Kent State Student Magazine Deemed Too Sexual, Vulgar for Publication by 3 Ohio Printers

A trio of Ohio printing companies recently “refused to publish the latest issue of a student LGBTQ magazine at Kent State University due to content they deemed overly sexual and vulgar.

Fusion, sporting the tagline (and the web address) “That Gay Magazine,” focuses on “sexual minority issues within the general university population.”  According to a Campus Progress report, the printers were apparently miffed about two main parts of the mag’s spring issue– the F-word’s prominent placement in the headline of a cross-dressing photo spread (“Gender Fuck”) and a separate photo of a man in a leotard sporting, ahem, a noticeable bulge in the crotch.

A rep for one of the printers: “We actually asked them [the student editors] to adjust the content of Fusion based on the F-word and on what we’re calling some graphic material, which involved some pictures of genitalia, and we’re just not comfortable producing that type of content.”

The sad irony: That particular printer has produced this “type of content” before. Campus Progress: “Freeport has been Fusion’s publisher for several years, even as the magazine published a spread in its spring 2010 issue depicting underwear-clad men kissing intimately.  Freeport also published the word ‘fuck’ at least three times in two previous issues of Fusion, released fall 2009 and winter 2011.”

The printers’ content concerns also seem antiquated in an age in which F-bombs and noticeable bulges are in earshot and eyeshot of the public in countless films, TV shows, podcasts, print media, classic works of literature, and performances including Broadway shows and the ballet.

In addition, as someone who has literally written the book on this and read more campus sex and LGBT magazines than anyone on Earth, I can confirm Fusion‘s current issue is no more vulgar, sexually explicit or just-plain offensive than all other pubs of its type that have been distributed over the past decade on campuses nationwide.

This is a quality mag, mixing high-minded sexual (orientation) exploration with catchy stories and spreads that positively challenge the status quo of gender, love, and lust.  Its latest challenger: censorship, “tinged with homophobia.”

Fortunately, a fourth printer contacted by Fusion staffers agreed to publish the issue. Click here or on the screenshot of the cover above to take a look.

One Response to “Kent State Student Magazine Deemed Too Sexual, Vulgar for Publication by 3 Ohio Printers”
  1. koretzky says:

    Sounds like a big win for both sides…

    1. Fusion gets more online readers than its print edition ever would garnered without this controversy.

    2. The printer keeps its higher-paying conservative clients happy.

    As someone who’s dealt with many printers over the years – for both college newspapers and pro magazines I launched and sold – I’m not at all perplexed by this printer’s inconsistent past with Fusion.

    Printing is a business, and if a larger client expresses disdain, you genuflect in front of his dollars. It’s quite possible Fusion’s earlier issues simply went unnoticed by both the printer’s bigwigs and its big clients.

    As for the printer’s views being “antiquated,” I doubt it has any views at all, besides making a profit so it can stay in business and pay its people. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Printing is not about freedom of the press. The printer has as much to do with Fusion’s First Amendment rights as Nike does with the Miami Heat’s championship run.

    – Koretzky