Creating Community amongst disabled grrrls!
Driving Blind

An interview with Erin H.

by Elke Zobl

July 2002

Driving Blind is a very personal zine. Erin discusses what it is like to be disabled and not being able to communicate with other disabled individuals. This is her first issue! Congrats!

Can you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
My name is Erin and I’ll be 19 in August. I’ve been living in the same house all my life; it’s in central NJ.

What do you do besides your zine?

I’m a full time college student in the fall and spring. I’m majoring in biology, which is a subject that totally fascinates me. I also love to read and make crafts.

For how long have you been running your zine now? How many issues did you put out until now? Are you the only editor or is there a team?
I started writing my zine last summer, but went through major writer’s block for a couple of months. I just finished my first issue in June of this year. I’m the only editor, but my parents helped me with cutting/pasting/stapling since my physical disability prevents me from doing that myself.

What made you decide to start this project? How did you come up with the idea and the name?

I really enjoy zines; they are beautiful and really express the person making them. I knew I could do it because I’m an opinionated girl with a lot to say. The name “Driving Blind” means that I am moving ahead in my life and I don’t know exactly where I’m going or where I’ll end up.

What topics are most often discussed in your zine?

I will probably talk a lot about my disability because I don’t see too many zines on this topic. Actually, I haven’t seen any. And I think it’s important to educate people on disabilities and show them that disabled grrrls rock!

What do you hope to accomplish by establishing your zine?
To express myself, to be heard, to educate.

What does zine making (and reading) mean to you? What do you love about zine making? What ís the most challenging aspect of making zines?
Zines are amazing. Reading them inspires me greatly, and making them fills me up with energy and happiness. It’s great when you have a fresh copy of your zine in your hands and you think of all the hard work that went into it. The most challenging aspect of making zines is mustering up the inspiration to write. Although I am always inspired by other zines, sometimes it’s hard to sit down and write what you are feeling.

What was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them? What have they come to mean to you?
I actually became involved with e-zines first. I edited a Lois and Clark fan e-zine, and then I had a literary e-zine called SlaMmiN*. Haha. Anyway, one of my e-zine buddies started a paper zine and sent me a free copy. I fell in love with it, and visited the zine web pages she listed on the last page. One of the sites I first visited was pander distro, and I have been hooked ever since. Zines mean so much to me. I really feel like I missed out on a lot since I only became involved in this community like two years ago.

Do you consider grrrl zines as an important part of a movement of sorts? Do you think zines can effect meaningful social and political change?
Of course. Zines are like any other media – they help spread the word and educate. If we use zines along with movies, commercials, books, etc., we can make social and political change.

What does the zine community mean to you?
A lot. I’ve met some amazing people and made some amazing friends.

What advice would you give others who want to start a zine?
Just go for it. Put your heart into it and it will come out awesome.

What are some of the zines you admire?
8x8 by Melanie, External Text, Aberration, and a slew of others.

Do you define yourself as a feminist?

What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/feminist)?
Getting people to understand what feminism is and to be taken seriously.

Are you active in the feminist movement?

As much as I can be.

What do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of Third Wave Feminism and what does it mean to you?

Feminism today is getting stronger, I think. I notice more grrrls asserting themselves and pushing towards change. I see myself as part of the Third Wave, sure.

Which role plays the Internet for you? Does it change your ideas of making zines and doing/reading zines?
The internet plays a huge role. It’s how I discovered zines, and how I stay in touch with the zine community.

Erin H.
PO Box 656
Keyport, NJ 07735

Price: $1 + stamp or $2