Subtitled "America's Gayest Magazine", Vice Versa, was the earliest known U.S. periodical published especially for lesbians.[1]

The magazine was the project of Lisa Ben (an anagram of 'lesbian'), a secretary in a Los Angeles, California Movie Studio.[2][3] By her own account, Ben had "a lot of time to herself" at work[4] and, starting in June 1947, "twice each month typed out five carbons and one original of Vice Versa.[1] She described the intention of the magazine being to create "a medium through which we may express our thoughts, our emotions, our opinions- as long as material was 'within the bounds of good taste'".[1]

The nine issues of Vice Versa created by Lisa Ben opened up a forum for lesbians to communicate with each other via readers' letters, personal essays, short fiction and poetry".[3] The publication was free, and Ben distributed each issue herself initially. Issues were later passed from friend to friend in an informal network, so that each issue may have been read by dozens[5]

Ben eventually left her job at RKO Studios, and publication of the magazine ceased in 1948.[3]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Katz, Jonathan Ned. Gay/Lesbian Almanac, Harper & Row, 1983 ISBN 006014968X p.618-20.
  2. Potter, Claire. Lesbian Periodical Index. Naiad Press, 1986, ISBN 978-0930044749, p.xii.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lo, Malinda. "Back in the Day: The Ladder, America's First National Lesbian Magazine" 2005. Retrieved on 2008 March 10.
  4. Interview with Leyland Moss, Gaysweek (New York), Jan. 23 1978, pp15-16
  5. Marcus, Eric. Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990, HarperCollins, 1992. Retrieved on 2008 March 10.

See also Edit

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