A call for content for Humber LGBTQ+ zine Q-Angst
Collage submission for Q-Angst zine. Photo courtesy of David Garzon
Calling all shy, socially anxious, queer-identifying students who want to discuss mental health issues but don’t have a way.
Humber College’s LGBTQ+ Resource Centre is asking for submissions of drawings, collage, photography, poetry, or essays for Q-Angst, the centre’s first zine using art to openly discuss a wide range of personal topics.
“Participants can talk about their experiences with social inhibition, coping mechanisms and about the intersection between queerness and mental health problems,” said David Garzon, the centre’s resource and events assistant.
He worked alongside other staff members, volunteers and students to spearhead this initiative.
Garzon said zines are non-professional, non-profit publications, similar to magazines. They are typically passion projects that are self-published by the creators. They provide a platform for unheard voices outside of the mainstream media, usually from the margins of society.
“I was discussing with other resource centre staff members about how some folks from the Humber queer community might be too shy to access a space that is very social in nature and very group activity-oriented,” Garzon said.
“We know we have resources that can help queer students but we also know that some might not be reaching out for those resources because of shyness, social anxiety, or simply because they haven’t come out,” he said.
“We are trying to create initiatives through which we can provide an alternative space for them to speak about their unique experiences and build a stronger community,” Garzon said. “This zine is an attempt to get to the queer folks that we haven’t heard from.”
He said he hopes to have a final product that’s true to the DIY (do it yourself) aesthetics of the zine tradition, a tradition that has deep roots in Toronto and beyond.
Call for submissions video courtesy of David Garzon
Jordan Aelick, a volunteer at the Toronto Zine Library located on the second floor of the Tranzac Club at Bloor Street and Brunswick Avenue, makes zines and also helps to host workshops, zine meetings and collaborative events like potlucks and zine trades.
“I love the zine world for so many reasons,” he said.
“The whole idea of small press appeals to me a lot because there’s lots of crap in the world and if you can make a really small batch and make sure they get into the hands of people that really appreciate them, then I just find it so much more beneficial and so much more of an emotional impact on the reading experience. And it’s cheap, anyone can do it,” Aelick said.
He outlined some zine history, saying the first zines were science fiction fanzines created in the 1920s and 1930s through which fans could bond over their shared interest.
During the Beatnick era, poets and artists promoted their work in small leaflets. Other avant-garde artists like the Dadaists and Situationists, self-published pamphlets and manifestos too, he said.
Aelick said the ‘70s saw punk zines being created and in the ‘80s, a zine called Factsheet 5 began reviewing zines, creating somewhat of a more formal zine scene. The Riot Grrrl feminist movement produced a new wave of zines in the ’90s.
Aelick said today’s zines are being made by all kinds of people on topics ranging from comics to radical politics, children’s stories, personal zines and literary reviews. Many are available at alternative spaces, fairs, and libraries, like the Toronto Zine Library.
“There are many zines here that are so personal that people have just poured their souls into and it’s just so therapeutic,” he said. “Like so many people make these things just for therapy. It’s pretty amazing.”
Inquiries and submissions for Q-Angst can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.