New zine launched for queer and trans* voices

News University News

A new zine has been launched for Oxford’s queer and trans* community.

The Facebook manifesto for NoHeterOx** claims to “suspect the kind of quietist gay politics that instructs us to slip into the status quo with as little fuss as possible”. It also promises to “affirm the polymorphous perversity of our a/sexualities and seek to speak for our own bodies, lives and loves”.

The group has over 200 members and is planning to launch a print copy of the zine in the coming months.

Otamere Guobadia, a Univ second-year who is jointly responsible for the publication, said the response has been “incredible”.

“There was an unheard community of queer and trans voices, and so [we] wanted to create a platform for the celebration and discussion of these queer perspectives. Thus No HeterOx** was born,” he said.

“The response from the community has been incredible. Through this zine, we aim to provide a space for the voices of those who are constantly spoken over to speak on their own terms, to interrupt and re-tell the stories that have been told about them by others,” he added.

The group’s manifesto also claims that “queer sounds are drowned out by the sermonising voices of the majority, and yet there’s so much liberation and richness to be found in queer thought, and in queer discussion and in queer art and poetry and culture.”

The zine is also open to heterosexual people. “All, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, are welcome to contribute,” Guobadia said.

Alex Beecham, the other force behind the campaign, said: “Tam and I realized that Oxford’s otherwise very lively LGBTQ* scene was missing a space to collect and publish our political and artistic expressions, which spurred us to create the zine. His was the original idea: he came to me with an idea for a piece exploring the complex political implications of drag, having identified the absence of an avowedly radical queer publication serving our community, and from then on we got to work devising a manifesto!”

Beecham added: “We’ve now created a Facebook group, which, exactly as we were hoping, has become an enthusiastic space of discussion. The fact that so many people are getting involved seems to vindicate our initial perception that something like this could profitably be set up here.

Annie Teriba, a first year at Wadham and Deputy Editor of the new zine, said: “Very few spaces offer a platform to queer and trans* voices with such a strong commitment to maintaining the rawness of the LGBTQIA experiences.

“There is an increasing shift in the focus of mainstream queer rights groups to assimilation and often queer and trans* people are spoken for and more frustatingly, spoken over; the aim of the zine is to tackle that.”

The Facebook group has already seen a wide variety of discussions on topics relating to sexuality. There have been several posts on intersectionality, which refers to the relationship between different minorities, as well as the portrayal of minority groups in the media.

The deadline for submissions is February 1st.