FORD, Robert T. et al. Thing. [Chicago]: [n.p.], [early 1990s].

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[FORD, Robert T.)]. et al.
[Chicago]: [n.p.], [early 1990s].

Original poster (540 x 405 mm). Black-and-white photograph printed in offset, background and title silkscreened in red and black; light handling marks. Near-fine.

Thing was an influential fanzine aimed at the African-American gay community. It was originally founded by Ford, Trent Adkins and Lawrence Warren. Before Thing, they had produced Think, Inc., a black arts journal that was not gay but could be termed gay-friendly. The idea being that this way it would be easier to be accepted by some sections of the black community, and would encourage straight readers to challenge their pre-conceived ideas on the gay content. Ultimately Ford and the others rejected this approach at achieving visibility as 'a kind of visibility by assimilation rather than visibility by visibility.' Thing was better defined and more focused, with the editors making a conscious effort to have a gay presence that was as strong as its black focus.

In all ten issues were published between November 1989 and August 1993. Robert Ford, who was the driving Force behind Thing, died aged 32 in 1994 from complications related to HIV / AIDS. In one of a series of articles he wrote for Babble entitled 'Life during Wartime', that candidly documented his personal struggle with the virus, Ford wrote: 'Escapism is fine on occasion, but investing an equal amount of energy into facing this thing and lending your support is what will ultimately make the difference. Call your friends who are positive to say hello . . . If you are positive and keeping it to yourself, tell somebody who cares about you, and notice how the sun rises the next morning... .'


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