'Stem': What does this trending LGBTQ label stand for on TikTok?

'Stem': What does this trending LGBTQ label stand for on TikTok?
(Representational photo/Getty Images)

It is not the first time TikTok has witnessed a storm by trending acronyms, labels, or slang. Earlier, OBCD and other well-known hashtags like GRWM, FYP, and POV, which stand for "go ready with me," "for you page," and "point of view," respectively went viral. This time it's about 'Stem'. 

For many of us, it's an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. However, TikTok has something else to serve. On Tiktok and in the LGBTQ+ community, Stem is something entirely different. Let us learn about it!


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What does 'Stem' mean on TikTok?

In the LGBTQ+ community, a stud is often considered a BLACK lesbian who dresses and generally is more masculine, while a femme is a lesbian who dresses and is more feminine as per Her. Stem comes up from combining both, 'stud' and 'femme'. A user shared, "a stud is a masculine black or brown lesbian btw."



In other words, it usually refers to a label prominent in the women-loving women (WLW) community, which thereby encompasses "women and woman-aligned individuals who experience sexual and/or romantic attraction to other women and woman-aligned individuals." This asks for a deeper insight into the question, what do "stud" and "femme" mean?


A stud lesbian is typically a BLACK or Latinx butch woman or non-binary person. Studs are known for gravitating toward a masculine aesthetic. The term dates back to the 1960s. On the other end of the spectrum, a femme lesbian fully embraces her femininity and typically dons feminine attire like wearing proper high heels rather than a pair of crocs. A user shared on Twitter, "Happy #transdayofvisibility ! I'm a nonbinary femme lesbian and i love being pink and orange but here's orange sol hours to celebrate this glorious day ahjksa."



It's not a reserved term

A stem lesbian is frequently referred to as a "soft butch" in today's era. She may possess a fantastic assortment of snapbacks and Pendleton shirts, but she also sports a gel manicure and the widely popular makeup by Mario foundation.

On TikTok, WHITE queer women and non-binary individuals frequently refer to themselves as "stems" or "studs"; nevertheless, these terms were primarily coined for use in BLACK and Latinx groups. WHITE people's personal usage of those phrases is regarded as cultural appropriation. It's crucial to remember that these labels exist to aid queer people in discovering themselves and their community.

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 'Stem': What does this trending LGBTQ label stand for on TikTok?