Zines are self-published, small-circulation, usually non-profit, tangible papers that focus on ideas and topics that are outliers in mainstream media.  As much as we love the internet, it can become an echo chamber that mimics ideas of mainstream media and scrutinizes those that do not subscribe to cultural norms.  The internet seems infinite, but it can be a difficult place to navigate and find quality personal accounts that you can align with.  Zines are being kept alive by the specificity they offer niche readers in suburban and rural areas, by those living within the margins, and by those not seeing themselves identified in mainstream media. But there is something special about sitting down with a tangible piece of literature that was designed specifically with you in mind, with narratives that are familiar and your imagination doesn’t have to do too much work because you identify with the characters, because they are of you. This is a luxury not usually afforded to non-white heteronormative individuals.

5 Zines to Subscribe to:

Black Fly Zine —

This gem meets at the intersection of sex, racism, and non-heteronormativity.  This zine on black queer sexuality speaks to the truths around sexual health, such as the all too common fibroids and endometriosis that deeply affects the black community. It also illuminates narratives around STI’s with aims of dismantling the shame that is usually associated with STI’s.  Through poetry, stories and essays, the recently released first issue is filled with potent narratives that you will never un-know.

Sula Collective —

A space for people of colour to share experiences and contemporary art. Everything from Polaroid visual stories to narratives around daily accounts of what it’s like to live in skin that has colour.

Yellow Jacket Collective —

A meditation on queer American yellowness. This publication focuses on experiences of the Asian Diaspora and aims to share not only temporary voices, but also voices of the past that were also fighting for inclusion and visibility.  The Yellow Jacket collective is on a mission to decentralize white male heteronormativity, while also debunking the model minority myth that shatters the familial structures of Asian Diaspora families.

Ano Ba Zine —

Magnifies minority voices by showcasing art and narratives around the multicultural Filipino experience.

3 Dot Zine

An annual publication that is an extension of a Sunday gathering series for young creatives to share thoughtful dialogue that challenged and encouraged one another. 3 Dot was created to continue these dialogues around marginalized concerns by documenting and expanding the audience for these dialogues.