I spent several summer days rummaging among some awesome zines at the Queer Zine Archive Project.
The creators think it’s important to preserve these zines “because of what they represented – a look at queers’ lives, stories, and histories that are seldom visible through mainstream media.” They also make for great reads: zines are usually very personal and sincere, poetic, and sometimes funny. Plus they delight the senses, with all the nice pictures and typography.
I found a lot of gender, trans and genderqueer-related zines, both within the Archive and around the internet. Here are my favorites. In the Archive, click on “download document in original format” to see each issue. And be warned: most zines have some mature or graphic content.
Gendercide: issue 1 (on being a boy in a boy’s body… but still being dissatisfied), issue 2 (on the lack of butches nowadays), issue 3 (“chemical warfare”: the effects of MtF hormone therapy)
gendertrash: this is the oldest publication where I found the phrase “gender queer” (1993, wow).
“When I strap down my tits, I can’t take a breath, but I breathe freer suffocating in layers than naked under another’s eye.”
Project 76: The Politics of my Body: on being a fat FTM:
“Max. He was this fictional character or maybe invisible friend or something that I used to draw when I was about eleven… The teacher asked me, why do you draw this character all of the time? I replied with I dunno. And the boy sitting across from me shouts out, ‘because she wants to be him when she grows up!’”
the.naked.riot: one of the writers is a trans guy (here‘s a hand-drawn comic about testosterone therapy):
…what happens when you have this mental image of yourself as your father’s oldest son, the brightest boy on the girl’s soccer team, and you start growing tits? Yeah, good question.
from Post-Gender: confessions of a post-binary transsexual – in issue 1
The article The Big Gay Lie from HOMOzine always lifts my spirits:
The Big Gay Lie is essentially the efforts of a group of a**holes who want to make sure you feel fat and ugly and generally horrible…But don’t worry. There are three simple things you can do to escape The Big Gay Lie. Step 1: Listen to lots of Bikini Kill or Gayrilla Biscuits and accept the fact that you’re 100%, no questions asked, without a doubt hot.
Gender Trouble: brief comic on “the bathroom problem” — being unwelcome in any public restroom.
Genderf*ck me: adult-content comic; I love the cover art.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Trannie: I’m still reading through this one.