Lesbian Images of the Past


I love history, especially LGBTQ history. For anyone who knows first hand the experience of growing up queer many will recall the feeling of being completely alone.  Discovering that the queer spectrum has a history and that I am not alone was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever experienced. Even though, the world had yet to be perfect for the queer community it is also very important to remember how lucky we are today. Today we have online sites and organizations dedicated to remembering the queer past and open for people to view in even the most remote parts of the world. We are vocal and visible in the media and have support groups. Now imagine what it must have been like to be LGBTQ several decades ago and to have no Internet, no organizations, societies, support groups, or icons to look up to – that must have been very lonely.

The photos in this post were taken several years ago when I was working on a mix-media and photography project called “Victorian Lesbian Photography.” I went to the GLBT Historical Museum in San Francisco and researched through their photo achieve. These images were real people, but the stillness of the image reminds me of how silent they were. They remind me that for all the loneliness I felt it did not compare to the lifetime of lonely silence that many queer people in the past felt. As I looked through the pictures I felt a connection and an understanding among the different women. I’m not related to any of them, but knowing that they shared mutual feelings for the same sex makes me feel as if they are part of my chosen ancestry.

Here is to the past – For staying strong and bringing us to a brighter future.

With Love,

~ Jenny

If you live or are visiting San Francisco please visit the GLBT Historical Society.

GLBT Historical Society
657 Mission Street #300
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415.777.5455













About jjigour

This entry was posted in Art, Gay & Lesbian, Photography, queer, San Francisco and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lesbian Images of the Past

  1. Stephanie says:

    Really interesting!!.. Even though we’ve come so far, lesbians and gays have still not got complete acceptance and rights in the society.

  2. jjigour says:

    Yes, that true. There isn’t complete acceptance and some places are worse than others in this world for LGBTQ. Living in San Francisco one can immerse themselves in such an open and accepting culture that it is easy to forget the past – and lot of people rather forget the painful past.

    I think that the past is important to remember because so often it intersexes with the present i.e. California banning Gay Marriage. How did that happen? How could a place such as San Franciso have such a high vote against Gay Marriage? It’s a wake up call that not everything is peachy-keen yet and even San Francisco is not one Bright and Shinny Queer Rainbow. However, with all the little set back you can’t deny the significance of the baby steps up the ladder – Hello Iowa!!! I love you!

    ~ Jenny

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