U.S. Kweer Corps

Zine of the Gay

U.S. Kweer Corps, Issue #1, July 2000 Queer Punks, Unite to Fight!! Keeping things radical, today’s Zine of the Gay is U.S. Kweer Corps by friend of the archive Hank Thigpen. Starting in July 2000 and continuing through the early 2000s, Kweer Corps were shorter digests focused on the queer punk scene Hank was observing in Florida. In our archive we have issues #1, #2, #9, and #10.

Kweer Corps #1 includes the Kweer Corps Manifesto, a statement of the issues Hank sees in the punk scene and with queer people. A majority of these issues revolve around the lack of revolutionary spirit in punks and queer people who had been the ones ready to fight for revolution in the past. Hank declares real punk dead, as current punks are more focused on fashion statements and mistreating women at shows than any real political movement, and how other genres of music enjoyed by queer people lack action and purpose. Hank reminds readers that “queers helped create early punk… and kept themselves in every scene and movement in between and STILL havent started fighting for the revolution we’ve been preaching this whole time.” He ends the manifesto with a call to action, saying:

Because I’m ready for MY goddam riot.

Because I cant be the only one.

For these, and for a hundred other day to day reasons, Im a part of the Kweer Corps.

Queer punks, unite to fight!

Hank follows this up in Kweer Corps #2 by talking about the loneliness he experiences as a queer punk, and how he sees other queers at the random punk show but nowhere else. We recommend you read this one for yourselves as the writing here is particularly striking, especially the line: “Straight edge kids and skinheads all know their brothers. Why don’t I know you?” Hank writes about the Kweer Corps as being an alternative to this loneliness that he suspects other queer radicals experience as well through the creation of a community of radical queers across the country.

Cover of U.S. Kweer Corps #9 Image shows a roll of pennies, and the text on the cover reads: “PENNY ROLLS: legal & handy Use electrical or duct tape reinforce ends first! added weight in your fist make the punch so much harder” “I would sooner fuck a dog than let your bigoted bullshit go unpunished.”We then jump to Kweer Corps #9, which starts by showing you how to reinforce a penny roll to add weight to your punches. This issue focuses on physical violence experienced by queer people, challenging what “Your parents told you from the beginning, “Ignore them and they’ll go away.”” Hank encourages hitting back when harassed or beaten up, saying “peaceful resistance doesn’t work against individual attacks.” He states: 

I’m gonna take the knowledge that I will hit back and use it to make myself stronger. I’m gonna think of all the girls and boys who are too small to fight back and I’m gonna get one lick in for them, too.

Hank argues that through fighting back against bigoted, sexist actions, we can start a revolution, and ends the zine by saying, “Instant physical retribution for any attack. Queer punks fight back.”

Kweer Corps #10 is focused on the exclusion of and responses to the Michigan Women’s Music Fest, a festival that stopped in 2015 and only allowed women-born-women into the festival. Hank sees issue both with the exclusionary nature of the festival, and the trans-organized protests that form outside of the festival every year. He writes: “Here’s an idea – instead of spending all that time, energy, and money protesting against women who don’t feel comfortable with things they don’t understand, all to get into a music fest where people like Lucy Blue Trem-bleh headline, why not make our own fuckin weekend of music?” He argues that there are ample resources, a lack of loyalty among the younger women who go, and no monopoly on the performers, so why not? “If we can create our own gender expression, we should be able to create our own shows.” “With all the cute transfolk out there, I would say it’s gonna be her loss, right?”


Kit Gorton is a current intern at QZAP and graduate student at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in library science and English, with focuses on archives and media studies. A rather queer Hobbit, Kit is most often seen collecting things (such as leaves, rocks, books and the like) or doting on their cat, Good Omens Written in Collaboration by Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett.

Queer Terrorist / Queer Tapette #4

QueerTerrorist4Queer 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.


Sarah Cooke is a current intern at QZAP.  They are a grad student at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in library science and women’s and gender studies. Sarah can usually be found covering the world in stickers and glitter with their accomplice, Matilda the cat.

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