Sir\Ma’am A Southern Queer Zine Teaser Release Front Cover

Front cover for SirMa’am A Southern Queer Zine Teaser Release

Published in 2011 by Sir\Ma’am

This teaser release is really short, so there isn’t much to review, but it does contain lots of art and short interviews focused on the transgendered community.  While the art didn’t blow me away, it is nice.

The thing that caught my eye was the snippet from an interview with Ali Andwele.  Asked about the Austin queer community’s acceptance of gender variance, Ali claims, “I don’t think they respect transgender and genderqueer people enough to know what pronouns to use and what nouns and verbs to use when it comes to talking about us.”

This seems an unfortunate position for Ali to take because it makes assumes that the ignorance is the result of a lack of respect rather than a lack of knowledge or experience. How much better would the world be if Ali, and others, looked at pronoun misusages as opportunities to educate instead of snubs? It takes little imagination to see that Ali’s attitude adds to the divisiveness between people. After all, if the first time someone has an encounter with a transgendered person and a potentially innocent language error is met with hostility or derision, it is reasonably to imagine that the next time they encounter a transgendered person they will be hesitant to initiate a conversation.

While I can appreciate that it would be burdensome to feel as though one had to explain their gender at length over and over again, how hard is it to correct someone’s mistake by simply saying, “It’s she, not he”?   Also, while I would be the first to concede that my knowledge of transgendered people is limited, I cannot help but imagine they face much larger obstacles than being innocently referred to by the wrong pronoun. Working on addressing these larger issues seems far more likely to improve the lives of transgendered people, both individually and collectively, than assuming disrespect from incorrect pronoun usage.

At any rate, this is a teaser release of this zine, and it definitely piqued my interest enough to want to track down copies of future issues.  If you are interested in learning more about Sir\Ma’am,visit http://www.sirmaam.com/, where you can download pages of this teaser.