Casting The Stone Butch Blues Movie -The Toast

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Did you know that Stone Butch Blues is out of print? How is that possible, when every dyke in America has at least two copies on her bookshelf?

The novel was published by FireBrand Press in 1993. It was picked up by Alyson Books in 2003. In early 2013, Feinberg announced on her Tumblr page that the book would be permanently out of print, but made to order copies would be available by request on her website.

This is utter garbage, of course; Stone Butch Blues should sell more copies on a yearly basis than On The Road and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas combined. You’ve read it, of course (it’s about the travels of a working-class butch/gender outlaw named Jess, OF COURSE YOU’VE READ IT) and, like me, you long only for the day when the all-butch cast list for the big-budget film adaptation is announced. In the meantime, let us argue furiously about who deserves to put on Jess’ suit and tie.

Jess Goldberg

This one was obviously the toughest! My first thought was Ruby Rose, after that amazing “Break Free” video about gender identity she posted last week, but she’s just too beautiful to convincingly pull off a working-class union organizer, I fear. We need Hephaestus, not Apollo.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 11.24.24 AM

Then I thought of Daniela Sea, partly as an apology for what they did to Max on The L Word, and partly because she’s, you know, tawny and masculine like a minor god, but she’s not a strong enough actress to carry a film, I think.


Then my friend Sara reminded me — “What about our girlfriend from Throw Like A Girl, Rain Dove Dubilewski?” And the heavens parted, and a shower of gold coins fell into my lap, and I knew in my heart she was right. Of course. Jess is a character who experiments with hormones and convincingly reads as male among steelworkers and blue-collar union members for years — she needs to have a commanding physical presence.

Rain Dove Dubilewski (my girlfriend) is 6’3 and looks like this.


And this:


And, Heaven help us, this:


Who could possibly contend with that?


Part of the fun of casting a nonexistent movie is giving (imaginary) jobs to real-life lesbian/bi/genderqueer actors. Gloria’s not one of the more significant roles, but she’s empathetic and connects with Jess and I think Olivia Wilde has more empathy in her face than I do in my entire body.

2013 DVF Awards - Arrivals


I just want to cast Angel Haze in everything, and I won’t apologize for that.


Butch Al

You can’t have Stone Butch Blues without Lea DeLaria, and I think she’s earned the right to be Butch Al at this point in her career. Butch Al is the first real-life butch Jess ever encounters, and Lea DeLaria is the first example of butch queerness most of us ever got to see in mainstream entertainment.



I flipped back and forth on this! Kate can pull off a decent soft-masculine swagger, but I think she and Lea would have amazing chemistry. Also, selfishly, I would like to see her dolled up in high femme mode. I would enjoy that very much.






“A strong, proud, black butch.” Grace Jones could pull that off in her sleep. I would watch an entire sequel devoted entirely to the romantic and political escapades of Grace-as-Ed.


Butch Jan 

Julie Goldman radiates warmth and goodness. She was born to play Butch Jan.



Is it weird that now I want Maria Bello and Julie Goldman to go out in real life? They would have adorable chemistry, and their fights would break my heart.


Abba’s Bartender

I love LP — I have no idea if she can act, so I think it’s best to keep her in a highly visible role that doesn’t require a lot of talking, just sympathetic glass-washing and smirking at the latest crop of baby butches to walk through the door.

lp Toni

This movie does not deserve to be made if kd lang isn’t in it.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 11.11.49 AM


Angie’s advice to Jess is to avoid the bar scene in order to keep from “growing old before [your] time,” and Janelle Monae is an ageless sprite who transcends the very concept of time, so it’s a good fit. Also — again selfishly — I would like very much to watch Janelle and Rain make out, preferably while both of them are wearing suspenders.

janelle Frankie

JD Samson, the face of butch-on-butch love. WOULD WATCH.

jd Duffy

John Leguizamo is a man who will be spared, and I think he could pull off Duffy’s comfortable masculinity, open-mindedness, and working-class sense of fairness in a walk.



Dot Jones has the physical stature and the world-weariness to pull off Rocco’s “loneliness and secret vulnerability.” Can’t you see her in that leather jacket?



THIS WAS AN ACTUAL HEARTBREAKER, YOU GUYS. You know my feelings about La Stewart, you know I like her butch (a la Coachelle 2010 and The Runaways), so why would I cast her as a pro femme who moonlights as a stripper?

Because — and it pains me to admit it — Kristen’s a soft, aristocratic butch. The steel mills of 1970s-Buffalo are not the right background for her “disheveled, syphilitc duke” look. But she can pull off battle-hardened and gorgeously, emotionlessly brave, no problem.

Also — in keeping with the “selfishness” theme — I would like to watch Kristen Stewart riding on the back of Rain Dove’s motorcycle very much.



Why cast Ellen Page as a more-than-moderately homophobic straight woman? Because I can, motherfuckers.



Grant mostly just provides exposition, but Jenny Shimizu could provide sexy, snarling exposition, which is a big step up.



WHO ELSE BUT LAVERNE could play Ruth? The world is such a threatening place for her that she has steeled herself even against friendship, but she plants flowers and makes pies and lives as carefully and as patiently as she can. Also, both Laverne and Rain have smiles that could destroy the sun, if they chose to do so, so they’d be a great match.


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