I was compelled to create a testament to my living history as a lesbian whose partners are often on the butch and masculine spectrum
I began Girls will be Bois, 2002-2007 because I was compelled to create a testament to my living history as a lesbian whose partners are often on the butch and masculine spectrum.
Butchness, particularly butch BIPOC are targeted with violence, repressed historically, and ignored by the media. Everywhere from popular culture to the law, female masculinity is treated as failed femininity – a monstrosity.
It was vital to me that I document and create a visual testimony of my community that could not be denied. As a queer photographer I felt that my medium was the best way to intervene in the ongoing attempt to marginalize my community. I also lost a friend during this time which had a profound impact on me. Kim, a young butch lesbian, tragically died from a brain aneurysm at 24 years old. Kim’s partner Michelle who had been with her virtually every day during the two years they were together, was not invited to the funeral where Kim was buried in pink suit and coffin with heavy makeup. Kim’s history is like that of so many queer people. Written by those who seek to deny it.
Girls Will be Bois will always be a historical project for me. Losing a friend and watching another friend be written out of her partner’s life, was a painful reality check about what was at stake if we do not record our own stories.