persistence in desire

is creating events, projects & community space for butch & femme culture

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This is it patrons, the one and only tier for supporting Peristence in Desire's projects! $5 per month, your patronage will go towards funding all of our community building projects. In return you will receive exclusive access to behind the scenes material such as:
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- Scripts, presentations & other written media
- Abstracts
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and any other cool stuff I'd like to share with you!

And thank you so much for your support! You're helping our community get stronger every day. 




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Persistence In Desire is a concept that encompasses the special significance of the butch & femme identities and dynamic. Throughout time, masculine women and feminine women have found one another again and again, engaging in a gendered connection often perplexing to outsiders but wholly fulfilling to those who participate in it. This dynamic, and the identities of butch and femme, were first most coherently defined and expressed in the American lesbian bar culture of the 1940s through to the 1970s, solidifying the cultural framework within which they operate.

Since that time, the LGBTQI community and political movement for rights has undergone dramatic evolutions, greater awareness of the complexities of our existence and experiences exponentially growing. The butch-femme community and identities have been impacted by many of these changes - necessary changes that herald progress - but nonetheless remain constant. As the world shifts all around us, the essential nature of our desire for each other persists throughout every development and challenge. We still know the same ache, the same longing for our natural counterpart. For the complementary nature of our gendered selves. For the comfort and sensuality we find best together. And so, Persistence in Desire speaks eloquently to our eternal commitment to each other and, through that, our continuing existence in an ever-different world.

Whilst the LGBTQI community has beautifully evolved in breadth of diversity and identity, some aspects of the community have become diminished as a consequence of rapid growth in other areas. Butch-Femme culture is one such aspect that quickly eroded in Australia as new generations were left without a visible community of elders to pass on traditions, rituals and philosophies. The frameworks that provided affirmation and guidance to butches and femmes disappeared and a sense of unified connection and shared experience was lost. 

Persistence in Desire aims to address this cultural gap by creating opportunities for gathering together as a distinct community within the LGBTQI spectrum. We believe that creating space provides fertile ground for connection, that the more in touch with each other as a community, the greater our strength to persist is. We believe in the value of strong friendships that allow for mentorship, the sharing of knowledge and experience, the inspiration of creativity and activism. We believe there is great power in a sense of intimate commonality, that it is our nature as human to want to find ourselves reflected in others. Persistence in Desire encapsulates a range of activities and projects to help support and nurture a renaissance of butch-femme culture that reflects modern times and can be passed on to generation after generation.


The first and most important thing to know is all of these projects are not-for-profit and cost neutral. This patreon has been established to help ensure everyone involved is adequately paid (excepting myself, who donates my participation) and all costs are covered. 

1. The Butch Femme Social Network

The BFSN is a non-elitist, inclusive monthly gathering of butch & femme identified LBTQI people in Sydney & surrounding areas. I founded this Network in August of 2019, having recognised the need for dedicated butch & femme space to exist once again. The Network has consistently grown in its first six months, now having around twenty regular attendees of varying generations and backgrounds, with more showing interest all the time. The Network has fostered new friendships between butches and femmes and provided previously isolated people awareness their way of being is shared by others. By providing visibility in public spaces, we are also a beacon to other butches and femmes seeking community. The Network communicates primarily through a facebook group (note: strictly for butch & femme people and all profiles are screened upon application) where meetups are decided on. In the coming year, the Network will expand to areas surrounding Sydney such as Wollongong, the Central Coast and the Blue Mountains. This will involve encouraging participants to organise their own meetups and grow their social circles, thus further expanding community inter-connectivity.

One function I would like this patreon to serve is the sponsorship of one butch and one femme low income earner to attend at each meetup. Each sponsorship would be $75, to allow for a meal, dessert and drinks. 

2. Events

The curating of events dedicated to butch & femme identity & culture will be an ongoing focus for Persistence in Desire. These events will be diverse in nature, aim for environments that are inclusive and safer, focused on community building and networking, and support butch & femme talent, craft, art and labour by employing all butch and femme identified LBTQI people in any necessary roles.

My concepts for events are extensive enough to be rolled out over several years, ensuring ongoing space for butches and femmes to gather together and enjoy entertainment and art focused on our experiences and identities, by people from our community.

The first event in the program has already taken place, on the 6th of February in the lead-up to the annual LGBTQI Mardi Gras festival. Private Pleasures & Hard Love: An Erotic Queer Dyke Retrospective served up a unique mix of the sexy and the educational - by screening two old autonomous lesbian porn productions, centered on depictions of butch-femme sex. Each film was preceded by an introduction detailing how they came to be made, sharing little-known history about the butches & femmes who led their production. The event sold out and was received extremely well. More information can be read on my blog in this overview, as well as on Persistence in Desire’s instagram page (featuring photos from the event), facebook page, and the official facebook event page. Other aspects of the event are available for patrons to exclusively access.

