we are a cis-exclusionary publication and online platform via instagram—meaning that we are entirely trans-led and feature work by trans and gender-nonconforming (GNC) writers and artists exclusively.

trains began in 2017 as a small-batch, self-published zine at lewis & clark college in Portland OR, as a response to both latent and blatant acts of transphobia experienced across campus by founder and executive editor Frankie Bruiser. issue 1 featured explicit “lessons” for cis readers to learn about how to better advocate for and support trans folks around them. trains has since grown to encompass the voices of many other trans and GNC people across the world, both on- and offline.

On terminology:

we refrain from using the word 'trans' as a blanket term for the community of people who defy the gender binary, mostly because this language is culturally, socially, and geopolitically specific. 

terms like “trans,” “nonbinary,” and other labels that have come to prominence in describing variant genders in western cultures are absolutely not universal. the ways in which different cultures and peoples around the world understand and name gender cannot be standardized. 

that being said, trains as a project is operating around a framework of gender self-determination, coined by Eric Stanley. this essentially means that any person who feels that they deviate from, break, or refute traditional western standards of gender (the binary) is someone that trains wants to feature and uplift. within this, trans and gender- nonconforming people are prioritized, but you don’t necessarily need to identify with those labels to participate. gender is so subjective and contingent on a person’s entire embodied experience, and the language that people use to describe their genders is constantly shifting. we want to uplift all different kinds of genders and gendered experiences that deviate from the gender binary or from the gender that was assigned at birth, regardless of language.

for a routinely updated list of terms and their definitions, check out our glossary (what we call the jargon mart).

Get involved:

we are currently putting together our fourth issue, themed “intimacy.” submissions for this issue are now closed. for updates on future issues, follow us @trainszine on instagram. if you’re interested in doing a weekly takeover of our instagram account, email with your name, pronouns, and brief description of how you’d use the space of your takeover. for more info, click here.