Phyllis Christopher (born in Buffalo, New York) found her feet as a photographer in the San Francisco LGBTQ+ scene of the 1990s. Working as photo editor for the lesbian magazine On Our Backs, she was inundated with women wanting her to photograph them, often in quite erotic setups. But Christopher was also busy documenting the protests and parties, the Aids rallies and her friends. Through this, she contributed significantly to the creation of a lesbian visual language and lesbian visibility more generally.
Now based in Newcastle, UK, having moved due to falling in love, she still runs workshops for the LGBTQ+ community, which, she says, is where her heart lies. With a major retrospective of her archival images about to open at Baltic, and the publication of her first monograph, Dark Room: San Francisco Sex and Protest, 1988-2003, by Book Works, Christopher is about to bring that visibility to the fore once more.
Christopher spoke to Studio International earlier in the summer about what the LGBTQ+ scene in San Francisco in the 90s was like, some of her less conventional workdays, and why the fight isn’t over yet.
Read the full interview here