Some images stick with you, especially if they signal some sort of change in your life. Images from covers of movies or books that gave us the hint they were about girl-meets-girl — that’s something we couldn’t unsee. And with covers like these, why would you want to?
Group, what picture from a lesbian film poster or book cover made an impression on you?
Dara Nai: I love all those kitschy pulp fiction book covers of the ’50s and ’60s. The only thing better than the art work are the titles: Babes Behind Bars, Strange Sisters, Carnal Captive, (we seem to love alliteration), Women’s Barracks, Lavender Love Rumble, and simply, Butch. There are way too many great covers to choose from, but here are a few I find screamingly hilarz.
Ali Davis: It wasn’t a formative experience or anything, but I loved the book Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. And the DVD cover for the TV series is just perfect. It’s not a bodice-ripper, but it certainly does some tasteful hinting that that bodice may not be around for long.
Lucy Hallowell: Good Moon Rising by Nancy Garden. It’s not her best known book (that has to be Annie on My Mind) and the cover is not exactly stellar, just two girls sitting leaning against each other. So why am I picking it? My parents always give us books for birthdays, Christmases, Tuesdays, really any occasion. But when they gave me this book it was the first time I realized that they were trying to tell me, via the means of book, that they were OK with me being gay. So the two girls on the cover and the lesbian teen romance within will always hold a special place in my heart.
Dorothy Snarker: I’ve always loved the poster for High Art. It was simple and striking and oh-so intimate. Also, hot. It’s important to mention that it’s hot. High Art, despite its (spoiler alert, for all newbie lesbians who have yet to queue this up on Netflix) sad dead lesbian ending, remains one of my favorite queer films because of its style and melancholy beauty. A lot like the poster.
Emily Donofrio: I will never forget the first time I saw the cover for Better Than Chocolate. All I knew was that if someone had combined what I deemed at the time as an amazing Sarah McLachlan song with dykes that I had to see it.
Karman Kregloe: Once upon a time (when I was in grad school), in a land far away (New Mexico), I was the buyer for an independent LGBT bookstore. Remember those? Anyway, I came to work one day and the owner had set aside a new release that he thought I would enjoy. It was a comic book, and though I had no particular interest in that art form, something about this one was … different.
Did someone really have the huevos to draw and write Hothead Paisan, a entire comic about an angry lesbian’s revenge fantasies? Yes, they did. That someone was artist Diane DiMassa, and I bought every single issue as well as every button, postcard and t-shirt she made. Yes, that employee discount sure did come in handy. Hilarious, sick and sometimes just plain deranged, Hothead cleared the illustrated planet of sexists, rapists and homophobes so that I didn’t have to. I am eternally grateful.
The Linster: Coming out in a new job is always a bother because on one hand, it’s nobody’s business, but on the other hand, you want to be open about who you because it’s, well, who you are. The way I dealt with it was to hang this poster in my office.
I loved the movie and the poster still makes me smile. And I’m sure it saved me quite a few awkward conversations. It also, BTW, gave another lesbian in the office the courage to come out after a decade of being closeted at work. That’s quite an accomplishment for a piece of paper.
Bridget McManus: Here’s my pick. Enough said.
Heather Hogan: For me, it has got to be Strangers in Paradise #90, the final issue of Terry Moore‘s self-published epic about the love between Francine Peters and Katina Choovanski. It is a throwback to the original issue, which was published in 1997, and seeing the two covers side-by-side just brings the whole SiP experience full circle. You can see how much Terry grew as an artist, and how far Francine and Katchoo came — as individual characters and as a couple — over the decade in which he told their story. They were my first lesbian love, really, and they still make me sigh and swoon as much as they did when I first met them.
Grace Chu: Spotted, 49th Street N/R subway station, Summer 2010.
Trish Bendix: When I first saw the VHS copy of Bound at my local Blockbuster I was like “What the fuck is that?” I knew it was about two women who clearly had some kind of sexual relations, but I was not used to seeing it available for public consumption. There was no way I could figure out how to rent it without revealing why I wanted to see it — hell, at the time I had no idea why I wanted to see it! But something about Gina Gershon in her leather jacket tied to Jennifer Tilly‘s cleavage made me blush and linger a little too long when I saw it on the new release shelf.
Which cover made an impression on you?