Brain Pickings Icon
Brain Pickings

Molly Landreth’s Tender Vintage Portraits of Modern Queer Life

What Victorian photography has to do with a watershed moment for modern democracy and human rights.

Late last Friday, the New York State Senate passed a marriage equality act, making New York the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex marriage — a momentous occasion Mayor Bloomberg called “a historic triumph for equality and freedom.” To celebrate the occasion — though it’s utterly embarrassing we’re just doing that in 2011 — here’s a look at the wonderful work of photographer Molly Landreth, profiled in Etsy’s lovely Handmade Portraits series.

For the past five years, Landreth has been documenting queer and transgendered life using a vintage 4×5 large-format camera. Her tender, poetic portraits aim to redefine what it means to be queer today, exposing her subjects’ most vulnerable and human sides.

Real strength and real tenderness at the same time, in one frame, is something that I go back to a lot. In queer relationships, there [are] so many times when it’s so tender and soft but, also, you have to have so much strength to show yourself and to be who you are.” ~ Molly Landreth

Cooper, Oakland, CA, 2009
Rory and His Uncles, Brighton England
Simon and West, 9am Seattle, WA. 2007
Jo and Joann, Seattle, WA. 2007
Ronni and Jo, Seattle, WA. 2005
Michelle and Janis, Bellingham, WA. 2007
Cubby, Portland, OR. 2009
EJ Scott, Brighton, England. 2010
Meg and Renee, Seattle, WA. 2007

You can find Molly’s beautiful prints on Etsy.

HT @kvox

Published June 27, 2011




Filed Under

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated