a place for zinesters - writers and readers
Topic: Essays, anecdotes, comix, poetry from Trans and Genderqueer folks telling stories of going through puberty and adolescence. Take that as broadly or specifically as you’d like; literally how your body was changing and how your brain was dealing with it, or going to a dance and how that made you feel, to coming out to your family, teachers, classmates, etc…
Audience: 7-12 grade students.
Specifics: The pieces should be free of cursing and super overt sexual content. Keep in mind that 7th graders are about 13 years old.
Why/Purpose: I taught a piece from the zine, The Next Body, in my 7/8th grade zine writing class, in it the writer is discussing his decision to have top surgery. After class a student approached me asking for an extra copy of the piece to give to her friend who has recently come out as Trans. “She is getting super big breasts and having a hard time dealing with it” my student told me. I gave her an extra copy of the piece and went home to dig through my books and zines to find more I could offer. It’s rough trying to find age appropriate material for a Trans kid. It’s imperative that young people who are Trans and Genderqueer see themselves in print, ideally in the curriculum but at the minimum in readings a queer, liberal, concerned, shit starting teacher passes on to them. I know, I know… all GLBT kids should see themselves in print but it’s extra hard to find Trans material, that’s why I want to start with the T as opposed to GLB.
Puberty and adolescence are hard for everyone but it’s extra alienating and difficult when you feel alone and radically different from everyone else. I want this zine to be an offering to Trans and Genderqueer kids who need to see themselves in print, to know that they are not alone. I want it to offer comfort and hope to some young people who may be struggling. I want it to open the eyes and hearts of non-trans kids so they become allies. I also want it to open up dialogue between students, parents and teachers. It’s my job to teach students reading and writing but the bigger more satisfying and important part of my job is to offer support, care, and guidance to ALL kids in their emotional and personal development. Unfortunately, as a society, we’re forgetting some kids, we’re looking the other way when Trans kids need us to look right at them and say “You are okay, you are in fact, amazing - just the way you are. And you’re not alone either.” I’d like this zine to be a move towards that.
I keep this quote in mind when I’m writing curriculum and deciding what to teach for the year. Perhaps it will inspire you.
"When those who have the power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see or hear you, whether you are dark-skinned, old, disabled, female, or speak with a different accent or dialect than theirs, when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes a world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.”
Send submissions to: Brilliantmistake01@gmail.com
Please send as an attachment in basic word formatting with “Zine Submission” as the subject.
Include; a title for your piece, how you’d like to be credited - the name you’d like to use, and any contact info you want included in the zine. If you’d like a copy of the finished product send me your mailing address.
Deadline: March 1, 2012.
Publication: April, 2012
You can e-mail me with questions, suggestions, complains, that kinda stuff too.