Photographing the beauty of masculinity in queer womanhood

Lindsay Perryman’s zine ‘The Colors We Don’t See at The End of The Rainbow’ highlights the Black and brown studs of the LGBTQ+ community.

by Jenna Mahale
04 May 2022, 8:00am

To Lindsay Perryman, queer community means “being able to show the truest version of yourself.” It’s a sentiment that guides The Colors We Don't See at The End of The Rainbow, a new zine of photography from the Brooklyn-born photographer and filmmaker. The LGBTQ+ community at large hasn’t always lived up to this definition—there’s a persistent contingent of cis members hellbent on demonising the existence of trans people, we are mere months away from a now-annual kink-at-Pride discourse, and virtually every progressive social movement in history has been mired in racism of some kind.

a model wearing a camouflage print shirt looks at the camera, their face obscured by locs

Recent research by the UK’s Stonewall demonstrates that 51% of people of colour have faced discrimination or poor treatment within the queer community; it’s a situation that is particularly acute for Black LGBTQ+ people, one in five (or 61%) of whom have experienced what is known as ‘double discrimination’ from other LGBTQ+ people.

a model with long dreadlocks wearing a white vest looks to the camera

Lindsay, whose father had put a camera in their hand when they were a young child (“I've been intrigued ever since”), wanted to utilise their creative skills to take corrective action. “My initial inspiration for this project was simply to show Black and brown women of diverse backgrounds in the LGBT+ community,” Lindsay explains over email, noting that the now-widespread media representation of women is still often sorely lacking in terms of diversity. “I wanted to make sure it represented the LGBT+ population in a different light.”

a short-haired model in a denim jacket poses with a husk dog

Specifically, Lindsay wanted to focus on ‘studs’: masculine African American women whose beauty is only rarely spotlighted. “Queer masculine women have been invisible up until this point,” says Lindsay. “I want my work to reflect my message: that the Black and brown community is more than the stereotypical image of it the media perpetuates.” 

a model sits on a red sofa in the half light coming through the slats in a window

The 24-year-old artist cites photographer Tyler Mitchell as an enduring influence: “His unique portrayal of the Black and brown community — his ‘Black utopic vision’, as he calls it — really impressed me. ​​He captures their elegance, but also leisure, and a playful freeness.” Colors will be Lindsay’s first official publication, inspired in large part by the models the work features. “Their desire to participate in the project, and to be so vulnerable in front of the camera” was a vital catalyst in the zine’s creation, they say: “I poured my heart, body and soul into it.” 

The Colors We Don't See at The End of The Rainbow zine cover
facial close up of a model with a butterfly cheek tattoo
 model dressed in white poses in a wood chair in front of a white background
facial close up of a model with an inner lip piercing
a model dressed in a white vest and blue jeans poses in front of a large house plant
a model leans back to display their throat tattoo, a line down the centre of the neck, the word manifest at the top of it
a model is seated on a white backdrop in a green space, wearing pale blue jeans and a dark green t shirt
a model in a white vest and jeans sits on the floor in dappled sunlight
facial close up of a model with a silver earring and nose ring
a model rests their hand on their face, looking to the side in front of a yellow backdrop
a model leans on a white wall, wearing a camo print shirt and cargo pants and looking to the camera through their hair


All images courtesy Lindsay Perryman