Lesbian and Bisexuality through the Female Gaze

By: Heather Glazzard

I find that queer/bi women are represented in small numbers in the media and if we are; we're most likely represented in somewhat of a sexual way, probably by a male. It's rare that you see a statement made by queer women on catwalks, fashion and in general. Recently I was asked to shoot for a magazine in Brooklyn who wanted to take my aesthetic and put it on a 'naked muscular gym guy' as they described, I had recently told them of my concept of shooting two women together, in a romantic emotional way. I turned it down, I wanted to stick to what I believed in promoting as an Artist. We have come along way for transgender women and men and gay males but I feel the spot for Lesbian and bi women has been left in the dark.  It's important that there is somewhere for us too. Growing up as a lesbian I honestly had nothing to inspire and relate too. This is a difficult thing when you're coming out and discovering you're not attracted to guys in your class but the girls. I'm personally sick of statements from society like 'You're too pretty to be gay' or 'you probably haven't had the right guy yet'. It's as if the lesbian community have this stereotype and if you don't look like that, you don't fit in. My personal favourite is 'I'd love to watch you two have sex' when I've been dating someone who doesn't conform to the stereotype. I strongly believe this is a knock-on effect of the media and how we're represented. I hope for my work to represent the lesbians who agree, that being a lesbian is more than a sex object or a wide known stereotype. I always try to explore this when I'm photographing girls who are openly bi/queer, I make sure they step away from this media look.