Playing dress up and shooting self-portraits at her parents’ house in the suburbs coaxed Meryl Meisler out of the closet and into herself.

Growing up in Long Island during the 1950s and 60s, Meryl Meisler [MA ’78] had the typical suburban life: girl Scouts, ballet and tap dance lessons, and prom. But while she loved her family and friends, she didn’t quite fit in. She quickly realized she didn’t want to be a housewife, teacher, nurse, or a secretary—pretty much the only options available to young women at that time.

As Meisler came of age, she began to discover her sexuality as a lesbian as well as her identity as an artist. “Photography is in my genes,” Meisler said. Her paternal grandfather Murray Meisler, her uncle Al, and her father Jack had all been lifelong practitioners of the art.

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