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kelly shortandqueer

April 11, 2011

Kelly Shortandqueer

We’re kicking off National Library Week with kelly shortandqueer, a co-founder of the Denver ‘Zine Library. Kelly is a Denver institution, tirelessly promoting  a vibrant DIY community that surrounds the ‘Zine Library, which was established in 2003 as an independent lending library that houses over 10,000 ‘zines from around the world. An all-volunteer run non-profit, the ‘Zine Library is the cornerstone of a unique alternative arts community.

Kelly has published shortandqueer zine since 2004, and he incorporates his queer and transgender identities into his writing about lots of other subjects, including friendships/relationships, navigating family dynamics, health issues, baseball, periods, his love of potatoes, and more! Kelly is provocative, courageous, always positive, a hell of a lot of fun, and one of 12 Questions’ favorite people.

1. What is your hometown?

I grew up in Philadelphia and left town when I was 18. After college in Washington DC, I came to Denver, had a 7-month stint in Chicago and then resettled back in Denver.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

I’ve been watching a lot of Friday Night Lights recently (the TV show) and am completely in love with so many of the characters. According to a recent online quiz, I’m most like Tami Taylor and that made me so happy. She’s sassy, grounded, funny and has a lot of integrity, so if this is a good comparison, I think I’m doing alright. (Here’s the link to the quiz. )

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

I’ve been thinking about this for years and don’t think I’ve come up with the perfect answer yet. Part of me thinks Elijah Wood, although someone recently (and brilliantly) suggested Neil Patrick Harris.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

“Afternoon Sweep” by Keith Jacobshagen

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I recently finished reading The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You by S. Bear Bergman and absolutely loved it. Each chapter is a story of its own with (Jewish, trans, and gender-related) themes that run throughout the entire book – it reads much like a zine. Speaking of zines, if you haven’t read Truckface, go order it immediately. It’s available through Stranger Danger Distro.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Golden, by Jill Scott, is definitely the top played song on my iPod. It’s perfect for those hard days as a pick-me-up and on the great days, it’s just a affirmation that things are pretty awesome.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

I’ve been tearing up a bunch at movies and TV these days (especially Friday Night Lights!). I think the last movie that brought on some sobs was Up. So good!

8. Cat person or dog person?

I’m definitely 150% a dog person. I’m deathly allergic to cats.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

I don’t know that these have to be mutually exclusive. For me, there is an element of kindness in truth, even when it’s hard to hear. My two BFFs, Anna and Eugene, are so important to me because I know that they’ll always be direct and truthful with me without losing that kindness, regardless of if it’s a difficult conversation or not.

10. How do you define sin?

As a non-practicing Irish-Catholic, Russian Jew, I was never raised with a concrete definition of sin. The word itself carries so much baggage and so many assumptions that I don’t know how to effectively try to contain it. I don’t know that I even believe in it in the way I’ve most heard it used. I guess the way I would interpret it for my life is causing intentional harm, which could be emotional, physical, economic, spiritual, etc.

11. How do you define virtue?

Living a life with integrity and being accountable to those around you (friends, community, family, partners, etc).

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I don’t think I’m actually going to have a head stone, preferring to have my ashes scattered in a number of places that are important to me. But, if I had to have one, it would probably be smallish but attention grabbing – maybe something shiny/sparkly/glittery. And it would say something about what how amazing and complicated life can be.

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

John Porcellino of King Cat Comix

Denver ‘Zine Library

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