elisha lim art and storytelling

elisha lim

100 Butches

the Graphic Novel

Praise for 100 Butches:

you’ll be reeling too. The emotional honesty of her drawing is matched by Lim’s earnestly handwritten text. She really sees these women, she really loves them, and she’s transmitting them to us with a fluency and an immediacy that breaks my heart.

from the introduction by Alison Bechdel, author and artist, Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For

The sign of a truly great artist is an unmistakable individual style. Elisha Lim’s work bears this mark. Bold colours and strong lines are tattooed across all of the stunning pieces of art in this collection, and the same can be said of the text that accompanies each piece: every portrait is paired with a narrative snapshot of the subject’s life that packs the kind of punch swung only by a natural-born storyteller. I could spot the signs of Lim’s talent from a mile away.

Ivan E. Coyote, storyteller and author

In 100 Butches, Elisha Lim does nothing more than write butch and transmasculine people of color where they’ve always been- into history and bursting into the gorgeous present moment. Butches of color spill out of these pages with luscious, complex lifesaving stories are nothing short of divine. Thank you, Elisha. In a world where white female masculinity is the norm, we need the stories and lives you so lovingly and knowingly tell.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, author, Consensual Genocide, Love Cake, co-editor, The Revolution Starts At Home, co-founder, Mangos With Chili

Frankly observant, grinningly sexy, vulnerable with shoulders squared- these funny, beautiful butches give up their stories with generosity and eloquence. A jeweled sequence of personal revelations: Elisha has listened so that we can learn.

Shary Boyle, artist

Lim’s portraits, love letters, snapshots and fantasies – of butch lovers, trans friends, ancestors, random strangers, celebrities and unsung heroes – some butch, some just happy to model for the artist’s butch brush, which is broad enough to paint disparate expressions of gender, race and sexuality into one imagined community – is delicious, sometimes hilarious and often moving. The resulting account at times reads like a be/scene of transnational queer, trans and queer of colour spaces, at others like the travel diary of someone exploring their own race and gender whilst passing through many different places, communities and identities in an incredibly short time. This book is about representation, of Othered bodies and identities, but its lens could not be further removed from the traditional dissection tables of scientists, academics and policy makers. It paints people whole and lets them shine with their true colours intact, while staying vulnerable to the impressions they leave on the artist themselves. Tragic, romantic, funny, the descriptions are disarmingly subjective, and always loving of the survivors of gender, race and sexuality, who pull it off stunningly, miraculously, and preciously. This is a book not for dissecting but communing and transforming. It should be widely read and enjoyed, and be added to many lucky students’ reading lists, on a broad range of courses, from queer, trans, gender, sexualities, visual arts, cultural, media to literary studies.

Jin Haritaworn, phD, critical gender and race fellow, and maverick

100 Butches reading in San Francisco


Toured with the Sister Spit legendary queer literary caravan of 28 North American cities

Read in Gender Studies at University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Brock University and Concordia University

Grant recipient of Ontario and Canada Arts Councils


Debut Solo Show of Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue’s Feminist Art Gallery: FAG

Published in the historic first American anthology of queer comics: Gay Genius 

To be published in December with Magnus Books, New York

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