A lesbian helping her girlfriend (who is suffering from depression) in making, publishing, and selling zines. Ask me about zines and yes, you may ask me about our relationship that has a battle against mental illness. AMA!

Madz A.
Oct 16, 2017

I am just an art-enthusiast who grew up reading comics, scribbling plants and random cartoon characters on my notebooks. I actually love studying tourism and traveling... but when I met my girlfriend, I found a new meaning of life. Ugh, that's cliche, sorry.So, I am fully aware that she is fighting a mental illness and I am helping her by being her number 1 supporter and at the same time, her creative critic of her works.   ...Note: we cannot save people, we can only love them.  One of her therapeutic ways in coping against her mental issues is that she doodles and writes a lot (mostly about politics, country's current issues, poverty, mental health and LGBTQ struggles)....Ask me about being part of LGBTQ community, how I work on her zines, and even on how I deal with her mental health. ...We're also planning to publish a comic about the struggles of bisexuals and lesbians! It's a WIP!Here are some of our works:

...Note: We've been selling some printed zines at some cafe events and poetry gigs here in the Philippines! :)

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FYI, she's been selling zines to benefit others, too. Mainly for fundraising.  She's an active participant of any "Art for a Cause" event in their hometown. :) <3

Oct 17, 5:45AM EDT0

Can you make a living from selling zines?

Oct 17, 3:23AM EDT0

We're not sure about it.  The focus of our zines are for my gf's recovery from her depression and anxiety disorder and as well as to spread awareness about LGBTQ community and mental health awareness. The proceeds will be saved for her medication.But we're not focusing on making it a living.Zines are only our one of our advocacies, passions and creative hobbies. If it's gonna be feasible, good! If not? It's okay, too. :)Thanks, ASHLEY for asking. :)

Oct 17, 5:11AM EDT0

How long have you been together?

Oct 16, 10:20PM EDT0

Hi! We've been "officially" together for 2years. But we've been good friends for almost 3years. :) 

Oct 16, 11:09PM EDT1

Do you have a link to a page where I can view more of her artwork?

Oct 16, 3:02PM EDT1

We will be publishing everything on twitter.com/ZinesOfLes so that we can establish our audience first on Twitter. Why? Most of the artists, illustrators and zine-makers are on Twitter. We are preparing ourselves for the next year's Komiket. We failed to go this year. :(

Last edited @ Oct 16, 9:36PM EDT.
Oct 16, 9:36PM EDT1

When did you know you were a lesbian and when did you come out?

Oct 16, 1:50PM EDT0

It's hard to think about "when". Don't you think the question is too precise it becomes irrelevant? Hmmm. I only realize that I'm totally gay during college days. T'was almost 2 years ago. But I know I am different since childhood. I know that I will be waving a "rainbow flag". Come out? I always come out. I come out during reunions. I come out at the market when I accidentally bump to a relative. I come out at any social gatherings when I introduce my gf. I come at work.Coming out is like, like, a usual thing for me. Like a habit. It's not just a "once, during dinner with fam". <3Thanks, George! 

Oct 16, 9:49PM EDT0

Has artwork helped your SO in managing her depression?

Oct 16, 12:27PM EDT1

Her art activities helped my SO so so so so so much! She realized that when she illustrates, writes and publishes zines... it is actually the diversion from depression and anxiety. That's why I help her manage this zines thingy so that she will be motivated to do her best and at the same time, help her cope with her condition. We are planning to use her zines to save money for her medication. I hope everything's going to work as planned. :) Thanks, for asking Liv. :)

Oct 16, 9:55PM EDT1

What is your educational and professional background?

Oct 16, 11:04AM EDT0

I earned a degree in bachelors of science in tourism management. I am currently a front office associate in one of the most outstanding hotel-resorts in the Philippines. I am just an art-enthusiast and a frustrated travel blogger who find a meaningful purpose in life to help someone I love cope with her mental condition. Thanks for the question, Vukasin. :)

Oct 16, 9:59PM EDT0

When did she realize that she is so artistic?

Oct 16, 10:06AM EDT0

Well, it looks like her artistic talents are innate. Her late dad was a graphic artist and her mom is creative, too. Since 1 year old, she was observed as an artist by her parents. So it means she's been drawing since 1 year old! So I don't think she even realized it... she just know that her passion is visual art. :) Thanks, TAS! :D

Oct 16, 10:03PM EDT0

Is it a strain on your relationship and how do you cope? Does it affect your mental health as well?

Oct 16, 9:21AM EDT1

I like this question. It is somehow a strain on every relationship. That's why if you're going to be in a relationship, think of your mental health too. Be with someone who is not toxic or good for your condition. I think that's why we're getting stronger because we understand each other so well. We are aware of each other's beauty and flaws. We look out for each other and make sure that our needs are being met. Does it affect my mental health, too? I've been evaluated as a strong minded person. It affects me emotionally of course but I can cope better. I am aware that I am stronger than her and I want to be by her side always. Again, we can only love people, not save them. So I offer this biiiig loooove I can give to her. That's how love works. <3 <3

Oct 16, 10:12PM EDT1

Is there anything you can do to help her manage her depression?

Oct 16, 8:54AM EDT0

Of course! Aside from helping her make zines and creatively criticizing her artworks, we stay away from everything that triggers her anxiety disorder. If it simply just going to mall, then we're not going! If it's Facebook posts, then we deactivate her FB account. Simple but great things. They save her. People like her needs someone or friends who will listen and will not judge them. That's why I want her to be surrounded by people she trusts. <3

Oct 16, 10:15PM EDT0

What is a zine, can you explain please?

Oct 16, 8:33AM EDT1

According to MW, it is a noncommercial often homemade or online publication usually devoted to specialized and often unconventional subject matter.

