In STEM, more research and investment is needed to understand the visibility and experience of LGBT + people. This article uses intersectionality theory and qualitative data to examine the ways that LGBT + academics and PhD students navigate their experiences of visibility in STEM.

LGBT+ Stems in STEM
LGBT+ Stems in STEM

The term stem is a slang word that refers to a lesbian who dresses and has masculine traits. It is also called a tomboy or soft butch.

What is a Stem?

A stem is a part of a plant that bears buds and leaves. It conducts water and mineral nutrients from the roots to the leaves, and carries the food synthesized by the leaves to other parts of the plant. It may also store food, and some green stems produce their own food. In most plants, the stem is erect but in some it lies prostrate on the ground. In perennials, a stem persists from one year to the next. In annuals, the stem dies at the end of the growing season.

The term stem is used in the Black and Latinx LGBTQ community to describe a person that identifies as both butch and femme. It is a racially-specific term that should not be used by Caucasian people. A person that identifies as stem is often well-groomed, likes to dress in masculine attire and enjoys male activities but has expressive feminine sexuality. Some people who identify as stem are called soft butch or futch and use she/her pronouns.

What is a Stud?

A stud is a Black lesbian who is masculine in her energy, style, and appearance. A stud lesbian can be referred to as a tomboy because they are typically well-groomed, enjoy sports, and dress in comfortable yet sexy clothing. They may also have a macho personality and present themselves as dominant and assertive.

In addition to their masculine qualities, a stud can be quite feminine in the way she communicates and interacts with other women. They often have a strong sense of family and are rooted in the community.

If you are looking for a stud in a wall, the best way to find it is to use a magnet. A strong neodymium magnet will usually attract the screw holes in the wall, making it easy to see where a stud is located. You can also try shining a flashlight through the trim. This will often reveal the location of a stud screw. You can then mark the area with a pencil.

What is a Femme?

Femme (also fem) is a term for queer people who have feminine characteristics. This can be a gender identity or a way of dressing. Femmes use she/her pronouns and are primarily seen in Black and Latinx communities. The word stem is sometimes used as a synonym for butch in the black community. However, a Caucasian person who has both masculine and feminine characteristics might be better described as a futch which is the combination of stud and femme.

Femmes are important to the LGBTQ community because they show that queerness doesn’t look one way. Their visibility also helps straight people make fewer presumptions about what queerness is like.

While some femmes consider femininity to be their gender identity, others think of it as a way they dress or how they interact with other women. Femininity can also be a political statement that breaks binaries. It can be a way to show that you are a feminist and that gender equality matters.

What is a Futch?

A futch is a queer woman who is neither a butch nor a femme. They are a mix of both, and they are sometimes referred to as “soft butches” or “futch lesbians.” Futches often wear masculine tops with feminine bottoms (such as button-down shirts with skinny jeans), but they also tend to keep their hair long and wear makeup.

The term futch gained popularity after Dani Campbell, a Black and Latinx butch who dates Tila Tequila, started referring to herself as a “futch” in public. In addition, a meme depicting a scale from Femme to Butch with Futch in the middle started circulating on social media. However, the term stems from earlier LGBTQ+ communities. Kenochoric created the horizon futch flag, also known as the all-inclusive futch flag, on or before December 23rd, 2020. It features the sun and moon symbols, with the sun representing masculinity and the moon representing femininity, as well as an axe symbolizing strength, liberation, and rebellion.