Legacy Interview with Kathy Resch
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Legacy Interview with Kathy Resch|
|Fandom(s):||Star Trek TOS, slash|
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Some Other Interviews
Who would ever think buying a paperback book would be a life-altering experience? But that’s exactly what happened in 1975 when I found the book Star Trek Lives. This book, by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Sondra Marshak, and Joan Winston, was an examination of Star Trek fandom. When I read the chapters about Trek conventions, I sighed in envy, convinced that I’d never be able to go to one of those wonderful events. Never say never! This book included a chapter on fan fiction—what a revelation! You mean there were people other than me who fantasized Star Trek stories? And actually wrote them down?... [snipped] ... It’s hard to overstate the first flush of my obsession with Trek fanfic. I bought everything. I read everything. Adventure, Mary Sue, adult fic—you name it, I read it. My favorite stories were those which focused on the friendship between Kirk and Spock. While watching the series in the 60s and the reruns in the 70s, I always “wrote stories in my head” about the two of them. I didn’t have the concept of K/S yet. I did know these two men belonged together, forever. And these early friendship stories really hit all my buttons.
One of my favorite zines was Stardate: Unknown, published by an Alaskan editor named Gerry Downes. In 1976, Gerry sent out a flyer for something new to the zine world...a fanzine called Alternative, which would explore the possibility of a sexual relationship between Kirk and Spock. The flyer was very timid, including lots of warnings, and reassurances that if you bought the zine and hated it or were offended by it, you could return it for a full refund. I read the flyer and thought, “Ooooh—interesting!” I immediately wrote a check.
A couple of years prior to this, I had read Mary Renault's Alexander the Great novel The Persian Boy. I had enjoyed this book, but felt there was something missing from it. (In retrospect, what I wanted to read about was Alexander and his lifelong friend/lover Hephaistian, not Alexander and Bagaos, the “Persian boy” of the title.) I loved the idea of Alexander and Hephaistian—two men, comrades in arms, lifelong friends—and lovers. This pushed buttons I didn’t know I had. I was clearly ready for K/S.
I devoured every single K/S zine that was published in the late 1970s, and I wanted more. There just was not enough K/S out there. In 1980, there were no ongoing K/S zines in the United States.... Naked Times was on a long hiatus. (There was a five year gap—from 1979 to 1984— between Naked Times 3 and Naked Times 4/5.) Companion was a closed universe. (The Companion zines were a coordinated story cycle written by a number of different authors.) The first two issues of Nome had been published, but the editors, at that time, did not consider this a K/S zine, but rather a relationship zine a la Contact. Later in the 1980s, quite a number of other ongoing K/S zines in the US would begin publication. Out of Bounds, Final Frontier and Cheap Thrills would begin publication in 1981; The Voice and Another K/S Zine in 1982. 1984 would be a great year for K/S, with the first issues of First Time, Daring Attempt, California K/S, Amazing Grace and As I Do Thee debuting this year. The first two issues of Duet would be published in 1980, in England—in fact, there were several K/S zines published in 1980 in the UK. But as far as the United States was concerned, 1980 was a “dry year.” There was only one thing to do about this dearth of K/S—I needed to do a zine of my own. Clearly, if I was going to be able to read K/S on a regular basis, the best possible thing to do would be to provide a home for it. I announced that I was looking for submissions for a new K/S zine, T’hy’la. I wrote to everyone I could think of asking for stories, art and poetry, and published my first issue in 1981.
Back then, it took about two weeks for a printer to print a zine. An odd thing happened during the two weeks T’hy’la 1 was being printed. I got several phone calls and letters from people asking me if I knew what was being said about that Horrible Nasty Zine that was being published. (People think the internet is fast, but the telephoning abilities of fans in early fandom cannot be underestimated.) 
My printer really enjoyed printing my zines. By the time I’d done my 3rd or 4th issue, he told me the women in the bindery always looked forward to my zines. They’d post prints of the artwork on the bindery walls to keep them entertained while they worked.
We began having K/S parties every couple of months. Some of them were “mini-cons” that could last all weekend long. Stories were discussed, artwork admired, videos were watched, rude things were done with Kirk & Spock dolls, and lifelong friendships were formed. Though almost all of these women are in other fandoms now, we are truly like family—those friendships we formed in the early days of Trek fandom were strong and lasting, and we stay in contact on a regular basis. We started going to conventions. Shore Leave, of course. I had such fun going to Shore Leave throughout the 80s. I have lots of great memories of wonderful room parties, fantastic conversations, superb art shows, and of course zines! And there was the first slash convention, IDICon, in Houston in the 80s. I’ll never forget the time a hotel employee came in during the art show to do something with the air conditioning. The auctioneer flung her body in front of the explicit art being auctioned, and “filibustered” until the guy left. Then there were the pink and green penis-shaped piñatas (ouch!), the “dancing cocks,” the creatively-named alcoholic beverages. I still don’t know what was in the drink called “green Vulcan cum” (I think Midori was involved), but it sure was good!
- See T'hy'la for more about this print shop adventure.