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"Butch Voices" biennial conferences "for masculine of center people" were held in 2009, 20, the last being supported by a fundraiser called Beauty and the BUTCH—"an evening of deliciously BUTCH revelry, thrilling show of tantalizing teases from queers of all genders, and choose-your-own play party adventures".Femmes are not "read" as lesbians or queer unless they are with a butch partner, because they conform to traditional standards of femininity.Beyond depictions in pornography, the neo-butch and neo-femme aesthetic in day-to-day life helped add a sense of visual identity to lesbians who had abandoned these roles in the name of political correctness.In "Negotiating Dyke Femininity", lesbian scholar Wendy Somerson, explains that women in the lesbian community who are more feminine and do not fit into the "butch" stereotype can pass as straight.Because they do not express masculine qualities, femmes were particularly vexing to sexologists and psychoanalysts who wanted to argue that all lesbians wished to be men.Traditionally, the femme in a butch-femme couple was expected to act as a stereotypical feminine woman and provide emotional support for her butch partner.She believes the link between appearance and gender performance and one's sexuality should be disrupted, because the way someone looks should not define their sexuality.In her article, Somerson also clearly talks about how within the lesbian community some are considered more masculine than others.

The femme lesbian historian Joan Nestle argues that femme and butch may be seen as distinct genders in and of themselves.

The dismissal of femmes as illegitimate or invisible also happens within the queer community itself, which creates the push for femmes to self-advocate as an empowered identity not inherently tied to butches.

Some women in lesbian communities eschew butch or femme classifications, believing that they are inadequate to describe an individual, or that labels are limiting in and of themselves.

Those who identify as butch and femme today often use the words to define their presentation and gender identity rather than strictly the role they play in a relationship, and that not all butches are attracted exclusively to femmes and not all femmes are exclusively attracted to butches, a departure from the historic norm.

Besides the terms "butch" and "femme", there are a number of other terms used to describe the dress codes, the sexual behaviours, and/or the gender identities of the sexual subcultures who use them.

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to describe an individual's gender or gender performance.