Read Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag by A.K. Summers Online

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First pregnancy can be a fraught, uncomfortable experience for any woman, but for resolutely butch lesbian Teek Thomasson, it is exceptionally challenging: Teek identifies as a masculine woman in a world bent on associating pregnancy with a cult of uber-femininity. Teek wonders, “Can butches even get pregnant?”Of course, as she and her pragmatic femme girlfriend Vee discovFirst pregnancy can be a fraught, uncomfortable experience for any woman, but for resolutely butch lesbian Teek Thomasson, it is exceptionally challenging: Teek identifies as a masculine woman in a world bent on associating pregnancy with a cult of uber-femininity. Teek wonders, “Can butches even get pregnant?”Of course, as she and her pragmatic femme girlfriend Vee discover, they can. But what happens when they do? Written and illustrated by A.K. Summers, and based on her own pregnancy, Pregnant Butch strives to depict this increasingly common, but still underrepresented experience of queer pregnancy with humor and complexity—from the question of whether suspenders count as legitimate maternity wear to the strains created by different views of pregnancy within a couple and finally to a culturally critical and compassionate interrogation of gender in pregnancy. Offering smart, ambitious art, this graphic memoir is a must-read for would-be pregnant butches and anyone interested in the intersection of birth and gender, as well as a perfect queer baby shower gift and conversation starter for those who always assumed they “got” being pregnant....

Title : Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781593765408
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 118 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag Reviews

  • Deborah Markus
    2018-12-10 16:31

    I was going to write a full-on review, but then I realized 1) this book is going to be overdue at the library if I try, and I'm tired of paying late fees for books I've actually finished reading, and 2) the title pretty much says it all. If you like the sound of a graphic memoir called Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag, you'll like this book. I will say real quick that I loved the moment when she realizes that all those things you can do during labor – standing, squatting, showering – can only help you manage the pain so much, and only up to a certain point, because this kind of pain "is not supposed to improve." Next picture: a naked pregnant woman facing a huge tidal wave and screaming, "NO! I can't..."That moment when you realize that it doesn't matter what you think you can or can't do because this is just plain happening: that's the moment when everything changes. That's probably an even bigger life-changer than having a kid....I kind of want to reread it now, but it's a little late for that.Tiny update: Thank you, Goodreads, for running those "if you like this book, you might like these books" ads, because that's how I first found out about this book. I know I yell at you all the time for "recommending" books for me that I've already read and rated and reviewed here, and I'm probably going to scream if you keep showing me that ad for the first Harry Dresden book now that I'm in the middle of the 14th in the series (and yes, I'm reading them in order); but I do appreciate it when you tell me about books like this one that I probably wouldn't have heard of otherwise. Oh, and I'm glad my local library is hip and groovy enough to carry it.

  • Emma Sea
    2018-12-07 14:23

    Touching and thinky. I wish I'd had this to read during my own pregnancy, back in the dark ages. Loved the art and humor. Side Note: It still blows my mind that it costs so much (that it costs anything!) for pre-natal medical care and delivery in the U.S.

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-12-01 20:26

    Okay, as a straight white middle aged male, I just may not be in the target demographic for this book. Seriously, Summers seems to have, and reasonably, a GLBT audience in mind, and yet, is it interesting and useful for us to get to know what it might be for GLBT couples to raise children? I think so. This book depicts a time not so long ago, turn of this century, yet seems longer ago because of world changing GLBT events and dramatic attitude changes. Summers admits that it is now a kind of historical document, given some prejudices that existed then that were more pronounced then, yet still existing today, of course. If that were not the case, I would say a title like Pregnant Butch: Nine Months Spent in Drag would be unsurprising, a yawner. But this is still unconventional enough an act (even for butch lesbians, of course, as Summers makes clear) to be of general interest. I live in Oak Park, IL, one of Out magazine's best places for GLBTQ folks to live in the world, so there may be plenty of potential readers here in the GLBTQ and the-rest-of-us in this "blue" village. I have some personal interest. My sister and her wife had a baby, fourteen years ago, and it was a both marvelous and traumatizing event for my largely religiously conservative family relations, now largely healed, thank heavens. This book helped me recall those days, and call my sister to tell her about the book. Artisically it is just okay, this memoir. It is too busy and dense in the layouts on each page, with often too many words for my taste in comics. But it is interesting, blunt, rowdy, "graphic" in content and visually. And often really funny, about first time childbirth for anyone, though some specific issues for pregnant dykes, of course. A fine and insightful and entertaining contribution to lgbtq literature.

