Jeanne Córdova has been an open butch for forty-two years, and is the elder Board member of Butch Voices. She served as Conference Chair of Butch Voices.Los Angeles. Her second memoir, When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love and Revolution in the ’70s, is forthcoming. Her writing can also be found in anthologies such as The Persistent Desire and Dagger: On Butch Women. Jeanne lives and writes beneath the shadows of the Sierra Nevada mountains, northeast of her beloved Los Angeles, with six Mexican pets and one South African femme spouse of twenty years. More about her life and writings can be found at http://jeannecordova.com/.
Jeanne’s contribution to Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme is an essay called “The New Politics of Butch.” In it, she explores what butch means to her today.
What made you want to be part of this anthology?
I was in the classic femme-butch anthology, The Persistent Desire, which was published almost twenty years ago. I wanted to update my thoughts and feelings and talk to today’s new generation of butches.
Who are your butch and/or femme role models and why?
Having grown up in the ’50s and ’60s, when there were no out butch role models, I went with Jeanne d’Arc, the French General and my patron saint, because she was an early gender-bender who led her people’s fight for liberation from the British colonialists. Or Alexander the Great because he was a “pretty butch,” like I was called, and very ambitious to excel and explore the edges of the known universe of his time.
If you could say one thing to future butches and femmes, what would it be?
I would say to butches: never give up faith in yourself that you can be any type of woman you want to be and also live out your butch dreams to dress, talk, walk, find a girl, be a Dad, be a husband or lover that reflects your original self. I would say, “Hold the butch line!”