Guest Column: Fusion drops the F-bomb

Raytevia Evans

After four long months of hard work with Fusion this semester, it all came down to the F-bomb. While we were spending hours interviewing, photographing and creating a product that we were proud of, we were unaware that in the end, a select group of local printers would weigh in with their opinions of what we considered a masterpiece. In the past week and a half, the editorial staff for Fusion has been firmly standing up for the First Amendment right after the magazine was turned away by the printers Freeport Press, Inc., Hess Print Solutions and Davis Graphic Communication Solutions.

Their reasons? The use of the F-bomb, select photographs used in the fashion spread or a combination of the two. When the magazine was first denied by Freeport Press, Inc., we were shocked, but we never expected it to happen again with different printers. In fact, after our state of shock, the art director and I joked about the controversy possibly bringing more attention to the magazine. We were later denied by Hess Print Solutions because of the use of the profane word and a third printer, Davis Graphic Communication Solutions, explained that they would have to survey their crew to be sure no one was offended, which would prolong the production process.

By declining to print Fusion because of a word or photograph, these printers went against everything that our staff and supporters believe in. Though I respect the fact that they have a right to their own opinion, I have more respect for those who firmly stand up for the First Amendment and those who support change.

Each semester, the Fusion staff pursues stories that others tend to overlook or find to be less important. Finding people in the LGBTQ community who are willing to speak out about their sexuality or their opinions is hard enough. The last thing we need after all of our hard work and determination is to have someone say we can’t use our words — profane or otherwise — to tell a significant and unheard story. I say, Fuck that!

Raytevia Evans is a magazine journalism graduate student and editor of Fusion Magazine. Contact her at [email protected].