I am trying to say that as femmes we found a way to create a sexual space for ourselves that made us different from the traditional woman and yet let us honor our women selves. We exiled ourselves from one land but created another. I have a feeling that butches started out with a certain clarity also, and that clarity… was about how to be powerful in their bodies and their visions of themselves, the same way we wanted to be in our femme, giving selves. The language binds us. I am not sure it is masculinity, even if they say it is and it looks like it. They too chose exile from gender to be another kind of creation.
— Joan Nestle, “Femme Tapes” 267