It’s just me in a frock, wielding my banjo in my back garden, looking displeased. The title is what’s going through my head. I wanted to paint how I was feeling: affronted, defensive, angry and desperate for change. All too often gay men are portrayed as serene, perfect, like butter wouldn’t melt. White, able-bodied, articulate, employed, cis-gender, not single, fashionable, clever, sassy, Britney Britney Britney. This characterisation is toxic because some men strive to fit this shallow mould, it gives gay men a free pass with sexism and it creates hierarchy within the LGBT community, the cruellest irony for the formerly oppressed to become the oppressor; it is the antithesis of liberation and equality. In this painting, it looks like I’m about to punch you. Maybe it’s meant to be me not fitting that mould (society dictates dresses are reserved for women), but it’s more probable that it’s just me looking angry.
Painted in April this year for submission to the Ruth Borchard Collection (unsuccessful). Submitted as conclusion to my Advanced Higher Portfolio: ‘Womanish’ (successful).
5×4 feet. Acrylic.