Archive > Carroll, Butch, Guy

Carroll is my father's given name. As a kid he received a lot of teasing about having a girl's name and it didn't help that he was a "skinny, pretty boy with dark, curly hair" (his words). His uncles and cousins gave him the nickname Butch as a joke. When he switched schools in 5th grade he filled out his own paperwork and changed his name to Guy, his dad's name. My dad has always been devoted to his appearance and likes to wear flashy clothing that shows off his charisma -- elaborately patterned shirts and colorful suits, gold jewelry and fancy shoes along with a cocktail in hand. He refers to himself as a “bit of a dandy.” At the same time, he ascribes to the typical midcentury objects of masculinity -- classic cars, guns, and good-looking women. He prides himself on being cool, laid-back, with his own unique flair. He doesn’t seem to be concerned by the possibility of looking the least bit feminine - it doesn’t seem to disempower his sense of masculinity. The more I work on this photographic series, I see him as a rebel. In family photos, he is performer and director as he poses within the role of leading man. When I photograph him now it is difficult to capture him without his guise. As an artist and a lesbian, I have certainly experimented with defining my own (inner/outer) identity. My dad doesn’t realize how his style has inspired me.