||Queer zines take it on the road
Exclusive to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Yasmin Nair
The history of queer life is captured on the margins of mainstream media, by gay newspapers like this one. Free weeklies like the Windy City Times have a tangible presence in the communities they serve, distributed through curbside boxes and wire racks. But another kind of more ephemeral queer record, the queerzine, has a history and impact of its own, and this was in evidence during the Chicago leg of the Queer Zinester Roadshow.
On July 31, an enthusiastic audience gathered at Uncle Fun Gallery, 1337 W. Belmont, to hear seven zinemakers read from their works. The event kicked off a three-city tour that would go on to Milwaukee and Madison It was organized by QZAP, the Queer Zine Archive Project ( www.qzap.org ) . Co-founders Milo Miller and Christopher Wilde were among the presenters, who came from places as varied as Chicago, Milwaukee, Denver and New York City.
Wilde spoke about the introduced the project and the event, and said that QZAP began as a project in 2001 as "a Web archive of the collectivist nature of queeruption." Reading from a piece titled, "The origin of love," about the beginnings of the project, he said he also began QZAP in an effort to record "lives like mine as marginal blurs." The themes of ( often deliberately sought-after ) marginality and resistance to the lesbian and gay and straight mainstream echoed throughout the evening. For these writers, zines offered a way to record and affirm their existences and provided ways to cope with and critique the norms of gender and sexuality they grew up with.
Writer Jessica Max Stein from NYC read about having spent hours in her youth clipping articles about queer life. As she put it, queer zines were a way of "inventing your own representation." Stein read from her current zine, "The Rainbow Connection," about gay Muppeteer Richard Hunt. She made a connection between Hunt's work on the muppets from 1972-1992 and the changes in the gay movement, particularly the emphasis on marriage. She said that she understood the desire of some people to marry, but "I resent being told how my story is going to end." Denver-based Kelly Shortandqueer, a co-founder of both the Denver Zine Library and Tranny Roadshow ( a performance art tour with an all transgender cast ) read material on transitioning from female to male and wanting to keep his feminist integrity even while seeking "access to dude-centered spaces."
An avid sports fan, Shortandqueer described his lifelong fondness for the Phillies and of wanting to create a radical queer sports space free of the gender norms and sexism of mainstream male-dominated sports culture. Chicago's John Thompson, a writer and activist who recently co-founded the Write to Win Collective, a new penpal program for queer prisoners in Illinois, read from his piece "The only time I've ever been happy to see an HRC logo." In it, he described a trip to Laramie, Wyoming and a moving encounter with an older gay man who spoke about the isolation of gay life in Laramie.
Clearly, there is an ongoing interest in maintaining and archiving queer zines, evidenced by the fact that Wilde will be an artist in residence at The Anchor Zine Library and Archive in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he'll curate SPEW Fo ( u ) rth: A Canadian Queer Zine Art Show. The show will also be at The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto.
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Actor formerly known as Ellen Page comes out as trans
- Elliot Page has come out as transgender. The star of movies like Juno and TV shows like The Umbrella Academy, formerly known as Ellen Page, posted about his transition on social media on Dec. 1, according ...
|Chicago's pandemic budget passes
- On Nov. 24, The Chicago City Council passed the city's 2021 pandemic budget. According to a media release, "The $12.8 billion budget was built in close collaboration with City Council members, labor partners and other key ...
|LGBT HISTORY: QAnon's 'SaveOurChildren' slogan has long anti-LGBT history 2020-10-17|
- Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen recently shared devastating news with her social media followers: she and her husband, singer John Legend, had lost their child halfway through her pregnancy. She shared heartbreaking black-and-white photos of ...
|WGN-TV features the life and times of Windy City Times 2020-10-11|
Video link below - WGN-TV produced and aired on Oct. 9 a segment on the history and contributions of Windy City Times, co-founder/owner Tracy Baim, staff, contributors and delivery crew. The segment was reported by WGN's Sean Lewis. Windy City ...
|WORLD Egypt arrests, Trans Legal Mapping Report, designer dies 2020-10-05|
- In Egypt, authorities are accused of using dating apps and social media to track down and arrest queer folks in their latest attempt to "clean the streets," Out.com noted. Human Rights Watch interviewed 15 people who ...
|History initiative pairs NYC and LA LGBTQ groups 2020-10-05|
--From a press release - Organizations from two cities rich in LGBT history, New York City and Los Angeles, are teaming up for the annual social media event #MuseumInstaSwap. Tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 6), the NYC LGBT ...
|LGBTQs likely key percentage of electorate 2020-10-01|
--From a press release - New York, NY, October 1, 2020 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, released the findings of GLAAD's 'State of LGBTQ Voters' poll which ...
|Windy City Times: Quite the ride 2020-09-30|
- The information superhighway… That old synonym for the internet (conjuring up days of AOL Instant Messenger and really loud modems) served as my entry into Windy City Timesway back in 1995. Two friends suggested that I ...
|30 Under 30 Awards 2000-2019 2020-09-30|
- Honoring local LGBTQ people 30 and younger who excelled in entertainment, politics, health, activism, academics, sports and other areas, Windy City Times' 30 Under 30 Awards ceremonies, which started in 2000, were held during Pride Month. ...
|Windy City Times: Making 35 2020-09-30|
- The internecine battles of the gay community are legendary. They are not limited to Chicago, or to any one segment of the community. And the gay media have certainly not been immune to these growing pains ...
|LGBTQI Media: The Long Haul 2020-09-30|
- Working in the LGBTQI press should probably be measured in dog years. Right-wing threats, death and destruction, physical assaults, robberies, property destruction, and that's not to mention the internal struggles ...
|Windy City Times: Serving a community 2020-09-30|
- Our ship will come in. Those are the words Tracy and I used to say all the time. Well, she'd say it and later during a particular rough time, I'd ask: "So, where's the damn ship??" I started with the company ...
|My life at Windy City Times 2020-09-30|
- I came into LGBT media completely by accident, having begun as editorial assistant at Windy City Times' competitor Chicago Free Press in 2005. I had done a favor for CFP's managing editor, Louis Weisberg, and he ...
|The Passing Parade: Cultural Reporting in an Age of Heroes 2020-09-30|
- There are several large plastic storage bins in my office filled with stacks of clippings of articles I wrote for the Chicago gay and lesbian newspapers GayLife, Windy City Times and Outlines during the 1980s and ...
|Lessons learned 2020-09-30|
- For most of my life, I've had a print paper, a physical product, to show for my efforts each week. I've got far too many copies of Outlines, Windy City Times and even Stars & Stripes, where I worked for many ...