselves studs, AGs or butch, but instead we must educate. We are empowered through positivity and we aim to promote growth through change in our community.

There are no strict gender roles no matter how you identify in the gay community. In order to be accepted and appreciated for who you are, my advice to you is to be yourself. The gray areas are limitless.

To be continued as deemed necessary.

Comments

comments

Comments

42 Responses to “The Epitome Of A Stud”
  1. Glennisha Morgan says:

    This was great! I think you need to send this out as a mass email to all lesbians!

  2. Vanessa says:

    why do we have the insatiable urge to label and define in 10 words or less? impossible…

    great read!

  3. AJtheDJ says:

    I take my hat off to you with this post entry. This was well executed. I wish I could share this with the world in every which way, because you spoke for all identities under the umbrella of this category of lesbians. I would also like to use excerpts for a YouTube video.. So do let me know if you approve. 'Nuff respect.

    "Studs may have their individual set preferences, but diversity among lesbians more feminine than us or androgynous should be respected and embraced in turn." Took me a long time to learn this.

    -Cheers

    -AJ

  4. Knowledge says:

    Tami: Thanks for the kudos, I sincerely appreciate you reading this and wanting to share. You've got e-mail.

    Glennisha: You get that mailing list together and it's on buddy! Thanks for reading my 'festo. 😉

    Vanessa: I ask myself that question often. Complexity is a beautful thing, people should ascribe to it more often. Thank you for taking the time.

    AJ: Fam, you can most def use excerpts of the manifesto in your video. Feel absolutely free plus hit me up with your page so I can subscribe and check out all your videos if you have 'em up. p.s. The new header is tight.

  5. Tami says:

    You receive a standing ovation from me for this. This was very well written and executed. I would love to repost this to my Gay Couples Meetup, we have an active message board and have discussed labels and other topics very often. This would be well-received. Of course, all credit will be given to the one who birthed this…you 🙂 Email me or twitter me if you want more info.

    LOVE THIS:

    “Being a stud is not about trying to control someone or collect women as trophies. It encompasses everything having to do with treating a woman like the Queen she is. In return, she will embrace you as the female King of her castle. She will understand that just because you may at times feel entirely comfortable expressing your masculine side, you are 100% woman…”

  6. AJtheDJ says:

    Alright! The channel will be created on Saturday. I am also going to need some photos of fellow AGs/Studs of all different styles and walks of life. I will send you the link to subscribe. Email me your email at: DJ_BlueLight7 at yahoo dot com. You can also send a few photos of yourself, as I will be needing photos as previously mentioned for the photo/video slide.

    Thanks! Peace out.

  7. Chanel says:

    **Standng O, claps & whistles & everything else!* Love this. Absolutely love everything about this post. There's really nothing to be said but defintely worth read. Very thorough look into the stud perspective.

  8. TheGoldenGoddeess says:

    How appropo for such a powerful, essential, self-affirming, loving, much-needed, in-your-face-without-apology manifesto to fountain up from the soul of a person who bears the name KNOWLEDGE! You have most definitely dropped a wealth of knowledge on me and anyone blessed enough to read and understand.

    Muchas gracias, mi hermanita, porque mi corazon esta cantando ahora!

    Y una otra cosa…

    Like, AJ, I am impressed enough to invite you to join me on my blog radio show, into which I am just now blowing the breath of life. We could discuss you, your manifesto, what it means to SWAG with KNOWLEDGE, your creative interests in the world and most anything you'd like to add in the mix. Think about it and knock upon my virtual door, which is always open to life.

    Besos y bendiciones luminosos

  9. Beelove says:

    I think this has opened up a part of my mind that allows me to understands just a little bit more. thanks.

  10. Alix says:

    I love this. You represented well…

  11. Knowledge says:

    Chanel, Beelove & Alix: Thank you ladies so much for taking the time to read me, and drop a couple of lines in support of this work of mine.

  12. AJtheDJ says:

    You have to try to submit this to the Village Voice in NY. PLEASE try. They will welcome it with opened arms in one of their columns. You HAVE to get this out there. With Pride season around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity; seize it.

    • Knowledge says:

      Oh Snap. I'm going to look into this and try to do just that regardless of the outcome. Good lookin' out. 🙂

  13. Knowledge says:

    Wow! Where do I begin? Goddess, I am so very humbled by your reception of this piece of work I’ve crafted, and have had the absolute pleasure of sharing with you and others. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you for your recognition. Any knowledge I was able to impart upon you, I feel blessed to have done so.

    Gracias por las palabras hermosas.

    You will most definitely be hearing more from me!

  14. Jennifer says:

    what a powerful piece. i read it the other day and was rendered speechless. i could not post a comment. i still don't have anything to say yet but i just couldn't leave without letting u know how moved i am. in fact. i'm gonna have 2 ask u once again if i could feature this on my site. the manifesto is a must-see for as many people as possible. let me know if it's alright for me to share.

  15. LaurynX says:

    Ha, it's funny you mention the Village Voice considering their track record on reporting about AGs (see April 2007 "Girls to Men" article that was such trash).

    Anywhoo, great post. I always enjoy discussions about identity and … ::whispers:: labels.

  16. Knowledge says:

    Jennifer, by all means, it would be my pleasure and honor for this piece to grace your webspace. Yes, please.

  17. SteadyCat says:

    I really love this piece. It said a lot of the things that need to be said and memorized. It should be given out in baby stud training classes.

