A Homegrown 'Zine of Fungal Queeriosities' Celebrates The Diversity Of Queer Identity

A Homegrown 'Zine of Fungal Queeriosities' Celebrates The Diversity Of Queer Identity

For centuries, fungi have occupied an unsettling space in our natural world. Existing in a realm beyond plant or animal, they've been cast as the shadowy "other" – feared, misunderstood, and often met with apprehension. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that the queer community has found a unique kinship with these enigmatic organisms.

The mycological world, teeming with diverse genders and reproductive strategies, offers a potent mirror reflecting the multiplicity of queer experience. By exploring this fascinating intersection, the zine "The Other Underground: A Zine of Fungal Queeriosities" challenges us to dismantle rigid categories of self and other, fostering a more inclusive and empowering sense of community, especially in the face of oppressive norms.

Delving into the very essence of "queerness," the zine celebrates all that is strange, marvelous, and unconventional in our world, drawing parallels between the eccentric realm of fungi and the vibrant tapestry of queer identities.

The zine's creator, Malavika, describes a personal connection to this "mycelial" existence – a feeling of interconnectedness and a deep appreciation for the unseen networks that sustain life. This opening sets the stage for a journey into the heart of fungal oddity, where we encounter creatures with a staggering number of genders and witness fish that defy traditional notions of sex altogether. Through these examples, the zine underscores the inherent queerness of nature, a truth often obscured by societal expectations.

"Between a mushroom with 23,304 different genders and fish that can change their gender at will, we find that nature is far more queer than we are taught to see. The more we explore, the more we find ambiguity and multiplicity before us. This queerness is not invisible by chance, and the erasure of queerness in nature directly leads to the positioning of queerness in humans as an aberration. This zine explores the myriad ways that fungi queer our reality, and offers the reader the chance to reflect on the possibilities of queer fungal futures."

This quote from the zine ''the ‘Other’ Underground'' itself perfectly encapsulates its central message. The invisibility of queerness in nature is not a coincidence; it fuels the marginalization of queer identities in human society. By celebrating the inherent diversity of the fungal world, the zine challenges these rigid norms and opens a space for imagining alternative realities, where multiplicity is embraced and not ostracized.

Malavika's personal narrative adds another layer of depth to the zine. Their own story of transformation, ignited by a chance encounter with a seasoned forager, exemplifies the power of fungi to challenge our preconceived notions.

These strange organisms compel us to slow down, to truly see the world around us, and to embrace the unknown. This pocket-sized zine is the perfect companion for the curious explorer, ready to foray into the mycelial frontier.

Follow Malavika here.

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