By Kara Moore
It can’t be my imagination. There’s definitely a “look” stud women give each other when they see one another out in the wilderness of the gay club scene. Sometimes it’s just a simple nod of acknowledgement; at other times, it can almost look like two dominant pack animals meeting in disputed territory. But it’s there—the look, and no conversation. Why is that?
The Studz of Distinction (S.o.D.) members who formed their organization for masculine lesbians back in 2011 decided to do something about this lack of social interaction. Last month, they celebrated their fifth anniversary with a Studz of Distinction black-tie event. Prior to that event, I sat down with S.o.D.’s members to talk about the club and its goals.
It all started with one stud, Danielle White. “In the gay community, especially in the urban gay community, there’s a disconnect when it comes to aggressive, dominant women who identify themselves as studs. We can walk down the street and not even speak to each other, and it’s an uncomfortable feeling,” according to S.o.D. members. “So one of the main reasons Danielle started the group was to try and bring some kind of unity amongst like-minded studs.”
She now has a multitude of studs who serve in roles such as president, vice president, treasurer, and events coordinator. There are currently 12 S.o.D. members—mostly African-American, although the club is for stud women of all races. Club members are employed as police officers, chefs, Metro drivers, and everything in between. They hold an annual membership drive that can be a bit exclusive, since they handpick new members because they want people who are like-minded. They call each other “brothers” and seek out women who want to join the family and give back to the LGBT community.
They are all aware of the stigma attached to being a masculine woman. “The biggest misconception about aggressive females is that we want to be males, which is totally not true,” the members say. “We are females—just aggressive females. We want the same rights as everyone else. Even when we go to the restroom, it’s hard sometimes. I get a triple-take look, and I’m a female. Now I understand what transgender people go through.”
S.o.D. has done charity work with the Montrose Center, the Ronald McDonald House, the Star of Hope Women & Family Center, the Greater Life Community Outreach Center, the SPCA, and AIDS Walk Houston. They host a toy and clothing drive for children in low-income communities and have done “Protect Yourself” parties where they help conduct free HIV/AIDS testing.
As a social club, they usually meet at each other’s homes and just spend time together. Since some of these women have kids, events are family-friendly and family-oriented.
There are other stud organizations around Houston now, but S.o.D. was the first social club in the area. They support each other by providing a safe space to be a masculine woman, and they work together to help each other succeed.
This year’s Studz of Distinction “Gentleman’s Ball” was a huge success. Walking in, there was a long room of mirrors leading to a softly lit ballroom with decorated tables. You can’t beat an open bar and a buffet, and they pulled out all the stops with their colorful desserts. A professional photographer took prom-like photos near the door, and the women worked it on the dance floor in long dresses. At one point, friends or family of each stud pulled them out on the dance floor to give them gifts of pocket watches.
To get involved with Studz of Distinction, feel free to email them at [email protected].