The second poster series, “Family Pictures and Found Photos” (1991), also gives onlookers pause. For this endeavor, fierce pussy members sourced images of themselves and their friends as children, then paired the images with a stigmatized term like “dyke,” or a statement such as “lover of women.” In one poster, a photo-booth film strip of two children is paired with the phrase “find the dyke in this picture”; another work features a photograph of a toddler with the word “muffdiver” punched in above.
These pairings are not just startling because of their jarring language, but because of the juxtaposition they create between impressionable children and homophobic terms. For many LGBTQ+ people, names like “dyke,” “muffdiver,” or “tomgirl” have been applied to them from a young age, and have made the process of coming out—and feeling comfortable with oneself—more difficult. For those viewers, the posters offer a moment of recognition, solace, and maybe even a laugh. Here, typically derogatory terms become a proud tool for self-identification, and a place where differences are celebrated.