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September 19, 2012 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Epic Gallery: 150 Years Of Lesbians And Other Lady-Loving-Ladies (Some pics slightly NSFW) "Honestly before tumblr it was difficult to find very much lesbian imagery at all online — it was always the same ten or twelve stock photos — let alone pictures of lesbians taken prior to 2000. I wanted to see an evolution of our community, how we'd grown and changed over the years — and not just in a montage of famous out actresses and models, but pictures of actual people, pictures of women who were active in the community — regular human beings, writers and social activists."
posted by ColdChef (47 comments total) 71 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't want to sound out of line or anything, but it is somewhat amusing that the three ladies in the picture from 1925 are posing in front of the Dyke Lumber Company. I like to think that they were the proprietors, and that they had named it thus as a sort of "Yeah, is there something you'd like to say about it?" gesture.
posted by mr. digits at 2:55 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Absolutely love this one.
posted by mannequito at 3:09 PM on September 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mr. Digits, I used to snigger at Dyke Lumber signs when I was little. Those women were owning the joke in 1925. This whole collection is just wonderful. Fighting for love, loving to fight, just loving. Equality for all, all the time, through all times. Thanks for posting.
posted by oneironaut at 3:24 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is fascinating.
posted by Think_Long at 3:33 PM on September 19, 2012


Nice. This is one of those things that print has been really good at representing in the past, at least for small print runs on small presses. It's cool to see someone really put a big collection together and really seems to have made an effort to have it be inclusive and diverse. This is the photo that I have hanging in my kitchen and it occurs to me that it would be at home in this collection.
posted by jessamyn at 3:33 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


i don't care who you are, those are some bad-ass tuxes.

black lesbian cauc(u)s. (i mean i'm assuming that was deliberate)

"anita dear shove it".

"good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere"
posted by twist my arm at 4:11 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really loved this photoset, especially the simple domestic portraits. Especially especially the older simple domestic portraits. Like this one. And this one.

Love rocks.
posted by chatongriffes at 4:14 PM on September 19, 2012


These are my favorites (and the ones I'm most a little bit scared of).
posted by padraigin at 4:16 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apropos to absolutely nothing, I find this amusing:

...regular human beings, writers and social activists
posted by drlith at 4:28 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is one of my favorites too. I immediately thought of Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison, from the novel Fried Green Tomatoes, when I saw them.
posted by persephone's rant at 5:07 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the 1950's and 60's, my dad had a family business. Our only constant employee was Frances, who looked like she came out of central casting for a dyke of that era. Saddle shoes, full denim skirt just below the knees, white blouse, a smear of lipstick, and a Mary Astor haircut.

She had a "friend" named Mary, with whom she did everything and went everywhere.

She was one of the family, to the extent that, when I was given a new VW upon turning 18, she also got one from us.

And, I do not know of any instance when we, even my Republican parents, even thought about her sexual preference.
posted by Danf at 5:14 PM on September 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


When I was 8 or 9 I was acting in a class play at my small Catholic primary school. I was Beelzebub in some sort of updated Mummer's Play, and for some reason I needed a wallet as a prop. So my teacher, Miss Brown - just a wonderful, warm person in her late 50s or so, who loved to tell and hear jokes, worldly, well-traveled, just gone to Moscow to watch the Olympics - brought in an old leather one for me to use. And tucked inside the wallet I found an old black and white photograph, a little white bordered print from a Brownie or something like that, of a young Miss Brown standing completely naked, apparently talking on a phone, embraced by another naked woman from behind.
I was the class clown and a bit of a hellraiser, but somehow just this once decency got the better of me: I tucked the photo back inside, used the prop and returned it to her as if I'd never seen anything. I didn't even realise, I don't think, just how bad or at least embarrassing (this was a very decent, liberal school in England so I don't think it'd be sackable) that could have been for her, I was just like, huh, that's weird.
posted by Flashman at 5:42 PM on September 19, 2012 [37 favorites]


just this once decency got the better of me

Really hated where that story was going until that bit.
posted by axiom at 5:54 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. Thanks.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:15 PM on September 19, 2012


Flashman, that's kind of mind-blowing; I would have done the same thing, I think, although I'd have fretted about whether or not I should have said anything about it during confession (I went to parochial school for part of my childhood, as well). Doubly so if one or both of the women were nuns, quite a few of whom were lesbians.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:56 PM on September 19, 2012


As a person who loves old photos, I loved this.

