This anthology is inspired by The Persistent Desire: A Butch-Femme Reader, a 1992 anthology of historical and contemporary writing edited by well-known lesbian writer Joan Nestle and considered the seminal text for butch/femme studies. A documentary film based on Nestle’s book is in production as of this writing.
As editors and fans of the original book, Ivan and Zena were inspired to produce a new anthology that would answer such questions as: What is unique about contemporary butch and femme identities? Do gaps exist across generations of butch and femme? What about those who do not fit the butch-femme binary? Issues of class, race, and sexuality are also addressed.
The list of contributors is strong, featuring many prominent lesbian writers including Amber Dawn (author of Sub Rosa), Chandra Mayor (Lambda Award winner), Jewelle Gomez (The Gilda Stories), Thea Hillman (author of Intersex), S. Bear Bergman (author of Butch is a Noun and The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You), and Victoria Brownworth.