For SD Holman, the creative motivation behind her most recent project was clear from the very beginning. “We crave images of ourselves,” she says. “I wanted [butch dykes] to have a reflection of ourselves that we can look up to, admire, jerk off to. Something in which we can take pride and not feel that we are freaks who need to change to fit into our own skin and this world at the same time.” The end result is Butch: Not Like the Other Girls, an exhibit that will be stopping at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) as part of its North American tour. The show debuted at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre in March 2013, with a simultaneous public art project in transit shelters around the city. An immediate success, the exhibit has since travelled across the continent and inspired a book.
The images in the collection celebrate the “beauty, power and diversity of women who transgress the gender binary” and include subjects of varying sizes, shapes and ethnicities.
“We are so thrilled to be presenting Butch at the CLGA,” says Will Craddock, vice-president of the CLGA. “SD’s works bring us such a close and personal exploration into a sometimes overlooked part of our community.”
“There are so few images of butches and such maligning of masculinity in women,” Holman says. “I wanted to counter that, especially for young butches. I want them to know they are glorious in their myriad styles of butch-itude.”