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.

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.

Welcome to Broken Pencil, the magazine of zines, comics, DIY and the radical press since 1995.

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