This ongoing project is an effort to increase visibility, show lesbians in a realistic and positive light,
demonstrate community and counteract the stereotypes and misinformation. It is a typology
of images showing the diversity of lesbians. The mothers, sisters,
aunts, cousins and daughters that make up the population.
Comprised of simple black and white film portraits of lesbians in natural light on a dark grey
background, they will be made into a book, a composite poster, and individual 8x8 prints. Those will also be posted here,
Reminiscent of the 1987 ACT UP silence = death, this project is intended to increase
visibility and will be available for exhibit in any lesbian positive environment. The organizers of the Lesbian Film
Festival in Paducah KY have agreed to display the project.
I’d been hearing talk of the violence, de-platforming and other forms of silencing from women I
know in the UK. I heard talk online of a new bar in LA that had a wall of pictures depicting
healthy young women who’d had double mastectomies. I read of the surge of transgendered
young females seeking treatment for their “condition”. Once again lesbians are being erased.
Recently I was surprised to be invited to the Midwest Intergenerational Lesbian Conference in
Iowa City, IA. The 19-year-old student I spoke with explained there was essentially no place for
intergenerational mixing and that young women had questions and there were no older
lesbians to ask. This project was born in that moment.
I came out of the “closet” in 1983, resisting peer and family pressure to hide my homosexuality.
I have essentially lived as an out lesbian since that time. I sat on the board of Pride St. Louis for
three years, including the 25th anniversary in 2004. I was active in my community but with the
passage of time and aging even though I was vaguely aware of the closing of coffee shops,
bookstores and bars I’d quietly settled into mainstream America.
Young lesbians today are experiencing a great deal of pressure from peers, parents, and helpful
clinicians, not to hide their homosexuality but to accept they are the wrong sex (as opposed to
gender). Many are encouraged through drugs and surgery to physically transition to pass as
male, . To make the choice to go through the arduous and painful and ineffective process of
physical “sex reassignment” surgery to be considered straight. With the accompanying
irreversible drugs and surgery, some as young as 12 are sacrificing healthy, functioning bodies
in exchange for the mythology of fitting into a homophobic culture.
This is nothing short of mutilation and another cruel form of conversion therapy, a discredited
practice intended to “cure” homosexuality. Conversion therapy has no supporting evidence but
is favored by some religious communities. The Southern Poverty Law Center is working to ban
the practice.
I need to be very clear here that there are and have always been some individuals who do
indeed feel they are in the wrong bodies and I support their right for this medical intervention.
I’m not talking about them.
Homosexuality is a naturally occurring percentage of every mammalian population,
approximately 3% in humans, and a form of natural diversity, similar to being left-handed.
Ratesof bullying, depression, anxiety, suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction are extremely
high in this targeted population.

A project called Demographica, by Tobin Jones from Kenya, affirmed this project, as well as
echoes of the prior typologies of Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Artist Statement for
Lesbian
4/30/19
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