Krista Burton is the author of the popular and award-winning blog Effing Dykes, a laugh-out-loud personal account of lesbian culture, fashion, and tips on how to sharpen your girl gaydar. Burton was raised in what she describes as a “strict Mormon household” in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before attending the University of Minnesota. Although the blonde-haired femme and soon-to-be published author originally had childhood ambitions to attend Brigham Young University, marry a missionary, and be a stay-at-home mommy, Burton was put off by BYU’s homogeneous campus and sought to get as far away as she could on in-state tuition. Since then she’s had a string of odd jobs living in Seattle, Minneapolis, Italy, Taiwan, and now Chicago, where she decorates cakes for a living.
Let’s start with the blog’s inception. Why did you start writing Effing Dykes?
I started writing Effing Dykes because I was getting really tired of all my friends asking me idiotic questions about being a lesbian. I would be out with all my straight friends at dinner and they would ask me really graphic questions about totally inappropriate stuff.
By one of those straight people, do you mean Kelly, “the straightest girl in the world” (as referred to in your blog)?
Yes! [laughs] I’ve known her since the second grade and she asks me these questions where I just sit there and clench my fists and go, “Really? Really?” Like, “When you’re a woman dating another woman, who does the chores?”
What makes Effing Dykes an entertaining blog is your signature voice. Your humor translates well over the internet. How did you go about refining that?
When I first started writing the very beginning entries of Effing Dykes, there were no pictures and I wrote in giant paragraphs. I would look back over them and think, “I don’t want to read this. It doesn’t grab my eye. Why should anyone else want to read this?” And so I started making shorter sentences and borrowing other people’s graphics, giving them credit, putting big pictures in, and trying to make it something that I would want to look at. I think that the layout helps convey what I’m trying to say and gets my point across.
How does your process work for creating these entries?
Usually how it goes is I will think of an idea of what I want to write about and sit on it for weeks, months until I’m finally annoyed enough. Then I’ll write it all out, edit it down to what I want to say, and then hunt for the pictures. When I’m bored online, I will go hunt for random pictures which I store on a huge file on my computer called, “Pictures I Haven’t Used Yet.” I get really excited when I’m about to use up one of those pictures that has been in there for six months.
Do you have other projects in mind that are similar to Effing Dykes?
There are a couple projects in the works. My friend who is in film school wants to do a series of vignettes of Effing Dykes which I think is hilarious. I’m also slowly working on a book.
When you say a book, you mean compiling the entries?
Yeah. Compiling them. Editing them down. Trying to make a very feasible way of looking at all the different categories of lesbians that I know and trying to find real life examples like some of my friends. I write a lot about lesbian style and the book is pure gaydar. It’s not me talking about my life so much.
The book aside, where do you envision Effing Dykes going? How would you like to see the site evolve?
You know, I’m really happy with the way the site is and I really hope that it just keeps going and I don’t run out of ideas. I just want to keep writing it. I love all the comments and I love when people email me. I’m hoping that it will just stay this way for at least a while until everyone gets sick of it.
What types of emails do you get? Is it relationship advice type stuff?
So random. I get all kinds of stuff. I always write on the blog that I like to receive pictures and people are really serious about it. They will send me pictures of themselves with messages that are like, “If you’re ever in D.C., you should hit me up.” I kind of regret publishing “The Week of Debauchery” series because I used to get all sorts of inquiries and people telling me that the blog was helpful, messages from moms wanting to understand their kids better, and 13-year-old kids who maybe thought that they were gay. All across the board. But ever since “The Week of Debauchery,” I’ve been getting a lot of hook-up requests via email. I need to maybe put something up on the blog that says, “Hey guys, can we go back to the way it was?” But I still get cute emails from 17-year-old girls in Montana who don’t know any gay people.
How can Daily BR!NK readers contribute to your success?
I’m super low tech. I spend a lot of time screaming at Blogger because I can’t get it to do what I want it to do. I need to figure out how to do my own website but I need someone to do it for me. I’d like to keep Effing Dykes the way that it is but get the hell off Blogger.
So an Effingdykes.com?
Yeah, and run my own ads instead of the microfinance ads that currently run at the bottom of the blog. I’d like to link up with sex stores and books that are great. I know that this is a fairly simple thing to do, I just haven’t figured it out yet. I would definitely love more press!