We’ve long lauded the country’s Top Hot Butches here at SheWired, but in honor of International Femme Appreciation Day this week (officially it was July 3, but true femmes move at our own pace) I decided to give our lovely femme fillies a bit of attention. Don’t know what a femme is? Try reading anything by some of the original femmes: Joan Nestle, Jewell Gomez, and Dorothy Allison, the latter two of whom have spoken recently at the annual Femme Conference, or head to this year’s Femme Conference (“Pulling the Pieces Together”), which will take place in Baltimore on August 17-19. Here’s my list of 25 hot lesbian, bisexual, or queer femmes you should know.
1. Nicky Click
Maybe it’s because I can’t stop listening to her new album, Metaphorically…of Course, or the fact that I can still imagine her in her striped unitard, bopping around on stage while singing the feel good retro new wave hit, “I Wanna Exercise.” Whatever it is, I adore Nicky Click, the electro femme pop cabaret queer performance artist who does her own shows in various personas like Cactus Rose and Petunia Pie. Under the wigs and makeup lies a quiet New England queer femme, and some of that twangy introspection shows up on the new album (along with her wonderfully eclectic dance classics). Check out YouTube to fully understand Nicky Click’s magnetism.
2. Dalia Ali Rajah
The actress, dancer, and writer was intriguing enough before she even started producing the popular lesbian web series, Cherry Bomb. Even cooler? She’s the sixth generation female graduate from Spelman College in her family. Now that’s hot. Rumor has it she’s behind the camera again, at work on an upcoming film.
3. Chave Alexander (aka Alotta Boutte)
The caberat vaudeville star (and co-founder of Harlem Shake Burlesque) has been everywhere from Seussical: The Musical to Margaret Cho’s Sensuous Woman. Now she’s on stage with the world’s longest running musical review, San Francisco’s legendary Beach Blanket Babylon.
4. Stefanie Liang
By day she’s the art director of Curve, the national lesbian magazine, but at night, she turns into a human beatbox, performing with a much beloved rock group aimed at kids called the Alphabet Rockers.
(Stefanie is on the left)
5. Kirsten Vangsness
As the quirky, sexy, hot Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds, this retro rad femme manages to stand out even when standing next to her super hot co-stars, A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster. Bonus: Her girlfriend, Melanie Goldstein, is worthy of a placement on this list herself, albeit with a less funky DIY style.
More on next page...
6. Shawna Virago
The queer and trans glitter punk folk rock goddess who is a legend in the San Francsico Bay Area looks hotter now than she did a decade ago, and her latest album, Objectified, makes for the perfect twangy naughty queer Americana.
7. Tisha Floratos
Remember how much you adored Julie on The Love Boat? Well Tisha Floratos is a modern day Julie, in a tall, dark, and handsome femme lesbian package. By day she’s a VP at Olivia Travel and she’s on every single Olivia cruise acting at cruise director, cheerleader, head matchmaker, and ringleader for every round of “Beautiful Together” (the Olivia theme song that gets sung a lot onboard).
8. Saffron Burrows
Long before she was Serena on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, this actress (who played gay in The Guitar, and is bisexual off-screen) offered up a low-fi femme perspective to screen. Next up: Knife Fight, out in November.
9. Sossity Chiricuzio
The renegade queer writer and poet behind Portland’s famous Dirty Queer has a new book out, Stir the Juice, and a story in Sinclair Sexsmith’s worthy one-handed read, the lesbian BDSM collection, Say Please (Cleis).
10. Guinevere Turner
Ever since Go Fish, she’s been a paragon of femme visibility. Next up she stars in Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf? with another hot femme, comic Bridget McManus.
More on next page...
The Rest of the Top...
11. Leslie van Stelten
The celebrity and Brooklyn life photographer should turn the lens around more.
12. Suzanne Westenhoefer
The top comic who rode to fame on a femme ticket 20 years ago is still mighty hot.
13. Marina Rice Bader
Nicole Conn’s sexier half is this producer of A Perfect Ending.
14. Jessica Clark
Model turned actor stars in A Perfect Ending out this year.
15. Leyla Farah
The publicist and author of Black Gifted and Gay is herself, uh, gifted.
16. Candye Kane
Blues have never looked this good.
17. Anna Camilleri
The playwright, performer, and cultural agitator has it all.
18. Julia Bloch
The poet behind Letters to Kelly Clarkson is actually much hotter than the former American Idol star.
19. Sarah Paulson
The American Horror Story psychic could tempt anyone to the dark side.
The Middle Eastern belly dancer will burst every myth you have about what big girls can do with their bodies.
21. Michelle Bonilla
From ER to Luck, this actress commands attention. Fingers crossed for her upcoming pilot, Falling Upwards.
22. Charlene Borja
The lesbian club promoter extraordinaire makes us all want to party.
23. Lisa Alverez
No idea where this model/actress/promoter has been since last kissing Jackie Warner but you can be sure, it’s somewhere hot.
24. Leisha Hailey
Don’t let the quirky grungy rock fool you, the former L Word star is femmetastic.
25. Beth Ditto
The big, bad, beautiful lead singer of Gossip is as high femme as her lesbian bandmate Hannah Billie is delightfully butch.
Check out Diane's list of the 10 Hottest Butches of 2011.