Owning stereotypes: Brooklyn-based illustrator creates series of LGBT posters

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Brooklyn-based illustrator Paul Tuller and creative director James Kuczynski have created a series of posters aimed to reclaim queer stereotypes and educate others.

Created in Brooklyn by Tuller, with Kuczynski providing the art direction, the series was created to address the categories that many LGBT people find themselves in. 

The series of posters consists of The Bear, The Otter, The Twink, The Twunk, The Drag Queen, and The Butch – just a few of the stereotypes often slung around the LGBT community.

Originally, the terms were seen as something negative, ones that gay men did not want to be labeled as; now, times have changed, and many embrace them. Tuller even notes, “Labels of any kind can be polarizing and exclusive, but at some point the community reclaimed these words as something more. I wanted to celebrate that.”

Tuller said he was inspired to create the series based on “interest in how these labels have been reclaimed by the LGBTQ community as something light-hearted, erotic, comical or otherwise endearing.”

Kuczynski explained the idea’s concept and creation: “I found myself in a gay bar one night and I was overhearing a few guys talking about what stereotype categories they think they fit into. It got me thinking how many stereotypes are there really in the LGBTQ community.”

Conceiving a project just like theirs is controversial and risky, but Kuczynski, Tuller and their team know it.

“Paul and I talked about the idea of a poster series and we found ourselves thinking, are people going to love it or hate it?” Kuczynski says, “We don’t mean to offend anyone, but instead create a conversation.”

The six different posters are now on sale at Society6 for $18 each.

The prints are also available on stretched canvases, stationery cards, iPhone and iPod cases and skins, t-shirts, hoods, throw pillows, and tote bags. 

A portion of the proceeds goes to the Think B4 You Speak campaign by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). The organization raises awareness of the harm related to use of homophobic words and phrases, such as the commonly used “That’s so gay.”

429Magazine

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Just another multi-disciplinary writer and bundle of contradictions trying to figure out how to get the most out of life, and make a living while I'm at it.

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