  • Nina
    2018-11-20 13:39

    I got an advanced copy of Pregnant Butch to review for The Queer Book Club of Providence. We'll definitely add it to our list.I was not a big fan of graphic novels at first. Since we've read a few in the Club, I'm slowly beginning to enjoy the form a little more and get over my snobbiness about "comics". The story line, drawing, and what I'd call the deeper meanings of this book are all worth exploring.The plot line is pretty simple: butch dyke decides to bear a child, and does. What happens along the way is what happens to most women who have a child: they discover that who they thought they were, they aren't. The extra annoyances and insults of being a butch in a straight world add another layer of complexity and indignity to the huge change that being pregnant is.But, oddly, what I came away from the book feeling is that butch, femme, straight, single mother, plural partners--what binds all women together is this common experience of drastic change that comes along with our hormones. Menarche, sprouting breasts, pregnancy, menopause--oh, mama, we have to be quick on our feet to manage all this.The drawing varies from very complete to sketchy, from (as the author calls it herself) strongly influenced by Tintin to more informal, contemporary, and (dare I say it?) even a little Bechtelian drawing. I found this endearing, as it echoes the constant changing that our hormonal life brings.There are some holes in the plot line. It's never clear why Teek decides to get pregnant, except that she feels 'old'. There is no discussion between her partner Vee and herself, at least that we see, about which of them might want to be the biological mother and why. In fact, Vee seems to have very little to say about it all. When Teek accuses her of abandoning her to do the hard labor of birthing by herself, the reader wonders why, if there was no discussion about this beforehand, Teek would ever expect it to be otherwise.I recommend this book. Not just to lesbians, but to anyone, childless and parents alike. The insights into the butch world, a world that may be vanishing, is worth it. The humor lightens what might otherwise be a rather gloomy, introverted book. The experience deepens Teek's understanding of her identity as a butch woman as well as the many changes we all undergo during our lives.

  • Elizabeth A
    2018-12-10 18:29

    I haven't had children so skipped all those books about what to expect when you're expecting, but the title of this book is what hooked me. Nine long months spent in drag? Tell me more. This graphic memoir recounts the authors' experiences as she navigated this heavily trodden path as a not just a queer woman, but a butch one at that. There is humor and aggravations galore, but it all turns out well in the end. The art is good and I especially enjoyed the nod to Tintin. This is a fun and informative look at her experience, and the intersection of gender and pregnancy.

  • Alicia
    2018-12-02 21:20

    Gender is hard.

  • Raina
    2018-11-11 17:33

    I really liked the way she posed this story as a place in time. It takes place in the early 2000s, and things have changed since then. As an episodic depiction of butch pregnancy, it works well. It doesn't go into any detail about the decision to get pregnant in the first place, the relationship with her partner, or many other voyeuristic elements, but it does a good job of doing what it sets out to do (and adds to my decision not to procreate in the process). I really appreciated page 16, where she lays out why butch women are often do-it-yourselfers. I learned things here, and that may be the true point. Looking forward to reading anything else Summers makes.

  • Lacey Louwagie
    2018-11-17 20:18

    Memoir graphic novels are my favorite of the genre, and I loved that this one addressed such a unique, underrepresented subject matter. Through it, Summers explores the shift or challenge to her identity that she experienced when she decided to get pregnant as a butch lesbian, and was confronted with the extreme "feminization" of all things pregnancy. She refused to wear traditional maternity clothes and found, surprisingly, that being "bigger" because of pregnancy actually allowed her in some instances to come off as burlier and more masculine, while at other times she felt somewhat trapped or at the mercy of her body.This examines a lot of assumptions people have about butch lesbians and lesbian parenting in general -- that it will happen through adoption, that the more "femme" half of the couple will be the one to carry and birth the child, etc. But it also touches on some pretty universal experiences of pregnancy, too, and as I read it in the final weeks of my own pregnancy, I found a ton to relate to. I even ended up thinking about this book and paraphrasing Summers' insights on labor to my doula while I was in labor myself! (At one point, Summers realizes that the pain and intensity of labor isn't "supposed" to get better -- it just builds until your baby is finally in the world.)The art style is somewhat uneven in places -- I like it best when it is straightforward rather than more cartoony or stylized. My main complaint about the book is that it was compiled from a series of comics that were originally published in an episodic manner, so at times it feels truncated and choppy. There were a lot of places where I wanted a certain issue to be more deeply explored, and instead the next page jumped to something else. This also made the timeline a little confusing in places. But overall, it was a worthwhile read, and a voice that is good to have out in the world.

