The history of US gay magazines and papers



Broadway World | 14330

A new book looks at the history of the gay press in America.

In the 1950s and 1960s the gay community became more visible while mainstream media continued the lie that we were mentally ill and morally depraved freaks and a threat to national security.

Community-based gay newsletters and newspapers emerged to counteract the distortion and lies, and to support the rising gay-rights movement. They addressed gay issues, formed a sense of unity, announced demonstrations, and tracked the progress of legal and political action.


Tracy Baim | Triblocal | 14331

Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America, by Tracy Baim, publisher and founder of Chicago’s Windy City Times, is a comprehensive overview of the past, present, and future of gay print media, which uses essays, interviews, and hundreds of news clips and images from both mainstream and early gay publications to describe the critical role of the gay press.

The book covers the birth of gay and lesbian publications, including Friendship & Freedom, Vice Versa, ONE, Mattachine Review, and The Ladder. Most of the publications during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s were produced on small budgets by gay societies or activists and volunteers, and while many were short-lived, others were catalysts for tolerance and acceptance.

There are also essays by and about journalists who documented the gay movement, recounting their experiences and providing observations and insights, and a detailed look at the problems encountered by publishers. Almost all gay periodicals faced endless challenges, risks, and struggles to survive.



3 thoughts on “The history of US gay magazines and papers

  1. Hi Paul

    With reference to your request for help on an article about the UK gay press, I hope the following is useful:

    I’ve done a couple of posts on Capital Gay

    and Gay News (and the flurry of gay media activity following its demise)

    I’ve got a ‘/Gay in the 80s/’ post scheduled for 31st December on the UK’s regional gay publications as it’s always been my view that the ‘locals’ played a vital but often unsung role in keeping people in touch and informed, especially in the 80’s when Thatcher and Co were at their most homophobic and AIDS was raising its ugly head.

    If I can be of any further help please don’t hesitate to let me know

    Best Wishes

    Colin Clews


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