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RFD (magazine)

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RFD is a reader-written magazine focused on gay men's country-living and alternative lifestyles. It was founded in 1974[1], and has been edited at various locations and by different groups over the course of its existence. The magazine is published on a quarterly basis from Liberty, Tennessee. While not originally, it is now associated with the Radical Faerie movement.

The magazine was founded after a group of gay men in Iowa attempted to purchase an advertisement in the counter-cultural Whole Earth Catalog about the organizing of a gay-centered commune, Running Water. The editors of Whole Earth rejected the request on the basis that they did not run gay advertisements. The initial organizers of the commune decided to start their own magazine.

According to Donald Engstrom, one of the early Iowa-based founders, the collective wrote to and sent copies of the early issues to every gay campus group they could find and to gay friends far and wide. The first issues of the magazine continued in this "pass along" basis with very passionate response from readers hungry for a gay publication out of the mainstream. The magazine billed itself as a "A Country Journal By Gay Men" (Issue #12). The early founders, described in issue #6 as "a collective of Iowa faggots" published RFD for its first two years. The magazine was then published in Wolf Creek, Oregon for many years before moving to Tennessee.

Khrysso Heart LeFey reminisces on his website[2], the following:

RFD had not originally been about Radical Faeries—it had been in existence for years, created originally for rural gay men, but it has, in the last nearly twenty years, come to be synonymous with the RFs. Many think that RFD stands for "Radical Faerie Digest," but those who were there then insist that it was taken from just what everyone else thinks of when they hear the initials: "Rural Free Delivery." It was for and about rural “sissies”. A continuing source of delight for me is that in each issue, RFD is also assigned an additional meaning (Really Feeling Decadent and Ranting For Days are possibilities). . .

The connection between RFD and the faeries has been strengthened by the fact that one of the best known semi-annual gatherings of Radical Faeries takes place at Short Mountain Sanctuary, the gay men’s intentional community that has also been the headquarters for RFD for years."

Among the notable writers featured in RFD have included the poet Essex Hemphill.

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