Genderqueer & Trans Fashion Zine


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This zine is a compilation of genderqueer and trans people in the UMBC and local community showcasing their outfits, their identities, and what fashion means to them. To begin, I set up a poll with time slots for genderqueer and trans identifying people to sign up and model for this project. My original idea was to take photos of the volunteers and ask them only for their gender identities and pronouns. Through discussion with others, I decided to add an additional section where I would ask models, “What does fashion meant to you?”. I recorded each person’s response. This addition was essential and facilitated important conversations with each model.

 

Originally, I felt that the impact of the final product would be the most powerful. I quickly realized that the fashion shoots themselves turned out to be a wildly meaningful part of the process. Not only were genderqueer and trans folk able to showcase their unique and creative fashion choices, but they were able to feel beautiful along the way. The genderqueer and trans community often faces a variety of insecurities, anxieties, and sadness when deciding how to present themselves each day. Rather than focusing on the difficult aspects of fashion for genderqueer and trans people, these fashion shoots gave each model a positive platform to be themselves whether dramatic, silly, serious, or just plain happy. The photo shoots were able to foster feelings of positive energy as well as moments of affirmation for the genderqueer and trans individuals involved. I was even able to set up a second week of photo shoots to give a wider access to potential genderqueer and trans folk who couldn’t volunteer for the original photo shoot time slots. I want to continue to work on projects in the future where I showcase the beauty of this community.

 

Once completing each photo shoot, I uploaded the best pictures online and shared it with each individual model so they could have access to their photos. Next, I transcribed the recordings of what fashion meant to each model. I then printed out the most expressive photos of each model and printed the fashion quotes using a common font so it would feel familiar to the readers. I decided I would give each model one page including a few pieces of content: their photos, current names, pronouns, gender identities, and their responses to my question. I gave model Namy two pages because they volunteered for three separate photo shoots!

 

Using scissors and an x-acto knife I cut everything out, added water color to border the fashion quotes, and collaged each page together with mod podge. I added cute magazine cut outs of plants and other images to add a bit of pizazz on each page. Once they dried I used a marker to add some doodles. I wanted the zine to have a journal feel to it, a little messy with some imperfections (just like all of us!). I wrote out the intro and outro pages, mod podged them and waited for everything to be set. Once reviewing the final pages, I photocopied them to create a digital copy of the zine for two reasons: it could be posted online for free, easy access to the general public and be used as a template to make printed copies of the zine. The Women’s Center was helpful along the entire process. They used their resources and connections on campus to help spread the word about the zine to potential models. Once seeing the final digital copy the Women’s Center staff wanted to print copies of their own to be kept in the Center. They are also advocating to have printed copies of this zine put out for the official opening of the first Multi-Stall All-Gender Restroom at UMBC on May 28th, 2019. Here is more information:

Multi-Stall All-Gender Restroom Info


 

In the future, I would like to organize the photo shoots with an improved method. I received feedback from one of the volunteer models that they were expecting a confirmation email once they signed up for a slot. I hadn’t thought of this, but I will be sure to implicate confirmation emails it in later projects. At first, I wanted this zine to be more informationally rooted from accredited sources online, but then I realized the voices of the genderqueer and trans community already face adversity and these voices are essential to understanding the various ways we exist in this world. I think the quotes on each model’s page provides extremely important and comforting viewpoints. There has been some feedback from genderqueer and trans readers of the zine who said it provided them with positive feelings. My hope is that this will zine will benefit people of all gender identities. I will continue to use the voices of the genderqueer and trans community at the forefront of my projects. Here is a copy of the zine:

Fashion Zine 2019

As an activist, I want to reassure people that they’re capable of being an activist themselves. I want my work to encourage people and remind them that their voices are essential and have endless value. In relation to grassroots activism, it is evident that a lot of wonderful changes can start with the hard work of a few individuals. I am excited to see where this path of activism takes me and the incredible people I will meet along the way.


 

Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community

Hannah Wilcove and Callie VanAntwerp

For our project, we made a zine focusing on the how mental illness affects the LGBTQ+ community. Initially, we hoped to make and distribute copies of the zine around UMBC’s campus, but due to time and logistical constraints, we switched to uploading and posting it digitally (a few excerpts of it are featured below). In either case, the zine’s focus on intersectionality is very important because LGBTQ+ individuals face significantly higher rates of mental illness than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Therefore, we found it especially important to provide resources for members of this community, particularly individuals at UMBC. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Sex

Title PageWhere I come from, sex-ed is pathetic. The only time I ever saw a condom was after high school when I bought a box to take with me to college. I only knew about safe sex practices from the internet. The sex-ed teacher came from our local YMCA and talked mostly about how babies would ruin our lives, but not how to make them, or rather, how to not make them. We didn’t talk about the pleasures of sex or the kinds of sex a person can have. We didn’t talk about consent or relationship violence. And don’t even get me started on the complete absence of queer representation. So, when I started learning about sex from blogs and from YouTube, I realized how much I had been missing. I talked to my sister, a freshman in high school who will likely be sexually active in the near future, and I realized how little she and her friends knew about some pretty important stuff. Continue reading

Don’t Tell Me to Smile

Cover Front!

 

When we came up with the idea to create a zine about street harassment, we were inspired by our own experiences with sexualization and harassment in public spaces, and the constant invasions of our personal space that we have experienced practically since puberty. We were tired of feeling anxious about walking to the grocery store, tired of driving in a city to avoid unwanted encounters, tired of checking our outfits before we go outside to make sure they’re not too revealing, not too attention-grabbing. But most of all we were tired of the feelings of powerlessness that these encounters constantly left us with. Continue reading

girlysound #1

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Going into this class knowing that I would have to be involved in an actual activist project was a little intimidating. I had all sorts of preconceived ideas about what really counted as activism. It was overwhelming, and I felt like I would never have the time or resources to be a “real” activist. However, I soon realized this didn’t have to be true. Making even the smallest difference counts. It all counts.

Continue reading