  18. SPARRKEL says:

    I AM IMPRESSED…YOU MADE FEELING GREAT TODAY. BEING A LESIAN MYSELF ( FEM QUEEN) IT IS WONDERFUL TO SEE A STUD EXPRESS TRUTH…LOVING IT

  19. blueinthefaceangel says:

    Ah this is an A+!! can I use this in my GSA club meeting?Also maybe a class project?

  20. Knowledge says:

    You certainly can. Let me know if you need any additional info from me via e-mail. Thanks for supporting this piece. 🙂

  21. Pro says:

    This was phenomenal to read to say the least. It enlightened and dispelled alot of myths derived from the typical stereotype. loved this!

  22. vyzion360 says:

    This post came highly recommended, and I am glad I checked it out!

    Very well-written!

  23. Lipstick says:

    Well written! I enjoyed all of it, I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. A 10!

  24. Les says:

    "We must no longer make excuses for immature, irresponsible, misogynistic lesbians who call themselves studs, AGs or butch, but instead we must educate."

    SAY IT!!!!!!!!!!

    "Being a stud is not about trying to control someone or collect women as trophies. It encompasses everything having to do with treating a woman like the Queen she is. In return, she will embrace you as the female King of her castle or however you wish to be honored by your woman. She will understand that just because you may at times feel entirely comfortable expressing your masculine side, you are 100% woman and that doesn’t mean you want to be a man nor does it give her license to strip you of your womanhood in the process."

    SAY IT LOUDER!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. stacey says:

    I loved it!!! Wow! U make me proud 2 be who I am. Great Job!

  26. freedomgirl says:

    Hey, cool post! Though I know quite a few butches who do not identify strongly as women, they definitely follow 'the rules' as you state them, and I think that you're so, so right about the diversity of your gender-bending cohort and the need for solidarity and support instead of infighting. And thanks for the point about misogyny — it is naive to assume that just because we're lesbians we're not misogynistic, just as it is naive to assume that we're not racist just because we're 'progressive'.

    thanks again!
    xx FG

    ps not sure why those slashes popped up, but i can't get rid of them…i do know how to type, i swear!

  27. Boi Blue says:

    This Stud Manifesto was perfectly timed… because I've seen so much negativity and confusion regarding Studs, AG's, etc. on several social networking sites. Whenever I run into such madness, I refer them to this post, trying to impart some "knowledge" to the masses. 🙂

  28. Sarah says:

    Pretty cool post. I just came across your site and wanted to say

    that I have really liked browsing your blog posts. Any way

    I'll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you write again soon!

  29. Azaan says:

    Your writing is absolutely mind-blowing! You are truly amazing!

  30. Chichi aka Dstud says:

    *throws out a big salute* wow! u said it all fame…wat i still dont understand is d “label” dis is d biggest prollem we have in our community…we all women, bein masculine or dressing differently don’t change dat, dey even got d rules we have to leave by a stud’s “does/doesnt” wtf?…its so sad how females categorize us as d same cos of dere experiences wit studs, giving us d inoccent ones bad image. like u said, its like a competition for majurity of us studs forgetin dat ppl’s feelings r involved.
    mad props homie, we need more ppl like u in our community.
    pardon ma bad English:)
    Chichi

    • Knowledge says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your feeling on this one fam, I truly appreciate it. The thing with the label is that they are descriptors and in my opinion, they are necessary. We use labels for absolutely everything in life, so picking and choosing is sort of out of the question for everyone. If a label doesn't fit my advice is to continue educating people about who YOU are keeping it moving. Just because a label doesn't apply to someone doesn't make it useless. I think one of the biggest issues within the lesbian community is not so much with the labels and their uses, but mainly with the "rules" that are often applied and associated with the label itself. The primary rule to apply is tolerance and acceptance of everyone, including those who ascribe to labels. Once we stop restricting people within their own set identity, lack of understanding across the board should apply. As a community, we embrace diversity, not try to bury it just because a word doesn't apply to us.

      Thank you again, Chichi. I appreciate your thoughts!!

  31. Chichi aka Dstud says:

    Damn u need to be ma english teacher bro:)

    i feel u, em rules r unecessary, just be urself, wear wat u feel comfortable in…like i tell ppl dat throw qs of why i dress like a dude, i dress like me, i wear wat i feel comfortable in, as a matter fact em so called "dudes" throw out salute for recognizing swag, dey demselfs cant pull dat off. we shld stop trinda see ourselves or trinda act like "dudes" its like we competing wit dem n dats not wat dis is bout…

    got a question fam, why does some studs beat up dere girl?

  32. bfears says:

    this was beautiful & well written. standing ovation. thank u.

  33. Shay says:

    I know that i’m quite late in reading this but i must applaud you for putting into words some of the things that some of us are unable to vocalize. The message in this post is something that the masses definitely need to see and absorb and i commend you for it.

  34. natasha dyer says:

    my thoughts EXACTLY! my overwhelming feeling throughout the reading and towards the end was that i wish that i could post this on some kinda FACEBOOK BILLBOARD!!! this was a great read and i applaud you! i've been needing to hear something like this for some time now…and it's right on time!

    take care! and when it gets dark (in that muddled land of studs who emulate the men they are not) remember that this femme loves you and appreciates your unwavering belief in what is the right behavior between WOMEN who love women. equal respect and LOVE!

  35. Emily says:

    Very well put 🙂

  36. Lorraine says:

    Go for it,such a lovely article.Even if who we are, we should not let other people trample our dignity.I really appreciate all the thought you just share on us.I do have a lot of friends and colleagues that are lesbian homosexual and i really love to have them as one of my friend.As long as you don't do anything bad,you are all great people.Such a great article.

  37. Sharone Brown says:

    WOW!!! There is nothing else to add! Well written!

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