Top Ten Reasons We Love Hannah D. Forman aka Hannah Neurotica
Plus, find out how show your support for Planned Parenthood by sharing your story in her new zine.
When I first met Hannah D. Forman l more than a year ago, buzz was building amongst my fellow female horror bloggers that one of our own, a dyed-in-the-wool female aficionado, was making noises about celebrating the unsung women who make horror—and the women who love them. Those whispers quickly became Women in Horror Month, a groundswell that swept across a digital sea of horror-themed podcasts, blogs, and news sites in February 2010. Events were held across the country and new friendships were forged. Not the least of which was mine with the woman who made it all happen, Ax Wound zine founder Hannah D. Forman (aka Hannah Neurotica), who blew me away with her passion for horror and her unapologetic attitude about claiming space for women, on and off the Internet.
And now Forman has embarked on a new project of even greater importance to women and members of the LGBT community. Her Planned Parenthood-themed zine, in support of the organization that has saved countless lives but has recently come under attack, by conservative government officials who seek to cut funding to this essential resource. It’s with this in mind that Forman is reaching out to you to participate in her zine by sharing the myriad of ways that PP has touched your lives. “One might think that Planned Parenthood only supplies birth control and offers abortion services, when really planned parenthood is dedicated to so many other aspects of not only our health but activism and education. PP is openly active in the fight against homophobia and transphobia. No matter what your sexual orientation anyone can get an STD and every woman needs health care via pap smears and breast exams. Not to mention, newer services for those looking to transition to another gender.”
"The deadline to contribute is June 1, 2011. No prior writing experience is necessary, just a willingness to share and have fun being creative for a good cause. By sharing you never know whose life you will impact. We are keeping a blog about the project over at ppnnezine.com."
If that isn’t enough to make you fall head over heals for Forman we’ve got 10 more reasons why we can’t get enough of this trailblazer.
1. She’s a proud pansexual. “I don’t hide anything about my sexuality—to a point that might make others uncomfortable because they are not comfortable with their own sexuality. My art will always be about sex. And in my art and everyday life I am very open about my sexual identity. Shame gets us nowhere.”
2. She’s keeping Riot Grrl alive. “Ax Wound: Gender & The Horror Genre is a cut-and-paste, old-school DIY paper zine…[It’s] very much a collage of academic work, nonacademic work, and personal stories by feminists who love horror. Before Ax Wound, there was no publication in print or online for female horror fans, and I wanted so badly to talk to other women about this subject. I was like, Fine, if the world isn’t going to pay attention to women who enjoy horror then I will have to carve this space out and get the party started.”
3. She’s taking her message to the digital masses. “Ax Wound Radio is an extension of the zine. I try to stay within the theme of women/gender/sexuality/cultural views of horror. I like to discuss these themes with the filmmakers themselves as well as fans and academics. One of my goals is to bring overlooked groups in horror to the forefront. Us women, queers, and people of color.”
4. She’s subversive. “I’m not looking to overthrow the government or anything. Just help create a world that doesn’t hate girls and women. People who are threatened by that would probably say that I was being subversive, as artists with strong political views typically are.”
5. She claimed February as Women in Horror Month. “Horror media doesn’t just ignore women—they don’t even know we are here. We are fucking invisible. WiH Month was a call to action, a time for women—and men—to come together and really take a look at the contributions women have made to the genre and women who are working in horror now, under the radar. The outpouring of support was unreal. I truly felt happy to be part of a movement like that.”
6. She’s outspoken about body diversity. “People are not allowed to look human anymore. And it’s only getting worse. We don’t value anyone who falls outside what is deemed acceptable…because people are trained to value that one type of person. It’s scary…especially when we don’t teach media literacy and how to handle the influx of images now. Body image in film and media is a war zone.”
7. She’s a feminist with a capital F. “It kills me that [‘feminism’ to some is a] bad word…I try so hard to fight that F-word bullshit. If you believe in equality for women you are a feminist. Young women should embrace the term…it is critical they learn that the rights they were born into were not basic human rights. Women before them fought for those rights, and that is something they need to know. Because those ‘rights’ can be taken away at any time.”
8. She’s a passionate advocate for women’s reproductive rights. “I have worked for a women’s health clinic that provides abortions and have been subject to a lot of hate and abuse from protestors. It’s just so hard for women to get health care without abuse and constant fear of lost funding.”
9. She’s an artist. “I don’t want other girls to grow up thinking they are not creative when they really just need to find their voice and their own medium. Just like sexuality, you can be fluid, in between. Find the way you can express yourself best and just do it—regardless of what anyone says.”
10. She embraces taboos. “I’m passionate about getting people to use art in any form to speak about sexuality, repro choice, and all the things that are considered taboo and shameful in our culture. In fact, I’m working on a new personal zine called Death Is the New Sex, about the taboo of death in our culture, which was something I experienced this year when my dad passed away.
I’m in the beginning stages of editing a book for Planned Parenthood. I really hope men and women of all ages will write or submit short zines or comics on sexuality, STDs, abortion, gyno experiences, and be part of this anthology.”