A “stud” lesbian is a term used predominantly by Black or Latinx butches, but has unforunately been appropriated by white butches on TikTok. But for the record: it is not to be used by white people, and it’s important to note that not all Black butches are considered studs.
A “stud” refers to a butch woman or non-binary person who is Black or Latinx — not white dykes on TikTok.
“Black women often get read as butch whether they are butch or not,” author Roxane Gay told The New York Times. “Black women in general are not seen, so black butchness tends to be doubly invisible. Except for studs: They’re very visible.” Because of racism and misogyny, studs are often viewed as being “harder” or more masculine than other butches. “People tend to assume if you’re a black butch, you’re a stud and that’s it,” Gay said, adding that that’s untrue.
What’s the history of the word “stud”?
The racially-specific term “stud” dates back to the 1960s. In a Washington University thesis published in 1965, referenced in Girls in the Back Room: Looking at the Lesbian Bar, there’s a description of a “working-class Black lesbian bar” being filled with “studs” and “fishes,” aka “butches” and “femmes.” In the early 2000s, the word “butch” wasn’t as widely used in the Black community as “stud,” according to Black lesbian gender and sexual culture: celebration and resistance.
There are a myriad of words lesbians and queer women use to describe themselves, many that have rich histories. It’s important to educate yourself on the origins of different terms, labels, and phrases, to make sure you’re not inadvertently appropriating anything. As far as identifying as a “stud,” if you’re Black or Latinx, go off! Be your studly self all over the place. We’ll follow you on TikTok with our lesbian TikTok account.
This is part of lesbian slang dictionary from HER.