As a gay person who grew up tacitly and implicitly understanding that, at least until the past decade, it was in your best interest to deny your sexuality and pretend not to recognize others', it made me uncomfortable. My instinct with the earlier photos was to say, "Come on, they're just two women -- why do you have to make them out to be gay?"

And then I realized what I was doing (which is what I was taught to do -- minimizing it) and I had to consciously shift my perspective to "See, we have always been here."

It took an effort, but I'm happy with result. I'm very proud of the apparent, compounding chipping-away at homophobia that has evolved over the past few years. And because of this post, I had the personal realization that that evolution is changing me as much as it's changing straight people. And I now have something to be grateful for.

Thanks for that.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:15 PM on September 19, 2012 [21 favorites]


My instinct with the earlier photos was to say, "Come on, they're just two women -- why do you have to make them out to be gay?"

Me too, because I've seen very old pictures of my relatives snuggling with each other (sisters and cousins, so you can't really say "well, maybe, before they got conventionally married off to men...", and I've read about the "bosom friendships" of young women in olden-times, and a lot of those pictures may very well just be that: very close relatives, passionate friends, showing their closeness in a way we really don't now.

But I don't care, because there surely were lesbians throughout history, and if we had pictures of them, that's pretty much what they'd look like. I like imagining that. Basically, up with this sort of thing.
posted by padraigin at 7:33 PM on September 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


That's a great question - why would anyone have to make them out to be not gay? We spend a lot of effort doing that kind of thing. The question of whether so many 19th century authors were gay or not or it was impossible to say, for instance, was a big part of my literature education in college in the early 90s. And honestly, it seems almost funny now that we had to think so very hard about it.

What I am thinking about after viewing these is all the cross-dressing. It certainly comes up when you delve into history, culture, literature, that every so often there are accounts of women who "affected men's dress" and that sort of thing. But you would think, based on those rare mentions, that it wasn't all that usual. But there are REALLY a lot of women dressed man-style in these pictures. It makes me want to learn a bit more about the history of cross-dressing, especially for women adopting men's dress. Some amount of it was probably a total lifestyle, some amount was costume- or special-event, but I'd just like to understand it better. Today the mainstream response tends to think it's pretty out there to cross-dress regularly, but clearly, it's nothing at all new, and it's kind of nice to see what a long history cross-dressing for women has.
posted by Miko at 8:32 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


My instinct with the earlier photos was to say, "Come on, they're just two women -- why do you have to make them out to be gay?"

The only one where I really felt this strongly was the women's basketball team from the 1890s. Let the lady jocks be lady jocks without assigning sexuality, amirite?

The author does say this:
1) Obviously it's impossible to verify the sexual orientation of some of the subjects of earlier photos I found on tumblr, the pre-1920s photos especially. But I assume there's a reason these images were employed by vintage queer tumblrs and used them — some may just be of cross-dressers or super-close friends.
So, I'll give it a pass. Very nice to see the diversity of human sexuality throughout time-- and lots of happy pictures, too.
posted by charmcityblues at 8:39 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, I'll give it a pass

Yeah, I see a few like that too, but then I think given the number of images that over time probably have been forced into the "they're just good friends" interpretation - when that wasn't warranted - more than balances out any like this that are more ambiguous. I think it's possible to look at all of these as "These women have some powerful relationships with one another" and not need to be sure exactly what expressions those took all the time.
posted by Miko at 8:44 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


It makes me want to learn a bit more about the history of cross-dressing, especially for women adopting men's dress. Some amount of it was probably a total lifestyle, some amount was costume- or special-event, but I'd just like to understand it better.

Me too. It's something that I don't understand at all. (I don't mean that to sound judgmental. It's just what it sounds like. I don't understand it well.)

