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Our Own Voices: Lesbian and Gay Periodicals 1890s-2000s
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Our Own Voices cover image Our Own Voices:
A Directory of Lesbian and Gay Periodicals, 1890s-2000s
Including references to titles held in the
Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives

Compiled by Alan V. Miller
First edition, 1991
Second edition, 1996
Updated November, 2000

Introduction
About Our Own Voices
Publishing waves: from the '70s, the '50s -- and before
Getting around this directory
Arrangement of titles
Publishers, dates and other data
Index advice
Thanks


About Our Own Voices

This directory -- listing more than 7,000 lesbian and gay periodicals, from all over the world and from across an entire century -- is the largest resource of its kind in the world.

Our Own Voices is a continuation of a project which began in 1981. Lesbian Periodical Holdings in the Canadian Gay Archives, the fourth title in the Archives Publication Series, listed in fifteen pages what was then our complete lesbian periodical holdings. It also included many women's and feminist titles, to make the work more useful. Over the next year we managed to add substantially to our holdings by sending this listing to lesbian publishers. Many groups and individuals were kind enough to send us missing copies and added us to their mailing list.

The first edition of Our Own Voices (1991) included over 7,200 titles, of which the Archives had in its collection almost 3,300. By contrast, when Vern Bullough et al. published An Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality in 1976, only 308 titles were listed.

In many ways Our Own Voices replaces the periodical section of that bibliography and compliments H. Robert Malinowsky's International Directory of Gay and Lesbian Periodicals (Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1987). Malinowsky's work includes over 1,900 titles of periodicals supposedly still publishing in 1987. In fact, like some listed here, many of those titles had ceased to exist earlier and therefore did not respond to his questionnaire.

Our Own Voices is unique in its international scope, including periodicals from thirty countries, spanning a period from 1890 to 1996. The broadest use of the word "periodical" was used to compile this list.

It includes all serials published on a regular or irregular basis, as well as annuals. All post-1970 works directed at a diverse lesbian or gay audience are included; a few foreign feminist titles may have slipped into the work as well. A glance through the titles reveals just how varied these lesbian and gay communities now are. Materials are aimed at special religious groups, professional or racial groups, and some groups with specialized sexual interests.

The broadest definition of "gay" or "lesbian" -- or "homosexual" -- has also been used. It seems impossible in pre-1960 works to identify sex role, behaviour, desire, or self-identification of publishers, which would help in clearly delimiting these definitions. The 'zine explosion of the 1980s and 2000s deliberately tries to confuse these delimiters.

Titles on transsexuals, transvestites, and bisexuals are included. All community AIDS titles are listed since material in these periodicals can be of interest to gay men. There is some difficulty identifying the target audiences of some of these periodicals. But the same could be said, even more so, of many pre-gay liberation / pre-Stonewall (1969) works.

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Publishing waves: from the '70s, the '50s -- and before

Two "waves" of publishing began in 1970: the gay and lesbian-feminist waves. The widespread use of photocopiers and fax machines in the 1990s has allowed for another wave, the technological wave. Anyone with access to a computer, photocopier, fax machine, or the Internet could become a publisher at minimal cost.

In the mid-1950s another wave, the homophile movement, can be noted in North America. Censorship and McCarthyism tried to keep the mail free of works that were "inciting to homosexuality." Yet prior to 1950, two or three small-circulation newsletters existed.

To uncover homosexual periodical publishing history from this period, 1950s physique magazines and, prior to World War II, physical culture and nudist titles must be used. These materials were not published for a homosexual audience, but were often used to make contacts through the advertisements. (This is one kind of material that the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is actively trying to locate and preserve.)

During the inter-war period, northern and western European sources have to be used for any sense of growing visibility of the homosexual. These were the only places relatively free of publishing constraints. Book publishing reveals a different story, as does the cinema/theatre (see, for example, Vito Russo's The Celluloid Closet, 1987).

Prior to World War I, few documented sources exist except from Germany, which produced Magnus Hirschfeld's Jahrbuch and Der Eigene, a publication of the homosexual rights movement.

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Getting around this directory

Our Own Voices is divided into three sections: periodicals; guides and directories; catalogues.

Periodicals, sorted alphabetically by title, make up the major part of the work. Publishers or organizations are also included in the same alphabetical list, with "see" reference to the titles of their publications.

Guides and directories have been grouped separately in the second section in order to be found more easily.

Catalogues of physique companies -- information that has been pulled from the Archives' large collection of periodicals -- form the third part. These catalogues were issued irregularly and we have only a few in our collection. Photographers from the early 1900s would advertise in physical culture, physique, or muscle magazines, stating that catalogues to their works were available by mail order. Such catalogues were issued serially and often numbered. I hope that this information will prove useful to anyone interested in pre-1970s physique publishing.

