5 Zines That Support and Celebrate Transfolk

Tired of the run of the mill white-feminist zines about 'girl power'?
Publish date:
June 2, 2016
reading, zines, lit, trans identity, xoBooks

Due to the ever increasing availability of the internet, and the expanding popularity of feminism, it's a lot easier than it used to be to get your hands on a bona fide feminist zine. In digital form or in good old-fashioned print, creative social justice fighters the world over are still keeping us up to date with everything feminist.

You only have to walk into your local boho cafe to maybe see a handful of zines sitting by the till, or take a gander on Etsy, Folksy, or eBay to find some pro-woman discourse, but for more intersectional and specific zines, you have to dig a little deeper.

LGBTQIAP+ issues have always been a popular topic for zinesters; it's just difficult at first glance to find the right one for you, and not all of us have the time to trail through an archive site.

So if you're looking for a few good zines on trans issues, then be sure to check out...

Not Trans Enough

Not Trans Enough is a compilation zine with over 30 contributors, all fighting against the erasure that "non passing" trans people and those who do not conform to gender norms face.

The zine explores the idea of what it really means to be trans, which in actuality is whatever the heck you feel it means if you're within the community. When cisgender people look at trans issues, we often see it in a very black and white manner; society demands that trans guys should wear snapbacks and abstain from make-up because it "contradicts" their masculinity, trans women should wear dresses and opt for breast surgery, because it makes their femininity "authentic." This cissexist view of gender not only denies the existence of non-binary, intersex, and gender fluid trans folk, but also gives a very narrow and materialistic view of what it means to be male or female.

This is what this zine aims to tackle and them some, with a wide array of short stories, comic panels, poetry, and visual art. You can buy the zine in print, or as a digital copy.

Fear Brown Queers

Usually, when the media finally deigns to spread any trans awareness, it's often tarnished with white-washing and a severe lack of diversity, but the truth is that the community is filled with countless people of color, disabled people, neurodivergant folk, children, the elderly, and so many more wonderful people.

Fear Brown Queers is a zine that recognizes this white-washing and aims to end the societal notion that white trans is the default trans. The zine is described as an ongoing visual essay that chronicles quotes and visual art from the Queer Trans and Intersex People of Color in today's society. The colorful and charismatic artwork in this zine really reflects the vibrancy of the LGBTQIAP+ community, and hopefully one day mainstream feminist trans awareness will reflect it too.

Steer Queer

Steer Queer aims to unite LGBTQIAP+ folk in the Pittsburgh area, bringing people of all abilities together in one empathetic and charming zine. With themes such as Deviance, Love, Identity, Redemption and Childhood, the seasonal zine tackles every trans issue you can think of, in black and white as well as in full color. U

nlike many zines out there, Steer Queer's Childhood issue contains art from trans children as well as adults, which is something that is greatly lacking in mainstream feminist awareness for trans issues; that children can be trans too. Since Steer Queer is a submission-based zine, if you're interested in submitting a pitch or two then check out their submission guidelines on their official Facebook page.

Just So You Know

Just So You Know is an autobiographical collection of comics written by Joey Alison Sayers, on her experiences with her gender transition. The comics are often adorably humorous in nature, but they also highlight exactly what's wrong with our society and our obsession with labeling people and their gender.

What makes each comic funny is not the treatment she receives, but the way she handles it, and channels it into witty punchlines, making transphobia the butt of the joke for a change. Fans of the comics praise the relatability of the zine, and it's ability to turn something negative into something positive, which is pretty much what makes the best zine possible.

Rainbow in the Dark

Rainbow in the Dark is a zine that focuses on being trans within the Heavy Metal music scene, while also touching on mental health, sexuality, identity, and how the author NixSixSix is seen by fellow metal-heads. Their love of metal is shown passionately through music lyrics, drawings, and anecdotes about going to shows and conversing with other metal fans.

Music and social justice have gone hand in hand for longer than any of us can remember, and considering the metal scene is fraught with bigotry, zines like this are an important insight into the real diversity of the fandom, and serve as a reminder that bigotry in metal needs to die a slow and painful death. Luckily parts of the scene are fighting back against this bigotry, so hopefully one day there will be way more zines like Rainbow in the Dark too.