The LCC zine collection is home to many LGBTQIA+ zines from around the world. Many of these zines have been collected or donated to us by zine makers, and they are a vital aspect of the overall zine collection.
A short history of LGBTQIA+ zines
For as long as zines and self-publishing has existed, so have LGBTQIA+ zines and publications.
The terms ‘queer’ and LGBTQIA+ are used interchangeably across the zine collection depending on the zine creator. Language continues to change and evolve and some historic terms in these zines may no longer be appropriate. ‘Queer’ is often used in relation to LGBTQIA+ zines due to the queerxcore movements in the 80s and 90s and the so-called ‘queer zine explosion’ during this time.
The selection of queer zines in the LCC zine collection are varied and span from the 80s to current day. Many of these titles chart the rise of queer zines during the 80s and 90s, as queer zines became synonymous with queercore: a queer punk subculture fuelled by rage, activism, and anti-assimilation. Like punk fanzines, and riot grrrl fanzines, these publications were associated primarily with queer punk bands such as God is my Co Pilot, Limp Wrist, Tribe 8, and artists such as Vaginal Davis and Bruce LaBruce. Legendary queer zines such as J.D.s, Holy Titclamps, Chainsaw, and Fertile La Toyah Jackson were published hand in hand with drag shows, punk gigs, or ACT UP demos,
The rise of queer zines in the UK during the late 80s and 90s were self-published during the continuing AIDS epidemic and during the Local Government Act Section 28: a law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities. In lieu of what the internet would later become, queer zines were a physical tangible presence, a method of finding/nurturing/creating queer communities. Whereas mainstream media in the 80s and 90s perpetuated propaganda disguised as moral panic, zines presented communities, sex, relationships, histories, art, activism in our own voices.
The power of zines is that they are autonomous, personal, and have roots in anti-capitalist and radical diy culture. While it can be argued that aspects of LGBTQIA+ culture later became commodified with ideas around corporate pride and the ‘pink pound’, zines remained autonomous and non-profit.
Many predicted that queer self-publishing would be replaced with new online queer communities, however the future of both print and online queer zines seems to be flourishing alongside each other. And while LGBTQIA+ zines are vital documents of queer history, they continue to be vital tool of current art and activism. Much like the way queer zines in the 80s and 90s provided an alternative to moral panic fuelled propaganda in the mainstream; contemporary queer self-publishing continues fighting for trans rights, access to healthcare, and more nuanced approaches to gender identity.
A selection of LGBTQIA+ zines
Here you can find a small selection of LGBTQIA+ zines past and present, providing a small snapshot of these vital collections. Alternatively, if you wanted to browse a varied selection of queer zines in the library, we have a subject request box ready for viewing. Book a viewing through https://librarybookings.arts.ac.uk/ (currently restricted access to UAL students or staff due to Covid safety measures) or contact us at email@example.com.
Gutterfag was a punk queer zine made in the 90s by Jeff Junker in San Francisco. It features both aspects of queer gutter punks culture and personal dark tales about being gay, disabled, depressed and homeless.
Pink Mince is a queer-men photography, collage and typograhpy zine made by Dan Rhatigan. “Modest little zine that aims to delight, titillate, amuse, provoke, and inspire’ under the slogan “For the confirmed bachelor of exceptional taste” as described by the author.
A queer and trans fat activist timeline is a 2010 project by Charlotte Cooper, described as “concerned with documenting queer and trans fat feminist community histories and memories.
Holy titclamps is a legendary zine edited by LarryBob from 1989 until 2003. Emerging as part of the queercore scene, it is a crucial testimony against the often presumed very heteronormative punk and hardcore subcultures. The passion LarryBob had for documenting the queer DIY creative environment meant that the zine-reviews section of Holy titclamps later became a publication of its own, Queer Zine Explosion
Shotgun Seamstress was ‘a zine by and for Black punks, queers, feminists, activists, artists & musicians.’ The zine was created by Osa Atoe and ran from 2006 to 2015.
Not straight not white not male is a 2012 perzine written from the point of view of lack of visibility for people who, like the author, don’t fit into the white, heterocis and male norms of society.
Fear brown queers. Returning and de-centering the white gaze. An ongoing visual essay is a 2014 zine made by Jacob V Joyce. It features portraits and quotes of artists of colour, mostly QTIPOC, criticising and inquiring into the white and heteronormative privileges in the state of the arts, as well as fragments from poets Krishna Istha & Travis Alabanza.
Still bisexual is a zine by legendary UK queer comics and zine artist Rachael House. The zine collects her 2018’s #inktober posts exploring bi-visibility, queer community, and ageism.
Broomstick – By, for, and about women over forty was an independent and radical magazine, collectively published between years 1978 and 1993 in California. Its content, as described in the subtitle, offered a feminist view on topics relating older women and lesbians.
Not trans enough. A compilation zine on the erasure of non passing and non conforming trans identified people is a Canadian compilation zine edited and published by latebloom zines.
How do I find out more about LGBTQIA+ zines?
These featured zines are a very small selection from the overall LCC zine collection. If you’d like to know more then you can explore zines by subject using the relevant subject tags on this blog.
You can also access digital zines, bibliographies, and discover key titles and zine makers via the links below:
The Queer Zine Archive Project is a Milwaukee-based community archive dedicated to preserving queer zines and queer zine culture. Part of the archive’s mission is to make the collection accessible through digitizing these zines and making them publicly accessible in an online format. You can access over 600 digitised zines via the QZAP archive.
Queer Zine Library is a mobile diy library celebrating LGBTQIA+ self-publishing. The library collections include 900 queer zine titles from the 80s to current day. You can access digitised zines via the QZL library catalogue.
This two volume publication sets about the impossible task of creating a bibliography of queer zines from Europe and North America. Queer Zines lists over 120 zine titles and zine makers featuring interviews, artist statements, bibliography, ephemera, and summaries of key LGBTQIA+ zines. You can find this publication in the main collection at LCC library
A great example of a student-led zine project, the Q&A is an online zine based out of Widener University and staffed by lgbtq+ writers and visual artists. The Q&A aims to be a welcoming platform for queer individuals all over to submit their artwork and written pieces. Their issue one can be explored through their website.
If you are the creator of any of the zines mentioned in this post and would like to amend or remove your work from this online resource please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.