by Von DeWitt of the Trans Sex Zine Collective
TRANS SEX ZINE is a collaborative, ongoing sex ed project by and for trans and gender non-conforming folks that tells stories of sex, bodies, and desire. We think trans people of every age, identity, attraction, and relationship status are experts of our own experience and have valuable things to share with each other.
I started this project as part of my thesis in my undergrad at Goddard College. I was in the process of getting a sex educator licensure from Planned Parenthood, and though the training was pretty progressive, the content used a lot of binary, ciss exist language to describe sex acts and sexual risk behaviours. I also took issue with how formal and impersonal most traditional sex ed content is in general, and really felt a lack of peer connection and shared experience (both of which I consider huge motivators to learning and connecting to content).
This project has really evolved in the last five years, from being my solo perzine sex ed series (Sex Ed: A Love Story, for those who want to check it out) to an international collaborative effort — we have trans folks from all over the world submitting their art and writing on a huge range of topics, including tutorials on different sex acts, explorations of solo and partnered pleasure, and real talk about bodies, transition, dysphoria, and dating.
Over the past five years, I’ve tried to keep the following values at the forefront of this project:
1. Trans and gender non-binary folks have a right to sex education that is inclusive of their experiences and provides them the necessary information to be healthy and safe. Far too many people have to sit in classrooms where their teachers and textbooks fail to appropriately address their identities, behaviours and experiences, if not actively shaming them.
2. Sex education should be a source of reliable information on sexuality, gender identity, sexual health, and (*gasp*) sex. Generally speaking, folks are learning how to use condoms, but have to resort to the vastness of the internet to figure out how to actually have sex and experience pleasure outside of a heteronormative, cissexist narrative.
3. We at Trans Sex Zine recognize the need for an alternative sex education resource. There are huge gaps in existing sex ed curriculum and our bodies and experiences are being ignored. We want information for us and by us. We want to see ourselves reflected in the resources available. We want to bust the myths, stereotypes, and stigma and actually talk about sex so that people have the information and autonomy they deserve to make informed decisions around sex. They deserve this. We deserve this.
This work wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration of folks who help promote the project, seek out submissions, make connections with sex and gender initiatives around the country, and with editing and curating these pieces into a cohesive resource — big thank you to Bobbi, Chandler, Miles, Dale, and all the other folks who lend their skills and expertise to this project.
Find us online at transsexzine.com, where Volume 1 is available for digital download. We’re @transsexzine on all your social media. If you think this would be an important resource to have at your youth programs, clinics, sexual health centres, or you’re interested in submitting, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.