I have an acquaintance who identifies as 'queer' (as opposed to my identification as 'gay') and she's into the drag show circuit. To me, the appeal is mysterious and enigmatic and a bit baffling. To me, it's like a weekly, gender-centric Halloween. I don't understand it, but it's important to her. So be it.

But then I think back to my so-called coming-of-age. I didn't figure out the gay thing until my freshman year in college. I certainly knew about the shameful attraction before then, but until my freshman year, I had no idea what to call it. It took a couple of semesters of consuming two specific rows of fifth-floor shelves in the PCL on the UT-Austin campus before I knew the name of my affliction propensity orientation whatever.

But even then, what I was learning was that you had to be a butch or you had to be a femme. I didn't feel entirely comfortable with either of those, and still don't, but I knew that I wasn't into dresses, so I placed myself on the B side of the divide. Got my hair cut off, rocked a mullet, kept not one but TWO rat tailS (see the Aimee Mann discussion), started wearing flannel.

Though I wasn't OUT yet, it was a way to help me self-identify, and an easy, quiet way identify myself to others without waving a flag or actually saying the words. A code, in other words, that I hoped would be received.

I guess one of my proudest days during that unenlightened period was when I was sitting in the science reading room on campus, studying. I spent several days a week there, despite not being a sciencey sort. It was the most ornate library on campus, and among the quietist. I was one of the regulars. In any case, one of the other regulars (whom I never spoke to or made eye contact with, but whom I identified as 'butch') walked by one day and silently slipped a flier under my text book. It was printed on lavender paper and had a line drawing of Rosie the Riveter on it. Its caption was "Lesbian Avengers: We Recruit!" She flashed me a grin and went back to her carrel. My only thought was, "Weeeeeeeeeeee, I've arrived!"

Nowadays, I have my own style of dress. It's not cross-dressing. It's not girly. But it's different from everyone else in the office. And I think about that, on an almost-daily basis. I wonder if it means anything to the people around me. I wonder if they fold it in to my identity, like I fold the skirt-suits into our fiscal officer's.

I hope not. I don't intend it that way. I just dress in clothes I like and in which I'm comfortable. There's no statement there -- anymore. Another sign of evolution, for me personally.

In any case, sorry for journal-entry-derail. My point was, maybe that's what the cross-dressing is about. Identifying yourself to others, without having to be very vocal about it. Plausible deniability, in some sense.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:56 PM on September 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


I am envious of the sweetness, tenderness, and love that these photos capture, and as a rather lonely single person right now I am overwhelmed with wonder at how some people think denying anyone of those three things based on perceived inhumanities = the right thing to do.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:29 PM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Your derail is insightful, mudpuppie.

Cross dressing and gender bending are different things to different people. For some it's fantasy, for others it's fetish, for others it's identity, for others it's costumes and drama or just play and breaking paradigms. Or a mix of all of the above.

The only single truth I've ever been able to figure out is that when you take away the function - all clothes are just furniture. Stage props. A cisgender male or female person who chooses to wear the clothes deemed "male" or "female" by their local societal constructs are still basically engaging in costuming and stage play.

Those choices of clothes still have meanings. There is a statement there, even if that statement is "I'm comfortable." or "I'm not making a statement." Or sometimes that statement is "Comon', I'm the guy in the $5000 suit." Or sometimes the statement is "I'm ready to party" or "I'm a rastafarian" or "I'm just some guy, y'know?" or even "I don't believe in nonsense, ever."

Well, the only other truth I've been able to figure out is that it shouldn't matter so much - to other people. It's fine if it matters a lot to the wearer, but to others it shouldn't really matter. It shouldn't matter if some call center worker wants to wear a prom dress to work as long as they can do their job. It shouldn't matter if a pro-skateboarder wants to wear a utilikilt or lycra bike shorts if it works for them. It shouldn't matter if a high school girl only likes overalls, flannel shirts and steel toed motorcycle boots.

Heck, there's some guy I saw in a Modern Marvels episode about rubber. He works in a rubber factory and drives a forklift - wearing a rubber Elvis suit.