  • Stewart Tame
    2018-11-24 14:23

    A.K. Summers, a dyed-in-the-wool butch lesbian and her partner (same sex marriage wasn't legal at the time) decide to have a baby. This is an autobiographical comic book doing what autobiographical comic books do best. Summers has an engaging, earnest style--it reminds me somewhat of a cross between Justin Green and Spain Rodriguez--and brings a wealth of detail to bear in her quest to convey her experiences. She also likes drawing herself as Tintin. There are ups and downs, some of them familiar to all parents and parents-to-be, some of them more LGBTQ specific. If anything, the detail gets a bit overwhelming at times. I've never personally given birth, but I was exhausted after reading her account of her labor. Justin Hall, in the Foreword, says it best: "Through the alchemical magic of excellent cartooning, she has made her distinctive experience relatable for everyone, leaving us all feeling a little more pregnant and a little more butch." Definitely worth reading!

  • Skye Kilaen
    2018-11-13 20:16

    When self-proclaimed butch dyke Teek and her partner Vee decide it's baby-having time, they have NO idea what they're in for. The usual pregnant-woman physical complaints, plus a whole different level of identity issues for Teek. I laughed at the comment in the Acknowledgements that "straight women want to read something other than dreck about pregnancy too." While I'm not straight, I completely agree that even gals who have babies in the most traditional way don't necessarily want sunshine and sparkles pregnancy tales! And this book is not sunshine or sparkles. It's honest, raw, real, thoughtful, incredibly funny, and has a happy ending.

  • Kaity Molé
    2018-11-16 21:18

    This book showed a lot of promise and I enjoyed the first half until I encountered A.K.'s transphobic rant halfway through. She has no idea what she's talking about and would have done a lot better to stick to her own experiences instead of trying to devalue and mock the experiences of "those young kids and their trans*/genderqueer stuff these days". She comes off like the gross "womyn born womyn only" tribes. Go hang out at Mich Fest and lay off writing books, A.K. I don't want that transphobic garbage in my house: in the donate box.

  • jess
    2018-12-02 18:33

    I fucking loved this book, more than all the hetero memoirs of pregnancy I've ever read. I'm pretty far from butch but the queer pregnant experience is so very. This meant a lot to me. The book is funny, well-paced and interesting. It's introspective but never irritating. I loved it.

  • Dan
    2018-11-22 15:20

    I was torn between a 2 star and the final 1 star on rating this. The humor was so bad and the artwork too. This was such a struggle to finish, and yes it was another goodreads recommendation.

  • Bonnie Tesch
    2018-11-18 14:29

    This book was hilarious. As a word of caution, it's also super potty-mouthed. Even though it is not 2003, I don't live in NYC, and I am neither lesbian nor masculine, I felt like I identified well with the narrator. In fact, I felt like I identified much better with her and this book then with a lot of the more common pregnancy materials (cough cough What to Expect cough cough). There is a lot of focus on what pregnancy does to your self-image--not in a positive or negative way, but how it changes your view of yourself, and your performance of yourself.

  • Jack
    2018-11-19 20:43

    I loved this POV and the art is terrific. I didn't love the rad-fem transphobic weirdness in the middle. I won't ever really get that.

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2018-11-12 16:36

    This was funny and insightful, even though I didn't feel particularly attached to the art style.

  • Robert
    2018-11-14 13:41

    My review is up on tcj.com as of 4/01/14: http://www.tcj.com/reviews/pregnant-b...

  • Nay Keppler
    2018-11-14 13:33

    Pretty funny. Answers a lot of questions I didn’t even realize I had about what the experience would be like. My only complaint was the hardass midwife being nicknamed “librarian.” Come on, AK, know your audience.

  • Caitlinleah
    2018-12-03 19:45

    So wonderful. The art is great, right down to her tintin hairdo. Being a pregnant lesbian can be really lonely. It was so interesting how her experiences differ from mine- I feel like being pregnant means I'm always read as straight. And I remember what queer culture was like in 2003 but it really is such a different world now. Im so glad my wife doesn't need to worry about adoption and stuff. I want to read the sequel, raising an urban baby!

  • Stef
    2018-12-01 17:22

    This was a really enjoyable read: It covers pregnancy concerns and experiences that many, if not most, women can identify with, while also highlighting the not-oft-discussed circumstance of not only being a pregnant lesbian, but a person going through a womanly rite of passage while feeling anything but feminine.

  • Kate
    2018-11-19 20:20

    An interesting perspective on pregnancy and gender presentation/dysphoria.

