Before you can submit your self-portraits and particpate in the Beyond Lipstick art project, you need to read and agree to the following consent form.

This gives a description and discusses any risks or benefits of the project.

If you have any further questions please refer to the FAQ or contact Connie Laalo at

Beyond Lipstick – Expressions of Femme Lesbian Identity in Dress

The purpose of the project is to examine fashion as an influence on queer femme identity and explore how dressing, in what is typically considered “feminine” clothing, affects the femme experience within the LGBTQ community. Any self-identified queer woman who identifies as femme, is over 18 and is okay being publically identified as such may participate in this study. In this context, Femme refers to any lesbian, bisexual, queer or otherwise non-heterosexual woman who dresses and behaves in ways that are considered stereotypically or tradtionally feminine.

The project will consist of:
1. You will submit up to three (3) photographic self-portraits through a website. These self-portraits do not need to include your face but should give a clear picture of your clothing.
2. You will also submit written responses to the three (3) interview questions through a website.
3. The investigator will then examine these photographic and written responses for similarities in content in order to organize and curate an online exhibition.
4. The photographs will be exhibited publicly on a website entitled “Beyond Lipstick”. The photographs will be displayed in an online gallery format accompanied by one or more of the written responses.
5. The photographs and interview responses will also be displayed in a physical form at the MA Fashion Graduate Show scheduled June 7, 2012 in Toronto, ON.
6. Future use of submitted photographs and interview responses may include by is not limited to: journal, book and/or magazine publication, public event or exhibition.

Risks or Discomforts:

Risk of public exposure:
You should be aware that your photographs and interview responses will be displayed publicly on the Internet, clearly presenting your image as a self-identified femme lesbian. While you are not obligated to include photographs that feature your face, there is still the chance of being identified through clothing or physical attributes. Once posted online, the photographs can never fully be taken off the virtual space of the Internet.

Risk of Third-Party copying and re-posting:
There is the possibility of the photographs being copied by third-parties and re-posted on other websites. The Investigator has taken the precaution of securely embedding the photographs to prevent third-party copying from the website “Beyond Lipstick”.

Risk of Discomfort:
Potential discomfort may arise from the exhibition of your image and interview responses publicly online.

Discontinuing Participation:
You will have to option to discontinue participation, either temporarily or permanently, if you are made uncomfortable. To discontinue your participation in this study, at any time, please contact the investigator through email and include either the original photographs submitted and/or the link to your photograph(s) in the online gallery on the Beyond Lipstick website.

What is Experimental in this project:
None of the procedures used in this project are experimental in nature. The only experimental aspect of this project that might be considered experimental is the method of gathering of information for the purpose of analysis.

Benefits of the Project:
Possible benefits from this project are the increased visibility of self-identified femme lesbians in the LGBT community-at-large and the development of an online femme lesbian community. I cannot guarantee, however, that you will receive any direct benefit from participating in this project.

Although you are submitting a photographic self-portrait, you are not obliged to include your face or any features that might identify you personally. Your written responses will remain anonymous as you are also not obliged to submit your name. However, any or all submitted photographs and interview responses will be posted online for public exhibition. You will not be able to review and edit your submissions prior to any publication. Your photographs and interview responses will be stored by the investigator using an encrypted USB data key for a period of five (5) years after which they will be destroyed. You will remain anonymous and will not be contacted by the investigator.

The participant will not be paid to participate in this project.

Participation in this project is voluntary. Your choice of whether or not to participate will not influence your future relations with Ryerson University. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw your consent and to stop your participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are allowed.

At any particular point in the project, you may refuse to answer any particular question or stop participation altogether.

Questions about the project: If you have any questions about the research now, please ask. If you have questions later about the research, you may contact.
Connie Laalo (

If you have questions regarding your rights as a human subject and participant in this study, you may contact the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board for information.
Research Ethics Board
c/o Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation
Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3

Connie Laalo, B. Des. Fashion Design and Technology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada
MA Fashion candidate at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

Joseph Medaglia, BFA (York University) MA Communication and Culture (Ryerson/York University)
Assistant Professor at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

By checking “I agree” below, you indicate that you have read the information in this agreement and have had a chance to ask any questions (by contacting the investigator via email) you have about the study. Your submission of photographic self-portraits and written interview responses also indicates that you agree to be in the study and have been told that you can change your mind and withdraw your consent to participate at any time. By agreeing to participate in this study, you are indicating that you are aware that your images will be displayed publicly online, possibly identifying you as a self-identified femme lesbian. This agreement is available to you online through the Beyond Lipstick website.

By checking “I Agree” to this consent agreement you are not giving up any of your legal rights.

By checking “I Agree” to this consent agreement, you certify that the photographs you are submitting are of yourself and are copyright-free.



After you have read and agreed to the consent form, you will be directed to a form where you can submit up to 3 photographic self-portraits and answer three written interview questions