Events will initially offer all performers and artists $200 (over 30% higher than the average offered in Sydney for independent and queer events). Venues, photographers, videographers, DJs, Auslan interpreters, caterers and tech staff will be paid at their nominated rates. Any other roles required, such as door staff, set-up crew, backstage crew, stage managers, etc will be paid between $75 - $150 dependent on the role’s duties. Ideally, over time these rates will be raised and a percentage of door takings included as a tip. Other costs may involve Welcomes/Acknowledgments of Country, hiring of ramps for venues not easily accessible, props and materials. Patreon will help cover all of the above costs, allowing the events to remain cost neutral whilst still supporting and uplifting our community’s skills and labour.

Events will also have a sliding scale at the door, meaning no one will be turned away for a lack of funds. First Nations people are offered free entry. The patreon will help sustain this policy by ensuring all costs can be paid with lowered pressure on ticket sales.

3. The YouTube Channel

One of the most significant needs for our community is visibility. The YouTube channel will seek to provide this, by featuring butches and femmes from the Sydney area in various ways, telling their own stories. Right now I don’t want to say anymore than that as we are really excited about this concept and want it to be a surprise. However, each person featured would be paid $150 for their participation, and $75 for a prep session. The channel will always be ad-free.

4. Photographic Archives

Continuing in the theme of visibility and recording history, photographing various butches and femmes of Sydney and presenting them in the way they direct would create a valuable archive of our local community and inspire others in the recording of their own communities. The patreon would go towards paying people for modelling, and the acquiring of photographic equipment like lighting, which can also be utilised for the YouTube channel.

5. Wicked Women & Gender Outlaws: An Oral History of Sydney’s Lesbian Community

This project is an upcoming podcast that will present oral histories of participants in Sydney’s lesbian community dating back over the decades. It will launch by focusing on the subversive lesbian sex culture of the 1990s - mid 2000s, manifesting in projects such as Wicked Women erotica magazine and Gurlesuqe, the lesbian strip club. It will always be free to listen and free of advertising. This podcast is in pre-production stage and will ideally launch in the later half of 2020. A program and cast of interview subjects has to be finalised and scheduled. At this stage, it is proposed that each interview subject be paid $150 per three hour session, and $75 for a one hour prep session. The Patreon will support these costs, as well as contribute to start-up costs like procuring equipment and purchasing web hosting space. 

6. Butch-Femme Book & Media Collection

I have been working on a butch-femme related book and media collection for over ten years now. I will continue to expand this collection, and bequeath it to an archive committed to preserving it as a complete collection in my will. Until then, the collection provides valuable research and guidance for all of the above projects as well as…

7. My Personal Writing

I keep an ongoing blog of my personal writings relating to butch & femme identity. Since 2017 this blog has provided works that have resonated significantly with butch & femme readers of all ages, as well as provided crucial missing information for young generations. This blog’s influence kick-started a new trend of young femmes using the spelling ‘fem’, my own personal preference, because of the philosophy behind it. These writings will continue to record my own experiences, philosophies and perspectives in the years to come. 

8. Butch & Femme Erotica

A project I have long wanted to commit to: A series of explicit erotica stories focused on the hottest butch & femme sex. These will be published for kindle on Amazon, and available for low prices. I have two ready to go and boundless ideas for others. The world can always use more erotica!

And hey, if this patreon ever gets successful enough - how about providing a small sponsorship to a butch or femme artist/creator/producer? Now that would be exciting!


Because you believe in the nature of it. I run my own small business and don’t turn much of a profit. Your support as a patron means I can more effectively cover all of the above costs involved in these projects without being so dependent on ticket sales at events. This will allow everyone to be fairly paid for their labour and resources and provide ample free access to those in our community on a low income.

I want to keep this affordable and easy so there’s just one level of $5 per month. That will give you access to all of the exclusive features I’ll share here - which will include videos, photographs, abstracts, planning stages and much more! And ideally will be easy on your hip pocket. This is a capitalist world and money is needed to ensure these projects are fair and accessible, but the ultimate objective of Persistence in Desire is the building and sustaining of butch & femme community & culture. If you think that’s worth believing in and you can easily afford to become a patron - I’m extremely grateful for your support.


My name is Elise Forever and I am a 40 year old high stone fem living in Sydney, Australia. While I accept identity as both lesbian and woman, my gender and sexuality are best defined in the term stone fem. I have been a sex worker for many years and am now an independent nail artist who focuses on providing a LGBTQI & sex worker safe & friendly space.

Like many people of marginalised experience, I have experienced varying traumas in my life that have impacted me in significant ways. One of these is the erosion and loss of butch & femme culture in contemporary queer spaces. As I am now in a position I feel able to do something about it, I have determined to set out and support others in the community in bringing it back to vibrant life. I would love it if you joined me. 
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 36 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 36 exclusive posts

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