(Also, if you like this kind of vintage and/or costume drama, see also: Tipping the Velvet, The Secret Diary of Anne Lister, Aimee and Jaguar among other films.)
posted by loquacious at 9:33 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


mudpuppie I'm reading a book right now about gay men in New York from 1890-1940, and it has a lot to say on the topic of gay male cross-dressing, with some mention of the lesbian equivalent. It seems that, back in the day, men who engaged in homosexual sex were only counted as 'different' if they were the receiving partner, in which case they were considered to be a sort of amalgam of man and woman, a third intermediate sex. A lot of straight (and "straight") guys considered it totally fine to have sex with these men, and almost no one considered it 'gay', because the cross-dressing men filled the same social role as women. The idea that any man who has sex with any other man is in the same, different social category of 'gay' was not predominant then. So, for these guys, cross-dressing was a way of asserting their identity and stating who they were, while still existing in the social milieu of their time which said that they were basically equivalent to women. I imagine that female cross-dressing had similar roots.

Also, this woman completely rules and would not look at all out of place in 2012 Brooklyn.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:56 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


yay autostraddle!

The book Pin-Up Grrrls has some great history on cross-dressing and gender-bending women from Victoriana onwards, including their relationship to burlesque and the social roles of women. Really interesting stuff. (Also Ada Menken is AWESOME)
posted by divabat at 10:55 PM on September 19, 2012


Thank you so much, those of you who are linking to individual images, because autostraddle itself is blocked here in the UAE. Since that is the case, I'm commenting based only on the ones people have linked to.

I also noticed the cross-dressing and it reminded me of the fact that I have never played a female role on stage. Growing up, I mostly attended all-girls schools. Since I was taller than most of my peers, I always landed male roles. So I was always comfortable cross-dressing for performances. These photographs suddenly give me insight into why so many people at my US college awarded me "dyke points" based on this.
posted by bardophile at 11:16 PM on September 19, 2012


Honestly before tumblr it was difficult to find very much lesbian imagery at all online...

Well, I'm told the local adult bookstore has plenty.
posted by Yakuman at 11:24 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know who the two South Asian women on the top right corner (from the 1995 Beijing Women's Conference) are?
posted by divabat at 11:36 PM on September 19, 2012


Lesbian Avengers. God, that's great.
posted by book 'em dano at 11:38 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


divabat: The South Asian participation in that event was pretty big... although Metafilter has a great record as far as identifying the unlikely goes. :)
posted by bardophile at 12:41 AM on September 20, 2012


Well, I'm told the local adult bookstore has plenty.

Other than faux lesbian porn aimed at straight men? Because adult literature aimed at dykes back in the day, that would be interesting to check out. Otherwise that comment is a bit ew.
posted by harujion at 12:48 AM on September 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


But there are REALLY a lot of women dressed man-style in these pictures. It makes me want to learn a bit more about the history of cross-dressing, especially for women adopting men's dress.

Totally speculative WAG, but I think it might have a lot to do with symbols of power. In a patriarchal society with gender roles and clothing strictly enforced, wearing men's clothing is more than just a bit transgressive, it's symbolically taking on the roles and power of being a man. Even apart from trying to pass as a man, I have a hunch that women in drag were taken more seriously than if they'd stayed in dresses. Wearing the "wrong" clothes for your gender gives others a way to handle your unconventionality, is perhaps even less threatening.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:06 AM on September 20, 2012


The "old time lesbians" discussion is interesting - there was a great thread with old photographs of "male affection" last month that have the same general composition as the 19th century women shown here. Because of how the male photographs were presented, the discussion revolved around how buddy-buddy affection used to be expressed quite differently before the fear of appearing gay struck. (So, after homosexuality as a concept was invented and made it to the mainstream.) Would be interesting to discuss those, too, in this kind of context.

I agree with padraigin and mudpuppie that no matter the ambiguity, it really doesn't matter. For one, imposing our modern, Western views of what sexuality is like on people who lived in a completely different context doesn't work. Different worlds, literally. What matters is that those ladies clearly loved each other, and there is a powerful joy in knowing that they shared feelings so fond and close that we can still see them in faded old photographs, can still be captivated by them in a time of Instagrams and 3D movies.