  • Ciara
    2018-11-26 13:16

    this isn't really a graphic novel, because it's a memoir. it's weird that this is shelved on some people's "fiction" shelves. anyway, it's pretty much just exactly what it sounds like: a graphic memoir (which borrows heavily from "tintin" as far as the aesthetic goes) by & about a butch lesbian who chooses to become pregnant. she states upfront that her pregnancy was in 2003 (i think), which was kind of a whole different era as far as being butch goes. it seemed like the first big wave of butch women transitioning was happening, & now butches are kind of like unicorns, in that they are nearly non-existent. i remember having a lot of chats with butch friends back then about the pressure they felt to either transition or explain why they weren't. a lot of them have in fact transitioned in the intervening years. just an interesting little side note for younger folks, i guess. (not that i am so old, being in my mid-30s.)also, because the pregnancy was so long ago, there's a certain lack of immediacy here. some of the book is somewhat impressionistic, which i totally GET, having been pregnant myself. i remember outlines of what was good & bad about it, but i can't really recall the day to day feeling of lugging around a body full of unborn baby. this vague kind of style probably would have bothered me more before i had my own kid. i'd be wanting more detail. but i'm more than willing to give the author a pass now that i know first-hand how weird pregnancy memory is.my biggest recommendation: if you plan to read this book, buy a hard copy or get it from a library or something. don't do an ebook version. i've read graphic novels on my ereader, but the formatting between publishers seems to be somewhat inconsistent, & the pages for this one were TINY on my kindle. if it had been any longer (it's only about 120 pages), i would have been kicking myself.

  • Meepelous
    2018-12-07 19:37

    A great premise, which unfortunately fell a bit flat for me personally. Having read quite a bit of lesbian memoir, graphic novels and women's health nonfiction this year I felt like this was a sure fit for me, but no dice.Maybe if I was more acquainted with butch culture I would have gotten more out of the book, but that's exactly why I picked up the book in the first place. To learn. While I received a few glimpses of how Teek's pregnancy might differ from any none traditional female pregnancy, I felt more then a little let down. The situation was not helped by the fact that Teek and I are completely different people. She does not come across as terribly empathetic, and all the complaining she does seems rather childish. For example, she is very hard core about wanting a midwife birth. Having read a lot about health and pregnancy of late I can understand why, but it's never explained in the story what that would even look like!The art however is very well done, and all the elements are there for a good story. But for the randomness of some of the stories included I might have given it three stars despite my lack of enjoyment. But two it is. Not that I expect my opinion is really that important.

  • Zach Irvin
    2018-11-17 19:41

    Ruthie is pregnant. Surprise!This graphic novel chronicles the pregnancy and childbirth of Teek, a masculine-identifying lesbian, who talks about her experience with great humor and insight into what it's like when pregnancy and butchness intersect. There was a lot here that reminded me of Ruthie, both when she was pregnant with Hazel and during the current pregnancy. The issue of what clothes will be available and the way people interpret your being as you walk around. Even down to the nitty gritty stuff, like the stress of dealing with work and insurance. But in the end the experience seems to be more about the growth of Teek as an individual and the birth of a new sense of self along with the birth of the child.Anyway, the baby, whose name will be Ezra regardless of the sex, is set to come sometime in July! We couldn't be more excited :)

  • Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn)
    2018-11-12 15:25

    Found some preview pages here.Rather intriguing right? Too bad it was quite expensive - Listed at Kobobooks.com @ USD10.99. Shall be waiting for promo/discount before I grab this.

  • erica
    2018-11-11 13:37

    liked it okay, it's pretty refreshing since I've been inundated with heteronormativity for the majority of my pregnancy reading. the comments about gender are off-putting and maybe a little too surface, but I think she is trying to differentiate herself and be clear that even though she firmly identifies as woman, the gender stuff inherent in pregnancy is hard. I can definitely relate to that, even though I don't identify as butch. but, would have liked a bit more of a complex read on this than the "those crazy kids" view of transsexuality in the queer community. would give this a 3.5, but I like to round up.

  • Tiphany
    2018-12-12 17:38

    I will say that I did enjoy this book, but hearing her snide remarks (or maybe I'm just being paranoid) about genderqueer and trans* folks put me off a little bit. It makes it hard for me to be sympathetic with "the woes of being butch and pregnant" when you can't even have the same empathy for your other queer trans* peers. Other than that though, I found this book to be enjoyable, and even a bit informative.

  • Tatiana
    2018-11-23 20:39

    I honestly wish I had given every book on here FOUR stars, so I could give THIS ONE five! It's my new favorite book. From the Tintin nods to the deep investigation of identity, presentation, gender and sexuality from the 70s until today. And lots of important birthing information, as well. And OMG the panels on the pain. Oh, honey.

  • Megan
    2018-11-25 15:17

    Not just for queer folks - this straight lady ate this graphic memoir right up. Also, how could I not love that this book has a "Works Cited" at the end?

  • Kate
    2018-12-01 18:23

    Eh. It was amusing enough, but it didn't really do it for me.