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Butch is a term of male-identification which is used in both lesbian and gay culture. In lesbian culture, butch is sometimes used in a system of binary gender id system, i.e. butch and femme to describe the pattern who has more of a male identification in the gender spectrum.

People who identify as butch usually do not try to claim a place under the larger transgender umbrella and consider themselves as primarily female or lesbian identified in spite of masculine body language and appearance. However, some people who identify as butch later in life realise they are FTM transsexual or transgender.

Trans men may be insulted if referred to as butch because from the trans male perspective, butch is still a female or lesbian identification. For trans men, it is an uphill battle to get people to refer to them in the right manner and respect their identity so any reference to an identity that is still very woman centric may be frustrating.

There are several gradations of the butch spectrum, such as soft butch, butch, stone butch, old school butch, stud and Daddy.

But the controversy of male gender identification lies in the fine line between behavior and perception and claimed self identification.

In gay male culture butch is used as a term to describe very masculine men.