The Queer Portrait Project tells the stories of people in the queer community in my paint and in their words. I am painting queer-identified people and having each person write a short bio to accompany the painting. I am painting people I know and people I don’t know. I am painting gay people, bi people, trans people, old people, young people, outgoing people, shy people, tall people, short people…queer people. I seek to illustrate the diversity, breadth, and variety that is the queer community. I like the thought of art used as a connection and a bridge in this tightknit, yet also disparate community. We tend to subdivide ourselves according age, race, gender, and class. I hope to show, in the most basic of ways -images and words- how art can be action for change. We have the power to strengthen and sustain each other: as queers, as artists, as people.

If you are interested in posing for the project, send an email to jen@paintpunk.com or see the facebook event:

Monday, April 30, 2012


My name is Patti, I’m 43 years old and live in Madison, WI. I consider myself a Femme Lesbian and have been out since 1989. My queerness manifests as a paradigm of invisibility both in the lesbian and the straight communities. For those who don’t know me, I am often overlooked by the lesbians, assumed to be straight or bi; and because I’m a mother of a child, I am almost always tagged as straight in the straight world. Although I have a layer of safety in “passing” and acceptance which my butch sisters often do not have, it requires I work extra hard to show my visibility and authenticity in the queer community. One of my greatest joys is when I have an opportunity to come out to people who have been living in a haze of their own assumptions about who I am and what type of family I’m a part of. I like to watch their eyes when all they believed is flipped upside down both in who I am, but also in their ideas of the lesbian stereotype.

I adore being a sensual, competent femme who pours my support and energy into the lesbian nation, and that choice is both personal and political. As a mother of a growing boy I consider my careful attention to his education of queer culture to be my greatest gift to our community, as I trust he will one day be allied influencer and champion for our people.

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