Blog Post

Stem Lesbian Meaning

Stem” is a combination of “stud” meaning a butch person who is Black or Latinx, and “femme,” meaning a more feminine-leaning lesbian or queen woman/non-binary person. It’s basically a racially-specific version of “futch” (a combo of “femme” and “butch”). 

A “stem lesbian” is a Black or Latinx queer person who is both a “stud” and “femme.” The best of both worlds! 

What is the history of “stem”?

“Stud” is a term that dates back to the 1960s and is used as a synonym for “butch” in the Black and Latinx communities. “Butch” typically means a more masculine-leaning person in style and energy. The opposite of “butch” is “femme,” or a more feminine-leaning person in style and energy. See also: high femme, an uber-feminine self-care junkie, and lipstick lesbian, an uber-feminine self-care junkie who loves lipstick. 

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“Stem” is the perfect combination of these two ideas: masculine but feminine, hard but soft, hot but still hot. A “stem” falls somewhere on the “stud” and “femme” spectrum, similar to a soft butch. They are the cousins of chapstick lesbians. Low maintenance but well groomed. Always looks perfect but somehow effortlessly. They are confident but also coy. Basically they are powerful af. 

This is part of our official queer glossary – check it out!