Thank you for letting us know. We will review this comment.


Queer fanzines: DIY for life

As London gears up for its first queer zine fest, DIVA finds out why fanzines are perfect for those who feel mis-represented in mainstream media

Charlotte Richardson Andrews

Thu, 22 Nov 2012 14:42:35 GMT | Updated 4 years today

"I've ended up making zines because the things I've wanted to see or read haven't always been there," says Melanie Maddison, a Leeds based zinester who'll be commuting to London this December to table a stall at London's first ever queer zine fest. London-based zinester and fat activist Charlotte Cooper, one of the speakers at Queer Zine Fest London (QZFL), echoes this. "I read [zines] because I'm on a life-long search for a kind of cultural validation to exist that I never get in the mainstream".

When queer women feel mis/unrepresented in popular culture, we respond in creative ways. Zines, low-budget small-print publications, are one such solution, offering a cheap, accessible and empowering way to articulate our experiences in all their bold, transgressive glory, unedited. Zines belong to a diy countercultural tradition that has it's roots in censorship-baiting 60s alternative press, punk fanzines of the 70s, dyke commix and queercore zines of the 80s and the zine-centric riot grrrl movement of the 90s; they're a powerful tool for disenfranchised minorities, and can be created by one person or a group of zinesters (in person or long distance).

They can stretch from a humble, folded A4 sheet of photocopier paper filled with cut-and-paste text and hand-scribbled doodles to weighty, collated pamphlets. Their contents can range from intellectual to lo-brow, porn to academia, music to politics, fiction to art, essays to interviews, love letters to rants, or a bright, bold bricolage combination of all the above.


See the rest of this feature in our December issue, on sale from November 22 2012.


Buy the issue at

More images


DIVA Linked Stories