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An interview with

Steph & Penner
from Winnipeg, Canada

by Elke Zobl and Haydeé Jiménez

November 2007


"...we all, as HUMANS, deserve respect and equality."

Can you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
S: My name is Steph Walker, I'm 30, I'm originally from a small french roman catholic town Lorette, Manitoba, and live now in Osbourne Village, Winnipeg.
I’m 21, Winnipeg born and raised. Still here.

trans.zine! team

What do you do besides your zine?

S: I'm currently a student in the University of Manitoba's Applied Counseling Program, specializing in Addictions and I work as a floral designer. One day, I hope to merge the two and get into horticulture therapy. I'm a volunteer with Nine Circles Community Health Centre (NCCHC) and help there with World AIDS Day planning among other ventures. I love to read & write poetry and hang out with Penner.
P: Besides Trans.Zine I work at a gym full time, and box (sometimes more diligently than others). Other than the bread and butter I spend my time reading, volunteering and hanging out with my gorgeous partner and fabulous friends.

Can you please tell our readers about Trans.zine!? What topics do you discuss in your zine most often? What inspired the creation of Trans.zine!?

S: trans.zine! is a new manitobia based diy (do-it-yourself), not-for profit, (bi)annual zine addressing issues and experiences of by trans/genderqueer individuals, their families, friends, partners, allies, service providers (etc.)
trans.zine! is a forum for creativity, expression, celebration, information, and education. it will be an instrument of exposure, deconstruction, critical thinking, dialogue, and possible change. trans.zine! will provide an opportunity for voices to fill (or exploit) voids. it will spur consciousness. trans.zine! will not be stagnant, static, or oppressive. it will be interactive, accessible, engaging, and evolutionary.
trans.zine!'s organizing committee is comprised of six awesome community activists. we are: ethan, cass, steph, dione, penner, and rune. marina, also an awesome community activist, is a fan of ours and will be helping us out down the road.
Trans.Zine has just started and is very much in a growing stage. We are looking to focus on diversity of perspective increasingly as we continue to produce our issues. Other than that we focus on representing trans folks and issues, locally and otherwise.

trans.zine! issue 1
How long have you been involved with zines?
How did you become introduced to the culture of zines?

S: this is my first time on a zine organizing commitee
I’ve been involved with transzine from the beginning which was a few months short of a year ago.

Where/how is your zine distributed? Who are your readers? What kind of responses do you get from your zine’s audience?
S: penner answers this well. check out responses to our zine on our facebook page.
our first issue (premiered in June) was first distributed at Winnipeg Pride. We sent out copies to a few Canadian cities, as well as some local business. Our next issue will be put out first at our local trans day of Remembrance, and then other locations and cities depending on our budget.

What do you hope to accomplish by making and distributing Trans.zine!?

P: I hope that through transzine we can get people thinking about gender, and the lives of trans folks. I hope that we can bring people out of their shells, I hope we can create a sense of community and camaraderie.

What do you love and find challenging about zine making?
S: diy collaboration, underground information and expression/art.
It can be challenging to meet the deadlines we set ourselves, especially working with super fabulous and incredibly busy people with eternally conflicting schedules.

What do you think about zine-making today?
S: so important in a mass assembly line produced machine society. we got our hands dirty on this project.

Which role does Internet play for you?
S: the internet has certainly facilitated donation & submission request outreach. mmm, then there's facebook :) (and this interview!)
What are some zines you have read lately that you would recommend to someone learning about the zine-making/reading world?
S: winnipeg's 1234V

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a zine?
S: talk to everyone about it so's you get submissions from all kinds. one thing that worked well for us & kept our 1st issue interesting from page to page was each org. commitee member made their own set of pages.

trans.zine! team

What does the zine scene look like in Winnipeg? Do you feel part of a zine community or network and what does it mean to you?
S: quite honestly, i'm new to the zine community, but feel very fortunate to be a part of the trans community as a friend and an ally.

Do you define yourself as a feminist? What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life?
S: i am a feminist. all gender identities deserve equal opportunity.
P: I absolutely define myself as a feminist.

Do you participate in the feminist and trans liberation movement (apart from doing your zine)?
S: many of us on the org. commitee are also on the trans day of remembrance (tdor) planning commitee and after this year's vigil, we're hosting wpg's 1st tdor post-vigil genderfuck dance party. (facebook has more event info)

What do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of “Third Wave Feminism” and what does it mean to you?
S: wik: "identities are not fixed – they cannot be categorized and labeled – because identities consist of many varied components and that to categorize by one characteristic is wrong." sexual and gender identity are fluid to me. we all, as HUMANS, deserve respect and equality.
P: Feminism today? I think that it means a lot of different things to different people. It is important to me to define feminism for myself while participating within a feminist community. I think that feminism can often forget its own. I also think that there is a difference between claiming to be inclusive (as a group or movement) and actively seeking diversity at all levels.

Do you have any suggestions? Something you want to add?

S: you can get more pics/info from our facebook pages for tdor & trans.zine!.


trans.zine! on Myspace

trans.zine [AT]

snail mail:
c/o Rainbow Resource Centre
Suite 1-222 Osborne Street SOUTH
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 1Z3



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