Jonas Cannon takes us on the process of discovering where they fit in this world

Surely, They’ll Tear It Down: A Case of the Gender

Perzine, Jonas Cannon, 20 pgs, P.O. Box 633 Chicago IL 60690 USA, $2 USD

Jonas Cannon is one of my favourite zine writers, and for a few years I’ve even been fortunate enough to call them a friend. Beyond a seemingly endless output of work, they are also a staple of the Chicago zine scene and a founder of the Midwest Perzine Fest.

Cannon’s latest effort is a short zine reflecting on the complexities of their gender identity and the expectations they must navigate being constantly read as a Black man. In a letter to a friend, which reads almost as philosophy, they discuss the intricacies of trying to define themselves: “The problem is how to define the sum of it all. I’m Black. I’m a man. I’m a black man living in America. I don’t know what any of that means.” How do you manage the expectations thrust upon your perceived gender, which are often stereotypes? Even if you have a complex relationship with your race and gender, you cannot avoid the public’s perception, — as the author grimly reminds us, “a rose by any other name can still be shot dead by the police for wearing a hoody.”

Through his eloquent prose, Jonas takes us on the process of discovering where they fit in this world. I might be partial, but any zine by Jonas comes highly recommended from me.