A graphic memoir chronicling a neurotic bulldagger’s unique perspective on pregnancy.
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 über-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 the 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 a conversation starter for those who always assumed they “got” what it’s like to be pregnant.
A.K. Summers began working on Pregnant Butch in 2005, following the birth of her son, and, in 2012, serialized it on webcomics site Activate Comix. A longtime artist, Summers is the creator of Negativa: Chicago’s Astute Lezbo Fantasy Mag, and was included in Dennis Cooper’s Discontents: New Queer Writers. Summers lives with her partner and son in Providence, Rhode Island.
“This comic’s strength is its ability not to devolve into the oversentimentality or overseriousness that marks many pregnancy narratives. Instead, it forges ahead and finds complex personal meaning, and great inner strength, in the experience of bringing a child into the world. Summers’s voice is fresh, honest, biting, and funny.”–Library Journal
“Having a baby is a macho and delicate business, and A.K. Summers’ Pregnant Butch shows how it’s done with exquisite glory.”—Jennifer Camper, editor of Juicy Mother
“I very much enjoyed reading Pregnant Butch. It’s thoroughly engrossing and often very funny. I found a surprising amount to identify with, even though I will never be a butch lesbian or pregnant. Ms. Summers’ book is happily recommended.”—Howard Cruse, author of Stuck Rubber Baby