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LGBTQ Publications Collection [UNDER REVISION]

Identifier: SPC-2018-031

Scope and Contents

The LGBTQ Publications Collection (1961-2018, undated; bulk 1988-2001) consists of over 300 magazines, newspapers, newsletters, reports, and other publications related to the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community, and are produced by and/or reporting on LGBTQ issues, sexuality, sexual identity, and culture. Some of the publications featured in this collection include: The Advocate, After Dark, Bay Area Reporter, Echo- The Magazine of the Southwest,Edge, Frontiers Magazine, and Update. Most of the material was published in the United States, but this collection also includes material published in England, France, Australia, and Germany; as well as bilingual material.


  • [UPDATE] November 1961-March 2018, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1988-2001

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical / Historical

Publications dedicated to LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) communities and issues have been in existence since the early twentieth century, but started to become more prevalent in the 1960s-1970s when there was an increase of activism and visability in regards to the LGBTQ community. This collection, which spans decades, contains a wide variety of material devoted to the LGBTQ community, from more prominent and bestselling publications, to lesser known and more obscure publications. Some of the publications in this collection include:

  1. Ache was a monthly journal created in 1989 by black lesbians for black women and ran until 1994. Ache’s goals were: “1) To celebrate ourselves, our communities, and our accomplishments. 2) To document black lesbian herstory and culture. 3) To provide a forum where issues impacting our communities can be openly discussed and analyzed. 4) To keep black lesbians in touch with each other's activities locally, nationally, and globally. 5) To provide a place where black visual artists and writers can develop and display their skills. 6) To help organize and empower ourselves; so that we may become more effective allies in the struggle to end the oppression that we, as black people, women and members of the gay community, face daily” (Ache, February 1990).
  2. The Advocate was first published in 1967 by an activist group known as Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE) in response to a police raid at a Los Angeles gay bar and the demonstrations that followed. The Advocate focuses on news, arts, politics, opinions, and entertainment of interest to the LGBT community, and is the oldest and largest LGBT publication in the United States.
  3. After Dark, first published in 1968, was an entertainment magazine that covered cinema, theater, and other performing arts, as well as topics of interest to the LGBT community. The last issue of After Dark was published in January 1983.
  4. The Bay Area Reporter is a free weekly newspaper that has been serving the LGBT community in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1971. It is the United States’ oldest continuously published newspaper of its kind and is one of the largest circulating LGBT newspapers.
  5. BLK: The National Black Lesbian and Gay Newsmagazine was a monthly magazine published in Los Angeles from 1988-1994, and featured people, events, and issues related to the African-American LGBT community.
  6. Common Lives/Lesbian Lives was a quarterly publication that ran from 1981-1996 and was produced by and for lesbians. Published out of Iowa City, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives was one of the first lesbian magazines to be published outside of New York and California, and focused its contents on diversity within the lesbian community.
  7. Frontiers Magazine, was Southern California’s oldest and largest LGBT magazine during its run from 1981-2016. The bi-weekly publication was freely distributed throughout Southern California and focused on news and entertainment regarding the LGBT community. Along with its magazine, Frontiers Media also published an escort listing section entitled Frontiers4Men.
  8. Gay Sunshine Journal was first published in 1970 by a collective loosely affiliated with the Berkeley Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and reported on issues surrounding gay liberation. After the GLF dissolved, the paper was revived in 1971 by Winston Leyland and continued to focus on publishing material regarding gay liberation and activism until 1973, when it shifted its focus to include interviews featuring gay writers and artists, essays, poetry, and politics. The last issue of Gay Sunshine Journal was published in 1982.
  9. Metrosource Magazine, published by Metrosource Publishing, is a bi-monthly gay and lesbian lifestyle magazine. Metrosource has three editions: Metrosource NY, Metrosource LA, and Metrosource National. First published in New York as a local magazine in 1990, and distributed nationwide starting circa 1995, Metrosource covers popular culture, design, travel, health, and entertainment.
  10. RFD Magazine is a quarterly publication for the gay community that focuses on country living and alternative lifestyles. Produced by volunteers and reader-written, RFD Magazine was founded in 1974 and contains poetry, photographs, stories, and artwork.
  11. Transgender Tapestry was a magazine founded by Merissa Sherrill Lynn and published from approximately 1979-2008 by the International Foundation for Gender Education. Transgender Tapestry was a magazine “for and about crossdressers, transgendered, transexual, intersexed, and other gender-variant persons, and those who support them” (Transgender Tapestry, Spring 2000) and covered a variety of topics such as transsexualism, politics, cross-dressing, and more. Throughout its run, Transgender Tapestrywent through several name changes including The TV-TS Tapestry, Tapestry, and The Tapestry Journal.
  12. Transvestia was a magazine started in 1960 by Virginia Prince, a transgender activist and founder of the Society for the Second Self (Tri-Ess)- an international educational, social, and support group for heterosexual cross-dressers, their partners, and their families ( (Transvesita was published bi-monthly from 1960-1980 with a total of 100 issues, and included content such as: true and fictionalized stories; articles regarding transvestism; a question section; editorials; poems; and others.
  13. Update was a weekly newspaper established in 1979 for the gay and lesbian community. Based in San Diego, Update was distributed throughout Southern California and select cities in the Southwest.


73 boxes

84.3 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

Multiple languages


The LGBTQ Publications Collection contains newspapers, magazines, newsletters, reports, and other publications devoted to the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community.


This collection is arranged alphabetically by publication name.

Related Materials

The Hensley LGBT Magazine Collection was part of the David Hensley personal collection and consists of material produced by ONE Inc, as well as the first nationally distributed lesbian publication The Ladder, published by the Daughters of Bilitis.

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Hill and Karen Clemons, 2018.

Inventory of the LGBTQ Publications Collection
Under Revision
Jennifer Hill and Karen Clemons; updated by Lindsay Anderson, 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections Repository

University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson CA 90747