About the Zine
In the summer of 2012, I travelled around Poland with the aim to answer one question: What would my life as a queer woman look like if my family and I hadn’t moved from Poland to Australia in 1991? Using OkCupid and travelling by train, I visited four major cities, searching for queers. The result is the zine Solo Homo. It is a brutally honest trip down memory lane, peeking into my past as young and closeted, reflections on the 2012 journey, and interviews with the LGBT Poles I met along the way.
I’m a Polish-Australian queer woman with an interest in storytelling and zine-making. Zines include “Tour de Croc” or “Cycle Touring from Cairns to Cape Tribulation with Someone You Wish Would be Your Girlfriend”, “Tramwaj: A Fly on the Wall Tale set in Krakow Poland”, and “Solo Homo: A Travelogue”
WHY DID YOU START MAKING ZINES?
I wanted to make a guide on cycle touring for women and non-gender-conforming people, because often there’s an element of intimidation when it comes to cycling beyond the usual commute. Fear of flat tyres, perceived lack of bicycle skills, and the vibe that biking is a dude’s domain. So I wrote “Tour de Croc”, a zine for whoever wants to set out on a long distance ride, with a step by step guide on how to cycle the 250 kms from Cairns to Cape Tribulation. It also happens to be the hilarious story of the two times I cycled this route, each time cycling with a different crush I wished would be my girlfriend…
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THE COMMUNITY?
The Melbourne zine community, and its hub the “Sticky Institute”, is super encouraging. I heard about Sticky through friends in 2010 and when I decided to make my first zine, Tour de Croc, I started by sitting at the table in the basement of Sticky, chatting to the volunteers there.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE?
Put aside specific time to work on your zine. There are always dozens of ideas floating in my head, and lists of zines I want to make, but in the end, it takes sitting down and actually starting which makes it happen. My first zine took a few months, mostly because I stopped and started so many times. Make a time and start!