A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Jane Rule - & Other Scary Lesbians Charmers
Friday, November 30, 2007

It wasnt't too long ago that I wrote this. I put it here again in memory of a woman who charmed me and whom I will not forget. Rest in piece, Jane Rule.

Sometime in April 1991 the editor of Quill & Quire called me up and said, "Alex how would you like to photograph a 6 ft tall lesbian?" I was speechless, even after he said, "Your subject is going to be writer Jane Rule. The piece on her is that she is going to retire from writing because of her terrible arthritis which prevents her from articulating her fingers."

I did not know what to expect as I waited for her to show up.

In 1978 I had photographed a woman for a gay publication called Bi-Line. She was extremely beautiful and she was a lesbian who was treated by other women as a queen bee. They vied for who would wash her car or clean her house. She was obvious royalty. We met for coffee to dicuss our photo session and decided on dressing her in her karate clothing and I would photograph her after her workout. As I listened and stared at the woman I felt this incredible relaxation that as a man I did not have to worry about my sexuality, to make any kind of passes and I could just be myself. It was a liberating feeling.

With that in mind I did not expect to be woowed and wowed by Jane Rule. I fell for her immediately as she posed for me with her owl glasses. She had a delightful dress and she carried herself well considering she was big woman. At the end of our session she said to me, "Alex, I will need your help to go down the stairs and I would like you to find me a cab." As we walked down the stairs hand in hand I thought of that cliche that applied so well to the situation:

A lady is a woman that makes a man feel like a gentleman.


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