People we look up to explained it to us that ZINE comes from the word "magazine" and it is commonly published independently.  So anyone. Can. Make. Zines! that's for sure. It can be contained with poems, photographs, illustrations, or all of them! The topics are always unconventional or something the publishers will reject because they are surreal. Our zines are about mental health, about adulthood and about lesbian & bisexual dillemas. :)

Oct 16, 10:21PM EDT1

How does the depression affect your relationship?

Oct 16, 6:35AM EDT1

It makes us stronger and braver. We learned to fight for the importance of mental health awareness. We are advocates of LGBTQ community and of mental health as well. We've been asking a lot of people to sign for the petition for our first menal health act. This is the link! www.change.org/p/house-of-representatives-an-appeal-to-the-house-of-representatives-to-pass-the-philippines-first-mental-health-law

Last edited @ Oct 16, 11:13PM EDT.
Oct 16, 10:24PM EDT1

What advice can you give to someone living with a person that suffers from depression?

Oct 16, 6:13AM EDT1

UNDERSTAND THEM! That's the first and most significant one. Stop stigma like, "you're just sad, cheerup" "stop being sad" "you're just dramatic" "you just need to go out more" "depression is only made up"... STOP THOSE! They need people who will listen and not judge them. They need people who will say "i'm just here, talk to me" "i will stay" "you need anything? i can help".Always help things, law, people, and organizations that are connected to mental health awareness. They can help in financial and medical means. Their success is the success of those who are suffering from mental illnesses. It is important to care for people who suffers from depression. They need to feel that they are loved and that they are not alone. So if you love this person, you're going to do everything which is right to help them fight the illness.

Oct 16, 10:31PM EDT1

The art gallery is really cool and adorable however I was little curious about  mental condition of her and what satisfaction she gets while having you.

Oct 16, 3:14AM EDT0

She has a depression and anxiety disorder and we noticed that illustrating and making zines help her cope and fight against her illness. So we had an idea! I motivate her to do more of these activities and help her publish so she won't get so stressed about it. :) Thanks for asking, TARIQQURESHI. :)

Oct 16, 10:41PM EDT0

Is she taking medication for her depression and what is she on?

Oct 16, 1:39AM EDT0

I told her I am not going to announce the specifice medical term of her condition as well as the precise medical support she's getting. So all I can say about this is that... we are actually struggling to get more medication and more professional help because of financial predicament. Everything is expensive when it comes to this kind of problem. So hopefully the zines, when all published and printed/available online, we can manage to save for her needs. :) Thanks, RICHA! :)

Oct 16, 10:45PM EDT0

Why is it in your view that so many people suffer from mental illness these days? Do you think it is our lifestyle or do you think it is due to other influences?

Oct 15, 4:08PM EDT1

I believe that mental illnesses have been affecting humanity since we have ever existed. It is only now that we're aware of it and dedicated to fight it so the population who are suffering will be reduced. There's no class, gender, age or religion for depression and anxiety disorder. These mental illnesses are not due to lifestyle or influences... mental illnesses AFFECT people's lifestyles and INFLUENCE people's behaviour and personality. Thank you for this question, POORVI. :)

Oct 16, 10:49PM EDT1

The artwork is truly great, where can we see more? Have you seen a professional for her mental condition?

Last edited @ Oct 15, 6:42AM EDT.
Oct 15, 6:40AM EDT1

The social media accounts for the particular zines are still WIP. We are first establishing our Twitter account (twitter.com/ZinesOfLes) because we need to follow members of Komiket community (twitter.com/KomiketPH) to establish good PR and to know more about the "zines and comics" industry. We decided to do it as partnership and I am dedicated to do the marketing once our socmed and our zines are officially published, printed, and launched. I created this AMA to show her that people are going to be interested and we must push our plans through. AND! at the same time, promote our advocacy: mental health awareness and supporting LGBTQ creative community because our country is having issues about these topics.Yes, she has seen a professional but the costs are very expensive so the maintenances are really hard to achieve. Hopefully, these zines and comics might help my girlfriend. :)

Oct 15, 8:44AM EDT2
Show all 3 replies

Is your sexual orientation a reason for her suffering from depression or why did you mention it?

Oct 15, 2:00AM EDT0

Oh! Na-ah! That's a big NO-NO. I have nothing to do with her depression neither my sexual orientation. She's been suffering from it long before I met her and she has her very personal reasons. I respect that. All I can do is help her fight this battle, be with her and understand her struggles. People who have depressions need confidants and trusted friends. It is my pleasure that I am one of her closest friends whom she trusts so much.  Help us stop the stigma by not stereotyping. No race, gender, class, or age for depression and anxiety.  Thank you for your questions, NICZ :)

Oct 15, 8:21AM EDT0

How long has she  been suffering from depression?

Oct 14, 10:14PM EDT0

She told me she's been suffering and struggling major depressive episodes for 4-5 years. She's not really counting them though that is just based on her consciousness and observation. It is really tough for her to fight this kind of battle. Especially that here in our country, mental health awareness is only being observed these days. We are still fighting for our first mental health act. www.change.org/p/house-of-representatives-an-appeal-to-the-house-of-representatives-to-pass-the-philippines-first-mental-health-law

Oct 15, 8:11AM EDT0

The artwork is really cool, where do you publish your art?

Oct 14, 4:53PM EDT0

These illustrations are actually her ideas and her works. All i do is ink them and enhanced them digitally. Yet if she's done creating it digitally, I will edit them and/or tell her if it's okay. She's a kind of artist who loves to consult before publishing. And i am happy that she chose me to be her trusted critic. I give her constructive critisms though. No biases. Thank you, PAULYNNA. <3

Oct 15, 8:05AM EDT0

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