Queer people of color to share their stories at Long Beach Zine Fest

Ajuan Mance, creator of the queer zine “Gender Studies,” will be part of a panel discussion on queer zine culture Sunday at the Long Beach Zine Fest. Photo: Ajuan Mance.

LONG BEACH — Queer people of color will be sharing their stories Sunday at the third annual Long Beach Zine Fest.

The free event will take place at the Museum of Latin American Art and feature more than 100 zinesters and several panel discussions, including one exploring queer zine culture.

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Chelsea Reynolds, an assistant professor of journalism at Cal State Fullerton, will moderate “If You Try to Shut Us Down, We Will Build Our Own Spaces,” which is based on her academic research studying queer feminism and zines in Chicago.

“We want queer zinesters to build confidence in their own media. We are self-validating and calling attention to a medium that is marginalized,” Reynolds said. “Queer zines are huge part of the zine community.

“They are just as important as gay clubs or community centers,” she said. “They’re how people communicate with each other.”

Se’mana Thompson and María Teresa Carmier have created “Decolonizing P@renting” is “a zine by and for queer parents of color” which “aims to voice the struggle, affirm it and heal those in pursuit of decolonial practices.” Photo: Se’mana Thompson and María Teresa Carmier.

The four panelists in the discussion create zines with eclectic, intersectional content for  queer people of color.

Khou’s work addresses sexuality and dating as a queer person, challenging heteronormativity to create new visions of “what romance and sex looks like.” Tevy also produces comics with queer people of color lead characters.

  • Ajuan Mance, “Gender Studies” and “The Little Book of Big, Black Bears”

“Gender Studies” follows Mance’s “adventures as an African American genderqueer nerd” while “The Little Book of Big, Black Bears” “is a tribute to black men in the bear community.”

“Oatmeal Magazine” is “a six-year-old literary compzine made by queers who illustrate and publish poetry and prose by their mostly queer friends.”

Decolonizing P@renting is “a zine by and for queer parents of color” which “aims to voice the struggle, affirm it and heal those in pursuit of decolonial practices.”

“There isn’t a large network working together and seeing each other’s work,” Reynolds said. “We hope to start a community conversation and help build a sense of community.”

Tevy Khou’s work, including the zine “Daisy Chain,” work addresses sexuality and dating as a queer person, challenging heteronormativity to create new visions of “what romance and sex looks like.” Photo: Terry Khou.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBT community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBT students.