2009: 1-5

1. Rachel Maddow

Photo: Vogue Magazine

Ah, Dr. Maddow: in the past six months she has put butch chic in the New York Times Magazine, made geek sexy, and made people everywhere wish we were a cocktail shaker. I won’t even go into the whole Rhodes Scholar, PhD, amateur mixologist details – it’s enough to give me a major do-be-do-be complex.

Some of us may have known her radio show on Air America, but liberals and progressives worldwide tuned in to her election coverage on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC last fall. She became the most popular show in her time slot, and for the first time I personally related to a political pundit show, which I manage to watch even though I don’t have cable television, because MSNBC is brilliant enough to reproduce the entire thing via video podcast. My morning commute is much better with some butch political commentary.

Despite her slightly glammed-up look on her show, her numerous appearances on the talk show circuit and in magazines shows her unapologetically masculine, and she has in fact self-identified as butch.

That Maddow is sexy is undeniable, and so common in queer circles that a certain butch I know created the Maddow Widowers’ Support Group, joking that our partners would, in a heartbeat, leave us for Maddow.

Despite that: thank you, Dr. Maddow, for all you’re doing for queer visibility, for butch visibility, and for political commentary.

#1, with a bullet, Rachel Maddow.

RachelMaddow.com | Rachel.MSNBC.com | AirAmerica.com | @Maddow

2. Skyler Cooper

You may not have heard of Skyler Cooper, a personal trainer (obviously! those arms!) and actor now living in California, originally from New York. Her bio says her first acting gig was a performance art piece called “Butch Love,” and she’s been acting ever since.

Recently, Cooper was featured in Debra Wilson’s award-winning documentary “Butch Mystique,” and she was cast in Amber Sharp’s television series Don’t Gothe trailer looks really appealing, but the blog hasn’t been updated since late 2007, and it seems likely that the series never found a home. But she’s also in JengoTV’s original series First Take, which follows her life as a butch-identified actor.

From an interview with Jasmyne Cannick, Cooper says: “I love butch women for what they represent. Unfortunately, I believe butch woman have not been properly understood. There are hordes of stereotypes about them in the media and our communities that don’t represent what I call butch. With that said, this is what I love about butch women: they have a natural marrying of masculinity and femininity in a woman’s body. It’s the essence of the two genders carried by a woman. It’s spectacular to see. A pure anomaly of nature. … For the record though I am a serial fem dater. Sorry butchies[!]”

I bet we’ll be seeing a lot more of Skyler Cooper in the future.

IMDB | Don’t Go | First Take on JengoTV

3. Chris Pureka

Folk singer-songwriter Chris Pureka is making the rounds in queer communities lately, and clearly we love her. Her music is not outspokenly queer, but rather deals with the complex poetry of describing interpersonal emotional landscapes and relationships. Pureka is the founder of her label, Sad Rabbit Music, and she has a degree in biology. Recently, she’s been touring with violinist Lyndell Montgomery (#21), and Pureka’s new album Chimera came out in January 2009.

In an interview from Off Our Backs in 2005, Pureka identifies as genderqueer, and feminist. Her sexy crooning voice, complex lyrics, and sweet guitar just add to her comfortably andro look. If you have a chance to see her in concert, jump at it – she’s fantastic.

ChrisPureka.com | @ChrisPureka | MySpace | CDBaby

4. Shine Louise Houston

If you think the only lesbian porn out there is made for straight men, you’re just wrong: Shine Louise Houston has single-handedly changed porn with her film company Pink & White Productions, home of The Crash Pad Series, Champion, Superfreak, and In Search of the Wild Kingdom.

With her record button poised and camera aimed at the heart of San Francisco’s hottest queer porn stars, amateurs, and daring exhibitionist couples, Houston portrays real dirty queer sex with such a wide variety of gender expression, identity, body type, sex technique, and toys.

Her work will change your sex life.

Pink & White Productions | The Crash Pad Series | Champion | @ShineLouise

5. Butchlalis de Panochtitlan
butchlalis

Butchlalis de Panochtitlan is Mari Garcia, Raquel Gutierrez and Claudia Rodriguez, a Chicano performance group out of Los Angeles. Come for their hot suits and butch attire, stay for their critical commentary on racism, classism, and urban development. From one of their show descriptions: “The self-described butch dykes/transgender butches/genderqueer spoken-word entertainers expand the lexicon of transexuality and its attendant physical and psychological neighborhoods and communities.”

They have performances coming up in San Francisco on June 25th and 26th, 2009, at 9pm:

The FURY factory presents Butchlalis de Panochtitlan in THE BARBER OF EAST L.A. a story about queer Latinos living in Eastside neighborhoods. Butchlalis is a trio that has emerged from community based activist spaces of Los Angeles. This project enabled them to collaborate with acclaimed playwright, director, and MacArthur Genius Fellow, Luis Alfaro and visual artist and activist Hector Silva.

Performances are Fri-Sat. Jun 19-20 @ 7pm; June 25-26 @ 9pm at TJT (470 Florida Street @ 17th Street, SF)

Box office: (800) 838-3006

More information about the show on indybay.org or at the venue’s website, Foolsfury.org.

Myspace.com/butchlalis

Top Hot Butches 2009:
1-5 | 6-10 | 11-25 | 26-50 | 51-100
Honorable Mention