That said, some of them really do seem to be couples to me. (Possibly because of gender issues as well as sexuality ones, but again, who can say what a person's experience of those things would really have been like back then?)

Really, this is just a beautiful collection from the start - every single one of these images touched me in some way. I wish there was some way of getting more context from a lot of them! I see a lot of Googling in my near future now...
posted by harujion at 1:17 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


These photos prove that all it takes to look fucking FLY is youth, confidence, and some small sense of style and signifiers. Even the photos of the ladies from the 70's have become more amazing, with time.
Coming out in 1988, I was a Lesbian Avenger/Queer Nation member at UT Austin. My mom liked that we all matched at parades, all tucked our shirts in, all had clean shoes. And belts. Don't forget the big black belts in our blue jean shorts!
posted by pomegranate at 4:09 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I smiled when I saw Sylvia Rivera was included
posted by Z303 at 4:29 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


no matter the ambiguity, it really doesn't matter. For one, imposing our modern, Western views of what sexuality is like on people who lived in a completely different context doesn't work.

At the same time, I think if we acknowledge that it doesn't work perfectly and then use that as the stepping stone to "therefore people of the same sex weren't really attracted to each other and didn't really form partnerships and couples as people do today," that's not a fair extrapolation, because it defaults back to heteronormtive assumptions. Not that I think that's what you're doing, to be clear. But the reasoning does remind me of those 1990s college conversations I referred to above (of the 'Was Emily Dickinson gay? Was Walt Whitman gay?' variety), it was those who most wanted to defend contemporary social norms for gendered interaction were also those who most often fell back on "Well, relationships were so different then anyway, it's not like this maps perfectly onto modern gay-ness."

And while I agree that past conceptions of sexual relationships don't map perfectly, I also think that doesn't mean there weren't also homosexual relationships of exactly the kind that we recognize today. The passing of time has just hidden some of this history from us. Some of these images - and the historical record - describe and depict relationships that rather unambiguously walk like a duck, and we don't have to retreat to that complicated argument about changing mores and behavior patterns and same-sex intimacy, yadda yadda, to understand something about the nature of the relatioships. Regardless of what the mores, constructs, and expressions were, it's clear that there have always been people whose preference was to form non-Platonic relationships with people of the same sex, either part of the time, or all of the time. We do construct that differently from time to time, but I don't think it was ever so different that it was not, well, what it was.
posted by Miko at 6:12 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


*passing of time, and wilful suppression, I should add.
posted by Miko at 6:20 AM on September 20, 2012


Regardless of what the mores, constructs, and expressions were, it's clear that there have always been people whose preference was to form non-Platonic relationships with people of the same sex

Yes. Absolutely. And I think these photos illustrate that quite beautifully. It's just a tricky thing to apply modern labels to people who lived way before those labels even existed. But of course romance and attraction were as real and vivid then, too, and of course such feelings would sometimes happen between people of the same gender. And it is lovely to see those feelings expressed like this.

This is another wonderful picture of two women who had very clearly chosen to live their lives together - and I don't see anything at all wrong with calling them a lesbian couple. (And a very happy such couple too, from the looks of it!)
posted by harujion at 9:45 AM on September 20, 2012


A thought on the whole "why are we assuming some of these women are/n't gay" issue.

Both sides have a point, if you think about it. I noticed myself gearing up to say "Hey, it's possible to have a photo of two very close women and neither one of them is gay." I'm sure a couple times there could have been a photo taken of me and my best friend from high school that could fit in here, but we are both indeed straight.

And then it hit me - it actually doesn't matter, either way. Assume these women are gay if you like, assume they are straight if you like. Good cases could be made for either one.

But gay or straight, what is true of each of these pictures is that it is a picture of a pair of women who loved each other. The manner in which they loved each other is, at the end of the day, inconsequential, and their love is no more or less strong for being platonic or romantic, or vice versa.

Love takes many forms, but love is still love, whether it is agape or erotic. But it is love. That is all that matters. And love is what is in these pictures.




