Crooked Fagazine, Zine, Jordan Coulombe, Issue 2, firstname.lastname@example.org
Theorist Michael Warner distinguishes between two categories of homosexuality: the stigmaphobe, which seeks to distance itself from sleaze and transgression, and the stigmaphile, who craves the darker, back alley underworld of desire. Editor Jordan Coulombe offers us the second issue of his zine that he says “loves stigma so much it’s got stigmata dicks hammered straight through its hairy palms.”
Indeed, Crooked Fagazine is a bad ass, defiant zine that takes aim at the bourgeoisification of queer while revelling in a healthy dose of bad taste. While I read about a young gay virgin’s dilemma of whether to identify with the queer scene or the punk scene I actually wrote the word “JDs” on a scrap of paper. The writer wonders whether or not he will be condemned to “listening to house music and going to drag shows” or if he will find himself at home with the punx. Like the pioneering JDs, Crooked combines text with high-contrast, black and white images.
In this issue we get an interview with the editor of the Guelph-based, erotic fiction zine, Fag Punk; an account of artist S.K. Satherley’s correspondence with a sociopathic sex criminal on death row; a critique of the middle-class failings of Quebec’s flawed anti-homophobia campaign; a memoir of sexual tension in a Buddhist Zen centre; a scatological poem; and an unwieldy narrative of a flight from Paris to New York on 9/11 involving a bad case of crabs.
All of the contributors write in unique voices and bring some real writing chops that reveal not just one, but many kinds of stigma. I enjoyed the heck out of these tales and articles that put a creative spin on lived experiences – whether funny, strange or just critically on-point. I feel like I learned a lot too. For example, now I know that strip Karaoke is a thing (Bareoke) and that if you huff the special kind of shampoo designed to treat pubic lice it produces a high similar to poppers. What a rush! (Chris Landry)