The manly lumberjack icon is one icon loved by both bears and dykes (and now all those plaid wearing hipsters who are always two steps behind queer fashion)!!!
Lumberjacks, alongside cowboys and sailors, despite being trades of a past era, have remained major icons in gay culture. Sailors, cowboys and lumberjacks were for a long time male only domains and are associated with stereotypical manliness. Yet these all male trades, requiring working in remote areas and living in camps with only other men were potent grounds from homosexuality, and as Willie Nelson puts its “Cowboys are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other.” (if you haven’t heard this song its great!)
Well not only did these all male domains create fantastic opportunities for hot gay hookups, they have also created fantastic opportunities for breaking down gender roles by those amazing women who ventured into the worlds of cowboys, sailors, lumberjacks and by your modern gender bending queers who take those icons of masculinity and embody them, perform them and distort them.
The reason I got to thinking about lumberjacks were these amazing images below that a friend sent me. They are from the national archive of Canada illustrating female work crews that took on these previously exclusively male jobs in all sorts of industries, including logging, during the second world war in Canada.
I know this post has nothing to do with farming per se, but I really wanted to share these photos, and there is a loose connection here between queer farming and breaking down gender roles in other natural resource industries…
These women look tough! and I can only hope, that like in those all male work camps, some hot queer hookups were happening in these female work crews!