Queer Terrorist/Queer Tapette #4 is a bisexual punk manifesto that calls BS on the biphobia rampant in lesbian and gay communities. Created in Montréal, Quebec in 1993, Queer Tapette writes queerness into mainstream pop culture while simultaneously critiquing lesbian and gay culture for their sexual exclusivity. The zine opens with a short story that slams the fake radical politics of mainstream lesbians, alluding to how the sense of conformity found in lesbian spaces mirrors that of dominant heteronormative society. Drawing on references to 1990s lesbian popular culture, the story ends on a humorous note that immediately hooks the reader: [they are] “going to bed listening to Melissa Ethridge and masturbating to an image of a snotty franco girl”. This combination of humor and scathing political criticism is present throughout the zine, a tone that both informs and entertains the reader as they immersed in the world of Queer Tapette.
When the reader flips to the next page, they are met with massive text that reads FAG HAGS FIGHT BACK!!!. What follows is a three page collage-style spread that explores the many reasons why the zinester is “fed up with the treatment [they] receive in gay male, lesbian, and straight societies”. Continuing with the tone established in the first few pages of the zine, this section is particularly aggressive in its rightful accusations of biphobia from both the straight and lesbian/gay communities. Invoking a coalitional politics, the zinester calls for alliances between bisexual people and ‘fag hags’, arguing that these two identities were the “newest, hippest funnest coalition ever to emerge”. This article addresses the fact that bisexuality is itself a marginalized identity within the more broader group of ‘sexual minorities’, and as such requires unique and special attention be payed to the needs and desires of bisexual people.
Next up, McTheif the Crime Cat makes an appearance to give advice on how to ethically shoplift. The anti-capitalist comic serves as both a recruitment tool and a how-to guide for potential shoplifters, succinctly explaining why shoplifting only harms big business and capitalists and NOT other poor queers. Plenty of yummy bisexual smut is sprinkled throughout the remainder of the zine, squished in between several pages of a super-queer, super sexy 90210 collage/comic, a passionate criticism of gay and lesbian organizations who only advocate for the ‘civil rights’ of their own kind, and several comics and newspaper clippings celebrating the many badass and sexy drag queens that are left behind by exclusionary lesbian and gay politics.
Anti-gay military policy is the subject of one of the last entries in issue #4 of Queer Tapette, closing out the zine much as it began – with an explicitly political message aimed at lesbian and gay activists:
“Stop whining to me about how you want let into the military, you clone faggots and dead-head lesbians. What are you fighting for – the right to police nationalist borders of Amerikkka, the right to be ‘openly gay’ as you kill other people, the right to effect genocide across the world?”
The radical politics of Queer Tapette rejects the homonormativity perpetuated and desired by mainstream lesbians and gays, and refuses to conform to their liberal agenda of maintaining capitalist and militarized North American culture. This political message is enhanced and diversified by the dark humor and overtly sexual comics and short stories that characterize Queer Tapette as a punk bisexual manifesto.