BAR HARBOR — Zines, do-it-yourself noncommercial publications devoted to unconventional subject matter, have had an important place in the LGBT community for more than a generation. Before social media, zines were distributed at concerts or other events. They helped connect isolated individuals and communities.
So for the second annual Bar Harbor Pride Festival, event organizers teamed up with the Gay Straight Diversity Alliance (GSDA) at Mount Desert Island High School, ArtWaves, First Express and other sponsors to create a zine with original artwork, poetry and other material.
“It was a great way to talk about the history of zines and the history of pride, and the importance of both of them within our community,” said El Belden, Bar Harbor Pride organizer.
The cover design came out of one of those conversations, said rising sophomore Piper Charron. “We were talking about the history of the pride flag,” the rainbow commissioned by Harvey Milk from artist-activist Gilbert Baker in 1978. “It didn’t have the hot pink and turquoise included.”
Dyes in those colors, which were thought to represent “sex” and “magic,” respectively, were too expensive for mass production.
“But those are the two silliest colors, and I really like them,” Charron said. “So I put them back in, in my design,” which shows the flag being assembled on a craft table.
“Listening to people’s stories, you get to know a whole new side of them,” said Ellie McGee, who graduated earlier this month.
A poem called “Protection” by student Atty Brown celebrates friendship in tough times.
“You are my reminder to stand up straight, I am your reminder to keep smiling,” it reads. “I am a box of opinions and I will not complain if you decide to rest on me instead of opening me up.”
Along with art, comics and poetry, the inside pages are peppered with definitions of terms like “gender fluid” and “trans-misogyny” and guides for use of gender pronouns. There also are examples of the colorful symbols or flags identifying different communities, from transgender to gender nonbinary to asexual and pansexual.
Teachers Linda Gould and Dan Stillman advise the GDSA, along with school social worker Edie DuBois.