Left to right: Kristen Stewart, Ellen Page, Lena Waithe, Samira Wiley. Credit: Marechal Aurore/ABACA, O'Connor/AFF-USA.com, Jordan Strauss/Invision, Nina Prommer/STREPA; Francesca Roh/Xtra
Big Dyke Energy
3 min

Big Dyke Energy, explained

Make room for the superior BDE

If you’ve been on the internet at all this past year, you’ve heard of Big Dick Energy: the aura of a person who has the confidence and swagger of a man with a humongous penis. It began with rumours about Pete Davidson’s member, which his then-fiancée Ariana Grande had allegedly described on Twitter as grande (the tweet has since disappeared). But whether or not he’s actually packing, the Saturday Night Live comedian has something indescribable about him. Twitter dubbed it Big Dick Energy — or, as Allison P Davis defined it last summer on The Cut, “a healthy, satisfied, low-key way you feel yourself.”

Since then, Big Dick Energy has captured our collective imagination. Who has it? (Justin Theroux) Who doesn’t? (Justin Timberlake) Do you have it? Do I? Can I attain it?

To which I say: who cares? There’s a more important BDE to set our sights on: Big Dyke Energy.

What is Big Dyke Energy?

Not to be confused with the confidence that comes with having a massive dong, Big Dyke Energy is the confidence that comes with not having to have a massive dong. (And, if a queer woman with BDE wants one, she can buy it herself, thank you very much.)

Big Dyke Energy is rooted in a history of discrimination, and after a millenia under the male gaze, queer women with BDE are exercising some serious resistance. It’s not an energy as in-your-face as having a huge dick, but it consumes you in all the right ways. It’s unabashed in its celebration of women. A queer woman with Big Dyke Energy really doesn’t give a fuck — except when it matters (see: the decades-long fight for reproductive freedoms, our support during the AIDS crisis, the continued battle for gender equality). She doesn’t adhere to gender norms — she’s high femme, soft butch, androgynous and anywhere in between. Her confidence is unassuming but infectious.

As writer Hanna Hanra has described it:

“[Big Dyke Energy] is confrontational and confident. It’s not necessarily flat shoe and flannel but it is unashamed and it’s proud, no make-up gorgeousness. It would fight for you, fall for you, make love to you and then make you a cup of tea in the morning.”

Take our beloved characters from The L Word as an example of how to gauge BDE:

Bette: BDE
Tina: Probably not
Alice: No, except in that one scene where she destroys Jenny over her New Yorker story
Shane: Oozes BDE
Jenny: Kind of? Even posthumously?

Can I attain Big Dyke Energy?

If you’re a queer woman, yes. (Chill out, hetero dudes. You get the other BDE.) You don’t even need to upgrade your wardrobe. You just need to walk around like the baddest bitch you know you are.

I also recommend watching every Janelle Monáe music video in existence to absorb her massive BDE.

Who else has Big Dyke Energy?

Ellen Page: Did you see her on Colbert? BDE for DAYS
Lena Waithe: BDE, did you see her at the Met Gala?
Samira Wiley: BDE, she played a character named Poussey after all
King Princess: Maker of “Pussy is God,” BDE
Clea DuVall: Plays every gay love interest on every show ever, BDE
Frida Kahlo: OG BDE
Audre Lorde: Queen of BDE
Hayley Kiyoko: Lesbian Jesus of BDE
Kristen Stewart: Has dated pretty much every lesbian in Hollywood, BDE
Hannah Gadsby: Uses comedy to both make us laugh AND uncover a world of discrimination and hatred against LGBTQ2 people? BDE BDE BDE
Kate McKinnon: BDE; when portraying Justin Bieber, BDE x2
Sarah Paulson: Dating Holland Taylor?! BDE
Wanda Sykes: The funniest BDE
Tegan and Sara: The rarest form of BDE: twin BDE

What’s Honorary BDE, and who has it?

Not all women who have BDE, unfortunately, are self-proclaimed dykes. That said, they deserve a participation badge for making us weak in the knees.

They include:

Rihanna: gives no fucks about anything anymore, BDE
Dolly Parton: a femme top, obvs, BDE
Natasha Lyonne: her voice alone is BDE
Serena Williams: arms for days, BDE

How do we get Big Dyke Energy to co-opt Big Dick Energy as the new BDE?

We don’t need to. We’ve already won. Queer women will always be more powerful than the straight men who have largely adopted the Big Dick Energy vibe. But we don’t have to rely on a big penis for confidence: Big Dyke Energy is already the superior BDE.