Zine Review: Heavy Metal Queer

rainbow cover

Heavy Metal Queer: Rainbow in the Dark
Zine, Nix66, volume 1, nixsixsix.tumblr.com, for trade

In this badass first volume, Nix66 explains how reconciling his queer and trans identity and his love of metal music and culture hasn’t always been easy — and that normally, the latter feels more important. Named after a Dio song, this zine goes through personal memories around homophobia in the metal community, strategies for feeling comfortable, or at the very least, surviving in metal venues, and his personal relationship with the music itself. Not to mention an exploration of metal’s already-pretty-gay history. After all, “Metal will always be there for you.”

In classic punk zine style, diary entries and reflections are punctuated by chicken scratch band lyrics and hand-drawn portraits of queer metal stars like Gorgoroth’s Goahl and Rob Halford (“It’s a dream of mine to some day do a Rob Halford drag king performance,” writes the author— how awesome would that be?).

This black and white, roughed up zine look complements the material perfectly and it’s a fun read whether metal is a totally alien subject or a close friend. Best of all, Nix66 takes an outward gaze near the end, recognizing that change in the communities he balances has to come from folks like him before anyone else. (Jonathan Valelly)

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