I saw the prompt for this show and immediately knew I wanted to create pieces that subverted the concept of what it meant to be a bimbo within the context of butch lesbian identity. Often times, the heterosexual stereotypes of masculinity are projected onto anyone who loves women and doesn’t present as a feminine woman. I used Duke Diamond, a drag persona meant to embody and parody the essence of butch lesbian bravado, to demonstrate the many ways that butches also take part in activities and behaviors that are considered traditionally feminine.
I used Paris Hilton in the early 2000’s as well as Tom of Finland’s art to inspire the character’s looks, mannerisms, and aesthetics in this series. I particularly enjoyed combining the looks of Paris, who I consider to be an icon in bimbo culture, and Kake, the titular character in Tom of Finland’s comics series who for many in the LGBT community represents the pique of masculine culture. My goal is to celebrate the balance of masculinity and femininity that I have in my own life and to show how makeup and style can be empowering tools for any self identifying bimbo, whether you’re putting on makeup or slicking back your hair before your trip to the mall.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Liuxing Johnston is a Chinese lesbian cartoonist based in New Jersey. Their work focuses on the topics of transracial adoption. the long term effects of grief, and butch lesbian identity. They run Lemon Liu Press, a small publishing company focused on telling the stories of butch lesbians of color. They currently have twelves books of comics and illustrations available both on their website and in bookshops located in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, and Florida.
© Liuxing Johnston