Danielle Duemesi

  • Danielle Duemesi

  • Thesis

  • Joane is a 23-year-old city lesbian, living life on the wild side. But as the idea of settling down strikes, a very sweet-faced woman strolls into her life. Will this doll of a lady soothe the reckless soul, or put her on course for a journey she didn’t expect to take?

  • The story follows the narrative as told by Joane, as she pursues and eventually ends up with Ursula, nicknamed “Lala.” With a history of attachment and a record of misconception, Joane visualizes Lala as a doll, and subconsciously reinforces the idea of innocence and purity on her.

    It should be noted that there is no villain of this story, and there are no deaths in lieu of the events that occur. There might be sensitive material mentioned and alluded to, and a horror-inspired scene made. However, I think it is worth establishing now that this story, involving two lesbians, is sad, but will not involve themes such as abuse, violence, or death. As a lesbian illustrator and content creator, I believe we can achieve a story with depth that doesn’t involve killing off lesbian characters, or making them suffer to a degree beyond redemption and/or happiness. I’m very adamant about this creative choice, as doing otherwise and killing lesbians has been repeatedly done, delivered to me, and labeled “representation.”

    However, this choice of mine is not the driving point of my thesis’s intentions. I very much want to explore the idea of “purity” and “innocence” first and foremost. I got the idea from a mother I used to babysit for, who politely scolded me for saying things like “butt” in front of her 10-year-old daughter. “I just want to keep her innocent as long as I can,” she explained.

    My thoughts were only further muddled when people would describe sweet and playful fictional characters (often ranging from ages 16-24) as being “too pure” and extending that notion to the topic of sex. “They’re too innocent to know/experience/want it.” My confusion has transcended at least forming some opinion on it to not having the slightest idea on where to begin. I don’t mean that out of anger but of genuine puzzlement.

    This idea isn’t too far off from what I usually do, but it is something new. Typically my work involves some entwinement with the “now” of social issues, inspiring positive products that involve feelings of empowerment, belonging, and security. It’s a way to say, “I see and hear you, and I want to stand with you.” I think the only thing different is that it will involve a  deeper involvement of my sociology major. I’ll be talking one on one with people, and not just completely random people, but specific kinds who I think have an impact, or have been impacted by the ideas of “innocence” and “purity.” I really want to get into the mechanics of why we enforce these ideas, why they’re so sacred to us, and how long we cherish it before we stop caring for it.

    You can purchase the first issue of Pure here:




    • Disciplines