Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore

Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore

Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore met as teenagers and stayed together for the rest of their lives. They were collaborators, step-siblings and lovers and they both changed their birth names to make them gender neutral.

These Nazi-fighting lesbians went undercover as stepsisters.

They were brilliant women, quite out of the ordinary, and were quite obviously lesbians.

Barbara Hammer, filmmaker

In the 1920s, Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore were the cool kids of the Surrealist art scene in Paris. Their photos and collages captivated the likes of Salvador Dalí and André Breton. 

Photograph of two bald heads glancing in each other's direction

Que me veux-tu?, 1928

In 1944 Claude and Marcel were sentenced to death for dressing up as old ladies and secretly putting anti-Nazi slogans into soldiers' cigarette packets. Thankfully, the war ended and their lives were spared, they were even awarded a Medal of Gratitude by the French government. Today, they are still gender-bending pioneers.

Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that suits me.

Photograph of Claude Cahun in homemade costume on one knee

Untitled (Claude Cahun in Le Mystère d’Adam), 1929

Photograph of Claude Cahun in weight lifter costume sat in a chair

Untitled, 1927

Photograph of Claude Cahun in Elle from Barbe Bleue costume

Claude Cahun as Elle in Barbe bleue, 1929

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