On the Contents page, there is a heading for each section, followed by a list of its pages. This list shows the alphabetical range for each page, from the first to last title it includes.

All page entries listed are links: Click on an entry and you will get that page. There are also links on every page to take you to the previous one, the next one, or back to the Contents page.

Other links on each page let you move to parts of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives website. They show the pages you may have followed to get to this directory.

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Arrangement of titles

All periodicals are listed alphabetically. Every title held by Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is marked with a Item held at the Archives symbol to the left of the alphabetical entry. Following the title is the subtitle, if one exists.

All acronyms sort at the beginning of the letter of the first word in title, e.g., A A P H R Reporter sorts at the beginning of the A's.

Some titles are "continued by" or "continue" other titles. These are indicated at the end of the record, to lead from title to title, e.g., Atalanta continues A L F A Newsletter . As organisations attempted to become more representative, "lesbian," "bisexual," and "transgender," may have entered the body name, so title changes reflect this sensitivity, e.g., The International Gay Association Bulletin is continued by The International Lesbian and Gay Association Bulletin.

I apologize to international organizations for having to remove all accents. This will be corrected in the next updates. This work was originally done on a 10-year-old Wordstar package that did not have the capability of including accents. When imported in WordPerfect, the accents were not added. This deficiency will be rectified. Jim Steakley has been very helpful in pointing out German language examples. Please feel free to e-mail suggested corrections.

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Publishers, dates, and other data

Publishers and editors, if known, are listed next. If unknown, "np" (no publisher) follows the title. In this directory the address is taken from the last copy in the Archives' collection. This information was often not included in the many source lists I used. At most, a city or state or country was listed.

AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules - 2) was followed as often as possible but since many groups fear being recognized, Newsletter may be all the information available. Fear of exposure results in much of the erotic material not being identified by publisher or year. Some information on publishers and organizations is attributed from internal evidence and marked with a question mark, e.g., ?Calafran.

Date range, again if known, follows in one of three formats, e.g., 1977- ; 1973-75; c1968.

Those publications that continue to publish have a dash (open entry) after the year, e.g., 1996- . Those that have ceased publishing have a beginning and end date, e.g., 1973-75. Some dates, taken from an undated physique magazine, are estimated, e.g., c1968.

If no year could be determined, "nd" (no date) is included here, or an approximate estimate to decade, e.g., 195- for 1950s material. Frequency of publishing occurs next: weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.

"E", for erotica (physique and pornographic magazines), appears at the end of some entries. This is, of course, a concept that changes with the decades: the definition of 1940-50s erotica is totally different from definitions used in the 1980-90s. I hope this code will allow serious researchers to quickly identify this material.

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Index advice

The Directory does not yet have a subject index. That would require inspecting every title, which has not been possible. Users can refer to Clare Potter's The Lesbian Periodical Index (Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press, 1986) and Malinowsky's directory for subject indexes.

When Our Own Voices was published in 1991, it had a geographical index, including some key words pulled from the title entries. As well, since the vast majority of titles were published post-Stonewall (1969), I had grouped at the beginning of the index all pre-1970 dates in five-year periods.

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Thanks

Many individuals over the last fifteen years have helped to pull Our Own Voices together. They include: the volunteers at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Sven Arnehed, Nick Barakett, Victor Bardawill, Rick Bebout, Dan Bowers, Graham Carbery, Jay Cassel, Sue Donnelly, Bert Hansen, Ross Higgins, Ed Jackson, the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal of Toronto, Don McLeod, Chris Paulin, Neil Richards, Robert Ridinger, Martien Sleutjes, Jim Steakley and Bill Walker.

Special thanks to Mark Wood for hours of labour spent transferring the files to an INMAGIC database. I am also indebted to the many men and women who have contributed their own personal collections to the Archives periodical holdings.

Lists from the following organizations were helpful in correcting errors:

Archives gaies du Quebec (Montreal, 1987), Australian Gay Archives (Parkville, 1985), Canadian Women's Movement Archives (Toronto, 1987 -- now Ottawa), Dokumentatie Centrum Homostudies (Amsterdam, 1985, 1986), Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California (San Francisco, 1990), Lesbian and Gay Rights Resource Centre (Wellington, New Zealand, 198-), Henry Gerber - Pearl M. Hart Library (Chicago, 1986), International Gay and Lesbian Archives (Los Angeles, 1989), International Lesbian and Gay Association (Stockholm, 1987), Lesbian Archive and Information Centre (London, England, 1988) and Renaissance House for Gayellow Pages (New York, 1973-95).

All errors and omissions are mine. As this stands, I hope the work still proves useful.

Alan V. Miller, December 1996

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