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“LGBT Support and the Tattoo Industry” by Nick Baxter

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by Nick Baxter: Everyone reading this is probably well aware of the mass shooting tragedy in Orlando, Florida a few days ago, targeted specifically at a popular gay nightclub. While headlines and attention tend to quickly move on to other current events, the trauma and aftermath is still being sorted out for all the victims, and many generous people and organizations have set up relief funds to help them. If you feel compelled to donate, here are two such efforts: https://www.crowdrise.com/we-stand-with-pulse-fund https://www.gofundme.com/29bubytqhttps://www.gofundme.com/29bubytq Thankfully, there has been a very supportive social media response to the Orlando shootings from tattoo artists and industry people. Yet, on a daily basis at tattoo related public events, LGBT issues seem to be rarely broached and are almost never amongst any of the tattoo artists I know or have been around. Although I don’t have close involvement with a vast majority of the tattoo world, especially as it grows exponentially bigger seemingly every year, I would love to see a more vocal and public consciousness around LGBT issues from tattooers and those involved in the industry. As it slowly evolves away from the secluded underground, and often quite intimidating “macho boys club” that it used to be, I’ve wondered to myself why there aren’t more proud and openly gay/trans tattoo artists making waves in the tattoo world (or if there are, why am I not hearing about them the same way I hear about all kinds of other industry happenings?). After all, it has historically been ...Read More »

Deb Yarian on Zeke Owen

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I saw him before I found out who he was. A striking figure of a man… He was movie star handsome with the physique of a boxer.It was 1980.  I was 21 and tattooing at a friend’s shop in Daytona Beach, Fla.We weren’t introduced but when I was told who he was, his imposing physical presence equaled the reputation that preceded him. Zeke’s name dominated tattooing for much of the latter part of the 20th century.  An iconic figure and a forefather of American tattooing.  If you know the names Sailor Jerry, Ed Hardy and Mike Malone you should know the name Zeke Owen. Sadly, Zeke is in a nursing home now and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.His family is asking for the tattoo community’s help to cover medical expenses. They have set up an account to help with his needs and care.  If you are willing and able to help please go to www.gofundme.com/awq8eoMy husband Don and I had the great fortune to interview him a few years ago at our shop in Alaska.If you would like to learn about Zeke’s amazing tattoo journey you can read about it in issue #39 of Tam. Thank you for your help!   This Month of January, TAM will donate 30% of sales of issue 39th to assist Zeke! Zeke has done a lot for tattooing, and he needs the community’s support. Please give what you can, and spread the word! Get TAM Issue 39 Today and Help Support Zeke!   ...Read More »

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