OMJIt’s probably an incurable disease of the soul that I flew all the way out to Wisconsin from Florida only to spend hours looking through the QZAP archive for the place I’d just left. Pouring over Queer Zine Explosion, Larry-Bob’s painstakingly detailed queer answer to factsheet 5, I noted anything I saw with an address south of Delaware and east of Oklahoma, more or less, with particular attention to the seaboard states which make up the South I’ve always lived in. As one of the members of Gainesville’s Civic Media Center zine collective, I work with the Travis Fristoe zine library, documenting and preserving the personal, punk, political, art which came to the CMC from around the country but especially Gainesville, Florida and the south. Though the Fristoe collection contains work by queer creators, it was not an explicit collection mandate at the collection’s inception, so I was excited to see what Southern zines QZAP was home to, and what queer Southern zines made their way to national circulation.

My favorite Southern zine I found at QZAP was One Mint Julep, the solo zine by Hugh McElroy, who made up one-half of Picklejar, a queer, Southern, kid liberation zine by high school friends in Washington, D.C. When his collaborator went up North for college, Hugh stayed in D.C., and he continued to write about what queerness and Southernness meant to him. Hugh fiercly articulates what many queer Southerners know- that the South is too often dismissed for its supposed backwardsness, despite the often radical community and coalition building work done here. Hugh is frustrated with his peers in D.C. who hide or change their accents and refuse to claim a Southern identity, and that frustration comes through in OMJ's various meditations on community, dating, home, and family in D.C.

The all-but-last page of One Mint Julep is one of those pages where you have to show somebody, because it hits you exactly where you live. Hugh has drawn, in scratchy pen, maybe ballpoint, a bird-headed, winged creature on tall, leaf-capped, vine-like legs, rising up from the gabled roof an old plank house, surrounded by bats, moon (sun?) behind it like a knock-off halo, fighting a tiny winged creature. Slices of typed text across the page, layering it with this beautiful, joking, angry, little poem about being from the South, some of which goes “i live in a swamp/ kudzu ate my car last night…. I sip sweet mint julep/ to keep me cool and to/ fire me up” and breaking finally into a half-paragraph of exploding frustration saying exactly what i want to say: the North isn’t any better, and we’ve got to stay here and fight, because the South is ours. I took a picture and sent it to my friend, a sweet queer Florida boy who once, when I said I grew up in the south, gave me a Look of withering dismissal and said “you’re from North Carolina.” He loved it, too.


Fi Taylor was a 2018 QZAP Scholar-in-Residence.  They are currently working as a union organizer and community librarian at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville, FL.

We're pleased to announce that we've got some new buttons in our swag shop.

First up, in stunning sparkley silver or cool chrome are the very (not) subtle "Bisexual Invisibility is My Superpower." 

"We can be heroes just for one day
We can be us just for one day"

- David Bowie

The other new buttons just say Samizdat (самиздат)самиздат), which was the Soviet-era term for underground publications and censored press.

4Buttons sm

QueerTerrorist4Queer Terrorist/Queer Tapette #4 is a bisexual punk manifesto that calls BS on the biphobia rampant in lesbian and gay communities. Created in Montréal, Quebec in 1993, Queer Tapette writes queerness into mainstream pop culture while simultaneously critiquing lesbian and gay culture for their sexual exclusivity. The zine opens with a short story that slams the fake radical politics of mainstream lesbians, alluding to how the sense of conformity found in lesbian spaces mirrors that of dominant heteronormative society. Drawing on references to 1990s lesbian popular culture, the story ends on a humorous note that immediately hooks the reader: [they are] “going to bed listening to Melissa Ethridge and masturbating to an image of a snotty franco girl”. This combination of humor and scathing political criticism is present throughout the zine, a tone that both informs and entertains the reader as they immersed in the world of Queer Tapette.

When the reader flips to the next page, they are met with massive text that reads FAG HAGS FIGHT BACK!!!. What follows is a three page collage-style spread that explores the many reasons why the zinester is “fed up with the treatment [they] receive in gay male, lesbian, and straight societies”. Continuing with the tone established in the first few pages of the zine, this section is particularly aggressive in its rightful accusations of biphobia from both the straight and lesbian/gay communities. Invoking a coalitional politics, the zinester calls for alliances between bisexual people and ‘fag hags’, arguing that these two identities were the “newest, hippest funnest coalition ever to emerge”. This article addresses the fact that bisexuality is itself a marginalized identity within the more broader group of ‘sexual minorities’, and as such requires unique and special attention be payed to the needs and desires of bisexual people.

Next up, McTheif the Crime Cat makes an appearance to give advice on how to ethically shoplift. The anti-capitalist comic serves as both a recruitment tool and a how-to guide for potential shoplifters, succinctly explaining why shoplifting only harms big business and capitalists and NOT other poor queers. Plenty of yummy bisexual smut is sprinkled throughout the remainder of the zine, squished in between several pages of a super-queer, super sexy 90210 collage/comic, a passionate criticism of gay and lesbian organizations who only advocate for the ‘civil rights’ of their own kind, and several comics and newspaper clippings celebrating the many badass and sexy drag queens that are left behind by exclusionary lesbian and gay politics.

Anti-gay military policy is the subject of one of the last entries in issue #4 of Queer Tapette, closing out the zine much as it began - with an explicitly political message aimed at lesbian and gay activists:

“Stop whining to me about how you want let into the military, you clone faggots and dead-head lesbians. What are you fighting for – the right to police nationalist borders of Amerikkka, the right to be ‘openly gay’ as you kill other people, the right to effect genocide across the world?”

The radical politics of Queer Tapette rejects the homonormativity perpetuated and desired by mainstream lesbians and gays, and refuses to conform to their liberal agenda of maintaining capitalist and militarized North American culture. This political message is enhanced and diversified by the dark humor and overtly sexual comics and short stories that characterize Queer Tapette as a punk bisexual manifesto.


Sarah Cooke is a current intern at QZAP.  They are a grad student at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in library science and women’s and gender studies. Sarah can usually be found covering the world in stickers and glitter with their accomplice, Matilda the cat.

FTPOF3We're starting off 2018 with the release of the third issue of From The Punked Out Files of the Queer Zine Archive Project.  This issue combines the research of two summers of zinester-scholar-artist-librarians-in-residence at QAZP.  It's 56 pages of writing, thinking and analysis about queer sex zines, queer diy comics, POC zines, zine events, solar eclipses, road trips and frozen custard.

From the introduction:

If nothing else, this zine reflects one of the things that we excel at at QZAP, which is building community and friendship networks through queer zines. The vast majority of folks who do research and play in the archive start out as friendly strangers. After a week of reading, writing, chatting, cooking shared meals, watching Daria reruns, rocking out to queercore and eating frozen custard they become part of our collective logical family of smarty pants. And we love it that way.

This issue features work from Kai Linke, Dianne Lauerta, Alana Kumbier, Rachel Miller, Maggie Galvan, Jennifer Hecker and QZAP co-fournder Chris Wilde.  Please conside picking up a copy and supporting QZAP and all the awesome research that comes out of our residency project.

MoFemmeBer 2016

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