In 2014, artist Michele Rosenthal embarked on a project not knowing what the final outcome would be.
“I began creating portraits of some of my favorite historical queer people, writing a sentence or two about each and sharing them on Tumblr,” she explains on her website. “At first I only had a handful of people in mind, but the names quickly multiplied.”
As she got deeper and deeper into the project, the small “handful” of portraits grew to 20, then 40, then 60. And those short bios of the subjects became several meticulously-researched paragraphs.
“Two years later, I took my first 60 illustrations and created queerportraits.com, a permanent home for the project,” Rosenthal explains. “It’s designed to be a fun and accessible entry point to LGBTQ history.”
Many of the people Rosenthal features are popular figures within LGBTQ history. Others are lesser known, but no less influential.
“This project has definitely been a labor of love,” she tells Queerty in an email. “There are 60 portraits and bios on the website so far, and I’m constantly adding more.”
Check out some of the portraits below, and see the entire collection at queerportraits.com. The prints are also available for purchase…
Marsha P. Johnson
Frederico Garcia Lorca