TRADE: Queer Things (1999-2006)

By Dawn Parish

It’s with great sadness and a heavy heart that BP announces the passing of the indie queer maga/zine, TRADE:Queer Things.

TRADE was born in 1999. By then, many of us queers had already spent years bitching about how we weren’t seeing ourselves reflected in the mainstream Toronto gay presses like Xtra! and fab. I, for one, was content to just keep bitching. Then along came Jon Pressick, an industrious queer with a vision. He didn’t complain; he just created the maga/zine we all wanted to read. TRADE: Queer Things was unleashed upon the Toronto Queen West scene and opened up a whole new world of queercore, sexual and D.I.Y. politics and reviews. Lazy punkasses like myself hung our heads in collective, lazy shame for a moment before devouring its pages with glee.

Since then, TRADE has given exposure and context to many talented queer Canadian artists, activists, musicians, writers, photographers and performers. It also served as an incubator and training ground for emerging writers. Even the ads were worth reading. Free ad space was made available for community groups like T.E.A.C.H., the Anarchist Free University and nolose.org. With this much gushing, you’d think I’d written for at least one issue over the last seven years, but no. These kudos are sincere and unbiased. It was just a great maga/zine that never outgrew its purpose.

TRADE’s grieving widower, publisher and editor, Jon Pressick, felt it was time to move on. He’s going to continue Fruit Market for the foreseeable future, and work on new projects. He will also be teaching a seminar on queer zines at This Ain’t the Rosedale Library in November, giving new blood the tools they need to pick up the mantle, and create a new alternative to the Xtra!s and fabs of the world. But be ready for some big heels to fill.

TRADE is survived, not only by Publisher and Editor Jon Pressick, but by countless indie queers who found a voice and a community within its pages.

TRADE: Queer Things will be officially laid to rest during an open casket funeral service to be held at Toronto’s Canzine, 1-7 p.m., October 29, 2006 at the Gladstone Hotel. In lieu of flowers, please bring your kudos, respects and bitchslaps.

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