Arts & Culture » Feature

Smart, sexy femme seeks smart, sexy butch

One of our readers' awesome single friends is ready for her close-up.

  • Photo by Colleen Durkin; Styling by Agga B. Raya; Props and set by Doug Johnston and Colleen Durkin

Elaine Rodey
36, Logan Square

Seeking: old-school butch dykes and trans-masculine queers

Occupation: art director

Her friend says (in poem form):

Her heart is as kind as Neko, her pit.

She's a smart, sexy femme (and funny as shit).

A designer by trade,

For her style, she's paid.

If you're butch and you feel her, perhaps you're a fit!

What do you do when you're not working?

Hanging out with friends or family, dancing with the queers, figuring things out, getting ready, cooking, admiring good design, Netflixing, texting too much, and planning my next vacation.




Neko, my adorable pocket pit bull.

Dietary restrictions?

Gluten hates me.


No, but I'm totally open to dating a parent.


No, thank you.

What's your idea of the perfect Chicago date?

Cocktails and snacks at a dark gastropub, followed by dancing with all of the queers. Extra points if it leads to a hot make-out sesh.

If you were on Jeopardy!, what anecdote would you share with Alex? Also, would you win?

I would brag on being profiled in the Reader as an eligible bachelorette, and I would absolutely NOT win, unless the categories were All Things Butch/Femme, Makeup, Typography, and Where to Buy Quality Discount Wigs in Chicago.

What's your preferred method for surviving a Chicago winter?

Layers, layers, layers! A warm dog curled up next to me. Top-shelf socks and boots. Hot cinnamon tea.

If HBO made a miniseries about your life, who would you cast for the lead role?

I'd totally cast Adele. I was actually mistaken for her once, and I've been told I also have an "infectious" laugh. We'd need to up her cleavage game, though. Girlfriend is classy, but way too buttoned-up.

What television family does yours most parallel?

Family Ties meets Frasier. And I'd be a combo of Mallory and Roz. I even had a huge crush on Mallory's boyfriend, Nick, as a wee baby gay. Aren't all preteen girls into junk metal artists with curly mullets and one dangly earring?

Go-to karaoke song?

"Ain't Nobody" by Chaka Khan or "Violet" by Hole—but I'm a karaoke chicken unless I'm drunk. Ridiculous stage fright.

What do you find boring?

Video games, logic, blindly following the rules, normcore, and summer music festivals.

Who would you kill if you could be guaranteed you'd never be caught?

I guess the Koch brothers or Dick Cheney for starters? But there's no way I could actually kill anyone.

What was your first e-mail address/AIM name?

It was my college email address—so it was some anonymous string of numbers after my name, I think. I'm an old!

Please describe your understanding of cell-phone etiquette.

No texting or talking at restaurants, no texting on a date (that's what the bathroom is for), and turn your phone OFF at the movie theater!

What 2015 ephemera do you think you'll be nostalgic about in 2035?

A world without wearable technology. I'm pretty sure it's inevitable, and I'm not excited about it. Oh, and print media.

What contemporary trend or habit do you detest?

Women who don't identify as feminists. Breaks my heart and makes my blood boil.

  • Photo by Colleen Durkin; Styling by Agga B. Raya; Props and set by Doug Johnston and Colleen Durkin

Say you're going to be interred like an Egyptian pharaoh. Who or what is in your burial chamber with you?

All my jewelry, memories of friends/family/dog, my old diaries, my favorite art books, and the black-and-white photographs I've taken over the years.

It's time to decide who gets to board the generation ship that's evacuating earth for a planet we haven't yet fucked up beyond repair. Who goes and who stays?

All aboard queers and our allies, musicians, artists, feminists, teachers, environmentalists, scientists, and all the pets! And some organic farmers, right? And the best chefs. And massage therapists.

Where would you set the minimum wage?

If you work all day, you deserve a living wage. So, uh, roughly $11 for a single adult, or $20 for an adult with a child. (Totally stole this from MIT's online wage calculator—I don't know this shit!)

What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck. It's so versatile and cathartic.

Where were you this past Fourth of July at 7:18 PM?

Oh, boy. I was in Aspen with my ex-girlfriend and her family, staying in their amazing house overlooking the mountains. We had just broken up a few days earlier. Good times.

How long do you stay angry, and do you get loud or quiet?

I can get loud, but I recover quickly. I don't hold grudges and can appreciate both sides of an argument. I acknowledge my own faults, but I'm not a pushover— and I expect the same from a potential partner.

Do you like to talk about a movie right after you've seen it?


What's the biggest sacrifice you ever made for someone you care about?

In previous relationships I've sacrificed too much of myself, and I now know that it doesn't do anybody any good. Other than that, I'm really lucky to be close with my family and am always there to support them and my chosen family.

If you didn't have to be yourself, who would you be?

Bjork, because she's a gorgeous, fearless creative genius.

At what stage in your life were you the best (or worst) version of yourself?

I've never been more kind, true and honest to myself and others than I am today. You couldn't pay me to relive my 20s!

Are you afraid of or excited to face the unknown?

I'm curious and excited!

Who is your intellectual idol?

Gertrude Stein. If I could've lived in any other place and time, it would have been in her circle of ex-pat artists in 1920s Paris.

Do you have a personal mantra?

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." It's also my design philosophy.

What's your CTA pet peeve?


What's your favorite cultural depiction of Chicago?

Can I just say my least favorite? I hate the song "Sweet Home Chicago." It's so corny and obvious and does not represent the city I know.

Do you have any hidden skills and/or talents?

Makeup. Seasoning. Cooking the perfect sunny-side up egg. Oh, and I'm uncommonly good at eavesdropping­—which can be a curse. There are some things you wish you could un-know.

So, really, why are you single?

Because I have not been able to find any single, kind, stylish, intelligent queer butches in Chicago. Really. I'm seriously considering moving to the Bay Area for this very reason. Come out, come out, wherever you are!

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