Q!C#6: The Gay™

Hey, friends.

So there’s just one week until submissions close for this issue. We’ve had a ton of contributors add their work to the recipe, and even a spot on 4ZZZ‘s Queer Radio to discuss what this project’s about (40:36). We’ll be using this issue to introduce young queer folk to zines, so if you’re keen to support this project then now’s the time to do it.

The Gay™ began as Q!C#3 back in 2015 as a response to our government’s unenthusiastic support of the Safe Schools Program. Call it self defence if you will (I do), but failing to make the program appealing to Australia’s wider population left us scrambling to find alternatives to support queer folk in schools. Some of these had a positive impact on our community, but too many were fuelled by anger, politics, and indignation.

My idea was (and still is) that ‘queer kids live our politics every day, and most of them are yet to develop the support networks and coping mechanisms that help us process prejudice’. In 2015 I wanted to give these queer kids a collection of positive stories to help them develop these mechanisms – or at least fill them with enough hope to carry them through their vulnerable school years. Unfortunately the project received little support, and (twice) I left it uncompleted.

That brings us to 2018: a truly frightening time to be young and queer regardless of where you are in the world. With so many of us ‘mature’ queers struggling to relate to each other on a personal level, I realise it’s no longer enough to teach queer kids how to survive. I want to show young queer folk how to live and how to be members of a community, so my focus has become deconstructing tribalism and teaching people how to find commonality through storytelling.

‘Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.’

– Mister Rogers

Come mid November I’ll be conducting a workshop with Gold Coast City Libraries to show young queer folk how to tell stories through zines. Teaching with zines will help the group develop their storytelling abilities without having to reach a set skill level first. They’ll have full control over who has access to their stories, as well as how others access them. They’ll also develop networking skills without the costs usually involved in larger creative projects.

I’ve decided to re-develop this zine project to help me deliver the workshop – and it’s not too late if you want to become a supporter. I’m looking for contributions that focus more on storytelling for positive change and less on negative reenforcement. I’m also looking for a diverse range of submissions that will demonstrate how much or how little work you can put into creating an effective zine. Your submission might focus on moments in your past that left you feeling hopeful, an action you witnessed that changed your attitude towards ‘community’, or theory that would have helped you had you discovered it earlier.

Submissions are open until October 31, with a limit of two A5 submissions per person. Image files should be 300dpi and in PNG format. When it’s done it’ll be printed in A5 dimensions, in black and white, on white paper.

Send your submissions and/or questions to: queercontent@gmail.com

Thanks for reading, friend.

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