Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
T. Kim Trang Tran
© 2018 Gabrielle S Garcia
I feel like I can get home from here is an archive of the resilience, multiplicity, and survival of butch lesbians who continue to straddle the margins of a larger LGBTQ community and heterosexual world, and the lines of hypervisibility and erasure. As both a print book and digital archive, this project aims to compile meaningful textual and visual content about butch lesbians into one space and explore themes of identity, childhood, community, memory, history, and trajectories. Combining digital photography, questionnaire answers, interview transcripts, photo manipulation, and personal writings, the project aims to encapsulate a snapshot of contemporary understandings of butch embodiment in a manner that is documentary and figurative. 60 participants shared their stories and experiences in the form of in-person interviews and an online questionnaire. I feel like I can get home from here highlights the ideas that butch is a multiplicitous and nebulous identity that is vital to understandings of gender and sexuality and that a butch-designed archive can combat systematic erasure and stereotyping.
Within its scope, the project serves as its own standalone emotive archive and gives greater depth and voice behind a butch image superficially propagated by media and commonplace stereotyping. The project derives influence from and negotiates theories that deal with symbolic annihilation and the conceptual archive, lesbian semiotics and identification, and (lesbian) photography.
At its core, this project is a celebration, a living history, and a deep embodiment of community and love that speaks to a butch past, present, and future and the possibilities of masculinity.
Garcia, Gabrielle S., "I Feel Like I Can Get Home From Here: An Archive of Butch Lesbian Life and Persistence" (2019). Scripps Senior Theses. 1321.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.