Butch: Not Like the Other Girls

On November 12, 2014 by kate.bornstein
"Born Butch" by SD Holman

“Born Butch” by SD Holman

Fans of LGBT art, rejoice: Canadian photographer SD Holman has a new exhibit on display, and it’s queer, free to see, and lovely.


Holman’s photo collection Butch: Not Like the Other Girls is described as “a photographic exploration of the liminal space occupied by female masculinity in contemporary communities.” It’s available for viewing from now until Jan. 23, 2015 at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, located at 34 Isabella St. in Toronto’s gay neighbourhood.


The photo series captures several butch-identified people in striking black-and-white portraits. For those who don’t know, butch identity is so much more than a stereotype or a female caricature of masculinity; it has a rich history in queer culture. While often portrayed as the opposite of, and counterpoint to, girly “femme” lesbians, butches can and do exist independently of femmes – and some of them are highly prolific, thought-provoking artists.


Below, for your viewing pleasure and food for thought, we’ve created a brief history of butch art in Canada. The word “art” is used here in the most general sense, to mean not only visual art but also film, literature, performance, and more. Canadian butches are well worth being proud of – not only for their brave transgressions of the gender binary but also for their profound and important contributions to the art world.


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