This thesis explores sexually explicit representations of the 'lesbian' as a site where lesbian identities are contested and 'communities' are imagined into being. It examines these made-in-Canada representations in relationship to state discourses, feminist discourses, the academic dialogue of 'queer theory' and racist discourses and speaks to the following questions: what kinds of lesbian identities are being created in Canada? In what contexts? And to what end?
Representations produced in this country are found to challenge fixed notions of gender, sexuality and race; resist paternalistic state discourses and insist on the fluidity gender and sexuality. Strategic use is made of the sign 'lesbian', but a multiplicity of sexual discourses evoked and spoken to by these images and their creators resist foreclosure, suggesting a new 'style' of imagining community. Various discourses create the conditions for the appearance and erasure of lesbian sexual representations which, in their turn, effect new discourses on sexuality.