(I do realize that there are a lot of current gender/equality/political reasons that make what I say very, very simplistic, idealistic, and downright Pollyanna-ish. I accept that that is an ideal we can't quite have just yet in any practical fashion out in the world. But in all honesty, what is in my own head right now is "eh, maybe they were lovers, maybe they were just close friends, doesn't matter either way -- these are still wonderful pictures of very lucky women.")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's just a tricky thing to apply modern labels to people who lived way before those labels even existed.

It's a tricky thing to apply them to a lot of people today.
posted by Miko at 9:50 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Miko: amen to that!
posted by harujion at 9:56 AM on September 20, 2012


And then it hit me - it actually doesn't matter, either way.

It does matter to me, because seeing representation of women who actually did have romantic relationships with other women long ago is special. I don't look at pictures like these to see people expressing love for each other--I can see that in lots of places. I look at pictures like these to see my forebears.


For some reason some part of my brain wants to draw an analogy between this and "lesbian" porn featuring women who aren't really queer and porn featuring queer women. They're the same in some technical sense, but...not.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:03 AM on September 20, 2012


I completely understand, cowbell; that's why I mentioned my disclaimer that mine was a very pollyanna "as if the world were totally magically perfect" perspective. No offense was meant, and no intent to belittle the need for positive same-sex couple role moddels was meant either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:10 AM on September 20, 2012


But there are REALLY a lot of women dressed man-style in these pictures. It makes me want to learn a bit more about the history of cross-dressing, especially for women adopting men's dress.

I read Little Women for the first time this year (I'm in my 30s). So many people love, love that book and especially the main character, Jo March. It was fascinating to me to read this open description of a little girl who so fervently identified with the male gender. And it was, by and large, accepted by all those around her. The March girls would have club meetings where they all adopted male personas and wore men's hats and coats and pretended to smoke pipes. Such a contrast with our current popular culture and the seeming hyper-genderizing of everything.

Sadly, Jo goes on to have a conventional marriage though I give her a "by" since her chosen partner is sort of off-kilter and out of the mainstream as a love-match.

Either Louis May Alcott has a lot of thoughts about male/female gender identity or there was more playfulness about this in the past. Perhaps both?
posted by amanda at 2:43 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sadly, Jo goes on to have a conventional marriage

Aw, I like the professor, and it seems like a sincerely happy marriage to me.

Louis May Alcott has a lot of thoughts about male/female gender identity

Whatever we can know about her own gender identity, she was not a one-dimensional woman. She seems to have had profound feelings for both men and women, whatever their nature.

My favorite book of hers growing up was not Little Women but Eight Cousins, which is fun and definitely proto-feminist. And features a really close female friendship, as well.
posted by Miko at 3:44 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


For those who didn't click through from the first link, a lot of the pictures came from http://fyeahqueervintage.tumblr.com/, which has many more lovely vintage photos, plus interesting brief commentaries attached to many of them.
posted by chortly at 8:44 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


It does matter to me, because seeing representation of women who actually did have romantic relationships with other women long ago is special.

It matters somewhat to me too, for a different reason.

I have a black and white photo of my grandma and her friend that looks very much like many of the photos in the 1920s section of this gallery. I first saw it at her funeral, so never heard her describe what it was. It's my grandma and her friend dressed in overalls and hats, my grandma in a necktie, standing next to each other. I took a copy of the photo from her funeral because it was a side of my grandma I'd never seen, namely cross-dressing. But it never occurred to me that my grandma might have been a lesbian. I would love to find out my grandma's story had this big, interesting twist, but I have no reason to think that was the case. And I have plenty of reason to think it wasn't, e.g. her relationships with men.

But I don't care, because there surely were lesbians throughout history, and if we had pictures of them, that's pretty much what they'd look like.

That's true, but these aren't just pictures of what lesbian women looked like in general; these are pictures of specific women with their own personal histories, also important. I was happy to see the author's note that "some of these photos may just be of cross-dressers or super-close friends." Maybe I should submit my photo of my grandma to the gallery.
posted by scottreynen at 4:45 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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