Skip to main content

Emerging Visions: Emma Crews

Out of the Closet


I’m gay. I’m a lesbian. The people who try to tell you not to make your entire personality about your sexuality are just saying that because they don’t know how great it is to be a lesbian. A lot of who I am is directly affected by my sexuality, from the obvious things such as who I date to the way I interact with my own gender and the way I dress. People will also tell you someone can’t “look like a lesbian.” I disagree. I definitely look like a lesbian and I look like a lesbian intentionally. It’s liberating to admit a lack of attraction to men. It’s liberating  to love women. And it feels great to admit that. I dress in a way that other lesbians can recognize I’m a lesbian; it’s called flagging. LGBT people dress and present themselves in certain ways so as to communicate to other LGBT people. It’s a private language and sub-culture we have for ourselves and it’s beautiful. And my art is based on and inspired by that.

Women’s sexuality is often only ever discussed when in reference to their relationship with a man. Women’s attraction and love is never portrayed to be for the sake of the woman. I make lesbian-specific art with the intention to show women’s attraction to women for the sake of only women. I don’t feel lesbians are seen enough and when lesbians are shown, it is for voyeuristic purposes. I  researched and used lesbian imagery from Sappho’s poems to colours from the lesbian pride flag. I wanted to show lesbian love in a non-voyeuristic way.