Updated zine! I wanted to get this updated for National Coming Out Day.
I started this zine on a Spring evening in 2019. It was cold and sleeting as I parked myself in a pub across the street from an LGBTQ+ youth center. I had just dropped off a teen (who was staying with us) and they had asked me when I first came out. I didn’t have a good quick answer at the time, so I sat at the bar and lined up a rainbow of pens. It’s easy enough to explain how coming out isn’t a one-time-thing. I wanted to tell them that I don’t remember specifically “coming out” so much as a continual process of trying to be true to myself. It sounds cliche. What I really wanted to explain was how coming out can be an act of coming in to your self and into a vast constellation of queerness. 🌌
Whew. What an amazing whirlwind of a weekend! Helping 12 teens copy and sell their zines (and buttons and original music and comics) while also slinging my own zines was quite a task. Definitely couldn’t have done it without my co-adult-facilitator and my kid’s Aunt.
There was so much love in the room all weekend and so much joy. I’m pretty sure most of us bought and traded as many zines as we sold, ha. I’m so glad that we got to participate. Now that they know what to expect, I’m sure they will have even more ideas for next year.
The veteran zine-makers were so gracious and encouraging. I think the most magical times were when browsing parents intuitively left their kiddos with us to make zines (on the stage behind us) while they browsed. Truly a wonderful weekend. I’m both exhausted and energized.
This weekend is the Philly Zine Fest. I will be slinging my own zines and volumes 1-2 of Peppermint Alley Press AND in addition, this will be the debut zine fest for the Philly Teen Zine Collective. They have been busily making zines for months, both on their own and in our group.
Pauline and I have been making zines with the classes that we facilitate for a long time and of course we’ve been taking kids to Zine Fests for longer than that. But after reading First Rule of Punk by Celia Perez, the zine idea really took off. I’m hoping they have a lot of fun this weekend and we are so grateful to the Philly Zine Fest for hosting our group!
Yesterday we saw The Charlotte’s Web at the Arden. Maybe last year’s production of Peter Pan spoiled all future children’s theater for me, but this show was not that impressive. Maybe I just don’t really care for the story in the first place. Whatever the reason, I was glad when it was over. There was some great acting and the geese and rat in particular made me laugh a lot. But past that, the thing that hit me the most was the commentary on friendship that actually looked more like martyrdom than partnering and the way the discussed death. I’ll say again that children’s theater does not have to be dumb.