Butch/femme is a subculture with no strict rulebook, though there are commonalities within the expression of each identity. Butch women often embody what we traditionally regard as masculinity, wearing short hair, loose clothing, trousers and shorts -- think Orange Is The New Black’s Lea DeLaria or Lena Waithe. Femme women tend to embrace femininity; dresses and skirts, make-up and perfume -- more along the lines of Portia de Rossi or, if you’re into Glee, Santana Lopez.
Despite misconceptions, being femme is not about trying to ‘pass’ as straight. In fact it's far from it. In donning femininity at least partially for the gaze of other women, femmes are able to reclaim a kind of womanhood that’s too often automatically equated with heterosexuality. Similarly, the rejection of feminine gender norms by butches is intrinsically radical: it empowers lesbians to renounce patriarchal standards of beauty, giving them relative freedom to present in whichever way they feel most comfortable.