Quick edit before I start replying later today, but I want to say I deeply apologize to anyone out there if this has offended you. I do not mean to turn this into a war, I only wish for peace and equality. I am still firm in my beliefs, but I realize I may have worded them in an aggressive manner, and for that, I am sorry. I fully support straight relationships, but I am against homophobia and misunderstanding of gender fluidity. I fully support gender roles or conformity, but I am against societal expectation. The point is NOT to get rid of these things, but to make it so people are not FORCED into them. My ultimate goal is for everyone to be able to relate to these messages despite gender, sex, identity, race, religion, or anything else. I am only using these stories and characters as a tool to do so.
Thank you all for the support and I hope you accept my sincere apologies [end edit]
As you all hopefully know, PT is all about love between girls. So yes, lesbians, if you so choose to label them. We know spirit day isn't just for lesbians, but since the story deals with LGBT empowerment, we wanted to do this really, really bad. (We apologize for only having ladies in PT thusfar, but when the time comes, we'll be doing this same thing with boys in the future.)
As we've worked on this project and uploaded development images on here, some of you have mentioned the girls being too overtly masculine, but really, what is gender? Gender is something defined by culture. Gender and biological sex are different.. and gender expression varies insanely from person to person. Gender is something many use as a weapon for hate. But, to me and many people, gender is fluid. So within this story, we tried to explore many types of gender expression within girl and girl love:
-------------------------------------- Sam&Sara: are our "androgynous" couple. Though many of you want to label Sam the "boy" because of her name, height, and the fact she does sports, this is not the case. We purposefully made them to be very interchangeable as far as gender roles go. Gender conformity shouldn't matter to any couple, straight, gay, or anything else. Sara is a "tomboy" because she likes video games and skating. Sam is a "tomboy" because she plays sports. But really, "tomboy" is just a term, and what defines what is a "boyish" or "girlish" activity? The focus in their story is more based on the romantic aspect that love transcends gender and biology, so we wanted their pose to be tender, protective, mutual. There's a sense of masculine protectiveness about both of them, and a sense of fragile tenderness and femininity to both of them.
Jay&Jess: are our "masculine" couple. Honestly, a lot of people have a hard time understanding this couple because they both have aggressively masculine body expression. "Gay girls dress like boys just to get girls, right?" Wrong. Why CAN'T girls wear men's clothes? Why can't men wear girl's clothes? Gender conformity. A girl can wear men's clothes and still like men. A girl can wear men's clothes and still like girls. Or like masculine girls. Your sexual preference has nothing to do with your personal expression. We hope to give their story a very boyish charm to it. We want them to be very protective of each other. There is no "damsel" in this relationship. That's why their pose is very blunt, strong, and steadfast.
Stella&Gale: are our gender conforming relationship. Gale is masculine, and Stella is feminine. On the outside, they do follow the typical "butch and femme" dynamic. Is it WRONG to follow gender roles? No, not really. If it works for you in a healthy way, it's great. There's a reason it exists, I'm sure. But when gender roles become an expectation, to the point where it harms and isolates groups of people, it's just a tool for oppression. Gale and Stella happily conform to their gender roles, and we hope to portray it as a healthy "protector" and "nurturer" give-and-take.
Mona&Su-Mi: are our "feminine" couple. They seem to be very widely accepted, because "if you like women, but still want to dress like a woman, that's great! It's hot!" Ah, objectification. Despite the undesirable portrayal of femme-on-femme lesbian porn, we definitely didn't want to discount the fact that lipstick lesbians exist and are very prominent. What IS wrong with conforming to your gender and liking others who do the same? There's a sense of equality there that you don't get in opposite gender relationships. As two feminine women, we wanted them to be tender, nurturing, quiet. Somewhat sensual, but still modest, straying away from the objectified "lesbian porn," but not denying their sexuality.
We don't mean to label our characters, or their stories. But sadly, the problem of gender conformity is still rampant in our culture, so it DOES effect them. We can't turn a blind eye to that. It effects real life same-sex couples, it effects real life straight couples. it effects young people who are harassed in schools and in the streets. We don't want to label them, but we do want to address these very real problems. We label them only so the reader has an easier time understanding them, and understanding what we're trying to say. We label them because we want to question how we label others.
Because in the end, we need to stop looking at gender, and start looking at people.
Happy Spirit Day, in memory of those heroes. Let's dye the world purple. No Hate.
Image is a collaboration between myself and ~Aibi-Cake I did the preliminary sketch and color comp, she lined everything, then I colored and did the typography. Since it is a collaboration, it will also show up in her gallery, please feel free to take a peek at her deviation to read her opinions in the comments and support her as well!
A 12" x 18" Framed Fine Art print will be shipped to the winner of this auction. It is valued at $90 + p & p so you have a great opportunity to win a bargain. The winning bid will be able to select their choice of frame colour from the options available.
I will cover the cost of the print, frame and postage.
This item is being put up for bids for the Artisan Crafts Silent Auction - for the Weekend to end Breast Cancer
**** BIDDING STARTS JUL 21, 2008 and ENDS AUG. 17th, 2008****
FOR DETAILS on the auction and how to bid on this item and others please read the news article
Note there is a reserve price on this item of $30 USD, which considering its value is very reasonable.
--------------------------------------------- The story of the bleeding heart:
It is said that a prince loved a princess who took no notice of him. To try to get the princess's attention and prove his love, he brought her exquisite and amazing gifts from far and wide. One day he came across two magical pink bunnies and offered them both to the princess.
At this point, the story teller pulls off the two outer pink petals and sets each on it sides to show the animals.
The princess was unmoved by the rabbits so, he tried again and presented her with beautiful dangly earrings.
The next two inner white petals are separated and held up next to the narrator's ears for display.
Still, the princess paid him no attention. The prince was so distraught over being spurned that he took a dagger and stabbed himself.
The remaining centre of the flower is shaped like an outline of a heart with a line down the centre. The heart is held up, the dagger-like line is removed, and the story teller plunges the "knife" through the heart's centre.
The princess, realizing too late that she did love the prince, cried out, "My heart shall bleed for my prince forever more!" and her heart bleeds to this day.