Donna Gottschalk, Marlene, E. 9th St., 1969, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16".

“LESBIANS TORTURE DRAG QUEEN” reads the headline of a tabloid that once hung on a wall in Donna Gottschalk’s apartment. As captured in her photograph Marlene, E. 9th St., 1969, her subject, Marlene, turns away from this clipping as if refusing its absurd sensationalism, challenging the dominant narrative of lesbians as vicious. She looks directly into Gottschalk’s camera with her arms crossed against her bare chest, her pants slightly unzipped to reveal a shoreline of pubic hair. She smiles widely without showing her teeth, barely containing her pleasure in being seen in all her butch glory. One of thirty-five works by the artist featured in “Brave, Beautiful Outlaws: The Photographs of Donna Gottschalk” at New York’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Lesbian and Gay Art, this image, and the exhibition as a whole, confronts the Daily Mirror—read as a proxy for compulsory heterosexuality—for

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